Winter seems to have arrived here in the lower North Island, and coupled with a flat-out week, has meant that I have gone to bed early-ish and neglected writing about what we have been eating… I have however, taken photos of the meals we have had! Priorities and all that…
Mondays during term time are really busy, with ballet class straight after school; by the time we get home, Miss T is tired out, hungry, and needing an early night. So, Mondays tend to be our “Sausages” night. Sausages are Miss T’s favourite meal – she would eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner if she could, so there are never any complaints from her about dinner. So Monday dinners tend to be accompanied by a mashed potato mountain and a gravy lake…
The rest of the week was equally busy, between Parent Teacher interviews, visiting my Dad, Pippins, work, and taking one of our cats to the Vet (he is fine, btw, but needed a urinalysis to check for crystals in his kidneys – clear – and as a consolation prize had his first immunisations). Looking back, I am a bit gobsmacked to see that there was actual effort made for the main meals this week…
Miss 2o was away on Wednesday night (which was also Pippins night), so I seized the opportunity to have an easy meal for Miss 5 and myself: Steak, Bacon, Hashbrowns, and Eggs. I did consider cooking some tomatoes, but decided against it…. I also did not take a photo…
Crumbed schnitzel with twice-baked crunchy potatoes; Marinated Sticky Chicken Nibbles with Rice and Stirfried Veges (I used those frozen stir-fry mixes, just defrosted them and drained them well before stirfrying); Roast Lamb (with roast potatoes, roast kumara, and roast pumpkin); and Homemade Burgers with the Lot!! All meals we have had this week.
One technique I use and want to show you that is super easy, fast and looks impressive, is the Rolling Cut. I used it this week when we had the crumbed schnitzel (top left photo).
The following photos show how to do this. It really is easy. Simply turn your carrot (or other vegetable you are slicing) 45deg before making another cut on an angle about 3/4″ further up. Turn, cut. Turn, Cut.
Then just cook as usual.
The marinade I use for marinating chicken (in an Asian-type dish) is very simple as well:
honey (warm in the microwave), soy sauce, minced garlic, mined ginger, and a good slug of sweet chilli sauce (if you like). Tip the chicken pieces into the marinade, let marinate for at least a couple of hours, turning a couple of times in that time. Place these onto a lined baking dish, and cook at 180deg for about 30 – 45 minutes (for nibbles and chicken drums), then just before serving, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds…
Would you like to know my secret for getting perfect crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-in-the-middle roast potatoes?? This is it:
Line your vegetable roasting dish with baking paper, then drizzle with oil. Peel (or scrub) your vegetables, then DRY them. Place them in the roasting dish, but rub each of them with the oil in the dish, then lie them flat side UP (if you put flat side down, the flat side forms a vacuum with the oil, and rips that side off when you go to turn them over). Roast for 45 minutes then turn over, roast again for 20 – 30 minutes, then turn again. Roast for a further 30 minutes (by which time, your roasted meat should be cooked to perfection)
The same applies for the other roasted veges, just remember that kumara and pumpkin tend to roast up quicker than potatoes, so maybe have them in a separate roasting dish so you can remove them from the oven when they are cooked.
The great thing about Homemade Burgers, is that you can put in almost whatever you like. My burger patties when I don’t want to make the Pork and Apple Burgers (which also have Zucchini in them… you can find that recipe here ), consist simply of 250gm pork mince, 250gm beef mince, salt and fresh ground black pepper, and a good couple of pinches of dried rosemary, and dried oregano. Mix well, then divide into 4 portions and shape into patties. Cook in a lightly oiled hot pan until browned on one side, then turn over and cook the other. I often brown both sides and place on a lined baking tray and finish in the oven – 180deg).
With your own burger, some good toppings are:
- smooshed avocado
- fried egg
- fried onion rings
- sliced tomatoes
- pineapple rings
Some condiments that go well with all these are tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise.
And all good burgers should be accompanied by deep-fried or oven-baked potato concoctions… my current favourite is the Birds Eye Sea Salt and Garlic Roasties.
Enjoy your week, I hope I have given you some ideas for your own family’s meals 🙂