Good Chicken Rice @ Xin Ji 新记 on 29Jan2016

S$4 chicken rice

S$4 chicken rice

went to mei ling food centre during dinner time the other day on 29.1.2016. 🙂

xin ji 新记chicken rice

xin ji 新记chicken rice

many stalls were closed.

found xin ji 新记chicken rice at a corner stall.

this was one stall we went to a lot at level 2 of margaret drive food centre many years back, maybe 15yrs+.

i have not tried it at this new location yet.

S$4 chicken rice

S$4 chicken rice

i asked for chicken drumstick 鸡腿饭 but they did not have so i accepted 鸡尾thigh instead. 🙂

chicken was still nice, very smooth & tasty, as good as any i guess.

not really better than my own poached chicken.

or the roast chicken rice at 6th avenue.

i still don’t mind having it. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Protected: RI Reunion Committee & Friends 19pax Homecooked Dinner Get-together on 24Apr2015

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Wonderful Memorable Homecooked 19pax Dinner Get-together on 24Apr2015

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). 🙂

bread, hummus, carrot sticks

bread, hummus, carrot sticks

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.^^

onion sunflower seed bread

onion sunflower seed bread

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. 🙂

carrot sticks

carrot sticks

leck san's chickpea+avocado hummus leck san's chickpea hummus

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.

ma hua - 天津麻花

ma hua – 天津麻花

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.

pumpkin tofu

#1 pumpkin tofu

pumpkin tofu rockets salad

#1 – pumpkin tofu rockets salad

#1 my wife made a pumpkin tofu salad. this a wonderful salad she made after some lunch at marmalade.^^

#2 i have made tagliata di manzo (sliced beef) many times. it is a common italian dish. i had it at capri, and many time at fresco & cimmino at milan.^^

the angus ribeye was pan-grilled, charred to produce the maillard reaction to impart the flavours & nicely medium rare. 🙂

#3 teriyaki cod was excellent this evening, many commented melt in the mouth goodness.^^

i used my own teriyaki sauce recipe, this time adding 1 tsp of miso. miso cures the cod & give a firmer, less flaky texture.

friend's morocan baked salmon

#4 friend’s morocan baked salmon

Mahen's morocan baked salmon Mahen's morocan baked salmon4 Mahen's morocan baked salmon2 Mahen's condiments - lemon and Chinese chives.

#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.

#7 i think my 白斩鸡 – poached chicken was very near perfect, certainly better than most chicken rice out there!

& today i made an excellent chicken rice. as a friend commented, he could smell the very fragrant rice as it was brought to the table!

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.

Leck San's acahr Leck San's achar2

a friend brought excellent achar, just the right appetising condiments for the chicken rice.

jap miso salmon

#8 jap miso salmon

#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.

spicy pork ribs

#9 spicy pork ribs

my helper’s spicy pork ribs was also a perennial favourite. 🙂

#10 蒜泥白肉 was a favourite for many. very tender melt in the mouth belly pork (about 5 hrs on crockpot at low fully immersed) & flavourful sichuan chilli sauce.

#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.

romaine lettuce

#12 romaine lettuce

#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.^^

$14 i did my usual tiramisu & i added quite a good dose of brandy which my friends love. it was good as usual.

friend's jackfruit

friend’s jackfruit

friend's grapes

friend’s grapes

2 friends brought jackfruit & grapes to round off the dinner.

friend's konnyaku

friend’s konnyaku

friend's biscotti

friend’s biscotti

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.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Curry Chicken Noodles Cravings @ Ah Heng Hong Lim Food Centre on 31Mar2015

was in town & went to eat curry chicken noodles again at ah heng, hong lim food centre on 31.3.2015. a losing battle with cravings. really like it! ^^

they were out of drumstick so i had the chicken thigh or 鸡尾. 🙂

last time i had this irresistible curry chicken noodles here was 19.1.2015.

i have tried heng kee which was good too, but of the 2 my preference is ah heng.

the curry gravy  was simple excellent, so tasty & savoury. the taupok was just right & well infused with the curry flavours. the chicken was among the very best of any chicken rice stalls.

