Saturday, 25 April 2015

We Take Food Seriously...

Food is not to be taken lightly. You don't just find something to eat, pop anything into your mouth just to satisfy your hunger. Good food can be simple yet appetizing. Don't have to be a luxury and I don't eat those luxurious food like lobsters and crabs every other day. 

Yesterday, I blanched the bananas in high heat. The reason why bananas need to be blanched was the same as why they need to be caramelized in order to use it for cake decoration of sorts.
By blanching them bananas, they do not get the chance to be oxidized because they were completely cooked and extra sweet. Mi mama and I made that dish together. Mi mama arranged that dish.
On days when you're busy you can braised the pork belly or spare ribs with oyster sauce. On days that you have more time, try out something different. I braised the pork ribs with orange marmalade. The marinade was mostly of lemon juice. It's not sour and neither was it too sweet. The taste was somewhat expensive. You can't just get that kinda taste - a balanced taste between sweet, sour and salty.
Those lotus roots, carrots and celery were blanched differently then stir-fries. I did not try this dish because I no like vegetables and I don't eat lotus roots.
My deep-fried fish with tartar sauce... simply good~! I wonder what will be cooking for next week~!!

Western & Chinese --> Good Combination...

To make the perfect Mornay sauce requires patience. For example you are not allowed to dump in the flour just because you feel that the small amount of flour will not harm the butter. In fact, the act of dumping flour into hot butter will caused lumps surfacing all over. Those lumps were difficult to kill off. Then, drizzle the milk in instead of pouring them like cascading waterfalls. Mine didn't look perfect enough because at the end of the milk-drizzling process, I became impatient. I was already running short of time with so much paperwork to be done. I planned to  cook as fast as possible and resume to my paper-load.
That Mornay sauce was specially made for this vegetables dish. I thought I could learn eating vegetables but after two mouthfuls of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, I almost cried. I was thinking how I have wasted such beautiful sauce for vegetables. I should have made fillet-o-fish or chicken chop with Mornay sauce instead of brown sauce. It would have gone perfectly with any sort of meat dish instead of  a vege dish. I shall keep in mind to alter all vegetables dish into meat dishes.
I have this really good Chinese herbal chicken soup to compensate for my loss. Should have put in the whole chicken leg then I will have more to eat. I can eat at least 3 whole chicken legs and goes *burp* later on....

Lala Tuesday~!

It's a Tuesday. Maths and more Maths for the whole day. Mi mama bought clams from the fishmonger. I did the cooking. I'm professional enough to settle this dish without having to flip through recipe books. Steam the clams for a few minutes and remove. The gravy must be done separately or else it will be too diluted. This is sweet and sour clams Yen's style~! Bought too little. We prefer the smaller lala and I can eat the whole kilo of them.
We found lots of baby crabs in the clams. Naughty clams have been feasting on baby crabs. No wonder crabs so expensive coz they barely make it through their infancy stage. Terrible clams~!
Treasure pot of eight goodness... I made those meatballs myself using hubby's toy. Spare ribs, fresh mushrooms and lots more were in there. I thought I cooked a lot until I realize that there were only two dishes and one more in the refrigerator. Not enough... not enough...
That's yoghurt and pineapple shrimps as appetizer. We took what we should have and then kept them back into the refrigerator for the hubby~! Hehehheehe.... I have to remind myself not to cook so little next time.

No Monday Blues~!

Hubby and I now go grocery shopping on Sunday morning so that I wouldn't be rushing on a Monday afternoon. We bought this big aubergine because the purple skin looked so perfect. No blisters, no wrinkles and perfectly smooth. It was quite big though but anyway, there wasn't anything smaller than that. By the time we finished a quarter of a plate, I was quite uneasy with the texture. Don't really like it but having some should be okay...
To compensate for the uneasiness, I had pork belly. I'm good in braising them to perfection. I don't really remember the taste but I know it was awesome. Even the carrots absorbed all the flavours and now I know why my rabbits only eat carrots from China. It's relatively sweet unlike the first grade Australian carrots which were completely tasteless. My rabbits are choosy, too. They picked on their food. If they are humans and eat like us, they will bankrupt us in no time especially Chubby.... Chubby eats every 45 minutes. I wonder whether he knows how to read the clock.
I gave mi mama some projects in one day. We were suppose to have Philippines spring roll. I thought of using the spring roll sheet for deep frying but it was so frustrating to roll them without bursting and cracking. So, in the end, mi mama followed the recipe to make the egg-roll sheet. It became perfect from then on, without frustration.
How could anyone say no to those? The sweetness of the baby prawns and French beans, plus carrots were one perfect get-together rolled up~! I never suffer from Monday blues, instead I always look forward to Mondays. I have more energy to cook better dishes after resting on a Sunday.
After taking a nap in the afternoon, mi mama continued with her next project. We had the traditional ondeh-ondeh with gula melaka as the filling. It didn't really melt until the next day when we put them to steam. Not having enough of those traditional green ondeh-ondeh...
We had the blue pea ondeh-ondeh with pineapple paste~! What productive kitchen I have. You don't need to have the state-of-the-arts kitchen yet producing nothing.
We had overflowing of food. When I reached home in the evening, the neighbour was at the front porch playing badminton with her daughter. She hasn't even started sweating and I dragged them all over for dinner. While I was busy working they had the kitchen to themselves. By now they're familiar with the house so don't have to serve them. The neighbour's favourite is aubergine so she can have all the aubergine she wanted. Then, she brought food over with my favourite squid and hubby's favourite celery.
And the table overflowed with food again. Nice having such neighbours~!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Green Curry, Sinigang and More Greens...

