Beef Roast

With sweet potato chips, cauliflower mash, baked potatoes and baby carrots

A few nights ago I cooked a fairly simple roast beef and some veggies. It’s been very cold the past couple of weeks so it was a welcome hearty meal. I picked up a pre-marinated cut of beef from the supermarket and grabbed a whole heap of different vegetables.

I tried a different method with my potatoes this time by par-cooking them. I quartered about six royal blue potatoes and placed them in a saucepan of cold water. I brought this to the boil and let them cook for a couple of minutes, and then drained them. Then I put the lid back on the saucepan and gave it a good shake to roughen up the surface of the potatoes, which is meant to make them crunchier. They were pretty soft though by this stage so a couple of pieces lost their skins and mushed up a bit.  I then coated them in some olive oil, salt and rosemary,  and baked them for about 20 minutes. They came out way crunchier than usual with fluffy insides. I’ll play around with this method some more but I think it’s a keeper.

The cauliflower I just cut into florets and boiled until soft. I then ‘mashed’ it with my stick blender and added a little butter, cheese and seasoning. It’s a slightly unusal way to eat cauliflower but I really like it. It’s more watery than mashed potato but it doesn’t taste so different, and I like to think it’s better for you.

The sweet potato chips were a new attempt for me. Sweet potato is very high in sugar, hence the name; which means it caramelises very easily. I figured if I cut the potato into fairly thin sticks it would caramelise on the outside and go a little crunchy. I spaced them out evenly on baking paper and coated with a bit of oil and salt. I baked them on a high heat in the hope that this would crisp them up even more. They came out well, but not as crunchy as I was hoping for. Apparantly it is difficult to make sweet potato as crunchy as regular potato because of it’s higher water content, but I will keep experimenting with this chip idea.

The baby carrots were so easy. I just chopped off the leaves and sauteed them in a little butter and a good squeeze of lemon juice. The acidity of the lemon really contrasted well with the sweetness of the carrots, and the sweet potato also on my plate.

Oh and the beef was really good too, although I was aiming for medium rather than well done.

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 1:25 am  Comments (8)  
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Chilli Garlic & Honey Chicken with Rice

This dish has been a favourite in my family for many years. It is based on a recipe from a Vietnamese cookbook, but it actually reminds me more of Chinese cuisine. It doesn’t have the tangy balance of sweet, sour and salty that you would expect from a lot of Vietnamese food, but rather an intense emhasis on the three ingredients in the name: garlic, honey and chilli. Muffy and I like to use a lot of garlic when we make this, and it’s sort of become the dish we make when one of us feels like we might be coming down with something. It’s very quick and easy to prepare, and delicious all year round.

Garlic is a thing of beauty

I like to use some vegetables when I make this, but that is up to you. Carrots work particularly well with the sweetness of the honey, and I also like adding red capsicum. Other good options would include broccoli, snow peas, water chestnuts or even bamboo shoots. Go for vegetables that are firm and crisp and can be cooked quickly; I would avoid watery things like cabbage, tomatoes or celery.

Continue to Recipe

Published in: on July 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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