Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sweaty Sunday

Here it comes, my confession. I was telling you about martabak in my previous post, and I actually did make them. The savory one, failed on first attempt, and went so so on the second one. Not really happy with the result, but it`s just alright. Then, on the same day, I gave a try for the sweet one. D-i-s-a-s-t-e-r. I can`t even describe what`s wrong with it, because everything in it was just wrong. I hated it.Husband had been very sweet by telling me that it wasn`t that bad and he liked it. Poor him :(((
Anyway, I moved on.
Today I woke up, opened my fridge to check what I had, turned on my PC, and browsed some recipes for today`s menu. After changing plans for many times, I made my decision. Chicken tom yum soup and roasted vegetables (i.e. potatoes, carrot, and asparagus). Those menus did not go along well, but I had a pile of vegetables in my kitchen. So the tom yum would be the main dish and roasted vegetables would be for our afternoon snacks. Aaaand, unlike my usual cooking and taking pictures habits, after reading and learning about what so called food photography, I tried to improve the lighting. I put a table near the window to get a good natural lighting, although I ended up using my desk lamp because it was 6 pm in Japan and it started getting dark.
So here is what I`ve got:

Roasted vegetables:
- Cut potatoes and carrots into round pieces.
- Cut the lower part of asparagus
- Mix the vegetables with olive oil, pepper, salt, and garlic powder
- Arrange the potatoes on a baking dish and roast it in an oven (preheated at 200 C) for 15 mins
- Take out the baking dish, place the carrots, and put it back to oven for 10 mins
- Take out the baking dish again, place the asparagus, and put it back to oven for another 5 mins.
- Garnish with benito flakes (that`s what I`ve got in my kitchen) or anything else you like.

The smell (and the taste, of course!)of potato and carrots combined veeery nicely with the garlic. The asparagus were perfectly crunchy and sweet. Try to make this yourself! Try with other vegetables too ;)

And now the main dish. Chicken tom yum soup for dinner:
- Brown garlic and chilli with olive oil
- Set aside some garlic for garnish
- Put in chicken breast (I always trim the skin and fat)
- Slightly brown the chicken
- Add ginger, fish oil and kaffir lime leaves
- Add tom yum instant mix (yes, this is not 100% me cooking the soup. I`d be happy to leave that instant mix after I got all those Asian ingredients, though ;))
- Add water and bring it to boil
- After the chicken is cooked, put it out and shred with fork
- Put the shredded chicken back in
- Add tamarind  (I don`t have tamarind, so I used Japanese umeboshi for a substitute. Loved it!)
- Add coconut milk (in fact, I was running out of coconut milk, so I used milk instead. Worked fine ;))
-  Add mushroom
-  Adjust the taste with salt, brown sugar (very very little!), and vinegar.
 - Turn off the heat, place some asparagus and red bell pepper, and cover with the lid for 5 mins. The steam will cook them enough.
- For finishing, garnish with parsley and sprinkle with fried garlic.
- Serve with fish oil with chilli inside

Husband got all sweaty eating this (chilli and ginger were doing their jobs very well :D) and the temperature outside did not help him. Today was quite hotter than usual. Good news: I`m happy with my soup. Bad news: We both overate. But I`ll just keep remembering the good news :)


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