Quinoa and Corn Fritters for Easy Mid-Week Dinner

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I know we have offered up a few posts in the last couple of days and maybe I should’ve saved this one for a couple of days for when I am working too hard, or feel a bit uninspired, or chuck the shits because I have a little sand in my vagina. But the fact of the matter is this recipe is well and truly suited to the easytastygood weekday dinner section of your local supermarket and, as I am on the rise in the polls with the weekday dinner cooking young mums of the world (both on the rise in the polls, and the grandson of a Pole with a rising po… um… that other thing) via this blog, I think it only courteous that I offer this recipe now so everyone has a fair chance of getting on the table tonight.

This is a great way to use up the left over quinoa and roast vegetable salad you had with your dinner last night. What’s that? You didn’t have quinoa and roast vegetable with your dinner last night? Oh that’s right, you weren’t here were you. I wonder who that strange guy with the lisp and the pronounced limp was? Oh, that was you. Well shame on you my friend, shame on you. Very inappropriate… anyway, you should’ve had quinoa salad because it is super tasty and damn well good for you. Our friend Inga provided our quinoa salad and she’s a doctor so if she’s eating it… join the dots on that one.

If you don’t have any quinoa salad lying about in the fridge, being a lazy bastard and generally not pulling it’s weight at all, then 2 cups of cooked quinoa and 1 cup of whatever cooked vegetables you feel like will do the trick.

Once again hashtag the shit out of this one #easytastygood.

Out of the oven...
Out of the oven…
And into my face
And into my face
Tasty business right there
Tasty business right there

QUINOA & CORN FRITTERS (for 4)

3 cups left over quinoa and roast vegetable salad or substitute the stuff I said you could substitute (put your knife through the vegetables if they are big)
2 cobs sweet corn, kernels sliced from cob
A handful of parsley or rocket (or even mint or coriander if that’s what you fancy), chopped
1 spring onion, sliced
1 chilli, sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ cup self raising flour
3 eggs
Rosemary & lemon potatoes, avocado and sauerkraut (I’m am seriously eating it with everything at the moment) to serve
• Mix it all together, it should make quite a stiff batter
• Put a splash of oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and drop heaped tablespoons of the batter into the pan. Press down a little with the back of the spoon or your hand to form into little patties
• Fry in batches if necessary for two minutes each side or until golden brown. Place onto a lined oven tray and into the oven at 180C for 5-10 minutes, until fully cooked through
• Eat in your face with the potatoes and other tasty things

 

Crispy golden potato-y love
Crispy golden potato-y love

ROSEMARY & LEMON POTATOES

500-600g potatoes, chopped into chunks similar to the potato in the photo
½ lemon, sliced into wedges
1 sprig rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
seasoning
• Boil or steam the potatoes in a pot or you can put them in a microwave safe container with ½ cup water, cover and cook/steam/microwave until half cooked or something close
• Drain well
• Lube up a frying pan with the olive oil and cook the potatoes with the lemon and rosemary over a medium-low heat, 10-15 minutes should do the trick. Check by eating one
• If they are cooked but need a bit more colour at the end of the process, turn the heat up to medium high and give them a little crispy loving. Do not go to the shed to smoke a bong while this is going on as they are very likely to burn
• Serve them up once the golden crispness is achieved

These little puppies would be great for breakfast with some good mood enhancer (aka bacon) or smoked salmon, a poached egg and some tomato or capsicum chutney. And coffee – not on the same plate but always with the coffee…

WTF Nachos

Nothing wrong with this picture
Nothing wrong with this picture

WTF Nachos

NB. This is a dinner that is going to make Jennee’s cousin Sarah hangry*. Very hangry.

This is not just a recipe for nachos no, no, no, my friends. This is a recipe for what I have decided to call “WTF nachos”… or possibly “Off the hook nachos”… nah, I think I’ll stick with the WTF nacho idea. It has a kind of slightly confronting “in your face” factor, and I think the street smart acronym is really going to help it take off with the kids of today. They will collectively love me like I was their new mother… A kind of freaky scenario agreed, but don’t be too concerned, I won’t try and breast feed a single one of the little bastards.

