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). 🙂
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.^^
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.
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 my wife made a pumpkin tofu salad. this a wonderful salad she made after some lunch at marmalade.^^
the angus ribeye was pan-grilled, charred to produce the maillard reaction to impart the flavours & nicely medium rare. 🙂
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 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.
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 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.
my helper’s spicy pork ribs was also a perennial favourite. 🙂
#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 & 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.^^
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.^^
did another of my homecooked meals for my friends for lunch on 6.11.2014.
usually for western dishes, i did sit-down dinners serving course by course. but there’s advantage in having pre-cooked food & serving as buffet. though i enjoyed every minute of cooking (& often experimentation) for family & friends, the purpose is not just about food & cooking but to be part of the conversation & shared memories. 🙂
for this lunch, i did 10 dishes. 🙂
the best dish, most popular by far & winning hands down, was the #1 oven grilled miso salmon belly – marinated & kept in chiller for 3 days & in the oven for 15mins at 25odegC. taste was excellent, perfect combination of flavours.
the #2 miso belly pork was an experiment. i used the same marinade for the miso salmon belly. i did slow braising using cold crackpot to 79degC, so the pork belly was very tender before marinate. however my marinade was just too little & did not infuse the flavours well. also i used the same 15mins oven grill to do the sliced pork (to save electricity). i think i need to use a hot pan on high heat then the searing could be done very quickly w/o overcooking the already cooked meat.
#3 the beer can chicken was another experiment! i brined a small 1kg whole chicken in usual sugar & salt (but boiled with a packet of chinese tea this time). i put sliced garlic under the skin & use a bbq meat dry rub. then i did the usual beer can chicken oven grill at 250degC for 25mins & 175degC for 15mins.
wa..this chicken was really tasty, moist & tender – my best roast chicken ever. 🙂 but no hint of any tea flavours though!
my helper prepared the pumpkin tofu salad. it’s a dish put together by my wife after dining at some place that served that. i could do this but my helper did this regularly for my wife’s packet lunch, so i got her to do it.
i did the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, sea salt & honey (did not have agave nectar) mix, and did the tossing when about to start the meal. 🙂
#5 striploin was another experiment – slow crockpot braising to 52degC (rare) placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled. i did this before for my daughter’s packed lunch. she said it was very flavourful.
today though it was overshadowed by the #7 tagliata di manzo, which had a better usa harry’s grain-fed angus striploin cut & was done on the spot just before start of the meal. 🙂
#6 kurobuta was prepared in the same way – slow crockpot braising to 79degC (well done) placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled.
the meat itself was very flavourful so the dish was well received. this was an experimental variation of my usual pan-grilled kurobuta.
i wasn’t confident of the result of the slow crockpot striploin so had a back-up usa harry’s grain-fed angus striploin which i decided to cook anyway.
#7 tagliata di manzo is commonly served in italian restaurants. e.g. as 1 friend mentioned during lunch, capri, but also in say alborgo, valentino etc.
i did this #8 “monterosso miky” seafood risotto with a vegetable base & prawn stock, so it’s a tasty dish. the prawns & squid were fried in butter separately, and the live mussels were cooked separately in butter, chilli padi, sliced ginger & orange peel. mussels were very tender & tasty too.
the #9 squid-ink seafood linguine was good too. one friend liked it especially for the mango clams. 🙂
the #10 pumpkin cheese cake was my second try. a really lovely cake. the first i made for family dinner on 24.10.2014 was very good. and it’s great that this one was just as good.
a very nicely balanced cake. it was though a bulkier cake than the other lighter cakes i made, and while i liked it a lot, it was a cake that i would probably not take 2 helpings at one go.
had a 6pax family dinner on 24.10.2014. missing our son who is in london. 🙂
wife made a very nice quinoa salad, with some avocado & roasted nuts. i really liked this. she brought this salad with some packed food sometimes for office lunch in.
our helper made a pan-grilled portobello mushroom. this was also very nice with simple sea salt, pepper & olive oil.
i recently came up with a new very light miso salmon recipe. this was quite different from the miso belly pork & nobu miso cod recipe which used a lot more miso & infused flavours. i served this to my friends during 11pax lunch on 15.10.2014 (first attempt of the new recipe). they all loved it. & i did this the second time this evening. again it was everyone’s favourite. even my wife & eldest daughter who generally didn’t like salmon that much, liked this dish.
i did a pan chargrilled kurobuta. it was not as good as the other day. i should not play safe & try to cook it totally well done & have it just a little pink instead.
the tagliata di manzo (sliced pan chargrilled beef) was excellent today, both the USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5, very nicely charred for maillard reaction and nicely medium rare. my wife did the very nice restaurant plating with rockets & cherry tomatoes. 🙂
i did a squid-ink linguine today, with squid & littleneck clams (la la). it was excellent, and the la la were done very nicely. 🙂
& i have kind of perfected my “miky monterosso” seafood risotto, very sweet & tasty prawn stock (head & shells) with vegetables (celery, leek, yellow onions, carrots). 🙂
1 charmed dish was my very first time new dessert – a pumpkin cheese cake. i could taste the cake paste i mixed & knew the taste was good. but it was the first time i baked it so uncertain about timing & texture & how it would turn out. as it turned out it was almost perfect – beginner’s luck! 🙂