Beer Breakfast

Caroline: Banana bread is one of my favorite sweets and it reminds me so much of my childhood. We used to beg my mom to make it for us! This recipe isn’t quite as good as hers, but I think I’m almost there. After tweaking through a couple of batches here’s what I’ve come up with:

Ingredients

4 really ripe bananas

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour

50g almond meal

1/2 cup sugar (caster or raw, I used caster)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

tsp cinnamon

(chopped walnuts if you want)

Method

Beat the eggs and 3 of the bananas together in a large bowl

sift in all dry ingredients and beat together

mix in nuts if you like

I save one whole banana to chop into the batch and mix around gently so there are some big chunks of banana in the bread

bake in a loaf pan on 180C (360F) for 1 hour
(we have a pretty crappy oven so mine took the whole hour, but it’s important not to overcook, it’s meant to be dense and gooey. If you think it’s finished early take it out and pierce the center with a skewer, if it comes out clean all done!)

Place on cooling rack

EAT!

Kris: The banana bread tastes awesome fresh out of the oven with nothing more than butter on it. I thought I would jazz it up a bit to match with the Moa Breakfast Beer. A Dunkelweizen is another ideal match to banana bread.

Caroline: Warm banana bread with salted butter is delicious! But I wasn’t sure about mixing in a bunch of other savory components…

Kris: I put some avocado on the banana bread, some wilted spinach, warm ham, roasted cherry tomatoes from the garden and a soft poached egg. I thought the sweet and savoury combination would go really well together.

Caroline: Boy was I wrong to doubt Kris’ idea! I love savory and sweet breakfasts so much by themselves I couldn’t imagine mixing them, but, OH MAGIC. The runny poached eggs, fresh cracked pepper, salty ham, sweet cherry tomatoes, and the dense-ness of the banana bread were so great together! The texture of the banana bread was so much nicer then plain toast and the sweetness of the bananas was mild enough to compliment the ham and not over power it. YUM
I’m converted.

Kris: Moa is a craft brewery based in Marlborough, New Zealand. I haven’t done a breakfast matched with a beer so I thought it was about time. The Moa Breakfast Beer is a 5.5% cherry wheat beer. The high carbonation and light body cut through the richness of the breakfast dish. The cherry flavour complimented the sweetness of the banana bread.

Caroline: Breakfast of champions!!

Goat, Sweet potato puree, Honey brown mushrooms and Blueberry jus

Kris: It’s sadly close to the end of blueberry season, so I thought I would do an interesting dinner using one of my favourite seasonal berries. I love to eat them as is, by the handful of course and they are also great in desserts. But how about a blueberry and pepper jus?

(Note George- he’s the photo stylist making sure the blueberries look purrrrfect)

Kris: I grabbed the organic blueberries from the farmers market. I also found some zucchini flowers, sweet potato and  Huon  Valley honey brown mushrooms. Thanks also to Stu Addison for the goat back strap, which is sourced from Bruny Island. You can taste his amazing slow cooked goat at the Captain Bligh’s Cider stall at MOMA, the markets at MONA, held every Saturday.

Goat, Sweet potato puree, Honey brown mushrooms and Blueberry jus

(serves 4)

4 goat back straps

3 cloves garlic

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

olive oil

1 large sweet potato

80g butter

80ml butter

6-8 honey brown mushrooms

4 zucchini flowers

goats fetta

2 pieces preserved lemon

3 cups beef stock

1/2 tsp gelatine

1/2 punnet blueberries

fresh raspberries (for garnish)

chives (for garnish)

nasturtium flowers (for garnish)

cracked pepper and sea salt

Method
I used the sous-vide (soo-vee) method to slow cook the goat back strap for 4 hours before quickly pan frying, resting and serving. Essentially it is a method of slow cooking for long periods of time. If you don’t have a method of sealing bags (e.g., cryovac) it is not totally necessary. Just marinate and leave for at least 2 hours, cook to medium rare and allow to rest before serving.

Marinate the goat in garlic, olive oil and thyme

Cover and allow to marinade for at least 2 hours

Place the beef stock and gelatine in a saucepan and simmer for about an hour

Add lots of cracked pepper and the blueberries

Continue to simmer until rich and thick

I have discussed making beef stock and jus in the past, this is just a simpler way of  making jus if you are short on time

Peel the sweet potato and steam until tender

Drain the sweet potato

Add the butter to the sweet potato

Using a hand blender or food processor blend until smooth

Season with salt and pepper

Pre heat a griddle pan and a frying pan

Fry the mushrooms in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Stuff the zucchini flowers with some finely diced preserved lemon and goat fetta

When the griddle pan is at smoking point, start cooking the goat straps (a few minutes each side)

At the end quickly fry the zucchini flowers

Remove the goat, season with salt and pepper and allow to rest for a few minutes

Plating Up 

Place some of the sweet potato puree on the plate

Place the mushrooms on top of the puree

Slice the goat pieces long ways and place on the plate

Strain and pour over the jus

Place the zucchini flower on the plate

Garnish with a nasturtium flower, a few raspberries and some chives

Kris: We tried the Ranga Red Ale with the dish. I wasn’t too impressed with this beer, it had really poor head retention and was a bit over carbonated. It was light bodied with sweet maltiness and minimal hop bitterness. It did work well with the dish, mainly the light body and carbonation cut through the richness of the sauce.