Well Dear Readers I'M BACK!!
Did you miss me/the recipes??? I hope so.
While it was good to get away it's good (I think) to be back home. We seem to have been lucky and missed a lot of the bad weather here at home. "The Darlings" even managed to do a little body surfing at the beach (too cold for this little black duck though!!)
I decided while I was away that I have to put my hand up and declare myself a food snob!!
I got quite tetchy one night when we went out for dinner because I had to eat pasta!!! When I go out I want to eat something better than I can cook myself!!! I can cook pizza or pasta any old day of the week. When I eat out I want to eat something a little exciting - or at least something that I couldn't be bothered cooking myself. The trouble is when you have "Darlings" in tow it really limits your dining options. The fine dining experience doesn't have "kids menus" - and I must say I am not going to pay $30+ for a meal for them (particularly when they may or may not eat it!!!). So what does that leave you with???
You know the places!!! Places where there is always chips on your plate!!! When we come home from holidays I always have a "no chips policy for at least a couple of weeks". One of "the Darlings" would live on cheeseburgers and chips while we are away if I let him!!! Kids menus are so limited for those of limited palate!!! Are there not any kids/parents out there that think there is more to life than nuggets and chips!!!
I did manage to cook a couple of times - but even there you have a different set of limits - limited utensils, and you really are limited to ingredients - unless you want to go home with a boot that looks like a pantry!!! So one night I made oysters kilpatrick for entree, and then salmon with couscous. The supermarket had some lovely pre-prepared chicken (and don't tell them) vegetable sausage rolls. Another night I made a fabulous butter prawns (shame that I left the apartment smelling like a curry house!!!). All in all though we didn't fare too badly.
As I promised I will share with you now the meal that I made the night before we left - it was a lovely Beef Satay with a Cashew (Satay) Sauce - and no it did not get me eliminated from the house! In fact - they all loved it!!
Beef Satay with Cashew Sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 orange, juiced
3 cloves crushed garlic
3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
1.2kg rump steak - cut into strips approx 1cm x 3cm x 5cm - or cubes - whatever you like!!
Bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes!!
200g roasted salted cashews
1 clove crushed garlic
1 red chilli, finely chopped (remove seeds to lessen the heat)
small amount of oil for frying garlic & chilli
270ml coconut milk (I used light)
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tbs honey
2 tbs light soy sauce
To make the marinade combine soy sauce, honey, orange juice, garlic, ginger and oil in a bowl. Add the beef and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave to marinade for at least 3 hours.
To make the sauce grind or process the cashews until coarsely chopped. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium high heat, and add the garlic and chilli, stir for approximately 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the nuts, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, and soy. Bring to the boil, then simmer stirring for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Drain the beef, discard the marinade. Thread the beef onto the bamboo skewers. Preheat a chargrill pan, or barbecue pan on high (I actually grilled them in the oven - place them on foil lined tray!!) Cook turning for approximately 3 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Rare is best as they don't become too chewy!!!
Serve with steamed rice and the cashew sauce.
They will be asking for MORE!!!
To take away I also made some brownies - that were a great hit. In fact we had to hide them on the top of the cupboard out of sight - but even so I think I only ended up with 2 pieces!!!
Double Choc Marble Swirl Brownies
2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g choc chips
1/3 cup cocoa powder
100g white choc chips
Preheat oven to 180C (non fan) Line a 20x30cm slab pan with non stick paper.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, and stir until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Sift the flour over the egg mixture. Stir until well combined. Stir in the vanilla.
Divide the mixture evenly into 2 bowls.
Add the choc chips and the cocoa powder to one bowl. Stir until well combined.
Stir the white choc chips into the the other bowl.
Spoon the chocolate mixture and the white mixture alternatively over the base of the prepared pan. Use a flat bladed knife to create a swirled effect.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Don't overcook as they become quite hard - erring on the side of perhaps not quite cooked (skewer slightly moist) is best.
Let cool completely in the pan.
Cut into squares (and hide - the brownies not you - well unless you want to go hide and eat them all yourself!!!)
So what's for dinner tonight? Boring old burritos!! Rugby training and I am taking the path of least resistance!! Do not fear though - there will be some enticing recipes later in the week.