Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Result of 'I Don't Know What to Cook'...

I'm a little lazy today. I just want to stuck my arse at the computer without going anywhere. Today's menu should be fried chicken with sweet and sour sauce but I don't want to touch any chicken neither do I want to deep fry anything. Then there's suppose to be a big pot of curry with vegetables. I gave it a long thought last night about the pot of vegetables. I know I won't like it at all. I don't fancy having vegetable curry. Don't fancy having a big pot of vegetables but I already bought the whole farm of vegetables. 
I'm a meat eater. Yesterday night, the hubby gave an idea about cooking with either muscle meat or pork ribs. So I remembered that there's some pork ribs left in the freezer drawer. I was thinking about braising the meat. I love braised dishes. Then, I marinated them with curry powder and Thai chilli sauce and lots more stuff. And I remembered about the French beans in the refrigerator drawer. I walked out of my house in my pyjamas to cut some curry leaves and spring onions. It's really good to have a garden filled with herbs. Looks like I'm going to redo my garden no matter how small it is. I got that pork dish perfectly braised and the texture was so good. I'm so proud of myself.
I have prawns but just prawns would be really empty. I had two small aubergine. Cut them length-wise and started frying. Used whatever ketchup I managed to shake out of the almost empty bottle. Used up the one and only onion left, too. Lazy me managed to come out with two dishes. Then I saw more vegetables and took them out as they are perishable goods. They wouldn't survive to see the next week coming.
Cabbage soup to the rescue. Carrots to make the soup sweet. But I put radish as I have half of it left and it has erased whatever sweetness coming from the carrot. That's all for today. Lazy me put the recipe book aside and started meddling with everything according to my liking.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Salted Fish Steam Chicken...

I can live with just one dish only. We overate yesterday and I wasn't that hungry. So today I decided to make only one dish, using the salted fish from Kuching. I still think it can last me a year... hehehhe.... even after I've used so much of the whole fish. The chicken was steamed for 40 minutes with a few pieces of seafood tofu left in the freezer drawer. Sprinkle with some spring onions. This time round the spring onions were from my garden. Mi mama planted them whole onions... hiah hiah hiah.... 
Don't this plate looks appetizing? Yeah... only that for the whole day. The rice from yesterday's leftover as well. I did not make any fried rice because I was lazy. I just fry to reheat the rice.... Just nice for everyone. I can't think of any simpler dish for tomorrow. 

Birthday at Home...

