I’m On Holiday!

By the time you read this, I’ll be on holiday! I’m going away to parts of Asia for four weeks. K and I are spending a week in Malaysia (Penang, Kuala Lumpur and K’s family’s hometown of Seremban), a week in Hong Kong and Macau, and two weeks in Vietnam, travelling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh.

I’m really looking forward to the trip – not only the chance to see both K and my respective extended families, but also just to see some countries I’ve not been to before, like Vietnam. I’m also looking forward to the great street food I’m going to have the opportunity to try!

Malaysian food has recently started becoming more popular in Australia in recent years (due in part to events like the Flavours of Malaysia buffet, and spokespeople like Jackie M), but I hear actual Malaysian street food in Penang is much better. I’m also looking forward to the Portugese-inspired food in Macau, and doing a cooking class in Hoi An in Vietnam – a city famed for its markets.

On a fancier note, we even have an overnight stopover in Singapore that is long enough for us to go to Waku Ghin for dinner, with a menu designed and created by Tetsuya Wakuda himself. It will be our one crazy night in Singapore with a superb gourmet meal.

I look forward to sharing all my food adventures with everyone in January when I return! Until then, please look through the archives and enjoy some of my old entries.

Your Personal Cooking Style

K and I were recently discussing how our own personal cooking styles reflect who we are as individuals – and in fact, how this could probably be applied to most people.

He enjoys the rigidity of following a recipe closely, carefully mirroring each step of the process to ensure that he comes as close as possible to what the original author intended. In other aspects of his life he’s very methodical, preferring to take more time than others to do certain things so that he can properly think through the process to ensure that everything is taken into account. He’s the very epitome of slow and steady getting it right the first time around.

I cook by instinct – randomly throwing in sauces, condiments and ingredients to create a dish that may be vaguely related to a recipe that I once read somewhere, but is otherwise entirely my own. I thumb my nose at recipes. In other aspects of my life I tend to do first and think later. I am very much an action-taker and dislike meetings at work where people sit around a boardroom table to pontificate at length for hours with no corresponding actions.

We are how we cook. Of course, if you don’t cook at all and your specialty is a peanut butter sandwich, I’m not sure what that says about you!

A Public Holiday Lunch Party

I had my in-laws around for lunch a few weeks ago on the Monday public holiday. I kept the menu relatively quick and simple, given that the last thing I wanted to do on my day off was to spend the morning slaving over the stove.

Entree

  • Salmon and cream cheese on baguette
  • Rocket, pear and walnut salad with Jalsberg cheese and a balsamic vinegar dressing
    • Wash rocket, slice pears, slice Jalsberg cheese thinly, scatter walnuts and dress it all with balsamic vinegar, before mixing the salad.

Main

  • Beef pot pie (not dissimilar to this chicken pot pie)
  • Roast potato and carrot with Moroccan spicing
  • Asparagus in a garlic butter sauce

Dessert

Rave reviews for all parts of this lunch, and it took only one hour the night before for preparation, one hour of preparation that morning, and half an hour of cooking in the oven. Not bad for a lunch party for four with lots of leftovers for during the week. Total cost in the region of $60, with leftovers.