1st RI FGS (For Goodness Sake) Charity Dinner Raised S$16,948 for HCA Hospice on 20May2016

salad

salad

a group of RI friends have the idea that as we all have a good time coming together enjoying the food & company, making new memories together, maybe we can also do a charity fundraising while we are having our makan & chill get-together. ^^

so on 3.12.2016, we got together at a friend’s place to try out the logistics.

there were 28pax. 3 of us did the cooking. it was a good practice too to help with the planning & food logistics, and of course also another good excuse for our usual makan & chill together.

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a lot more organisation had gone into it by the guys this time, and we also discovered that the generous host is a accomplished auctioneer & mob rouser.

he donated 4 macallan rare cask & 3 mac18, & got everyone into the mood. there were like 28 bids for the whisky & the auction closed with 2 equal winning bids at S$1,888 for 2 bottles for each group, so that was S$3,776 in total for the whisky.

a friend donated a book about hawker fares in singapore that went for S$188.

in total the 33pax dinner (about 27 attended inner, the others came to join drink after dinner) raised S$16,948 for HCA Hospice.

what is important is that everyone was in the mood of giving & feeling good about it. & in fact a lot of chat continues afterwards on whatsapp. people were feeling happy about the occasion, the time together & doing something for the needy, & wanting to do this again.

for me whether we had raised more or less is not as important as just spending time together & doing something meaningful together.

which bali resort is this?

which bali resort is this?

this time we had it at another friend’s beautiful home, an architect, on 20.5.2016. ^^

some of us were there early, preparing salad & cutting fruits. i was reheating the curry dishes we shipped over & organising the dishes for dinner.

the vast kitchen looks out into nice greeneries, like in a nature reserve. 🙂

we were saying no need to go ubud la for retreat & relaxation…just come over here & cook…

3 of us did the cooking.

another friend brought the veg to make fresh salad (top photo). & couple other friends brought cut fruits & lots of apples (30). 

mee siam

mee siam

one friend did mee siam with prawns & fish cakes & fried tofu. 🙂

side dish

side dish

he made a very tasty side dish too with ikan bilis & tofu.

mutton stew + pilaf rice

mutton stew + pilaf rice

another friend made mutton stew & pilaf rice. 🙂

mutton stew

mutton stew

he thought of doing mutton rendang. 🙂

i was doing a few curry dishes, so he settled on doing a stew.

pilaf rice

pilaf rice

& nice long grain pilaf rice.

the host was doing some plain rice for the curries. so we reduced the amount of plain rice a bit, & started dinner off with the pilaf rice. still i think there was quite a bit of rice leftover.

i made 7 dishes + chocolate banana cake

i made 7 dishes + chocolate banana cake

i did 6 dishes (2 servings of fish head so 7 dishes) + a chocolate banana cake.

i chose curry because it was very easy to cook, and could feed many.

i figured that one dish of fish head (2 halves) was not enough for 27pax so i cooked 2 separate dishes of fish head.

the serving came with lots of veg – yellow onions, ocra, egg plants & tomatoes.

fish head was easy to cook as i used a ready curry paste – mak’s curry.

i did this couple times already & my friends all liked the curry.

so it’s just frying the rempah (curry paste), yellow onions, ocra, adding fish head & coating with rempah thoroughly, then adding egg plants, chicken (or fish) stock, coconut milk, cover & let it simmered for 10mins, then adding tomatoes.

& it’s done, that simple! 🙂

for nonya curry chicken, i used my own rempah instead of a ready paste.

i prefer to first debone the 2 chickens, and make a tasty stock using the chicken bones & carrots.

again cooking was very easy.

just fried rempah with star anise, cinnamon bark, clove & curry leaves, added chicken to coat with rempah thoroughly, then added coconut milk, chicken stock, covered & let simmer. i removed the chicken pieces after 5-6mins & cooked the wings for another 10mins.

one of the key consideration is logistic.

for curries, i cooked them in the morning so i had complete dishes & tasted them to know they were ok. then removed the fish head & chicken & let the curries cooled. then i transfered them to separate sealed plastic containers & stored in the fridge.

