Breakfast – the forgotten meal

A great breakfast

Breakfast always seems to fall off my things to do list somewhere in between the second or third time I reach over to fumble over the snooze button on my alarm clock. It’s something I know I probably should be doing, but lack the motivation to bother with most days. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”, “You’ll never have enough energy without a good breakfast!”, which is all very well and good, but then the rest of you are thinking… “Do cigarettes count as breakfast?”. (and yes, they do, but only if they’re menthol. Regular cigarettes are more your brunch type smokes, and a cigar would be a tidy lunch (Monte Cristo No 2 if you’re feeling gourmet).

Last weekend however, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. So I dragged myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 11am, washed the sleep out of my eyes and started to get busy in the kitchen.

Now for me… breakfast has to simple. I’m not entirely coordinated at the best of times, and so I don’t really want to be performing intricate surgery with sharp knives while my eyes are still half gummed up with sleep (is it just me that it happens to btw ??).

A quick glance into the fridge proved fruitful. I had eggs. The backbone of society, and the most complete meal you will ever find that can be squeezed out of a chickens backside. The central element of the story in place, the rest of the meal all fell into place with a resounding thud… Omlette.


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves torn up
  • chopped garlic – clove or two
  • Handful or two of grated mozzerella
  • baby english spinach (teenage or toddler spinach if you can’t find babys)
  • a dash or two of white wine vinegar
  • a couple of splashes of milk
  • a sashay of salt and cracked black pepper
  • A sprinkling of chopped red capsicum

How I Made It
Directions were simple… I was still half asleep remember. This is my standard method for making an omlette, so if you have some additions or suggestions to make, then please let me know as I am nothing if not flexible.

Beat the eggs and mix in all the ingredients, season nicely with salt and pepper and add the milk, vinegar, cheese and mix again until its a relatively homogeneous looking mixture. In a pan, melt a little butter over a moderate heat, and then pour your omlette mixture in. Give it a bit of a shake to spread the chunky bits around, and then let it settle and wait til the base starts to set.
Once the base of the omlette has set enough, and its still a bit wet on top, transfer the whole pan into a warm oven (180 C). Then just leave it in the oven for about 5 minute or so and you are done. Take the pan out (careful of the hot handle) and place a plate over the top. Flip the pan and if you’re lucky it’ll drop out nicely onto the plate. I don’t do any other fancy flipping or shimmying of the omlette because I don’t know how, and at this point I’m starving and need protein.

Toast some bread, butter it up, slap the omlette on top, and Robert is your fathers brother.

This one was particular airy and fluffy, which was quite delightful. It went just nice with my latte as well, which whilst having some very dubious attempt at latte art done on top of it, was actually quite good, and may have been the last coffee I made on my Silvia before her boiler died (see next post).

Kinda sort yeh... nah

The rest of the day was just as good, lying back on the couch watching downloaded episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential (which I somehow missed when it was on TV), and revelling in eggy gluttony. Can’t think of anything much better.

My Sweet Silvia…

Miss Silvia (on my cameraphone)

My Sweet Rancilio Miss Silvia…Has died. I think i left the steam switch on without realising and now the boiler has run dry and fizzled out. All I get is cold (so very very cold) water running out of my group head, and that makes for pretty dire espresso (or rather, no espresso at all). I’m too distraught for a more eloquent account of the situation, but trust me when I say that having anthropomorphised her into an actual being, its quite distressing to see her so sick. I’ve rung a couple of service companies, one of them can’t even look at her until next week, and the other I’m slightly dubious of due to past experience, but seem to know what they are doing. It’s times like this that I wish I hadn’t gotten 8% in my first year electrical engineering exam at Uni. They were confusing times, damn you Kirchoff!

If anything I guess it does give me an excuse to try out French Press coffee on a more than passing interest level. Which also gives me an excuse to start roasting again as well. Single origin coffee is not generally designed for espresso. This depends on the bean of course, but most espresso nuts are of the opinion that a single type of bean does not have the compexity required to make a well rounded shot of espresso, however in a French Press, you can really bring out some of those unique origin qualities that make coffee from different countries taste so good.

I have given up on roasting for a while now, as I find my beans aren’t up to scratch compared to some of the commercial blends I get to try out, so whilst it’s an interesting learning experience, why try to reinvent the wheel basically.

Hopefully Silvia will be back up and running soon though, ready to greet me each morning with a warm smile and a hearty puff from her steam wand, and this madness will all come to an end.

Your thoughts and prayers for her are appreciated in this troubling time.

Just got her back from the repair place, turns out that she had overloaded somehow, and all that needed to happen was to reset some overload switch/circuit inside. Which is kind of annoying in a way because thats something I should have looked for myself. Ahh well… I cleaned her off, removed the obligatory “serviced by some company” sticker that I had asked not to be put on, and cranked her up. All good, lovely espresso and great steam for milk. Gives me a chance to use some of my new Australian Fine China cups that I picked up cheap at their recent stocktake sale at Claremont Showgrounds, where I was manhandled by numerous old ladies stirred up into a bargain hunting frenzy by irresponsible spruikers wanting to clear an entire warehouse full of ceramics. It was like giving matches to a pyromaniac.

Anyway… situation is back to normal. Please return your seat to it’s original upright position.

On the move…

Well the time has come for the Abstract Gourmet to pack up and move on.

No gentle reader… fear not… This website will continue, its just my physical space that’s changing.

