Since getting pregnant there has been one huge change in my life (apart from the very obvious ‘bump’)… The amount of sleep I need.
Going to bed by 8pm, like a nanna, has its benefits.
But there’s a down side… pretty much no time in the evenings.
Which means very little time for cooking dinner. Or for hanging out with my Irishman. Normally two of my favourite things.
So I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the best way to make the most of the brief time I do have for getting dinner ready…
4 Favourite Kitchen Time Savers
1. Pop everything in the oven.
Now the weather is warming up here, I won’t be relying on these as much. But if you’re in the Northern hemisphere it’s the perfect season for giving your oven a good work out.
Just pop everything in the oven. Set your timer and do other things while dinner cooks itself. Love it!
My favourite Stonesoup example? The Magic Sausage Supper.
2. One pot wonders.
Cleaning up is my LEAST favourite thing about cooking. In fact I hate it.
On Saturday night my dishwasher kept giving me error messages and I really thought my life was over. There were tears. It wasn’t pretty. Thankfully, the next morning I figured out how to clean the filter and the crisis was averted.
But I’m still always thinking about ways to keep my cleanup time way, way down. The best trick? Use less dishes to begin with. Which is why I love meals that can be made in one pot.
My favourite Stonesoup example? Quick Pork Ragu.
3. Direct heat cooking techniques.
The best way to get food cooked quickly is to use a high, direct heat. Think things like pan frying, stir frying and BBQing.
My favourite Stonesoup example? Green Curry Stir Fry.
4. Recipes with few ingredients.
You know here at Stonesoup I have a ‘thing’ for 5 ingredients. Generally the less ingredients you use the less time it takes to get them out, prep them and put any leftovers away. No brainer if you’re short on time…
My favourite Stonesoup example? The whole Stonesoup recipe index!
Curried Lamb with Broccolini
I used to think that a recipe needed to have more than just curry powder to taste good. I’ve since done a complete backflip and often rely on curry powder as my sole source of spice. The secret is to use a good quality curry powder. I’ve been making my own but if that’s not an option get yours from a specialist spice seller. It really makes a difference.
enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 lamb cutlets or chops
2 bunches broccolini
3 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
1. For the marinade combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice with the zest of one lemon (optional), 2 teaspoons curry powder and 2 tablespoons oil. Toss in the lamb and marinate for as long as you’ve got. From 1 minute to 48 hours. If marinating longer than an hour best to cover and refrigerate.
2. When you’re ready to cook, preheat your overhead grill (broiler) on its highest setting.
3. Trim bases from the bottom of the broccolini. Place on a tray lined with foil and drizzle with a little oil. Cook under the grill (broiler) for for 5 minutes then turn and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until broccolini is tender and a bit charred and crunchy in places. OR however you like it cook – 5 minutes total may be enough for some.
4. Wrap broccolini in foil to steam and keep warm while you cook the lamb.
5. Grill lamb for 3-4 minutes on each side for rare or longer if you prefer your lamb more cooked.
6. While the lamb is cooking make the sauce by stirring together almond butter or tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water.
7. To serve, divide broccolini between two plates. Top with lamb and drizzle over the sauce.
Video version of the recipe.
nut-free – use natural yoghurt seasoned with salt and pepper instead of the almond butter / tahini sauce.
vegetarian / vegan – serve grilled broccolini and the sauce with curried cooked or canned chickpeas or lentils. Just warm the legumes in a pan with a little oil and a teaspoon of the curry powder. A splash of lemon might be nice too. OR replace lamb with sliced eggplant (marinate and grill as per the recipe but allow twice the time or longer to cook).
more veg – you can grill extra veg with the broccolini like sliced red bell peppers (capsicum), eggplant or zucchini. Or serve on a bed of baby spinach or cauliflower ‘rice’.
carb lovers / more substantial – serve with steamed brown rice or cooked noodles.
no grill / broiler – feel free to cook the broccolini and lamb in a frying pan or on the BBQ.
different veg – broccoli is the obvious choice but asparagus or sliced zucchini would also be lovely.