The Newbie Cook
- 16,303 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
Sorry for the lack of dialogue. It’s 2:45 am, I’m feeling guilty for not posting a lot, and I’m tired from work and school. I also have my 8 am gym workout to look forward too. Ugh.
At least I have meatballs that cheer me up. 🙂
I made this last night and, to my surprise, it was pretty good for an extremely simple meal that that is thrown together in a hurry. I used similar herbs to the ones I used for my blackened trout recipe since it really worked out well.
Like the salmon recipe where I used store-bought teriyaki, I also used commercial barbecue sauce for this one. Not only is it handy but I really, really like Hunt’s Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue sauce. I also use it whenever I want to make no-stress baby back ribs. (Mostly because it’s so easy to ask Chris to do the marinating.) But, for this recipe, you can use any barbecue sauce of your choice whether it’s homemade or store-bought.
I served this one with shrimp with dill as an appetizer and a side of sliced eggplant — sauteed in a tiny amount of extra virgin olive oil — and chopped fresh tomatoes. While the ribs were baking, I prepared and chilled the appetizer and cooked the eggplant. It took around an hour to prepare and cook the whole meal.
Check out the recipe after the jump. 🙂
I feel really lazy today. I have had to deal with a lot of things regarding my immigration, current job, possible future jobs, and worrying about the previous subjects. And there’s also a husband who has a cold and demanded that he should be babied. My only kitchen activity will be opening a jar of 7-herb Ragu, tossing in a head of minced garlic, half of a chopped onion, a small knob of butter and a bacon and mushroom topping. And, of course, pasta. Some might say that it’s still considered cooking but it just feels wrong to take credit for spaghetti sauce that I didn’t make out of scratch.
However, I was more diligent last week. Aside from cooking up a storm almost every day of the week (even when we were in DC), I managed to try three completely new recipes. One is the dish which I’m just about to talk about as soon as I finish my small talk.
When I was in Singapore five years ago, I ate in kopitiams (food courts) almost everyday. I was particularly addicted to crispy fried noodles and I would order it often. Since then, I tried to find a similar dish in several Southeast Asian restaurants but nothing came close to the inexpensive but lovely noodles in Singapore’s kopitiams. So, I figured that I may as well try making it myself.
The first time I tried cooking crispy fried noodles a month ago ended in disaster — it was not edible at all. The result of this second experiment was not as wonderful as the Singaporean version but it is definitely edible. Who knew that crispy fried noodles would be such a pain to cook?
The noodles I’m familiar with were loosely cupped over a bowl. This one is more like a noodle cake that was browned on both sides. I’m not perfectly satisfied with it yet so I intend to tweak it until I get it right even if it takes 50 more tries.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe. It’s another version of my this pork and broccoli stir fry noodles I made a while back. Feel free to tweak it yourself. One thing’s for sure: saucy stir-fries taste so much better over a bed of crispy noodles than soft ones.
I think it’s disgraceful that the small pack of Chinese noodles (or what my mother would call pancit canton) cost me $3.50 in Shop Rite. That’s more than three to four times the cost of perfectly good noodles in the Philippines. *grumbles*
The local grocery also had a very limited supply of Asian food stuff. The only Pinoy thing there was adobo seasoning. I mean, who the hell uses powder seasoning for adobo when one could make a perfectly wonderful dish with perfectly ordinary ingredients. Maybe I can ask Danielle if there is a nearby Asian store that at least has bagoong or alamang to keep me satisfied for the next few years.
I was craving for noodles so I naturally visited my Asian food guru, Jaden from Steamy Kitchen. I didn’t have lots of the fancy stuff needed for the recipe so I had to improvise and make something that is edible. If I need to convert my husband to becoming an Asian food-lover then I need ammunition.
Thankfully, there were no leftovers. Yay!
Credit to this recipe goes to Bella from Bitch & Bake. I’ve been dying to make it for MONTHS but as there is no pork in Saudi Arabia, I had to wait until I was home in the Philippines to try it. Since my vacation included the holidays, I chose it as one of the dishes for my family’s Christmas lunch.
For the marinade, I used white table wine instead of limeade, used a little bit more apricot preserve (Filipinos love sweet dishes), and went easy on the chili sauce since there would be children eating.
I had no idea how to buy pork and didn’t even know what the cuts are called. I knew I needed pork tenderloin but didn’t know what it was called in my native language (I had to know since we would be buying from the local market). I asked my mother and she wasn’t sure either.
Mom: Is it “lomo”? That’s what I usually buy.
Me: Er… I don’t know. Is it soft?
It turned out to be lomo. Hehe. I sliced them while still raw and laid them in rows in a rectangular baking pan before pouring the marinade all over it.
After 45 minutes, it was ready for us to enjoy!
You know what might be better? Letting the meat marinate in the sauce for 24 hours in the fridge before cooking. I might try that next time. But just as is, the whole thing was deelish!!! And it was so good to eat along with the rest of the Christmas dishes: Mom’s homemade ham, steamed brown rice with pandan leaves, seafood pasta sauce with spinach fettuccine (added squid and tuna to this recipe), and pumpkin spiced cake for dessert.
Leftovers are good, too, even when eaten straight from the fridge. It’s easy to guess what I had for lunch today. 🙂