Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lemon and Herbs Roasted Chicken Drumsticks

We had our long weekend ... as yesterday was a Public Holiday ~ Queen's Birthday.. I always wonder why WA celebrated Queen's Birthday in the last week of September...  Eastern States celebrated Queen's Birthday on different dates and in the UK, it was celebrated the first Saturday of June.... anyone care to highlight??? Miss E was saying... that WA has different 'Queen'... hahaha, she can be funny sometimes..

We planned to do some 'Spring' cleaning especially the patio... we did nothing instead... just laze around, had BBQ... enjoy the good weather and cooked simple meal... :)
  • 8 pieces chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • potatoes - quartered
  • 2 lemons - 1 quartered and the other for juice
  • 2 cloves garlic - crushed
  • sprigs of lemon thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Washed and pat dry chicken drumsticks. Arrange in a baking dish.  Mix olive oil, crushed garlic and lemon juice with salt and pepper. Add the quartered potatoes, green olives and lemon. Drizzle with the olive lemon mixture...and lemon thyme...

Bake for 30 minutes and turn the drumsticks over and carry on baking for another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken drumsticks cooked through. Keep basting the drumsticks with the pan juice as to keep it moist.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Foccacia with Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil

This is another of Peter Reinhart's wonderful Bread story... this time its about  Foccacia ...

Since its going to be a Foccacia story...shall I start with 'Once upon a time'?? Nah!! better skip that... otherwise someone will start to snooze without even reading... :)

Peter Reinhart has been mentioned again and again in my posts (bread related)... I have learned a lot about breadmaking and baking from him. His book ~ The Bread Baker Apprentice is like a bread bible to me... Whenever I am in the baking bread mood... I'd refer to his book... and I thought that I could remember all by heart... how wrong can I be!!! there are little pointers and prompters everywhere...

Just like this Foccacia... first attempt was a success (2 years ago)... Mr H and kids have been asking for more since... I decided to bake Foccacia again this week (requested by Miss E ... many moons ago)...
I was so chuffed with the outcome... It was the tastiest Foccacia I have ever tasted.... this time ...I use the Blood Orange infused Olive oil mix with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.. and for the herbs ~ I mixed in freshly chopped Rosemary and dried basil...

The wonderful aroma of Foccacia baking in the oven ... is so heavenly.. :)

The dough
  • 5 cups of bread flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon yeast
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups of water at room temperature

Mix flour, salt and yeast in a bowl of an electric mixer, on a slow or minimum speed (dough hook attached), stir. Slowly add in olive oil then water (careful not to use the whole 2 cups...stop adding once the dough looks wet and sticky ball). Once everything is well combine... increase the speed to medium for 5 to 7 minutes or as it takes to make the dough smooth and sticky... dough should clear sides of the bowl.

Transfer to a rectangular container.. I use pyrex at this stage (you may need to dust your hand with flour..) Pat the dough to a rectangle. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Stretch and fold while maintaining a rectangle shape and let it rest for 30 minutes.. repeat twice and mist with oil. Allow the covered dough to ferment on the counter for 1 hour... then refrigerate overnight (max 3 nights) for the flavour to develop.

Herb Oil:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin oilve oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil infused with blood orange
  • 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary - chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • sliced kalamata olives
  • extra fresh rosemary for topping
  • freshly grounded seasalt

Place the extra virgin olive oil in a heat proof bowl. Place in microwave and microwave for 10 sec... check the oil.. it should be slightly warm (if not repeat the process ..using 10s bench mark)..add the blood orange infused olive oil... followed by the herbs... leave aside..

The last step :

Remove the container from the fridge at least 3 hours before baking...
Prepare the baking tray (I use swiss roll tray)... line with baking paper... spread some oil onto the paper. Lift the dough onto the baking tray... still maintaining rectangle shape. Spoon half of the herb oil on to the dough. Use fingertips to dimple the dough surface... spoon some oil again and work onto the dough... don't forget the toppings...

Proof the dough at room temperature for 3 hours or until the dough doubled in size.

Pre-heat the oven to 240C.

Place the pan or tray in the oven... reduce the temperature to 220c and bake for 10 minutes... rotate and bake again for another 5-10 minutes or until golden brown..

Remove pan from oven and immediately transfer the foccacia onto cooling rack... If the baking paper is stuck on the bottom... gently lift the foccacian and peel it off ...

