At DD's birthday last night we had a seating plan, which worked out wonderfully I thought. I mean, just look at what happened as soon as people got out of their assigned seats (above).
Today I needed to use up some Cheap Dirk Fish I'd defrosted ("Alaskan Wild Salmon" it's called...it's nothing like what you normally think of as salmon, I wonder if it's humpy). This is an adaptation of a recipe from Cradle of Flavor, I would happily do this again.
ikan boemboe roejak (spice-braised fish).
1-2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
3/4 cup hot water
4 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 piece fresh ginger, 2 inches long, peeled
2 red Holland chiles, stems removed
700gr Cheap Dirk Fish
4 tbsp peanut oil
2 pieces cinnamon stick, each 4 inches long
2 whole nutmegs, cracked open
2 thick stalks fresh lemongrass trimmed and tied in knots, or 2 tsp dried lemongrass
4 tbsp ketjap manis
3 canned tomatoes, crushed
4 tbsp water
Combine tamarind extract and hot water, stir, set aside.
Add next four ingredients to food processor, blend to a paste, adding a little of the peanut oil if you need to.
Gently fry paste until garlic and ginger no longer smell raw, about 5 minutes. Make sure you don't burn your garlic.
Add fish, stir to coat fish with paste, saute for 5 minutes or so, taking care not to burn the paste.
Add rest of ingredients (including tamarind water), simmer for 45-60 minutes until nicely reduced and things taste right. Remove lemongrass (if using fresh) and warn diners about the remaining whole spices (cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon). Or remove them, but I like to leave them in if there are going to be leftovers.