Friday, April 28, 2006

Express Food Roundup #2

Exams has been good so far. One and a half weeks to go.

Don't worry mom, I'm eating good. I always make time for food ;)

Anyway, here's a quick update on what the kitchen has been churning out (just to keep the blog alive lah).

My first attempt at Marmite chicken.
The chicken pieces were pre-fried in batter to get a cripsy crust. (the supporting ingredients: onions, red pepper, marmite, honey, dark/light soya sauce). As usual, dunno actual recipe so just close one eye and throw in whatever comes to mind.

Grilled Steak with mushroom and black bean sauce.
Used Sharwood's Black Bean & Red Pepper to speed things up ;)


and that's it. Other dishes not worth mentioning lah. The standard nasi gorengs, burgers, soups, salads, ...

Question: When cooking beef (fried/curry/grill), if texture come out like I'm chewing my fathers belt like that, does it mean the beef is overcooked, undercooked, or just because I use cheap-ass beef ah??? Never really got the hang of cooking beef :(

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Express Food Roundup

Lack of time != Lack of food

While I haven't had much time to spare, my rushed stints in the kitchen were still fun with the new challenge I chose for myself - cook up something within 15 minutes.

Here's a summary of what I've been up to lately:

Tumeric Chicken Chop.

Ingredients were very similar to Ayam Goreng Garam Kunyit I made recently. Marinated a flat piece of chicken breast with turmeric powder, curry powder and salt. Let it sit for half and hour, then pan fried till golden brown.

The sauce above is Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce. Not spicy enough, but went really well with the chicken.

Eaten with steaming hot rice. Slurp.

Tried to get some balance in my diet, so now and then, I go vegetarian.

Simple salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and Kraft's light thousand island dressing.

Chinese style vege. The greens are boiled and strained. Served with some onions and garlic fried briefly and seasoned with sesame seed oil, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. (this is a recycled photo from and old. Same dish, so might as well use same photo ;p )

Mushroom and tomato omelette.

Fried mushrooms, tomatoes, crab sticks, green pepper and a few other stuff I can't remember. Then, poured in 2 well beaten eggs, turned down the flame, and covered pan with a lid. The idea was to trap the heat so that the top portion would get cooked without having to flipping it over. Heat control was important to make sure that the bottom did not get burnt.

Sprinkled over some shredded mozzarella cheese just before it was done to give it that pizza look.

Turned out better than expected :)

Found more of those dirt-cheap-because-expiring-tomorrow salmons. Yippee. Fish for 2 meals.

Salmon was cooked in roughly the same way I did previously, only this time I messed around with different marinations before frying. I tried several combinations of curry powder, turmeric powder, paprika powder and tandoori spices.

Paprika powder seemed to get charred easily, hence the more charcoalish appearance of the final product.

The first meal I served up with boiled broccoli and grilled tomatoes.

The next with broccoli and a slightly modified Baked Chilly Mushroom.

These dishes took a little longer than the targeted 15 minutes, not because of the fish (salmon cooks really fast), but because of the baked musroom and grilled tomatoes.

Once I woke up really really hungry, and gorged down a huge brunch.

This one took longer than 15 mins, but it was easy; just places the stuff under the grill, and while waiting, cooked the mixed vege in the microwave and scrambled an egg.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Darth Vader Vs. Japanese Policemen

Darth Vader + Japanese Policemen = Silly + Funny


Food is Fuel

My brain runs on food.

Behold... breakfast of champions.

Baked beans cooked with mushroom and chili. Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, spring onions, cheese, and some other stuff I can't recall. English muffins, toasted and buttered.

OK. I jest. Bak Kut Teh is the only true breakfast of champions; but cooking that takes too much time, and time is something I'm lacking.

Exams. The bane of my life. I've nailed my arse to the chair.

This is me.

"Hi", said Mr. Bones, "It's nice to meet you". "Come sit on my lap, and we shall talk about the first thing that pops up."

Oh my. I better head off to bed.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I am a snail, watch me crawl

Updates on this blog will be a little sluggish for the next 3 weeks or so.

Exams are here... uurgh!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Ayam Garam Kunyit

Ayam Garam Kunyit (tr: salt and tumeric chicken) is one of my favourite dishes. It's quite common in Kelantan. In KL, you should be able to order up a plate from some to those Tom Yam restaurants (yeah, the ones decorated with colourful fluorescent lights wan).

Unfortunately, I don't know the proper recipe, and google wasn't of much help either. So hentam oni lah.

Of course, it doesn't take a genius to figure out the main ingredients: chicken, salt, and some tumeric (powder).
I also added in some tandoori spices, a squeeze of lime, and some chopped onions. No particular reason. Fingers itchy I guess.

Marinated the chicken with the ingredients and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

Then, the whole lot was fried and served up with steaming hot rice.

Not bad. All that's missing is a bowl of spicy sambal belacan and some oily telur dadar.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chicken Tikka

This is my first attempt at making Chicken Tikka (which, I assume, is just Tandoori Chicken made using boneless chicken strips). I gave myself only 40 minutes to cook, eat, and clean up, so it's admittedly somewhat hastily put together.

