I was driving to Tesco this morning with intentions of buying chicken to prepare curry chicken for the in-laws gathering on the first day of Chinese New Year. Midway, an evil thought crept into my mind. The prospect of blending loads of onions, lemongrass, nails staining tumeric and finger burning dried chillies suddenly seem too hard and too difficult. I want to prim up, make up, do my hair, wear my Chinese New Year clothes on Chinese New Year. I don’t want to appear at the in-laws place smelling like a bag of garlic and onions with tumeric stains nails. The nails are going to be painted angpow red for extra dose of good luck, not yellowish.
A light bulb lighted up. Horns grow. And jeng, jeng, jeng…..I went and buy two packets of Veaty chicken bites which is soy chicken meat. Instead of curry chicken, I am going to cook sweet and sour vegetarian chicken. Yay! Health, pretty and easy.
Muahahar…so that’s my evil plan. Anyway, at in-laws gathering, there is usually a huge crowd. I have always been the dependable food supplier so I cannot just bring a small plate of sweet sour vegetarian chicken there to feed 30-40 hungry folks.
I think I will prepare these ;
1) Jade stir fry – brocolli, sweet peas and celery. I call it jade because they are all green.
2) Mix vege fry – Cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots and all those boring stuffs. Maybe I will throw in some canned seafoods like those pacific clams
One good tip : To make quick vegetables stir fry, blanch all your vegetables in boiling water, put them to cool under tap water and then, you only need a short time to prepare them. Remember to boil the vegetables in batches because some takes longer time while other just need a dunk, like the brocolli, peppers and peas.
3) Sweet and sour vegetarian chicken with cucumber and pineapple
4) Lap mei fun – Waxed duck and sausage rice. I asked my in-law and they don’t cook this before because they are either Teochew or Hakka. I hope this will be the ‘novelty dish’ as it is the only one with meats.
My grocery bill comes up to only RM80. This has got to be the cheapest Chinese New Year!
I remember there was this one year when we were in Australia. My hubby sponsored the foods catered from Kayu Nasi Kandar for the gathering as the chief cook (that’s me!) was away. The few dishes of curry chicken, fish and mutton for 20 pax costs RM500. Never again.