Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Brown rice with asparagus

recipe from 101 cookbooks

This is so good that i really couldn't believe it!!! As you might have noticed, i haven't posted too many vegetarian me...veggies are sidedishes...n i'd much rather cook the mains..usually with some meat involved (but between the four of us, one eschews pork, two can't take beef and the last one doesn't like we are pretty much left with chicken n fish!!!), ...desserts r alright if they make someone happy...but gimme the maincourse anytime...preferably fuss free and straight-forward.....
This simple dish really hits the spot!! It tastes very wholesome and extremely satisfying!!!!!! Love the combination of chickpeas, brown rice, almonds and tahini..!! I can live on this stuff forever...!!
Oh yeah...and aspargus seem to be in season in Adelaide at the grab them while you can!!! :D

Friday, August 24, 2007

Aira's light and delicate Souffle Cheesecake

ingredients for for one 21cm cake:
5 slices Kraft low fat cheese
200ml milk
70g butter.
100g sugar
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
20g corn starch
50g flour
1 tsp cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 170℃.
2. Microwave cheese and 100ml milk in microwave for 2 mins.
3. Add butter and 50g sugar.
4. In a separate container, combine the yolks and remaining 100ml milk in it and microwave for 1 min.
5. Add flour and starch to 4) and combine with the mixture with 3).
6. Beat egg whites til soft peaks and gradually add 50g sugar. Fold into 5) gradually.
7. Put baking paper on the tin and gently pour batter in. If u like, draw a design on top with cocoa powder.
8. Cover the tin with aluminium foil and place it in 3cm water in larger tin
9. Bake at 170C for 20 minutes then turn down to 140℃ and bake for a further 20minutes.

Comments: This beautiful recipe is invented by the enormously talented Aira!!! Who would think to use sliced cheese in a cheese cake?? The effect is really interesting..the sliced cheese descends to the bottom and forms a slighty chewy savoury crust and the area between the cake and cheese is moist and creamy....the cake itself, as the name suggests, is very light. Between the 5 of us, we finished the whole cake and would have gladly eaten another one!!!!
Aira's cooking reminds me of her...very delicate and loving..whenever I eat the food that she cooks, I feel extremely blissful and at peace with the world!! Try this cake and you'll know what i mean!!

Errmm...I've tried to clarify the recipe...if it is still unclear, leave a comment ok?
While beating the egg whites, make sure that the container and beater/whisk that you are using is totally free of oil as oil stops the egg whites from foaming. Use a metal bowl if possible and it's ready when you can tip the bowl over and the egg whites won't fall out.
One of my ex-housemates used to test it on putting over my head...and i'd run away shrieking...but no accidents to date! ha...
the folding is crucial has to be gentle otherwise all the air bubbles that you've painstakingly incorporated into the egg whites will be deflated..

Penne with roasted red capsicum pesto, tuna & parsley

recipe from Sep 2007 Issue of Australian Good Taste.

1 large red capsicum, halved, deseeded
1 bunch rocket, ends trimmed, coarsely chopped
2 tbs chopped fresh continental parsley,
2 tbs pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 garlic clove, crushed
350g dried penne
1 x 185g can tuna in spring water, drained, flaked
Chopped fresh continental parsley, extra, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the capsicum, skin-side up, on a baking tray. Roast in oven for 20 minutes or until the skin blackens slightly. Transfer the capsicum to a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes. Peel the skin off the capsicum. Coughly chop and set aside.
2. Place the capsicum, rocket, parsley, pine nuts, rind, juice and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add 1-2 tablespoons hot water and process until a coarse paste forms. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
3. Cook the penne in a large saucepan of salted boiling water following packet instructions or until al dente. Drain well.
4. Return penne to the saucepan over a medium heat. Add the capsicum pesto and tuna and stir until well combined and heated through. Divide among serving dishes and top with freshly ground black pepper and parsley.

