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Monday, August 06, 2012

A very porky meal

I wanted to use more of the red dates in the fridge that I had bought from Tang Shifu and because I also had just bought some prime spare ribs that evening, it struck me that I could cook watercress soup. We were brought up drinking such soup but unfortunately prior to yesterday, I had no idea how the vegetables looked like!

I spent a good 10mins looking for the veg at Giant and had given up when I spotted just next to me, 4 bunches of watercress in bags that were labelled. Each bag (200gms) was only SGD0.70 compared to Cold Storage which I later went to (SGD1.10).

After spending a bit of time on Google, I decided that watercress soup with pork ribs, red dates, wolfberries and potatoes were the way to go. Cuttlefish was recommended as an ingredient but I preferred to use one piece of large dried scallop to add sweetness to the soup.

After boiling the prime ribs separately for 5 minutes and pouring away the water (to ensure that the soup is clear and without scrum from the meat), I cooked all the ingredients together in my trusty thermal pot until the water boiled and I could smell the sweet aroma of the soup!

I had a bowl of soup for lunch with some leftovers from last week and there was plenty more for dinner. Now, my second best friend for cooking next to a bottle of already chopped garlic is minced meat and I had a box of pork minced meat marinated in the fridge to cook a simple seaweed minced meat dish to go with our rice. However, I also recalled that one could do a minced pork omelette easily.

The minced meat with dried seaweed dish was also very easy to cook. Both dishes involved stir frying the minced meat (the meat should have been marinated for at least half an hour with chinese wine, soy sauce, a dash of pepper together with sesame oil) and then adding in the rest of the ingredients - the egg mixture with chili and spring onions for the omelette and 300ml water and the seaweed together with a tablespoon of oyster sauce for the seaweed dish.

Truth be told, I don't ever taste my food before serving up the dishes. I'm not sure why. So when I finally sat down for dinner with my CEB who had come up late from work, I was rather apprehensive about his reaction to the food. I knew that the chicken cordon bleu had been fried to (oily) perfection - gosh he can really eat that, but I didn't know what the rest of the dishes were like.

Well, I seldom say this if ever...but the minced pork with seaweed dish went very well with the white rice! I really liked my own cooking this time around. The egg was nice too - omelettes are so easy to do and go with all sorts of stuff like bacon, cheese, mushrooms, spring onions. My CEB said that the soup and egg were both a little salty but I had't added any salt whatsoever to any of the dishes. Till now I'm scratching my head wondering what had caused the salty taste.

We will be out of the country again from Wed to Sunday evening for another holiday. And then I will be travelling for work the very next morning I return till late Wed night. I couldn't get out of this work trip because it is such a high-visibility project. So no more cooking I guess till late August!

An ex of mine told me once that the most important ingredient when cooking is love. I don't know about that but I do know two things (1) I love my CEB and (2) cooking takes effort.

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