Food

Mother’s Day, why go out

February 21, 2018 By Southpoint Tuggeranong

Sometimes it’s such a difficult decision, where to take mum on Mother’s Day for brunch in Canberra? With so many cafes to choose from, the hassle of everyone else’s kids making a racket, making sure everyone likes where you’ve booked, that sometimes it’s nice just to stay at home. Brunch is a pretty easy meal for the kids to create something spectacular and tasty for mum. And it’s much cheaper to create these great bruschetta ideas out of your very own kitchen. I’ve created 4 cafe style bruschetta’s which are easy to mix and match depending on everyone’s tastes and dietary requirements. Add your own different style to brunch and really make mums day special. In fact, these are so easy to do, they’re perfect for any weekend, not just the special ones.

Crispy prosciutto, pesto, tomato and mozzarella on seeded sourdough

Remembering that all these recipes are basically throwing together ingredients that work well together, they’re not strictly recipes, more like a good idea. If you don’t like prosciutto, use bacon, or ham. If you don’t like tomatoes, use another veg you like, antipasto veggies would be good with this. This will make 3 good sized servings, but all these ingredients make excellent mini pizzas if there are any leftovers!
  • 1 pkt mini tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 pkt prosciutto
  • 1 fresh buffalo mozzarella (I found a marinated Geoff Jansz fresh buffalo mozzarella but you can use bocconcini too)
  • 1 tub pesto dip
  • fresh basil
  • seeded sourdough loaf
  • extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
Heat a frying pan on high heat, and add a little oil. Add the prosciutto and the tomatoes on the vine and cook till the prosciutto is crispy and the tomatoes have a good sear but aren’t broken down. Meanwhile, toast some thickly sliced sourdough and spread generously with the pesto dip. Tear up the buffalo mozzarella (a little goes a long way with fresh mozzarella so this should easily feed 3 people) and then assemble your bruschetta. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper, but remember the prosciutto and pesto are already quite salty so go easy. A drizzle of evoo and some baby basil leaves, thrown decoratively across the plate, and brunch dish number one is ready!

Avocado, cacciatore, spinach and dukkah on sourdough

Avo’s are considerably cheap at the moment. Well, $2 per avocado isn’t going to break the bank here, so, go all out I say!
  • 1 avocado (1 half per person for this recipe)
  • half a cacciatore sausage (feel free to replace with chorizo, or leave out completely for a vegetarian meal)
  • a tub of hummus
  • small packet baby spinach
  • half a lime
  • lemon and nut dukkah (small boxes of dukkah can be found in the spices aisle at Woolies)
  • sourdough loaf
Cut your sausage in half and fry in a hot saucepan for around 5 minutes to crisp it up. Slice the cacciatore into bite sized pieces. At the same time, cut your lime in half and also fry it until it’s nice and caramelised. Toast 4 slices of sourdough and spread generously with the hummus. Arrange a handful of baby spinach leaves across two slices of bread, per person, cut the avo in half and attempt to take a half out of the peel. If it’s extremely ripe, just add chunks to each piece of toast. Sprinkle over the cacciatore and about a teaspoon of dukkah and a drizzle of evoo. Serve each with a pan fried lime half. Dish number 2 is done.

Turkish poached eggs with rocket and sumac yoghurt

I initially saw this recipe in a Nigella cookbook, but played around with it so it suited the ingredients I had in my home. This is a really tasty and low fat recipe, that is actually perfect for a midweek dinner when you don’t have the time or energy to make a full on meal. The yoghurt sauce is also fabulous with grilled chicken, or salmon, or even as a dip with veggies. I used two eggs per person, but feel free to only use one if you like. Also, I am the worst poacher in the world, it is so hard for me to get an attractively poached egg! For 2 people
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • small packet of rocket
  • 1c greek yoghurt
  • 4 tsp sumac (a middle eastern spice that is very lemony and red and is often used in pork dishes, but is fabulous on eggs!)
  • seeded sourdough
  • evoo
Firstly, poach your eggs. My simple method, which rarely yields attractive poached eggs, is to bring a pot of water to the simmer, add a tsp of lime juice, and get the water swirling before cracking your eggs into it. The story goes that by keeping your water swirling, the egg whites remain closely knit and don’t fill the pot up with cooked albumen. I do one at time as it takes all my energy just to get one right, also I constantly use a spoon to keep the whites as much around the yolk as possible. I suggest using Youtube, if you’re not a confident poacher. After around 4 minutes in the simmering swirling water, I take the egg out with a slotted spoon and let it drain on some paper towel whilst I cook the next egg and then assemble the dish. Take the cup of yoghurt and add a tsp of sumac, a big pinch of salt and a tsp of lime juice, combine and taste until you have the taste you like. Spread a generous amount across two pieces of toasted seeded sourdough. Add a handful of rocket and drizzle over a little evoo, top each piece of toast with the drained softly poached egg, sprinkle over some more sumac, some sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Fancy poached eggs dish number three is up!

Roasted figs with walnuts and mascarpone cheese on fruit loaf

There is always a request, in my house, for a sweet dish. My mum has a massive sweet tooth, and there is always something as a sweet treat made for when we get together. Figs are in season and are relatively cheap at the moment, and roasted with some fresh walnuts and a little berry vinegar make for a delightful brunch dish, or even a treat for dessert one night. This serves 2 people
  • 6 ripe figs
  • 1/2c fresh walnuts
  • 1/2c mascarpone (found in the same cabinet as the mozzarella)
  • 1tb brown sugar
  • 2tb berry vinegar (or balsamic vinegar, or even jam if you don’t have a sweetish vinegar to hand, it’s being used to make a sweet, caramelised sauce)
  • fruit loaf (Woolies have a new fruit sourdough that is dense and thick with dried fruit and dusted with icing sugar, very good indeed)
  • sea salt
Pre-heat the oven to 200 and take the stem off each fig and cut a cross in the top of each fig. Drizzle over some evoo and a tsp of brown sugar in to each fig. Roast the figs for around 8 to 10 minutes, basting at least once. Add the walnuts to a bowl and add the vinegar and a small sprinkling of sea salt, mix well. Add the walnuts to the roasting pan, making sure the berry vinegar is poured over the figs and walnuts. Roast for another 5 minutes so the walnuts brown and the juices caramelise. Toast 4 thickly cut slices of fruit toast and then generously smear each piece with the mascarpone. When the figs are out of the oven, add them and all the delicious juices to each plate, 3 figs per person. The mascarpone will melt a little and create a fabulously unctuous sauce that will soak into the crusty fruit loaf. Yum! Dessert is ready!

All these dishes can be enjoyed with a sparkling wine, ensuring that it’s not too dry. We fancied a Jacobs Creek sparkling wine for this years Mother’s Day brunch which can be picked up at any BWS or Coles Liquorland. Here’s hoping your mum has a wonderfully tasty Mother’s Day! Cheers The Food and Wine Marshall

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