Having recently moved into the category of Owner/Occupier’s Live in Houseboy, I will be packing up and moving to our new home, which is just down the road from here. It’s a nice little place with a great kitchen and a really sweet outdoor bbq area, which will do my creative juices no end of good.

There may be a little down time on the website during the move, but hopefully it will be smooth sailing, as my good mate Scotty Dog has offered me a temporary refuge whilst the internet access gets set up at the new place.


Range Hood

And i’m back… it’s taken a while, but finally got the new internet connection back up and running and the server hooked back up to the world… yay !

Here are a couple of photos of my new kitchen. I am loving the extra space and I’m finally cooking with gas ! It’s got a great range hood with some kind of jet powered extractor fan that sounds like it might suck the soup right out of my pots. Fortunately it has a low speed setting. The gas cooktop is great and not having to wait 15 minutes for my stove to get hot is a real plus.
Cooking with gas

We’re still in the process of getting everything set up, and I seem to be moving things from the left side of the stove, to the right, to the left, and then back again, trying to work out where I actually want it. But just having extra space is so nice. Sharon was very proud of one purchase, a little mobile kitchen island that we can chop things on, so we don’t get in each others way too much, which will hopefully lead to a happy kitchen for all.

Messy, but good

More posts to come soon as inspiration should strike more regularly now that my creative juices are free to flow… err.. so to speak.

Espresso Cubes

Got this idea from an unknown cocktail with a brown looking ice cube floating in it that I came across on a website and thought to myself… What if that ice cube were made of espresso ! To the bat mobile ! (or cafe… or… laundry that houses coffee machine).

About 20 shots of espresso later, and having perfected my technique using some of Ben’s excellent (20 day old and still kicking) barista competition blend… I now had an ice cube tray full of espresso. I think the results speak for themself.

Espresso Cube

Espresso Cube

Espresso Cube Cocktail

Espresso Cube

Look into my eyes

So to make an actual tasty drink out of these creations/abominations, I naturally did what any espresso loving alco would. Head to the liquour cabinet and throw in as many complimentary flavours as I could find. Kahlua was out as I already had the coffee covered. Pernod was played around with and then discarded as the aniseed was a little too over powering while the espresso was still frozen. In the end… and half drunk later… The conclusion was:

  • 1 Espresso Cube (or heart, and no you cannot substitute with instant coffee, this is an elitist cocktail)
  • 1 shot baileys
  • 1/2 shot contrieau
  • 2 shots of milk

Swirl, Sip, Savour :)

Fancy Aglio Olio

Fancy Aglio Olio

Some days laziness pays off. It was late, I was tired, Sharon was tired, the fridge was basically empty except for a few slightly mouldy looking vegetables and the cupboard was bare ( and so the poor dog had none ).

So I starting my normal routine of sifting through the usable ingredients from those that would be best confined to a hazardous materials containment area. What I came up with was.


  • Pumpkin (over 75% of usableness)
  • Spices (lots of, to roast the pumpkin with)
  • Basil (wilting, but still flavoursome)
  • Pasta (dried :( )
  • Chorizo (didn’t know I had any, but cured, so should still be good)
  • Cherry tomatoes (the ones at the bottom were all smooshed, but the ones on top were still good)
  • Olive oil (I have lots of it now… which i’ll be writing about soon)
  • Garlic (enough to scare off a coven of persistent vampires, always handy)

I started by peeling and chopping the pumpkin, then covering it will all the spices I could find (ok, not all of them, but a few), which was coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilli, salt, pepper. Then drizziling them in olive oil and roasting them on a tray in the oven for 15-20 minutes or so.

I then chopped the cherry tomatoes, chopped some garlic, mixed the garlic and tomatoes together with lots of olive oil and the chopped basil, started frying to chopped up chorizo, and then added the tomato mixture. Let that all soften up a little and then threw in the pasta (which had been secretly boiling in a large pot with a little salt and olive oil the whole time). Stir it all around, add lots more olive oil, some crushed garlic, the roast pumpkin, and some more olive oil for good luck.

What you get is fancy aglio olio (garlic & oil) :)

Spiced Roast Pumpkin Pasta with Chorizo

Just the thing to hit the spot after a hard night of lying of the couch, playing video games, watching downloaded episodes of Little Britain (Computer says no…), and generally mooching about. Sharon gave it the thumbs up and so I have another quickie to throw into the repetoire.

5 things to always have in the cupboard for gourmet emergencies

  1. Dried Pasta
  2. Canned Tomatos
  3. Risotto Rice
  4. Sea Salt and Black Peppercorns
  5. Liquid chicken stock

5 things to always have in the fridge for gourmet emergencies

  1. Milk
  2. Fresh basil and spinach (if not in the garden)
  3. Chorizo (Or equivalent pork based sausage product)
  4. Onions & Garlic (my garlic actually lives on my bench)
  5. Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Let me know if you can think of anything to add to those lists.


pouring the rum

Oh my God, I can’t believe no one has told me about this before.

lighting the rum

Just sifting through some of Dave’s photos on flickr and came across this set.

careful not to spill any on the table

Feuerzangenbowle is basically German style mulled wine with flames ! You basically make a wine/spice/fruit mixture up in a bowl/pan/fire proof vessel, and then suspend a cone of sugar above it, which you then douse with rum and set on fire.
This so appeals to my pyromaniac tendencies. Too bad I can’t stand mulled wine.

the flames burn brightly

If anyone is interested, here’s a recipe I just found for how to make it.

this is why you use a ladle to pour the rum