Another rough day at work and wishing for a sumptuous dinner. Sister says want beef the night before. Nice beef tenderloin defrosting whilst at work. Everyone arrives home and demand to be fed.
45 Mins Dinner Challenge:
1 Beef Tenderloin – Rubbed with Olive Oil and Smashed garlic with salt into a puree
Package of Pasta from Italy
Home Made Tomato Puree (Roasted Tomatoes and crushed)
Home Grown Basil from Garden
Salt & Pepper
Heat Pan to HIGH. Use non burning oil, I used Rice bran. Sear Beef on all sides – 3 Mins on each side, lower and cover pan for 5 mins. Reheat to high and sear again on all sides (pouring off juices to make gravy) Cover and set aside.
At the same time I have boiled a medium salted water and threw in the dried pasta. This type takes around 9 mins to cook on the pack. I turned of the heat at 6. And took pot of stove. In another pan, heated the tomato sauce, threw in the beef drippings and flavored with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar to help balance the acid.
Drain pasta and mix with sauce. I find that if you time pasta correctly you can turn it off the heat before cooking time is over but this takes experience and lots of mistakes on my part. I find that you dont need to add any more pasta water as the pasta has water in them.
Slice beef and place on pasta, sprinkle basil to each person’s liking and serve. Usually i serve with thin slices but Sister said she was hungry.
Guaranteed it was soft and tender. Was hoping for leftovers but everyone devoured it. Completely. Happy Tummy, Happy Family.
The abundance of good street food in Thailand has helped many Mothers buy in quick dinners at affordable costs. Noodles, Rice, Congee and other local delights are available in every suburb and neighborhood. 10 Hour working days are more than enough to make any work and homebody cringe. I accepted a challenge to create a quick dinner within 3o mins as a replacement for the usual street eats that we buy in.
I thawed my frozen pork chops in the fridge before i left for work, these i marinated in a bit of mirrin, salt and pepper the week before. Please cook with thawed chops cooking from frozen makes it hard to ensure even cooking inside the pork chops. Place them a 2-3 mins on each side to get a nice sear, add in 1/3 cup of water and close lid.
I placed a pork chop on a toasted thick toast (Crispy on outside and pillowy soft inside) and place a in a warm oven to wait for other ingredients. Good for allowing the juices to return to the pork chop.
Tam leung or aka ivy gourd is a hand picked vegetable sold in local markets in Thailand and other neighboring SE Asia. The taste and texture is similar to a mild spinach,a good training for kids who are vary of spinach. For those who do not have XO sauce – a died scallop (conpoy), dried shrimp garlic and chilli sauce popular with Hongkong Cuisine just use the tomato puree, salt,pepper and garlic.. I had some in my fridge which i briefly stir fried with some tomato puree. Top on pork chop and return to warm oven.
Top with a free range organic fried egg with runny insides and cheese if preferred. I sprinkled a mix of mozzarella and gouda when the it was resting in the oven which melted when i finished my fried egg.
There you have it a quick home cooked dinner which was quite enjoyed by everyone in the family.
Looking through the fridge there was an assortment of leftovers bits of this and bits of that. Some udon, pumpkin, roasted eggplant and bacon. Dinner time in 30 mins let’s create a semi healthy stir fry.
Started with the bacon, I tried to remove as much fat as possible and then added in the pumpkin which i cut into small pieces to mesh into a thick gooey sauce to coat the noodles. A quick spin of Kampot pepper, salt and olive oil and the piping hot udon which i boiled for 5 mins was added in. It still had some water in the noodles so i it helped make the sauce more light, quick chopsticks and wrist action to coat the noodles. Last sprinkling of pepper, chilli flakes, and a quick snip of spring onions from my pot and ready to go.
I think quick meals are possible, incorporating vegetables into our diet is also quite important, I can’t claim to be miss healthy but I think baby steps!
The udon was firm and chewy, the pumpkin added a nice sweetness to the dish while the bacon helped with the savory and salty. The eggplant was just another texture, spongy mushroom like. The spring onion was the bit of green, i didn’t use any garlic or onions as i wanted each of the flavours in the pot to shine, garlic and onion usually dominates in simple dishes and i wanted only flavours of the 5 ingredients to really have their own part. Everyone liked the colors and balance of flavours. Leftovers done, let’s see next week!
