Tuesday, February 17, 2009

6 Dinners: White Sauce and Chicken

I am on a mission to cook more at home and not rely on expensive takeaway. Here are a few things we've been cooking in the last couple of weeks to keep our tummies and wallets full.

Chicken Skewers and Saucy Mushrooms
Chicken pieces (marinated in teriyaki/soy/garlic), onion, peppers - threaded onto skewer and grilled
Mushroom sauce - just fry mushrooms in some butter, add a few spoons of flour and then some milk, and cook until thick. This was an impromptu sauce, and I was surprised by how amazing it tasted.

We served the skewers and mushrooms with plain rice. Sauce + rice = happy tummies.


Fish with cauliflower and potato salad
Plain white fish, crumbed and baked. The potato salad is steamed slices of potato, combined with lemon juice, olive oil, onion and parsley while still warm. The creamy cauliflower is a staple of German home cooking, and is similar to the saucy mushrooms. Except you cook the cauliflower in boiling water first, and sneak in an egg at the end to thicken.


Mustard Lamb with Braised Potatoes and Beans
This one is inspired by a recipe in Donna Hay's No Time to Cook. The lamb is crusted with seedy mustard and sugar, and grilled. The potatoes (supposed to be made with peas), are braised in beef stock - a great way to add more flavour. Despite someone's reassurance, "of course we have peas in the freezer", we had no peas, and had to substitute beans. Still good. We made a simple salad to go with.

Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms

Inspired by the success of the aforementioned saucy mushrooms, I wanted to expand on the idea and turn it into a whole meal. In with the mushrooms went chunks of chicken, peas and carrots. It was rather like the inside of a chicken pie. (My dad says the Hainanese chefs used to make chicken pies like this back when he was a kid - so he really liked it).


Paella
Not a true Spanish paella, but a tasty dinner nonetheless. I got the recipe from Jamie's Ministry of Food (50% of at Borders last month, wahey!). His recipe includes mussels and other fish, but as I live with someone who doesn't like seafood, we skipped this. Instead, I upped the quantities of chorizo and chicken. As you can see, I was a bit T.A. with the saffron, so it wasn't as gloriously golden as I'd hoped. Next time I won't be so stingy.

This recipe was fantastic - my family love all-in-once rice meals, and this one had great flavour from the chorizo and saffron. Will definitely be making this again.

Please note the use (finally), of the paella pan, bought 1.5 years ago, and before this paella, only used for roasting chickens.

Mini Shell Pasta with Peas and Bacon
Again this recipe comes from Jamie's Ministry of Food. It was very quick, taking about 20 minutes in total, and really tasty. It's not quite as insanely unhealthy as it looks - it doesn't contain a whole lot of cream, but a few spoons of sour cream (I used lite because that's what we had in the house).

2 comments:

Juan said...

The cauliflower looks delicious! I will most definitely give this a try.

xox,
Juan

PS: bacon can make every dish taste delicious!

Randi said...

Your family must love the fact that you cook them dinner. Everything looks great.