Month: November 2008

Breaking in the kitchen

Although we’ve cooked for a few friends since moving into our new house, all of these meals have been pretty easy affairs — the kind of things that don’t require more than a few hours of puttering around our new (dream) kitchen. This past weekend, however, my darlin’ wife S and I entertained the architect who designed our house, plus a slew of serious foodie friends. We knew that cooking up a simple stew and tossing together a salad, no matter how delicious, simply wasn’t going to cut it. The menu we put together required a day and a half of prep work — and one dish had to be done in stages over 3 days. As S put it during our frenzied preparations, “We’re finally breaking this puppy in!”

For our first course, we served a duo of scallops (pictured up top). Both scallops were brushed with a soy-butter glaze and grilled under a hot broiler for a minute or so. One was then topped with a Japanese herb dressing (the recipe for this comes from Jane Lawson’s awesome Yoshoku). The other I topped with a miso-beurre blanc and some avruga caviar.

More kitchen pix

I’ve been very delinquent with blogging recently. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been running around like mad, both here in Singapore and also overseas, where I am working on helping a new client create a stunning 470-seat bar and restaurant. I’ll post more details on that establishment when I am allowed… the one thing I can say is that we’re trying to open it by the end of March 2009.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few more pictures of the kitchen that S and I have built in our new home. As mentioned previously, this is, for us, a dream kitchen to work in, and one we’ll probably spend many (many) months paying off.

What’s your fave fast food?

While S and I love nothing more than spending a full day working on prepping an amazing meal, the reality of our lives is that on most weekdays, we get home late, grab a quick dinner and then spend another couple of hours working before finally turning in. And I don’t think we’re alone. I think for many couples like us — couples who work together and who work for themselves — time becomes our most precious commodity. Simple, and once regular, pleasures like cooking a meal together or taking the day off to hang out become special events.

It’s become important then to learn to cook amazing meals in as little time as possible. When I was in university, one of my very first and still favourite cookbooks was Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food. This amazing little cookbook offers 350 recipes for great dishes, all of which can be made in under 30 minutes. But these days, even 30 minutes is a pretty long time.