Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2009

 

The HB only likes his fish steamed. Hence I’ve made this a few times. The usual steamed fish is very simple, but my version needs a bit more work, but it tastes great!

 

I don’t mind eating this often, but how do I get the HB to like fish cooked other ways? Fish = steamed for the funny guy 😛

 

Chinese Steamed Fish

Chinese Steamed Fish

 

Ingredients

1 fresh fish – I use Sea Bream

2 inches ginger, julienned

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 shallots, thinly sliced

A bunch of coriander leaves

2 tbsps cooking oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

4 tbsps light soy sauce

 

Method

1. Clean the fish properly (remove scales, guts etc).

2. Cut two slits on each side of the fish, about 2cm deep.

3. Rub fish with some salt. Place half the julienned ginger in the cavity of the fish.

4. Place on a metal plate and steam for about 10-15 minutes, or till done.

5. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Heat oil in pan, and fry the garlic, remaining ginger and onion separately till brown and crunchy.

6. To save time, I do this all at once, using different spots on the pan.

7. I like my onions really crunchy, so I fry them till they turn dark brown. Fry it to your liking.

8. Remove fried ingredients from the pan. In a small bowl,  mix the remaining oil from the pan with soy sauce.

9. When fish is cooked, discard the water on the plate. Pour oil-soy sauce mixture on fish.

10. Top the fish with the fried onion, garlic and ginger.

11. Garnish with coriander leaves (optional if you don’t like coriander).

 

As you can see, I LOVE my coriander. A few sprigs would suffice, but I use coriander as a whole vegetable serving for this meal, hence the little garden on the plate. Funny how I used to despise this vegetable/herb. But after years and years of watching mama chomp this vegetable (root and all!), I began to develop a taste for it. It’s awesome coupled with Sambal Udang (Prawn Sambal) too!

 

I remember this restaurant in Batu Pahat that served a similar dish. We used to love it. I remember they used to have fried “chai poh” (pickled radish) sprinkled on top apart from the fried shallots. The proprietors were always besotted with my (then)still-cute-as-heck baby sister. Remember this shop, Sophia? Papa used to take us there, in Kg.Merdeka, near the old hospital 🙂

 

Memories….

Read Full Post »

 

A poem I found on The Net which brought tears to my eyes.

 

When I come to the end of the road.

Amd the sun has set for me.

I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long.

And not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that we once shared.

Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take.

And each must go alone.

It’s all part of the Master’s plan.

A step on the road to home.

When you get lonely and sick of heart.

Go to the friends we know.

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.

Miss me, but let me go.

Read Full Post »

So the HB had to go to Bologna to get some paper work done, and yours truly jumped at the opportunity to go jalan-jalan. We hopped on the 8.10am train from Modena to Bologna, and took a taxi from Bologna train station to the consulate where it took us HALF a day for a truly simple chop. Long story, this.

 

When I found out that we were going to Bologna, I quickly surfed the Net and did some pretty detailed research (my thesis supervisor would’ve been proud) on good eats in Bologna. Bologna IS after all, the home of the ever famous Bolognese food. I read lots of reviews on many osteria, trattoria and ristorante, but Trattoria Meloncello seemed to be the one that captured my attention the most. It had really good reviews, the price was right, and it was close to the city center. We took a cab from the consulate to Via Saragozza where Trattoria Meloncello is, and when the cab driver asked us what the exact address was, my dear HB  said it was ok to drop us anywhere on Via Saragozza. The taxi driver stopped us at Via Saragozza 1. Trouble was, Meloncello was Via Saragozza 240. I kept telling HB to tell the taxi driver further up, FURTHER UP, but he was distracted by Lord-knows-what, and he kept saying “its ok, we can walk”.

