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.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sunday Nite In

On Sundays usually after a long day at church, dinner is either eat-out or pack-home. However, once in a while I get bitten by the cooking bug and the next thing you know I have a couple of friends over for Sunday dinner. I can't explain it but I guess cooking is the way I unwind or call it escapism, whatever! Obviously whatever dished out has to be straight forward and hassle-free. I cook whatever I have in the house. I happen to find a big packet of anchovies (ikan bilis) and 2 packets of dried baby cuttlefish. So, a hot and spicy sambal ikan bilis and cuttlefish would be an appetizing dish. This dish has many uses, can be a filling for a bread and butter sandwich, an accompaniment for nasi lemak or just a appetizer for a blend meal. It can be kept in the fridge for a week.
400 gm anchovies (cleaned, peeled and stir fried in some oil till slightly brown and crispy) 60 gm dried cuttlefish (soak in water for 10 minutes, drained) Blended ingredients a handful of dried red chilies (pre-soaked in hot water, drained) 5 large red chilies 5 bird-eye chilies 5 cloves of garlic 5 shallots 1 Tbsp roasted belacan Olive oil sugar dark soya sauce 1 Tbsp assam paste (soaked in hot water and drained off the seeds)
Heat oil in wok and put in all blended ingredients, fry till fragrant, add sugar and assam water.
Put in all the pre-fried anchovies and let it simmer till anchovies are soft, adding water when starts to dry.
Add in the cuttlefish, fry for 10 minutes and soya sauce for coloring.
A refreshing baby spinach sautee with garlic compliments the hot and spicy sambal. Another cooling vegetable would be bittergourd (see spicy bittergourd recipe posted earlier).
While I was a growing up, my parents catered food from a nearby food caterer and one of the dishes I always look forward to as a child was the stewed pork patties with potaotes. It never failed to ignite my appetite that's for sure! and since I am on this topic, some other dishes were perut ikan, braised pig trotters in dark soya sauce, ikan pulai and the their curry chicken.
Recipe for stewed pork patties with potatoes.
400 gm minced pork
season with sea salt, soya sauce, da
rk soya sauce, pepper, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic oil.
Shape into patties, fry with a little olive oil on a non stick pan till slightly brown. Let the patties cool on a plate while you make the sauce.
Peel pototoes and slice into 1 cm thick rounds. Put to boil till cooked. Drained and cool.
Sauce
Heat some garlic oil, oyster sauce and hot water. Bring to simmer and add in 1 large onion (cut into rings).
Put in the pork patties and potatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Thicken with cornflour.

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

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