Xanthan Experiment 1

I did my first cooking experiment with Xanthan gum today and added the tiniest half a smidgen to the tomato and coconut cream sauce in my beef curry, which is essentially the same as this Beef Sukka, except it is cooked in the slow cooker and therefore has more sauce.  The sauce was the smoothest, creamiest I have made.  It works!

The website warns against overuse of Xanthan, or the result will be unpalatable mucus.  So I started off very very small not expecting a result at all.  It seems I got it right.

My 200g jar should last quite a long time.


I always thought a dash was a bit more than a tad. 


Half a smidgen was plenty. 


Creamy Sauce.  Pleasant mouth texture.  


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I ordered some gluten and rice flour on line. The gluten is so I can experiment with improving my breadmaking.   There is only plain flour available locally and I don’t need to constantly to go on an expedition to Kununurra for bread flour or proprietary mix.

Rice flour is for some Asian recipes I have not made in a while. Also for shortbread, which is one of a very few sweet biscuits I like.

The vendor had xanthan available.  I have seen it as an ingredient in sauces and gravies as well as desserts such as mousse.  It was not expensive so I added it to my order.  Now I have to figure out what to make with it, and how to use it.  One thing that I think it may be used for is as a humectant in bread, keeping the bread moist longer.



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Fluffy Omelette

Fluffy Omelette

It’s not a soufflé but nearly as good and much easier.   This omelette is very satisfying served with warm crusty fresh bread rolls with relish and a nice cup of hot Dilmah tea.

It is also very nice hot or cold with relish in a sandwich of soft fresh bread.  No eggsaggeration. You could even serve it on toast with baked beans. Or if you are hipster, on seared sourdough with bean compote.


  • Two to four eggs – whites and yolks separated.
  • A tablespoon of ice-cold water
  • two or three spring onions chopped.
  • half a cup of red capsicum, sliced thinly or chopped fairly small.
  • A knob of butter and a small splash of olive oil or macadamia oil.
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt.
  •  a few slices of Gruyere cheese cut into strips, or if you buy it by the block; a quarter of  a cup, grated.


  1. With a beater, beat the egg whites and water until it is all fluffed up.
  2. Carefully fold in the yolks until the mixture is almost a consistent colour.  A slightly marbled effect is quite attractive.
  3. Heat the pan with the butter and oil and pour in the beaten egg, spreading it out evenly.
  4. After a couple of minutes turn the heat down low and turn on the oven grill
  5. Allow the omelette to cook a few more minutes on the stove top while the grill heats up
  6. Arrange the  capsicum and spring onion over the omelette,
  7. Add a few generous grinds of pepper and salt to taste
  8. Sprinkle or lay the cheese on top
  9. Transfer the pan to the grill and continue cooking until the cheese is browned and the omelette firm.  Test with a skewer.  This where cooking becomes an art rather than a science. If you are lucky the omelette will stay risen like a souffle, but if not it does not matter.  It will still taste really good.  A bit soft in the middle is good for those of us who like it that way.  Those who don’t can have the outside bits.

Ideally serve with warm buttered crusty fresh bread and relish.

Alternative or additional topping options are infinite.
Some good choices are:

  • basil leaves
  • cooked prawns
  • bacon
  • smoked ham
  • thinly sliced mushrooms
  • smoked salmon
  • anchovies and olives
  • thinly sliced tomato and basil leaves
  • cooked asparagus wrapped in prosciutto
  • creamed corn and chilli
  • canned tuna and chives
  • shredded chicken and garlic

This is not my latest effort, but a more photogenic one I prepared previously.  Made with two double-yolked eggs.









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Roast Pumpkin Hummus

Roast Pumpkin Hummus


  • 2 tins chickpeas  
  • 2 cups roast pumpkin, mashed
  • 3 teaspoons tahini
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp hot paprika or 1/4 tsp cayenne – or more to taste
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ to 1 cup (or so) olive oil – a nice fruity cold-pressed extra virgin.
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  1. Dry roast a good slice of pumpkin and mash enough to fill 2 cups
  2. Drain the chickpeas. Reserve half the liquid from one can
  3. Put the chickpeas into a blender with the pumpkin, tahini, garlic, spice, chickpea liquid and lemon juice.
  4. Blend until smooth while adding olive oil a little at a time until you have the desired consistency (Runnier for dip, less so for spreading on bread or serving with salad).
  5. Taste and season as necessary with salt and pepper, a bit at a time until it tastes right.
  6. Sprinkle paprika on top when serving.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Eat it within a week or so.




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Sriracha Creamed Corn Scrambled Eggs

Sriracha Creamed Corn Scrambled Eggs – Another simple and satisfying breakfast that starts the day with a zing.

As an alternative to Sriracha, finely chop a couple of chilies and fry them in the butter before adding the egg and corn.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 can (110g) of creamed corn
  • a good squirt or two of Sriracha chili sauce
  • Butter
  1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl
  2. Mix in the corn  and chili sauce
  3. Put a knob of butter in a frying pan
  4. Heat the pan until the butter is bubbling
  5. Add the egg mixture to the pan and turn down the heat.
  6. As the egg cooks move it over to allow the uncooked portion to contact the pan
  7. When it is almost set turn off the heat and allow the scrambled egg to finish cooking.
  8. Serve with toast and a cup of coffee. IMG_3102


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[Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce]

A new breakfast to start the day with a zing.   I really like this one.
Adapted from Saveur , who say it is an Israeli dish of  Libyan origin.  Others say it is Tunisian, or simply North African.  There are various recipes on line, with various ingredients.   I chose this one, with a necessary adaption or two occasioned by singleness and remoteness.

The toast in the picture is my Pumpkin & Seed Bread.  I have no pita. I am pitaless as well as defetaed.   Hence the Blue Vein.  Serendipity.

This recipe is intended to serve two*.


  • olive oil for frying
  • 3-5 chillies seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried garlic flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 eggs*
  • feta cheese, crumbled (or blue vein – for some excitement) (my adaption!)
  • Chopped parsley  (Alas – I only have dried parsley but fresh would be best).
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How ’tis done

  1. Fry onions and chillies in oil over medium-high heat until soft and golden brown
  2.  Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook about 2  minutes more
  3. Add crushed tomatoes and  liquid
  4. Rinse out the can with 1/2 cup water and add to the pan
  5. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens a little
  6. Taste and season if necessary
  7. Crack the eggs into the sauce, cover the pan and poach the eggs in the sauce until the yolks are how you like them.  Baste the whites with hot sauce.
  8. Serve with pita bread  toast. Garnish with feta Blue Vein and parsley .


This is a really good, satisfying, healthy breakfast.  The Blue vein goes well with the spicy sauce and egg.  Try it!

*Being single, I cooked only two eggs.  I  keep half the sauce until the next day, when I reheat it and add two more eggs.  


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