Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Finally back into the kitchen

As most of you have already known, I went back to Singapore, in order to renew my re-entry permit. While I was at it, I decided to fly back to the land below the wind- KK, to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family.

Before we flew back, I was very ambitious and set out a long list of "Food to eat" and "friends to meet". Unfortunately, I ate some raw spikey arugula one week before we departed which eventually caused some ulcers on my upper mouth cavity and led to a full bow of inflammatory actions. Because of that, I couldn't fully enjoy the local foods on my first few days in Singapore. And also because of that, I missed a few friends. Especially those who had made plans to leave Singapore for CNY.

As for myself, I flew back to KK a week before CNY. With a year of baking experience, I finally got mum's approval to use her oven. Eventhough we acquired the oven since I was 9, I was not allowed to go near the oven until I went back this CNY. Mum always worried that I would injured myself. She still did, when I baked my first batch of cookies this CNY. But after a few batch of cookies, she let me to do whatever I wanted, as long as I followed her rules. That is to bake only in the morning. Yeah, mum only allowed me to bake in the morning. According to her, morning is the best time to make pastry, because afternoon is too hot and at night, the noice of the mixer would disturb our maid who sleeps in the room next to the kitchen.

We managed to bake quite a lot of stuff actually. A few successful ones included the Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Cookies, which mum likes; Chocolate Pistachio Cookies, which dad thought could be served in hotel; Chocolate Almond Biscottis, which everyone approved and Snowball Cookies. And a few unsuccessful attempts to make cakes.

Even with the nice local foods and mum's home cooked meals, I missed my own cooking. OCT shared the same sentiment, and told me that he missed my food, in spite of his mum's home cooked food. I am not saying that I am a better cook, I guess I simply miss the freedom of cooking whatever I wanted. However I wanted.

Now that we are back, I have resumed my role as the cook and can't wait to cook and bake up a storm in our tiny kitchen!

A new recipe I tried yesterday- Kielbasa, Golden Onion and Apple was a simple and unexpectedly delicious dish. The savory kielbasa, sweet caramelised onion and the soft and tart granny smith made the plain looking dish a pleasure accompanist of a bowl of steaming rice.

Kielbasa, Golden Onion and Apple
Adapted from Gourmet December 2006

2 lb smoked kielbasa (preferably beef and pork), cut crosswise into 3-inch lengths
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions, chopped (6 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 large Granny Smith apple
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
*I halved the recipe*

Lightly score each piece of sausage in several places with a sharp paring knife. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then brown half of sausage, turning occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Pour off fat from skillet and wipe skillet clean. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and brown remaining sausage in same manner, transferring to bowl as cooked.

Wipe skillet clean again, then cook onions with salt and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel, core, and finely chop apple. Stir apple and broth into onion mixture and simmer briskly, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until apple is tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add sausage and simmer, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute.

Makes 6 (main course) servings

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