Sunday, 25 September 2016

Of Hens And Blossoms

Spring has turned dull and grey for several days but we still managed to get a few shots of the pullets and blossoms.









Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)


Mie Goreng is a dish commonly enjoyed in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and once you have tried it you will see why!  It is delicious. 

Ingredients:
800 grams of cubed chicken breast 
6 tbsps of oyster sauce
6 tbsps of tomato sauce
4 tsps of sweet chilli sauce
6 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely diced
Half a teaspoon of salt
4 eggs
2 tbsps of milk
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 cups of mung bean sprouts
Half a cabbage, finely sliced
1 tbsp of oil plus extra if required
4 cups of cooked, drained and cooled egg noodles

Method:
Combine the oyster sauce, tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce, garlic and salt in a bowl.  Add the diced chicken and mix through, then set aside to marinade for at least 15 minutes.
Mix the eggs and the milk with a fork.  Heat the oil in the wok or pan and make an omelette with  the egg mixture.  Remove and set aside.  Slice when cold.
Add the chicken to the wok in small batches and stir fry until the meat is sealed - about 4 to 5 minutes.  Once all the meat is stir fried return it all to the pan with any remaining marinade, then add the cabbage and spring onions.    Combine well and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the noodles and stir until they are covered in sauce and hot, then add the mung beans and sliced omelette.  Mix through and cook for a few more minutes until the sprouts and egg is warmed.

Substitutes:
For the chicken - beef, pork, tofu etc or a combination
For the vegetables - celery, mushrooms, corn, broccoli, cauliflower or any combination you like. 
Add more sweet chilli sauce if you like plenty of spice. 



Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Oregon Joe


Another picture from the past - Oregon Joe out in the paddock in the Spring.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

An Early Garden

Looking back through a box of old photos the other day I came across some snapshots I had taken of a garden I had planted around my sleepout when I was in my early twenties some thirty or so years ago.  It amused me to see how well fenced off it was then to keep horses and dogs off it! 

Still I think it had quite a nice cottage garden like effect and I'm surprised by how quickly that ivy had grown up the wire archway which I had placed over the brick path to the door.  Ivy seems to like our place and wild ivy will rapidly grow anywhere it can get a hold, particularly around the old oak tree.





Monday, 19 September 2016

A Simple Lunch



It all started with the boiling, cooking, draining and cooling of a packet of pasta - in this case vegetable spirals.  I chopped and added a cucumber, then a can of diced mangoes and some red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper along with homemade dressing.  Voila! - there it was a simple but pleasant pasta salad.  

I cut off a large piece of warm vienna loaf spread with melted garlic butter and drizzled some dressing underneath it before I placed it on the plate and added slices of smoked chicken on top and a leg to the side.  The only thing left to add to the plate  was some baby beetroot topped with some crumbled feta cheese and there it was - a tasty, low fuss lunch produced in minutes for Dad, Andrew and me.  Sometimes simple food is simply the best! 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Chicken Chasseur



It's a classic dish but as easy to make as it is delicious.  As a result it often features on the menu at our place.   

I feel the addition of some good homemade relish really adds to the flavour.  I find myself that plum goes with nearly everything so I often reach for our homemade plum chutney or this year's plum and peach sauce, but don't despair if you don't have your own - there are some good plum sauces available on the supermarket shelves or you can simply use tomato paste or tomato relish instead. 

Ingredients
3 tbsp of butter (or oil)
10 chicken thighs
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 large onions, finely sliced
1 cup of white wine
1 tbsp herbs, dried or fresh (mixed, parsley, chives etc)
2 - 3 cups of mushrooms (or more if you prefer), whole or diced in the size you prefer
4 cups of chicken stock (or use water and a stock cube)
2 cups of crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh) 
3 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsps of good relish - we used homemade plum chutney
3 tbsp of cornflour
Salt and pepper as you like it

Method
Melt the butter or use oil in a pan and brown the chicken thighs on both sides.  Remove from the pan. 
Add onions and garlic to the pan and saute for around 5 minutes, then move to the side of the pan and add the wine.  Stir gently for another 5 or so minutes.  Add the chicken stock, the tomatoes, the Worcestershire sauce, the relish and the mixed herbs and mix well.  Return the chicken thighs to the pan and simmer for around 40 minutes.   Add more liquid if needed. 
Add peeled, cleaned mushrooms and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and ground black pepper as you like it.
Mix the cornflour into a paste with a little water.  Remove the thighs from the pan and use the paste to thicken the sauce, stirring briskly.  Return the chicken thighs to the pan, mix with the sauce, reheating if necessary until ready to serve.

Serve with rice and vegetables. Enjoy!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Darling Buds Of September

It's mid September and Spring is springing.  Down in the new orchard area the gorgeous pink blossom of the young apricot tree and the white of one of the plum trees have begun to appear.