Monday, August 08, 2011

Impromptu Friday Night Dinner at Home for Two!

Jian & I had no plans to go out on Friday night, so I whipped up a meal for two! I wouldn't call it sumptuous; I am just glad that it didn't go awry & send us running to the nearest 24hr McDonald's.

Anyway, I am so proud of this meal because 1) as mentioned, I didn't screw it up horribly & 2) I went to the supermarket at 1830hrs (coming back at around 1945hrs) & we got to eat by around 2200hrs. It's a feat for me, you know.

First up, I prepared the cut vegetable plate. I prepared it first so that it could sit in the fridge. In the meantime, I actually defrosted the frozen smoked duck (good value at Sheng Siong, btw) in the microwave oven & heated it up in between preparing other dishes.

Okay, I didn't do this one. Jian threw it together when he came home, so I guess I can't claim to have done the whole meal ALL BY MYSELF. Olives, sundried tomatoes & Parmigiano Reggiano drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

After the vege plate, I roasted 2 peppers! One would have been sufficient, but I guess I was feeling a bit over-ambitious. The peppers I bought were quite pretty, so I decided to document the process.

Semi-charred already. I forgot to take a picture of the blackened peppers before covering them to let them steam in the own vapours. This loosens the skin & makes it easier to peel off.

Tadah! De-seeded & skinned! Seasoned with olive oil & ...

... Fleur De Sel (salt with a fancy name). Go click on the link to find out about it.

One of the few salads that I do well! Orange & duck salad over butterhead lettuce with an orange, balsamic, olive oil dressing. You can use rocket or spinach leaves as well, if you are entertaining. You can also swap the duck for prawns & avocado. DELICIOUS! A few slices of onions as well, according to taste.

Paprika Lemon Mushrooms. I learnt it from Dracoholic. The recipe in my tapas book actually called for red wine, but I wasn't allowed to open the bottle of red wine as it wasn't ours (another recipe told me to use sherry, but we got no sherry in the house), so I remembered vaguely that she used fresh lemon juice in hers and COPIED.

Fry the garlic for a bit with olive oil first, then throw in the mushrooms & salt.
Stir-fry for a bit & cover.
The mushroom juices will seep out & the mushrooms will cook in the juices.
Add the paprika & lemon juice & stir-fry some more.

I added a tad too much lemon juice, as there was half a lemon in the fridge (it's almost like it was waiting for me), so I WAS squeezing & tasting & it tasted perfectly fine at one point, but since there was a few more squeezes of juice left in my hand, I thought 'Why waste?' & just squeezed the remainder in. It came out a tad too acidic, but was still nice. In future, I will use a bit less lemon juice & trust my instincts a bit more. I added a dash of cayenne pepper too. Just a dash, as even Jian says it's very spicy.

I did not throw the lemon peel out immediately after cooking the mushrooms. I used it to clean up the microwave oven & the stove-top (the acid neutralises the fats). Very green, yes? ;)

So we were bursting by the end of the meal. I figure I could have prepared half the peppers (there was some leftover) & just the duck instead of duck salad. Oops.

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