Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Homemade Crumpets



Australians have a fond attachment to this bubbly, yeast-leavened version of the pancake. Crumpets are (or were) commonly eaten toasted for breakfast - smothered with butter and  honey or Vegemite!

Thank you dear Simon Marnie (ABC Radio) for sharing your love of this recipe with your audience. It makes me smile to think of you whipping these up at home for the family! I agree - the store-bought version has NOTHING on homemade crumpets!

makes about 12 (serves 4–6)

2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
310 ml (103/4 fl oz/11/4 cups) warm milk
250 g (9 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
vegetable oil, for cooking (choose one with a mild flavour)

3 tablespoons drained stem ginger in syrup, very finely chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of the syrup
 250 g (9 oz/1 heaped cup) mascarpone cheese
4 ripe nectarines or small peaches, cut into thin wedges
golden syrup, maple syrup or honey, for drizzling


To make the crumpets, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of the warm milk and stir until the yeast has dissolved. Cover with a clean tea towel (dish towel) and leave to sit in a warm place for 15 minutes, or until frothy.

Sift the flour and 1 teaspoon salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk the remaining milk with the egg and pour into the well. Add the yeast mixture, then whisk to form a smooth, soft batter. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 hour, or until the batter has doubled in volume and is covered with bubbles. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with 1 tablespoon water and beat it into the batter. Leave to rest for a further 10 minutes before cooking.

Meanwhile, mix the chopped ginger and ginger syrup through the mascarpone cheese and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Brush with vegetable oil. Working in batches, carefully ladle 1/4 cupfuls of the crumpet batter into the pan, leaving space in between for spreading. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the top is completely covered with popped bubbles and is dry to touch. If you like, flip the crumpets over and cook for a further 30 seconds, or until just very lightly golden. Remove from the pan and cover with a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the remainder. (You can also cook the mixture inside egg rings for a less rustic result, but you will need to use a little less mixture in each one.)

Serve two or three crumpets per plate, topped with a dollop of ginger marscapone, some nectarine slices and a drizzle of golden syrup. You can reheat any leftover crumpets by toasting or grilling (broiling) them.

VARIATION: For a savoury breakfast, smear the hot crumpets with butter and Vegemite or Marmite and top with a poached egg.


*Image above by the seriously lovely Photographer Steve Brown
Grub was published in 2007  by Murdoch Books and is currently out of print. Jane Lawson now owns the copyright of text and images which must not be used without permission.

Bacon and Egg Rolls with Homemade BBQ Sauce



While I'm feeling generous  .... Here's another recipe from my cookbook 'Grub - Favourite Food Memories'.  It is easy to make excellent Bacon and Egg sangers at home when you know how to make your own quick and easy BBQ sauce !

serves 4

BARBECUE SAUCE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small brown onion, chopped
11/2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
1 tablespoon golden syrup  ( you can use maple too)
11/2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
11/2 teaspoons mustard powder

6 long, thin slices of good-quality bacon
olive oil/ butter, for pan-frying
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large handfuls of baby rocket (arugula) leaves or baby English spinach
4 soft white bread rolls, split & buttered ( or you can spread with good quality mayo or aioli)


To make the barbecue sauce, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a few seconds, then add the golden syrup, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard powder and 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/ 1/3 cup) water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste and set aside.

Cut the bacon into half-lengths. Brush a large frying pan with a little olive oil if your bacon is particularly lean ( this would never happen in my house - we like it streaky!) and place over high heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, for 4–5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
When the bacon is almost ready, heat some butter in a  large, heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat and carefully crack the eggs into the pan, keeping them well spaced so they don’t run into each other (use egg rings if you prefer). Fry the eggs until cooked to your liking — if you like your yolks runny like I do, especially when served in a roll, don’t flip the egg, just cook it without turning for 2–3 minutes, or until the white is fully set and the yolk is still a little wobbly.

Put some baby salad leaves on the bottom half of each bread roll and top each one with three pieces of bacon, an egg and a dollop of the barbecue sauce. Top with the bread roll lids and serve immediately. This one is best eaten with your hands!

*Image above by the seriously lovely Photographer Steve Brown and must not be replicated without permission.

Grub was published in 2007  by Murdoch Books and is now out of print. The rights to text and images have reverted to Jane Lawson.


Banana Bread with Brown Sugar Butter


For those who asked for the Banana Bread recipe from my book Grub  - here 'tis!
It's similar to the banana bread you have in Australian cafes and is great toasted with or without the brown sugar butter! Plain good quality butter works just as well.



BANANA BREAD RECIPE from GRUB by Jane Lawson
makes 1 loaf (serves 6–8)

150 g (51/2 oz) unsalted butter, chopped & slightly softened
115 g (4 oz/1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
45 g (13/4 oz/1/4 cup) soft brown sugar
2 large eggs 250 g (9 oz/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
5–6 (about 900 g/2 lb) very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract 125 g
(41/2 oz/1/2 cup) sour cream (you can use a good creamy yoghurt too)
50 g (13/4 oz/about 1/2 cup) walnuts, pecans or macadamia nuts, chopped, optional

BROWN SUGAR BUTTER
125 g (41/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
45 g (13/4 oz/1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3).
Grease the base of a loaf (bar) tin approximately 22 cm (81/2 inches) long, 9 cm (31/2 inches) wide and 9 cm (31/2 inches) deep. Line the base with baking paper.

Cream the butter with the caster sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon with a pinch of salt, then beat it into the butter mixture to form a thick batter.

Combine the banana, vanilla and sour cream and fold into the butter mixture, with the nuts if using, until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth over the top.

Bake for 11/4 hours, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

While the cake is cooling, make the brown sugar butter by beating the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. (Do not refrigerate unless you are preparing the butter in advance, in which case remove it from the fridge before serving so it softens enough to spread easily.)

Thickly slice the banana bread using a bread knife or serrated knife. Toast and serve hot, spread with the brown sugar butter.

VARIATION: Top a slice of banana bread with thinly sliced banana, dollop with a little of the butter and place under a hot grill (broiler) until lightly golden.



Pssst... For those trying to eliminate/cut back on wheat flour there is another version here.  It used almond meal and potato flour etc but sometimes I replace them with coconut and coconut flour . Sometimes I add yoghurt, sometimes dates, or other nuts if not using almonds. Sometimes honey, sometimes maple syrup. A bit of chopped dark chocolate stirred through the batter is pretty damn good too.



*Image above by the seriously lovely Photographer Steve Brown
Grub was published in 2007  by Murdoch Books and is now out of print. Jane Lawson now owns the copyright of text and images which must not be used without permission. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

WIN a copy of ZENBU ZEN - Finding Food, Culture and Balance in Kyoto by Jane Lawson

Zenbu Zen takes you on a very personal 'armchair' escape to Kyoto, Japan with food and travel writer Jane Lawson. This book includes an informative, easy to read narrative with details about Japanese ingredients and plenty of authentic recipes.  

Plus the book is so beautifully designed and illustrated you won't be able to stop running your hands all over it! 

If you are interested in learning to cook and eat like the Japanese do at home and have an appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic you will love this book.

Lucky you! There is a copy up for grabs - all you have to do is this:

1. Go to the @zenbu_tours instagram page and follow if if you don't already

2. Find the image of the book cover above on the instagram thread and like it

3. Leave a word (plus #) under the photo on the instragram thread to describe what interests you most about Japan eg #Japanesetravel #japanesecuisine #food #zen #culture etc

That's it! 

You must enter by midnight AEST Friday 15 May 2015. 
All entries go in the hat and will be drawn on 16 May. 

Good Luck !



Friday, April 24, 2015

Win a copy of Snowflakes and Schnapps


Hello people of excellent taste who like to cook great food!

I'm giving you the chance to win a copy of my cookbook Snowflakes and Schnapps - the only book you need to get you through winter in style!

Just ask foodie Ann Brady who is currently cooking her way through the entire book, a HUGE effort and slightly crazy if I do say so myself - even I wouldn't attempt such a thing!  But I am so loving watching her recreate all my recipes and posting them to Facebook. (locate my facebook page if you want to take a peek) 

What fun - it's even made ME go back and cook a few things from it and her antics have inspired this giveaway - yep, it's Annie you need to thank if you win. 


OK, the rules are:

1. Go to my instragram page @janelawsonfood and follow it if you don't already (your still counted if you already like it!)

2. Find and 'Like' the image of the photo above 

3. Leave a one word comment (prefaced by a hashtag) describing something beautiful about winter eg #fireplace #snow #schnapps #soup #hot-toddies -you get the drift

That's it!

The competition closes midnight 01 May 2015 (AEST). 
All entries go into the hat. 
Good luck!



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

ZENBU TOURS


Dear All, 

Please note that I have now relocated all new tour information to my brand-spanking-new

If you'd like to be kept in the loop please head on over there and follow me for all tour-related stuff and that way you'll be the first to know when new tours are announced. 

Speaking of which - I've just released THREE NEW tours   - one for Autumn/Fall 2015 (November) and 2 for January 2016! Please take a look HERE!

I'll still be posting my regular blog stuff on this site so don't wander off too far ya hear! 


Jane x

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Japanese Winter Hotpot Cooking Class at Essential Ingredient Prahran

It seems a long way off I know and it is rather hot and humid right now in Australia to be thinking about such things but come July 18th 2015 you will surely be needing to warm your hearts and bellies with a little Japanese style winter comfort food?
The friendly people at The Essential Ingredient in Prahran have invited me to teach a hands-on class on Japanese winter hotpots and the like. Delicious and nutritious nabe and nimono are guaranteed to be at the centre of your winter table for years to come after you've been part of this fun and informative class.  
I'm about to head off into yet another Japanese winter so there's no doubt I'll be returning with a few new recipes tucked under my wing - might have to lock in several classes!!

Hope to see you there! Here's the link: