Beef meat roll

A while back I read a recipe online that sounded really interesting so I decided I’d try it out.

I halved and further adapted this recipe and it was really yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 500g minced meat (I used beef)
  • 1 egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ham
  • cheese
  • carrot strips
  • spring onion
  • extra veg if desired, to serve.

Tools:

  • aluminium foil
  • oven tray
  • mixing bowl

Method:

  1. Mix the mince, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, etc. in a bowl.
  2. Lay the mixture out on an aluminium foil-lined oven tray.
  3. Then start layering!

Uncooked unrolled beef roll is laid out on foil on an oven tray. Beef mince is hidden under layers of ham then cheese then carrot strips and finally spring onion.

  1. Using the foil, carefully roll it up into a log-shape then put it in the oven.
    a) Cooking time will vary according to oven power and temperature but occurs in two stages, one with foil (25 mins at 180 °C) then without (25 mins at 250-260 °C). Times are according to the online recipe and I seem to recall mine took longer because my oven is dodgy.
  2. While it’s cooking steam some extra veggies if you desire.
  3. Eat! I had enough for leftovers.

 

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Recipe Time Again: Steak

I fell out of the habit of posting recipes for meals, which is a shame because I’ve only got pictures of some interesting creations now. Photos aren’t always enough to describe something new or experimental.

I’m going through the photos – I labelled a bunch the other night with their “meal” names in the “Food” folder of my Photos section. Time for more sharing… I am actually going to try to catch up a bit now and then stay caught up.

I’ve learnt how to do a nice steak, especially when marinated with garlic and mixed herbs in a couple of ways.

An uncooked piece of steak sits on a red chopping board with garlic and mixed herbs smeared liberally over it.

The first way is the pic above – grab your steak and put it on a flat surface then smear each side liberally with garlic and mixed herbs. It’s easiest to do one side on the flat surface before cooking, then heat up your oil/ etc. and put that side down to cook first. You’re left with one un-prepared side facing up at you which you then prep in the pan. This minimises wastage.

 

Two pieces of delicious steak frying in garlic butter in a small black non-stick frypan.

Next we have this pic above. I’m not sure if it’s got mixed herbs on it because as you can see the prepared side would be face-down. I do know that there’s garlic there because I’ve chosen here to put the garlic in first before the meat, while the margarine I used was melting. I know it’s margarine, not oil because of the colour.

Cooked steak with fried potato wedges and steamed cut veggies (orange carrot, purple cabbage, white cauliflower, green silverbeet) sits on a round white plate with green edging

Finally the finished meal. Steamed veggies (fifteen minutes in a steamer pot), fried potato wedges (also with mixed herbs on them by the looks) and a nicely-cooked steak.

I read of a method a while ago that you can also find online. Basically: for a 2-cm-thick steak, cook each side 2-3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium and 5-6 minutes for well done. Turn it only once. I favour cooking it for between 4-5 minutes. Very yummy.

It has made me think about cooking times and turning when cooking other meats. I usually only do one turn now, unless I’ve misjudged how long the meat needs which happens. I’m also trying to remember that when steaming veggies I need to look at my watch and take them off after fifteen minutes or else they become a bit overcooked.

 

 

Veggie Gravy

A while ago I had a few veggies I wanted to use up. So I found a recipe for veggie gravy.

Looks yum, right? The pink colour is due to the veggies I used.

Ingredients:

  • margarine
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Garlic
  • flour
  • soy sauce
  • water
  • salt and pepper

Tools:

  • Pot/frypan
  • Stirring spoon

Method:

  1. Melt margarine and cook onions and garlic until golden brown.
  2. Add flour gradually and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
  3. Still stirring, add soy sauce and water.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Reduce until gravy reaches desired thickness.

