Guest Post: Milk Eyes: Good food made from almost nothing

Today’s post is a guest post by the lovely Sandi over at Milkeyes.com. Milk Eyes, a Brisbane based blog,  has only been around for the last few months, but with all of Sandi’s hard work, it is already a space bursting full of an eclectic and eccentric mix of posts, with a strong focus on parenting – the rock star way! I truly appreciate a blog that has such raw energy and honesty as Milk Eyes. She doesn’t mince words, and gives you an insight into her day to day life (anyone who secretly enjoys a good pimple-popping will be transfixed by the harrowing ‘abscess series’ ;)) , while also gathering inspirational rock star quotes on parenting, collections of humourous vids and pics, and highlighting where to find cute baby products and clothes with an edge.

Sandi’s bub is only 5 months old so time is precious for her. She wanted to share these time-saving and very budget friendly recipes she turns to when it turns out there is nothing in the fridge. These recipes are wonderfully simple but packed full of flavour and love. Thank you Sandi!

Good food from nothing: Looking into the bare belly of the white whale

Did you ever watch Rocky and Bullwinkle as a child? I always loved the hat-trick gags. You remember the ones, where Bullwinkle tries to pull a rabbit out of his hat and instead gets a random animal?

Well, sometimes I feel that way when I’m staring into the white belly of a near empty refrigerator. “Hey honey, watch me pull a delicious meal out of thin air!” It’s probably not going to be gourmet, but it will be a meal – and a tasty and cheap one at that.

While I’m pulling meals out of my metaphorical hat, I may as well pull more than one out at a time. So for my first ever guest post I have decided to combine all of these things together and show you how I make dinner, lunch and uh… tomorrows lunch or dinner from nothing*.

*well, not really nothing. But not much more than nothing.

I will post the recipes separately, and then at the end give instructions for cooking all at once. Without further ado, I bring you my recipes:

Omelette

Don’t scoff at me, but I love omelettes. If I’ve learnt one thing it’s to never disregard the omelette. Both cheap and chic this tasty dish is so versatile that it’s worth cooking at least one a week to use up your left overs. I guess you could even say that while the omelette is busy trimming you down in a low carb-low fat-high protein kinda way, its busy keeping your wallet plump with cashola in a waste-not want-not kinda way.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 eggs for every 2 people eating.
  • 1 generous tablespoon per person of cream, milk, sour cream, cottage cheese or ricotta cheese- basically any dairy liquid. If you don’t have milk you can use a single teaspoon of melted butter or margarine in 2 tablespoons of cold water.
  • Freshly ground pepper.
  • Oil

And any of the following:

  • Bacon (at least 1 tablespoon worth of chopped bacon- preferably more. Remember that quick-cut diced bacon from Woolworths or Coles is very salty, so do not add additional salt during the cooking of this meal)
  • Chorizo
  • Sausage
  • Left over steak or chicken
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Refried beans
  • Tomato
  • Left over vegies
  • Kimchi
  • Onion- any variety
  • Garlic
  • Grated cheese. Any variety of cheese is brilliant in an omelette- if you have no fresh cheese perhaps you have parmesan you can sprinkle over the top, or if you are lucky and have left over cheese from a cheese platter you can use that instead- I heartily recommend smoked cheese with chicken and corn.
  • Herbs- tarragon, dill, rosemary, thyme, (chillies and cumin if you like a Mexican inspired dish)

Some suggestions:

  •  smoked cheese with chicken and corn
  • bacon and corn
  • bacon, mushroom, chicken served with BBQ sauce
  • all vegies
  • pork sausage, refried beans, capsicum, chillies and cumin

For this meal I used Chorizo, cherry tomatoes, sundried tomato strips, chilli and cumin powder and jalapenos. It was a taste explosion.

Method:

  1. Use a fork to whisk eggs and milk together. Season well with pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. If cooking for many try using a metal      handled fry pan so you can brown the top off under the grill. Don’t add oil if using bacon or fatty sausage- the meat will oil up the pan enough      without the help of oil.
  3. Add extras, starting with meats. Cook until all are heated through- or if using mushrooms or      asparagus, cook until wilted. Set aside.
  4. Add egg mixture to the pan. Do not stir the egg mixture, but rather tilt the pan to allow any uncooked      egg to run to the edge. Continue until egg is just set.
  5. Spoon warm extras over half the omelette. Sprinkle over cheese. Use a fork to lift one side of the      omelette over to enclose filling. Carefully slide onto serving plate.

6.   Serve immediately with a salad. If your omelette is a mess you can serve it on toast, in a wrap or in a bowl.

Fried Rice

An old family friend (master of puns and purveyor of politically incorrect sayings) steadfastly refused to call this dish by its correct name, preferring to use the terribly passé title of flied lice. Look who’s laughing now you garish wanker, because this dish is a deright delight.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked white rice
  • Left over vegies
  • Bacon
  • 1-2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Optional: Sesame Oil, mini shrimp, shallots.

