Archive for July 2010
Bottarga di muggine is made from the roe of the grey mullet (muggine), which is extracted, molded in its membrane, salted and then dried in the sun. It is most commonly used in Sardinian cuisine so it is no surprise that the finest bottarga comes from the mullets fished in the Cabras, a lake off the shores of western Sardinia.
Below is a picture of 1 piece of bottarga but it typically comes in pairs and there is an amber-orange to dark reddish-brown color to it, depending on how you look at it.The taste is salty, even briny but there is a delicate undertone of spiciness that lingers in your mouth.
Another kind is bottarga di tonno, the roe of the tuna. This one is drier and sharper in texture while being coarser in flavour. This type of bottarga is more commonly used by cuisines found in the eastern Mediterranean.
This is probably going to be my last omakase at the UOB Standing Sushi Bar as they are opening a new branch at 8QSAM which is where they’ll handle the omakase dinners as the kitchen will be bigger.
Aperitif: Black soybean wine
This is a pretty rare drink – black soybeans fermented with alcohol. It is like a very mild version of sake and you won’t really get drunk on this unless you consume like half a bottle. It tastes like soybean milk on first sip then the bite of the sake kicks in gently as you imbibe it down.
The title name for this post is actually the French name for this traditional dish – eggs en cocotte. The cocotte referring to ramekins like the ones shown below. This is a common breakfast dish and can be spiced up with any sort of ingredient that you want to add, from herbs to smoked salmon. In this case, I’m using smoked bacon.
The humble little tamago-yaki is actually one of the most troublesome omelettes to make, and as such, it was used in the past to judge the standard of a sushi eatery as the sushi chef made their own tamago-yaki everyday.
Great effort and skill is used to create those fluffy little blocks of carefully rolled eggs and the best tamago-yakis feel airy and spongy when you eat them.
It takes a lot of time and practice to get it done properly and there are so many reasons why it can go wrong, like not aerating the eggs enough, or getting the heat wrong, or not letting enough moisture evaporate.
Frittatas are open-faced Italian omelettes, differing from the typical French omelette as the ingredients are mixed with the raw eggs instead of folding it around them. The frittata is normally first started on the stovetop and then finished inside an oven. This is the main difference from other omelettes as the frittata is always cooked slowly over low heat.
For this dish, I first sauté 4 cups of sliced onions in olive oil and some salt, covering the pan on low heat. Once the onions wilt and reduce in bulk, I uncover and cook until the onions are golden-brown.
Next I mixed 5 eggs with 2/3 cup of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, some salt and black pepper and those sautéed onions. Melt 2 tbsps of butter in a sauté pan and once it foams, turn down the heat to very low and add in the eggs.
After a while, the eggs will begin to set with only the surface being runny.
Al-Ameen Eating House is a famous supper spot along the crowded Cheong Chin Man Road, where there are also many other eating places housed along that road. You will always find it packed to the brim even late past midnight.
Al-Ameen primarily sells a wide range of Indian food such as roti prata, naan, thosai and curry dishes. Besides Indian food, they also sell Muslim food such as nasi briyani or maggi goreng.
You’d even be surprised to find that they even sell Chinese, Thai and even Western dishes! However I wouldn’t really recommend ordering those dishes here, just like how you wouldn’t order prata at a steakhouse.
“Damn Good Food at a Damn Good Price” – everyone knows that slogan of Botak Jones, the heartlander’s authentic American food! Opened by Bernie Utchenik, Botak Jones was one of the first ‘gourmet’ fast-food concepts to reach out into the heartlands at coffeeshops and deliver quality Western food to us. I have to say it worked out pretty well at that.
Killiney Kopitiam is one of the old style kopitiams where you can still go to experience a traditional breakfast there. It was a Hainanese kopitiam that was founded in 1919 and still provides the same well-brewed coffee and tea, as well as charcoal-grilled toast bread with their home-made kaya.
This kopitiam is undoubtedly popular with many people and it is crowded at all times, especially in the early mornings when people come to get a quick bite before heading off to work..
I wanted to test out the Canon 50mm f/1.8 in my kitchen, which is not very well-lighted, and see how the wider aperture gives me more stable shots. To do this, I cooked up an excuse to test-shoot the lens – grilling a steak!
It was a night where no one was cooking – a ‘fridge raid’ night! I was going to have to McGvyer up a meal from whatever nonsense that was in the fridge. I found smoked salmon, some pine nuts and spaghetti, so the easiest thing would be some form of pasta.