The final recipe of the year – going back in time to find it and make it and then post it here.
I vaguely remember making this in the school kitchen and putting them into a lunchbox so that I can bring it home to share. The look of the dish wasn’t as appealing as it looked now, just a squash of mashed potatoes underneath a slob of mined meat mixture. I think I can still remember the taste too – bland, but still nice nevertheless because it was a dish I cooked by myself. Nobody ate this when I brought it home, so I think I kind of finished the entire (not very large) serving by myself. Call it self-pride or self-consolation as you will.
I look at my Home Economics textbook where the recipe can be found. There are scribbling made during the lesson about the ingredients and steps. The ingredients used are conservative (i.e. less salt and sugar, less sauces etc). Which I think is one of the reasons why all the dishes we made in the kitchen ended up having the same taste. The teachers taught us very basic skills of cooking but none of them taught us how to be a good cook and how to be creative. We were made to just follow the instructions. Which was why I didn’t particularly enjoy these lessons back then because it was stressful (the teachers were fierce) and there was no room for mistakes or deviations.
If only these lessons were more interesting and taught in a more creative manner like other baking or cooking schools, I think I might have become a chef today. I still think I learnt more about cooking from shows and self research than I did in that four years I was in secondary school…
Anyway, this recipe commemorates the experience I had as a secondary school student and sums it all up very well in terms of the smell, taste and memories I had back then. But this version is definitely much tastier because it’s injected with my experience and creative vibes from all these years of cooking. I love how it turned out a lot better than that first attempt, back in the school kitchen twenty-eight years ago.
And in that note, I hope to end 2022 and start 2023 in the same way – to push myself to constantly improve and become better. So that I can always look back and think about what I have done in the past, but never have to feel regret because I know that I am in a better situation than I was in the past.
Wishing all my readers a happy 2023 ahead!
- Potato: 2
- Unsalted butter: 1 tbsp
- Milk: 1 tbsp
- Salt: 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
- White pepper: 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
- Oil: 2 tbsp
- White onion: 1/4, finely chopped
- Minced pork: 100g
- Tomato: 1/2, chopped
- Corn kernel: 4 tbsp
- Mayonnaise: to serve
- Boil potatoes till soft.
- Mash potatoes together with butter, milk, 1/4 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp white pepper.
- Arrange in a ring on a dish. Print pattern with fork.
- Grill for 10min till browned at the edges.
- Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
- Heat oil in wok. Fry onions till lightly browned.
- Add in minced pork. Fry till almost cooked, breaking it up.
- Stir in tomato, corn kernels, 1/4 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper. Scoop into center of grilled potato ring.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10min.
- Squeeze some mayonnaise on top of stir-fried mixture to serve.
This recipe was kindly adapted from the 2E Home Economics textbook from my secondary school. I added in corn kernels as the boy loves corns.
3 – 4 persons as side dish