The Trattoria Project and Spectaculars: December 2007

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pesce Off

Merry Christmas people. I hope everyone had good champagne, good presents, good food and a lot of good sex. I hope you had a mirthfully good time, because I definitely did. Here I am now, kicking the shit out of my loafing holiday ass to keep the Trattoria Project alive. Fun is always ephemeral. Five more days and I will be pulled back to the agonizing hellhole I currently belong. Reality can be a bitch. The military won't leave me alone for another six months. Bummer. It is inevitable.


Last week, I made bloody good pasta, Pasta di Pesce. Or fish pasta if you're wondering what the hell Pesce is. I don't know about you, but I really hate my fish pasta with too much tomato in the sauce, I feel that the overpowering sweetness kills the fish flavor and spoils the whole dish. However, a little tomato is always good, it adds much needed tartness to it. Only a little.

I like my fish pasta subtle and light with minimal bullshit like passata or an entire bouquet of herbs. I like it simple and spicy-Roman style.

Pasta di Pesce alla Romana
I apologize for low quality pictures. Age has caught up with my cheap Panasonic. If you feel that my pictures corrupted your avant-garde retinas, it's never too late for a belated Christmas present yes? Otherwise, go consult an optometrist to further delude yourself or simply eat shit and die.

Mise en Place
Serves 2

150g White Fish, any white fish but Cod. Skinned, boned and diced.
200g Calamari, cleaned and sliced into rings.
150g Clams, washed thoroughly
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 Fresh Tomato, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 tsp Dried Oregano
Juice and zest of 1/2 a Lemon.
3 Bird's Eye Chili, WOOH.
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Chopped Parsley
Lemon Wedges

Note: I couldn't find fresh clams so I used tiger prawns instead. Feel free.

Saute-Garlic, Chili, EVOO. Low heat.

2 Mins.

Add-Seafood, Tomatoes, Oregano, Wine. Medium heat. Season. Shake pan.

7 Mins.

Off heat. Toss with pasta and lemon juice and zest. Season to taste.

Garnish. Serve immediately with bread.

Happy Holidays!

Uncle P.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Old Fashion Meatballs and Spaghetti


I'm sure you know there are about a thousand other variations of Meatballs and Spaghetti. I'm sure you'd also know that about nine hundred of them taste like sun-dried turd. When I attempted my first meatballs some time ago, I realized that mine was among the nine hundred variations.

It was hideous.

Long story short, I have now a decent recipe. It is no where superlative, but it is good enough to shut your obnoxious grandparents up and leave them asking for the recipe later. I did a lot of homework for this one. You better like it.

Mise en Place
Serves 4

250g Ground Beef
200g Ground Pork
2 Tbsp Freshly Grated Parmesan
1 Egg Yolk
1 medium Onion, diced
3 Tbsp Breadcrumbs(use Panko if you have some)
3 sprigs Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 tsp Capers, mashed
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp Corn Starch
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

1 Paper-thin Slice of Parma Ham or Prosciutto
1 cup Semi-Dried Tomatoes, blitzed
1 medium Onion, diced
1 clove of Garlic, smashed
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 cup Beef or Chicken Stock


-Make sauce. Saute onions and Prosciutto in EVOO until onions turn translucent. Add garlic, tomatoes, oregano and stock. Simmer.
-While simmering, mix all meatball ingredients together. Shape into a size slightly larger than golf balls. Grill them for about 1-2mins a side.
-Transfer meatballs into simmering sauce and cook for another 15mins.
-Serve with Spaghetti.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I have a recent obsession with asparagus that I can't quite fathom, it has also left a lingering rancid stench in my toilet nasty enough for my friends to suggest that pissing in their pants would be a much better idea. On Sunday, I had poached eggs with asparagus in the morning, a brunch of asparagus cream and Coq Au Vin with dressed asparagus for dinner followed by what I actually dreamed of was an asparagus ice cream in asparagus soda. It had never occurred to me that I will have such lusty passion for asparagus because it was after all, a childhood toy-on-the-plate which would inexorably end up in the refuse chute.