Sunday was supposed to be hubby's day in the kitchen. Last Sunday he couldn't cook because he has too much paperwork so I took back my kitchen and being very efficient, I made green curry from scratch instead of buying green curry paste. It's a blend of green chilies and green capsicum. But then, after being slow-boiled for half an hour, my green curry disappeared... where did the green curry disappear to?
The rich and thick texture plus the green curry taste was intact but what happened to the green colour? It's natural green, not even generic....
Then, there's this sinigang soup with radish, some vege and prawns. It's a Filipino sourish soup and it's a little bit hot as I put in green chilies as well. The taste was superb though, something I've never cooked before. The sourish and hot soup base erased the bitter taste of radish completely. Yes, to me, radish is on the bitter side.
Hubby wants more greens on the table so I gave him almost everything green on the table on that Sunday night. Efficient me was done within two hours.

Flat Scones with Nutella...

The best part of having a productive kitchen is you can have anything you want and how you want them to turn out. In your own kitchen, you rule~! Mi mama made scones from scratch and I just added the hazelnut spread to make them more delicious~! The first time we had A scone was when we were in Cameron Highlands. At that time, I have no knowledge about baking and no idea how cakes came about. So, we had that ONE scone with some strawberry jam that cost us RM30 if not more. We only had one because the price was like eating gold. Now that I know how to bake and I saw the ingredients, I almost fainted. That RM30 can be used to make a barrel of scones with a few tongs of Nutella. The point is: Scones are INEXPENSIVE~! So, I wonder why are they selling scones like they are food for the wealthy????

Saturday, 18 April 2015

I Craved For This...

I have always love seafood... and squid especially. The hypothesis which says that the bigger the squid, the more rubbery it tastes like is an all-nonsense hypothesis. If one have eaten huge and rubbery squid, blame it on the person who's cooking~!! This is the least rubbery. Cooked the squid 'just nice' like how you use the term 'al dente' for your vegetables and pasta. When one believes that preparing pasta should be perfect then why not the squid? I can have a whole plateful of this but mi mama only bought two and I had one big one while the hubby got the smaller one.
This is Yen's version of shepherd's pie. No minced lamb neither is there any minced beef. Minced pork is used. I love porky pork. I should have known that it's so easy to prepare any part of the porky and transformed it into the best dish ever~! Blame it on the hubby who didn't teach me about parts of the porky... and blame it on the butcher-lady who scared me when I was just 20 years old and first time going to buy pork. The question,"Which part you want?" sent me back home empty-handed. Oh, I know which part of the porky I want now *smirking away*
I've succeeded in making the mashed potatoes smooth and tasty a few years back. Just increase it a notch higher with this one. *nom nom nom* How can you say no to this?
For a more balanced diet, mi mama made another dish of vege with Chinese sausage... hehehhehe....

Love for Food...

It's a Wednesday. I thought there's nothing much to cook and to eat. It's black pepper chicken for the day. I don't eat black pepper so I don't know how the taste was like. Should be okay since there's no leftover. 
I think I spoil the brinjal dish. It's too oily but it's good with a mixture with yellow beans.
This was the best. An impromptu dish with minced meat and bean curd. Mi mama wanted to eat this so I cooked this. I don't need recipe books to help me already. *woots*
Hubby called to inform that he has gotten hold of the tilapia fillet. Instead of having not enough on the table, we had them in abundance. I made this sweet and sour with burnt basil leaves. I think I forgot to mix the basil leaves with the fish batter when deep frying them. I'm one happy person when there's enough food.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Too Simple... Too Little...

