Memoirs of a Budget Mum

Mother to five, parent in progress and occasional kitchenista cookerella

Tag: recipe

Turning on the Heat: Bolognaise Fries

There are days that you really feel in the thick of grumpy housewifery: the weather is a murderous 34 degrees, you’re sweaty and sticky, and you’ve handled your morning’s quota of tantrums.

The heat messes with you that much that you just want to salvage the day with a nibble on your familiar stash of chips and guzzle chilled drinks for dinner.

Before you head for it in wanton abandonment, consider this ramped-up version of a bag of chips, befitting of housewife glamory. Fries… bolognaise fries no less: a worthy suitor in pursuit of you and your now topsy-turvey appetite, charming you back on your swinging heels till you’re good to dance again.

Turn on the heat even further with a signature bunch of jalapeños thrown in for good measure. The jalapeños are the star of this dish: it makes hot even hotter! Keep the rest of the sauce (if there are leftovers or make a double batch of this) for a truly good siesta where you can kick back, hang up your feet and relish time with a pasta dinner already pre-prepared. Now, that’s royal.

Bolognaise Fries

Ingredients
2 Tbs olive oil
500g ground beef
salt and pepper, to taste
5 pieces of bacon, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot grated
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 can tomato paste
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
3 tbsp of chilli jam (sub w sweet chili sauce)
3 tbsp Jalapeños (adjust to taste)
bay leaf
1 bag Frozen French Fries
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced green onions for garnish
A dash of sour cream

Instructions
1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, and cook until meat is browned. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Drain meat and transfer to a large bowl.
Add bacon to the now empty pot and cook until crisp. Transfer to the bowl of meat.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are clear and soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring for about 1 minute.
To the pot, stir in tomato paste and broth. Cook down for about 5-8 minutes.
Now add the milk, tomatoes and bay leaf,and stir until combined.

4. Return meats to the pot and season with salt and pepper if needed. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring sauce to a simmer. Cook down until the sauce becomes dark and thick – about 1.5 hours. Discard bay leaf and serve over French Fries. Top with cheese, sour cream and sliced green onions.

Kid Friendly Gado Gado

It’s been a crazy sort of a week and finally, I feel like I’m preparing dish that represents my unsorted emotions near perfectly: gado gado–a colourful, mixed salad bed of raw and blanched vegetables resting under a haphazard drizzle of mildly spicy peanut sauce. Mellow, messy, mixed, me. If food could speak, it just did. You’re talking to a carbo girl, pushing for change, finding identification in a carb-less dish that marries the bland (veggies) with the bold (edgy sauce). Oh well, it’s complicated.

The concept however, is very simple and worth a go at home: cooked veg (sprouts, long beans, cabbage, potatoes) + raw veg (fresh toms, cucumber, romaines) + firm tofu and soy-food tempeh with classic hard boiled eggs, lusciously bound by the very aromatic blend of peanut, chilis, belachan, garlic, tamarind pulp , coconut milk and palm sugar.

To make this kid friendly version: I exercised a controlled use of red chillies and bird’s eye chilis to give a warm rather than stinging heat which even the 5 year old didn’t mind at all.

Kids-friendly Gado Gado

Kids-friendly Gado Gado

Kid-friendly Gado Gado Sauce (adapted fr Rasa Malaysia)

10 cloves garlic, stir fried/fried/roasted
300 g roasted/fried peanuts
1000 ml coconut milk
3 red chilies, discard the seed and 1 bird’s eye chili (put up to 10 and 2 birds eye chilis if spice is not a concern).
1 tsp terasi (dried shrimp paste), toasted
1 block of coconut sugar (about 62.5 grams)
Juice of 2 limes
Tamarind pulp juice (2 tbsp)
2-3 tbsp rice flour dissolve in a small amount of water

1. Process garlic, peanuts/peanut butter, a half part of coconut milk, red chilies, terasi, coconut sugar, pulp juice, lime juice in a food processor or blender.
2. In a sauce pot, combine processed mixture with the rest of coconut milk, stir and turn on the stove at low-medium heat. Stir occasionally.
3. Cook sauce until boiled, the volume reduced and the sauce surface looks a bit oily. Add rice flour mixture. Keep stirring until bubbling about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat

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