Foodie

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chance Tomato Gugelhupf







I named this savory Gugelhupf after my dear friend, Nancy whose nickname is 'Chance'. This nickname is only known among our classmates from The Convent. Being taught to speak in english, we would all chance or dance but nancy somehow adopted the american slang and it was 'Chance", so that's why we nicknamed her so. Nancy has the same passion as i do, we both love to bake and our conversion would be always about baking something. I have told her that i wanted to make 'gugelhupf' but have not been able to bake one cos i do not have the proper mould. The day, i took her to Denver downtown, it was so hot that we can't remain outdoors anymore, by chance , we landed in TJMAX and what did we see? A blue silicone gugelhupf mould staring at us. Since my birthday was around the corner, 'Chance' gave me the most wanted present and so i have to bake a gugelhupf as soon as we got home. Thank you, dear 'Chance' for making this possible and hope that you had a safe and comfortable journey home to Malaysia.

Ingredients:

(for a 23 cm / 9 inch bundt pan)
3 large eggs + enough water to make 1 cup
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 stick/4 ozs soft butter
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 bunch parsley
4 spring onions
25 cherry tomatoes
a dash of pepper
Method:
Roast pine nuts without any oil until fragrant.
Wash and chop parsley.
Wash and dice spring onions.
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Put the ingredients for the bread in the bread machine according to the order listed, starting with the liquids and ending with the yeast on top of the flour.
Choose the dough function and when dough has formed, add in the butter.
At the first beep, add in the pine nuts, parsley and spring onions. Continue dough function until it is over. The dough should have been doubled.
Butter the bundt pan.
Wash and dry the tomatoes.
Roll the dough into a log shape.
Cut off 25 slices of dough.
Press down each slice, put one tomato on each slice, add some pepper.
Wrap each tomato into the slice of dough, forming little balls.
Put balls into pan.
Let rise until dough has doubled its volume.
Bake on bottom rail of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
Let cake rest for 10 minutes, then flip over onto a wire rack.





Serves
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mussels The Asian Way




There are many ways to cook mussels but i like to cook them the asian way which i find is the best way as good mussels, fresh or frozen should be cooked in a subtle and simple way so as not to mar the flavor or texture - "Less is more when it comes to cooking mussels! "



Ingredients:
2 lbs mussels(fresh or frozen) - To clean mussels visit How to clean mussels
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped chili padi/jalapeno
3 - 4 tbsp shaoxing wine
A dash of fish sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped spring onion

Method:

Heat wok with cooking oil and when oil is hot, add in chopped ginger , garlic and chili padi .
Saute until fragrant but not browned.
Add in the cleaned mussels and stir.
Add in the shaoxing wine, fish sauce and black pepper.
Cover wok , this creates the necessary steam required to open the shells. It will also decrease the overall heat within the pan. Continue to finish cooking.
After about 4 minutes, remove the lid. At this point, most if not all of the mussels will be open. Mussels, unlike clams, will open before they are cooked all of the way through. If some of your mussels have not opened, then it is possible that either they were not cooked long enough, or they are bad and should be discarded. If most of them have not yet opened, place the cover back on the wok and wait another minute or two. Be careful not to cook the mussels for too long, as they will become tough and grainy if overcooked.

Sprinkle with spring onions and serve immediately.

Serves
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pie Tee














I am very perplexed as to why this delicate and delicious appetizer is so called - Pie Tee . I know it does resemble a tiny pie, it has a crust and filling but to relate to Tee ????? - the only Tee i know is in the Golf course. What i do know is that this is a NYONYA speciality and it could be a more sophisticated way to serve the big brother, Popiah. The Thai Krathong Thong - Golden Flowers is very similar and the Krathong Mould has more shapes, 4 patterns attached to a handle, therefore it is so much more faster to make the cups than the malaysian pie tee mould which is single.


STEP TO STEP - HOW TO MAKE THE PIE TEE CUPS


Mix the ingredients for the batter and leave to rest for 30 minutes













Put enough oil to cover the mould and heat to 350f. Put the mould in to heat













Pour batter into a coffee cup and when mould is hot, dip it on batter, make sure that it covers the whole mould but not to the very brim.















