All posts tagged: steak

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. …

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 …

Do you read labels?

I actually enjoy grocery shopping because I don’t spend a long time reading labels. Shopping would take longer and be more of a chore if I had to read the label of every item. I generally have products I know and trust and those I never read the ingredients list on, things like steak, bananas, butter etc. A bargain…? We usually buy our meat at the butchers because of the price and quality. Our local supermarket more expensive and the quality is not as good, but we recently shopped at a discount supermarket (the yellow and black kind) and I was amazed that the meat was half price or less. That should have been a warning, but the bargain hunter in me said, “Woohoo! A meaty bargain!!!”. I bought a package of “steak” at the discount supermarket. The “sirloin” was on special at $10 per kg, so thinking I had eyed up a fantastic deal, I bought a pack. Sirloin steak at our local butchery is $25.95 per kg, so that should have triggered alarm bells. …

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 …

Orzo Salad – Day 1

I’ve never made orzo salad before but I figured it was worth giving a go. I think of orzo as rice shaped pasta and at $4 for 2 x 500g bags at Nosh last week, it was worth a whirl. 250g of orzo made enough for 2 nights dinners for 2 people and a lunch. So in theory, my $4 of orzo will be enough for 20 portions. Yowzers! I just boiled the orzo for about 7 minutes in salted water, drained and mixed with pesto, halved cherry tomatoes and avocado. Served with a grilled mushroom topped with cheese and herbs and a sexy slab of marinated rump. It’s a fast, easy weekday dinner that gets me excited about the warmer weather.

A cartoon dinner for real life people

In cartoons, they always have dinner with a brown meat, some green and some creamy white. Sometimes there’s yellow or orange, but the 3 main colours on cartoon character’s dinner plate are brown, green and cream. This is what I call a cartoon dinner. Instead of mash potatoes this time, I boiled kumara (sweet potato) and then gave them a good stir and finished them off in a hot oven. The trick is to get the kumara roughened up so that the rough bits crisp up nicely in the oven. I marinated a couple of slabs of steak in Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. Then fried with slices of onion. As the steak was resting, I added red wine to the pan with a little flour and made a red wine and onion sauce. Brocolli made up the green component. And there you have it. A dinner fit for a cartoon character.

Make Polenta

I have this rule that I don’t cook anything that I haven’t eaten before. It generally works well. I eat, I like, I cook. But then I broke that rule. I don’t know why I decided that I’d cook polenta. I put it on my list of things to attempt this Autumn/Winter even though I hadn’t had it before, but I cooked it and ate it and I didn’t like it. I followed the package instructions, even adding cheese and butter (which was optional). It was really, really bland. The Koala likened it to watery custard and ate everything else on the plate. I guess it looks like a gritty custard. I would have much preferred mashed potatoes for dinner. In any case, I’ve got a whole package of polenta that I don’t know what to do with. Is there anyone out there that likes polenta? What’s your polenta recipe? Failing that, does anyone want a big bag of polenta? Minus 1 cup, but there’s probably about 10 cups in there still. You can have …

An Easy Pleaser

Steak, wedges and salad. Black Rock Aged Beef Scotch Steak marinated in honey and soy sauce. Pretty self explanatory. Has husband seal of approval. Honey Spiced Kumara Wedges Serves 2 Ingredients 2 medium kumara Pinch of coriander flakes 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon flour Salt 2 tablespoons oil A good squeeze of honey Preparation Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Peel kumara and cut into wedges. Test a clean plastic bag by scooping it with air, twist the top closed and squeeze it to test for holes. When you find a good bag, fill it with the kumara and all the other ingredients. Twist the top and give it a good mix and shake about. Carefully pour out kumara wedges onto an oiled baking sheet. Arrange the wedges so they all stand up on the short edge. Bake for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven a few minutes before serving so they will crisp up a bit.