Tuesday, November 19, 2013

African-style curry

What do you get when you mix leftovers with curry and coconut milk? An African-style curry.

I had a 5" piece of smoked farmer sausage and leftover cooked chicken, plus some rice, frozen after Sunday dinner. What a great start! No time as usual, so I headed for the pantry. I grabbed 3 cans that sounded good:

  • Coconut milk
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Mandarin oranges
I browned 2 tbsp. curry in 1/3 can of coconut milk. Added another 1/3 can along with 1 tbsp. minced onion and 1 tbsp. minced garlic, the drained mushrooms and orange pieces. It cooked until it was reduced to almost-dry. Then I added the rest of the coconut milk, the chicken, and sausage, cut into pieces.

Stirred. It stewed for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I microwaved the rice with a bit of water until steamy hot. We used a salad packet (cranberries, coleslaw, kale, and pine nuts) for a nice change in texture.

Optional: add orange marmalade and soy sauce to adjust sweet and salty tastes. (The sausage was salty so I didn't add salt.)

Servings: 4
Taste: 4/5 Sweet, creamy, bit salty. Texture could be improved with crisp, salted peanuts and banana slices.
Time to prepare: 5 minutes assembly. 15 minutes cooking.
Beauty: Looked inviting. Went well with the green salad.
Tea: Peppermint - it was getting late.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Advantium chicken

I decided to try our new Advantium oven. It works! In 8 minutes, it baked breaded chicken to a crisp skin and moist interior.

First, I made the breading from what I could find in the pantry: 1/3 c. each of unsweetened coconut, cornmeal, and flour plus 1 tbsp. of Aromat, a flavored salt from Germany.

I coated the chicken in egg

and the breading

and then put it on the metal oven tray.

The oven auto-adjusts for what we're cooking, in this case 4-5 pieces of bone-in chicken, breaded.

At four minutes, the oven beeped to turn over the chicken, which was crisped on one side. After 4 more minutes, the other side was done. With raw snap peas and leftover pasta from yesterday, delicious!

Taste: 4/5 Crispy skin, great flavor
Time to prepare: 5 minutes. Cooks in 8 minutes.
Calories: 170 calories per thigh
Beauty: looks like a regularly grilled chicken leg.
Tea: Indonesian green

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweet fall apple pancake

Apples to the right,
maples to the left
I give the apples along the driveway a tug. They're tight on the twigs.

On the south side of the house, the espaliered tree bears 5 varieties of apple. At head height, the Jonagolds come loose with a little twist. I bring 4 into the house. Peel and slice them. Set the oven to 350. What shall I do with them? First, I look in the fridge. Butter.

Melt 1/2 c. butter/good margarine into a baking pan. Pour the butter from the pan into a little mixing bowl. (The bowl is now greased, the butter ready for the dough.)

Second, I added the following to the butter, mixing lightly:

2 eggs/egg substitute
1/2 c. flour
pinch of salt
1/2 c. brown sugar

I turn the sliced apples into the runny dough and pat it all down in the greased baking pan.

After 20 minutes in the oven, I turned the oven up to 400o for 10 more minutes, turned the oven off, and finished my cleanup (another 5 minutes?)

You need enough heat to and time bake through the apples and the dough: you could put it on 400o for 25 minutes, 375o for 35 minutes, etc. Pretty flexible heat and timing.

It comes out of the oven hot and steaming. The smell of roasted apples fills the kitchen. I didn't even bother with cinnamon or other spices.

Other options:
  • Sliced almonds with 2-3 drops of almond extract?
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar with 1/2 tsp. vanilla?
  • Add a sliced pear? or maybe two - with a little rum or brandy extract?
  • Hot from the pan
  • Crush in pumpkin or sunflower seeds, pepitos or chia seeds?
No thanks. Sometimes plain is perfect.

Servings: 4
5/5 It's tangy sweet, crisp top with varied textures underneath.
Time to prepare: 10 minutes. Cooks in just over a half hour.
Calories: 4-500 calories per serving (so much fat)
Beauty: the smell overwhelms the greens, browns, and cream colors
Tea: Earl Grey this morning, served in a country mug

Saturday, August 3, 2013

First summer supper at the cabin

We've spent a month in SE Asia. This week and next, it's a treat to spend time at our cabin in Montana.

