Our very own…

Bak kut teh literally means “meat bone tea” but I would think a more accurate name for it would be meat or pork bone herbal soup. You will not find this in China as it is a Malaysian dish, claimed to have originated in (Port) Klang and believed to have been consumed by the coolies or labourers at the port to boost their strength and health.

I have cooked this many times before using those packets of spices and herbs from the peninsula but the other day, I decided to use this…

Sarawak white pepper root bkt 1

My missus must have bought it sometime ago and I had seen it lying around in the house for a while now so I thought I might as well give it a try.

This is packed in Kuching…

Sarawak white pepper root bkt 2

 …and clear instructions as to how to cook the dish are given at the back…

Instructions

Add 3 litres of water, it said but I thought that would be a little bit too much for the two of us in the house – my missus and I, so I reduced that to 2 litres. I reckoned that at worst, it would be stronger in its herbal taste and we wouldn’t mind that very much actually. I could not understand what “4 bits of garlic bulbs” meant…and since I had reduced the water, I just threw two bulbs in. Not one to follow recipes/instructions to the letter, I also put in a handful of goji or wolf berries and a few dried Shitake mushrooms together with the two pouches that came in that one packet…

Step 1

…and brought that to boil.

Nope, I did not let it boil for 30 minutes – after around 15 minutes, I decided it was time to put in the meat and I brought it back to boil once again and when the meat was cooked…

Step 2

…I lowered the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

The instructions said, “…add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, dark soya sauce and oyster sauce…” and I could not, for the dear life of me, figure out the difference between soy sauce and dark soya sauce…so I just added two tablespoons of the mushroom soy that we always use in the house plus another two tablespoons of oyster sauce…

Step 3

Finally, add salt and monosodium glutamate powder to taste,” it said. What? More msg??? No, thank you. In my opinion, there would be enough msg already in the oyster sauce and I would not want any more salt either – the soy sauce would be salty enough.

I let it simmer for a long time, 30 minutes, at least and then it was ready to be served…

Bak kut teh 1

…with a sprinkling of chopped daun sup (Chinese celery) on top.

Yes, it was just right – the meat was nice and tender…

Bak kut teh 2

…and it was not too strong in its herbal taste, not too salty and no overload of msg.

However, the next time I use this particular brand of spices and herbs, I would go ahead and add 4 bulbs of garlic instead of just 2 as I would prefer the garlicky fragrance to be a little stronger…

Bak kut teh 3

…but on the whole, it was good enough. Perhaps a dash or two or more of pepper would be nice as well seeing that, despite the name – “Sarawak wild pepper root”, it was not peppery at all, not even the slightest hint of it and I would have liked a bit of that.

We had it with rice, of course, and for our vegetable dish, I fried some Chinese cabbage with young baby corn…

Vegetable dish

…together with some sotong (squid) and sliced fish cake. I’m afraid there wasn’t much colour in it and I did not bother with the presentation since it was just for the two of us at home to eat and enjoy.

Well, the weekend’s here! Anybody thinking of cooking some bak kut teh? Perhaps you can give this brand a try. It’s available at most, if not all, of the supermarkets in town and many of the grocery stores as well.

Call it what you want…

Back to that narrow alley where I bought the rechargeable fan/light that day, if you are walking from Market Road to the Sibu Central Market (Channel Road), the first turning to the left in that back lane would take you to these popular kompia shops in town, this one and this one. But if you turn right instead, you will come to a little shop on your right a short distance away selling ma ngee (horse’s ears)…

Ma ngee

People have given all sorts of names to this Foochow delicacy – in English, I call them scrotums! In Hokkien, that would be lampha kueh and many call them that…or worse, gu lampha (bull’s scrotum)! When I shared a photograph of these on Facebook, my Malay and Iban friends commented and it seems that they call them pelir kambing (goat’s testicles).

Well, call it what you want, the sad fact is that it is very difficult to get any these days that are like what they were originally, the truly authentic ones. You may find some here and there and it is not so bad that they’ve shrunk to a very miserable puny size but the texture is all wrong even though the taste may still be there. Some do not even taste the same and come across like doughnuts with that same dense texture. Ma ngee would have lots of air spaces/holes inside…

Ma ngee - inside

…and would be a little hard and crusty on the outside.