Recipe: Rice Pudding

So a while ago I decided to make rice pudding. I was running low on breakfast stuff and figured that rice pudding had to be kinda like a porridge. Which it is, but a bit sweeter than I usually have that. I found a recipe and played around with it.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of rice
  • 1L of milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Seasoning – I used mixed herbs I think, the original recipe used nutmeg and vanilla essence
  • 1/3 can chickpeas (I needed to use them up)

Tools:

  • Saucepan
  • Stirring spoon
  • Container to store finished pudding in

Method:

  1. Place the milk, rice, chickpeas and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  3. Add the sugar and stir through mixed herbs if desired. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil again. Boil for a further 2 minutes or until the rice is soft and the mixture thickens.

It was very yummy.

Burger patty creations (& 2nd mushroom gravy recipe)

A while ago (back in April) I road-tested a mushroom gravy recipe and mentioned that I’d try a second one I’d found “the next time I had mushrooms”. Given that a friend told me the other day that they love a good mushroom gravy, I decided to show this recipe next.

It also provides a good opportunity to tell you about some of the burger patty experimentations I’ve made.

I’ve made a few burger patties now. Mostly using recipes of breadcrumbs, mince, mixed herbs + salt + pepper for seasoning, and egg. At least once, I’ve made them without egg. See below.

The top three pics are from a different occasion to the bottom two.

Now, as for the mushroom gravy and burgers recipe…. has anyone heard of Salisbury steaks?

Salisbury Steaks with Mushroom Gravy – Adam Liaw recipe

I saw this in the Sunday Life magazine when I was back at the family home one weekend in April. I saved the recipe and trialled it. It was very good. The second pic is leftovers. Mmmm.

Salisbury Steaks:

NB. It’s a different way of doing a burger patty, basically. Using ingredients one has to hand rather than, say, having to make breadcrumbs especially.

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice bread torn into chunks
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs (optional – recipe suggests option of ground mustard instead)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Oil, for cooking

Method:

  1. Place torn-up bread into bowl with milk and set aside (10 mins rest time)
  2. Mix milk-soaked bread, beef mince, onion, carrot, egg, mixed herbs (if using), salt and pepper together until well-combined
  3. Shape into four patties and refrigerate to firm up (10 mins rest time – I think I might have skipped this….)
  4. Add oil to large frying pan and fry patties until cooked through (~4 mins/side)
  5. Remove from pan and set aside, covered, to keep warm while you make the gravy.

Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

  • Mushrooms (recipe suggests 250g button ones, but it depends what you’re going for)
  • Butter (recipe suggests 30g)
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1&/12 cups stock
  • 1 onion
  • ~2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  1. Slice onion and mushrooms
  2. Melt butter in frying pan (AFTER using it to cook meat – enhances flavour)
  3. Cook onion, garlic and mushrooms over medium heat until golden and liquid evaporated (~5-6 mins)
  4. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly (~1 min)
  5. Gradually pour in stock, water, tomato sauce and soy sauce, stirring frequently. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently, seasoning with salt and pepper (~5 mins)
  6. Return meat to pan and coat with gravy then plate up, spooning remaining gravy over the top

Yum. Delicious.

 

Next time I’ll have to give the recipe I found for a veggie gravy….

Curry time!

I haven’t done a recipe post in a while. This realisation led me to spend my bus ride in on Monday playing, “Name That Dish” with my food photos – a game I’ve been meaning to play for a while.

See, I dropped off the recipes as things got busy in April, but continued taking pics. Some of which are just reminders for me, others which I’ll post here. Arranging them by name was fun. I seem to do a lot of beef and chicken recipes when making meat-based ones.

Today’s recipe post (written last night) is showcasing a couple of vegetarian curries I’ve tried. I’ve made each recipe twice, tweaking it a bit each time, and I’ll continue to make and tweak them. They’re delicious.

