have you ever had this nagging feeling of what to cook whenever a festive season is around the corner? what mood do i want to create? i want it to be different but not too overwhelming for my guests....who am i inviting? what is the occasion? are they adults or children? big eaters or mousy eaters? well there is room for everyone... read on.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Family Food

When we have children in the family, we always have to think of what to cook for their growing needs. Be it a toddler, a young child or a school going kid, they all have to be fed appropriately. By now, you would more or less know what my comfort food is. Can't really go without spicy food for more then 3 days straight! So, I always have to constantly remind myself that there are little pitter patter feet running around who can't possibly live on spicy curries, tom yam etc... Meal times have to be spicy and non-spicy at all times. Tonight's meal will be hairy marrow stew (which has been a hit for sometime, even with the adults), spicy pumpkin fish curry and stir-fried vegetables of your choice served with hot steamy rice. I never thought pumpkin tastes so good in curries until I ran out of potatoes one day and had to find a worthy replacement. So far, I like it especially cooked with kaffir lime leaves. It seems to bring the best flavour out of the curry. 1 Ma Yaw fish head (I like bones! cut in bite-size pieces) 5 slices of Ma Yaw fish (marinate fish with some sea salt, pepper and tumeric powder) 3 Tbsp Thai red chilli paste 600 ml fish stock 3 lemongrass (cut into 5 cm length and bruised) 4 kaffir lime leaves (torn to pieces) 5 Tbsp fish sauce 1 Tbsp dark brown mollasses 1 tsp tumeric powder 1 kg pumpkin (peeled, cut into larger than bite size pieces) 100 ml full cream milk 4 siew pak choy (bok choy) or long beans (5 cm length) Juice of 5 limes coriander leaves (plucked from the stems) Heat curry pot with a little drizzle of olive oil and plop in the chilli paste and stir. Add fish stock, bring to boil and throw in the lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce, brown mollasses, tumeric powder. Simmer for 15 minutes. Put in the chucks of pumpkin and fast simmer for 10 minutes. Do not simmer too long or else there will be no more pumpkin left cos the pumpkin will continue to cook eventhough the heat is off. Then it will be called fish and pumpkin paste curry! Trust me that wouldn't be very nice. When ready to eat, reheat curry and pour in the fish and cook for 10 minutes and add vegetable into the hot curry. (I like the vegetables just slightly cooked) Dish out and squeeze lime juice over it and garnish with coriander leaves.

1 hairy marrow (peeled, cut into large bite-size chunks) 400 gms minced pork (marinated with sea salt, pepper, sugar, light soya sauce, a dash of dark soya sauce, cornflour) 2 ltr hot water 200 gms dried anchovies (ikan bilis) 1 ginger (4 cm, bruised) 2 dried octopus tentacles 1 big scallop 1 small packet of glass noodles Some baby spinach leaves Heat a saucepan with olive oil, put in the ginger, anchovies and let it sizzle till lightly brown and fragrant. Add a little hot water at a time and bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Sieve out the stock and place into a soup pot. Add in the octopus, scallop and bring to simmer for 30 minutes and throw in the chunks of hairy marrow and simmer for another 30 minutes. Roll the minced meat into meatballs and dump them into the boiling soup, boil for 10 minutes till the meatballs are completely cooked and at the same time put in the glass noodles. Add baby spinach and cover for 2 minutes. Soup is ready to be served.

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I'm Audrey from Somewhere in my kitchen, Malaysia.

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