Nuffnang

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Overnight oatmeal

I'm sure you must have heard of overnight oatmeal. This healthy dish has been raved about by many others on social media for quite a while. I didn't think it would be nice or rather, I'm a person who sticks to the usual food I eat but every now and then, when I feel adventurous, I would try but yet have a recourse - throwing it away if I really don't like it =X
This week at IHCC, we have been told that we will experience the joy of make-ahead meals. I love the idea of that! Make-ahead meals are always so much easier. At least you prep ahead and then have lesser work to do at your meal. I'm sure you like the sound of that too right?
I decided to make Ellie Krieger's overnight oatmeal and try it. It can't be that bad right? Sometimes, something new can be good as well. It is just a matter of perspective :)
This recipe is created by Ellie Krieger. I made a few modifications in blue.
Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted whole almonds (I omitted this as I didn't get it)
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup nonfat plain yoghurt (I used greek yoghurt)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tbsp honey (I used agave honey)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup green seedless California grapes, quartered (I used 1 to 2 cups fresh blueberries)
1 cup red seedless California grapes, quartered
1 tsp to 1 tbsp chia seeds
Method:
  1. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, and then chop them coarsely.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, yogurt, oats, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Add half of the almonds, half of the green grapes and half of the red grapes and stir to combine. I added chia seeds and stirred to combine.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly among four 12-ounce (1 ½ cup) jars. Top each with the remaining grapes blueberries and chopped almonds. 
  4. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. 
  5. The jars will keep up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. (Note: for extra crunchiness, top with the remaining almonds right before serving).

This may look like a simple bowl of oatmeal that don't look appealing at all. Trust me, it is really very tasty and yummy. You may add the nuts or other kinds of nuts that appeal to you for added crunch. I love this make-ahead meal. Definitely great for tea snack or even breakfast.

I'm submitting this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Beef Tagine

A tagine is an earthen pot that is originally named after the North African dish - tagine in which is was cooked in. The traditional method of cooking tagine is to place it over coals. This method of cooking tagine is similar to how we do slowly cooked stews.

Moroccan and African tagine dishes are slow cooked savoury stews, typically made with sliced meat, fish or poultry together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts and dried fruits are also used. A typical tagine dish would be lamb with dates and spices. Tagines are generally served with bread. If you are curious why the tagines look like this, it is because the domed or conical shaped covers trap steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook the meat and vegetables.

I came across Jamie Oliver's beef tagine which was from his show 'Jamie does Spain'. To be honest, I think this recipe is pretty simple and what you need is probably time instead of being a great chef. Basically, the ingredients boost the dish alot more than you think.

Ingredients:

600g beef (remember to buy the beef stew cut and cut it into cubes)
olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped (I used about 3 onions as I like the sweet taste of onions)
1 small bunch of chopped coriander
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tin chopped tomatoes
800ml vegetable stock (I only used about 300 to 400ml chicken stock so use accordingly)
1 small squash, deseeded and cut into cubes
100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn
2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

Marinade ingredients:

salt
black pepper
1 level tsp ras el hangout spice mix (I used moroccan spice rub)
1 level tsp ground cumin
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 level tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp sweet paprika (I used chilli powder)

Method:

  1. Place the beef cubes into a bowl and add all the marinade ingredients and mix well until the beef cubes are well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It would be good if you can marinade it for a few hours, better yet, over night.
  2. Heat up the tagine or casserole and fry the meat about 5 minutes until the meat begins to brown.
  3. Add chopped onion and coriander and fry for another 5 minutes or so. 
  4. Add the drained chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in about 300 to 400ml stock and stir. Bring it to a boil and put the lid on the pot.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place your pot in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes.
  6. At this point, give the stew a good stir with your spoon and add squash, prunes and stock (if needed). Let it cook for another 30 minutes.
  7. Alternatively, you may cook it over the stove instead of cooking the tagine in the oven.
  8. Once cooked, check the consistency of the tagine by using your spoon to stir it. It should be fairly thick. The beef should be tender and flaking apart, taste the stew and add some salt or pepper, if needed. 
  9. Scatter more coriander leaves and toasted almonds and dive in with couscous or warmed bread.


I love how beautiful this new tagine pot looks on the stove. Hopefully it will serve many more good dishes apart from tagines.


I love how soft the stewed beef and squash taste like. The chickpeas, tomatoes and prunes give it a well-rounded flavour for the whole stew. I think Mr G did like it a lot too. It is our first time 'travelling' to Morocco with its food. Maybe one day we will make it there to try it in person :)


                           
I'm also submitting this post to Cooking with Herbs January 2016: Herbs and Citrus organized by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Cooking with Herbs January 2016: Herbs & Citrus Fruits

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Vindaloo Curry

2015 came and left in a jiffy. Indeed it was a long and trying year. I never knew I would have pulled through 2015. But I did. It shows that we are a lot stronger than we think we are :) I like the idea of that.

Come this new year ahead, I have decided to go ahead and make new progress at work. So this will probably keep me pretty busy for half of this year. Nevertheless, I have been cooking the usual things or things that are so easy that it doesn't seem worth to even put it up here at all. Yes, I'm really hard on myself. 

So just recently, I asked Mr G if you are game for curry. Oh well, don't even try to guess. He is ever ready for a pot of good kickass curry. Haha!! Ok asking the wrong person then. Anyhow, I made Jamie Oliver's vindaloo curry on a weeknight and it is definitely achievable. Try the shortcuts I indicated below in blue :P This recipe is from Jamie's Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast.

In case you are wondering where vindaloo curry originated from, you might want to check out my other pork vindaloo here.

Ingredients:

2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic (I used about 4 tbsp chopped garlic)
1-2 red chillies, to taste (I used 1-2 tbsp chilli powder)
thumb size ginger root (I sliced it so it is visible after cooking if want to remove it)
a small bunch of cilantro / parsley, chopped
4 ripe tomatoes
peanut or vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
a pat of butter
1 3/4 pounds pork shoulder (I used pork ribs, about 900g)
1/2 cup vindaloo paste (I had ready made sambal tumis so I used that)
sea salt
black pepper
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (I used white wine vinegar, it works just fine)
1 tbsp honey
1 cup natural yoghurt
1 lemon

Method:

  1. Get a casserole pot and heat it under medium fire over the stove. Add the vegetable/peanut oil and butter.
  2. Add onions, garlic, chilli and cilantro and cook for 10 minutes, until softened and golden.
  3. Add the pork and curry paste. Stir well to coat everything with the paste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey, yoghurt and add about 1 3/4 cups of water, just enough to cover everything and stir again.
  5. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 45 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Check the curry regularly to ensure it doesn't stick to the pot and add extra water if necessary.
  7. After the pork is cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper.


Mr G tasted it at first and said WOW so sour!! He gave me a cringed face. Oh well, vindaloo curry is just like that. It gives you an overall balanced taste of sourness, spicyness, sweetness. I like this well-balanced curry. Despite showing that face, Mr G finished every morsel in his bowl. Haha!! It shows that curry supersedes it all :P

Try it, you might just like it :)



I'm also linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Joyce of kitchenflavours and Emily of Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.