Last week was Valentines Day, from post’s to “FOREVER LONELY” to “I LOVE YOU” till death seems to rain parade on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. From lonely instant food, indulgers to lovebirds sharing their precious gifts on Instagram we are overwhelmed by the hassle of this one-day chaos.
However, personally, I feel V-day is an over-exaggerated event of mankind. A special day for love, when St.Valentine the father of Valentine’s day created this day to allow war heroes to tie nuptials during War Times. For this, he was executed by Emperor Claudius. However, this symbol of love has now being made into a mass media parody.
Why is love a one-day thing? Do we fall out of love after that? Do we turn into robots after February 14th?
I guess not, I guess we still remain the same and I suppose we still love or stay alone after the 14th of February. Hence, why shouldn’t Valentines Day be celebrated every day of our lives to one of our favorite mediums — FOOD.
This V-Day I decided to do something different, instead of preparing gifts for my biggest fan I decided to prepare dinner, “A Gift Of Food”. Since we are meeting after a period of 2 months I can be certain he missed my food among other things.
However, shouldn’t this food be shared?
Exactly, I decided to prepare a large amount of food for 5 people to be enjoyed and eaten together. Sharing is amazing and when it comes to food it makes peace faster than creating war.
This blog I decided to get straight to the recipes from Grapefruit Marmalade Muffins to home made Singaporean Chicken Rice. Everything is prepared from scratch and pleases one’s tongue.
Why is this different from conventional chocolates? Why Grapefruits instead of Chocolates?
Grapefruits are known to be an essential fruit that produces Folic Acid. Folic Acid an important component that increases cognitive functions in the brain. Which reduces the risks of age-related degeneration such as dementia and finally helps with our modern day disease — DEPRESSION.
Grapefruit Marmalade Muffins
800g of Sugar (usually people prefer using a whole KG, however, since Grapefruits are a rather bitter-sweet-sour fruit, I preferred reducing the amount of sugar)
1.7L of water.
- Juice the grapefruits, remove the pulp and shred the peels. In a muslin cloth let the shredded peels soak in water overnight, this softens the peel and reduces the cooking time.
- The next day, in a pan, add the water and peel in it. To find out of the peel is soft, squeeze it between your fingers. Then add your grapefruit juice and bring it a boil.
- Once it reaches the boiling stage, reduce the flame and add your sugar. Stir it occasionally and don’t let it boil till the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved increase the heat and let it rise to a boil.
- Don’t stir the marmalade whilst boiling, the marmalade will rise and fall according to your pan. However, after 8–10min check for setting point, if it’s a small pan then it takes 7–8min and a large pan 10–12min.
- To test the set point, take a spoon and an empty plate, spread a small amount on the plate and put in the freezer and take it out after 1min. If it’s ready, then you’ll see a wrinkly and jello like appearance to it. However, if it’s still runny, let it boil for another 2 minutes.
- Let the marmalade cool and then transfer it to a jar, seal it and let it be in a dark corner. If done right it would last for a whole year.
The marmalade I used has been left for 6 months, the longer the marmalade sits the better it tastes.
Whole Grain Muffins
3 Cups of Whole Grain Flour
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
1 Stick of Fresh Vanilla
2 Tablespoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Milk
- First beat the egg whites separately, beat till fluffy and stiff. Lift it above your head for 5 seconds and see if it drips.
- In a separate bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking soda and salt together.
- Then add the yolks of the egg, to the egg whites, vanilla and butter whilst constantly mixing it. Followed by the milk, add the milk little by little to allow it to mix.
- Once satisfied, slowly add the dry mixture to the mix and mix them finely.
- In an oiled muffin pan, scoop the muffin mixture in them and bake them for 30 min.
- To test it, stick a toothpick in it and if it comes out clean, you’re good to let it cool down.
Assembling the muffin.
- You can either choose to pipe the muffins with the marmalade, if you don’t have a pipe then you can do it the old fashioned way.
- Remove the top, scoop some muffin filling out, and add the marmalade. Then cover it with the top.
- Let it sit, repeat the same step for all the other muffins.
- Finally, dust it with icing sugar and you’re ready to serve. The best way to serve it is with a nice cup of mint tea.
Singaporean Chicken Rice.
1 Whole Chicken (preferably farm raised)
I Whole Ginger, Sliced Thinly
5–6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
Spring Onions, the more the better
3–4 Cups of Light Soy Sauce
6–7 Tablespoons Of Thick or Sweet Soy Sauce
If you can’t find Sweet Soy then you can replace it with sufficient palm sugar.
3 Pieces of Dried Tamarind
4 -5 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil
- Give the whole chicken a proper facial, rub large amounts of salt and scrub it all around. Scrub it hard to remove dead skin, remaining feathers, dirt and unwanted fat.
- Let it sit for 5–6 minutes and then rinse the salt off.
- Stuff the chicken with ginger, garlic, spring onions and the dried tamarind.
- Secure it with toothpicks or skewers to avoid the stuffing from spilling out.
- Next, fill a large pot that fits the chicken with water. The chicken should be covered with water but not drowning in it. Estimate accurately.
- Let the chicken boil, until then you can prepare the sauce for it.
- Mix the light and thick soy sauce. sesame oil, chili flakes for heat, however, it’s optional, finely diced garlic and ginger. Mix them and let them sit.
- After an hour, when you can feel the chicken is ready, remove it from the boiling water into a clay pot suited for the oven.
- Remove the stuffing, and pour the sauce over it. Rub a layer of sesame oil over the chicken. Put it in the oven.
- For about 45 minutes at 100 Degree Celcius and constantly open the oven and scoop the sauce over it. about every 5–8 minutes would be perfect to layer it with the sauce.
- This helps the chicken and the sauce to caramelize.
In your 20th minute, add the excess spring onions and the stuffing and mix it with the sauce.
- Let them cook for the next 25–30 minutes and then your chicken is ready.
Rice For Your Chicken
300–500g of Rice
2–2.5 Cups of Chicken Broth from Boiling
4 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil
Chicken Fat which is removed from the chicken prior to boiling.
- Soak the rice for 5 minutes
- Heat a pot with vegetable oil and stir in the chicken fat.
- Drain the rice and add the rice and stir it in.
- Add the sesame oil with it.
- Finally, add the chicken broth and let it boil.
- In 15–20 min your rice should be done and you can start platting.
- Chili Sauce — ground red chilis, lime juice, salt and pepper, a teaspoon of diced garlic.
- Bean Sprouts — boiled and salted.
- Soup using the leftover broth — simmer the broth until it thickens, add salt, pepper, leftover spring onions. It’s a light soup to accompany the meal and not as a heavy starter.
Since every day is a day of love, why not celebrate it with amazing food. Food is something to be treasured and enjoyed every day. Therefore, I hope this recipe would be a start for an awesome beginning for you.