“Why have you given them this moniker though Grazza?” I hear you ask.

The name came straight from my smart brain and the nachos were inspired by some kind of Mexican cheese fondue type thing I saw on another blog on the interweb super highway. That recipe had shitloads** of cheese, fried chorizo and no beans, and upon sighting it with my eyes I decided I must have it. But just chorizo and cheese? As much as I would’ve liked that to be my dinner it certainly wasn’t going to fly with the Children’s Healthy Eating Authority (CHEA). CHEA decreed that, as a parent cooking for his children, I needed something a little more nutritious in this dish. Yes I am still a parent, as much as I feel like I’m one of the kids a lot of the time… most of the time… OK, pretty much all of the time. So anyway, my childish mind and all that comes with it aside, I decided I would cleverly disguise the Mexi fondue by putting a layer of nacho beans underneath it, and we even had a few carrot and cucumber sticks on the side.

Nothing wrong with this picture either
Nothing wrong with this picture either

Nacho beans (Childrens Healthy Eating Authority approved)
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 400g tins red kidney beans, drained
1 400g tin diced tomato
Seasoning
• Sweat off the onions in a little oil
• Once they start to colour add the garlic and dried spices. Cook out for another minute or two
• Add the tomatoes and beans and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, adding a little water if they start to stick
• Blitz beans with a hand wizz to a semi smooth but still a little chunky type consistency
• Season with salt and pepper to taste

Cheesey goodness
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
½ cup ricotta

Chorizoy love
4 chorizo sausages, diced or blitzed to a mince type consistency
• Fry this off in a little oil until crispy and the chorizo has released it’s lush red liquid gold

Corn chips
1 bag of your favourites

To get it all together
• Put the beans into the bottom of a pan that can go under your griller or into the oven. Cover the beans with the cheese and grill/bake on high for five or so minutes, until it is bubbling and golden
• Spoon the chorizo and all of it’s tasty oil (not CHEA approved, but do it anyway) into the center of the cheese
• Serve with corn chips, tomato salsa and whatever healthy shit you feel is necessary, on the side
• Thank me later

*hangry; hungry angry. A term used when seeing pics of food makes you hungry and also angry they you don’t have it (as explained by Sarah Cootes). I thought it could also work well to describe being hungry with a hangover… or being angry because you’re not very well hung (this one would possibly only apply to males… hopefully)

**an actual unit of measurement

Jennee’s Sunday Spread… Thai feast a la David Thompson and her own brain

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Jennee’s Thai spread, if you will. Now please remove your filthy little minds from the gutter and your hands from the top button of your pants as this is not the type of Thai spread that will be hitting fat Australian business men in the face with ping pong balls. This is a Thai spread of even more awesome-ness than that my friends…

Read on.

Jennee is the type of girl that would have a sweet pony saddled up and waiting for me when I arrive home from work so I may trot into the hills and ride away my woes. That is not code for anything, but by Jeeves it could be!

This girl knows how to save a man from the perils of a big week at work like the homeless man knows how to rescue the stray dog… not how to feed or shelter it though, but one out of three aint bad.

At the end of lunch service at work yesterday I did declare to my co-workers and kitchen brethren that I would not be eating dinner tonight unless it was mother effing nachos. I was hell bent that I was going to finish my working week (I know. A little bit different to yours, but that’s OK yeah?) by piling a fat load of shit into my mouth hole. Not actual shit of course, that’s only at the parties the Johnston’s have on the third Friday of every month… but that’s a hell of a story for another time… or not at all. Anyway, needless to say nachos were not to be the end to this working (and actual) week. I was about to flip the fuck out and then Jennee laid this upon our table. I instantaneously realised that all would be OK… I’ll have the effing nachos tomorrow!

For this dinner Jennee drew inspiration from David Thompson’s book, “Thai Street Food”, and her own brain to boot.

A Thai spread for 4.

