What’s for Dinner?


Tasmanian ScallopsHave you ever been asked by your partner and loved ones the same question over and over again, “what are we going to have for dinner?” The usual response is “don’t know, darling” or “should we go out?” or better still “how about you cook!”

Well, tonight’s dinner menu which I could not resist is a lovely temptation of fresh Tasmanian scallops in season at the moment. I bought about 500gm from a local fish market at lunch time (excuse to get out of the office), some fresh ginger, garlic, spring onions. I still have some fresh red and yellow chillies from my garden.  This is a very simple dish to cook. It tastes delicious with a nice scallop’s flavour in the sauce. When you bite on the scallops, it should explode in your mouth. The dish has to be eaten as soon as it is cooked and do not overcooked the scallops. They should only take a couple of minutes to cook.

To prepare the dish, first chopped the garlic and ginger finely, sliced the chillies and spring onion. Set aside. 

To cook the dish, heat up some cooking oil in a wok (or frying pan). When the oil is hot, tossed in the garlic and ginger and fry them until you can smell a beautiful aroma. Tossed in the scallops, chillies and spring onions. Flavour with oyster sauce, chinese cooking wine and seasoned with a bit of salt and sugar (to taste). 

Happy “Makan”

My second dish for the dinner is a vegetarian dish – a combination of spiced eggplant and zucchini served with cauliflower and broccoli puree. 

DSC00836Reb helped me with the puree. We used whatever leftover vegetables in our fridge compartment drawers – cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant. It is easy to prepare and simple meal to cook in less than 20 minutes.

To prepare, chopped all the vegetables and set aside. Finely chopped some garlic, spring onions and spanish onions (white section).

To cook the puree, steamed the broccoli and cauliflower. When cook and soft, put the veg (do the cauliflower and broccoli separately) in a food processor, mixed some cream, butter and seasoned with salt.

To cook the eggplant and zucchini, heat some cooking oil in a wok, tossed in the garlic, then the spring onions. Fry quickly until fragrant, then tossed in the eggplant and zucchini, followed by spanish onions. To flavour the sauce, put in some dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, caramelised dark sauce and sambal oelek (optional if you prefer it spicy). Seasoned with a bit of sugar. 

Happy “Makan”

29 responses to “What’s for Dinner?

  1. Wah … siok – scallops = yummy, brocolli + cauliflower puree = vomit lah!

  2. Wow, where did you buy the scallops from? I live in Hobart and I have had trouble in the past trying to buy fresh scallops….either they advertise ‘fresh’ and they are actually from frozen, or when I can get some that haven’t been frozen they are past their best & quite off-smelling… Feel free to e-mail me with the info 🙂

    • Lusciouslawns – try Mako and Mures at the Dock. Also, last week FCM Island Market has them fresh, not frozen.

      • Thanks very much! It’s actually Lauren hehe, but wordpress likes to use my blog name for comments. I will try Mako if I can’t get to the Island Markets (I don’t get to the northern suburbs very often). Thanks so much for your help 😀

  3. Hey Lauren – you may want to call either Mako or Mures first. If they don’t have it, you can order some from Mures. Btw I was at Woolies New Town last Friday and they have fresh Tasmanian scallops at thier Deli, $29.90/kg. Hope you will share your experience on how you cook the scallops if you happens to get some.

  4. Not a chance re fresh scallops around northern NSW. Everything is pre-frozen including from the so-called fishing-cooperatives.

    A couple of years ago a friend of my eldest came to visit from Invercargill NZ. I won’t tell you what my best fry pan looked like after she had gone. But she cooked this one which was my first experience of scallops. You have to be quick to make this one, quickly stir fry the scallops and quickly make the sauce and serve immediately.

    Lightly stir fry scallops. Stir fry 4 cloves garlic, grated fresh ginger (equal amount to the garlic), 2 finely chopped red chillies and 3 spring onions chopped.

    Stir in sugar to taste and a little sweet chilli sauce, 1 teaspoon fish sauce and 1/2 cup chicken stock. 1/4 cup chopped coriander. Serve in the shell.

    • I could almost taste the beautiful combined flavour of the garlic, ginger and coriander with a bit of sweet and spicy sensation running through my mouth. Yum! Thanks, Min.

  5. If it contains garlic then you can’t go wrong with my crew..hubby being brought up on his Nana Coloretti’s home cooking.