(basically difficult to transport a dish with liquid unless in properly sealed containers la…).

reheating was easy. the only consideration was that the fish head & curry chicken not be overcooked.

it may seem strange to choose curries with the hassle of transporting but they are easy to cook, can do in bulk & easily reheat to serve hot, and have wider appeal to diners c/w with other dishes.

kou rou 扣肉

kou rou 扣肉

i did a kou rou 扣肉.

among my own dishes this was most popular, & disappeared in double-quick time. & our friends who were early were taking this (to try haha!) before reheating & before dinner started. 🙂

this was done 4hrs in a 90degC oven to have a slow low-temperature gentle braise, then steamed in a steam oven for 1hr 15mins, so it was very tender, flavour-infused, but still have bite & texture, not falling apart.

chap chai

chap chai

i did a chap chai to balance the curries.

chap chai

chap chai

this again a very easy dish, just fry, stew cabbage, add stock, then add beancurd puffs (taupok) and add tanhoon when ready so tanhoon will cook in residual heat & not be overcooked. remember this has to be reheated later when serving.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

someone commented maybe have more veg, so i reduced 1 meat (omitted the teriyaki sutchi fillet) & added 2 veg dishes.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

the sweet peas baby corn with prawns was excellent when my helper made it for our home dinner.

this though was my first time cooking it. it turned out quite badly, i think the worst dish for the evening.

the ingredients were good. prawns were fresh, sweet peas & baby corns were always very tasty.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

however i made a bad mistake of frying the prawns first in butter, like i do for pastas.

unlike double-cooked pork回锅肉, prawns cannot be fried & steamed. it destroyed the texture, so the prawns were no more bouncy but mushy like not-fresh prawns. & this especially so when the dish had to be covered with aluminium foil & kept in a 50degC oven for long periods to keep warm.

on hindsight it was better to serve the dish cold…

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

i used a very nice tasty nonya sauce for the ocra.

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

so this dish was real easy, just fry, make sure it was cooked right then add the nonya sauce at the end.

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

looking at the photos, the vibrant green went off quite a bit, though the dish still tasted very good.

on balance, it was better to serve the dish cold w/o additional treatment after cooking.

i made a chocolate banana cake.

this was quite popular. everyone liked it. ^^

it was my second time. the first time my OPS friends talked about awfully chocolate & their chocolate banana cakes. so i went to google & found a recipe & went to phoon huat to get a 9″ by 9″ cake tin to make the dish.

this time i got better quality bananas & also added more bananas. quite a good cake.

cut fruit stall

cut fruit stall

some friends prepared the cut fruits.

watermelon

watermelon

watermelon from our regular watermelon supplier…

yellow watermelon

yellow watermelon

pineapples

pineapples

mango & guava

mango & guava

& others, like pineapples, mangoes, guavas etc…

apples

apples

one friend brought 30 apples. we all ate or brought home some…

it was a really good, fun dinner.

the host was assisted by another equal mob rouser, and our mabuk friends & others were all into the spirit of sharing, whisky & donations in equal parts.

bless them all good people! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Chocolate Banana Cake – Simply Awesome!

chocolate banana cake

chocolate banana cake

today i made a chocolate banana cake for the first time on 11.5.2016. ^^

chocolate banana cake

chocolate banana cake

& actually it turned out quite awesome! ^^

chocolate banana cake

chocolate banana cake

my primary school friend is buying lunch the next day.

so i thought i would make a banoffee pie so we can all share after lunch.

just happens that the conversation on group whatsapp was chocolate banana cake. a friend had just taken that at awfully chocolate. i know cedele sells that too but have not tried it, and also secret recipe when i googled.

i found a recipe on joy of baking which i thought i can do.

10" x 10" cake tin from phoon huat

10″ x 10″ cake tin from phoon huat

next was to go buy a cake tin & the ingredients like flour, baking soda, baking powder etc, all i didn’t have.

i bought a 10″ x 10″ cake tin from phoon huat, S$6.50.

mashed banana

mashed banana

recipe seems simply enuf!

i just have to manage the sugar, as usually the western recipe has many times the sugar we like.

i mashed about 1.5 medium bananas & kept 1/2 for some banana chunks (not in recipe).

mixed eggs, water, milk, vanilla essence, mashed bananas, oil

mixed eggs, water, milk, vanilla essence, mashed bananas, oil

i mixed 2 eggs, mashed bananas, 1 cup water (240ml), 1/2 cup milk (120ml), 1.5 tsp vanilla essence & 1/2 cup oil (120ml) in a large bowl, & whisked.

mixed cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar

mixed cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar

i sieved 1 & 3/4 cups plain flour (245g) & sieved 3/4 cup cocoa powder (75g) to a large bowl, added 5 tbsp sugar (75g), ! & 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt & mix.

recipe called for 400g sugar. i used just 75g so i could adjust later. i tried the cake mix later & added 1 tbsp & then 1 more tbsp sugar so in total 7 tbsp (105g) sugar

fold the wet light mix to the dry mix

fold the wet light mix to the dry mix

i added the wet light mix to the dry mix.

i made a big mistake though!

i forgot that i should fold & not whisk!

cake mixture before baking

cake mixture before baking

well for this time it didn’t matter that i whisked.

as i said earlier, i tasted the cake mix before baking, so i added 2 tbsp more sugar, 1 tbsp at a time & guess what, i had to whisk la!

so in the end no diff!

baked for 40mins at 180degC

baked for 40mins at 180degC

i buttered the 10 by 10 cake tin & pour the cake mix in.

baked for 40mins according to joyofbaking recipe instructions.

made chocolate ganagce for frosting

made chocolate ganagce for frosting

then i made the ganache.

boil 180ml whipping cream with 1 tbsp butter (15ml). broke up 200g dark chocolate (i used cadbury) & whisked.

chocolate ganagce for frosting over baked cake

chocolate ganche for frosting over baked cake

after the cake had cooled completely, i added the ganache frosting.

chocolate banana cake

chocolate banana cake

when i tested the cake, it was still warm & the ganache flowed a bit. ok but didn’t feel special.

chocolate banana cake

chocolate banana cake

i put it in the fridge & tried the next day.

what can i say? it was awesome leh!

well it was pretty good la…chocolate cake standalone not really my favourite, but this was really jolly good. the ganache was specially good. the cake itself was dense but it was ok good.

i may add a bit more bananas, but for me, this cake just like this was quite good enuf.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup water (240ml)
  • 1/2 cup milk (120ml)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup oil (120ml)
  • 1 & 3/4 cups plain flour (245g)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (75g)
  • 7 tbsp sugar (105g)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 180ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp butter (15ml)
  • 200g dark chocolate (i used cadbury)

Directions:

  1. mash 1.5 medium bananas & kept 1/2 for some banana chunks (not in recipe).
  2. mix 2 eggs, mashed bananas, 1 cup water (240ml), 1/2 cup milk (120ml), 1.5 tsp vanilla essence & 1/2 cup oil (120ml) in a large bowl, & whisk.
  3. sieve 1 & 3/4 cups plain flour (245g) & sieve 3/4 cup cocoa powder (75g) to a large bowl, add 7 tbsp sugar (105g), 1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt & mix. <recipe called for 400g sugar. i used just 5tbsp (75g) so i could adjust later. i tried the cake mix later & added 1 tbsp & then 1 more tbsp sugar so in total 7 tbsp (105g) sugar>
  4. add the wet light mix to the dry mix & fold, figure of eight motion.
  5. butter the 10 by 10 cake tin (or non-stick spray), placed the banana chunks on cake tin & pour the cake mix in. bake for 40mins according to joyofbaking recipe instructions.
  6. make ganache frosting – boil 180ml whipping cream with 1 tbsp butter (15ml). break up 200g dark chocolate (i used cadbury) & whisk.
  7. when cake is completely cooled, add the ganache frosting. voila!

Family Dinner to Remember @ Mikuni on 26Oct2014

chirashi don - 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

chirashi don – 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

had 5pax family dinner at our favourite restaurant, mikuni, on 26oct2014. an occasion to remember for me. 🙂

we came mikuni quite a few times. the most recent which i blogged on was on 23.6.2014.

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

sous vide & deep-fried tako

we ordered 4 chirashi don & 1 kagoshima wagyu don as main courses, and had few other dishes to share. 🙂

we had the superb sous vide & deep-fried tako to share. this still the best octopus dish i have tried, better than all the very nice grilled octopus dish at alle darsene lake como & miky at monterosso cinque terre.

chirashi don - 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

chirashi don – 2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura

& i think this the best chirashi don (2 toro, 2 hotate, 2 shake, 2 kajiki. 2 hirame, 2 kampachi, 2 tamago, uni, botan ebi, ikura) in singapore for quality & price. don’t think there is anything better. 🙂

kagoshima wagyu don

kagoshima wagyu don

we tried a new dish, kagoshima wagyu don. wagyu was very good. quite surprisingly to me, the rice was not great. hmmm, any of the  kamameshi (釜饭) at sun with moon wheelock or unagi chahan at zen japanese dining was tastier than this.

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki

& another new dish – kagoshima wagyu ishiyaki. i estimated the 6 cuts to be about 80g or 100g. beef was excellent of course, very nicely marbled. JH said reminded him of hida beef 飛騨牛 on a hoba leaf 朴叶 or magnolia leaf he had at takayama. 🙂

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

& kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe, our favourite. 🙂

drawer dessert tray - pick your own

drawer dessert tray – pick your own

drawer dessert tray - pick your own

drawer dessert tray – pick your own

they served complimentary dessert in drawer dessert tray – pick your own. 🙂

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton

daughter collected a nice chocolate banana cake from ritz carlton. they do very nice cakes these days, not too sweet & very nice choc mousse. the cake not really my favourite though.

c.h.e.f andy