Allow foccacia to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tofu chips, Enoki and Udon soup

Tofu Chips is good for snacking... and it can be use as condiment to this simple yet refreshing Udon Soup. Again inspired by Ms Hay... but I make do with ingredients from my pantry... like Enoki Mushroom and Udon...
This is one 'vegetarian' meal that my carnivore son wouldn't mind... he asked for more the next day...
  • Tofu Chips
  • 2 liter of water
  • 1/3 cup od light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 packet of Enoki mushroom
  • 1 packet og Hakubaku Udon noodle..

Bring to boil water in a big pot. Add the seasonings... and Udon noodles. Cook as per packet instruction.  Bring to boil... Then add Enoki mushroom.and serve immediately... garnish the noodles with tofu chips and spring onion and chilli (if desired)...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

We had been consuming quite a fair bit of 'meat' lately... and with the recent Eid-ul-Fitr celebration... meat consumption has doubled... the celebration food has always been rich in either meat, coconut milk, ghee or sugar. 

How not to pile on kilos...sigh... we have started our  brisk walking around the suburb yesterday... oh boy!! I was huffing and puffing after 5 minutes of walking... it seems like eternity to reach home... so unfit!!! I have to persevere as not to be laughed at by Mr H Jr (cheeky person...) who thinks that my plan to have our evening brisk walking will only be a 'passing fancy'.

I take this opportunity to thank my friends (you know who you are..) who celebrated with us last Saturday with their delicious and scrumptous 'Buah Tangan'...

Its time to go back to simple food... vegetarain meal once a week. Mr H Jr will not be too happy without his meat!!
  • 500g Gnocchi - cooked as per packet instruction
  • 3 tablespoon of Leggo Traditional basil Pesto
  • salad
  • parmesan cheese

Stir in the pesto into the cooked gnocchi. Season with salt and pepper. and serve with salad.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tofu Chips

Click here  to see how you could be one of the lucky recipient for Coles Express Vouchers Giveaway ...

I was browsing through Donna Hay's Autumn magazine...  it was described as tofu strips~ which of course much thinner than mine :) as part of a dish... but I had different ideas... as my tofu keeps breaking up, if I were to slice any thinner hence I decided to make these wonderful chips instead... 

It has that nice crunch with a hint of Chinese Five Spice after taste... everyone just could not stop munching on these wonderful Tofu Chips..
  • Firm tofu - cut into thick strips (about 1cm)
  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon chinese 5 spice
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • salt
  • oil for shallow frying

Mix the rice flour, 5 spice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add tofu and gently toss to coat... shake excess and shallow fry until golden...

Best serve immediately...  :)

Vouchers Giveaway...

I have 2 booklets of Gift Vouchers redeemable at Coles Express to give away... in Australia only...

Mr H Jr is participating in World Challenge (through his school program) to Nepal in 2011. They are embarking on an exciting yet eye opening life experience... He is raising funds by selling these vouchers (I am giving away 2 booklets.. to my 2 lucky readers .. or if you wish to help him by purchasing one of these vouchers at AUD10 per booklet... do contact me via email... thanks)

This is an excerpt from his email to us ....

"...... I am selling gift vouchers (redeemable at any Shell-Coles Express service station) to raise funds for my World Challenge Trip Camp; Community Project. World Challenge involves taking students out of their ‘comfort zone’ i.e. city life for me, and placing them into a new environment where they have to adapt and learn the culture of their new environment. This year World Challenge is taking students to Nepal . Nepal, as you already know is a third world country and we will be trekking to a remote village which will enable us, the students, to experience things that we are not used to like poverty and starvation. World Challenge will also enabled us to design our own projects to challenge ourselves, these projects range from building a house for the homeless to teaching at a rural school."

To be my 2 Lucky Readers...all you have to do is just leave a comment or name in my comment box (under this heading)  ...by 30th September 2010...
The vouchers are valid in Australia only...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brocolli Soup

I have been sluggish in updating my blog... not that I am not in the mood, there were so many 'happenings' at the moment... one of those 'happenings' is my camera~ my 'faithful' Lumix is giving up on me.., I think it is in it's last 'tour' of duty :(... sigh... sad ... so... sad.

While I am thinking of which camera to buy...  that will not burn a big hole in my pocket...  I'll be using Miss E's camera ... (or could be permanently using hers... :) hahaha ... )

Back to our food topic... Brocolli soup... I first made Brocolli soup... may be 3 years ago before my 'blogging' life... Mr H and I loved it...Mr H Jr and Miss E would put on their 'very looooong unhappy faces' ... well what can I say... kids and vegetables!!! This could be due to its texture that is not as smooth as other vegetables soup..(or could be me ~ did not blend long enough to create that 'smooth' ness)...

