Hodge Podge Kitchen

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Weeknight Dinners

Most of my weeknight dinners are one-pot meal affairs. Work this past month was pretty demanding. I'm surprise that I manage to cook after work at all. I still need to keep things rather simple and quick since I don't get back until 5-5:30 afterall and we usually eat before 7. But since I discover that concentrating on something totally different after work helps to relax me a lot, I make an extra effort to cook something. And on some nights, I don't just want a homecook meal, I need something nicer. The first dinner, I made pan fried spring rolls with a curry tofu vegetable filling. They're wrap in rice paper (ones used in vietnamese spring rolls), and then lightly pan fry until crispy. We had the spring rolls with a chinese tamales and a soup made with chicken broth and bok choy. All I really have to do is make the spring rolls and pan fry them. The tameles just needs to be heated through and the soup was made over the weekend. We felt like we had a 3 course meal with very little efforts.

The second dinner take a little more time since it's risotto. I made a coconut seafood risotto a year ago that I've been meaning to make again. Since I rarely make the same dish twice, this time I made a curry version. I start the risotto with half of a minced small onion saute in olive oil until soft over medium heat. Add about a cup of japanese short grain rice to the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes until rice absorb the oil a bit. Before adding the chicken broth, add about 1/2 cup of dry white wine and cook that until evaporate before starting the chicken broth. Add the simmering chicken broth a ladle at a time, stirring each time and add only when the rice mixture is dried. Continue with the addition of chicken broth until the rice is cooked but not mushy. Turn the heat off and add 1 tbs of red curry paste (you could more or less) with 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Stir everything until combine and let it sit with the cover for about 5 minutes before serving. I topped the risotto with a little saute shrimps and scallops. Add a little side spinach salad with sesame dressing and you have a complete meal.


  • I'm going to try my risotto with coconut milk soon, Winnie. That sounds great!

    By Blogger Nic, at 4:22 PM  

  • Hi Nic,
    I think the coconut milk give it just the right amount of creaminess flavor. Just remember to add it at the very end, otherwise the coconut taste gets lost in long cooking.

    By Blogger Winnie, at 10:42 AM  

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