Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Fusilli Aglio Olio

It's been awhile since I last blogged, and it's been longer since I cook properly, I figured I should do both today. Which means the return of 良师父 Chef Leong's Recipes...

What I cooked today is an unorthodox version of Pasta Aglio Olio...

Ingredients:

1. One handful of fusilli - usually people will use spaghetti for this dish, but I spontaneously crave for fusilli, I even got myself the colorful version, the orange and green colors are supposed to come from tomato and spinach.


2. Three cloves of garlic - this is crucial, this is the Aglio part, because aglio means garlic in Italian. I forgot to take photo of my garlic, so will have to make do with something from the internet =P .


3. A spray of extra virgin olive oil - this is the Olio part, olio means oil in Italian. Olive oil obviously because it is healthy and because the Italians use this. Extra virgin is the best grade of olive oil, most nutrients in it.


4. Three white mushrooms - you can use any mushrooms, usually the restaurants use button mushrooms, but I was feeling nostalgic of my time in the UK, we had a lot of these white mushrooms back then.


5. Some minced chicken - just to fulfil the meat quota, you can use pork or beef, and not necessarily minced, can be sliced or chunked or whatever f**k you wanna do with them, it is basically up to you.


6. Generous portion of romaine lettuce - the original plan was to use asparagus, but when I was grocery shopping, the asparagus available looked totally unappetizing and utterly undesirable, so this is my alternative. With the vege, more is good, we want to be healthy, right?


7. Pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning.

Procedure:

 I don't have those so-called assistant cameraman, and when I am preparing/cooking, my hand becomes greasy, not exactly great to grab my phone and snap photos, so the procedure will be purely words.

1. Bring a pot of water to boil, season with a pinch of salt, and dump the fusilli in. The salt serves to prevent the pasta from sticking to the pot, and to slightly season the pasta.
2. Leave the fusilli cooking, it takes 10 to 12 minutes to cook.
3. Marinate minced chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper, give it a proper mixing up.
4. Wash the mushroom and romaine.
5. Peel off the garlic's skin and slice them up.
6. Slice up the mushroom.
7. Chop the romaine into smaller, bite sized pieces.
8. By now your fusilli should be almost cooked. Drain them into a bowl.
9. Put a good old spray of extra virgin olive oil into a pan.
(Remember to use low heat, extra virgin olive oil has a very low smoking point, approx 200 deg C, if the temperature of the oil exceeds that point, the nutrients will go up the smoke and the harmful substance kicks in. If you use an induction cooker like me, it is even better, just use the 150 or 120 deg C setting)
9. No need to wait for the oil to heat up, dump the garlic into the pan, saute for a while, until the slightest frangrant and colors appear.
10. dump in the mushroom slices and minced chicken. Saute for about 2 minutes.
11. Dump in the romaine, continue stirring for about 1 minute.
12. Dump in the cooked and drained fusilli, continue cooking for another couple of minutes.
13. At this juncture, you can add in another pinch of salt and pepper for flavors. Jamie Oliver likes to use stuff like basil and parsley at this point, I'm having none of them. Why? Because I don't like those stuff.


14. Ready to serve. Job done. Dig in.

The main reason why this is unorthodox is because the end product seems to have more vege than pasta, but then, heck cares, it just means I'm eating more healthily, right?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

AES = Accident Encouraging System?

Was driving back from KL to Penang today, and noticed a few spots along the PLUS Highway with this shit:


Yes, the f**king AES (Automated Enforcement System)...

Rumors has it that the government intalled these stuff to reduce accident rate on the highway... but... let me give you a run down on what I observed when I neared these spots today...

The first one I spotted was somewhere near Bidor or Tapah, couldn't remember. I was doing 110km/h, the exact speed limit of the highway. From what I see, most of the cars around me are doing the same, because we were not overtaking each other. Suddenly, a car at the next lane gradually abruptly slow down to I guess 60 or 70km/h when the camera can be seen at a distance. A car behind had to brake rapidly at this sudden slow down, and almost crashed into the car in front. I heard some tires screeching noise too. It was actually quite nerve wrecking for me at that moment, I had to be on alert in case there are any cars not able to brake on time and veer into my lane.

The second one I spotted was somewhere near Taiping. I did not miss this because I was going at 15km/h speed. There was a big pile up (aka traffic jam) of about 3 kilometers right before this camera. Actually I did not know it was due to the camera, I thought there was an accident up ahead, because this area is notorious for it due to the continuous uphill and downhill sections. Once we passed the camera however, traffic began to be smooth flowing again and all the cars picked up speed rapidly again.

I guess I would not be surprised if in the near future, accidents occur near these camera spots. Actually, I am not sure if it has already happened. I know if we are driving within the speed limit, we should not need to worry about the camera snapping our car's picture, but there just are quite a number of overcautious idiots on the roads in Malaysia that panic for no good reason and make stupid decisions.

You know, a car that slows down abruptly at high speeds is a bigger threat to road fatalities than a speeding car, especially in Malaysia, where our locally assembled cars has the best (sarcasm) brakes in the world, so to speak. At 110km/h, if something in front of us slows down without notice, it is quite difficult to brake on time, unless we keep a really really safe distance.

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Anyway, here's a tip. If you are driving along the PLUS Highway, there is a way to identify where the AES cameras are located. There are 2 types of ZON OPERASI HAD LAJU road signs that you will see, one is green and one is yellow.

The green ones are just a sign that an ambush might be lying ahead, meaning there might be polices armed with speed cameras hiding under some bridges up ahead. Most of the times these signs are meaningless though, they just serve to confuse you and the police might be hiding nowhere near these signs.

The yellow ones are the ones you need to beware of. There will be 3 or 4 consecutive signs withing a few hundred meters apart, and then you will see the AES camera. If you want to be extra careful, you might want to start slowing down to 100km/h gradually at the first sign, nothing more, and move over to the left lane, then you should be pretty safe.

Last but not least, please drive safe, remember your loved ones =)