Last Sunday, I was invited to be a judge. It turned out to be the best judging gig I’d ever been to. The story of how it began will follow at the end of this post.

Before you read it and watch the video, let me tell you the verdict. It was a draw. They’ll have to have a re-match. The judges will have to re-convene. Shame that 😉

The Story (written by Penguin and Crow):

In the beginning, Penguins and Crows lived in peace across the world. Rookeries of Crows resided harmoniously beside colonies of Penguins, sharing Mother Natures bounty. Then, the humans arrived, and began colonising the lands. The humans spread like a disease, consuming all in their path with a furious hunger, leaving behind less and less for the Kingdom of Animals. At first, Penguins and Crows fought as one against human advance. One storytelling of Crows, made crazy by hunger and starved of wisdom invaded a penguins nest, leaving nothing behind save for a tale of gory murder. The Penguins, wild with rage and with only a hunger for revenge, dispatched a parcel to the Crows, who were already mustering, to exact revenge. Since that fateful day, the fair feathered fraternity of Crows and Penguins have never mended.

Emperors led their Penguins to Antarctica, well below the frigid southern seas, leaving only one colony behind as equatorial emissaries. The Crows, led by Ravens, spread themselves across lands temperate and the warm climes of Asia. For thousands of years, neither colony nor murder have caught glimpse of each other. Until…

Two months ago. A Hooded Crow arrived at Penguin Equatorial HQ, with a message. There was to be a showdown. A simple culinary battle on neutral ground would decide the victor. One afternoon of cooking would decide the fate of all Crows and Penguins. An enmity born over food would finish with a meal.

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(c) Danesh Daryanani

(c) Danesh Daryanani

I used to post about food a lot. Especially about food I cook. You see, I have been advised to eat a salt restricted diet so whenever I can, I eat at home. It’s virtually impossible to eat outside, especially at coffee shops and hawker centres and not swallow spoonfuls of sodium in one form or another. I know we are called to be salt of the earth and all but we were never told to eat it.

So for a period, I would post virtually (pun intended) all the food I’ll cook at home for the benefit for others who choose to eat in a similar fashion. A lot of my recipes did not include salt. However, I got bored of taking pictures and blogging every single thing I cooked. You can see my past posts under the category “food I cook“.

However, my web friend, Indianized has of late been urging me to re-start posting my healthy food recipes.  So to get back into it gently, I’ll post a simple Sunday snack which I had in the midst of Nadal and Federer who incidentally are fairly decent tennis players. Nothing complex in this snack, but yummy.

Nearly everyone I know loves French Fries. Most people eat them McDonald’s style, deep fried. This is a much, much better alternative.

Take some Russet Potatoes, peel them and cut them into wedges. Simple enough. Then marinade the wedges with garlic flavoured olive oil and some herbs. In this instance I used a combination of black pepper, thyme, parsley and olive juice. As usual, I don’t use salt but feel free to salt it to taste. Important thing is to make sure all the wedges are well coated with the olive oil and herb mixture.

Lay it out on a baking tray on parchment paper and bake at 250 degrees celcius until it’s done the colour you like. I think it took me about 40 minutes. Anyway, you’ll be able to tell when it’s ready by eyeballing it. Essentially when they have started to brown but well before they blacken.

Really good stuff and much healthier than the deep fried variety. In my opinion, better tasting too.

As part of my informal food critic role, I am posting here what I had for brunch last Saturday. My favourite frog porridge in Singapore! Tiong Shan Eating House in Chinatown. They also serve an excellent Tofu and Raw Fish (Chinese Style). Take a look.

Frog Porridge Sign

I’m quite susceptible to MSG attacks and since I get none here, I can only assume they use very little of it. However, the frog porridge is highly flavoursome and apparently very nutritious too!

Frog Porridge - Before

Frog Porridge - After

Tiong Shan - Tofu

Tiong Shan - Raw Fish

The tofu is oh so silky on the inside which hard to find and the fish is nice and chunky, fresh with a good dose of lime and shallots in oil, absolutely delicious!