Monday, 26 February 2007

Yaen (ஏன்) can cook but can't eat?

"Yan can cook, and so can you", declares TV chef Martin Yan... ஏன் (pronounced "yaen", or "why?" in Tamil), then is it that I can cook but not eat?

By saying I "can" cook, I merely mean I'm physically able to, as in propping myself up in a high chair and stirring something in a pot, etc, and has no relation whatsoever to a favourable palatable result. :)

Now that we understand the extent of my ability to cook, let's examine why I can't eat, at least not in peace, for the next week or so. I dislodged a crown today eating something as innocuous as gingerbread, and the earliest I can see the cute young dentist is Wednesday. I have terribly brittle teeth so this is not the first time I'm losing fillings, but losing a crown is trouble. We're talking about a pre-molar here, and I guess if you were looking for it, you'd notice its absence even if I smiled faintly. And I smile easily. Often.

The only upside of this missing pre-molar for now is that it effectively pulled the plug on my foraging ways, but I'm sure I'll more than bounce back once the cement on the new tooth sets!

You have no idea then how frustrating it is for me to continue preparing Chicken with baked beans - something I learned in Homec when I was 13 or 14 and had not made again since then - with the full knowledge I won't really be eating much of it. A poorly-timed trip back in time! I had already defrosted the chicken, so didn't feel like I had much of a choice. Of course I still have all my other teeth and am still capable of downing solids, but somehow, having to chew gingerly on just one side of the mouth (where there is another crown I'd hate to rouse) does strange things to my appetite.

Understandably, I don't remember the ingredients I had in Homec class all those years ago, but if this dish managed to resurface from the recesses of my memory, I have my mom to thank. It was during a recent conversation with her that I realised this funny combination had more of an impact on her than it did me! :) I hadn't noticed that she'd been making this occasionally throughout the years, although it's only been less than 6 years that I moved out! So this is something I'd taught her, forgot about, and had her teach it back to me. :)

How to: Cut 3 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season for a few hours with 2 tbsp of soya sauce, a few slices of ginger and 2 tbsp of cornflour. Dip chicken pieces into beaten egg, then roll them in breadcrumbs (optional - I didn't bother with the breadcrumbs) and fry. Mix with a can of baked beans and serve hot with rice or bread.

Variations: Hmmm, never really thought it over, but I don't see why curried baked beans wouldn't work.

Body Count: 3 chicken breasts.

Now, for a mugshot of the offending gingerbread and the reason for its purchase:

I shall call these my lazy tiramisù, because they don't have all those pretty layers, and doesn't have coffee and all that typical stuff.

How to: I beat 250g of mascarpone with 2 tbsps of amaretto + 1 tbsp of Absolut Vanilla, 2 egg yolks, 40g of poppy seeds, 70g of sugar, and about 50g of whipped cream (can't be sure because it came out of a spray can).

Base - gingerbread softened with Marsala wine, topped off with frozen mixed berries.

Variations: Oh, I do believe you will be seeing quite a number of them from me! :)

Body Count: 0 (2 egg yolks)


Lydia said...

Oh, Shilpa, I'm so sorry about your crown....I am dentist-phobic, and something like this would send me straight to bed. Instead, you go straight for the kitchen! Thanks for cooking and sharing photos with us, even if you're not eating for a few more days.

jacob said...

poor you. hope you're feeling better now. i have trouble with my teeth every now and then too. btw, don't mean to rub it in, but the chicken looks yum:)

BuddingCook said...

I love baked beans! :D Will try this. Maybe w/ out the frying part. :D That's funny that you re-learned it from your mom. Cute. Hope your tooth is better and you can re-chomp.

jacob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shilpa said...

Thanks for your concern Lydia, Jacob and Buddingcook! I was relieved that the dental visit consisted merely of the guy gluing my tooth back, and with a very benign bill! :)

Lydia, me too, I only see the dentist when something goes wrong, or if I'm in pain, heh heh. I couldn't go to bed since my tooth broke while I was at work, but I still have a hubby to feed, so there'll always be work for me! :)

Haha, Jacob, I did manage to try a few pieces, though. Chicken's still relatively tender. Not sure how I'll eat beef for the rest of my life with teeth like mine! By the way, I'll delete the message containing your e-mail address, don't want you getting spammed now, do we? ;-)

Buddingcook, I guess frying isn't all that necessary, but for me, it helps to "trap" some of the sauce, if you see what I mean? ;-) otherwise the chicken will just be sloshing around..

tigerfish said...

Oh, it's really uncomfortable isn't it, with that tooth-crown issue? Hope the tooth(or rather you...) are better now.

Remind me of Homec. You know I hated sewing classes in Homec (nightmares the night before if it's sewing classes the next day :O). Cooking is not too bad but I recall I did not learn any baked bean dish like that. I remember learning some kind of pizza though.

Shilpa said...

Hi Tiger, thanks! Yes, I feel better now that the gap in my mouth has been filled, haha. Don't dare to eat anything hard, though.

Oh my, I'm just like you! I hated sewing like hell and if it wasn't for cooking, I think I might have failed Homec in my final exams just because I couldn't sew! Haha, but I didn't have sleepless nights like you, not that bad! :) I didn't get to make pizza for Homec...

Sandeepa said...

Hey how is The Queen with the crown off ??

What is Homec, is it Home Economics or something ? And why are you making Chicken with baked beans when you can't even eat it ? You are too good and nice to fix a lovely meal for the family while wallowing in pain yourself

Shilpa said...

dear sandeepa, kuch dard nahin hai, sab bahut theek hai! :)

Yes, you guessed right, Homec is Home Economics.. haha, don't be fooled, I wasn't being particularly kind. Since I'd already defrosted the chicken, no choice, I decided to cook it. :)

Mandira said...

Shilpa - I hope you're feeling better. I have been making my trips to the dentist and can understand the pain. The tiramisu looks fabulous.

Shilpa said...

Thanks Mandira, but I wasn't even in pain to begin with. :) It was just funny having one tooth less...

Finally, you're the first person to have noticed my tiramisus! Thank you! :)

Melting Wok said...

Shilpa, I've to hand it to you on that lazy tiramisu *slurp^infinity*
oo..that reminds me, I still haven't get my bake beans fix !! thanks !:)

Shilpa said...

Shirley/MW, haha, thanks! I have another tub of mascarpone, so should be making more tiramisu soon!