It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for February, 2018

Home made baked beans

Canned baked beans….meh. They’re great for a quick and convenient snack, but beware – the average can of beans has 21g of sugar. It is simple to make your own, you then know exactly what goes into them, and you can also mix up your beans if you like. You don’t have to use haricot, you can use cannelini, pinto, navy, any type you like or a mixture.

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My recipe uses chorizo, you can also use bacon if you don’t like the strong flavour of chorizo, or if you are vegetarian, you can leave out the meat and up the flavour stakes with additional herbs and spices. This recipe makes enough for 4 serves for dinner or approx 6 batches of smaller lunch-time serves. Quite an easily portable snack too. You can also serve more people at dinner by adding other ingredients to the plate such as toast, cheese, eggs, sausages, chips, hash browns and sauteed mushrooms.

Ingredients:

2 x 400g cans of beans of your choice (you can also use dried beans if you soak them overnight)

1 x 400g can of diced tomatoes (or about 6 large Roma or Truss tomatoes skinned and chopped)

1 average sized onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, very thinly sliced or chopped

1 chorizo chopped into small dice, or two to three rashers of smoked bacon diced

1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

Half a teaspoon of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of mixed herbs, dried, fresh or freeze dried

1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder

salt/pepper/sugar to taste

Method:

Prepare the chopped ingredients

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If using canned beans, drain them:

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Fry the chorizo (or bacon) in a few tablespoons of olive oil until it is slightly crispy and the fat has rendered.

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Add the onions and garlic

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Once the onion begins to soften add the flavourings – mustard, cumin, paprika, herbs, Worcester sauce, stock powder.

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Stir everything to combine well and then add the tomatoes.

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Half fill the tomato can with water, swirl it to rinse the last bits of tomato and add it to the pan.

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Add the beans, but try not to stir them too much (this tends to mush them up. Shake them around the pan.

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Leave to cook for 20 – 30 minutes until the beans are soft enough to eat. Add salt and pepper to taste. You shouldn’t need to add sugar, but if you do, consider adding some honey or agave syrup instead of granulated sugar.

Serve in a bowl with fresh crusty bread and some grated cheese. So simple and tasty that you’ll probably never buy cans of baked beans again.

Hong Kong Cuisine, Myaree

Hong Kong Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was really looking forward to this outing. Our friends Susie and Simon had been telling us for a while about this fabulous Chinese restaurant close to their home. It had been dubbed ‘Chinese in the Cave’ and I was curious to experience this food in an unusual setting.

The first thing that you notice as you walk in is that the decor is indeed very cave-like, but also the clientele is almost exclusively Chinese, and there are various notes on the window (probably special set menus) that are not in English. This was a good sign because if Chinese people are happy to eat here, it points towards it being very authentic.

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The menu is quite extensive and contains photos for some of the dishes, so that you know what to expect. We were certainly spoiled for choice because many of the dishes had our tastebuds tingling in anticipation.

We chose prawn toasts to start, quite good, but also quite a thin layer of prawns, and I would have liked them a bit fatter. Served with a sweet dip and very good on the crunch factor.20180209_195357.jpg

We also chose the fungus with chilli. This was a dish of cloud ear mushrooms served in chilli oil, and the waitress double checked with us because she knew that it would be spicy. It was spicy, but very very tasty, the only difficulty being that as you got nearer the bottom of the dish it was impossible to take a spoonful without scooping up a large amount of the super hot chilli oil. If you have ever tasted chilli oil, you will know that you only need a little !

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Next to arrive was the young chow fried rice, a very tasty and slightly smoky ‘special’ rice containing shrimps, pork, onions, egg and many other little flavour bursts.

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Next came the salt and spicy ribs.  These were the star of the meal with an amazing depth of flavour and a definite umami kick. I could have eaten the whole plate of these and nothing else, and I would have been very happy (but we had to share).

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We also ordered beef with ginger, another fabulous dish, full of flavour, with really good ‘melt in the mouth’ tender beef.

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Next to arrive was the fish – a whole halibut with ginger and spring onion. I couldn’t fault this – very fresh and with delicate flavours that complemented the fish perfectly.  Another star of the show.

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I chose a claypot chicken dish with soy and oyster sauce. This was a dish that was full of flavour but at the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, I found it hard to eat. All of the chicken was on the bone and every mouthful was 50% bone and cartilage. Cooking meat on the bone definitely adds to the flavour, but there comes a point where the pleasure of eating it is slightly spoiled by the effort involved, so although I enjoyed the taste, I would probably not order this dish again.

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Rice can be ordered by the bowl, plate, or bucket. We ordered a bucket of boiled rice and found that the insulated bucket was very effective at keeping the rice warm.

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At the end of the meal, the waitress brought fresh melon (which we didn’t need to order), jasmine tea was also included.

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Well Hong Kong Cuisine was wonderful and I can’t wait to go back and have ‘Chinese in the Cave’ again ! I absolutely loved the fried rice, the ribs, the fish and the beef, and would probably order them again with a few different additional dishes. It was good value too, working out at less then $30 a head for such a huge amount of food. There is a tank of live lobsters at the back of the restaurant, so maybe lobster will be on the menu next time. Yum.

 

 

Malaysian Hawker, Cambridge Forum

Malaysian Hawker Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Following on from the last post, we decided to have Malaysian for our main course.

Malaysian Hawker has quite an extensive range of traditional and authentic Malaysian favourites.

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We chose beef rendang, a really thick and delicious coconut curry that cooks for ages so the beef is really tender. This was quite a nice version, but the meat could have been trimmed a bit better. the flavour was amazing but there were a few fatty pieces in there.

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We also chose char kway teow which was as good as any ckt that you would find in Malaysia or Singapore. It had the nice smoky wok burn flavour which I love. I ate some before I took the picture, so this is not representative  of portion size.

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We also ordered Lo Bak, a beautiful pork and prawn dish in a beancurd wrapper which is steamed and then deep fried resulting in a crispy sausage type dish, then sliced into bite sized morsels. This was very good and quite a meaty version, served with sliced crispy tofu and a dipping sauce.

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I really enjoyed my visit to Cambridge Forum and would definitely recommend the stalls that I visited.

Wembley Dim Sum, Cambridge Forum

Wembley Dim Sum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In the middle of Cambridge Street nestled between Alexander Street and Simper Street is Cambridge Forum – a hawker centre with curries, Malaysian, dumplings, dim sum and French food. There’s also a fab drinks stall that can whip up a chendol in no time.

This is a fairly short blog post because we chose some food from Wembley Dim Sum for a starter, so I only have two dishes to review, but if you look at the next page, you’ll see the review for Hawker’s Delight, a Malaysian food stall.

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So, you go and order your dim sum and they give you a little flag for the table, then when it’s ready, somebody delivers it to your table.

We chose siu mai, a pork and prawn dumpling and they were the biggest siu mai we had ever seen, very tasty too. We also chose crab claws, probably not really traditional dim sum, but definitely a favourite and very enjoyable.

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Both came with nice dipping sauces – chilli oil and sweet chilli. Yum.

Now here’s a pic of the marvellous chendol from the drinks bar. With green rice flour jelly and red beans, it was really good.

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