Out with the old

05 Jan 2017
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to add some new tastes to your favourite family recipes. Bring in the new in 2017 by adding some pizzazz to your everyday dishes.

Are you stuck in a cooking rut? It’s common to recycle the same dishes over and over but at some point your taste buds will crave something new. Maybe it’s time to shake things up in the new year.

Whether it’s trying new recipes or simply adding fresh flavours to your standard go-to meals, it’s easy to add some zing to your cooking. Simply look some of the food trends being used by some of today’s top chefs.

Ancient grains

Move over white rice; ancient grains are taking over the table. Whether as a side dish or incorporated into a recipe, ancient grains like buckwheat, quinoa, millet and oats are nutrient-dense alternatives that bring a fresh twist and texture to meals. Adding ancient grains is an easy way to jazz up foods and increase your family’s intake of whole grains.

Superior eggs

Not all eggs are created equal so look for options with superior flavour and nutrition to boost your kitchen creations. Compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs contain five times more vitamin D, more than double the amount of Omega-3s, 10 times more vitamin E, three times more vitamin B12 and 25 percent less saturated fat. In addition, independent testing confirms Eggland’s Best eggs have stronger shells, and stay fresher for longer than ordinary eggs so your recipes will be extra tasty.


Many people use marinades to influence the flavour profiles of foods but an alternative is gaining momentum: brines. Soaking meats like turkey and chicken for up to a day in salt solutions not only adds flavour but also helps to seal moisture into these lean foods. Customise a brine with chopped citrus fruit and herbs like rosemary and bay leaf. Bitter vegetables, such as eggplant, can benefit from a dry brine made from course salt and other herbs.

Meal swaps

Top chefs and home cooks alike are bucking tradition by serving traditional foods at non-traditional times. Breakfast for dinner? The kids will love the fun change. A dinner casserole for breakfast? What a warm and satisfying way to start the day. Get creative by trying different dishes throughout the day to keep everyone guessing what’s coming next. 


Johnny Cakes and Lobster Eggs Benedict


Johnny Cakes

  • 1 cup stone ground white corn meal
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter for greasing pan

Maple Brown Butter

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 4 eggs (large)
  • 225g cooked lobster meat, pulled into pieces
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


  • Combine the cornmeal, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the corn kernels.
  • Pour in boiling water and whisk into a dry mixture. Combine the butter and vanilla in a small bowl then stir into a batter. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat an electric or 18cm non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. When hot, lightly grease with a little butter.
  • Using a soup spoon, drop the batter into the frying pan, making circles of 9-12cm circles in diameter. It should make about eight. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until slightly brown on edges and golden. Turn and cook for five more minutes until golden.
  • For the Maple Brown Butter, melt four tablespoons of butter into a 20cm frying pan on a medium-low heat. Cook and watch carefully until it turns frothy and slightly brown. Remove from the heat immediately. Stir in the maple syrup and tarragon.
  • Meanwhile, bring four cups of water to a simmer in a 24cm non-stick frying pan. Carefully crack the eggs, one at a time, into the low simmering water. Poach for about three minutes.
  • Dip the lobster meat into the poaching water for 30 seconds to heat, and then remove.
  • Place and overlap two Johnny Cakes onto each plate.
  • Place one egg onto two Johnny Cakes. Top with equal portions of lobster and drizzle the maple brown butter over all.
  • Sprinkle on parsley and serve.

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