Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and A Happy 2011...


I am taking a break from my kitchen until  17th of January 2011... We are off to Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang) and Cambodia...
Miss me?? worry not ... I can be heard in Twitter and hopefully seen in  facebook ( I will tweet and FB whenever I could get wifi) ... 

On that note ~ I am taking this opportunity ... to thank everyone for your friendship and support ... It has been a great year for me... thumbs up



Wishing you
a very
Merry Christmas
and
a prosperous 2011...

Take care and see you soon.... in January 2011

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leong Cha / Selfheal Flower tea


Herbal-drink

I was having a bad sore throat last week... and it won't go away. Miss E thought that she has given me her 'germs'. She was not well immediately after her school trip to Rottnest Island... poor girl

Mr H kindly boiled some water with selfheal flowers (I read the label on the packet) for his 2 sick ladies in the house...isn't he sweet?

The herbal drink is supposed to cool our 'body' system ...  just like computer CPU... it gets heated up... so does our body especially lack of water...
I am the sceptical of the two...when it comes to traditional medicine (more so if the traditional medicine is bitter..phbbbbt.) ... I drank.. and was clueless to the taste of this herbal drink  at first... only after a few sips... then only I realised that it was Leong Cha......one of the herbal teas that I actually like...the heat must have fused my brain!!! 

For my curious friends...this is a short write -up on Selfheal flower~ sourced from Wikipedia


Prunella is a genus of seven species of herbaceous plants in the family Lamiaceae, also known as self-heals, heal-all, or "allheal" for their use in herbal medicine.

Habitat

Most are native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but Prunella vulgaris (the Common Self-heal) is Holarctic in distribution, occurring in North America as well, and is a common lawn weed. Self-heals are low-growing plants, and thrive in moist wasteland and grass, spreading rapidly to cover the ground. They are members of the mint family and have the square stem common to mints.

Medicinal uses

It is reported to have an antiseptic and antibacterial effect, and to be particularly good in cases of food poisoning. In the Pacific Northwest, its juice was used by the Quinault and the Quileute on boils. They also used the whole plant to treat cuts and inflammations. Ointments can be made by fixing the plant with grease[disambiguation needed].

Dried Prunella (Chinese: 夏枯草) is used to make a herbal drink to help restore the body to a natural state after eating too many fried foods. It is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure.

While most of the traditional uses are of unknown (and clinically untested) efficacy, Prunella vulgaris has been shown to be an antioxidant, immune stimulant, viral replication inhibitor and an anti-inflammatory agent
So there we go... the benefit of Prunella... not clinically proven but has been practised for centuries... And I am still sane...winking



Recipe
Selfheal Flowers - purchased from Asian grocer
some brown sugar
water
  1. Wash and rinse the dried flowers. Bring water to boil in a large pot.
  2. Add the flowers. Bring the pot to boil again for 10 minutes and lower the heat to low.
  3. Leave it to simmer for at least 1 hour.
  4. Add brown sugar.
  5. Sieve and leave it cool slightly before consuming.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creamy Mango Mousse


Mango

Mango season is here... yaythumbs up!

We love eating mangoes. My plans of making 'something with mangoes' often derailed once I peeled off the skins and slice the mango cheeks... It only took me one whiff and I caved in... 

If given the choice of mango and durian... definitely ...I'll go for Mango... but its 'kind of' difficult if I have to choose between mangoes or cherries... hmmm... (its alright... no one is making me choose... so I can have both...)



However, I managed to hold myself together and resist temptations... and make this mousse for everyone to enjoy... (out of 9 mangoes ~ 3 were used for mousse, 5 were cut-up and eaten fresh by everyone....and guess what happen to  the last mango??...hee hee )

Recipe:
The recipe was adapted from Mango Magic by Bay Books.
3 medium size mangoes
2 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon gelatine
3 tablespoon juice
300 ml thickened cream
  1. Peeled and puree 2 mangoes and add sugar. Stir well.
  2. Sprinkle gelatine over the juice and place the bowl over hot water and stir to dissolve.
  3. Fold dissolved gelatine in the mango puree.
  4. Whip up the cream, then fold in mango mixture.
  5. Pour into dessert cup.
  6. Refrigerate until firm.
  7. thinly sliced mango cheeks for toppings

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rosewater Panna Cotta with Blueberries


Panna-cotta

I was flipping through Donna Hay ~ Dec2010/Jan 2011 magazine, and this Panna Cotta caught my attention...

Why?
Reason no 1 ~ I have one (1) blueberry plant growing happily in my backyard. The plant has been very kind.. eventhough it was only a year old... it has given me quite a good yield... It must have been happy and contented in my garden... 
Reason no 2Miss E loves blueberries (and she often say it her 'blubberries'...) and I always stock up boxes of frozen blueberries in freezer for her convenience (and mine...smug).
Reason no 3 ~ I was intrigued by the combinations of diary products with rose water...

