Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bali Hai

So, tonight I cooked food from Bali for my family. It was also a hit. Mom, dad, Adrienne, Richard, Chloe and Mollie Claire all came to our house for dinner. I sure do love having everyone together.

There were a few ingredients I could not find - and I went to our healthy grocery store and Kim's Oriental Pavilion (the Chinese grocery store) and the regular grocery store. So, I did something I very rarely do...I made some stuff up. And, surprisingly, it turned out ok. I am not sure what makes these things Balinese foods, but they all came up on searches for Bali recipes. Hopefully I came close to what Mate is eating tonight.

To start off with, we had Fried Peanuts. Those received a 5 out of 5 and were immediately gobbled up.

1 cup oil (I used soybean oil...which I found at the Chinese grocery store), 1 cup shelled raw peanuts and some seasoning

- Heat oil until moderately hot.

- Add peanuts and fry for 5 minutes until crisp.

- Drain on towel and sprinkle with seasoning salt just before serving.

To drink, I served a Bali Fruit Punch. This also received a 5 out of 5 and I do not have any left to drink. And, it was a huge hit with Chloe (the super-picky almost 5 year old).

1 small box cherry Jell-o, 1 cup hot water, 1 can frozen orange juice, 1 can frozen lemonade, 1 large can pineapple juice, 24 oz ginger ale

- Mix all ingredients and serve cold.

For our first course, I served Corn Soup (which turned out more like creamed corn). This got a 5 out of 5. It did not make a whole lot and everyone wanted more.

5 – 6 ears corn, 15 tbsp coconut milk, 3 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp flour, salt and pepper to taste

- Boil corn for 20 minutes. Let cool. Remove corn from ears.
- Grind corn in food processor.
- Heat the butter and flour and mix evenly. Spoon in corn. Add milk and heat over medium high heat.

Yummy-ness for me! Cah Kacang Paniang (some Balinese words for green beans with tofu and tempeh). This got a 5 out of 5 and there is none for my lunch.

9 oz green beans, 14 oz pack firm tofu, 7 oz packet of tempeh, 2 large green chilies, 5 garlic cloves, salt and pepper, soy sauce (I use Bragg’s liquid aminoes), 2 tbsp soybean oil (I found this at Kim’s Chinese grocery store)

- Cut tofu and tempeh into cubes.

-Wash and trim green beans. Blanch (stick them in boiling water for a few minutes and then super cold water for a few minutes) green beans.

- Saute green beans in soybean oil and then remove beans from pan.

- In the same oil, fry garlic, tofu, tempeh and chilies. Stir constantly. Season with salt and pepper.

- Add in green beans and soy sauce. Stir until everything is mixed well.

Because I did not know how my chicken would turn out, I made Bali Beef Casserole. This got a 5 out of 5, but made a lot, so I have some left over.

1 ½ lbs beef (I used veggie crumbles), ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 ½ cups cooked rice, ½ cup minced onion, 1 clove garlic – minced, 16 oz diced tomatoes, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

- Brown beef (or, thaw veggie crumbles).

- Combine with all other ingredients and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

But…the chicken turned out great! Be Siap Base Kalas (which means you will not be able to find any ingredients the recipe calls for, but if you just throw some stuff in a pan and call it Balinese, everyone will believe you and it will taste good). 5 out of 5. And, I think the bowl was licked.

2 tbsp coconut oil, 3 stalks lemongrass – chopped, 1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken breast – cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 ½ cup chicken broth, 1 ½ cup coconut milk, salt and pepper

- Heat oil over low heat in a heavy saucepan. Add lemongrass and chicken. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until chicken is pretty much done.

- Pour in chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil again. Simmer until chicken is cooked and sauce thickens.

I served the chicken over Nasi Kuning. This is yellow rice that is eaten to celebrate weddings and the birth of children. We served this in honor of Mollie Claire. I am not sure of the ranking of this, but everyone said they liked it, but, the leftovers got thrown away. This also did not cook like the directions said it would.

1 lb long grain rice, 2 cups coconut cream (different from coconut milk), 1 tsp turmeric, pinch of salt, 2 whole cloves, some curry powder

- Soak rice in water for 1 hour. Wash and drain the rice.

- Place in saucepan with coconut cream, turmeric, salt, cloves and curry.

- Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 5 – 6 minutes until rice has absorbed all coconut cream.

- Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

*Supposedly this is all it takes. But, my rice was crunchy. And, stuck to the bottom of the pot. I added a bunch of coconut milk (what else am I supposed to do with the half-gallon I had to purchase today?), cooked it a bit longer on higher heat on the stove. It was still a little crunchy, so I stuck it in the microwave and heated it until it was not so crunchy.

And, for dessert, we had Rujak. This is Balinese for super spicy fruit salad that calls for some weird stuff (some of which I left out) and is so spicy, it makes your family from Louisiana choke. This got a 5 out of 5.

1 orange, 2 pears, 1 apple, ½ pineapple, 1 cucumber, 1 tbsp dried tamarind (I have no clue what this is, but it can be found at Earth Fare – it comes in a block with a picture of shrimp on the front, but no listed ingredients), 1 red chili (I thought that was not enough, so I used 4…that was too many!!), 3 tbsp brown sugar, pinch of salt

- Cut up all fruit, cucumber and chili. Put in a bowl.

- Put 5 tbsp boiling water in a bowl. Slice the tamarind and put on top of water. After a few minutes, some brown liquid stuff appears and you can remove the rind (or whatever the hard stuff you sliced is). Throw hard part away and pour liquid over fruit.

- Mix in brown sugar and salt.

- Stir well. (I used my hands to make sure it was all mixed good!)

*This recipe also calls for Shrimp paste (which was found at Kim’s Chinese store for $1.69). After opening the jar and smelling it, my family decided we did not want that anywhere near our dinner.

And, I cooked one more thing…the ever popular Balinese Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. If Chloe joins us for dinner, we must cook something she can eat. And, this is her favorite.

Next stop – Singapore. I wonder what they serve there.

I sure hope Mate is getting enough to eat. I know she would not eat any of the stuff I have been making. And, I sure do miss her. It’s hard going from talking everyday (at least once) to talking once in 3 months.


  1. mate...i am so impressed by all of your cooking. everything looks so fancy! keep up the yummy work!

  2. I'm definitely going to try that chicken!