Reiberdatschi… My Nana Rose’s Potato Hashbrown/Rosti/Pancake

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Whenever I use a recipe of my Nan’s on a menu or these here Blogland pages I allocate credit due. I would happily tell every one I met about the food my Nan would make for us because the way that lady cooks is a crazy, intermingling, goat cart driven journey of hearty, soul warming comfort food and childhood memories and nostalgia fixes. And well it should be, she is my Nana after all. The funny thing is though, when I tell her about the credit I’ve given her for those recipes, she kinda doesn’t believe me. She humbly chuckles and, in her still cracking after being here for sixty something years German accent, she says “Oh, Graeme”, and then chuckles a little more, not quite grasping that I would seriously put her name on a menu or why people would love the war torn, poverty born dishes that she has been cooking for all of those years. She chuckles some more when I thank her for the umpteenth time for all of the inspiration her cooking and love for the love of food has given me. I pull my phone out and show her a picture of a menu or specials board where I have credited her for a dish as, although I never make a point of trying to beat my Nan in an argument (well, I would never argue with her regardless but if I did I certainly wouldn’t be winning), this is a story she is going to have to believe. I think she is still dubious, which is fine with me now, but I really do hope she knows how much her cooking means to me…

My Nan has been getting some mad props on these pages recently, and here is another favourite of ours as children, and now a favourite of my children, that she may or may not believe I have told the world about.

My mum would put onion and bacon in hers but Nan stays the purist, stating that back in the old country (not that she would say it like that, I just think it gives the statement more of an authentic, post world war two type feel) the reiberdatschi would often be eaten with sauerkraut, but some times they would be garnished with sweet stewed apples – so the onion and bacon just didn’t go. Another vote for the sweet camp came from my Grandad, Jo, who ate his simply sprinkled with castor sugar. I seam to recall us eating fat piles of these things flavoured quite simply with the all-purpose seasoning of my youth – tomato sauce (ketchup), and lots of it! You can make your own grown-up decision on how you’d like yours to come.

However they came, our bellies always cheerfully received these reiberdatschi. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these things are the shit!

Fry those suckers up. Do not listen to their screams as they will feel no pain soon
Fry those suckers up. Do not listen to their screams as they will feel no pain soon

Stack them up on a plate, you'll be needing a few each, and dress with your favourite sides
Stack them up on a plate, you’ll be needing a few each, and dress with your favourite sides
Yep. On a plate
Yep. On a plate

BREAKFAST REIBERDATSCHI (for 4)

1 kg potatoes (sebagoes work well but at the end of the day, I’ve used most common varieties with pretty similar results), grated
and squeezed of excess moisture in a colander
1 onion, small dice
2 rashers bacon, chopped

1 egg


2 – 3 tablespoons flour
A good pinch of salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Eggs (cooked would probably be best), bacon, tomato relish, cherry tomato salad (the boys want cherry tomatoes with everything at the moment) and parsley to serve

• In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly to combine
• Heat a good splash of oil in a pan over medium-low heat
• Form medium handfuls of mix into balls and press gently into pan with a spatula until 1cm thickness. An average pan is good for 3-4 reiberdatschi per go
• Fry until golden brown on the first side, should be 4-5 minutes, flip and fry until the other side is also golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. Keep in a warm spot
• Continue frying the reiberdatschi in batches until they are all done
• Season with a little more salt, garnish and get it in your belly

Smoky Beef Brisket and Potato Hash with the left overs from that BBQ Jennee cooked yesterday

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When you have a bit of brisket left over from your barbecue, and maybe a few of those coal roasted potatoes and the garlic butter that accompanied them, and possibly a bit of chopped onion, tomato and capsicum left from that salad, I feel there is but one thing a young man can do… and that one thing is not to make a weird sex film for the inter web super highway starring one man and his dinner. No, there are plenty of those about already. That one possible scenario I can take from this is to make brisket and potato hash!

What a breakfast!

This is certainly not going to be the kind of thing you will consume for breakfast if you routinely start your day with a cup o’ tea, shredded apple, muesli and co-yo (coconut yoghurt. If you haven’t heard of it you will… you will) and a skim read of the local newspaper, saving your real reading time for the supermarket pamphlets in the middle.