    Am doing slow cooked Greek lamb tonight. I quite enjoy doing slow cooking as it means that I can have dinner organised early then sit down and enjoy when Jeff comes home from work.

    This is a simple one: Lamb roast. Cut skin and insert slivers of garlic and oregano (if you can’t get fresh then a sprinkle of dried will do). Pour over 1/2 cup white wine (from Miglo’s cellar..it’s a joke, ask Reb), 1 cup fresh chicken stock, juice of 1 lemon. Cover and cook on a high heat for 1/2 hour, reduce heat to slow and cook for 3+ hours…the longer the better, the meat should just fall from the bone due to the tenderising from the lemon juice and white wine.

    Jeff still likes his roast vegies and so I do these separately..what ever is in the fridge. A light gravy (I usually use cornflour) from the juice is nice too.

  6. Apart from fish i have eaten all seafood to death and then some more. Now if i see a lobster in a crack somewhere i then think a hamburger would be nice.

    But those dishes look good enough to try it ( a couple of times), this site seems to have given me a little spark in the dishes i eat.
    # Reb helped with the puree.

    Helped eat it. hehehe

  7. Victor..sounds as if you have the perfect relationship..same as mine 🙂 you love to cook and partner likes to eat.

    Stop boasting Aqua, I would KILL for some fresh seafood. For Victor..Aqua’s occupation is as per his name.

  8. Min At least the wife still loves it, tonight i will be getting more but this time its the mud crab on my target.

    Crab mornay maybe, or just the trusted chilli. You get many local prawns along the way while hunting crabs.
    Oh and flathead and flounder and thats all walking in one foot deep water so anyone can do it.

    Me boasting ?… hehehe always

    few dumb questions i need answered if anyone can

    *Is aniseed a ? (veg/herb)
    *spices and herbs what is the diff?

  9. Aqua..very very yumm. Jeff isn’t a seafood fan..sigh.

    I’ll leave that one to Victor about aniseed.

    My understanding is that a herb is a natural plant such as oregano, rosemary and thyme but a spice is something other..that is bark (cinnamon), nut of a tree (nutmeg and mace) or a combination of these.

    I’m sure that Victor can give a far better explanation than I can.

  10. the more i think about it the more i get confused, i should stop drinking …..

    Another side to it Min is some herbs/spices are for flavour/taste(cinnamon) and other give a taste and sensation(chilli) dose that count for anything?

    Thats probably just silly, but i do that well

  11. Aqua – thanks, good question. Let me start with aniseed. It is the seedpod of a flowering plant, Anise, which has a liquorice flavour.

    Min you are spot on. The difference between herb and spice is to think of herb as the green part of a plant and spice as dried and comes from other part of the plant (such as root, bark, seed). Hope this makes sense.

    I will add a new tab dedicated to herb and spice.

    • Thanks for that, i look forward to sounding a lot smarter when chatting in the garden next time.

      Every week the grass area in the backyard gets smaller as the partner digs ground up for more variaties in the garden. Great as the lawn gets smaller to mow.

  12. Victor, one thing I noticed in kitchens is that people won\’t spend on quality cutting edge items, as I address our meat needs , I\’m aware of quality, balanced and fatigue that comes with cheap .
    Mundial (the old) are excellent when it comes to steel Rockwell drop, they are right up there, however a pain in the bum to sharpen for the average person, also they make a good little cleaver but the handle is too small( I carved out a better one and replaced the plastic\’ ) still I appreciate the steel, for a large cleaver, I go for a cheaper (still about $60.00 ) to do the bulk. Same with knives, good ones cost a lot, talking top dollars , however what a joy to use. Then we have simple things , baskets, sives, shaped woks, all account into encouragement in cooking. (If you get good edge steel, learn how to maintain it,(sharpen) it will love you back, and never wash a wok!)

  13. Some tips if you cook for others.
    if the food tastes good serve it quickly

    If your not sure, serve it an hour or so late. The more hungry they get the more they will enjoy it.. I have been known to leave people at the dinner table for a week before serving my home cooked meal so they enjoy it.

    • Where did you put them up for a week, Aqua? You could dial a pizza, ask the delivery man to come through the back door, then place them nicely on a large Wedgewood serving plate. After 2 hours of heavy drinking, your guests would not know the difference between homemade pizza from Dominos.

