a group of us RI friends have the idea that as we all have a good time coming together enjoying the food & company, making new memories together, many may also be ready to share with others and spread the cheer.
two ideas were discussed-
- when we get together again in the new year 2016, maybe many will be in the mood to make some small donations to a beneficiary charity (we are thinking we can do this twice in 2016 at one of the friend’s place & maybe we can collect say between S$1000 and S$2000 each time).
- some of us who loves cooking (& there are many among us) may offer to cook community meals for some needy folks….currently many friends are already managing events (some weekly) at some premises where various groups (senior folks or needy families in the community) come by to share some food.
those were ideas to be discussed further for the time being.
meanwhile 2 friends helped to organise this dinner at a friend’s house on 3.12.2015. we had 28pax this evening including the host couple. ^^
3 of us offered to make some dishes for all our good RI friends to share some food & fun time together.
this eat-together actually also serve a specific purpose to work out the food logisitcs of planning & co-ordinating the type of dishes to make (by 3 parties) that are suitable for transporting to the host location for sharing among a sizable group, and also the arrangements for transportation. ^^
a friend who made some dishes also contributed 3 bottles of wine. another friend brought 2 sparklies & the host arranged the ice box & other drinks. 🙂
one friend made a nice curry chicken. love the colour. i took couple pieces & the curry. was nursing a throat infection. could not take more also.
& the biryani rice was very good too! very fluffy & light, good herb aroma. 🙂
this friend messaged me that he had to re-steam the rice. i replied that that is always a bit of touch up & make-overs only those who cook know…which our kaypoh friend proceeded to promptly broadcast to the rest as his pet trivials….haha! 🙂
one of my favourite for the evening (seems like everyone also) was the mee goreng (top photo).
cannot really compare apple to apple with fried hokkien prawn mee, the other delicious dish we had at another friend’s house recently. & i have not decided if i want to try cooking, but probably i will start with the hokkien mee if i do.
the other dish this friend cooked was the tandoori chicken (above photo further up), very nice colour w/o using any colouring.
all 3 of us used the same aluminium trays to transport the food w/o consulting each other. haha! ^
i made a babi pongteh. the tau jeon (& bit of gula melaka) flavours were good. i added mushrooms & taupok which were well-infused with the taste. the pork texture were just slightly hard c/w my usual very tender belly pork.
the sambal seabass prepared by my helper is a perennial favourite among my friends & also this evening.
i did a thai red curry sotong also. this was done with a ready made “dancing chef” curry mix.
& the usual dry wok prawns.
i also made a broccoli & cauliflower, just pan-fry with garlic & added oyster sauce, fish sauce, cornflour mix.
& i got my helper to make the chilli long beans with fried beancurd. this quite an appetizing dish.
one of our friend is vegetarian & coming late at 8.30pm. so we arranged for him to have some vegetarian mee goreng, a vegetarian wrap & kept some of the 2 veg dishes for him. i think he had a good time too. usually he doesn’t eat much when he comes.
i made 2 tubs of tiramisu.
all the friends loved this. it was light, very moist with lots of strong coffee (200ml) & brandy (50ml).
a friend brought his usual sweet watermelon. he must be good friends with the vendor by now. 🙂
another friend brought lots of ice cream bars & eclairs. i usually don’t take these but i enjoyed an ice cream bar this evening. 🙂
we had a very fun time together. there were 27 of us old RI friends from our cohort + the host’s wife, total 28pax.
we emptied out all the food. this was part of the food planning. one friend was asking whether it was ok with addition of few other attendees.
just for myself, we are at the age where we don’t need to consume too much carbs & also can manage with a bit more or less food, so my overall view is if a few more people, we just eat a little less lor….of course we don’t want the guests to go hungry. haha! 🙂
in the end it seems the first eat-togehter that involves 3 separate persons cooking & transporting the food to the host’s place came out pretty well, thanks to good co-ordination & everyone helping out.
everyone had a really fun evening. good food & old & new memories help to bring & keep people together.
we also stayed back to “unmess” the place against the direct strict instructions of the host & hostess to leave.