This will very seriously appeal to you though, if you spent the night previous drinking your body weight in alcoholic beverages and, on this morn, you are the proud owner of a sore gut, throbbing head and very low IQ. This food was born for hang overs… also, it would probably suit you if you were just down right keen on a meaty slap up breaky!

Done.

On with the cooking.

Mis en place? Check. Did that last night. Damn, I love left overs
Mis en place? Check. Did that last night. Damn, I love left overs
Time to sort this out
Time to sort this out

BRISKET AND POTATO HASH (for 4)

2-3 cups shredded brisket (or what ever meat you want to use/have lying about)
3 medium potatoes, cooked and cut into large chunks (I had a bit of sweet potato left over so that went in there too)
½ onion (I don’t care what colour it is), diced
1 tomato, diced
1 capsicum (bell pepper), diced
1 jalapeño chilli, sliced
Seasoning
Fried eggs, rocket or spinach, toast and HP sauce to serve
• Sauté brisket and potatoes in a little oil
• Once starting to get some colour add all other ingredients and season to taste
• Cook for another 2 minutes
• Serve with toast and eggs and sauce and shit
• Straight in your face hole!!

Carlos and Co. Port Macquarie, NSW

The spread. We all know how much of a fan I am of a good spread
The spread. We all know how much of a fan I am of a good spread

Driving into Port Macquarie by road you could be excused for thinking it is Byron Bay on some really heavy steroids. If you arrive at Port Macquarie by sea you may be excused for not really giving a fuck what it looks like and get your ass to the nearest reputable house of the ladies of the night… it’s been a long time between drinks, I’m sure.

I expected the place to be quite small. I had preconceived visions of a seaside town with a few resorts and possibly a nice little café where we could sit a have a coffee and maybe read the paper while our children invaded (yes, invaded) the park opposite. In fact Port Macquarie is more like Byron Bay on performance enhancing drugs; hotels, resorts, caravan parks, cafes, restaurants and also hotels that moonlight as resorts and caravan parks and also house a small restaurant and café strip.

The road layout seem to have been penned in the sixties by a town planner who was clearly taking a lot of acid, or possibly someone who thought it would be funny to make a life sized maze and secretly film all of the tourists trying to make the way into/out of town but always ending their journey at the same cul-de-sac – home to three cafes, a restaurant, a caravan park/resort/massage parlor and a beagle named Colin. Unless of course (humour me here), all of the cafe fronts and hotel foyers are painted on, merely a façade, and we missed the sign on the way in that informed us that the town is actually a giant crazy maze… and we didn’t even pay our entry fee. Damn, I like to entertain some pretty damn preposterous conspiracy theories.

The best I can figure is this place has got it’s steroids from the city crew, with Northern Sydney being less than four hours drive to the south, shipping in loads of steroids in the form of their tourist dollars so this town/city may grow wider and taller, and they have transplanted the means to appease their seaside holiday addiction in the form of the big resorts and café strips… a little city chic, but this place still maintains a sense of coastal country with it’s magic beaches, breathtaking scenery and thongs and board shorts vibe.

Hip as fuck
Hip as fuck

There is a plethora of trendy, paleo-friendly, local produce using breakfast joints in this town, but for us the shining light of the local a.m. food scene was Carlos and Co. South American street food.

The menu from which one may choose the dishes one would like to eat
The menu from which one may choose the dishes one would like to eat

We ventured into the hip little joint and I ordered a coffee. A long black  be precise. The first was a blend, followed by another, followed by a single origin number at the request of the barista, each as marvelous as the last. Perfectly poured Peak coffee tickled the back of my throat with a hint of chocolatey goodness and just enough coffee kick with out being bitter or burnt. Carlos and Co. was so close to getting 10/10 in the start-to-the-day stakes, but I thought it inappropriate to ask for the reach around needed to achieve this perfect score… and besides, we hadn’t even received our food yet…

dhfsgfi
Shredded beef and huervos arepas

The menu was concise and to the point, much like what you would expect of street food vendors South America even with your exactly nil first hand knowledge, so I treated the menu with the same lust and revere I would treat any South American street vendor’s menu with (again, with nil first hand experience) and ordered as much of this tasty soundy meaty goodness as I thought we would be able to eat. The Breaky Burrito (9.5), French Toast with Maple Bacon (9.5), Shredded Beef and Huevos Arepas (12.5) and Breakfast Carne (13.5). I kid you not, everything was delicious. The fried tortilla with the shredded beef was a little chewy, but still delicious. This breakfast had me almost convulsing in my chair, like I was on an imaginary boat on the high seas or possibly suffering a mild stroke. But it was the former that best describes the fit of unrestrained gratification I was experiencing right now.

