Rump steak in Emile Henry

So, you can always find some bargains in supermarkets – and that’s what happened to me last year on the last day of December. We went for a last shopping before everything is closed, and I realized that quite a lot of different steaks are very cheap.

There were Irish rump steaks and steaks from the States at something like the 20% of the original price. So I bought a lot. Really.

And then I figured that I make one of them in the oven in a glass baking dish, and that was perfect. In fact so perfect, that my wife, who doesn’t really enjoy eating steaks, wanted to have another one the day after.

We couldn’t really do that then, but a week later I thought that I took a step forward, and I used my ceramic dish, the Emile Henry one.

And that time I took some photos, too.

The first one had been a steak from the United States, the second one was an Irish rump steak, and, unfortunately, I couldn’t bring the best out of it. It wasn’t really bad, but it could have been better, really.

I left it in the oven for too long, that was the biggest mistake, so the meat wasn’t that tender, lost mostly the juices, the moist. You can see that on this picture, it is a bit dry.

Probably putting sliced tomato in the dish was not the best idea that time – it lost most of its water and damaged the onion bed under the steak so that wasn’t so tasty either. Anyway, as it was steak on a vegetable bed, I sliced a couple of onions, tomatoes to the bottom of the dish, added “ajo negro” (or black garlic), salt and pepper. And as usual, the steak was covered with that two things, too.

I expected something better, probably the meat was different, too, but still, I shouldn’t have left it in the oven for more than 20 or 30 minutes.

So, be careful with the timing!

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Warm chickpea salad with zucchini and eggplant

During my holiday at the parents, I managed to put on some weight, something like a plus 3-4 kilograms. I had fewer exercises, more food and more alcoholic drinks – mostly beer. So, now that I’m back to work, I need to change a couple of things to loose some of it. Not that easy, especially now, that the weather is rainy, so I still can’t run, and I kind of got used to eating a lot…

ingredients
Ingredients for the salad

Anyway, I eat less, I try to run my usual distances as often as I can (though it’s harder now, with the rainy weather). And I’m back to my normal diet with salads for lunch. So I took the “500 Salads” book from the shelf and checked for interesting recipes. And this was the second one I prepared, the first one wasn’t good enough (I fried the tomatoes and onions instead oven cook them because of the heat wave we experienced here in Hungary…).

first part of the salad
First portion in the pan

What you need:

  • a small or medium zucchini sliced or diced
  • a small or medium eggplant diced
  • 400 grams of chickpea (canned) washed
  • black olives (sliced or however you like them)
  • 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-2 dl vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon caraway
  • Crushed pepper

salad-cp-eggp-zucc2

What you do:

Pour the olive oil into a pan and heat it and stir fry the zucchinis and the eggplants with the caraway. When they are brown a bit but still not too soft, add the vegetable stock, the chickpeas, the olives and the soy sauce, and cook together for four minutes.

Serve while warm. It’s surprisingly tasty!

And for me, this was the first time when I managed not to over fry the vegetables. Good job!

salad in bowl
Salad served

Sunday lunch burger

I realized that I have two burger patties in the freezer, so I had to thaw them and eat a nice burger. Nothing more to say, really.

I sliced a little purple onion and a jalapeno, cleaned some spring onions, added two slices of tomato and fried one of the patties. After the frying, turned down the heat, and while I added some minutes to the patty on the cutting board I toasted the inside of the bun (well, first I cut it into two halves).

burger ingredients
All I had for a burger

And there was my burger. (I hope you notice the not so secretly hidden kitchen towel on the picture…)

burger
The Sunday lunch with a kitchen towel in the background

Sunday morning breakfast (and a snake?)

More like an early lunch, but really, I needed that.

I woke up at around nine, the children were still sleeping, and it still wasn’t 29 degrees Celsius outside – so I decided to go for a run. I’m following a training plan, and this time it was a “5-minute slow and 45-minute steady” workout scheduled.

I don’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed it, but after the finish line, it was a good feeling. But by the time I finished it was something like quarter past 10, I had to cool down, get ready, so the breakfast was ready just after eleven.

Because while I was running, I figured that I deserve an enormous breakfast – after completing that run, you’d have felt like that, too. (By the way, I met a girl running, too, so there are other crazy people around here…)

piadina-on-the-plate
Piadina on the plate

So, I felt like I need a bit of protein, so I thought I was going to prepare something with eggs. Scrambled eggs with onion, a bit of a ham, and a few spare ribs, leftover from yesterday.

Nothing really complicated, first things first, onion, ham, ribs diced, eggs, salt and pepper, poured onto the piadina, there you go.

piadina-cut-into-halves
Piadina cut into halves

So, then I was really pleased – until I ate half of it.

