It’s been a very busy & exhausting week, so I’ve only been cooking very simple meals which are next to unbloggable – which, when combined with being exhausted… makes them actually unbloggable.. if that makes any sense.
Today I decided to use the things in my fridge which desperately needed using. A slowly wilting head of broccoli which had been there about 3 weeks. The leftover box of paper-thin-rolled sliced beef from the hotpot a couple of weeks ago – it was all sitting in a box in my freezer – and taking up lots of space because rolls & plastic box means lots of air, and the final 3 giant chestnut mushrooms slowly getting soggy in their box at the top/back of the fridge. Also the rice vermicelli I had cooked earlier in the week but not used.
It all went in the pan with some fresh sliced garlic, and whatever sauces I thought would go with it… in this case it was spicy bean sauce, wholegrain mustard & branston pickle. Odd I know… but that’s me…
I was thinking about the blog as I cooked it, because I hadn’t blogged for a while and thought since it’s a Saturday I should at least attempt to… and the thought of the weird combination of sauces came up and I thought.. Hmm.. I do cook weird things for myself I would never cook for other people… At least for any sort of planned meal with guests etc.. I guess it’s because I don’t have to show off, I don’t have to make sure it tastes good – I’d eat it even if it didn’t taste fantastic… I’d only ever really bin something if it was totally unbearable.
I guess this would apply for most people too. Or at least it should. If the goal is to save money and to eat more healthily.. while taste is often co-related to skill.. it’s not the be all and end all and missing the target shouldn’t be a big deal or a big disappointment. Experimentation is the key to learning how to cook. If something fails.. eat it or don’t eat it.. don’t do it the same way next time. Move on, try something new. Yes, I do mix eastern and western tastes.. and yea there has been some some pretty awful concoctions.. but that has never stopped me cooking.. I just learnt that mayonnaise + curry powder + branston pickle doesn’t really go well together.. But you know what.. today I learnt that in a savoury dish.. for example one flavoured with spicy bean paste like I had today.. a touch of branston pickle actually did very well to sweeten the dish.. and I have a sweet tooth so that works for me. Would I have bought the pickle just to make this? – NO.. Was I doing it mainly because I wanted reduce the number of jars of random stuff in the fridge? – YES.. but it was delicious.. so who cares in the end?
So the order goes:
- hot pan, oil, garlic – let garlic brown a little
- throw meat in – let meat cook, obviously keep stir frying while doing it
- when meat is done or almost done, put in the spicy bean paste, stir
- throw in broccoli & mushrooms, squirt some water into the wok, stir, cover, let steam a bit until everything cooked
- throw vermicelli in, stir, taste
- add whatever else needed to make it all taste as you’d like it to taste, plate up, photograph, eat!