Smoked fish Kedgeree

This much-loved rice dish of Anglo-Indian origin is packed with flavour thanks to the aromatic smoked fish and curry spices. Kedgeree can be eaten hot or cold, and while traditionally considered a breakfast dish, it works deliciously well for lunch or dinner too.
I’ve recently discovered Waiheke-based 10 Knots Smokehouse’s beautiful smoked fish, which is perfect for making this dish.

Serves 4

1 cup basmati rice
4 free range eggs
300g smoked fish (I use 10 Knots Smoked Kahawai, Warehou, or Hoki)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
30g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
1 Tablespoon quality curry powder
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup cream
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or coriander
Lemon wedges, to serve

1. Bring a large pot full of water to the boil. Stir in the rice and cook for 12 minutes, then drain well and set aside.
2. While the rice is cooking, boil the eggs for 7 minutes, then immediately plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.
3. Break the fish into flakes, discarding any skin and bones. Set aside
4. Heat oil in a large pot, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes until softened. Add the butter, garlic, mustard seeds and curry powder and cook for 1 minute more until fragrant. Stir in the cooked rice and lemon juice and cook for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Season well with salt and pepper.
5. Gently stir in the cream and smoked fish, taking care not to break up the flakes, and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes to heat through. Remove from the heat, cover the pot for 1-2 minutes.
6. Peel the boiled eggs and slice in half. Serve kedgeree in bowls and top each with a halved egg. Sprinkle with parsley or coriander and serve with lemon wedges on the side, to squeeze over.

Chocolate buttermilk pancakes

These chocolate pancakes are flipping delicious (pun intended). If passionfruit are out of season, try topping with raspberry coulis or even warmed strawberry jam works a treat.

Serves 4
1 cup buttermilk
60g butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Grape seed oil for frying
4 bananas, thickly sliced
Passionfruit syrup, to serve (available from supermarkets)
1 Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, egg and vanilla in a bowl. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa into another bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a thick batter. Fold in chocolate chips.
2 Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Working in batches, add spoonfuls of batter to form small pancakes (hotcakes). Cook for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until bubbles start to show on the surface. Turn over and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
3 Repeat process with remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan when necessary, until you have made 12 hotcakes.
4 Transfer hotcakes to paper towels and cover with foil to keep them warm until all hotcakes are made. Serve 3 hotcakes per person, layered with sliced banana. Drizzle with passionfruit syrup and serve immediately.

Brunch bacon & egg pie

It’s great to know how to quickly whip up a pie or tart to create an impressive result. A good pastry case can be loaded with any variety of fillings. I’ve gone for classic bacon and egg with a twist, as this is always popular with my family.

Serves 6
400g butter puff pastry
200g steaky bacon
6 large eggs
3 tbsp cream
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

  1. Roll out pastry to 3mm thick and use to line a 11cm x 36cm  rectangular tart tin, leaving a little extra overhang on all sides – this allows for pastry shrinkage during cooking.
  2. Prick base all over with a fork; chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 210°C.
  3. Arrange bacon to cover pastry base. Break eggs into a bowl, add cream and parsley and season well with salt and pepper.  Gently stir with a fork to only partially break up the eggs. Pour egg mixture around the bacon. Scatter with cherry tomatoes. Roll out scraps of pastry, cut into long strips and use to form a lattice on top of the filling.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until egg is set and pastry is golden brown. Slice to serve hot or cold.

Super Boost Granola

(Makes approximately 1.25kg)

Here’s a fantastic crunchy granola (or you can call it muesli, if you prefer) that’s super healthy, has no added oil or refined sugar, and is bound with only the natural goodness and flavour of honey. What a great way to start your day.

4 cups whole grain oats

1 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup whole linseeds (flax seeds)

1/3 cup white sesame seeds

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2/3 cup liquid honey

1 1/2 cups Alison’s Pantry Super Boost blend (or any mix of dried fruits and nuts that you desire)

1 cup banana chips

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line an oven pan with non-stick baking paper. Place oats, coconut, seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl.

2. Warm honey in a small pan, or microwave for 20 seconds, then pour over the oat mixture. Stir well to coat all ingredients.

3. Spread mixture out over prepared oven pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until toasted golden brown. Stir regularly so the ingredients cook evenly and watch carefully, as the mixture can easily brown quite quickly.

4. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, then stir in the Super Boost blend and Banana chips. Note: Dried fruits need to be added after toasting as their natural sugars can tend to burn if toasted in the oven for too long.

5. Stored in an air-tight container, Granola will last well for up to 6 weeks.

Mushrooms & Boursin on bagels

Boursin is a beautifully creamy soft French cheese that works well with the earthy taste and texture of mushrooms in this bagel stack.

Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

1 tsp thyme leaves

1 lemon, rind finely grated

4 large flat mushrooms, stalks trimmed

4 bagels, split in half and toasted

40g herb and garlic Boursin cheese, crumbled (see note, below)

1 Preheat grill on high heat. Combine oil, garlic, parsley, thyme, lemon rind and salt and pepper in a small bowl.

2 Place mushrooms, stem-side down, on grill tray. Brush mushrooms with herbed oil. Grill for 3 minutes.

3 Turn mushrooms stem-side up and brush with remaining herbed oil. Grill for further 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.

4 Pile mushrooms onto toasted bagels and scatter with crumbled Boursin.

Chef’s trick: You’ll find Boursin in the cheese section of supermarkets and delis. Substitute soft feta cheese or even cream cheese, if necessary.

Marzipan muffins with berry sauce

Real marzipan gives these breakfast muffins a bitter-sweet almond taste that is quite distinctive. And a topping of hot berry sauce lifts these morning treats to another realm beyond the norm.

Makes 12

150g marzipan, coarsely grated

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

100g butter, melted and cooled

1 cup milk

Icing sugar, to dust

Berry sauce:

2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup sugar

Juice of 1 orange

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 12 standard muffin tins with paper cases. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon into a bowl; make a well in the centre.

2 Add eggs, orange zest, butter, milk and grated marzipan to the well and stir just enough to combine (do not over mix or the muffins will be tough).

3 Spoon the mixture into prepared cases. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

4 Meanwhile, make the berry sauce. Place berries, sugar and juice in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes until thick. Top muffins with hot berry sauce and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Chef’s trick: Marzipan is a thick almond paste made from ground almonds and sugar (this is different to the almond flavoured icing for fruit cakes). Look for real marzipan in delis and selected supermarkets.