Friday, 27 February 2009

Not much to write about

I haven't been cooking anything interesting the last few days. I'm back on the 5-euro diet ;-) The photo above is of the Nyonya Fried Chicken-only that it wasn't fried in this case as I was SO sick of the splattering oil (wtf is with the bloated chicken here?!), I put it in the oven for 30 minutes and I think it actually tasted better because you could really taste the spices and it was really juicy.

Banana cake in the oven now;)

Sunday, 22 February 2009


Dinner was difficult, time-consuming and expensive!

What we had for dinner:
Nasi Lemak
Sambal Ikan Bilis
Malaccan Beef Stew
Nyonya Fried Chicken with dip
Kangkung Belacan
Sayur Tumis
Sweet & Sour Pork
Boiled eggs, crunchy ikan bilis and sliced cucumber for nasi lemak
Strawberry Mascarpone "Toetje"
Coffee with Kahlua and Whip Cream
Bons Bons

I started preparing on Friday afternoon. Went to the market to buy chicken, to the butcher's to buy the best stewing beef (more fat so it will be more tender especially since stewing is not something I'm good at!) , to the toko (Asian grocery store) to buy vegetables and other ingredients and so on. Because I didn't want to be rushed just before the dinner, I decided to prepare the Malaccan Beef Stew one day in advance.
I also prepared the marinade for the fried chicken and for the kangkung belacan in advance as it's pretty time consuming!

Sambal Ikan Bilis
I made the sambal ikan bilis about 6 hours before the dinner while the Dutchman was in the city. He came home and was horrified by the smell (belacan ahahahaha) so I fried the kangkung as well and microwaved it later, in case our guests are too afraid to enter.

Kangkung Belacan

No photos of everything else because I was so busy. I will never fry chicken in a pan ever again. There's oil splattered on the ceiling and I have 2 burn spots on my arm :(

I made sweet and sour pork just in case and boy, was I right. One guest only ate rice (plain) and a boiled egg as he doesn't like spices in general so I offered him some sweet and sour pork which I thought was a completely fool-proof dish but... he doesn't like tomatoes! Haha Oh well.

Dutchman made the dessert and I prettified it.
I would probably never do it again. Entertaining is just too much work (totally different when it's just friends because you can just serve whatever when it's just people from school!). I spent 100 euro just on ingredients and about 20 hours preparing everything. Then, there's the cleaning we both had to do and the Dutchman bought matching cutlery and dishes as well as flowers and things... All said and done, the effort wasnt quite worth it. I think they'd have been happier if I'd just made some Chinese stir-fry. They finished everything and were really nice but it was just a case of not being familiar with what was served so they couldn't quite tell the difference:D

Sunday, 15 February 2009


I had some milk+egg+vanilla mixture leftover from the bread pudding and felt it would be a waste to throw it away (9 eggs and 1 vanilla bean). I decided to make a very simple egg tart using store brought puff pastry. Didn't use a recipe and wasn't sure how long I was supposed to leave it in. It sunk a little when I took it out but the custard was so yum. I should've made creme brulee or creme caramel with it instead of the tarts.

The cat loved it too. I was cleaning my room and that sneaky bastard ate all the custard in the 6 mini tarts I made!!!

The puff pastry is sold in packs of 10. I had 4 left which I used to make sardine puffs. When I was younger, Mum used to prepare sardine sandwiches for me. I haven't had it in years but I saw a tin of sardines at the supermarket last week and bought one to take home. I fried it with some chillis and red onions.

I also have a new plan. I am a student now which means that we have significantly less to spend. Besides that, my parents will be visiting us in July and I would like to take them on holiday and frankly, even food for 4, train tickets (30 euro per person to Amsterdam and so on!) , entrance tickets and so forth will blow my budget out of the window. Our grocery bill is on the high side at 500 euro a month (The average Dutch family spends about 400 euro and that means 2 parents+2 kids. There's only 2 of us here..) so we have a new rule now. Dinners are to cost less than 5 euro or 35 euro per week. The grocery bill must not exceed 75 euro/week.

MUST start saving.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Bread & Butter Pudding

Mmmmmmm! Let me know if you want the recipe:)

Dinner was tortellini with cream cheese, bacon and cauliflower

Monday, 9 February 2009


I need some help. Some important people are coming to my place for dinner next week. I am to cook Malaysian.

Any suggestions on what I should cook??

Herbal Couscous with Falafel

I need some help. Some important people are coming to my place for dinner next week. I am to cook Malaysian.

Any suggestions on what I should cook??

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Peaches+ Chicken+ Rice?? Huh?

Feeling rather gracious, I asked the Dutchman what he would like to eat for dinner. "You can pick ANYTHING", I said. "Anything you want. As long as you're happy. ".

"OK", says he. "There's this really lekker (translation: delicious) dish my mother used to make. I made it once for you. There were canned peaches in it"

"NOOOooOOOoOOOoO! That was disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"But you promised. Anything I want."

Defeated, I searched for a recipe online and went to the Albert Heijn to buy some ingredients (+ collect football cards for the Dutchman who's rediscovering his youth).

The verdict: Much better than his botched attempt 2 years ago. Wouldn't cook it for myself but would make it again if he asks nicely :-P

This is probably one of the first 'Asian' dishes which became popular in The Netherlands quite some time back. Perhaps a very bastardized version of Indian or POSSIBLY Middle-Eastern or North-African.

Kip Pilaf met Perzik (Chicken Pilaf with Peaches)

What I used:

314g chicken, cubed
2 large white onions, chopped
3 large-ish garlic cloves , coarsely chopped
3 tbs kicap (ketjap) asin
1 tbs kicap (ketjap) manis
1 large can of peaches, coarsely chopped (don't throw away the syrup!)
1 heaped tablespoon sambal belacan
100ml water
140g tin of tomato puree
black pepper

1. Brown chicken in a deep saucepan. Transfer chicken to a container.
2. Using the same saucepan(chicken flavoured fat, yum;) ), saute onion and garlic until fragrant.
3. Pour in the syrup and water.
4. Add the tomato puree, kicap manis, kicap asin, sambal, pepper (+ salt and sugar if you want to. I didn't ) and a sprinkling of paprika powder.
5. Add chicken and let it simmer until the chicken is done. If the sauce is too watery, you can thicken it with some cornstarch.

I served it with basmati rice.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

No (not much anyway) Washing Up

'Een Hollandse Pannetje' ( A little Dutch Pan)
Stew with ham (the pre-cured kind) and French beans, served with potatoes

The Dutch do not place much importance on food- certainly much less than Malaysians. My host mother says she and her mother almost never spend more than 30 minutes on meal preparation.

Here's what we had for dinner the last 2 days. Simple, delicious (the kind of food my Farmboy loves) and with the added bonus of having only one pan to wash!

Chilli Corn Carne (very yummy but the farts are lethal! hahaha)