17 August 2008

Mid-week meals

Whenever I lack the motivation to cook, there are a couple of sure-fire ways I usually seek to get inspired all over again.

1. Travel to an exotic country with a national cuisine vastly different from what I'm used to.
2. Read incredibly food blogs like The Travelors Lunchbox, Orangette, Kuidaore, Delicious Days, and Chubby Hubby just to name a few. One day, if I don't get inspired by the stunning photos or the delicious writing, I'd know I'm a gone case.
3. Equally peppered with beautifully inspiring photos and prose is Donna Hay, a magazine I'd almost kill myself if I somehow miss out on buying the last season's copy.

The latest issue has plenty of recipes for special days - tiny morsels of food as part of a larger grazing menu, or a more elaborate sit-down dinner comprising main courses that you can choose to spend anywhere between an hour to 3 days laboring over .

My favourite section though, is one for the everyday. They gave a recipe for osso buco and 3 accompanying quick recipes that uses osso buco in different ways. Great as a weekend project for sure. They also have a number of recipes for mid-week dinners meant to be casual and put together almost in a flash. There, I found the perfect getting-back-into-the-kitchen recipe.

Thai-style sweet and sour barramundi. It looked like all I had to do was clean and boil (the vegetables), fry (the fish), and mix (the dressing for the fish). The only laborious part was the cleaning and chopping of the vegetables (snow peas, but I added french beans and baby corn). After that, everything was a breeze. This iss presentable and satisfying enough to be served during mid-week casual dinners at home with close friends, but easy enough as a tasty mid-week dinner for yuppie-couples.

I made this for my brother and I this weekend, and substituted the barramundi with salmon. I enjoyed how the tartness of the thai-style dressing cut through the usually rich flavour of salmon. Simply blanched snow peas, french beans and baby corn were drizzled with some Japanese Roasted Cashew Salad Dressing that I bought at the Japanese fair recently. Okay, I cheated, but it is meant for a mid-week meal you know.

It is great getting back into the kitchen!
Thai-style Sweet and Sour Salmon
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay
Serves 4

1 tsp chiili flakes
1 tbspn sea salt flakes
4x200g salmon fillets, skin on
1 tbsp vegetable oil
300g snow peas, blanced and thinly sliced (or 100g snow peas, 100g french beans and 100g baby corn)
1/4 cup (60ml) lime juice
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp fish sauce

To make the sweet and sour dressing, place the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce in a non-metallic bowl and stir to combine. Set aside
Combine the chilli flakes and sea salt and rub onto the fish skin.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick fying pan over high heat.
Cook the fish skin-side down for 3-4 minutes or until skin is crisp, turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes then turn off the flame.
Serve with the dressing spooned over, and the side of snow peas, french beans and baby corn - blanched, drained and tossed in your favourite salad dressing (preferably not something tart like the sweet and sour dressing).


san said...

Hi Daffy, gosh, I realise now that you buy more than Real Simple! My shelves are groaning at the mere sign of my self-control buckling as I read this. It is wonderful to see you all inspired and enthused again about food and cooking! Food means much more than mere sustenance to us, eh?

akaiame said...

hi daffy,
i really like tai food~ if i'm free i will try it out~ if you don't mind can i link ya from my blog~ hehe~

Anonymous said...

Hi San San! I'm actually thinking of buying another bookshelf now, but Jocelyn's latest post is making me rethink that decision. =) I really does feel great to be back.

Akaiame> Hello there, let me know how the recipe works for you! And sure, link away!