I'll go no further than 3... before everyone get bored and started to yawn (yawn)

Fresh blueberries and a single rose flower from my garden... (frozen blueberries in a bowl)

But ...I tweaked her recipe just a teeny weeny bit... (Donna Hay's version ~ in brackets). I do not wish to waste 100ml of buttermilk.... it still turn out delicious eventhough with extra buttermilk, less cream and additional full cream milk... I omitted the blueberry jam as I have this gorgeous Blueberries Velvet toppings that I purchased from Denmark (in Western Australia ... not Denmark ~ Europe) .. to go with it...

Recipe:
600 ml buttermilk (DH ~ 2 cups or 500ml)
300 ml light cream (DH ~ 2 cups or 500ml)
100 ml full cream milk (DH ~ not applicable)
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon rosewater
1 tablespoon gelatine
1/3 cup of water
frozen blueberries
Blueberry Velvet toppings from Blue Eden
  1. Mix gelatine and water and put it aside. 
  2. Place the buttermilk, cream, sugar and milk in the saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolved.
  3. Add gelatine mixture and keep stirring until gelatine dissolved (another 3 minutes). Strain and allow to cool.
  4. Pour into dessert glass or container.
  5. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.
  6. Serve with some blueberry toppings and fresh or frozen blueberries.
Rosewater Panna Cotta With Blueberries on Foodista

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spiced Hiramasa with Tomato, Ginger Curry


Growing up in Malaysia with its melting pot culture... I have the pleasure to savour and enjoy the varieties of food~you name it, Malaysia has it... It is a Food Haven for foodies like mebig grin... I have dined in fancy hotels, restaurants... sampling from Japanese to Dimsums to International Buffet spreads to road side 'Hawker' Food vendor.


If you are in Malaysia... you must not miss out eating in a restaurant serving Indian food... and not any Indian restaurant... but the one that will serve your order on Banana Leaf... yes, you read it right, your food will be served on Banana Leaf not PLATE!!! and eat it with your FINGERS... again you read it right... FINGERS not fork and spoon... It's lot of FUN... but be cautious... it can be addictive drooling... and the portions are ginormous (especially the rice).
Fun part is towards the end, when we have finished eating... I am always confused as to which way to fold the banana leaf (either fold away from you or towards you?)... one of the way will indicate the the food is good and compliment to the restaurant... and the other way  ~ you may see not so friendly face when you pay your Bill!!!

... and which is the right way to fold???thinking

Spices for marinating Hiramasa
Marinated Hiramasa
Spiced Hiramasa with tomato, ginger curry goes very well with basmati rice, chutney and serve on Banana Leaf... (my poor banana tree... hardly reached 1m in height...)


Recipe:
1 lime
2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
750g Hiramasa fillets - cubed
4 tablespoon oil
1 brown onion - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves   - pounded
20cm fresh ginger - pounded
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
chopped coriander to garnish
  1. Mix fish, lime juice, cumin seeds, tumeric powder, chilli powder, salt in a bowl and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Saute onion, mustard seeds, pounded garlic and ginger  until fragrant.
  3. Add tomatoes and sugar. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add the marimated fish. Bring to boil and then simmer for another 10 minutes or until fish is cooked.
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander.


Serve with Basmati rice, chutney and Vegetable Masala Stir-fry.
Spiced Hiramasa With Tomato Ginger Curry on Foodista

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vegetable Masala Stir-Fry


What is 'Stir-Fry'? Stir-Fry according to Wikipedia
(I'll cut and paste  ... save you the trouble of clicking to open up wikipedia page... and my post will not look so short...big grin )

Stir-Fry always relate to Chinese cooking... (as per Wikipedia above). And in Chinese Stir-Fry... garlic is most commonly used together with Oyster Sauce, Light Soy Sauce...
Stir frying is an umbrella term used to describe two techniques for cooking food in a wok while stirring it: chǎo (炒) and bào (爆). The term stir-fry was introduced into the English language by Buwei Yang Chao, in her book How to Cook and Eat in Chinese, to describe the chǎo technique.[1][2] The two techniques differ in their speed of execution, the amount of heat used, and the amount of tossing done to cook the food in the wok. Cantonese restaurant patrons judge a chef's ability to perform stir frying by the "wok hei" produced in the food. This in turn is believed to display their ability to bring out the qi of the wok.

And in Indian cooking~ The most common ingredients are garlic, ginger, chilli, tumeric... otherwise known as Four Spice.

I based my stir-fry on Indian cooking using the Four Spice (without chilli ~ as Miss You Know Who can't take chilli!!sigh) and the 1 of the 2 spices that I love to use ~ Cumin seeds ...