Three days it has been, and an imagination of poached asparagus in proper vinaigrette and shallots now would still interest me greatly and would also instantly induce hardness to my trunk. There is certainly something absolutely felicitous about the mild bitter-sweet nuttiness and crunchy-yet-soft texture of the asparagus that my feeble self-control cannot triumph. It is of great calamity to me, I am deeply devastated, for I will not know when I shall receive beloved fellatio again. Fucking frightening.

Many things go well with asparagus, but only a few go hand in hand perfectly, only a handful tastes sublime. Today however, I couldn't give a crumb of damn about it, I just want some badly, NOW.

Market surprise! Pigs found their way to Singapore! Prosciutto finally available, didn't think or check the price tag, just bought it. Air flown Australian pork got listed on the weekly market specials, $2.80 for 2 immaculately pink chunky chops, irresistible. Pancetta rolls available as well, didn't get them, costs like a whore.

So I made Seared Sage and Apple Pork Chops with Sweet potato and Asparagus. Nothing really fanciful. Flavorful and tasty.

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Mise En Place
serves 2

2 Pork Chops
1 Paper Thin Prosciutto di Parma, chopped
1/2 Apple, julienned
10 Sage Leaves, chopped
2Tbsps Butter
A swig of dry white wine
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 large Sweet Potato, skinned and disced
15 stalks Asparagus(entirely optional)
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

-Preheat oven to 200C.
-Rub sweet potatoes with EVOO and salt. Bake for 15-20mins.
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-Mix butter with sage, Prosciutto and apples.
-Score pork chops, season and rub marinated butter in.
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-Sear pork chops on medium high heat at 4mins a side. Pop in the oven for further 5-10mins. Set aside.
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-Pan will look like shit. That is good.
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-Deglaze with wine and stock. Reduce till sauce consistency.
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-Grill asparagus with EVOO and salt, set aside.
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-To plate, lay sweet potatoes and asparagus on plate, top with chops and drizzle sauce. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Five Things I Wish For This Christmas

Crude words. Leave if you feel squeamish or desolated. Not my intention.

1. I wish that children of every age and size will instantly be settled with a vaporized limp each time they decide that supermarket hide and seek is a surrealistic idea. Four out of ten times, these little spawns-of-Satan will run into my market bag. Last week, some atrocious steroid fed Tasmanian Devil broke twelve eggs, cracked a bottle of olive oil and Dijon mustard, bruised a packet of herbs and dented a can of tomato in my market bag then nonchalantly continued the "catching" game. Parents, beat your kids or leash them if you have to before I forcefully insert the entire length of my fingers into their eye balls.

2. I wish that God will send me a box of Royce's Amande Chocolat every week for the rest of my entire life. Royce's magical box of almond chocolates contains three absolutely luscious types of mind boggling chocolate; milk, white and dark. You eat the milk then the white then the dark. If you follow this sequence, you will realize that your surroundings will momentarily pace down in time and your eyes will almost automatically shut and a bright light will appear above. You will then try to reach for the light when it suddenly disappears and you have to attempt the sequence all over again and again until you could. You reach the light. You feel extremely jubilant and also you now have a sore throat and three days worth of calories. If you're bulimic, you will dig, expel and repeat the sequence all over again. Royce's Chocolate. Absolutely sublime. No, I'm not advertising for them.

3. I wish that a tiny area in the north-east region of Singapore just beside Compass Point Shopping Mall, which happens to be my house, will have top quality Arabic Coffee Beans falling from the sky as rain.

4. I wish that people will stop sending unbelievably impractical Christmas presents. For the love of god, stop giving towels. Half of my wardrobe was occupied with your stupid towels, you leave me no space for my own clothes. Thanks to you, they are now on the way to some profiteering charity which steals organ money from the sick. Also, stop sending me comfort things like socks, blankets and sweaters. I am not a hobo, and even if I was one, I'd rather rob you or kidnap you for ransom, then rape your sister/wife/mother.

