(1) Tuna Tacos with Fresh Guacamole and Signature Chilli-Parm’ Corn-on-the-Cob

Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: G/F, 32-34 Tai Ping Shan Street , Sheung Wan 上環太平山街32-34號地下

Telephone: 2108 4000

http://www.secretingredient.com.hk/

很多香港人不是不喜歡下廚,而是覺得買做菜的材料實在太花時間。為了方便上班族在家做菜,Secret Ingredient 是一家提供送食材服務的公司。Secret Ingredient 的網頁上每天都有四至五道菜式的食譜。你可以在網上選一道菜,然後 Secret Ingredient 就會即日把已洗好和切好的食材送到你府上,兩人份量的價錢大概 $250至 $290左右 (另加 $25運費, $400以上的訂單免費)。我做了一道墨西哥 Tuna Tacos,材料很新鮮,而步驟也十分簡單,做好的 Tacos 味道很不錯。但要注意兩點: Secret Ingredient 只運送到香港島的主要地區,而食譜的份量多數是兩位起。有時間的話,飯後可以試試跟我寫的食譜做一個 Greek Yoghurt, Condensed Milk and Orange Dessert,這甜品香甜軟滑,帶有鮮果味,而且十分鐘內便可以完成!

One of my favourite celebrity chefs, Jamie Oliver, has published cookbooks titled “30-Minute Meals“, “20-Minute Meals” and “15-Minute Meals” which introduce simple, easy-to-follow recipes in order to encourage city-dwellers to do a bit of home cooking. While I adore Jamie’s non-fussy and tasty recipes, I do remember seeing some readers commenting online that while the cooking process may indeed only take 30 minutes or less, going grocery shopping can take almost 45 minutes! Secret Ingredient is a company located in Sheung Wan that caters for busy people who would like to spend some time in the kitchen without having to make a trip to shop for the ingredients.

Enthusiastic home cooks can visit Secret Ingredient‘s website and choose from one of their four or five available menus. The ingredients (which include everything you need, down to olive oil, salt and pepper) will be delivered to your door on the same day or on a day of your choice. A meal for two typically costs around $250 to $290, and you can also add soups, salads, desserts (very delicious pies!), wines and beers to the shopping basket. Secret Ingredient delivers to most districts on Hong Kong island (see here for the areas they deliver to), and delivery costs $25 (but is free for meals over $400).

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I ordered a Tuna Tacos with Fresh Guacamole and Signature Chilli-Parm’ Corn-on-the-Cob ($274 for two + $25 delivery) for a Sunday evening dinner, opened a bottle of wine at home and made my own desserts. As all the ingredients were cleaned, measured and chopped up, following their steps-by-steps instructions was a no-brainer and would be manageable even for absolute beginners!

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Despite the slightly hefty price (which is almost equivalent to the price of main courses for two at a restaurant), it is worth noting that the ingredients were of a very decent quality. The large tuna steak was impeccably seasoned and had an excellently firm texture and an attractive taste; the avocado also had the perfect level of ripeness, without being too hard or too mushy.

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All I had to do was mash up the ingredients to make the fresh guacamole, boil the corn and rub corn seasoning over it, pan-fry the tuna steak and slice it up and lightly grill the soft tortillas to make the tacos platter below.

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Overall, the Spicy Tuna Tacos was delicious. The fresh guacamole tasted utterly refreshing, with the lime juice and cilantro brilliantly lifting its flavours. The Signature Chilli-Parm’ Corn-on-the-Cob had a gorgeous spicy kick, and the seasoning, which tasted of Parmesan cheese and bacon, was tangy and satisfying. The soft flour tortillas were delicately thin and had an appealingly smooth texture.

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Conclusion: The menus available at Secret Ingredient may be too simple or limiting for experienced cooks, but they are superb for people who would like to cook up some decent food at home and not have to drag themselves out to a restaurant for dinner. Making the Spicy Tuna Tacos was a swift and painless process, and the final product was delectable (I would like to say that my phenomenal cooking skills contributed to the marvellous results, but really, very little technical skill was involved and you would be fine as long as you know how to fry a piece of tuna steak and grill a tortilla). The only things to note are that Secret Ingredient doesn’t deliver to some parts of Hong Kong so you might have to go to Sheung Wan to pick up the ingredients, and that the minimum portions for most of the recipes are for two persons. As mentioned above, the prices are not incredibly cheap, but unless you buy the ingredients from a wet market, groceries at supermarkets these days can be quite expensive too. For people who would like to hone their cooking skills, Secret Ingredient regularly hosts cooking classes at their Sheung Wan venue, which should be a pretty fun weekend activitiy!

(2) 10-Minute Greek Yoghurt, Condensed Milk and Orange Dessert

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I love doing a bit of baking at home, but since I started working, I began making some quick, easy desserts that don’t take more than 15 minutes to prepare, and here is one of them. I love creamy and fruity desserts, and this 10-Minute Greek Yoghurt, Condensed Milk and Orange Dessert has an enticing taste of yoghurt, while the oranges bring a lively, summery flavour to it.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Chilling time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 4):

– 2 oranges or blood oranges (you can experiment with other fruits, such as mango or passionfruit, but I think the level of tartness and sweetness in oranges works best)

– 1 1/2 cups Greek-style Yoghurt (you can use a low-fat version if you wish – the difference won’t be very noticeable after adding the condensed milk)

– 3/4 cup condensed milk

– 4 pieces Marie biscuits or rich tea biscuits (you can use up to 8 or 12 biscuits if you prefer a crunchier dessert)

Instructions:

1. Cut one orange into slices and use the other orange to squeeze orange juice.

2. Save around 1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt for decoration later, and mix the Greek yoghurt, condensed milk and orange juice in a big bowl.

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3. Divide the mixture into four glasses and put one or two slices of orange in each glass. Chill for around 30 minutes.

4. Crush the biscuits in a big bowl. Add a dollop of plain Greek yoghurt over the dessert and sprinkle the crushed biscuits on top. Add more crushed biscuits if you want a more Serradura-like dessert. Enjoy!

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