This was one of the three recipes that i tested for the magazine...(Yes...i applied to be on the reader taste team and got accepted!!) Served it to 2 girls n 3 guys...n must say that this is quite a feminine dish cos the guys didn't warm very much to it n David kept insisting it tastes like chicken.... Good points: It's very light and refreshing....just right for shedding those winter kilos...spring is in a week's time!! yay!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hokkien Mee

1 kg Hokkien noodle
2 beehoon
1.5 L water
800g pork bone
650g pork chop
250g prawns, peeled and deveined, heads reserved
1 piece squid
8-10 cloves garlic, smashed
3 -4 tbsp oil
3 eggs + 1 tbsp light soy sauce, lightly beaten
200g bean sprouts
2 spring onions, cut into short lengths
2 limes, halved.
3-4 tbsp light soy sauce
Salt, white pepper to taste

Sambal belachan:
10-12 finger-length chillies
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp belachan (dried shrimp paste)

Serves: 10-12

1. To make the Sambal belachan, put all ingredients in a blender and blend till fine or grind finely in a mortar.
2. To make the stock, bring the pot of water to boil, add the pork bone, prawn heads, pork chop. Boil for about 10 minutes, turn to small heat and cook for about 1.5 hours. Remove the pork chop, cut into smaller pieces and place in a separate container. To remove the fat in the stock, place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight. Skim off the top layer of fat before you cook the noodles.
3. Boil the squid in the stock for about 8-10 min and add the prawns and boil for 3-5 min. Remove the squid and prawns. Cut the squid into small pieces.
4. Boil the beehoon for about 5 min and boil the noodle for about 6-7 min (note: the noodle should not be too soft)
5. Heat the oil in a pot/wok in medium heat and stir-fry garlic until golden brown for about 2 min. discard the garlic. Increase the heat to high and add the eggs, stir-fry for about 1 min. Add the noodle and beehoon, bean sprouts and stock. Scoop a few ladles of stock at a time. Stir-fry and mix the ingredients, adding more stock if necessary. Add the sliced pork, sliced squids and prawns. Add light soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Stir-fry for about 10 min. Add spring onion and stir-fry for another 2-3 min. (I stirred fry on a medium heat, so if you’re stir-frying on high heat, it’ll take a shorter time)
6. Transfer to a large serving dish and serve with sambal belachan and limes on the side. Squeeze the limes on the noodles before serving.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Kung Po Chicken

Chicken 500g, cubed
15 dried chilli (originally recipe called for 30!!)
2 garlic clove, sliced
10 slices ginger
2 stalks spring onions, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 tsp sichuan pepper corns
1/2 cup toasted cashews
1 red capsicum, sliced
1 green capsicum, sliced

Season the chicken with 2 tsp light soya sauce, 2 tsp cornflour, 1 egg white.
Stir well and marinate for at least 20 mins.

3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine 
3 tbsp sugar 
2 tbsp black vinegar 
2 tbsp water 
1 1/2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 1/2 tbsp black soya sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil 
1/2 tbsp cornflour 

stir well to combine

Heat pan and add 2 tbsp oil. When it's hot, add chillies and fry til they are black and smoking. (warning: the smoke will make you cough and choke!!)
Toss in garlic, ginger and peppercorns and fry for 1-2 mins.
Add chicken and fry til 90% cooked.
Add capsicum and gravy and stir fry til chicken is cooked (when you can cut through the meat quite easily).
Add spring onion and nuts and stir through.
Serve with rice.

comments: this is the definitative dish to cure any pangs of homesickness...for me at least! Love love it!!!! Essential ingredients: sichuan peppercorns, dried chillies, spring onions and cashews. Without any of these, the dish seems incomplete...perhaps it's just cos that's the way my uncles cooked mom's three brothers all had their own zi char stalls..strange that i never thought of asking my uncles for any cooking tips...til now! hmmmm...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

white chocolate almond meal muffins!

200g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
150g of butter, chopped
100g of caster sugar
150g of plain flour
100g of almond meal ( we ground almond into powder, jus use a grinder/blender)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder

1) preheat oven to 160 degrees C
2) microwave butter with chocolate until just melted
3)Combine sugar, flour, almond meal in a large bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and eggs and stir until just combined
4) Spoon into muffin cups 3/4 full and place in oven for 15 - 20 mins

Yummy!!! i think cos of the almond meal! we wondered where the white chocolate taste went cos it was apprently missing -x but overall, a yummy muffin!

