We hosted two dinners last week, one for a friend and her hubby back from the States and another was a Mid-Autumn fest for my cell group. Both were pot luck dinners, an excellent way to taste a variety of dishes cooked by different people. I was too busy making pizzas the first dinner so I don't have any photos to show but the second dinner, I got much smarter. I made an extra Sicilian cassata cake for the dinner two days before, blueberry cheesecake pies (no photos) a day ahead, ordered a large bowl of koe yuk, and my helper Vero made a leaf salad and boiled a corn-fed hen.
V brought fried noodles with seafood and although it was restaurant-bought, I ate it because I can't resist noodles.
My motto regarding dinners is : do not do onto others catered food. But it's okay, I know sometimes people are too busy and can't find time to cook.
Oh this was good and I must get the recipe. S's pork leg with pickled veg and chilies.
A's pasta with bacon and bell pepper was super yum and another recipe that I want.
A brought a large bowl of koe yuk too so mine went back into the fridge. This was very good although I think the one I ordered was better because it had stronger garlic-onion flavor. I'd give you the number of the aunty who makes the best koe yuk in town but because she quoted one price when I made my order and charged a higher price when I took the dish, I'm not going to give her free ad space.
A (bless her generous heart!) brought a kilo of grade 6 wagyu sirloin which I cut into 3 pieces and served London broil-style, something we've been doing a lot recently because London broil is easier to cook than steaks and leftovers can go into sandwiches. Everybody was bowled over by the flavor and tenderness of the wagyu. We washed the wagyu down with 2 bottles of shiraz, not my fav red but still, red wine complements red meat so well.
E brought her usual mixed veggies, a good companion to the meat dishes.
Hit of the night (runner up to the wagyu) was this simple but refreshing cuke and raisins salad with grated parmesan cheese from M.
M also made sure we got our dose of iodine and omega-3 from a Saba mackerel and a 'mong' fish. Simple and yummy with a drizzle of black soy sauce.
This dish of plain boiled chicken called 'white chopped chicken' is the most popular and traditional way to cook a good chicken.
For the Chinese, if your chicken is home-reared and corn-fed, there's no other acceptable way to cook it but boiled. Only inferior chickens get stewed or baked or fried. I'm constantly seeking the best corn-fed chicken and many times I've been disappointed. The so-called corn-fed chicken at our local markets are at best fed with a part-corn part-chicken feed diet near to their slaughter date. A truly corn-fed chicken tastes totally different and is a joy to eat but be prepared to gnaw through thick skin and fat. You can't plain-boil a skinless chicken because the skin is necessary to keep the flesh moist and tender.
Edward is my new-found corn-fed chicken supplier. Call him at 016 8129997. His chickens are RM20 per kg and are the best corn-fed chicken I've tried so far.
If I need a lot of mesclun, I go to the wholesaler Lim Lee Seng (tel: 088 711639) near Supertanker. I stretch my salads by adding carrots, red onions, cherry tomatoes and baby spinach leaves. This mesclun was from Australia but I actually prefer the mesclun from Cameron Highlands (arrives every Friday night, available at LLS the next morning) because they have a wider variety in the mix, including pretty radicchio.
A delicious prune cake from Ching and leftover mooncakes (I see mold on one of the mooncakes!).
Sicilian cassata cake. Although I had reduced the sugar, the cake was still too sweet because of the mixed peel. I do like this cake and would make it again but I'd reduced the sugar and the mixed peel and remember to pour away the whey from the ricotta cheese so that the cheese filling will be fluffier.
So much food for 20 people. One of the best cell pot luck dinners we've had.