Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a-cookin' and a-surfin'

I admit to being a slave to the internet, but while it may seem that I'm always using the computer, let it be known that I do do other more productive stuff even while I'm surfing. It's called multi-tasking, you guys should try it some time.

Eg, even as I type this, my kitchen is bursting with the flavourful aroma of beef rendang. I'm making a huge batch this time, about 2kg I think, and am about half-way through cooking. Started the preparation around 11am and the cooking around noon. For the rendang to be tender, I need to simmer it for about 6 hours, well, that's how I do it anyway, really slow with tender loving care. I do love my rendang...but I do love the internet I get both :)


And 3 hours later, we have this. Almost good enough to eat (I've already 'tasted' 6 pieces), but not quite yet, I like it a bit dryer. If only I had some serunding, would be perfecto mundo.


Dutchess said...

Haha, I multi-task too. Except it's cooking and stitching AND watching DVDs.

The rendang looks yummy, I can smell it all the way from here. *rubbing tummy*

Alcovelet said...

Killer. Between you and Monica, I see 20kgs piling on soon for me.

monlim said...

From what I see in your pic, Ad, you can afford it :)

Lilian said...

Monica, I've met her in real life and yes, she can definitely afford it, and secondly, she comes across quite different from her online persona. Very soft-spoken, demure-like and delicate, like wind blow can topple type :) Smiley and sweet.

Then again, that was our one and only meeting. Her garang-ness may emerge only later.

Alcovelet said...

What does garang mean? Like Garang guni?

Wah, Lilian, don't spoil my cool (I assume that's what garang means) virtual persona leh!

Lilian said...

Garang means fierce :) but you look mild like a cute little white mouse.

And it's Karang Guni.

Alcovelet said...

I like garang more and more! That will help to keep away the crazees, hahaha!

Maybe like a garang karang guni!

bACk in GERMANY said...

Thank you thank you for this post...
you know I love curries!!! :)

Lilian said...

PP: That was the intention. Need to lure you back in, you've been MIA (missing internet addict) for some time.

the IA brigade

stef said...

I love serundeng! Is it hard to make? Why do hawkers give so little of it all the time ...

Lilian said...

I don't think it's hard to make, but you've gotta get the coconut gratings and dry-tumis very slowly. That's my guess lah. I LOVE serunding, on top of ketupat/lemang, and topped up with sambal udang. TOP! I miss Hari Raya visiting.

stef said...

Sambal udang ... simply lip-smackin' ...

Domestic Goddess said...

Wah, looks so yummylicious! I sure score lots of points if there is a pot of this in my kitchen tonight.

Lilian said...

DG: The recipe is in my makan blog, link at the side bar. Not very difficult to make and pretty full-proof. I'm a huge fan of my own beef rendang, hehe (so shameless). Just before bedtime last night, curi makan 1 big piece, just couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

Beg your pardon hor, but what is 'jeruk', 'salam', & 'asam jawa'??

Trying to learn from you how to make authentic beef rendang lor.. Previously only used premix.

btw I can get LOTS of premixes here which I never noticed to have existed in Sgp:- bak-kut-teh, prawn noodle soup, tomyam, pepper spice soup, sayur lodeh, chicken-rice, nasi lemak sambal, assam curries for seafood, 'baba' curry powder for fish or meat (according to my nyonya friend this is a very good brand), 'chilliz' brand Malaysia-produced line of premixes, mee siam, several brands of laksa premixes, etc... There are also ready-made bottles of chicken-rice chili, sambal chili, rows of different types of chili sauces on the shelves. I can 'reproduce' most of our hawker favorites oredi! Well out of taste-bud 'desperation' I HAD to get down to try my hands with them.. Next summer I'll try making satay on our BBQ pit. Any tips? And do you know before Sep 2006 when we came over here I had never cooked before in my life!!

Wanna come & live here? :-)


Lilian said...

You never cooked in the past that's why you never noticed the premixes in Sg. Prawn noodles, laksa, meesiam, tomyam, all available-lah. That's why we don't really have such cravings when we're abroad, Prima Paste saves the day! The one thing I can't get though is meepok dry, that one I really gian, but gotta have enough vinegar :)

Yep, I never cooked either before leaving Sg in 2004! My husband loves to tell people I didn't even know how to cook rice; true, I could never agak the amount of water to add.

Okay, back to rendang recipe; you can omit Daun salam, daun jeruk (I didn't use them); but if possible try to have Daun Kunyit/Turmeric Leaves (gives that extra oomph; but I've done without in the past, still okay).

Asam jawa is tamarind pulp; use 1 tbs of tamarind, add hot water to separate the pulp from the seed, then add the liquid (without the seeds) into the coconut milk.

Satay no idea, these days can get frozen satay from Singapore you know; prata too. We usually bring those and bakchang too :)

Er, for curry paste, I've been using A1 from the start, very easy to use and really good too. I have not found any rendang paste I liked, nothing authentic. Anyway, I like my rendang a bit sweet, so depending on the coconut milk you use, if it ends up not sweet enough, may need to add some palm sugar at the end (to taste). This is not in the recipe, my own preference.

Anonymous said...

