I don’t know how people feel about sausages in particular but I do know having a piece done well is never a bad thing. Sausages should be browned with a nice tan, but not burned; when you sink your teeth into a one, it should be toasty but not shrivelled, succulent and not dry. This morning, I’ve just discovered the best way to cook sausages, so that you get that crispy exterior enveloping juicy mince. Here’s how I did it:
- Place your sausages into a pot with a small drizzle of oil.
- Turn up the heat to medium and put the lid on, keeping any steam released within the pot.
- Let the sausages fry about by rolling them about in the pot with the lid still on. Check occasionally.
- Once the sausages are nicely browned, turn down the heat to the lowest setting and let them steam slowly for a couple of brief minutes before serving.
Remember, crispy yet juicy.
They always say, ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.’ I’ve never actually taken that to heart, until recently when I realised that having a good breakfast in the morning is not only a healthy thing to do, it also and almost always will set you up well for the day’s challenges and tasks.
Yes, we’re all really busy people and sometimes breakfasts are the last thing you’d wanna think about when the sun comes up. It’s always either rushing to head out to work or school, or plain just paying off those sleep debts, hitting the snooze button, again and again, and again.
In any case, when you do get time, please do sit down and have a hearty breakfast, because it’s good for your heart, in more ways than one.
Perfect scrambled eggs recipe here.
There’s word of this fifth basic taste going round, a taste alongside salty, sweet, sour or bitter; it’s called umami. According to Wikipedia, it means ‘pleasant savoury taste’ in Japanese. It’s the taste most common in Japanese food, which makes it so well-loved. ‘The human tongue has receptors for L-glutamate, which is the source of umami flavour. As such, scientists consider umami to be distinct from saltiness.’ So you ask? How and where do you get umami from? Tomatoes.
I believe having tomatoes at breakfast is a great way to start your day, awakening your belly with wholesome savoury goodness, not just salty ham or bacon.
Have them with your sausages today.
A couple of days ago, I came across this like fancy trick to make mushrooms look pretty, and so I learnt that it’s called fluting. I think brown cap mushrooms are best for this so you see the design better with the difference in colours.
With a small sharp knife in hand, press the cap of the mushroom gently but surely against the knife. Note that the mushroom is cut by being pressed towards the knife; while the knife stays rather still throughout. Of course, this is done before the mushroom is cooked.
I think before this, mushrooms never looked more presentable.
Try it today!
Here’s help get every bit of gravy out of the pan whenever you make Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pork or Black Pepper Beef. You need to be doing two things: 1) Making Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pork or Black Pepper Beef. 2) Having it with steamed rice.
After you’re done with the meat dishes and have gotten them out of the pan, add in a couple of scoops of your steamed rice. Turn on the heat and toss everything about. Let the immaculate grains of fragrant starch slip into the bronze coats of savoury delight.
No gravy wasted, flavoured rice, and your pan’s now easier to wash.
It’s been a busy busy week. Here’s one of the hasty but hefty meals I made during the course of the past seven days.
Stir-fried and real quick to make.
Almost Asian, use a fork to rake.
- 1 portion quick cook spaghetti
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 80g lean pork, or pork shoulder, thinly sliced
- 2 inches carrot, cut into small 1-inch slices
- 1 brown mushroom, sliced
- 1 handful young spinach leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
- As always, set your pasta away in a pot of boiling water. Carrots go in there as well.
- In a hot wok, heat up the oil. Dip the sprigs of rosemary into the pasta pot for 5 seconds, before tossing into the wok. TIP! This exposure to hot water for such a short time make a world of a difference; the herb begins to release its fragrant oils.
- Just before the rosemary starts getting too happy in there, toss in the garlic and fry till fragrant.
- Then add in the pork. Stir about and add water from the pasta pot in small quantities, to aid to cooking of the meat.
- The pasta should be done soon. So toss in the mushrooms to the wok now.
- Drain the pasta when al dente and add to the wok. Turn off the heat.
- Spinach goes in as well. Mix well.
- Season accordingly with sea salt and black pepper.
- Once spinach has wilted, serve.
This is a great lazy cheat for awesome slurpy food when you’ve got some soup leftovers. (Note: This only works for clear soups, mostly the Asian sort. And of course, minestrone soup.)
I know I’ve sorta made a post about this before but hey, this is specifically for Coucous in Chinese Chicken Soup. You might say it’s a level up from Couscous, Stocked.
- Get your chicken soup leftover into a bowl and chuck it into the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Yes, that’s TWO minutes on high heat; you want it piping hot.
- And then in goes the couscous, right into the blistering hot bowl of soup. TIP! The ratio for this a little tricky. But basically, you need enough liquid to cover the coucous. Since you’re doing the reverse i.e. adding couscous to liquid, add the grains just so that there’s still enough water to cover the coucous. In this case, it’s okay to put less than more. (When the couscous is done, the grains would have been completely swollen with tasty goodness.)
- Cover with a plate or lid for 5-7 minutes.
- Have it hot, like you would with chunky soup.
Photography: Sarah Lee
It’s tragic how I had my first Yorkshire Pudding only when I came to London some months back. It was about the size of my palm, and carried a scoopful of lovely roast beef, white onions and gravy. Definitely love at first bite. I always thought they were difficult to make until I came across Jamie’s Oliver’s Mini Yorkies recipe. Literally, a piece of cake.
Long story short, the versatile Yorkshire Puddings or Mini Yorkies: with a couple of tweaks, and some true advice from Yorkshireman Niall, here’s how I like mine done:
- 1 large egg
- half a mug of plain flour
- half a mug of fresh milk
- Into a shallow 12-hole muffin tray, liberally drizzle olive oil in one swift motion, from hole to hole without stopping. Stick into the oven and preheat to 180°C on the top rack. While that’s in there, prepare your pudding mix. It’s real similar to pancakes, so pay attention.
- Get the ingredients in a big bowl and mix away, till smooth.
- When the oil’s all hot (and maybe bubbly), get the tray out. Then, with the pudding mix, fill each hole to about half, give or take. At this stage, you’d be horrified to see the rings of oil surrounding the pudding mixture. Don’t worry, it beats using butter, hands down. (The amount should be just about right for 12 holes. Work out everything else in between.) Don’t take too long or the tray will cool down. Chuck it back into the oven for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, you can prepare a beef gravy or whatever you fancy in a yorkshire pudding. Personally, I think yorkies were created to caress beef.
- Keep an eye on them yorkies and you’ll see that they rise beautifully at the sides first, forming a little well of goodness. Done till golden. Brilliant. It’s plain physics, or so Sarah explains. If you forget to preheat the tray and oil till hot, the sides won’t rise.
This is what you’ll get:
I had this with a pork belly stew. More on that here.
A coupla months back, here’s how I had them:
After I’d gotten them out of the oven and out of the tray, this is what I stuck into each hole, and back into the heat:
- a slice of tomato, as the base.
- beef mince, marinated the way I like, with thyme and sage.
- half rings of white onion.
- cheddar, as the ‘glue’.
When the toppings were ready, on a chopping board, I plopped them onto the individual yorkies. Then, top off finally with a couple of leaves of arugula and a sprinkle of paprika.
With a snack looking this delish, you’d be a fool not to smile. (:
Mummy was out at work today so I had to make lunch for the family. Here’s a great one-dish meal to have with fresh bread or rice.
Red Wine & Oregano Beef Stew
- 250g minced beef, prepared with:
- 1 tbsp of corn flour
- 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 knob of butter
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- half a green pepper, chopped
- 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- half mug of beef or vegetable stock
- quarter mug of red wine
- 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
- a pinch of dried oregano
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a pinch of fresh coriander leaves
- Put the oil and knob of butter into a hot wok. TIP! This is to prevent the butter from burning to brown.
- Add the onion and green pepper, and fry till they start to shrivel a little.
- Toss in the carrot and potato.
- Together with the garlic and chilli, wine and stock, get the minced beef in.
- Add the dark soy sauce too.
- Season generously with freshly ground black pepper, and just a little salt, according to taste.
- Don’t forget the pinch of dried oregano.
- Bring to a boil, place a lid on top and lower the heat to a simmer.
- Let it stay on the stove for 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes or so that it doesn’t dry up. If it’s too dry for your liking, add water in small quantities till you get the consistency you want. Be sure to add salt if necessary.
- Serve with fresh coriander leaves on top.