I was watching the True Detectives season one final, enjoying my meal – when my wife burst into the bedroom and told me, that one of our neighbours were there, because while she was sitting on the sofa with her daughter, she saw a snake in their living room, and the snake moved to their bedroom so they just run off to us.

First I simply didn’t understand what happened, that thing, a snake was just out of my expectations or my world, so she had to tell me three times, when I realized what was going on.

Anyway, after two hours of facing death in a small bedroom by a killer snake, looking for him, I found the intruder – a small, little grass snake. It was probably more frightened than I.

So I picked it with a grill fork, put it into a bag, and we took it to the river with the children.

So it goes…

Good bye party with English breakfast

A friend of mine quitted his job here at the office, and as we are quite a close bunch of colleagues (actually, more than colleagues only…), we wanted to mark his last day at the office.

The first idea was to have a burger for lunch somewhere close to the office, but we let that go because of a lack of time. Then it was a breakfast in a nearby restaurant, Mezzo Music Restaurant – but then we figured that if it is a breakfast, than we should have an English one, as he had been quite fond of it when we’d been in London a couple of years ago.

So, another friend of us had gone to a shop called Culinaris and bought the ingredients for the day.

Now, have you ever cooked in an office kitchen? Not that well-equipped, I have to tell you, really. Well, at least in our case.

Anyway, the task was given, so we collected two other toaster-ovens from different kitchens on the 5th floor, and we had a microwave oven, too. We used two toasters for the sausages, the third one for the mushroom and the tomatoes, the microwave for the sliced ham, and in about one and a half hour breakfast was ready.

 

kitchen in office
That’s what I’m talking about – the kitchen

The sausages were put into a tinfoil plate and into the toaster-oven, just like the mushroom and the tomatoes. It took three rounds to cook all the stuff bought for the occasion.

Well, prior to that, success wasn’t really guaranteed – but it was a really nice one, after all. I don’t think everyone on the floor was definitely impressed with the idea, but they were probably only envy of the food we made. The smell was delicious, and I was satisfied, really,  no questions about that, it was worth the hustle.

english breakfast
The result – not that bad, is it?

And, the ham prepared in the microwave oven was surprisingly good! Paper towel on a plate, ham, another paper towel, three minutes or so, and it’s good. Nice and easy, if you don’t have time or the tools.

The same method with the fried eggs – put some olive oil on a plate, brake three or four eggs on it, depending on the size of the plate, put it into the microwave for three or four minutes – and there you go! I don’t say that it will be worth a Michelin star but there will be no complaints.

So, that was it – and that’s the way you do the job if you are in the office!

Derby day treat for the family

Well, derby days are different for all the family – but I wouldn’t say that difference is always loved or understood. But you all know that, you football lovers. It’s half past one now here in Hungary, so something like 3 and a half hour to go – and I NEED to read previews, articles, blog posts from all over the world about the match.

So, prior to the kick off it’s always good to do something together – so this time we managed to cook something with my daughter for the family – fish with mushroom and onion with a bit of marinade. Even kids love it, and it’s really easy to prepare, kids can create their own marinade, so no worries, at all.

We had cod at home in the freezer and my wife was clever enough yesterday to take that out for the night. What was important is that I put the fish in a bowl that has whole underneath, so the ice becoming water could drip down to another bowl – that helps you have a dryer piece of fish that doesn’t easily fall into little parts.

So, what I do is put tinfoil to a pan, so it’s easier to clean – and the fish on it. You can add a bit of olive oil or butter but that’s not a must, it works without it, too.

I cleaned and sliced some mushrooms, say 6 pieces, and one onion. I placed one third of the sliced mushrooms on the foil, the put the fish on them. Then the rest of the mushroom and the onion, taken apart to rings.

fish with onion
Layers of fish, mushroom and onion

Then came my daughter with a bowl, mixing sour cream, mayonnaise, grated cheese, diced mozzarella, salt and pepper together. Pour it all over the things in the pan, use a spoon or anything else to spread.

Preheat the oven to 210-230 degrees Celsius, put the pan in for something like 20 to 30 minutes – and here we go!

fish and mushroom
Ready to serve!

Everybody loves it, and you can make your own sauce if you don’t like mine – it was ready in 50 minutes.

Enjoy and Go Reds!

(Back to preparing for the game!)

Feta in olive oil and spices – at home

Since I’ve decided to eat much less meat I kind of developed a very strong liking towards cheeses. We go to the local grocery every Thursday and buy loads of different types of it.

I have always loved them and the different approaches to create something more exciting then the actual one on the plate. I’ve already showed you how to make nakládaný hermelín, this time I made something similar, but without Camembert.

cheese and oil
Cheese in oil

It’s not that hard, and it doesn’t take more than an hour to do. Continue reading