have you ever had this nagging feeling of what to cook whenever a festive season is around the corner? what mood do i want to create? i want it to be different but not too overwhelming for my guests....who am i inviting? what is the occasion? are they adults or children? big eaters or mousy eaters? well there is room for everyone... read on.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

One Plate Meals

I am a great supporter of one-plate lunches and one-plate dinners. I don't have to slave over the kitchen sink washing up plate after plate. One-plate not neccessary mean malnutrition ... nope, nope, nope. In fact, I find it much simpler to balance a meal that way. Eat all on your plate and you're done! It's very much like the main course of a set meal. We have protein, vegetables and carbo all on one plate. I enjoy piecing these food chains together but tonite, I am serving a carboless diet cos earlier today, I had a pasta dish. Another thing I like to do is to Malaysianise my dishes cos I don't really fancy too much butter or cream in my diet. I believe chinese cooking styles are very healthy and sumptous so I always incorporate them in my cooking.
Just like tonite's menu of pan-fry steak, stir-fry watercress shoots and oven roasted pumpkin. For a balance meal you may replace the pumpkin with potatoes, alio olio pasta, french loaf, rice, couscous and etc. Usually, I like my steak marinated with sea salt and black pepper but tonite's marinate is different with a little mesquite smoke sauce, sea salt and black pepper. When dinner is about served, heat up the pan with olive oil and just sear the steak to the way you like it. As for the watercress shoots, just pluck off the shoots from the whole twig of watercress, mince some garlic and stir fry in a pan. Add salt to taste. Roasted pumpkin is simple. Cut pumpkin into wedges, rub a little salt and drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil. Pop it in the oven marked 180 degree celsius for about 30 - 40 minutes. Poke a knife through the pumpkin to check if it is cooked.
As for the watercress stems, I just turn them into watercress soup.
1.5 litre of filtered water
300 gm soup meat (preferrably pork)
6 red dates
2 small pieces of dried cuttlefish
Bring water to boil and add in the dates, cuttlefish and soup meat. Boil for 30 minutes and throw in the watercress and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.

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I'm Audrey from Somewhere in my kitchen, Malaysia.

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