Fried egg on chickpea pancake with baked tomatoes + feta

I’ve had the most amazing weekend, thank you very much. My beautiful friend E. got married in a beautiful garden-wedding with beautiful weather and beautiful guests. It was a perfect wedding, and I think it was that, as a result of the couple’s laid back attitude towards the usual traditions. Also a tiki-bar and barbecue buffet didn’t hurt. Not to mention the masterpiece of a wedding cake made by the bride’s aunt. It is the single most impressive cake I have ever seen. In my whole life I can say, with absolute certainty, I have never had a carrot cake so completely fulfilling. Seriously. My other friend C., who also attended the wedding, told me every bite was like a piece of heaven and I heard murmurs all around the garden stating the same. Therefore it is a fact!

The recipe of this post has come about because of the wedding. It’s an edible homage of sorts. Let me explain:

First of all, the day before the wedding C. and I helped by making some salads for the buffet. Hers was a brilliant slaw with edamame, mint and cucumber. Mine, a green basil salad featuring baked feta and tomatoes.

Secondly, the morning of the wedding, I was on a tight schedule (because painting my nails throws off my timing – and I never learn), and knew I needed to get something sturdy for breakfast to last until the after the wedding ceremony. In those situations, you are always out of everything. I know this to be true – it’s a law of life. That meant I had to be creative at a non-creative-inviting-time. I made a chickpea pancake topped it with a fried egg. It was fine. Filling, however not fulfilling. Two days later (one day incapacitated by a previous night of wedding fun) I find myself in the same exact position, breakfast wise.

This time however, I combined my salad and the chickpea/fried egg pancake. It makes for a fresh, filling and very fulfilling breakfast/lunch/brunch item. It also serves, for me, as a reminder of a beautiful wedding that is every bit deserved by my beautiful friend and her great husband. I wish them all the joy and happiness in the world. And to myself: I wish many more breakfasts like this one.

fried egg chickpea pancake

FRIED EGG ON CHICKPEA PANCAKE WITH BAKED TOMATOES + FETA
Serves 4

200g/7 oz cherry tomatoes
100g/3.5 oz feta
100g/3.5 oz greek yoghurt
1 tbsp mayo
4 eggs
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp sumac (optional)
1/2 cup water
A small handful of basil
Salt + pepper
Oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oven to 200°C/390 Fahrenheit. Halve the cherry tomatoes and cut the feta into bit-sized squares, then place both on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges of the feta is browned and the tomatoes are soft and start to char. Let cool slightly.

While the tomatoes and feta are baking, mix together the yoghurt and mayo with some salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick pan with a little oil over medium heat. When hot add the eggs and fry as you desire.

While the eggs are frying push two-thirds of the baked tomatoes (save the rest for topping) through a sieve into the yoghurt/mayo and combine. Season to taste. In a small bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, sumac (if using) and water, until combined and no lumps are present. The batter should be like a thin pancake batter. Add water while making the pancakes, if the batter starts to thicken.

When the eggs are done, remove from pan and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan, still over medium heat.
Depending on the size of your skillet make 1 or more pancakes at a time. Pour a fourth of batter into the pan, and swirl to make round. The pancakes should be a little bigger than the eggs, and fairly thin to get crisp. Cook until browned and crisp (2-4 minutes), then flip over and cook on the other side until browned (1-3 minutes). Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Top each pancake with a dollop of tomato yoghurt/mayo, place a fried egg on top. Top with the baked tomatoes, crumble over some baked feta and sprinkle with the basil leaves. Serve and enjoy.

smørrebrød no. 1: potato with chives mayo & quick pickled red onion

This right here is what I am looking forward to every weekend. A simple lunch of rugbrødsmadder or a fancier word: smørrebrød. A Danish sour dough rye bread topped with all sorts of goodies. Because of my love for smørrebrød I will make a little series on this topic, starting with my all time favorite: potato smørrebrød.

I believe I have loved this little piece of heaven for as long as I have lived, however my boyfriend claims he was the one who made me fall in love with potato on rye. But in the end, none of us can take credit for making mayo and potato taste so damn good together. All I can try, is elevate it a little, taking something that works, and make it run like a smooth operator (other than being a really good song, it is also a method to leave out noise from data – I looked it up).

A traditional (this is dangerous territory, and if anyone has a degree in smørrebrød, please correct me) potato on rye consists of, besides the rye, boiled potato slices topped with mayonnaise and chives. Very simple, yet very satisfying. The sweet and earthy potato, the sour rye bread, the fatty mayonnaise and the sharpness of the chives. It just works!

My rendition of potato on rye is not very different from the traditional one. I use the same ingredients, but I integrate the chives into the mayo for a more well-rounded fatty-to-sharp ratio. I then add quick pickled red onions for texture and extra acidity. 

