Tag Archives: breakfast

Mushroom and filo scroll

Always on the hunt for good vegetarian recipes for The Marito, I thought I’d give this recipe, courtesy of Belinda Jeffrey, a try. I did make a few changes, using less butter, less and lite sour cream and skipping the garlic. You’ll serve 4-6 with this, more if part of a banquet. I think this is one of those versatile “any time of the day” dishes – it would easily work for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or a late night supper! I used a good variety of mushrooms – other than standard cup I used oyster, Swiss brown, enoki, shemeji and shiitake, about half cup and half the others. It can turn into a costly dish if you go all exotic varieties, and nothing wrong with just using standard cup for the whole thing.

Mushroom filling
80ml olive oil
50g unsalted butter
2 medium brown onions, finely diced
1kg mushrooms sliced
100g lite sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
lemon juice, to taste (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (about 15g) tightly packed finely chopped dill
60g pecans, coarsely chopped

12 sheets filo pastry
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Poppy seeds for sprinkling

Making it
1. First make the filling. Place the oil and butter in a large frypan on medium heat, then add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes or until softened. Then add the mushrooms and cook for 15 or so minutes. All the juices will need to evaporate or your scroll will be soggy.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sour cream, mustard, lemon juice (I just used a squeeze), season with salt and pepper and combine all ingredients. Allow the mixture to cool and once cool add the dill and the nuts
3. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees. Place some baking paper on a baking tray and place your 12 filo sheets on a slightly damp tea towel.
4. Take one filo sheet, lightly butter, then place another sheet, until you have three sheets. Repeat so that you have four lots of three sheets. Divide your mushroom mixture into four and spoon in a “log” shape down one long side of the filo. Then roll each of the four lots into logs. Take the first log and shape it into a coil and place it on your baking tray. (You can if you like place the logs inside a springform cake tin to ensure it holds its shape). Lightly butter the outside edge so that the next log sticks and then coil the next log and the next and you’ll end up with a large coil. Brush the top with butter, season the top with a bit of salt and pepper and sprinkle the poppy seeds. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the filo is nice and golden. Slide it onto a serving plate. I find it is easiest to cut using a serrated knife.

PaRi Pasticceria, Concord

PaRi Pasticceria, named after owners Paolo and Rita, opened just after the new year. For some time now, they have wanted to share with Sydney some of the sweets they grew up with in their home town in Sicily in Italy’s south. A pretty little spot with parquetry floors and marble tables on the Concord strip, the shelves at PaRi are laden with glistening deliciousness and service comes with a smile and authentic Italian accents.

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They particularly wanted to serve traditional Sicilian granita with brioche, something you’ll find many enjoying in the piazza in Taormina in Italy during the hot Summer for breakfast. I tried the refreshing espresso granita (it usually comes with cream on top if you choose) and it’s generous enough to share. There are a few flavours to choose from, among them strawberry, almond and pistachio. The texture of granita varies from place to place in Italy, with PaRi’s version being a smoother sorbet style.

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The Marito and I both loved the brioche with the ricotta and pear compote

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The baba was lovely, one of the better ones I’ve tried in Sydney, as was the ricotta cake.

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The (Not So) Small People rated their Nutella ciambella.

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You’ll also find plenty of other traditional Sicilian sweets such as cannoli and Minne di Sant’Agata (Saint Agatha’s breasts), a sweet with ricotta, chocolate and candied fruit. In the next few weeks you’ll find a traditional Pignolata Messinese, something hard to come by down under.

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If you’re not into sweet stuff, there are arancini with ragu and vegetarian arancini (I really liked the spinach filling, next time I will try pistachio which I’ve never had before) as well as focaccia. There’s a breakfast and brunch menu and a small selection for lunch.

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PaRi Pasticceria, 83 Majors Bay Road Concord, Ph 02 9743 425

PaRi Pasticceria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Burnt Orange, Mosman

You’ll find Burnt Orange in a pretty cottage amongst the trees at Middle Head in Mosman looking out over the water, so it is understandably very popular for breakfast and brunch.


They have four morning sittings on a weekend for breakfast at staggered half our intervals starting from 8.30am with an hour and a half per sitting. We and our friends opted for the first one. The breakfast menu is pretty standard – eggs, bacon, pancakes and the like, and all quite well executed. The sourdough bread is delicious. Though we do ask for a fried egg for one of our Small People and are told “ah no, we can’t do that, it requires a different griddle and it’s too difficult”. Um, didn’t think a small fry pan would be all that hard really, or maybe fried eggs are taboo in Mosman, not sure which. And although we are the first sitting and it is not busy we need to chase our drinks, which arrive after our meals.


I go for the breakfast board, which has a very nicely done confit of trout. But I find the Avoca brown bread extremely dry and dense so don’t eat it, and pinch some sourdough instead.


Attached to the café is a retail shop with a variety of treasures. I raise my camera to take some snaps. “Oh, no, you’re not allowed to take photos here”. Ok. I’ll take them in the Louvre or the Vatican instead, they don’t seem to mind.


Burnt Orange, 1109 Middle Head Road, Mosman, Ph 02 9969 1020

Burnt Orange Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My sugar free granola

A new year has rolled round and with that comes the usual spate of resolutions.  Eat less, exercise more, read something vaguely intelligent, buy less stuff and so on.  On the eat less front, sugar is something we are told should be high on the list.  Fats are not necessarily the enemy we thought, but sugar is.   One of the worst sugar culprits is often breakfast cereals, granola among them – have a look at sugar content in the supermarket and you’ll be surprised – even though we think it is ‘healthy’.