The two on the left in the above photograph were from the aforementioned shop in that narrow alley and yes, they would be quite like the ones we enjoyed so much those years when we were much younger…but they’re much smaller now – maybe just one-third or half of the old size and they’re 50 sen each! There used to be another very popular shop making these – back to back with that kompia shop at the other end of the alley but according to the lady here, that one has closed shop for good – they are not making them, anymore. It is really sad that many are forced to wind up their business as the young ones these days are not interested in carrying on the trade.

The smaller one on the right in the photograph is one of those that my missus buys quite frequently from a stall in front of a shop round the corner in my neighbourhood. They are 40 sen each and this is one of those that would have the taste but the texture is not quite the same.

Well, some of you may know something similar that you call butterfly fritters but believe you me, they’re similar, no doubt but no, they’re not exactly the same. We do have those here too…

WeCare ma ngee

…at this bakery. Goodness gracious me! These are so popular that they will only put them out for sale at 1.30 p.m. and by 2.00 p.m., they would all be sold out. They used to cost RM1.00 each but I hear the price has gone up to RM1.10 or RM1.20, I’m not too sure as I have not gone to buy for quite a while now. I certainly have no intention of joining in that mad scramble! Honestly, since they are selling so well, I wonder why they can’t make a bit more and make them available throughout the day. Yes, they are very very nice – BIG and nice but if it is the authentic ma ngee you’re looking for, this is not it! However, this is better for those who do not have very strong teeth or none at all though as they are not as hard on the outside.

It is the same with yew char koi or yeu thiao, as some of you would call it (crullers)…

Yew char koi

It is so hard to find any like those in the past these days and yes, there are many Malay stalls sprouting out here, there and everywhere like mushrooms after the rain and yes, as a few people have told me, some are very nice and some would even give you curry gravy to dip them in and eat…but no, they’re nothing like the real thing.

I also got these from that shop in the narrow alley, also 50 sen each, and yes, the texture is just right…

yew char koi - inside

…but they’re a lot shorter now, maybe only two-thirds of the length we used to get in the past.

Incidentally, I bought RM2.00 of each, totalling RM4.00 but I paid RM5.00 instead – five of those new RM1 notes that are so slippery and not so easy to handle and count and if you’re not careful, you may end up paying more. Thankfully, the nice lady is very honest and she told me that I had paid too much and returned me RM1.00. It sure is comforting to know that at this present day and age, there are some very decent and honest people around…still.

Moving on from these local delights, I did mention in a previous post that my niece was home for the recent long weekend and she did bring us a lot of stuff as usual. One would be these made-in-Singapore sausages…

Singapore-made sausages

…and just like the ones I bought recently, they sure make it look like it’s some imported stuff as well, don’t you think?

My daughter grilled some for breakfast…

Singapore-made sausages and egg

…when she was home last weekend and she cooked one extra for me to try.

The texture was almost like those luncheon meat-like local-made ones…

Luncheon meat-like texture

…that we can find in abundance in the supermarkets in town but they really tasted a whole lot nicer and were absolutely yummy! All things considered, I think those very expensive Malaysian-made ones that I bought were very much nicer but thank you all the same to my niece. Your thoughtfulness in always bringing back something for us everytime you come home is truly very much appreciated.

In the meantime, my sister-in-law in Kuching came home to spend sometime with the mum here and she remembered what she had seen on Facebook – the very nice butter cake that my ex-student, Xavier, gave to me not too long ago and she went and got me that…

Mita, Kuching cheese butter cake

…as well. Thank you so much, Hoon – that was so very sweet of you indeed but you shouldn’t have troubled yourself, really. Of course, I kept it till the weekend when Melissa came back and we really enjoyed it a lot! I also cut a portion of it for her to take back to her school to enjoy in the course of the week.

Hey! It’s Friday again!!! Gee! I can hardly feel time creeping past so quickly. Have a lovely weekend ahead, folks! Cheers!

Don’t let me be misunderstood…

Now, don’t misunderstand – despite the name, this place…

Noodle House, Sibu

…is not all about noodles. Maybe they started out as that, a place selling noodles but I wouldn’t know as I was not familiar with it when it just opened.

My daughter was still in secondary school (and I did not even have a blog then) when I heard about it and somebody told me it was at Lai Chee Lane so I went looking around the shops along that lane but failed to find it. About a year later, I heard of it again…and went looking for it again and still, I could not find it. I cannot remember how I managed in the end but actually, if you come in via the aforementioned lane, you will have to turn left at the first turning into that lane going towards Hua Kiew Road (in fact, it is nearer to this road…than that lane) and you will find it on your right, one half of a small building on its own with private parking spaces all around so you will not need to worry about paying the fees. Actually, it is somewhere right behind the Sibu Central Police Station and if you come in from Hua Kiew Road, it is the second turning to the right and you will see it behind the block  of shophouses in front along that road, on your left.

They used to have a topic in the English Language syllabus in school on “Directions” and I could not understand why the students seemed to have so much problem telling people the way. They certainly did not seem to know their left from their right…and it seems that they ‘re not the only ones. People will give me directions and I would have a tough time trying to locate the place and in fact, when I do find it, it would not be quite like what they have told me.

Anyway, going back to this place we were talking about, I quite like their mee sua (Foochow longevity noodles), their kueh chap and also their sizzling kampua with black pepper beef. Others may like their other combinations of the latter but I have not tried all of them and those that I did try, I can’t say I’m a fan.  Their original/classic kampua isn’t all that great to me either and I can’t say their pian sip (wantons, they call them) would sweep me off my feet. I’m no fan of their lor mee, their Q-Q noodles and their beef noodles either…and while many are quite fond of their laksa, I did not think it was quite like the authentic thing though it does taste rather nice. If I’m not mistaken, those are about all the noodle dishes that they have here…so perhaps, they started with those and kept on adding to their menu bit by bit till what it is today – a whole lot of other delights, just that they’re not noodles.

One of the newest additions would be their peri peri chicken with potato gratin (RM25.90)…

Noodle House peri-peri chicken

…and I suggested going to give it a try last Saturday as my girl used to frequent that South African/Mozambique-Portuguese franchise when she was in Wellington, New Zealand, the one that is well-known for this peri-peri sauce…and she agreed. However, when we got there, she had a change of heart so her mum had that instead. We all tried and thought it was very good…and my missus loved it very much as it was somewhat spicy, just the way she would love it. I thought it had its own special unique taste but at that price, I don’t think this would be  enough to make me go back for more…though I would say it was quite reasonably-priced considering that they actually gave half a chicken. I wish they would make plain bowls of rice available (at a price, of course) so people would be able to order those to enjoy with the chicken on a sharing basis.

That was what happened the other day. I did not want to order their stewed/braised pork belly rice (not many pieces of the meat in this) but I wanted their stewed/braised pork belly (RM6.50)…

Noodle House braised pork belly

…so I ordered their nasi lemak (RM7.50)…

Noodle House nasi lemak 1

…to go with it and that came with a complimentary bowl of very nice soup.

Yes, the rice was very good – I could actually taste the lemak-ness, the santan or coconut milk in it…

Noodle House nasi lemak 2

…(though I would not mind a little bit more of it) and so was everything else that came with it.

So what did my girl order for herself in the end? She had this…

Noodle House sizzling honey pork ribs 1

…their sizzling roasted honey spare ribs (RM24.80) and for some reason or other, that too came with a bowl of potato gratin instead of the usual deep-fried potato wedges, not that we’re complaining. In fact, she liked it a lot and licked the bowl clean!

She could not manage the mammoth task of finishing that huge stack of ribs…

Noodle House sizzling pork ribs 2

…of course and no prize for guessing who had to help her with that. Hehehehehe!!!!

Personally, I prefer the ribs at this place to the ones here. Both are nice, very nice, but in the case of this one, the sauce does not go completely into the meat so one would be able to actually enjoy the taste of the meat…and other than that, the one here is tender enough but not so tender so there would still be some bite to it. This is a bit cheaper too unlike that other place where they started off at RM24.00…but the very next time I dropped by for more, they had jacked up the price to RM26.00, dunno how much it is now…plus theirs seem to keep shrinking on each consecutive visit. Tsk! Tsk!

My missus and I had plain water with our orders while Melissa had her favourite – the mixed fruit soda (RM6.90)…

Noodle House mixed fruit soda

…and the total came up to RM72.60 for that delightful lunch. This time around, my girl insisted on picking up the tab and would not take no for an answer, thank you so much, darling!

We intended to have some of the nice desserts here but in the end, we were all too full and did not think we could manage so that would have to wait till our next visit to the place…but for one thing, I would avoid going during lunch hour as it was packed to the brim, full house, and many had to go away, disappointed and I told my girl this, “If my class were ever this noisy, I would have mengamuk-ed already!!!”

Blowing in the wind…

That day, when I went to get some of the ingredients to cook the Sarawak laksa, I used the shortcut and walked through the narrow alley to get from Market Road (where I had parked my car) to the Sibu Central Market along Channel Road. There are a few shops along that little lane selling all kinds of things and I saw one selling those little portable fans so I stopped to ask if they had any that run on batteries.

No, I do not need a battery-operated fan but I thought my girl could keep one at her school on stand-by. Not too long ago, something went wrong and they had to go without electricity for two or three days, my poor girl. They do have electric lines all along the main road but for some reason or other, that school still uses generators (that run on diesel, I suppose). I think they have two and at 5.30 in the morning and in the evening, the lights would go blink blink as they alternate from one generator to the other. Thankfully, somebody finally went and fixed the fault so power was restored. Still, I thought it would be best to be prepared.

Well, this shop did have one, made in China, and I bought it for RM16.00…

Rechargeable fan & light

- I was given a RM1.00 discount by the nice lady boss.

There is an emergency light by the side…

Emergency light

…and according to the not-very-easy-to-understand instructions (owing to the atrocious abuse of the English language), I think if you keep the thing plugged in, the light will come on automatically if there is a blackout.

Other than that, if you press the button a second time, the orange rim will light up…

Light 1

…and if you would like it to be brighter, you can just lift the rim like this…

Light 2

Let there be light…and there is light! Hehehehehehe!!!!

It is also stated on the box that if you use only the light, the power will last for 8 hours and likewise if you use only the fan…

Fan

But if you use both, it will be good for 4 hours only. If you press the button once, the fan would go very fast or you will get a “strong wind“, according to the box and if you press the button again, you will get  a “small wind“. LOL!!! Recharging will take around 10 hours, it says…and yes, it runs on batteries too – three of those large ones.

Coincidentally, that very afternoon, there was a blackout in the area where I stay for some two to three hours and thankfully, I had this thing at hand and I could use the fan to keep myself nice and cool the whole time. I do think it would be good to keep one around your house if blackouts are somewhat frequent…and maybe, I would go back to the shop sometime to get another one for our own use.

P.S.:
For your general information, those of you who have not managed to get hold of a copy of the book…

Book
*Archive photo*

…can now browse through or download the e-book copy of it here:
http://online.3dpageflip.com/ptrm/jxir/

However, if you’re a local and you would like the hard copy for keeps, you can go to the Sibu Resident’s Office, 5th Floor of the new Islamic Complex (opposite St Mary’s Church) to ask for it – they will give you one but if you can tell them some nice stories like you would like  more to send to your overseas siblings or relatives or friends, you may get a few more.

Lost and found…

We were schoolmates, 1970 to 1971, and we were even in a play together…

All the world's a stage

…for the 3rd Division Drama Festival for Schools. Here in Sarawak, we have divisions that are made up of several districts – there were only five then and they all went by numbers. Sibu was in the 3rd and today, it has been divided into the Sibu, Sarikei, Kapit and Mukah Divisions. Anyway, back to my long-lost friend, we managed to get in touch with each other after all these years via Facebook. Isn’t that nice? Something like that show on TV at one time, Jejak Kasih. LOL!!!

I found out that her hubby was in the Sarawak laksa paste business and she even offered to send me a packet to try. However, I told her that there wasn’t any need for her to go through all that trouble as I had seen it at a supermarket here and I could just go and grab a pack (RM10.90) myself…

MUSC Raja Laut Sarawak laksa paste

…and that was exactly what I did last Friday so I could cook for my girl who would be coming home that very afternoon.

Needless to say, it was a whole lot of work preparing everything…

Sarawak laksa ingredients

I had blogged about it here but anyway, to go through all that again, in case anyone would like to cook his or her own, first, I peeled and deveined the prawns (1 kg) and boiled them in 1 litre of water, keeping the stock and putting the crustaceans aside to be served with the laksa later…

STP's Sarawak laksa 1

When I went to the market that morning, I saw someone I knew filleting fish, the mother of one of ex-students – bay kar/ikan tenggiri (mackerel) no less and selling at only RM20 for one big bag of it. I grabbed one and my missus used it to make fish balls…

STP's Sarawak laksa 2

- and fish cakes, a whole lot of them. I added the water that she used to boil them to the aforementioned prawn stock as well.

