AFC GRILLED : Chef Sean Connolly

An evening of good food.

Lap Cheong Watermelon Bites

An asian take on watermelon bites!

Baked Fish with Kiwi in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Add a twist to sweet and sour fish!

Semperit Pandan Cookies

Cute cookies for the festive season!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tomato Pork Stew With Pasta


The wet season is here, making my days .... brr! I keep warm with cardigans, bowls of hot soup, and can't imagine how I would survive in a place where there's winter seeing that I run for a steaming cup of tea and snuggle up under thick blankets the minute it gets a little cold. It's no surprise that my meals lean toward spicy or soupy recently!

Tomato pork stews show up regularly on my rainy-day menu. I go by the agak-agak (estimate) method when I cook this, throwing whatever I fancy into the mix according to my mood, along with a dollop of tomato ketchup, canned tomatoes or a tablespoon of puree. For this recipe, however, I skipped the bottled stuff and stayed on the path of using fresh ingredients.

Tomato Pork Stew With Small Shells Pasta

It turned out really yummy. Not that I had expected otherwise. The tomatoes I used were bought from the mini-mart downstairs at the apartment where I live, which is supplied by a small-time local farmer.

This is a meal for three.

Tomato Pork Stew With Pasta

- 400g soft pork ribs (rib tips)
- 1 cup Small Shells pasta
- 3 large tomatoes (cut into medium cubes)
- 1 red capsicum (cut into cubes)
- 1 carrot (cut into medium chunks)
- 1 large red onion (chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (chop extra for garnishing)
- ¼ cup Chinese cooking wine (rice wine)
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 4 dried bay leaves
- Black pepper (about 5 dashes)
- Salt
- Water

1) Heat cooking oil in a large pan or pot.
2) Saute onions and garlic for about half a minute. Then, add bay leaves and pork. Stir-fry for a bit.
3) Add chilli flakes, black pepper and ground oregano. Stir to combine.
4) Put the tomatoes, carrots, capsicum and parsley in. Season with ½ tsp salt (or to taste). Mix well.
5) Pour in cooking wine, along with 3½ cups water. Cook covered and allow to come to a slow boil.
6) Reduce heat to maintain the slow boil. Leave to cook for at least an hour, until the meat is tender.
7) Taste and season further with salt, if necessary. Finally, add the pasta and cook until done.
8) Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley.

1) Ingredients needed. 2) Chopped ingredients.
3) Sauteing the onions and pan-frying the pork. 4) Add all the vegetables in.
5) Stir, then pour the wine in. 6) Add water and leave to cook for an hour.
7) Once the meat is tender, throw the pasta in. Cook until done!

Yummy Tomato Pork Stew With Pasta

Tomato Pork Stew With Pasta

There you go - delicious pasta in a stew of tender pork ribs. Slurp!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Food Discovery : Salak (Snake Fruit)


Salak is also called snake fruit for obvious scaly reasons. The fruit is grown in several South East Asian regions, one of which is Malaysia where I live, and has several cultivars.

I had my first taste a long time ago through the kindness of an old lady who was running a nursery in Sungai Buloh. She offered me one as I browsed for plants to add into my balcony garden.

To eat, pinch the top off and peel the skin like you would a hard-boiled egg. The seed is inedible.

The salak fruit that I tried, which I cannot confirm it's cultivar, was mildly sweet. It was crunchy, a little dry and left a light sourish acidic taste on the tongue. I wasn't particularly taken in by the whole experience.

I would describe its deliciousness as an acquired taste. That said, the sweetness and texture of the fruit also differs between varieties. So, I'm thinking of trying another cultivar to satisfy my curiosity! I will post an update, once I have.

Have you tried a salak fruit before and what did you think of it?

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