#140: Brunei

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Sorry about the radio silence this last week—we were hanging on Stinson Beach in Fog City taking a much needed vacation. So I was a little remiss in posting this one. The City by the Bay was sooo good to us. We did it all: spent some time in prison (Alcatraz and angel island), walked our shoes off on Fisherman’s Wharf and the Embarcadero, proceeded to eat all the chocolate at Ghirardelli Square, had sushi and oysters after walking on Golden Gate Bridge and then we were off to Marin Woods and Napa. We hit three amazing wineries when we got to Napa (Andretti, Hess Collection and Domaine Carneros). I have to give a little shout out to our awesome sommeliers– here’s looking at you Sue and Douglas! They made our tastings so enjoyable. Additionally, since we are Hitchcock fans, we stopped off in Bodega Bay for a little breakfast with The Birds. All in all, we were happy little clams and it was hard to come back to the Mile High City.

THE DINNER: While we may have left our hearts in San Francisco, we picked Brunei for our 140th country meal! Just to update you all on this project, we have 55 countries left– which means we are a little over a year’s work of Sunday’s away from finishing our project multiyear cooking adventure.

On the topic of Brunei and Napa, alcohol is banned in the country. Which is still astonishing in this day and age. They do drink a lot of coffee, and since that’s the nectar of the gods, I’m positive they’re doing just fine. Most of their food is halal due to their high Islamic population and staple foods are fish, chicken and rice. Pork is avoided for religious reasons and beef is super expensive, so it’s less common but occasionally seen for special occasions. They eat a whole lot of wild game (read: venison and fowl). You can expect that the flavor profile will be much like it’s geographic partners (India, China and Thailand/Indonesia) with flavors of curry, shallot, ginger, etc. We picked Bruneian Buttermilk Chicken for the dish. Evidently, this is the Bruneian equivalent to meatloaf or pot roast. It’s their go-to family meal. Easy, quick and delicious. They literally have buttermilk chicken sandwiches and pizzas and it’s everywhere in Brunei.

Bruneian Buttermilk Chicken Recipe: http://www.yummygraphy.com/2014/10/bruneian-buttermilk-chicken.html/#tc-comment-title

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five this meal!
We had to find curry leaves. That was a little tricky, but it afforded us a trip to our favorite place– P.O.M (Pacific Ocean Market). Once there, we easily located the needed leaves (and so much more we didn’t need but desperately wanted). From there, it’s basically fried chicken and added to a curry cream sauce.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR and a HALF STARS out of five for Meal!!
Nice and complex. The curry leaves really added an extra element to this one. It was somehow both sweet from the condensed milk, spicy from the peppers, and citrusy from the curry leaves. The cornmeal made for a very crisp fry on the chicken, allowing for it to hold up with the cream curry. Often times the breading will get greasy or bogged down with a curry or sauce– lucky for us this was not the case. The sauce itself? Super velvety in texture. What would have made it a five star meal…? Well, it just needed something. More heat or more sweet? Maybe one way or the other on the spectrum would have made it hit a home run.

Speaking of Home Runs, I’m off to the Rockies Game and then we will be traveling to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for #141!! I know we just got back from the coast, but I’m ready for a trip to the Caribbean 😉

Happy Eating!
– L & K

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