Monday, November 5, 2012

#1 & #2 Our first stop: England

So yesterday, Sunday, when I told my 7 year old about this nightly cooking & learning activity I've been wanting to do with her, she was excited. I was very glad because she is an extremely picky eater. I wish she ate more every meal. This, I thought will hopefully spark more of her interest in every food I put on the table. Because I will let her choose the country everytime!  I think I am more excited than her! Just like every other busy family living in America, we had those monotonous week nights too when I automatically cooked her favorite: rice, steak and brocolli. Spaghetti. And other common American & Asian dishes. She's allergic to all seafoods and eggs, and she rarely eats I had to stick to whatever she's not allergic to and always ate.. and then, I usually skipped dinner but then ate whatever dessert was in the fridge. I know it's bad. And no more of that. We'll start experimenting, and have more fun and enjoy memorable dinners every night after homework! And in the process I will lower my white rice intake, which is every. single. meal. of. every. day.
So off we went to get groceries and then I asked her which country she wanted to "visit" for dinner :) She chose: ENGLAND. I wish she chose Philippines :) That would have been really easy! I began to wonder if the cooking was going to take too long...I had no idea what to cook. I have never visited all of Europe and rarely watched cooking & travel shows.
Thanks to technology, we quickly found England's national dish:  ROAST BEEF & YORKSHIRE PUDDING.
When she saw the word 'pudding', she wanted to skip the beef! Haha.
Okay... Roast beef & Yorkshire pudding for tonight.


Beef Round Roast (3.7 lbs)
Olive Oil
Freshly Crackled Black Pepper

For the Yorkshire Pudding:

1 cup plain flour
1 cup eggs
1 cup milk
Salt to taste

For the Gravy:

large onion
beef base
chopped carrots
white wine

This is how I prepared the Roast Beef:

  1. I preheated the oven to it's highest setting.
  2. Seasoned the beef with salt and pepper before searing it quickly on all sides, sealing it's pores.
  3. Transferred it immediately to the oven and lowered the heat to 375F after 20 minutes. 
  4. I let the beef roast for about an hour and 45 minutes. When the thermometer read 160 F, I removed it from the oven.
  5. Waited for 30 minutes before carving.

The Yorkshire Pudding:

  1. Preheated the oven to 425 F.
  2. I put a teaspoon of oil in each cup of the muffin baking pan, then placed it in the oven once ready.
  3. Meanwhile, I mixed the 3 ingredients and beat it well.

 4.  I added my favorite herbs in some of the cups.
 5. When the oil is smoking in the oven, I quickly removed it and poured in the batter.
 6. Then I put the muffin pan with the batter back in the oven and let it bake for 25 minutes.
     They were puffed and crisp!

For the gravy:

  1. Melt the oil and butter in a large saucepan over gentle heat, add the onions and carrots, then cover with the lid. I let it cook for 10 minutes until the onion is translucent and soft. Don't burn it.
  2. Add water and white wine to the vegetables and stir well. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the beef base and boil gently uncovered for 5 minutes.
  4. In a glass, mix the cornstarch with the cold water to create a thin paste. Mix thoroughly. Pour the starch mixture into the gravy, heat to high and boil for 10 minutes or until the gravy is slightly thickened.
  5. Season with pepper and keep warm until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, someone was getting busy! She wanted to draw what we saw from the photos.
Tonight, we learned where England is.
We read about it's population, demography & language. 
 A little bit about it's history & culture.
We saw the Big Ben, and some photos taken from atop the London Eye &
 Buckingham Palace of course. We saw the pictures of the Queen, then & now.
We're saving more for our next English night.

Pudding is baking

I used a sieve to separate the vegetables from the gravy sauce

I took it out once the thermometer read 160 F. I like it with some pink.

Here is our English dinner.

And here is a picture of us (little R, little V & V) visiting the Queen of England's castle.

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