Next Restaurant

Grant Achatz is one of Time magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the world. Being diagnosed with tongue cancer did nothing to stop this culinary prodigy from visionalizing his ambition and passion for greater gastronomy.

I don’t know about you but I’ll save a whole year’s wages just to eat in this restaurant!

Leftover Turkey Pie

How did someone come up with having turkey for Christmas feasts? Why on earth would you cook something so large, you have to eat it for the next 2 years?

Since we all have to OD on turkey, might as well do it in different ways. I made the pie crust a night in advance and just had to cook the fillings before baking the pie. The pie crust recipe can be found here.

Ingredients (pie fillings enough for 1 large and 6 small pies)
leftover turkey meat, shredded (about 4 cups )
1.5 large carrots. diced
3 large white onions, diced
1 can of button mushrooms, sliced
butter for frying (approx 4 tbsp)
1 cup stock (I used chicken but veg stock works just as well)
1 tbsp cornflour or plain flour mixed with 1/2 cup water for starch
pepper and salt for seasoning (optional, as the turkey, butter and stock is already tasty on its own)
1 egg yolk for brushing onto pie pastry to get that golden brown tinge

In a large pan, melt butter and fry the onions and carrots till soft. Add mushrooms, turkey and fry till fragrant. Add stock, mix well and add starch while constantly stirring the stock to prevent lumps. Quickly remove from heat. Let the divine mixture cool, and get to work with the pie crust.

I have to say it looks good considering its molded by pie virgins A-gal and Tommy.

Few days before this, my online conversation with Tommy went like this:
me: We’re having Death by Turkey session 2, starring Turkey Pie at A-gal’s. Wanna come?
T: Huh?
me: Sunday lunch. Turkey. You. Come?
T: Ok. What do I bring?
me: We’re having pie. A salad would be nice..
T: Sure! How do you cook a salad?
me: *sound of crickets*
T: Hallo?
me: Nevermind. Just bring drinks.

Never one to let people down, Tommy brought not only drinks but this as well.

Don’t ask. Just..don’t.

Cookout

Time for yet another department fun building time! I mean team-building. This one’s really enjoyable. We get to learn new recipes, cook ‘em and have it for dinner! And the choice of Thai cuisine was totally the icing on the cake.

Don’t we look every bit the professional?

One of the finished TOTT (totally over the top) product! We made 3 other dishes but were so caught up with eating we totally forgot the pics.

Achar!


This is a traditional and wonderfully appetizing pickle commonly available in Singapore and Malaysia (though I sometimes see this in Indian food stalls too). Recipe is passed directly with love from Mum. As with all pickles, adjust the dressing according to taste. Do remember to always add the minimum amounts first, taste, and add more along the way. Keeps well in the refrigerator up to a week, although this has never sat in ours for more than 2 days!

Ingredients
2 cucumbers, deseeded
1 carrot, skinned
- cut the above into julienne, put into a large mixing bowl and rub with 3 tsp of salt. Then rinse the vegetables and drain dry before mixing in the rest of the vegetables.
1 turnip, skinned and julienne
3 large green chillies, deseeded & sliced
2 slices of ripe, sweet pineapple, cut into cubes
Dressing (taste before adding more to suit taste)
1.5-2.5 tbsp sea salt
3-4 tbsp white sugar
1/3-1/2 cup white vinegar (depending on how sour you like yours)
2 tbsp chilli powder
Garnish
3-4 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
sprig of coriander (optional)

Drain dry all cut vegetables, put into large mixing bowl and add all dressing in its minimum amounts and mix well. Taste and gradually add more. During last few mix, add in chopped peanuts, top with coriander (optional) and serve. Can be served chilled as well.

Lunch at Tommy’s

A-gal has this uncanny ability to make it look like she prepared this whole table of yummy, Sichuan dishes, while looking perfectly composed and nicely groomed like the ever fabulous party host.

Actually I don’t believe Tommy could have concocted all these by himself either, if I had not been the witnessing, suffocating victim of spicy, tear-inducing cooking fumes.

Well-done Tommy. We’re looking forward to your new restaurant soon! :)

3-step Tofu


Mum said this was one of grandpa’s favourite dish, and she loved making it for him because it’s so easy. Besides being so nutritious and full of proteins, I believe it’s the simplest tofu recipe ever. I mean EVER! Don’t you not believe it!

I’ll show you! I’ll show you all!!

