Kai Si Ming – an old family dish!

Kai Si Ming – an old family dish!

Kai Si Ming is an Asian-inspired one-pan mince and rice dinner and something that I have not had since a kid (and that is some years ago now!)

I was reminded of this old family dish when I saw that Maggi – who are an international brand of seasonings, instant soups and noodles –   have made a packet meal of it.

I thought ‘fancy that!’ –  you don’t need to buy the packet mix because you will have the ingredients in your pantry, and best of all, you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand.

A bit of research online told me Kai Si Ming hit the NZ dinner scene sometime in the 60s, when recipes for it started popping up in women’s magazines, Plunket newsletters and the like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 450 g mincemeat
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1cup uncooked rice
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup broccoli, pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery, celery
  • 1 chopped red capsicum
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded 

Heat the oil in a large pan (I use my wok)

Cook the onion until soft, then add the mince and brown.

Add Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, rice and boiling water.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add frozen peas and broccoli, celery and simmer for about 10 minutes

Add shredded cabbage and turn off the heat. Leave to stand with a lid on for about 5 minutes.

Serve in bowls.

** Use any vegetables that you have on hand

**Substitute the rice for noodles if you prefer.IMG_0299.JPG

If you are a child born in the 1960’s in New Zealand, your mum will have her version of this dish in her recipe book somewhere. I think mine is pretty close to my mum’s – I’ll have to ask her if I got it right!

What is a dish you can remember from your childhood that you haven’t had since then? It might be time to resurrect it and share it with your family, and make a new memory.

Happy foody memories xx

 

 

 

 

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Creamy Bacon & Kumara Pasta Bake

Creamy Bacon & Kumara Pasta Bake

An early lesson in my life as a young married mum with 3 children and a mortgage was learning to cook a nutritious meal on a budget.

This is a recipe I have used and adapted over the years – especially great after football practice in the winter months when the teenage boy came home wet, dirty and very hungry! I either had this prepared to heat up and eat straight away – or could have it ready to tuck into as quick as a teenage boy can shower after practice! Well okay maybe that’s an exaggeration. Dinner is usually ready before the teenager is out of the bathroom 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 500g pasta shells
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 rashers rindless bacon, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
  • 600g kumara, peel and cubed
  • 150g baby spinach (or a handful)
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 c tasty cheese, grated

Sauce

Pasta Bake
Quick to prepare, and easy on the budget.
  • 60g butter
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup tasty cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to a hot 200°c.

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until soft. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

In a large frying pan, heat oil and cook bacon for 2-3 minutes until golden. Add the leek and pumara and cook for abut 3-4 minutes

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add flour & thyme and cook, stirring for around 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Gradually whisk in the  milk until smooth. Pop back onto the heat and cook, stirring constantly until them mixture thickens.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes and then stir in the cheese and mustard. Season with salt & pepper. (You just made a white sauce!)

At this point I usually put all of the ingredients into a large bowl to mix together well. So pasta first, then vegetables and sauce. Add the spinach in last – (this does not need to be pre-cooked). Mix all the ingredients well.

Tip the lot into a large baking dish and sprinkle with combined breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top turns golden and crunchy!

Freezing this pasta dish is another great option for the busy mum – cool it down and then wrap well in glad wrap and foil. It can be in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Now you can make this dish with store bought fresh pasta which is very good, and a jar of ready made pasta sauce. Both of these items are handy and whilst they may save you a few minutes, the cost is not worth it.

I have used pumpkin instead of the kumara (and at the moment that’s a great option – I bought a whole pumpkin for $2.00 last week), and instead of bacon, a couple of pork sausages cooked up and sliced. The younger kids liked this option 🙂

So if you are watching your budget, and have a family to feed, give this recipe a go. Either way it’s a good dish to have up your sleeve with most of the ingredients ‘pantry staples’ making it easy to put together for those last minute dinner guests.

Happy cooking xx