That rice. Top left
That rice. Top

STICKY RICE WITH GOLDEN DRESSING AND MUSHROOM TOPPING
• Cook 2 cups of sticky rice just like you would normally cook sticky rice. If sticky rice is in the too hard basket, try cooking jasmine rice instead
• Once rice is cooked stir trough golden dressing (recipe follows), cover and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes
• Serve the rice covered with mushroom topping (recipe follows)

Golden dressing
½ cup coconut cream
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sliced tumeric
• Combine the coconut cream with sugar and salt
• Add the tumeric and leave to infuse for 30 minutes
• Douse the hot rice with that and smell the glory

Mushroom topping
150g mushrooms, chopped finely
1 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 30 minuntes, strained
5 coriander roots, washed and chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ cup finely grated coconut
2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar
2 tablespoon white sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded. Really finely shredded
1 small handful picked coriander
• Using a mini food processer or mortar and pestle, make a fine paste out of the shrimp, coriander root, salt and pepper. Heat oil and fry paste over a medium heat until aromatic – 3-4 minutes – stirring contantly to prevent it from catching
• Add mushrooms and fry for another 3-4 minutes until cooked
• Add coconut and fry for another 3-4 minutes and then add sugars. Keep cooking until sugars are dissolved and then absorbed until almost dry
• Cool
• Check seasoning – it may need a little more salt and/or pepper
• Serve on top of golden rice, garnished with shredded kaffir leaf and coriander. Just quietly, this is well worth the effort

That beef
That beef

BEEF & CHOY SUM WITH LEMONGRASS & COCONUT
500g ribeye or rump steak, sliced into 5mm strips for stir frying
1 bunch of choy sum or gai lan or bok choy, or even broccoli if none of the other options appeal to you, cut into 4-5cm pieces
1 brown onion, diced
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, chopped
1 long red chilli, chopped
5 coriander root, washed and chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
Zest of 2 kaffir limes

2 tablespoons oyster sauce
• Blitz all except beef, choy sum and oyster sauce, to form a rough paste. Marinade beef in said paste for a few hours
• In a very hot wok/pan, add a splash of oil and stirfry beef for one minute. Set aside
• In the same pan add choy sum and oyster sauce and simmer for 5 minutes
• Add beef and any resting juices back to the pan and simmer for another minute
• Get it on the table

That salad
That salad

CUCUMBER, TOMATO AND SPROUT SALAD
1 continental/telegraph cucumber, chopped or cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandoline
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (or a big handful of cherry toms straight from the garden if you’re lucky enough to have some), halved
200g bean sprouts
2 spring onions, sliced
1 handful each mint and coriander, leaves picked
½ cup black rice, shallow fried in vegetable oil until starting to puff and pop (this is some tasty shit right here and brings a bit of a tasty crunchy party to the salad, as every good Thai salad needs)
½ cup nam jim dressing (recipe right here) or a similar sweet, sour, salty, hot dressing
• Yo yo yo… Toss it all together and put it on the table

Getting pickled… lentils and beans, that is

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Huh. Sepia…

I love getting pickled. In fact, you could say that I have made somewhat of a career out of getting pickled. I don’t know if it is my German-Polish heritage rearing it’s ugly but lovable head, like the child peering around the corner while his parents are engaging in a little “special time”, but without getting pickled, my life is ass pointless as a silent letter.

I think I should probably clarify something right now… I am taking about pickling fruit or vegetables or, as in this case, legumes. What I am not talking about (but possibly actually talking about) is the pickling that occurs to your brain when you drink excessive amounts (or quite possibly just the right measure) of alcoholic beverages.

Why, as I type this now I am slowly but surely recovering from one such evening.

Quite apt really, eh?

The thing I love about pickles is, well, everything. From the taste to the preserving qualities to the taste… but I think I already mentioned that.

Lately I have been pickling lentils, chickpeas and cannellini beans with effing brilliant results. And where did this idea come from? I like to entertain the thought that I actually came up with this idea all by myself… with my smart brains. Clever, clever Grazza. I quite possibly did not come up with this idea by myself but that’s OK because for now I am living the dream.

