I love cooking. In fact, I like cooking more than cleaning up the house. I cook almost everyday. The presentation of the food is not my priority all this time, as long as it’s healthy and edible and everybody enjoys it……………..it’s fine with me.
Although I cook almost everyday, it doesn’t mean that I always produce good and delicious food. There were times that the food tasted not so good that nobody wanted to eat it except me (I had to because I hate throwing up food to my dust bin, especially after I spent hours in the kitchen making that dish). There were also times that the dish tasted so awful that I willingly threw everything in the dust bin. Another time, it tasted very delicious (according to us) that I didn’t get to eat at all. The third time is the happiest time for me.
For example, this chocolate sauce was a disaster. I followed the recipe from the internet and it turned out that the recipe was wrong. I realized only when I finished making super thick and sticky chocolate sauce (too much corn starch was the problem). I had to make some adjustment because I didn’t want to throw the sauce and waste the milk and chocolate. So I had to strain, add water, strain again, add milk, strain again, and repeat again for many times. Finally, it was edible to eat although I didn’t get the thickness that I wanted. At least, this can still be eaten with pancakes or ice cream
Then one day, out of the blue I was tempted to make pancakes (because we love pancakes and I thought it was going to be easy just to make pancakes). I made pancakes before (twice) and they failed miserably………..
The problem was when I tried to make buttermilk by adding vinegar to the milk. I felt that I already followed the recipe correctly but it turned out that the milk, and thus the pancakes, tasted very sour. So the pancakes went straight to the dustbin.
Then again, all of a sudden the boy asked for mozzarella cheese stick. Hey, mozzarella cheese stick is expensive, ya know………
So I said: “Let’s make this at home.”
The end product………………was a disaster! The coated cheese wasn’t cold enough when I fried it so it melted on my pan. So the cheese was separated from the crumbs, but amazingly the boy still said it was good and finished everything. The second attempt was so much better, at least 80% was in good condition and everything was edible…….but the taste wasn’t as good as the one in the restaurant.The worst part was: to clean all the cheese that stick onto my pan when it melted!
So next time he wants fried mozzarella cheese stick………………..I”ll say let’s just buy them in the restaurant!
Not all things went bad. Some were good although not perfect.
This usually was not the kind of dessert that I would make, considering the boy didn’t have sweet tooth, especially to chocolate. Surprisingly, as he grows up, he starts to like sweet dessert such as this green and chocolate pudding. I only added little chocolate so the taste of chocolate wouldn’t be so strong, and he liked it. I didn’t make the sauce because it would be too sweet and nobody in the house would like it
Next, what was wrong with this dish?
The problem was, the inside of the pastry wasn’t as crispy as the outside. Maybe I should have rolled it thinner. But this is also the problem that I see mostly in the restaurants that serve Zuppa Soup. The boy finished everything though.
After I wrote about many unsuccessful dish that I’ve made, I will close this post with our favorite Nasi Tim Ayam that I’ve successfully made from time to time. I don’t know how to translate this, probably Steam Chicken Rice or Claypot Chicken Rice. This is very easy to make but needs lots of washing before and after the cooking process. We love this because of the combination of the flavor (sweet but also savory), yummy and delicious chicken soup that accompany the rice, and the soft rice and super tender chicken that makes this dish suitable for breakfast (it’s very common in Indonesia to have breakfast with this), lunch, or even dinner. I used to bring this to picnic too. Even when you’re not feeling well, this is the perfect dish for you because it is easy to chew and swallow, and the chicken soup will boost your energy and help you fighting the flu.
Nasi Tim Ayam for 4 portions:
How to make the chicken broth from kampong chicken (ayam kampung):
- Take out the chicken feet and claw, wings, neck and head, or use chicken bones (from 2 chickens)
- Boil water in a large stock pot (about 2 liter) with 5 crushed garlic, large onion (slice), 8 onion stalks cut into 5 cm, 1 carrot cut into 4, and 1 thumb ginger (slice)
- Put the chicken chicken feet, etc into the pot and cook in low heat (usually needs 3 to 4 hours). Bring to boil with medium heat after 3 or 4 hours (depending on how low is the heat)
- Turn off the heat, let everything stay in the stock pot for at least 1 hour
- Remove the chicken and strain the stock
How to make chicken and mushroom in soy sauce:
- Take the chicken breast and thigh from 1 chicken kampong, cut into small pieces
- 150 any kind of mushroom that you like
- 8 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 3 shallots (minced)
- 8 celery (minced)
- 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce, 1 tsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp ang ciu (optional)
- Chicken stock
How to make
- In a large non sticking pan, add 1 tsp of oil / butter
- After the oil is hot, add cloves and garlic and stir fry until fragrant
- Add the chicken, stir fry until the color turns into white
- Add sweet soy sauce, etc. Taste and add the sauce to your liking. I usually add more sweet soy sauce
- Add chicken stock (about 100 ml) and cook until the chicken is tender
- Add the mushroom
- The chicken and mushroom must be watery because we will use the water/soup to cook the rice. So add more water if necessary. We need about 20 tbsp of soup from the chicken and mushroom
- Turn of the heat, add the minced salary and mixed well
How to cook the rice:
- Wash white rice for 4 portions
- 8 garlic (minced)
- 5 shallots (minced)
- A pinch of salt
How too cook:
- In a large pan, heat 1 tsp of oil
- Add garlic and shallots and stir fry until fragrant (use only medium heat)
- Add the rice, stir fry for about 3 minutes
- Add 5 tbsp of chicken broth and 1/2 tsp of salt. Keep stir fry the rice for another 3 minutes
- Add all the soup from the chicken mushroom. Stir fry so the bottom of the pan will not burn. Cook until all the water is absorbed by the rice
- In this step, you have to check whether the rice is cooked enough and ready to be put into the steamer or not. I usually still have to add more chicken broth to cook the rice until it is quite soft but actually still not ready to be eaten
How to make steam chicken and mushroom rice (nasi tim ayam):
- Prepare the steamer, bring the water to boil
- Meanwhile, prepare 4 small pot to cook the rice
- Fill 1/4 pot with chicken and mushroom
- Add rice until 3/4 pot
- Full the pot with chicken broth
- Cook in the steamer until well cooked
- I add 1 tbsp chicken broth (2 or 3 times) during the steaming process so the top of the rice won’t get dry
- Turn off the heat once it’s cooked, take out the pot, and let it cool for few minutes
- Turn the rice upside down in a plate so the chicken and mushroom will be on top of the rice
- Serve hot with chicken soup
- To make the soup: bring to boil the stock in a smaller pot and add salt (to taste), a pinch of sugar, fried shallots or fried minced garlic, and minced salary. Add the shallot/garlic and celery only when you already turn off the heat
So, enjoy the food and I will go making steam fish for dinner.