 

And so we walked. It was HOT AS HELL, and it was FAR!!!!!! I finally asked HB what on earth made him think it was walkable, and he sheepishly replied that he hadn’t heard me correctly. >_________<  And walked we did, from one end to the other end of the seemingly unending road. It took us almost 20 minutes to get there; I was super agitated as I had read that the place gets booked up real quick, not to mention I was sweating buckets and HUNGRY.

 

Thank God we finally arrived, and I hadn’t melted into a puddle of goo.

 

Trattoria Meloncello

Trattoria Meloncello

 

 

Thankfully, the place was not booked up. On the contrary, there was just another couple in there and a few more tables in the verandah.

 

Trattoria Meloncello - Counter

Trattoria Meloncello - Counter

 

The interior was cosy and gave us a very homey vibe.

 

Trattoria Meloncello - Interior

Trattoria Meloncello - Interior

 

The lady who took our orders was very nice and spoke decent English and me being me, I was so greedy and wanted to taste everything! 😛 The lady suggested that instead of  a plate of ONE type of pasta, she could halve it and I can taste TWO types of pasta. 😀 Brilliant.

 

This is what we ordered:

 

My choice – Tagliatelle con ragu and Tortelloni Al Burro e Salvia (Tortelloni with Butter and Sage)

 

Tagliatelle con ragu and Totelloni con burro e salvia

Tagliatelle con ragu and Totelloni con burro e salvia

 

And the HB had Tagliatelle con ragu and Gramigna con ragu.

 

Tagliatelle & Gramigna con ragu

Tagliatelle & Gramigna con ragu

 

Do you know that the ever famous Spaghetti Bolognese is actually deemed unauthentic by the Bolognese, and perhaps even Italians? Bolognese sauce (or ragu, as the Bolognese call it) is supposed to be eaten with tagliatelle or fettucine and not spaghetti. Tagliatelle is supposedly better with ragu because it is flat and hence the ragu rests better on it, as opposed to the narrower spaghetti, where sauce falls off and remains on the plate. So now you know! 😉

 

Our pasta was really yummy, and I marvelled at the taste of the ragu, not at all tomato-ey and made with good meat, as I could not detect any fatty bits that usually comes with sausage or minced meat.

 

HB and I contemplated on whether or not to have a second dish, as HB was intent on having their dessert. I, on the other hand was more keen on their other savoury dishes. So we compromised, and shared a second dish, which our lady host graciously recommended. She was really nice to have suggested we share their signature dish of polpette (meatballs served with peas and potatoes in sauce).

 

Polpette

Polpette

 

So HB and I had two meatballs each. I love compromises! 😀

 

Again, I marvelled at the meat; really tender and tasty without any fatty or chunky bits. Yummy!

 

And then, time for HB’s favourite dish: DESSERT.

 

I forgot what it was called, but I think it was creme caramel made with rum and coffee. It was yummy and I liked his dessert better than mine 😛

 

Creme caramel

Creme caramel

 

And my pick was Zuppa Inglese, which resembled a cross between trifle and cake.

 

Zuppa Inglese

Zuppa Inglese

 

The HB had coffee to follow, but I was stuffed to the max. I must also mentioned that we had a half bottle of really good Sangiovese wine. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of that.

 

Meloncello also happens to be recommended by the Michelin Guide, as they have a sticker on their window.

 

Michelin Guide Sticker in red

Michelin Guide Sticker in red

 

 

It was a really good lunch, and as I write this, my tummy is rumbling thinking of the tagliatelle 😛

 

In my previous post, I mentioned the misadventures we had in Bologna. I was super determined to visit the big Asian store in Bologna to stock up on stuff that was running low. At the same time, I wanted to visit the churches and other attractions. An ambitious feat, I know. In the end, we did NONE of those, as the sun was TOO freaking hot, I think I came close to having a sunstroke. The walk from Meloncello to the train station was pretty darn far, I think it took us close to an hour. In between, I had to beg the HB to walk into the (lousily) air-conditioned shops, as I thought I was gonna keel over from the heat. >_______< They should probably learn a thing or two from our Malaysian air-con makers, power ok, don’t play-play 😀

