Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the mapo tofu that wasn't...



cooked this last night based on this recipe...

Anyone knows of a tried and true recipe???

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spinach roulade with smoked salmon, horseradish and dill

Saw this at the farmer's market last weekend...and bought one cos they look like swiss rolls but obviously weren't sweet..

and the verdict???

SUPER SUPER yummy...!!!! I think the italian lady who makes it is really passionate and she uses the best ingredients generously.. it's in one of the stalls inside the hall..i think it's site no. 16...next to 'Worth the truffle'..

Now i have made it my personal mission to try something from her offerings everything I go to the market..support local businesses!! hehe...

A special treat from a fellow foodie..

I met up with Suzer over the weekend and look what she gave me!!!

Absolutely addictive coconut lime curd bars! 

The recipe can be found here.

thanks Susan- Qin n I really enjoyed them!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Secret Recipe!!!!!

I'm in the midst of doing a food service placement as part of my course..and so far it's been a blast!!!!
Love love love hanging out in the kitchen and it's so fun to just watch the chefs at work!!! The site that my partner and I are attached to provide meals for 600 residents in aged care facilities all over Adelaide and we are analyzing their lacto ovo pisco vegetarian menu (vegetarians who eat eggs, dairy and fish) to make sure that it meets the nutritional requirements of the residents..and other than collecting all the recipes on the menu, we get to spend time in the kitchen helping out..

and cos i spend so much time talking to the chef about cooking and baking, he decided to give me a recipe!!!

It's for an eclair (same thing as choux pastry)....i thought nothing much about it until when i left the kitchen and the receptionist and we had the following exchange:

Bev: He gave you a recipe??!!!
me: Yes.
Bev: Can I have a look?!!
me: erm, but my handwriting is really messy. Shall I email you instead?
Bev: No...I m sure I can read it!
me: *shrug* ok.

She then promptly makes a photocopy of the recipe and folds it neatly and hides it in her drawer.

I was somewhere taken aback at her behaviour, so I asked, "Doesn't he share his recipes usually?"

Bev: *looks at me with wide open eyes and shakes her head*

So you see...this recipe is really special....or at least it makes me feel really special!! hehe!!!

And now i will share it with you....:) try it soon and hope it makes your day too!!!

Chef's Emilio Eclair

1 cup water
125g butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 220 C.
Combine water and butter in a pot and heat till the butter melts.
2. Add flour and mix till it comes away from the sides of the pot.
3. Transfer to a bowl and cool for 2-3 mins.
4. Using a hand mixer on low speed, add an egg at a time, incorporating into the mixture till it is all mixed.
5. Oil a baking sheet, put mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe lengths of around 10cm.
6. Bake for 15 mins.
7. Reduce to 150 C and bake for another 15- 20 mins.
8. Fill with fresh cream.

Thanks Chef!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Miso Rigatoni with Poached egg

supper from last night..

didn't wan to make too much noise in the kitchen as it was past midnight..had a nap in the afternoon and slept well past dinner time!!
I just like the looks of this pasta...taste-wise, it is only average...

just a teaspoon of white miso and a teaspoon of chili bean sauce for seasoning (too salty ...had to top up with water and make it into a soupy dish..) on hindsight perhaps some corn kernels would be good...and maybe some sesame oil..

Cream Puffs with Pandan Custard

Reading food blogs really helps to expand my reportire of dishes...Cycling Chef recently shared his experience with Choux pastry...
and i always thot Choux (pronounced as 'Shoo') pastry were very tricky but decided to trust Cycling Chef...

who knew that cream puffs are so easy?!!!

I remember a friend asking me whether I knew how to make cream puffs 3 years ago...i did some research on the internet and gave her the recipe but didn't have the courage to make it myself...cos i always assumed they were somewhat hard to make...


Simple simple simple....

took less than half an hour and the ingredient list is short and straight forward too...

Baking in the oven..

Fresh... My puffs were stuck to the baking sheet...not enough grease..next time i will use baking paper and spray grease...