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
2 packets of silken tofu, drained of excess water
3 tbs of chopped spring onions
3 tbs of fried shallots
3-4 tbs of dark soya sauce
2 tbs of light soya sauce
1 tbs of oyster sauce (optional)
dash of sesame oil & white ground pepper
a sprig or 2 of Chinese parsley (optional)

Cut tofu into smaller cubes, or not, if you can’t be bother.

Add the sesame oil.

Steam for 5 minutes. Remove from wok and immediately drizzle all the condiments on the tofu. Lastly add all the greens and fried shallots over it.

I took more time posting this than actually making the tofu dish. It’s that fast and simple!

Karaoke

The background is that A-gal bought a super karaoke set which was loaded with like a million Chinese oldies that none of us could sing. So being the savvy shopper she is, the old (but cool) sweatshop gang was invited to her house for a crooning session. So I made some Pico de Gallo and guacamole (if you haven’t tried it yet, the recipe is here. And believe me you’ll want to try it. Its liberating!), loaded a tonne of chips and sour cream in the trunk and off we went to A-gal’s.

Everyone was polite and dainty at first. And we stuffed our faces with chips and dips. Then we found out that the super karaoke set had a grading system.

That was when all hell broke loose. Especially when we found out (unfortunately) that the louder you are, the better your grades were.

So my pals went from singing..

To squeezing every ounce of breathe they had in their pathetically puny lungs.

It was loud. Really really loud.

A-gal’s domestic helper packed her bags and threatened to leave the house for good. A-gal’s dog dug a deep hole in the garden and flung himself inside. It was that scary.

But at least someone was happy with his performance.

Oldie but Goodie

You know, they say it never rains but storms… for a blardy good reason.

Life has been crazy these weeks, with company auditors whipping my arse and boxes waiting hungrily at home to be packed. Packing to move I can understand since it’s inevitable but which masochistic person invented this company auditing system anyway?

Back to packing. Oh gosh, where do I start. And I’m not even a hoarder in the first place.  It is a horrible, painful and back-breakingly tiring task. Except that I found some of these pretty crockery which once belonged to Grandma.
……… ok so I AM a hoarder. Happy?

But how can you throw away something as pretty as this?

or this?

or something as airy fairy as her?

I thought these were so cool too, in a kitschy but decent way.

I like old hand me downs because I like to imagine the stories behind them. Who used these before? Did granny throw parties then with these? What had she served in them? Who ate them? When? Where?

Seriously, who needs fine china and exquisite porcelein if you have these oldies that tells you stories as you eat. :)

I need Help

And please hurry while you’re at it!

Recently I developed a penchant for deep fried foods. Any sort of deep fried golden crispy greatness.  I dip everything I can lay my paws on in a batter and dump them in a cauldron of bubbling canola oil. The sticky glutinous sweet cakes (Nian Gao) and bananas above were the victims of my food forage yesterday.

Coincidently fried Nian Gao is also a childhood comfort food for me. Mum used to sandwich the Nian Gao with sweet potatoes before frying the sweet gooey stuff. She would put the just fried sweet cakes on a kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil before transferring them onto a platter. But somehow only a small percentage of the fried cakes made it to the platter. Most of them had gotten straight into my mouth and then into my quickly expanding mid-section. And I always wonder why I was such a chubby kid!

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Chicken Pot Pie


Nothing spells hearty and comforting like a pie made with a rich, meaty and saucy filling. I always make more of these in advance and freeze them, so I can always heat them up when Mr Pie Craving comes knocking on my door. He can be quite a demanding creature, and drives a hard bargain.

Turn away now if you’re on a diet!

I had hand written this pie crust recipe from the internet donkey years ago but did not note down the source. If this is your recipe and you are reading this, thank you savior! You’ve saved my poor ol’ soul many many times!

Ingredients for pie crust
270gm vegetable shortening
3 cups of plain flour
1 large egg
5 tbsp cold water
pinch of salt

Ingredients for pie filling (makes 2 x 8″ pies plus 3 mini 3″ pies)
700gm of chicken meat (I used thigh because I have a disturbing love for fatty meat)
1 large purple onion
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
5 small potatoes, about 70+gm each
5 small carrots, about 230gm in total
3-4 eggs, hard-boiled and cut into quarters
3 cups of stock (I used chicken & veggie stock)
2 tbsp of Worcester sauce
splash of white wine
2 tsp of cornflour
tsp of chilli powder (optional)
tsp of garlic powder (optional)
1-1.5 tsp sea salt, or more suit taste
your desired amount of freshly ground black pepper

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