Sunday, 26 January 2014

All time favourites: cooking

Hope you enjoyed reading my previous post rounding up my all time favourite bakes!

Here, I look at the three cuisines I like to cook the most. These are Chinese, Indian and Italian.

Chinese


I learnt everything I know about Chinese cooking from my parents. The types of Chinese dishes I cook are more like what my mum cooks at home. My dad's dishes are more of what you see in a Chinese restaurant, as he used to be a chef in one.

I usually don't follow a precise recipe when cooking Chinese, e.g. use exact quantities of seasonings. It's more to do with techniques, i.e. part-cooking veg by boiling and then finish off cooking by frying, and the types of seasonings used, i.e. rice wine and oyster sauce is usually used for veg. You get a feel for it over time and adjust quantities of seasonings to your taste.


Pak choi


My favourite meat dish that I like to cook for people, is my mum's Soy sauce chicken wings. It has a secret ingredient of Coca Cola! Shhhhh... This dish is easy to do (you just need the right sauces!) and you always end up with juicy flavour-packed chicken!


Soy sauce coke chicken wings, stir-fried veg and ribs

Indian


Before I met Leigh (over 7 years ago), I rarely ate Indian food. It wasn't that I didn't like it, it's just that my parents hardly ate it at home. We would occasionally have a Korma from the supermarket if it was on special offer. I was probably less into spicy foods back then than I am now. Leigh's family often eat Indian food and getting to know Leigh, I found myself eating and enjoying more of it!

The best thing that Leigh makes is his Indian curry and Mushroom pilau rice. He makes the curry from scratch and it takes some time; but it's worth it in the end! I can't make these without his help, as he works between two recipes - a dopiaza and a madras one. I'm always trying to get him to combine the two recipes into one and write it up; so we can share it and anyone can follow it! One of these days I will be successful!


Leigh's Indian curry and Mushroom pilau rice.
Served with my handmade chapatis.


I was interested in finding something to cook that didn't take as long as a curry from scratch. I came across Madhur Jaffrey's Karhai chicken wings, Karhai broccoli and Coconut rice from her Curry Easy book. I like her recipes as they tend to use ingredients that I either have or can easily get hold of. They're also simple and straightforward too. I've made these dishes a few times now and they always turn out good.


Karhai broccoli

Coconut rice

Karhai chicken wings served with (store-bought) pilau rice and peas.

 Italian


One of my fave things to make is my bolognese/lasagna! Leigh taught me how to make these - I've ran with it and now put my own take on it. I've had lots of compliments for my lasagna - it makes excellent party food! Not strictly Italian, but I also enjoy making (and eating!) meatballs/beef burgers.

Bolognese/Lasagna

Meatballs


Mmmmm... i'm getting hungry now!! Haha ;-) What are your favourite things to cook and bake?

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