Succulent Pan-fried Steak & My 1st Kitchen in NZ

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I have been thinking of this post ever since I moved into our 1st apartment in Auckland late last month. Kaso hindi ako makakuha ng magandang shot kaya pwede na ito. And I was always in a rush. So here’s a sneak peek into my brand new kitchen! Nothing spectacular, just a cozy, efficient one with a breakfast bar that separates it from the living spaces. I’d probably take a more decent photo when my budget allows me to spend for accessories and bar chairs.

The steak…

NZ beef and lamb is just so tender, flavorful and gorgeous. It’s remarkably simple and quick to prepare and for a busy working mom, it’s always a good idea to have a fabulous steak dinner at least once a week.

Steak for pan-frying (choice of beef or lamb)
Salt and pepper
Button mushrooms, sliced thinly
Butter (or olive oil)

Sprinkle salt and pepper on steak and marinate for at least half an hour. Melt butter in a pan over medium to high heat. Cook steak about 5-6 minutes on each side or as desired. Cook the mushrooms on one side of the pan at the same time.

My sauce? Rocket Fuel. A mixture of sugar, sultanas, malt vinegar, spices, dried capsicum, salt and dried garlic. Yummy.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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