 

We reached the train station in one piece, and ThankGoddddd the coach was close to empty, and the air-con much, MUCH cooler. I almost didn’t want to reach Modena 😀

 

I guess we’ll be revisiting Bologna in the next few months when my Asian foodstuff finally runs out. For my entry on my previous visit to Bologna, click HERE

Read Full Post »

It has been SWELTERING hot here in Modena. I kid you not. Coming from a girl who lived in the tropics all her life, this is something serious folks. 😛 I have been walking to class every Mondays and Wednesdays, and the usually pleasant 30 minute walk has been arduous to say the least. The other day, I captured this in HB’s car:

 

40 degrees celcius at 4.13pm

40 degrees celcius at 4.13pm

 

40 degrees celcius (Thats 104F for ye Americans out there :P)! That’s like wayyyy hotter than in Malaysia. No wonder I was feeling faint and light headed. Strange how I’ve taken to using sunblock in Italy, when in Malaysia, I couldn’t be bothered 😛

 

So, whats the best cure for a terribly hot day?

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

An assortment of ice-cream!

An assortment of ice-cream!

 

😀

 

Now the gelato in Italy is usually very, very good. Even their in-house brands such as the Esselunga (similar to Tesco, Carrefour) one is really good, so we usually buy those types as they’re much cheaper.  However, the Haagen Dazs was on sale! It was going for EUR3.50, how could we not resist it! Put two pigs together, and this is what you get haha.

 

 The HB complains that I’m always hankering for ice-cream, but AHEM, it’s HE who wolves down the ice cream like there’s no tomorrow. You see that Esselunga tub? It’s a 500gram tub, and we finished that in TWO DAYS. Yepp, you read that right. Back in Malaysia, we used to take maybe 3-4 scoops in a mug BUT my greedy other half serves the ice-cream in a soup bowl, beat that 😀 But I ain’t complaining. The Haagen Dazs disappeared in two days too, but that’s only coz I was PLEADING for him not to finish it, else it would’ve finished in one sitting.

 

We also tried to make ourselves feel less guilty with all that ice-cream intake, and hence:

 

Ice-cream with berries!

Ice-cream with berries!

 

Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries with ice-cream. Who says I don’t eat fruit ma? 😀

 

And, another attempt at trying to “cool down”:

 

Shuet Karp Thong Sui

Shuet Karp Thong Sui

 

Yepp, I can’t believe how traditional I’ve become. This is a Chinese dessert drink that’s usually served in uppity restaurants and is mighty pricey. Shuet karp/suet karp/snow deer/hasma is actually made from the Fallopian tubes of a certain type of frog. It actually isn’t as gross as it sounds, and trust me, it tastes just like plain ol’ jelly. The Chinese believe that hasma is good for the lungs, kidneys and for improving one’s skin complexion. Lord knows I can use loads of that!

 

There are many versions to this recipe, but I made do with the little stuff I had at home.

 

Here’s the recipe:

 

Shuet Karp/Hasma Thong Sui

2-3 grams of hasma, pre-soaked for about two hours

4 red dates

8 dried longan

A chunk of rock sugar, to taste

 

Method

1. Add all ingredients together, bring to a boil.

2. Let it simmer for an hour or so.

3. Stick it in the fridge for a nice, cool dessert!

 

I’m almost out of longan and red dates 😦 If only I can find those ingredients here. This summer heat is killing me!

 

Pssssttt….the HB and I went to Bologna yesterday. Stay tuned for our adventures misadventures, and how the usually heat resistant Malaysian was defeated by…..the heat. Tsk tsk.

Read Full Post »

 

 

Cathedral Of The Sea

Cathedral Of The Sea

 

This book is a good example of why one shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. The HB borrowed this book from a friend and my first reaction when I saw it was :O It is over 600 pages you see.

