30042016 More potato salad

 For the next week  or so, Sarawak is going to have an election for reasons why, I am not even going to bother. But it does give me a great excuse to stock up on food. I am going to create three containers of potato salad. Yeah, you heard me. I now have some frozen curry and pasta sauce to last me for at least two weeks.

So again, the ingredients are very simple:

7x hard boiled eggs
8x medium potatoes
1x big white onion
3x carrots
1x big cucumber

Because I only have one pot for boiling, this process is very long. I figured it took me almost an hour and a half. Anyway, boil the potatoes first and when it's ready, dice it to about 1cm cubes. Next would be the eggs, which when ready, slice and dice them as cleanly as you can. Mine was a slaughter since I still don't have those fancy egg slicers. Actually, while you're boiling those stuff, you can actually dice the carrots to 5mm cubes and cucumbers to 1cm cubes first. As for the onions, slice them thinly to maybe, 1 to 2mm.

Once done, mix them all up with about 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise. For me, I prefer not to add too much of mayo or sauce. And I'm done!

This is the second assignment for poor old pot. After the potatoes, it was the eggs. Funnily enough, I was intrigued with how the eggs align themselves instead of swimming around the bubbles/current created by the burners
Yeah, this time, the ingredients are going to fill this big rice cooker almost about 3/4 up

Always. Always cool the potatoes and eggs in a bowl of cold water. And yeah, you can change the water if it gets too hot. Putting them under the running water is great too as it might speed up the heat transfer but watch your water bill.

Finally, three bowls of potato salad! I got these nice green containers for RM2.90 since I am a Boulevard Card Member. Otherwise, I would have cost me RM3.90 instead. So, I have saved RM4.00 already and by now, the card's membership fee has already paid for by itself.

For the final bowl, I decided to try out this Marine Tuna, which is 'Black pepper and lemon' flavoured. It was on sale fro RM5.67but again, as a Card Member, I got it for RM4.99. They are expensive but heck, this is the first of the month, time to enjoy a little...

Man, this tastes good! Although it does have a lot of oil, but the spicy and tangy lemon really made a difference!

The key to making thing taste good is moderation. I added about two and a half tablespoon of the tuna into the salad and it tasted awesome! Although it was not on the can's ingredient list, somehow I keep tasting hints of mint.

This is so awesome!

30042016 Cappin the Milky milky

Throughout the decades, our milk comes in that familiar Tetrapak design. To get the milk out, you need to unfold the corner flap up and cut the edges. Or course, you could tear the edges but then we would get scolded.

For the past three years, the design has changed; it now comes with a plastic flip cover. To open it, you first need to peel off the metallic sticker away to creat the hole for the pouring. It was fine until a year later, those metallic stickers will break halfway and I had to use chopsticks to poke it open. Things became worse when the glue holding the plastic flip started to fail. In the end, you're left with the 'original' Tetrapak again.

Improving on a design is laudable. But sometimes, when its already perfect, it really senseless to improve it further. This design did not egree with me because when you start stacking them, the extra millimeter of the cover can til the whole stack. And when you change the glue's formula, the flip-cover can come off with a slight knock. At the end of the day, it could be just production cost. Because this does not construe as convenience to the customer but plain stupidity.

And just yesterday, it now has a 'new' design. A screw-on cap. I just hope these are bio-degradable plastic as well. I wonder what else can go wrong with this...

I won;t know how the screw-on cap fares until I use it since it has a lock which means once you open it, its, 'Use me. NOW!'.

27042016 The Spiral Spaghetti

After finishing the spaghetti, I tried a pack of those spirals. Because its donkey years since I've cooked any, the first time was a disaster. Meaning, if I wanted to cook for only one person, I just need to use HALF a cup instead.

Yeah, I could keep the other half in the fridge but I would be too lazy to use the frying pan to reheat it for my next meal 24 hours later.

Half a cup is enough for one person

This is how much "OMG one FULL cup" will give you. I felt like a beached whale after that.

25042016 Pasta

And so, this is the first test of my Pasta sauce. It still looked a little too pale, no thanks to the multiple eggs I put in. But luckily, the taste is still there, albeit a little too bland. Some of you might think that the little cup of sauce would not be enough but for me, it's all good since I like to add them sparingly, unless its those white sauce which must come in floods...

