One-Pot Chicken Meal

on white plate with green rim sits cooked chicken, surrounded by carrot, potato, zucchini, capsicum, corn
Ingredients:
  • Oil, oyster & honey-soy sauces, tsps of garlic & ginger, loaded tsp of peanut butter, half tsp of chilli.
  • Tsp of mixed herbs, half tsp of wattle spice mix, pinch of Moroccan spice mix, dusting of pepper, 1 crumbled stock cube
  • Chicken thigh on the bone (or something like that)
  • Veggies: potato, carrot, zucchini, corn.
  • Onion.
Method:
  1. First make the ‘wet’ marinade: Tip a bit of oil, plus a glug of oyster & honey-soy sauces, tsps of garlic & ginger, a loaded one of peanut butter, a half tsp of chilli into a container. Mix.
  2. Put chicken on the bone in and coat.
  3. Make dry marinade ingredients: tsp mixed herbs, half one of wattle spice, pinch of Moroccan spice, dusting of pepper, 1 crumbled stock cube.
  4. Set aside chicken mixture to rest.

  5. Wash and chop veggies & onion. Slice potato thinly.
  6. Tip dry ingredients onto chicken mix – if I was doing this step again, I’d coat the chicken better, as the dry mix ended up sticking mainly to one side which was mostly skin!
  7. Fry onion and potato for a few minutes until onion is soft – requires medium heat, as you don’t want the onion to crisp up too soon.
  8. Add marinated chicken, then add veggies and warm water.
  9. Bring to boil then simmer for about 20 mins (at least).
  10.  Check chicken to ensure it’s cooked – slice it in the centre, see if juices run clear. (If you forget this step, finish it off for two minutes in the microwave….)

Then you’re ready to serve!

 

… and I have to run. Final week of classes for my last full theory subjects is in full swing!

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Tikka Curry – but not as you know it

The other week, I bought a jar of tikka paste at the supermarket as it was on special. However, I had no chicken in the fridge. I did, however, have some ‘roo mince. So I got cooking…

On a white plate with a green rim are mince, beans and veggies like capsicum, carrot and corn, sitting on fettuccine pasta. A silver fork is visible off to the right.

Ingredients:

  • Two tablespoons of tikka curry paste
  • Vegetable oil
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Teaspoons of garlic and ginger pastes, plus 1/2 a teaspoon of chilli paste
  • 250ml (1 cup) stock –  I used a stock cube dissolved in hot water for this)
  • Vegetables – e.g. carrot, capsicum, cauliflower, corn, beans
  • Rice or potatoes etc. to accompany the curry

Tools:

  • Frypan
  • Kitchen spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Kitchen knife
  • Chopping board
  • Mug (for the stock)
  • Saucepan
  • Plate & cutlery
  • Container for leftovers!

Method:

  1. Heat oil in large frypan over medium heat, add onion, chilli, garlic and ginger and cook until golden
  2. Add tikka paste and stir to combine flavours – it should start smelling really nice.
  3. Add stock and vegetables and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes or until sauce thickens slightly
  5. Add the mince to the mixture and stir through, ensuring it is covered – add a dash more liquid if necessary.
  6. Simmer for a further fifteen minutes or until mince is cooked through and everything is combined really well.

I based this recipe off one I found here, and it can be adapted for lots of different meats and or vegetarian style. It was delicious, and I love how the tikka paste made the dish look. The photo above is of the finished product on the plate (yes, that’s fettuccine, I had no rice, potatoes or couscous). Below is a beautiful image of the tikka curry cooking.

A black frying pan sits on a white stove. In it are cauliflower, carrot, green capsicum and corn in a thick and glossy reddish-brown liquid.

Look at how glossy it is! I’m very satisfied with this meal.

 

 P.S. Si

Vegetarian Burrito Recipe

I really do like being creative at dinner. It feels like it’s been too long since I made a recipe post, so here’s one, with a few to schedule as well.

