Vietnamese Beef Stir Fry with watercress

Inspired by Karen Martini’s recent recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald, I used ingredients I had at home to do a version of this simple but delicious stir fry.

Bit of chopping, marinating and grinding involved but worth it for the very tasty outcome.

  • Prep time: 1 hour Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Ingredients:
  • 500g rump steak, fat removed and cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 red or green chillies sliced lengthwise into thin “batons”
  • 1 small red or green capsicum sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1/4 bunch dill, thick stalks removed, chopped into 3cm lengths
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions white and some green parts sliced into 3cm long batons
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons palm sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons roughly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method

1. Slice beef, place in bowl.

2. Finely dice 4 cloves of garlic, crush 2 cloves into paste, add garlic to beef.

3. Add pepper and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce to beef and set aside to marinate for at least half an hour.

4. Heat a small pan and add rice to pan to toast. Keep shaking pan to brown rice but make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Prepare fresh ingredients. Trim and clean watercress, dice onions, cut capsicum, spring onions, dill, and chillies. Scatter watercress on a large serving platter and set aside.

6. grind rice to a rough powder in a mortar and pestle.

7. Mix palm sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and mix to combine and dissolve palm sugar in a amsl bowl and set aside.

8.Heat the oil in a wok on high for 4 minutes until smoking.

9. Carefully add beef to wok and spread so as much of beef surface on one side is in contact with wok. Reduce heat slightly but leave beef undisturbed for 2 minutes.

10. Stir beef to expose other side to wok, add capsicum, diced onion and chilli and cook for 3 minutes or so until onion softens.

11.Add spring onion, dill and the sauces mixture. Mix through and cook for a minute or so until sauce has heated up.

12. Tip beef over watercress. Pour lime juice over the beef, then sprinkle roasted rice powder over beef and serve with jasmine rice.

Green Tea Berry Cobbler

This cobbler recipe looks good…but what is a cobbler?..fruit baked with some sort of dough apparently!

Here’s also is a link to some recipes and an explanation of What is the difference between a cobbler, crumble and crisp?

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Green Tea Berry Cobbler! Now you can drink your tea and eat it too. Presenting a unique twist…

Green Tea Berry Cobbler

Simple Roman #Lamb

Simple delicious Italian dish that transports me back to trattorias in the back streets of Rome. Fresh, honest food, cooked with love!

We’ve been enjoying the Spring weather and trips to our local markets here in Sydney …the vegetables at the markets are so much fresher and much more interesting than supermarkets.

We are lucky despite lockdown to have Paddington markets and EQ markets nearby, within our 5km lockdown zone. A long way from Rome but inspiration to recreate some of the memories of times gone by.

These photos are from dinners reviewed here Divine food in the eternal city at Da Enzo and La Pentolaccia

So my humble Roman Lamb recipe truly pays back by transporting us to wonderful times of international travel and many visits to Rome.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time:1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 6 lamb chump chops on the bone, fat removed and cut into chunks or 750g lamb shoulder, fat removed and cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4/5 sprigs of fresh thyme(optional)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon coarse chopped rosemary
  • Chopped parsley to garnish
  • 4 anchovy fillets coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Chop meat, heat oil to almost smoking, then brown in batches, adding 2 chopped cloves of garlic along the way. I use a non-stick frying pan and then transfer to a small casserole dish. ( beware this will turn your smoke alarms on if you don’t use fans/open windows!)

3. Place lamb and garlic in a casserole dish with a lid. Sprinkle with salt, lots of black pepper, thyme and flour.

4. Meanwhile deglaze the pan in which you browned the meat with 1 cup of white wine, then pour the wine and pan juices mixture over the lamb.

5. Put casserole dish in oven with lid on for 30 minutes.

6. While lamb is roasting, put rest of garlic, rosemary and anchovies into a mortar and pestle and pound into a smooth a paste as you can. Add the wine vinegar and mix vigorously to creates an emulsion.

7. After 30 minutes, remove lamb from oven, pour over the rosemary emulsion and mix through well.

8. Put lamb back in oven with lid off for another 30 minutes until fully cooked through and browned on top.

9. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve with sides such as #Cipollini Onions #agrodolce or Roman #Cauliflower? #Broccoli? Or a simple rocket and parmesan salad.

Stuffed #artichokes

Made these last week but added parmesan cheese to the stuffing which was a delicious addition. Used blood orange juice in the mayonaise for an extra zingy flavour plus a lovely pink colour!

Here’s the original recipe, just add 1/2 cup grated parmesan to breadcrumb mixture for a cheesy version and use a blood orange for pinky Mayo. Zesty stuffed artichokes with orange mayonnaise sauce

Zesty stuffed artichokes

Roman #Cauliflower? #Broccoli?

Found this beautiful looking vegetable at the EQ markets in Centennial Park, amongst the boring white caulis.

Googled when I got home and discovered it is known as a Roman or Romanesco Cauliflower.

Thanks Wikipedia: Romanesco broccoli (also known as Roman cauliflower, Broccolo Romanesco, Romanesque cauliflower, or simply Romanesco) is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy in the 16th century, it is chartreuse in color, and has a form naturally approximating a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, it has a firmer texture and delicate, nutty flavor.

Roasted it in the oven and served alongside minty carrots. Delicious nutty flavour and crisp texture, Happily high in vitamins C and K. If you’re lucky enough to find it – make sure you try it!

#Cipollini Onions #agrodolce

I found some cipollini onions at the market on the weekend and they reminded me of a recipe I have always “seen” in Alistair Little’s Italian Kitchen Cookbook…one of my favourite recipe books of all time. But then of course I couldn’t find it!

What are they? According to TheKitchn…”Their name literally means “little onion” in Italian, and indeed they are! Cipollinis are about the size of a golf ball with a slightly flattened appearance. They’re thin-skinned and have translucent white flesh with more residual sugar than your average yellow or white onion.”

But I figure baby onions would be fine with this same treatment and worth it just have the sweet and sour, agrodolce sauce.

So I googled what I could remember and realised that the recipe must be “agrodolce” or Italian sweet and sour …so this is what resulted! A new discovery of deliciousness that will be a new favourite for sure!

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 cipollini onions or baby onions
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar

Method:

1. Place raisins into bowl and cover with hot water, allow to sit for next 30 minutes. You want the raisins to absorb the water and get close to bursting. This is key to the agrodolce sauce’s success.

2. Meanwhile, peel the onions. Heat the oil in a small pan that fits them all in one layer. Heat oil until hot, add onions, salt and pepper and ….then Cook onions slowly for 10-15 minutes until brown on all sides and tender.

3. Drain raisins (after 30 minutes), add to pan with onions, add sugar, balsamic vinegar and allow to bubble until vinegar evaporates and some of the raisins burst to form a sauce. Onions will caramelise and absorb some of the sauce. I added 2 tablespoons of water to help the process along a bit too.

4. Place directly onto platter and serve alongside grilled vegetables and roast meats. Perfect to have in the fridge so next time I am going ro make double this batch!!