Timing started as I set the oven dials to 220 degrees. Pre-heating.

This is what made it possible.
A real time saver - pre blended tandoori spices.

Used it to marinate chicken strips, along with some fresh squeezed lime, and a dollop of natural yogurt (yes, the sour one).

Placed onto a greased baking tray, and into the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how fast the chicken pieces cook.

While waiting, I layed down a bed of lettuce and prepared a quick Cole Slaw.

Cole Slaw : microwaved some mixed vege, butter, and chopped-up crab stick. Then added in salt, pepper, lime, and mayonaise. Mixed well and served.

The chicken tasted a little bland, and looked albinic.

Next time round, I would probably use more of the spices, and include some salt as well as tumeric and paprika powder.

Not bad for first try lah.

I overshot my 40-minute deadline by 5 mins :(

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's bloody cold

Something worth a laugh or two.

It's bloody cold -- a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful".

... and here's the original MTV, for completeness sake.

Skyler pointed out two other parodies poking fun at poor James.

This one's by Kevin Sage.

and this by MADtv.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

deja vu: Sweet Sour pizza

The demons demanded an encore.

Made some modifications to this version. Instead of corn, I added lots of mushroom! Too much perhaps. Including the base, the pizza was a good 1 inch thick.

Yes, as odd as it may seem, I still used a little Oyster sauce along with the ketchup. *cheeky grin*

Oh, and another weird ingredient for pizza - crispy fried shallots! Sprinkled over the ingredients just before the cheese went on. Yumm. *another grin*

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sweet Sour corn pizza

Ever since I came back from holidays, my appetite has been simply bonkers. I'm hungry all day long.

And it's not just plain hunger, but the kind that leads you down Lorong Sakit Jantung (tr: Heart Attack Alley).

Juicy steaks, Fried Chicken dripping with oil, massive burgers loaded with cheese, and grilled ribs covered in fat. These demons haunt my dreams and invade my thoughts all day long. Oh the torture!

With all my will I held them back, but I could do so no longer. I caved in. Exhausted. I needed to appease the devil and claim back some sanity.

This was my offering.

Bought the pizza base from Sainsbury's. It was pretty cheap (cost me just a little more than a trip to the loo in the train station), and was covered with a little tomato sauce and cheese.

The addons were some stir fried mince meat, thinly sliced red pepper, and corn, flavoured with oyster sauce, tomato ketchup and a little salt.

Baked the pizza as per instructions on packaging, topped with the addons and more cheese, then back into the oven till the cheese melts.

The demons were sated.

Gluttony is my sin.

Feed Me.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Peer Pressure

I promised Kampung Boy / City Gal I'd comply after being tagged, so here it is.

School memememememememe

How many schools did I go to?
I'm assuming "school" means pre college/uni, so 4, I think
Farley kindergarten (pre kindergarten actually), Fatima Kindergarten (at age 5-6), Chung Hwa Primary School, and Chung Hwa Secondary School.
An embarassing fact: I spent 13 friggin years in a Chinese School, and yet I can't read/write in chinese to save the whales my life. Why? It's a long story. Perhaps I'll blog about it someday.

Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero?
I was the last minute studious nerd. I would fail most of my monthly exams, and then work my ass off to ace the finals. Often, teachers find it odd, and I end up being brought to trial by the Vice Principal.

(* not actual conversation, though not too far from the truth)
MF: "You have been charged with cheating during the finals exams. How do you plead??"
Me: "Not guilty your honour. I was dissapointed by my previous grades, and decided to put extra effort into finals. Is this how the school rewards hard work?"
MF: "The jury find you guilty as charged. You will be sentenced to 2 years as a prefect."
Me: "Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!"

Was I the class "taiko" or the teacher's pet?
Neither. I was the class clown that no one really understood. Yes, clown. With silly antics, paint-on smile, hiding behind make-up and all.

What was the biggest rule I broke in school?
I broke so many school rules I can't decide which was the biggest. Let me list a few and you decide :)
  • I was a big fat truant. During the last year of High School, I spent more days at the seaside than I did in school. My report card displays my attendance as a 2-digit number. Not bad for a prefect eh ;)

  • Every year, on the last week of school, I set up a casino in class. I usually end up with quite a few students' pocket money.

  • Knowing all the tricks, when I became a prefect, I raided the casinos and confiscated the goods. We (me and another guy, who was later voted Best Prefect of the year. LOL) adjourned to the prefect's room and set up a casino there. The principal later walked in on us :(

  • We once kept a pet in class. A kitten. In the drawer of a desk at the back of the class. We fed it junk food during recess and after school. Can't remember what happened to it. It think we let it go when we got bored of it.

  • I was part of a gang of pranksters. Some of the things we did:
    • put live fish in the water bottle of the teacher's pet
    • thumb tacks / superglue on victim's chair
    • placed stink bomb under teacher's chair
    • Locked teacher's pet's spectales with a padlock. We only gave him the key after a few hours. He couldn't see without his glasses, and so he had the padlock on his face for quite a while :)
    • Sneaked into the chemistry lab store and mixed up a whole bunch of chemicals. We were hoping for an explosion. No such luck.
Err.. and a lot more actually. Won't be listing all because: a) Lazy liao, and b) Some things aren't meant to be told ;)

Three subjects I enjoyed.
Additional Maths (I was good at it), Physics (it made more sense that any other subject), and Accounting (easy. No class needed. Just read through past papers and score!).