  14. 🙂 i was joking about the” for a week” bit…

    Dominos, lol

    • I know. Tee-Hee. I like the sense of humour. 🙂

      Food should be fun and joyous, not like a stressful kitchen as shown in tonight’s MasterChef Australia. One should watch the “Joy Luck Club” to understand and remember why we cook, eat and share with lots of fun, laughter and smile in the kitchen and around the table.

  15. Re the Wedgewood serving plate and Dominos..it most definitely is all about presentation 🙂

  16. Victor..this does not earn the title of a recipe but under the heading of “How to cook a meal quickly, without anything in the ‘fridge and only 5 minutes to bolt down to the Supermarket and only 10 minutes to have the meal on the Table”.

    Grab: boned lamb fillet – Masterfoods Greek seasoning – a tub of hummus – 2 lemons – a cucumber – natural yoghurt (in case one’s partner has left the almost empty yoghurt maker sitting in the ‘fridge) – favorite wrap or dipping bread – tub of tabbouleh from the deli.

    Slice lamb very finely on the diagonal, springle generously with greek seasoning, squeeze on the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1 tblspn olive oil. Throw rapidly into to ‘fridge.

    Very finely chop an additional tomato and add to the tabbouleh..the bought one never has enough. Also I find that it has a slightly ‘odd’ taste, but a good squeeze of lemon juice helps with this.

    Decant both the tabbouleh and the hummus into nice serving bowls and hide the plastic tubs at the bottom of the bin 😉

    Add grated cucumber, 2 crushed garlic cloves to yoghurt and again a little fresh lemon juice. I like fresh chopped mint in mine, which makes it raita rather than tzatziki..but never mind.

    Quickly on high heat either pan fry or bbq the lamb and serve with the dipping bread.

  17. Min – this is excellent. A simple, quick and tasty snack dish in front of a TV or good DVD. Why pay $100 for two “Gold Class” tickets and snack at the Greater Union, when you can enjoy a great lamb snack with dips in the comfort of your own luxurious lounge suite! 🙂 Thanks.

    This deserves to be posted in the Recipe page.

    Btw I know I am a bit slow in posting new topics or new menu, but I will do my best and encourage others to contribute to make this blog worth reading.

    I am also thinking the Recipe page doesn’t have to restrict to home cooked recipe only. It can be any recipe tried and tested from either a cooking book, newspaper, magazine, other food blogs as long as we mentioned source of the recipe.

    Reb and I are off to Melbourne for a weekend of food and culture getaway. I will put up a few new posts when we returned. Au Revoir!

  18. It’s more of a desperation/lack of organisation type of recipe 🙂 Hope that you both have a wonderful time.

  19. That sounds good Min, then you mentioned buying tabouli. I have only seen one shop in my life that made it well(seen it reduced to parsley and tomato)

    The yogurt dish is great in many varieties, the dishes that come from it are very nice. Wish you could taste my wifes leb food, she is bloody good at making you over eat(suprised i still fit in my 10 year old wetsuit).

  20. I have trouble finding a good ceasar salad, often it has been so modified i dont enjoy it, also minus the anchovies if you value taking another breath.

    My favorite Pizza is any pizza in a woodfire oven, that charcol flovour is so nice(minus the anchovies).

    Id like to build one of those igloo type ovens but i have no clue what to do hence why i havnt built one yet.

  21. Hi Aqua, I hadn’t thought to check the blog with Victor and Reb being in Melbourne for the weekend.

    And what pray tell is wrong with anchovies?

    I like to make my own tabbouleh and hummus too, but this is mostly when the kids come down and when I need to make quantities.

    I would love to taste your wife’s Leb food. Re the wetsuit..it’s probably stretched 😉

    Tonight is hubby’s favorite..his choice..burnt to a crisp sangers..burnt to make sure that charcoal is the prominent flavor and then smother the burnt offerings in bbq sauce.

  22. Well i have all my meat well cooked so no blood can be seen and as steak on its own is boring i add sauces anyway, i have tasted meat half cooked and i didnt like it. Anchovies is one of things that i cant handle, id prefer to use it for bait.

    Just cause i use valvoline to get into my wetsuit it dosnt mean its stretched.. 🙂

    Im glad you checked the website, just dont look over at rebs gutter as i was very drunk last night and thought i was being funny.

  23. Found this one from Taste which we had for dinner last night. Jeff was a bit dubious as he thought that the mixture was a bit sloppy, but loved it. It was also an excellent way to use up those small quantities of left-over vegetables…I added chopped mushrooms as well as the ingredients listed.


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