Tag Archives: Onion

Spicy pork and mushroom noodles

Pasta is a great and easy option for weeknight dinners but that doesn’t mean it is always the best option. It’s easy to make a bit too much and it’s also very tempting to put creamy sauces or heaps of cheese on. So if you’re looking for a weeknight meal that’s easy, cheap and healthy it’s great to have some hokkien noodles in the cupboard. They’re super easy when you want a quick dinner- you don’t even have to cook them and they’re pre-packaged so you can keep track of portions and nutrition info. This is one of my favourite stir fry dishes to make with the noodles. It’s pretty versatile and you can use pork or turkey mince- whatever you have on hand. When you’re cooking the meat with the mushrooms and sauce it will seem like there is a bit too much liquid but once you simmer for a couple minutes and add the hokkien noodles they will soak up the sauce. Hokkien noodles are available at most grocery stores and at Costco you can often get a big box for just a couple dollars.

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Adapted from this recipe
Serves 4

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
4 servings of hokkien noodles
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces lean ground pork
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
4 lime wedges

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.

Add pork to pan; sauté for 2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add mushrooms and saute 2 more min or until brown. Add the green onions.

Stir in chopped onion, and salt; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in cornstarch. Gradually add stock; bring to a boil. Stir in soy sauce and sriracha; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the hokkien noodles and stir to combine. (Some hokkien noodles will need to be softened in boiling water- check the instructions on the package). Divide the noodles and and pork mixture among four shallow bowls. Serve with lime wedges.

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Filed under Pasta and rice, Recipes

Scrambled egg muffins

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Some people are morning people. I am not one of them.

My morning routine takes about an hour and if it starts before 10am, I’m usually not in a good mood during it. And that long routine doesn’t even include making breakfast.

Another one of my resolutions is to start eating breakfast. I’m one of those people who will just grab the $5 coffee and croissant deal from the cafe downstairs while running to work, one of those people who eats some Cheez-its out of the box for breakfast because pouring cereal and milk is way too much work, one of those people that thinks cold pizza in the morning can most times be better than hot pizza (but not in Australia, sorry guys but pizza here kind of sucks), one of those people who constantly seems to have expired milk in the fridge…you get what I mean.

So breakfast is always a struggle. Though I still think Cheez-its or Goldfish make a great breakfast. Alas, I have tried to stop eating cheese flavoured crackers for brekkie and make sure I eat a suitable breakfast food at a suitable breakfast hour instead. And since I’m constantly running out the door in the morning, I wanted something I could make in advance and eat for a few days. Enter the scrambled egg muffin, a genius of good ingredients, portable size and awesome-ness! I realize making scrambled eggs takes all of fifteen minutes but then you have to wash and sit down and use a fork and it’s all just a massive process in my world. So I decided to take all of that and put it in the shape of a muffin and make lots so I could eat them ALL WEEK. Genius? Why, yes I think so.

Scrambled egg muffins
Makes 10
6 eggs
1/2 onion, diced
2 pieces streaky bacon, diced
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat tasty cheese
Salt, pepper and olive oil

Preheat your oven to about 170C. Chop the onion, bacon, spinach and mushrooms to have them ready. Saute the bacon and onion in a frying pan with a teaspoon of oil on medium high heat. After two minutes add the mushrooms. Saute until the bacon is a bit crispy and the onion and mushrooms are soft. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes so it doesn’t cook the egg right away. In a big bowl scramble the eggs together. Throw in the onion, bacon, spinach, mushrooms and cheese. In a muffin tin coated with cooking spray or with little muffin cups (like the ones in the picture). Spoon the mixture evenly between the muffin cups. Put them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy!

These are quite small so I usually had two per morning but I think Ciaran could have had three per morning so it’s up to you. This is adapted from a recipe where the muffins were 133 calories each and this version just has more vegetables so the calorie count shouldn’t be too far off that.

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And that’s how I enjoy my morning.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Breakfast, Recipes

Tortilla de patatas

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This is one of those recipes that came up when we were trying to find a way to use up a bunch of almost-expired eggs. I don’t have a lot of experience with tortillas de patatas but it is very similar to a frittata, something a little more in my range of cooking knowledge.

Tortillas de patatas is a great idea for a large meal, we were trying to feed 12 people and it was perfect for such an occasion. Translated it means potato tortilla, but it’s really more of a potato omelet, and it’s a very common dish in Spanish culture. It’s also very versatile, the main ingredients are eggs, onions and potatoes and traditionally it is made with just those ingredients but we decided to stretch ours a bit and add zucchini, tomatoes and capsicum as well. If you’re looking for a bit more flavor you could also throw in some cheese or meat, such as bacon or ham.

