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Category: Asparagus

A Not So Speedy Omelette – A RFFMT Recipe Revamp

The  original recipe for a Speedy Omelette comes from the “Unexpected Guest” Chapter of The A-Z of Cooking. Two things, first I’m not a fan of the unexpected guest and would more than likely not feed them at all.  It would be Deliveroo at best. Second, we, me, all of us are up to U…the end of the A-Z is nigh.  Not long to go now….let’s celebrate with an omelette.

In many ways, the chapter on how to feed your  Unexpected Guest is actually a primer on how to punish your unexpected guest because the recipes are almost singularly yecchhhh!!!!  The speedy omelette is by far the best recipe in the chapter but then again the chapter contains these delightful titbits so that’s not saying much.

Appetizer – Chilled Ten Minute Potato Soup

Made from dehydrated onions and Smash.  Served chilled.  Did someone say runny, cold fake mashed potatoes?

Talk about revenge being a dish best served cold.  This is quite clearly a dish for the passive aggressive host.  “Oh, I do so like surprises.  And I hope you do too.  Have some soup”.

I always find ads where something is encouraging you to eat itself kind of  creepy.  Is anthrophomorphic-cannibalism-phobia a thing?  Because I think I have it.  As off-putting as this is, I would still much rather eat Potato Pete’s soup than the ten minute chilled variety.

Main – Storecupboard Casserole

Yippee – more Smash! This time a revolting combination of spaghetti sauce mix, tinned tomatoes, canned ham, canned corn and green pepper. So the only fresh thing is the worst vegetable ever.

The recipe also contains the following sentences:

“Add the ham with some of the jelly from the can.  Don’t add too much jelly or the sauce will be too thin”.

No shit don’t add too much.  You know how much canned ham jelly is too much? 


Those three words should not even exist together.  Urgghhhhhh!!!! 

This lady advertising this canned ham looks as miserable as hell. Probably because she’s’ thinking “Not only is “If it were a tomato you could squeeze it” about the dumbest advertising slogan in the entire  world but that can better be sealed correctly.  Because they are not paying me enough to get leaked on with canned ham jelly”.

Then there is:

Make up the mashed potato according to the directions on the packet, but add a little milk so that it will be soft enough to spread.

What texture is it normally?  Rock?  I honestly don’t know.  I had a proper mother who only ever made mashed potatoes out of potatoes.  Let’s just be thankful they didn’t tell you to thin out your fake mashed potatoes with some canned ham jelly.

Wow right?  That’s casserole is not even passive aggressive. It’s had a few too Stellas and is just flat out SCREAMING in the street,  “Don’t ever fucking come to my house without an invitation again.  Because I have canned ham jelly and I’m not afraid to use it”.


Dessert – Ice Cream with Jam Sauce.

The first time I typed this I wrote Ice cream with ham sauce.  That is how traumatised I am by the preceding recipe. 

This is actually ok.  Hot jam with a bit of oj.  On ice cream. 


But not disgusting. 

Which given the rest of the meal is a huge bonus.

The Original Speedy Omelette

Speedy Omelette recipe

Admittedly, even in it’s original state, this is not as vile as the above recipes.  It probably won’t send your unexpected guests screaming from the building and unfriending you on Facebook.  On the downside, it may also not teach them that turning up unannounced is totally obnoxious. 

he Speedy Omelette Revamp

However, let’s drift into the realm of fantasy and suppose that your uninvited guest is actually someone that doesn’t have you gritting your teeth and wondering if you can put ground glass into their drink.  Maybe it’s that cute guy, you know the one from the bar / cafe / work / gym.  The one with the eyes / smile / butt / six pack.  And you want to do a bit better than the speedy omelette?  Why not try my non-speedy omelette?

Cut a potato into a small dice, heat some oil in a pan and panfry until golden. 

Speedy Omelette2Meantime, lightly steam some asparagus and grate some cheese.

Make your omelette and pile in your filings, reserving the asparagus spears for the garnish.  Warm through so the cheese goes melty, flip and serve!

Speedy Omelette5This will take a little longer to make than the Speedy Omelette above but hey, if he’s that cute why would you not want him hanging around for as long as poss?  Hell, crack open a bottle of wine, Elizabeth David style and make a night of it!