Curry #1: Peanut-butter curry with lentils or four-bean mix

Top row is the first time I made this curry, with four-bean mix. The bottom row is the second time I made the curry, using lentils. This is a delicious, mild, creamy curry. I got the original recipe from onemillionwomen.com but have adapted it.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1x onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2+ tsp each spice – for me, these spices were: cumin, chilli, Moroccan spice, curry powder
  • 1-2 pinches/ a scattering of mixed herbs (oregano, marjoram, thyme)
  • 1 can lentils/ four-bean mix
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Veggies: capsicum, corn, cabbage, carrot, etc.
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Rice etc. for serving

Tools:

  • 2x pots (1 medium to large, other can be smaller)
  • Stirring spoon
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Sieve/strainer to drain rice etc.

Method:

  1. In the larger pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat before adding the onion, garlic and ginger – it’s a variation of the flavour base I use for a number of dishes
  2. Allow onion to soften for a few minutes (3-5) before adding the spices “right onto the onions” – the recipe which I based my curry on says that this is “essential to developing great curry flavours”.
  3. Allow mixture to combine for a few minutes before adding the lentils or four-bean mix (drained), the tomato paste, and then the veggies.  Stir well and let the mixture another few minutes (2-3) to simmer.
  4. Begin cooking the rice etc. according to package instructions in the smaller pot
  5. When the lentils and tomato paste are combined, add the peanut butter and veggie broth and stir well until the peanut butter has dissolved.
  6. Let the curry simmer for another 25-35 minutes to allow the flavours to really combine – taste it and adjust the spice ratio as needed at the end.
  7. Serve over the rice or whatever you had to hand and enjoy. Delicious!
  8. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day – just make sure that you cleanse your mouth with a cup of tea or a mint afterwards so you don’t get accused of having garlic breath!

 

Curry #2: Chickpea, or “Chana” curry

This curry is lovely for cold nights when you want something to warm you up. It works well when (as in the bottom row pics) you’ve got some frozen pre-cooked veg in the freezer. So yum. I got the recipe from a website after a friend recommended it.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Spices to taste: cumin, garlic, ginger, chilli, salt, pepper, curry powder, paprika, Moroccan spice mix
  • Mixed herbs (marjoram, thyme, oregano).
  • 1x onion
  • 1x can whole peeled or diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1x can chickpeas
  • Veggies: whatever you have to hand – I’ve used beetroot, spinach, radish, carrot, capsicum, peas, cabbage….as you can see in the images.
  • 1x serve of rice/ couscous/etc.

Tools:

  • Two pots, 1x medium-large pot + 1x smaller one
  • Stirring spoon
  • Plate and cutlery

Method:

  1. In the larger pot, heat the oil over medium heat. When oil is hot enough*, add onion then the spices – first the garlic, chilli, ginger, then (after a minute or two), the other spices. Let them combine for a few minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, then the rest of the veggies – chunky veg are good in this dish!
  3. Raise the heat a little, if you wish, and add the chickpeas. Let simmer for at least ten minutes to create lovely flavours.
  4. Service with couscous or rice. Also beautiful for leftovers for lunch the next day – same warning about mouth-cleansing to avoid garlic breath applies.
    NB. * = I have adopted a trick learnt from this recipe’s original author about how to tell if the pan is hot enough. Test the heat of your oil by wetting your hand and letting a drop of water drip into the pan. If it sizzles, then the pan is ready.

 

Happy cooking!

Recipe: Beef Parmigiana

Brr. Winter is nearly here in Australia and the past few days have shown it! When the sun’s out it’s nice but when it’s not it can feel quite cold. The trend is set to continue this week, with tomorrow only reaching a top of 12*C in my suburb. Bet my hometown’s colder!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe post. I have been cooking – just haven’t been able to write them down. I want to fix that but it’s a work in progress…at the bottom of my priority pile atm. Anyway.

Two cooked beef parmigianas in oven tray. Cheese has melted thoroughly - some is stuck to the bottom of the oven tray. Tomato salsa is visible in patches

Makes my mouth water just looking at it!