There's no hosting of parties. It's my big day so I wouldn't want to slave myself in the kitchen while everyone is having a good time eating. It's a Tuesday so I still did not announce my birthday as a public holiday. I have an early class so I woke up extra early to go to the market which was a mere 3-minute walk from the house. I went there with a big pink pail to put the mud crabs in. I have no idea how to kill a mud crab but being cruel, I put them into the steamer alive. Yes, alive~! A few of the crabs tried to run away but in less than 5 minutes, it was over. Wasn't that better than putting a chopstick on them to kill them?
You see those crabs going in different position and cooked in different positions? They tried to run away as I said. I have no idea how to remove those book lungs of crabs. Don't even know which part to be thrown away and which part to suck on.
Mi mama was at home to remove those book lungs. Some of those crabs died shitting in the plate. The sweet juice from those crabs could not be salvaged. The shit looked like blobs of rabbit shit. It's okay... I'm actually okay with steam crabs alone without any gravy. I tried making those gravy like how hubby did them. Hubby was in school and if we were to wait for him to come home, we would starve on my birthday. My special should not have anyone starving.
The gravy was not like how hubby did it no doubt he prepared them ahead and put them in a container in the refrigerator. There's only one egg left in the basket. We ran out of ketchup and ran out of Thai chilli sauce. I have forgotten to make an inventory check on what we have in the kitchen. *sigh* We scrapped the peanut butter gravy aside as it's too sweet and salty.
I stir fried some cockles but they look so miserably small. I got them from Tesco as I couldn't get them anywhere in the market. It seemed like it's difficult to get cockles except from Batu Lanchang market. But the afternoon market is such a hassle to go to. It's okay with those small cockles will go and get them big cockles on of the Sundays.
The miserable middle sized prawns. Oh, why... why are those prawns shrinking in size? Again, big huge handsome prawns can only be found in Batu Lanchang market. But the price would be so high my heart would skip a bit or two. We will have huge prawns after the Chinese New Year then. Hehhehehe.... No harm done... Those prawns are not the centre of attraction on the table.
The power of advertisement worked on us once in a blue moon. Yesterday happened to have a blue moon appearing on us. Kedai Ayamas' advertisement leaflet landed in our postbox. It's RM46.90 for two birds with an addition of RM3 for delivery. We had the Oishii chicken. The taste was really good and I have no idea how to copycat that recipe. I have no idea how to describe the taste. Oyster sauce with a whole lot of mixture...
I have always have a soft spot for Percik roaster. I have no intention of copying this at all. I love it the way Ayamas did it. Wonderful two birds that we attacked on.
Mi mama made me a no-bake chocolate cheesecake. Mi mama is getting to be a professional in making cheesecake. I am moving backwards in baking but moving forward in Chinese cooking. I seriously need to learn up Japanese cuisine.
So since it's not a party and I had to cook those dishes myself, we invited no one but ourselves. The tripod needed to put to good use once in awhile. I celebrate it with much style. Threw the apron away, release the long mane, snap a few photos.
Snap snap a few more photos. The timer has been set. Good one~!
Just the three of us. The last photo before we put away the cheesecake back into the refrigerator. The pink container with lychee konnyaku must go back to sleep. The hair is tied back up in a ponytail. The plates are filled with basmathi rice. The tripod is shifted into the piano room lest it went missing again. The camera is left on another table or we might accidentally spill food on it. A photo says a thousand words. Don't always believe what you see. I'm good in propping up a place just for a nice picture. We washed our hands clean and you wouldn't want to see how we eat. We looked like barbarians chomping down on food, like we have been hungry for a couple of days and seeing food for the first time. And yeah we used our hands!! The crabs were the last to be attacked. 
I removed the flesh from those crab claws and had a second round of rice. Awesomely nice~!!! I got really tired eating all those. It's like going for a long march. Then... the saddest part was I did not get to rest. I had a class after sitting on the dining table for 1 hour 45 minutes. The hubby came back when we were halfway done attacking the food. Three of us leave just a few pieces of chicken meat on the plates. We took the delicious tender part away. Ahhh..... in this house, we wait for no one when it comes to food. No photos with the hubby as the hands were really dirty.

Monday, 26 January 2015

A Bowl Of Goodness...

I had too much food yesterday so I was thinking of cooking something simple for today. I just wanted to cook something from one same pot. I slept late last night after a great fun time with mi amigas thus, the late night sleep. I think my body couldn't survive sleeping after 1 a.m. anymore. I woke up feeling like I needed another round of sleep to recuperate. We were so drunk yesterday night with no alcohol at all. I don't drink and there's seriously only plain water served to us. 

So, today I cooked a pot of everything that you could see in the picture above. Nothing hidden. The taste wasn't that great. Any kind of soup without pork bone or chicken carcass or prawn shells was not as good. It's just sweet corns and radish as the ultimate players in the soup. Miso came in handy. And I can't write anymore. I'm about to fall asleep and I need to survive for another 6 hours of work hours.

My birthday wishes seemed to come in early on Facebook. I wonder whether's there's a mistake in the date set. Hhhmmmm.....

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Steamed and Braised....

If there's one thing that I do not know how to cook, it would be steamed egg dishes. I literally fail to steam egg. That looks beautiful but you can cut out one piece and throw it on my rabbit. My rabbit will suffer a bad concussion. Why on earth is it so hard? I bet you will hear the 'thud' sound once that piece landed on a ground. And another thing is I totally hate broccoli~! I just like the brightness of the green to beautify the dish. 
Ahhh.... I have no problem with steam fish. No problem at all. I still prefer salty and sweet steamed fish dishes. For this one I did not put any rock sugar so it's not sweet at all. I hope hubby will like those two. Hehehehe....
Oh.... oh.... I love this to the max. Braised pork belly with dried oyster and yam. I don't know what's wrong with the dried oyster. I like dried shrimps and dried mushrooms but dried oysters tasted funny. How many hours am I suppose to soak them? Should have changed the dried oysters to dried shrimps but the taste would be altered. Actually I can just have this one dish with basmathi rice and I'm good to go. 

Talk about going.... I need to go already. 8 hours of work. When people come back from work, I'm rushing off to work. The week is coming to an end too soon.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

It's Wednesday Already...

