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Old 02-06-2014, 10:09 AM   #1
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Advice for some ingredients to make meals more wet+ recipe ideas?

One of my fav meals i learned to cook is beef with oyster sauce and balsamic vinegar.

This meal suits my style because its really easy and quick/no hasstle but also healthy and tasty. Had with brown rice.

Id like a few more meals of the same ilk.

I love my brown rice (wholewheat pasta also a good replacement for variety), i dont seem to get bored of it i could probably have it nearly every day of the week provided I could mix it up with what it goes with.

My issue at the mo tho is I find it hard to make meals nice and wet/juicy.

Whenever i make pasta for instance i make food for a couple of days but it turns out dry and horrible after the 1st day and i can hardly bear to eat any more.

I want some equivalents to oyster sauce for different mealtypes.

Also looking for a good chicken dish, and or other meats. Something for each couple of days really so i can rotate.

Currently I will cook my beef meal then run out of ideas after a cpl of days and end up eating chicken nuggets and find them vile before ive finished them and regret having had them. So I wanna fill out my repertoire so i have something enjoyable for every day.

As I said my main challenge is finding things that make the meal have good juices or moreso making a real sauce not just a either too dry or a wet mass.

Tomato is great I know but on its own it doesnt make a complete sauce.

When ive tried to make my own curry it ends the same way in that it isnt really a sauce just spices and water, very shabby.

So please enlighten me with ideas along the given lines. :)

As I said main criteria is that its relatively healthy, simple, and tasty.

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Old 02-06-2014, 03:45 PM   #2
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Hi Cook, and welcome to Discuss Cooking.

There are many here who would love to help you, but it would be better if you'd post your recipe for "beef with oyster sauce and balsamic vinegar" so we can have a better idea of what you consider really good.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
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sure :)

i wasnt too much more descriptive because there isnt much more to it :D.

Cook the brown rice seperate.

Lightly fry the beef then throw in some oyster sauce and balsamic vinegar. My fav thing aobut this one is how the saltyness of the oyster sauce and the tangyness of the balsamic vinegar really complement each other.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:05 AM   #4
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I have the dry leftover problem with some pasta and rice dishes. My solution is to make additional sauce when I make the original dish and hold out a cup of sauce in a plastic container. When I freeze lasagna I always freeze a cup of sauce to add as a topping.

Swiss steak is a nice winter meal with some mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. I don't really use a recipe, but this one will give you the basic idea and then you can improvise and make it your own.

Swiss Steak Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

Also this simple beef stew.

1 pound beef cubes
2 carrots sliced in chunks
2 onions sliced in "moons"
2 stalks of celery sliced into chunks
1 can undiluted cream of tomato soup
A splash of Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the above in a casserole with a tight fitting lid and bake at 350 degrees for approx. one hour.

You can add a couple of potatoes cut into chunks, but I leave them out and serve this with mashed potatoes. This is a very easy recipe because you do not need to flour and brown the beef cubes, just dump them in with the other ingredients. Also when the stew is gone freeze that extra sauce/gravy in a small container and add it to your next pot of soup or gravy.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:36 AM   #5
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Keep some stock (beef, vegetable or chicken) handy to loosen your dishes before and during the reheating of them.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
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Hi and welcome to DC Take a look in the Budget Meals and Meals in Minutes forums; there are quite a few threads with ideas for quick, tasty budget-friendly meals

A few ideas:

- Almost everything I make starts with sautéed sliced or diced onion and minced garlic.
- Add beef broth to your leftovers and turn them into soup.
- Make extra rice and make fried rice the second day by dicing any veggies you like and stir-frying them with your leftovers and adding soy sauce; finish with a little drizzle of toasted sesame oil. We almost always have bell peppers, carrots and celery in the house. Cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage are some other options.
- Or do this with cooked pasta and you have lo mein!
- Make a sauce with Thai sweet chile sauce and hoisin sauce, thinned with broth if necessary. Like in a Thai restaurant, you can use this with chicken, pork, beef or shrimp and any combination of veggies you want.
- I posted a recipe for easy shrimp curry in the Ethnic Foods forum. Do a search for that. If it needs thickening, add a cornstarch slurry (2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water).

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:02 PM   #7
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Fish sauce, lemongrass and palm sugar
Gochujang
Soy sauce, honey, Dijon, ginger
Over easy egg
Chorizo fat goes great with balsamic
Curry paste and coconut milk
veloute
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:06 AM   #8
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Thanks for the recommendations! :) Ill look into the ones which take my fancy. An oriental style recipe is a good idea to add to the repertoire, since my only atempts int he past have been fried rice whcih turned out really bland and dry (i know its meant to be dry but too too dry!! not nice and tasty from the fats etc like the one id buy from the chinese- that or too soggy from the eggs) mostly.

Stew is another good one, again id made some attempts but the problem id had in this case is the weird consistency it turns the next day. I found the leftovers would separate to like a bunch of grit and the bottom and water at the top. I would like something to add to make it all gel together a bit more. Maybe simply some flour? as id only just been throwing in the vegetables and meat and nothing else and cooking them on a low heat.

Also are there stocks i can get without MSGs cos i noticed all the normal ones seem to have msg in them which is a nono im my books, or some more natural alternative i could make myself?
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:38 AM   #9
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Kitchen Basics does not have msg in the ingredient list. If we don't have any homemade, it is what we use.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:33 PM   #10
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I use msg as an ingredient in many dishes, really brings out a lot of flavor. Why do you consider it a no-no?
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