A while ago – as in, about a month ago – I spent the day with my boyfriend. We decided to have parmigiana for dinner – but as I pointed out, we’d had chicken as part of our lunch. So we used a beef schnitzel base instead. Then my boyfriend had the idea of using tomato salsa instead of plain tomato sauce/paste. It turned into a very yummy dinner.

Ingredients:

  • Veggies, to serve with the parma
  • Beef schnitzels
  • Tomato salsa/paste
  • Cheese – we used pre-packaged grated tasty cheese
  • Other flavours if you want, especially if using tomato paste not salsa – saw a recipe online where someone added onion to theirs & seasoned it with salt & pepper

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Oven dish
  • Spatula
  • Tongs

Method:

  1. Fry beef schnitzels to pre-cook them
  2. When finished, remove from pan and place in oven dish (preheat oven to 180*C)
  3. Spread tomato salsa thickly over schnitzels, then top with the cheese – remember that you want the salsa and cheese flavours to be balanced with each other
  4. Place oven dish in oven and cook for 30 mins or until it looks done
  5. Cook veggies while this occurs, though you’ll probably start them partway through the schnitzel-cooking time. We used peas, carrots and potato, but you can use any veggies you like.
  6. When cooked, assemble onto plates.
  7. Eat and enjoy!
Beef parma on a plate with boiled carrots, potato and peas - parma is on the left and has a dollop of extra sauce & melted cheese on top, with veggies on the right of the plate.

Mine, all mine…. so good.

Mushroom Gravy (with Roo Skewers)

IMG_0607

Finally got around to writing this recipe up…

The other night I had some kangaroo skewers and a heap of mushrooms, ready to be used. I’d heard about mushroom gravy before, so I decided to give it a go myself.

Ingredients:

  • Veggies (I used squash, carrot, bok choy, lettuce)
  • 2x kangaroo skewers
  • Noodles (I used “Singapore noodles”
  • Mushrooms
  • Flour
  • Garlic
  • Stock

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Pot
  • Tongs
  • Kitchen spoon

Method:

  1. Cook veggies (in my case, all but the lettuce of course – that was just arranged on a plate at the end instead)
  2. What I SHOULD have done was cook the skewers first so I could use the juices from them in the gravy. Also, because I hadn’t cooked kangaroo skewers before so knowing when they were ready to eat while they were cooking in the gravy was a bit tricky. Using the gravy as the cooking “liquid” made it keep reducing as well, so I had to keep adjusting the flour-to-stock/water ratios (created higher possibility of lumps)… Ah well, live and learn.
  3. After making gravy and cooking skewers, cook noodles by adding them to pot of boiling water and letting them sit for a few minutes.
  4. Dish up onto a plate and serve. It was delicious.

How to Make Gravy (yes, I had part of the Paul Kelly song trying to play in my head while doing this – trouble is, I couldn’t remember most of the song…)

I used this recipe. (I swear I’m not being paid by taste.com or anything – they just have a lot of simple, easy-to-follow recipes – with minimal fancy ingredients that I don’t have/ need – on there.)

  1. Heat oil in frying pan, add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms are browned
  2. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly add stock, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
  4. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens into gravy.
  5. Season with salt and pepper; adjust liquid quantity to achieve required consistency.

 

Recently I also saw another recipe for mushroom gravy that had a couple of extra ingredients, like tomato sauce, soy sauce and onion. It was Adam Liaw’s recipe in the Sunday Life magazine (02/04/17). He also had serving suggestions of what to try with the gravy… I’ll have to road test his version the next time I have mushrooms!

 

Food Glorious Food

Last week I went to the Queen Victoria Market in the hour before closing time on the Sunday. I picked up a few food bargains there because, as they close Mondays, they have to try and sell as much stock as possible – otherwise it’s not fresh or is too old, etc.

That meant I had a few new meat combos to try. Here’s what I did:

Night #1, Honey-soy chicken wings.

The marinade was provided by the butcher. Here’s a recipe I found though, if you want to make it from scratch.

