Qararat (decisions)

Deciding what to eat for every meal is a pain in the ass. I very much enjoy the cooking part, but the painstaking research, the desperation to use up everything in your fridge… bleh. Fun discovery: replacing your spaghetti bolognese with soba noodles and pork mince (because you have neither pasta nor beef mince on hand) makes for a lighter and somehow more delicious meal, but when you try to reheat the noodles, they will evaporate into the bottom of your pot, with only their outlines lingering there like the Ghost of Christmas Past. Maybe this doesn’t happen to people who have microwaves. I don’t know.

So, as I scour and my beloved SBS Food for something to cook tomorrow, here are some reminders to my future self of things I done gone made that actually turned out.

Pesto and feta salmon with roast broccoli and brown rice


You may lol, thinking “what idiot needs to be taught how to bake salmon?” This idiot. For future reference, you sear all sides til you can’t see pink, then whack it in the oven at 220 degrees for 6 minutes (alongside the broccoli. Do roast the broccoli instead of lazily steaming it as I usually do. It’s so worth it.) Plus, smothering anything in pesto makes it taste instantly better.

Mini-quiches with pea and broadbean quinoa saladImage

Confession: the recipe for this came on the back of some mini-wraps I needed to use up. Yes, I have become one of THOSE people, and I fully judge myself for it. (Sidenote: the other day, forced to read spam in my letterbox after I locked myself out of my apartment and had to wait for the locksmith, I found a real estate agent’s pamphlet with a recipe for Italian mussels on it. The sneaky buggers must have figured that people might keep the recipe, and their details along with it. I love recipes but this is madness and an abuse of the good and pure name of food.)

So obviously I used the wraps as my base instead of puff pastry. They’re circular, hence not evenly covering the sides of the tin. Also, this flat has no muffin tins, but THREE friand tins. What the hell, Mum. Anyway, I used a friand tin, slanted and with a little star mould at the bottom.

2 wraps*
2 eggs
100mL cream
some mozzarella cheese**
100g bacon
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped (it says diced but I got lazy…)

*actually worked out really well apart from the awkward shape. Although I will try puff pastry one day.
**if you were to make a big quiche, prob want to use tasty or a blend w/ parmesan because mozzarella by itself is too stretchy, but in mini-moulds it doesn’t matter

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Soften the wraps by heating them, then cut them and put them in the moulds. Brush each one with a bit of egg on the inside.
3. Bake for about 5-6 mins, then bring out and put them aside.
4. Fry chopped onion, and then bacon, until done (soft/translucent is fine). Chop bacon up.
5. In the moulds, first put in cooked onion, then bacon, then diced tomato.
6. Beat eggs (by now you should only have 1.5 eggs bc you used some to brush the bases with) and cream together, add salt and pepper, then mix through the cheese.
7. Pour on top of each mould – don’t overfill
8. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes.

Quinoa salad doesn’t deserve a full recipe because it was simply a game of ‘what do I have in my fridge?’. Answer: quinoa, goats’ cheese, mint, peas, broad beans. Dressing was ye olde lemon juice/olive oil/salt, but I reckon it was unnecessary.

Lemon chicken gyros
I didn’t take a picture because do you know how hard it is to hold that mess together when your wraps are small and filled with yoghurt? I have sympathy for the shawarma guys. Anyway, I don’t know how legit it is to call these gyros (which, having never been to Greece, I am assuming are the same as Arab shawarma or Turkish doner kabab – i.e. the chicken should be roasted and shaved) but they were pretty delicious.

This recipe came from Can You Stay For Dinner – the writer is so warm and funny and self-effacing in the gentlest of ways

2 wraps
200g chicken (I prefer breast)*
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced (or add more if you want, Lebanese style)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup Greek yoghurt
all the dried dill your heart desires**
1 tomato
1 handful parsley, minced
1 handful mint, chopped

The original recipe calls for fetta and Spanish onion too, but I felt the yoghurt was enough. My wraps were pretty small and I don’t think there would have been room.

*Even if you didn’t want to make gyros, this chicken marinate is pretty delicious.
**When looking at the spice collection in the cupboard, I found no dried oregano or thyme, but THREE jars of dried dill. Given that there is only one dish that Mum uses dill for, and she rarely cooks whilst in Sydney, this is something of a mystery.

1. Cut chicken into strips.
2. Mix together oregano, thyme, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, garlic. Coat chicken strips and marinate in the fridge for at least one hour, if not more.
3. Combine yoghurt and dill.
4. After an hour (or more), panfry chicken strips.
5. Put together the wrap so: yoghurt, sliced tomatoes, chicken, parsley and mint. Then eat, trying not to dribble everywhere.

Now I have procrastinated, but still out of ideas for next week. Also, would like to end on a final note of hatred for WordPress, whose unruly scripts are always freezing my damn computer. Peace out.

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