Teriyaki Mushrooms

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Oh, man, it’s been forever, right? I’ve been super dooper busy, what with the PhD I’m doing (maybe you didn’t know) and family staying and just this week an old uni friend came up from Melbourne. Yay: friends! The other thing that’s been taking up my time is crochet! Sarah taught me a couple of weeks ago and I am hooked (LOL – good one). So, I’ve been eating pretty simply when at home and not really photographing anything.

But! I do have these mushrooms up my sleeve… Which is an interesting tactile sensation for all involved.

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This is another simple one. But, I’ve realised that’s probably OK. In fact it’s great. I’m still regularly making the pumpkin porridge I posted over a month ago, because it’s simple and nutritious, which I daresay predisposes it to actually being made by you guys too. So, here we are: teriyaki mushrooms. Something to pile on a good steak or maybe sauté with other veggies, tofu and some rice for a vegetarian dinner. Personally though, it doesn’t get any better than mushrooms on toast. And these ones go down a treat on a hardy dark rye with a generous smear of avocado.

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I got these swiss brown mushrooms at the Eveleigh Farmers Market one Saturday with Sarah and Mum. The ‘shroom salesman was very chatty, showing us pictures of the mushrooms being grown and also one of his wife, “The Mushroom Queen of Woy Woy”. We also picked up some goat’s curd, a few phenomenal Billy Kwong pork buns, bunches of kale, purple carrots and beetroot and a huge slab of beef rump (which served as the innuendo portion of the trip). We hung out and ate amazing market purchases all weekend, but when my family finally cleared out, the fridge was still chock full of food. I didn’t want to waste these mushrooms on something where they would only be an accompaniment, so mushrooms on toast it was!

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Taking garlic mushrooms and giving them a Japanese twist is probably the least stupid idea I’ve ever had concerning mushrooms. Garlic and ginger are pretty sensible additions during these cooler seasons (good for colds ‘n’ shit) and, quite frankly, are too delicious not to put all over your mushrooms. Which you would then be an idiot not to put all over your everything, er, toast. Hop to it.

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Ingredients:
2-3 large swiss brown mushrooms
two cloves of garlic
tsp of grated ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sushi seasoning (or 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar)

Directions:
Saute mushrooms, garlic and ginger for ten minutes on medium heat until softened on the outside. Add liquid ingredients and let reduce for five minutes. Serve on some really freaking rustic toast.

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Pumpkin Pie Porridge

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I’m sorry. This isn’t really even a recipe. Just a suggestion, I guess, of how to make porridge even more delicious. And I’m sure there are plenty of other examples out there on the internet of similarly pumkiny oaty goodness. But this is the only thing I’ve been eating lately that isn’t some all-in soup concoction designed to ward off a virus that in the last two weeks has transformed my house into a den of dirty tissues.
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It was the autumn last week, and so the celebrate – and also to use up the last bit of pumpkin in the fridge – I whipped up this for breakfast. It turned out great! Warm, spicy and utterly satisfying.

Aside from using a fancy kind of “cereal” to make this, I think the pumpkin, maple syrup and spices really balance this meal. About once a year I get waaaay excited about cooking up a pot of oats every morning for breakfast, before realizing (on roughly the third morning) that it kinda just tastes like a big bowl of glue.
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But not these: no, Sir. The sweetness of the syrup is just delicate and complex enough for morning time and the pumpkin itself, though again not particularly strong, blends in perfectly to give the cereal extra dimension. I’ve enjoyed other fruits in porridge before, but it’s always been in contrast to the oats, never working together like this.
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Anyway, one reason I decided to share this one, aside from how much I enjoyed both making it and eating it, was that despite the plethora of sweet pumpkin recipes all over the blogosphere most of these recipes are American/Canadian. This means that (a) they get posted at the wrong time of year for Australian consumption; and (b) they often use canned pumpkin, which isn’t widely available here and, to be honest, doesn’t seem like my kind of thing. Fresh pumpkin all the way, baby!
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So, here’s to embracing all things Aussie autumn: cardigans, the only-occasional deciduous tree, and seasonal breakfast treats sans canned goods. Oh, and apparently none of these things. Apparently 30 degree days. Maybe wait it out til it actually is cardigan weather, but definitely, definitely try this.
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Ingredients:
1 cup oats/”cereal mix”
3 cups boiling water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
200g roast pumkin
¼ tsp nutmeg
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup sultanas

Directions:
The night before, or whenever you have time, roast 200g of pumpkin in the oven until soft. In saucepan combine salt, cereal, and boiling water. Heat on medium for ten minutes or until thickened. While cereal is cooking puree roast pumpkin (or mash as well as you can) and add to mixture. When mixture has thickened add spices and sultanas. Serve warm with extra syrup, sultanas or some nuts.

Beetroot fritters with haloumi and avacado

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Last week I spent an extended weekend at my mum’s place. Where the streets are wide enough for two cars to drive at once. Where the nearest good coffee shop is a town away. And where at night, instead of a sporadic parade of sozzled hipsters shouting bullshit into the smog-smudged city sky, you can hear the sleepy static of the ocean.

On my last morning there we took a walk along the beach and up the headland, where new developments are springing forth like monstrous, angular mushrooms between $10,000 outsourced palm trees. Despite the designer mansions and half-finished holiday homes monopolising the landscape, it’s still a welcome escape from the city. Newtown, I like you plenty, but you are cramped and noisy and the windows of your terraces tend not to have fly-screens.

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We ate these fritters after our morning walk, with good plunger coffee. I know, I know: more beetroot, more haloumi. But they were there when I arrived. And who am I kidding? Who cares? This is breakfast food with colours. All of them. Well, magenta and green and cream-yellow rusted with golden brown. But that’s an impressive palette for breakfast in my books – my books being filled hand-scrawled lists of the stupidest things I’ve ever had to google (for work or fiction) and sketches of horses’ faces.

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Ingredients:

about 3 small/2 large beetroot, grated
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cumin
2tsp ground coriander
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
oil for frying
100g haloumi
1 avocado
juice of 1/4 of a lime
1 tbsp Spanish onion
pinch salt

Directions:

Grate beetroots into a bowl. Add flour, baking powder and spices and stir it all around until the dry things cover the beets. Stir in eggs, then add milk. Heat some oil in a pan. Spoon about 1.5 tbsp of beetroot mixture into pan per fritter. Cook in batches until done, adding oil when needed and flipping each fritter when the bottom side is slightly browned. In between fritters, mash avocado and combine with lime juice, onion and salt. When fritters are done cook haloumi in slices until each side is lightly golden. Stack haloumi on top of fritters and add a dollop of salsa on top. Eat immediately, with a giant coffee.