One extra note. Rye bread. Sour dough rye bread. Rugbrød in Danish. It is my understanding, that outside Denmark the rye bread I am talking about is not very typical and/or accessible. If you can get it, great. Otherwise it is easy to make yourself – this recipe is good. Just don’t skimp on the sour dough rye bread, it really is half of the smørrebrød.

potato on rye bread with pickled onions and chive mayo


SMØRREBRØD: POTATO ON RYE WITH CHIVES MAYO & QUICK PICKLED RED ONION
Makes 6-8 servings

8-10 new small potatoes

FOR THE CHIVES MAYO:
100 ml (1/2 cup) neutral vegetable oil
A small bunch of chives, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
A pinch of salt
FOR THE QUICK PICKLED RED ONION:
1 medium red onion
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
A pinch of salt
3 tbsp boiling water

6-8 slices of Danish style sour dough rye bread
Salt + pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Clean and scrub the potatoes, leaving the skin on. Put into a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are done – about 10-15 minutes depending on size and age. Check with a knife, to see if done. Drain, rinse with cold water and leave to cool completely.
  2. FOR THE CHIVES MAYO: In a small saucepan heat the vegetable oil over low heat. When it feels a little warm, but not hot, stir in the chopped chives and remove from the heat. Let it cool off a little.
  3. Blend the oil and chives well, strain in a fine meshed sieve into a small bowl. Leave to cool completely. Make quick pickled red onion now (step 5).
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Then pour in the now cooled chives oil while whisking vigorously. Slowly at first, then pouring more steadily at the end. The mayo should have a, well, mayo consistency, but not the store-bought jelly hard like consistency. Add more vegetable oil if mayo is too thin.
  5. FOR THE QUICK PICKLED RED ONION: Slice the onion very thin. Add to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine and let sit until ready to use, but at least 20 minutes.
  6. TO SERVE: Slice the potatoes, lay slices onto the sour dough rye bread. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a dollop of chives mayo and some pickled onions. Sprinkle a bit of chopped chives, if you like. Enjoy!

how to make any fruit chutney + two recipes: mango chutney, spiced plum chutney

Being the obsessed foodie that I am, I enjoy making stuff from scratch. This goes for most of my cooking, but in some areas I fall behind. Such as condiments. Let’s be real – I am not going to try to recreate a more perfect ketchup than Heinz or ferment a batch of soy beans for a rustic version of soy sauce (but please, someone, free up my time, give me a test kitchen and I will go to town). These are condiments that are of so high standards and some of these (ketchup) I use so sparingly, that to make them from scratch seems unnecessary (again, please hold in store for me a future, in which I can make 76 types of ketchup!).

Chutney on the other hand, I find to be less than desirable when buying from the supermarket. A quick note: in this post I am talking about the kind of chutney that is cooked with sugar and vinegar. The thick goopy type. According to the holy grail (Wikipedia) these are ‘Western-style chutneys’ which ‘originated from Anglo-Indians at the time of the British Raj’.

Back to the supermarket super-goo chutney. Although I like the flavour in most, I just can’t get over the consistency. They are firm and yet super sticky. You put some on your food and swirl it around only to find that you didn’t really mix it that well. So you end up with a clump of chutney which is still refrigerator cold in the middle. No thank you!

I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was going to make chutney. I researched a lot, finding that none of the recipes out there really resonated with me. So, without any formal chutney training and never before making it, I made it the way I would like it. While some may crucify my method, I am just going to say: they taste damn good and my boyfriend love them. That is a seal of approval you can count on. Trust me!

Tips on making any fruit chutney

Here are some tips on making any (western-style) fruit chutney:

  • Use any fruit you like. Pears, apples, pineapples, plums, mangoes, papayas and quince are some good choices. Even berries, such as strawberries, can be used, but I would recommend starting with a less ‘bold’ choice.
  • Choose your sugar and vinegar: brown sugar has a more spiced taste, than white sugar and will complement a darker chutney. Apple cider vinegar has a fruity taste and will lighten up your chutney. There are so many options (how about a quince chutney made with coconut sugar and elderflower vinegar?) so mix and match. Use what you have. Use what you want.
  • Play around with spices. I use my trusted book to find inspiration.
  • Depending on the fruit and/or ripeness, the cooking time will be different for every batch of chutney you make. There is no fixed time. This is where you need to trust yourself. Let’s say we are making a batch of mango chutney, but your mangoes are not ripe. Either you wait for the mangoes to ripen (which will make the chutney taste another kind of delicious) or you can go ahead and cook the chutney anyway. You risk running into the problem of your liquid being too reduced before your mango is cooked, right? Yes, that’s correct, but you can fix it. Instead of adding more liquid, and altering the taste, put on a tight-fitting lid. The steam will collect in the top and drip down on your fruit, steaming it and making reduction minimal. Just remember to remove the lid at some point.
  • No need to use too much sugar. Sugar conserves, but if you make small batches there is really no need. I for one don’t enjoy a burning throat sensation from sugar overload
  • On the subject of ripeness and sugar. Use less sugar for riper fruit, and more for unripe fruit. Taste as you go. You can add sugar in later, just make sure you give it enough cooking time to dissolve and mix nicely into the chutney.
  • Make small batches – this way you will be able to eat it up, make more and thus experiment more!

Two Recipes
I knew I wanted to make a mango chutney, as this is a favourite of mine. The idea of a spicy plum chutney came when talking about the idea for this post with a dear colleague of mine. I totally trust her flavor palette and also – she eats a lot of indian food as do I!

mango chutney papadum


MANGO CHUTNEY
Makes approx. 1 1/2 cup – 1 small jar
In my eyes, a classic chutney. It is essential as a dipping sauce for a crisp papadum. Or as a topping for a chana masala. Or to mix in with yoghurt. Or….

1 hot red chili
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp nigella seeds
2 mangoes
2 tsp sea salt
70 g white sugar (approx. 1/3 cup)
120 ml (approx. 1/2 cup) white wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  • Deseed the chili and slice thinly. Chop the garlic. Cut the mango into cubes. 
  • In a small saucepan, big enough to hold everything, heat the oil over low-medium heat. When hot add in the chili and garlic and fry for a few minutes without the garlic browning too much. Add in the cumin and nigella seeds. Cook until fragrant. About 1/2 a minute.
  • Add in the mango and salt, stirring well to coat the mango. When the mango has released some water, about 2-3 minutes, add in the sugar and cook until sugar has dissolved. Let it cook for a few minutes after the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Add in the vinegar and, if not already, make the mixture come to a boil and turn down the heat to low. Let simmer until fruit is soft, and easy to mash, and the liquid has reduced to a jam-like consistency. Mine took about 50 minutes. 
  • Pour into sterilised airtight glass jars. Should keep for a week in the refrigerator.

SPICED PLUM CHUTNEY
Makes approx. 1 1/2 cup – 1 small jar
This chutney, as the mango, is great with papadums. It is also brilliant as a side to a pork chop, or as a topping on any respectable cheese platter. 

2 small shallots
4 plums
1 tbsp oil
1 star anise 
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
2 tsp sea salt
85 g (between 1/3 and 2/3 cups) dark brown sugar
100 ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) apple cider vinegar
A splash of balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  • Chop the shallots. Split the plums, remove the pit and cut into medium cubes.
  • In a small saucepan, big enough to hold everything, heat the oil over low-medium heat. When hot add in the shallots and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the star anise and coriander seeds and cook until fragrant, about 1/2 a minute.
  • Add in the plums and salt, stirring well to coat the plums. When the plums has released some water, about 2-3 minutes, add in the sugar and cook until sugar has dissolved. Then, let it cook for a few minutes after the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Add in both the vinegars and, if not already, make the mixture come to a boil and turn down the heat to low. Let simmer until fruit is soft, and easy to mash, and the liquid has reduced to a jam-like consistency. Mine took about 40 minutes. 
  • Remove the star anise, since leaving it can create a strong and a bitter taste.
  • Pour into sterilised airtight glass jars. Should keep for a week in the refrigerator.

spicy broccoli soba noodle salad with peanut dressing


Broccoli, broccoli oh broccoli. You are a vegetable with not much use in my home. For that I am sorry. I am not entirely at fault. I do blame my boyfriend for uttering not so friendly phrases your way, polluting my mind. Making me recall memories of grainy green soup with lumps and water filled overcooked florets to go along with my sausage consistency-like carrots.

Luckily I have since realized you are so much more. You are controllable in texture giving me both a bit of crunch and tenderness. You are cheap and easy to handle. You are versatile. But there is something to you, that makes you far superior to other vegetables – you are a vessel for flavor beyond comparison. Spices and sauces will nestle in your thousands of buds making every bite a little explosion of flavor. And cooked like the recipes below even my ill-word spewing boyfriend kind of accepts you.
As for me – I kind of love you, Broccoli!


SPICY BROCCOLI SOBA NOODLE SALAD

250 g soba noodles

Peanut dressing:
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
Juice of 2 small limes
2 tbsp soy
1 tsp honey
Sriracha to taste

Spicy broccoli:
2 tbsp sesame oil
Pinch of chili flakes (hot!)
1 head of broccoli
A 2-3 inch piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp soy
1/3 cup water

3 spring onions, thinly sliced
A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
A handful of toasted peanuts

DIRECTIONS

  • Start by cooking the soba noodles according to the package. When cooked, drain and transfer to a bowl with icy ice water. They can stay here while you make the rest of the salad.
  • Next, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and adjust to taste. Set aside.
  • For the broccoli, prep first: cut the broccoli into small florets, grate the garlic and ginger.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot add the chili flakes (to your liking) and stir fry for about 20 seconds. It should sizzle. Add in the broccoli florets and keeping the heat high, stir occasionally. About 2 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic and ginger and stir very quickly. About 10-20 seconds. It will stick to the bottom that’s okay (just don’t let it burn), it will loosen in the next step.
  • Add in the soy and water and cook, still on high heat, until almost evaporated. This should take about 2-4 minutes. Check for ‘doneness’ – the broccoli should be tender, but crunchy still. Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • To assemble toss the (now drained) soba noodles with the broccoli, spring onions and coriander. Serve in bowls and spoon over the dressing and top with toasted peanuts.