  • 1 brown onion ~ chopped
  • broccolli - cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 300ml cooking cream
  • chicken stock
  • almonds flakes
Saute onion in 2 tablespoon olive oil until translucent. Add broccolli then chicken stock. Bring to a quick boil. Leave it to cool and puree until smooth. Bring the pureed broccolli to just about to boil and add in cream, grounded nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Serve with crusty bread

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hari Raya Greetings 2010

Wishing Everyone ....

GOD Bless...

Green Peas Cookies

It is the time of the year again, where Malaysian and Muslim all round the world will be celebrating the end of fasting month. I was told by Mr H who was in Kuala Lumpur last week, that shopping was a nightmare... it was packed and overly crowded ...everywhere he turned... so he didn't get to do what he intended to do on his short stay in Kuala Lumpur but to attend meeting... :(

To mark the auspiscious celebration... which probably be celebrated this Friday... Miss E and I were busy in the kitchen yesterday... making these traditional cookies ...

Kuih Makmur~ recipe here  )

Bahulu ( recipe here)...

and this

Green Peas cookies...

I was introduced to Green Peas cookies by Melissa, last Chinese New Year celebration... it tasted so good that I immediately search the net for the recipe and found this ... quickly jotted down in my little red book.

It is easy to make ... however the only complain I have is that I have to take out the outer membrane of the green peas... one by one until my index finger and thumb were sore...
  • 130g green peas (160g snack pack)
  • 150g plain flour
  • 90g icing sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 100g oil

Peel off the green peas membrane/skin and ground into a fine powder... as fine as you are able to. Sift flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add salt and mix well. Add in oil and knead into a smooth dough.
Roll the dough in between 2 plastic sheets, and cut using cookie cutter.

Bake at 150C for 15-20 minutes (baking time varies according to oven... I burnt my first batch!!). Yield about 60 pieces.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Curry Puff

At first... I thought making these swirl or layered curry puffs would be so mind boggling and difficult but I was OK... Few simple steps, wrap this, roll that, slice this and seal that...then off into a hot wok to be deep fried...
Nice afternoon delight with Malaysian black coffee...

  • mince meat ... beef or chicken
  • potatoes - diced
  • onion - diced
  • curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds- grounded
  • salt and pepper
  • oil

Saute the onion and curry leaves until fragrant. Add in mincemeat. Give it a good stir. Add curry powder and cumin. Stir for few minutes then add in potatoes...and stir fry until slightly on the dry side  (a little bit mushy). Season to taste. Leave it to cool

I'll make it easier with my pictorial steps (FIG.1-4) above...going clockwise from top left hand corner..

FIG 1:
Dough A (yellow):
  • 240g plain flour
  • 100g margerine
  • 6-7 tablespoon water

Mix until a smooth dough and leave it to rest for 20 minutes.

Dough B(white):
  • 180g plain flour
  • 100g shortening
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix into a smooth dough and leave it to rest.

Roll B into a ball and wrap with A...


shape to a rectangular, then use a rolling pin to flatten while maintaining a rectangular shape...to thickness of 1cm. Roll up from the short end... maintaining a tight roll (like making swiss roll)... leave it to rest for 20 minutes.

FIG 4:

once you cut up the roll... you may be able to see the swirl ....
Divide into 20 pieces (cut into 1cm thickness)...flatten with your palm the swirl side up....

Fill up with the meat filling above and seal the edges.
Deep fry until golden brown...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Golden Marinated Hiramasa

This is another appetising Japanese dish. It is tasty and easy... serve with steam rice and miso soup for a complete meal. As one could tell ... I love to use Hiramasa in my cooking as I find that it is sweet, firm and quite versatile to use in any Asian or Western cooking. If Hiramasa is not available... then Mackerel is an excellent alternatives... happy yum..yum.. :) 
  • Hiramasa fillets - cut into 1cm thickness
  • salt
  • oil for deep frying
  • corn flour for dusting
  • spring onion for garnishing
for the marinate
  • 15g fresh ginger- grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice (about 1 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 3 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon sushi vinegar/ mirin/ sake
Mix the marinate in a bowl. Arrange Hiramasa in a deep dish. Pour the marinate over the fish and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Slowly heat the oil for deep frying. Dust the fish with cornflour and shake off the excess. Deep fry the hiramasa until golden. Drain on a plate and garnish with spring onion. Serve with steam rice.