Put mould into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Shake mould to dislodge cup and if it does not come out by itself, aid it with a skewer. Fry mould until crispy but not totally golden brown.









Remove cup from oil and leave on an overturned cake rack which has kitchen towel underneath to catch the dripping oil.




These cups are not totally browned and need to be refried until golden brown. You could fry them until golden brown the first time round.



Serve and enjoy













Ingredients:

Pie Tee Cups

1 cup + 2 tbsp rice flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup corn starch/ flour
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
400 ml water - extra for adjusting as you go along
4 cups vegetable oil for frying

Filling :
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 large jicama/bangkuang - finely shredded
1 piece dried squid - wash and shred fine
or/and 2 tbsp dried shrimp - wash and chop fine
1 carrot - peeled and finely shredded
1 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1/2 cup stock/water
Garnishes:
Coriander leaves
Red chilli, finely sliced
Cooked Shrimp - skinless
Crab Meat - steamed with some shaoxing wine
Fried Shallots
Omelette - thinly julienned
Chilli sauce
Method:

To prepare the Pie Tee Cups

Mix all ingredients together and leave aside for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil then put the Pie Tee mould in the oil to heat up.

Dip the mould into the batter and plunge back into the hot oil.

Fry until light brown. Then shake to remove the cup from the mould. Use a skewer to aid if the cup does not fall off the mould by itself. When dislodged, fry the cups until crispy.

Place on overturn cake rack which has the kitchen paper underneath, to drain,
Repeat until all the batter is used up.
Refry the cups until golden brown and crispy, drain.
Pie Tee cups can be prepared ahead and kept in air-tight container until needed.


To prepare the FILLING


Put the oil in a hot wok and stir fry onion and garlic.

Add the rest of the ingredients, fry until vegetables are fairly soft and the sauce all soaked up by the vegetables. Leave them to cool.




To serve:




Place pie tee cups separately and guests are to fill the cups with the filling and garnishes.




Enjoy




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Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Bean Sweetened Soup



Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This Summer has been the busiest and happiest as i have the pleasure of entertaining friends from Malaysia, and i have been neglecting my blog and so many other things. I did not even realised that the the holy month of Ramadan has already started a few days ago until i received an email from Karr Wei, who posted my Kuih Bakar on the StarMetro, a sunday section of The Star. The article can be found as Simple Delightful Kuih



To all Malaysians and everyone who is observing this holy month, i wish you all the best and Selamat Buka Puasa


Ingredients:

1 cup mung beans/green beans - washed and soaked for 1 - 2 hrs
1/2 cup dried kelp (海带)
Granulated sugar/Rock sugar to taste


Method:

Put soaked beans and kelp in a pressure cooker and top with enough water to reach to 1/2 of the 6 quarts pr essure cooker. Close the lid and cook on high - 15 lbs pressure for 30 minutes - time starts when the 15 lbs of pressure has been reached, that is the pot will be hissing like crazy. Reduce heat to maintain 15lbs pressure.

Release pressure before opening the lid.

Check the beans for desired softness (cook further if it is not ready).

Add enough of sugar according to taste and bring the soup back to the boil and cook until sugar has dissolved.

Enjoy
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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Daifuku
























These are so good! Daifuku (which means great luck) is a Japanese sweet treat made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. The outside is a glutinous rice cake called mochi. For daifuku, it generally means it’s filled with anko, which is sweet red-bean paste. The most common mochi are white, pale green or pale pink. A current popular trend for daifuku is a filling of fresh strawberry covered in strawberry jam or anko ; covered, of course, in mochi. Daifuku come in two common sizes, one about the diameter of a half-dollar coin; the other is palm-sized or in my case, i follow the size of the strawberry. Some versions of daifuku contain other types of fruit, mixtures of fruits and anko, and crushed melon paste. Daifuku is usually covered in a fine layer of corn or taro starch to keep them from sticking to each other or to the fingers as you eat them. Some are covered with confectioner's sugar or cocoa.You can make various daifuku--just change the filling.



