Monday, March 9, 2009

A quiet Saturday evening supper with friends

I enjoyed a lovely Saturday evening supper with my friends, the Dorns, after Mass last Saturday evening. The Dorns are in their early 80s, spent the early years of their marriage as missionaries in the Philippines, and are now living in retirement. He was a Lutheran pastor, she was a schoolteacher and organist.

Erna made what she termed as a "Texas-style taco". It looked simple enough. I'm not sure how she prepared the minced beef, but it was flavourful. She doesn't use onions because, according to her, "I love onions, but onions don't love me." There were tomatoes, perhaps some garlic, a bit of spice so I suspect there was a touch of chilli powder there. Other components of this taco: shredded lettuce, grape tomatoes, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Ranch dressing was an option.

A handful of corn tortilla chips were crushed onto a plate, and a serving of the meat placed on top of that. Then a serving of lettuce, topped with tomatoes, cheese, and dressing. It was quite good, and seemed rather easy to put together.

I can also see having a bit of chopped jalapeño pepper added to this, or perhaps even topped with salsa, sour cream, etc. I thought this was reminiscent of nachos. It was nice.

As for dessert: inspired by Somigliana and JunoMagic, I tried the 5-minute coffee mug cake. I think Juno is experimenting with different flavours. I just stuck to chocolate. It is surprisingly easy, and makes a decent cake from raw materials to final product in 5 minutes. It's not something that you'd find from a fancy pastry shop; however, it gets major cool points for the novelty of being able to make a cake very quickly. I couldn't have the whole thing myself; it makes enough to feed, well, three. Louis, Erna, and I shared one of these, and added a couple of scoops of vanilla frozen yoghurt.

Here is the recipe I used. I noticed Somigliana's recipe indicates everything should be mixed in the mug, whereas Juno mixed everything in a separate bowl with electric mixer. I did everything by hand, but combined first the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, then added dry to wet.


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
dash salt

Combine dry ingredients well in a bowl and set aside.

1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine the wet ingredients and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to incorporate. Fold in 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips (if using).

Pour into a coffee mug, place on a plate and put in the microwave oven. Cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts on high. (Increase the time if your microwave oven is of lower wattage.) The cake may rise over the top of the mug; hence the plate to prevent messes.

Allow to cool before serving.

And there you have it! I used what is probably more accurately described as a soup mug - it holds ca. 500 mL worth of liquid. So cake spillage was not an issue for me.

Enjoy! :)

No comments: