You know, the amount of time I spend in the kitchen is inversely-proportionate to the amount of time I spend exercising. There are only so many hours in a day after all. So if there’s been a spate of relentless cooking or baking, it is safe to assume that I haven’t been exercising much (and shall soon be facing the natural consequence of eating more and exercising less). But if I haven’t been cooking much, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve been exercising more. It just means I haven’t been cooking much.
Lately, I’ve actually been trying to eat a little healthier, so my kitchen has been seeing a lot more fresh and steamed veggies, fish and chicken breast. Not too exciting. And I’ve been craving local hawker fare for some reason.
Anyway, this was dinner last night. We’ve been cooking dinner for my in-laws the past couple of weeks since my mother-in-law recently had surgery done on her right shoulder. My father-in-law is a big fan of spaghetti. So I made this seafood spaghetti yesterday with him in mind.
This is good stuff. But make the prawn stock. You won’t regret it. It makes all the difference.
25 medium-sized fresh prawns
Approximately 400g salmon fillet, skin removed and cubed
2 medium-sized squid, skin and ink removed, sliced into rings
2 whole garlic, chopped
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped roughly
5 chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli), seeds removed, sliced into thin rings
Salt and black pepper
Poach prawns in water with shells on, till cooked. Remove from water and shell them. Set aside heads and shells. Slit backs of prawns and de-vein. Set aside.
Return prawn heads and shells to the poaching water, bring to boil and simmer for about 30 minutes to make prawn stock. Strain stock. Set aside.
Cook spaghetti in a big pot of water, with 2 tsp salt added, on high heat so it’s bubbling, until it’s almost cooked but not cooked through, and then drain.
In a skillet, heat enough olive oil to coat the entire surface of the pan at medium-high heat. Pat salmon dry and toss in some salt to season. Place salmon cubes into skillet to cook one side at a time till browned on the outside and cooked through. Do not overcook. We want it done medium, not well-done. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
Put squid rings in the same skillet, saute quickly till just cooked, and remove with slotted spoon. Set aside.
In same skillet, saute chopped garlic till cooked, then put in the chilli and saute for a couple of minutes. Put in the prawns and turn them over when they just start to curl on the first side, and then allow them to curl on the other side as well before adding about 4 ladles’ worth of prawn stock. Return squid and salmon to the skillet. Be gentle with the salmon – try not to let them flake or break up. Allow everything to simmer in the stock for couple of minutes and then season with salt.
Add the spaghetti to the skillet and mix well, then allow to simmer in the stock for a bit. Add more stock if it is too dry (there should be some liquid at the bottom of the skillet). Toss once or twice while simmering. Once spaghetti is cooked, add salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve sprinkled with chopped Italian parsley.