Friday, December 30, 2011

Sichuan orange beef

Not one to try new things in the kitchen, for a change this week I have tried out a couple of new recipes. On the bus home the other night I found a recipe for potatoes where you boil them, scoop out the middles, make a roux, add some blue cheese and bake in the oven. With limited success and Pip having to save the dish I decided I could do better.

I click back onto the BBC food page and came across a little gem called 'Sichuan orange beef' and my brain spoke up and said "We can do that stevie boy". Now I am one to listen to blind encouragement from my brain so I jumped on a bus and headed to the supermarket with my shopping list.

One hour later I have almost finished finding everything but I can't track down 'Shaoxing rice wine' or 'groundnut oil' so my brain reminds me that I live in a part of London that has a huge ethnic range and that I should be able to find even elephants toes if I needed to. With renewed vigor, I stepped onto an over crowded bus and smiled with purpose through the steamed up windows on my way back home because I was a cultured genius!

Over the next hour I walked in the wet through the marts, grocery shops, and 24 hour mini stores covering all sorts of regions from African to Indian. As my socks got uncomfortably wet through my Primark shoes, I settled for substituted western alternatives and hoped that I could get at least somewhere close to the flavourous meal that my brain and I had decided to cook.

Pip suggested adding an Oxo cube to substitute the Soya which I had forgotten... and once cooked, the Sichuan orange beef was a treat. The grissly beef was a bit of a let down but overall, I managed to pull of a dish that was just outside of my comfort zone.

So what's next?

I think it's Pip's night to cook tomorrow :)
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