Weekend Kitchen Chat

I have decided to start a new weekend post called “Kitchen Chat” – a spin off from “What’s Cooking”.

“Kitchen Chat” where anything goes! How about sharing what you did for the week? Or, what’s hot in this past week? Anything new in your area? What have you tried? The interesting or not so interesting. It can be anything to create a discussion. That is what so wonderful about cooking and chatting in a kitchen. Sharing and chatting with your company while you prepare and cook your food. And, sharing the food with lots of good fun, great laughter among family, friends and food lovers.

For me – I started the week very busy at work. Consultant arrived from Melbourne to do a final piece of work for my project. I was busy with her from Monday. Then another consultant arrived from Sydney in mid week. On top of that, one of my colleague walked up to me on Monday and asked if I am going to participate in Friday’s Harmony Day! “What?” I asked. “HAR-MO-NY” I thought she is asking me, “HOW MANY?” so I said to her, “How many of what this Friday?” At this time, she was about to get the shit with me. She repeated, “HAR-MO-NY”

“Oh, I see..” “What is a Harmony Day?”

So, I really didn’t know what was the significance of this last Friday. It was the social club function – fund raising for their club. There were A-4 printed posters posted in the hallway, kitchen and a few other spots. Hoping staff will stop and read. But, how many staff take the interest of standing in front of an A-4 coloured printed paper pasted on a huge white wall? Certainly not me. I am too busy to be walking around and looking at posters. Not unless I am some kind of poster freak.

Harmony Day is a lunch event where staff can bring a dish to share. Preferably from their cultural background. I thought that was a great idea, so agreed to join in, without realising that I will be too busy with the two consultants working on my project. Anyway I have agreed to provide some chicken curry puffs, which I have posted the recipe in an earlier post here.

I made a slight variation this time. I used chicken mince, finely chopped one red onion and added half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. I prepared the fillings on Wednesday night and put in the fridge. Thursday night – I folded the puff pastry with a teaspoon of fillings, then freeze. Friday – took to the office and put in the freezer. Our company has a fully equipped kitchen with a conventional oven. The problem is I have never use the oven. I had 30 of my puffs on two separate trays, set the temperature to 200 degree for 30 minutes. The puffs on top tray was a bit over baked, whereas the one on the bottom needs 10 minutes longer to cook. Fortunately, people that have tried my puffs love them. For me, I was not entirely satisfied with the outcome. But, it was a great lunch with over 20 different variety of dishes, from country like Malaysia, Vietnam, Africa, India, and of course, AUS-tralia. I wish I had my camera with me.

So… what have you done this past week? Any hot news?

9 responses to “Weekend Kitchen Chat

  1. Its a wet and cold Sunday and I thought I would check out Victor’s food blog. Yes Victor, I am still alive and cooking. I thought I would share with you my cooking adventures today for Victor’s new food chat section. I have just purchased a pressure cooker after 20 years of not using one. My friend Jill has been nagging me to buy one for years. So with new pressure cooker and a raining day I decided to put it to the test. First, some chicken stock made with a Nichols chicken carcass to get me started. Everything in the pot and 20 minutes later a perfect stock ready for my chicken, leek, corn and potato soup (corn and potatoes grown locally by Bob Cleary). After sweating the leeks with an onion, home grown garlic and pancetta and chilli, in went the stock, potatoes, corn and diced chick and and cooked under pressure for 20 minutes. After cooking finish with some cream and its just what we needed for lunch and left overs for during the week. Next comes a duck curry from Suart and Michael’s surplus ducks. Its a receipe from the Food Safari cookbook, really easy and after preparing the curry I cooked it for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker ( funny that everything seems to take 20 minutes- a rough rule of thumb is to cook under pressure about 1/3 of the time for normal cooking). I then added my home grown tomatoes and reduced the sauce. This will be tomorrow nights dinner. Istill have some chicken pieces left over and some stock so I will make chicken cooked in wine, vermouth and tarragon for tonight. This all took about an hour and a half. Not bad for 3 or 4 delicious home cooked meals and some stock for the freezer.

