Monday, October 26, 2009

Quick and Easy Impromptu Dinner


What would you do when you run short of time to cook a comforting meal for a friend who's arriving in two hours, got bumped off from her flight, and most likely is so hungry and tired waiting at the airport for her next flight? You would probably panic and just order food from take out. I went to Costco and bought some steaks, asparagus, baby greens, dinner rolls, and crab chowder. I also opened a good wine which I have been keeping for quite sometime.

Here's the dinner menu for 6 people, an impromptu dinner that was quick and very easy to do:


Ingredients
Grilled New York Cut Steaks
Grilled Asparagus
Baby greens with Campari Tomatoes
Dinner Rolls
Red Wine: 2005 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon


As soon as I got home, I set the oven to 400 Degrees F and heated the square steak grill to high, seasoned the steaks with salt and pepper and sliced about 1/2 tablespoon of butter and put one on top of each steak. When the grill was hot enough, I started cooking the steaks. Because it was a 1" steak, I cooked it 1 minute on each side and then 3 minutes on medium heat on each side.


While the steaks were cooking, I washed the asparagus, snapped the ends with my fingers, put them on a baking tray, put salt & pepper, and drizzled olive oil on top generously. After this, I popped them in the oven to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.


I then worked on the baby greens and Campari tomatoes which I just quartered and garnished on top of the greens. For the dressing, I used ranch.


My daughter set the table and as soon as I heard the door bell ring, I poured the soup on their individual bowls, plated the food, and asked everyone else to sit down. As usual, I told them to enjoy the food.


Bon Appetit!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Langkawi Malaysian Restaurant



In my desire to learn more about other Southeast Asian food, I have researched online about the dishes in Singapore, Malaysia,Thailand, and Indonesia. These countries have their own variations of cooking certain dishes. I also researched on Malaysian restaurants in our area and we have started dining in some of them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pork Sinigang (Pork Sour Soup)



Serves 8

Ingredients

2  1/2 pounds pork ribs, cut to pieces
1 cup tamarind juice or 1 packet of tamarind soup base
1 big whole tomato
1 medium-sized radish, peeled and  cut into 1/4" slices
10  small whole taro roots, peeled
3 cups string beans, cut into 3"
4 cups Kangkong leaves, cut into 3"
4 medium-sized green finger or Jalapeno pepper

Procedure

Boil the pork together with tomatoes  in six cups water on high heat for 5 minutes, then lower heat to medium and cook for 35 minutes to one hour or until tender. 

Add the taro roots and cook for another 10 minutes.  Add the radish and cook for 5 minutes. 


Add the tamarind juice or the tamarind soup base. 


Add the string beans, and the jalapeno or any finger green Chili pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. 


Add the Kangkong leaves and push leaves with a cooking spoon to submerge in liquid but not to overcook. Turn heat off.


*  Serve with fish sauce on the side

* Serve with steamed rice

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nasi Lemak

Lately, I've been craving Malaysian food. Malaysian's national dish, Nasi Lemak, to be specific.


There is something about this dish that made me fall in love with it. I really can't tell what, but just the aroma of the steaming hot rice cooked in coconut milk, plus the exciting flavors of the fried fish mixed with a hot and spicy sauce triggered my appetite until I could take no longer. This occurred to me when I had lunch with my daughter at the Banana Island restaurant, a Malaysian restaurant in Daly City, California, last Tuesday. They also have Singaporean and Thai dishes in their menu.


Nasi Lemak is a legendary dish. Traditionally, it is served on a banana leaf, with the newly cooked rice in coconut milk, served with slices of crunchy refreshing cucumber, topped with fried small anchovy fish cooked with hot and spicy sauce called 'Sambal Ikan Bilis'. It is also served with sliced boiled egg and sometimes with green beans and ground roasted peanuts.

My friend Kristy, from My Little Space, posted the recipe on her blog. Her version was done with style. She added boneless chicken legs marinated in different special sauces overnight and then fried in just enough oil on medium-low heat until golden brown. What a masterpiece!

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