There's usually not a big variety of food when we first arrive at the cabin. However, after a general Costco run, I found these ingredients in the fridge and on the counter. It took less than 10 minutes to prepare and begin this easy supper. What was in it?

Fresh rolls
Yummy cheese

  • Ciabatta herb rolls
  • Organic lettuce mix
  • Chinese barbecue pork with hot mustard and sesame seeds
  • Brie
 We slice the rolls and pork and cut open the sesame seed and mustard packets.

BBQ Chinese pork from the
St. Regis supermarket
Sharp hot mustard and
sesame seeds

We spread Brie on the rolls, topping them with pork, seasonings, and greens. It's a quick feast - and a delicious one!

Fresh greens
Fruit that's sweet and sour

Instead of tea, we sip Florida orange juice. We feel blessed by the simple fresh abundance.

Our finished supper sandwiches

Rating: 4/5; would have given it a 4.5 if I'd melted the cheese into the bread
Taste: both sharp (brie, mustard, and dark greens) and sweet-savory (meat and bread)
Calories: Up to 600, depending on amount of pork and cheese
Time to prepare: 10 min. finding and prepping ingredients. The actual assembly takes 1-2 minutes.
Tea: OJ this time around
Beauty: Pretty colors of red, yellow, beige and greens
Improvements: Melt the cheese and heat the rolls (an extra 5 minutes in a covered frying pan or 1 minutes in the microwave.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oat milk

I'm making oat milk today:

I originally wanted to feature a recipe but the blogger refused to be reposted here and asked me to take the repost down. Find another great recipe for Oat milk here.

Smiles, everyone. Not everyone is willing to share :-) so it's great that there are many alternatives out there.

Monday, January 14, 2013

German pho

Pho is Vietnamese soup. I used German vegan bouillon cubes for the broth. Hence the title.

Fresh in the plate

I chopped, diced, sauteed, and simmered my way through the kitchen for Sunday lunch and have enough for leftovers today.

Field mushrooms
Ingredients list:
  • noodles - rice vermicelli (or thin noodles you like)
  • meat - we had leftover turkey stuffing (frozen, then thawed and heated); my vegan option was Veggie Roast, diced and lightly fried in Asian Taste Oil
  • greens - pea shoots, cilantro, Thai basil, chopped
  • mushrooms - chopped oyster and field mushrooms, lightly fried with minced garlic and a splash of soy sauce
  • broth - meat or vegetable broth plus a slice of ginger, a tbsp. minced garlic, any mix of Asian sauces (Hoisin, sweet soy sauce, brown braising sauce, mushroom sauce), and 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • sesame oil - 1 tsp-1 tbsp when you finish simmering the broth
  • Have hot pepper seasoning and Asian sauces at the table: hoisin, black bean, sweet chili, sweet soy, etc.  Let guests help themselves to taste.
  • Optional: up to 1 tsp Szechuan pepper oil per serving (numbs the tongue. For some reason my husband and sons like this. I skipped it.)

Purple-stemmed Thai basil

  • Prepare the noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cold water, drain, and set aside. (When time to serve, heat them up by immersing them in boiling water for 20 seconds and draining.)
  • Begin to simmer the broth down from a boil to about 2/3 worth of stock. Put in sesame oil at the very end, along with chopped cilantro.
  • Meanwhile, prep your meat, herbs, and vegetables and store them nearby in separate bowls.
  • Either assemble the soup in individual bowls or bring everything to the table so guests can assemble their own.
  • Order of assembly is usually noodles in the bottom of the soup bowl, then meat, then vegetables and herbs, then broth on top. Taste, and season to personal preference with sauces on the table.
  • Give everyone a soup spoon and a set of chopsticks (or fork) to make eating easier.
Almost done: good to the last spoonful

Rating: 4.5
Taste: nice combination of salty and savory
Calories: 4-800, depending on how much oil you use in preparation and how much food you assemble
Time to prepare: 30 min. or so - again, it depends on how quickly you assemble, chop, and fry separate ingredients. The actual assembly takes 2-3 minutes.
Tea: Some awful Tetley Green Tea brewed 1/2 hour before the meal. Bitter, like a bad Chinese restaurant serves ... and just the thing.
Beauty: Pretty colors of browns, beiges and greens
Improvements: Mix up the sauces to try a variety of blends. This one tasted just right. Leftovers the next day were even tastier as the flavors had blended beautifully. But that's par for most stock-based soups.