Breakfast isn’t often sophisticated. It can be satisfying, sure. Or hearty. Maybe even a treat. But sophisticated isn’t a word that gets used for breakfast regularly. It is, however, the correct term to describe this dish when presenting it to your mum this Sunday for Mother’s Day.
It’s a very simple recipe, but don’t let that fool you. This plate is full of texture and dances a fine line between savoury and sweet. With persian flavours and several surprising elements, it is both interesting and delicious to eat as well as beautiful to look at. Continue reading →
A toasted ham and cheese sandwich is warm comfort. I’ve talked about the power of toast before, and this combination is a classic that most people can place in their food history. After-school snacks, late-night munchies, cold nights with hot soup, lazy brunches – it’s a flexible meal. This twist on it takes the humble toastie from the past to a very modern and adult present.
I first came across this sandwich in New York where I worked in a building overlooking the Hudson. It was a 15-minute walk from the subway and a much longer power walk to a decent food establishment. Although that part of Chelsea is gentrifying by the minute with giant cranes pulling up skyscraper apartments and art galleries moving in to old shipping warehouses, there’s not a lot of foot traffic to encourage cafes to set up shop. My only options for lunch were vendors that came into our building on daily rotation (taco Tuesday!), the building’s cafeteria that had recently failed a health inspection and Wichcraft, a sandwich chain store.
Everyone at work knew the Wichcraft menu intimately and each had their preferred item. The Heritage Smoked Ham became my staple work meal. You could say I over indulged on it, because although I loved it and would struggle to limit my intake to twice a week, it has taken me eight months to recreate it at home. I guess I needed the break, but after tasting it again, I’m committed to making up for lost time.
A cold bottle of Riesling, a sunny afternoon and a few friends should be the three ingredients required for this tart, because that’s how I prefer to eat it. But before you open the wine, you’ll just need to pick up some asparagus, puff pastry and cheese. For this is the most accommodating of tarts. It requires very little to turn simple ingredients into a dish that looks like you trained in a French patisserie to make.
I have fully embraced the New York breakfast of boiled dough spread thick with an inch of cream cheese.
Bagels fuel the working week in NYC. Every Tuesday at work there is a long meeting that uses bagels to lure people in. We take turns in bringing the bagels, which means we start each meeting dissecting today’s batch, comparing them to the reigning favourite provider. If you bring sub-par bagels, you put productivity in jeopardy. These chewy rolls demand respect, and I’m happy to give it to them.
But sometimes, I miss Australian breakfasts.
A thick slice of toast smothered in creamy avocado and spiked with fresh herbs and citrus is happiness on a plate to me. It tastes like home, or, more specifically, a menu item at one of my favourite cafes in Melbourne. So when I feel a longing for Australia, I make Homesick Toast.