My Christmas cooking experience

Over the Christmas long holiday I visited my parents in-law. They live in a country town in the middle of New South Wales. My mother in-law kindly let me use her kitchen, and I happily cooked for them. Cooking outside my kitchen is always a bit challenging for me, particularly cooking at my in-laws home which has limited Asian ingredients. Here are some foods I created for them during this holiday time.

Having brought along some Asian ingredients, the first dish I cooked for them was stir fried chicken with chilli jam. Using an easy method I just fried some onion with oil then added chilli jam and stir fried until fragrant. I then added the chicken and seasoning with fish sauce and oyster sauce. At the end I added spring onion and turned the heat off. I garnished with spring onion and sliced chilli before serving along with jasmine rice.

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The next day was Christmas Day. We went to my sister in-law’s home for a big Christmas dinner. I didn’t cook at all this day as my sister in-law is a chef so I left it for the professional. She did a wonderful job working with traditional Australian Christmas food. As I think it would be the same for many homes after Christmas Day there was some left over food. We had prawns and turkey leftover so I created this healthy dish I shall name “prawn and turkey fresh spring rolls”. I used the rice paper that I brought along with grated carrot and sliced cos lettuce as a filler. For the dipping sauce I used sweet chilli sauce and added a little bit of fish sauce, vinegar and grated carrot.

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My mother in-law gave me a piece of pork fillet and with this I cooked “sweet & sour pork”. I was very lucky that all the ingredients for this dish were available in her kitchen. The method for this dish started with slicing the pork and coating it with some cornflour then browning the meat in a wok. The sauce is a mix of tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, soy and oyster. Some vegetables that I used for this dish include capsicum, carrot, onion and spring onion. My father in-law loves this dish. He even asked me to write the recipe for him.

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This was a vegetable dish I created for them named “steamed wombok (Chinese cabbage) and shiitake mushrooms with oyster sauce”

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The next day my sister in-law’s family came along to have an Aussie style BBQ. This was cooked by my father in-law. It was a beautiful dinner and was such a good time to spend with the family.

A day later we still had rump steak that hasn’t been used. I cooked “beef teriyaki”, and made the teriyaki sauce by combining soy sauce, sugar, grated ginger, Chinese rice wine and sesame oil. They really liked this dish too.

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The last dish I cooked at my in-law’s was the popular Thai dish “Pad Thai” It’s not an authentic Pad Thai but I think my parents-in-law enjoyed it.

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As I said cooking out side my own kitchen is challenging for me. As you can see from the dishes above I did my best and I usually seemed to leave my Australian family wanting more, so to me that is a great Christmas in any kitchen.

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