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Weekend Cooking: Khaliat Nahal (Beehive)

To me, cooking is a way to destress after a long week slogging at the office.  Making bread, however, is what I find most enjoyable.   When a bread recipe appeared in Saudi Food Eman’s Facebook feed, I knew I had to try it ASAP.  I mean, bread stuffed with cream cheese and drizzled with syrup? Sign me up!

Because I was adamant about using my breadmaker for this, I had to make a few adjustments to the recipe.  I didn’t notice that the recipe uses a lot more yeast relative to the flour (which was really silly in retrospect, but ah well that’s how we learn), so after letting the Dough cycle run its full course, my dough literally looked like foam.  While I managed to save the dough by adding more flour, the bread turned out heavy and had a strong yeasty taste.  At this point, I still didn’t realize that the cause was my overproofing the dough. I instead blamed it on the plain flour I used, and switched to bread flour for my second attempt.

While the dough was a lot less wet this time around, and the bread was a lot fluffier, the yeasty flavor remained.  Finally it dawned on me that I was using the same amount of yeast but a little more than half of the flour compared to my roti paung recipe.  Since the whole point of using a ton of yeast is to cut down prep time, I must have been letting the dough sit for far too long.  I then realized my normal breadmaker Dough cycle isn’t suitable for this recipe, so I used the Pasta Dough setting instead, letting the machine do just the kneading without resting the dough.  True enough, this dough rises so fast, the earlier rolls doubled in size by the time I finished working on the last few.

The results? Lovely rolls which were bite sized and fluffy, with no unpleasant yeasty taste.  I also loved the amazing combination of exotic flavors and textures.  Creamy cheese inside fluffy bread, topped with crunchy, herby black seeds (habbatus sauda) then drizzled with sweet syrup infused with the distinct flavor of saffron.  I just couldn’t stop eating this.

Try it out!

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Ramadan Cooking: Potato Croquettes

Ever since Ramadan started, I’ve been taking my quick breaks walking through the aisles of Ben’s Independent Grocer (B.I.G.) almost every working day.  Sometimes (very rarely) I leave empty handed, but most of the time I would buy some fruit at half price or bread or some ingredient I could use to make something small for buka puasa.  So this time I bought a bag of panko breadcrumbs, and made another recipe from Chef Kamarul’s book.

These croquettes were lovely, and reminded me so much of the snack I love back in Japan.  I noticed that mixing the ingredients using the potato masher wasn’t so effective for me, so next time I’ll switch to a spatula or wooden spoon instead.  I’ll also stuff them with cheese or meat to make them more hearty.

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Weekend Cooking: Breakfast Mac and Cheese

One day Khairil sent me a link on Facebook messenger to this really yummy looking recipe by Spicy Southern Kitchen.  It looked simple enough, and I just received a bag of shredded Cheddar from Merv, so I thought it’d be nice to make this over the weekend and invite Adik over for brunch.  So yesterday after work I decided to stop by B.I.G. to grab whatever additional ingredients needed, and even found jalapenos – that place is so awesome!  In the end I found out that Adik was going away with Mom and Ayin and family to KK for the weekend, but I decided to go ahead and make this anyway.

Making the biscuits from scratch really cut down the cost a lot; store-bought frozen biscuits here cost upwards of 20 ringgit per bag.  This lovely casserole makes a really hearty brunch, and also great for potlucks and gatherings.  Give it a try!

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Weekend Cooking: Breakfast Biscuits

For the Breakfast Mac and Cheese I needed a quick and simple breakfast biscuit recipe, because I just wasn’t willing to fork out 20-plus ringgit to buy the frozen ones from some upmarket grocer.  There are probably other better recipes out there, but this one gets the job done.

I find rolling out the dough and cutting with a bisuit cutter to be quite tedious.  Gathering up the scraps and re-rolling them also makes the biscuits look unappealing.  Next time I’m going to roll the dough into a 3 inch thick log and cut them up into pieces, and see if that yields better results.

Based on the recipe by Paula Deen.

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Weekend Cooking: Sautéed Mushrooms

We had friends over at our place yesterday for brunch and a round of Zombicide, so I threw together the standard stuff one might see on a cafe “breakfast platter” – beef bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages, grilled tomatoes, hash browns, and sautéed mushrooms.  Merv brought juices, coffee, and bread with cream cheese.  So awesome.

These mushrooms are based on the recipe by Ina Garten.  They’re really tasty, perfect for breakfast and also as a side for steak or roast beef.  I think this will be my go-to recipe from now on.

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Weekend Cooking: Scrambled Egg Muffin Sliders

It’s been a few weeks since I made brunch, so even though I had some stuff to do this morning I made time to try out this recipe I’ve been eyeing for quite a while.   With cheese and bacon in the muffins, and accompanied by silky scrambled eggs, how can this combination possibly go wrong? Be warned, these things are yummy and very filling; definitely a breakfast of champions.

Recipe based on MyRecipes.com.

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Weekend Cooking: Fennel Cheese Rolls

I wanted to make a proper dinner tonight, but didn’t have quite a few of the required ingredients on hand.  I still wanted to make something, though, and being a bread lover, I decided to make some for breakfast over the coming weekend.  I decided on these rolls by Chef Wan from his book, Langkah Demi Langkah Bersama Chef Wan.  They turned out crusty yet soft on the inside, with a mild hint of cheddar and fragrant fennel, perfect with soups or perhaps some salsa or marinara sauce.  I had two… three right after they came out of the oven.

Give it a try!

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Weekend Cooking: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sandwich

After a rainy morning complete with thunderstorms, the weather was perfect for some warm, toasty comfort food.  So I decided to make something super simple, quite yummy, and with the added bonus of also being somewhat healthy.  Using simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, this Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sandwich makes a quick and excellent breakfast.

Based on the recipe by Food.com.  This is most probably the start of a long string of different Grilled Cheese sandwiches in the making.

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