I read that our neighbouring countries folks are bracing themselves for recession. Talks of rice shortage is every where. Meanwhile, Japan is thinking of replacing rice flour with wheat flour as wheat prices also increased. With the Euro going up, all the imported foods are getting more and more expensive.
So, how about saving costs and start cooking at home more often? Some of the most famous celebrities chefs cook at home. Take Jamie Oliver.
Even the cheap and convenient ‘Economy Rice’ costs a lot now. A packet of rice with some decent dishes costs around RM5-RM6 when previously, RM2 would give us a nice meal already.
I am going to focus more on buying fresh fishes, meats, vegetables and etc from the market and make series of them in my food blogs. It is going back to the basics and I hope, even those who never cook will start to think differently. Cooking at home is not only much cheaper, it is a lot healthier and cleaner.
One of the easiest dish to prepare is stew. You can never go wrong with stews. Stews made up of these three things :
1) The meat part – something with bones like chicken or pork ribs will be good
2) The hardy vegetables – Leeks, carrots, celery, tomatoes, button mushrooms or any type of root
3) The flavours – Onion, garlic, ginger, herbs like bay leaf, rosemary and etc, i.e. those things that gives a lot of flavour like cooking wine, sesame oil, oyster sauce, ketchup.
Today, I make a quick pork ribs stew.
Simple ingredients :
500 grams pork ribs
1 carrot, 1 leek, 1 onion
few pips of garlic, slices of ginger
1 stalk of spring onion, 2 stalks of coriander
Sauce for flavourings – Two teaspoons of oyster sauce, soy sauce
half teaspoon of cooking wine and sesame oil
Simple steps :
Heat some oil, fry the onion, garlic and ginger till fragrant, add pork ribs to stir till turn colour, add the sauce and vegetables. Add some water, just enough so that the bottom of the pot is not dry. Simmer for an hour.
Dishes like these stews not only taste good, they store well too. If you have big portion, you can freeze part of them and bring out and heat for another week, maybe later in the week.
You cannot go wrong with stew because the bones and the vegetables will impart a really nice flavour, no matter how you combine the sauces and the vegetables. You can see photos of the basic vegetables like coriander, lemon grass, spring onions and leeks here.
CROCK POT/SLOW COOKER
If you are not into all the frying and simmering steps, just dump them into the slow cooker or crockpot and you will still get a nice dish.
When making stew, remember not to add too much water as you want a nice, thick gravy. If the gravy is not thick, you can mix 1 teaspoons of corn flour and water and add it to the gravy. Do this only when your dish is almost ready and make sure the gravy is boiled through.
Anyone can cook.