“What’s cooking” in Victor’s Kitchen

Last weekend we had a great time at the Cygnet Folk Festival. On the way home last Sunday, my partner decided to roast a whole chicken and made polenta to go with the meal. It was the first time he made polenta. It was good. There was so much leftover, that it took us a few more nights to finish the polenta. There was a bit left which we used with my creamy coconut curry vegetable tonight.

On the way home from work today, before I picked up my partner, I stopped at the supermarket. It took me 10 minutes to buy what I wanted – a free range whole chicken, some pork rashers, potatoes, milk and muesli. It was a fast in and out type shopping. I didn’t need anything else. I have some other produces at home. I have not decided what I want to cook. I was going to poach the whole chicken. But, then thought I should try something different. I decided to chop the chicken into two halves and make two different chicken dishes.

I opened my fridge and took whatever vegetables I found in the fridge. Placed them on the kitchen bench. Add a few dry spices and fresh curry leaves plucked from my own curry tree.

I looked at all the produces in front of me. What should I cooked? Four dishes came to mind – a vegetable curry, spiced soy chicken, mum’s ayam goreng (well, I hope I can replicate her recipe) and caramelised soy pork rasher. I marinade the pork rasher and half a chicken separately. Then glad wrapped and put in the fridge. I will use them for weekend cooking. Tonight, I will made a creamy coconut vegetable curry and pre cook the spiced soy chicken.

So my first task is to cut up the vegetables, and made a mild chili paste with garlic, ginger, onion, dried chilies. Next I opened a packet of vegetable curry powder bought from Penang on my recent trip for added flavour and depth in the curry.

Ingredients:

You can use any hard vegetables. I use all the vegetables I had in my fridge. Chop vegetables into small bite pieces.

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Carrots

Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

2 tablespoon vegetable curry powder

250 ml coconut cream

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic

1 inch ginger

5 dried chilies

To make the chili paste:

1. Soak dried chilies in hot water until soft. Remove the seeds.

2. Chopped ginger, garlic and onion.

3. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend the ingredients to the texture that you like.

To cook:

1. Heat up some oil in medium heat.

2. Toss the freshly made chili paste. Stir fry until fragrant.

3. Slowly add the curry powder. Mix through and continue to stir fry. If paste is drying up, add some water.

4. Toss the carrots and potatoes. Mix through until all vegetables are well coated with the paste. Add some water to almost cover the carrots and potatoes. Turn up the heat and cook the vegetable.

5. Toss remaining vegetables. Add more water if necessary.

6. Add coconut cream when vegetables are cooked.

7. Add a bit of salt and sugar to taste.

To plate:

The creamy coconut curry vegetables go well with steamed rice or in a bowl of noodle if you prefer. We had some polenta leftover in the fridge. I reheated the polenta on a shallow sauce pan. I also had a juicy, succulent Tasmanian crayfish in the fridge. There is a story on the crayfish.

Let me share the story with you…

Last Monday night, it was extremely hot. One of the hottest night so far this summer. We had our bedroom window wide opened. The curtain was drawn apart to let some breeze in. It was late. My partner was fast asleep while I was still trying to sleep. Then I heard a loud old vehicle engine at the front of our property. We have a big hedge at the front. I got out of bed. Went to the window. I could see the vehicle headlight – real bright. The engine was loud and roaring away. I imagined whoever in the vehicle was looking at the “For Sale” sign board. But who actually stop and look at a “For Sale” sign near midnight. I thought that was a bit odd. I became a bit uneasy when I saw a torch shining through the hedges towards my bedroom window. I didn’t want to wake my partner.

I switched on the front porch spot lights, hoping whoever out there will turn away. But, it didn’t worked. Whoever were out there reversed the noisy engine vehicle towards our side street. Slowly drove up the street and past our driveway. Then stopped at our next driveway leading to the garage.

