Curry bun, white soup with salmon and pan-baked potato (Brunch 30 June)

Got some left over portion of minced meat curry from last weekend (Dinner 24 June) in the freezer. 

I found a very interesting recipe of "Oyaki-pann" (pan-baked bread without fermentation) in a Japanese cooking magazine "Orange Page" (17 April 2012). With these recourses, I attempted to create a new left-over recipe, a curry bun. 
"Oyaki-Pann" Orange Page 17 April 2012: 34-35

Making the bun dough

  1. Put all ingredients except warm water in a large bowl. Add warm water into the bowl in three times separately and combine well with ingredients with a hand each time until becoming a bough
  1. Take the dough out from the bowl and place it on a large cutting board dusted with flour. Knead the dough by pressing the half part of it with the palm of the hand and then folding it over to the rest of dough. Repeat this process for 5 mins till it become s smooth
  1. Put the dough into a plastic bag and close the mouth (I used a medium size freezing bag) and rest it for 30 mins in room temperature. 

Ingredients for four pieces of bun: Plain flower (80g), Self-raising flower (80g), sugar (1.5 tablespoon), baking powder (1.5 teaspoon), salt (1/4 teaspoon), warm water (80 ml)

Wrap the curry-stuffing with the bough

  1. De-freeze the minced curry. Instead for using minced curry, you can stuff anything as you wish such as chopped bacon or ham, cheese, and sweet corn
  2. Make the dough 20cm of length, cylindrical shape by rolling it on the board with hands and cut into four pieces in wide width
  3. make a ball with each piece and then flatten it to make 12cm diameter. Then thin the edge of the circle by pinching it with fingers
  4. Add small potion (roughly 20g) of stuffing in the middle of each dough and gather up the edge and close it by using fingers (like the procedure of making dumpling)
Thinning the edge 
Add stuffing in the centre of a dough
Gather up the dough-edge 

Bake buns with a frying pan

  1. Prepare a large frying pan (26 cm diameter), a lid large enough to close the pan, a baking sheet larger than the diameter of the pan. Heat the pan over medium temperature and place a baking sheet on the bottom 
  2. Place buns with some distance with each other and bake for 3 mins and turn to the other side and leave it for 1 min
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water under the baking sheet and cover the pan with the lid
  4. Steam buns for 10 mins while turn each piece to the other sides once

Add water to steam

Direction of the white soup with salmon

Ingredients: a piece of salmon, 1/2 winter cabbage, a small piece of carrot, small onion, shallot, and some okura or green root veggies, tablespoon of butter, 1/2 cube of chicken stock, tablespoon of plain flour, 1/2 cup of milk, black pepper.
  1. Chop winter cabbage, shallot, onion, carrot into large bite sized and fry with butter over medium temperature
  2. When veggies are half done, add plain flower and keep frying for a min
  3. Add 1.5 cup of water and 1/2 cube of chicken stock, and okura then gently shimmer for 5-7 mins
  4. Add milk and black pepper to serve.

While steaming buns and shimmering the soup, I made the potato. 

Pan-baked potato

  1. Peel and shread the potato into long thin strips 
  2. Heat a small frying pan over medium temperature and add 1 tablespoonful vegetable oil and spread potato pieces evenly. Close the pan with a lid and cook the potato for 10 mins
  3. Remove the lid and turn the potato over to the other side and cook another 7-8 mins until the surface turns brown and crispy
  4. Serve with a pinch of salt on the top

Cury bun was certainly a good leftover-remaking dish. However the dough was a bit floury. Next time, I will knead for much longer time and leave it for 1 hour. 

Total time for preparation: 1 hour
Total cost: 1.80 pounds (1.30 (salmon), 50p for all other veggies)

Sushi Date (Dinner 29 June)

As following Mr. Husband's strong request, we had sushi from ATARI-YA, a Japanese food and fish store. I was so hungry so I ordered some sushi of O-toro (fatty tuna belly), Botan-ebi (Jumbo fish shrimp), Sea bass, Negi-toro roll (minced fatty tuna with spring onion) and salmon.  Recently we ordered only sashimi so I forgot the extra weight of rice balls in sushi.

