Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hungarian Goulash

P: Sandy cooked a deliciously rich and tender Hungarian goulash for dinner. The cut of beef was perfect -- shin has plenty of connective tissues, or collagen, between the muscle fibres which covert to liquid gelatin during the two and half hours of cooking resulting in tender meat and a thick, flavourful soup. With paprika (and some extra chilli ... er, Malaysian goulash), onions, tomatoes and garlic, and dollop of sour cream, the stew was fantastic. Melt-in-your mouth ossobucco-style beef and rich, hot, thick soup. We ate the goulash with buttered brown rice. Two whole bowls of goulash for me, thank you very much!

And for dessert, guava with chilli powder-salt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Garden Party

Phil and Sandy entertaining in their garden in Singapore ...

Not. Unfortunately our garden is only 2 metres square. This was a shoot we did for a catalogue cover, taken in the garden of a bar in Dempsey Road, Singapore.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

full pockets

P: Just how many ingredients can you stuff into a pocket of pita bread?

We had some pita bread left over from a recent book launch party which needed finishing so I stopped by the supermarket after work and bought some prawns and more to stuff them with. Sandy was working late - etching out photos in the studio till 8pm - so I baked the prawns in red chilli and garlic, and shoved them into the pita pockets with baby spinach, spring onions, avocado, mango and feta. Hmm, deliciously messy.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Holly and Nel's bump!

S: Phil's sister is seven months pregnant! Congrats Holly and Nel. We'll see you in August.

Penang food

P: Sandy and I flew up to Penang to attend Hooi Hooi and Hashi's weddding dinner, held at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang in Batu Ferringhi. We also managed to get some serious eating in. We were met at the airport by Hueh Hueh, Ah Ngae and mother, who took us straight for Malay lunch. We'd eaten at this stall a few years ago but it moved and we only recently discovered where its new location was.

Mother-in-law loading the table with dishes ...

Dishes of deep-fried chilli-stuffed terubok fish; ayam kicap manis (chicken with sweet black sauce); tumeric fried chicken; cuttlefish in chilli; curried squid; fish curry; stewed beef; bamboo shoots in coconut milk; mixed vegetables; and winged-bean salad. Ten dishes for five of us!

Suitably satiated, we checked in to our hotel, had a swim then fell asleep by the pool!

Hueh Hueh, Sandy and I drove into town to look for their favourite seafood hor fun stall for dinner. Unfortunately the stall was closed so we tried the same dish from another stall. Pretty good but the girls maintain that the original stall is still the best in Penang, if not the universe.

Sandy choosing the following ingredients for her soup: congealed blood cubes, fishballs, intestines and chye sim! I didn't partake ...

Penang's famous Guerney Drive foodstreet ...

For breakfast the following day, Sandy, sisters, mother and aunt really pigged out and ordered: carrot (radish) cake; char kway teow (stirfried flat rice noodles); won tan mee (more noodles); kway chap (intestines); chee chong fan; roast pork; and chicken feet lor mee.

Hooi Hooi and Hashi's wedding

Congratulations to Hooi Hooi and Hashi on their marriage!

From the left: Clarence, Samantha, Phil, Sandy, Hooi Hooi, Hashi, Hueh Hueh, Karen, Simon, Joseph and Michelle ...

Some more photos from the wedding dinner ...

hot in pink! the chick's not too bad looking either! (S: she's a former Miss Malaysia lah!)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Broccoli and blue cheese pizza

P: Busy packing for tomorrow morning's flight to Penang for Hooi Hooi's wedding so we made a quick broccoli and blue cheese pizza for dinner. We can eat blue cheese, especially Stilton, every day ... er, see yesterday's blue cheese hotdogs!

Going in the oven ...

Going in the stomach ...

S: Love it. Love blue cheese. Love pizza. Can we watch American Idol now?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mexican-inspired roast chicken

P: Sandy wanted roast chicken for dinner and we chanced upon a Mexican-inspired recipe on a foodie blogsite from California: what we're eating. This San Diego-based foodie couple made a lime coriander pesto and stuffed it under the skin of the chicken and all over the top of the skin before roasting it. Our chicken is marinating now, I can't wait to eat it for dinner!

S: The chicken turned out fantastic but took longer than expected to cook so ended up eating very late! We finished 98% of the chicken (1.2kg) and 97% of the potatoes (1kg) — not bad at all!

P: I would have finished the potatoes if I hadn't been physically restrained. The chicken was superb too, very tender, and the flavours of the pesto stuffing so light and fresh. It would make a great marinade for a bbq. OK, enough Mexican flavours for a while, back to Asian tomorrow. Thanks Sandy, delicious!

