Kung Pao Chicken In The Pressure Cooker, Very Impressed With Myself.

I combined several recipes and methods then panicked, flapped and made an excellent Kung Pao chicken dinner. This is seriously going down as a regular dinner in our house. It is pretty healthy and is one of those recipes that will get easier the more you make it.

Apparently, it makes good leftovers.

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Kung Pao Chicken - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 3-4
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The sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)

1 tablespoon of honey

3 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced

1 heaped teaspoon ginger (I use the stuff from the pot as it lasts longer)

1 teaspoon chili flakes (more or less to taste)

1/2 cup water

2-3 dried chilies

Ingredients

2 tsp sesame oil

2 chicken breast cut into roughly 2cm chunks

1 tablespoon cornflour

Salt and pepper

1 onion cut into small cubes

2 capsicum in small cubes

1/2 head broccoli sliced through so it is thin

1/2 cup peanuts or cashews

2 tsp cornflour mixed with enough water to make 1/4 cup of paste

Instructions

To make sauce mix everything in a jug. If you are making it in advance, don’t add the dried chili until you add it to the multi-cooker

Put multi-cooker on the saute setting to heat.

Place chicken, cornflour, salt and pepper in a plastic pot with a lid or bag and shake.

Add sesame oil to the multi-cooker and when sizzling add the chicken and onion to brown.

When the chicken and onion are browned add the sauce.

Lock the lid on and set the pressure cooker for 4 minutes. When the 4 minutes have finished leave the pressure cooker for 4 minutes to release pressure naturally (NPR).

Prepare the capsicum, broccoli and cornstarch mix while the pressure cooker is doing its magic.

Release the remaining steam and lift the lid, add the vegetables, cook for 3-4 minutes stirring to stop the sauce from burning.

Add the cornflour paste stir, then add nuts.

Remove dried chili and serve with rice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Artisan Dining House- Have You Been?

 

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Silver Fern Farms Reserve beef fillet with beans, mushroom tortellini, consommé and snow.

I am often asked about where to dine for an important occasion or to satisfy that need for impeccable service and exceptional food. When I hear other people answer this question the obvious Logan Brown and Boulcott Street Bistro just about always come up. They are both nice places but Wellington does have other options. One of my suggestions is always Artisan Dining House at The Bolton Hotel. 

Last night we had a wonderful meal at Artisan and I will keep suggesting it to anyone who will listen.

My meal was the entry for Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards 2018 and I would call it a winner. If you have an occasion coming up or just need a great meal out you really should go and try this beef dish. I was impressed with how all the components worked together. It really is worth a trip to try this while you still can. Mr had the venison and was equally impressed.

As well as great mains the beer selection and desserts were mighty fine too. I enjoyed the Panhead Supercharger. For dessert, Mr was in heaven with one of his favourites, rice pudding. This rice pudding came with an extra special touch, a collection of do-it-yourself additions as well as quince. I chose the Organic chocolate and cherries with honey and yoghurt and it was amazing. I didn’t share.

 

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Let me know when you visit and try to go soon to have the Silver Fern Farm 2018 entry. Just so you know, it is in the Entertainment Book.

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Pressure Cooker- It Just Gets Better, Chicken Biryani.

To be honest, when I got my pressure cooker I didn’t think I would use it half as much as I do. I love it. When the day comes that the kitchen gets revamped we will live off pressure cooker meals. We cook all sorts in it and it is great. So much more taste than slow cooker meals. There is still a bit of faffing around but once that lid is on and it is doing its thing, there is freedom.

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Currently, our favourite thing to cook is Indian Food. I am following the recipes of another blogger, Two Sleevers. She has a great FB group where everyone is very friendly and full of advice. For a while there I was just an observer but I bought the book and it is my most used recipe book. I used it just tonight.

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Our dinner this evening was a very good chicken biryani from Two Sleevers book. It didn’t look much, it was marvellous and full of taste. The only things I changed were sneaking in a few frozen mixed vegetables right at the end and using chicken breasts. It was a really decent dinner.

If you are sitting on the fence about getting a pressure cooker, I say do it. You can email me and ask anything. I have a Sunbeam Avia which was on sale at JBHIFI a while ago.

You can see my post about cheesecake in the pressure cooker here.

 

Art Deco Festival – Tick!

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Last weekend I was lucky enough to head to Napier for the Art Deco festival. It was marvellous and so much more than I expected. I went with a friend and we had an absolute ball. Not a lot of booze was involved and the snaps were real. It was one of those weekends I will always have fantastic memories of.

My friend won the trip for two from the wonderful Coast Radio. Yes, people really do win those things. This prize included flights, accommodation and tickets to events. Even without a prize to enjoy, I would go again.

I had a vision of what the weekend would be like, it surpassed all of that. It was like stepping back in time and everyone was very happy. I haven’t dressed up for a party for a long time, we spent the whole weekend in costume. I raided the op shops and got some great dresses and shoes.

