“What’s for dinner?” That question!
Whether it’s coming from your own tired brain or a family full of hungry people, it is one that often plagues busy individuals, especially parents who face it daily. Coming up with the perfect answer requires effort, time, and consideration. Whether you’re cooking at home or dining out, the goal is to have a flavourful and nutritious meal that fits within your budget. In this blog, I delve into the challenges of meal planning, the art of running a restaurant, and the joys of both dining out and cooking at home.
Home Cooking is a Labour of Love
For many Mums or Dads, preparing dinner is a task that requires careful planning and execution. The desire to create a nutritious and delicious meal for loved ones is a priority. It involves shopping for quality ingredients, considering everyone’s preferences, and balancing taste and health. Additionally, the act of setting the table and creating a welcoming ambience adds an extra touch of love to the meal. Although it’s not for all, planning ahead and working out what you are going to prepare in advance saves a lot of time and cuts out unnecessary buying. I generally plan on a Sunday and purchase for the week on a Monday.
Running a restaurant is a balancing act of taste, what’s in season and demographics!
Curating a menu for a restaurant involves a similar level of effort but on a larger scale. Restaurant owners and chefs invest countless hours in sourcing the finest ingredients and designing a menu that caters to their target audience. Taste testing plays a crucial role in ensuring that the food served appeals to the majority of customers. I actually love this part of my job!! Honesty and authenticity are important when providing feedback, as it helps chefs improve their dishes without feeling insulted.
The Lobster Cave, for example, exemplifies the commitment to creating a memorable dining experience. They strive to plate up dishes that tantalise the palate while being true to their patrons’ preferences. Today we had a tasting session where the Lobster Cave kitchen prepared various house-made pasta. Though the pasta itself was faultless, the fillings required some fine-tuning to achieve that unforgettable moment when flavours come together harmoniously. This attention to detail is a continuous process to ensure customer satisfaction.
A menu with a point of difference! The Lobster Cave’s menu is meticulously designed to offer an array of choices and options. Our signature dish, the Southern Rock Lobster, serves as a highlight singly and in many dishes alongside our regular offerings; we also provide weekday specials to entice customers to explore different culinary delights without the need to cook at home. Dining out allows individuals to enjoy the benefits of not having to worry about planning, shopping, cooking, or cleaning up. Plus, it offers the opportunity to savour unique dishes that might not be prepared at home regularly.
When faced with the ever-present question of “What’s for dinner?” consider suggesting a midweek dining experience at a favourite restaurant or inviting your loved ones to take charge of the kitchen!! Both options offer their advantages. Whether you dine out and let a restaurant prepare the meal or opt for a homemade creation made with love, no matter what is served on the plate, the shared experience of enjoying a delicious meal together is what truly matters. So, embrace the culinary possibilities and create memorable moments around the dinner table.
I enjoy the dicing, the rattling of the pots and pans, the stirring of risotto, the slow cooker brewing and the aromas from a busy kitchen. Most times during the week, you will find me in the kitchen preparing for the family in the early morning hours; that way, it’s covered on the bench or in the fridge for them to heat and eat! Yet it’s nice to have the choice and great to have a break and not think about “What’s for dinner?”
A weekday go-to meal that is easy to prepare, low in cost and packs a flavour punch is a tuna or salmon slice. I always use canned salmon or tuna for this recipe as it binds better. (Don’t tell Krispy 😂😂)
Tuna or Salmon Curry Slice
Make it mild, or spice things up a little. That’s the beauty of this golden savoury slice.
440g canned tuna or salmon
1 cup rice
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup cheese grated
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp curry powder or as much as you like
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp parsley chopped or dill
1 egg beaten
Cook rice in boiling water until soft and drain.
Combine rice with butter, egg, salt and pepper.
Press the rice mixture into the base of a greased rectangular casserole dish.
Arrange flaked tuna or salmon over rice.
Make a white sauce with the extra butter, flour and milk.
Add mayonnaise and curry powder, and stir until smooth.
Add lemon juice, parsley and beaten egg and simmer for 1 minute.
Spoon sauce over tuna and sprinkle grated cheese over the top.
Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes.
Serve with a simple salad & lemon wedge 🍋
Enjoy this family recipe.