British Food is dire: What the hell is sambal tempoyak?

Why is food in Britain so bad? It’s not bad I suppose, just heavy, bland and boring. Absolutely everything lacks one thing: chilli! For someone who names their blog after a traditional Malaysian dish, food is important. Even when I go back to KL, I find that searching for actual good food is increasingly difficult to find. Apart from a couple of random but trustworthy stalls in food courts in some dusty vintage mall built in the 80’s and of course the street food in an obscure residential or office block, food is hit and miss. But if it’s good, it’s amazing.
In Britain, good food comes at expense and is never traditional. OK there is the odd roast and pie, and maybe a burger done well. But it is nothing I would get excited about.
So to answer the question, what is that dish that my blog is named after?
It’s basically fermented young durian mixed in with chilli. It can be eaten like other sambals, ie as a condiment to your meal of nasi campur, or mixed rice. Or it could be a dish itself with addition to petai, which is a type of broad bean with an acquired taste (you have been warned), ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and daun kayu, which translated to wood leaf. From what I remember it is a kind of wild green that has to be cooked for a bit to soften it. Then a bit of lemon grass to enhance the flavour a little and coconut milk to thicken the sauce. Minus the anchovies I suppose it’s ideal for vegans.
Now that is how I remember it, and more than likely my mum would tell me that I have got this completely wrong. This is what happens when you watch Anthony Bourdain on the travel channel on an empty stomach: nostalgia and home sickness.
When is Malaysian Airlines going to airlift me from this gastronomic black hole of disaster?

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An extended weekend- 5 minute Picnic Pasta

It wasn’t really, had a Economics multiple choice but it was a lovely day.

Some pictures from Monday. It got a bit misty in the evening, Sussex is in a bowl.

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Another idiot proof recipe for a picnic.

What you need is:

(This was enough for like 5 people)

500 g of pasta

Half a jar of green pesto

A whole Beef Tomato

A bunch of parsley

Two Cloves of Garlic

A shallot.

Two giant slices of goat’s cheese

What to do:

1. Cook the pasta obviously!

2. Oil in saucepan, fry the shallots and garlic, then put in the tomatoes and parsley once the shallots become translucent.

3. When the pasta is cooked, drain and mix in the sauce with it and the vege you cooked.

4. GOAT’S CHEESE! Or any soft white cheese you have, please don’t put cheddar or red leicester in it… it is the student favourite but there are limits!

Student comforts can go a long way 🙂

Sit outside in the spring sunshine and enjoy 🙂 Oh and some squash.

A Sunny Weekend: Part 1

I really can’t be bothered to write too much at the moment, I’ve been doing some more revision/ cramming for my test tomorrow.

My dad came down today, I love my dad 🙂 We went Street Thai in the Lanes (Brighton) and we discovered a slice of culinary genius: The Green Tea Cheesecake. I quote directly from the menu itself: “Green tea cheesecake with a crunchy coconut base served with vanilla ice-cream,” Oh and they foolishly forgot to mention the strawberry and strawberry sauce on top of that.

Just googling Green Tea Cheesecake I found this:

Greenteacheesecakebyanitachudessertfirst

I won’t copy the recipe from this person’s blog but here’s the link: http://dessertfirstgirl.com/2009/08/green-tea-cheesecake.html

My Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook also has a Green Tea cupcake recipe that I never get my lazy arse around to baking!

We, then, went on the Wheel of Excellence, basically a big wheel on Brighton Beach. Steve Coogan was polite enough to join us. He was a bit repetitive and after about 3 rounds we really got a bit fed up with his Brighton trivia. The 4th revolution, my Dad was complaining he was bored and eventually told Steve to shut up and turned the speakers off. Poor Steve, things must have gone down hill since the Alan Partridge days (I remember who he is now!). Anyway, here are some pictures of the view; slightly rubbish because they’re from my little Blackberry.

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Doux Souvenir

On my to do list!

