Monday, May 7, 2012


I have been thinking about what to post for while now. Some days, inspiration just doesn't strike. I may also be hindered by my nagging wonder of what to cook for dinner.

I know! I'll just write down some easy recipes. That will make my blog post, and then I can choose dinner from my recipes!

Now, my dad is a very good cook. And I have worked as a cafe cook for years now. But when I choose to cook at home, I am no foodie snob. In fact, due to my ever-decreasing attention-span, quick and easy food is a must. Or I just get bored/tired/depressed in the middle of cooking and struggle to finish.

So don't expect haute cuisine here. But do expect use of tins and jars of pre-made sauce, lots of bacon, and food that can be cooked within half an hour (no lingering over the stove-top for me, lest I walk away and the dogs decide dinner is theirs!). So - to write down some of my favourite meals! All food is ostensibly for 4. But I do over-cater regularly, so you will probably have leftovers.

Shepherd's Pie.

500 grams beef mince.

2 rashers bacon, finely diced.
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced.
1 onion, peeled and finely diced.
1 big handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped.
8 potatoes, 4 medium and 4 small, peeled and cut into quarters.
Gravy powder.
Cream or milk.
Grated cheese.

Boil potatoes until soft and mashable. While they are boiling, put bacon, onion, carrot and mushrooms in a saucepan with a little butter and cook until the onion and carrot are cooked through. Then add mince. Cook until mince is browned, and then add a little water and enough gravy powder to make a rich saucy mixture.

Put mince mixture into an oven-proof dish, making sure you will have enough space to add mashed potato and cheese on top. Then, when potatoes are cooked, mash them with butter, cream or milk, and salt to taste. Layer mashed potato on top of mince.

Finally, grate cheddar cheese, and put a generous layer on top of the mashed potato. Then turn your oven onto 180 degrees Celsius and cook until the cheese is melted and going brown on top. Serve with peas and corn. Easy!


500 grams Hokkien noodles (the fresh kind found in the refrigerator section of the supermarket).
500 grams thin sliced beef.
Tinned baby corn. 
Tinned sliced water chestnuts.
Bean sprouts.
Stir-fry vegetables (celery, capsicum, carrot, spring onion, bok choy, beans... whatever you think will taste nice or have lying around in your fridge.)
Hoisin sauce.
Soy sauce.
Oyster sauce.

If you are smart enough to think ahead, marinade the beef in a mixture of the three sauces overnight. Otherwise, put a kettle of water on to boil, and start stirfrying the beef with the tinned vegetables and the stirfry vegetables (after chopping them, obviously) in a large frying pan or wok.

When the beef and vegetables are close to being cooked, add sauces to taste. Pour hot water over unwrapped hokkien noodles in a saucepan, and wait for a couple of minutes. Use a fork to separate noodles. Drain, and then add noodles to beef and vegetable mix. If the noodles aren't hot enough, heat in wok. Otherwise go ahead and serve!

Beef Stroganoff.

750 grams thin sliced beef.
1 packet fettucine.
1 onion, sliced.
2 big handfuls mushrooms, sliced.
Plain flour.
Tomato paste.
Sour cream.

Stirfry beef, onions and mushrooms with a little butter until onion is translucent and beef is browned. Add plain flour until all is coated. Then add a little hot water and a generous helping of tomato paste until meat and vegetables are in a rich tomato gravy. If sauce is too thin, add gravy powder. If it is too thick, simply add more water. Season with paprika. (Paprika is derived from capsicums, and has a peppery taste. Therefore you will not have to add pepper. The saltiness of the gravy and tomato paste should mean that you will not need salt either.)

Cook fettucine according to packet directions. Drain. Just before combining, add a generous helping of sour cream to the meat sauce, according to taste. Stir fettucine through, coating it with sauce, and serve!

Ok, that's enough for today. I wonder if I have any noodles around to cook for tonight?

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