Ingredients:



1 cup shiratama-ko (glutinous rice flour)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup premade anko



12 fresh strawberries - choose all the same size
Katakuri-ko (potato starch) for dusting

Method:

Make 12 small anko balls and wrap strawberries in.



Put water and sugar in a heat-resistant bowl and mix well.

Add shiratama-ko flour in the bowl and mix well.

Put the bowl in microwave and heat the dough for two minutes. Stir the dough.



Heat the dough in microwave until the dough inflates. Stir the mochi quickly.



Dust a flat pan with some katakuri-ko starch. Also, dust hands with some katakuri-ko.



Remove the hot mochi from the bowl to the pan by hands. Dust hands with more katakuri-ko starch and divide the mochi into 12 pieces by hands. The mochi is hot and sticky, so be careful not to burn your hands. Make 12 flat and round mochi.






Fill mochi with prepared strawberry anko balls.






Repeat the process to make daifuku cakes.






Makes 12 daifuku.

Serves



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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fan Tuan
























i have not heard about this breakfast delight until my friend, Claire asked me about it. I looked up in the net and found what it is and it looked easy to prepare. I had all the ingredients to make them and i even made the Yau Char Kway. It is a really heavy breakfast, one of these rice rolls will fill you until dinner, you can skip lunch.


Ingredients:
2 cups glutinous rice - washed and soaked
1 cup Pork Floss
1/2 cup sichuan vegetable(char choy)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
8 pieces Yau Char Kway
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp oil



Method:
Put glutinous rice and salt in a rice cooker and add in water just enough to cover the rice.
Cook rice until cooked.
Heat oil and add in chopped garlic. Saute until garlic is fragrant, then add in the sichuan vegetable. Add in sugar to taste. Remove and set aside to cool.
To assemble:
Place a huge scoop of cooked rice on a cling wrap with a sushi mat at the bottom, then to top rice with a tbsp sichuan vegetable, 2 tbsp of pork floss and a piece of yau char kway.
Roll the rice over to cover the fillings and wrap tight with the cling wrap.
The roll is ready to eat


Serves
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Alexander's 4th Birthday Cake - Autobots
















OMG, my little Alexander is already FOUR and his request for his birthday theme was not an easy task as he had a favorite everyday. One day, it was Thomas the Tank Engine, the next day, it was Spiderman or Batman. He could not make up his mind but we told him that it can only be his most favorite and he chose The Transformers. The party stuff was easy as the stores have a complete selection for this theme. We even got him a Pinata which was Optimus Prime. The hard part was the cake - usually, i have time to come up with ideas but this year, i had to spend time with my dear friends who were visiting. I had wanted just to make the cake and place the Transformers as toppings but Alexander gave me the idea of this Autobot when he came to ask me to fix this emblem onto his Optomus Prime costume. I had the emblem enlarged to the size that will fit 9 x 13 cake and the original idea was to pipe the design on. I was staring at a white iced cake when i saw a pack of Red Vines Twist on the counter. The red color was exactly the same as the emblem and it made my day. I had the vines cut to the size of the enlarged copy and just assemble them like you would for a jigsaw puzzle, viola the cake is done and he loved it and wanted his Bumble Bees to be on it too.




Ingredients:
A 9 x 13 cake pan
A box of yellow cake or whatever cake you desire
A pack of Red Vines Twist







Serves
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Flaky Apple Turnovers






















I made these turnovers following Bakers' Banter and they were the best turnovers i ever made. I could not wait to bake this pastry and had to make some turnovers as soon as the pastry was ready. I did not have the ingredients for the raspberry filling but had some apples sitting on the counter,. so Apple Turnovers were baked and were so welcomed by everyone who tasted them , They were the flakiest ever, light and buttery. Please do refer to Bakers' Banter for step to step instructions.













Ingredients:

1 ½ cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup/8 ozs cold butter
1/2 cup/4 ozs sour cream



Filling

3 tablespoons Instant ClearJel® or cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen or apples - peeled and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to seal pastries (optional)

*If you use cornstarch, you'll want to dissolve it in cold water, rather than stir it into the sugar.


