10-course Homecooked Vegetarian Dinner for 8pax on 17Aug2015

made a 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8pax on 17.8.2015. ^^

it was a belated birthday for my niece who is a buddhist & vegetarian. it’s also the first time i planned & executed vegetarian dishes. 🙂

my niece & her husband are ovo-lacto vegetarians, which means they can take eggs & dairy products like milk, butter & cheese. they are also not strict vegetarians, but they will abstain & avoid meats if they can, and take only the vegetables if it comes with the meat. i like the practical, unassuming, unimposing approach.

but i wanted to do a all-vegtarian course dinner for them. for me that was quite exciting & fun to do. 🙂

for me, my interest was not about mock meats or fusion, just to make something that taste good & look good. & if they are not the usual run-of-the-mill chinese stir-fried vegetables and incorporates some non-chinese styles or good matching of taste, texture or presentation, then so much the better! 🙂

#1 first course was a spanish omelette. it’s a really simple dish.  just 2 eggs, 1.5 sliced large potatoes & 1/2 sliced yellow onions. the ingredients were already vegetarian. i just have to light soy sauce instead of fish sauce for the egg. this dish is also perfect as a tapas, a small bite, for a multi-course meal, so quite nicely each had a good slice of omelette.

#2 wife’s quinoa pumpkin tofu salad is always a great accompaniment for my dinners. the pumpkin & tofu with rockets made a very good salad on its own (wife made this after a lunch at marmalade some years back), and addition of quinoa gave it more texture & some savoury touch. 🙂

#3 shallow fried silken tofu in spinach veloute.

i created this dish (flamed squid in spinach veloute) from looking at a photo (w/o the chance to taste the dish) at porthminster cafe at st ives in cornwall, england. it was an excellent dish & i served it at 12-course dinner for 12pax 2 weeks ago.

this time for vegetarian dish i replaced the squid by a shallow fried silken tofu, so that the texture was crispy outside & soft inside. not a flamed (torched) squid but still very nice! 🙂

#4 for soup, i made a cream of carrot soup. this was tasty & smooth & very popular & everyone had a second helping & finished all the soup.

i used 1.5 large carrots, but also 1 red pepper, 1 stalk leek, 1 small yellow onions & vegetable stock which i prepared the night before. & about 4 tablespoon of cream. its a similar recipe for all my creamy soup.

#5 this the first time i attempted spaghetti alla nerano (zucchini pasta). we first tried this in fresco & cummino in milan & this was 1 of the best vegetarian pasta i had, though i like funghi pasta equally. 🙂

i followed an internet recipe, & blended 1/2 yellow zucchini with some onions after softening them in olive oil. i added some butter when tossing the pasta to give it more body.

it was a very good pasta, al dente & tasty. everyone liked it. son said more parmesan shavings would be good. i think overall it can be improved. for now i would prefer my fungi pasta over this, maybe just slightly.

#6 steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

my sis & i had a nice daipaidong 大排档 dinner at 富记大排档tai wai where they served an entire steamed eggplant in minced meat & onion sauce. i had recreated this & made a much better tasting one by adding oyster sauce to balance off the tomato sauce.

for the vegetarian take, i cannot use oyster sauce so only light soy sauce + tsuyu sauce, and i replaced the minced meat with frozen peas i bought from sheng shiong.

the presentation can be improved. the key to this dish is the texture of the eggplant, which has to be just cooked & not mushy. i cut it with kitchen sears (scissors) & if it were mushy it would not hold up. 🙂 the pea onions sauce with corn flour was pretty tasty too.

#7 the egg fried rice was basic, no “wow” dish, but it was good accompaniment for the last 3 dishes – steamed egg plant, thai red curry & the brocoli with cauliflower.

it had good “wok hae”, individually rice grains “tioc tioc” we say in teochew, quite good la. 🙂

#8 the thai red curry vegetables was a variation of my thai red curry sotong (squid) which i served for the 30+pax lunch party for my daughter last month.

i just replaced the sotong by vegetables. i had potato, egg plant, onions, yellow pepper, tomato. for me, a non vegetarian, it was no comparison with the red curry sotong of course but still an excellenty flavoured curry dish.

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 the 3rd dish to be eaten with the egg fried rice was brocoli with cauliflower. i actually asked if the guys wanted eat or they were full..haha! ^^

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

my wife, daughter, everyone wanted it. my son said there is no discussion. 🙂

#10 i made a banoffee (banana toffee) cake for dessert. we have been having tiramisu & tofu cheese cake so i wanted a change from usual.

it was a really nice cake. a great combination of flavours – very nice biscuit base, a thin tasty layer of caramel so not too sweet & nice whipped cream topped with chocolate shavings.

D-24 durian...also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

D-24 durian…also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

and we had D-24 & maoshanwang 猫山王 durians!

D-24 durian...also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

D-24 durian…also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

an excellent finish to the 10-course vegetarian dinner. i forgot to take photos of the maoshanwang durians though. ate too fast! haha! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Homecooked Zi Char Daipaidong Dishes 郭记大排档美食 (Just Kidding!)

郭记大排档美食 homecooked zi char dishes

郭记大排档美食 homecooked zi char dishes

made a 4pax homecooked zi char dinner for my sis, b-i-l & daughter last evening on 7.7.2015.^^ was back home at 6pm & 5 dishes all done in an hour. dinner ready by 7pm. 🙂

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i washed & steamed the whole eggplant first, about 10mins.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i portioned about 350g minced pork for the 3 dishes – steamed egg, steamed salted fish minced pork & eggplant. and cut 1 small red onion & 1/2 large tomato.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

when serving, i browned some garlic in 1tbsp oil, added onions & minced pork then tomato, mixed 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp tomato sauce, 1tsp fish sauce (to taste) & 1 tsp cornflour in 2/3 cup water. i added to the pan & reduced. then i drenched them over the steamed whole egg plant.

this really an excellent dish!^^ eggplant was firm not mushy yet sweet & tender when cut, & combined perfectly with the sauce.

i basically had the inspiration & was recreating the dish from 富记大排档tai wai.

but seriously i think my dish tasted much better. 富记’s meat sauce was purely tomato sauce. by adding oyster sauce, the taste was very much better, at least for my palate haha!^^

i ran out of salted fish so asked sis to buy some on the way. sky time salted fish 250g sky time salted fish 250g2 she got me sky time salted fish which was a lot better than the one i recently used. the flavours were fragrant & you can feel it while steaming & at the table (the reason some may hate salted fish..haha!) there were about 7-8pieces in the 250g bottle which cost S$4.90. 🙂

i used 1 slice, removed the larger bones & did a very small portion about 180g minced pork, & cut lots of slice ginger, some mixed in the minced pork, rest on top, and added about 2tsp of the salted fish oil & 1 tbsp veg oil. steamed for 10mins. this dish was excellent. most comfort of comfort food. i like my own version 咸鱼饼 as much as that of shi le yuan 实叻圆糜, which i also like a lot.^^

i mixed 2 eggs, aded 2 tsp fish sauce & some white pepper. then mixed the remaining about 120g minced pork with chopped large red chilli & spring onions, and added 2tsp fish sauce. i should have added 2 tbsp water but forgot that this evening. steamed for 10mins.

the egg was still very nice & tasty, but the texture would have been better with some water. the best steamed egg with minced pork i did is here 

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

i bought a small mullet 乌鱼from sheng shiong for S$4 (S$8.90/kg). i placed some cut ginger in the belly & steamed for 15mins. then cool & place in the freezer for 15mins.

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

the teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷 taken with tau jeon was as good as any outside. a thing i observe (a bit of personal preference also) is do not ask the seller to clean the fish. all the livers & delicacies were gone! for my preference also not to ask even to remove the scale (if need be just remove the gills). for me i can remove the gills & clean the fish stomach myself & i feel that keeping the scale is better especially when serving the mullet chilled. then the skin will come off easily together with the scales. otherwise the skin is difficult to break with chopstick & the meat will be meshed uo when eating.

egg fried rice

egg fried rice

& i had some egg fried rice, very firm individual grains coated with egg. ^^ c.h.e.f andy