24042016 Spaghetti Sauce Failure

OK, I think I'll be having pasta next week and I WILL have three choices of  'sauce' to go with them:

1. The boxes of chicken curry in the freezer

2. The Potato salad, or
3. Some spaghetti sauce.

I created the third choice because I needed to cook the month old chicken meat in the freezer. I got the white meat some time ago and literally left it in there after some mincing. Or cubing. Or whatever you call it, it's still chicken meat, OK?

And so, after defrosting it, I decided to make the spaghetti sauce... Everything was fine until  I decided the sauce was too watery...

This time I am going to use red onions

I think I bought the wrong one and I don't think it has herbs in there but then again, it was cheap. And it has tomato in it. So, after all the frying, it was slow simmer in the pot for more than 30 minutes...

All was fine until I added too much water. Since I did not have any cornflour, I added eggs into it. Man, that was a mistake! And it tasted quite bland so I had to add some salt. And it took a few hours to cool too.

OK, so now I have 9 modest servings. The containers are quite small, what you're seeing is about half a cup of stuff in each. For a normal person, they would need two of these but for me, when it came to home cooked pasta, I prefer minimal sauce. then again, its just me. If I was at a Restaurant, I expect the sauce to be flooding everywhere since I'm paying for it. Ha ha ha ha!
So,lesson learnt. No eggs. And even if I needed to add some, it would just have to be ONE egg.

23042016 A Simple Potato Salad

I wanted to make a salad again but without all that 'fancy' ingredients. The last one involved fried brinjals and pineapple which in the end, turned the whole salad dark. I had no choice but to woldit all down and hope there's no diarrhea in the night.

So, it's back to the simple things again tonight, which is a simple potato salad.

4x small potatoes

4x hardboiled eggs
half a cucmber, diced
half a white onion, sliced
2x tablespoon of mayonnaise

I boiled the potatoes first and once they're soft, I diced them into 1cm cubes where possible before they crumbled. (Ha ha ha nyuk) I did the same with the eggs and since I don't have those fancy egg cutters... (ha ha ha ah hah haa!)

I diced the leftover cucumber and also thinly sliced the onion. The main secret here is to hold back on the raw onions or else its going to overwhelm everything. Once that is done, mix them in a bowl and add in two tablespoons of mayonnaise. Mix it well and you might want to sprinkle some pepper or cut seaweed at this stage but do resist on sprinkling wine or other alcoholic beverage.

Its so simple, its delicious!

For once, I actually forego dunking the crackers in my coffee...

23042016 (Almost) a victim of molest

My Wife and I were at a place which is either Kuching or some out of town place. It has a feel of Raub but thinking further, its like the back of some place in KL, maybe the backlanes of Jalan Raja Laut.

The reason I was there was unclear but the owner of the house must be a relative of my Dad's or my late Uncle. It has those normal brick and wooden design reminiscent of those olden urban Chinese houses or squatters in Malaysia during the 60's. I was chastised for something I did not do or I was late doing it as the Son/Widow was not happy although I think I knew the Son well.

We were tasked to remove the Family's business sign which took was quite a challenge since it was haphazardly made. But finally, it came down and we went inside where I remarked that the lounge was quite impressive during its time as the main attraction was the pink curved wall in the middle. You won't notice it until the typical TVs and shelves were cleared. The Son agreed too. Anyway, there was a problem with the lighting and so he climbed the ladder while I was offered advise on how to tackle it. I did go into the late relative's room where I noticed a big purplish soft toy (not Barney) which looked more like some unhappy cat with an upside-down grin. It's big as if its a 12 year old, sitting on the dresser.

The next thing I know, I woke up all alone in that house and it was still daylight. Yeah, I was in the dead relative's bed and that soft toy was lying on top of me. Wat is scary is that it can move and I can feel it's hand rubbing its penis which was getting hard. Like in all dream where I would be too scared or shocked to do anything with the terror coming in front of me, I was now in that position scary again. Try was I might, I could not push it away as if I was semi-paralysed.

Then as it's penis got harder, I got pissed. With all my anger, I pushed it away.

And then I woke up.

Back in my room in Kuching.

And there was nothing on top of me...

