Thursday 29 September 2011

Orange Chili Beef

It seems that Asian food has been a theme with my meals lately, but it’s just so convenient to whip up a stir-fry in a hurry. As much as I wanted to use loads of vegetables in this recipe I restrained and just used a few and it came out absolutely delicious. So enjoy!

350g (~12 oz. or so) beef strips
3 carrots
1 whole bunch of spring onions
200 g button mushrooms
2 tbsp. corn flour (corn starch)
¼ c light soy sauce
¼ c water (possibly more)
½ beef stock cube
½ tsp. dried chili flakes
1 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. honey
Garlic puree
Juice of one orange
Orange part of the rind from one orange
2 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying

To start:

Start by sprinkling the corn starch over the beef and completely covering it with the corn starch, place in the fridge while you gather your other ingredients.
Peel and slice the carrots, spring onions and mushrooms. Set Aside.

Make the sauce:

With a sharp knife, carve around the orange and get all the orange rind off without getting the white part. Slice into tiny strips and add to a bowl
Next add to a bowl the juice of the entire orange.
To that add the honey, fish sauce, soy sauce, water, beef stock cube, and garlic puree and mix well to incorporate.

To cook:
In a large skillet heat oil until hot.
Add the beef and fry till half of the meat is browned, making sure to separate your strips well.
Then add the carrots and spring onions. Saute for a further 5 minutes until the beef is caramelizing and turning golden.
Next add the mushrooms, continue for about 3-5 more minutes.
Add the sauce and stir, to incorporate.
If it begins to thicken up too much add a little extra water to thin it out.
Serve over rice or vermicelli noodles.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Colors of the Rainbow Chicken Stir-Fry

This is the stir fry I accompanied with my light stir fried rice. The ingredients are objective and you can use whatever you have. The sauce as well, it’s just a guide to help creativity. I do use a lot of ingredients but I happen to buy a lot of ingredients that all build up flavour to make things taste delicious. I’ve attached photos of the veg I used as well as for the sauce so that anyone can see what goes in. This is also great vegetarian. So here goes!

Stir-fry Ingredients:
300-400g chicken fillets
200g (~1c) Sliced mushroom, any of your choice
1 rib of celery
½ onion
½ red pepper
½ yellow pepper
2 small carrots
Runner beans/ mange tout/ sugar snap peas – whichever you like
1/8th head of cabbage
1 thumb sized knob of fresh ginger

Asian Sauce: (none of these measurements have to be exact)

¼ c light soy sauce
½ c (~100mls) water
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp. corn flour (corn starch)
1 ½ siracha hot chili sauce (make it as spicy as you’d like)
½ tbsp. rice wine (mirin)
½ tbsp. garlic puree (if you don’t have it just use regular garlic)
½ tsp. dried chili flakes
½ tsp. ground ginger
2 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying

To Start:
Blend all the seasonings and spices together for the sauce and let sit.
Slice the onion, peppers, celery, ginger, carrot, mushroom, cabbage into whatever sizes you like and set aside.
Slice chicken breasts in small slices for fast cooking, set aside.

To cook:
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok, when hot add the chicken and fry till almost cooked through.
Next add all of the vegetables and stir fry in the pan till about 50% soft.
Add the sauce over the veg, if it begins to thicken too much add some extra water.
Cook for 5 minutes and serve over egg fried rice!

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Lamb Moussaka with Courgettes

Moussaka is a dish found in many Mediterranean areas including Greece, and I’ve only eaten it at Greek restaurants. I have always wanted to try to make it, and in this case I replaced the traditional aubergine with only courgettes, because it’s what I had at the time, and this came out to be a really lovely meal accompanied by peas, but I do think some roast potatoes would go along nicely. It freezes well. Or serves 4.

500g lean lamb mince (~1lb)
3 courgettes (zucchini)
1 large onion
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. flour (divided half and half)
1 Packet Coleman’s savory white sauce mix OR white sauce recipe (see below)
1 egg yolk
½ c. grated cheddar cheese

Simple White Sauce:

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 ½ c milk (~300mls)
Salt and pepper
touch nutmeg if you have it

To Start:
With a sharp knife ), slice the courgette lengthwise as thin as you can get (if you’re not sure do thin round slices).
Place the courgettes in a colander and salt liberally so moisture is released.
Dice onion and garlic, set aside.

To Cook:
In a large pan, sauté the mince lamb with the onion, garlic, basil, cinnamon and oregano.
When completely brown, try to lean the pan out and spoon some of the grease into the bin.
After most of the grease is gone add the canned tomatoes and 1 tbsp. flour.
Stew for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

To Make the White sauce (with packet):

While the mince is cooking, follow directions on the white sauce packet, see below for cream sauce from scratch.
When the white sauce has come together and thickened, add 1 egg yolk and half of the grated cheese.
Set aside.

To Assemble:
After draining some of the liquid off the zucchini, rinse thoroughly and pat dry to remove salt.
In a shallow casserole dish or baking pan, begin layering the zucchini with the mince lamb mixture until both the courgettes and lamb mixture are used up.
Make sure to layer to leave ½ at the top of the dish.
Carefully pour the white sauce over the top of the casserole.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Cook in a 170C (350F) oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

White Sauce topping: (If no packet)
Melt butter in a pan.
Add the flour and mix thoroughly until a paste.
Move that paste around in the pan for 1-2 minutes on a low-medium heat just to get some of the flour flavor off.
Slowly add 300ml (~1 ½ c milk), and stir with a whisk to ensure no lumps (may need a bit more milk to thin it out).
When thickened add half the cheese and yolk.
Continue with the recipe above.

Addendum: I have since revised this recipe with potatoes on May 7, 2014 Moussaka with Courgettes and Potatoes

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Easy-Peasy (Lightly) Fried Rice

Of course this isn’t the normal heavy heavy fried rice you typically think about when you think "fried rice", but I was making a stir-fry and wanted something a little more exciting to accompany it besides the boring old plain rice. Enjoy this, I will post another delicious stir-fry soon.

2 c cooked cold white rice
1 large lightly beaten egg
Handful of shredded cabbage (optional)
½ c frozen peas
1 medium onion
2-3 tbsp. light soy sauce
½ tsp. ginger (optional)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Note: It’s good to cook the rice the day before, or use leftover white rice. The firmer texture holds up better during the refrying process.

To Start:
Dice onion very fine, along with cabbage if you’re using it. Set aside.
Lightly beat your egg in a separate bowl.

To Cook:
Heat oil in a large pan until hot.
Add the onions, cabbage, peas and dried ginger. Sauté about 3-5 minutes until onions are soft.
Add the rice; flatten out in the pan to get a good sear.
Add the soy sauce and the egg and mix to incorporate thoroughly.

Enjoy this on its own as a main meal adding shrimp or leftover chicken, or as a side to a stir-fry.

Monday 19 September 2011

Baked Meatballs

I just threw together this recipe because I had some pork mince in the freezer as well as some leftover marinara sauce. It’s a very simple meal to cook with very easy clean-up, low in calories when prepared with the right mince. Enjoy!

500g lean pork mince (1lb – you could use any other type of mince as long as it’s lean)
½ onion
¼ green pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. ketchup (eye ball it)
1/3 c bread crumbs
1 egg
Salt + Pepper
Garlic Powder (garlic paste works great too)

To start:
Dice green pepper, and onion and put into a medium bowl.
Add the mince, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings; mix well.

To cook:
Preheat the oven to ~170C (350F).
Spray with oil a muffin tin with at least 12 cups in it.
Roll the meat mixture in to balls and drop one in each cup.
Continue until mixture is finished.
Place in the oven and cook for 30-45minutes.
Serve over pasta with your favourite sauce, or add into a sandwich, the possibilities are endless.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Crispy Corn Flake "Fried" Chicken

Well, I know I love fried chicken. The crispy skin and the juicy flesh melting in your mouth…I have been craving a delicious piece lately and I wanted to tighten up the recipe and thin it down so it’s not pouring with grease. Not much preparation in this, just batter and pop in the oven for one hour. Enjoy!

500g chicken (1lb) – thighs, and drums
1 egg
1 c flour
½ c milk
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 c corn flakes
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

To Start:
Set out two bowls; in one bowl mix together milk, egg, flour, spices and blend together until smooth.
In the other bowl, crush cornflakes and add salt and pepper.

To cook:
Preheat your oven to about 170F (350C)
Line a cookie sheet with foil.
Dip your chicken in the flour and egg mixture and let drip to take off some of the excess, next roll in the corn flakes and set on the cookie sheet. Repeat this with the remaining chicken.
Bake for about 1 hr. Poke with a fork to make sure the juices are running clear.

If you want to be true to the south, you should serve with smashed potatoes and corn on the cob. Enjoy!

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Easy Stewed Tomatoes and Okra

Easy Stewed Tomatoes and Okra

Back home I used to get cans of stewed tomatoes, and I miss them, there’s only a slight difference between regular canned tomatoes and the stewed. They are stewed with peppers, celery and onions. It makes it convenient to add extra level of flavour without doing anything yourself! I remember I used to always heat up a can and then add a bag of frozen okra. I’ve tried to recreate it and it’s a great side dish or would be a great main dish if you add chicken or prawns, over rice. Enjoy.

1 400g can chopped tomatoes (Any kind)
400g frozen bag chopped okra
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
½ green pepper
½ tsp. cumin
½ vegetable stock cube
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil

To Start:
Dice onions, pepper, garlic. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pan until hot.
When hot add onions, pepper, and garlic.
Sautee for about 5 minutes, until they soften.

To finish:
Add the tomatoes, okra, stock cube, and seasonings.
Cover and let stew down for about 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot, over rice, or as a side dish to any main.