Monday, 26 October 2009

Food for Thought

I can whip up a mean bolognaisse sauce from scratch, meaning I do not use those ready-made goo that come in huge jars you see on the supermarket shelves.

And my family would gobble up my spag dish in no time whenever we have it for dinner.

In fact my girls love pasta, especially fettucine carbonara, the creamier the better. I swear there's no Italian in our bloodline where this partiality could come from. But come to think of it, wasn't it Marco Polo who brought the noodle from China to Italy and called it pasta?

Hmmm.... the girls love kwayteow kungfu too. Obviously it's the chinese in them, though they do not look as chinkee as me. Ah well, you can take the chinese out of the noodle, but you simply can't take the noodle out of the chinese and their descendants - no matter how diluted the genes are.

As I contemplated making spagbog again last week, Bang says "tak sedap lah Yang, olio yang hari tu lagi best".

Olio yang hari tu was Spaghetti Aglio e Olio - olive oil and garlic sauce pasta with shrimps - served at Shasha and Zuzey's Raya Open House.

Now Bang is a meat freak who gives fish a disdainful jeling when he spies it among the other dishes on the table.

My dear Bang, aglio olio with beef is blasphemous to the Itai's and I'll sure hear ground-shaking mammmamias all the way from the boot of the Mediterranean, should I cook it.

But kesian punya pasal I consulted with Zuzey on the possibility. Yup I had on occasion been in two minds about certain plans pasal kesian.

Zuzey's a very talented cook inheriting skills from both her Mum and Dad. Chicken Rice and Nasi Briyani are her signatures...Yummm.

"Well maybe you cooouuuuld.... pre-fry the minced beef with some pepper in a little olive-oil before adding it to the already-mixed olio"

"What if I throw in some curry-leaves for some fusion taste? They do it at Strawberry Fields you know, it kinda cuts the muak feel"

I hear aiyoo ma aiyoo pa rumbling from the sub-continent and more mammmamia's

"Hmmmmmm.... my cousin-sister does that too and yeah ........ it's OK .... I guess... You can also use canned-tuna-in-oil too if you like".

Zuzey used shrimps that day. I don't mind tuna. But the young man must have his meat.

Well guess that's it. I'll try whipping up a batch of beef olio and another of tuna for tomorrow's pot-luck. There'll be other food so we won't go hungry should these do not turn out as desired.

And forget the curry leaves as well. We can't kill the subtle oregano flavour with boisterous kariplay, can we?

According to the grape-vine, there'll be Shepherd's Pie too. Yummmm!


Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hey Zee, I kasi u tip, pre roast some pine nuts to sprinkle in as garnish together with the parmesan cheese & chopped parsley just before serving.

I don’t know whether this will work but I think for authentic Malaysian taste buds; if you’ re adventurous enough to add a little bit of belachan & chinchalok paste to your own special sauce plus some sun-dried tomato, I’m sure it’ll give it some extra zinggg. OK, u be the guinea pig first & let me know whether it’s good….hahaha.


LadyMarko said...

Waaa...Elvis' "kiss me quick greeted me"...!

Kak Zen...rasa termalu kejap when you referred to ready-made pasta sauce as "goo". This girl eats that goo, you know! :-D

Care to share with me your mean made from scratch pasta sauce? I hope the ingredients don't kill my spirit.... kadang2 bahan2 yg pelik2 yang I kalah ni kak zen oiii...!!

Naz said...

Salam Zen,
Our fav is homemade sauce consisting of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil that are boiled for a century (!) and chopped basil on top (just before serving). No meat!

Saya... said...

Sedapnyer Zen...wah Tommy pandai masak...

Zen im hungry....hehehe

Zendra said...

Hey thanks Tommy for the pine nuts tip. As for the belacan/cincalok combination, urrrm I don't think so lah - that will be the ultimate blasphemy hahaha

Zendra said...

Hey Ladymarko, your last comment before this one inspired the Elvis playlist *wink*

I eat the "goo" too when it's served outside the home, but I don't really like the taste. Home-made still the best.

The recipe? Nothing fancy really - all ingredients are available in most supermarkets. Go here to view

Zendra said...

Naz, that sounds delicious and healthy - tomatoes and basil are really complementary. Must make it one day when the meat man is away.

Zendra said...

Saya, hoiii belum apa2 dah sedap. Tommy memang pandai masak - tapi so far baru share resipi omelette and tips for this olio. I like to ask him what he eats Friday afternoons to give me some ideas for the weekend hehe.

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,one's man meat is another man's poison"..but go for the garlic and olive oil !! hahaha. but its gravy is o.k.-lah throw the meat to Jane ?.