I usually feel a bit guilty when I order take-away meals since I feel lazy for not cooking. So I usually make some sides such as miso-soup and salad. This time, I ordered too much sushi while I prepared too many other things (miso-soup, Mabo-tofu, salad). 
Total cost: 46 pounds (44 pounds for sushi, 2 pounds for other veggies)

I think it is one of the important housewife skills to bridge between the homemade meal and the takeaway meal  especially concerning the balance between: the quantity and quality, and the time and the cost.  Today's meal featured both outsourcing and the homemade cuisine fully while sacrificing time, price and perhaps health (since we ate too much). 

Italian Restaurant ORSO after Royal Opera House

We went to see an opera of Berlioz, Les Troyens at Royal Opera House
It  was such a great opera!! I cried a lot... I will see it again when I have a chance.

Let me introduce an after-theatre dinning spot in Covent Garen. Whenever we go to ROH, we usually complete the day visiting an Italian restaurant, ORSO

Their menu is an average, homely Italian. However, the quality of food and the relaxed atmosphere is secured. This place is one of a few restaurants in London where they serve spaghetti in perfect al dente. Their pizza is also very nice. Whichever dish, the seasoning is perfect -not too salty neither too oily (if you avoid cheesy dishes) but effective enough to enhance the flavour of the material which is very appreciating for late night dinning.

The service is also very nice -not too relaxed but not too rushy. They don't urge customers to empty their glasses and dishes. With nice food, service and atmosphere, ORSO allows us to bask in the afterglow of nice performance at ROH. It perfects our opera or ballet dates!

Mr. Husban's Bento_28 June

Carrot-beef roll, omelet with halloumi cheese and dill, salad, apple, rice with dried shiso leaves

Carrot was rolled up with shiso leaves and sliced beef.
Dusted with flower and fried.
Finally seasoned with Soy-sauce&HB sauce, sugar

Salad was wrapped with cling film for the safety

Bento is ready to go!
Bento is very nice. I can create a cosmology in such a small square space. 
We'll dine out tonight. With bento, Mr. Husband (who concern his weight gain recently) can avoid to eat outside all day. I'm not sure this bento can contribute his weight loss but certainly it got less amount of oil, sugar, salt than that of office lunch. So I should make it more often... however honestly,
I can enjoy making bento because I don't do it every day!!

Total time for preparation: 25 mins
Total cost: 2 pounds (mostly for beef)

Fried plaice with yummy sauce and white asparagus with sweet-sour miso 

(Dinner 27 June)

Fluffiness of deep-fried plaice became rich and deep dressed with the thickened yummy sauce. Miso was a new experiment for white asparagus. It was so fresh and delicious! 

Fried plaice with yummy sauce

Ingredient for two: a large plaice without borne, 1 tablespoonful starch flower (for dusting), 3 tablespoonful vegetable oil, 1/3 carrot, 1/3 round onion, (if you have 1/3 paprika), 1.5 tablespoonful soy-sauce, 1 tablespoonful mirin (if not,1 teaspoonful sugar), 1 pinch of chilli and black pepper, 1/2 teaspoonful starch flower (for thickening).
Deep-fry plaice
  1. Cut a plaice into 6-7 pieces and put 1/2 teaspoonful salt and dust with starch flower
  2. Heat a large frying pan and add oil, heat it up for 4-5 mins and deep-fry the plaice that the skin is down 
  3. After 3 mins turn over the each plaice and keep frying for another 2 mins. Once each piece got slightly brown and crispy edge, take it out from the oil and place it on the plate with a sheet of kitchen paper to remove out the extra oil
While deep-frying the plaice, boiling asparagus, 
and cooking rice and miso soup
Yummy sauce
  1. Slice carrot, onion, and other veggies into thin string and put into a small pan
  2. Shimmer 1. in 1/2 cup of water with soy-sauce and sugar till they became tender or for 4 mins
  3. Put a teaspoonful starch into a small cup and dissolve with 3 tablespoonful water and add it to 2. 
  4. Boil 3. to thicken

Put the deep-fried plaice on the dish and power the yummy sauce on the top. I added some boiled Okura for garnish but it was unnecessary. 

White asparagus with sweet and sour miso

Ingredients for two: 5-6 pieces of asparagus (a half bunch), 2 teaspoonfuls miso, 1 teaspoonful white vinegar (white wine, cider, rice, etc.), 2 teaspoonful sugar
  1. Cut the bottom of asparagus 4-5cm from the end and peel from top to bottom with a peeler
  2. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan and cook the asparagus for 4 mins
  3. Cut the asparagus into 4cm
  4. Put all the sauce ingredient into a bowl and mix well, then add the asparagus to dress with the sauce
  5. Put them in a small ceramic bowl and add some chopped Shiso leave or flat parsley on the top

In addition, I made tofu with garlic and chinese chives (boil tofu in 1 cup of water with sliced garlic and salt, add some Chinese chive in the end). Also got some pea pod. Boiled in water for 3 mints and add to the cooked rice. It was the seasonal and very sweet and flavoury!!  Today's miso soup ingredient was potato and enoki mushroom.

