Saturday, 15 February 2014

Cincaicook #1 - Valentine's Meal

When I first agreed to be a wife, one of the main concerns that I had was that I have to feed the husband, and I might poison him lol.

Though I always observe grandma when she cooks (and she is a GREAT COOK), I hardly need to prepare food in the kitchen, especially when take-outs are so cheap and accessible back in Malaysia. Even when I was teaching in Gua Musang, living independently and all, I couldn't really cook because there was no proper kitchen and if I were to wash the fresh ingredients or dishes, I have to go to the toilet... yup.. Better just pay RM5 and get a decent fulfilling meal (with drinks)!

Now that we are in New Zealand, cost of living is CRAZY HIGH! Eating out is definitely a luxury, so I had to buckle my courage and embrace my role in the kitchen lol. As I mentioned in earlier posts, my first few attempts were heavily dependent on recipes I found online, always finding myself checking my phone for each and every step... But a few tries later, I go with the 'feel' - Still a real kitchen noob but you start to realise what are the basics, what flavours go well with what, and you learn to love playing with seasonings..

To document my journey as a noobie cook, I created an album on facebook entitled "The Kitchen Misadventures of a Newly-Wedded Wife." Surprisingly, it became something that my grandma looked forward to lol. She would tell me that my food looks good and ask me what will I be cooking next. My parents too will call me up telling me they are waiting (and have been waiting for 20 over years) for me to cook for them hahahahaha...

This is my first ever homecooked meal -
Fettuccine with capsicum, onions, and white wine cream sauce, smoked salmon and egg-filled capsicums. (pasta sauce and salmon are #cheatone lol)

and today I'm going to share my #cincaicook recipe of the 'romantic dinner' for Valentine's..


Ok, there are a few components to this meal.. And the recipe is for 2 servings ~
So let's start with the simplest: Oven-Baked Corn

You need:
1 sweet corn, butter, black pepper, dried herbs (I used Italian Herbs from Greggs) and aluminium foil.

1. Clean your corn. Snap it into two.
2. Spread the butter evenly and generously over the corn.
3. Sprinkle the black pepper and dried herbs all over the corn.
4. Wrap each corn with the aluminium foil, making sure you twist the ends of the ears.
5. Pop them into a pre-heated oven (Our's is set at 250 celcius) for 30 minutes.
6. Serve them when it's done :)
*the juices are sealed in the corn, making it real juicy*

Here are the steps for the Prawns Salsa Salad.

You need:
2 small red onions (brown ones won't suit), 1 tomato, 1 bunch of fresh coriander, olive oil, 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of castor sugar, 10 prawns (clean and deveined), chilli flakes, and some butter.

1. Diced the onions, tomato, coriander into small bits (of similar bite-size).
2. Mixed them in a bowl, and add in some olive oil, squeeze in the lemon juice and mix well with the sugar.
3. Refrigerate them for at least one hour while you prepare the other ingredients.
4. Heat your non-stick pan, put in the butter.
5. Pan fry the prawns till cooked and brown, and sprinkle on some chilli flakes.
6. Serve the prawns with the chilled salad.
*very refreshing and appetising*

Medium-Rare Steak with Caramelised Onions.

You need:
2 cuts of steak (we chose premium eye fillet), black pepper, salt, olive oil, 1/2 brown onion, butter and sugar.

1. Cut the onion into slices.
2. Carefully rub the steak cuts with black pepper and salt, and coat them evenly with a layer of olive oil. Allow them to sit in room temperature for a bit.
3. Heat the pan with butter, and stir-fry the onion slices till brown. (add more butter if you want them to brown beautifully).
4. Add in some sugar (according to your own taste), and continue to fry the onions till your desired texture and colour. Then set the caramelised onions aside.
5. With the pan still buttery and with a taste of onions, add in the steak.
6. Leave it on for 3 minutes on each side. The steak will brown really fast depending on your pan.
7. Take the steak out from the pan and let it rest for around 5 minutes, then serve it with the caramelised onions on top :)

Really simple recipes that I believe are quite fail-proof lol. If I can do it, you definitely can! Give it a try!

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