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August 2014

Viewing posts from August , 2014

Weekend Cooking: Cajun Chicken Jambalaya

So Kak’mbang’s away for Raya break, and I needed a break from eating fast food, Maggi kari and the like (as yummy and oh-so-unhealthy these foods may be).  I wanted to just throw something together that is simple and doesn’t require too many plates and pots to clean up afterwards.  After some searching around I decided on Emeril’s Cajun Jambalaya, which required ingredients I already had on hand.  I doubled the recipe to feed the three of us and hopefully have some leftovers.

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Project: RayaFest 2014 – Tarragon Chicken Salad

As part of the menu for the pot roast dinner I organized recently, I wanted to throw in some sort of veggie/fruit dish, to balance out the meat and starch of the main course.  So I decided to try out this chicken salad recipe by Emeril Lagasse.  It turned out pretty nicely; the tarragon flavor was quite pronounced but not too overpowering.  A great combination of flavors and textures, and makes a good alternative to the Waldorf salad I use to make.

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Project: RayaFest 2014 – Pot Roast

Date: Sunday, August 3 , 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m

Number of guests: 10 pax
Location: Bandar Utama

Over the weekend, this still being the month of Syawal and all, Rudy and I decided to assemble the Round Knights of the Table for a round of food, drink, and merriment.  For a group of 10, I made something based on Emeril’s pot roast with my own assortment of root vegetables, with a bunch of other stuff on the menu:

Pot Roast | Tarragon Chicken SaladFrench Onion Soup | Bayou Chicken Pasta | Crusty bread (courtesy of Yaz) | Peanut butter cup and vanilla bean ice cream (courtesy of WYLT) | Lots and lots of A&W Root Beer and Zappel (courtesy of Steph & Huang)

Updated 28 Dec 2019 with new photos. I used to only get my nicely trussed chuck roasts from upmarket grocers like Village Grocer, but not only is it more expensive, it is also very difficult to find a whole roast bigger than 2 pounds/1 kg. The TTDI wet market was always an option, but unfortunately the butcher refused to help me truss up my roast, which became a blocker for me for a long while. Fast forward five years after, with a lot more cooking experience and a stronger feeling of curiosity, I bought the right sized (but completely odd-shaped) roast from the TTDI wet market, and trussed it myself. It turned out to be a super easy task, as long as you have the right tutorial video. I found this one on Youtube to be the most helpful. You can find cotton twine for trussing at most stationery stores, just make sure they don’t have any plastic coating. You are actually less likely to find them in the kitchen section of department stores.

A few lessons learned: when cutting slits into the roast, it is a lot easier to cut along the grain of the meat. I also need to keep practicing on trussing the roast such that the meat is properly even-sized throughout.

Do give this recipe a try – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make.

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Project: RayaFest 2014 – Bayou Chicken Pasta

Over the weekend I had a group of 10 come over for pot roast, and I was worried we wouldn’t have enough starch as a “filler” dish, so at the very last minute I decided to throw in another pasta dish to the menu.  I decided on this simple but incredibly delicious pasta by Emeril Lagasse, which I’ve made for office potlucks and Hari Raya dos with a very high chance of  “yum!” ratings by guests.  Do check it out!

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Project: RayaFest 2014 – French Onion Soup

So I finally had the time to browse through the book, “Bill’s Basics” by Bill Granger (thanks Cornelius!), and boy, so many recipes I can’t wait to try out!  Most of the recipes looked fairly simple, and I finally landed on this delicious looking French Onion Soup recipe.

I made this for a group over the weekend, so I doubled the recipe below.  Because of the large amount of onions it took a bit longer to caramelize, about 1 1/2 hours.  I was also kinda worried about not being able to make “good” French Onion Soup because of the lack of white wine and brandy, but I think all in all it was quite good, and my guests enjoyed it.  Do give it a try!

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