had a most wonderful & memorable homecooked dinner get-together on 24apr2015.
a most fun part was the interactivity & excitement with several friends bringing their dishes, from morocan salmon, hummus, biscotti, konnyaku to tofu cheese cake & ma hua 麻花 airflow from tianjin.^^
a friend even set up a separate whatsapp chat (so as not to bore the rest of dinner friends with cooking talk). 🙂
it was just wonderful. excluding bread, humus, ma hua, fruits, konnyaku, biscotti, we had 14 dishes (12+2 desserts). 🙂
bread, hummus, carrot sticks
because a friend was bringing hummus, that motivated me to do a onion sunflower seed bread. i didn’t realise i had walnut (was searching for it) for walnut bread, so settled with sunflower seeds.^^
onion sunflower seed bread
the laughable thing was after looking at several online recipes i decided hack just used the ariston oven bread function & recipe. of course i tried the recipe once. dough was too sticky & too much salt & i added too much browned onions.
for the actual day, the bread was quite perfect. all the friends like it. crisp not hard outside & fluffy well-risen inside. for the recipe, i used 600g plain flour, 3 packets yeast (33g) dissolved in 1 cup (240ml) warm water, & 1 tsp salt. 🙂
my friend made excellent chickpea hummus, and the green coloured one she added avocado. i think it was new to her too, so there was a lot of fun doing this dinner for all our good RI friends.
ma hua – 天津麻花
a friend was with her students in tianjin for some exchange programs & brought back ma hua 麻花. i finished them the next day, pretty good, not sickeningly sweet like the malaysian ones.
#1 pumpkin tofu
#1 – pumpkin tofu rockets salad
#1 my wife made a pumpkin tofu salad. this a wonderful salad she made after some lunch at marmalade.^^
#2 i have made tagliata di manzo (sliced beef) many times. it is a common italian dish. i had it at capri, and many time at fresco & cimmino at milan.^^
the angus ribeye was pan-grilled, charred to produce the maillard reaction to impart the flavours & nicely medium rare. 🙂
#3 teriyaki cod was excellent this evening, many commented melt in the mouth goodness.^^
i used my own teriyaki sauce recipe, this time adding 1 tsp of miso. miso cures the cod & give a firmer, less flaky texture.
#4 friend’s morocan baked salmon
#4 a friend made a very nice morocan baked salmon with pistachios & ritz biscuits, and condiments of chives & lemon. it was also his first time. for me, this was a lot of fun & buzz.^^
#5 i made a chilli crab capellini (angel hair pasta). i had the sauce made the day before, taste was not ideal & i made some adjustments on the day. it turned out quite perfect, an excellent chilli crab sauce & after pasta & prawns were added, the capellini soaked up the flavours remarkably & was very well infused with the shellfish flavours (from prawn heads & shells, and w/o crab). 🙂
& very important pasta was al dente!
#6 i made an excellent very tasty squid ink sauce & a friend came to the kitchen to help out & tasted the sauce. it was superb with a nice chilli padi spike.
unfortunately, after adding linguine, sauce looked low & i made the cardinal mistake of adding some water. did a rescue by removing the pasta & ingredients (so as not to overcook) & reducing the sauce. still when plating though sauce was sufficiently dark colour & slight creamy producing good texture feel on pasta, the top less coated linguine looked off in colour.
fortunately taste wise it was very good. i guess could have been better.
#7 i think my 白斩鸡 – poached chicken was very near perfect, certainly better than most chicken rice out there!
& today i made an excellent chicken rice. as a friend commented, he could smell the very fragrant rice as it was brought to the table!
i browned some shallots in chicken fat (this was a key) & added cut ginger. the other key was a very intense chicken bone soup for cooking the rice. the soup came from making the chicken & adding the bones after i deboned the chicken & boiled for >2hrs.
& i made the chilli sauce & ginger sauce that everyone loved.
a friend brought excellent achar, just the right appetising condiments for the chicken rice.
#8 jap miso salmon
#8 the jap miso salmon was done like the japanese bento style.
i didn’t have the recipe so experimented myself. i marinated with miso etc & dried it in the fridge for 2 days then 3hrs at 55degC to dry it further. after that it was 15mins in foil+10mins open in tabletop electric oven at 250degC.
i would say result was almost same as the bento salmon & those we brought back from japan. it was best served on japanese rice don with tamago but will do for the chicken rice.
#9 spicy pork ribs
my helper’s spicy pork ribs was also a perennial favourite. 🙂
#10 蒜泥白肉 was a favourite for many. very tender melt in the mouth belly pork (about 5 hrs on crockpot at low fully immersed) & flavourful sichuan chilli sauce.
#11 dry wok prawns was 1 of my standard dish. this time though i did not dry the prawns enough before adding to the wok so it became a bit wet. prawns was fresh & sweet but the charred bbq flavours were missing. some hits & some misses.
#12 romaine lettuce
#12 & my helper’s romaine lettuce, complemented the pumpkin salad & good counterpoint to the meat dishes.
#13 a friend brought a tofu cheese cake. i took the cake & taste was pretty good. unfortunately the gelatine he used seemed to be weaker concentration than the ones i got from phono huat. so though he used the same recipe, the cake did not hold. it was a waste really for the effort but i guess doing it was a fun thing we all shared.^^
$14 i did my usual tiramisu & i added quite a good dose of brandy which my friends love. it was good as usual.
2 friends brought jackfruit & grapes to round off the dinner.
the friend who brought hummus also did 2 very nice petite fours – a konnyaku jelly & biscotti.
it was an evening of fellowship & sharing, a lot of fun, catching up & sharing good food together.^^