The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Riding the cafe wave

Meanwhile back at the ranch in Albany Creek, staff are welcoming guests with all-day breakfast

- Review ANOOSKA TUCKER-EVANS

We might not have been able to see them, but under the mandatory COVID-safe masks they were there. Warm smiles – welcoming us in to the recently opened White Horse Ranch cafe in Albany Creek in Brisbane’s north.

There’s some serious experience and solid training behind the staff at the casual eatery, who exude profession­alism and create an air of calm among the chaos of a busy cafe.

Sure, diners may have to queue for a table but once inside the competent crew has you feeling like you’re in safe hands.

Adding another layer of comfort to the experience is the decor. Previously a Fritzenber­ger burger joint, the indoor-outdoor space has been given a modern and detailed makeover inspired by an American ranch

(hence the name) with grey, distressed wood across the counter, dark timber-look floors, rattan hanging pendants and a small gift shop area down one end filled with knick-knacks like bowls, baskets and dried flowers from local artisans and suppliers. The interior is elegant and inviting, while the stable-like outdoor area with its astroturfe­d, dog-friendly section is ideal for families and children who need a bit more space without the danger of knocking over a vase or shelf full of scented diffusers in the shop.

Kids are also taken care of on the menu front thanks to a handful of dishes, including bacon and eggs and chicken and chips.

As for the adults, breakfast is an all-day affair of classics, think Benedict, a big breakfast and

In a chowder, corn is usually paired with potatoes to add creaminess and body, but I use cauliflowe­r here instead. It keeps the soup a little lighter than the potato version.

The basil, spring onion, green chilli and peanut topping makes this soup sing. The often-wasted cauliflowe­r leaves are crisped up in the pan, too, like kale. You could use other nuts, and coriander would work in place of basil, if you like.

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the leek and a good pinch of salt, then cook for 5-10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Next, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the cauliflowe­r florets, keeping the leaves for later. Add all but a handful of the corn, a good pinch of salt, the coconut milk, stock cube or powder and two coconut milk tins’ worth (800ml) of hot water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. It’s ready when the cauliflowe­r is soft throughout and the soup has thickened a little.

Blend with a handheld blender until it’s about half liquid and half still textured. Add a little lemon juice and a good grinding of black pepper. Taste, adding more salt, pepper and lemon as needed.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add a little oil and then the remaining corn, sliced green chilli and spring onions, along with the shredded cauli leaves. Cook until the corn is charred and the leaves deep green and wilted.

Serve this on top of the soup with picked basil leaves, a final scattering of peanuts and a drizzle of olive oil.

 ??  ?? Ingredient­s
2 tbs olive oil
1 leek, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
½ a large cauliflowe­r (about 500g) cut into small florets, leaves shredded
4 corn on the cob, kernels removed, (or 500g tinned/frozen kernels)
400ml tin coconut milk
1 tsp vegetable stock powder or ½ a stock cube
Juice of ½ an unwaxed lemon
For the topping
1 green chilli, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, sliced 1 bunch of basil Handful of roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly crushed A little olive oil, for frying and to serve
Ingredient­s 2 tbs olive oil 1 leek, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced ½ a large cauliflowe­r (about 500g) cut into small florets, leaves shredded 4 corn on the cob, kernels removed, (or 500g tinned/frozen kernels) 400ml tin coconut milk 1 tsp vegetable stock powder or ½ a stock cube Juice of ½ an unwaxed lemon For the topping 1 green chilli, thinly sliced 4 spring onions, sliced 1 bunch of basil Handful of roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly crushed A little olive oil, for frying and to serve

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