I’m a mixing flavors kind of girl. I love it when food offers a combination of flavors — sweet and salty. Salty and spicy. Sweet and sour. It is no surprise then that I love Chinese lemon chicken. Stick me in a Chinese restaurant and I will most likely emerge with my belly full of these little nuggets of heaven.
For dinner last night, I thought I should give it a go. I checked out the recipe here and here and it seemed simple enough. It turned out to be meh, although my husband loved it. I hate frying so there’s that. Also, there was a mildly bitter aftertaste with the sauce. I’m thinking I burned the cornstarch? Or maybe the white part of the lemon made it bitter? Perhaps using just the juice of the lemon and some zest would suffice.
Since I had some leftover lemons and the weather was crazy hot, it would be silly not to make some lemon iced tea.
Clean out the shrimps by taking out the heads and the shells. To devein them, run a knife to split open its back and wash the black much out with running water. Shake out the water and cover the shrimps with flour. In a skillet, heat some olive oil and saute the garlic, ginger, and chilis. Add the shrimp. Once the shrimp is cooked, remove from heat and add the chopped parsley. The heat should wilt the pasley a little to tame the flavor a bit.
The dearth of entries is partially due to technical difficulties and my own erratic schedule. It’s hard to keep track of what needs to be done when there are just so many things that jostle to be at the top of the priority list. It would not feel right if my blog was faithfully updated when I’m falling behind on my work. Personally, I would not have minded — its just that the universe might judge me.
Anyhoo, all of these things is nothing that a hearty breakfast cannot cure.
Already half-eaten when I remembered to take a picture
Scrambled eggs with Himalayan salt, sourdough bread, edam cheese, and tomatoes I lightly fried in some olive oil just to heat it up topped with basil leaves.
I love being in the kitchen. Honestly, I would rather be alone in the kitchen than be out in the mall shopping. Since we’re still on a budget to recuperate from the wedding expenses, we need to be creative with our meals. Aside from banning dinner outs and being the poster kids for packed lunches, we also pick out meals that make use of the least expensive ingredients. Ergo, no steaks for us.
For dinner tonight, I made what I can dumbly call an Asian fish dish. It doesn’t really have a name because its a mishmash of the things we have at home. It started out as a recipe for scallops with sugar snap peas, flavored with garlic chili sauce. Since I didn’t have scallops and I didn’t have the sauce, it evolved to fish with Chinese peas.
Cream Dory with Chinese Peas
4 pcs. cream dory fillet
enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 head of an onion, sliced thinly
2 pieces Thai chili
1 tablespoon ginger
about 1 1/2 cups of Chinese peas
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
the juice of two calamansis
salt according to taste
1 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in a bit of water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
I lightly browned some cream dory in some olive oil then I set it aside. In the same pan, I sauteed some garlic, onions, thai chilis, and ginger. I then added the Chinese peas with a little bit of water. I made sure to scrape the bits of fish stuck on the bottom of the pan and added the fish back. I added a little bit of cilantro and calamansi (Philippine lemon) juice and seasoned with a little bit of salt.
I let the peas cook down. By this time, the sauce looked and tasted a little thin to me so I added a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it up. For added depth, I put in a little bit of oyster sauce.
It turned out pretty well, I think. It reminded me a little bit of chop suey when I tasted it, only with a hint of spice from the chili and the ginger. The true test of its success will happen tonight when my husband either devours it or politely stores it back in the ref. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the former.
The sign of a startup household is an un-fully stocked pantry. Our meals are slowly improving though. Our first dinner at home consisted of grilled cheese sandwiches using the Caribbean sandwich maker graciously donated to us. The next night, we had chicken wraps with wasabi mayo also graciously donated to us. When we finally got a stove (a gracious donation), we started having hot meals.
The other night, I made a simple pasta dish. Just stewed tomatoes with lots of garlic, onions, and mushrooms. I kept the slices chunky to make the sauce seem meatier. To combat the canned flavors of the rest of the ingredients, I put in lots of fresh cilantro. Garlic bread on the side and queso de bola shavings on top and dinner is served.
I think I undercooked the sauce a little bit since the tomatoes were still very plump and whole. My husband did not seem to mind.