Posts Tagged ‘ tomate ’

Drunken and Bruised…

Sorry… that title does not allude to any juicy tales of what may or may not have happened to me last night… it actually describes the two dishes that are the subject of today’s entry.

Over the past couple months, I’ve been obsessing over the show Masterchef Australia. It’s got a great format, and is the only cooking reality TV show that I can stand for more than one episode. Even though I only caught the season half way, there are tons and tons of food ideas and food preparation techniques that I have picked up from the show, some of which I have already put into use, and others that I have added to my ever growing food bucket list.

The meal I made today is one that I had been dying to make ever since I saw it on the show. Drunken Chicken with Bruised Salad was a contestant’s recipe that was so loved by the judges that they asked him to make it again, and added it to the show’s repertoire of recipes. I guess I was excited to make it because it has been a long time since I have used ingredients that were completely new to me. It’s also kind of shown me that though I know a lot about food… I still have a helluva lot to learn.

This was quite an easy dish to make… the most difficult part was running around town to find all the ingredients. Because this dish is Asian-inspired, I’m sure people in the west who don’t live in relatively big cities might have some difficulty tracking down the tougher ingredients, like the gula melaka (Indonesian palm sugar), dried shrimp, and shaoxing.

The meal was very well-received by my family, though they were a bit apprehensive at the appearance of the food. There are a few adjustments I’d make to the recipe….

For the chicken, I’d definitely add in a bit more ginger… a 6 cm piece, if not 8 cm.

As for the salad…

1. I’d cut the snake beans into 2cm pieces, 3cm max. 4cm was just too long.

2. I’d add in a little more palm sugar to the dressing. I found my dressing to be really acidic. The limes here in Cambodia tend to pack a lot of punch and flavour, but if you are using bottled lime juice or limes that are not in season, you might not have that problem. When I made it, I put in an extra two tablespoons of sugar, and that balanced things out quite well.

3. I only put in 3 tablespoons of fish sauce for a doubled recipe. Fish sauce just tends to be really salty, depending on where it’s from, so be careful.

Overall, as I said this meal was quite a success. I really, really liked the salad, as the only thing that wasn’t on point was the length of the snake beans. I’m already looking forward to making it again, as soon as I find a seller at the local market who doesn’t gouge me when I try to buy dried shrimp….

Cookin’ freestyle….

So… as much as I love cooking, I still don’t have the confidence to cook without a recipe very often. The other day I was grilling mackerel (whole this time) and wanted some yummy quick way to do eggplant on the ‘q. I sliced them up, drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper, and this pre-packaged spice mix, called ‘Secret d’Aromes’ by Knorr, then I sliced up some tomato and grated a bit of romano and crumbled a bit of feta cheese.

I put the eggplant on the top grill at 350F or so, and cooked them for about 3 minutes,  then turned them over and threw on the feta, then the tomato and finally the romano. I love romano/gran padano as a substitute for parmesan cheese just because they have less moisture, making them easier to grate, and keep for a long time.

The eggplant turned out pretty good. The only thing I’d change next time is to spread the oil more evenly, and on both sides of the eggplant.