Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Food diary w/c 8th April

Busy busy busy this week. I havent stopped and I am heading towards a busy weekend too. We are off to Cornwall where Kat's mum has a house by the beach and I can't wait. So with a busy week ahead, this week's menu has to be simple, quick and delicious! Somehow I miscounted the week and only bought enough ingredients for the first three days, baby brain still! So I resort to my trustworthy freezer, so Thursday and Friday meals are freezer meals so I won't include them in this week's post. Have you ever been to the supermarket and seen something and thought 'ooh that would be good to have in the freezer' and then never use it. I have just visited the freezer and if I really want to, I can live the whole of next week out of my freezer. It ain't going to happen though :)

Monday - Asian steam salmon with ginger and soy, stir fried baby gem lettuce
Tuesday - Venison stroganoff with wild and chestnut mushrooms, brown rice
Wednesday - Pork udon noodles in XO sauce
Thursday - Fish soup, garlic bread
Friday - Meatballs melt


Asian steam salmon with ginger and soy, stir fried baby gem lettuce

I make this dish a lot. It is easy and quick as it is done in the microwave. Normally you use baby gem in salad but stir frying them is delicious as it is crunchy, juicy and holds the sauce really well. The other lettuce you can use are iceberg or romaine. My mum has always done lettuce this way at home and it is really refreshing. If you have a metal wok, they taste even better as it gives it a smoky taste when you get the wok very hot.

2 salmon fillets
A small knob of ginger, thinly julienned
1 spring onions thinly julienned
a handful of roughly chopped coriander
Sauce - Mix 2 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and a dash of Shaoshing wine
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Put the fillets in a microwavable dish, sprinkle with ginger and cover with clingfilm. Put in the microwave for 1 minute, then pour in the sauce and put the spring onions and coriander on top. Don't worry that it covers the fish. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes or until your salmon is just cooked. Don't nuke it! In a pan, heat the oils until it is smoking, pour onto the fish (it will sizzle). Serve hot with rice.

With the vegetables, heat oil and add chopped 2 cloves of garlic, add the lettuce, about a tablespoon of oyster sauce, a dash of water and stir fry till the lettuce just goes limp on the edges. They will still be crunchy. Don't over cook.


Venison stroganoff with wild and chestnut mushrooms, brown rice

Hmmm not the best presentation in the world, rather brown looking I must admit! But I assure you that it is delicious. Perfect for cold rainy evenings.

1 pack of diced venison (I got mine from Morrisons) think its about 250g
1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
A handful of dry wild mushrooms soaked in a cup of hot water
1 onion sliced
1 tablespoon of redcurrant jelly
1 tsp of paprika + some for the flour mixture
flour to coat the meat
salt and pepper
sour cream

First, season some flour with salt, pepper and paprika. Coat the meat in the mixture and dust off excess flour. Heat some oil in the pan and brown the meat. Once browned take the meat out and fry the onions until soft. Some of the flour will stick to the pan, don't worry about this. It will come off and thicken the sauce nicely after. Add mushrooms and fry till slightly soften, tip in the meat, the wild mushrooms and the water it was soaking in. Add more water if it is too dry, just enough to cover the meat, paprika, redcurrant jelly and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 1/2 hour - 40 minutes till meat is tender. Add sour cream right before serving and adjust seasoning if necessary. You can serve it with rice or pasta.


Pork udon noodles in XO sauce

XO sauce is one of the most expensive sauce to make as its main ingredient is scallops. If you go to a Chinese restaurant, they have various dishes made with this particular sauce. Developed in the 1980s in Hong Kong for Cantonese cuisine, it is made of roughly chopped dried seafoods, including scallops, dried fish and shrimp, and subsequently cooked with chili peppers, onions, and garlic. Spring Moon, the Peninsula Hong Kong's Chinese restaurant is often credited with the invention of XO sauce, although others claim the sauce's origin in the urban area of Kowloon.

Thankfully in the world of consumerism, we do not have to make this sauce, it comes in a jar and you can buy it in any good Chinese supermarket. Not sure how much scallop is in it but it tastes good. Same principle of oyster sauce, I suppose!
My favourite dish from the Watersky restaurant in Bristol is its fried seafood udon in XO sauce. The sauce is pungent, slightly sweet and delicately spicy which goes really well with seafood. Unfortunately I didn't have any seafood so I decided to try it with pork instead.

150g pork loin sliced thinly, marinated in a dash of soy & cornflour at room temperature
1 onion sliced
1 pepper sliced
A handful of mangetout and asparagus
2 packs of Udon noodles
Dash of water
2 tablepsoon on XO sauce
1 tablespoon of Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) - optional. This is to add spiciness and colour.

Heat oil in pan and fry the onions and peppers on a high heat so that it is slightly charred. You can achieve this best in an iron wok to give it a smoky taste. If not a frying pan is fine. Add pork and cook for a further 2 minutes. Tip in the noodles. The noodles will have a stiff texture when they come out of a packet so you need to add a dash of water to soften it. Add the vegetables, XO sauce and gochujang. Fry until well incorporated. Make sure you have your wok on high heat and work fast. The XO sauce is quite salty so I didn't add any other seasoning but you can always add some seasoning if necessary.

Happy Cooking x

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