All posts tagged: beef

Vietnamese Shaking Beef

It’s been a minute since The Koala and I visited Vietnam. We visited in January 2011, completely unprepared for the winter. We got off the plane in the early, early hours of the morning, were accosted by motorcycle drivers, dropped our bags off at our hotel and went in search for our first meal on foot. We happened upon a little noodle shop that was packed first thing in the morning. We figured that any place that was packed with locals for breakfast would be a good bet. Once we were seated, we realised the shop only sold eel. Options included fried eel, eel soup, eel noodles or eel porridge. Every item on the menu was under $2NZ. And that’s how we ended up eating eel for our first meal in Vietnam. We couldn’t speak a lick of Vietnamese but we got through our trip by pointing and our drawing skills helped us out more than once. Still, we made some incredible food memories and I still think fondly upon the Vietnamese way of cooking and eating. …

An ode to pie

In my thirty-something years of living in NZ, I have eaten a lot of pies. More than a hundred, less than a thousand. I love pie. In New Zealand, the word pie usually refers to a meat pie, not the fruit pie you might find in the US. My pie of choice is the mince and cheese pie. With golden pastry, beef mince, gravy and a oozy layer of melted cheese, it’s a classic. Found in every school tuck shop, dairy, lunch bar, bakery and cafe across the country, this humble meal is portable, cheap and filling. A fond pie memory: my 9th birthday party at the newly opened Rotorua Georgie Pie. Georgie Pie was a pie franchise that was KILLIN’ IT in the early ‘90s. Their $1 mince and cheese pie, a hand-held square in a paper sleeve. I thought it was the best thing ever. When we moved to Auckland the following year, we quickly located our closest Georgie Pie on Glenfield Road and made it our local. Loyal. Like any ubiquitous food, the …

Dan Dan Noodles and a $100 Prezzy Card giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – Made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. They are available at all supermarkets. Dan Dan. Fun to say. Fun to eat. Dan Dan Noodles are a common street food from China’s Sichuan Province which  is also responsible for Kung Pao Chicken and Mapo Tofu. If you know these dishes, you’ll know the fiery, punchy flavour profile of the region. Dan Dan Noodles are egg or wheat noodles served with a meat topping, preserved or pickled vegetables, peanuts or sesame seeds, a sweet sesame soy sauce or soup and of course, Sichuan pepper.  Served from street food peddlers, these noodles are an inexpensive, filling meal with lots of flavour. Spice level varies, but this is more about the satisfying tingle of Sichuan Pepper than the burn of chilli. There are many variations on this dish but those are the key elements. For the sake of research, I’ve eaten a few bowls of Dan Dan Noodles to get a feel for …

Braised beef noodles (Crockpot recipe)

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot. I am giving away a Crockpot Traditional CHP200 (RRP $119.99) just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. I was born in Hong Kong and the Cantonese have a long-standing obsession with food. They love to eat well and they love to eat often. Whenever I visit Hong Kong, my days transition from meal to meal. Almost the entire time is spent eating along with the social fanfare that comes with it. There are many dishes I am inspired by. However, locals typically do not cook at home. After working long hours, grocery shopping, followed by cooking at home is undesirable when eating out is so good and very affordable. Here in New Zealand, not so much. Regularly eating out in NZ is expensive but luckily there are clever ways to cook at home using affordable ingredients which yield maximum flavour. Enter the crockpot Thanks to Crockpot I have created a braised beef noodle recipe inspired by a dish found at Dai Pai Dong …

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #2

I recently took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? and was branded the Freestyler. Freestylers have mastered the basics and enjoy pushing the boundaries and going “off-piste”. The quiz was designed to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen and results in eight distinct personalities, from the Curious Novice to the Professional and everything in between. Understanding your style can help you to choose ingredients, recipes and appliances to make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. You can find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quick quiz here. Go on, I’ll wait. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. These recipes are more templates than traditional recipes. I’ve suggested ingredients, but in all honesty, whatever you have in the fridge can be substituted and you’ll only know if you try. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this series. …

