I try to cook something different everyday. And I am lucky to have grown up in Singapore where I've been exposed to so many different cuisines in my daily life; To have travelled to quite a number of beautiful countries including Indonesia, Australia, Turkey, Greece, the USA, Canada and Morocco, to name but a few; And to have spent the last decade living and travelling in different parts of Western Europe and therefore used to so many different foods and different cooking methods. Finally to be married to a French Gourmet who has brought me to numerous wonderful restaurants all over France and elsewhere to taste and learn from.
Having said that one can't prepare nor be inclined to consume a gourmet meal everyday. And I actually do prefer to eat simple meals especially if the hubby's not around. Better for the diet and more time left for blogging :-).
So a few days ago, I made a Crab Meat, Tofu and Asparagus Soup for lunch and a Tandoori Chicken with Creamy Sauce for dinner. Simple but hearty fare.
For the soup, start with a basic soup base i.e. ginger, spring onions, bashed garlic, 1 Star Anis, 1 stalk celery, water and MSG-free chicken cubes (if you do not have home-made stock). Peel and slice a bunch of green and/or white asparagus and cook them in the stock. When they are cooked (depending on whether you like them crunchy or very cooked), add in 2 Tbsp of Light Soya Sauce, 1 Tbsp of Sherry, 1 Tbsp of corn starch (well diluted in a bit of water), salt and pepper to taste, and stir in 1-2 beaten fresh eggs. Add in a brick of silken Tofu (sliced) and a can of crabmeat and serve hot with fresh coriander leaves.
For the Tandoori Chicken, I usually marinate the chicken breasts and thighs for a few hours in 4-5 Tbsp of Tandoori Masala Mix (can find in Asian grocery shops), 1 Tsp of Mustard seeds, 1 Tsp of ground Cumin, 1 Tsp of ground Curcuma, 1 Tsp of ground Cinnamon, 1 Tsp of ground Paprika, a pinch of ground Cloves, salt, pepper and 1 cup of natural Yoghurt.
The chicken can be roasted in the oven for about an hour at 180-200ºC (last 10 minutes under very hot grill) or grilled in a non-stick pan. Days when I chose the latter, would fry 2 onions and 1 red capsicum all sliced up with the chicken. When the meat is nicely-grilled on both sides, you can squeeze some lemon juice over it and serve it as it is with some fresh cucumber or a Raita (cucumber with yoghurt and mint leaves)...or do it as I did - with a creamy sauce - because we like it this way :-).
For the sauce, it's very simple, just add in 2-3 Tbsp of crème fraîche in the pan and mix it with the chicken and cover for a few minutes. If grilling the meat in the oven, the juices will fill the baking tray during the roasting and I usually just keep removing it into a bowl.