had an exciting evening with my friends on 26.8.2015. ^^
we had 16pax. i planned to serve asian dishes mainly buffet style, and a pasta, beef & lamb dish during the course of dinner. 🙂
a friend brought 清汤牛腩. it was my favourite for the evening. i had a good beef brisket noodles at imperial treasure nanbei few days back on 23.8.2015, one of the few authentic ones. still, that was a bit more beefy. i personally prefer this 清汤牛腩 style. sometimes homecook is the best! ^^
my wife could not join dinner this evening. she organised the quinoa pumpkin tofu salad for me & i mixed in the rockets when serving (so that rockets would not be soggy).
everyone loved the salad. 🙂
i did the spanish omelette. did not do this a the longest time & recently revived it when i served a 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8px for my niece’s birthday.
this was a very popular dish among my diners.
i recently tried out a new preparation for cooking char siew & maybe found the right combination to reproduce easily very flavourful & tender, moist char siew. it is also easy to do, just put on a rack in a preheated oven for 20mins.
& it worked well, very tasty, well charred & quite tender inside. the ends were a bit harder than what i made previously because this roll of pork collar was thinner, so need to adjust the timing say to 18mins for thinner rolls.
i made a ter kar tan 猪脚冻. it was a bit meaty & not as good as my head cheese terrine 猪头冻, but still a friend who cooked this also thought it was very good. i think the taste was good, i should use either pig’s head meat or a lot of pig skin as pig’s trotter is overly meaty & heavy. & the colour should be lighter, means less or no dark sauce.
my chicken ballotine was very good today, mostly finished.
there was a bit left though, and when i heat the curry sauce in the microwave & applied it to the cold chicken the next day, for me it was still excellent. 🙂
the thai red curry sotong (squid) was just as lovely. it’s a bit spicier & very good with the rice.
i did the vietnamese chargrilled pork collar w/o the beehoon, just with pickled carrots & peanuts. i tried it after cooking. it was very tasty. i think it was just as good as what i had at mrs pho recently. i think better actually.
but for this evening, maybe there were too much food, it was only 1/2 taken.
the braised belly pork was done together with the ter kar tan 猪脚冻, so it was just a small portion. the braise was very tasty & the texture of the belly pork was superb by those who take belly pork. nothing was left.
the friend made 3kg of beef briskets & tendons. so i guess we did have a lot of food.
i am not complaining as this was my favourite dish for the evening. 🙂
there was some leftover, so i ate the next day & enjoyed it just as much.
my helper made the spicy black beans pork ribs. it was braised in the pan & then steamed in the steam oven. very tender & great sauce & flavours. it’s one of my perennial favourites. not much left afterwards.
my helper’s sambal sauce seabass was another dish that was everyone’s favourite. seabass has a slight mud taste & powdery texture, but with the sambal sauce, it was a very appetizing dish. nothing left.
likewise the blanched hk kailan with shitake.
it was time for the pasta, beef & lamb dishes. my friends were all very full so we decided to forgo the pink sauce prawn pasta dish.
my tagliata was just simply fabulous. it was sooooo much better than the ones we had the other evening at the zafferano wine dinner, and haha i will say it again!^^ all my friends at zafferano were here this evening anyway. 🙂
& the pistachio crusted rack of lamb. everyone just loved it! those who eat lamb anyway.
actually we had the lamb at foc the next, and that lamb was a bit more tender than mine, but my lamb was a lot tastier. 🙂 also my pistachio crust was so good it was all mobbed up!
another friend brought a chempedak cake. i like the intense chempedak flavour. it’s a cake i like but won’t take often.
the banoffee (banana toffee) cake was a bit of a failure. the whipping cream was frozen & i heat it up just so lightly, a cardinal sin of laziness. should have just waited for it to get back to room temperature. it did not whipped well & caked up when set.
fortunately the cake itself was quite excellent & many friends liked it. it is indeed a very good combination of texture & taste, banana & toffee. i used very small amount of caramel so it was not too sweet.
it was a very fun get-together. i enjoyed doing all the dishes, and i also had my friend’s excellent beef briskets & my helper’s nice dishes.