German PancakE

Today after dinner (green curry which they claimed that it looked like yellow curry, was a premix curry paste but added a few stuff but nothing fantastic so wun post -x), we were bored, ok more like i was bored so i made them make dessert with me! heheh

first up! German pan cake
hehe click above for the recipe!

taste yummy! like a type of Japanese sweet thingy... its very very easy!! try it!!

oh we added chocolate chips to it! hence abit different from the recipe above

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jamie Oliver's creamy mushroom risotto

recipe simplified from Cook with Jamie

serves 8

1 liter + 700ml stock
2 tabs olive oil
1 large onion, peel and finely chopped
4-5 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
600g risotto rice
250ml dry white wine

100g butter
4 large handfuls of wild fresh mushrooms
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs thyme leaves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1-2 handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (2 tbs)
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat a large frying pan, add a knob of butter to it and when it starts to foam, add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss around and cook for a minute and then add the thyme and garlic. Five a pan a good shake and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and season to taste. Leave aside.

2. Bring the stock to simmer in a saucepan. Put the olive oil and butter in a separate large pan, adding the onion and celery and cook very gently for about 15 minutes, without colouring, until soft. Add the rice (it will sizzle) and turn up the heat. Don’t let the rice/ veg catch on the bottom of the pan, stir it continuously.

3. Quickly pour in the vermouth or wine. You will smell the alcohol immediately; so keep stirring all the time until it has evaporated, leaving the rice with a lovely perfume.

4. Add the stock to the rice a ladle at a time, stirring and waiting until it has been fully absorbed before adding the next. Turn the heat down to low so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly. Continue to add ladlefuls of stock until it has all been absorbed. This should take about 14 to 15 minutes and give you rice that is beginning to soften but still a little al dente. (you will use around 1 litre of stock by this stage.)

5. Add the mushrooms and 350ml of stock. Stirring all the time, gently bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook until all the stock has been absorbed. Add the rest of the stock a ladleful at a time until the rice is cooked. You might not need to use all your stock. Be careful not to overcook the rice- check it through out to make sure it’s a pleasure to eat. It should hold its shape but be soft, creamy and oozy and slightly looser than you think you want it.

6. Turn off the heat, beat in the rest of the butter, Parmesan, parsley and lemon juice, and then check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Put a lid on the pan and leave the risotto to rest for a minute. Serve in the middle of the table or divide the risotto between individual serving plates. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and put a block of Parmesan on the table for grating over.

Weiqin loves it to bits...very creamy and very satisfying but i reckon it's mainly cos she is such a butter fanatic.....if you r a guy, i think this will be great for impressing a date with a glass of chilled white!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wanton Mee!

yes i have been MIA for at least a month
But i have been cooking! Just that i am getting lazier -x And i dont take pretty pics at all so abit shy to put them up at times!

Cooked wanton mee the other night

Wanton fillings
500g chicken minced
4-5 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP seaseme
1 egg
1 TBSP soy sauce
A dash of salt
1 can of water chestnut, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped finely too

mixed them and leave them overnight in the fridge, Buy the wanton skin from chinatown 60 pieces for $1.50.

You can fry them or boil them, did both!

Noodles, i used 'mee-kia' or thin noodles.
Oyster sauce and seaseme oil, abit soy sauce. Add as much as you want, until you are satisfied cos that is what i did

Add veggies of cos!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Green Tea Muah Chee

recipe modified from here

250g glutinous rice flour
350ml water
4 tbsp shallot oil

Green tea peanut mixture
250g toasted peanuts, grounded into a fine powder (some bigger pieces are fine)
2 tsp green tea/ matcha powder
50g caster sugar
2 tb toasted white sesame seed

1. Prepare peanut mixture by combining all the ingredients. Set aside.
2. Mix glutinous rice flour, water and 2 tbsp of shallot oil together to form a smooth batter.
3. Grease a microwavable container with the remaining oil and pour batter into it.
4. Cover with lid and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir the semi-cooked dough briskly in one direction. Return dough to microwave and High for 1 minute. Remove, stir and return to the microwave high for 30 seconds. Repeat this method twice or until it is cooked.
5.Using a pair of scissors, cut cooked dough into small pieces and toss it into the green tea peanut mixture.
6. Serve and sprinkle more peanut mixture as desired.

