Thursday, February 19, 2015

Simple bento from Australia


Greetings from Down Under! I'm on temporary assignment in Australia (next two years) and we're finally settling into our new place. This is my very first use of the new kitchen. A simple bento box from what I could find at the local grocery store. Nothing fancy I'm afraid. I'm just glad I got to cook



I'll confess I cheated this time around. I don't have any spices or really anything in the kitchen other than flake sea salt for seasoning. This chicken came pre-spatchcocked and pre-marinaded. I will say it was very convenient. From what I could tell (the label was sparce on details) the marinade was made of oil, garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper (maybe a bit of tarragon) and lemon and thickened with mayo. $13 AUD about $10 USD... (sigh) everything is very expensive here.

This was my first experience in cooking with a convection oven. It browned the chicken quite well but the outside was achieving a golden brown faster than the internal temperature was getting to target (I did bring my trusty thermapen). Towards the last quarter of the cooking time I dropped the oven 25 degrees Celsius and turned off the convection functionality. I had feared over cooking but the breast meat came out perfectly. I later found some sites that recommended 25 degree F drop (which is only ~4 degree Celsius) or on roasts a 20 to 30% drop in time. I might have to play with this a bit more that or go back to conventional oven mode and see what that does to the white meat.

For vegetables I found some broccolini and a beautiful package of oyster mushrooms. I grabbed a head of garlic.

I got the kettle boiling and blanched the broccolini for three minutes and put it to the side. Dropped in some extra virgin olive oil and infused it with a bit of the garlic for a bit. (note I simply smashed the garlic, I didn't want too much garlic flavor in). Sautéed the mushrooms, added the broccolini and finished it with a bit of salt. Some times simple is best.

I'm hoping to get my cooking back on track. And during this time I'm hoping to capture some new foods and ingredients while I'm here and post some new places to check out if you find yourself down here. I'll still be coming back home for regular visits but consider this "EatingInABox: Down under edition".

Box Contents:

  • Garlic marinated Roasted Chicken
  • Brocollini and Oyster mushroom Saute


Happy Chinese New Year 2015


Happy Chinese New Year!