A special mention needs to be given to this french toast. Truly kick ass. But the again, so was everything else that hit the table
A special mention needs to be given to this french toast. Truly kick ass. But the again, so was everything else that hit the table

It was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. Even the boys loved every chilli-spiked morsel (they have a great range of chilli condiments to perk up your taste buds if the coffee isn’t enough… and we all know I am a huge fan of condiments) and their mango frappes, wandering into the kitchen at the end of the meal to personally thank the chef.

Great work Carlos and Co. Great work indeed.

Wooli day 7… Corn Fritter Waffles

Corny breakfast goodness
Corny breakfast goodness

If you have been paying attention to my posts over the last week and not just skim read (Oh yes that’s for you Laura. Book indeed), you would certainly be able to detect a trend in subject matter. Yes you clever heads, the boys and I are in Wooli.

A small fishing village on the north coast of NSW, Wooli is famed for it’s oysters, beautiful scenery and lack of connection with the civilized world. If I can find these things in a holiday destination I am a very happy man as it is a welcome break from the ever-tumultuous life of a chef in the Byron area.

As all good things must come to an end, so must our time in Wooli. It has been real Wooli, it really has.

One more thing before I go, though. I did come here with the intention of cooking corn fritters in the waffle maker, which was packed by Jennee bless her cotton socks, and you best believe my intentions were realised in the form of corn fritter waffle things.

The fritter batter was cooked as per waffles in a waffle maker instead of frying in a pan. Try it out if you’ve got the means…

Waffle that shit up!
Waffle that shit up!
Still waffling
Still waffling
Pile it up on the table for the hordes to dig in
Pile it up on the table for the hordes to dig in
Corn waffles with bacon, avocado and Phil's home made HP sauce
Corn waffles with bacon, avocado and Phil’s home made HP sauce
With the paper and a coffee. My life is complete
With the paper and a coffee. My life is complete

CORN FRITTERS or quinoa and corn fritters if you want (for 4)

To make quinoa and corn fritters simply replace 2 cups of corn kernels with 2 cups of cooked quinoa. It works an effing treat. Even if you think you are not a health freak, you should embrace this ancient super food now. The Incas did and look at them – they made calendars and shit… or was that the Mayans… I’m sure they all loved quinoa whatever the case.

1lt fresh corn kernels, from 5-ish cobs of corn
½ bunch spring onions or ½ red onion, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chop
½ bunch coriander, chopped
1 ¼ cups self raising flour
1 cup or so coconut cream
4 eggs, let’s make them big and free range
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Seasoning

• Mix all dry ingredients together
• In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients and mix thoroughly
• Pour wet ingredient into dry and mix to combine. The mix should be a bit firmer than pancake batter but a littleness firm than your rock hard abs
• Form fritters with a large spoon and fry in a little oil over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes each side. You can make fritters as big or as small as you like them. Also, if you are cooking for more than a family, fry the fritters in batches until golden and then transfer to 180C oven to finish while you cook the rest. The all you need to do is transfer to the table with a pile of bacon, some avocado, fresh rocket or spinach and HP sauce or capsicum chilli jam
• And don’t think the breakfast table has sole rights to these little puppies, no no no. It’s not the effing Super Bowl, people. These fritters will happily find a place at your lunch or dinner table no worries at all

Wooli part 3… ridiculous stuffed croissant for breakfast

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Pastry chef goes a little crazy when he hears the news of the immanent closure of our place of employment.

Pastry chef bakes unusually large croissant… not for the purpose of any kind of freakish Friday night, keys in the hat type party, but for human consumption.

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I bring said croissant on holiday to visit the beach, see the pretty birds and to become the foundation of a mental breakfast.

The pastry chef would be proud of how his product ended its time as the epitome of it’s bronzed, crescent shaped lesser siblings, the embodiment of everything holy about meticulously layered and folded flour and butter, beautifully presented as a ridiculously large golden buttery slug.

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It was filled with beef sausage, smoked sausage, bacon, fried eggs, cheese and tomato sauce, seasoned and allowed to bake on a low heat for 15 minutes to suffice it’s throbbing mass.

