Thank you, everyone, for your comments and emails and best wishes for Jac’s speedy recovery. I will reply to comments as soon as I can! But for now, I promised food photos, and here they are!
It seems like an eternity ago, but this was my dinner of cold chicken (leftover from Jac’s birthday dinner) with salad and hard boiled eggs (and lots of freshly cracked black pepper on the eggs, yum). You may notice the tomatoes are really dark – they are kumatoes, also known as black tomatoes. We’d noticed them for sale at Woolies for sometime and decided to give them a go. I thought they tasted nice enough, but nothing spectacular as far as tomatoes go. A sweet, ripe, juicy roma tomato would probably beat them for flavour, and our home grown grape tomatoes are far tastier. I’d eat kumatoes again, but I won’t be rushing out to buy any. Interesting thing about kumatoes: they apparently get tortoises frisky (yes you read that right – click here for the story). No, I didn’t notice any such effects after eating them. But then I’m not a tortoise (^_^) …and we don’t need aphrodisiacs! Heheh. Sssshhh, I didn’t say that.
VR bought some very tasty filets of barramundi, which we grilled with butter, salt and pepper (no butter for Jac). We ate the fish with salad – freshly chopped by VR, and she and I had some pasta salad too, which came from Woolies.
Another fishy meal – this one grilled hake filet with vegetables. The hake was not as nice as the barramundi – it had been bought frozen and wasn’t as delicate in flavour as the fresh fish had been. Usually Jac and I put the fish in seasoned wholemeal flour (flour, salt, pepper, maybe a little vegetable stock powder) or lemon pepper and pan fry it, which I suppose masks that harsher fishy flavour. Although the fish wasn’t as good as fresh, the vegetables were fantastic. The potatoes were boiled whole (I sliced mine in half and applied a tiny smear of butter and cracked black pepper) – I asked Jac to please boil a couple of extra potatoes for me so I could cook something with them the next day. The carrots were honeyed, and the peas standard boiled frozen ones, but I like peas. The corn on the cob was soooo good. It was sweet and juicy – satisfyingly bursty to the bite. I’d been getting myself ready to be disappointed with the corn because we’d bought it on special for 69 cents a cob, but I was surprised and pleased and wished we’d bought more! There was a spare half cob leftover, which I ate the next day.
I’d been craving this simple dish I used to make for myself when I first moved out of home, and so I made it for my lunch during the week while working at home – here’s where the extra couple of boiled potatoes came in – I didn’t bother peeling them, I just sliced them into discs about half a centimetre thick. I washed and roughly ripped up some lettuce into squares. It was centre lettuce, rather than outer leaves, so it was really nice and curly and crunchy. I chopped up a couple of cloves of garlic and fried it up in the wok. When the garlic was nice and fragrant but before it got too brown I threw the potatoes in. As the potatoes were already cooked, they only needed to be warmed through. I then threw the lettuce in, and added pepper, oyster sauce, a little soy sauce and tossed it all to mix the sauces/pepper through. I did this carefully though, so that the potato slices wouldn’t break up. When the lettuce was a little wilted (cooked, yet not completely collapsed), I served it up, making sure to scrape off all the caramelised savoury brown garlicky bits off the bottom of the wok. Those are the best bits. Mmmm. It’s really yummy with rice, but I couldn’t be bothered cooking any, so I had this on its own for my lunch. And then it was back to the grind, fighting the urge to nap.
Jac decided to make burritos for dinner one night last week. VR and I had beef mince, Jac had vegetarian mince, which smelled quite interesting but looked exactly like dog food when it was tipped out of the can. Heh. Anyway, we used a can of Mexi-beans (just beans to make chilli with, no spices). Jac roasted a couple of whole red capsicums in the oven – I then used Jamie Oliver’s trick to peel them once roasted, which was to chuck them in a bowl and cover it with Glad wrap/cling wrap, leaving them to steam in there for a few minutes, then peeling the skins off while the capsicums were still warm, which is very easy to do. If you let them cool it’s then near impossible to get the skins off without wasting the tasty sweet flesh. Jac cooked the burrito filling with onions, the Mexi-beans, chopped roasted red capsicum, chopped fresh tomatoes and tomato paste. Then, she took some of the mixture out for herself, which she mixed with the vegetarian mince. To the rest of the mixture left in the pan, she added the beef mince and chilli (she didn’t have any chilli in hers). I would’ve been happy to have vegetarian mince too, but I think Jac wanted to use the beef mince up (and if that was the case, I’d always be happy to help eat it!). VR had cheese in her burritos, Jac had soy cheese, and I had no cheese. This photo is of my cheeseless burrito. It was mighty tasty.
We had salad with our burritos. I just chopped up cucumber, lettuce, mushrooms and orange and red capsicums, along with some of our home grown tomatoes – hey Chubbypanda, look, we eat tomatoes fresh! No more panda sad face ok? Hahaha.
On Saturday Jac and VR went out to visit mates and have a barbie lunch. Since the socialising would take up most of the day, I elected to stay home and work. I did take a couple of hours’ break and went to the shops for lunch. I do go crazy with cabin fever unless I hit the shops every now and then. I got myself a hokkien mee with chicken takeaway, which was great brain fuel.
On Saturday night we decided to make noodle soup. We didn’t do anything fancy. The broth was simply Campbells real chicken stock in a carton (the salt-reduced variety). We assembled a platter of bits and pieces to have with the noodle soup: chopped up tinned straw mushrooms and tinned water chestnuts, spring onions, bok choy and mung bean sprouts. I also had some leftover BBQ chook that I’d frozen some time ago.
It was so yummy. I drizzled a little soy sauce and teensy bit of sesame oil and sprinkled a couple of pinches of fried shallots over the top of my noodle soup. I tucked into it while watching Iron Chef America – trout battle. The bok choy was so fresh, and I loved the crunchiness of the water chestnuts.
Since there was some burrito filling leftover on Sunday, I heated it up and ate it with some corn chips that had been warmed just slightly in the oven. Sort of like nachos, but without sour cream, cheese and chopped spring onion. Sort of, vaguely, not really. Jac had actually dumped her vegetarian mince leftovers (about a tablespoon’s worth) into the beef mixture, and every now and then I did chew on something I thought seemed a little different and strange. It was still yummy though. And nothing was wasted!
Here was Sunday night’s dinner – stir-fried flat noodles with the leftover noodle soup bits (bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bok choy, straw mushrooms), plus fresh sliced mushrooms, all flavoured simply with oyster sauce and a little soy. Jac knew I was craving chicken and fried up a couple of chicken thighs for VR and I – simply seasoned with garlic salt. We just sliced the chicken up and served it top of VR’s and my noodles.
Right now Jac has fired up the barbie! Smells really good. I’d better grab my camera and check out what she’s cooking. Stay tuned!
EDIT: BBQ was goooooood. I’ll try to post the pics tomorrow.