Mike and I cooking together always seems like such a lovely fun idea; something we can do with each other at the end of a long day at work. I imagine us standing at the kitchen worktop, chatting away about our day whilst beavering away in harmony and stopping only for an occasional romantic glance at each other.
We cook together very occasionally – usually with just long enough in between times for me to forget the realities.
This recipe came from the Slimming World ‘Meals in Minutes’ book, via Glass Half Full. For Slimming World-ers on Extra Easy, it’s one syn per portion. It comes out at 7 propoints per portion on Weight Watchers, but that’s without the noodles.
(This is to serve four people – although we managed to eat it between two of us).
2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice powder
4 x 175g gammon steak with all the fat removed cut into large bite-sized pieces
Low calorie cooking spray
2 red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
Finely grated zest and juice of an orange
1 level tbsp of clear honey
100 ml of chicken stock
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
Pak choi to serve
Egg noodles to serve
Sprinkle the 5-spice powder over the cut up gammon steaks. Spray a large wide, non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and cook the gammon over a high heat for 2-3 minutes or until the edges are tinged brown.
Add the red chillies, orange zest and juice, honey, stock and soy sauce and simmer rapidly for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce becomes sticky and the gammon is glazed and golden with almost burnt edges.
Serve immediately with pak choi and cooked egg noodles, and any pan juices poured over.
We started well, and – credit where it’s due – Mike’s very good at chopping things into very small pieces. He can do it really quickly, too, and I’m always impressed that he finishes the task without losing any fingers.
I made a big mistake at the start of my bit. There are three things that are critical about this recipe; stickiness, 5-spice and the gammon.
I forgot the 5-spice.
I didn’t actually realise until I was about to serve, by which time it would have been too late. I was a bit annoyed, though. I’d been wanting to try making this for weeks, and this was the first time that we’d actually had all the ingredients in the house at the same time without one of us forgetting and using them for something else.
What I normally do at this stage in a recipe is to start panicking about whether we’ve got the cutlery set out and whether we’re tidying as we go and whether everything will be ready at the same time (even at my age and level of food intake, I still find it practically impossible to co-ordinate more than one thing being ready at once).
So this is generally the point where Mike wanders off into the garden and starts picking at random bits of twigs and things whilst pretending not to be smoking.
Now, neither of us had had this before and we’re still not sure that we did it right.
But we found something on the BBC website that said to steam it, and we thought that boiling and steaming were pretty similar so we threw it in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes and it came out sort of like it went in but warmer and damper.
Which seems to be what happens with most veg so we thought that was probably alright.
I had to beg Mike to take this picture.
He really just wanted to have his dinner and not have his life being consumed by this daft blogging business.