Saturday, 10 March 2012
Ryan dropped his finger on Java, Jakarta at the beginning of the week, so Indonesia it is!
I made an Indonesian snack earlier in the week because I knew that it’d take too long on Saturday to make everything. Well, we were lucky to have any left come Saturday, I had to put the remaining nuts on a high shelf to stop them being finished off… (admittedly it was me finishing them off, but a friend’s 3 year old son made an honest attempt, as well as his mother and my wife!)
It must have been a full moon (ETA it was! – I checked) tonight because both boys were out of sorts all day – Ryan did help me make the Klepon Cakes – as I found out with the Ravioli Nudi – he’s a professional round ball maker, Sam helped as well. It also helped that the Keplon cakes are a green colour – Ryan’s favourite!
Ryan was good, he tried everything, but was so-so on most things apart from the peanut snack and the yellow rice, he did try the dessert but it was just a little too strange for him (I had his… and Sam’s – they were strange, but strangely compelling… the Keplon cakes that is not the kids… well actually….)
Kacang Telur (literal translation Bean Eggs)
Roasted Peanuts coated in successive layers of predominantly garlic and sugar, with a flour layer in between each, then fried in oil until golden. Very moreish once you get used to them – we couldn’t stop eating them!
Ryan’s rating 100/10
(I tried explaining how the scoring scale works – but gave up… I let him give it 100 – they were worth it)
Nasi Kuning (Yellow coconut rice)
Terong Balado (Baked Eggplant and Tomato Chilli Sauce)
Sayur Lodeh (Vegetable coconut curry)
Nasi Kuning is long grain rice cooked in a turmeric, bayleaf spiced coconut milk, very fragrant, with a smooth creamy flavour. Ideal to have with a curry to tone it down a little. Ryan wasn’t keen because of the colour, but I said just try a little bit – his eyes went wide and he urgently said, “More, more” he didn’t eat heaps but he liked it. Which is good.
Ryan’s rating: 9/10
Terong Balado: I was impressed that Ryan gave this a go, Eggplant is an acquired taste, especially to a young’un. He liked the tomato chilli sauce, but not the “bottom part”. Then about 5 seconds after having it he started waving his hands and saying “Hot, hot hot” and took a big gulp of juice – it wasn’t to hot heat-wise – he must have gotten a piece of chilli in his mouthful, poor guy – there were only a couple chilli pieces in there, but good ‘ol Indonesian style Mango juice sorted that out – so it can’t have been too spicy.
Ryan’s rating 7/10
Sayur Lodeh, this was a bit milder than I thought it would be, but I had pulled back on the chilli substantially because the kids (and probably everyone else) wouldn’t appreciate it.
It was nice with a very mild heat, and had a very appetizing aroma. In fact everything we cooked smelt great and had great bright colours.The Swede/Turnip added a nice crunch, and we made soo much I’ll be having it for lunch for a few days I think!
Ryan’s Rating 5/10
Acar Ketimun (Javanese cucumber pickle)
Basically a pickeled cucmber, chilli, peppercorns, sugar and onion. The mild hot vinegar flavour contrasted nicely with the coconut flavours and helped give a lift to the rice’s creaminess.
Ryan’s rating: “A little sour” 6/10
I knew this would be a totally new type of dessert for everyone. They’re sweet rice flour dumplings, flavoured with the juice of Pandan (Screw Pine) leaves, which to me have a vanilla and coconut flavour – and which also give the dough its bright green colour. Filled with palm sugar. The texture is amazing different/exotic I’m not sure what to say, it’s like a plain almost tasteless marshmallow and then the palm sugar bursts into your mouth – refreshingly tasty and very different I think sums it up. Ryan tested one that had split while we were rolling them in coconut, it was a little hot – I asked him what he thought – it looked like I was going to get a thumbs up, but his palm stayed parallel to the floor and he wiggle his thumb and little finger – his interpretation of so-so… I had to laugh.
Ryan’s rating 6/10
Mango Juice (for the kids)
Traditional Ginger Tea (after dinner for the adults)
I’d have to say so far this is probably the furthest from what the kids are used to cuisine and flavour wise, so they did pretty well. They almost polished off all the Mango juice though, in fact I think it made them more thirsty the more they drank!
We finished the evening with a hot Indonesian Ginger tea, not as gingery as I thought, but then I made one this morning and left it sitting a little longer… hoowah! That’s what I was expecting!
That night as I was putting them to bed, Sam said to me… “my next country is going to have a better dessert than Ryan’s” – that dessert was pretty alien to them – Sam had tried the dough before we put it into the boiling water to cook it – I think that put him off, because raw sweet rice flour dough just isn’t that flash, it’s tasteless, in fact I’d say it’d be similar to cornflour and water (cornstarch and water for you Americans), but once it’s boiled it’s a fluffy, soft, and marshmallow-like.
I’ll be interested to see where Sam takes us next – it’s getting quite interesting now that the usual suspects have already been chosen.