Nightmare of Morrocco

This -


was meant to be this -


Close, but no Havana cigar, merely a Dominican. Very nice flavours, but E@Ls cooking, and um cuisine, presentation skills are down a bit.

What did E@L do differently from the recipe as presented by Chubby Hubby the other week? His chicken has that darkly glazed, caramelised look of more properly done Morroccan food. E@L's looks for all the world like a tomatoey Chicken Cacciatore with stuff on top and clumpy (prematurely cooked) couscous instead or rice or noodles.

Well first of all, there is no Orange Flower Water (which E@L would like try for an "Victorian" martini) available in his kitchen, let alone Singapore. Well certainly not at his nearest Cold Storage.

E@L wishes he'd read the comment's section first, because someone had asked that exact question - answer is that it's available at somewhere called Culina, so not far from my place really.


Why do these celebrity chefs and pretentious restaurants menu-writers always have to throw in that outrè ingredient, that cabalistic condiment, that so-secret sauce, that arcane additive, thta recondite reduction, that esoteric essential element, that neoligism of nosh, that mystery in the makings?

Every menu has to have at least one thing that's not likely to get mentioned in the OED for a few editions yet. Or is not available on the Red-Light Speciual at Woolworths.

OK, so we be bullshitting anger in like, revenge, but even so E@L had to make his own version of OFW. (This shortage merely puts Singapore on a level with New Orleans post Katrina...)

How did E@L make it? No way was he walking to The Body Shop to get some Bergamot Oil. So instead he went simple. Simply mixed a few drops Orange Essence (available in Cold Storage) in some Cointreau (available at DutyFree shops at Changi) and viola -- Orange Flavour Water. Ish. Close enough. What more do you want? As the sauce reduced (slowly, oh so slowly) you could really smell the orange aroma, mixing nicely with that of my freshly pestle-ground cinnamon, so he was olfactorially satisfied.

Saffron is also not something that grows on trees in Singapore supermarkets either. He just threw in some tumeric. Same fucking thing. Oops, too much! Ne'er mind.

The really big mistake E@L made was using good old canned tomato chunks. Way too watery. Should have drained them! Or used fresh tomatoes of course. But this WAS merely a trial run in case he ever has friends. Over for dinner, we mean. It was going to take forever to reduce this down to the "treacly" consistency Chubby expected. E@L gave up after 30 mins of it bubbling away to a minimal amount of thickening through reduction, then added some inspissatory honey and poured the resultant soup sauce over the chicken. He was starving by this time. Next time less fluid.

He'd use fresh tomatoes if it meant he might get a bonk. Hey, he'd even wear underwear fresh underwear if that was the case!

So with a trusty bottle of Henry's Drive Shiraz, he peeked through Curtis White's America's Magic Mountain and nibbled on some Cedele sourdough bread as he worked his way through half of a dish supposed to be for four. He had FIVE substantially hypertrophied chicken thighs, and enough coucous for two. Sigh. Yum.

(p.s. mixed some chopped dried apricots, some of the almonds and some of the coriander leaves into the couscous.)


Yeah, but proper people would have had like, entree and desert as well. He just had a coupla Hoegartens during preperation time. That hardly counts.


Didn't check the TV for disasters. What did I cause this time?


Diet - WTF? I have become food obsessed merely by thinking about going back to weight-loss program. I went for another swim today - my arms gave out after about 8 minutes. Last Thurdsay I managed 15 minutes non-stop. The knee is still clicking, althougn the continual ache has eased, so I won't be back into the new gym for a while yet. Sigh^2.



Posted by: expat@large on Sep 09, 06 | 10:13 pm | Profile


Your cooking looks positively yummy - including the other one with shrimp and squid - curried?

Posted by: TruthSeeker Mama on Sep 10, 06 | 12:07 am

That other one has all the c's except curry powder. Coriander, cashews, cucumber, capsicum and coconut milk - ginger, garlic and onion of course - the rest of the ingredients depend upon what is in the fridge. It's my staple, based on a Cambodian recipe.

I'm not sure if it's my cooking or my photography that lets this dish down. I suspect the cooking.

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 12:30 am

looks tasty.i feel hungry.again.

Posted by: VirginPornStar on Sep 10, 06 | 1:23 am

thinking about Ramlee burgers at two in the morning I came here and found more food!

Some people surf porn. When my darling sleeps, I surf Foood! You people actually "eat" food don't you? You disgusting Perverts!

Actually it's the flash, photographing food is tougher than it looks. The average meal usually looks pretty revolting in a photograph.

Posted by: Milos Sadik on Sep 10, 06 | 2:33 am


Posted by: Milos Sadik on Sep 10, 06 | 2:44 am

I bet you're eating right now!?

Posted by: Milos Sadik on Sep 10, 06 | 2:46 am

i am.*munch munch*

Posted by: VirginPornStar on Sep 10, 06 | 3:47 am

What r u folks doing up so late?

Ramlee burgers...hmmmm

God! I miss the food in Malaysia and, I eat them in my dreams, only in my sad :-(

Posted by: TruthSeeker Mama on Sep 10, 06 | 8:32 am

Ange: My question exactly! Get to sleep you people!

And next question: WTF is a Ramlee burger? I don't do much "local" junk food.

WOW! Big mistake - I went into the kitchen to fix some breakie! Talk about Hurricane Katrina.

If I had The Mouse back with me, this mess would have diasppeared already. Instead I've got 45 minutes of solid cleaining up before I will even find the bench-top, let alone clear a space to spread vegemite on my sourdough toast.

Cooking is one thing, cleaning up another.

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 9:43 am

Ramlee Burgers are those super cheap beef burgers sold from pushcarts in Malaysia.

If you are American/Canadian and used to Harvey's/Burger Barron type burgers, I really don't think you'd be too impressed by Ramlee.

I have a mess in my kitchen too every morning when I wake up. Try having to deal with a toddler whining for food while cleaning the mess up at the same time AND preparing breakfast as fast as you can.

Posted by: TruthSeeker Mama on Sep 10, 06 | 10:39 am

The only hamburgers worth eating are from Australia.

They are not made in stores that have names.

They are made in road-side cafes, usually along the old Hume Hwy, preferably at Yass or Glenrowan (before the freeway by-passed all the country towns and effectively killed them off). Each is made to individual order by either the overly-eyed-made-up sultry and pouting sixteen year-old daughter of the proprietor, or his five foot nothing 250lb wife who calls everybody "love."

The proprieter is out the back having a fag as he tranfers diesel fuel from one 44 gallon drum to another.

The burgers are too wide to fit into any normal mouth (except perhaps that of that 16yo who has special oral skills, or so the boys in the local U/18 footy team say) as they have full head of lettuce, tomatoes and a slice of grilled pineapple in them with slice or two of beetroot. Maybe some bacon and a runny egg if this is a breakfast burger. No pickle. The bun contains no sugar and does not have sesame seeds on top. The only sauce available is tomato. OK, maybe there's BBQ left over in the brown squeeze bottle.

You have to park the car (under the awning of corrugated iron if there is a space) and eat in the restaurant. You cannot eat this and change the column shift at the same time.

My mouth is watering. Over the burger, I mean...

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 11:26 am

"The only hamburgers worth eating are from Australia."

I'm sure you're quite right. Too bad I've never been.

Posted by: TruthSeeker Mama on Sep 10, 06 | 1:33 pm


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