Spicy garlic beef and eggplant

This recipe is inspired by a dish that led me to fall in love with eggplant. I used to hate eggplant. For reals. I found it absolutely disgusting in flavour and texture. Now I love the stuff. I rejoice when I see eggplants for under $1 each at my local Asian grocer. Weird right? I’m constantly amazed at how my palate has changed and this blog has been a great record of the changes.  The Koala also used to hate eggplant but likes it now too. Have eggplants changed? Have we? Spicy garlic eggplant can be found at many of the Chinese restaurants along Dominion Road and I think I first tried this at Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle, though Barilla Dumplings also does a mighty fine version. Vegetarians and meat eaters will enjoy this tasty dish. I’ve adapted this to include beef because well, I like beef. Feel free to skip the beef or replace with another vegetable such as mushroom (or more eggplant) for a vegetarian dish. Spicy garlic beef and eggplant Serves 2 with …

Fancy Steak and Chips

This is a sponsored post. The Koala and I love a good steak, but I don’t order steak when dining out because it’s so easy to cook at home for a fraction of the price. I often go for the fattier steaks because that’s what my tastes buds like, but when I heard there was a leaner steak coming out that still tastes good, I was all for it. The flat-iron steak is a relatively unknown cut to the kiwi palate. A butcher’s secret, this cut is for people in the know. It is called the oyster blade steak in NZ and Australia. It is known in the US as the flat-iron steak and in the UK as the butler’s steak. Affectionately known as the ugly steak, this flat, rectangular cut comes from the shoulder and is trimmed to make it very lean. Because it is so lean, it’s important not to overcook a flat-iron steak. Just 3 minutes on each side in a hot pan and 5 minutes resting time. This month, Silver Fern …

Slow Cooked Bœuf Bourguignon

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage us to try new food related things. Sonya from And More Food is the host for month’s event. If you have a blog and have tried something new with food this month, come and join this event. Mother’s Day is a popular day for eating out, because mothers generally get a holiday from kitchen duties. Interestingly, the Entertainment Book is invalid on Mother’s Day, but not Father’s Day (which is traditionally a popular day for eating in). With my sister and her boyfriend currently eating their way through Turkey, this is the first time where I get to play only child. Being more confident in the kitchen, I offered to cook for Mum. Now, I never thought I had a tiger mother, but maybe I was wrong. For Mother’s Day, Mum requested Julia Child’s Bœuf Bourguignon! I had never made this dish before and I was also using a slow cooker for the first time. A perfect candidate for Our Growing Edge this month. This slow …

Easy Stroganoff

The other day, I made the bold claim that my parent’s stroganoff was the best stroganoff I ever tasted. There are few problems with this bold claim: I was immediately challenged to a dual (or a stroganoff off) I hadn’t tasted this stroganoff in a good 15 or so years When I last ate it, I didn’t really know what a stroganoff was When I asked mum for her recipe, she gave me a basic low-down rather than a step by step So, armed with mum’s rough guide and my own experience with cooking by feel, here’s my adaptation of the recipe. Use rump or sirloin steak with white button mushrooms. My family always had stroganoff with rice because dinner without rice is not really dinner at all. Feel free to use pasta if you prefer (I did). Did it live up? Yes. Is it the best? I’ll have to test out more recipes to be sure. I see a few slow cooker recipes out there which leads me to imagine you could make a …

Individual Steak and Guinness Pies

In honour of  St. Paddy’s Day, I invited my friends over for a pot luck dinner. The theme for the dinner was green or Irish and we had a pesto green starter and several green desserts. I made individual steak and Guinness Pies and we also had a green hued potato and pea mash. I confess. I’m not a huge fan of Guinness. I can drink it, but I find it heavy and savoury and pint or bottle is usually enough for me. I do however, enjoy it in a pie. You will need a lidded pot for this recipe (I used a dutch oven) and a 6up muffin tin. This is not the time for a dainty cupcake tin. My muffin tin makes large muffins about 3 inches or 8 cm wide at the base. To measure out how wide I needed the pie cases, I first measured across the wall+base+wall of a muffin tin with the edge of a teatowel and matched this measurement across the mouth a bowl. This bowl became the “cookie …

