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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cooking with Gilmar

I teach Gilmar English and apparently how to cook fried rice as well. Now let him show you how it's done.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nasi Lemak

Last Friday saw, once again, our attempt to recreate the taste of home while in a place that has neither the comfort of a hawker centre nor the convenience of a wet market. Culinary haven the Hendon Camp cookhouse may never be, but at least it served Nasi Lemak once every two weeks. [Sam, can consider leh].

Mr Pang and Mr A Lim kicked off the process by making batch after batch of Nasi Lemak -- rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves -- fragrant, rich, and extremely tasty.

Mr B Lim started the ball rolling by preparing our homemade Nasi Lemak sambal belachan. The translation "chilli sauce" just doesn't do this intriguing dish justice: a combination of shrimp paste, dried shrimp, chillies, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, garlic, shallots and some tinkering with lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar, this is the epitome of the Middletown fireman's conception of cat piss, and is sure to antagonise any angmoh living in the house.

The most technically-challenging dish done, Mr C Cheong and Mr B Lim then proceeded to prepare the following: fried luncheon meat, fried egg omelette, fried ikan bilis (anchovies) with roasted peanuts, while I sliced cucumber and pottered around looking busy. Meanwhile, Mr I Chow proved himself an asset in the kitchen by lending a helping hand whenever, well, help was sought.

The result -- an authentic Singapore dish we are proud of, but which was labelled (wrongly, of course) by someone as "disgusting". I leave you, dear reader, to make your own judgements.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the best meal yet

Today's lunch lasted for about three hours, by the end of the seemingly endless stream of food, we were all feeling a little light-headed, not from the wine but from all the glorious fat that went into the meal. The meal was meant to celebrate some birthdays in the house, but it was really an excuse to eat good food. Mr Pang, Lucky Lawn's MVP, was at the helm of this food adventure that led us to eat a whole zoo of different animals in one meal. So here goes....

Initial preparations. Notice the duck confit gleaming in their own fat and the bowl of duck fat that the duck legs were sitting in for at least a week - it doesn't get any more sinful than this. We also had beef marrow as a starter, spread on toast with a capers, lemon, and cilantro dressing.

Duck confit with lettuce and watercress.

Seared scallops with risotto. 16 scallops!

Pan-fried duck breast and lentils.

Lamb chops play along.

"Grass-fed beef is vegetarian" - Jeff

Roast chicken, quite possibly the best I've eaten. Marinated with thyme, salt, pepper. Pan-fried till brown before throwing into oven. The flavor was very clean and the meat was incredibly tender. The crisp of the skin was amazing. This is one where technique really makes all the difference, since we were using cheap stop-and-shop chicken.

Leftovers and dinner later in the day consisted of excess food from lunch with the addition of lobster with risotto (with more lobster than risotto), and the very incongruous but still very tasty phoenix claws and peanut soup.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

champion food

We participated in the iron chef competition today and came back with a whole bunch of beef, chicken, and spring onions, courtesy of the campus center. All that cooking and oranges got us pretty hungry so we decided to jump straight into dinner when we got home. Dinner turned out tasting a lot better than the stuff we cooked in the afternoon.

Our kitchen and honorary housemates.

Beef seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil, pepper (this marinade was actually from the korean cookbook we won!). Wrap around base of spring onion, for that crunch, pan fry till it smells good. This dish was very tasty, Mr. Swee will attest to that with his look of ecstasy, with a great flavor and texture combination. It will definitely be even better if cooked over a charcoal grill.

Poached chicken seasoned with a hot sesame oil, spring onion, and ginger mixture poured over. Easy and tasty!

Dried anchovies (aka ikan billis) fried with chili prawn paste (aka sambal), edamame, and peanuts. Good to eat with anything or on its own for that matter.

Mr. Swee takes a swig while he stinks up the street frying dried ikan billis, which according to firemen, smell like cat piss.

Our efforts at horticulture.

champagne high tea

With the thesis in the bag and the fear of real life setting in, a little good food and champagne is a welcome distraction.

the menu

the table

the gravlax

the heart attack sauce and asparagus

the heart attack croque madame

the panna cotta with frozen fruit and missing apple cake

After this we all took a nap and woke up to have dinner....life is good.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Brunch

This meal on the patio made passers-by grin with envy as the smell of charred meat, grilled seafood and fresh spring vegetables filled the street. It was an indication that spring was here. I cannot imagine a greater way of spending Easter Sunday amongst good friends, warm company and great food. In our accompaniment were pork, lamb, chicken, shrimp and sausage which were delicately marinated in a host of various seasoning - from a rack of ribs marinated in mustard, infused with tarragon sprigs to chicken skewers peppered with cumin, fish sauce and other good spices. For greens, we had a lettuce salad tossed in olive oil and a potato salad andrew made with kewpie mayo and some dashi pellets.

It was a thrill to watch as slab after slab of pork was thrown on the grill, fired to perfection and go down our tummies. The big juicy shrimps were scorched on each side as homemade lemon butter was brushed between the crevices of these glowing orange crustaceans. The highlight was probably the pork strips which had been marinating in mirin and soy sauce over the stove, which when slapped on the barbi, formed a crispy crust with a tender interior. Simply decadent. Samantha's prized lamb chops were quite a hit to and were served rare, medium and well-done. We washed everything down with an orange cooler with lemon slices. It was a splendid day as the sun shone down on us and as we watched Drama Queen suck bone after bone of the poor pig.