i was enamoured enough with this to try my own curry chicken noodles (which was not so easy). my own poached chicken 白斩鸡 is certainly as good. the curry gravy though pretty good as well is still not quite comparable.

c.h.e.f andy

Curry Chicken Noodles – Finale

i tried my hands first at curry chicken noodles because i so like the hong lim FC curry chicken noodles.

i like both stalls but like ah heng’s better-

  1. Irresistible Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 19Jan2015
  2. Heng Kee (興记) Curry Chicken Noodles at Hong Lim Food Centre on 7Nov2014
  3. Shiok Curry Chicken Noodles @ Ah Heng on 16Sep2013

& i make a very good poached chicken 白斩鸡 (i would say as good as ah heng’s & better than most chicken rice stalls) & also a very good nonya curry chicken i.e. a good flavourful chicken curry, i fancied i could combine the 2 & make a decent curry chicken noodles.

that was when i tried my hands and recorded as Curry Chicken Noodles – Part One almost 2 years ago on 29.6.2013.

i served it to my friends at a 11pax Homegourmet Dinner on 11Jun2013, & everyone loved it. still, i said “Curry Chicken Noodles – Part One” because i wasn’t totally happy with the results, it was not near enough to ah hen’s.

this time though i think i have graduated. it was jolly good. haha!^

i had a 9pax homecooked lunch featuring chilli crab angel hair (w/o crab), another “crabless” beehoon, and this curry chicken noodles on 9.3.2015.^^

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

curry for curry chicken noodles

my chicken curry looked potent, as it should be!^^

since i was using the curry as sauce i.e. not cooking with the chicken (chicken was poached separately), so i used a lot of chicken bones (2 chicken) to make a very flavour broth for the curry soup. 🙂

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

noodles, fishcake,bean sprouts

fish cake,bean sprouts

fish cake,bean sprouts

i had the yellow noodles & thick beehoon done al dente, placed in cold water & ice to make sure they stopped cooking & were firm & not mushy. same for the bean sprouts, still crunchy (but not in  cold water, just aga or estimate, not so critical).

& the second most important after the curry soup, the poached chicken 白斩鸡. this my pride & joy. haha!^^ i think it was very good. 🙂

curry chicken noodles

curry chicken noodles

all ready to serve, in 9 bowls.

only thing i could not replicate is the hot, cold, hot sequence! which is (1)cook the noodles (2) put in cold water to stop cooking (3) put back in hot soup to warm before adding soup.

i did the first 2 already. the last is so that the noodles are warm (mine were cold obviously), so the hot soup when added will not have so much drop in temperature.

well, it’s not perfect la!

curry chicken noodles

curry chicken noodles

still it was a pretty good!

all my friends loved it. in the end it’s also that i myself loved it & felt very good about it!

overall the dish was “almost” there la! & my chicken definitely equal if not better.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (I use 1.4kg from Giant hypermarket OR Sheng Shiong)
  • 2l chicken stock  (from bones of 2 chicken)
  • 300ml thick coconut milk or to taste
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 clove
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 stems lemon grass (white part)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (about that but also to taste)
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar (about that but also to taste)
  • 10 pieces of dried taupok (each cut into 4 strips)
  • 2 potatoes peeled & diced (about 10 pieces)
  • 3  ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake
  • 200g tau gay

for spice paste (ground in mixer or pound in mortar):

  • 100g dried prawns
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 18 shallots
  • 18 dried chilli (soaked in water & removed seeds)
  • 10g coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken curry – stir-fry star anise, cinnamon stick & cloves over low heat. add in the spice paste and stir-fry till fragrant. add the curry leaves and fry them really well. add chicken stock with dried prawns & bring to boil. use the carcase of 1 chicken as stock base. subsequently after cooking & deboning the whole chicken, use the bones/carcase to add to the soup – so 2 chicken bones/carcase to provide the soup stock flavours. add diced potatoes to add to the body of the soup & cook for about 1/2hr or till they break by pressing against the side of the saucepan. add sea salt & sugar & add 200ml thick coconut milk OR to taste.
  2. Cook the chicken – See poached chicken 白斩鸡.
  3. Condiments – grill ikan parang (西刀鱼) fish cake in a toaster oven, let them cool & then slice them. add taupok (dried bean curd) nearer the end of cooking.
  4. Serve with noodles – boil yellow noodles & thick beehoon for laksa till just cooked (al dente) and put in ice bath to stop cooking so noodles are QQ. when everything is done, serve yellow noodles & thick beehoon in bowl & add the fishcake & cut chicken. then add boiling curry soup with taupok & potatoes & serve.