It was not only the dressing up that made the event but Napier being pedestrianised and the only cars and bikes around were from the Art Deco period. Throughout our time there was constantly something happening, many of the events were on the street, at the sound shell. or in the air. We attended the free dog parade, the Army Band and the very cute Soap Box Derby.

The ticketed events we went to included the Prohibition Party, Falling in Love Again and the Gatsby Picnic as VIP’s. We added the Death By Chocolate, this was a funeral for Chocolate held in a funeral home and included eating rather a lot of chocolate. It was fabulous. The table of older ladies in full black dress celebrating a birthday certainly added to the atmosphere.

Anyway, enough going on from me, next years dates are out and you should go.

We stayed at the lovely Motel De La Mer, it is right opposite the splash pad and the cleanest place I have ever stayed. I would certainly stay again.

For food, we discovered Chantal Organics shop and cafe. The food was so very good. I will dream of a day I can go back.

 

 

Saffron Haveli- A Great New Lunch Spot

Something exciting happened on Saturday, we found our city Indian lunch spot! You know where Strawberry Fare used to be, well it is there. They have done it up rather nicely and the chairs are still the same. It is now called Saffron Haveli 

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The menu has some different dishes on it and even at lunchtime, there are plenty of choices. I commented that I wanted to go back this Saturday for lunch and Mr laughed like I was joking, I wasn’t!

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This is one of those places that is located in a little bit of an odd spot and they need you to turn up. Let me know if you do?

I can recommend the Bhurji Paneer Masala and it is going to be hard to go past that dish to try other, I will try my hardest. Mr had the Haveli Chicken Rahra and it was good too, he has Indian hot and it had a good kick to it. We also shared Pani Puri and had fun eating it.

 

 

Salty Pidgin- Ticks All The Boxes

Happy 2018, I know I am a little late. I have been very busy with parents visiting from the UK for a few weeks over Christmas. We had a wonderful time and ate out rather a lot.

I was given the task of coming up with a nice place to go out to eat that wasn’t Asian and a little bit fancy. This was to be our last supper. A few years ago this would have been an easy task, but now Wellington is such a foodies delight it was a little more difficult. I went through the obvious fancy pants places but didn’t feel happy with any of them. Then Mr reminded me of how much I had talked about ‘that place on the corner in Brooklyn’ and the decision was made – The Salty Pidgin. The wonderful photo below is taken from the website.

Taken from the Salty Pidgin's website.

 

The Salty Pidgin is a Bistro. Many places say they are but don’t measure up to the claim. It is casual but smart and the kind of place where it is nice to wear something smart or pretty but not too fancy but to feel like you are going out to dinner. It is on a corner and a bright open spot. In the winter they have a wonderful open fire. All of these nice bits helped me choose but the biggest influence was the all-important menu.

The menu was a winner because it does fancy dishes and pide which is a Turkish pizza. I love a good fancy dish with some tasty sides, Mr and Miss love a good pizza and some fries. My parents are easily pleased.

The other winning feature of the menu is the choice of wine and beer. It is all too common to get either or, not here, they have a good list of both. Even the non-alcoholic pages are good, I had a Six Barrell Soda.

I could go on for ages about how wonderful the dishes were but you need to go and try. I’ll give you a little bit of an idea and ramble on a bit. They have very, very good fries with a delicious homemade tomato sauce. We had these as a starter at Miss’s request. It was a great idea.

The Venison with a side of broccolini.

For main my dad and I both had the venison and agreed that it was delicious and very generous. I do believe I counted 5 medallions of meat. Everyone else went for the pide and were equally impressed. Mr tried the lamb’s shoulder pide and marvelled at the idea and wasn’t very good at sharing. Miss had the tomato and despite the teen angst, smiled. My mum had the beef kofta and was very happy with her choice too. I did manage to try a small bit of each pide and thought them marvellous. However, the venison was my happy place as was the side of broccolini with harissa. We all finished our meals and had desserts.

Special of the night- nectarine and almond clafoutis

The dessert menu wasn’t your usual and between us, we tried the special of the night cooked to order nectarine and almond clafoutis, ginger creme brulee and a very fancy rice pudding. All very lovely and inventive.

The best part was we all left the Salty Pidgin having had a wonderful evening. We couldn’t have chosen a more suitable place and had a better selection of food and drink. I know where I will be going next time someone wants to go out to dinner…… any one?

That is me in the blue dress!

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Farrah’s Mexican Meal Kits- Ditch The Imported Mexican & Go Local.

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This is not a sponsored post, this is me sharing my new find.

Sometimes you just have to buy something purely because it is on offer, that was how we first tried Farrah’s Mexican Meal Kits. Now we get them everytime we see them down to $5 a kit. They are a pantry staple and delicious. We wouldn’t go back to that other worldwide brand. They are made in NZ, not that far from us, in Upper Hutt.

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Tonight we had Enchiladas and they were delicious. I did 6 enchiladas in total as there are only 3 of us. I am going to use the two remaining wraps for my lunch tomorrow.

If you see the kits, I seriously recommend stocking up. You will be pleasantly surprised. Even the teen enjoyed the meal and didn’t complain.

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