    • Hey Rosie! So nice to hear from you. Pressure Cooker with Rosie. I like that. 🙂 I have not use a pressure cooker myself, but mum has reserved one for me in Penang. So will try in my Penang kitchen next time.
      I like what a whole chicken in stock can produce a few delicious by-products, re-use and eaten for a week. Esp for 9-5 working people. You sure have make enough for both of you, including leftover lunchbox to take to work. And, duck curry – Yum! Esp free range from the boys.

  2. This is funny. So funny I got to share with you. From You Tube – comedian John Pinette having a go at standing in line at fast food chains – MacDonald, KFC, Starbuck

  3. Hi Victor – I love the idea of a weekend kitchen chat. And I’m envious of your work colleagues!

    I’ve been bottling the most delicious peaches from the orchard in Franklin. They are divine. I bought 10kgs for $3 per kilo. A bargain I think! I also bought a box of pears which are still green so I’ll tackle those in a few days. I’ve made five jars of passata from our tomatoes but would like to make more so I’ll buy a box from a grower in Huonville this week.

    I love having a fully stocked pantry full of preserves from the season’s bounty. It’s so satisfying!

    I’m also loving all the rain – I hope some has fallen your way.

    • Hi Michelle – that sounds wonderful. A pantry full of homemade delicatessen.
      Passata – that is new to me. Google search. Homemade tomato concentrate/sauce. What a lovely idea. I have trying to use our homegrown tomatoes in curries, pasta, and just raw. They are so beautiful. I will certainly do some passata and put in jars for later use. Thanks, M.
      Oh, yes we are getting a lot of rain/shower here and a bit of sunshine. Good for the garden.

  4. Hi Michelle, are you using Fowler’s?, seems that lately their is talk that the old Fowler method is a bit suss, we have been doing the old method for over fourty years on our slow combustion stove, were still alive, the thing we pay attention to is , as we also home brew, hygiene .
    There are ‘no rinse’ (were on tanks) products out now, we use a garden type spray pump to coat everything as you go, to keep it all clean, and as far as the ‘new methods’ of preserve in glass, maybe, we will dodder on.
    Grapes in white wine and cherries in brandy ,I even tried garlic/chili tomatoes, make you weep :). pears in wine, it’s great.
    Still were old and cumergeon, I rather doubt that when asked for why our demise that it will be said:Fowlers got ’em.

  5. Forgot to mention, with glass jars, new lids are a cheap way to get the result and with Fowlers , new seals and Stainless Steel lids. You won’t fail.. Cheers.

  6. Hi Victor, Thanks for sharing your busy week. I did see the ads for harmony day – but I’ve only recently organised a work morning tea roster (and I can tell you some people were even reluctant to put their names down for that one!)so I thought I’d better give them a break!

    My Weekend was a bit busy- Rob had another uni field trip with 50 2nd year students. I volunteered to help out with the cooking. So I drove the luggage bus to a camp at Orford (with a great big kitchen) and set about preparing the meal. It wasn’t too bad, cause we did BBQ meat, but we do roasted potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato, and salads. Also I made a huge sticky date pudding with toffee sauce. It was quite nice even on my own to do all the preparation. Although the oven was a little hard to understand! The students were most impressed that we cooked for them. Also it was great to see them all chatting to eachother over the dinner table – it’s much more inclusive and equal than when we used to let them cook for themselves! One said that the food was better than Jane (a residential college at uni) but I wasn’t sure that was much of a compliment- if what I’ve heard of their food is correct!

    This weekend we’re doing it again for the rest of the class, luckily it’s a smaller group so I get to do something a bit more fun- a middle eastern feast!
    Can’t wait for next weeks kitchen chat!

    • LOL, Hazel. That is funny. Human is really an interesting and unpredictable species. But, when it comes to food, esp the good one – you can see the great expression on each peson’s face – the lips, eyes and facial movements. A joy of complete bliss! Hee hee.

      Hazel – please take some photos this weekend of your middle eastern cookout! Put on your blog and post those delightful faces of the group and don’t forget your wonderful dishes. They will make good photos and a great memory for you, Rob and the students. And, if I am to go with your other post – the beautifully setup house party of middle eastern cuisine – this weekend is going to be fantastic for the group! Enjoy!

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