Sunday, September 27, 2009


Having taken Friday off of work to.... study..... I ended up doing my market shopping, and going out for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. But yesterday to everyone's surprise, including mine, I sat down and have almost completed my presentation for Barossa Tourism (The TG and I will have to go up in a couple of weekends and take some extra photos, but I figure he'll feel at home!)

At the markets I had bought the ingredients for this months' Daring Cooks recipe - give or take two key ingredients, so my Saturday night dinner plans were washed away. However I did have a packet of sheet noodles.

So I decided to reward myself for finally doing the damn presentation by cooking myself my famous HuaNiuRouMian (滑牛肉面), or Slippery Beef Noodles. I call them this because there's beef in it and they're slippery.

  1. In a hot wok cook about 3 tablespoons of peanut oil for a couple of minutes and allow to cool. Once cool mix half of this with a teaspoon of corn flour, a teaspoon of soy sauce and a splash of water. Marinate about 200g of beef strips in this for at least half an hour.
  2. Cut strips of noodles off the sheet - nice thick noodles. Cover in a bowl with boiling water, pulling the noodles apart with chopsticks. They will only take a couple of minutes to cook. Drain them and set aside.
  3. Heat the left over oil in the wok again and fry off half a small, diced onion, garlic, ginger and half a teaspoon of hot pepper sauce. When this is coloured, add the beef with all of the marinade and cook until almost done through.
  4. Then add a couple of bunches of Chinese spinach. This is often grown hydroponically so needs a good wash to get rid of any sand. I sometimes don't do this properly and the whole dish ends up a bit crunchy. Once the spinach is wilted remove everything from the wok.
  5. Pop the noodles into the wok and season them with a mixture of half a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of light soy and a teaspoon and a half of dark thick soy. Add a small splash of fish sauce for seasoning.
  6. Return the beef and vegetables and heat through
  7. Consume immediately!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

happiness is

coming home and finding exciting things in the postbox

Sunday, September 20, 2009

procrastination post 2,958

Recently I expressed dismay at the horrible state of my home. Also, I'm working on a large, boring research project for my Masters studies and finally the Teutonic God that was supposed to move into chez-BHG months ago is actually rocking up in a fortnight's time (Teutonic Gods have very strict attitudes to cleanliness. And everything else it should be noted).

So in an attempt to not do the boring research project I have not only be rearranging my stamp collection -yes, you read correctly I'm so un-keen to do this I've been moving stamps about in albums - but have also cleaned the fridge. So TG can eat in safety.

Fridge Door, Before and After

Fridge, before and after.

And the Recycling elves are happy too.

Monday, September 14, 2009

daring cooks do dosa

Finally I have been able to take part in a Daring Cook's challenge - too much fish in recent months. Yukky.

This month's hostess, Debyi from The Healthy Vegan Kitchen talked us through Dosa. Debyi did hers with a chickpea filling and a very good looking coconut sauce on top.

Being different.... OK being disorganised, I did mine a little different, but more Marsala Dosa with a curried potato filling. If you'd like to see Debyi's version there's a recipe on her site. This is mine.

Saag-Aloo (without the Saag).
Peel and dice two smallish potatoes and boil until soft. Drain and set aside.

Heat some vegetable oil in a fry pan until seriously hot, but not smoking and toss in a half teaspoon of black mustard seeds. When they start to pop add a half a teaspoon each of cumin seeds and chili flakes along with two cloves of finely chopped garlic. Cook for a minute and then add half a small chopped onion. Add a teaspoon of cumin powder and half a teaspoon of turmeric and fry to cook the spices. If you're adding Saag, you'd do it now. But I was not so I did not! Add the potatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Add some water or stock if needed to bring everything together. I also put in some coriander leaves.

OK, this is your filling.

To make the dosa mix together 1 cup plain flour, pinch salt, half a teaspoon of baking powder, a generous pinch of cumin, and then stir in 1/2 milk milk mixed with 3/4 cup of water to make a thin batter.

Ladle this batter into a hot oiled pan to make the dosa. Keep 'em thin. Unfortunately mine were much too like pancakes. Misshaped pancakes as you can see.

They still were delicious. Just not dosa. Next time I will try a different batter and make proper Sambal to go with them.

Or I will just go to my favourite dosa man, just near Sansag Marg in New Delhi. Now, this guy knows how to make dosa!!!

UPDATE: Bollocks. Now I want dosa.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

why it's good i'm not a breeder

I'm not sure if this is accurate, but it seems once most people have passed on their genes, they become cleaner. All of a sudden dishes are done and carpets hoovered and things put away. Sharp corners are minimised and batteries are no longer left sitting on the coffee table once they've been changed in the remote.

This afternoon I contemplated my fridge.

Actually I was looking for the tomato paste for this month's Daring Cooks challenge (posts tomorrow). What I did find was an old tin of cat food with interesting growths, the bones from a leg of lamb I did about two weekends ago and half a cabbage that must have been there for at least two months. How the fuck to you loose half a cabbage in a standard fridge. It was a big one too. Then there's the lentil soup that's about to turn, stewed rhubarb, although that's going in me tonight, and assorted bags with half bunches of spring onions.

The door shelves are more of a mystery.

Many jars here of dubious origin and date, although this one has obviously been there a while. It would also appear that I've transported it here from the house I was in previously. Note cat hair stuck to the lid.

There are also jars of home made jam - whose home I'm not sure - salad cream (I don't even eat salad cream), tahini, pad thai sauce, vitamins I don't remember buying etc etc. I'm sure this would give most toddlers instant listeria.

Then there are the dust bunnies around the speakers in my bed room I've been ignoring for the last couple of weeks.

Maybe it's time to get with the season and do some spring cleaning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

what did you do today?

5.30 - alarm goes off
5.31-6.45 - feed cats, shower, dress, pack lunch and work clothes, drink tea
6.46 - realise back tyre on bike is flat. again. shit
6.47 - get in car and drive to work
7.00-5.00 - do mindless job (read: sit in meetings all day where no one decides anything)
5.01 - leave work
5.02 - realise left lights on this morning and car battery is flat
5.50 - thank nice RAA man and drive home like mad woman because I know if I stop at traffic lights the car will stall and I'll never get it started again.
6.05 - eat toast

I was going to take a picture of the glass of wine I'm drinking to go with this post, but the battery in both my point and shoot and SLR are flat and despite 30 minutes of hunting I have absolutely no idea where I put the chargers.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

more comfort cooking

My Barossa Tourism Region presentation has been rescheduled. That gives me another four full weeks of procrastinations. Today's method? Indian bread.

Aloo Parantha
1 small potato, mashed
three slices of onion, then finely diced
half bunch coriander, finely chopped
1 red chili, finely chopped

Put about this much plain flour out on a bench (note my canny placement of standard objects in the background to give perspective. Old archaeologists trick).

In this well add about two tablespoons of the yogurt and a generous splash of milk and pinch of salt. Then add enough water to make a firm dough, after kneading for about 3 minutes.

Make the filling..... well.... by mixing all the filling ingredients together.

This amount of flour makes about three parantha, so divide the dough into three bits.

Push each bit out with the ball of your hand to make a small circle. Place a large pinch of filling in the middle, and fold over the dough to enclose the filling. Then roll out on a floured bench. Some of the filling will break through, this is normal so don't worry.

Then heat a heavy based fry pan and fry the bread on both sides in butter or ghee.

My suggestion is to serve with the absolutely fantastic dahl they serve at raj on taj. Exquisite food, shocking service.

Next on the menu? I have roast veg in the oven. Then rhubarb and apple crumble.