Filled them with some sort of a thai pandan custard..the custard tasted alrite..definitely on the sweet side but still acceptable...you can read more about the product here.
reckon these puffs will be great just with whipped cream..or ice cream..

The recipe I followed was from Taste.com.au and cos I didn't want to bother with a piping bag, i just scooped rounded teaspoons of the dough onto the baking sheet. No other modifications was made i think....some hints: cream puffs do tend to expand quite a big in volume so be sure to space them and also it's imperative to keep the oven door closed for the entire duration, otherwise the steam needed for inflating the puffs will escape. 

Yay!! Happiness is a fear conquered!! :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Glazed Prune Tart

1 cup ready to eat prunes
60 ml/ 4 tbs brandy or kirsch

For the sweet pastry:
175g / 1.5 cups plain flour
pinch of salt
115/ 1/2 cup butter
25g/ 2 tbsp caster sugar
2 egg yolks

For the filling:
150 ml double cream
150 ml milk
1 vanilla pod
3 eggs
50g caster sugar

To finish:
60 ml apricot jam
15 ml/ 1 tbsp brandy or kirsch
icing sugar for dusting

serves 8


1. Put the prunes in a bowl wih the brandy or kirsch and leave for about 4 hour until most of the liquer has been absorbed.

2. To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add thebutter, cut into small pieces, and rub in with the finger tips.
Stir in the sugar and egg yolks and mix to a dough using a round bladed knife.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to a smooth ball. Wrap closely and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 24- 25 cm loose-based flan tin.

5. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans or rice or baking beads.
Bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper and bake for further 5 mins.

6. Arrange the prunes, evenly spaced, in the pastry case, reserving any liquer left in the bowl.

7. For the filling, put the cream and milk in a sauce pan with the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave the mixture to infuse for 15 mins.

8. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream and return the cream to the boil. Pour over the eggs and sugar, whisking to make a smooth custard.

9. Cool slightly then pour the custard over the prunes. Bake the tart for about 25 mins until the filling is lightly set and turning golden around the edges.

10. PRess the apricot jam through a sieve into a small pan. Add the liqeur and heat through gently. Use to glaze the tart. Serve warm or cold dusting with icing sugar.

"Country Mediterranean Cooking" by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow.

the recipe is from the same book which gave us the Italian restaurant standard
foccacia bread...and to think that i got it during one of my many visits to the Salvation Army shop in my first year and just left it languishing on the shelf for more than 2 years before i realised what a gem this book is!! It is filled with so many interesting dishes and true to its title..very country style cooking.

Can't believe that this is my fourth (and final!!) year in Adelaide and I have stayed in the same townhouse all this while...
*sigh* Will be leaving for Tasmania for a two month placement in less than 3 weeks and then i will move to another place...i think i will really miss this house, the kitchen...and all the meals that i've cooked and enjoyed with friends. It's the memories which are created in a place which makes it special, isn't it? And my neighbours....I just realised (!!!!!) that i m surrounded by so many lovely people all around!!! Truly, it's in times of need that you find out who your friends are!! And I think I will miss them sorely!!!!!!

Hmmm...having second thoughts about moving already??!

Not exactly...my new housemates have been the most challenging people i've ever met in my life yet and have reduced me to a sobbing mess a couple of times and........and I've decided, for my emotional/ mental well-being, it's best to move out.
And besides, the next place will be somewhere near or in the city...so I m pretty excited about that...yay!!

So yeah...m thinking of having a farewell party soon...to say goodbye to this house..a place I've called
home for more than 3 years. (and for those who know me well...to clear out the pantry!!!)
All you lovely friends in Adelaide who read this blog are invited!! Pot luck!! Shall get clearance from housemates first though!! :)

Oh..and back to the tart, actually i used
Aunty Yochana's egg tart recipe (sugar reduced to 120g/100g though..made it a couple of times and always found it a tad too sweet) for the filling as I didn't have any cream on hand and this recipe was a back up option to the perfect party cake which was going to Culinary Princess' place...and of course, it was great for using the left over egg yolks from the cake!