Right. Here I am writing my post. I was going to finish this last night, but then got caught watching “20 centimeters” on SBS Two. A Spanish film, definitely OTT (Over The Top) musical, high camp show which is not everyone’s taste. I thought it was hilarious especially in subtitle, and watching the transvestite’s dream of becoming a real woman.
Now I can relax. Sitting on a long wooden bench looking out towards my garden, and listening to the birds chirping. I have just finished and cleaned up my kitchen. Earlier, I reheated some leftover beef fillets and button mushrooms fried with garlic and lemongrass, chicken pieces with homegrown sugar snap peas in kaffir lime leaves and some rice. No. No microwave is used to reheat my dishes. Only the rice. But, my partner insisted there was not enough to feed both of us! So I got out 2 duck eggs from the fridge, courtesy of a good friend Stu, from his free range duck farm. And, made a third dish of pan fried duck eggs served in oyster sauce and topped with lots of chopped spring onions, fresh red chilies and dried shallots.
While preparing dinner, I was multi-tasking! Watching Channel Ten news and washing some clothing. It was 5:30 pm. Clear blue sky. It does not get dark at my place until after 9 pm. So plenty more sunlights to naturally dry our clothes. So, back to my kitchen.
Removed the beef and chicken leftover from the fridge. Emptied them into a shallow saucepan each. Placed them on top of my Bosch’s Induction Stove and set to a medium temperature. Then took out some leftover rice. Emptied in a porcelain Chinese bowl and covered with a small white plate. Placed in the microwave oven. It is perfectly fine to reheat leftover rice in this way. The moisture in the covered bowl will help keep the rice moist and not dried out. While all these are set in place, I started preparing and chopping the spring onions and fresh red chilies. Break the duck eggs into a shallow bowl and set aside.
Next I took out my induction wok and placed on the induction stove. Turned the knob to a maximum temperature and poured enough cooking oil to cover the eggs. Once heated and the oil was slightly “dancing”, the eggs were poured in. The eggs started to sizzle and bounce gently in the hot oil. This only took 2 minutes for the eggs to become crisp. Gently removed them and placed on some absorbent paper towel to soak up excess oil. The eggs were then plated and dressed with the remaining ingredients. That was our dinner for tonight.
I cooked the leftover beef dish last night for our dinner. I have cooked this dish previously, but this time I decided to add a few other ingredients to test the flavour. I am a herb lover – especially coriander, sweet basil, Thai mint, lemongrass and kaffir lime leave. This time I wanted to use some of my fresh lemongrass from the greenhouse. I twisted and plucked two sticks off the plant and chopped them finely. The scent of fresh lemongrass and its distinct sharpness sends my sensation buds into a velocity high.
Fresh lemongrass in my greenhouse. I have chopped the top off as they grew too tall for the greenhouse.
It survives the first winter!
On previous night, I sliced the beef fillet into small pieces and marinated in fish sauce and oyster sauce.
Before I cooked the beef, I prepared some finely chopped garlic, chopped shallots and sliced one fresh red chili. Next I sliced some button mushrooms.
To cook – I placed my induction wok on the stove. Turned the heat to maximum temperature. Poured some cooking oil into the wok. Once heated, I tossed in chopped garlic and lemongrass. Next the beef and then mushroom. I continued to stir fry for a few minutes, then added shallots, chili and the sauces, which was a mixture of fish sauce, oyster sauce and a sprinkle of salt and sugar.
I decided we got to have some greens with our protein and carbohydrate rich meal.
There were 2 bunches of Bok Choy left in my fridge compartment. I removed them and cut them in half. Then quickly blanched in a hot boiling water. Removed and placed on a plate and dressed with diluted oyster sauce, a sprinkle of sesame oil, and topped with some freshly chopped red chili and dried shallots.
Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce
Now! Do you have some time for a chat in my Kitchen?
This may sounds quite personal. We usually do things and behave differently in front of others. When we are in the kitchen and at home eating dinner with our partner, we are generally being ourself. That is why we normally term our partner as the other half; whether it is the better or the worse half. Even when we are in front of the children or parents, we may project ourself a bit differently. I think. So, my question is – “What do you normally drink with your dinner at home?” Is it generally wine, beer, milk, juice, soft drinks, tea, coffee or just plain water.
It is understandable in a different society and culture we have different drinks to accompany our meal. For example, I grew up drinking Chinese tea or water with my meal. Even now when I go back to Penang, I will only drink tea or water with my meal. But in our society here, it is almost a norm to drink a glass of wine with our meal. Even more so, when we socialise with friends. So when you are at home alone or with your partner, what do you normally drink?
Well, last night dinner I had fresh peppermint tea with my dinner. I plucked a couple of stems from a peppermint plant in my garden. Removed some leaves and placed in a heat proof carafe filled with hot boiled water. It was refreshing and aid my digestive system after an oily and spicy meal.
Peppermint plant in my garden
A glass of fresh peppermint tea