5. I wish to be trained under Gordon Ramsay because is the epiphany of an indisputable male chef. The reason is that Gordon isn't an introvert, a gay, a pseudo-gay, a sociopath, a douche bag nor a transvestite, which is also the reason why you'd disagree with me. He is everything that defines a man, from the ass kicking face to slaughtering his own pigs for food. He creates real food, not that pretentious, phony crap in over-advertised new restaurants. Buy his new book, Fast Food, to believe.

Last but not least, I wish my throat infection will completely recover so I don't have to spend my Christmas in the operating theater..

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Whenever I bring up the word "Pasta" to the local cavemen*, they tell me two similar things in a doubtless instant. "Sian." and/or "Dowan la." I don't blame them. That's because the local food vendors have bloody butchered the mother of all carbohydrates and the pride of the Italian culinaria, a guiltless plate of pasta. God pulverize them.

For your knowledge, they only do Bolognese. It seems like the other delicious pasta variations have drowned while trying to make it our shores. Nothing tastes shittier like their overdone pasta covered with chicken dust(because I can't find any goddamn chicken)and MSG-ed tomato syrup. Trust me, I heart Bolognese very much. But this is what anyone would give a stray dog in a heartbeat. It should be called Colon-nese
because it is the closest thing next to sausages of warm excrete. Just as you all thought it was bad enough, they add shreds of lettuce on it and then spam it with grainy processed Parmesan.

Recently, someone bought me packet of those for lunch and I punched her face into half. I recalled feeling utterly disgusted upon the sight of it. It gives me nightmares. In fact, it gave me one last night, I dreamt that the entire pasta population had turned Colon-nese, it was ghastly.

So I decided to make a plate of good pasta, to reaffirm that the nightmare was just a nightmare. I'm making something decent and unpretentious, something enjoyable by all standards.

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Pasta with Pan Seared Cumberland
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This is easy to make, tastes good and it doesn't contain any bullshit like MSG or sugar syrup. If every local western cuisine vendor offered this, there will be lesser stray dogs and diseases and Italy would experience global acclamation. Enjoy.

Mise en Place
serves 4
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4 Sun-dried Tomatoes
50g Pine Nuts, toasted
2 Handfuls Fresh Basil, or more
100g Grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp EVOO
2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
Salt and Pepper

Spaghetti for 4
6 Cumberland Sausages

- Blend all pesto ingredients except EVOO. Drip EVOO a little at a time while blending. Season to taste.
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- Cook Spaghetti till al dente.
- Rub Cumberland in EVOO and sear in pan for 5-7 mins. Allow to rest.
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- Toss 1 Tbsp of Pesto/ serving of pasta. Add pasta water if too dry.
- Serve with Cumberland. Buono Appetito.

*native Singaporeans who simply refuse to open their minds to the world

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Potage de Purple

Julia Child says the soup "is simplicity itself to make." Chop leeks and potatoes then throw them in cream, boil for an hour, mash and out comes a classic Potage Parmentier. It is that easy. And if you're a healthy human being between the age of 12-45 and fail at making this, you should never step into a kitchen again because you had just proven yourself to be culinarily imbecilic. I am sure Julia would agree with me if she is alive today. Anyhow, if you frustrate her spirit by making this inedible, she will haunt your wet dreams for the rest of your life.

The classic Potage Parmentier is too delicious for its ridiculous simplicity. Like getting laid from a hot chick just by stupidly smiling at her. It is downright easy. But I had always thought it was conspicuously lacking character, it was like Sean Connery without his beard or his Scottish accent. This was when my own variation of the Potage Parmentier was formed, it was to make life merrier. It was good enough to make me hide the recipe from everyone.
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Fortunately, it is now out to the world wide web. I hope you will treat it as a cocky bastard's creation and disregard it. This will then ensure that I'll make a killing out of it when I have my own Trattoria because everyone finds it fantastically unique. If you like it, make haste and take it down, you'll never know when I'd find this post a stupid idea.

