Saturday, December 2, 2006

Getting back to your roots

One more day til my niece arrives from Singapore! I can't wait! I know I do play favouritism, but I can't help it! I just love the girl to bits! So for the past week, I've been scouring every single grocery store I walk into looking for gluten, dairy and egg free products. I've got a whole pantry stocked with pancake mix, cookies, soy chocolate, sauces, chips etc etc. I also got up early today (with a MASSIVE hangover from last nights awesome xmas party) to go to the local organic markets as well as a few small deli/butchers to buy gluten free sausages (which she loves). I even got a few duck and orange sausages for myself!

Ontop of that, me and my mum has been on a cooking frenzy. With my sister and the kids arriving, thats another 4 mouths to feed. But I also know my oldest sister will pop by every night so the kids can play together which means ontop of the extra 4 mouths to feed, we gotta cater for another possible 5 mouths. Luckily, we have 2 fridges and 2 hugeeeeeeee freezers for us to mass produce food and freeze them. So the first task we had to tackle was making "Joong". Which is glutinous rice dumpling things wrapped in leaves which is filled with an array of yummy stuff.

The set up

The leaves used


Channa Dhall

Garlic Mushrooms

Glutinous rice

Marinated fatty pork (MUST be fatty pork)

5 done, another 70 to go

The pot bubbling away - Theres 30+ in each batch

The joong we made was for my sister to take back to Singapore. We generally freeze them for a few days and they'll travel very nicely. They do sell them in Singapore, but honestly, compared to the ones my mum make, they taste like shit. Infact, our family friends keep urging us to actually mass produce them and sell them at the local Chinese grocery stores. The ones you buy the shop now are quite dry, not much filling or theres wayyyyy too much MSG. We've gotten to the stage that whenever we make joong, we either have to invite their friends over for a meal, or atleast make a few extra for them.

So whilst the joong was boiling away nicely, I decided to give another crack at Gluten Free bread. But this time, I managed to find a breadmix and realised what went wrong with my first attempt! You're not supposed to kneed the bread! The mix I got below, actually tells you to use an electric mixer to whip as much air into the sloppy mixture as possible. Thats what makes it rise and fluffy! Me kneeding the dough and keeping it relatively dry meant even if I used 5x as much yeast, it had no chance in hell in forming an edible form of bread.

Before it went into the oven

The finished product

Well, it doesn't look too bad does it? I mean the crust isn't exactly as brown as the packaging, but thats because I didn't smooth the outside properly for an even browning. And had I tried to brown it anymore, the pointy bits will burn. I even had a slice, its not too bad indeed!

Now, after all that cooking, we needed a bit of sustenance to keep our energy up. So I offered to make Hainese chicken rice.

The rice mix

Cooling the chicken

Chopping the chicken (I did even better than last time!)

Plating everything up

I even made a little broth to go with it!

So whilst everything was either boiling away or baking away, my mum asked what I wanted for dinner. "Curry chicken and veggie stir fry, restaurant style". This was one of my favourite dishes when we had the restaurant. But ever since we sold the restaurant, being able to eat what we call "restaurant" food is a rare thing now. Not that we can't go to a restaurant and order it, but every restaurants cook the same dish differently. And when I say to my parents that I want "restaurant food", they know I'm referring to cooking the dish the way we used to in the restaurant. So my mum went and pulled out all the gear, bought all the ingredients, chopped and prepared it restaurant style. I even pulled out the plates we used to serve this dish in the restaurant, just to reminisce over the good old days.

My mum said she'll start preparing some of the sauces and marinades so we can cook some "restaurant food" for my sister when she arrives. Yay!!!

1 comment:

tfp said...

*drools* what a fantastic feast!