Tagged: carrot

Vegetable Satay and Fried Rice

Vegetables? Yes, as an ex butcher and committed carnivore I have no problem with vegetarian food. My biggest problem however are those people who think that a meal must contain meat. They, like their vegetarian counterparts, are denying themselves some of the beauty that all forms of food can give. Also as a committed peanut butter addict this dish just oozes flavour and texture from the off.

So what do you need? Well, Vegetables are a good start and some flavourings.

From bottom left I used Ginger, a good fat inch, Celery, Red Pepper, Carrot, Onion, Broccoli, Garlic and Mushrooms. This isn’t set in stone, this is just what I had hanging round and needed using up.  You need to finely chop the ginger and garlic.

With the vegetables prepped, I started on the rice. To make a good fried rice you need to start early by cooking the rice as usual and letting it cool right down and fluff it up. Once you’re ready, add a glug of vegetable oil to a frying pan and gently fry the rice. Add a splash or two of Soy sauce for some flavour and keep warm.

Now for the Satay sauce. You will need 1/4 of an onion finely chopped or a shallot if you have one. A couple of chillis a squeeze of lemon a teaspoon of brown sugar,  3-4 tablespoons of peanut butter and a splash of soy sauce again. Fry the onions and chilli, add the peanut butter, lemon, soy sauce,  sugar and some water. Heat it all up together and you will find that it all changes from sepeerate ingredients to a lovely silky smooth sauce. Add more water if you think it is a little thick. keep this warm or reheat when ready.

Now you’re ready for the veg. Get a wok or a large frying pan if you don’t have one, add a glug of vegetable oil. Normally I always use olive oil but with stir fry’s stay clear of olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and ginger first then add the vegetables in any order you like. Keep frying until the veg have given up their rawness but still have a satisfying bite to them.

Put the rice on a plate top with the veg and add the sauce over the top.

Unlike a satay from your local Chinese, this has flavour and no MSG. And totally fresh.

I’ve been making this for years now, sometimes I add shredded beef for a different texture, sometimes I just use celery and onion as I love the crunch  so much. This is a dish that lends itself to a nice lager to quaff with it as you would if you’d bought it as a take away.

Enjoy, Mugsie.

Stock. Do not throw away that Chicken!

Having just had our Sunday Roast, I set about doing my usual dissecting of the chicken for butty material and as usual, to make a stock. It never occured to me that a lot of people I know just throw the carcass away. What an absolute waste!
I know my partner in crime on this site would wholly agree, as we both cook on a budget, why throw things away?
There again, a lot of things that may have put people off making stock… the bouquet garni, for example. I certainly haven’t got a ‘bucket of garnish’ lying around, so let’s, in the ethos of this site, make it simple.

After your roast, while the carcass is luke warm, strip all the meat off that you want, and with the remaining bones of the carcass, rip them apart into smaller pieces. I always crack the larger leg bones to extract a bit more flavour for the stock. Just hit them with a knife (not your best birthday present knife of course).

Get all your bones and stick ’em in a big pan, fill it up with water, add some salt.
There you go. That simple, but, you can add more.

Try adding that bit of brocolli stem that no one eats, a carrot in the bottom of the fridge, the left over roast spuds. get them in there, a few peppercorns, an onion. Whatever you’ve got, it’s your stock.
Now bring to the boil and then simmer for about 2 hours or more with a lid on. When cooked, pour all the contents into a sieve with a jug underneath to collect the stock.

You should end up wth a jug of gorgeous stock. Let it cool, and later on, put it in the fridge.

There will be a layer of fat that forms, scrape this off when you come to use the stock.

The stock should be the consistency of a wobbly jelly.

There you have it.

Use when making sauces, or even for your next gravy and of course soup.


Happy Boiling

{Note from Frank – for those who don’t have a feel for the ‘let’s just give it a go’ style of cooking that we both get off on, you can buy Bouquet Garni from any supermarket. They usually come in the form of a little teabag of herbs. A box of these will last you ages, so keep one in the back of your cupboard if you need to.}