3 Days of Non-stop Feasting @ Chinese New Year 2015 (19-21Feb2015)

as usual, had a very foodful chinese new year. it was just a spate of continuous eating, meals & snacks. no matter if i skipped meals, as there were continuous munching of snacks to fill the gaps, so weight watching was quite simply a lost cause.

my happy chinese new year blessings to all my friends here

CNY Eve

for CNY eve we had our reunion dinner at my elder brother’s place.

this year i made buddha-jump-over-the-wall(BJOTW), 1/2spicy duck 盐水鸭 & using the same marinade, a spicy belly pork.

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

the BJOTW was a poor man’s version. apart from a can of 6 pieces small abalones & good thick mushrooms, the other ingredients were cheap (limpets) and mostly unhealthy (pig trotter, pig ear, belly pork, pig head meat).

look was impressive (top photo), taste was pretty good. but i was not overly impressed with my own effort. there was too much food anyway & didn’t really need more unhealthy food – will skip this next CNY.

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

my sis brought the pencai 盆菜. flavours was very good, and the small abalones much better than what i had. this year pencai 盆菜very expensive everywhere. hers was a very much cheaper one only S$138 for 6pax.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

my wife made her usual hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财), and as usual very nice, though the ones she made later on Day2 was even better, tastier.

braised pig stomach

braised pig stomach

my s-i-l’s mom made the braised pig stomach (though nowadays the person actually making it was the helper). this a dish i always like.

char siew & roast pork

char siew & roast pork

my niece made very good char siew & roast pork. she made a small business of it, selling 20kg of the tasty dish over the internet.

my spicy duck 盐水鸭 was good too. it was a lighter version c/w my teochew braised duck. in fact this dish is served as appetiser in shanghai, nanjing, jiangnan locality.

spicy belly pork

spicy belly pork

i used the same spice to do the spicy belly pork. this was ok but not great. i did this again on Day2 & that was miles better!^^

mantis prawn

mantis prawn

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

my brother bought very large mantis prawns, 5 pieces for S$35. i did not take any. it wasn’t too great also but certainly looked nice. the chilli though was very good, better than most chilli crabs. 🙂

pomfret

pomfret

pomfret was usual. i did not try it either, just too much food.

tofu with leeks

tofu with leeks

tofu with leek, and broccoli

tofu with leek, and broccoli

i liked all the vege.

my brother tried eating out for 3 years for CNY eve. we went to joyden (previously called west coast seafood). food was quite good & not too expensive, however with say 13pax or more, it still came to >S$600. all of us cook, so it was so much more fun just to cook some dishes & bring over. i definitely preferred our own homecooked CNY eve dinner. ^^

CNY Day 1

breakfast spread

breakfast spread

again our family tradition, on CNY Day 1, we went over to my brother’s place for breakfast.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

many of the dishes were leftover from CNY eve dinner.

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

there were too much food on CNY eve, so we kept the prawns for Day1 breakfast, and added the rabbit fish知县鱼 (very sweet) & the salmon sashimi my wife bought (very good too!).

tofu & leeks

tofu & leeks

leftovers from last evening!

mushrooms & greens

mushrooms & greens

& some more vegetables. ^^

CNY Day 2

CNY Day2 is my wife’s tradition. she would invite her brothers & sister & their families (nephews & grand nephews & grand niece).

this year we took a family photo. & there are 26pax + our dog rusty. ^^

i made my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this time it was especially good – colour, texture, sweetness! everyone just loved this dish.^^

the miso pork was very good too. this the longest i put in the oven, 8hrs at 90degC/85degC.^^ the result was excellent. the miso marinade gave it excellent flavours & the slow low-temperature braise an excellent texture. i have learned that 90degC is the optimum temperature to convert collagen to tasty gelatine & texture, so this made the miso pork texture & bite really good!