However, this recipe is no where near easy, my Potage Parmentier had violently crushed all living traces of simplicity from the original version to bloody death. Making this variation can be a sharp, bothering pain in the inside of your anus. You will need an hour of attentive cooking time, 15 mins of prep time(only if you have impeccable knife skills) and then 30 secs to realize that there's no more soup left in your bowl. It also involves vigorous whisking for periods of time.

Without further ado.
Uncle Purple's Potage
Mise en Place
serves 4

4 Starchy Potatoes, skinned
4 Leeks, leaves removed, finely chopped
200g Pancetta or Streaky Bacon, chopped
800ml Chicken Stock
1/2 stick of Butter
White Truffle Oil or Roasted Garlic Oil
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
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-Grate or fine Julienne potatoes. Don't worry if they discolor.
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-Saute Leeks and Pancetta in a soup pot until fragrant and soft. About 10 mins.
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-Add in chicken stock and potatoes, turn up heat and bring to boil. Stirring occasionally.
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-When it boils, turn down heat to low and simmer. Whisk every 5 mins to ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Do this for 1 hour.
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-After an hour, turn off heat and stir in butter. Add pepper. You shouldn't need any salt if you followed the recipe accordingly.

-Finely chop chives. Serve soup in bowl. Garnish with chives, truffle oil, butter and/or creme fraiche.
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Have it with garlic Croutons or Bruschetta for an absolutely ecstatic experience. Have fun.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sweet Baby Jesus, UnclePurple is spending Xmas in Hell

hell "hair-elle"

1: a nether world, full of bubbling hot diarrhea and crashing comets of dogshit, where the condemned dead continues to exist.
2: a place or state of misery, torment or wickedness.
3: a state of involuntary self-restraint, mainly from women, booze and fried chicken.
abstrcted from the unabridged unclepurple dicktionary

Every once in awhile, life dumps shit on us. If you disagree with me, you're one of those privileged bastards who have inherited many lifetimes of accumulated good karma, so be thankful and shut up.

Last post, I mentioned that my infection wasn't recovering, well, it still hasn't. Yesterday, doctors had confirmed a growth in my throat and surgery is consequential. Before we get all emo, please note that I will not die. However, I am required to sustain on a diet that will make dying a better option.

The liquid diet. This is because swallowing solid food will induce a pain intense enough for me to let out the most annoying sound you'd wish you will never hear. It will sound like something in between a wailing walrus and a mating toad, but of a neighing version. The doctor didn't prescribe me codeine tablets for nothing. When I foresaw myself having soup for breakfast and lunch and dinner, my testies shriveled and my jaw got dislocated. And I'm talking about soups that won't hurt at all, not like my luscious Minestrone or some deliciously chunky Ribollita, we're looking at Potage Parmentier and Chicken Consommes here. Baby Infant food.

Because of that, I am having my Christmas dinner early, like today. I made my Christmas salad recipe which I was saving ultimately for Christmas itself. Before consuming my delicious masterpiece, I swallowed 2 tabs of strong painkillers to make sure I can thoroughly enjoy and savor every bite of it. This is my last real dish for the year, I hope you'd like it do it for Christmas.

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Salad of Beef Pastrami and Arugula with Pine Nuts, Pomegranates and Dried Blueberries
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Mise en Place
serves 4

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200g Beef Pastrami, thinly sliced
200g Arugula, washed and spun dry
1 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
1 cup Pomegranate Seeds
1 cup Dried Blueberries
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2 tsp Dijon Mustard
10 Anchovy Fillets in oil
1 Tbsp Balsamico
3 Tbsp EVOO
Black Pepper

- Mash anchovy fillets in a salad bowl with a spoon.
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- Add rest of dressing ingredients and whisk vigorously for 5 mins until oil and solution have incorporated.
- Toss all salad ingredients with dressing and serve.

P.S: Don't feel sorry for me, do something about it. Give me a Cusinart Food Processor or a life changing blowjob for Christmas. And no, I have absolutely no interest in your queerness.