Recipe:

cauliflower - cut into small florets and microwave (to half cooked it)
5 baby leeks - thinly sliced
2 garlic -pounded
20cm ginger - pounded
1 teaspoon of ground tumeric
salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
oil
  1. Saute the pounded garlic, tumeric and ginger with cumin seeds until fragrant.
  2. Add in thinly sliced leeks. Stir until leeks slightly cooked
  3. Add in cauliflower. Keep on stirring.
  4. Season with salt.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kuih Ketayap/Pandan Crepe with Sweet Coconut filling


kuih-ketayap

Miss E said I had OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)...I guess all teens would say that to their mom...Right? hope I am not alone here.  I have to have everything in place...or events must take place as planned!!
Take this blog for example... I planned to post 3 posts per week: Tuesday is for flavours around the Globe, Thursday is for Malaysian/Asian and Saturday is specially dedicated for Dessert or sweet things...
I am going to prove(Help...the spelling does not look right here..) her wrong... and will start to post any article/post on any day... not restricting myself to the 3 days mentioned earlier...
I shall start with....

Kuih Ketayap or Crepe (oohh... sounds so Frenchwinking) is a typical Malaysian Breakfast or afternoon delight...

Why its called Ketayap?? I would not have a clue... Ketayap is a Malay word means 'White Skull Cap'... but the kuih has no resemblance to the attire... so I shall not delve into the matter further...before I make myself sound silly and stupid

This is one of the kuih that I love to eat and it is not difficult to make either. The batter should not be too thick (would you enjoy a thick crepe?? dont think so...) or too thin (difficult to roll... later).  
Words of advice: do a trial run to check the right consistency... eventhough I do follow the measurement below... I tend to add about 1 or 2 tablespoon of water to it, as I yearn for a thin and soft crepe... or in simple word : Fussy... 

Enjoy your Kuih Ketayap or Crepe with Coconut Filling with a cup of Malaysian Black Coffeedrooling

Pandan Juice:
5 pandan leaves
1/4 cup water
  1. Process the pandan leaves and water in food pracessor.
  2. Pass through siever and retain juice

Crepe Batter:
120g plain flour
1 egg
300ml coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pandan juice above
  1. Mix the above ingredients in a mixing bowl to a smooth batter
  2. Heat a non stick frying pan (small size if you dont have crepe pan).
  3. Spray with some oil.
  4. Use a small ladle or 1/4 cup, scoop the batter and pour onto the center of the hot frying pan.
  5. Using a swirl motion, quickly cover the surface and form a thin layer of crepe.
  6. When the edges starts to come off the side of the pan... gently slide or using a flat wooden spatula, remove onto a plate. 


Sweet Coconut filling:
(measurement is just an indication... adjust to suit taste)

90g palm sugar
1 knotted pandan leaves
1-1 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon cornflour
  1. Melt the palm sugar in a pan with knotted pandan leaves. Add in dessicated coconut and stir until well coated.
Putting Crepe together: 
1. Using smooth side up
2. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling
3. Roll to cover the filling 
 

4. Fold in the two sides
5. Roll
6. Ketayap or Crepe is ready ...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bamboo Shoots~ Side Dish


We have deprived little pandas of their meal... sad Bamboo shoots is a delicacy when we are far away from home. 
'Old Wives' Tale' ~ bamboo shoots is believed to have cause 'wind' and whoever has arthritis should avoid bamboo shoot altogether

I was trying out this recipe yesterday... preparing pickled bamboo shoots for our dinner as a side dish. The smell of pickled bamboo shoots is horrid (smell like urea....) and it stays in the kitchen or house for a very long time...

The minute Mr H walked in the house... I could see his face started to twitch... sick
Mr H : What's that smell??
Me : hmm... bamboo shoots
Mr H: I think I need some air...
and he immediately opened the front door and kitchen door... hoping that the breeze would clear the odour.
So yes ... the smell of pickled bamboo shoots can be a 'Put Off' ... even to our Asian nose ...

Basic ingredients ..
Recipe:

400g Bamboo shoots - purchased from Asian Grocer
2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 shallots - thinly sliced
4 sprigs of spring onion - thinly sliced
1 chilli - julienne
12-15 young mint leaves
3 tablespoon of glutinous rice -
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

  1. Wash Bamboo shoots and place on kitchen paper. Cut into thin strips
  2. Mix fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and shallots in a bowl. Leave it aside
  3. Roast (dry)the glutinous rice in a pan until golden in colour, once cooled, use pestle and mortar or processor and ground into a semi fine texture.
  4. Roast (dry) sesame seeds. Leave it aside.
  5. Mix bamboo shoots, fish sauce dressing, chilli, spring onion and grounded glutinous rice in a salad bowl
  6. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds

Bamboo Shoots As Side Dish on Foodista