Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Perfect Steak Marinade

I think I just achieved perfection! The perfect marinade for braai'd steak.
The recipe comes from a book I got a year or so ago - "Braai" by Biller, Storkey & Kay (Struik Publishing).

Heat a little (15ml) olive oil in a frying pan.
Add a chopped onion;
2 cloves chopped garlic;
15ml chopped fresh ginger;
1 seeded and chopped red chilli.
Fry gently until softened.
Add 340ml coke; 180ml tomato sauce; grated rind of 1 lemon; 30ml lemon juice; 15ml whole grain mustard; 30ml white wine vinegar.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Sturing pretty often.
Let cool.
Pour about 250ml of the sauce over the steak, and reserve the remainder for serving.
Refrigerate the marinading steak, covered, overnight (or from Sunday morning until the braai on Sunday afternoon.)

Braai steak, on the beach, with lots of beer or rum for refreshment, good company, sunny weather, kids frollicking in the waves, palm tree swaying peacefully overhead.

Heat the reserved sauce thoroughly before serving with steak, maybe a tuscan salad, and undoubtedly a few beers.

My camera battery is dead now, so no photo's of the sauce, but I'll charge it and take some photos of the beach and braai'ing process later.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick Beef and Bell Pepper Stir-Fry

Ahhh, it's time to relax...

I make this recipe all the time, but have to search for it on the net every time I do.
It comes from and, aside from a little bit of prep, is supremely quick to cook. This is how long stir-fry should take to make.

It's a really refreshing salad type of taste - not too saucy, not overcooked. And (in case you care), peppers are packed full of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, so its good for you too.
Goes like this ...

Steak (say, 500g of sirloin)
Salt and pepper (freshly ground black pepper, of course)
1 large clove of garlic
Olive oil
2 medium bell peppers (capsicum), one red, one green, sliced into 5mm strips.
Half an onion, sliced lengthwise (root to top)
A dozen cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Take the steak.
Season well with salt and pepper on both sides.
Rub a clove of crushed garlic onto the above steak.
Wrap in clingwrap, then pound the meat until its quite thin (say 6mm thick)
Leave steak wrapped up while you do the rest of the cooking.

Cook rice or noodles.

Heat some olive oil in a large wok on high heat.
Add onions and peppers, and stir fry until just tender (really only for a minute or two)
Add tomatoes and cook for another minute.
Remove veggies to a bowl and keep warm.

Unwrap the steak and slice into stir-fry sized pieces.

Heat another 2 tbsp of olive oil, until shimmering, but not quite smoking.
Add the strips of beef and let brown for a few seconds without stirring.
Cook for only a minute or two.
Then add the veggies back into the pan, and a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce.

Stir for a minute longer, and serve on a bed of rice or noodles.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not much food writing

Ok – so the New Year has come and gone – resolutions were made – etc etc. Now it's February.

I had planned to take a food photo every day, to post to a Flickr group, and this was going to give my food blogging a bit of encouragement.

Well, I posted 4 pics to the Flickr group, can’t even remember what the group was called anyway, and haven’t had a blog post here in a very long time.
It’s not that I haven’t been cooking, but maybe I’ve been experimenting quite a bit. Firstly, I have actually built up quite a recipe book over the past few months, and can now spend time making things that have already been made, rather than trying new stuff every night. Oddly, this is actually quite refreshing. Secondly, Wifey has just given up her job to become a full-time mom, so she’s been trying to reclaim ownership of the kitchen. There is definitely a fight brewing on who gets control of the kitchen, but again, it is nice for it not to be my responsibility to cook every night.

You see most bloggers stop writing because their lives are suddenly outrageously busy – they have babies, or open restaurants, or something on a similarly grand scale. My story seems to be the opposite. The New Year has brought with it a period of consolidation in our family’s life. Vix can concentrate on being the best mother she can be. We’ll be a little poorer, and so are trying to find a smaller place to live in. And I can concentrate a bit more on my career, as my responsibility in the family is more focussed. Oddly again, but it’s refreshing, and quite exciting.

I am still cooking of course, and trying new recipes fairly regularly. I found a recipe for a warm bean and chorizo salad a few weeks back, which I’ve made twice already, and even served to guests. We had guests for a braai last weekend (or maybe the one before that) and I made prawn skewers with a garlic and lemon baste. Both of these were really successful. There does always have to be some balance in life, and so I tried an avocado remoulade with pan-fried salmon the other day, and it was nearly inedible. Maybe there was some other stuff, and maybe I’ll even post those recipes here, but not today.
And seeing as things are Oddly in this post already – Wifey and I have actually managed to start exercising fairly regularly. The little “about me” thing on your right hand side says that half of the reason of this blogs existence is to chronicle my mission to get my family eating and living healthy. I’m going to hit 30 this year, and so can’t really be a juvenile delinquent for that much longer. So – exercise – so far its only 20 minutes on an exercise bike, plus a few push-ups, but I’m a firm believer that some exercise is infinitely better than none, and also a believer that I need a fair bit of time to remember how my legs work or I’ll end up crippling myself.
OK, that’s all I have to say right now.

We’ll speak soon.