At Down Under

 © 2012 Viviane Perenyi Apricot Lavender Tart

I was like a child in a toy shop the first time I entered in Aurore Capucine, a small pâtisserie in the 9th arrondissement of Paris that sells delightful treats.
In the summertime, I remember there were lovely tartelettes with fresh fruits and berries. Each one looking like a pièce unique showcased in the window. And one of my favorites was the apricot and lavender tart

 © 2012 Viviane Perenyi Lavender and Apricot

First the catchy colours. The tiny purple dots of lavender against the vibrant orange slices of apricot. Then, the taste. The combination of the aromatic flower and the sweet fruit. A pleasure for the eyes and the mouth.

The dinner Paprika and I hosted last Tuesday was an occasion to recreate and share that tart so special to me. And I was pleased to see how sweet apricots on a thin layer of jam, encased in a shortcrust pastry and enhanced with the…

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Mushroom, Fennel and Goats Cheese Risotto

I can’t exactly remember how much of what I put in there, I pretty much winged it but it turned out good. I went out food shopping without my debit card, so I had to borrow some money from my housemate. I struck a deal that I’ll cook for my other housemate if I could have some of her carbohydrates. Risotto that she had no idea what to do with one on the menu 🙂

 

 

 

So it’s basically:

2 Shallots

2 cloves of Garlic

1 Fennel bulb

1 portobello mushroom

2 big slices of goats cheese

1 tablespoon of butter

250ml of chicken stock

1 tablespoon of Italian herbs

Juice of 1 lime

1 bunch of parsley

Half a packet of Risotto (from Sainburys I dunno about the same quantity of chicken stock)

What to do:

1. Saute the onions, garlic, fennel and mushrooms until soft, make sure the stove is really hot

2. Put in the butter then once that has sizzled out put in your chicken stock and risotto, keep stirring

3. Stir, stir, stir… just keep stirring and add in your goats cheese, don’t forget to crumble it in your fingers as you put it in

4. If the rice gets a bit dry and isn’t soft just add half a cup of water… keep an eye on it. Then put some lime juice and parsley in it.

5. Keep stirring until the risotto (rice) is soft and it is done 🙂 YUMMY!!!

 

Caramelised Onion on Camerbert and Toast

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The university Co-op discounts really random things. One was Camerbert another was Hovis Wholemeal bread. Since I ran out of food I thought I’d be adventerous with the little food that I had. The Caramelised Onion was fairly chutney-like but more instant. Here is the idiot-proof recipe.

Caramelised Onion

Ingredients:

1 Red Onion

3 Shallots

I tablespoon golden caster sugar

3 tablespoons of caster sugar

Olive Oil

What to do… or method:

1. Heat up the oil.

2. Finely chop both the red onions and shallots and fry them in the oil until translucent

3. Put in the caster sugar and stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved

4. Then put in the balsamic vinegar

5. Stir and keep on heat until it thickens.

Toast your bread, wack the oven on put your cheese on your toast and put in the oven for 2 minutes…

Told you… idiot proof 🙂

Mandarin Orange Risotto

On the list of things to cook!

On the off chance that you’re tired of marmalade recipes (Never fear marm-fans: there are more recipes coming down the Pike!), a fresh twist (Ha! Twist! Do you see what I did there?) on citrus: Mandarin orange-infused risotto. Oranges can be tough to cook with: they are sweet and delicious, but without the assertive tang of a lemon, the flavor can be easily lost, especially in savory cooking. However, that should not preclude us from trying: the flavor of oranges, especially the tangy, floral Satsuma Mandarins, is well worth the effort. And besides: lemon? Lemon chicken, lemon pasta, lemon risotto, lemon, lemon, lemon: if lemon were a Brady girl, it would definitely be Marcia.

Enter Jan, our sweet little Mandarin orange. A little bumpy, a little misshapen, but floral and fragrant and delicious. After searching through about a million lemon risotto recipes, I found this one

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