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The croissant was consumed, crumbs and final morsels were picked from plates and everyone was in awe of what had been accomplished.

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The end.

Breakfast at The Byronian Cafe and Bar, Byron Bay, NSW

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THE BYRONIAN CAFÉ & BAR, BYRON BAY, NSW

The morning is as cold as they have been around here for the last few weeks. It was crisp like the bacon that would form part of my subsequent breakfast. It was cool like the guy wearing the denim outfit and sunglasses in the club. It was chilly like the penguins knickers. It was time to get the hell out of the house and into Ol’ Byron Town for some breakfast…

We thought we might try Cafe Byron. Upon perusing their menu though, I was not sold on what I will call the Byroness of it. It had the same menu as umpteen other restaurants on the main strip in Byron. All of the usual culprits; corn fritters, eggs Benedict (with hollandaise spelt hollidaes or something similar), pancakes. Whatever. That just really doesn’t do it for me. We did have a quick coffee (which was delightful) because we had already sat down and then it was onto the next stop.

We spied the newly located Byronian Café and Bar, and upon scrutiny of their menu, decided this would be the place for us. It read well, had some interesting shit on it and didn’t appear to have any obvious typos… I’m a fickle bastard I know.

The new fit-out is very nice. Very Byron chic. I should have got a photo but most of the time I really can’t be assed wandering about the place with camera, snapping away like I’m the goddam paparazzi… I just want to sit back, have a nice conversation with a pretty girl (usually Jennee) and enjoy a good meal.

The menu that suckered us in
The menu that suckered us in

I had the zucchini fritters with a side of bacon. The fritters were no John Holmes, swaying a little bit to the flaccid side of things, but the flavour was well and truly there so they got the fuck eaten right out of them. The bacon was crisp as the morning air though, so I was happy with that. They came with a nice little rocket, tomato and cucumber salad, labne and tomato chutney.

Green scrambled eggs in the foreground ($16 I think), zucchini fritters in the back ground ($16.50) with a side of bacon ($4)
Green eggs in the foreground ($16 I think), zucchini fritters in the back ground ($16.50) with a side of bacon ($4)

Jennee opted for the green scrambled eggs with chilli and coriander pesto and Persian feta. They were everything they said they would be. The kick from the green chilli was awesome and the eggs were cooked very nicely indeed.

We sorted that shit out
We sorted that shit out

Another perfectly brewed Lavazza coffee and we were done.

I paid with my card, because let’s face it, who they hell uses cash these days? And upon trying to add a tip our waiter said the boss doesn’t allow that with cards because he has to pay for the transactions or some shit. Whatever. Tips are an important part of thanking somebody in what can be a very thankless industry. I emptied the change out of my pockets and they truly did seem thankful for the $1.85 I gave them but a note to the boss man if he reads this; hook up the tip function on your EFTPOS my man… your peeps deserve it!

No trip into Byron is complete without a walk through the belly of the beast. Streets laiden with hippies, tourists, curbside jewellery hawkers and acrobats in the park… so it was a walk for us.

Gluten free brownie… pretty good taste and pretty good for the soul
Gluten free brownie… pretty good taste and pretty good for the soul

We decided to stop in at “Fundies” – which can only be described as a purveyor of all thing hippy vogue and holistic – to find out what ancient Incan grain the hippies are going nuts for these days. While sussing out the cabinet I ran into my old friend – “the stereotypical guy who embodies everything I hate about hippies”. I was having a look at the cabinet full of quinoa based pies, raw macadamia nut tiramisu and Moroccan vegan slice, when old matey pushes through the space between myself and the cabinet, which is clearly not enough room for him to get through even though he was only wearing a sleeveless hemp shirt, cut off fisherman’s pants and no shoes, just about knocking me over with no “excuse me” or “sorry” or even a quiet “get the fuck out of my way”. These fucktards are everywhere up here and they really do my head in. I don’t care if you’re hippy, black, white, gigolo or jungle bunny. Use your fucking manners!

The view of Byron Bay from the hills
The view of Byron Bay from the hills

We ordered our sweets and attempted to pay in karma credits, but apparently these folks are not quite that hippy and needed cold hard cash. We commented that consumerism had bored deep into their veins but agreed that this was a fair trade for the cleansing of our soul. We took our sweets to a hill over looking Byron and ate and felt the balance being restored.

I now have inner peace.