Farmhouse Pasties

I’m glad I gave the traditional Cornish Pasty recipe a whirl already this autumn. Now I’m inspired to do some weird, non-authentic pasties. This next recipe uses some of the original ingredients like beef, lamb, onion and potatoes, but also puff pastry, bacon, carrots and cheese. You can put the cheese inside the pastie if you prefer, but I’ve sprinkled cheese on the outside. I thought it would look prettier, but it only looks ok.  I’m loving smoked cheddar at the moment. It has a distinctive smokey flavour that is divine with streaky bacon. I’m buying ethical meat when it’s convenient, even though free range vs organic vs free farmed can be confusing to the average home cook. It’s nice to remember that at least here in New Zealand, lamb and beef are free farmed at minimum. At best, they’re free range. I don’t think there are any wild cows or wild sheep out there. Although that might be interesting! Lamb and beef I consider my “happy meats”. It’s only chicken and pork you have …

Make Cornish Pasties

After trying both venison and beef versions of Sarah’s Cornish Pasties at Splore a few weeks ago, I was hell bent on making some of my own. For those that aren’t familiar with Cornish Pasties, they’re a submarine-shaped pie and traditional ingredients include beef or lamb, potatoes, swedes and onion. These  parcels of goodness were originally baked for tin miners who worked underground and didn’t come up  to air at lunch. They ate these pies and with their dirty, arsenic laden paws. They clutched the crust, ate the pastie and discarded the soiled crust at the end to avoid poisoning. Cornish pasties are baked from raw ingredients and it surprised me that both the meat and the vegetables cooked perfectly in these parcels. Short crust pastry is traditional but after eating these, I may retry with puff pastry because I adore puff pastry. I find short crust to be a bit heavy. I used both lamb and beef (why pick one when you can have both), potato, swede and onion. This recipe adapted from the NZ …

Bacon Burger Summer Rolls

Foodie purists look away now. I love bacon. I looove hamburgers. I loooooove summer rolls. I’ve learned a few things since I posted  The secret To Making Vietnamese Spring Rolls. It’s surprising that what some have known pretty much all their life, second nature that is so simple that it’s just a given, can be foreign to others. So a big thanks to all the summer roll pros for the feedback. Now I have learned that drying on a teatowel isn’t required at all for the rice paper and if you just roll it up went it is pliable, it will continue to soften to perfection. Here in New Zealand, it’s not uncommon to put random ingredients into an exotic dish to make some oddball fusion monster. Think green curry chicken sushi and butter chicken pizzas. Maybe it’s the same in other countries too. I’m totally into it. If it tastes good, I’ll eat it. So, with a bit of streaky bacon and ground beef in the fridge, I decided to use them to make summer rolls. …

A Dinner inspired by South East Asia

  I had a hankering for the stuff we ate while in South East Asia. Hot, sour and savoury soups, banana pancakes were eaten in balmy countries. But what about on a cold winter’s night? I thought they would translate quite well so I made a brothy soup with noodles with some nice sirloin steak. I made this up on the fly using some of the flavours I enjoyed in South East Asia. This was followed by a dessert of asian-inspired banana pancakes with melted chocolate. Yum. Bok choy is cheap and it is super easy to grow. I know this because I’ve grown it before. But at $0.50 for a bag of 2 or 3 bok choy at my local Chinese supermarket, I don’t bother to grow my own. So easy to prepare, just wash and slice into quarters lengthwise. Good rabbit food too. When we have bok choy, Tofu the rabbit also enjoys bok choy. Beef Noodle Soup Beef Ingredients 1 piece of sirloin steak enough for 2 (200-300g) A little sesame oil …