This weekend was somewhat busy for me. Usually spent just relaxing, I had to cook for 2 separate occasions. There was a small dinner we were hosting for Saturday … and a couple of dishes for Sunday’s lunch (mother-in-law’s birthday).
Let’s start with Friday … dessert was Flan de Leche (Crème caramel, or caramel custard). I’ve done this several times from a recipe handed down from my grandmother and further refined by my mother. Since this was also the dessert for Sunday … I decided to make 3 pans (1 for Saturday’s dinner and 2 for Sunday’s lunch). The reason for doing this Friday was to free the oven for one of Saturday’s dishes … also, flan needs to be refrigerated at least overnight before serving.
Saturday … the dishes I was to prepare was roast pork tenderloin with vegetables and penne with two-tomato sauce. I chose these dishes because they are fairly simple to make and don’t need much looking after. I’ve done them before but the recipe I’m using for the roast pork is new.
Dinner was to be between 8:00 – 8:30pm. I knew the pasta dish could be done in 30 minutes so I was doing that last. All ingredients have been prepared and pre-measured to ease cooking.
I started around 5pm with the roast pork. This went very well, without a hitch, so I finished that at 6pm. I then made gravy from the sauce and drippings. After making gravy, I proceeded to carve the roast. Fixed it in the serving platter with the vegetables bordering. Stuck it back into the oven under very low heat to keep it warm.
Around 7pm, I started on the 2 tomato sauce while tossing the pasta into the already boiling pot. The cooking of the sauce perfectly coincides with the pasta being al dente. Once the sauce was done, I simply tossed the penne into the sauce to coat the pasta.
I was done around 7:30pm … just enough time to take a shower, dress and relax before the guests arrived. The dinner went well and the company was great.
Sunday saw me in the kitchen at 9am. The dish was Hainanese Chicken Rice. Although a simple dish, it is quite laborious since it requires steeping the chicken instead of simply boiling it. This takes time … time that I do not have … I should have started slightly earlier. The dipping sauces were prepared while steeping. The rice was also washed and drained so things can move faster.
After the chicken’s were done, it was time to make the rice. This was straightforward and once coated, was left to cook in a pot. When the chicken cooled … chopped into bite size pieces and arranged in a Pyrex …
We left our house at noon and arrived at my in-laws around 12:30pm … just in time. I inverted the Flan de Leche from the pan into a serving dish … the chicken was served … lunch was underway.
The Flan is a sure “winner” … they’ve never had my Hainanese Chicken … well, they liked the chicken … whew … now I can relax and enjoy the rest of the day …
There is nothing like having your cooking praised … 🙂