wife & i usually avoid the actual day 14feb where prices at restaurants are doubled or tripled & food & service go south or at best same! so we go out earlier for our valentine’s day dinner.
& such wonderful views too!
at the time me.oue had amex lovedining discounts, 50% discounts for 2pax. now no more.
a wonderful dinner too, with gazpacho, gordon ramsay grilled lobster, and excellent steak.
we have been having western mostly, so this year i decided to try chinese.
chinese food is so difficult to cook c/w western la!
2 different friends sent me the same video on valentine food decor.
so i tried the cherry tomato heart & the cucumber carrot flower thingy.
it was not difficult but not as easy as it appears on the video. for the heart especially, alignment very important & especially the shape & size of the 2 cherry tomatoes. otherwise you are left with a broken heart or twisted/wrenched heart…..
i decided to do lobster in superior stock 龙虾上汤焗.
for me, it would be so much easier to do a lobster pasta (i did a really beautiful one on 15.5.2014), can’t do much wrong with prego sauce or papa alfredo sauce.
i got my live lobster from sheng shiong at S$59/kg.
no offers, no about S$35+ for 600g+ lobster.
i wanted to parboiled the lobster. but it was too large to fit into my pots.
so i prepared the lobster (humanely the way i learned couple years back).
my idea of braising in superior stock上汤焗 is to prepare a very tasty, thick, intense stock, place the lobster with the stock, heat up & cover, so that the stock infuse the lobster for taste & the steam cooked the lobster.
wife loved the lobster. it was fresh, bouncy & sweet. afterall live lobster made all the difference (last valentine dinner 2016 i used frozen lobster)…
i felt though that i could have made the lobster a lot better, made a much tastier lobster. i started with very intense stock & i added to the lobster to let it soak in the taste for a while before cooking. however i think the lobster had a lot of liquid & i should have reduced it again in the wokpan, before adding the lobster. i could feel when i was cooking that the stock was diluted but i could not reduce w/o overcooking the lobster.
the superior stock worked very well for my yee meen subsequently as it was sufficiently reduced.
my dobin mushi 日式茶壶汤 may not look like dobin mushi, but it’s the same ingredients, with prawn, scallop, chicken breast, ginkyo nuts, shitake & shimeji mushrooms. no fish slice.
soup was very light & tasty! 🙂 wife liked it…
i did not have konbu & bonito flakes to make dashi. so i used chicken stock & mushrooms & lots of vegetables to sweeten the stock (carrots, radish, spinach stems, mushroom water).
& i didn’t have the teapot to serve the teapot soup, didn’t want to use our usual teapot.
anyway it was a very tasty clear soup, served by teapot or not. 🙂
next dish i made was a steamed turbot 蒸多宝鱼.
it was quite good in texture & taste. i think can be improved though.
so i decided to try cooking that.
i bought a frozen halibut steak (just S$3.90 for 500g on offer), and i used maybe 300g.
it’s called “halibut” (as it was called “halibut” at fragrant garden, but when i googled to check, halibut is a large fish & most likely these were turbot & NOT halibut!).
i just added the usual cut chilli padi, sliced ginger, chopped scallions, added sliced lemon & sliced tomatoes, then 2 tbsp olive oil, 2tbsp light soy sauce & 1 tbsp mirin. & steamed for 6mins.
very easy to prepare, looks quite perfect, & a nice dish small serving not too heavy for a multi-course meal.
my last dish for the evening to go with the yee meen was a mini pencai 迷你盆菜.
i did not have 发菜，dried scallops, dried osyters etc, so i just made do with 4 ingredients=prawns, scallops. limpets (proxy for abalones) & chinese mushrooms.
of course i had carrots, radish, yam, chicken stock, and i added some bamboo shoots i happened to have in the fridge.
i used the same intense chicken stock, mixed with 1/2 the limpets brine in the can, and added some oyster sauce & cornflour to thicken.
a fairly respectable mini pencai 迷你盆菜 i must say.
the carrots, radish, bamboo shoots were excellent, so very well infused with flavours. 🙂
it was nothing special though, kind of much ado about nothing…not quite the kind of dish that excites my wife & me la. 🙂
one of the best dish for this evening was actually the ubiquitous yee meen. this one excites me, and it’s easy to do, just good stock & well reduced.
i bought yee meen from cold storage. it cost S$2.45 & had 4 noodle pieces. i used 1 piece for 2 of us.
& the superior stock was just perfect for the noodles.
the plain noodles came out very very tasty, so good la! ^^
i got some korean strawberries from giant this morning. it was very sweet. an excellent close to round up the enjoyable valentine dinner.