Zendra,,,try this ? Capt's Creamy Spaghetti Sauce.

•1 lb ground beef
•1 10 oz. can Cream of Mushroom soup
•1 26 oz. can of prepared Spaghetti sauce
Add anything else you just love in spaghetti sauce such as peppers, onions, celery etc. Or just use the three ingredients. Brown beef in skillet or do it a really easy way and boil it. Boiling only works for ground beef, not ground turkey or chicken. To boil it, cover ground beef with just enough water to cover. Boil till done. Drain into a pot or bowl and allow the fat to coagulate so you can discard it. DO NOT pour it down your sink! It will clog it.
Put beef, sauce, and soup in crockpot, stir well, and simmer [on low] for about 4 hours. The time is not too critical. It just needs to be bubbling for a bit to blend flavors. Serve over cooked spaghetti.
,,,Walla !! some people will die for it Yeop hohoho. Jilat jari-lah Saya Ooi !! hehehe..tapi kita makang ikang singgang jer malam nee plus budu..nak buat guana 1st Mate Asaari yang masak ??. Chef day off hahaha. "tak larat"

Zendra said...

Yo Capt, what a simple recipe - just open cans and plonk in whatever we like. Is that how they do it in restaurants/eateries?

I prefer home-made cream of mushroom soup lah.

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,hahaha yes that's how most Chef does it but for home cooking, you should use fresh tomatoes,lots of garlic, olive oil plus whatever you loves in the sauce BUT the secret is to add your cream of mushroom soup (home made or can stuff) plus the spaghetti must be properly cooked in hot boiling water with some olive oil for 7 to 9 minutes (add another 2 to 3 extra minutes if using more than 1 x package of spaghetti)..when serving add some its hot watery juice too ! (never dry out the spaghetti or serve it cold).
,,,Lastly serve it as what Tok Mee suggested hehehe sprinkle cheese/parsley but not with his nuts hahaha !! ...sorry Tommy its bloody hot yaa.

Zendra said...

Righto Captain!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hellooo Ladies & Gentlemen and Zen,

Aiya Capt, all your credibility had gone down the drain lah,,, (mana itu your philosophy of ‘Demand & expect the BEST?’) when u start using ingredients from CANS & packets, gone case lah!!! Now where’s the LOVE & passion? To get into your lover’s heart & good book, shows that u care;

By serving good authentic food these 2 r vital ‘ingredients’(i.e. Love & passion) must be there, beside having fresh produce. I use the fresh mushroom (white angmoh type), sliced up then sauté with garlic, onions, add tomato puree, ground pepper & rock sea-salt then add mince meat (+ optional red wine, capsicum, celery). Mix sauce with pasta, add in freshly picked rockets or English spinach + roasted pine nuts. Finished off with parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme (hahaha, Scarborough Fair mah :))).Walla just like making love, both must come together….heheh.


P/S – Now u c why women dedicate this Elvis song to me;

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,yoo !! you the MAN Tommy !
,,,pity, on the island we have lots of coconuts too. hahaha.
,,,went swimming this morning, saw some pretty big sharks and was thinking of shark fin soup !! how do make them ahh Tok Mee ??, dry the fin first or cook them bloody ?. or Must get my amoy miss Ling to come over and show me how mah ??. hahaha...desire man !! forget about passion hehehe ??.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Capt, soli hor, shark fin definitely no go for Tommy. The way they catch & cut off the fins then chuck them back in the ocean half dead is SO inhumane lah. Like u said b4, we must be respectful to all living creatures kan? Even for meat eating people like us, we would like to see the animals put down going thru’ the proper humane method. So in principle, Tommy don’t support this shark fin business as a form of silence protest, all my Tai Kor friends know where I stand on this issues.

P/S - No lah, desire & lust not on too. Stick to love & passion, more fulfilling :)

Zendra said...

Passion, love, desire....... what are you guys arguing about? Semua sama hot lah.

Now we ladies, we cook for the pleasure of creating.... a creation that exudes sensuousness, that promises more to come, that fires A WOODEN HEART and makes it sing LOVE ME TENDER hahaha

Men are from Mars, Women from Venus lah

Saya... said...

Wah..Tommy!!!! marry me!!! hahaha (first time aku jatuh hati kat apek)...dont you just love a good cook Zen???

Capten...aiyah...tak main lah tin tin...hehehe..potong markah!

Red Alfa said...

No wonder! Last night's sphagetti olio was a result of very spirited forum. Thank you, thank you guys for all your contributions to the making of Z's crowning gem of the pot luck varieties...

Yes hers turned out really delicious.. had seconds with gusto relish but I braked before the finish. (Berhenti sebelum kenyang!)

