The Wayward Oven takes over today.
Written as The Thymes for two years, it was due for a change. I started martythyme.blogspot.com in October 2009 as an extension of a cookery column I write in collaboration with my newspaper colleagues Hungry Caterpillar and Veggie Chick. My "character" was Marty Thyme, thus the name of the blog. While I continue to use that byline for the cookery column, the correlation between the newspaper articles and my posts has diminished, making the name redundant for this blog. Anyway, I never thought anyone could tell what the blog was about from the name.
The Wayward Oven (or TWO), on the other hand, says a lot about what happens in my kitchen. After searing my arm – the left; why is it always the left?! – for the umpteenth time on the hot grill of the oven, I thought about how everything is always perfect on TV cooking shows (the ones with celebrity chefs; reality cooking programmes at least show the not-so-pretty side). Kitchen mishaps are bound to happen; I doubt anyone has been so lucky to cook perfectly every time. And that's the reason for the name. Some people have a ghost in their computer, I have an obstinate imp in my oven (okay, now the thought of critters living in my appliances is scaring me a little).
There's no big, significant reason I chose to launch the blog today, 11.11.11. It is just an easy date to remember, although 11 happens to be my favourite number and was on my jerseys for all the sports teams I played on when I was a student (I was a girl-jock once). I should be fed up of the sequence by now since I have spent the past week editing related features for the 11.11.11 issue of the newspaper.
Many of the posts inherited from this blog's predecessor have been on breadmaking and sweets and other dishes made in the oven. Because I love baked goods so much, these recipes will continue to appear, but I am determined to try more new techniques, and document the process at every step. Also, I am making an effort to cook more South-East Asian dishes.
I'll end this post with a recipe to show my new-found enthusiasm. It's only a fried rice but it's my version of Millionaire's Fried Rice. This dish is said to have originated in Singapore when two sisters served it in a Chinatown coffee shop located opposite the Chinese Millionaire's Club. It is supposed to contain a liberal amount of crab, scallops and I think shark's fin (horrors!) is even included. I've made my dish solely with crab meat, which came from the few claws left over from a crab curry my mother cooked on the weekend.
|Not a millionaire's version, but certainly good enough for me|
Crab Fried Rice
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup medium chopped cabbage
½ cup medium chopped bok choy
Salt and pepper
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 cup crab meat (fresh or cooked)
1 egg, beaten
Heat the oil in a wok and sauté the shallots until golden brown. Add cabbage, bok choy and salt and pepper to taste.
Add rice and mix well. Sprinkle a little soy sauce over the rice and toss. Push the rice aside, leaving space for frying the egg; add the beaten egg and season with salt and pepper. Let egg set, then toss through the rice, breaking it up.Stir in the crab meat (I added a little of the curry gravy as well). If the crab meat is uncooked, toss with the rice until cooked; if using meat from a dressed crab, toss until heated through.