Since I accrue a generous 1.75 days of vacation a month, I was “forced” to take a day off before the end of March, which also happens to be the end of the fiscal year. My boss sort of just decided that I’d take it on Wednesday, which was perfect since Sean also didn’t have work that day. So we made brunch, using up all the produce we had lying around:
Sean usually lets me do my thing in the kitchen, but that morning he joined me and it was fun.
Chives & eggs (韭菜炒蛋):
Basically an omelet using the fragrant/pungent Chinese chive. Normally a dish served with rice, we decided this could also be a breakfast food.
Smoothies are Sean’s specialty. He’s been drinking them almost daily, even in the dead of winter, ever since we bought a blender back in 2009. It’s simple, refreshing, and, as he likes to say, a quick and delicious way to get in multiple servings of fruit. Our 99rmb blender has withstood the abuse pretty well.
We don’t eat potatoes as much as we’d like, because it’s a bit of a pain to cook (wash-peel-cut-boil-fry), but we lurve our homefries! We didn’t have onions so we threw in a bit of extra chives for flavour. We also accidentally left the potatoes in the pot too long so they got mushy, but the two of us still gobbled up all six potatoes.
Chives and eggs
A handful of Chinese chives (I don’t weigh my food, sorry. A good measure would be as much as you can wrap your fingers around with leaves extended)
1/2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
We used a variation of this Chinese recipe.
1. Wash chives thoroughly, removing any bits that are brown or yellow. Chop into 5cm lengths.
2. Heat oil in pan, throw in chives and add cornstarch. Fry for about a minute.
3. Beat eggs and milk in bowl.
4. Arrange chives in pan into a thin flat layer. Pour eggs evenly into pan, add salt, and let cook for about a minute.
5. When bottom of egg begins to solidify, flip the mixture (cut it into 3 pieces with spatula first if need be), pressing lightly on egg to force water out.
6. Continue flipping until both sides are cooked and water has evaporated.
1 cup milk
2 ripe bananas, peeled and broken into quarters
1 pear, peeled and cut into medium-sized pieces
A handful of blueberries (or strawberries), washed
1/2 cup sweetened yogurt (optional)
Ice cubes (optional)
Honey (optional, if fruit isn’t ripe/sweet)
1. Put fruit and milk (and optional ingredients) in blender.
2. Blend for one minute (longer if you use ice), or until smooth.
3. Drink immediately. (You won’t be able to resist anyway!)
4. Adjust proportions to your preference.
Makes 2 large glasses.
You can pretty much use whatever fruit you like in addition to bananas. We prefer berries, (Asian) pears, peaches, and mangoes, whenever they are in season. (We’ve noticed that a lot of fruits only appear in fruit stores at certain times of the year. Thankfully bananas seem to always be in season!)
4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion (or green onion or chives), peeled and cut
1 green pepper, peeled and cut
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tsp other spices (paprika/chili flakes/basil/dill/cumin/etc.)
2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
1. Boil a few cups of water in large pot. Add potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on size of potato pieces.
2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in pan, put onion in and fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add green pepper and fry for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
4. When potatoes are almost cooked (before they turn mushy!), turn off heat and drain. Throw them back in pot and add salt, pepper, spices, 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss until evenly coated.
5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan, add potatoes. Move them around every 30 seconds until sides are browned. (If not using non-stick pan, flip them more frequently so they don’t burn!) Add more oil if necessary.
6. When potatoes are sufficiently browned, pour onion and pepper mixture back into pan. Remove from heat when potatoes are fully cooked.
7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with ketchup.