Wednesday, 2 July 2008
I have the making of a migraine today….. My head is already pounding (with a ‘tension headache’ and typing this does not help) and it’s because I am feeling ‘too loved’ today (sorry P, I know you don’t like that terminology). I know, I know….we complain when we are taken for granted and complain when the reverse occurs….no win situation.
Well today I had two divisions within my department fighting over who was going to keep me after the project that I am currently undertaking ends. I know I should be honoured but I just don’t like office politics. I had already stated my preference, but no one was listening…..hello! In the end, I asked them to sort it out among themselves and gave them the ultimatum that if I did not like the outcome of their decision/s, compromise, etc, etc… the DEPARTMENT could miss out altogether in the end…..cos I would just go and find a position elsewhere! I don’t know who was more surprised…..the directors or me! I could not believe I said that. Hence the reason for my headache.
You’d probably wondering where this story is leading. Hold on, there is a method to my madness here. Now part two of the tale. Unfortunately, yesterday, I told Mr G that I would take care of dinner tonight. Wrong move (but I did not know that I would be having a headache today, did I?). So when I arrived home today and Mr G asked me (quite cheerily, I must add), “what’s for dinner tonight, bubs?” I could have quite easily bitten his head off ……but then it’s not his fault that I have had a bad day at work today, is it?
So another headache in addition to the one I was having…..what to b#**%y cook tonight? I could not be bothered cooking a few dishes so I thought of a good ol Penang Malay ‘cook all in one pot’ dish – Chicken Padprik (I told you this story was heading somewhere!).
I believe that this dish is originally from Thailand but the Malaysians have claimed it as part of their cuisine. One of the best renditions I have eaten was at this eatery in Minden Heights, Penang, Malaysia, which was a house that was converted into a restaurant and had tables and chairs in its lawn. Mind you, this was back in 1987- 1991. I wonder if it’s still there???
This is how I made my Chicken Padprik. You can substitute the chicken with seafood such as prawns and squid if desired.
Note: Sorry you had to put up with my rant before I came to the recipe…..it’s the price you have to pay to learn how to cook this meal, he! he!. If I may say so, this is a really yummy and easy dish to cook. You won’t be disappointed.
750 g chicken breast or thighs – cut into thin slices
1 large brown onion – sliced thickly
3 – 4 gloves garlic - minced
2 carrots – halved lengthways and sliced thinly
A packet of fresh baby corn
½ a small head of cauliflower or broccoli or a combination of both (I used cauliflower only today)
Large handful of snow peas
4 to 5 kaffir lime leaves – torn into pieces (this releases its aroma)
6 – 8 red bird’s eye chillies – halved lengthways or substitute with 2 – 3 normal red chillies, quartered
4 to 5 tbsp tomato sauce
4 to 5 tbsp chilli sauce (don’t use SWEET chilli sauce – I use Yeo’s chilli sauce for cooking. It is neither too sweet nor too hot. You can also use the garlic and chilli version)
4 to 5 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp chinese light soy sauce
1 to 2 tbsp chinese caramel soy sauce
2 stalks lemon grass – each cut into 2 to 3 segments and bruised
2 tbsp or more veg oil
Heat oil in a wok and fry the garlic and lemon grass until aromatic.
Add in the chicken pieces and fry until chicken is nearly cooked. Add additional oil if required. Add in the chillies and carrot. Fry for 1-2 mins, add in cauliflower. Cook for another minute.
Now add in all the sauces (I premixed it in a bowl), baby corn, snow peas and the lime leaves. Mix well, cook for another min, add in lime juice. Mix well, lift and serve hot with rice.
PS: I didn’t add any salt because there is sufficient salt from the sauces for my palate. You may want to add some.