Singapore Dinner Success!

Tonight, I put together a Singapore-styled feast for a dozen friends over at Sweet Earth Farm. Elaine, one of the farmers, grew up in Singapore back in the days when the Satay man came calling down the street. We found this random connection while chatting at the farmer’s market a couple of weeks back, and jokingly talked about having a “Singapore Night” to reminisce about the place and share good food.

In the end, Amanda, Elaine’s daughter, suggested we throw the big party in honor of Elaine’s birthday, so that’s how we ended up out on the lawn tonight with full bellies and fire in our mouths, talking about Thieves’ Alley and the Singaporean National Anthem.

The birthday girl and the chef share a celebratory satay skewer

Happy people stuffing faces

Happy faces feeling stuffed

A dinner 2 and a half days in the making, with ingredients all the way from Bukit Batok (thanks to Soy-lau-ko for sending them to Jilly and Jilly for sending them to me in a big care package!). All in all, a HUGE success.

Menu:

Drinks
Singapore Slings and Teh Halia

Appetizer
Malaysian style chicken satay & peanut sauce

Main Course:
Chili Crab (actually added some deeelicious Japanese fish-cake too, since crab was priiiiiicey)


Beef Rendang with potatoes


Paratha (recipe below, that’s Lucy doing some handy fry-work)


Char Kway Teow (didn’t end up with the right noodles, but it tasted GOOD)


Basil Tofu (not Singaporean, but I needed another veg dish)
and Stir Fry Veg
(fresh from the garden, but no one seemed keen on belacan)


Coconut rice and brown rice
(ran out of the plain old Jasmine, lah!)


Dessert
Almond Jelly with Longans
(not technically Singaporean, but… Singaporeans eat it
and we couldn’t have ANOTHER fried dish with Goreng Pisang)

Whole Wheat Paratha
2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup ghee/butter
around 1 cup water oil

If using butter, bring to room temperature. Mix flour and salt, and water slowly and stir until it comes together into a dough. Turn it out onto a table and knead 6-7 minutes, until well mixed. Cover with oil and let it rest 30 minutes in a plastic bag or under a wet towel. Cut the dough into 8 even sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Cover with oil and let rest 10 minutes under the towel or in the bag — this gives the dough a chance to rest and makes the parathas much easier to roll!

Take a ball and push it flat with your palm. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to 9-10” in diameter. Rub a 1/2 to 1 tsp of butter/ghee on the round. With a sharp knife, cut a radius of the circle, then starting from one side, take the edge of the dough and roll it round the circle, until it meets itself in a cone. Place the cone upright and smush down onto the table. Repeat this with all 8 pieces.

Starting with the first paratha you rolled out roll out the smushed spirals again into flat rounds about 8” in diameter. You can fry these right away, or keep overnight — just be sure to wrap them well in plastic.

Heat a flat pan. When it gets hot, add the paratha and let it cook about a minute. When it begins to get small bubbles, flip over and add a small teaspoon of oil around the paratha. When brown spots appear, take it out of the pan. Serve warm with curry or for dessert with sweetened condensed milk.

May 30, 2009   7 Comments

Happy Easter!

Today it rained and rained and rained.

In the morning I went to mass at an adorable white clapboard church. Maybe 120 folks, and the place was jam-packed — one row of extra foldable chairs set up in the aisle, and barely enough room to walk. A fire-hazard for sure, but it was nice to be there and be sitting so close to the person next to me on a holiday that I love so much.

As called for by the occasion and the weather, I used the inside time as an excuse for a cooking extravaganza.

… try number two with the muffins

… then yogurt from Heritage Farms’ Raw Milk


… next feeding my sourdough starter


… deviled eggs


and finally spinach paratha from Julie Saini’s awesome cookbook…

And then, around 6, we went up to the farmhouse for dinner with Peter and Susan where I got to enjoy my very first Synergy chicken. Peter and Colin got down to the talk about political economy and complexity and I threw in my two cents about ethnomathematics.


Back to the watertower in time for a nice chat with my lovely cousins.

A pleasant, pleasant evening overall.

April 13, 2009   2 Comments