It’s strange; when we moved into our new place I figured I’d be living in the kitchen, cooking up huge interesting meals.  What with the great high-powered gas cook-top [with wok burner wahey], plenty of useable bench space for prep work and actual room to move – even enough room for two people to move without gaining intimate carnal knowledge of one another whether wanted to or not – I was sure I’d be all over it.

Then during April–May I had that weird phase of total lack of interest in food, and lack of appetite.  This is actually quite rare for me, as even when I’m so ill and drugged up I can’t see straight let alone not be a hazard around aforementioned high-powered gas cook top, I still have an interest in food and will read my favourite cookbooks like novels, drooling away and writing up endless lists of must-try recipes and menus.

So April-May were kind of unexciting food-wise.  We had some yummy dinners, but of the basic bought-chook-and-salad and grilled-steak-and-rosemary-garlic-potatoes variety; they were only yummy because the produce and cooking technique were good.  Tuxedo should get a special mention here; he may not cook often or have a large repertoire but he is the master of the Le Creuset cast iron grill pan and barbecue – his steaks and lamb chops are heaven. 

I’ve got a bit more with it in June-July; discovering The Secret to fried rice was a revelation of course, and I’ve done a few soups, curries and roast dinners which have redeemed me somewhat [we will NOT discuss the three Coeliac attacks in one week … however let it be noted that I most definitely *know* that Massive Supermarket Chain’s mince is not 100% beef].  So I’m baaack, planning and drooling and scribbling notes to myself, even pinning them to the fridge in the hopes of inspiration on those “what-the-fuck am I going to cook for dinner tonight” moments.

. . . . . . . . . .

Prior to the no-food phase, I was list-making and drooling with a vengeance over a number of fantastic food blogs [flogs? Fo’ blo’s?] and my current favourite cookbooks [and I apologise if I‘ve mentioned these before but they bear repeating]; Secrets of the Red Lantern by Pauline Nguyen; Authentic Tastes Of South East Asia by Celine and Angus Carnegie, and Cradle Of Flavor by James Oseland [and yes it hurts to type “flavor” not “flavour” aaiiieeee].   Mai Pham’s Pleasures Of The Vietnamese Table is another firm favourite, and while I have yet to get my hands on a copy of Andrea Nguyen’s Into The Vietnamese Kitchen there will be action when I do, it looks and sounds heaven.

I have added two new favourite food blogs – Steamy Kitchen and Wandering Chopsticks – to the Links at right.   I feel quite ashamed I’ve only *just* discovered them.  Hey. You!  Yes you.  Why didn’t you tell me?  Both are gorgeous, wonderful, delicious sites – really great food, clear workable recipes  [and writing a clear workable recipe is damn difficult], and great photography.   I especially love Steamy Kitchen’s writing style and food photography – it’s all so clear and simple and mouth-watering, and ACCURATE.  You can see how following that recipe will result in that food.  That’s unusual, and heartening, and very, very tempting.  [And of course there’s that whole Fried Rice Breakthrough thing.]

If I can get to the point, here’s what I’ve been craving, recipes for which will hopefully show up soon.  Now you all know me, it simply wouldn’t be *me* if there weren’t a heap of soups, noodles and noodle-y soups in there.

. . . . . . . . . .


o         Pho Ga  [chicken rice noodle soup]

o         Nem Nuong  [grilled pork meatballs on skewers with rice paper, herbs et al]

o         Goi Ga and Goi Thom Thit  [chicken salad;  pork, prawn and cabbage salad]

o         Canh Chua Ca  [hot and sour fish / seafood soup]

o         Bo Luc Lac  [“Shaking” beef salad]

o         various Kho  [braised prawns / pork / chicken in caramel sauce]

o         Bun Cha  [char-grilled sliced pork and patties on rice noodles with nuoc cham, herbs et al]

South-East Asian:-

o         Kway Teow Nam Tom Yum  [Thai hot and sour combination noodle soup]

o         Char Kway Teow  [Malaysian fried fresh rice noodles with prawns and Chinese sausage]

o         Prawn Mee  [Malaysian prawn and pork noodle soup]

o         Ayam Panggang Sulawesi  [Indonesian grilled chicken with spice paste and coconut milk marinade]

o         Soto Ayam  [Indonesian chicken soup]

o         Nasi Goreng  [Indonesian fried rice]

o         Hainanese Chicken Rice  [steamed ginger-infused chicken on rice cooked in chicken stock with dipping sauces … a classic]

o         Lamb Biriani  [Indian layered lamb curry and pilau rice]

. . . . . . . . . .

Etcetera, etcetera … Well at least I’m not lost for ideas; it’s the implementation that might be a problem.  But doesn’t it sound good?

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  • jewel and abu  On Monday 21 July 2008 at 11:42 am

    You are welcome to come cook at my house anytime. I dont cook, its not that I cant, I just wont. I do have an obession with “Black Beauty” my crockpot and if I can cook it in there, well there’s a chance it may show up at dinner time. I dont even know if I have enough pans to cook a meal. I figure if it has more than 3 ingredients its to complicated for me: cereal + milk= meal.

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