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

i did the same for the flavoured pork 风味五花肉, and this was excellent too, with a different sichuan spice marinade.

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

we had the same tanhoon fungus.

chilli pork ribs

chilli pork ribs

& my helper’s chilli pork ribs.

deepfried chicken wings

deepfried chicken wings

some chicken wigs for the young ones.

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

for my niece & her husband who are vegetarians, i made a funghi linguine. also for my wife’s sister. it was really good. they all loved it, and there was a bit of leftovers for the nephews.

after that it was my tofu cheese cake & tiramisu, which disappeared in no time.

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

i especially liked the ice jelly with longans, palm fruits my wife’s sil made. she always bring that for our gatherings. very refreshing. i had several helpings.

c.h.e.f andy

Tapao (Takeaway) Dinner @ Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant on 11Feb2015

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

went to watch “Still Alice” at orchard cineleisure with friends on 11.2.2015. 🙂

it’s a movie about early onset of alzeimer. it’s quite slow. but it was a meaningful movie. good actress julianne moore. & kristen stewart was pretty good too.

some of my friends felt the movie was not intense enough, too watered down. they made the same comment about “The Theory of Everything” on stephen hawkings.

for me though, both were ok. the director & scriptwriter had to pick the scenes that best communicated with the audience. perhaps some real live stresses, more intense discord among the characters, tempers flaring might carry the message better. maybe that will offer more tension among the characters & more acting challenges. but i also understand that some methods of portrayal use subtle conversations to convey deep emotions, distress, tension and being conflicted. (i must say that i did not feel any strong connection to alec baldwin feeling conflicted with wanting to go to washington instead of spending the final months with his alzeimer wife though he did stay with her, so in my view that was mediocre acting).

for me the few scenes like telling the husband “why are you not listening to me” when her facial expression seamlessly morphed from anxious sharing to indignation & frustration with the husband not listening to anguish, sorrow & despair needing comfort marked her out as a very good actress. so was the speech at the alzeimer interest group.

& the several scenes of tension with lydia (kristen stewart) showed very good (if subtle – i quite like this subtle approach rather than flaring of emotions though it really depends on the acting, scripting & portrayals) tension between a mother losing her mind & a daughter wanting to be independent & not emotionally blackmailed but loving & caring for the mother. she got across the emotions of tension & conflicted. 🙂

ok, so much for the movie.

the food at cineleisure B1 sucks. so we decided to tapao dinner before movie. a friend picked up the food from Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant 荷兰村XO鱼头米粉酒楼.

san loh hor fun生捞河粉

san loh hor fun三捞河粉

the san loh hor fun三捞河粉 was good, but i thought i had tapao better wok hae ones from there. still it was tasty, good fish slices & i love the chilli padi & pickled green chilli.

some tofu dish with prawns & shimeji

some tofu dish with prawns & shimeji

the tofu dish with prawns & shimeji was competent, a good dish.

chicken breast with liver & gizzard

chicken breast with liver & gizzard

the 白斩鸡 chicken rice chicken? pretty good. my friend got the healthy chicken breast. actually chicken breast is the real test of good cooking, so this was pretty good – tender, moist, sweet. didn’t think it was better than my own poached chicken 白斩鸡 nor my son’s lemon roast chicken though.

& confession – i still like drumstick better..haha!^^

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

fish belly soup 鱼肌汤

i liked the fish belly soup 鱼肌汤 especially. it was xo preparation with good amount of xo (i guess). enjoyed the soup very much.

it was very substantial dinner at S$40 for 4pax (though we had someone who hardly ate), very decent considering food court prices these days. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: 12-course Homecooked Buffet Dinner for RI Reunion Committee & Friends on 6Feb2015

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12-course Homecooked Buffet Dinner for RI Reunion Committee & Friends on 6Feb2015

a friend brought shepherd's pie

a friend brought shepherd’s pie

had a homecooked dinner for 22pax RI friends on 6.2.2015. 🙂

these group of friends were mostly of the committee that organised the recent RI reunion dinner on 22.12.2014 attended by 118 old schoolmates & 10 teachers. well done people!^^

i prepared 12 dishes including 2 desserts. & a friend brought shepherd’s pie & another brought cookies.

shepherd’s pie was very good. my daughter had some from the little leftover the next day & she thought the potatoes were moist & soft & the beef flavour was good.

maybe i should try making this too. shepherd’s pie is a great party food.