22042016 Cucumber for Dinner

Sometimes, I really like to go all the way on simple things. Like tonight, I was anticipating a light dinner of sliced cucumber with some nice  sweet Soy sauce. However, at the market, things took on a different route.

It all started with me searching for the Kikkoman Soy Sauce which I thought was sweet, then on the way back, I bought quite a bit of spicy Yam cakes (which even the girls loved when they came over).

And so, I ended up making more food than planned. Yeah, it would be nice for two people over a conversation but its a nightmare for a stingy hermit. Still, I could not keep them in a fridge as I know they would taste horrible the next day.

The sauce: Kikkoman mixed with sliced onions, diced garlic and re-roasted sesame seed

The ingredients: Leftover pork fuchuk, sliced cucumbers and spicy yam cakes sprinkled with more leftover re-roasted sesame seeds

Note: The RM9.60 Kikkoman Soya sauce tasted like shit and its not the one I was looking for. Next time, I should also slice some chili too...

22042016 Gardenia has come to Kuching, so sell all your Gold!

A few monhts ago, for the first time I actually started to stay in Kuching, I was puzzled why there were no bread at the bread section. Heck, there's no bread section neither. Over in West Malaysia, I was used to see the bread section in all Supermarkets and I must say, we were spoilt for choice too. 

But over here, it seems that bread is not as important as I thought. And you need to go to a cake/pastry shop to get your bread which  averages to about RM3.50 per loaf. And if you do go to certain shops, the bread can have corn, pandan, raisin and other flavours too. Heck, who needs Gardenia, right?

The staff and colleagues love it when I went home for the Chinese New Year and brought back loaves of Gardenia's Delicia Butterscotch. Yep, its the Butterscotch which makes them smile. Its strange really, that despite us being Malaysians, there were certain items which never made is across the sea. For example, we have Gardenia and they have Grenadines (which makes me love it more than the common Rose Syrup). We have Mee Maggi Goreng and they have Kolo Mee and Kampua Mee (not Halal if you're asking)

Anyway, the price is a little shocking if you're a Butterscotch addict. You might want to hock off your stuff for more money...

The Staff was stacking the Gardenia shelf with yes, Delicia's Butterscotch!

But before you jump in happiness, look at the price which was more than doubled!

22042016 The Skies over here

Its already 4 months since I've been working in Kuching and let me tell you this:

The Skies of Kuching is beautiful. When I was inn the plane and about to land, its so mesmerising to see so many the cotton candy clouds floating over the city. And in most evenings, the Sunsets are something you want to stare at and wishing it would never end.

Granted the City is near the sea and enjoys bountiful rain, its the skies which are always full of fluffy clouds and you'd never know when it would rain. So, go to a wide open space, maybe near the Airport and enjoy the evening sky. Sometimes you can even see a rainbow or two...

19042016 Come here, Mr. Egg!

I am out of the curry and salad phase now and I think, into the omelette world.My original plan was to cook the curry, divide them into daily packs and then freeze them. This would mean I would be able to have curry for my daily dinner. But I can only enjoy so much curry before I got bored with them. (Unless I can find a cheap source of healthy crackers and turn the curry into a dip..)

Anyway, h
ow the eggs came into the picture also caught me by surprise. It started with an innocent (but squishy) boiled egg in the rice cooker and before I know it, they evolved to getting fried by the pan.

Too much leftover ingredients? Make an omelette!
Got extra from last night's dinner? Make an omelette!
Nothing else to make a fast meal? Make an omelette!

Eggs to me, are a very quick way to make a meal, provided I do not burn them, something I need to remind myself when I multi-cook. Not sure  why but when I'm cooking alone and needing a fast meal, I find myself cooking about two to three things at the same time. The same happened when I was doing the curry and salad during lunchtime.

While waiting for the noodles to boil, I cut up some garlic and onions along with that pork fuchuk. These are the ingredients for the omelette.

Once the Kampua noodles are ready, I had to mix them immediately or else it would just clump up when left alone and in the cold.

At the same time, I'm frying the omelette. Its a little brown on one side and also, the broken top was when I tried to flip it over. This is the problem when the pan fire got too hot.

