I got my cooking mojo back! Hurrah!
Since the in-laws arrived over the weekend, I’ve had the chance to actually cook proper dinners (and sometimes even lunch) instead of doing my one big meal (usually a baked pasta or spaghetti sauce or something casserole-y) that lasts for days.
So on Monday I made beef horfun for the first time, roughly using this recipe from 3 Hungry Tummies. Essentially it’s thin slices of marinated beef, rice noodles, a leafy vegetable like caixin (choy sum) and an eggy gravy. Adding lots of fresh ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce make it taste great. Plus you can pile the veg on for a healthier meal. Or substitute fish and other seafood (prawns and squid) or other meats like thinly sliced chicken or pork. I used dried rice noodles, easily found at most Asian supermarkets. You could probably find fresh rice noodles there too.
Claypot rice was my go-to dinner on Tuesday. It’s traditionally done in a claypot and cooked over a stove resulting in a fantastic crispy layer of ‘burnt’ rice at the bottom. But I don’t have a claypot and decided to make full use of my rice cooker.
Here’s how it works. Cut up the chicken (I used skinless boneless thighs) into about 1-inch pieces. Marinate in soy sauce, a bit of sesame oil and white pepper for at least an hour (I do this all during naptime which is from about 2-4 depending on my luck). In the meantime cook some Jasmine rice. Then peel the skin off a couple of Chinese sausage or lupcheong and slice diagonally. Peel a 2 inch piece of ginger and chop in half. And peel some garlic cloves. After the chicken has done its marinating, heat some oil in a wok, add in the ginger and garlic and brown them for a bit. Add in the Chinese sausage and the chicken until the chicken has changed colour a little (it will finish cooking in the rice cooker). About 10 minutes before your rice is done (my Zojirushi counts down the final ten minutes) add in the mixture from the wok. Try not to add the liquid. But also pour some dark soy sauce (2-3 tablespoons depending on how dark you like your rice – dark soy sauce isn’t very salty) and some light soy sauce (about 1-2 tablespoons). I also like to add sesame oil. Let the rice cooker finish and leave it for another 10 minutes to warm. (Here’s a link to another recipe)
I served the claypot rice with a garlicky stirfry of carrots, green beans and zucchini.
Wednesday was a change in direction and we went westward with some spaghetti and meatballs. Mostly to use up one eggplant and the meatballs that have been sitting in my freezer for a while. I made a simple tomato sauce with shallots, garlic, diced eggplant and canned tomatoes. And various herbs and spices. Let simmer. Add the meatballs. Cook spaghetti.
Wee Reader asked for it to be packed as lunch for school on Thursday. In kid terms that’s a successful meal!
Thursday morning found me digging in the meat drawers of my freezer for dinner ideas.
Ah there we go. Pork chops.
I like to buy those big packs of pork chops from Costco. Somehow they are so much tastier than pork chops from other supermarkets.
The plan – marinate them (in a little cornflour, L&P sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper), panko them (first dredge in flour, then dip in a beaten egg, then panko) and panfry them. Serve with stirfried caixin.
On Friday I let my mother-in-law cook for a change and she made a soy sauce-based chicken stew with eggplant and broccoli. Served with rice.
The weekends were for eating out and what a feast we had: dim sum, Indian food, Japanese food! Oh my!
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