Last year, Sik Yin n i tried to make muah chee using the steaming method and we wasted took more than 2 hours...
using the microwave, the whole process takes less than 15 minutes, including the preparation of the shallot oil!! Fantastic isn't it!! And we didn't even have to 'pound' the dough....yeah....traditionally muah chee is not served with green tea but it is a nice you can omit the green tea powder if you can't find it. :)

Rosewater Cardamon Cookie

Gourmet, December 1999
Makes 34 cookies.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened (113g)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (i added 1 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon rose water, or to taste (i added around 1 tbs)
1/2 teaspoon orange-flower water, or to taste (omitted)
34 whole blanched almonds
or shelled natural pistachios (1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 300°F.
Beat together flour, sugar, butter, shortening, cardamom, rose water, and orange-flower water in a bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until a smooth dough forms.
Roll dough into walnut-size balls, then roll each ball into a 5-inch rope. Form each rope into a 2-inch circle, overlapping ends slightly. Press a nut into each cookie at overlap. (too fiddlely, i just rolled into the dough into balls and pressed a pistachio on top! :P )
Arrange cookies, 1 inch apart, on 2 ungreased baking sheets and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until dry to the touch but still white, 20 to 22 minutes total. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool. Cooks' note: • Cookies keep in an airtight container at room temperature 1 week.

comments: There was some confusion regarding the actual weight of a stick of a butter...i think that 113g is probably too little for this recipe..cos the dough was quite crumbly...the next time, i would use Copha though cos the butter tends to overwhelm the rosewater...and make the cookie a tad too yellow. They taste like something that the V tea room @ the Esplanade in Singapore would serve! Very delicate and interesting flavours...! Great with tea...cos they are quite rich.. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thai Chicken with glass noodles

4 tbs coconut cream
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs palm sugar
2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into shreds (subsituted with fishballs and tau pok)
120 g glass noodles (mung bean noodles/ tang hoon)
2 stems lemon grass
4 kaffir lime leaves ( i used the dried ones and soaked them in warm water for 20 minutes prior.)
1 red onion, finely chopped
a large handful coriander leaves, chopped
1 large handful mint, chopped
1-2 red chillies, sliced
3 green bird eye's chillies finely sliced (omitted)
2 tbs roasted peanuts, chopped
1-2 limes, cut into quarters

1. Mix the coconut cream in a small saucepan with the fish sauce and palm sugar and bring to the boul, then add the chicken and simmer unitl the chicken is cooked through. This should only take a minute if you stir it a couple of times. Leave the chicken to cool in the sauce. Soak the noodles in boiling water for a minute or two- they should turn transclucent and soft when they are ready. Drain them, then, using a pair of scissors, cut them into shorter lengths.

2. Peel the lemon grass until you reach the first purplish ring, then trim off the root. Make two or three cuts down through the bulb-like root, finely slice across it until it starts to get harder, then throw the hard top piece away. Pull the stems out of the lime leaves by folding the leaves in half, with the shiny side inwards, and pulling down on the stalk. Roll up the leaves tightly, then slice them very finely across.

3. Put all the ingredients, except the lime, in a bowl with the noodles and chicken, with its sauce and toss everything together. Now squeeze the lime pieces over the dish and toss again.

recipe from: Chicken, best ever poultry recipes by Bay Books.

Comments: Phew..that was a lot of instructions...but this dish is worth it!! I really liked it....reminds me of lasksa..but fresher and lighter...great for potlucks/ picnics i reckon, cos it would taste great chilled as well!