27th May, 2010 - Posted by Gerry @ Families4Life - 1 Comment
Fast Food 4 Busy Families (or anyone for that matter)
I am looking forward to getting my teeth (bad pun…sorry, it was unintended) into this article.
Anyone who knows me well know that I love to cook for the family. Family and cooking are 2 things that go together well in our household.
Joanne, my wife, with a combination of patience and a desire to teach our girls excellent home living skills has resulted in our oldest 3 girls (14, 12, 10) being able to bake cakes and all sorts of treats with little effort. This makes me proud as a father and husband!
To make it worthwhile for people to follow the Fast Food 4 Busy Families theme I thought we should establish the following criteria:
- McDonalds Drive Thru doesn’t count for our Fast Food! No Maccas!
- Fast Food recipes include only those that take 15 minutes or less to prepare – cooking time is extra, that is, we don’t count cooking time in the preparation, after all this is when you can have a chat, and glass of wine, with your wife. Preparation time 15 minutes or less!
- Fast Food recipes have to be relatively easy to make. Ease of Cooking!
My contribution to this theme is…(drum roll)…Curried Prawns & Steamed Rice (just like to old Chinese Restaurant we went to as kids!). This recipe is an old favourite from 1990 when I attended a cooking course with an old Sydney Chinese cook called Harry. I can’t remember his last name, but I still have the original handouts (Harry’s Chinese Cooking Classes) he gave to all the students.
Curried Prawns (or Chicken) & Rice
- 250 grams peeled cooked prawns (or if you prefer, 500 grams breast chicken)
- 1 large onion (chopped or diced large)
- 1 cup carrots (angle sliced)
- 1 cup peas
- 1 cup celery (angle sliced)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon MSG (optional…actually I don’t think they cook with MSG anymore due to allergies etc I think)
- 1 dessert spoon or 3/4 tablespoon Curry Powder
- 2 tablespoons cornflour or plain flour (tip: always mix flour with cold water for an even consistent mix – this is one of the reasons why you go to cooking classes so you learn these great tips)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups of stock (use powdered chicken stock mixed with water from when you cooked or microwaved the carrots and peas)
- Cut onions, carrots, celery into desired size (broadly this means cutting to same size at your chicken – about 1 inch or 2 centimetres)
- Pre-cook carrots and peas – Microwave is quick and easy, otherwise cook in boiling water in pan for 5 minutes
- Prep time is just on 15 minutes
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a pan, and partially stir fry the chicken to almost cooked through (breast chicken goes tough to eat if over-cooked) – put aside
- Heat oil in Wok, and when hot, add onions, carrots, peas
- Add salt, pepper and curry powder
- Stir until almost cooked
- Add the stock, bring to boil and thicken with the cornflour mixed with a little water
- Finally, add Chicken or Prawns and heat quickly – if using Cooked Prawns, don’t cook for too long as they shrink and become tough to eat
- Whilst doing all the above cook rice in microwave or slow cooker or boiled
- With Rice
I have to say that this fast, easy and very tasty meal is a big hit with the family. It’s satisfying to see the kids go back for a 2nd helping! Through the winter, after a gruelling day of Saturday sport, it’s great to unwind in the kitchen, do a bit of cooking, have a chat and a glass of wine with the wife!
My big challenge to the Dads (and other blokes) is try this one out on your family and they will love you for it! No cheating either by buying it from the local Chinese. If you have a recipe that is quick and easy, 15 minutes and less, I would love to hear from you.