Omurice

Right, so instead of the regular “Foodie Friday” post, this week I decided to share this video with you.

I made this for lunch for myself this week, and it is SO YUMMY. But mine ended up looking like chunky fried rice (I epically failed at the whole “getting stuff onto the omelette” part) so I thought the original video with an amusing Ryosuke would be better (both for the recipe, the amusement, and what the food is actually supposed to look like).

NB – I halved the recipe, because I was only making it for me.

Enjoy!

~K

Yellow Chicken Curry (Mild)

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The other week, I went out for Thai with my Mum. We had this FANTASTIC yellow curry, and while I was shopping this week I saw that the yellow curry paste was on special so I decided to grab it and have a go at making it myself.

SUCCESS!

I know that’s not a very pretty picture, but it’s the only one I remembered to take.

Serves: 6 (ish)

Ingredients:

  • 250g chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 5 small potatoes, in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup bok choy, chopped
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry paste
  • 300ml can coconut milk (or cream if you want a thicker sauce)
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

Method:

  1. Preheat a wok with a dash of oil and just brown the chicken, then put aside.
  2. Cook onion until just beginning to go translucent, then add carrot and potato.
  3. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the curry paste and stir through.
  4. Cook for a few minutes, until veges are coated and curry paste is fragrant.
  5. Add the bok choy and stir through, then add coconut milk, chicken and stock cube.
  6. Stir so everything is covered, lightly pat down any bits that are sticking up above the liquid and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 25mins, or until the potato is cooked through.

Serve over rice.

Hubby even gave this a good mark, so it’s not an overly hot curry. If you like your curries very hot, you might want to add some chilli or whatever.

~K

Rainbow Steak

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If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this earlier in the week when I originally made it.

It was a roaring success – it tasted EXACTLY like the version we get from our favourite takeaway place, but without all the deep-fried-ness (they deep-fry the steak). Rainbow Steak is Hubby’s favourite takeaway dish, and this passed muster – he gave it 5 stars 🙂

Don’t be scared off by the ingredient list – it looks long and involved, but this is actually really easy to make. The original recipe came from here, but I adjusted it a bit. I used half the amount of meat, but heaps of veges. I also halved the amount of sugar in the sauce.
Also to note – the 1/2 capsicums didn’t go to waste, I used the rest a few days later in another stir fry. You can just use one colour of capsicum if you want, but it won’t look as pretty and colourful. I got a 3-pack of different coloured ones on special at the vege shop 🙂

Serves: 6 (with rice)

Ingredients:

  • 300g steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin sticks (about the same size as capsicum slices)
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Marinade for steak

  • 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Sauce

  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar

Method:

  1. Slice steak and mix together the marinade ingredients. Marinate the meat for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat wok over high heat with a little oil, and cook steak in batches until just browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Cook carrots until beginning to soften, then add capsicum and onion. Cook until onions begin to turn translucent.
  5. Return meat to wok, add sauce and simmer for a few minutes (until heated through and slightly thickened).

Like just about everything I make, this freezes well.

Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole

You can’t really see the casserole too well – you can just spy it at the top of the bowl, near the fork.

This is really easy to make, and freezes well, so you can have it ready in the freezer for whenever you have a taco craving!

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 cup dried beans, soaked and precooked (use whatever beans you like. I used half black beans and half black-eyed beans)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 4 tbsp chunky salsa + extra for topping
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Whatever toppings you want! (I used cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocado, and some extra salsa)

Method:

  1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat with a little oil of your choice (my personal preference is rice bran oil). Cook mince until mostly browned, then add onions and cook until they are translucent.
  2. Reduce heat to med-low. Add tinned tomatoes, stock, taco seasoning, salsa, beans and corn. Stir and bring to boil.
  3. Add rice and bring to boil again, then reduce heat to low. Cook (covered) for 30mins (or until rice is cooked through), stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Rice dries out the older it gets, so if you’ve had your rice for a while (i.e. 6mths+) it will likely take longer than the 30mins.
  4. Serve with whatever toppings you like.

NB: Freezes well

After I made this, we ate it 3 times in the same week! It passed the “Hubby test”, and he gave it 5 stars 🙂 I will be making this again very soon, and I’ll try to remember to take a picture of the finished product before I put toppings on.

Budget Tip!
If meat is too expensive (or you’re vegetarian) you can replace the beef mince with an additional cup of dried beans without losing much in the way of flavour.
Vegetarian note – I use Massel brand stock cubes, which are gluten & dairy free as well as being vegan. They are “beef style” and “chicken style”, but do not contain any animal products – the taste and colour of the different stocks is created using herbs and vegetable extracts.

~K

Belated Bento!