I have another half of the duck in the freezer. I had planned to cook the other half duck today with the braised sea cucumber that I bought from the market. There's enorki mushroom as well in this dish. It's suppose to be soupy but I miss having a braised dish. There's none in the list of my menu for this week. So, I decided to braise the duck again. I really love braised dishes but to make them take a lot of time. Well, I guess when you want really good food you will have to make some sacrifices.
I bought this Teochew bean curds last Sunday morning. Surprisingly, they haven't gone stale. Still tested good. It's my first time steaming those bean curds and then slicing them before putting them to dance in the hot oil. I thought I just needed to deep fry them straight but this method seem to have escape me earlier. How I've realized that for more than 10 years, I have been cooking the lazy way. I cut across all difficult and methods to come to this one. I'm glad I followed through this time round. The food tasted better. It's something like the Japanese tofu dish. The soy sauce have been re-boiled with some other stuff.
I had leftover soup from yesterday which I did not know what to do with. So, I made some scrambled eggs and mix them with the soup. There... a bowl of egg soup. Nice... I am very tired. It feels like I'm a walking zombie and I have another pile of work to do. It seems to be never ending. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

2.5 Hours Later... Braised~!

I drove back at high speed after my morning class to spend another 2.5 hours standing in the kitchen. The night before I have studied what I was going to cook. I kinda like dishes being braised. That's winter melon braised to perfection and I thought the water would never clear. It finally did and I was left a little gravy. The addition of roasted chestnuts and red dates made the dish sweeter. I don't like the taste of scallop mushrooms from a can. The taste was something which I couldn't describe but I know I do not like the taste. This whole dish took at least an hour to get it done.
Wrapping dumpling was no big deal. Making the stock was one big deal. I needed two hours to get the taste out from the pig's bone added with flounder fish powder and dried shrimp toasted. Two hours for the stock pot to take over one side of the stove. The other side was taken over by the wintermelon. I didn't know what to do while waiting. When you're cooking, you couldn't just leave the stove because that's where something's gonna go wrong. Trust me on this. When you're waiting for a pot of water to boil, it simply refused to boil. Once you walk away and thinking that it would need another few minutes, those few minutes turned into seconds. So, I better not walk away. I did walk to the piano and played a song. I came out after I was done with that one song.
The whole wok of winter melon done was quickly removed and I changed to my favourite marble wok. This was my first time cooking duck meat. I bought the whole duck from the market. You need to order one day ahead. I asked the lady at the market to chop the duck into two and separate for two different days of cooking. The whole duck has NO meat. Poor ducky... Oh... I simply love this braised duck disk. The taste was just like the braised pork in a can. Exactly the same~!!! I love this taste. I wished to finish the half duck on my own but I could not do so. Others would go hungry. *sigh* So, yeah... 2.5 hours standing in the kitchen and we finished them 30 minutes later plus washing. Kitchen slave I am...

Monday, 19 January 2015

Ooh La La~!

I'm getting better in frying lala. You just need to have fast hands. Prepare all the ingredients and then use that black wok like you're frying char koay teow. In less than 2 minutes, the lala would open their mouths big. Stop frying as you will not want dehydrated lala. I have mine the exact texture I wanted. Fat with liquid still inside the body. Yeah, I fry them alive. I know it sounded a bit heartless but nothing can be done. I wanted them fresh. You wouldn't want to eat dead lala. You might get food poisoning. That's kam heong lala with fresh chillies, belachan and dried shrimps. And more to make it 'heong'... that's fragrant in the Cantonese dialect.
Dried cuttlefish with pork stew. I kinda like this style of cooking where you cook until the water in the pot was left with 1% only. The taste was really good. And the meat.... tender~! I feel like I'm a better cook this year. No more simply cooking as I no longer need to rush to school to fetch my girls. I officially retired from doing so this year. I'm a relaxed cook now. I have more time for self to prepare paperwork. My work is endless~! When I think I have more time for self, I ended up having more work to do. 
This dish is way too Chinese. That rounded thing was not pig's tail or an ox's tail. It's just drumstick mushroom cut into pieces. Then I cut the okra as well. The yam bean and purple cabbage were meant to be eaten raw but please, don't ask me to eat any raw vegetables. I would faint. I mix everything and cook them with taucu. I have no liking for taucu but I have three bottles of different taucu. The only raw stuff that I would go for is sashimi. I welcome sashimi anytime~! Raw seafood ... good.... Raw beef also acceptable. Raw vegetables... no no~!

The noodles was a different type. I think it's from Taiwan. Lobster noodles.... but I didn't taste any lobster at all....