I steamed veggies in one pot and cooked all the wings in another. I bought about 500g worth if I remember correctly, so that gave me nine wings in this case. I ate three with dinner and saved the other

After steaming the veggies, I used the bottom pot to fry the potatoes (when I remembered them)… I started off boiling them but hadn’t washed them properly so ended up tipping out (most of) the dirty water to finish them off.

Night #2, lemon-pepper skewers

IMG_0639

Chicken on skewers flavoured with lemon and pepper. Yum!

Cooked in the frying pan then eaten with shredded lettuce and boiled corn, mushrooms and celery. I’d had chips earlier in the evening with friends, too, so imagine there’s a stack of wedges on the plate. 😉

Night #3, parmesan schnitzels with veggies and couscous

IMG_0644

Two small chicken schnitzels with (store-made and -coated) parmesan-flavoured crumb, fried in the pan. The veggies (zucchini, carrot,cauliflower, mushroom) were cut as if I was going to stir-fry them, then fried in oil in the pan. The couscous was made in the usual fashion (boil water, add couscous, let stand for ~5 mins) as per the packet instructions, with a bit of salt and pepper stirred through. Yum!

Adventures with Chicken

I’ve had some cooking successes lately.

The other night I was pressed for time and needed to cook dinner quickly. I could’ve had a frozen meal (i.e. reheated a serve of leftovers) but I had some chicken thighs in the fridge that needed to be cooked as I’d moved them from the freezer earlier in the week.

So I googled, “cook chicken thighs in the microwave” (or something like that) and came across this recipe. Basically, it involves:

Ingredients:

  • 2 x chicken thigh fillets
  • Chopped veggies of your choice
  • Chicken stock (made into liquid form)
  • Garlic, salt, pepper

Tools:

  • Microwave-safe container
  • Oven mitt (for pulling container out of microwave)
  • Knives
  • Chopping board

Method:

  1. Smear garlic onto chicken and place in bottom of dish – season with salt and pepper to taste
  2. Pour chicken stock over chicken
  3. Add veggies on top
  4. Cover with lid and put in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes
  5. Remove lid (or let it sit lightly) and repeat step #4
  6. If chicken is still not cooked to satisfaction, microwave dish for bursts of 1 minute until it’s cooked through

Voila – I had a piping-hot microwave meal ( 😉 ) ready to eat. Just be careful with step #5. I left the lid off completely as instructed by the online recipe, but that caused too much moisture to escape and the microwave did not like it.

No photos to show for this meal – I was a bit too busy for that. 🙂

My second success was a few nights after, when, aided only by memory and the help of a googled recipe, I made chicken curry for the first time in my new place, all by myself. So here’s another dish to add to my known repertoire!

Chicken Curry 🍛 


Ingredients:

  • Oil/ margarine
  • Chilli, garlic, ginger, curry powder, Moroccan seasoning, cumin powder
  • Chicken stock
  • Chicken thigh fillet
  • Veggies
  • Rice/ noodles/ couscous/ potato

Tools:

  • Frying pan
  • Pot
  • Stirring spoon
  • Tongs/ spatula/ etc
  • Chopping board
  • Knives

Method:

  1. Chop veggies
  2. Chop chicken into strips
  3. Heat the oil/ margarine in the pan
  4. Add chicken pieces and cook until browned
  5. Stir in garlic, ginger, chilli, curry powder, cumin powder, Moroccan seasoning NB: the curry and cumin powders make this dish, with the Moroccan seasoning providing some extra flavours like hints of paprika and so on. Add as much of the cumin and curry powders as feels right.
  6. Add chicken stock after a minute and reduce heat to cook for some time
  7. Add veggies (I added them earlier than the online recipe indicated to because they needed to cook for longer).
  8. I also started cooking my potato here in the pot and ended up putting some of the harder veggies (carrots, sweet potato) in with it to reduce cooking time.
  9. Once judged that veggies were ready, I combined everything and took it over to the table. It tasted like it should, so yay.