Thai Beef Salad

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it isn’t very often Mr MWCED or myself eat red meat.  Indeed it’s a rare occasion – and quite honestly I don’t think I have bought a piece of beef for many years (apart from the odd steak when lovely son comes home – just for him).  So interestingly it happened that we were both hankering for some red meat but not a lot of it,  and this salad seemed the perfect solution.

You could use a less expensive piece of steak, in which case I would marinate it overnight.  I wasn’t that organised and the meat was marinating for only a couple of hours.  I cooked the steak in the frying pan and once it was reasonably browned I then spooned some of the marinade over it until it was done.  The marinade caramelises and makes the outer part of the steak very tasty.

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Steak

  • 1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped, or 1 tablespoon pre-minced ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, garlic granules, or freshly chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 500g fillet steak (expensive, but absolutely the best for this dish – and you don’t really need a lot, if there are just 2 of you, you could use a bit less steak)
  • salt

Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup hot chilli paste (you could also use freshly chopped chilli)
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Salt (optional)

Salad

  • Salad greens, enough for 2 (I used a mix of cos and curly lettuce from the garden)
  • 1 x carrot, grated
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sprouts (we had some fresh mung bean sprouts on the windowsill, so in they went)
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • ¼ cup torn mint leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped salted, roasted peanuts, plus more for serving
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Preparation

  • Whisk ginger, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Whisking constantly, gradually add olive oil, then sesame oil. Transfer to glass bowl and add steaks. If you can, chill at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours, but you can still do this with an hour or two of marinating.  (As noted above, tougher cuts of meat will do better with longer marinating).
  • Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season very lightly with salt. Grill, turning every 2 minutes, until lightly charred all over, and finished to your preference (i.e. medium rare, medium). Instead of grilling you could also cook quickly in a frying pan.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into 1″ pieces.

Dressing

  • Whisk lime juice, chilli paste, peanut oil, fish sauce, sugar, honey, and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Taste and season with salt if desired.

Combine salad ingredients.   Pour 2/3 dressing over them, then add steak and peanuts and pour over rest of dressing.  Alternatively, you can keep some dressing to have on the side.   Garnish with extra coriander and mint.

 

This could also be served with noodles or rice.  Though it was excellent without and plenty for 2 of us.

 

Slow Cooker Asian Style Glazed Chicken

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It is the middle of winter here and we are still enjoying satisfying warming dishes on cold evenings, in front of the fire or watching rugby. (Sadly my team lost last night – I guess there is always next year).     I have been using our slow cooker a lot more this year and really enjoying the simplicity of it.   Last night it was the perfect choice;  we were going out for a short time in the evening and it meant that by the time we got home I only had to cook some rice and beans, and we had a wonderful hot meal.

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I’m also a bit of a sucker for sweet and spicy.    So this recipe was perfect.   This is my mash up of a number of recipes from the net.   Most of them only contained the sauce and meat.    I wanted more vegetables as part of the dish – and even though I cooked green beans separately – it would have been just as good to either add the beans to the slow cooker, or not even have them.    (And use the ‘magic fridge’ to decide what veges go in if you don’t have carrot and zucchini, or prefer a different mix).

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The below was enough for 2 of us (we ate 4 of the 5 chicken thighs – they were not huge).   My preference is for bone-in thighs,  I think you get better taste.   But, hey, go boneless if that is what you have.  And of course you could also make this with many other cuts of chicken; drumsticks; wings; breast.  There was plenty of sauce – though I figure you can never have enough sauce.  I think you could easily cook enough for 6 people in a medium sized slow cooker.

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Ingredients:

  • 500g (approx.) skinless boneless chicken thighs (I usually allow 2 per person – this recipe I cooked 5)
  • 1/3 cup  soy sauce (light soy)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 6 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or use fresh) – my ‘teaspoon’ is always generous!
  • 1 teaspoon five spice
  • 2 teaspoons – Siracha (or as much as you want for heat – or even use fresh chillis)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 carrot sliced (I used a couple of baby carrots from our garden)
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 1/4 cup spring onions sliced, to garnish
  • Handful Coriander, chopped, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar, garlic, pepper and spices in a bowl.
  2. Place vegetables in bottom of slow cooker.
  3. Add chicken into the sauce, coat well and add both chicken and sauce to slow cooker. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low setting.
  4. When the sauce is simmering (in the last hour of cooking time), whisk the cornflour and water together in a small bowl until dissolved. Stir the cornflour mixture into the sauce; mix it through and cover again to allow to thicken and continue cooking until the chicken is just beginning to fall apart.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.

 

Serve with greens of your choice (or not) and rice; garnish with sliced green onions and coriander.

Enjoy!

Thai Red Curry

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It was a chilly night, there was rugby to watch, and I wanted something warming but not too fiddly to cook.   Another one dish wonder – just add whatever vegetables you want to this mixture.   I like to put the veges all in together – makes for a faster meal and less to wash up later!    So in essence you can add, subtract, multiply the suggested vegetables below – for me it is usually ruled by what is available in the pantry and fridge.       Instead of using sriracha to taste, you could add chopped chillies into the mix – up to you how much fire you want!

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Probably not quite one dish as we also had rice,  but if you have a rice cooker then it is quick and easy.  Bung the rice into the cooker, add water (and any other additions you might like) and 20 minutes later you’re ready to go.

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Thai Red Curry Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 – 8 chicken thighs, skinned, bone-in
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (I used a red onion as it what the magic fridge was storing)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (I had Rendang curry paste, which worked fine)
  • 1 red  pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • handful of green beans chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or minced)
  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/2t easpoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • sriracha to taste (optional)

Garnish

  • lime zest to taste
  • fresh basil
  • fresh coriander
  • fresh lime juice
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Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium high heat in large pan. Add chicken, onion and red curry paste and cook just until chicken is no longer pink. Add vegetables, ginger and garlic and saute 1 minute.
  2. Add half of the coconut milk. and add to pan along with all remaining ingredients (except garnishes).
  3. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is just starting to fall from the bone.
  4. Mix remaining coconut milk with 1 tablespoon cornflour and stir into pan to thicken sauce.  (You could add this earlier to the pan if the curry needs a bit more liquid)
  5. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
  6. Garnish with additional optional fresh basil, coriander, lime zest, lime juice and Sriracha to taste. Serve with rice.

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