I look back to the many years behind me and realize that indeed life has changed. Those years were about partying, paying a fortune for booze and coming home swinging. I admit it was all in the name of fun and cheers which brings good or bad memories. Of course every once in a while, I go back to my roots – no longer in clubs but in quiet pubs. Even so I can off hand count the number of times I do that in a year or to be specific, once in a blue moon. It does not mean I don’t socialize neither keep in touch with my friends any more. I do but in different manner because friendship too is a whole new dimension in my life. No doubt I have thousand over friends on Facebook. In real life, the circle is within seven to ten close knitted ones.
I suppose my friends feel the same way about life and friendship. We stay away from loud music and mingling among the people who are out there. We prefer home get-together depending on who is willing to be the host. I am ever willing and they absolutely agree because food is taken care off. I like to cook whereas they find excuses not to. As for drinks, anyone can chip in. However I still contribute, in case there’s not enough till the wee hours we catch up with each other. Since I can afford a classy drink, I go for Dom Perignon champagne – ahhh!! simply splendid for the Asian Fusion food I cook.
Another home party was on the card again. As always, menu is planned a few days earlier so that I don’t rush to buy the ingredients for the food. When I say food, it’s not a lavish spread. Rice is the number one preference and that will always be the main. Perhaps a finger food or soup to start off while sipping the champagne. Subsequently for this particular gathering, I made Thai pineapple fried rice and Vietnamese vegetarian tomato soup. Fried rice famed for its quintessential Thai flavors is made with squids, pineapple and red chillies, seasoned with fish sauce and scented with kaffir lime leaves. Similarly the meatless soup speaks about the bold Vietnamese flavors - made with tomato and spices and scented with the ever popular coriander leaves.
These two recipes are a mere guide to the version(s) you may replicate. Adapt or tweet in case you can’t find the ingredients I have listed. But one thing is certain – no regrets about pairing them with Dom Perignon.
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
3 cups cooked white rice
1 cup chopped pineapples (canned or fresh)
3 to 4 pieces medium size squids – clean and cut into rings
2 red chillies – thinly sliced (remove seeds to reduce spiciness)
4 to 4 kaffir lime leaves – thinly sliced/shredded
2 sprigs spring onion – thinly sliced/shredded
5 garlic – chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp oil
Salt and crushed black pepper for taste ((use sparingly because fish sauce is salty too)
Heat oil and fry garlic and squid for a couple of minutes.
Add rice and fish sauce.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stir all in over high heat.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Give a couple of stirs and dish out.
Vietnamese Tomato Soup
2 large ripe tomatoes - sliced
1 large red onion – sliced
1 tsp black pepper seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 sprigs coriander leaves (separate stems and leaves)
½ tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
4 tbsp oil
Salt for taste (taste soup mixture first before adding)
Heat oil and sauté onion and spices.
Add tomatoes and coriander stems.
Stir and cook till mushy.
Pour 1 liter of water and simmer till heated through.
Cool it down slightly and blend/process for a thick mixture.
Pour back in the pot, add fish sauce and salt.
(Add more water for a diluted version)To serve, garnish with coriander leaves.
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