I have to admit, I’m pretty lazy at home. I leave all the cooking to my very well trained helper. She is privileged to have participated in almost every class taught at Palate Sensations so the kitchen at home is her domain. Today, as I write this, it’s Sunday and she is not here so I had a choice of either cooking for myself, starving or calling Deliveroo or Foodpanda. Believe me, I looked in both apps but I found nothing interesting. After running The Green Corridor this morning, I spent most of the day working out of my home office scheduling classes for July and August. If I can, I prefer to work from my home office since it can get crazy at work and it’s hard to concentrate. At home, I have lots of space, my conference table to hold my meetings or spread out all my paper work, I can think and strategise what’s the next big thing we bring to Palate Sensations. I also have my Buddha Bar music going which no one likes at work. Everyone seems to be listening to the latest Top 50 hits. I think I am either stuck in the 80s or zenned out by late night jazz and lounge music. You probably noticed I am an old fashion kind of gal. I like old antique furniture, dark wood, neutral colours and bookshelves (yes I still read from real books and I also have a kindle!)
So, I am digressing here. What I really wanted to write about is that, faced with starvation or cooking, I choose the latter. I found some eggs, minced pork, left over eggplant pieces which we didn’t finish in class last week, some fresh herbs from the garden and some tasteless cheap tomatoes. My point is that, if you have little time and some ingredients in the fridge, you will be surprised how easy it is to put a meal together. I cooked the following in about 10 minutes.
Minced pork with sliced eggplant and hot bean paste sauce
Slice your eggplant into 3cm lengths and stir fry with a generous amount of oil and minced garlic. Sprinkle some salt over it for taste and it will also help the eggplant soften. Push the eggplant to one side of the pan and add the minced pork into the pan. Stir fry, breaking it up to prevent it from forming lumps. When it is almost cooked, mix with the eggplant, add some hot bean paste to coat and gently simmer. If it gets too dry, add some water. Taste and season accordingly. Add some sliced fresh Thai basil (that is all I had from the garden). And just like that, it’s done! When the eggplant is simmering away, you can start your egg and tomato dish.
Chinese style scrambled eggs with tomatoes
I love this dish. I can eat it every night but I will probably become a fat blog if I do so. I remember this dish fondly when I was living in Lausanne, Switzerland. While studying at IMD, my Chinese class mate made this for me one day for dinner. So here is my version of it.
Beat 3 eggs and add a splash of fish sauce. Roughly dice 2 tomatoes. In a hot pan, add a splash of oil and the tomatoes. When it starts to get slightly mushy, push it to the side of the pan (you can tell I don’t like washing up because I always use the same pan to cook!) and add in the eggs. Let it sit before slowly moving it around so it it gets scrambled. Don’t let it dry out too much. Then gently stir the tomatoes and eggs together while ensuring the eggs slowly cook and retain its moisture. Season and add a splash of white vinegar to give it that hint of sourness. Remove from the pan when it is still slightly under cooked as eggs will continue to cook even when you have removed it from heat.
My cat James accompanied me on the table while I ate this in like 5 minutes. I think I inhaled it actually. Thank goodness Cecil came home just as I finished my dinner so I didn’t have to wash up. Always remember to do all your mise en place before you start as stir frying only takes a few minutes so if everything is not ready, you will run into trouble and ruin your dish.
So, even if you are lazy, tired or can’t be bothered, you can still raid your kitchen cupboard and fridge and cook something (and it doesn’t have to be instant noodles. By the way, I do not keep any junk food or instant noodles in my house so I am never tempted to eat them).
If you need some organisational skills and some help to get started cooking fast, simple meals, we have plenty of classes at Palate Sensations. You can check it out here. Just look for key words such as “Quick cooking”, “Comfort food”, “How to be a domestic goddess”, “Every day meals” and “The lighter side of Thai cuisine”. Come and join us. We will definitely turn you into a whizz in the kitchen!