This past week, I have cooked dishes that I have never cooked before, and they were not Asian style.
I bought some seafood – a piece of Ling fillet, a squid and some green prawns. I thought of making a pasta dish, which is not my usual cooking. My partner does the best pasta dish, in my opinion. So I am certain I will not be able to match his. It was a simple pasta dish. I used 2 jars of previously homemade pasata from my fridge – spiced version with chili and kaffir lime leave. It has the aroma that I thought slightly resembles a Chili Crab dish, but not so quite. So a seafood spiced pasata is interesting with the added seafood flavour in the sauce. My partner didn’t mind the dish at all. He commented that he still made the best pasta dish! Quite modest of him. That was Tuesday night dinner.
On Thursday, the weather was quite pleasant, a bit overcast but with occasional burst of sunlight. I decided to go for a walk at lunch time, away from my desk. I put on my iPOD earpiece. Switched on to listen to Eva Cassidy’s album, Songbird. I walked passed the guardhouse, waved at the guard. Took a left turn on Creek Road and up towards Augusta Road. As I was walking along Creek Road, two female colleagues were walking towards me, going back to the office. They were both carrying a bag of grocery. We stopped intermittently for a few seconds. Exchanged some friendly smile. I politely asked if they just came from the corner store. The usual friendly chat when you bumped into someone. I don’t understand why I asked that question. It just came out from my mouth. Of course, they just came from the corner store, right? Why would they carry a light see-through plastic bag each with stuffs I can visually see and make out. I smiled and waved goodbye. Put my iPOD earpiece back on.
Continuing with my walk, on my left is a Primary School with an extension being built. The work started in December last year as part of the government stimulation package to fast track our economy recovery from GFC (Global Financial Crisis). It is not a big extension. Across the school is a beautiful park, John Turnball Park, with lush green lawn. I took a sharp left turn after the school into Wellwood Street. It is a nice quiet tree lined street, with one small roundabout and a few street humps. I saw a male colleague across the other side of the street, walking in the opposite direction, going back to the office. We waved. He shouted to me, “Going for a walk?!” I said yes. I murmured to myself quietly, what else am I doing?? Of course, I am walking. Quietly smile to myself and thought that was a bit funny. I don’t feel that silly after all, earlier asking the other colleagues if they have just been shopping.
Next, I turned right into Giblin Street and finally reached a set of 4-junctions traffic lights at Augusta Road, where the main village shopping precinct is located. I waited for the light to turn red, for the green blinking man signaling pedestrians to start crossing. There are two corner stores near this junction, a clinic and a pharmacy. I went to the up-market corner store, Augusta Foodstore. They have a good deli and nice fresh produces. I walked in, now listening to the song, Autumn Leaves on my iPOD. I bought some vegetables, olives and greek feta cheese for making some salad, a beautiful Tasmanian’s Ashmores salmon and Tasmanian’s Red Kelly Lemon Myrtle Dressing.
At home, I decided to baked the salmon with a layer of crusted chopped parsley leaves, bread crumbs, sea salt, cracked pepper, and a Tasmanian’s WAJI cajun spice.
While the salmon is being baked, I prepare my salad using one baby coarse lettuce, few slices of radish, red onions, some homegrown aroma tomatoes, Greek kalamata olives, chopped parsley, Greek feta cheese and Red Kelly lemon myrtle dressing with some cracked black pepper.
Last night, I have decided to cook a noodle dish with whatever leftovers I have in the fridge. There were a few pieces of fresh Ling fillet, some leftover poached chicken pieces, a few baby coarse lettuce leaves, few baby English spinach leaves, oyster mushrooms, spring onions, homemade chicken stock and an egg white. I chopped some garlic and ginger. Prepare a tablespoon of oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce. In another small dipping saucer, I have 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon white pepper.
Heat up the wok. Add some vegetable cooking oil. Toss in garlic, ginger mix and fry until fragrant. Then add the chicken pieces, fish and then mushroom. Continue to stir fry for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients – spring onions, lettuce and spinach leaves, sauces and stock. Turn down heat and let simmer gently for a few more minutes.
While that is cooking, prepare the noodle. Follow instruction on the packet. I use some dry Chinese style noodle, cooked in hot boiling water. When noodle is cooked, place in a bowl. Scoop some chicken, fish, mushroom and vegetables from the wok and pour over the bowl of noodle. Garnish with some dried shallots.