January 20, 2007
One Day in January
The day started with rolling gray clouds in the sky. And, I had been attending my kitchen since I woke up this morning. First, I had to make breakfast, then made the bed, watered the garden before the sun was finally shining (apparently there was no sun but humid!), and went back in my kitchen to stay there until our guests arrived.
I supposed to have Tim and Celine as well for this occasion, but I then learned that they both couldn't come for some reasons. Though this was not the event that I would expect to have, I just thought it went quite well.
First thing when Barbara and Bryan arrived, we took a walk to the orchard. I showed Barbara where our greengages were growing, and she took a bite. I could see at that moment the appreciation of the flavour you couldn't exactly find in shops or supermarkets. Then my appreciation was growing bigger to really have such a big opportunity to enjoy what we have now. It's a wonderful life.
I cooked a bowl of jasmine rice, a nice plump roast chicken, a bowl of gado-gado (Indonesian salads with peanut sauce), and a bowl of sambal telur manis (eggs in chunky sweet chilli sauce). I also made tiny fruit salad served with my homemade vanilla ice cream for the dessert (which apparently people were quite stuffy afterwards so we had to have a little break in between), and a batch of chocolate truffles to enjoy with the coffee. And there was a jug of lemon and pineapple juice, freshy squeezed from fresh fruits.
Here are the recipes.
Ayam Panggang Ketumbar (Coriander Chicken Roast)
1.8kg whole chicken, 1 lemon
Marinate Sauce: 5 cloves garlic, ½ tsp sea salt, 2 lemons, 2 Tbs coriander seeds, 4 cloves garlic, 1 Tbs rice bran oil
Basting sauce: 2 Tbs salted butter, 2 Tbs sweet soy sauce, 1 Tbs sweet chilli sauce
Wash the chicken, pat dry with paper towel, add 1 lemon inside the cavity together with 4 cloves garlic. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken. Set aside.
Meanwhile, grind together the remaining garlic, salt, coriander seeds to a paste, spoon one teaspoon inside the cavity. Spread the remaining paste all over the chicken. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.
Basting sauce: Mix all ingredients together.
Preheat the oven to 180C, put the chicken in the roasting dish, brush the chicken and roast slow for about 1-2 hours until cooked. Keep basting with the basting sauce and watch for it can burn easily because of the use of sweet soy sauce. Stand for 10 minutes. Remove to the serving plate. Serve warm.
Lemon and Pineapple Juice
1 pineapple (peeled, juiced), 4 lemons, 1 cup caster sugar, 2 cups water.
Dissolve the sugar with the water, then add lemon and pineapple juice. Cook until boiling and slightly thicken. Cool. Pour into a jug with water, 2 lemons (sliced) and sprigs of mint.
Sambal Telur Manis (Eggs in Chunky Sweet Chilli Sauce)
I often make this dish on several occassions with different degrees of spicy in each flavour. Once I tried without chillies and of course, they went good. Then I tried again in a different occasion with 1 red chillies and 1 Tbs of Sambal Oelek, the result was no complain from each guest. I was the one who was surprised, how this dish could be welcomed on a foreign tastebuds—or are there the genes? Then, on this occasion, I omitted the chilli, instead I used 1 Tbs Sambal Oelek. And it went alright. None of my guests complained. Sue Dwen even asked me if I added more chillies, because last time she had had it, she enjoyed it so much. She was wondering if I would add it up to a higher degree. But I wasn't sure if Barbara of Bryan would be able to eat hot food, especially hot hot chilly food. Traditionally, some home-cooks regard chillies like hot pleasures. My aunty, for example, would use heaps of both red chillies and bird chillies for one bowl of sambal. I was like living in a hot oven.
10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled,
3 big shallots, peeled and diced,
5 cloves garlic, peeled and diced,
2 tomatoes, diced, 1 Tbs Sambal Oelek,
1 block dark palm sugar,
1 tsp shrimp paste (or 2 tsps fish sauce),
1 bay leaf,
1 tsp ground ginger (or 2cm fresh ginger),
1 tsp ground galangal (or 2cm fresh galangal),
1 Tbs rice bran oil,
1 tsp tamarind paste,
3 Tbs warm water.
Heat the oil and put diced shallots, garlic, tomatoes and sea salt in the pan on a low heat, covered. Let them become soft and wilt, then squash with a fork. Add in sambal oelek, palm sugar, shrimp paste, bay leaf, ginger, and galangal. Dilute tamarind paste with warm water, then add into the mixture. Let it boil. Correct the seasoning. Add in the eggs. Cook further 15 minutes until the mixture is thicken. Serve 6.
My Vanilla Ice Cream
I served the ice cream with tiny fruit salad. I got this idea from one of the Cuisine issues. It was Ray McVinnie's recipe. He used rhubarb gelato on his tiny fruit salad but I used vanilla ice cream. His tiny fruit salad contains of vegetables including capsicums and courgettes, but mine is pure fruits. I thought they're quite gorgeous in tiny forms.
500mls fresh milk,
500mls fresh cream,
2-3 cups sugar,
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds removed,
6 egg yolks
Put milk in a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod and scrap out the seeds, put them in the milk together with the pod. Heat the milk until simmering point. Meanwhile, cream the sugar and egg yolks in another bowl until pale. Trickle the milk into the egg yolk and stir well. Bring them to the stove on a low heat, stir well. Cook until the mixture is thicken and covered the back of the spoon. Strain and remove the vanilla pod. Let cool. Whisk the cream until soft. Take one tablespoon of the cream to the egg mixture, mix well. Then, mix in the rest. Pour into a freezer-suitable container, freeze for 2 hours. Remove from the container into a food processor, process until smooth. Return it to the container and freeze again. It's pretty much easier if I have an ice-cream maker, but I don't, unfortunately.