Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pre-Valentine and Post CNY in Holland

HT couple were invited by friends to celebrate the love month and the year of the rabbit on its 10th day.  We didn't think twice and accepted the invitation.  Aside from these friends are really nice people(HT hubbie agrees with me), we just feel comfortable being with them without too much effort.  And they might not have a food blog yet(who knows they might have one tomorrow), but one thing is for sure, they love food as much as we do.

If being food lovers is something we have in common, we have something uncommon.  They rock in the kitchen and I mess in the kitchen. (still a long way to go honey, but you can do it - the usual phrase HT hubbie would tell me everytime i throw away a not-so-edible dish or when i burned my pinkie).

To prove how these friends of mine rocked the kitchen and our tummies...

These ain't ordinary dumplings!  The skin was even made with personal touch(it's not those skins you can buy in the groceries or asian stores).  She shared her recipe of just combining salt and flour with water to make the wrapper.  And the filling was a well-balanced taste of ground pork and shrimp.  The filling was very tasty and moist.  Just like having xiao long bao without making a mess of sipping the soup inside but still gives you the "oomph" taste.  The dip (not in the picture) was a mixture of shaoxing wine, soy sauce, salt and pepper...voila!  It was perfect.  Check out the presentation...isn't it wonderful how the sesame seeds and spring onions made a difference?

Rujak Pengantin (wedding salad) - Indonesia and Malaysia are known for it's different type of Rojak.  The mixture of veggies, tofu, potatoes with a special type of dressing made of ebi (dried shrimps), peanut butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Emping on the side is a must as it goes well with the dressing too.  My friend even acclaimed it was under-seasoned...but i wouldn't mind eating this everyday especially during those health monster moments as taste is not sacrificed at all.

Quekiam or He Keng (teo chew) - It's been almost a year since I had this, and i ate it like i haven't eaten for days (we even got a roll to take home which of course didn't last for 24 hours).  I love the wrap as I am a beancurd skin addict.  The same filling of the dumpling were used except that this roll was flavored with bouillon and seasoned with a dash of paprika for that mild kick in every bite.  The citrus sauce(not in the picture) went very well with it.

Red Yeast Chicken - It was scary to look at because of its hue, but when i took the first slurp, the goodness of chicken and ginger were prominent but somehow there is this pleasant taste that I cannot describe until a red yeast bag was shown to me by my friend.  All along, i thought it only gives food coloring and now I know that it contributes to the goodness of the taste this dish.  And being so interested where i can use red yeast, aside from the drunken dishes and char siew, I also learned that it helps to lower our bad cholesterol.  Nothing beats the 3-in-1 benefits of red yeast.

Baby Kailan - a plate of veggie is a must on the table of every chinese meal.  This was sauteed with salted fish, dried garlic and ginger.  Yum!

Our dessert Leche Flan!  I volunteered to make dessert as I don't want my friend to be too tired of preparing a full course (as you can see she has prepared a lot).  As you can see, presentation wise, it was not very successful.  The sudden change in the temperature (baking it in the oven at 200 C for 45 mins with a steamed bath of the leche flan container if put in the fridge without letting it cool down) gave the flan the crack.  (I learned it after 2 attempts of making this).  Yes, this was my 2nd try as the 1st one was overcooked giving a rubber consistency.  (I was afraid that it won't be cooked so i thought 15 mins more shouldn't hurt).  It was tad sweet for my tastebuds (I followed the recipe of using 1 can of condensed milk for 10 egg yolks).  Working on the 2nd one, I minimize the egg yolks to 8 and using only half of the condensed milk and 1/4 cup of fresh milk.  And it might still be on the sweet side, (but not as sweet as how we Filipinos eat it), but I'm proud to say that it was smooth(right amount of mixing), creamy and delicious.  And it didn't had that very overwhelming taste which usually can't be avoided in this Filipino version of creme caramel.

And the highlight of the day for HT wife...

I HEART PINEAPPLE TARTS!!!  I mentioned to HT hubbie and to some SG friends on how I won't be able to have my fair share of this tart this CNY.  So i can't help myself but ate it like a monkey (I was exaggerating as i tried to be modest that time) 

Just 2 words: Delicious and Satisfied!  It was one of the best pineapple tarts I had.  I didn't bother asking how it was done though when I heard it was not easy. :D (lazy me)  I guess, for now, I just prefer popping it inside my mouth.

After almost 5 hours of lunch, stories and laughters...we went home with contented tummies and a bottle of this...:) *bliss*  

Thanks again friends (you know who you guys are).  We are very grateful for the wonderful pre-valentine/post CNY lunch and for your wonderful company.

'Till our next hang out session...maybe the making of hokkien mee...:D