I also boiled the heads and shell of the prawns in the stock for 10-15 minutes and then removed them. After that, I added another 2 litres of water to the stock and emptied the contents of the packet of laksa paste into it and brought it back to boil, leaving it to simmer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, my missus and I could cut the tofu pok (fried bean curd puffs) into thin strips – I bought RM1 of those and got 7 of them, chop the daun sup (Chinese celery), soak the bihun (rice vermicelli) to soften and blanch the taugeh (bean sprouts), RM2 of the ones sold with the tails removed. I am always too lazy to do that myself.

When the gravy was ready, I sieved it to remove the residue and added santan (coconut milk) to it, plus two cubes of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) stock, turning off the fire once I had brought it back to boil. Then, I fried some omelette and sliced it very very thinly and I also pounded some sambal belacan (dried prawn paste dip) to go with the laksa

STP's Sarawak laksa

It was very very nice and we certainly had a feast of our very own local Sarawak delight that day.

For one thing, one could cook so much using one packet of the paste – too much for a family of three but I gave some to my in-laws to enjoy as well. I wish they would make it available in smaller packs, half the size perhaps. My missus said that it was kind of different from the usual Sarawak laksa taste that we are more accustomed to…and I would agree. This is more like what one would get, eating Sarawak laksa at the Malay stalls, which is great too (if you go to the right stalls/shops). Originally, Sarawak laksa is quintessentially a local Chinese culinary specialty and it impressed Anthony Bourdain so much that it was given special mention in his book

Anthony Bourdain's book
*Archive photo*

…and it would be featured in the menu at his own street-food market in New York, no…not Penang asam laksa…nor the nyonya curry laksa, but our very own good ol’ Sarawak or Kuching laksa! If you have not heard or read about that, don’t just take my word for it – click the link and read all about it! Hehehehehehe!!!!

Going back to the laksa paste, these days, we have some certified halal ones like this one that I used and like the regular ones, there may be good ones and those that are not as great, which is the case with everything else including what you can get when you eat out at the stalls or shops outside, so one would need to know which brand(s) to buy and I would say this one is pretty good. Yes, I can say, with no reservations whatsoever, that I wouldn’t mind using it…if and when I would be in the mood to go through the whole process all over again.

Fortunate…

How fortunate I was last Thursday to be invited out for breakfast by my friend, Rose! Actually, she has already blogged about it here.

Well, she said she was feeling like having something fried and I remember seeing a photograph that a friend of mine shared on Facebook of a plate of yee mee (noodles) in tomato sauce gravy and it did seem really nice. I sent her the photo to have a look and she agreed that we could drop by to see if it was as good as it looked.

I got there first and I searched high and low…

The road

…but could not find the coffee shop that my friend was talking about. He gave me the location and I do know the place – the same block of shops where this place used to be but in the middle. Well, if it’s the one in the middle, then it would have to be this one…

Full Fortune Cafe

- the other one in the previous photo (Daisy Cafe), to the extreme right of the block, was not open.

In a couple of minutes, Rose arrived with her little girl – she was having the day off owing to the UPSR resit and needless to say, she was overjoyed by the fact that she had an extra two days off as a result of the leakage…but of course, many others were not at all happy over that most disgraceful and humiliating fiasco. Anyway, back to our breakfast, we decided that since we were already there, we might as well give this place a try…

Full Fortune Cafe - front

Rose had the Foochow-style fried noodles…

Full Fortune Cafe Foochow fried noodles

…and I ordered the tomato kway teow…

Full Fortune Cafe tomato kway teow

…from the stall at the back. We both liked what we were served just that I thought they could perhaps give a little prawn or two and/or sotong (squid) plus a couple of fish cake slices instead of only those few bits of meat. Actually, I would not mind if they charge a little bit more or perhaps, they could give customers the option to choose between the normal (what we had above) or the special and pay a little bit extra for the added ingredients. I’m not too sure how much they were that morning but Rose paid RM8.30 for both and I guess it might be RM3.80 for hers (which is the standard price these days here for Foochow-style fried noodles) and RM4.50 for mine…which made me wonder what would account for the 70 sen extra for what I had. The tomato sauce used?

Incidentally, something happened that I would like to give special mention to here. I placed the order before we took our seats at the table of our choice and the kway teow was served first – TWO plates of it when I had ordered only one. I said I had ordered one plate of kway teow and one plate of mee and the lady said that the mee was in the process of being cooked and would be coming out soon. She did not seem too keen on taking the extra plate of kway teow back so I said if that was the case, she could just tapao it for us to take away. Ok, we’ll stop here for a short break and I’ll get back to the story later. Hehehehehe!!!!