Speedy Omelette6

Not So Speedy Omelette with Potatoes and Asparagus
A delicious modern spin on a 1970's recipe
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  1. 1 large potato peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  2. 1 bunch asparagus
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tbsp water
  5. 50g Cheddar cheese, grated
  6. butter or oil for pan
  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely.
  3. Heat oil or butter in a non-stick pan.
  4. Add the potatoes.
  5. Stir and toss occasionally as they cook.
  6. When they are golden brown on all sides, place on kitchen paper to drain.
  7. Chop the tips of the asparagus off and then slice lengthwise.
  8. Steam over boiling water for 2 minutes
  9. Plunge into cold water and then place on kitchen paper to drain.
  10. Whisk the eggs with the water,salt and pepper.
  11. Melt more butter into the pan the potatoes were cooked in. Cook until it sizzles.
  12. Pour in the egg mixture and tilt the pan so the mixture covers the base.
  13. As the omelette starts to set, loosen the mixture from around the edges and tilt the pan so the liquid egg flows underneath.
  14. Spoon the filling onto the omelette whilst the top is still a bit runny (it will continue to cook after you fold it).
  15. Fold and serve garnished with the asparagus tips.
  1. If you don't have or don’t like asparagus, sub in mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, ham, rocket or crabmeat. You can also swap out the Cheddar for Gruyere, feta, goat's cheese, mozzarella or your favourite cheese!
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Adapted from The A-Z of Cooking (1977)
Retro Food For Modern Times

Have a fabulous week.

And remember, if this blog was a tomato, you could squeeze it. 

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Retro Easter Part 2: Easter Lily Sandwiches

Let’s start with a caveat.

I am perfectly aware that these sandwiches do not resemble Easter Lilies and would, based on their look, be far more appropriately called Calla Lily Sandwiches.  But it’s Easter ok?

And take a look at them.  How pretty are they?  Perfect for an afternoon tea with the girls….

Easter Lily Sandwiches2
Easter Lily sandwiches

And they taste pretty damn good too!!!

There are a few recipes for these lily sandwiches floating about the interwebs. However, most of them use green onions for the stem.  I actually made it that way the first time but was disappointed in the taste.

Chomping on that big stalk made the sandwich way too oniony – I’m pretty sure no one else wants to bite into a huge chunk of onion like that either.  Or suffer the onion breath afterwards. But to use them as decoration only and take them out when it came to eating the sandwich seemed like a waste.  My first thought was to replace the onions with beans but when I went to buy the beans, I was waylaid by some gorgeous baby asparagus spears.

Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients
Easter Lily Sandwiches Ingredients

And my version of the Lily Sandwich was born.

If you can only get thicker asparagus you could cut the spears in half down their length.  If asparagus is not available, use beans or celery matchsticks – all of which I think would be preferable to the onion!

Oh and a tip for the frugal.  When you cut the circles out of the bread, don’t throw the rest of the bread out.  Save them to use for what my family call Ox-Eye eggs but is, I believe more commonly called,  Egg in A Hole the next morning!  Any asparagus left over can also be dipped into a runny yolk for a breakfast made in heaven!!!


Oh and if you don’t happen to have a rolling-pin handy, a bottle of your favourite sauv blanc works equally as well.

Impromptu Rolling PinAnd would also be the perfect accompaniment to these sandwiches at your Easter afternoon tea!

Easter Lily Sandwiches3
Easter Lily Sandwiches3.

Easter Lily Sandwiches
Pretty asparagus sandwiches, perfect for a Spring afternoon tea!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
  1. 1 bunch of asparagus
  2. Slices of white bread, as many as you have asparagus spears
  3. 1 tub of cream cheese or a herb and garlic flavoured cream cheese like a Boursin
  4. 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  5. 1 clove of garlic, crushed (omit if using a flavoured cheese)
  6. 1/2 cup pistachios finely chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  8. Carrots cut into matchsticks, the same number of matchsticks as asparagus spears
  9. Salt & Pepper to Taste
  10. Instructions
  1. Tail the asparagus and steam until just tender.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, paprika, nuts, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
  3. Using a cookie cutter, cutter cut out rounds from bread.
  4. Then with a rolling pin, roll each round so it’s about 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Spread about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture over each bread circle.
  6. Place the carrot stick so it peeps out of the top, and the asparagus spear so it pokes out of the bottom. Fold the bread over to seal.
  7. Voila! You have a lily sandwich.
Retro Food For Modern Times
One more Easter Treat to go…stay tuned!

