I just had the urge to be a chef yesterday. I feel the need to flex my "culinary skills".
So I figured out a couple of simple dishes to cook.... actually I don't need a recipe book, it's in my head already. Chef Michael Smith always says "the secret of cooking is cooking without a recipe". Yeah! Right! He can say that coz he was trained as a chef...... I am an amatuer cook. Nevertheless, everyone knows how to cook "masak lemak" but there are variations on how to cook it.
Here's the first recipe:
--> wash with tamarind juice (to get rid of the fishy .... or rather prawny smell)
A bunch of bird eye chillies (cili padi)
--> the amount is up to you actually.... I like it mild although my other half like it hot hot hot! So she always complains that my cooking is not HOT enough!
1 turmeric leave
1 lemon grass (bruised)
1 dried tamarind slice or 2 tomatoes (to add sourness)
1 anchovies cube
Enough coconut milk (2 cups or so)
salt to taste
Optional: you can add long beans
Pound bird eye chillies, shallots & garlic.
Pour coconut milk in a pot.
Add pounded ingredients, lemon grass, turmeric leave and acnhovies stock.
Simmer on a slow fire and always stir. DO NOT leave unstirred or the coconut milk will "separate".
When boiling, this is the time to add the long beans.
Then add prawns followed by tamarind slice or tomatoes.
Add salt to taste.
Once the prawns has changed color, remove from heat.
For the next recipe, easy peasy;
Anchovies or dried shrimps
Light soy sauce
Chop up shallot, garlic & chillies.
Heat some veg oil.
Sir fry anchovies/shrimp and chopped ingredients.
Add pumpkin. Stir.
Add sauces and a bit of water.
Cover & simmer till pumpkin tender (NOT mushy!)
Finished in less than 1 hour.
Waited my other half to arrive home.
Had early dinner for 2 at 6.45pm
No candlelight though!
Unfortunately, it was NOT Thursday night! You know what I mean! :-)
I always associate produce like pumpkin and sweet potatoes with sweet porridge(pengat) or sweet cakes(kuih muih). So when I came across dishes that use them (eg. pucuk manis and sweet potatoes/pumpkin with coconut milk), I felt kinda weird and usually will give them a miss. If I have to, out of courtesy, I'll just spooned them pucuk manis minus them pumpkin/sweet potatoes.
But I must admit you do possess that passion for cooking. And photography if I may add. That prawn dish looks cool but from where I spent me teenage years, reckon it need another helping of coconut milk. But you being a doctor and all, reckon knows what's best for the body and some. A tad more tumeric could also add colour and zest to the dish. And your wife is correct. Lemak cili padi need to be slightly green with envy...err...more of them bird eye chillies, I meant to say.
Anyways, cool dish just the same.
my wife also associates pumpkin as an ingredient for dessert NOT as a vegetable. she did not like pumpkin.....now only i know!
yeah try to cut down on cholesterol :-) but i agree a tad more turmeric would add more color.
Hmmm.. nampak sedap. I do really love pumpkin and HOT sambal.. hehe (you know what I meant).
Big bro, you're so good in cooking.. Well done!!
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