Traveling during work always makes me homesick on the 4th or 5th day. At nice hotels they always have egg stations which offer a choice of poached, fried, scrambled or the stuffed omelet. Now the usual omelet if you’re not from thailand would be in a long wormy shape, nice and yellow and undercooked in the middle with a plethora of stuffings. In thailand we have our own omelet which is everyones favorite dish, be it at home or in a restaurant this dish is emptied out first. How to make your own? You need a hot pan and hot oil, because you want your egg to brown and have crispy spots. Do not put in too much stuffing because your egg would break andn it would resemble a brown scrambled egg. Trust me i’ve fallen prey to this one too many times. I used 3 eggs, half a tomato, 6 minced shrimps and some kale. Beat it all up together until foamy, you want lots of air inside so it becomes nice and fluffy. I used a table spoon of soy sauce and a sprinkle of white pepper. Drop a few drops of egg into the oil, if it bubbles up then the oil if hot enough. Pour everything in and let it bubble for a 2 minutes, when the bottom is firm enough quickly flip it over and cook until golden brown. Serve with siracha sauce with congee, or hot rice. Easy dinner. Done… PS: Every kid loves this… really….
Breakfast is always considered important to me, and with the luxury of working rather late i have time in the mornings to cook up something yummy. This morning rummaging up with some odds and ends, i had a leftover white flour tortilla which i heated on the pan before frying my egg. Notice how firm the white is, it really is simple, the fresher the egg, the better it holds it’s shape. I mashed up an avocado with lime, garlic, birds eye chilli and come coriander. Looking in the fridge i had some leftover parma ham… Serious it sounds so weird.. But it was delish. The guacamole gave the creamy, limey and chilli hit, combined with the salty of the ham and piping hot egg on top. I didn’t need anymore salt, just a sprinkling of black pepper and off to work i goooo!
Returning from a holiday from the Baltics my mom carried back with her a huge half salmon gravlax. Since i had steamed some brown rice i felt eating it raw would match, it was a busy week and i didn’t grocery shop so my fridge was bare and nothing to pair it with. So out came my trust pan, heated high and then a slash of rice bran oil, skin side down and flipped over. (My shallots were caramelizing 10 minutes earlier) The skin was crispy and delicious. Now with my previous trips to Cambodia brought back jars of kampot pepper, and yes it has a deeper aroma than normal peppercorns, and slices of lime for decoration and wedges for squeezing. Luckily i didn’t salt the fish, i suspected that curing would mean it has quite a bit of salt into it and yes it was salty. Great for mixing with hot rice though, but now i’m wondering how much salt does cured or smoked salmon have? It doesn’t taste salty raw but when cooked all the brine just comes out!! Interesting… Yum….
Life’s simple… Freshly steamed crab, dig out all the yummy brown meat, some chicken stock, garlic, carmelised onions, black pepper corns and some salt. Pour everything back in the shell, arrange artfully or in my case not so artfully on a white plate. Garnish with dill fronds and serve… Dig in….. YUM!!!
Stumbling upon copy cat recipes of White Castle Sliders on the internet, i was curious to see how different “steaming” a patty was to grilling a patty. We were all taught to believe that the caramelisation from grilling adds flavor so let’s try it out. I actually tweaked the recipe a little bit, i grilled the chopped onions with salted butter and a bit of olive oil with white pepper on medium low heat for about 10 minutes. My beef patty was a mixture of chuck, brisket and lean mince with a bit of salt, pepper and paprika. I didn’t take any pictures but i shaped it into little squares and froze it (30 mins) with holes poked into it like white castle. I used 2 types of bread, a soft buttery bread and a hot dog bun cut into squares. In goes the bread in the mini oven and i placed the beef patties on the onion, and steamed fried it for 2 – 3 mins on each side and assembled it with a little dijon mustard and kewpie mayo. I like lettuce, tomato and a pickle on my mini burger so thats how i assembled mine. The buttery buns were my favorite although the bread was really soft and squishy… I think it depends on people’s tastes. The beef was juicy and flavorful, i think the best is to find a good butcher, choose the cuts of meat and ask them to mince it for you… Yum! It was juicy without being too oily, at first i was a bit frightened with all the fat chunks in the meat but it made the beef nice and juicy. Small Burgers are easy to eat and it doesn’t go cold before you finish it. Plus you can change the dressings and veggies with every one you eat!