Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Beef Tortellini in Calabrese Sauce

My post will be simple today....  
I'm posting this poem... written by Mr H Jr... published in his school newsletter when he was in Year 7.

When Will It End?
Wars malice spreads far and wide
When will it end?
Cannot people stand side by side
Wars malice spreads far and wide
Doors have closed and people have died
More people to fight they send
Wars malice spreads far and wide
When will it end?
  • 500g beef tortellini - cooked as per packet instruction
  • 1 bottle Leggo Calabrese Sauce
  • 8 sausages - thinly sliced
  • 1 brown onion - chopped
  • 2 carrots - cut into chunks and pre-microwave
  • 1/4 cup parmesan.
Cook the sausages and thinly sliced. Saute the onion in olive oil until soft. Add in the sauce, leave it to simmer for 5 minutes. Then add in carrots and sausages. Spoon the sauce onto the beef tortellini. Sprinkle with parmesan before serving...

note: to get the flavour into the tortellini... mix the sauce and the tortellini before serving...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Masalode / Lentils Fritters

I am in the 'Fritters' mood again....
Lentils fritters or locally known as Masalode (where I came from) or Vadey... is a wonderful 'savoury' snack for anytime of the day (for me and the kiddos). It has a nice crunch on the outside and soft on the inside...
And it is easy to make as long as you have lentils in the larder.... add a bit of spice... and voila... you have masalode on a platter....
  • 300g of yellow dhal/lentils - washed soaked for at least 2 hours then drained
  • 3 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 brown onion - thinly sliced
  • 3 dried chillies - soaked and thinly sliced
  • some curry leaves
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • oil fro deep frying
Process the 3/4 of lentils in a food processor into a paste. Pulse the other 1/4. Mix both in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.

Heat oil in a wok. Firmly compress the mixture into a disc (the mix will hold). Then deep fry each of the fritters until golden brown..

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nyonya Pajeri Nenas/ Pineapple Curry

There are 2 versions of 'Pajeri's ~ Nyonya and Malay (well... I think it is Malay, my mom used to cook them!!!..hmm...I am making assumption here...) 
Pajeri Nenas (pineapple curry)... it has a sweet, creamy and slightly sourish taste. Aubergine can be used instead of pineapple... and to get that tangy sourish taste ... just add tamarind slices..
Nyonya version (recipe below) used freshly blended spices and ingredients... whilst my mom's version used the commercial curry powder.... I'll attempt my mom's version of Pajeri next time... when I give her a call (soon)....just to make sure...
  • 1 ripe pineapple - cut into 1cm thickness
  • 3 cloves star anise
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds - pan roasted then ground
  • 1 red onion
  • 10 dried chillies - soaked in hot water
  • 1 cm of fresh tumeric
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • salt
Blend onion, fresh tumeric, chillies and pan roasted coriander into a thick paste. Add 1/4 cup of oil into a hot wok, swirl.... and add in the chilli paste and star anise. Cook on low fire until fragrant and its thickened. Add the pineapple slices, stir gently for 1 minute. Add coconut milk, sugar and water. Leave to simmer until pineapple has softened. Season with salt.
~adapted from Nyonya cookbook

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mustard, Lemon and Rosemary Chicken

Before I start my rambling on food... let me show you some pics~ taken yesterday...
The sky has opened its gates on us ... it did not rain but poured!!! After 122 days of dry spells... we could do with some heavenly nourishing 'sky juice'... Thank GOD that my house is still intact ..with a little leak in My Lemony Kitchen... as the gutter just couldn't cope with the amount of flows... 

my backyard .... inundated

garage ... underwater

Beautiful.... an aftermath of the thunderstorm

One of Miss E's friend came home to a soaking wet bed!!! Driving was the scary part as the lamp posts were swaying from side to side... visibility was less than 1m..and the trees ... OMG... broken branches flying everywhere...
Mr H Jr is at home today... as his school was badly hit in the storm ~ broken glasses ...the school's beautiful stained glasses in the Auditorium was damaged by hail (the size of a golf ball!!!)..

We shall leave the thunderstorm story behind us... expected another one today... so far ~ as I am punching the keyboard..it still looks OK outside... we shall adjourn to the kitchen...
My oven has been rudely awakened from its hibernation... Baking and roasting shall begin....now that the Autumn is here...yay...
  • 4 marylands or 2 spring chicken cut into half
  • 2 lemon - for the rind and the juice
  • 1/4 cup of fresh rosemary- chopped
  • 1/4 cup of parsley - chopped
  • 3 garlic - crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard or dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
Mix lemon rind, lemon juice, chopped parsley and rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, dijon mustard with olive oil.
Marinate the maryland with the mixture above for 2 hours or preferably overnight in the fridge.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour at 200C or until the chicken is cooked.
Serve with steamed potatoes, salad or steamed brocolli.
This recipe was adapted from one of my favourite cookbook author~ Ms Janelle Bloom.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cucur Kodok/ Mashed Banana fritters


Nice to have these Cucur Kodok or mashed banana fritters for breakfast or afternoon tea. A very humble snack ~ easy to do. If you have over ripe bananas ...that nearly turn black....don't 'bin' the bananas....mashed it and make fritters...
  • 5 Ripe bananas - mashed
  • 1 cup of plain flour (may need extra)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoon of sugar (extra if the banana is not super sweet!!)
  • enough water to make a very thick batter
  • Oil for deep frying
Heat up oil in a wok. Mix all the above ingredients in a mixing bowl to form a thick batter. Either by using tablespoon or 'fingers' dollop the batter in the hot oil. Fry until its golden in colour.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Originated from China... and known as Gyoza in late 17th century as it was introduced to the Japanese.

There has been a lot of articles and recipes written on Gyoza...and its fillings... its up to individual taste buds...some will have mince pork, cabbage etc. But I usually go for simple filling... Its either I don't have most of the ingredients in the fridge when I am in 'the mood' to cook and eat certain things..(then I'll do the 'Nigel Slater' ~ scrounge for ingredients in the larder or fridge!!) or just plain lazy... most of the the time its the later....

  • 200g mince chicken
  • 1/2 carrots - diced (finely)
  • 15 pieces water chestnuts - diced
Mix all the above ingredients and season with salt, sesame oil, pepper.

  • 2cm thinly sliced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
  • a pinch sugar
  • white vinegar
Mix all the above

Assemble: Place about 1 teaspoon of the meat filling on the gowgee skins, then 'wet' slightly the edges with cornflour mix with water... and fold....

Cooking Gyoza: bring chicken stock to boil and on the simmer....
Spray oil in a shallow pan or frying pan (with cover), cook Gyoza until the bottom turned brown then ... ladle the chicken stock into the pan. Cover and leave the Gyoza in chicken stock until its cooked and the chicken stock dried up... Serve with sauce...

Question: Which 'folding' do you like best....top or bottom photo (just look at the Gyoza displayed in center of photo)???
One folded by 'moi' and the other by Mr H....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Teriyaki Beef and Soba Noodles

Today will be another long day ...
After sending  Miss E off to the train station..., I'll start preparing and cook dinner...and dinner must be something simple and one pot meal preferably...like the Soba Noodles above... or else my carnivore son will  put aside vegetables... and pretended not to see any greens...
I plan to stop by IKEA in the afternoon (there are some items on sale~ as advertised on TV) ... enroute to Miss E's school... fetch Miss E for her 1 hour Harp lesson... unfortunately.. her harp teacher does her teaching at her home in Bayswater. While she is having her harp lesson...I'll go for another quick 'survey'.. ehem.. window shopping again at Galleria in Morley... before another long journey home through heavy traffic ... will be out of steam by 8pm ... time to zzzzzzz...
  • 270g soba noodles - cook as per packet instruction.
  • 500g lean beef - thinly sliced
  • 3 spring onion - thinly sliced
  • 3 cm of ginger - julienne
  • 1/8 cup of teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cups beansprout
Give the sliced beef a quick stir-fry, transfer to a plate. Add 2 tablespoon of oil in a hot wok, saute the onion and ginger until golden in colour. Return the beef to the wok. Add the teriyaki sauce (be careful not to use too much... may be too salty!!). Add the cooked soba noodles and keep stiring until the noodle is heated through... Add beansprout last....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Swissroll with Fresh Cream and Mango

Here I go 'Mango'-ing again....
A friend and my blog reader, Mrs Red Hat... asked, in one of my 'Post comments'... whether I have Mango Swissroll recipe??
NO my dear.. I don't have one ... but I can make up one...hehehe... 
No really... I have not tasted Mango Swissroll from the Northbridge bakery, but I can imagine  the beautiful mango flavour bursting with every bite...in the cake, in the cream and filling ... yum... 
That's why  I dare not call mine ~ Mango Swissroll ....but....Swissroll with Fresh Cream and  Mango ....see the difference?? Well.. I could call it Mango Swissroll if only I can find mango essence... but it was zilch...nutta... zero.. elek... in my quest for the essence... 
  • 4 eggs, separated plus 2 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 80g plain flour
  • 25g corn flour
  • some melted butter
  • 2 Mangoes~ 1 for puree and another dice.
  • Fresh cream - whisk until peak
Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a swissroll pan or baking tray with greaseproof paper. Brush the greaseproof paper with melted butter.
In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with half the sugar until creamy. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar (2 tablespoon at a time)... whisk until very stiff (like making a meringue). Pour egg whites mixture onto the egg yolks. Sift both flours onto the egg mixture. Gently fold with a metal or plastic spatula until thoroughly mix.
Place the mix in the prepared baking tray, smooth over. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Turn the cake over onto a greaseproof paper (sprinkle with icing sugar) and placed a slightly damp cloth on the swissroll ~ to avoid drying up. Leave it to cool.

Spread the mango puree over the swiss roll. Then spread the fresh cream and placed the diced mango on top of the fresh cream.
Using the greaseproof paper to assist in rolling..... start rolling from the long side....
Wrap the Swissroll in the greaseproof paper and clingwrap and refrigerate before serving...

Note: if the puree is a little bit on the watery side ~ then cook over low fire until slightly thickened.
A drop of mango essence into the cake batter if available.
Cake batter recipe from : The Best of Baking from Hamlyn

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tuna Pasta salad

I could feel the heat permeating through the glass windows in my study as I am typing away for this post... Its going to be another hot day today... According to the weatherman... the temperature will rise to 38C and tomorrow 39C... Oh dear!!! we are waiting for you ...Autumn... please...please be here soon....   
Another hot day = another salad day for us.....
  • 300g pasta shapes - cooked as per packet instruction
  • 425g canned tuna in spring water - drained
  • a packet of fresh salad
  • 1/4 cup of kalamata olives
Mustard dressing
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic - mashed
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt
Mix all in a screw top jar, shake well.
Mix the tuna, pasta and salad with the mustard dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sausage Stew

This is a good quick dinner for someone like me... a stay at home mom.. and yet busy with kids' schedules...from Monday to Friday... being a mom~ its a 24/7 job!! There are always things to do... cleaning (I am abnormal according to Miss E who says 'normal' person don't clean their house many times a week!! ya..ya.), cooking, cleaning ..oops I said cleaning again... gardening, marketing, banking, paying bills and etc etc etc...it's a neverending story for me!!
  • 8 thin sausages - pre cooked and thickly sliced
  • 1 red onion - wedge
  • 2 canned diced tomatoes or 1 kg fresh tomatoes - diced
  • 1 zuchini - thickly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum - thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/3 risoni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary - chopped
Saute onions until soft, then add vegetables. Stir for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the diced tomatoes and chopped fresh rosemary. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then add in sausages, kalamata olives and risoni pasta. Simmer for 20 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Serve with crusty bread.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Daifuku Cakes

Aren't they dainty looking little morsels??? Daifuku cakes (recipe from Setsuko Yoshizuka) or literally known to us as Mochi..
Mr H Jr  has another school project ... his assignment ~ is to research, prepare and cook a 'Rice' base or its byproducts theme dish or dessert ... at first he wanted to make Kuih Tepung Talam, after much consideration as time is the essence ... he decided to make Daifuku cakes instead... It was easy, quick and tasty...
The original Daifuku cakes has Red bean paste or Adzuki beans paste as filling...
It was killing two birds with one stone for us... he needed to have his 'trial run' and we wanted to bring these delightful little morsels to one of our friend's house for Chinese New Year gathering...Since there was going to be a big crowd... we thought that we should have varieties... instead of having Daifuku cakes with Adzuki beans , we also made 2 batches with Peanut filling and another 2 batches with Durian cakes filling... 
As it turned out... the ones with durian filling were gone within minutes....

For the dough or skin: makes about 12-15 Daifuku cakes
  • 1 cup of glutinous flour
  • 1/8 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • few drops of food colouring...
  • tapioca flour for dusting
For Fillings..use either:
  1. 1 canned red bean paste - from asian grocershop.. roll into a ball the size of a marble..or
  2. durian cakes ~ from Asian grocer or
  3. grounded roasted peanuts mix with sugar and a little bit of butter (roll into balls and leave it in the fridge overnight)
  4. Or all of the above
In a microwaveable bowl, mix the glutinous flour, sugar and water. Stir until smooth. Add colouring if you wish...
Place in microwave oven and heat on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir immediately (note the dough will be a little bit lumpy). Return to the microwave and cook for another 1 minute or more. The dough will rise or inflate...
Remove from the microwave... dust your hand with tapioca flour...and scoop about 1/2 -1 tablespoon of dough. Make it into a dics, and place red bean paste ball in the center, and wrap the dough around it. Quickly roll the daifuku into the tapioca flour and shake off the excess.
For decorative toppings: moist the top of Daifuku Cakes...and sprinkle some roasted sesame or grounded peanuts or green tea powder or whatever you desire... :)
Note: be careful not to burn your fingers when handling the dough ... its HOT!!! Mr H burnt his palm!!!  or may be it was just his excuse... so he need not do anymore...hmm!!!