#1 thai prawn tanhoon

#1 thai prawn tanhoon

#1 my helper’s thai prawn tanhoon is usually a very appetising dish, spicy, tangy, tasty. this evening though it seemed to be a bit dry. about 1/4 was leftover (where usually it is finished). a friend (who comes for dinner regularly) later told me that some parts the taste was not quite the usual he had. not sure why, maybe the quantity was too much for the wok & the tanhoon was not mixed consistently.

#2 i did a Nobu miso cod.  it can be pre cooked & served cold, and the miso firmed up the flaky texture of cod so it is easier to cut into small serving pieces.^^

#3 i did my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this is easy to prepare dish. on this day though, i was dreaming & removed the chicken after 10mins boiling (w/o poaching it for another 20mins) & placed in ice water. though i recovered by poaching it again for longer 25mins, the temperature change caused the parts near the bones to be red/pink when i deboned it later. so i had to poach the cut pieces another time. sian! haha!

i asked several friends afterwards & they all thought the chicken was alright (& well finished), i guess it was quite ok but the moist, glistening look (like the duck had in photos below) was gone & the meat would be less tasty.

#4 盐水鸭 spicy poached duck was a replacement dish (i went 3 times to get salmon belly for miso salmon but they were unavailable). this nanjing 盐水鸭 is a 风味鸭, a bit more exotic flavours with sichuan peppercorn chillies.

it is 1 of my favourites as it has less strong flavours c/w teochew braised duck 卤鸭 & is often served as a starter in taiwanese restaurants & in shanghai, nanjing etc, the 江南region.

#5 蒜泥白肉 spicy garlic pork had been a crowd favourite in my dinners (when i served chinese food). it was easy to make as i adapted the pot roast method (cold crockpot on low slow gentle braising). so i just needed to place the belly pork in a cold crockpot with water (added salt & sugar for brining) on low for 5hrs to temperature 79degC.^^

the only thing left to do was just to prepare the spicy sichuan sauce to drizzle over the pork & japanese cucumbers.

spicy pork ribs

#6 spicy pork ribs

#6 my helper makes a very good spicy pork ribs, so that is a staple in my chinese dinners. one friend repeatedly proclaimed how much he liked the dish.^^

#7 my dry wok prawns combined pan-grilled bbq flavours with a baked-in-shell moist texture + the nice flavours of chilli padi & fish sauce infused under high wok temperature. always a popular dish.

sambal seabass

#8 sambal seabass

#8 my helper’s sambal seabass, another bedrock of my chinese dinners, was almost cleaned up before my “professional photographers” had time to train their cameras.^^

#9 the spicy seafood fried rice was modelled after crystal jade lamian xialongbao’s. unable to match that, but it was pretty good with bismati long grain rice & nice sichuan peppercorn chilli flavours.

poached romaine lettuce with shitake

#10 poached romaine lettuce with shitake

#10 my helper’s poached romaine lettuce with shitake is also a regular in my chinese dinners (usually she uses hk kailan but this time it was romaine lettuce just as good).^^

#11 everyone fell in love with the tofu cheese cake. maybe the trick was just to cut an ultra thin slice, so everyone thought it was so good & clamouring to have more. a friend had 3 helpings.^^

#12 one friend had a photo with him holding up the emptied tiramisu dish & biting the serving spoon (like nadal biting his grand slam champions trophy). i think tiramisu was just as well received but tofu cheesecake was a bit less common so everyone was intrigued by it.^^

cookies instructions

cookies instructions

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought very nice cookies – almond, shortbread & mamor.

now i am thinking of trying almond & shortbread. mamor looked too exquisite & too high effort-to-results ratio for lazy & utilitarian me. told her if i want it, i will just invite her. haha!

another friend brought 6 bottles of wine & another the whole ice box with water & softdrinks.

there was also grapes. another friend packed a fruit basket for me so we were eating custard apples, mangosteens, chiku, guava, mango etc for the next several days.

