Friday, January 11, 2008

More Home Cooked Meals

Since I go out to eat with the rarity that the Irrawady Bottlenosed Dolphin mates, I can no longer keep up with the myriad write ups by my other esteemed fellow floggers. Coupled with the fact that I am getting lazy to photograph food, although they are quite patient models, unlike children, who fidget too much, there doesn't seem to be much to write about at all these days. Anyway, this started off as a recipe blog originally.

Last Wednesday night, New Year's Eve (of the Muslim Calendar), I decided to host a simple dinner for some friends, old and new, to reciprocate a friend's hospitality recently. Anyway, the menu was as follows:

Homemade Chicken and Mushroom Pizzas on A Duet of Base Sauces, Pesto and Tomato
Smoked Salmon & Avocado, Sour Cream, Cream Cheese Dip
Assorted Cheese Platter
Pumpkin Soup Garnished With Roasted Capsicum

Roast Beef In Red Wine & Mushroom Sauce
Chillied Linguine With Pan Seared Scallops
Aragula & Leafy Greens With Anjou Pear, Quails Eggs and Walnuts

Christmas Cake (courtesy of one of the guests)
Flourless Chocolate Cake With Molten Centres

There seems to be a nationwide shortage of the Pure Bulla Cream that I normally serve desserts with. Anyway, as I said, it completely slipped my mind to even blog about the dinner, so there are no proper pictures of the first few courses. Which is a pity, coz the chicken pizza did look rather good.

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I picked up the tip of serving some roasted capsicum garnish from the previous dinner hosted by another friend who cooks. It complements the pumpkin soup well. Leon Lai, who was present at the dinner, complimented it by saying he doesn't usually like pumpkin soup, but this was good coz it wasn't so sweet and cloy. Actually, wife made the soup.

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Chillied Linguine With Scallops. These days, I'm getting increasingly cooler when it comes to hosting dinners. Started slaving over the stove only at 5.30pm, and the scallops were freshly seared just before serving. I think the pasta wasn't bad.

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It's always tricky when you serve aragula aka rocket, coz its a bit of hit and miss. I know some people who are averse to rocket as vegetarians are to steak, so I am wary when a recipe consists MAINLY of rocket. So I modified the recipe for the rocket & pear salad, to incorporate other greens, and added quails eggs. The fact that one quail's egg apparently contains 10 times more cholesterol than 1 chicken's egg.....wasn't really a deterrent.

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I've dabbled in several roast beef recipes, with various levels of wearisomeness of seasoning. Some call for red wine, seeded mustard, thyme, ....heck, the seasoning is almost as expensive as the meat. Anyway, I decided that beef, if its a good cut, is best eaten without any seasoning. Very primal, but to get the succulent bovine juices tickling your palate, yum. Alas, this particular slab of rib eye seemed a bit bland. Ah, for the first time, I actually made my own gravy from the start. Red Wine Sauce. Rather simple.

375ml beef stock (buy the real beef stock cartons, not the cubes)
1/2 cup red wine
400gms button mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon oil
3 teaspoons cornflour
3 teaspoons water
3 sage leaves

Fry the garlic in the heated oil, chuck in the mushrooms.
When mushrooms are soft, throw in (not literally) the beef stock, and wine, sage and let simmer for 5 minutes or so
Add the cornflour as thickening agent
Continue simmering until thick-ish
Add any pan juices from the roast

Note : Let your roast sit in wrapped aluminium foil for 1/2 hour after roasting, before serving. This will generate lots of juices.

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My original intention was to serve steaks, but I realised for a casual dinner with friends, in order to minimize wastage, its best that they carve out their own portions. I mean, this meat is like RM70 a kg, the last thing you want to see is people chucking away half a slab of steak.

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The Christmas Cake brought by another friend, which I forgot to serve at an earlier party, was served this time. Very moist and fruity, without being overly rich. In fact, my son asked me to learn how to make this. And this is from a boy who shudders at the sight of fruit and vegetables.

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The signature flourless chocolate cakes with molten chocolate centres. Pure bulla cream would have made it better, but had to settle for pouring cream, which I was too lazy to whip up, also because I dont really like the taste of whipped cream these days, not after eating pure cream.

Oh well.....


Mandy said...

what a yummy meal. How do one score an invitation to your dinner party? :)

Precious Pea said...


I will try out your roast beef recipe one day. Err..any chance of sharing your chicken pie recipe ar?

Imbi & Itchy said...

this is more like it, seeing the sifu in action lah, instead of food review .. i mean, you have talent and so this is what we readers wanna read! :-) everything looks aweeeesomeeeee

cookies_cream said...

Wow..I wished I could have all that in the menu...but excluding the beef. Hehe. All of them looked amazingly delish!

Spot said...

Happy New Year FB!

Y'know, there is a good side to being lazy to take photos of food. I miss READING. Food reviews are getting really tiresome to read, what with being assaulted with a bazillion, sometimes not particularly well taken, photos.

Kinda like the difference btwn reading Nigella's books vs Cavemen-can-cook-too books.

Sorry, feeling belligerent today. :)

That sounds like such a yummy menu. Where to get scallops from ah? Do they come fresh or frozen?

fatboybakes said...

hiya spot, long time no see! aiya, so long oridi still havent met you guys yet hor!!! guffaw re your remarks about food reviews. oh dear!

cookies_cream, why you donch eat beef ah?

imbitchy, la, no talent...just experimentation only.

precious pea, hmmm, i think if you search the blog, the chicken pie recipe might have appeared before. i too lazy to search. i'm very sure the mushroom zuchinni pie recipe has been published before. just substitute the zuchinni for chicken.

mandy, hmmmm, that's a tough question to answer, heh heh.

Jackson said...

hey..i didn't knoiw that yr wife can cook too!!! So, when will you host another lunch or dinner?

daphne said...

nice! that's such a welcoming thing to do! your friends are lucky =)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Lifestyle of the rich and well-fed. Aah. I can only dream.

JOjo said...

*start dreaming of a bf who can cook*

Wah,sifu's wife can cook too~
What's rocket, in ur salad dish? No entiendo la...

fatboybakes said...

jojo, rocket is a kind of leaf, aka aragula. available in the herb section of supermarkets, together with sorrel, etc etc.

lyrical, hah, this is from the woman who eats out virtually every second day, and not at cheap places mind you. pbbbbthhhhhhhhhhh.

daphne, haha, indeed, they are lucky, but i am also blessed to have good friends.

jackson, you restaurant owner la, got army of chefs at your disposal, where i got dare to invite you to eat my humble cooking.

teckiee said...

question.. how to know how cooked the beef is? sometimes when i cook, the outside looks ok.. but still bloody on the inside.

fatboybakes said...

teckie, invest in a meat thermometer. then just stick it into the largest part of the meat, and it will show you the done-ness to +/- 20% accuracy