Monday, October 30, 2006

The domesticated goddess SoRMuiJAi

I've been cooking ever since I could remember. It kinds helps that your entire family is full of chefs and you literally grew up in a restaurant. I can cook a whole range of things, from chinese, to japanese, italian to greek and Turkish food. But since I've had to be alot of domesticated lately and not just cook for me, but for my grandma, 3 meals a day, I've been racking my brain as to what to cook. I could go make some vine leaves or lasagne etc, but thats good every now and then, not every day. Atleast not for my grandma. And there needs to be variety.

Since my schedule has been insanely busy, I've been trying to find the line between batch cooking everything so she has something to eat if I'm home late, and cooking enough variety so you don't eat the same thing day in day out. So here's a few meals I've been making lately:

Fried rice with baby anchovies, fish cake and served with crunchy fried onions

I had dried baby anchovies in the freezer, and half a fish cake thats been sitting in the fridge for awhile. So I diced everything up, chopped up an onion (because I couldn't be bothered picking shallots from the garden), scrambled some eggs and threw everything together into a big wok with rice, corn and peas. Once everything was tossed until well combined and the rice was nice and dry, I dished it up with a sprinkle of fried onions. MmMMmmm The perfect cheap comfort food!

Clockwise: Teriyaki chicken, Garlic Choy Sum, Salted fish with pork, rice, fermented soya bean steamed with pork, ginger and shallots.

This was my attempt at cooking some "heung har" food. Basically a typical meal you might get back in the village where my parents grew up. Ok, Teriyaki chicken isn't exactly very "heung har" food, but I couldn't be bothered digging through our freezer (our two VERY VERY big freezers that can fit ATLEAST 4 bodies) for my mum's master stock to make soya chicken, so teriyaki it was.

My favourite veggie dish of all time will have to be either choy sum stir fried with garlic and just a smidgen of oyster sauce, or brocolli stir fried with garlic and just a smidgen of oyster sauce. This was heavenly. Veggies were crunchy and the sauce was pungently garlicky.

As for the 2 other dishes, you can't get anything more "heung har" than that. The salted fish was steamed ontop of a bed of pork sliced. Traditionally you use very fatty pork, but I opted to some lean pork, just to make myself seem healthy. This must be steamed with shitloads of thinly sliced garlic. MUST. As for the fermented soya beans, its called "dow jeung". You basically add a bit of salt and let the whole thing rot and mould, and walla! You have a sauce! Again, this has to be steamed ontop of a bed of slice pork, and it SHOULD be fatty pork, but I'm trying to be health concious! And just like the other dish, SHITLOADS of thinly sliced ginger and mass amounts of chopped shallots. The star of both dishes isn't the meat or the fish, its the sauce. You basically have 1 bowl of rice for each sauce. Which is probably why you shouldn't make both dishes for the same meal.....oh wells. :D

Chicken Congee with Fried Onions and shallots

MmmMm chickeny goodness

The cold weather has me suddenly craving for some comforting warm congee. The secret to good congee is to always soak the rice for atleast an hour beforehand with a pinch of salt and oil. It makes the rice break down into the congee goodness you see above. Otherwise, if you want to cheat, instead of stirring the congee with a spoon when you're cooking, use a whisk. It helps break down the rice much faster, but you might be lacking a bit the starchy sticky goodness thats a congee.

Icili kofte with SMJ puttanesca salad

Ok, I cheated a bit with this one. Its store bought icili kofte, but damn it was good! I gotta try and make these from scratch. As for the salad, I call it the SMJ puttanesca salad. Its basically all the ingredients you would need to make puttanesca pasta, but in salad form.

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