Sorry blog and dear readers for I have abandoned you. I want to let you know that I think of all of you all the time... Truth is I don't have internet connection at home and I can't hang out at the mall or Starbucks all the time using their free wi-fi.
I am very much enjoying this long holiday period and I am using my time effectively. Very soon I am going to start working at JW Marriott hotel as a trainee chef. I am so looking forward to this hands-on kitchen experience. This is just temporary for a few weeks until I return to the UK, but still... it will be awesome, I know.
I have not been cooking, surprise surprise. I have been enjoying eating out and spoiled with mom's delicious cooking. But I did make time yesterday to cook my entry for this month's Random Recipe challenge.
All my cookbooks are currently in a box at a store room few thousand miles away. So, I am using my mom's collection. The randomly chosen book is Lauk Bumbu Bacem by Indonesian cokery writer, Aan Roswaty. And the randomly chosen recipe is the delicious bebek bacem masak andaliman. Now, let me explain the lingo.
Bacem is a slow-cooking technique where the food is submerged in bumbu, a paste made of spices, and some liquid until it's completely dry or you are left with a thick sauce. Bacem cooking is very popular for tofu and tempeh. But it is also often used for poultry, meat and offal. For this dish, bebek or duck is the star ingredient. And andaliman is Indonesian for Szechuan peppercorns.
This takes hardly any effort to make as you can read below. I suggest you stay in the kitchen during the cooking process. The aroma is just amazing... and because the duck is cooked long and slow, it became very tender and the thick spicy sauce is finger-licking good.
I gotta go now... cappuccino is running low...
Bebek Bacem Masak Andaliman
Recipe by Aan Roswaty
1 duck, cleaned and cut into portions
2 asam gelugur, don't have this so I used a couple tsps of tamarind paste instead.
2 lemongrass, bruised
4 lime leaves
1 litre coconut milk
1 teaspoon caster sugar
for the bumbu
8 red chillies de-seed if you want it milder
1/4 teaspoon andaliman
4 candle nuts
2 cm piece of ginger
2 cm piece of galangal
4 cloves of garlic
salt, to taste
Start by making the paste my mixing all the ingredients in a food processor to a thick paste. Rub this all over the duck. Add the duck and the rest of the ingredients to a pan and cook over medium-heat until the duck is cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a little bit of oil and cook further.... taste and season accordingly.