Anyway, (Clockwise from top)
1. Sliced cucumbers with chopped garlic/sliced onions/light soya sauce
2. Grenadine mixed with Milk and water
3. Kampua Mee with sesame oil/light soya sauce/Garlic chili/pepper
4. Garlic/Onions/Porky fuchuk omelette

17042016 The Embryo Drive

For the past few days, the dinner menu has changed again and this time, the vict... er, choice are eggs.

Originally, I was worried about the amount of other vegetables and stuff that was in the fridge for weeks. Yes, weeks and not days. And so, I decided to make some omelettes with them. I haven't been eating eggs for quite some time and so it was as good a reason to finish up the food before they go into the bin.

One thing great is that for every meal (that uses two eggs), the other half can be kept until the next day which I can just mince it and add to some pasta or rice.

I know I'm going to have eggs almost every day because I had just bought another carton of 30 eggs... Yeah, this  could be bad.

The brinjal/onions/luncheon meat omelette was slighly burnt as I was cooking, washing and and tending to the pasta at the same time...

03042016 Curry with Pineapple and Tomato

This was how I bought the pineapple from the wet market. After cutting them into 1.5cm slices, I used three for the Hot Salad and another three for the curry. The rest, is put into the fridge.

Too late I realised that the second pack of defrosted chicken was actually white meat. So, I sliced them up and again, marinated with the curry powder, kunyit and onions for about two hours while I cleaned the Condo. The I fried them with the ginger/garlic/more onions. Because the fire is quite big and this pot sticks, I had to fry them very fast if I do not want to use too much oil.

I then added the remaining (almost 2/3) of the ready mix curry, which was the 'Mak Nyonya' brand. Do not ask me if its good or not since I could never tell the difference. Curry is just curry to me, like fish being fish.

Very quickly, I added about 2/3 of water and let it simmer for a bit, making sure everything is mixed.

Time to add in the potatoes, tomatoes.

Alas, there was only enough space for two medium sized brinjals. I was tempted to use the rusting wok but, to be safe, and not die alone, I stuck back to using the pot. And yeah, let it simmer with a small flame for about an hour or slightly more.

Left it to cool overnight (it was still warm the next morning) and scooped them into 8 plastic containers. This was because on the first attempt, the 5 portions were too much.
And so, this is the experiment curry using pineapple and tomatoes. I am not sure how it will taste like since I have yet to finish off the first batch this week. But I am hoping it would be sweet.

03042016 Return of The Hot Salad

Yeah, I am starting to love this Hot Salad and because of this irresistible dish, my tin of crackers are finishing fast! The chili was starting to wear off after a few days and so, its quite nice now. Either that or my tolerance for that Chili has gone up.

Sad day for me because I accidentally left the bowl of Hot Salad out in the open overnight. The shocking thing was, neither  the ants nor the flies touched it. But since it was condemned by the Home Ministry, I had to comply.

Sunday came and so, the Hot  Salad returned! This time, I fried the hot chili along with the brinjal/onion/garlic before adding them to the usual suspects of carrots, cucumbers, thinly sliced onions, boiled potatoes, pears, apples and some pineapples. One thing I need to add is that the fumes from the fried chili can still irritate your nostrils and throat.

With so  much ingredients, I had to use the bigger rice cooker bowl. Add in three tablespoons of mayo and its looking good. Roasted a some roasted sesame seeds plus a prinkle of Maggi's 'Cukup Rasa' and its done!

This time, I did not use the honey dates (for sweetening) and surprisingly, the salad still stands.

02042016 Double Boiled Curry

I'm very sure some of you would have heard of double boiling. it has nothing to do with heating food twice, though. This is a method where your food/soup in a (usually ceramic) container is placed over another pot of boiling water.

Lightbulb blink already?

This double boiling method is very common for those who deals with chocolates. They are heated via the boiling water and not directly from the flame. So, you get an evenly melted chocolate without burning it. But for the Chinese they have their very own special double-boiling jar which has minimal evaporation and thus seals in the nutrients. But for me, tonight's dinner is to make sure I do not have burnt curry...

Very simply put, I put the frozen curry in a small pot surrounded by water in a bigger pot

As the water boils, it indirectly melts and heats up the curry. Since I do not have a cover for the smaller pot, I just covered the bigger pot.

Add that with the beaten egg inside the cooked rice, its delicious!