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Ole, Ole Ole, This Soup is Hot, Hot, Hot (Daring Kitchen)

Hola and Olé friends…and that’s the extent of my Spanish done!

Vintage Spain
Vintage Spain

Let’s talk about soup, baby….ok…I’m stopping with the bad music puns.

Right here.  Right now.

Or..Maybe not…

Green Asparagus Soup

Green Asparagus Soup

Our November Daring Cooks’ hostess was Begoña, who writes the beautiful blog, Las recetas de Marichu y las mías. Begoña is from Spain and didn’t want to go with the more common challenges of paella or gazpacho, she wanted to share with us another very popular recipe from Spain that we don’t see as often called Sopa Castellana which is a delicious bread soup!

I chose the Green Asparagus version as not only is it my second favourite vegetable ( behind the far less exotic green bean) but also, currently in season here in the Southern Hemisphere..

Just look at how gorgeous it is!

Green Asparagus Soup Ingredients
Green Asparagus Soup Ingredients

And the soup was pretty awesome too…I love the combination of egg and asparagus and I also love a poached egg in a soup…so, so good.

And saffron in anything just makes it awesome!

Recipe here

Try it, it may just get you dancing just like this!

flamenco 002
flamenco 002

Have a great week!

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Retro Food For Modern Times – You’re Gonna Have To Face It, You’re Addicted To…

I go through phases where I become utterly obsessed with a dish or an ingredient and have to buy it, cook it, eat it, ad nauseam.  Earlier this year it was tahini – I ate more hummus than some of the smaller Middle Eastern countries during that particular phase!  Prior to that, it was the Mary’s Gone Crackers Black Pepper Crackers – who knew that something so good for you could also taste so delish! Before that it was chipotle chillies….I quite obviously have an addictive personality.

You can relax mum. This is not when I confess to the crack/smack/cocaine/gambling addiction.  Sleep safe.  My newest and only…(well, as long as you don’t count things that are French and bubbly) addiction is my version of Mary Meredith’s Television Egg.

Breakfast Televison Eggs
Breakfast Television Eggs

Why Television Eggs?  Who knows.  Mary doesn’t explain her reasoning.  In my version she is bereft of ideas and just shouting out random bits of household furniture and food to see what sticks.  “Dishwasher Cheese.  Coffee-table bacon.  Couch potato…that one’s good. Let’s go with that.  What the fuck do you mean it’s been done?  Ok….Ermmm…..Television Eggs.”

(Oh, and in my mind Mary Meredith has a very strong Scottish Brogue.  I’m not going to go all Irvine Welsh on you…just saying that should be the accent in which she is read).

Whatever you call it.   It’s a baked egg with asparagus and tomato.  I love a baked egg.  What I don’t enjoy is scrubbing baking dishes to rid them of the residue of a baked egg, so I have added my twist.  Instead of serving it in a ramekin with toast soldiers as per MM’s suggestion, I’ve been baking them in a hollowed out bread roll.

I have now made three four versions of this and plan to make many more over the next few days.  But lets start with the original:

Television Eggs Recipe

I added some tarragon and a teeny drop of cream into mine, just because I had them in the fridge and neither was going to last much longer.  Waste not want not right? But it points to one of the strengths of this recipe, you can pretty much do what you like with it!

Television Eggs - Ingredients
Television Eggs – Ingredients
Televison Eggs for Lunch 2
Television Eggs for Lunch 2

You can, of course, cook your eggs longer for a harder yolk or less for a runnier one.

Whilst the original version was great, I then got the bug and started making television eggs out of everything we had on hand.

