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

Chilli Crab Angel Hair Pasta (w/o Crab)

chilli crab angel hair pasta wo crab

chilli crab angel hair pasta (w/o crab)

was making a few “newer” dishes for my friends to try out at a 9pax homecooked lunch yesterday on 9.3.2015.

chilli crab capellini (angel hair pasta) on 26.4.2015

one dish was chilli crab pasta, a dish i tried once before. looking at the date 7.3.2013, it was 2 years back!

i also did “crabless” beehoon & the “hong lim FC curry chicken noodles”.

my family & i are not so crazy about crabs & i don’t buy & cook crabs (i may try later).

the idea here is to use prawns stock to deliver the shellfish broth taste w/o using crabs. since i was also trying about my crab beehoon (or “crabless” beehoon) on my friends & making the prawn head & shell stock, so i might as well do this chilli crab dish as well. i decided to use some leftover angel hair. it fit the dish quite perfectly.

my friends all loved the dish. one commented this was actually the more creative dish.

another friend said-

Yes, I like this dish. The angel hair pasta is well infused with the tasty seafood broth.

another even more effusive, exuberant comment went-

Seldom have I eaten so much! Still digesting and trying to figure out the mysteriously delicious spicy angel hair sphagetti with hint of exotic eastern spices that awoken my palate

not sure if we were talking about the same dish though? hahaha!^^

indeed i think it was a lot better than the one i did 2 years back (if i can even remember!). but this time i had more sauce, and i used angel hair which infused more of the chilli “crab” taste. haha!^^

well, only just because it is so-called “fusion” dish, but so many places in singapore (restaurants & cafes) now do this dish, it is nothing special.

also, it was a very easy dish to do c/w the “crabless” beehoon & the “hong lim FC curry chicken noodles”.

the main thing was the sauce, which i repeated from the recipe i did on 7.3.2013 (below). only thing i added 6 chopped shallots (instead of 4), 3 ketchup (instead of 4) & 2 chilli padi (instead of 1), & i ran out of shaoxing wine so i added 1 tbsp xo brandy.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 chopped shallots
  • 3 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 in chopped ginger
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp garlic chilli sauce
  • 2 chilli padi
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp flat sugar
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsplime juice
  • 2 cup prawn stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander

Directions:

  1. Prepare the prawn shell stock – fry & boil prawn shells & heads in a large dutch oven for 3 hrs, strain and set aside the stock
  2. Prepare the chilli crab sauce –
    • mix the ketchup, chilli sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, vinegar. lime juice in a large bowl.
    • finely chopped the shallots, ginger, garlic and chilli padi (or pulse till finely chopped in a food processor).
    • add oil to a large wok over medium heat. and fry the chopped shallots, ginger, garlic & chilli padi for few minutes.
    • stir in the prepared mix from the large bowl, reduce heat and simmer of 3 or 4 minutes.
    • add the prawn shell stock, bring to boil, turn off the fire and set aside to use when required. before use, beat 1 egg and stir in & mix well.
  3. Prepare the spaghetti– add some salt & oil to water and boil the spaghetti according to timing instructions & drain in a colander.
  4. Cook – empty the prepared olive oil & browned garlic into a hot wok. pour the chilli crab sauce into the wok. heat briefly then turn off the fire, add in the spaghetti & toss & add sea salt to taste. Place the spaghetti in a serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander.