sunday cooking 10

my entire family sans me were invited to a wedding lunch, so I decided to cook myself a feast in their absence. (havoc in the kitchen without anyone’s interference!)

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this is the first time I bought (half a) fresh chicken from the butcher – usually I’d only order the breast, thought I’d try something new. marinated in salt, pepper, italian herb mix and a splash of orange juice.

I oiled the pan with the chicken skin before sautéing the onions, followed by the peppers (I like my peppers very soft). next came the potatoes and the chicken, and a can of lager.

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chicken stew! the recipe asked for stout, but I substituted it with a strong brew in my possession that I didn’t enjoy. great way to use up unwanted alcohol.

my sister ate my leftovers for dinner and she liked it! hooray. but she prefers last week’s egg-tomato dish haha.

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Today’s dinner: Camembert on Crackers!

Something I’ve been looking forward to! Just that every time I wanted this, we’d had too heavy a dinner to have this as dessert. Today, it was the meal proper.

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Australian camembert, pate de jamon, Meiji crackers and seedless grapes.

Accompanied by Mazzei wine (that which I lovingly brought back from Fonterutoli in Tuscany, Italy) and uh, orange juice for my teetotaller friend.

Sunday cooking 7

prepared a snack: honey roasted macadamia nuts

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wanted it to be a healthier version so i decided to skip the last step of rolling them in a fine sugar and salt mix. it still tastes good, for sure, but they now clump together in a rather irritating fashion.

then there was the basic brunch: omelette and chicken.

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i think I’ve about perfected the art of pan-frying chicken breast slices…they come out really juicy and tender. however, that effect doesn’t last, and when they cool they become the regular dry slices we too frequently associate with the chicken breast. wonder if there’s a way around that.

Reunion dinner potluck

Here’s a recipe I picked up in Italy, and decided to bring for the family reunion dinner two nights ago: Octopus simmered in olive oil with carrots and tomatoes, seasoned to taste with marjoram, parsley, salt and pepper.

The recipe I learnt in Italy used a big octopus that filled up the pot. This being Singapore, the only octopus available were frozen small ones, and I defrosted them in brine.

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It was fairly well-received at the dinner table, and the left-overs (reunion dinner tradition – you must have so much food that it lasts into the new year) actually tasted even better the next day. I personally thought the taste of ‘western’ herbs made my dish quite incompatible with the rest of the Chinese dishes with its garlic, coriander and soya sauce seasoning etc. Some enjoyed the contrast, I guess.

I was really pleased when my cousin packed some home to serve over cooked pasta (now, why didn’t I think of that?). I didn’t eat much of my own dish though – it was so smelly and slimy and tentacley when I was dealing with the raw thing that it made my hair stand and lose my appetite. I’ll need to practice a simpler but better dish for next year!