Most of my friends don’t know, that I love cooking. Some, just don’t believe that I can cook, and even said that I may poison them by eating my cooking. But those who are close to me knows that I love to cook. I started cooking my own meals since I was 6 or 7 years old, but that time I cook only the simple ones like fried egg and meggi mee. By 12, I was able to cook fried chicken, spaghetti bolognaise and fried rice.
But now I’m following the footsteps of Jamie Oliver, my idol in culinary. Okay, not actually following his footsteps but I adapted to his way of cooking. Simple and delicious. He cooks by his own instincts and feelings. That means no actual list of recipe to follow. That’s the way I cook my meals too. I don’t usually refer to books or recipes. Say if I want to cook chicken, I just feel the taste and get the ingredients that I want spontaniously. Like, if I want it to be spicy, I’ll get some chilies, or chili paste to go with it. It’s simple, and it works. And most of the time it turned out delicious.
The Fish Curry.
Just last night, I prepared my own meal of fish curry. It was really good. As for the fish, I try to use only the red snapper because of it’s sweetness in taste. Usually I will buy the red snapper fillet from Tesco or the fish head from Giant. For the curry paste, nothing better than Alagappas curry powder. The rest of the ingredients are the usual ones such as garlic, onions, cinnamon, tamarind juice extract, chilies, curry leaves, and some herbs to spice it up and not forgetting the coconut milk. I also added potatoes and tomatoes for extras.
The herbs go in first in 3 tablespoon of hot oil in a wok together with garlic, onions and curry leaves until browned. Then followed by half a glass of tamarind juice, and approx 80grams or 5 tablespoon of curry powder. I mixed it well and bring to boil. Then I add in the coconut milk, tomatoes, chilies and potatoes. Mix it up well again, add in the fish fillet and bring to boil. The paste got too thick, so I added half glass of water then bring it to boil again. After 15 minutes, it’s done. Simple? Yes it is.
Turned out great!
I can’t seem to take my hands off the spoon because I kept on spooning the curry paste to my mouth. It was so delicious and soon after, it got all dried up. Next time, I’ll do it again but with more curry paste.
Meat for two.
Last week I bought 2 fresh Australian sirloin steak fillet. I knew that I had to cook this the soonest because I wanted to eat it while it’s fresh and tender. When I got home, I quickly dashed to the kitchen and unwrap the meat and placed it on the chopping board, not to chop or slice, but to pound it. I sprinkled some salt and pepper on it, then some rosemary leaves. I remember this method from one of Jamie Oliver’s episode in The Naked Chef when he cooked a simple beef sandwich for his crew. Ok, and then I took a plastic wrap and placed the meat in the center, pour abit of olive oil, wrap the meat with the wrapper and pound it with my fist. This is to tenderise the meat for better taste. So I went on pounding the meat until it is almost flattened.
Then I took out the heavy based non-stick pan, put it up to medium heat and add some olive oil in it. When it is hot enough, I chuck in the steaks into the pan and just let it cook. For Gina, she likes it well done. So that meat will go about 5 minutes on each side, turning only once. And for me, I like it medium. So it went only 2 minutes on each side, also turning it once.
After all that grilling, I took the pan as it is with all the oils and juices from the meat still there, I placed the pan on low heat. This time it’s for the sauce. I took some flour mixed with half glass of water, then pour it into the pan. I mixed it up well with all the juices and then add some salt and pepper to taste, sprinkled some Lea & Perrins westershire sauce and a spoonful of garlic butter.
Too bad I don’t have a picture of it here but frankly, it was awesome. In previous years I tried to cook the “perfect” steak, but most of the time I failed. It was either too hard or not tasty enough. I even tried marinating the meat over night with some special sauce such as BBQ or mixed herbs. But my final attempt tends to shine much better than the rest, and best of all, the preparation was the simplest. Yummy.
King of Prawns
Few month ago I went to Sarawak to visit Gina’s family. There was one time I went fishing for prawns….or shall I call prawning. Anyway, the prawns in the rural areas in Sarawak are huge. I went fishing in Roban, a small town near Saratok, in Sri Aman province. The small river where I was fishing at is part of the Rajang river, the longest river in Malaysia. And damn, it is packed with king prawns. We managed to catch about 12 of those prawns, then I went home and get ready to cook them.
Big prawn in my hand.
I never tried cooking large prawns before, I mean, spontaniously. Being in other people’s house is not comfortable and the ingredients are limited. I don’t know how they want it cooked. I asked Gina’s parents and they said, “anything”. So the first method that comes to mind is sweet & sour style.
So, basic ingredients are, garlic, tomato ketchup, fresh tomatoes, chili sauce and some chilies, cut into small pieces, a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Simple but nice.
Fry, fry and fry again.
First, I add about 3 tablespoon of oil, when it heats up, I add in the garlic followed by the prawns. Stir fying is fun, and I just kept on stirring until the prawns turned to reddish orange colour. Then I add the tomato ketchup, chili sauce, chilies and fresh tomatoes. Mix it all together nicely and add salt and pepper to taste. The sauce seems to be abit too thick, so I added some water to lighten it up. Usually when we add water when cooking, the taste will change, like not salty enough of not sweet enough. Don’t add salt or sugar to it, but instead just let it boil until it dries abit. Then the taste will get better as the juice from the prawns are drawn out from its meat. So how did it turned out? Check it out.
Not bad…not bad at all.
After we had this meal, Gina’s parents requested that I cook this again the next day. I don’t mind really, coz I love cooking. As long as they don’t assign me as their designated chef, then it’s ok.
There you go. For those who don’t believe that I can cook, this is my proof. And no…nobody got sick after eating my cooking. I think I will post more on my daily cooking and recipes here in my blog so that I can share with others.
Till then…happy eating.