“Vietnamese lemon grass and chilli chicken” from “A Bird in the Hand”


2015-04-15 21.20.46

Peter: Where’s the rice?

Anna: There is no rice. Just stir-fried greens.

Peter: But there’s rice in the photo.

Anna: I think I’m going to give up making Asian food. The last few times just haven’t worked. This isn’t a disaster, but it’s really not very exciting. Which I suspect is due to my cooking, more than the recipe.

Peter: It could do with a bit more kick. Maybe the chillies aren’t that hot?

Anna: Maybe. But I’m not getting lemon grass either. And I had to start this last night so it marinated overnight. That’s two days of effort. Not much effort, but more than my usual repertoire of meals requires. This is why I don’t cook new things any more.




“Vietnamese lemon grass and chilli chicken” from “A Bird in the Hand”

“Hot Chilli-Ginger Stir-fried Squid” from “A Change of Appetite”

Anna: Meh. I had such high hopes for this and I am disappointed. I’m sure if a personal chef had made it for me I would love it.

Peter: It wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be.

Anna: That’s the chilli’s fault. I could have left the seeds in and probably should have done.

Peter: Did the squid need marinating?

Anna: Why do you say that?

Peter: It was a bit dry I guess…..

Anna: Couldn’t you taste the lemongrass?

Peter: Yes. And I got the salty and sour. I’m not sure what it is that’s missing.

Anna: A professional chef. This would be perfect in a Thai restaurant. Somehow it hasn’t worked for me at home. It’s perfectly ok. And it was easy to cook. But I won’t be doing it again.






“Hot Chilli-Ginger Stir-fried Squid” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

Ella: We’re having this again! Miles, you like it too, right? Because we’re having it every Tuesday!

Miles: Nooooooooo. What have you done with my life? I have loads of lives on Minecraft.

Kirstin: How did we get onto Minecraft again? We’re talking about food.


Ella: These noodles are pretty tasty!

Miles: They’re not even noodles! They’re pasta!

Kirstin: They are rice noodles actually!

Miles: I love pasta!

Kirstin: This recipe was super easy to make. I would definitely make it again and yes, Ella will always choose Asian food over Italian where Miles prefers Italian over everything.

Ella: I like pizza!

“Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles” from “Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course”

“Chicken noodle stir-fry” from “Easy Meals”

Anna: I took the liberty of adding green beans to this recipe to add some colour to the overall white-ness. Carrots on their own just weren’t doing it.

Peter: This was a nod to Thailand with its coconut milk and fish sauce…..

Anna: Yes, but where was the chilli? Where was the sourness?

Peter: That’s a bit harsh. If you’re not in the mood for chilli this would do nicely.

Anna: We have much better noodle stir-fry recipes than this though.

Peter: Well that’s true. You only have to turn to Bill for inspiration.

Anna: And because of that I don’t think we’ll be making this again. It’s just a little too blah for me. Sorry Rachel.

“Chicken noodle stir-fry” from “Easy Meals”

“Stir Fried Chilli Pork” from “Bill’s Everyday Asian”

In retrospect, it was foolhardy of me to think that either of the boys would like something that has chilli in it. If you’re at all interested, see their past aversions in several previous posts. But the adults loved it, and frankly, sometimes that’s all that matters.

Andrew (11): I think this is nice. [Pause for consideration] Actually, I think it’s too spicy, even for me.

Maureen: I think this is more sweet than spicy, to be honest.

Nicholas (8): No way. It’s too spicy!

Tim: I wish it had more sauce.

Maureen: There is some more sauce, though not a lot, still in the pan. You could go get some.

Andrew: I thought it was nice, but too spicy. (Editor’s note: The boys now leave the table to take up their mother’s offer to have some cereal instead of stir fry for dinner. It’s their fall-back meal when they really can’t stand what I’ve made. The only rule is they always have to try things first.)

Maureen: I actually cut down on the chillies you were supposed to use. You were supposed to put three in there, but when it came time to adding them, I realised I only had one in the refrigerator. So one chilli had to be. I think it’s delicious.

Tim: Yes, this is really nice.

Maureen: It takes just like takeaway to me!

Tim: Is that a good thing?

Maureen: Maybe we wouldn’t want to model our culinary lives on takeaway foods, but every once in awhile, it’s a real treat.  If nothing else, it was extremely fast, which is always handy on a weekday night when the four of us have returned from four different places.

“Stir Fried Chilli Pork” from “Bill’s Everyday Asian”

“Stir-Fried beef with Peppers & Egg Noodles” from “Best Menus”

Tim: So what are we having tonight?

Maureen: This is stir-fried beef with peppers and egg noodles. I should tell you that I didn’t use the beef it called for, though. Gordon Ramsay wants us to use fillet for a stir-fry. Really? Fillet for a stir-fry, Gordon?? It seems as though every one of his beef recipes calls for fillet. If we were multi-millionaires like Gordon, I’d use fillet more too. But sadly we’re not.

Tim: So what did you get?

Maureen: The fine gentleman at Drings recommended that I get top rump, so I did. Of course, we spent a few good minutes talking about how silly it’d be to use fillet in a stir- fry, especially when you’re going to marinate it.

Editor’s Note: If you haven’t been to Drings Butchers on Royal Hill in Greenwich yet, go as fast as your legs can carry you. We love them. They’re a top supplier (see list on the right) and our gastronomical life wouldn’t be the same without them.

Continue reading ““Stir-Fried beef with Peppers & Egg Noodles” from “Best Menus””

“Stir-Fried beef with Peppers & Egg Noodles” from “Best Menus”