I was making this for a potluck last week – it’s a recipe that’s easy to adjust quantities for, and make a few serves of. Add or substitute different veg as you please; I made this with what I had in the cupboard.

A large black frying pan sits on a stove, holding the burrito meal - corn, beans, carrot, capsicum and cauliflower are visible in a dark sauce

Ingredients:

  • Onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • Morrocan spice mix – I had no separate cumin spice, or “burrito spice mix” in the cupboard, so substituted this instead
  • 1 tsp each of minced garlic and ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of minced/crushed chilli
  • 2/3-3/4 tin of corn kernels
  • 2/3-3/4 tin of Mexican bean mix: had kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini beans, I think
  • 2/3 of a carrot (I think?)
  • Half a capsicum
  • A few florets of cauliflower
  • Bread, wraps, etc. for burritos

Tools:

  • Strong kitchen knife
  • Chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Kitchen spoon
  • Plate

Method:

  1. Chop vegetables into small pieces
  2. Heat oil in frying pan until hot
  3. Add onion and set heat to medium-high or medium, then fry, stirring, until onion is golden
  4. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and spice mix and stir for 20-30 seconds
  5. Add veggies and fry until tender
  6. Add beans and a little water, then bring mixture to a simmer
  7. Add salt and pepper, then remove from heat and serve.

Remember that this is a meal that’ll get messy as it’s eaten with your hands. It was soooo yummy. A recipe to keep!

 

Musings

Well I’ve had a nice little break and today I dive back into the uni world of classes and assignments for a six week block.

The rest of the year is falling into place in some ways – I know where I’m going on my last two placements, for example. This leads to excitement: as one student coordinator (who’s known me since second year) said to me recently, I’m only six months away from finishing uni and qualifying as an occupational therapist! It also leads to a few nerves now and again: six months until I’m trying to find work, and new accommodation, and and and…

So I put the breaks on that, focus on what I have now and what I’ve achieved so far, and remember to have gentle confidence in myself. What happens will happen. Until it does, I’ll take contentment where I can, and enjoy the nice things along the way. Like watching Moana last Friday night with friends at a choir singalong social evening. And cooking lovely things like last night’s dinner: a lentil bolognese dish I adapted from Cooking on a Bookstrap. Follow the link to see the recipe – and pre-order their cook book, due out in August. I’m sorely tempted to get it myself with some gift money I got recently!

Microwave Tuna Curry

Pressed for time or can’t be stuffed turning the stove on? Feel like you’ve been through all the usual dishes already this week? Read on.

Makes enough for 1 serve.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can tuna (in water)
  • 1 serve veggies – could be frozen or fresh veg!
  • Curry powder, Moroccan spice, (extra) paprika, mixed herbs, pepper, chilli, lemon
  • (Extra) water
  • Spaghetti pasta or noodles or potato

Utensils:

  • Microwave-safe container
  • Teaspoon
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Cutlery
  • Plate

Method:

  1. Chop veggies
  2. Tip a tsp or so of all seasonings into a microwave-safe container.
  3. Peel lid off tuna can and use it to pour the tuna water into the container, leaving the tuna in the tin.
  4. Mix water and seasonings; add a touch more water if necessary, as you want it to have a paste-like consistency.
  5. Start water boiling for pasta/ noodles/ potato – cook them alongside the microwaved ingredients according to packet instructions/ until soft.
  6. Tip chopped veg into the container, then pop into the microwave for 10 mins.
  7. When 5-6 minutes of the 10 have passed, pause microwave and add tuna, breaking it up so it’s not one big clump.
  8. Restart microwave to cook for remaining minutes.
  9. Optional: I was going to add a dash of peanut butter here but got distracted; you could add a touch of flour/ other thickener. Depends how much liquid you want.
  10. . Combine with pasta/ noodles/ potato. Serve and eat.

A glass microwave container sits on a red placemat on top of a fruit tablecloth. In the container are veggies (orange carrot, purple kale), pasta and tuna in a dark curry sauce. Either side of the container is a fork and spoon.

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.

 

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….