Archive for October, 2007

Red Wine (Served Chilled)

 Red Wine

Okay. It’s a certified genetic disorder – dumminess in the kitchen. This was one of those moments that either have you speechless or jawless because it’s dropped with a clank onto the floor. One of my aunts was enjoying a tour around Spain and sent back some supposedly pricy, premium red wines which she had wanted to collect. To those who are in regions or countries where red wine is as cheap as water, this story may not be that horrific to you. But to someone from my region, these kinds of things are hard to come by.

A less ‘sophisticated’ aunt received the package and in her “logic” that wine (of any colour) should be chilled given that they age best in ‘cellars overseas’, thought that she should just take a short-cut. So, she stuck those bottles into the freezer. Needless to say, whatever left was… well, no longer suitable to keep as the corks were cracked and red cold liquid oozed out of those now literally priceless bottles. So, we had frost-bitten “iced” wine to go with our meal.

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Unagi Roll

Unagi Roll 

Yes, this is easy. Believe me, the kitchen dummy of all dummies. It just takes following steps as shown…

  1. Cook japanese rice in a rice cooker.
  2. Once cooked, dump in a teaspoon of japanese vinegar, a pinch of sugar and salt.
  3. Stir the rice to even out the added flavours
  4. Leave the rice to cool down so that it won’t dampen your seaweed
  5. Get a sushi roller mat
  6. Place a piece of seaweed onto the mat
  7. Cover three quarters of the seaweed with the now cooler rice, leaving the quarter top of the seaweed
  8. Cut some zucchini and precooked unagi (eel) with sweet sauce (which you can buy from any supermarket, you could heat the unagi up for a minute in the microwave before cutting, just to bring out the taste) and arrange them horizontally, one inch from the bottom most part of your rice on seaweed.
  9. Sprinkle some salmon roe and add a long squirt of japanese mayonnaise.
  10. Roll up your sushi as tightly as you can, cut to desired sushi bite sizes and serve with some soy sauce and wasabi.

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Grilled Lamb Chops (Very Very Done)

Warning: Please do not try making this. Seriously.

This was one of the disasters which came out of my kitchen that I can very clearly recall. It happened in the first week when my equally kitchen-disabled brother and I moved in together in Melbourne. We thought we’d refine our cooking skills by experimenting with a newly acquired microwave oven, because we thought that a machine should have better cooking sense than if we tried to pan fry free hand. It has been a decade since that unforgetable dish. Feels like yesterday though.

 Burnt Lamb Chops

The steps for burning your lamb chops to the texture of a wooden table edge…

  1. Buy your first microwave oven.
  2. Disregard the instructions for use.
  3. Marinate the lamb chops with soy sauce, a  bit of thick sweet soy sauce and Chinese five spice powder.
  4. Toss a coin with your brother on how long the microwave oven should be set at “High” for. Heads for 5 minutes, tails for 15.
  5. Chuck the chops in, choose “microwave on high” and enter 15:00 minutes.
  6. Serve chops with chainsaw.

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Instant Noodles With Egg

Okay. Let me hear it. The collective, “You must be kidding me!!!” I never intended this blog to be about healthy food or food which requires a neurologist’s IQ to prepare. It’s just food that I can cook and that I can eat. And being so “talented”, I never held myself out to teach anyone about cooking in the first place. So there.

 Instant Noodles With Egg

Steps, like you need it (hah!)

  1. Pour hot water into a small pot.
  2. Switch on the stove.
  3. When water is boiling, dump in instant noodle.
  4. Add flavourings (which should be provided within the packaging).
  5. Crack an egg into almost cooked noodles.
  6. Pour out in bowl to serve. 

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Stir Fry Sliced Pork

Stir fries are supposed to be fool-proof. They require speed, but generally should be manageable even by the ordinary twelve year old. And then, there’s me. I know I have no natural touch with food preparation of any kind, or I lack practice, whatever. So, most cases, you’ll see the most simple dishes prepared in ways which may have you roll your eyes or gag. For that, I apologise. Now, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Stir Fry Pork

This recipe has two variations, one from mom and the other, just about the only dish my dad’s ever produced (because mom was sick for a day). I like to eat it with white, unseasoned porridge because the savory chewiness goes really well with bland mush. Mom would have it cooked with ginger. Dad likes it with onions. Here are his steps…

  1. Finely slice an onion.
  2. Marinate sliced pork in soy sauce, a bit of sugar, a drop of dark sweet soy and cornstarch (I use my hands to mix everything together. It’s extremely therapheutic, trust me). Leave the marinate in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking. But if you can’t wait, head straight to the wok.
  3. Heat up the wok and add a bit of oil.
  4. Throw in the onions.
  5. Throw in the marinated pork.
  6. Stir fry on high heat. Because they are sliced, everything should be cooked in a jiffy.
  7. Just before you dish them out, add a dash of Japanese mayonnaise (This part isn’t part of dad’s recipe)
  8. Serve with steamed rice or porridge (Rice is cooked by the rice-cooker. Porridge is loads of water and rice on medium heat until they look lumpy and edible).

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Spaghetti Bolognese

In case you don’t know (and if you really don’t, please go read the page entitled “Have a Bite“), I am a dummy in the kitchen. It is the one place in a home I feel most uncomfortable in and one which I cannot leave alone because of my intense love of food. It is quite a paradox. If you understand that about me, you should be preparing yourselves for a hilarious take on my ways (in most cases, copied straight out of television celebrity chef recipes, but with very different results) of preparing food I eat on a daily basis. Well, okay. Not daily.

Spaghetti Bolognese

This recipe is my mom’s actually. This was the first thing I learnt to cook days before venturing out on my own to Australia for my two year study. I was totally kitchen illiterate – as in I didn’t even know how to fry an egg. Seriously.

As far as eating this, I still do. Since I started working, the recipe’s been reduced to a lazy “buy the spaghetti sauce and dump it in with minced meat and browned onions”. Mom’s recipe had me using tomato soup from a can. A 10 step guide for serious kitchen dummies…

  1. Cook spaghetti in salted boiling water to the desired texture (How do you know if its cooked? Use a chopstick to pick a strand and have a chew. If the spaghetti doesn’t stick to your teeth when you bite, it’s pretty much ready. To those who keep time, sorry. I’m one for biting on uncooked pasta until it is cooked.)
  2. Pour the spaghetti out into a netted bowl thingy to strain the water away. Sprinkle cold water on the pasta to keep it from sticking together.
  3. Chop a large onion till each piece is about the size of peanuts… the nut, not the shell.
  4. Put oil in a pot to begin the sauce. There should be just enough to glisten the onions that you’ll dump in immediately when the oil gets hot, but not too much that onions are swimming in lard. (How do you know when the pot is hot? Well, hover a palm over the pot and feel lah)
  5. When onions start to look like they are edible (i.e. soft), dump in a can of tomato soup (I use Campbell. For the dummy’s dummy, the contents of the can, not the can). Add water if you think the sauce is too thick.
  6. Stir the pot with a wooden stirring utensil right to the bottom of the pot so that no onion is left at the bottom to burn, don’t use a steel utensil or you’d be scrapping metal into your sauce.
  7. Add minced meat (any kind you fancy), however much you like minced meat in your bolognese.
  8. Break up minced meat if they seem too clung together to you. Break them up really well unless you want to eat meat balls or if you’re okay with uneven distribution of meat and sauce later to your hungry lab rats.
  9. Add sugar and salt to taste (meaning bit by bit until it tastes right to you) and stir occasionally till the sauce boils. The boiling won’t look like water’s furious bubbling. It’ll resemble the bloop-blooping of magma.
  10. Serve spaghetti with sauce on top. Grate some cheese on top for show. (What cheese? Whichever you like lah. I sometimes put finely sliced cucumber for some vegetable intake).

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