Rose’s daughter had the kolo mee

Full Fortune Cafe kolo mee

…from the stall in front and she said it was very nice, nicer than what she had here (and they went back for more the following weekend as they thought it was so very good!!!).

It came with the usual sliced chili in vinegar dip and they even gave the chopped spring onions and fried shallots…

Kolo mee chili dip & garnishings

…separately, something I had not seen done elsewhere before. This way, you need not add them to your noodles if you are not so fond of the garnishes.

This was the guy selling the kolo mee plus a whole list of things that you may fancy…

Full Fortune kolo mee stall

…but I’m afraid you can’t see it in the photograph. I noticed that the stall further in sold popiah (spring roll) but it was not open when we were there. We were told that she would cook her stuff at home and bring over so she would open a bit later, say, after 9.00 a.m. She did show up later but we were too full already and decided that we would give it a miss this time around and come back again another day to try.

Back to the aforementioned kway teow, we waited for the lady to bring it out again but it never came so we called her to find out…and she told us that it was all right – they would just take the plate of kway teow back and would not charge us for it. Wasn’t that nice? Nobody else was having that so they could not just serve that to them. I guess they would just have to eat it themselves but I must say that such gestures are definitely a feather in their cap – it is these little things that will keep customers coming back.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested, she told us that they also serve tom yam noodles with the giant freshwater prawns but I did not ask how much they are selling that for…and I’m not really into this, tom yam style. Perhaps the next  time I drop by, I will ask them if they do it any other way. For those of you who cannot make out the exact location from the first photograph above, that is the Everwin Supermarket in the distance, the one beside the Sibu Bus Terminal. Yes, the roads in this area are atrocious  owing to the sinking swampy land but if you drive straight ahead from the traffic lights at Jalan Pahlawan and turn left at Yum Yum Cafe, this coffee shop is in that lane in the middle of the block of shops on your right. They seemed to have resurfaced the roads around there so for the time being, you should not have any problem getting there.

Oopsss!!!! I almost forgot! Thank you so much, Rose, for the delightful breakfast treat. Would love to do it again sometime…before you and your family move back to Kuching.

P.S.:
For your general information, those of you who have not managed to get hold of a copy of the book…

Book
*Archive photo*

…can now browse through or download the e-book copy of it here:
http://online.3dpageflip.com/ptrm/jxir/

However, if you’re a local and you would like the hard copy for keeps, you can go to the Sibu Resident’s Office, 5th Floor of the new Islamic Complex (opposite St Mary’s Church) to ask for it – they will give you one but if you can tell them some nice stories like you would like  more to send to your overseas siblings or relatives or friends, you may get a few more.

Things go wrong…

There have been times when I tried cooking something and the end result did not turn out right. Yes, sometimes, things did go wrong and what I dished out was not all that great or not quite I had expected or would want it to be…like when I tried my hand at cooking my own baked cheese rice the other day.

I wanted to use butter but there wasn’t any in the fridge nor in the house. We only had a tub of olive oil margarine and I’ve read all those stuff about not using olive oil to cook at high heat as it would cause it to turn toxic and I was afraid the same would apply too if I used the margarine. There was a bottle of grapeseed oil lying around so I used that instead along with these other ingredients…

Ingredients

- some chopped garlic, one of the sausages that I bought the other day and some chopped spring onions.

I grilled the sausage till nice and brown before adding the garlic…

Frying the sausage & garlic

…and after having fried it well, I put in the rice.

I had a bottle of Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire sauce in the fridge but it was nowhere to be found. Probably it had been around too long and my missus saw it fit to throw it away…or maybe she used all of it for something that she cooked, I wouldn’t know. In the end, I added some smoked honey & mustard barbecue sauce and an egg plus a sprinkling of salt and pepper before I threw in the chopped spring onions…

All in...

Then, I put the rice in a foil baking container…

Rice in...

…and topped it with cheese…

Cheese in...

…and finally, I put it in the oven to bake till the cheese had melted.

So what exactly was wrong with it? The rice…

One serving...

…was very nice though I thought it would be nicer if I had used garlic butter instead of the grapeseed oil. That, however, wasn’t really a big deal – it was the cheese! I only had smoked cheddar slices in the fridge and I just used that. It melted all right but when cooled, it became hard again like in its original state. My girl said that I should not have used that…and it would not turn out in such a manner if I had used mozzarella.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some…and one thing’s for sure – should I try to cook something like this again, I would definitely not make that same mistake again. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hehehehehehe!!!!