Saturday, March 19, 2011

3) 两菜一汤:Comfort Food

A comforting home-cooked meal (serves 3) for about S$10.  Your love in preparing it - PRICELESS!

Garden Salad with Citrus Sesame Dressings 

Ingredients:  A few romaine lettuce leaves, 5 to 6 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cucumber, 1 hard-boiled egg.
Salad dressing (mix together): 1 tsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp Japanese sesame sauce, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp chopped spring onion, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, zest & juice from 1/2 lemon.

Method: Mix salad ingredients in bowl/plate and pour over salad dressing.

Cost: About $2.00

Cream of Broccoli Soup with crispy bacon bits

Ingredients:  1 broccoli (about 350g) - cut into chunks, 2 strips of streaky bacon (cut into small pieces), 1/2 potato (chopped), 1/2 onion (chopped), 400ml chicken stock, 20ml heavy cream.

1) Fry streaky bacon in oil till crispy.  Drain oil and set aside.
2) With remaining oil in pan or pot (about 1 tbsp oil), stir-fry the onion till translucent, add chopped potato.  Add broccoli and stir for another minute.  Add chicken stock and sufficient water to cover ingredients.
3) Bring content to boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Cool content briefly before blending it.
4) Pour blended soup back to pot and bring it to boil again (without covering the pot, to prevent the soup from turning yellow as a result of overcooking the broccoli).  Add some crisp streaky bacon into the soup, add salt to taste.  Stir in half the cream and remove from heat.
5) Serve the soup with some crispy streaky bacon bits and a swirl of cream.

Cost:  About $3.00

Baked Potato Pie

To prepare the meat sauce (see ingredients below):
1) Heat oil in pan till hot, add onion and stir-fry till translucent, add garlic and 1 tsp mixed dried herbs.
2) Add the Taiwan sausage, stir fry to release oil and fragrance.  Add the minced meat and stir well.
3) Add celery, carrot and button mushroom.  Stir well to combine all ingredients.
4) Add tomato puree and sufficient water to just cover the ingredients.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add salt/pepper to taste.

To prepare the mashed potato:
1) Cook about 2.5 potato (cut into big chunks) in a pot of water till soft (the remaining half potato used for broccoli soup as a thickener).
2) Remove from water and mash up the potato immediately.
3) Mix in a little milk and add salt/pepper to taste.

To assemble and bake the pie:
1) Lightly oiled the baking dish.  Pour in the meat sauce and cover with mashed potato.
2) Sprinkle shredded cheese and top with breadcrumbs (rubbed in with some butter).
3) Bake in oven at 170C for 15 minutes till pie is golden brown.

Cost:  About $5.00

Tip:  Cook more meat sauce, keep them in small containers and store in freezer.  Simply defrost the amount you need for a yummy pasta with meat sauce, fillings for bread or toppings for pizza.

Ingredients: [Meat sauce:tomato puree, minced meat, russet potato, onion/garlic,
button mushroom, Taiwan sausages, celery, carrot], shredded cheese, breadcrumbs, butter

To stretch your dollar further, save some meat sauce for next day breakfast:

Toasted Ciabatta with fried eggs, meat sauce and shredded cheese.

Here's a summary of my other 3 plus 1 menu.

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