when i was looking for the right curries to make my thai yellow curry grilled chicken thighs & bought the “dancing chef yellow curry”, i also bought the thai red curry.
i did that for my daughter’s recent party on 25.7.2015 for 30pax. it was an excellent dish! ^^
i used 3 large sotongs (squids), cross-cut them, & fried them in butter.
for the curry, i fried 1 sliced yellow onions with 2tbsp red curry powder & 100ml coconut milk. when the onions softened, i added a cut red pepper & added about 300ml of chicken stock. i added cherry tomatoes last.
when serving, i heat up the red curry, and added the cooked sotong.
this is a really nice lemak, tasty dish, which i enjoyed thoroughly.
- 3 large squids cross cut
- 1 sliced yellow onions
- 1 cut red pepper
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp red curry powder
- 100ml coconut milk
- 300ml chicken stock
- cross-cut the sotongs (squids) & fried them in butter.
- fried 1 sliced yellow onions with 2tbsp red curry powder & 100ml coconut milk. when the onions softened, add a cut red pepper & add about 300ml of chicken stock. i add cherry tomatoes last.
- when serving, heat up the red curry, and add the cooked sotong.
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.
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 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! ^^
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.
and we had D-24 & maoshanwang 猫山王 durians!
an excellent finish to the 10-course vegetarian dinner. i forgot to take photos of the maoshanwang durians though. ate too fast! haha! ^^
youngest daughter was celebrating an important occasion & invited 30 friends to the house on 25.7.2015.^^
we had a really wonderfully scrumptious family-cooked lunch for her friends.
we did 13 delectable dishes!^^
& her friend made a professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake. 🙂
wife also made a PIMMS cocktail!^^
i cannot hold liquor but i liked it very much & took maybe 5 or 6 cups & a bit drunk afterwards. 🙂
#3 & i made a chicken ballotine.
#3 i steamed the first batch of 2 for 15mins. it was slight overdone.
#4 my helper did the chicken nuggets. pretty good too. 🙂
#5 & her chicken wings are a perennial favourite. 🙂
#6 i did a thai red curry sotong.
this the first time i cooked this dish. i fried in butter the sotong (squid) like i did for my flamed squid in spinanch veloute, but w/o flaming it (too tedious for quantity for 30+pax!). i tasted the sotong & it was excellent. i made the red curry gravy using the dancing chef’s ready mix with some cut yellow onions. the curry was just superb, so the combination was just crazy, a clear winner!^^
#7 for the chicken thigh, i pan-grilled on a very hot stainless steel pan. it was perfect, and daughters’ friends walloped the 6 pieces of deboned thighs from 3 chicken in double quick time. 🙂
unlike the red curry dish, for this yellow curry, i made it as a sauce similar to busaba’s to-die-for grilled chicken green curry fried rice.^^
there was actually an egg fried rice dish (which was also pretty good) to accompany the thai chicken & sotong curries but i did not have a photo.
this time, we could not get crayfish at chinatown so she used large prawns as proxy. 🙂
#9 & my helper made her crowd favourite cheese sausage spaghetti.
the whole family like this & all my children’s friends who came to the house previously all enjoyed this pasta by my helper. 🙂
very nicely creamy, i added butter (only when tossing with fire off! – you don’t want to boil the butter).^^
& fantastic colour, al dente pasta & irresistible squid ink flavour with wonderful chicken stock & squid.
in the end i cooked a second portion, total 4x300g = 1.2kg of 150D grain-fed black angus ribeye.
daughter’s friend made her a totally professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake.
plus lemon tarts & also cup cakes. every cake item was just fabulous! 🙂
it was as good as ever. daughter’s friends finished an entire tub. ^^ i had a spare tub though. there was too much cake already so we saved that.
& my daughter arranged a photo booth which was a lot of fun, & her friends came in all kinds of costumes.
the photo booth guy just finished national service & is going to london for further studies. that’s what young people do a lot these days, with internet & social media offering excellent reach, connectivity & empowerment! 🙂
what a simply incredible, most enjoyable & memorable occasion to be savoured.