Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beef Rendang from Bill's Asian

Added some extra liquid towards the end of the cooking time to make it more saucy and curry like.
Probably needs more chilli next time. 


We've been searching for a perfect goulash recipe for a while now. This recipe was the closest we've got so far.

The link has a great explanation of the traditional vrs non traditional elements of the recipe which is really interesting. 

Felicity Cloake's perfect goulash

(serves 4)
600g shin of beef (or chuck steak if unavailable)
3 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp lard
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, cut into rounds
Juice of 1 lemon
150ml sour cream (optional)
Chives (optional)
Cut the beef into large chunks. Mix the paprika, flour, salt and caraway seeds together in a bowl then add the beef and toss to coat. Heat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
Melt the lard in a heavy-based casserole dish over a medium-high heat, and then brown the meat in batches, being very careful not to crowd the pan. Remove when golden and crusted, and set aside.
Scrape the bottom of the pan and add the onions and pepper, adding a little more fat if necessary. Cook until soft and starting to brown, then pick out the peppers and set aside. Stir the remaining flour and spice mixture into the onions and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Return the beef to the pan and add water just to cover. Scrape the bottom of the pan again, then put in the oven for 2.5 hours.
Stir the peppers and lemon juice into the goulash and cook for another half hour, or until the meat is very tender - you can remove the lid to let the sauce reduce if you like. Check the seasoning, then dollop the sour cream, if using, on top of the goulash and snip the chives over it all before serving with crushed boiled potatoes or egg noodles.

We made it this time with lamb and only cooked it for an hour, 30mins before adding the lemon juice and peppers and then 30mins after adding them. 

Next time we want to use beef and cook it in the slow cooker from the point where you would put it in the oven. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tandoori Lamb with Sweet Onion Rice

For me there's something about lamb. Maybe it's because we only had it infrequently when growing up. Maybe it's because when you cook it right you get a meat that's incredibly tender. Maybe it's because it adds such a depth of flavour to a meal all buy itself. Whatever it is some of my favourite dishes are lamb ones. This dish is something we eat all the time. It's a big winner with both of us both for the flavour and for the ease with which it comes together. The tandoori coupled with the spiced rice mix together during cooking to make a blending of sweet and spice which is fantastic. And it all comes together in the time it takes to cook the rice, awesome.

Tandoori Lamb with Sweet Onion Rice
Adapted from Donna Hay's No Time to Cook
Serves 4

400gr lamb forequarter roast (cubed)
2 medium brown onions (cut into wedges)
5 cloves garlic (sliced)
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups chicken stock
3 tsp tandoori paste
1 green capsicum (diced)
1/4 tsp extra cumin
1/4 tsp extra garam masala

In a saucepan heat 1 tbsp canola oil over a medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and fry for 1 minute, add cumin and garam masala and cook for 30 seconds mixing well. Add rice and cook for a further minute. Add chicken stock, bring to boil and then cover and simmer on low.

Meanwhile add lamb and tandoori paste to a non stick fry pan. Stir well to coat and then fry over a high heat for 2 minutes. Add lamb to rice. Cook until all water has been absorbed. Remove saucepan from heat and leave to rest covered. Meanwhile place capsicum and extra spices in non stick fry pan. Stir well to coat and then cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add capsicum to rice and lamb and stir through. Serve.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stir fried soba with green beans

This is not a complicated meal. It's about as time consuming as it is complicated. This is the sort of meal that I make in less than 15 minutes for a really quick lunch comprised of what I have in the cupboard. This meal uses only one pot, yay for less cleaning.

This is also by no means a traditional dish. It's some kind of weird Japanese and Chinese mix which is really not either. I'm just going to say it now, I love soba, traditional soba served cold with soba sauce and a sprinkling of seaweed and sesame seeds. I remember the first time I had it was from a food van in small provincial town in Japan. I was 16 and staying with a host family and struggling through conversations with some really rudimentary Japanese. But there's something about food that's universal and I'll always remember sitting together and getting to know these people over cold soba and being told to slurp louder. In summer I'll make myself a big bowl and slurp away, Japanese style.

This is not that dish but it gives me a new way to enjoy soba, when it's colder and I feel more like something warming. 

Stir Fried Soba with Green Beans
Serves 1

1 serve soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
1 garlic clove (diced)
1 tsp diced ginger
1 handful green beans (chopped)
1 1/2 tsp dark soy
3 tsp light soy
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add soba and simmer uncovered for 5 mins or until cooked. Meanwhile chop the garlic, ginger and beans. Combine the sauces, chilli powder and black pepper. Strain noodles and rinse with cold water. 

