Breakfast At Stephanie's
A carb-craving affliction is a terrible thing. It takes more than a single hedonistic surrender before it releases you from its clasp.
Perhaps it was naive of me to expect my craven carb caving to end with the murtabak mastication. As feared, it became a constant craving this weekend. I knew I had to abandon myself to spuds and puds. Not only did I hanker for carbs, I wanted heavy, greasy food that would crawl into my bloodstream and anchor itself into my stomach with an almost audible clunk.
There’s something about having breakfast foods for dinner that appeals to the inner rebel in me. Thumping my nose at those happy morning people who advocate a “rise and shine” mentality, I like to saunter into the day languidly. Thus, I seldom eat breakfast. I can hear many of you gasping at the sheer wrongness of it now. Look, if I eat breakfast, I would have to skip lunch because my notoriously small appetite would still be recovering come lunch time. At 4.30pm, I would be a ravenous beast and the words “a hungry woman is an angry woman” was definitely invented with me in mind. One poorly worded comment could see someone’s head bitten off, after I’ve sprinkled salt, pepper and some nutmeg on it. So you see? I’m just trying to save the world from aimlessly wandering headless people.
But I love breakfast dishes. French toast. Blueberry pancakes. Eggs benedict. Eggs anything. A big ole fry up. Waffles. Bircher muesli. Eschewing breakfast means I seldom get to enjoy these treats. So, occasionally, when the mood strikes, I’ll cook up a breakfasty meal for dinner to satisfy this craving. I even get a childish thrill from being so naughty as to eat breakfast during dinner. Yes, I do need to get out more …
Submitting myself wholeheartedly to an unabashed carb & grease fest, I decided I might as well go the whole hog and have a big ole greasy fry up. My way. Which meant using whatever was in the fridge since I was too lazy to go to the shops. I made it up as I went, therefore measurements are a little unreliable here so just use your discretion, taste buds and common sense.
Breakfast at Stephanie’s
1 duck egg & 1 duck egg white
2 small eggs, beaten
3 mixed sausages
½ onion, sliced
- reserve some & chop finely to make about 2 tsp
4 potatoes, cubed, boiled and mashed
½ cup leftover fish meat & dried shrimp
- these were leftover from making stock and I had saved them to use as “fillers”
1 bunch of Chinese lettuce, ribboned
2 tbsp basil leaves chiffonade
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
- another leftover from my Eight Treasure Duck so it has that lovely 5-spice aroma
Dried Italian herbs
Ground black pepper
1. Heat 1 tsp duck fat and cook the sliced onions till lightly caramelised
2. Add a small knob of butter to the pan and cook the eggs till the edges are just a little crisped. Remove from pan and keep warm.
3. Combine the fish meat, dried shrimp, ½ the Chinese lettuce ribbons, the diced onions with ½ tsp of orange flavoured oil and season with salt & pepper
4. Zap this in the microwave for 1 minute on high
5. Meanwhile, add more duck fat and butter if necessary and fry your sausages with some dried Italian herbs. I also cooked a halved tomato in the same pan, cut side down, till nice and seared.
6. Add ¾ of the mash potatoes to the fish mixture with 1 – 1 ½ tsp of sour cream, the beaten eggs, basil leaves, nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste. Add the grated mozzarella and mix well.
7. Remove the cooked sausages & tomato and set aside, keeping warm
8. Add more duck fat and butter to the pan if needed and start spooning mounds of the potato cake mixture into the pan, squishing it slightly to flatten. Leave them alone to cook unmolested for about 1-2 minutes till golden brown before flipping them over. Repeat on the other side and remove to drain on kitchen paper. Note: Do not make the cakes too large as they do not hold their shape well. I made about 6 small cakes.
9. Use the remaining mash potatoes by adding warmed milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg to make some creamy mash
10. Heat some baked beans
11. When potato cakes are done, throw in the remaining Chinese lettuce ribbons and sauté these in the leftover fat till tender and cooked
12. Plate everything in a huge platter. I serve my baked beans on the side as I like to keep my potato cakes crisp instead of soggy with beans.
13. Eat it all while hot and then go see the doctor for a cardiac assessment
This is truly a greasy, stodgy and diabolically satisfying meal. Everything was wonderfully tasty but the star of this glutton's debauchery was the potato cake.
At first, I was leaning towards a bubble and squeakish creation. However, I really wanted to use up the fish meat and shrimp so a bubble & squeakish potato-fish cake was born. I hereby anoint these Steph’s Squeaky Cakes - a true Mana Makan original. Without any false modesty, they were absolutely, totally, indisputably glorious.
Soft and moist on the inside, each potato cake was crisp and golden brown on the outside. The addition of the sour cream and the orange flavoured oil imbued the potato cakes with a rich lightness that is much easier to digest than that oxymoron. Fried in duck fat and butter, they were little golden discs of creamy mash encased in a fragrant crust that just melts in your mouth. I was a noisy, eye rolling, head lolling sybarite on the edge of delirium with each bite.
For pure scrumptiousness, they deserve a 10/10 for taste. I just wish I had made more of them!
Everything else was delicious and flavourful even if they were overshadowed by the potato cakes. The perfumed aroma of spiced duck, permeated through every nuance of this dish, stroking my olfactory senses lovingly, and whetting my appetite suggestively.
I tested different condiments with the meal. Mustard mayonnaise, garlic crème which I had made to go with my Flog My Blog Cheese Sammich, and even a mustard ketchup. The garlic crème was the best enhancement and I suspect that this was because it is a home-made sauce. Sometimes, it really does make a difference.
The entire meal is terribly unhealthy, albeit, sinfully good - seeping with grease and pumped full of carbohydrates. I will not even attempt to give it a health rating but I will give it a satisfaction rating of 9/10. I certainly won’t be carping about carbs for a while now ... I think.
Categories – Fish Tales, Call Me Others, VeggieMight