A Toast(ie) to you and yours. Merry Xm..no wait.. Happy New Year! .

Hai!

Happy New Year to you all. This was originally planned as a post xmas post but I got too lazy on the couch with the cricket and booze and chocolate and leftovers and G.F.
Oh and I’m a chef, so busy 😉

Leftovers, right?! What to do with all that ham and those plump delicious cherries?
(you’ve probably eaten them all already but keep it mind for next year huh.)

toastie5

French Toasties!
Basically a ham and cheese sandwich dipped in egg, then pan-fried. The past couple of Xmas breakfasts I’ve made French toast using brioche and served it with cherries.
They’ll work well here too.
The French love to serve fruit with savoury, as do we here in Queensland.

Ingredients
Ham –
Cheese – I used some mozzarella left from the pizza post.
You could use something with more flavour – brie would be a welcome substitute.
The French would approve 🙂
Bread – we are using sensible thick cut multi-grain.
Eggs
Milk
Butter for cooking
S&P
Cherries – other fruits are nice too
toastie1

HOW
Pip the cherries – or have your Kid do it like I did, and put them aside.
You can crush them or stew them a little with some sugar to make a compote but we left ours raw and yum.

toastie2

Make sandwiches with the ham sliced nice and thin and plenty of cheese.
Be generous, this is meant be a little decadent.
Make sure everything is tucked inside nicely, no dangly-outy bits.
You can easily omit the ham for vegetarians.
You don’t need to butter the bread in this instance.

toasties3Beat the eggs with a little milk and a pinch of salt.
We found that 1 egg and a splash of milk  per sandwich was ample.

Pre – heat a non-stick fry pan to moderate. Add a good chunk of butter.

Dip a whole sandwich into the egg mix and let it sit for 10 seconds and then carefully flip it over, let it sit for 10 seconds, lift it out carefully and place in the fry pan.
Repeat with the next sandwich. And the next.
I don’t know who’s at your place but we’re just making two.
toasties4Use a spatula to check your progress, turn over gently when ready and repeat on the other side.
A moderate heat means the sandwiches are slowly going golden on the outside whilst the cheese melts in the middle.
Don’t rush them. 4 – 5 minutes each side maybe?
See if you can get them as golden as ours!
Remove from the pan, drain on a little paper towel and serve hot with plenty of cherries. This is very much a knife and fork sort of sandwich.
toastie5

What Kid Did
Kid was very productive today. She pipped the cherries using a small cheese knife, apparently they have a la-di-da cherry pipper at her other home ;p
Kid made the sandwiches, beat the eggs and put it all together.
All I did was cut the ham and supervise the pan frying.
Nice work Kid X
Kid also watched me lose my shit at the electric stove for not working to my standards. Wow.

What else?
When I was a kid there was always a ham in the fridge at Xmas, I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Mum was very particular about the ham and I inherited some quirks/skills thanks to her. Nobody was allowed to cut the ham other than mum.
It had to be sliced in a particular way (against the grain, which is absolutely correct as it turns out) the outer layer of fat would be meticulously removed and then the whole ham would be stored in a cloth bag (or an old pillowcase?) in the fridge until just the bone was left.
And mum knew if someone had ‘hacked into the bloody thing’ while she wasn’t around.

At Xmas this year I was not only asked to cut the ham but asked my professional opinion on the preparation and baking of said ham.

Good skills thanks mum. Great memories.

This post was largely written before the outrage that occurred in Paris.

Je Suis Charlie
Can’t we all just get along
X

Salad (birth)days

Kid turned 10 last Friday. 10! Happy Birthday you wonderful little creature.

So on Friday I took an early mark to hang with Kid. We went shopping during the day then went for a cheap and cheerful dinner w/ the other half of Kids family and GF came along too.

bdaydinner

Singing Happy Birthday

Today is birthday dinner at my place day. I’m going to make heaps of fun, healthy birthday treats with all of Kids favouritest things all prepared in a fun, tongue in cheek, cute as a button, cool as shit kind of way whilst entertaining my family and doing hula hoops at the same time.

NOT.

I had planned on cooking  a couple of things but ran out of time and so we are having T/A pizza from the local Italian in Paddington and making a salad. And some dip and stuff.
Mum is bringing cake.

Cake1Dips

A cake with a surprise 😉
That will come later.

Did I mention salad? I love a good pizza (I don’t love bad pizza) but I need to eat salad with it otherwise I feel a bit dirty. The salad we’re making doesn’t have a name but the dressing does.
Tangy Ranch Dressing
Ingredients
1 tablespoon French mustard ( or similar )
15oml mild olive oil
2 egg yolks
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon
50ml apple cider vinegar ( or similar )
ranch
HOW
Using a food processor or stick blender, blitz  everything except the oil until it’s a bit fluffy.It’s important to do this well, the processing of yolks with the acid kills any bacteria concerns you may have about using raw eggs. Slowly add the oil a little at a time until it’s all combined. It should have the consistency of a runny mayonnaise.
It will keep in the fridge for a week.
What Kid Did
It’s probably a bit rough having to cook on your own birthday, but there is pizza and cake so shut up.
Kid made that ranch dressing. Separated eggs, measured everything and even wrote down the recipe as she went. Then used the blender to put it together.
The salad was a joint venture, I did any cutting and I toasted the pine nuts, kid did the lettuce washing, peeling the boiled eggs and seeded the pomegranate (cut them in half, invert and whack them with a wooden spoon).
saladprep
Then I let Kid arrange the whole thing on a platter which was probably the most fun bit. We had cos lettuce, broccoli, pine nuts, boiled eggs, pomegranate, olives, tomatoes, fennel and grated parmesan cheese. You can use the things that you like.

When the salad was all arranged (and the pizzas picked up and arrived home)
pizzaboxes
Kid presented the platter on the dining table and then poured the salad dressing all over it in front of the guests.
saladplatter
Pretty cool!
I have the waiters do this in the restaurant for a seafood dish on my menu.
It’s good, simple theatre and engaging.

The Cake
The cake itself was no surprise but after singing happy birthday and blowing out candles kid got a great surprise cutting the cake open. It was a pinanta cake! Full to the brim with all sorts of lollies – freckles, jelly beans, popping candy, m&m’s etc..
pinatacake
Fun! Food thing we had that salad though huh.
Thanks again Grandma! X

The Wash Up
Next time, when there is time we’ll make pizza from scratch at home. I can’t wait to get Kid involved in the dough making process, especially with the new little work bench in the kitchen. Buying it so much easier though.
The salad was a hit with everyone. Uncle brother took the rest home for work lunch and everyone had pizza goody bags because I ordered too much ( if there is such a thing).

So there goes another birthday. There was too much pizza, an awesome salad and a giant lolly covered cake that turned out to be full of lollies.
Hopefully we’ve finished it by the time she’s 11.
🙂

Marcey's Table

We All Eat And It Would Be A Sad Waste Of Opportunity To Eat Badly~~ Anna Thomas

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