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Lentils
Lentils
Cannellini beans. Not much to say about these pics really...
Cannellini beans. Not much to say about these pics really…

PICKLED LENTILS or CANNELLINI BEANS or CHICKPEAS
1 400g tin of lentils or cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 eshallot or half a whatever onion, sliced
1 10cm stick of celery, sliced
½ small bulb fennel if you have some lying around, sliced
A chilli if you want, sliced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (apple cider or sherry vinegar would both be cracking too)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
• Mix everything, except oil, together in a bowl. Season well
• Pour/spoon the mix into a jar or your holding receptacle of choice
• Cover with oil
• Put them in your fridge, not mine, as they will not last for more than a few days in my fridge
• They are best after a day or two and should last for a few weeks in your fridge
• Eat them with a piece of whatever meat or fish you want, charcuterie, cheese, bread or by themselves straight from the jar

Sauerkraut is next!

Foodisthebestshitever – the home of easy-tasty!

A Mexi feast that would make a Mexican proud… possibly… i don’t know any Mexicans I can ask…

This is the Mexi Fiesta we served at work. A photo of the domestic version is down below
This is the Mexi Fiesta we served at work. A photo of the domestic version is down below

Recently, at my place of paid employment, I cooked a Mexican fiesta for anyone and everyone to try… providing they had a burro for transportation, a fake big black moustache and the fare of six silver pesos to pay their way.

 

After a day of sending out feast after feast after proud gringo Mexicano feast, I came to the conclusion that it would be silly, nay, down right irresponsible of me to not consume this same damn tasty looking spread of Mexican influenced treats for my own dinner that evening. A quick call was placed to my darling Jennee to determine if she was conducive to the idea. Upon hearing her reply in the negative, followed by a heap of other dribble that I missed due to the fact I had stopped listening and went to my special place where I was definitely eating a Mexican feast for my evening meal, I decided I WOULD BE be eating a Mexi feast all of my own because I was bloody well cooking the dinner and I am the boss of this house and… and… and Jennee could have some too if she was extra nice… or even just if she wanted to eat some because my dream bubble has burst and I have come crashing back through the walls of my dream world, all covered in bubbly juice – bubbly afterbirth if you will, into the reality that Jennee is the boss of me and she is very nice and I should start digging upwards sometime soon…

 

So in the true spirit of the theme I smuggled my dinner out of the kitchen under the dress of a pregnant woman, and then quickly got it into the back of an old F100 truck which sped away to safety…

 

We also had sangria with our Mexican Fiesta because a Mexican fiesta without sangria is not a Mexican fiesta at all. It actually becomes null and void. It becomes consciously uncoupled (yep) from the glorious heights it could have reached. So now that I have segued Gweneth’s quote of the year into that story I feel my work here is done. Time to move onto the recipe!

 

Pork and beans...
Pork and beans…
plus tortilla...
plus tortilla…
plus a bit of all of this other stuff...
plus a bit of all of this other stuff…
equals happy Grazza!
equals happy Grazza!

 

PORK WITH KIDNEY BEANS AND ROAST CAPSICUM (as part of a fiesta for 6 or so. Or a cracking dinner for one big fat bastard… I’d do it)
500g left over pork shoulder roast (or braise 500g pork shoulder on a low heat with a sliced onion, salt and pepper and 1 cup water for 1.5-2 hours or until tender), shredded with a fork
1 brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh jalepeno chilli, sliced
2 fire roasted red capsicum (make your own or get them from a jar if you’re feeling lazy), diced
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons mexi-seasoning (recipe follows)
2 400g tins kidney beans
¼ cup olive oil
A handful of fresh coriander and sliced radish to serve
• Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent
• Add everything else except pork and beans, and cook out over low heat for 10 minutes
• Add pork and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes, adding a splash of water (or pork juices if you were smart enough to keep them) if it starts to get a bit dry. For dry beans are like… um… well, other dry things that shall not be discussed on these pages now or ever
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Garnish and serve
• Serve with a pile of other mexi goodies. No, I am not referring to a cheap Mexican rip off of the classic English comedy from the ‘80s, The Goodies. Although I would be really keen to see it if it does exist… But I am referring to dishes like beef ribs with mole sauce, salsa picante, charred corn rice, pickled jalapeño ‘slaw, yoghurt (I always have yoghurt with my Mexican) and tortillas to make a little Mexican sandwich of mucho goodness. Ole!