IMG_2530I forgot to post this on Tuesday when I made it for lunch… but it’s here now!

Contents:

  • 3/4 cup sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable confit
    Recipe from JustBento – I added some fennel as well.
  • Assorted steamed veges (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower)
  • Slightly burnt teriyaki salmon
  • Fruit cup (tinned peaches)
  • iced tea sachets

I’ll post the recipe for the teriyaki salmon when I make it again (without burning it this time haha).

~K

 

Chicken Paella

This is not my photo – I keep forgetting to take a photo when I make this. God I’m slack!

The recipe is from the Super Food Ideas magazine from several years ago, and this is another one of Hubby’s favourite meals.

This is the recipe, but as per usual I make a few changes:

  • I use SIGNIFICANTLY more paprika. Like, 2 tbsp. We really like the smoked paprika in our house.
  • I tend to use chicken breasts rather than thighs, and I slice the meat up (rather than leaving them whole like the picture). I find this makes it easier for portioning out, because the amount from this recipe will usually make about 6 serves for us.
  • I also use only about 500g of chicken (not 800g), because meat is expensive. You really don’t notice the lesser amount, particularly if you are chopping it up.
  • I use plain tinned tomatoes, and add about a tbsp of additional tomato paste – those fancy ones with “tomato paste and capsicum” that the recipe asks for are EXPENSIVE! ($3.50 a can rather than $1 or less – I’ll take the cheaper cans thanks).
  • I don’t know whether it is just my stove, or what, but I often need to add a little more water, as all the water absorbs and the rice is not cooked properly. I add about 1/2 cup at a time and let it absorb, then repeat until the rice is properly cooked through
  • If you do not turn the heat down far enough, or if you have an electric stove with crappy elements, be very very careful to stir it well and often, otherwise the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot.

And apologies for this “Foodie Friday” not ACTUALLY being on a Friday – I sort of lost track of my days and forgot to finish this post in time *oops*

~K

Rice for 1

If I’m going to be home at lunch time, I prefer to make my rice fresh when I’m about to eat (it just tastes better in my opinion).

Only problem is, I don’t always need to stock up my freezer stash of rice, so there’s no point using my rice cooker (I need to cook a minimum of 2 cups in that, and that’s 4 serves once it’s cooked). So I’ve fine-tuned this stove-top method to make it useable for a single serve.

What you’ll need:

  • a very small pan with a heavy base and a well-sealing lid (I use this one) – if you can get a pot with a glass lid it makes everything a heap easier
  • bowl
  • fine mesh sieve/strainer
  • 1/2 cup dry japonica rice (also called “sushi rice”)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the rice 3-4 times. The video below from Just One Cookbook shows the proper method for rinsing the rice and also gives a really good idea of what the water should look like at the end of the process. This tutorial is what I used as a baseline for my experiments with times for cooking a single serve of rice.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0Nkr_eCnqY
  2. Drain the rice well (leaving it in the strainer over a bowl), and leave for about 10-15mins.
  3. Put rice into saucepan with some water (For 1/2 cup dry rice, you’ll need 1/2 cup + 1/8 cup of water). Allow to soak for about 10-15mins.
  4. After it has soaked, put the pot on the stove at medium heat (with lid on) until the water boils. This is where a glass lid comes in handy! If you don’t have a glass lid to your pot, listen out for the bubbling and have a quick peek (don’t take the lid fully off, just lift it enough to check that the water is boiling).
  5. Once the water is boiling, take the pot off the hotplate and turn it off. LEAVE THE LID ON. Allow the hotplate to cool for approx 2 mins, then turn it back on at low heat. Replace the pot (lid still on) and cook for 8mins without lifting the lid.
    Gas cooker: Once the water is boiling, turn the gas down to low and cook for 10mins (covered). I’m figuring that this will be roughly equivalent to the electric instructions, because SCIENCE REASONS involving ambient heat and heat retention.
  6. After the timer goes off, remove pot from heat and allow to sit for 10mins COVERED. Do not lift the lid at all unless you absolutely MUST peek at your rice.
  7. After the 10 mins, take off the lid and give the rice a gentle stir with a rice paddle. There should not be any water in the bottom of the pot, but occasionally there might be. If there is, put the lid back on and heat over medium heat for a minute or so, until the water is gone. Allow to sit (covered) for a couple of minutes afterwards.
  8. Your rice is now ready to eat!

If you’re putting rice in a bento box, you should always allow it to cool before sealing the box, or the steam will make it go a bit slimy. You can eat the rice plain, or you can top it with just about anything! If I’m putting it in a bento, I’ll usually put a bit of my homemade nori furikake on it.

