Sunday, November 30, 2008

Project Eden

A while back, a colleague and I were discussing about growing our own plant using Aerogarden. It is kind of indoor hydroponic planting device that allows you to grow your favourite plant twice the speed of planting it in the soil.

Anyway, my colleague got it from EBay and I bought the seed kit. We decided to leave it in the office ( till someone higher up ask us to remove it) Here it is on my working desk. I am using it as a desk light if someone is asking about it:

Since I bought the seed kit, we will be having chilies for the next 6 months if everything goes well. Here is a close up shot of the future chili plant:

oh ya, my colleague named this project as project Eden. Like many projects in the company, it must have a name. Eden is just aptly for what we are about to create.

I went to YouTube and searched for aerogarden. The search result is rather "interesting". I would spoil it for you, go and have a look for yourself... Well, who knows this might be our next project >:)


Monday, November 24, 2008

Mussels With Beer

A while back, I did a mussel dish with pasta dish. One of the readers suggested white wine instead of water. In classic mussel recipe, white wine is usually the choice. Well, I was a bit crazy and went for Belgium wheat beer instead!

I decided all the live mussels a great send off. Gave them a premium Belgium wheat beer to drink before dunking them into a hot pot.

After 30 mins, I checked on the mussels and they were like this:

Judging by the look of it, I guessed they were pretty smashed up by now. All these drunken mussels were ready for cooking.

This is the end result:

It smelled wonderful while it was cooking, this probably due to using beer instead of water. The stock was sweet with a hint of bitterness. This is probably the reason why white wine is commonly being used and not beer. Despite that, I quite like it though, especially with fresh bread.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Home Made Pasta

Winter is coming to UK - the day gets shorter, the sky is grey, it rains, the weather is cold and windy. All these give me more reason to stay at home. Well, it is not all bad news too. I finally can find time to do some of the food experiments that I have been wanting to do since beginning of summer...

First off the list, home made pasta! This probably due to my recent trip to Italy. The pasta there tastes so good and fresh that it motivates me to learn how to make it. I learnt how to make it from this link:

The setup:

My laptop was in the background just in case I need to watch the video again.. which I did several occasions.

Rest the dough:

My hand was messy and couldn't take any photo for the kneading process.. it was pretty much like the video.. I hope..

Roll the dough:

This is the hardest part of all. Making a consistent thickness throughout the pasta is not easy with rolling pin. This situation gets worse whenI didn't realise that how big can the dough spread... my dough was bigger than the rolling pin, the marble slab, and I was just half way there. Panic set in and just realised that the guy in the video has a bloody huge table.

The pasta:

After 2 hours of labour, this is what I got. Not 5 stars Michelin rating chef's pasta, but it looks alright for a beginner like me.

The taste:

Cooked one portion of it. Had it with pesto and generous portion of parmesan cheese. The texture of the pasta is alright, not as good as the one I had in Italy - a little bit thicker, and missing the silky smooth texture that I like. The taste of the pasta beats any dried pasta you can find in supermarket, probably it is fresh :)

Is it worth making your own pasta? The answer is yes and don't do it with rolling pin like me. Buy yourself a pasta rolling machine, it will take less than 20 mins to roll it!