Food Happens

I have yet to start on the various more serious articles I intend and am putting that off until my little one has arrived… In the mean time, I am very inspired by my own cooking right now, so I thought I would share.

I am by no stretch of the imagination a food blogger, so please be very forgiving of this post.

My husband and I try to make one “special” meal every month. A meal we splurge on a little bit, because food should be fun and budgets can be forgotten a little, sometimes. So, if you are willing to spend a little more for a special meal, here is this month’s winner. What I love about this meal is that it is delicious, sounds super impressive and is hardly any effort at all – probably because I cheat.

Kassler Steaks with Roast Potato, Stuffed Mushroom and Creamed Spinach (Sometimes I add glazed carrots)

Now, unless there is something very wrong with you, that should sound amazing! I get my Kassler steaks from Checkers – Smokehouse brand, I believe. They’re great and literally cook in minutes. For the mushrooms, we use either “braai mushrooms” or Portabella/Portabellini mushrooms. Basically, find big ones you like and go with those. As for the spinach, though I totally could spend the time doing this from scratch, I’m not a fan, so I cheat and buy Dr Oetker, or whatever brand of pre-made and frozen is available. As such, pretty much the most work I put into this meal is peeling and cutting potatoes – and I make my husband do that.

You will need:
Kassler steaks
Potatoes
Spinach
Feta
Mushrooms of your choice
Garlic & Herb seasoning (I use Ina Paarman)
Olive oil
Honey
Lemon Juice
Coarse salt

Start with your potatoes. Peel them and cut them in quarters. I pre-cook them in the microwave. While hubby does potato prep, I pre-heat the oven to 180C and arrange my mushrooms in a dish. Season them with Garlic & Herb, crumb tons of feta over them and drizzle with olive oil. Pop those in the oven while the potatoes are pre-cooking.

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When the potatoes are done in the microwave, I toss them with salt, arrange them in a second oven dish and drizzle them with olive oil. They go in the oven with the mushrooms. At this point, if you are making carrots, it’s a good time to get started. If not, make small talk with hubby for a few minutes or clean up your surfaces. The meat cooks very quickly and you need to waste a bit of time here.
I make my Kassler steaks in the electric frying pan, just pop them in like you would with bacon. You can use some oil (olive or coconut) or not, depending on your preference. The meat is smoked, so technically it is already done. Just make sure both sides are to your liking. When I’m happy with my meat, I pop my spinach in the microwave (5 minutes, as per package instructions). While this is going, add your honey and lemon juice to the meat – 2 tablespoons of honey to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Allow this to start caramelising, ensuring your meat is well glazed.

More or less now, your microwave should bing. This means all your food is ready. Dish up and enjoy.

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To finish off this joy of a meal, I use a second cheat – instant chocolate mousse.
In a large bowl, combine 500ml fresh cream with one pack instant chocolate pudding, beat until stiff. Blend in 1 can of condensed milk. Mix until well combined and refrigerate. That’s it.
I serve this with citrus fruit, as it is rather rich and rather sweet. The citrus breaks it up a little.

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And that is all she wrote. It looks like I spent days in the kitchen, but really, this meal takes me 30 minutes and my husband thinks I fell from heaven 🙂

As a side note – my hubby is an athlete, as such, his salt intake is considerably higher than would be deemed healthy for us regular folk, as he needs to put back what he expends on the sports field. Please use your salt wisely – it makes for crispier potatoes, but it also makes for health problems 🙂

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