When we’re having guests to dinner, I think I go a little bonkers sometimes. I scramble for crazy complex recipes online and get so anxious and stressed about cooking. I was thinking about it tonight while I cooked our supper and the fun I was having winging it for just the two of us. Imagining the flavours, experimenting and then being so happy with the adventure of trying out my musings and the flavourful outcome. It’s my favourite way of cooking.
Tonight was one of those nights. I’m sure you’ve done it too. You’ve experimented and and created a meal that wove the flavours together delicately and delightfully. It’s so satisfying. Then I thought … why don’t I trust my instincts like this when having friends over, and just wing it like I do when it’s just the two of us? It’s so much more fun!
To summarise today’s food adventure:
If you have two lovely pork chops – or even chicken breasts will be good; marinade them in the few goodies detailed below while prepping the veggies, then grill them in the oven while cooking the veg on the stove top.
We call stir fry “hot salad” in this house. It’s a thing … I once said to friends (I tend to scramble for words sometimes) who were here for dinner, “help yourself to hot salad” as apparently my brain could not locate stir fry at that moment. My partner likes to tease me about it still.
Maybe you have some veggies you’d like to use up too? I did tonight. To be honest, if you have garlic, some fresh ginger and an onion to start with, you’re 50% on track and in the stir fry business. Any greens? Bingo. A carrot or zucchini? Perfect. A brinjal? Excellent. Whatever veg are in your fridge that need using, julienne them or chop them up. Then we’ll add light seasoning at the end, and you’re good. Hot salad and a grilled protein!
Ingredients for protein:
- 2 large pork chops or your white meat of choice
- 1 heaped tsp dill
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp ground dried onion flakes or powder
- 1 tsp powdered galangal or ginger
- 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- Mix the dried herbs and spices, stir in the oil and marinade the meat in this brushing both sides liberally.
While this is marinating:
- Gather your veggies to prep:
- 1 dessert spoon olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1/2 large eggplant/brinjal
- 1 bunch of broccolini or greens, such as kale, spinach, zucchini chopped
- 7 baby tomatoes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- Freshly ground pepper
- Ground Himalayan salt
- Heat your oven to 400⁰F
- Prepare to multi task!
- Place the grill pan in the oven to heat up for your meat
- Heat your skillet or pan on the stove or burner you will be using for your stir fry adding the olive oil
- Toss the garlic and ginger into the stir fry pan
- With oven gloves take your grill pan out as soon as the oven reaches temperature
- Place your meat on the grill pan, return to oven
- Add onion to skillet on stove top
- Add the carrots and eggplant next, stirring on a nicely hot stove top
- After 6 minutes take your meat out the oven and turn the chops over on the grill pan, return to oven
- Add the broccolini or greens last, when the eggplants/carrots are starting to cook nicely and have a nice sauteed look about them
- When the broccolini turn a lively deeper green, they are saying “we’re cooked”
- Add the seasonings, stirring one last time and tossing in the baby tomatoes. I like them just warmed and browned so they are firm but warmed, the flavour is so good then and pop with tomato goodness. Turn off stove top.
- Check your meat, it should be cooked to 165⁰F
- Take the meat out, let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and pour over the juices in the grill pan
- Serve onto warmed plates. I hope you enjoy your creation as much as we did.
We’re getting ready for our son’s arrival for the holidays. I’m so excited. He flies across country to us for a week. I may post again if I have time to take some pics of dinner! BUT I found an amazing mango dessert recipe I want to try for the holidays and this one I trust implicitly and cooking for family is different to having friends over!
I really appreciate your visit here, it’s an amazing gift to know someone, somewhere is reading this and I am deeply touched by that. Thank you.🙏🏻
I have set up a little aquarium in my work office. Meet The Divas! They are 6 Tetras that are just too cute. There is also an African dwarf frog. I’m thinking of calling him Elvis. Elvis and The Divas sound kinda fun. Especially as I heard him sing for the first time. It was amazing! Luckily my office is quiet so I heard it.
Today our meat arrived. I think we’re going to be alright for the next two months!