Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cavalock and The Meidi-Ya Multiplication

I know I said this before, that I started this blog to write bout the things that make me happy, happy stuff that I like, from food to collectibles. Well, I know my mom would definitely want me to continue writing cos it's something I like. But some days it gets hard not cos I don't like to write it's just hard when I feel sad. But she would want me to be strong and living my life fully is the best thing I can do for her.

So there I was, back at Meidi-Ya supermarket and looking at what's new. Well, I haven't been to anywhere new or fancy to eat, just not in the mood. And no, I ain't a spokesman for the place either. They just seem to have cool stuff that I don't see in other supermarkets.

Limited edition beer, 'nuff said.

Kosher cheese. Not something you would expect to find in a Japanese supermarket.

A couple days after I took this pix, they were almost all gone! And these are in the cold section.

All the way from the U.K., Skinny Cow milk mixes!

Finally, giant crab parts from Japan for only S$128! These guys were bout a foot long.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cavalock and The Tiger Mom Complex

There's this new 'game' I like to play. Whenever I'm alone in the kitchen whipping up something new, I like to pretend I'm on Top Chef, the TV reality show. I'll try to cook a dish or a full meal as fast as I can. And yah, I get a kick outta it. Hey, when you are alone in the kitchen, you try to have as much fun as you can.

What you got here is a simple but yummy hot lunch for one, all done in a little more than half hour. Corn beef with shallots, boiled asparagus and rice.

One little mistake I made was cooking the corn beef for too short a time. I used to have corn beef quite often when I was a kid but not for some time now, so I figured I'll do something bout it. They started turning little too mushy, I got kinda worried so I tried some and they tasted damn good so I stopped cooking it.

Later I found out that I should have cooked it longer, the corn beef would have been dryer like the way I had it when I was a kid. But it all turned out rather good, the shallots added that extra crunch to the corn beef, the boiled asparagus was simple and nice, with just some salt in the water.

Now I'm sure most people here have already read or heard of the Tiger Mom article in WSJ and the subsequent fallout, controversy, hoohaa or whatever you wanna call it. As expected, you got folks who agree with Amy Chua, excuse me, Prof. Amy Chua, and you got folks who don't. And for those who don't, I'd like to say ... WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO CRITICIZE SOMEONE'S PARENTING AS HORRIBLE JUST BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FIT INTO YOUR PRECONCEIVED VALUES OF WESTERN PARENTING?

Ok, now that I got that out of the way, I suppose someone reading this would probably wonder if I was brought up by a Tiger Mom. Well, my mom's the best and greatest mom in the world and well, she did do some of those things that the Professor did. I did live through some of those 'child-rearing techniques'.

Let's see, I was made to take piano lessons cos every other kid in the neighborhood was either on the violin or the piano. Hated it but had to grin and bear it for like an eternity.

Was constantly compared to other neighborhood kids bout how they could boil an egg or cook instant noodles at an early age.

My mom did tell me that I was picked up from a dumpster as a baby or was she threatening to leave me in the dumpster if I was bad? I forget. Heh!

Was never the top student in anything. So you can guess how that turned out in the Cavalock household. <^;^>

Oh, the list goes on! But I don't mind it at all. Now as I look back, I know she did everything for me cos she loves me. I don't think I would change a thing. Also, don't forget to read this other take on the whole thing, it's funny and true on so many levels too.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Cavalock and The Miracle Mussels

Man, some days I really amaze myself. I been dying to whip up my own mussels meal ever since my London trip and then there was the visit to the local Brussels Sprouts. So when I started having more free time and doing my own stuff, I figured it's also about time I finally tried doing the mussels thing. Well OK, having a new saucepan in the kitchen also helped nudge me in the right direction. ;)

And how did it turn out? Damn! It was waaaay better than I expected it to be! I didn't follow any exact recipe. I just copied the technique, the ingredients were my own

After getting rid of the mussels that were already opened and cleaning up the rest, there really wasn't much of the original 500g left, so I added in bout half dozen prawns. My little variation also used shallots instead of chives. The only thing that I think I did wrong was not chopping up the garlic really fine. I just smashed them with my blade.

The other secret ingredient was Japanese sake! I know some places use beer or whiskey, I figured why not sake then? I got a big bottle sitting in the fridge for like ages, yah, I was afraid that it could have gone bad or something but it didn't! Hah!

After adding like three big splashes of sake into the saucepan, I then toss in them mussels and prawns. Now I'm at that stage where I don't do no exact measurements no more, cos that's how I roll! (negative and negative and negative and positive equals negative, rite?)

Next comes the cream. I found this at a Cold Storage, I don't think FairPrice has it. Anyway, this is great and once again I just poured like a quarter of a cup in there. Then I turned up the heat for like three minutes. Once it starts bubbling, turn off it off, your kitchen ought to smell really, really good now.

The flavors were all there and the broth was fantastic, I think the cream made a huge difference. I almost cleaned it up with my multigrain buns. Everything was perfect, I was at first so afraid that the mussels would be bad or the sake would be bad, but it all turned out better than fine. I was thinking what made it taste so good, the sake? The cream? Good mussels? I dunno.

The whole thing took less than a half hour to prepare and I dare say it tasted better than the ones I had Brussels Sprouts but definitely not as good as the ones in the London. <^;^>

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Cavalock and The New Year Champagne Lunch

Am I too late?!?

Well, Happy New Year!

2011 got off to a yummy start with lunch at Por Kee Eating House. It's apparently a pretty popular joint although it's my first time there. Situated almost in the middle of a Tiong Bahru carpark, it's a rather little nondescript zi char restaurant.

It's got all the usual dishes you would expect from a zi char but what you want, I mean really, really want is the 'champagne pork ribs', that's what it says on the menu. Geddit, champagne = new year?

Now I seriously doubt if there's any champagne in the preparation since I can't taste any booze but damn, the ribs are just heavenly. Tender with a sweet flavor that just leaves you begging for another piece. The ribs are served individually, one big chunk per small plate. Trust me, you would wanna order more than one plate.

Other stuff we ordered were like the asparagus, venison, steamed fish (don't ask me what kind) and of cos cereal prawns, all decent dishes but nothing compares to the ribs.

After lunch, we finally made it to the new and popular cafe 40 Hands, that's around a couple blocks from Por Kee. I have heard a lot of good things about it especially their flat white. So was it worth braving the afternoon storm for it? Yah, by that time, I was so wet and desperate for a cup of hot beverage, I would have settled for almost anything.

A very welcome cup of flat white although I would have preferred it to be freakin' hot, not lukewarm. Plus the orange Jaffa Swirl cake is very good too.