Method:

1) To make the crust: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.


2) Cut the cold butter into pats, and work it into the flour mixture till it's unevenly crumbly, with larger bits of butter remaining intact.


3) Stir in the sour cream. The dough will be craggy, but cohesive.


4) Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and bring it together, if necessary, with a few quick kneads.


5) Pat the dough into a rough square, then roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle.


6) Dust both sides of the dough with flour. Starting with one of the shorter (8") ends, fold it in thirds like a business letter, flip it over (so the open flap is on the bottom), and turn it 90°.


7) Roll the dough into an 8" x 10" rectangle again. Fold it in thirds, wrap in plastic, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before using.


8) While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Mix the sugar and ClearJel till well combined. If you're using cornstarch, mix it with enough cold water to dissolve.


9) Add the sugar mixture to the raspberries, tossing to combine. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon (and the cornstarch/water mixture, if you're using cornstarch).


10) Heat the mixture in a saucepan over very low heat, stirring, till the berries soften and fall apart. The mixture will be thick and jam-like, even though it doesn't really warm up much; this will take under 5 minutes. If you use cornstarch, cook and stir till the mixture bubbles and thickens. You can prepare the filling up to several days before; cover and refrigerate till you're ready to use it.


11) You can also do this in a microwave; heat till the berries soften, then stir till they fall apart and the mixture thickens, like jam.


12) When you're ready to assemble the turnovers, preheat the oven to 400°F. Roll the chilled dough into a 16" square. Cut sixteen 4" squares, for small, triangular turnovers. For round turnovers, use a turnover press to cut nine 4 1/2" rounds. Re-roll the dough scraps, and cut 4 or 5 additional rounds, as many as you can get out of the scraps.


13) If desired, for a tighter seal, brush two adjoining edges of each square (or half of each circle) with 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water.


14) Place about 2 teaspoons filling slightly off-center in each square. Or about 4 teaspoons slightly off-center of each round; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.


15) Fold the turnovers in half. If you've cut the dough in squares, fold in half diagonally, to create triangular turnovers. Press the edges with a fork to seal.


16) Place the turnovers on a baking sheet, preferably one lined with parchment to catch any spills. Bake in the preheated 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're a deep, golden brown; you may see some of the filling beginning to ooze out.


17) Remove the turnovers from the oven, and cool on a rack.



Serve warm, or at room temperature.


Yield: about 16 triangular turnovers



Serves

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Cornish Pasties











Making the shortcrust pastry for these pasties bring back fond memories. This is the first pastry that i learned to make when i was in school and i have always treasured the moments of these cookery classes, where we learned the technics of making goodies to eat and the beginning of a long culinary journey for me. My girlfriend, Nancy, who is visiting me at the moment, has been through thick and thin with me in the Convent, inspired me to make these as a remembrance of our friendship which started in 1952, the first day we attended Stantard One in The Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, Seremban. We were classmates until we left school in 1962. Nancy is only one of the classmates who are all very dear to me. Christina, Alice, Florie, Lee Lan, Sang Meng, Nyong Nga,Cheng Mei, Maqgie, Joan and many more, if you all happen to read this, i missed you all.
My filling for these pasties is the leftover from the Corned Beef, Onion and Potatoes.




Ingredients:

4 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups lard, chilled (3/4 lb) cut into ¼ inch cubes
8-10 tablespoons ice water
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

FILLING:

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make pastry
Using the food processor, pulse together flour and salt, then add in the fat to make a coarse meal. Add 8 tablesppons ice water all at once. If dough crumbles, add more water. Refrigerate to rest one hour before rolling out.

Roll dough to a circle ¼ inch thick and cut into 6 inch rounds. Re-roll and scraps and cut into additional circles.

Put ¼ cup of the mixture into the center of a rolled out pastry.

Moisten pasty edges, fold in half, and crimp to seal. Place on a lined baking sheet and brush lightly with egg wash.
Make 2 slits in each pasty to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 400 degrees F 15 minutes, reduce heat and continue at 350 degrees F until golden.

Serve hot or cold.



Serves
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