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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cooking at home - potatoes and the Magic Twin Pan

For the 2nd time since I returned from the UK, I cooked dinner at home for the 2 of us. While the multi-tiered steamer has come in handy, it definitely is a hassle to pour away the water and clean the plastic tiers if I cook rice alone. So, remembering I had potatoes in the fridge from the week before when I wanted to cook chicken curry (but had cooked chicken herbal soup instead), I decided to do a "Western-style" meal.

Dr Google showed me how to boil the potatoes and test if they were cooked so into the pot in cold water the potatoes went after I peeled them.

Remembering I had bought the Magic Twin Pan from Robinsons some months before during 1 of their many sales for just SGD58, I took the pan out of the box for the first time and found that the instructions were in Chinese, if not Korean. I did my best to read the characters and deliberated waiting for my CEB to get home to confirm my understanding but in the end, I decided to go by trial and error

So, I had planned on a chicken and seafood platter with potatoes to surprise my CEB with. And I had a couple of chicken parmigiana in the freezer waiting to be defrosted and served.

Into the pan they went and to my great delight, the chicken turned out beautifully cooked with grill lines seared onto the surface. Best of all, no oil splatter with the twin pan which required only a minimum amount of oil.

Encouraged by this success, I went on to cook the other half of the meal in the same manner.
I wish I could report it was a success but it was not. The prawns turned out fine but a little too dry because I was trying to make sure the cray fish was properly grilled. The cray fish was a disaster and a great waste of money. The flesh was withered and had a bad odor after I had spent a great deal of time cooking them in the pan.

So I had to improvise. Chicken, a few prawns and some potatoes were not going to cut it. Now, one can't use the twin pan to cook vegetables so I had to use the wok to fry the organic dou miao in the fridge. To lend sweetness to the dish, I soaked a handful of wolfberries in water and after frying chopped garlic and then the dou miao over high heat, I added the wolfberries and the water into the wok and then let the dou miao simmer over low heat for 2mins.

I took 2 hours to cook everything (including preparation time). I know because I started at 5pm and my CEB came home at 7pm, kissed me and said he was hungry. And I was just about done with each of our plates. A picture of his dinner for the night (scallops grilled with the twin pan too). And he devoured every single item and proclaimed it was good. That made me happy. He ate all the potatoes to my delight (with mayo and bacon bits) - sometimes I don't know how something will go down with my CEB and when he is happy with it (or pretends to be), I feel doubly delighted.

Oh yes, and here is a picture of the dou miao dish which we also polished off. I thought tht my fried toufu tasted like shite but my CEB surprised me by eating more than 1 piece i.e. it wasn't all too bad. We both liked the way the vegetables tasted though - mushy but sweet.

And after all that food, I cleaned up the kitchen real clean and proper because I knew I wouldn't be cooking anymore this entire week and the next....no more domesticated (insert unflattering nickname) but the huntress hungry (insert unflattering nickname!).

And the week after, Melbourne...I've been travelling so much that I really need a break from the same tired routine of airports, customs, hotels, taxis, meetings. It would be nice to establish some sort of a routine life at home and have time to blog, join a class...to just be here. Be where the heart is. My CEB is my home.

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