Yes last night was the essential Italianese and eyes got wide shut at 2 am. The evening earlier I had taken delivery of my new Alfa Romeo.. in Ferrari Yellow. As faithfulness is in the middle name, the Ferrari Red Alfa (just like all my first loves) will remain (always?).

masterwordsmith said...

Great post talking abt my fav food! I also love to cook italian dishes and shepherd's pie....

Looking forward to meet you one day, Kak Zendra.

Take care!


Saya... said...

Waaahhh..alfa model apa Romeo? jelesssss! hehehhe...can take Zen for spin lah...rasmi back seat..kah kah..sedap tu bau leather...very arousing!

Tommy Yewfigure said...

TQ Saya, u make all red faced lah, soli to say u have to take a number lah like the rest, last I checked u r # 69 :)Jangan marah je...


P/S - Wah new Alfa, Spyder??? When is your new Ninja coming?

Saya... said...

Tommy, 69??

You told me never wash pee pee sum more?! Over my dead body meh! (but that would be necrofilia plak) kah kah kah...

So Romeo/Zen, model apa Alfa? kalau Spyder, i very the benci hoo hoooooooo!

BTW hari tu carik umah org yg kete berpuluh tu tak jumpa pun...nak tgk gak Bentley dia

Zendra said...

Saya, judging by his answer to your lamaran, Tommy takut surgical knife sebenornya... haahaha

Yes I do so love good cooks who use the 2 most essential ingredients - love and passion. Oh OK-lah, desire pun juga I like - boleh kasi terangkat apa-apa dish dengan these 3 ingredients

Zendra said...

RA, asalkan beroda 4 dan bukan berkaki 2 ;)

Zendra said...

Hey hey Paula, let's meet over a nice Italian lunch?

Zendra said...

Saya, back seat? leather? arousing? pity no drive-in movies here in Malaysia hehe

Zendra said...

Tommy, Saya - not Spyder lah, where can afford wan? Nanti RA ceritalah - now he's slumped on the sofa dreaming of it maybe

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Ya betul takut surgical, but oso luv my pork roast, cook a mean Bak Kut teh, make a great home made bread BLT sandwich, my breakie of bacon & eggs, fine wine connoisseur, not forgetting my passion for a game of chance, my wandering eyes. Hmmm else I would have married my first childhood neighbourly love, Norashikin. (The soft side of Tommy is a credit to her.)Alas, not meant to be lah, no blardy self discipline on my part!

Hey RA, dulu I drive my unker hand-me-down Alfa, u know the squarish one PDRM use in early 70’s, and then I upgrade to an Alfasud, good car. Bet u must have gone down that same track too. Nowadays when in KL/PJ, I get chauffeur around in my buddie Toyota Alphard (one heluva of an SUV, I tell u one)- U guys shud get one :)


Red Alfa said...

Saya, Tommy,
Thank you for your nice thoughts. So it seems to you guys,I could only but have got but definitely the latest and the top of the line Alfa Romeo.. !BLUSH! !BLUSH! Really, guys, it would not and can never be ME!

But I have finally got the 156 which first caught my fancy in 1998, that was the year the bottom of my finances had dropped.

Now its affordable and it came in that Striking Yellow (which Z just hadn't/wouldn't get over!)

Yes Saya its got that Italian leather but the first thing I did was to install the ionizer.. to kill the nicotine-layered smell!

Yes its pre-owned and 10 years old that will soon be looking sparkingly fit and rejuvenated... ah, the personification of the 55++ year old me?

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hey RA,

At least u realised your dream what. Is this the case of;

“Yellow is the colour of my true love's hair, In the morning, when we rise, In the morning, when we rise (what rise hah?). That's the time, that's the time, I love the best….wink2..

Hi Zen / Saya, {quickie just 4 U 2}

***Charlie ran a Chinese Take-Away in the red light district. Indeed the girls would often eat there & relate stories about their trade & some of the tricks they got up to.
It got him so horny one night he closed the restaurant & went home early. He tapped his wife on the bum & said; ‘What about a little 69?’

‘Why the hell would I want “Stir-fried Chicken & Almonds” at this time of night?’ she said.


Zendra said...

Tommy, 100 items on the take-out menu and Ah Soh remembers no 69. Must be popular order with the clientele hehe

Saya... said...


Loved the 156 too when first came out. Can't imagine it in Yellow though, always saw it as red.

What lah you, passing up chance at heaven for a little bacon and booze..hehehe...That lady sure did you lot of good meh!

jom kita ladies nite out in his red alfa? hehehe

Zendra said...

Haha Saya, takut the red dah merajuk lah, nanti dia buat hal kat tengah jalan soosah lorr