Thursday 27th February–More DIY

Up early again – in case they delivered the wood early – in fact they came about 10:30, so I could have had more time in bed!  It was a strange situation with the guys from Wickes as they were supposed to take away the damaged wood, but they said they didn’t want it and suggested that I kept it.  Then they rang back to say they should have taken it after all, so will now have to come back tomorrow to collect (between 8 and 9 am), so another early start.

DSC_0006I spent most of today working on the shoe rack that i am currently building and I have now finished the first stage.  There is still quite a way to go and a lot of sanding the wood before I glue it, stain it and varnish it.  I will carry on with the second section over the next few days.

I managed to watch some of the film (Time Runners) I borrowed from the library (about half of it), it was a little confusing, but interesting – I will reserve judgement until I have seen all of it.

I made chicken tikka for dinner today, it is a long time since I made that, but it was okay – maybe needs less cooking in the new oven – it went well with the salad.

Finally, watched an exciting game of football with Spurs playing a brilliant second half after a woeful first half and then  poor start to the second half.  Three goals in 13 min was very impressive.


Chicken in Hoi Sin sauce with fried noodles and bean-sprouts.

20120927_090As with all recipes of mine, there is a quick way – buy the sauce from Sharwoods as a paste, but that not as much fun! And (especially if you can’t get fresh), use a tin of beansprouts in water, but drain thoroughly!
Requires: Two uncooked, skinless chicken breasts (frozen), noodles and bean-sprouts as desired.

Beware it takes quite a time to mix the ingredients for the Hoi Sin Sauce together, they separate, so keep going until they don’t!
Vary the Jalapeño sauce or hot chilli sauce as required.

Prepare the sauce in advance – I freeze it:
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon runny honey or brown sugar
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic granules (not garlic salt)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
20 drops Chinese hot sauce, habenero, hot chilli sauce or jalapeño sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix thoroughly until a paste.

You will need about 50-100ml of the above for this meal for 2:

Part-thaw two skinless chicken breasts and thinly slice for stir-frying. While cooking the chicken also prepare the noodles – Boil a pint of water and add noodles as required (I use one fold of Sharwoods medium noodles), cook until soft. Rinse in hot water, drain and then toss in a teaspoon of sesame oil.
When the chicken is thawed completely toss into hot oil in a wok and stir until fully white. Add the sauce until the meat is just covered and stir fry to a thick mass – not too much sauce or it will be runny. Add two chopped/sliced peppers (adds colour if red and yellow) stir until softened. Empty contents of wok into a microwaveable vessel.
Heat two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil in the cleaned wok and stir fry the cooked noodles with a good sprinkling of dark soy sauce, until brown in colour – make sure you stir continuously as they may stick. Add the bean-sprouts, sprinkle again in dark soy sauce and stir fry until the bean-sprouts are hot.
Heat the chicken in Hoi Sin in microwave until hot.
Ladle noodles/bean-sprouts mixture onto a hot plate and add the chicken in Hoi Sin over the layer of noodles.

Beef and sweet pepper Chow Mein

This recipe is very variable in both quantity and taste, which is why I have given no absolute quantities.  The dish is served as a series of layers, starting with the noodles, covers by the peppers, then the beef and finally topped by the spring onions.

Ingredients (for ~2 people):

Several spring onions – 6 or 8, peel and wash, chop into 0.5cm sections.
1 6oz (min) rump steak, thinly sliced (best done while slightly frozen).
Finely chopped mixed peppers.
Some pomegranate seeds ( this depends on your sweet tooth, but no more than a quarter of a pomegranate – give the rest to the children, lol)
Medium egg noodles  the amount depends on taste (I usually use one and a half of the dried folded sections that Sharwood’s sell), boil until cooked as per instruction, drain and was with a small amount of toasted sesame oil.

Prepare three vessels that can be heated in the microwave oven.

Heat the wok with a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil and toss the noodles in until they stop hissing, add a generous amount of dark soy sauce until the noodles are brown, stir in 1-2 tablespoonful’s of sweet chilli sauce and continuously stir the noodles (taste for spicy flavour and add more chilli as required).  Put the noodles aside in one of the microwavable vessels.

Heat some virgin olive oil until very hot and throw in the mixed peppers, quickly toss until they are cooked but not soft, sprinkle with castor sugar until sweetened to your taste and then continue to fry until caramelised.   add the pomegranate seeds, give one last stir to warm them through.     Set aside in the second microwaveable dish.

Wash the wok, dry and add fresh olive oil to just cover the base, heat moderately hot, add the beef and rapidly stir until just cooking.  Sprinkle paprika until the meat is covered and stir fry again.  You should start to see liquid of a brown colour appearing as the meat cooks, add more paprika until the meat is covered again, continue to sit fry until the sauce starts to brown (usually about 5-7 mins).  Set aside in the final microwavable dish.

Add more virgin oil to the wok, heat to hot and toss the spring onions until lightly browned.  Heat the three other dishes in a microwave, on a high, but not full, setting until warmed though fully.  Dish up a hot plates as described at the beginning.  Can be served with side salad, or dressed with fresh coriander, parsley or whatever is preferred.