At this time, I was getting worried and woke my partner. Switched on the other spotlights – one at the back of our house and the other on the side towards our driveway. I grabbed my phone and called Helen, our dearest friend and neighbour. I was hoping her husband, Ted, who is a big bloke will come and scare the potential burglars away. Maybe Ted will bring his gun. Little did I know. Ted was actually fast asleep. Helen came on her own. Thank god before she pulled up her car, the potential burglars decided to drive away. Probably deterred by all the spotlights.

A couple of days later, Helen and Ted dropped in to see how we were doing. They were on the way home from the airport after dropping Irene at the airport. Irene is a sweet 85 years old woman that we met at Helen’s place on New Year’s Eve. A big crayfish was nicely packed and wrapped by Ted for Irene to take with her on the plane. Unfortunately, she was not allowed to take the crayfish on board because it was not vacuumed packed. Lucky for us. Helen and Ted gave it to us!

That was the beautiful, juicy and succulent crayfish I had on my plate of polenta and creamy vegetable curry. The meat goes very well with the creamy spiced curry sauce.

Sorry, Irene. But we ate your crayfish!

15 responses to ““What’s cooking” in Victor’s Kitchen

  1. Hmmm. Sounds all very suspicious to me!

  2. Or possibly a Twittter stalker?! 🙂

    I always admire people who can cook something up out of anything. I’m one of those who can’t, unfortunately.

  3. Excellent post, how can I subscribe to this?

  4. Oh my! You guys have been having a few dramas lately, what with Reb’s run in with a jack jumper and now this. Hope things settle down for you now.

    But you’re selling your beautiful home? Where are you going? Penang?

    Sigh, I wish I could buy it…it’s a dream home.

  5. Hi Stephen – oh, yeah. Who actually stopped at a “For Sale” signboard for more than 5 minutes at almost midnight? I don’t think I am being paranoid.

    Emily – LOL! Yes, probably. I better stop advertising myself too much on social websites. Btw, I still remember your Tweet to me re recipe for “ayam goreng”. It will be in my next post. I hope I am doing it right. Will see this weekend.

    Michelle – I know. Hope things get better. If we do sell it, and that is a big “IF” we will move to Hobart. But that may take months or even years. No hurry.
    Can’t get rid of GutterTrash and me too soon. Otherwise, no more Huon drama! 🙂

  6. I now have a terrible craving for crayfish. I may go to the fishmongers tomorrow. Would it be terrible to eat one all for myself?

    I’d probably do well to pick up a dozen oysters at the same time. Just in case…

  7. Go for it Maggie! Don’t be squeamish about eating it on your own! I have had the crayfish craving twice over the last few weeks so have popped down to Mures and bought myself one. Not having to halve it is fabulous!
    Great post Victor, again.

  8. The coconut vegetable curry looks delicious! I never thought of curry with polenta before, is it weird?

    • LOL, Steph. Yes, it was weird. Actually, my partner said, “It was like eating sludge on top of sludge!” Because, he had it in a bowl (one on top of the other with lots of curry gravy. His mistake. Ha ha).
      I was more careful. I served on a plate with the curry on the side. But, I think if the polenta is firmer in the form of a squarish cake, it will probably work better.

      The small price one has to pay for using up what’s left in the fridge. It is quite a ride!

  9. All this talk about crayfish and oysters is makes me hungry!

    Can’t wait for your ayam goreng this weekend…. Hope it will turn out as well as your mum’s.

  10. Hi Victor – That was some scary moment that you had. I am glad everything turn out fine.

    Curry and crayfish…..sound like a weekend experiment. I have to try it. Thanks.

  11. I’m glad to hear that those guys went away. It’s unnerving to think there would be intruders, all of this heightened by the lack of visibility of darkness.

    Polenta and cray fish look great!

  12. Poay – I hope so too. It is just a matter of few hours before I start to cook my ayam goreng. Tonight’s dinner.

    Dallas – we’re like working in a science laboratory. That’s what make cooking fun. By trial and error – working to perfection.

    Christine – yeah, home intruder the worse kind. Doesn’t help having to think what might have happened if the burglar(s) managed to get into house while asleep. Watched too many movies! And, read too many news on home invasions.

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