The Ready Steady (Set) Cook Challenge!

So on Saturday I was at home with my young’uns who are the last three of my six children and now all in their teens.  My DH (darling husband) was at a cricket match somewhere…I think he said it belonged to Lords or something.  Anyway, it was a good thing because he is a man of simple tastes and would not have wanted dinner at home.  Why? Because we were out of almost everything except the obscure so I thought it was a good day to employ my kids to give me a Ready, Steady, Cook challenge.  I have mentioned it before in one of my previous blogs but to be honest I think it was years since I’ve done this.  Basically, I ask the kids to choose five ingredients and I will (try) create an amazing dinner using those ingredients.

Well, Jadzia wasn’t feeling too well so that left it up to Brandon and Brianna to choose.  They took some time rummaging in the kitchen.  I kept calling out to them from the dining room reminding them to look in the pantry cupboard and all the canisters on the kitchen worktop.  After a few minutes, Brandon gave up and walked away!  Brianna stayed but was about to give up too.  Here’s the problem as I see it.  They are too old (13 and 16) and therefore too smart.  Brianna explained that she couldn’t fine five things that would work together.  Silly girl!  So I explained to her, they don’t have to go together that’s the challenge and that I might make several courses out of those five ingredients.  She needed a bit of convincing.  I really think she was trying to be nice to me and not make it so hard.  She picked one ingredient at a time, each time she did I had to reassure her it was fine.  So here is what she picked.

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Basmati rice, arame seaweed, sushi seaweed, rice noodles and Vietnamese spring roll sheets

Basmati rice, arame seaweed, sushi seaweed, rice noodles and Vietnamese spring roll sheets

Well, I wasn’t so sure about it.  For one thing although I had these ingredients in the house which would make it appear like I cook Japanese quite a lot, this was not the case.  I only ever used the spring roll wraps once and it wasn’t very successful. (And the best by date was two months ago but I didn’t tell anyone).   I had nori for sushi which I then stopped liking and arame I only used once I think and wasn’t sure really what to do with it either. But its fun to create and if it sucked they were all old enough to find something else to eat >:-)

I decided to first make the filling for the spring rolls I would make.  So I cooked the rice and soaked some arame in cold water Then stir fried the cooked rice with some left over chopped broccoli, chopped asparagus, garlic and chopped green pepper.  Then I scrambled two eggs and added that into the mixed along with some tamarind sauce and light soy sauce and seasoned.  Then I added some of the chopped arame.

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The next step was to cut the sushi sheets in half because they are too big.  Then I soaked each of the spring roll paper in hot water for about 15-20 seconds.  I added a half sushi sheet and some of the mixture and rolled.

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I ran out of sushi seaweed so made some without.

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Finally I fried them in a pan. I could have sworn I took a picture of it but I guess I didn’t.  They looked great too!

Anyway, I cooked the rice noodles and added arame seaweed and crushed dried chili peppers and some soy sauce for the next course. Tried it first and honestly though ‘Ick!’ but kept that to myself.

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Then I decided to make a desert….with arame seaweed.  So I cooked up some frozen mixed summer berries and added grated fresh ginger, Christmas type spice mix, a bit of fruit preserves, some maple syrup and you guessed it some finely chopped arame (but only a small amount) .  I got out some wine glasses and layered this with vanilla ice cream. Voila!

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So what was the verdict?  Jadzia who wasn’t feeling well in the first place said it made her feel ill (although she did eat two spring rolls, noodles and dessert).   Brandon said it was ‘All right.’  which is what he always says when I ask him about things.  Brianna really liked the noodles and the spring rolls but wouldn’t have the desert because she doesn’t like berries.  I thought the spring rolls were pretty good, didn’t like the noodles but loved the dessert even though I am not all that keen on ice cream.

Okay so it wasn’t a 100% success but it got me exercising some creativity!

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