In my quest to become a domestic goddess, I spent my spare time watching the food series on Astro, from Jamie Oliver to David Rocco to Surreal Gourmet to the ultimate domestic goddess, and my favourite, Nigella Lawson. She is absolutely beautiful and British, and unashamedly passionate about food! Its the way she gorge down the food after cooking each recipe makes your saliva drip :p All the cooking series does give me inspiration to cook wonderful meals for my family.
Still, after watching all the cooking series, I'm still no better. I still cook my pasta the same way, fried pasta that is, with tomato puree, chili & tomato sauce (the Malaysian style!), sausages or with ground beef/chicken. But, hey, the family loves it because it's still a hit for weekend meals, BBQs and potlucks. It's the easiest meal that I can do within half an hour, without fuss. My favourite one dish wonder recipes are: shepard's pie, paella with chicken, fried pasta. Sounds sophisticated but those are really the only things that I can cook in an instant, and can make do with any ingredients available.
I know that I should be cooking more Malaysian dishes really, i.e rice with all the accompaniments, mee rebus, laksa, rendang, etc. But I feel that Malaysian cooking is a lot of hassle, involving lots of ingredients that you can't do without, or it will result with a dish that doesn't taste authentic. Don't get me wrong, I love Malaysian food and the ingredients are what make it unique in its flavour and smell but cooking it is another matter. Or maybe I haven't mastered it yet.
My mum's an expert in simple Malaysian cooking. Last Hari Raya Qurban, she taught me how to cook chicken rendang within half an hour, which involved cleaning the chicken, preparing the wet spice (red onions, ginger and lengkuas) and dry spice (can't remember all but there's star anise, cinnamon stick, ketumbar), coconut milk, season to taste. Dump everything in a pot and add coconuty milk when the chicken has started to cook. That was the only cooking involved, and the rest is just letting the rendang simmmering on the stove, and voila! Delicious rendang for Hari Raya Qurban.
I think I should be learning from my mum how to cook simple Malaysian dishes to please my other half:)