Tortillas de patatas is a relatively simple dish, the only tricky part is flipping the tortilla. It does require a bit of skill and balance but if you’re really worried about it just use a small pan and the whole thing becomes much easier. We ended up just splitting everything up into four small pans so we would reduce the risk of broken and ugly tortillas. The recipe also takes a little while but if you get a bunch of people together to help out with chopping the potatoes and onion and everything then it goes much more quickly. Turn on some Spanish tunes and make sure you dance at least a little during all the slicing and cooking.

Recipe from About.com:

Ingredients:

12-14 medium potatoes, peeled

3-4 zucchini, sliced (optional)

2-3 capsicum, sliced (optional)

2 whole yellow onions

10-12 large eggs

2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying

Salt to taste

Instructions:

Cut the peeled potatoes in half lengthwise. Then, with the flat side on the cutting surface, slice the potato in pieces approximately 1/8″ thick. If you slice them a bit thick, don’t worry – it will simply take a bit longer for them to cook. Peel and chop the onion into 1/4″ pieces.

In a several non-stick frying pans heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Carefully place the potatoes and onions into the frying pan, spreading them evenly over the surface (this recipe makes several small tortillas so spread everything out into 3 or 4 frying pans). The oil should almost cover the potatoes. If you want to add some zucchini or capsicum in you can do it now. You may need to turn down the heat slightly, so the potatoes do not burn.

Leave in the pan until the potatoes are cooked. If you can poke a piece of potato with a spatula and it breaks in two easily, your potatoes are done. Drain the mixture in a colander. You can also drain it over a plate and save the oil for later.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat with a whisk or fork. Add some salt and pepper and a bit of chilli pepper if you like a little heat.

Pour 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into each of your smaller frying pans, and heat on medium heat. Be careful not to get the pan too hot or you may burn your tortilla! When hot, pour a little of the egg in, then some of the potatoes and onions, alternating until they are all in the pan.

Press down on the potatoes and onions slightly so they’re covered by the eggs. Allow the egg to cook around the edges. You can also cover the pan in aluminum foil so it cooks more quickly. Then you can carefully lift up one side of the omelet to check if the egg has slightly “browned.” The inside of the mixture should not be completely cooked and the egg will still be runny.

When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan.With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate.

Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so.

Now slide the omelet into the frying pan. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.

Slide the omelet onto a plate to serve. If eating as a main course, cut the omelet into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.

Spaniards usually eat this as an appetizer and place a piece of the tortilla on top of each slice of bread. Usually they use smaller pieces when doing this but we just put our big pie-size pieces on the bread anyway.

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Stuffed peppers

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There are many possibilities in the world of stuffed peppers, you can pretty much fill ‘em up with whatever you like. I was in the mood for something traditional so I went the all-American route of stuffing them with beef and cheese. This is the recipe I used adapted from Thru The Bugs On My Windshield.

The original recipe has a few more ingredients, which probably make it a bit tastier but since I was trying to stick to ingredients that students can easily afford I cut them out. Overall the peppers were pretty tasty, I would have thrown in some more spices and herbs to the ground beef mixture, a bit of oregano, garlic salt, and maybe some Italian seasoning, since it was a bit dry. But if you don’t want to splurge on buying spices, since they are a bit pricey, I would recommend just throwing in a bit more cheese in the beef mixture because it adds a little moisture. The recipe was overall very easy to do, and the idea of microwaving the peppers instead of steaming them is brilliant because it’s one less pot to clean and it is much quicker. Stuffed peppers are also incredibly versatile so if you wanted to make a vegetarian version just substitute the ground beef mixture with a mix of couscous, mushrooms, carrot and frozen peas and voila. Let me know what you think!

Ground Beef Mixture

1 lb. Ground Beef
1 medium Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Red Chile powder
1 Tbsp minced Garlic, fresh

Put fresh ground meat into frying pan along with all other ingredients and cook meat until browned. Drain fat if necessary.

Tasty Stuffed Peppers

4 Red Bell Peppers
1 pound Ground Beef Mixture (see recipe above)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste

1 Medium tomato, diced
1 tsp. Cumin

Cut the tops off the peppers, just below the stem indentation. Take seeds out of the bottom and discard.

Rinse peppers thoroughly and place in a small microwavable baking dish, open side up. Microwave on high for about 4 minutes, or until slightly steamed. This takes the place of having to parboil them in a big pot of water.

While the peppers are in the microwave, mix all the remaining ingredients, except for 1/4 cup of the cheese, in a large mixing bowl. Incorporate well.

Remove peppers from microwave and stuff with your ground beef filling. Top with remaining cheese and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Filed under Beef, Pasta and rice, Recipes