Total time for preparation: 50 mins
Total cost for two people: 4.20 pounds (1.30 for the plaice, 1.50 for white asparagus, 1.60 for tofu (1/2 for 3.19), 80p for pea pods and other veggies)

Anchovy-tomato cappellini and deep-fried aubergine salad (Dinner 26 June)

This pasta sauce is wonderful. IT is tasty, economical, easy and quick to prepare and also healthy. The perfume of truffle oil makes it luxury.... it never missed the appreciation from the company who share this menu. 

Anchovy-tomao cappellini

Ingredients (two people): 200g capellini, 300g canned plum tomatos, 1 cube of garlic, 1/2 round onion, 4 slices of oiled anchovy, truffle oil, salt and black pepper
  1. Boil 4L of water in a big deep pan
  2. Chop onion and garlic as small as possible
  3. Open the can of plum tomatoes and remove out seeds with a folk (this process can be skipped in the case of hurry)
  4. Heat up a large frying pan over medium temperature and power 2 table spoonfuls of olive oil. Put onion and garlic and fry them until the onion gets translucent
  5. Add the tomato and gently boil them for 20 mints and turn off the heat
  6. Chop anchovy into small pieces and add into the sauce with some back pepper
  7. (Cook pasta) add 1 tablespoonful salt into the large deep pan and start to cook the pasta for 1.2 mins or until to the al-dente condition
  8. Take the pasta out from the pan and add into the sauce to dress
  9. Top the pasta with 1 tablespoon of truffle oil to serve.

While shimmering the tomato sauce, I prepared the deep-fried aubergine salad. 

We usually get boxes of capellini (very thin spaghetti) of Barilla from a cute Italian deli in Soho Lina Stores

Total time for preparation: 30 mins
Total cost: 1.50 pounds (60p for pasta, 40p for canned plum tomato, 20p for oiled anchovy, 30p for other veggies) 

Collagen supper: Chicken wings, Winter cabbage soup, Oriental cucumber (Dinner 24 June) 

Having a chicken wing is an efficient way to consume high amount of collagen which is essential to maintain skin beauty. However, if it is just seasoned and grilled, it is very fatty. With this recipe, we can take collagen generously while minimising the amount of fat. This is one of my popular beauty recipes. 

By boiling it, we can remove out the fat while making the high amount of collagen melting in the stock. I call it "Beauty Stock".

"Beauty stock" from chicken wings

  1. Wash the chicken wings with water and put them into a deep pan. Add cold water enough to cover the chicken wings (roughly 1.5 L), 1 tablespoonful sliced ginger, 2 cubes of garlic, green part of spring onion or 1/4 round onion (onion absorbs strong flavour of chicken) 
  2. Allow the water gently boiling for 30 mins. Skim the fat and the scum appears on the surface as frequently as possible (such as 5-6 times)
  3. Take out the chicken wings in a flat tray and let them cool down
  4. Strain the stock with a net.

Collagen keeps the skin young, garlic and ginger warm up and energise our body!!
When I make Beauty Stock a lot, I put into a plastic container and keep it in freezer. 

Collagen soup with winter cabbage/Chinese cabbage (Beauty Stock, winter cabbage, salt, back pepper, sesame oil)

Winter cabbage is the best combination to enjoy the Beauty Stock. We can easily consume a lot of potions by shimmering it. I used 1/2 of whole winter cabbage and we easily finished all. 

  1. Cut the winter cabbage into 6-7square cm.
  2. Put them into a thick pan with a lid and add the Beauty Stock and heat it up to boil
  3. Turn the heat into small, close the lid and simmer it for 10-15 mins till the cabbage got tender and translucent
  4. Add 1 table spoonful of sesame oil, 1 teaspoonful black pepper, 2 tea spoonfuls of salt

Chicken wings (Salt, Soy-sauce, Mirin, Sesame oil)

  1. Cool down the cooked chicken wings. Without cooling, the borne and meat will be parted when you fry
  2. Heat up the large frying pan in the highest temperature  and put a table spoonful vegetable oil
  3. Place chicken wings with the skin side down and allow them to fry till the skin became crispy and slightly brown (for 7-8 mins)
  4. Power 1/2 teaspoonful salt throughly on the meat then add miring and soy-sauce tablespoonful each (Be careful for occasional spatting of deep-fry oil!)
  5. Turn the heat off and add 2 teaspoonful sesame oil
  6. Serve the chicken that the golden skin side is up. It is nice to prepare a finger bowl with warm water with a slice of lemon.