Salted Fish Reminds Me of my Doggie...

Today I wanted to cook something I've never cook before. Herbal steam chicken. I know bah kut teh is also a type of herbal soup but let's not take that into account. I couldn't understand a word of English translated from Chinese those names of herbs, so I have put off the plan to cook any herbal dishes. But today, I set my alarm clock, jumped out of bed and dragged the hubby with me to the market. Not that hubby could read Chinese but I just wanted him to go with me to the market. I brought the recipe book and opened the said page and pointed the recipe to the herb picker at the Chinese herbal shop. I told them I didn't want any extra, not even 1 gram extra. I want exactly the same amount as written, not like I would know what to do with the extra amount. The herb picker was really helpful. I got what I wanted and I made a crowd waiting behind me. The aunties aunties in the market must have thought I was one crazy person with a book in the market. I didn't bother with that staring crowd. Important was I got what I wanted. Mama said sister did the same thing in the foreign country she's residing now. She brought the whole book, too. Ahhh... great minds think alike.
This was something not meant to be. It was suppose to be prawn patties but there's not even a prawn shell or prawn tail to be found in Tesco. The Tesco guy said finish already. Now got prawn rationing? Every year when the Chinese New Year is nearing, the prawn supply will dwindle and then suddenly, out of nowhere, the prawns will appear with the price more than double the normal rate. Such horrible traders. Talk about being Chinese... we're no different than those terrible traders in China who only want to earn more, earn more and kill almost everyone in the process of making more money. I changed the minced prawns into minced meat. Thank God for extra minced meat in the freezer drawer. And it's added with salted fish and roasted chestnuts. Roasted chestnuts seemed to be a better mix compared to fresh water chestnuts. I never like chestnuts, dunno why.... And a little bit of fried salted fish made a better enhancer. I think I just fall in love with salted fish. I thought my whole salted fish could last me for the whole year but I have used half of it. I'm left with just another half of the salted fish only. Huhuhuhuh....

Now, the whole house smell like salted fish. And it actually smell like my favourite doggie which died a long time ago. I used to have this white with black spots spitz plus pomeranian smart doggie. And whenever he went out for a walk and if it was raining, he would come back with this salted fish smell all over his body. Makes me miss having a spitz plus pom doggie. My last doggie, a mix of dachshund and chihuahua was the smartest dog I've met. He's smarter than some humans. A very considerate dog and full of understanding, confirm better than humans. Eh, this is my kitchen diary blog, not dog diary.
Oh, then we had the shark fin's platter. Eh, imitation only la.... if I eat real one I think a few of my friends will not like that. But I know where to get the supply of shark's fins which will cost you a four figure amount at best. I added some seafood tofu because I love those. The carrot made the soup sweet, only when you peel off the carrot skin. I didn't know about that until recently, okay. I was very lazy to peel carrot skin so I don't like carrots lor... coz it's bitter and tasted like soil. Now, I love carrots coz they are actually sweet. I peel carrot skin before I feed my rabbits also... hehehhe....

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Way to a Man's Heart...

..... is through his stomach...
Isn't that the correct saying? I'm like a worm crawling all over the hubby's stomach and I can poke through his stomach wall and tickle his heart. Today, I set the table with these few plates for the hubby.
 What transpired in the kitchen....
The long eggplant was cut into slices. I kinda enjoy cutting eggplant. It's unlike slicing carrots or potatoes. And the skin need not be peeled. Makes life easier. Pan fry the eggplant slices and wait for them to cool. While waiting, do something else.
I put the muscles cubes to cook. And while doing so, I tried some deep fried dish. It's enorki mushroom. I'm very proud of my deep-frying skill. It's very crunchy but oily. I like the shape actually.
That's a web of enorki mushroom~! It just stick together while swimming in the hot oil. I didn't know I have such frying skill. Hubby love this to bits. I know he enjoys deep-fried food. Who doesn't? Oh, mi mama doesn't like deep-fried oily food.
The caramelized pork cubes were done in another wok. You just pour a whole lot of water in and throw in a huge chunk of rock sugar then let it simmer. It will turn into such way without you controlling it.
The eggplants were lined on the aluminium foil but before that you just need to smear a layer of miso paste on it. Then leave the whole thing in the oven for 15 minutes. Don't put too much of miso paste. Mine is on the saltier side. Don't really enjoy it. And after I'm done with everything, only then I realized that they were all dry dishes. I need soupy dish. I'm a Chinese.
I started rummaging through the refrigerator drawer and I took out two potatoes and a carrot. Then, dug out an onion and threw them into a small pot. Viola~! Got soup~! Egg drop soup~! I used up the egg white after using the egg yolks for the enorki web dish.
The enorki web was mixed with egg yolks, oat and curry leaves. I think I forget to put in the seasoning but it was tasty all the same as I altered the batter before deep-frying those enorki mushroom. 

Who cares what we eat? By the way, the way to a man's heart is NOT through his stomach. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Simple Mid-Week Lunch...

So soon... It's already the middle of the week. And it's the second week of the month. Before long the month of January will just go off. It seemed like only a few days back we celebrated the ushering of the new year. I didn't have much in my plan except for preparing answer sheets. It's like I'm the one going to sit for exam now. So, I cooked something simple today. It's pan grilled rosemary chicken. Since I do not like such dry dish, I added some water and let the chicken thighs simmer in the pan.
And I made a simple plate of mixed vegetables or else the hubby might feel that I'm not giving him enough greens. The two packs of vegetables shrunk while being blanched. It's not simple actually. It's very troublesome to make a nice plate of dish. The mushrooms and carrots need to be blanched until soft. Then, I waited for awhile before I started frying the ham pieces that I've cut. When the ham pieces were almost done, I hoisted up the carrots and mushrooms and transferred them into the sizzling hot wok. Then, you don't use plain water to fry them. You ladled up some water from the pot which you used to blanch those carrots and mushrooms. You needed the sweetness of carrots to enhance the taste. You don't add sugar to this anymore. Then, I blanched the siew pak choy from Cameron Highlands and then transferred them into the work as well. There.... there.... one dish done. I continued with my paperwork there after.
Mi mama made a surprise lunch visit with a plate of yummy yummy bishop's nose. I love this.... ooo la la.... I'm done with lunch and will need to continue work from 3pm to 10pm. One hour in between to brave through the evening messy traffic. Ugh~!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Salted Fish Experience..

Yesterday night, the whole bird was marinated. The first time I cooked this, someone told me that the chicken just need to be marinated with salt. I think it's rather tasteless so I this time round I did it my style. I have everything all over the chicken and gave it a good massage and also a back rub. Then, I left the chicken to sleep in the refrigerator.
Then, while the chicken was seated firmly in the pot, I tried out this new kind of dish. It's yam with evaporated milk plus vegetables and shimeiji mushroom. Anyway, it's not such a good combination with the chicken. I prefer savoury dishes instead of sweet. Evaporated milk is not in my list of stuff that I like.
Then, I was thinking of making salted fish fried rice. I have a whole big salted fish which flew all the way from Kuching, Sarawak. Thank you Mabel for your kiam hu~! Usually, I will just get a small packet from the market that cost only RM4. Then, there's quite a wide range of good quality salted fish. When I opened up the newspaper which the salted fish from Kuching was wrapped in, I got a real good surprise. I've never have a whole salted fish all to myself before. The fish scales were still intact. I was thinking of using a pair of scissors to cut part of it as I only needed 30 grammes. It was quite hard to cut so I transferred it to the chopping board and used my big knife. The scales wouldn't budge. I didn't know what to do. I washed my hands and called the hubby. Hubby never heard of salted fish with scales intact. He asked me to walk to the market to get some which would make life easier. But it was noon and I bet the stores were closed and I refused to walk under the scorching hot sun. So, I told him never mind I will figure out.

I was very tempted to snap a picture of that salted fish and Watsapp Mabel, the person who brought me salted fish and ask her,"Hi... what you do with this big fish?" Then, I became wise and I flipped the fish over. There... there.... There's a big slit and it's easy to remove the flesh without hacking the whole fish. I got my 30 grammed using a pair of scissors and used my fingers to pluck out the big fish scales. Kinda fun doing that.
There, my plate of salted fish fried rice. The aroma would send you floating. It's not like some salted fish which smell so badly you would feel like puking. This one has no such smell. Me love this~! And it's not extremely salty till you feel dehydrated after eating it.
The chicken was ready. The three of us attacked the chicken mercilessly. It's really good so we planned to have it again next week... with herbal ingredients next.... Hehheheheheehe.... 
Mi mama made my favourite konnyaku jelly... this is the transparent konnyaku with lychee flavour. I like orange and lychee flavours... can finish the whole container even with a full stomach~!