Monday, May 19, 2008

Shouldn't Have Done This...

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Yup! Shouldn't have cooked the above, Kinda regretted it halfway through cooking. It is a Public Holiday today and I should be resting. Why did I get myself into this? 吃饱太闲。-_- All these started because I had some leftover pumpkin and bought some real cheap Sutchi fillets at Giant Hypermart. I thought I saw it wrong when I spotted them going at S$1.89 for 480g pack. Didn't want to miss a good deal, I bought 2 packs. Not that I like catfish but more of a typical case of 'buy first, deal with it later'.

As I mentioned in my previous post, IH suggested Fish and Chips. Request denied. I might consider if he helped me out cleaning the kitchen or tend to the children while I am cooking. However, he never lift a finger except to eat, eat, eat. If I asked him to look after the kids, he'll be yelling for my attention every 5 minutes, or simply, pass the kids to my helper. So the 大老爷 will lie down to read newspaper. Yes, I employed the helper to help out, BUT the helper cannot do EVERYTHING! Though sometimes impulsively wanted to serve him some burnt/lousy food but that would backfire. I love good food and hate wastage. Thus for the time being, he will be spared.

I made some pumpkin puree and freeze them into cubes for Ah Boy on Sunday. I have introduced him solids for some time now. His appetite has been good. So far, I have introduced him to chinese spinach, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, peas and sweet potatoes (which causes flatulence.. ahahah..). All painstakingly prepared and froze for later use. I bought about a quarter of the pumpkin from the wet market. After steaming half of it, I already have 2 ice trays filled up. I didn't quite like pumpkin stir-fried, so the only thing I could think of is pumpkin soup. To accompany pumpkin soup, I decided to cook something more westernised. Although the wet market does not open on Mondays, I just stocked up my fridge on Saturday. Thus finding the necessary ingredients wasn't difficult. Be forewarned, the total preparation time for the above is 5 hours, worse than preparing a Japanese meal (or could be that I am just a slow coach?). Recipe filed in the order of preparation.

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Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients
400g Pumpkin, remove skin and seeds, cubed (estimated)
2 medium size Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large Onion, peeled and cut into quarters
2 stalks Leeks, cut into thick slices
3 stalks Celery, cut into thick slices

Some Olive Oil

800ml Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Low Fat Evaporated Milk (I used this as I do not have cream)

Salt to taste
Some Sour Cream (for serving)

Method
1) Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Spread the prepared vegetables out, except the celery. Drizzle some olive oil, toss slightly. Bake at 190 degree C. for 30 mins. Throw in the celery and bake for a further 20 minutes.

2) Leave it to cool. In a blender, add chicken stock and throw in all the vegetables (snip off those that are charred). Blend into a puree and strain with a sieve. Discard residue.

3) In a pot, stir in the evaporated milk and bring it to a boil. Add salt to taste and remove from heat. Serve with a swirl of sour cream. Garnish if desired.

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Homemade Tomato Sauce
Ingredients
400g of Fresh Tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped (about 5 medium size tomatoes)
1 Tsp Garlic, chopped
1 Onion, chopped finely
2 Tbsp Canned Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup of Water
Some Fresh Basil, chopped (I used about 12 to 15 leaves)
Some Salt & Pepper to taste

Method
1) In a pan, add olive oil and fry garlic and onion till the onions soften. Add in the chopped tomatoes, water and tomato paste.

2) Let it simmer for 20 minutes till quite dry. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the basil leaves.

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Garlic Toast with Basil
Method
1) I used store bought French loaf, buttered them with unsalted butter. Sprinkled with crushed sea salt and chopped garlic. Toasted at 190 degree C for about 15 minutes. Top with chopped basil leaves and keep in the oven with the remaining heat. Serve when ready.

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Salad with Mango Yoghurt
Ingredients
1/2 head Iceberg Lettuce, cut
1 medium size carrot, shredded
1 Fuji Apple, peeled and shredded
2 Oranges, peeled and cut in to cubes (the oranges I used were rather small)
3 small tubs of Mango yoghurt (I used Yogplait, 125g each, bought on offer)

Some Raisins

Method
Toss all ingredients together and pour yoghurt over them.

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Lastly, dust the Sutchi fillet with corn flour. Heat up the frying pan, add some unsalted butter. Fry the fish till cooked and browned slightly. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges and tomato sauce. Garnish with basil leaves. Assemble them all together like the above picture.

A tedious but hearty meal. I was delighted with the pumpkin soup though it was the most time comsuming to prepare. Surprisingly, both the children like this soup too. Hmm... contemplating if I should add that to their menu in future as it hides vegetables such as leeks, celery and onions. As of now, I am left with 1 packet + 1 piece of fish fillet. I'd probably save myself of the above hassle. I'd pan fry it with some sambal next time. Photobucket

Happy cooking!~ それじゃ~~

5 comments:

Yuri said...

Hi Rei, a painsackingly prepared meal, but wonderful results! I love the pumpkin soup, not sure if the folks at home will touch it :P Perhaps I should attempt a meal like yours and sell to them lol

Btw, you simple drizzled/pour yogurt on the salad? Didn't dilute or add lemon juice/olive oil etc?

Halimah said...

Rei,

it looks awesome and so healthy! You're such a fantastic mum for taking the effort for the family even though it is an off day! I'm sure they appreciate your efforts... Thanks for posting the recipes.. will definitely try them!

Rei said...

Yuri : Had the same idea. After all the preparation, felt like charging them for the meal. Ahahah.. I didn't dilute the yoghurt but when I squeeze the lemon on the fish, I saved some lemon juice for the salad. Refreshing!

Hamilah : Do try the pumpkin soup, it's lovely. It tastes good even without milk. :D

Zurynee said...

The meals look awesome ... you are such a great mom.

Zu

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Rei, you are such a wonderful mum! When I was working full time, I don't even bother to cook! You got a 大老爷 at home...whereas for me, at some point in time, I used to think I had a 大伯公 sitting at the sofa reading newspapers and watching tv too! Luckily, I managed to gtt rid of 'him' after much protest, lolz ;)