My variations thus far have been Rocket, Feta, Tomato and Smoked Paprika:

Televison Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato
Television Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato
Television Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato
Television Eggs With Rocket, Feta and Tomato

When I made the rocket and feta version, I also made a breakfast egg to have after my workout at the gym the next morning.  This consisted of Ham, Swiss and Tomato:

Breakfast Televison Eggs
Breakfast Television Eggs

A handy hint I discovered was that, if you cook your television eggs on a rack, the bottom of the bread doesn’t burn.

A rack stops the bread from burning
A rack stops the bread from burning

More Variations to Try

  • Smoked salmon, dill and cream cheese, (maybe with a splash of hollandaise).
  • Mushrooms, chives and goats cheese
  • Spinach and feta, spring onions

Televison Eggs for Lunch 1

  • Leek and Gorgonzola (and yes, for those of you who know me, this is inspired by the best pizza ever!)
  • Baked Beans, cheddar cheese – another breakfast version
  • Chorizo, Potato and tomato – sauté this mixture first.
  • Creamed spinach
  • Sautéed potato cubes, green chilli, red onion and goats cheese
  • Hummus, Chipotle chillies and Mary’s Gone Crackers Black Pepper Cracker Crumbs Sprinkled on top
The Double Yolker
The Double Yolker

Ok, so that last one may be just for me but you get the drift. Cheap, cheerful, easy, healthy-ish and delicious! What more could you ask for?

r ides of march premiere 280911

Yes, ok, I want that too.

And I believe me, if I was in a position to give it to you, my dear and loyal readers….you’d have to step over my cold dead body to get it.  That would be mine.  All mine.

I’m sharing the eggs though…and they are pretty damn good.

I’m going to be spending my week working through versions of Television Eggs for my lunches.  Oh, and look at the totally awesome retro lunch box  I’m going to buy to put them in:

However you have your lunches, have a great week…and try these eggs!

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PS – Late breaking news – newest post gym version – ham, cheese, avocado, chilli sauce.  Put on very low heat before leaving home. By the time you get back (an hour?) this will be cooked to perfection!

Ham, Egg, Avocado, Cheese and Chilli Television Egg
Ham, Egg, Avocado, Cheese and Chilli Television Egg

The Australian Vegetable Cookbook (1972) – When Good Vegetables Turn Evil

The Australian Vegetable Cookbook, sponsored by the food companies Edgell and Birdseye, has its fair share of vegetables turned evil – specifically vegetables turned scary, lazy, nasty and just plain bonkers.   First, for a vegetable cookbook there is a distinct lack of fresh vegetables.  Nearly all of the recipes suggest using either canned or frozen vegetables of the type produced by…oh…I see….let’s move on. I’ve already annoyed the Australian Women’s Weekly.  Multinational food companies also have test kitchens. I need a job.  We’ll leave it there.

I will not be silenced on some of the truly terrible recipes contained in here though.  Maybe if these companies chose their recipe collators more carefully, snafu’s like the ones to be discussed wouldn’t happen.  Recipe collator is a job right?  If not, it should be.  I am available.

Lets start with scary.  In one of the many million Saw films, there is a scene where a girl has to throw herself into a deep vat of syringes.  I have an almost irrational fear of needles, and up until recently, that image from the film was my own private version of hell.  It is still top o’ the list however, the use of the…liquid….accompanying canned vegetables as a food ingredient creates a very similar reaction of visceral disgust in me.

It may be the word liquid that does it.  It’s so….unspecific.  The stuff that other canned food comes in has a name. Tuna comes in spring water or olive oil.  Don’t get me wrong, there is no way I’m using that as an ingredient either, but at least I know what it is.   Similarly, tinned fruit comes in syrup or juice. So why does asparagus come in….liquid? Does the conversation in the lab go a little bit like:

“Well…we know it’s wet….as for the rest…we’re really not sure…to be on the safe side, how about we just go with liquid?”

Yeah, I don’t know why asparagus is being canned in a lab either.  Anyway, the use of the “liquid” is why I found this recipe for Asparagus and Egg Mornay repulsive.  And somehow, the idea of mixing the “liquid” with milk just makes it worse.  Asparagus shake anyone?  Gross.