I love the texture and crunch of granola, but I’m not that keen on the sweetness.  In the pre-made ones, even if there is no added sugar, there is almost always maple syrup or honey which I don’t particularly fancy, I’d prefer to get my sweetness from fresh fruit.  After a couple of trials I came up with this version, which you could almost call savoury granola. I soaked the nuts overnight because I found they burn otherwise and taste unpleasant. You can probably use any nuts you like. The egg white is optional, but if you like “clumps” in your granola, this is an easy way to achieve it.

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and drained
1/3 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight and drained
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Ground spices of your choice (I used nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 egg white, whipped to soft peaks (optional)

Making it
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Place the oats, nuts, and seeds in a bowl. Add the vanilla, spices, and coconut oil and stir well so that everything is coated. Add the egg white and combine. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and spread in a layer, and bake for about 30-35 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before placing in an airtight container and store in the fridge. Its then ready to eat any time, either with milk or yoghurt and fresh fruit, or as is as a snack.


Spinach hotcakes and greens with almonds

This is another Good Food recipe that I tried out by Neil Perry.  He originally used feta in it, but I swapped it for ricotta wanting that creaminess of texture to contrast the almonds (and also because I’ll use any excuse to introduce ricotta); there was also originally a mixture of silverbeet and kale (I used all silverbeet), as well as some chopped olives which I skipped.  If you don’t want the hotcakes, the greens mixture itself is great with a fried egg or on a nice chunky piece of sourdough, or as Neil suggested, with some smoked salmon. You’ll get 8-10 hotcakes from the recipe.



250g baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 whole egg, whisked
50g unsalted butter, melted; plus extra for frying
3/4 cup milk
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 egg white
1/4 cup ricotta, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve

For the greens
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small leek, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 red capsicum, small dice
2 cups shredded silverbeet leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped dill
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Making them
1. For the hotcakes, wilt the spinach in a hot pan. Place in a colander to drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Allow to cool and coarsely chop.

2. Place flour, baking powder, pepper and salt into bowl, then add the whole egg, melted butter and milk. Whisk until smooth. Add spinach and spring onions. Gently stir through.

3. Whisk the egg white until soft peaks form, then fold into the batter with a large metal spoon.

4. For the greens, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add leek and 1/2 tsp salt, then sweat for about 8 minutes. Add capsicum and cook for 2 minutes, then add greens with remaining salt. Increase heat and sauté for about 4 minutes until greens are starting to wilt. Remove from heat, add pepper, then stir through the dill and almonds. Cover and keep warm.

5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, brush with remaining oil and melt a small amount of butter. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter to form round hot cakes with a diameter of about 10cm. Cook for 2-3 minutes until coloured underneath and bubbles form on top. Turn and cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

6. Serve hotcakes topped with greens, dollops of ricotta and a wedge of lemon.

Vitrine’s Pancakes

When we were in San Francisco last month, we stayed at the Saint Regis hotel, which was excellent. Their breakfast restaurant was very good, and the pancakes were amazing, so fluffy and light. I asked if they wouldn’t mind sending me the recipe, and they did. It was a little light on detail so it took me a couple of goes; the first time they were delicious but denser than the ones we had. The second time I tried them with 00 flour and they came out really light (I also think I overworked the batter on the first go).  Using a small ladle, I got 12-14 pancakes. We drizzled on some of the maple syrup we got in Miami – seriously good stuff, wonder if they’ll send it to Australia.


5 egg whites
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
375g buttermilk
10g vanilla extract
350g plain flour
100g caster sugar
13g baking powder

Making them

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder
2. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, and gently combine with a wooden spoon, do not overwork.
3. Beat the eggwhites and salt until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the batter, again being careful not to overwork.
4. Heat a pan on low/medium heat, grease with butter, and using a ladle or desired utensil spoon on the batter. Flip once bubbles appear on the top. Serve with icing sugar, jam, maple syrup or desired flavour.

Breakfast @ Rushcutters, Rushcutters Bay

December 2011. Hot new restaurant opens called Neild Avenue. Sydneysiders flock there (as apparently, according to Manu Fidel, we are all fickle here and only go to the newest and forget all our old faves). Service a shocker, food not much better. Sydneysiders flock elsewhere. Restaurant shuts down some 18 months after opening.

Fast forward to December 2013. One day while eating at Popolo (and note Manu I have even eaten there a few times!) I notice defunct Neild Avenue has been replaced with great looking place called Rushcutters. Mental note to try it, given my inherent fickleness. So husband and I duck in for breakfast one morning. Love love what they have done with the fit out. It’s sort of a modern barn if you like with such a lovely warmth, and great upholstery on the chairs, and other such well put together details. Martin Boetz is running the show here (I hope Longrain keeps up the good food without him!)


We start off with some very good coffee and a Botanica juice. Our waitress is friendly and helpful. I notice there’s an upstairs and there she tells me there is a private room for 18, which I note for future reference. They also do takeaway.

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Breakfast, which is served till 11.30am, offers a good assortment of museli, fruit, eggs, pancakes. We try the buttermilk pancakes, with fruit, hive honey, goats curd; and the poached eggs, flaked smoked trout, green apple, capers, parsley on rye, and are very satisfied with both. The only let down (and this happens at so many breakfast places, a pet peeve of mine) is two eggs and one piece of toast (how much is an extra slice of bread folks?). It is a very pleasant breakfast in a great room. So Manu I might even come more than once, with the kids next time. A few friends have been for lunch and dinner and have had good things to say about the rest of the menu.



Rushcutters, 10 Neild Ave, Rushcutters Bay, Ph (02) 9326 9348

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