Yes, we chose to dine at home despite churning out all those Valentine’s Day Dining Guide posts for you – our dear readers. We frowned at the thought of traffic jam and huge dining crowd. We need to save some $$ for our upcoming trips too! So, KampungBoy is cooking us a romantic meal while I call it an off day.
KampungBoy’s 4 courses dinner was as easy as to poor milk on cereal. He just need to assemble course #1, chuck some salmon fillets into the oven for course #3 and take away some delicous cakes as course #4. The most difficult part is probably course #2, the cream of cauliflower soup. The main objective is to have a romantic meal that need little preparation and washing up – leaving us to enjoy the time together.
#1 Parma Ham with Rock Melon
Parma Ham RM 15.8 – 50g (from Ben’s Independent Grocer’s non halal section)
Rock Melon RM 8.90 – half a melon
This is a classic recipe which is always served as an entree in fine restaurants. However, it was so easy to prepare! Cut the melon into cube sizes and tear some parma ham over the melons and drop a pinch of rock salt over the melon. Easy peasy! It is really a classic combination of salty and sweet that hits all the right notes.
Course #2 Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower (one quarter = RM 2.10)
Pork stock (from our refrigerator – Yes, I made my own pork stock & chicken stock)
Cream RM 6.90, any brand
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 small head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash ground nutmeg
Dash white pepper
1 cup half-and-half cream
In a small saucepan, combine the broth, cauliflower and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Cool slightly. In a blender, process cauliflower mixture until smooth; set aside.
In the same saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and seasonings until smooth; gradually add cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cauliflower mixture. Heat through (do not boil).
Recipe from Taste of Home, modified.
The pork stock makes a lot of difference by adding some depth of taste to the cream of cauliflower soup! Only gripe was that KampungBoy did not blend the cauliflower well, resulting in a slightly lumpy texture.
Course #3 Baked Miso Salmon
2 Salmon Fillets RM 24.7
Miso, Mirin (from our refrigerator)
M size Asparagus (RM 5.70)
Baby Carrots (RM 4)
1 Tbsp white miso paste
1 Tbsp mirin
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp freshly grated ginger sauce
Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen papers. Scale and Debone. Mix with marinade well. Cover and put in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 200C (395F).
Remove the salmon from fridge and place at room temperature for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to scrape away the marinade. Add 2 tablespoons of water to marinade and combine for later use.
Heat oil in grill pan over high heat. Place the salmon on pan, the meat side first. Cook about 3 minutes until grill marks appear. Carefully turn and cook the skin side for 2 minutes. Transfer to the oven. (Note: if your grill pan is not oven friendly, transfer the salmon into a baking tray.) Bake for about 8 minutes, or almost cooked. Open the oven door, carefully pour the marinade mixture onto the surface of the salmon, continue to cook for another 5 minutes, or to your preferred doneness.
As the marinade contains sugar, make sure not to burn the sauce while cooking. You’d taste bitterness otherwise.
The cooking time depends on how thick your salmon is, and how well you like your salmon.
If you don’t want to use oven, you can just grill or BBQ the salmon. Cook the marinade mixture separately. When you are ready to serve the salmon, top with the sauce.
Recipe from http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2010/12/baked-miso-salmon.html
Course #4 Desserts
Coconut Cake dabao-ed from Ben’s Independent Grocer was the perfect ending to our meal.