I have a big appetite. The white pomfret was tiny. So small. I wonder how did a family of seven share this small fish. The four of us shared this. The fish can't even last till dinner. It was finished in minutes if not seconds. I just steamed this with I don't remember what I mix in the soupy concoction. I just know I need to make it tasty and without fishy smell. I do not use ginger because I dislike ginger. One accidental bite on a small slice of ginger be it the local ginger or Bentong ginger, I dislike ginger.
Hubby bought lots of vegetables so mi mama was put to task to prepare vege dishes. I will swallow those vege as long as it's not bitter. I'm still wondering since when I have such colourful leaf-decorated plate... never seen one before.
I love Chinese-style lazy people's soup. Throw everything into the pot and let it sit on the hot stove for an hour and a half. This soup concoction has something called astralagus roots. At this age now, I love drinking soup but have no interest to further understand where do the roots come from. Wait till one day when I have the interest to acquire such complicated knowledge.

I ended up asking my precious to make us omelette to fill up the stomach. She's equally as famished. We're all big eaters...

What's For Tea?

There's always food in the kitchen. This week I gave mi mama projects to do. When you're retired, you have all the time in the world. Then, can do all sorts of things. So, we had lemon cheese tart for this week's tea. On top of that, we have these as well...
We had pork floss buns to munch. Of course, the lemon cheese tart tasted better. The bun was a little bit too hard because it's a different recipe altogether. I still prefer sweet dough for buns. In this house, nobody will ever go hungry.... 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A Simple Monday...

That's potato salad. Fancy me making salad without any greens. It's just potatoes with Arabiki sausages. I used the citrus mayo instead of the original Western recipe mayo. Bacon was torn into strips with fingers and onion was cut by the machine. I have no skills in chopping onions.
Pork belly was marinated with egg and then after going through the braising stage, the French beans joined in the fun for a few minutes. I love braised meat... hehehehe
And I definitely love Chinese soup. I don't know where to find yacon roots so I substituted the roots with sweet potatoes. This soup was done an hour and a half later. Love the taste~!

Yunnan in Yen's Kitchen...

Twice I was in China and twice we never plan to be in Yunnan. I felt so at home in Shenzhen that I would rather sit at home doing nothing. So, last Sunday, hubby decided to pick the famous cuisines from Yunnan. Yunnan is quite a cold place so the dishes they have are mostly hot, but not spicy. The taste of freshly ground pepper will never escape your taste buds. That's muscle meat with gravy that's yummy-licious. I can't tell in details how it's done. When hubby's in the kitchen, I stay out of the kitchen. Didn't read on Yunnan yet.
This chicken dish was steamed for an hour with chili powder and lots more. The taste was not one you can find in any restaurant. It's just totally different~!!
This was the best of all~! The soup was boiled for 3 hours. Perfect 10/10 I give my hubby~!! It's definitely cheaper than dining out~!
We had our ice-cream with smashed up kacang tumbuk~! We have had the best dinner together on Sundays~! Say NO TO WORKING ON SUNDAYS~!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Garfield's Favourite: Lasagna...

Mi mama bought San Remo's pasta for lasagna. I could easily use my Ampia tool to make the lasagna sheet but since it's already there, might as well use the whole box. I still have a few pieces left though. Don't need that much to cover the small tray. I'm no expert in making lasagna. Was looking at the illustration on the box to make it happen.
I think this shot is good enough with cheese leaking. I have soft spot for leaking cheese. The gooey image makes food looks more delicious and hard to say no to. It's really good but I wonder how did Garfield eat this everyday?
I have no idea what kinda soup goes well with lasagna. It should be something thick but last Thursday, I was not in favour of any thick soup. I settled for the Chinese soup for lazy cook. Just dumped in the spare ribs, followed by the sliced watermelon and white fungus. The taste was something which will make you change your mind about having fruits in the soup pot. Not everyone could accept looking at a slick of fruit circling the pot of soup with chicken or pork. It was a good combination though for this one.
The blob of ice-cream came next as the grand finale. I enjoy cooking and relaxing in my own kitchen.

Simple is Good Enough...

I can't seem to even keep up in writing this blog every day. I have other things to do which are more important than keeping the blog alive. Last Wednesday, I just prepared something really simple. It's baked chicken in BBQ sauce and .... I no longer remember how the drumsticks tasted like. Can't remember at all. Just knew that it was juicy enough.
This I remember. It's golden egg dumpling. I can remember this because I have to painstakingly made that omelette one by one filled with minced meat wrapped into a dumpling-like style. The soup was cooked separately, of course. Anything soup with carrot is good~!
Hubby's favourite dish of bitter gourd. I cooked this with mandarin peel and... and.... don't remember. I did not even bother to taste the dish before deciding that it's well done. The last time I tasted the bitter gourd, it was so bitter thus, no more tasting. Good enough that I'm willing to prepare this dish~!
Mi mama made this Nestum cereal chocolate cookies. It's awesome~! We finished the whole container before the weekend arrived...