Monday, February 23, 2004
Over the new year weekend, I have been cooking.
Due to my mother's previous illness and some of her medication, she is unable to partake of anything with chilli or fish.
Hence, Dad has been cooking chicken and prawns for the pass week and decided he can take it no more. He desperately wants some chilli and sea produce for the weekend. I have to come up with some new dishes (mild yet alluring) to stir up (and cheat) Mum's dull appetite.
My source of ideas: Jamie Oliver. Mind you that I am no expert in Western cooking.
I have been trained in Chinese culinary since the day I held a spatula and it has only been a few years back I have attempted to whip up Malay cuisines (mostly to satisfy my own chilli-induced cravings). The most complicated ones I have bottle and gumption to conjure are ayam masak merah, kangkung belacan, rendang tok, kentang ikan bilis, sup ekor and probably udang sambal (minus the petai... :D).
Today I tried out a recipe from Oliver's The Naked Chef. With his 'strip it bare then make it work' principle, I was able to cook asparagus the Western way for the first time. Usually I would just toss it with some chopped red chillies, belacan (a spicy shrimp paste) and prawns. The following recipe from page 143 is about as simple as it can get.
Steamed Asparagus with Lemon and Anchovy ButterEat well and have a good week ahead!
Whizz up the anchovies in a food processor (or chop them finely), and add the butter, chilli and pepper. Add the lemon juice, to taste. Steam the asparagus in a fast-boiling steamer (or in a colander over a pot) until tender - taste one. You can toss your anchovy butter and asparagus together before serving, or simply serve the steamed asparagus with a knob of anchovy butter on the top.
-   55g/2oz anchovies, the best you can find
-   140g/5oz butter
-   small pinch of dried chilli
-   freshly ground black pepper
-   juice of 1 lemon
-   680-900g/1½-2lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and peeled if necessary
P.S.: I used the lesung batu to crush the ikan bilis for maximum taste.
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