This makes 1 cup of cooked rice, which is a good-sized serve for your average adult female. 1 cup of rice will make approximately 3 average-sized onigiri if you want to do that. This is a great tutorial of how to make onigiri in an easy, mess-free way (it’s how I make them).

Troubleshooting:
– Rice on the bottom of your pan is all brown and crunchy, but the rest of the rice is fine: you may be cooking the rice on too high a heat (or for too long). High heat is most likely, so try cooking it on a lower heat. Generally this will solve the issue.
– There is ALWAYS water left at the bottom of your pot at step 6: try cooking on a slightly higher heat or for an additional minute or two. Alternatively, if rice is cooked through and there is left over water, use slightly less (see the last point about the weather and humidity)
– Rice is gloopy once all the water is absorbed: there may be too much starch left on the outside. Try rinsing the rice a few extra times next time.
– Rice goes mushy and loses its shape: you are using too much water. Use a little less water next time (this will tie in with the 2nd troubleshooting point as well). Generally, I use a 1:1.25 (rice:water) ratio for the stovetop instructions above.
– Rice is not cooked all the way through, and all water is absorbed: add a little extra water. I find in very dry weather (i.e. winter for me) I need to add a little extra water, so in winter I sometimes use a 1:1.5 ratio instead.

~K

Sunday’s Bento

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This is from Sunday – previously, I haven’t tended to make bentos on weekends because I’ve never really needed to. But now, because of a musical I’m involved in has rehearsals on Sundays (and I can’t afford takeaway at the moment) I’ll be taking bento lunches to that.

We have:

  • veges (carrot, cauli, and some frozen peas – I was out of broccoli)
  • caramelised onions
  • rice
  • chicken enchilada filling w/ cheese

Pretty much everything in this bento was leftovers – rice was frozen, enchilada mix too, onions were from the night before’s dinner, and the peas were just part of my huge collection of frozen veges. The only things I had to prepare fresh were the carrots and cauli.

Got a lot of compliments about this one today – everyone was saying how good it smelled and looked, and the enchilada mix stirred into the rice tasted absolutely AMAZING.

I will definitely be doing the enchilada-rice combo again 🙂

~K

Curried Sausages

Hubby loves this recipe, it’s one of his absolute favourites! Once again, don’t have a picture because I forgot to take one before packing it all away.

It’s really easy to make a larger batch of, if you are feeding a large number of people or want to freeze a whole heap of food.

Here is the link for the recipe, and here are my changes/things I normally do:

  • We don’t do spicy food in our house (at all. EVER) so I halve the amount of curry powder the recipe specifies. This will not be necessary for most normal people – to give you an idea, I find medium salsa too spicy.
  • I always do this with rice, because it’s really easy to put together for freezing. Cook the rice up, and rather than just dolloping the curried sausages on top, I mix the cooked rice through the sauce before serving. That way, there’s always enough sauce for the rice and vice-versa. Also makes it super easy to portion out for freezing. If you’re doing a double batch, I’d recommend getting a very large pot or bowl and mixing the rice and sausages together in that (saves having to clean curry of the stove top when it overflows the pan you cooked in. Learn from my mistake haha).
  • Any frozen veges go well in this recipe – and if you’re trying to flesh it out without using more sausages, any frozen veges will do. I often get one of those variety bags (with carrot, potato, beans, corn, etc) and mix in a liberal amount.

~K

Risotto

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This is one of my favourite meals EVER.

And it’s really quite easy to do.

This particular version of the recipe serves 2, but I vary the size depending on whether I want leftovers or not.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup risotto rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 2 chicken thighs, or 1 breast fillet, cubed
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 stock cube (the cubes I get make 500ml of stock per cube)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped (or leek, sliced. Depends what I got in my vege box)
  • parmesan cheese, grated – about 1 tbsp per serve you are cooking, but I don’t measure this – I just pour it on until I’m happy with the taste and texture
  • herbs, salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in pan, and cook onion/leek and garlic until softened. In a separate container, dissolve stock cube in 500ml boiling water and set aside.
  2. Add bacon, chicken and mushrooms, and cook until chicken is cooked through. Add any herbs you want at this point.
  3. Add rice and cook, stirring, for about 1 min or until the rice is slightly translucent on the edges and smells a little nutty.
  4. Pour in prepared stock, and bring to the boil while stirring. Reduce heat to low and cover, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick, simmering until almost all the stock is dissolved.
  5. Test rice. If it isn’t cooked through, add a little extra water (not stock). I usually do this 1/4 cup at a time, and you can sometimes need to add up to 2 cups extra water. Don’t add it all at once though. Cook uncovered, stirring often, adding more water as required, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
  6. Season to taste, and stir in remaining butter and parmesan cheese.