I may have mentioned this before (and apologies if so) but Cumberland sausages are traditionally sold by length, rather that weight or number. Equally traditionally, you’ll see them offered coiled in, say, a one yard length - usually in butchers that havent caught up with metric lengths.
The pandemic lockdown, and long hours spent inside one’s home, is playing tricks on my body clock. Woke up terribly early this morning (despite going to bed at 1am), so I decided to cook (don’t ask me why!) cioppino for breakfast. I spent an inordinate amount of time in San Francisco back in the 2000s when I was a director in an Oakland-based shipping line. I miss SF’s food, and especially the amazing produce there.
This cioppino uses all-Penang produce, except for the German Riesling.
Cioppino for breakfast, nice and it looked good! I don’t remember having seafood for breakfast here, except in Asia, fish congee or a seafood noodle, not even when travelling in US. My internal clock sucks with the pandemic, I sleep at 3 - 4 am and wait up late in morning. My lunch is my breakfast, lol.
I know exactly how you feel!
Haha! Your Cioppio reminds me of Tadich’s…great work!
Love Tadich Grill.
I made Teocheow-style steamed fish again using haddock filets this time. Also, I cooked the vegs half way first then added them to the fish and steamed everything together. I found this way I got a lot more flavour released from the vegs as they fish took very little time to cook through.
Much better this time.
Day 25 of the current lockdown: decided to make New England clam chowder - something which I’d first to cook as a teenaged college student back in the early 1980s. One of the simplest recipes for beginners to pick up.
Eschewed cream and used skimmed milk instead today - with all the inactivity nowadays (lounging about in one’s house), I’m trying to cut down on rich foods. It resulted in a more “watery”/liquid chowder, but I’m not complaining.
Your lightened up version of New England clam chowder looks so appealing. The standard thick version can look, and taste, dull to me.
I’m inspired to give your version a try sometime. From Penang to Massachusetts!
Thanks, Denise! I love New England clam chowder, but sometimes, you do run into some overly-rich ones: there was one I had at the now-defunct Texas Land & Cattle Steak House in Dallas many years back. It was like consuming a bowl of double-cream! I was so full after the soup course, I could barely eat anything after that!
I do like to make Manhattan clam chowder as well - but I need good bacon bones for the stock. Maybe I’ll do that this week.
Lockdown Day 28: Feb 9 2021
Just made Manhattan clam chowder for lunch today. I used the recipe from my 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking by Irma S Rombauer & Marion Rombauer Becker:
I was having a long conversation with an 82-year-old Singaporean theatre doyenne the other day, and she was reminiscing about a rare Malaccan-Nyonya dish called “Mengkabo”, which she said is no longer cooked by anyone in Singapore.
The said dish was a pork belly stew, cooked with chilis (both dried and fresh chilis), fresh galangal, fresh turmeric root, fresh lemongrass, a handful of candlenuts, fermented beanpaste, fermented shrimp paste, onions and tamarind.
Tried to cook it today, using the only recipe I could glean from the Internet as, strangely, early morning phone calls to 3 of my old aunties in Malacca, as well as two well-established Malaccan-Nyonya restaurant owners-cum-chefs whom I knew, drew a blank! Maybe Malaccans themselves have also stopped cooking this old dish!
But, the recipe reminded me of Penang-Nyonya “too kar sui” (pig’s trotters-tamarind stew), and that gave me quite a bit of confidence to try out the recipe. The result: it was blisteringly chili-spicy, but very palatable indeed, especially with steamed white rice.
And don’t forget, some New Englanders eschew cream altogether and prefer a clear brothy clam chowder (although I’m not sure it qualifies as a chowder anymore…I’ve never figured out what the official definition of a chowder is). As a native Rhode Islander, I prefer our version.
It was the Eighth Day of the Chinese New Year yesterday. It holds particular significance to the Fujianese-Chinese (Hokkiens), who’d prepare for the worship of the Jade Emperor (the King of the Gods, so to speak) at midnight. The Jade Emperor’s Birthday falls on the Ninth Day.
For many Hokkien families, there’ll be a dinner in the evening, where traditional dishes will be prepared. One of these is the pig’s stomach soup, a Penang-Hokkien specialty. Our family recipe calls for abalone, fish maw and chicken, slow-simmered to extract all the flavours and goodness from the meats. Whole peppercorns and slivers of ginger are added to give the soup its trademarks peppery flavour.
All looks delicious. Are there specific dishes for certain days of CNY?
Most of the traditional foods for major occasions and festivals will be the same, but there will be some dishes that are cooked specifically for a certain day of the Chinese New Year.
Many families will cook a sweet dessert soup containing lotus seeds, longans, gingko nuts and dates for the first day of the Chinese New Year: it is meant to herald a “sweet start” to the New Year. Likewise, we want a “sweet ending” to the 15th-day festival, so on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, which will fall on 26th February this year -it’s a tradition in Penang to cook “pengat”, a rich, sweet dessert made from bananas, sweet potatoes, yam and taro, cooked in coconut milk, sweetened with palm sugar and scented with pandan leaves.
Pictured below is our “pengat” from last year. I’ll post the one for this year when we cook it next week.
@paprikaboy Just to be on the safe side, I did a dry run this morning on cooking the “Pengat”, the Penang dessert that’s always prepared for Chap Goh Meh, i.e. the 15th and last day of the Chinese New Year. Chap Goh Meh falls on Friday, 26 Feb, this year. It is also a tradition among the Indonesian-Chinese.
1) A variety of tubers, plus bananas, constitute the main components of Pengat.
2) The ONLY type of banana suitable for Pengat is Pisang Raja (right).
In the absence of the hard-to-find Pisang Raja, one can use very ripe Pisang Berangan (left) which the Hokkiens call “Ang Bak Cheo”, meaning “Red-fleshed Banana”, as a last-resort substitute, though it would never be as nice.
3) Cut into diamond-shapes and steam each type of tuber separately. Should take only 5-7 minutes for each tuber.
4) Simmer coconut milk with pandan leaves and a LOT of sugar. Add the steamed tubers and the cut bananas.
5) Pengat is usually served warm or at room temperature.
If that’s the dry run I can’t wait to see the pictures of the real thing! Oh to have a choice of type of banana. Only The Cavendish available here.
I’ll post it on Friday!
Cavendish is quite common in Singapore, too, but not suitable for use in some of our recipes.