Method:

1.  Spread cooked rice thinly on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. We want the rice to be dry and not sticky- if you have the time, overnight is best. Or alternatively, if you have left over rice from last nights dinner just use that.

2.   Whisk eggs and sugar together with a teaspoon of cold water. Add egg mixture to the pan, allowing the mixture to run to the edge. Continue until egg is set.

3.   Lay cooked egg onto a large cutting board or dinner plate and cut into thin strips. Set aside. Be careful at this point because any babies in the vicinity will laugh their heads off at how ridiculous it is to watch Dad perform delicate surgery on a cooked egg. Reattaching your babies head can take all afternoon and then dinner will be a bust.

4. Fry bacon and left over veg. Once heated through throw in the pre-cooked-and-dried rice and soy sauce. If you have sesame oil add a generous gloop of it (that’s a metric gloop, not an imperial gloop) to the pan along with shrimp, shallots etc. Add egg strips and stir through until heated.

5. Serve Immediately

As you can see I did not successfully transfer my omelette to a cutting surface like a pro, but as you can also clearly see, I am not a pro. I am also not a ‘Dishy Daddy’ even though my apron clearly states as much. Just goes to show that you should never trust the media.

Quiche

John and Yoko said give quiche a chance, and I reckon they were right too. Quiche is delicious hot or cold, and when eaten in bed leaves very few crumbs which is beneficial for maintaining a high degree of comfort during any long term non-violent protests.

Ingredients:

  • Handful of bacon bits
  • Half an onion- any variety, diced
  • 250mL cream- KEEP THE CONTAINER THE CREAM COMES IN
  • Small tin of corn kernels
  • Filo or puff pastry
  • Oil
  • ¼ cup grated cheese
  • Pinch of Mixed Herbs
  • Optional: tomato, asparagus, spinach, leek, crab or other fish, peas, sweet potato, feta, zucchini, mushrooms, prosciutto etc.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  2. Fry bacon and onion in a frying pan.
  3. Mix cream, cheese and corn kernels together in a big mixing bowl, and set aside.
  4. Line an oven proof dish with your desired layers of pastry, separating each layer with a thin coat of melted butter or spray of oil. I like filo pastry since its lighter and I often find quiche to be pretty heavy going after the first couple of mouthfuls.

5.   Add bacon to egg mixture, stir and pour the lot into the pastry lined dish. Bake for 15 minutes, and then turn down heat to 150 °C and bake for another 35-50 mins or until a skewer pressed into the middle of the quiche comes out clean.

All together now:

  1. Spread cooked rice thinly on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  3. Line an oven proof dish with layer of pastry, separating each layer with a thin coat of melted butter or spray of oil.
  4. Fry all the bacon and onion in a frying pan. Put cooked bacon and onion into a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Whisk all eggs together in a big mixing bowl. Separate some (enough to make a thin omelette for shredding in fried rice) into a second large clean bowl and add sugar. Pour the egg/sugar mix into frying pan, once cooked remove from frying pan. Place on a cutting board or plate and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
  6. Separate out some more eggs into the same bowl and add in milk or other dairy product.
  7. Add a third of the bacon/onion and any other omelette vegies/herbs to the frypan and heat through. Cover in egg and dairy mixture and fry as per omelette directions. Remove pan from heat, and just leave it on the stove top- by the time you do the next bit the omelette will be the perfect temperature to eat right away.
  8. With the remaining egg mixture add cream, corn kernels, grated cheese, herbs and a third of the bacon (only one third of the bacon remains by this point). Pour this into the pre-lined pastry dish. Bake as per quiche directions.
  9. Take a moment to sit down and enjoy your tasty omelette. Mmmmm.
  10. Put remaining bacon/onion back into the fry pan along with any of the fried rice extras, soy sauce and sesame oil (if using). Add the shredded omelette. Keep taste testing as you add the soy sauce as this meal needs a bit in order to avoid being dry, but too much soy-sauce is definitely too much to handle.
  11. Cover your fried rice and refrigerate until tomorrow.
  12. Wash up or paint your nails or hang out with the dog until the quiche is done.

Please note, none of these meals freeze well but all will last 24 hours in the fridge.

Bonus Treat:

I like to treat myself after cooking all day like a total hardass. The way I celebrate is pretty wild, so hold onto your (rabbit pulling) hats. Remember how I used cream in one (or maybe even two) of the recipes above? And recall how I said to not throw the container away? Here’s why:

Make yourself coffee, but instead of making it normal with milk, pour your milk into the cream container and re-lid, shake it up, and pour that super creamy milk into your coffee instead. The cream looks totally gross (kind of like the cover to Metallica’s Load album) but looks can be deceiving because it is honestly frikken delish. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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Blog: www.milkeyes.com

Instagram: @consumeconformobey

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