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Weekend Cooking: Prejean’s Potato Salad

I’m on a short break before starting a new job next month, and Kak’mbang has gone back to Terengganu and will only be back at the end of the week.  We’ve been eating leftovers and takeout for the past few days, so today I made Smoked Duck and Sausage Gumbo for dinner, for a change.  The gumbo recipe was based on the one made by a restaurant called Prejean, and it is often enjoyed together with their potato salad.

The first time I made the gumbo I didn’t bother with the potato salad, but since today I had more time I wanted to try it out.  The potato salad was great on its own, but when mixed with the gumbo the tangy flavor of the relish and mustard went so well with the gumbo’s rich, smoky flavor.  So so good!  Definitely a winning combination.

Based on the recipe from Saveur.

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GobbleFest 2017: Twice Baked Potato Casserole

I actually made this for our first ever GobbleFest back in 2012.  At the time we bought our roast turkey from Turkey Point Cafe, and I only made the sides.  Back then I wasn’t wise enough to know to make a few dishes in advance, but this time, especially now that I roast my own turkey, I really needed to plan ahead.  This casserole tastes just as great made a day ahead; just take it out of the fridge about an hour to return to room temperature, and bake as instructed.

This is one of those dishes in which you can throw all sorts of additional ingredients to suit your fancy.  My first time making this, I ran out of beef bacon so I added a few Italian sausages in there.  Add a bit of chopped broccoli if you like, to fulfil your veggie quota.  It’s quite labor intensive and requires quite a lot of prep time, but the result is a wonderful comforting dish, excellent for potlucks and goes really well with your roast turkey or chicken.  Enjoy!

Based on the recipe by Emeril Lagasse.

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Potluck: Emeril’s Potatoes a la Boulangere

Our friend Marissa will be jetting off to Jakarta soon for a new job, so Elina had us over for potluck dinner and card games last Sunday.  Danial made roast chicken and Elina made rotkohl, so I decided to bring some form of starch as a complementing side dish.  It was either the baked potato casserole or this interesting potato dish by Emeril, and finally our host chose this one.

People say potatoes a la boulangere make a great side dish for roast chicken.  Making it wasn’t difficult, but rather time consuming.  A sharp, heavy knife worked wonders for me when slicing the onions and potatoes into even-sized pieces.  I also took my time to properly caramelize the onions and potatoes, and I think this gave the dish a wonderful flavor.  An excellent dish for potlucks, which you can make ahead on those busy days.  Try it out!

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Ramadan Cooking: Potato Croquettes

Ever since Ramadan started, I’ve been taking my quick breaks walking through the aisles of Ben’s Independent Grocer (B.I.G.) almost every working day.  Sometimes (very rarely) I leave empty handed, but most of the time I would buy some fruit at half price or bread or some ingredient I could use to make something small for buka puasa.  So this time I bought a bag of panko breadcrumbs, and made another recipe from Chef Kamarul’s book.

These croquettes were lovely, and reminded me so much of the snack I love back in Japan.  I noticed that mixing the ingredients using the potato masher wasn’t so effective for me, so next time I’ll switch to a spatula or wooden spoon instead.  I’ll also stuff them with cheese or meat to make them more hearty.

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GobbleFest 2016: Pull-apart Stuffing Rolls

When having roast turkey, one usually would have it with stuffing.  Even though I butterfly my turkey and therefore there’s nothing I can stuff my stuffing into, I usually would still make stuffing on the side.  So far I haven’t found any stuffing recipe that Rudy actually liked, and dinner wouldn’t be complete without dinner rolls, so I decided to combine the two and make these stuffing-esque dinner rolls, based on the recipe by Serious Eats.

I hit a stumbling block when making this.  The store-bought pizza dough I had turned out to be pre-cooked, not raw, and was therefore unusable.  I had to make the dough from scratch and lost quite a bit of prep time, but all turned out well in the end.  The 9 by 13-inch tray was just slightly too big for the rolls even after they doubled in size, so I think I’ll use my round pie dish next time and let the rolls expand all the way to the edges.  Even though the rolls came out a bit too brown this time, Rudy and I really liked the flavor, and I couldn’t stop eating them!

I’ll definitely make this again, and try to get it right.

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GobbleFest 2016: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

December 24th, 7 p.m. Malaysian time.  I can’t believe a year went by so fast.  Once again it’s GobbleFest, and Rudy and I decided to have the Round Knights over for dinner.  We bought our turkey early this year, and managed to get a 6-kilogram turkey for RM29.99/kg from Cold Storage.  Yay! Then we saw them selling at RM24.99/kg in Tesco…

Aaanyway, our menu for this year:

Roast Turkey (updated) | Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup | Emerilized Green Bean Casserole (updated) | Mashed Sweet Potatoes | Pull-apart Stuffing Rolls

I’ve made mashed sweet potatoes before, as an accompaniment to my Honey-butter Baked Chicken.  This version by Serious Eats uses minimal ingredients in comparison, and is intended to let the sweet potatoes speak for themselves.  This, however, means that the sweet potatoes you use must be top grade stuff, and I’m not sure how good mine were.  Substituting golden syrup for the maple syrup probably didn’t help either.  I also couldn’t get the potatoes to be as fluffy, and I wonder if it was due to the dryness of the potatoes, or I just didn’t beat them enough.  In the end the potatoes were still quite nice, but not exactly spectacular in my opinion.  I’ll make this again if I don’t want to use too many ingredients.

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Potluck: Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Over the weekend Rudy had a few friends over for a potluck hi-tea of sorts, and given that it was Sunday afternoon I wanted to make something really simple and quick.  Mac and cheese came to mind, and up until then I never could find any recipe that I would make again.  This one was actually decent, without having to spend a ton on exotic cheeses or do anything particularly difficult, and was well received.  I added some additional ingredients to jazz it up a little, but this one is definitely a keeper.

Based on the recipe by The Food Lab.

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GobbleFest 2015: Classic Sausage Stuffing

Since turkey is conventionally served with stuffing… well, here we are.  I don’t really know what “good” stuffing is supposed to taste like, or what the texture is supposed to be, but I’m told it is supposed to have a pudding-like texture.  This recipe definitely had a soft texture, very much like a savoury bread pudding, and taste-wise it is quite decent, but Rudy still doesn’t care for it so maybe my search for the perfect stuffing recipe continues.  My conclusion for this recipe: the taste of your sausages will greatly determine how your dish will taste, so pick a sausage you really like!

I made this a day ahead; after transferring the stuffing to the baking dish, I let it cool before wrapping it with aluminium foil and sticking it in the fridge.  I let it sit at room temperature for over an hour, before finishing it in the oven.

Based on the recipe by SeriousEats.

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GobbleFest 2015: Mashed Potatoes

We need our filler for Gobblefest, and I can’t make everything in the oven because the turkey’s gonna be roasting there, so I decided on this super simple, super basic mashed potatoes recipe.  Guests totally kicked it up by adding bacon bits, spring onions, the turkey gravy, even the cauliflower soup.

Based on the recipe by SeriousEats.

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