In the same pot you cooked the noodles in, fry the onion and garlic in 1 tsp canola oil. When the garlic begins to brown add the beans and cook for a further minute. Add the soba and the sauce mix and stir through. Cook for 30 seconds and then serve. I had mine with a bowl of miso.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spicy Chicken with Quinoa Patties

Until a couple of weeks ago I had never made quinoa. I'd read a lot about it and seen it on some of my favourite blogs but hadn't gotten around to trying it out myself. I'm always a little skeptical of trendy grains, you hear lots of people talking about this or that grain that you must eat and I always wonder if they are actually going to taste good enough to be worth the extra effort of finding them and often the extra money to buy them over say rice or cous cous. My boyfriend and I are trying to eat healthier, better proportioned meals though so when I saw this recipe from Joy the Baker it reminded me that I should give quinoa a go despite my skepticism. I was thinking that if the woman who created these things of delicious evil could get behind it then so could I. 

So I made up these patties from 101Cookbooks with some additions and subtractions according to what I had/could buy from the limited selection in supermarkets in the centre of Sydney. When it comes to healthy tasty food, Heidi from 101Cookbooks has it all worked out and this recipe baked up really nicely and was shared with many family friends. My boyfriend and Mum ate the leftovers and I'm told they gain a lot when served cold. This recipe made MANY patties.

This time I wanted to try some different flavours because I feel like quinoa can handle them. I went for a blend of some of my favourite flavours, fried onions and garlic with herbs and cheese is pretty much a staple around here. I paired them with a grilled chicken dish which I normally make to go into fajitas. It's mildly spicy with no burn and some soft garlicky flavours to accompany the chilli. It was delicious and I think I prefer this version of the patties. I'm sure there will be many more experiments to come.

Spicy Garlic Chicken with Quinoa Patties
Serves 4 (Quinoa adapted from 101Cookbooks)

Spicy Garlic Chicken

2 large chicken thighs (cut into strips)
6 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 lemon (juiced)
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix all ingredients excepting the chicken into a paste. Marinate for 2 hours or more. Grill or BBQ.

Onion and Parmesan Quinoa Patties

1 cup quinoa
1 white onion (finely diced)
3 - 4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbsp dried thyme 
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 eggs 
3 tbsp milk

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3/4 cup bread crumbs

Place quinoa in a sauce pan with 1 2/3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and then simmer on low until quinoa is tender. Leave to cool.

Over a medium heat fry onion, add garlic, thyme and pepper when onion is translucent and cook until onion and garlic are beginning to brown. Leave to cool.

Beat eggs with milk and set aside. Add salt, parmesan and breadcrumbs to onion mixture and stir well to combine. Add quinoa and gently stir through making sure ingredients are well distributed. Pour over egg mixture and stir through. If the mixture is too dry, add a couple of tbsp of water to the mixture, you want it to be fairly moist. 

Preheat oven to 200C. Using damp hands form mixture into patties and place onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes turning after 20mins. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pork Mince & Green Bean Stirfry

We eat a lot of asian food, it's not that we don't like and appreciate other cuisine types it just ends up that way. Most days as a meal time approaches one of will ask 'Asian or Non?' Asian wins probably more than it's fair share.  It might be the quick prep and cooking times, the flavour packed dishes or the light feel that most dishes have, whatever the reason it has always been something I've cooked a lot of. Over time I've built up a fair repertoire of dishes from stir frys to currys, they've been adapted over time to suit growing skill and changing preferences. I'd guess that none of them are traditional in the slightest but adaptation is the fun of cooking.

The dish above is a fairly recent addition. I started messing around with it about mid way through last year and have been tweaking it since. It's inspired by a Sichuan dish of green beans with pork mince which I often find served as a side at Northern Chinese places where the mince plays more of a supporting role to the beans. I turned it into more of a stir fry by merging it with one of my favorite sauce mixes and increasing the amount of mince. The result is a dry stir fry which still has quite a high vegetable to meat quotient. It's also a new favourite for dinner.

Pork Mince & Green Bean Stirfry
Serves 4

250 grams pork mince
4 handfuls green beans (sliced into 2cm pieces)
4 lrg garlic cloves (sliced)
4 shallots (sliced)

1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 tsp dark soy
5 tsp light soy
4 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp chilli powder

Mix together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. In a wok, fry garlic and shallots until shallots are wilted and garlic is beginning to brown. Add pork mince, trying to break up the mince as much as possible, and fry until cooked through. Add sauce and bean and fry until sauce is completely absorbed and beans are cooked to your liking.

Serve with steamed rice.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Starting over

So I did a small swatch of the lace pattern for the scarf and realised I was noticeably off. I'm a bit further along than in this picture, I've been knitting a row every now and then and sometimes a little more in the evening. It was a little painful to frog it all but I'm glad I did it.