Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cheat’s Cottage Pies with Gnocchi Topping

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Counting chicken curry and steak and black pepper pies as my preferred choices of pies, cottage pie has somehow fallen out of my radar for a long time.  In fact, I don’t even remember the last time I actually had eaten one. My recent visit to the new pub on the block – Biddy Walsh’s Irish Pub has led to my new-found love for cottage pie albeit the fact that I felt the portion size was a little too generous especially for lunch.

Asian Inspired Savoury & Sticky Barbeque (Barbecue) Beef

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I have mentioned countless times on this blog that I could not resist a bargain. Whether it is a cheap strawberry punnet or a pair of shoes that I probably can do without, as long as the prices are good, I am all over them ha! Lately, I have been a regular customer at Aldi Australia especially the Wednesday and Saturday where the specials are really amazing. Between my beloved and I, we have bought a brand new microwave oven, the transparent glass kettle, sweaters, T-shirts, plates, an egg cooker (which is still in the box), mirrored jewellery cabinet, double wall glasses…whole bunch of random stuff basically.

Now how is this related to my barbecue beef stir fry?

Well this dish is somewhat a product of my recent purchases from Aldi Australia which were the 4 Ingredients cookbooks and the Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce.  I was trying to find inspirations of how to use up 3 bottles of the barbecue sauce which may or may not an impulse purchase. *wink*  Considering it is only the two of us, 3 bottles are excessive. I wish we are the type who puts barbecue sauce on everything. I’m also thinking about making beef ribs with them. Sweet, sticky and slightly caramelised meat on bones, well it sounds really good to me. Until then, here is a simpler way to use up the excess sauce I currently have on hand.

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Smoked Chicken, Quinoa & Red Lentil Soup

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This year, I have been diligent in preparing our meals over the weekend before the start of a work week.  Rather than getting takeaway pizzas or my guilty-pleasure – fast food burgers and chips, we have decided that these should be a “luxury” rather than a “necessity”. In addition, we want to explore the local restaurants in Orange. Therefore most of our dining out budget has gone to that instead of takeaways. Most people would agree that this is a wise decision eh? *wink*

Some of my do-ahead dishes have been shared on the blog.

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(Clockwise from top left)

As you can see these dishes can stand the test of time i.e. the flavours develops as the time goes.  All the above dishes except for the chicken biryani are quite effortless considering the quantity I have to make.

Since they are on a constant rotation for the year, I though it is time to add a new dish (soup) to the list.  It is a smoked chicken and red lentil soup – a recipe by Matthew Evans. According to Matthew, it is a twist to a pea and ham soup recipe which I thought was very clever!

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This book talks about the food philosophy of one degree of separation and to raise awareness on how food is made and grown. According to Matthew, the ideal is to be one step away from the source of your produce. However, practically. the closest thing to achieve this is to shop at local farmers’ markets. I am still reading through the book but his lentil soup recipe really stood out to me. For those who embarked on this food philosophy, the actual recipe from his book is as follows:-

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