The next scary item is the Asparagus Mousse.  I made this as I wanted to understand the ’70’s obsession with moulded food. Despite making it I still do not understand the ’70’s obsession with moulded food.  It was horrible.  The best thing was that it moulded well.  I thought this would taste like slightly gelatinous asparagus and cream.  It tasted of tin and mint.  I have no idea where the mintiness came from.

I accidentally dropped the cracker I spread with some of this mousse on the ground.  The dogs loved it.  Mind you, they also eat excrement. I didn’t bother making myself another cracker.

Moving on to lazy we find the recipe for Celery Soup and Cheese Croutons.  The first ingredient listed is a can of celery soup.   Let me make one thing perfectly clear.  If you are making celery soup according to the directions on the can you cannot claim that this is a recipe for celery soup.   It is, at best, a recipe for Cheese Croutons.  Adding parsley or any other herb does not count as cooking.  There is absolutely no reason for this recipe to be listed under celery.

Huh?  What was that you were muttering cynical subconscious?

Given that celery is usually used fresh, using it its canned soup form may be a way for the book’s sponsor’s to recoup some of their outlay?  I thought we weren’t going there.  I thought we’d made a decision not to annoy the multinationals.  They have test kitchens and possibly require the service of recipe collators.  So button it.  We’re going with lazy.  Not with shameless display of self promotion.

Moving swiftly along in the list of crimes we come to the nasty food. Potato Gems aka Tater Tots in the U.S. are made from a blend of potato and….I don’t know what…I’m pretty sure the crusty outside does not contain diamonds but whatever it is, it probably comes a pretty close second in terms of hardness.  Potato Gems / Tater Tots are one of the few foods that actually hate you.  Their sole purpose is to tear the top three layers of skin off the roof of the mouth of anyone stupid enough to eat them.

The Potato Gem Pizza is a repulsive concoction created by pressing cooked potato gems into a cake pan and covering them with pizza ingredients.  Sadly, if you Google image Tater Tot Pizza, you get a lot of hits.  I’m not naming and shaming anyone here, but seriously WTF? Here I am thinking I have found a new culinary low and people are not only making it, they are so proud of their creation (and mostly not in an ironic hipster way) that they are posting pictures of it onto the internet.  Admittedly most of these pictures use the Gems /Tots as a pizza topping, not as the pizza base per the suggestion here but really people?  Stop it.  Stop it now.  You’re depressing me.

I would also like to point out that there is absolutely no way the Potato Gem Pizza takes 5 minutes to cook.  It says right at the start you have to cook your Potato Gems for 5 minutes.  You then have to:

  • Press your Gems into a flat cake
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add all your toppings including carefully laid out spoke-like anchovies and between spoke olives
  • Then grill until the cheese melts

Do these last actions happen in a time warp?  Can Potato Gems tear through the fabric of space–time as easily as they tear through your gums?

And finally, the piece de la resistance, the mec plus ultra of food getting weird.  Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present the Peach Cheese Fiesta.  What?  You’ve never heard of it?  There’s a reason for that.  In the words of Gwen Stefani:

“This s**t is bananas.  B – A – N -A – N -A -S”  

I like to think an editor hid this recipe deep within the section on Swedes and Turnips, thinking quite rightly that it would never be found. And up until now, it has remained in the obscurity it deserves.  The Peach Cheese Fiesta even had Google stumped.  Until now of course, because by the very act of writing that Google can’t find Peach Cheese Fiesta, I am creating the conditions that will allow Google to find Peach Cheese Fiesta…oh….that’s making my head hurt.  So without further ado, here it is:

I know they took a lot of drugs back in the ’70’s but wow, someone must have stoned out of their mind for this to make sense.  I like the way they suggest alternative receptacles for the cheesy vegetable mix.  I like it even more that instead of these alternatives being fruits and vegetables that are routinely stuffed (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants) that they continue the looniness by suggesting  pears and pineapple. I just wish they’d suggested bananas, it would have made as much sense and made my Gwen Stefani reference all the more meaningful.

The Australian Vegetable Cookbook is not all bad though.  I am about to make what will hopefully be a lovely  3 course dinner from recipes contained within the book. I’ll talk about that next time.  Until then, blot the thought of Peach Cream Fiesta from your minds and enjoy your week!

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