I woke up this morning thinking I should buy a whole free range chicken to poach for my breakfast. You will probably think that is crazy. At 7 am?! I went to the market, my local supermarket to do my marketing. I know it sounds a bit crazy to do that on a Saturday morning when most people will be still in bed. But, I crave for a noodle soup breakfast. It was raining and forecast raining with clearing shower later in the afternoon. That, to me, was a perfect excuse to stay home – relax, read and cook.
I was at the supermarket. It was naturally very quiet being so early. That was nice. I walked to the fresh produce section. I picked up a whole free range chicken for less than $10. Then, I saw the bakery section, making fresh bread. I picked up a multigrain artisan bread and a baguette. I was thinking I could have a couple of poached eggs with the bread while the whole chicken was slowly poached later when I got home. Well, that should be it. But as I walked past the fresh seafood section, my eyes were casted on 3 fresh looking whole red snappers. I was drawn to the snapper, just arrived yesterday. I picked one to cook for dinner tonight. I was not finish yet. That was when I remember that I had to buy a couple of sweet potatoes.
Why sweet potato? My colleagues at work yesterday were talking about sweet potato.
Julienne, at her desk, was telling everyone that her partner, Stu has never cooked sweet potato. I was not listening to them. I was busy with my work. When I am fully focus on my work, I can switch off all the sounds around me. It was not until Laura next to me laugh out loud and said, “Victor, did you hear that?…,” “pressure on you.” I was not paying attention until I heard my name. I said, “What? What??” and looked around towards them.
Julienne said, “I have sent Stu the url link to your food blog…,”
“he’s never cooked sweet potatoes..,” “so, I asked him to look at your blog.”
After Stu searched through my Foodtrail, he could not see any post on sweet potato recipe. He then said to Julienne, “Well, Victor doesn’t cook sweet potato either!”
Well, Stu if you are reading this post, I went to the supermarket this morning to buy 2 sweet potatoes just for you. So you can cook for Julienne.
Okay. 2 sweet potatoes in my basket. What and how am I going to cook them, I still have not decided.
The initial plan for this morning marketing was a whole chicken. I ended with more than a chicken. Sounds common to most shoppers?
The theme for my dinner tonight was red snapper and sweet potato.
A whole red snapper deep fried and served with homemade spicy chili sauce.
A creamy spiced curry sweet potatoes.
2 sweet potatoes
2 bird eye chilies
1 small red onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1. Chop garlic, chili and onion. Blend together until smooth
2. Dry roast cumin, fennel and coriander seeds until aromatic. Grind them together until almost fine
3. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into chunky bite pieces
1. Heat some vegetable cooking oil in a hot saucepan
2. Toss in the spices. Fry until fragrant
3. Add curry leaves
4. Add 1 cup water and gently simmer the spices
5. Add sweet potatoes. Lower the heat and slow simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked
6. Add a bit of salt and sugar to taste, then add some coconut cream
7. Dish into a bowl, garnish with some coriander leaves and drizzle of coconut cream on top
A simple dish to cook, warm and hearty for a rainy and cold night. It is spicy, creamy and rich at the same time.
Deep fried whole red snapper.
To prepare the fish – pat dry with a paper towel. Heat the oil. It has to be very hot. Then dip the fish with head in first. Drain excess oil on paper towel before plating on a long dish.
1 whole baby red snapper
1 large red onion
1 stalk lemongrass
1 thumb size ginger
2 cloves garlic
3 bird eye chilies
A pinch of tamarind pulp
1. Blend the spice ingredients until smooth – lemongrass, onion, garlic, chili, ginger
2. Soak the tamarind pulp with some water
1. Deep fry the snapper and set aside
2. Fry the spice paste in some hot oil until fragrant
3. Add tamarind juice to the spice paste, a sprinkle of salt and sugar to taste
4. Lower the heat and slow simmer until spice paste is slightly thicken, then turn off the heat
To plate the fish, you can be as creative as you like. I used some shredded iceberg lettuce as the base and garnished with a few basil leaves, coriander leaves, spring onions, some sliced tomatoes, cucumber and julienne red capsicum.
Then, dressed the fish with the spice paste on top, and garnish with more coriander leaves, spring onions and julienne red capsicum.
“Dinner is ready!” I called out to my partner.
He went “wow!” and, could not help himself by taking this photo of the fish! Its teeth!
“Happy Makan Lah!”