 

Out of sheer curiosity, I flipped the book open and read the first page, and from then on, I could hardly stop. Cathedral Of The Sea was originally written in Spanish and then translated into English. It is a good historical novel set in 13th century Barcelona.

 

The story centers around the construction of the Santa Maria Del Mar cathedral. The author describes the construction in such detail that you can’t help but imagine the real thing. The protagonist in this story is Arnau Estanyol, born a serf, survives numerous ordeals and is made a baron. He is portrayed as a great man, and his devotion to the Virgin Mary is unwavering throughout his trials in life. One has to wonder though, can an individual actually go through THAT much trials in life?

 

Arnau’s benevolence is to a fault. His lifelong kindness towards his fellow bastaixos, his generosity towards clients, outcasts and peasants; I could almost see a halo on his head 😛 Arnau does have his share of enemies though. They plot to bring about his downfall, and they suceed. All is not lost however. You have to read the rest of this book yourself to know what happens. I am no storyteller, but all I can tell you is that this book left an impact on me. I think it was the details in the book that made it stand out. War, threat of starvation, anti-Semitism, the injustice of the Inquisition and politics of the church; this book was written with A LOT of research put into it.

 

The price tag on the book reads EUR19.20, so I’m guessing it’s gonna be really expensive to get in Malaysia or Singapore, but if you can, get your paws on it. What else can I say, it’s just “one of those books”.

Read Full Post »

The First Anniversary Dinner

 

The HB tried to surprise me with the dinner on the eve of 9th July, but LOL the poor guy can’t lie to save his life ( I hope! ) so he came clean and told me that he had made reservations at Zelmira, one of the nicer restaurants in Modena, if not the nicest.

 

I brought my camera along to take pictures of the menu and food, but I found it embarassing (initially) coz they were so many people around. But when the food arrived, I thought, the heck with it, and took pictures anyway. So now, I have pictures of the UBER delicious food we had without knowing what exactly it was called >____< coz I didnt take pictures of the menu.

 

HB's first dish - Pasta with gorgonzola cheese & walnuts

HB's first dish - Pasta with gorgonzola cheese & walnuts

 

 

 

My first dish - Pasta with squid & prawn cooked with grape leaves

My first dish - Pasta with squid & prawn cooked with grape leaves

 

 

The squid and prawns were cooked to perfection. It’s usually VERY hard to find squid that’s not rubbery, and this one was just the right texture.

 

HB’s pasta was really creamy and the gorgonzola was not overpowering. The walnuts complemented the  smoothness of the cheese. You gotta wonder how people are innovative when it comes to pairing different tastes and textures.

 

My 2nd dish - Fish cooked on a bed of banana leaves

My 2nd dish - Fish cooked on a bed of banana leaves

 

 

HB's 2nd dish - Lamb

HB's 2nd dish - Lamb

 

The lamb was the star of the night. It beat every other dish we had, hands down. It was the BEST lamb I have ever tasted. It was coated with something soooo flavourful and delicious that each bite was OOOHHH AAHHH OMGGG kinda good.

 

The fish that I had was also soooo good. It had a tinge of lemon to it, and a slight aroma from the banana leaf. OMG I wish I knew how to replicate these dishes. I’m salivating as I write this.

 

And the surprise of the day:

 

Dessert - Surprise heart-shaped chocolate cake

Dessert - Surprise heart-shaped chocolate cake

 

At the end of our meal, the lights went off and suddenly a waiter appeared with this cake for us. The HB had arranged for it, but I didn’t think it would come with a candle and all that. 😛

 

The dinner at Zelmira was easily the best dinner I’ve had. Thanks HB! The onus is on you to top this next year 😀

Read Full Post »

Our First Anniversary

 

Today marks exactly one year since I officially became Mrs.C 🙂

 

We had an AWESOME dinner last night to mark the occasion.

 

Pictures will be uploaded soon.

 

Happiness 😉

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »