Western

Quiche

I decided that I’ll be using recipes from the many cookbooks I own from now on. Not that I dont think Internet ones are bad but to justify purchasing all the cookbooks I have in my kitchen now! 😅

So I picked up the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook on Pies and Tarts. I used to be such a fan of this Australian Women’s Weekly series and have a few in my kitchen.

I decided to make the quiche. The recipe for the pie crust was easy!

Plain flour: 225g

Cold butter: 125g

One egg yolk

And a couple teaspoons of cold water to combine

I must say after I started on my sourdough journey, I’ve been using weight measurements than cups. It’s more precise and I think it’s easy too once you have the weighing scale and just using the tare function, I can get all I need in one bowl.

The dough came nicely. After wrapping in cling film and refrigerating it for half an hour, I rolled it and naked blind in the oven.

For the filling, I used Turkey ham and French Brie cheese. The custard mixture came to 1/4 cup double cream, a few tablespoons of milk, 2 eggs. I seasoned with only black pepper and added chopped coriander because I didn’t have parsley.

Me filling in the pie with the custard mixture.
Perfect measurements! Nothing wasted.
Here it is straight out of the oven.
Top few.
A slice.
Salads and Vegetables, Snack, Western

Poutine

I’ve a cool game I am playing with the children now. Though they are older now, it doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun, especially in this trying pandemic era.

In the last post I shared that the game involves being blindfolded and picking a country at random. Whichever country the finger lands at, I will learn more about the country and cook dishes relevant or popular to that place.

Last week after picking Mali the previous week, the Boy’s finger landed smack on Victoria Island, Canada. Now, that’s like almost Arctic territory and I scoured the Net but there’s very limited information about Victoria Island. I even borrowed a book online on Canadian cuisine but nothing on Victoria Island. Disappointed, I decided then to make Canada’s national dish of sorts – poutine!

What is there not to like about fried potatoes! But what’s even better is that it’s served with homemade gravy! And what can make it even better? Adding cheese. Goodness. Loaded with all the good stuff, but yes, not a diet friendly dish at all!

The first thing I did was make the gravy. Authentic ones use a combination of beef and chicken stock but I never have ready made home-made beef stock so I used all chicken. It’s so simple to make. Make a roux of butter and plain flour and make sure the mixture darkens to a dark brown. Add black pepper here at this stage. This adds to the fragrance of the gravy. Once it’s a dark brown, slowly add chicken stock and stir furiously. After that, thicken with 1-2 tsp of cornflour that had been mixed with some water. And that’s it! You may choose to season with salt but for me, that’s just too much sodium because I used boxed chicken stock.

For the potatoes, I used Idaho russet potatoes. They were huge, and the perfect length. Twice fry the potatoes. The first at a lower temperature to cook the insides, and the second at a higher temperature to crisp them up.

I don’t have cheese curds. We don’t have a wide range of cheeses here so I read that the best substitute is mozzarella. Use the block kind and tear it up into chunks.

And that’s it. Poutine is delicious but must be eaten hot. I’m glad I am playing this game because seriously, sometimes I run out of ideas on what to make next for the family. This is spontaneous and educational. Travelling vicariously through food and books now since it’s been 1.5 years since we travelled out of our island. 😦

food, Meat, Western

Cowboy Steaks using GR’s Texan Rub

One day while watching YouTube, I saw an episode of Gordon Ramsay in Texas I think. He was making a breakfast steak.

And then one day as I was browsing through the website of a meat supplier, I saw that this particular one was selling the same type of beef cut. So I bought one and made Gordon’s recipe.

And yesterday as we had a movie lunch day with my sister’s family, I decided to make a full blown Texan inspired meal.

I must say the outcome was amazing!

The menu yesterday was:

Cowboy steak, coleslaw, baked potatoes, air fried corn, Texan rice, chimichurri sauce, baked chicken wings

Let’s start with his rub recipe. I took a picture of the recipe from someone who posted

it on his website.

But let’s see what I had to substitute and remove. There was no way I could get ancho chilli here nor Aleppo so I used Kashmiri powder and removed the ancho powder. The result was still amazing.

I had the best coffee blend and so the smell from this rub was super amazing.
So The Man saw me massaging the steaks lovingly and couldn’t resist snapping a picture and teasing me about it.
Resting these ginormous steak cuts
They were perfectly cooked.
The entire lunch spread.

Ah, ‘‘twas a good meal. Thanks Mr Ramsay for this recipe idea. It really is an amazing rub.

Poultry, Snack, Western

Quick and Easy Creamy Chicken Mini Pies

I’m a working mom. Yes, I do have a helper but that doesn’t mean the helper does everything so I do my bit too. So often, I find myself in the kitchen trying something new for the family to try.

Growing up, my mother used to make for us chicken pies. From scratch, mind you. She’ll make the pastry herself and the filling and voila! As little kids, all we had to do was pop one in the mouth. Ok, several mouthfuls. They were delicious and something my brother and I always looked forward to.

But, like I said, I’m working a full time job. But I do want to make pies. So I found an easy way and that’s to use ready rolled shortcrust pastries. Just cut them into rounds, place on a muffin tray, add the filling, brush the tops with and egg wash and then done! In the oven they go.

I like this brand because it’s vegan. And the slight
saltiness is perfect!
Spray muffin tray with olive oil spray can, add the pastry, filling and top it with a small disc of the pastry.
My filling is super easy. 500g of chicken breasts, cubed and seasoned with Korean seasoning of salt and pepper (I love to use theirs but regular salt and pepper will do), cubed potatoes and peas. I seasoned the mixture after frying garlic in olive oil and adding the chicken and potatoes with a teaspoon of curry powder and three teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika. Then add the peas and finally 200g of cooking cream. Then because I had a whole bunch of frozen basil, I chopped them up and put inside the mixture. Cook till reduced.
The cooked ready to be filled creamy chicken potato and peas filling.
Prick the tops with a fork and the. Brush with egg wash. Bake in oven at 190 degree Celsius till brown.
Yummy chicken pies!! They’re rustic looking!
Beautiful to look at and delicious eaten hot!

If a busy working mom can do this in less than an hour, so can you! 😆

Meat, Western

Beef Cheeks Burger

My first time ever cooking beef cheeks! I had seen this at the premium butcher and decided to try it. Beef cheeks takes an extremely long time to cook, but when it’s done, it’s so soft and gelatinous. Well, not that gelatinous, but definitely it doesn’t have the firm meaty texture of regular cuts of beef.

I decided to just cook them simply. My supermarket ran out of non-alcoholic red wine so what I did was to first sear the beef cheek, and then in my cast iron enamel pot, simmer it with a whole bottle of passata, chicken stock, lots of rosemary sprigs, garlic, a dash of Maggi seasoning (or Worcestershire sauce), salt. Because this took almost three hours to cook! The resulting sauce was soooooo sweet! But like I swore to my mom who had come to visit that night, I did not add any sugar! The sweetness really came from the hours of simmering, rendering the tomato passata sweet naturally.

The next day, I turned the beef cheeks into a burger. It was the bomb! Soft buttered toasted buns, alfalfa sprouts, baby spinach leaves, beef cheeks and slather some of its sauce over.

I doubt I’ll be making this again not because it’s not delicious, but nobody in the family liked the soft gelatinous texture of beef cheeks. Oh, well. At least I enjoyed my cheeks!