Sour & Spicy Lala Clams

Here’s one from way back in the day! I have tons of unblogged dishes stashed up everywhere. Haha! I tend to just instinctively take pictures of stuff I cook and then forget about them. It’s as though my mind thinks that once pictures are captured and the phone/camera put down, it’s done. That’s probably why I blog so little now! Snap snap snap then gone!

Seeing as lately I haven’t been making anything particularly interesting, it’s nice looking through older food pictures and blogging about the good old days. Looking at this counter top brings back so many feelings. All the feels! (Never use that phrase again, Jayne.)

Way back when, I made a simple clam stirfry using a local shellfish we call lala. Hehe… it’s kinda funny sounding.
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 1

The primary flavour components come from Lemongrass (Serai), Dried Chillies, Dried Tamarind Slices (Asam Keping), Garlic & Salted Fish packed in Oil (Ikan Tenggiri Masin).
Sour & Spicy Lala Clams 2

They are open because I soaked them in water for a while. I made sure to rinse them really well as these clams tend to contain a lot of mud. 
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You can totally omit the salted fish, sub with fish sauce or use anchovy fillets. I know some people abhor fishy smells and flavours. We kinda live for it. ;-)
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A good saute brings out all the flavours.
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Just a touch of water to rehydrate all those dried ingredients.
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And the star of the show!!
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It’s very easy to know when clams are done. When they’re all open, that’s when.
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This bowl seems unimpressive but I bet you can imagine the flavour explosions happening!
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Sour, spicy, fragrant & briny.
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 Sweet even, from those fresh fresh clams. Now I want some.

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 “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” {Romans 1:20}

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Sour & Spicy Lala Clams
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Malaysian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500 gms (1.1 lbs) Lala Clams, well rinsed
  • 1 Lemongrass stalk
  • 3 Dried Red Chillies
  • 2 Dried Tamarind Slices (substitute with 1 tbsp Lime juice)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 slice Salted Fish + 1 tbsp Oil it's packed in (substitute ½ tbsp Fish Sauce, 1 Anchovy Fillets or omit and just use Salt)
  • ½ cup Water
Steps
  1. Heat up oil on MED from salted fish jar (or use cooking oil) in a deep pan.
  2. Meanwhile, use handle of knife to crush the white part of lemongrass.
  3. Toss lemongrass, chillies, salted fish, garlic & tamarind slices into the pan.
  4. Saute for about 1 min until fragrant.
  5. Pour in water. Let it simmer for about 2 mins to rehydrate tamarind & chillies.
  6. Add clams. Turn heat to HIGH. Stir briefly then cover pan.
  7. After 2 mins, open pan & stir again. Once all clams have opened, dish up & serve immediately.
  8. Alternatively, you can remove opened clams with tongs one by one to prevent then from overcooking while some are still unopened.

Grilled Bratwurst with Thyme & Onions

I’m seriously getting worse and worse at this blogging thing. Blogging rut, people? I think it’s got to do with discipline and stamina. Both of which I need to really work on!

Day-to-day life seems to zip past by. April is about to expire and before we know it, 2016! I’ve been cooking really simple meals lately just to make things easier for us. With the house move, our commute to work and back has doubled in time. After sitting in traffic for a while, the last thing I want to do is to stand in the kitchen for another hour stirring a pot. Does this make me a bad cook? If that’s bad, then I can’t account for this super easy meal that I thought tasted rather acceptable. ;-)

I love stopping by the deli section of my regular supermarket to see what deli meats are nice and available. The variety of sausages and ham there always makes the hamster wheel in my head turn. And bratwurst looked really good this particular day.

I decided to do an English-inspired grilled sausage dish. 
Grilled Bratwurst & Thyme 1

Balsamic vinegar may seem weird here but it gets nice, slightly sweet, slightly tangy & plenty fruity. It also gets sticky and adheres very nicely to the sausages and sliced potatoes.
Grilled Bratwurst & Thyme 2

Fresh lemon thyme lends a nice fresh fragrance to everything.
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All well mixed.
Grilled Bratwurst & Thyme 4

I tend to obsessively walk by my oven to peek in even though I’ve set the timers already. Do you do that?
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Because the sausages are already kinda cooked and wouldn’t need as long as the potatoes to get cooked, I put them in a bit later. Not before being stabbed lest they explode in the oven!
Grilled Bratwurst & Thyme 6

Trying to hard to harness natural lighting. Haha!
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The sticky balsamic glaze adhered to the bratwurst as I stirred everything together. Zing!
Grilled Bratwurst & Thyme 8

Because I’m a carb-monster, I boiled up some angel hair to have with. This is so not necessary because there are potatoes in the pan already but you know, pasta is pasta. Never a bad thing.
Grilled Bratwurst & Thyme 9

Beautifully browned & caramelized.
I call this grilled but really, it was basic roasting. Grilled sounds better though, right?
Grilled Bratwurst & Thyme 10

This is a simple plain pasta dish.
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This is pasta WITH grilled bratwurst pan bake on top. With poor lighting.
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Yeah, poor attempt on lighting. :-P
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And this very very filling dish fed us well for 2 meals. Even then, we were stuffed each time. I feel that sausages are so under-rated in Malaysia. There are those frozen mechanically-separated-mystery-meats kinds that are for guilty pleasures. But there are really good real meat fresh sausages that are worth some love too. I cook with Italian sausages in pasta so often.

How do you cook sausages? I need more ideas! :-)

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 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” {John 10:28}

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Grilled Bratwurst with Thyme & Onions
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 fresh Bratwurst Sausages
  • 3 Red Onions, peeled & quartered
  • 2 New Potatoes, sliced into ½ inch coins
  • 1 bulb Garlic, broken into cloves
  • 3-4 sprigs Lemon Thyme
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground Black Pepper
  • Squeeze for Lemon Juice
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 F.
  2. In a 8x8 baking dish, add quartered onions, garlic cloves, sliced potatoes, olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt & black pepper. Stir to mix.
  3. Strip leaves from 3 sprigs of lemon thyme & sprinkle over.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prick sausages well to prevent them from exploding in the oven.
  6. When ready, remove the baking dish from the oven & add sausages in. Mix to coat sausages with oil & drippings.
  7. Roast for a further 25 minutes or until sausages are browned & potatoes fork tender. Squeeze over some lemon juice for freshness. Top with more lemon thyme if desired.
  8. Serve over pasta or on its own!