MEXI SEASONING

1/2 tablespoon ground dried chilli

1/2 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons whole cumin, roasted and ground

Jennee’s Sunday Spread… Singapore chicken satay, pakoras and other stuff

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Jennee’s Sunday Spread

If there is something I’ve grown accustomed to it is returning home on a Sunday afternoon to Jen’s famous Sunday spread.

No. This is not a new weekly segment aimed at letting you in to the more intricate details of my life… or wife… or both of the above. I think you get plenty enough insight as to what’s going on with me without me needing to reduce this blog to a mega-gigabite or so of soft porn filled, wasted space on the interweb. No, no, no. There is certainly enough of that sort of stuff floating about already. And surely the gutter is not the place for a young man as pretty as myself… Who the fuck am I trying to kid? I love the gutter! Absolutely love it! Gutter born and bred!

With that out in the open and off my chest and out of the broom closet and all that, I should probably clarify that this title of this segment has nothing to do with “the little bit of extra dessert” I get when the children retire on a Sunday evening. This is all about the glory that greets me when I return home from work…. I know this has innuendo written all over it but stick with me for just a little longer, I’m sure it will clean itself up eventually… Whatever “it” is. I clearly do not have a clue what “it” is. I dare say I would not recognize “it” if it were couriered to my front door by It Couriers Inc and hand delivered to my person (signature required) in an oversized phosphorous flouro yellow box marked “IT”. There was once a point to this story I’m sure… That’s right, returning home from work on a Sunday afternoon. Not only is the house ship-shape, the washing done and the carnies all bathed and beaten, but I am always greeted with the sweet, sweet smell of something that when eaten, I just know is going to taste decent at the very least, right up the scale to down right sexy if the spirits show favour to my dear wife on her cooking adventures.

So to Jennee I dedicate this new segment. You’ve done well my love, and I’m not just talking about your choice of life partner!

This is what Jennee whipped up this week…

Cooky pastey
Cooky pasty
Marinate chicken
Marinate chicken
Cook chicken
Cook chicken
Eat chicken
Eat chicken

Singapore satay chicken (part of a feast for 4-6)
What makes this a Singapore satay? Jennee said it is, that’s what.

1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch of ginger, grated
2 long red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon tumeric powder
½ teaspoon ground fennel seed
2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
3 tablespoons peanuts
2 candlenuts or brazil nut kernels
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1.5 teaspoon salt
2 cups coconut cream
½ chook, fat and free-range, cut into 8 pieces (you can ask the butcher to do this for you… maybe flash a little cleavage and make it worth his while…)
2 tablespoons vege oil
• Put onion, garlic, chilli, ginger and 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream into a food processer and blend to a smooth paste. Mix in ground spices, lemon rind and nuts, and pulse a couple of times to combine
• Heat oil in pan and fry the mixed ingredients, stirring constantly, until colour darkens and oil separates from the mixture. It should smell cooked and come away cleanly from the pan. Remove from heat and mix in salt and lemon juice
• Allow to cool
• Rub the mixture all over the chicken and allow to marinate for at least half an hour
• Fry chicken on all sides until starting to brown. Add remaining coconut cream and braise in oven or on a medium heat on the stovetop, until delish and tasty! (probs about 20 minutes)

The batter
The batter
The end product just about to be put in my face
The end product just about to be put in my face

Bean and spring onion pakoras (part of a feast for 4-6)
5-6 small spring onions or scallions, chopped
2 cups finely chopped green beans
½ inch ginger, grated
¼ teaspoon each red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder
½ teaspoon each ground coriander and fennel seed
1 cup quinoa flour
4 tablespoons water
salt as required
oil for shallow or deep frying
• In a bowl, add everything except flour and water
• Mix well and let this mixture stand for 15-20 minutes. This is done to allow the liquids to be released from the onions, so that when you make the batter, it does not end up becoming too thin
• Add the quinoa flour part by part and stir well
• Add the water and make a smooth and medium consistency batter, adding more water if required
• Heat oil in a deep fryer or pot/pan
• Drop spoonfuls of the batter in the oil and fry in medium hot oil till the pakoras are crisp and golden

To serve
Steamed rice, chutney, yoghurt, that papaya and pineapple salad