Steamed bread


Hello foodies! It has been forever since I last blogged, and every time I cook or eat something yummy, I feel a pang of guilt in my stomach, and promise myself that I am going to start doing weekly posts again, and after months, which accidentally turned into a year of talking and no doing, here I go…

So much has happened since I last posted! I…got a new job in reproductive health, adopted two furry critters,

Giorgie

Jane

finished my Masters degree in Public Health

Kristen, Phumelele and I on Grad Day

and got engaged!

Engagement

The recipe I am going to share with you is Lulu’s Steamed bread. According to the interwebs, steamed bread is a traditional Zulu dish typically served with meat, although my experience tells me that steamed bread has become a commonplace in many’s homes. I first tried it when Lulu brought it to work freshly baked for a colleague’s birthday and I simply couldn’t stop eating it, despite being stuffed to the brim. It is so moist and has a subtle sweetness that I can never resist. So of course I got the recipe and immediately went home to make it. Despite Lulu accidentally giving me the wrong ratios due to that the recipe is so engrained in her food repertoire that she no longer needs to measure and also accidentally waterlogging my ball of dough in boiling water, my bread was ridiculously delicious. Luckily, my second time making steamed bread was easier and just as delicious. Steamed bread can be eaten with anything from curry, stew and mexican food, to only with a smidgy of butter, which Lulu and I did all week when we were away on a work trip.

Steamed bread (serves four + leftovers)

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tbl sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

Directions

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together and then mix in the warm water
  2. Knead the dough (the dough should be slightly sticky-if it’s too sticky, add some more flour)
  3. Let the dough rise for about an hour
  4. Knead the dough some more
  5. Put the dough in a greased metal bowl
  6. Add about 5cm of water to a large pot that the metal bowl can fit into
  7. Gently place the bowl in the water (Don’t let the bowl touch the bottom of the pot; if it does, add a bit more water so that the bowl floats a little bit)
  8. Put on the lid
  9. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water starts to bowl, turn the heat down a bit so that the water maintains a lower, less hectic boil. Don’t keep the burner high enough for the water to bubble up into your dough bowl.
  10. Cook the bread for an hour. DO NOT open the pot lid until the hour is up.
  11. Carefully remove the bowl from the pot.
  12. Serve while still warm with anything!

 

 

 

Cheesy savory breakfast potatoes with eggs


My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, which is synonymous for eggs, either in a fry up full of veggies or simply sunny side up, sometimes with cheese, sometimes with beans if I’m craving a taste of England, but always served with some sort of carb.  A true breakfast, in my sense of the word, only happens during the weekend, because I am too lazy and too rushed in the morning to even contemplate cooking breakfast during the week.

The other day I decided to wake my Ty up with breakfast in bed with a fried egg sunny side up served with cheesy savory breakfast potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 tbl oil
  • 1 chopped onion (or a few stalks of spring onions)
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cheese of your liking
  • 4 eggs
  • fresh rocket
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. In a pan, add 2 tbl oil and sautee the garlic and onions until soft and lightly browned
  2. While the garlic and onions are cooking, thinly slice up the potatoes, put them in a bowl, add a drop of water, and microwave for 2 minutes until parcooked
  3. Once the garlic and onions are cooked, add the potatoes to the pan and toss with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili flakes, cover, and let cook on low heat for about 5 minutes
  4. Transfer the potatoes to an oven friendly baking dish, generously sprinkle with grated cheese, and grill in the oven on high until the cheese is fully melted, bubbly, and starting to brown a bit
  5. while the cheese is melting, in the pan you used to cook your potatoes, cook your eggs any way your heart desires with some salt and pepper
  6. when the eggs are finished cooking, pull out the potatoes and serve together with a garnish of rocket

Eggs Benny


Eggs Benedict is my hands-down favorite breakfast meal of all time.  Crepeville in Davis, California and Lazari in Vredehoek, Cape Town serve the best Eggs Benny on either side of the Atlantic and today I undertook the challenge of making it myself.  Ty claimed that he did not like Eggs Benny, which was his usual assertion for any unfamiliar food, so I was doubly determined to successfully pull it off and convince him of its awesomeness.

Whenever I cook a new dish, I always run frantically around the kitchen following directions and creating a tornado of dirty dishes and congealed food all over the stove, counter, and in the sink. So to carefully focus on each step and avoid destroying my kitchen, I decided to take my time cooking the bacon first, the hollandaise sauce second, and the poached eggs last. Inevitably, I still proceeded to use just about every cooking tool in our kitchen to experiment with different techniques and created a giant mess of of broken egg shells, eggs with broken yolks, hollandaise sauce, bread crumbs, and avocado strewn all over the counter.  Despite the extreme mess and lack of expertise, I produced an Eggs Benny that conquered Ty’s food prejudice and elicited multiple food-gasms.

I got the deliciously rich hollandaise sauce recipe from Andrea, learned how to poach eggs from Smitten Kitchen, and bought a fresh multigrain loaf of bread from a bakery in Rondebosch.

Eggs Benny

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Fresh multigrain or ciabatta bread sliced into 4 thick pieces
  • 8 pieces of bacon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 avocado sliced length-wise
  • A dash of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the hollandaise sauce

  • 225g butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbl hot water
  • 1 tbl lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • A dash of salt

Instructions

1. Cook the bacon in a frying pan until lightly browned and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds and set aside to cool.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and slowly add the the water, lemon juice, salt, paprika, and butter until combined.  pour the mixture into a small pan and whisk continuously for about 10 minutes on low heat until thickened.  if you let the sauce sit, the egg will start to cook, so be careful. once the sauce has thickened, pour it into a bowl and set aside.

3. For the step-by-step guide on how to poach eggs beautifully, see Smitten Kitchen’s tutorial.  Given that today was my very first attempt at poaching eggs, I am fairly proud of myself but am in no way ready to provide insight about the tricky task. My first attempt was pretty successful, the second ended in a detached, hardened yolk surrounded by floating egg whites, the third didn’t even make it into the pot because I broke the yolk, the fourth was on par with the first, and the last made it but had an unstable yolk that was barely holding on.  The trickiest part was getting the water just right; my water was either boiling or stagnant but never just simmering. I also struggled to pour the eggs directly in the middle of the whirlpool, which resulted in my egg whites whirling in the direction of the current instead of supporting its yolk.  Thus, after each attempt I had to pour out the messy water and start fresh, which elongated the process.  …Hopefully as time goes on my technique will improve!…

4. Lightly toast the bread by putting it under the broiler for a few minutes and re-heat the bacon and hollandaise sauce by microwaving for 15 seconds.  (when I have a better handle on the recipe, I hope to multi-task and finish cooking all the components at the same time, which will not require microwaving)

5.  Place the bread on a plate and assemble the Eggs Benny by adding 2 strips of bacon, the poached egg, a generous pouring of hollandaise sauce, 2-4 slices of avo, and a dash of pepper and paprika on top. And enjoy!