Three teachers that inspired me
My mom (she's a teacher), my dad (he's a teacher as well), and .... err... hmmm.

Actually, all my past teachers have inspired me in one what or another.
The good ones made believe that I could achieve great things; the bad ones motivated me to prove them wrong; and the mediocre ones, well, watching them made me realise that if I did not do something with my life, I would end up like them - doing work they don't enjoy, and being labeled "mediocre" by their students.

-- DONE --

(don't worry. I'm not tagging anyone)

Since, for once, I'm doing a blogger thingy, I might as well go overboard. Everyone's been trying out the MyHeritage Face Recognition thingamagic, so I gave it a shot. With my best photo.

I look like Chad Michael Murray, Francis Crick, and Zhang Ziyi. Heheh.

Yes. That's my face. Part of it anyway.

Friday, April 07, 2006

My tummy feels funny

Note to self: Just because Tortellini and Wan Tan looks similar, it does NOT mean they can be used interchangebly.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Kale and Mushroom Tortellini

I bought too much tortellini for the previous dish, and ended up eating the same thing (with slight variations) for far too many meals.

After two days, I got SICK SICK SICK of it. Urrgghh! Just one look at any cheesy pasta dish and my tummy does a backflip.

Can't let all the good stuff go to waste... so, to finish off the tortellini, I attempted a radical variation to the dish.

Steps are similar to the Spinach and Cheese pasta.

For the first part, the tortelli, just cooked as per the instruction on the packaging.

For the second part, instead of spinach, I used kale. Microwave steamed as described here.

And the sauce part, NO CHEESE! Stir fried mushrooms, tomatoes, green pepper and spring onions in olive oil. Seasoned with salt, sesame seed oil and oyster sauce.

Mix them all together, and you get a savoury pasta dish!

It was a welcome change of flavour. Tasted pretty good.

Kale and Mushroom Tortellini. Not your usual pasta.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

First Words

I was sitting in the ER waiting room, when I saw this book in a basket full of children toys.

Usborne First Words - People.

Now, kiddie books aren't usually my cup of tea, but this one somehow stuck at my curiosity cord (condolences to the cat).

I must say, it was one of the most entertaining books I've picked up in a while. Couldn't stop laughing. The astronaut looked like a guy in a straight jacket escaping from the looney bin with a crash helmet in hand. The vet was holding a syringe, strangling a cat, and had a big cheeky smile on his face. The mermaid looked like a blonde cheerleeder with deformed legs and .. wait.. is a mermaid even a person??

Of course, this page took the cake!

Teacher, dentist, vet, doctor, ...


Yeah, the book was filled will occupational gender-stereotypes. Brainwashing kids and their gullible minds. Tsk Tsk.

I immediately pictured a dumbfounded parent thinking of something smart to say when his/her child comes up with the book and asks "Mommy/Daddy, what's this??".

I quickly scanned the room. Drats. No young restless kid in sight. There goes my plan of strategically planting the book nearby.

p.s. by the way, about the ER room. No, I did not poison myself with some experimental ingredient. A friend sprained an ankle while attempting a flying smash during our weekly badminton game.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Spinach and Cheese pasta

Haven't cooked in a while, so not in the mood for anything too adventurous. Decided on something simple and hearty, inspired by William's concoction.

This dish consists of there parts, cooked simultaneously, and later mixed together.

The first was just the pasta. Any pasta would do, but I gave myself a treat. Used Walnut and Gorgonzola Tortellini from Sainsbury's. Cooked as per instruction on packaging.

The second part was the spinach.

Fresh spinach, cleaned, stem removed, and chopped fine. Then, placed them in a bowl along with some butter, and garnished with salt and black pepper. Microwaved it for 1 minute, mixed, and back into the microwave for another 30 seconds.

Finally, the sauce.

Chopped up some mushrooms, crab sticks, red pepper, and spring onions.

Stir fried the ingredients in olive oil till the mushroom looked cooked. (The crab sticks went it later as they're already cooked).

Then a few table spoons of Four Cheese Sauce (also from Sainsbury's), and some mixed italian herbs.

Let it brew for a few minutes, then the first two parts of the dish was dumped in and mixed well.

Served with grated cheese.

Spinach and Cheese pasta. Easy, fast, POWER!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Unlimited Ribs

Here's the only other proper photo taken during my holidays (yes, it was in Amsterdam).

Unlimited ribs in three sauces, served in El Rancho Argentinean Steakhouse. It was fabulous! Better than my previous favourite - JD Glazed Ribs from TGIF.

All you can eat, for a fixed price. Ideal for situations when you are experiencing unexplainable *ahem* intense craving for food.

Price wise, it was about twice of what you'd pay for a meal at McDonalds. Considering that after this meal, you're set for the whole day, I assuming it's pretty reasonable.