Mar 18, 2012

For the love of cooking.

I never really learned how to cook from my mother. Whatever I whipped up was pretty much a product of recipes from books and the internet, experimentation and desperation. The past few days I've been cooking quite a bit from pancakes for breakfast to steaks for dinner. I've been pretty good not to introduce too much rice into my diet. I used to eat a bucketload of rice for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Now the most I do is for 2 meals. Trying to see if I can do 1.

My two new recipes I tried were flat iron steak with balsamic reduction I got off and cajun and ginger chicken salad I whipped up quite randomly.

Steak with Balsamic Reduction

I changed the recipe up just a little bit because I didn't want an exact flat iron steak ( and I can't be arsed to cut it into small pieces ) so I left a whole slab of meat as it is.


  • 1360 g flat iron steak
  • 45 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 g coarsely ground mixed peppercorns
  • 9 g salt
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 235 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 15 g chopped fresh parsley
  1. Brush steak with olive oil, then press into ground peppercorns and season with salt; set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add flat iron, and cook to desired degree of doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.  
  2. Once the steak has finished cooking, remove to a plate and keep warm. Stir the minced garlic into the skillet, and cook over medium heat until the garlic begins to brown around the edges, about 1 minute. Pour in the balsamic vinegar, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced by half.
  3. Thinly slice the flat iron steak across the grain, and arrange on a serving platter. Pour the reduced balsamic overtop, and sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.
Recipe from here.

Next I did was this:

Cajun & Ginger Chicken Salad

It kinda sucks that I can't give you the exact measurements of each ingredients because I pretty much threw everything in -_- but what I used for a single serve salad were:

1 piece of boneless chicken breast
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp of cajun seasoning (I use McCormick's)
1 tsp of ginger powder
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 red onion
1 clove of garlic
salad of your choice

How to make
1. Cut the fat out of your chicken breast. I cooked mine without the skin and you can choose whether you want to slice it into thin pieces or eat the breast whole. For salad I'd say slice it into pieces. If you want a grilled chicken steak of sorts, leave it whole. Season the chicken with the salt, cajun, and ginger powder. Put it aside for about 5 to 10 minutes to let the seasoning seep in.

2. Chop the garlic and onion.

3. Warm the skillet/frying pan on medium heat with the 1 tbsp of olive oil. Saute the onion and garlic for about a minute or till the onion turns transparent and the garlic is slightly brown.

4. Put the chicken onto the skillet and close it so you let the heat cook the chicken inside out. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (wouldn't wanna get salmonella :p). Make sure you turn it around to cook both sides.

5. Once it's done, put the chicken on the salad (if you sliced the chicken into thin pieces) / place the breast on a plate with a side of salad of your choice. The top photo was my dinner. I sliced the chicken into thin pieces and put it on top of the salad with a side of tortilla chips and hot salsa.

I'm loving cooking more and more now. I can't wait till I find the time to bake again XD