& a friend brought some seaweed & almond biscuits.^^

it was really a fun, enjoyable & most satisfying get-together.

c.h.e.f andy

RI V.S.O.P. (Very Special Old Pals) 11pax Homecooked Lunch on 15Oct2014

crackling roast belly pork

crackling roast belly pork

had a homecooked 11pax lunch for my RI buddies on 15.10.2014. the last we had was a 10pax kueh chap lunch on 17.9.2014. 🙂

& this lunch highlights-

1. sio bak (crackling belly pork) from a friend
2. “tunglok” big prawn noodles (in golden broth)
3. vietnamese street food – chargrilled pork neck with cold beehoon & fish sauce (forgot my mint leaves & basil leaves)
4. banoffee pie (very 1st try)

crackling roast belly pork

crackling roast belly pork

like the last time, a friend brought his 成名 renown supergood sio bak (crackling roast belly pork) – this time the crackling was less than the last. i told him he made me gave up on sio bak & saved me from a lifetime of unfulfilled tedium (making sio bak unsuccessfully)..haha! 🙂

my motto – why try so hard when someone can do better? just invite him to bring lor! 🙂

阳春面 - a cheap flat chinese noodle

阳春面 – a cheap flat chinese noodle

dry wok chilli garlic prawns

dry wok chilli garlic prawns

big prawn noodles in golden broth – this should be served last in a course dinner, before dessert. lately i decided to try to serve all the food buffet style instead of as a course meal. it is not always possible but many dishes can be adapted. as this has to be served hot, we took this first dish first. 🙂

tunglok lobster ramen - 龙虾焖拉面

tunglok lobster ramen – 龙虾焖拉面

the key was the golden broth. it was my own recipe emulating the lobster noodles at tunglok (above). 🙂

from the feedback everyone loved this dish.

the 1/2 poached chicken – 白斩鸡saliva chicken – 口水鸡 were now a standard dish. it was easy, require little effort to make, and both were very tasty.  i brined the chicken in sugar & salt for 48hrs before poaching on the day.

miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly was another new experiment.  i created this new miso marinade recipe & was not sure if i would serve it for lunch. it turned out to be an excellent dish. my wife brought some to office for her packed lunch & all her colleagues liked it. & all my friends at lunch liked it! 🙂

V.S.O.P. = Very Special Old Pals...hahaha!

V.S.O.P. = Very Special Old Pals…hahaha!

a friend brought V.S.O.P. = Very Special Old Pals…hahaha! 🙂

could not quite make the connection lunch & V.S.O.P. so had to assume he went everywhere with one. haha! 🙂

vietnamese chargrilled pork neck with cold beehoon. i did this the second time. first was for 3-4pax, so this first time for 11pax.

i bought mint but forgot to serve both the mint & my homegrown basil!

& i forgot to make the all important fish sauce mix beforehand to serve together, so had to make 1 batch then a second batch while having lunch.

anyway the guys all liked it. although our self-proclaimed vietnam expert was actually clueless when it came to assembling the dish. haha! 🙂 this a dish that you feast on sitting on a very low stool next to a very clean vietnam street vendor!

garlic fried romaine lettuce

garlic fried romaine lettuce

my help made a nice garlic fried romain lettuce which everyone liked.

the banoffee (banana toffee) pie was the very first virgin attempt!

the guys walloped the whole cake, though a few including me, felt it was kind of sweet though ok to eat. anyway i made another one the next day with 1/2 the toffee & 50% more bananas, & it was an excellent very well balanced cake. 🙂

post event leftovers - chargrilled pork neck beehoon

post event leftovers – chargrilled pork neck beehoon

口水鸡阳春面

口水鸡阳春面

i had just a little leftovers, so i made myself dinner with the chargrilled pork & the saliva chicken with 阳春面. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: Fun & Satisfying Homecooked 13-course Dinner for 15pax on 3Oct2014

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Fun & Satisfying Homecooked 13-course Dinner for 15pax on 3Oct2014

had a very s  satisfying homecooked dinner last evening on 3.10.2014. 🙂

while i really enjoy cooking for my family & friends even if there is considerable effort (& a close friend said exactly what it felt like – he really enjoyed it so he did not see it as effort), the point is how to plan the dishes & keep improving to manage the dinner smoothly & achieve best results with least effort. this is also part of the fun. 🙂

i decided to follow a friend’s lead to serve all dishes pre-cooked or served at the start buffet style instead of course by course (i enjoyed the delicious food at 4 of his makan sessions, most recently at a scrumptious homechef mooncake dinner on 8.9.2014).