From L to R: Adzuki beans, Peanuts and Durian fillings... 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chicken Rice

Chicken Rice is one of the favourite rice dishes among Malaysians...Some serve their Chicken Rice with fried chicken and chilli sauce... but we prefer to have our Chicken Rice with 'steam' chicken... Preparing chicken and rice is not as tedious as it looked... but  preparing the varieties of condiments may be time consuming... but the end result is... satisfying ... wholesome...  meal for the family.   

For the chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken - wash and clean. Reserve the chicken fat
In a big pot, bring water to boil. Gently lower down the chicken into the pot and bring to boil again for another 10 minutes. Turn off the gas or heat, cover the pot and leave it for at least 40 minutes (note: the time mentioned is based on medium size chicken). Drain the water and soak the chicken in cold water (to stop further cooking). 
Pour Oyster sauce mix over the chopped chicken and beansprout.

For the Rice
  • 2 cups of long grain rice
  • 2 inches of ginger - jullienne
  • chicken fat (reserved from the chicken above)
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock (water add Maggi chicken stock)
  • 2 knotted screwpine leaves or daun pandan
  • salt to taste
Fry the chicken fat with 1 tablespoon of water in a small frying pan. Using a slotted spoon, spoon out the golden crispy fat onto a plate. Saute the ginger in the chicken fat oil until golden.
Naughty note:  fried chicken fat ~ so yummy and crispy ....

Mix everything (not the fried fat!!) in a rice cooker...

Serve Chicken Rice with sliced cucumbers, blanched beansprouts and other condiments...

Condiment for Chicken Rice

Ginger Sauce:
  • 4 inch of ginger - roughly chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • light soya sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a dash of sesame oil
  • sugar
Mix everything in food processor, and process into a paste.

Garlic Sauce
  • 10 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • kicap manis
Saute the garlic until golden in colour, then add kicap manis and oyster sauce. A dash of white pepper

Sauce for steam chicken..
  • Garlic - finely chopped
  • Oyster sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • dash of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour mix with water as thickener
Saute the garlic until golden, add oyster sauce . Give it a good stir on low fire. Add water and bring to a gentle boil, then add the cornflour mix. Stir until the sauce thickened then add a dash of white pepper.

Coriander and Soy
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon kicap manis
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoon water
 Mix all in a bowl..

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mango Coconut Milk Jelly

Mango again...a versatile fruit... can be eaten fresh, make into mango chutney, mango salsa, mango salad or mango kerabu, mango cake, mango pudding and mango jelly.... The original recipe uses mash pumpkin (recipe courtesy ~ my good friend, Samantha Tan  from Melbourne). Its a crowd pleaser... easy to make. 

Bottom layer
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon agar-agar powder
  • 80g sugar
  • 350ml water
  • 250g mango -pureed (optional - use the canned mango)
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • a pinch of salt
Mix the pureed mango with coconut milk and a pinch of salt in a heatproof jug. In a saucepan, add water, agar-agar powder and sugar. Bring to boil until agar-agar powder has dissolved. Remove from heat and pour in the mango mixture. Stir well. and pour into a square mould or any mould... leave it to set. Once it is 3/4 set, make some grooves (lightly) on the surface of the semi set mango jelly.
Optional: add slices of mango on top of the semi set jelly.

top layer
  • 1 tablespoon of agar-agar powder
  • 500ml water
  • 100g sugar
  • pandan leaves (optional)
Stir and bring to boil all the ingredients above, until agar-agar powder dissolves. Pour on to the mango jelly. Leave aside to cool and chill in the fridge till firm. Cut (if it is in a square mould) and serve....

 I was trying out for presentation (of course!!!), the photos on the
Left... wine glass ..(phew!! lucky the wine glass did not break due to the heat...) 
Right...Konyaku jelly mould... notice the layers ~ swap?
shall I call it DownUnder Mango Jelly