3 Dinners: Casual Eating7/24/2009 09:01:00 PM
Of late, I have been super busy and tired with work, and ashamedly resorting to take-away and freezer meals, even on weekends. No more!
Mushroom Steak Sandwich
I've made this at least twice before, (in '05 and '07), and was reminded of it when I saw cheap Portobello mushrooms at Colonial Food Market in Doncaster Shoppo. I picked up some parsley and some sourdough rolls from Bakers' Delight (not foodie-chic, but they did the job)... and dinner was sorted!
You smear the mushrooms with a mixture of butter, garlic and parsley, and grill until cooked and juicy. Then you shove them in a Dijon mustard-smeared bun, squeeze with lemon, and eat. I added some baby spinach leaves for extra vitamins. The bread wasn't too bad, but it was very sour (i.e. more sour than normal sourdough), and super-duper chewy. I think toasting the bread first might have been a good idea.
After enjoying the Superfood Salad served at Match Bar, I decided to google the recipe and give it a go myself. (Link to recipe is here!) It's pretty easy, but kinda time-consuming - quinoa, broccolini and peas all have to be cooked separately, but the result is ultimately rewarding. It's so virtuously nutritious and filling. As you can see, I served it with some rare-grilled tuna - wonderful.
A Casual Mezze/Aufschnitt Supper
Last Saturday night's dinner was going to be a simple yet decadent Aufschnitt (cold-cut dinner) of salami, triple-cream brie and light-rye bread, but in the afternoon I realised my cousin Gina and my niece Cheryl would be coming over to hang out, and decided to pad out the dinner a bit.
I made a batch of Nigella's delicious eggplant, saffron and yoghurt dip, some taboulleh (with red quinoa replacing the usual burghal) and some Lebanese-style garlic chicken wings. I think there are a gazillion versions of classic Lebanese garlic chicken wings, but I follow the recipe from How to Eat, which involves boiling the garlic cloves first, to mellow the flavour, before mixing it with lemon juice and slathering it on the chicken wings.
After the allotted cooking time, the chicken was cooked through but still white. In normal circumstances I would have just eaten them like that, but I know that Cheryl hates bumpy white chicken skin, so I blistered them under the grill for a couple of minutes to crisp up. It turned out to be a winning move, because crispy chicken skin is fantastic, especially sprinkled with a little salt. Best. Chicken Wing. Recipe. Ever! (Well, maybe apart from Agnes' soy sauce poached chicken wings!)
This one is (gasp!) my own creation, which is big news coming from a girl who slavishly follows recipes. Inspired by the success of the garlic chicken wings and taboulleh, I was planning a weeknight re-run. However, by the time that weeknight came around, it was freezing, and I wanted comforting rice, rather than refreshing salad.
I cooked onions with spices, tossed in some basmati rice and red quinoa, added stock and chopped broccoli, clamped on a lid and let it cook through. When it was cooked, I tossed through some soaked sultanas, chopped parsley/mint, and toasted nuts and seeds (pine nuts, almonds, sunflower, pumpkin). Yum yum. It was pretty substantial, and would make a nice meal with or without the chicken wings. (Pilaf fans should also consider checking out Nigella Lawson's Safron-Scented Chicken Pilaf).
To make this pilaf truly "super", I'd probably suggest using brown basmati rice - does anyone know where to find this? I also considered using famously super cranberries instead of sultanas, but wasn't sure if this would taste too sweet. Perhaps next time I will be more adventurous.