it is quite important actually not to be disrupted from dinner conversation even though going into the kitchen to cook every course does have its own satisfaction. 🙂 i may even try that for my monterosso seafood risotto, lobster pasta. for king prawn ramen in golden sauce etc which are best served in individual portions, it seems best still to serve them course by course. so i do those for smaller sit down dinners. 🙂

#1 poached chicken

#1 poached chicken

#1 poached chicken – i brined in sugar & salt for 48hrs which made it tasty & moist & then 10mins simmered & 20-25mins poached, then cold water. this a crowd favourite with many supporters. 🙂

#2 braised pig trotters & #3 braised belly pork – i did them together using the cold crockpot method & set meat thermometer to 82degC. this would take about 5hrs, gentle slow & low temperature braising. i did this 1 day before. both were tender, gelatinous but still firm. i prefer this firmer texture.

#4 盐水鸭 – i applied a dry brine seasoning rub & put in chiller for for 48hrs (main condiment is sichuan spicy chilli sauce). cooking method same as poached chicken, but 15mins simmered & 30mins poached. duck was tender & tasty but i felt the 风味 taste was not pronouced enough like last time.

#5 蒜泥白肉 – i got the pork a day before dinner so only brined 24hrs. used the same cold crockpot method to produce a very gentle braise using chicken stock from the poached chicken. this one again many supporters.

#6 6hr "sous vide" miso lamb shoulder

#6 6hr “sous vide” miso lamb shoulder

#6 6hr “sous vide” miso lamb shoulder – more or less perfected this dish. the miso tempered the strong gamey taste & 90degC was apparently the optimum temperature to break down collagen (tough connective tissues) to tasty gelatine, so a very tasty, tender dish. 🙂

1 friend said she especially liked the dish. another mentioned it was a bit sweet. i would probably reduce the sweetness in the miso marinade a bit.

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup

#7 peanut carrots pig trotter soup – peanut porkrib soup is a common nice lie tong 例汤. i preferred to do my pig trotters w/o bones & the toe ends so i used those leftovers for the soup, which worked perfectly & added a gelatine texture to the soup. i added some carrots & also as the amount of soup was not enough for 15pax & i did not want to dilute the soup (better not enough soup than enough diluted soup), the chicken stock came to rescue. this i added & the soup tasted quite perfect for me. 🙂

so it was kind of a planned & orderly execution. braised pig trotters & belly pork i did 1 day before, and the leftover pig trotter bones & tips I made soup 1 day before. this freed up the crockpot for the 蒜泥白肉 on the day. chicken & duck were brined 48hrs before & an easy 10mins+20mins for chicken & 15mins+30mins for 1/2duck simmered + poached. miso lamb was marinated 3days before & just gone into oven for 6hrs on dinner day.

easy eh? 🙂

i only had to do the seafood fried rice & wok grilled prawns, nearer dinner time.

i cooked the rice in rice cooker in the morning (forgot to do day before), & i fried the rice with the sichuan spicy chilli early.

about 1 hr (530pm) before dinner at 630pm, i fried in butter the small prawns & squid. when 90% guests arrived, i heat the fried rice & seafood in the wok together, & i did the dry wok king prawns with ginger, garlic, chilli padi & fish sauce. so every dish was ready to serve together. 🙂

#10 sambal seabass

#10 sambal seabass

#11 poached hk kailan with shitake

#11 poached hk kailan with shitake

aunty bes did the #10 sambal seabass & #11 poached hk kailan with shitake. everyone loved the fish. 1 friend commented the kailan was so vibrant in colour. kailan was poached & usually looked greener.

& everyone loved the tofu cheese cake & tiramisu. i did them 1 day before. 1 friend said the dessert topped everything. 🙂

1 friend would be celebrating her birthday few days later, so i asked another to bring a candle (i did not have one) & used the tofu cheese cake as the birthday cake. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy