Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 50! East Timor(Dilli)(AS) -Shrimp Satay (Japit Udang), Sauteed Eggplant (Tumis terong)Pudim do Coco - Up Next, Ecuador(Quito)(SA)

Forever my baby

Jimmy King - NYC Actor
When I first started  this blog, my  friend Jimmy - a very cool and wise soul, actor, and fellow Cantabridgian from back in the day, told me to use it like a journal. At first I couldn't imagine how that could work, but since this venture has begun taking up more and more time in my life and in my head, I get it. How did he know that before I did???

But, as excited as I am to make this meal From East Timor tonight, my heart is only 1/2 in it. The other 1/2 is with my first born son, Ian,  who will be leaving for college in 6 1/4 days. 

Case in Point: Today, I made myself go the gym to reset my compass on a steady course...something about re-aligning all those neurons and endorphins.  After pushing myself harder than usual,  I headed to the shower (THE best part of going to the gym besides the steam and sauna), and found myself sobbing uncontrollably, which, by the way,  makes shaving one's legs extremely hazardous. So much for self-help.

East Timor is located in the eastern part of Timor, an island in the Indonesian archipelago that lies between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. East Timor includes the enclave of Oecussi, which is located within West Timor (Indonesia).  Slightly larger than Connecticut, it's tropical climate is unpredictable and variable, ranging from heavy rainy to dry, drought conditions. 

Most families also raise their own chickens, pigs and goats as East Timor's climate is changeable and makes growing crops so difficult, there is a season called "Hungry Season" which starts in November and lasts through February.

Food in East Timor is heavily influenced by Indonesian cusine as it was once ruled by this country. It also has significant Portugues flavors as Portugal once owned East Timor as a colony. The people in East Timor typically experience extreme shortages of food and malnutirian due to drought and irregular rain and climate conditions which tends to drive the price to food to prohibitive costs. To learn more: East Timor: History, Geography, Government, and Culture —
A great place to get a HUGE array of Asian produce, dried and frozen food

Caramelized sugar on bottom, egg, coconut milk custard on top

Bake custard in pan with water (bain Marie)
THE best ramekins I've ever owned:

Mere words cannot describe this ethereal flan - topped with toasted unsweetened coconut-sublime!

Gone in seconds flat
Basic ingredients for meal - macadamia nuts, coconut, galangal, red peppers

Hot peppers, shallots, garlic, galanga root and brown sugar - NOTHING better

Wild blue shrimp from Trader Joe's

Skewers my Mom gave me years ago - I swear they make everything taste...imperial

Eggplant, garlic and onions

Add the shrimp paste and you've got it goin' on!

Garnish with lime

Shrimp Satay (Japit Udang)

20 Large Shrimp/peeled leaving the tail on
1 Cup Thick coconut milk
Ground Spices
8-20 red chilies
1 tsp. chopped galangal
5 Candlenuts, roasted (Brazil or Macadamia nuts are a good substitute)
6 Shallots
3 Cloves garlic
Salt and brown sugar

Method :

  • Combine shrimps with ground spices and thick coconut milk and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
  • Skewer the shrimp
  • Grill over hot charcoal and brush with remaining ground spices until golden brown.
  • Serve hot
Sauteed Eggplant (Tumis terong)
3 servings
  • 2 medium egg plants
  • 2 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 tbs. sweet soy sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 medium onion sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
Wash egg plant and cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes or slice in strips 2 inch wide. Heat oil and fry onion garlic and shrimp paste 2 minutes. Add eggplant stir and cover pan. Simmer 10 minutes. If there is not sufficient juice, ad 1/4 cup water. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pudim de Coco - Dessert
(Coconut Pudding - East Timor)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut for decoration (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 1 cup of sugar, slowly, in a heavy skillet, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until sugar melts and is free of lumps. When the sugar turns a caramel colour, remove it from the heat and pour it into a 6-cup mold. Set aside.
Beat the eggs with 2 cups sugar, until fluffy. Place flour in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons coconut milk, one at a time until mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture to the coconut milk, mix well and then add to the egg mixture. Pour mixture over into mold over caramelised sugar. Place the mold in a large baking pan filled with 1 inch of hot water to create a bain-marie. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from water bath immediately. Cool for 20 minutes then invert onto a serving dish and chill for 6 to 8 hours. To serve, sprinkle with freshly grated coconut if desired.
Instead of grating a fresh coconut I have used frozen fresh coconut found the freezer department of most supermarkets. It works just as well.

FINAL ASSESSMENT: Wonderful, delicious, spicy, sweet - make these recipes and enjoy every damn bite-and don't shave your legs while crying in the shower.

1 comment:

Young Werther said...

Yup. These three dishes must be my all time fav!

LOL had to type the word "brinjol" in the word verification box, eggplant in Indian (I think)