[Post written by Andrew]
Andrew: Dearie had a sore throat today and I was feeling rather under the weather today, so we decided that instead of our usual museum visit + food hunt, we would have a domestic day today!
My scouring of food blogs led me to uncover a Baked Chicken Meatball recipe that I’d been meaning to try out and Jasmine purchased a loaf of charcoal bread from JB with the intention of replicating the Smoked Royale she had at Hatched (an egg-themed restaurant near the Botanic Gardens).
It has always been Jasmine’s ‘dream’ to over-dress and take photos in a supermarket and we managed to do that today! It was one of the few times she was all dressed and ready at the moment of my arrival at her place. (Jasmine says: Aiyah dear, must you give away all my secrets…) And off we went to Cold Storage at Katong Mall:
Yes, these were all posed shots. We bought nothing from the seafood section or the juice section.
We –okay, I– got quite trigger happy at Cold Storage:
How could we start cooking without posing for a shot with Mohawk and the latest addition to the family – Bunny!
Introducing Bunny again!
Baked Chicken Meatballs
I started preparing my Baked Chicken Meatballs first as they were more tedious to do.
First, we had to soak bread in milk.
The recipe stated Italian bread, which is a really broad category of breads. Dearie mentioned that all it means is that the bread had to be of a coarser texture, so we chose a wholemeal loaf for this.
After soaking the bread, we pan-fried a mixture of bacon, onions and garlic:
The final product:
Andrew: The meatballs turned out to be too dry, as we used ground chicken (instead of pork/beef) which had less ‘fat’ to add to the taste. The flavour didn’t ‘burst’ out upon biting it, unlike Ikea meatballs. The meatballs were also rather bland. I realised upon tasting a few samples that the bread with milk actually ‘flattened’ out the taste and reduced the meaty texture. Even eating it with ketchup or chilli didn’t help to enhance the taste. All in all, they were edible, but not particularly tasty or appetizing.
(Jasmine says: Given that it was our first attempt, I’m just glad the meatballs managed to stick together instead of disintegrating in the oven. We’ll use more bacon and beef for added taste (we used quite alot of minced chicken this time) and we’ll serve it with spaghetti bolognaise!)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Andrew: Dearie prepared her Smoked Royale wannabe Coal Royale, which she claimed was cobbled together using scraps from my meatball dish.
(Jasmine says: Ok ok, the only “scrap” I used from Andrew’s dish was the leftover bacon bits. I’d originally intended to use honey-baked ham.)
Andrew: The dish was simple enough – lightly toasted charcoal bread topped with scrambled eggs, bacon bits and diced tomatoes.
(Jasmine says: The charcoal bamboo bread was an impulse buy from a bakery the previous evening. I had originally planned to make Andrew breakfast (think really burnt croissants), but when he suggested we have a cooking date, I was all too happy to repurpose the bread for a brunch menu. I liked that the bread looked charred… so even if I burnt it nobody would be able to tell the difference!)
Comparing Dearie’s dish with the original Smoked Royale
Andrew: I must admit this is one of Dearie’s best dishes yet. The scrambled eggs were very well done, with the right texture (fluffy and not too chewy) and good flavour (cooked for the appropriate amount of time to retain the flavour of the egg), and broken-up into the right size too. The bacon bits really complemented the scrambled eggs well and the charcoal bread tasted more ‘normal’ than it looked. Overall, it was very satisfying. Based on the uniqueness of using Charcoal bread, I recommended Dearie to ‘sell’ this dish to Hatched.
(Jasmine says: I can’t claim credit for fresh tomatoes and store-bought bread, but I was fairly contented with my scrambled eggs, in which I had melted cheese and sprinkled basil, oregano and parsley. Andrew wouldn’t be too pleased to know that the last time I made scrambled eggs was about fifteen years ago…)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Our complete meal:
Andrew: After our meal, we continued our lazy day by watching Inglourious Basterds on DVD. A fitting title, considering the company:
Jasmine: I missed the opening credits and first ten minutes of the film because I got carried away taking pictures. To the left of the picture is a gorgeous pot of hydrangeas that Andrew had delivered to my place a couple days ago. Thank you dear!
Andrew: Mohawk and Bunny are stealing the limelight way too often!
Jasmine: Andrew is so cute when he’s jealous!