Alamak I was really ignorant about cooking bk in Sgp lah! Also we could get all those foods cheap & easy at hawker ctrs what, why bother to cook them? But nobody told me about other brands of premixes when I tried to learn some cooking back there, they only told me I can buy Prima Taste premixes by the box to bring to Canada.

But I find the Prima Taste premixes here are >2x more expensive than in Sgp so I never relied on them but tried other brands which are cheaper.

You don't have a meepok-tah recipe? I do have a tried & tested bak-chor-mee recipe which I culled from a few bloggers and then improvised. Hubby & kids love it. If you're interested I can share with you.

Btw my mom did cook meehoonkueh when I was a kid! I remember she said she learnt it from her friend who came from Malaysia... I think I'm missing it already!! Drools...

what's salam & jeruk btw?


Lilian said...

Yes yes, please pass me meepok tah recipe; but problem is can't find meepok here. Actually, can't find most everything here!

Anyway, good thing you asked me what they were, my Indonesian friend was the one who told me what leaves were needed. I just realised I did use daun jeruk, which is kaffir lime leaves. And daun salam is indian bay leaves.

Anonymous said...

Thks for heads-up about the leaves! I think I can get bay & kaffir lime leaves here...

OK here's the bak-cho-mee recipe :--(it's supposed to be difft from meepok-tah but can you tell me what the difference is?)

• Thaw ~300g of ground pork.
Marinate with 3 tsp corn-starch, 3 tsp light soy sauce, ½ tsp pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil, optional 1/3 tsp MSG.
Bring to boil 1 saucepan of water in which to cook the ground pork later.

• Boil ~6 dried Chinese mushrooms in a few cups water.
When soft, remove stalks of mushrooms and julienne the caps. Put back to simmer.

• Add following to the simmering mushrooms to make sauce:--
2 tbsp light soy sauce; 1 tbsp dark soy sauce; 2 tsp black ‘Chin-Kiang’ black-vinegar;
2 tsp sesame oil; 1+ tsp oyster sauce; optional 1 tsp MSG; some freshly ground black pepper

• Fry following in pan till fragrant:--
1 tbsp butter (to substitute for pork lard!); 1 tsp ground garlic;
1 small onion (shallot) finely chopped; 1 tsp ‘Lao Gan Mah’ chili paste.

• Add contents of pan to the simmering sauce.
Top up with hot water if necc.

• Add to saucepan of boiling water 1/3 cube pork-stock, perhaps some soy sauce to taste, and some 'dang-chai'.
Put ground-pork in a deep sieve and cook in the saucepan of boiling water, stirring with a pair of chopsticks till all parts are done. Drain and remove.

• Add DODO brand fish-balls to boiling pork-stock for 5—6 minutes. Remove & put to one side. Cook fish-cake here too if using this. Slice fish-cake when cooked.

Skim off fats from top of stock. Serve this pork stock as 'soup' later on, adding some chopped spring onions & few drops of sesame oil.

• Bring to boil some salted water in a large pot for cooking the noodles.

• Put noodles into boiling water, stir with chopsticks continuously, cook for 1--1.5 min, do not overcook.
When done, scoop desired amounts into each serving bowl.

• Put a portion of cooked ground pork into a sieve, dip briefly in boiling stock & put on top of noodle in a bowl. Repeat with the fish-balls & fish-cake. Ladle mushroom-sauce over all the contents.

Serves 3--4 persons.

What's missing is pork-lard, which I can't bother to make myself over here...


Lilian said...

er...this looks like a lot of work :P

stef said...

Hey, how about tagliatelle as substitute for meepok?

Lilian said...

That's a good idea Stef! Now I'm motivated to try YY's recipe, but still looks like a tonne of work :P

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the ton of WORDS, but it's really not a ton of work, after you've filtered out the unnecessary details that I tend to belabor on!

Hubby always complains that I tend to make simple things complicated.. He never uses any recipe when he cooks and everything is done in a jiffy, because he's the type who's NOT AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES and his skin is at least an inch thick...:-)


Anonymous said...

Wonderful suggestion stef! Yes, hubby has used pastas for all kinds of things, from laksa to stir-fries, or cooking it in left-over soups... He likes the al dente 'bite' of the textures..


Lilian said...

I tell you...I need recipes to be very simplified, otherwise I tend to switch off. Or if even just a few ingredients look foreign to me, forget it, I wouldn't bother. Nigella's cookbook I definitely can't use, too wordy. Even Jamie Olivier's I don't really like.

Lee Shermay's books are pretty good, very succinct and well laid out.

Your husband must be a natural cook. My husband too, who used to (note past tense) cook things like sweet sour pork seems to have a natural talent for cooking; it's his Cantonese roots. Even recently, he made French toast, and it was better than mine. Me? Always need to refer to recipes, even after cooking so many times!

Lilian said...

Yes YY, for meepok, definitely need the al dente effect, shiokers...

Anonymous said...

I think more men are natural cooks than women because they're not saddled with all that 'am-I-a-good-wife' or 'am-I-a-desirable-woman' neurosis behind women who're trying to cook. Cooking is not linked to their perception of their manhood. But shake them in the perception of their ability to provide, and they go bonkers.