So some time last semester, I decided to participate in a little passion project after being approached by my friend, Karen. Basically, Karen is the Founder and Senior Editor of Meld Magazine. An online magazine that serves to provide international students in Australia with relevant news in various categories and an opportunity to gain work experience in the media industry.
One of the projects they've undertaken this year was a community cookbook, with recipes contributed by people from various backgrounds that make up the entire Carlton community in Melbourne. It's a brilliant initiative with a fantastic vision to bring people together from various walks of Life, through FOOD.
So when asked by Karen if I wanted to contribute some recipes and also join the team as a photographer, I couldn't say no. It's something that I've always wanted to spend more time in doing on this blog, which is to cook, shoot and style photos of food more properly and beautifully. Unfortunately, being a full-time student at uni with a part-time job only makes it hard.
As for the recipes, I've decided to go simple and share my:
1) Milk Jelly
2) Creamy Butter Chicken (recipe below)
The whole experience was fun and exciting. And boy, do I have a new found appreciation and respect for Food Stylists now or what. It ain't easy. Cracking your head to think of what objects/ingredients to use as props, what goes well, what doesn't, everything! Mentally exhausting. Also, continuously repositioning your body just to get good angle and lighting. Phew!
Anyway, as tiring as it was, I had a blast and am so honoured for the opportunity to have a glimpse into the real world of Food Photography. Definitely an art I hope to improve on with time.
So the following are my final products/contributions to the Carlton Community Cookbook. Quite happy with the final outcome but as you can tell, there's always room for improvement =)
If you like, you can pick up a copy of it for only $15: here! Also, it ships anywhere. It's an amazing cookbook that's not just filled with simple and tasty ideas, but food from the Heart. Responses have been great so far and I'm sure you'll enjoy them too!
As for the future of this blog, I do plan to dedicate more time for updates and focus on sharing more tested and tried recipes from my kitchen. It's high time I picked up the slack on this blog, so watch this space!
Hope you're all doing well wherever you are.
Heng Khuen Cheok's Cold Tofu
Ellie Khoo's Braised Mushrooms with Broccoli
Jor Ji Yeoh's Sesame Oil Chicken
Winston Chua's Milk Jelly (recipe: here)
Winston Chua's Creamy Butter Chicken
Creamy Butter Chicken Recipe
(An original recipe for the Carlton Community Cookbook)
This recipe is one of the first dishes I learned to cook on my own after I left home. Even after all these years, the wonderful aroma of the butter, curry leaves and chilli never fails to excite my senses. While I make this dish with chicken, it's also great with prawns or crab.
For the marinade:
600g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp water
salt and white pepper
For the sauce:
3 bird's eye chillies, slices into small pieces
1 handful curry leaves
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
Place the cornflour, water, salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix until cornflour has dissolved. Add the chicken pieces and marinate for at least 20 minutes.
Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a medium-sized frying pan until hot. Add the chicken pieces, in batches, and fry for 2 - 3 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
In the same pan, melt the butter on a low heat, so it doesn't brown. Add the chillies and curry leaves and fry until fragrant.
Stir in the chicken, evaporated milk and sugar and cook for a few minutes or until chicken is heated through and the sauce has thickened.
Spoon chicken onto a plate and serve immediately. Serves 4.