Trece de Mayo

P: It looks like we're going Mexican today. Or Mexican-inspired anyway. Since Sandy didn't get a chance to celebrate cinco de mayo (5th May; scroll down), we're celebrating trece de mayo (13th May) instead. I'm handling brunch, Sandy's doing dinner (see post above, when it arrives). In fact I should be cooking now and not blogging but Her Ladyship hasn't woken up yet so I still have a bit of time. Brunch will be Singapore-style heuvos rancheros, the classic Mexican breakfast dish of eggs and refried beans on a tortilla covered in spicy tomato and coriander sauce. I might add some spicy sausage slices just to "beef" it up. It's Singapore-style 'cos I can't find jalapeno chillies at the local supermarket and will replace them with local red chillies! I'll also replace Monterey Jack with some mature Cheddar that Phil A brought over from UK. And, just to really upset the purists, I'm going to replace the tortilla with a healthier wholeweat wrap. So, it's probably nothing like heuvos rancheros!

P: Oh, wow, that was damn good! Delicious! I have no idea what this dish is supposed to look or taste like but this version sure works. The spicy sausage was great too. I will definitely cook this one again.

S: I like it very much! I love the egg and refried beans. Are we going to fart a lot later?

P: Open the windows and increase the fan speed.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Teochew Porridge

P: One of our favourite cze char restaurants in Holland Village recently closed down, or moved, and was replaced by a Teochew Porridge restaurant. I loved the old place for one of its signature veg dish of lettuce fried with red preserved beancurd ... delicious. We tried the new restaurant this evening and, well, it's got nothing on the old place. We chose beancurd skin, squid, roast duck, kangkong, and minced dried shrimp. The belly pork looked good but Sandy worried it would be too fatty (that's the whole point!) so we gave it a miss. Overall, passable but I won't rush back.

S: Seriously not good! If you've tried other places you wouldn't come back. The selection wasn't big enough. The beancurd skin was tasteless.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

coq au vin

P: Sandy's coq au vin. That's where all my wine disappeared to. :( Fantastic though.

S: You drink too much, let me burn off all the alcohol!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

cinco de mayo

Phil and Sri celebrated Mexico's cinco de mayo at No5 Emerald Hill. Cinco de mayo means 5th May and it's not Mexico's Independence Day so what is it? Who cares, it's a good enough reason to have a party.

Phil and Sri with some hot Mexican (from Ang Mo Kio) samba dancers.

Friday, May 04, 2007

fridge cleaning

My favourite omelettes are the fridge-cleaning variety. For Saturday brunch I "omeletted up" some barely edible bacon rashers, the leftover potatoes from Sandy's Galician fish dish, some ends of mozarrella and parmesan and added some more oregano and paprika. Tasty, if not very healthy. Or pretty.

Trouser leg

I felt like having pizza for dinner today so popped into the supermarket opposite my office at lunchtime for some salami, mozzarella and olives. As soon as I got home I made the dough, which had risen by the time Sandy was home. For a change we decided to make a calzone, a stuffed pizza. We put in sliced potato, salami, mozzarella, parmesan, olives, sundried tomato, rosemary, onion, oregano and chilli flakes. I can't actually make a round pizza so my calzone was rectangular and looked more like a murtabak! But it tasted goooood! I lurve pizza!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

new cookbooks

We are addicted to cookbooks! There must be over 100 lying around the house. Two recent additions are The Food of Italy and La Cocina de Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain (thanks Phil & Susie).

Over the weekend I cooked baked polenta with four kinds of cheese (gorgonzola, taleggio, mascarpone and parmesan). I couldn't find any taleggio in Cold Storage so I picked up some fromage chaumes -- a mild, creamy French cow's milk cheese from Dordogne. After the polenta is cooked, it's then cooled in a tray, cut into sheets and layered in a baking dish with homemade tomato sauce and the four cheeses then baked until crispy on top (thanks to a sprinkling of parmesan) and it oozes cheese from within. Sinfully delicious. Except it wasn't. I hated it. It was such a pointless dish; too much cheese and flavourless polenta. Sandy finished the dish over the next few days, I kept my distance.

From the Spanish book, Sandy cooked Galician-style fish baked with potatoes, onions, saffron and paprika with a side dish of spicy courgettes. It was absolutely delicious but Sandy thought it tasteless, and that after she added more ingredients as the recipe seemed very basic.

Baked fish with paprika ...

Cheesy polenta ...

Salad of baby spinach, mango, avocado, prosciutto and spring onion ...