Oriental Cucumber (cucumber, spring onion, salt and pepper, fish sauce, dark vinegar, honey, diced almond) 

Instead for slicing it with knife, I tore it into pieces. It enhances the fresh flavour of cucumber. 
Dark vinegar popular in oriental country

  1. Cut 2/3 of cucumber into a half lengthwise. Make two lines of 1/3 of with in each and tear them off in 3-4cm length.
  2. Cut spring onion into 3 pieces lengthwise. Cut each piece into a half lengthwise. Slice each piece as thin as possible parallel to the fibre. 
  3. Soak into a water and squeeze and drain with a paper towel
  4. Heat up the small pan and toast diced almond in medium temperature
  5. put cucumber and spring onion into a bowl, add sesame oil, fish sauce, dark vinegar (or cider vinegar), honey teaspoonful each and salt and pepper as well. 
  6. Mix everything well and power the toasted almond on the top.
Chicken wing is a 'safe' menu to satisfy male appetite. Sesame oil and the caramelised soy-sauce and miring (sweetened sake) over them attains a rich flavour. In this recipe, the amount of fat can be reduced a lot while maximising the taste of chicken as well as the collagen taking. The melting texture of winter cabbage and the sharp hint of back pepper in the rich golden soup are truly enjoyable!! Cucumber settles the rich flavour. 

Total time for preparation: 1 hour
Total cost: 4 pounds (3.50 for 8 pieces of chicken wings (from Waitrose organic), 50p 1/2 winter cabbage)

Minced meat curry and Wasabi-mustard salad (Dinner 24 June)

I got some minced beef and pork  to be used in the freezer. To complete the rainy weekend with something summery, spicy curry was the method to warm up our body and get sweat.  

Once I get minced meat from shops, I usually put it in a freezing bag with zipper in flat and separate it with a long chopstick into half or quoter then store it in freezer. This process enables us to use frozen minced meat partially and also defrost the portion quickly.

Ingredient of minced meat curry: Minced pork and beef (200g each), 1/2 large onion, 70g fennel (1/3 large portion), 100g tomatos, 1 garlic cube, 3cm of ginger (1 tablespoon in grated), other leftover veggies (paprika, aubergine, courgette, etc.),  chicken stock cube, curry powder (see the photo below), fish sauce, HB sauce (if you have),, coriander and slices of lemon
Curry powder: Turmeric, cumin, fennel seeds, crushed chili (if you have garam masala) grounded

Minced meat curry

  1. Cut the onion into pieces as small as possible (2-3mm length and width) and slice fennel, garlic and ginger as thin as possible
  2. Heat a deep thick pan with a lid in medium flame and add 1 tablespoonful vegetable oil and fry 1. for 15-20 mins until they get translucent
  3. Add spice (please refer the image below), meat and 1 cup of hot water and keep stirring for 3 mints 
  4. Add 1/2 chicken stock and simmer it gentry for 5 mints
  5. While simmering the meat, chop tomato into 1cm cube and add into the pan. Close the lid and keep shimmering for 5 mins till the tomamo is done
  6. Add salt and pepper, one teaspoonfuls fish sauce and HB sauce and stir well
  7. Serve with rice as well as coriander and slice of lemon.

Wasabi-mustard salad (wasabi, mustard seed, cider vinegar, olive oil)

  1. Add 1/2 table spoonful wasabi and mustard seed into a bowl with tablespoonfuls olive oil and cider vinegar
  2. Chop the veggies (cucumber, avocado, sliced and rinsed onion, dill)  and put them into bowl and mix well with the wasabi-dressing

Serve them with a dry, chilled white wine

Total time for preparation: 50 mins
Total cost: 3.50 pounds (2.50 pounds for minced pork and beef, 1 pound for other veggies)

After a spicy food, ice cream is the most welcomed dessert. Mr. Husband serves it with a glass of whisky cut down with hot water. This is a perfect combination of cold and hot, milky flavour and the oaky, sweet taste and the biteer.