Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies



Late last year, Miss E brought back from school... the list of 'electives' subjects, for students to choose for the following year. Since she is in the Music Programme... she was limited to two electives. She decided to do Home Economics and Photography, as her elective subjects. Was I surprise? No... I 'kind of' expected that she would picked up these two subjects...the little girl who wants to grow up and be "like you MOM"...so she saidhappy


They would cook or bake something... and everytime, she'd bring home some for us to taste ... but sometimes when she made something nice like these Chocolate Chip Cookies ....

"Mom... the cookies were so good that I finished them all...sorry..." with her Cheshire cat smile big grin... "but I'll bake some during the school holidays...OK?"
and here she is... baking her cookies for us...


She did everything ... I only helped her with the oven and of course cleaning up afterwards... oh!  taking photographs as well...winking

Carefully ... she placed them onto the baking trays...

She was looking forward to sink her teeth into this Ginormous Cookies...
but.... it broke...in transition, from baking tray to cooling rack
who is the culprit????
scroll down after the recipe.... to know that guilty person...


Recipe (yield about 12 cookies~ adapted from Miss E folder)
125g butter
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla essence 
1 egg 
1 ½ cups self raising flour
100-200g choc chips
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  2. Cream together butter, sugars and vanilla essence
  3. Add lightly beaten egg gradually, beating after each addition.
  4. Mix in sifted flour.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Shake teaspoon full of mixture into small balls, place on a lightly greased oven tray, allow room for spreading.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
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Its ME....sad

pss.. I've linked to Lisa's @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Aromatic Chicken with Yoghurt Sauce


Indian cuisine has lots of flavour with every bite... with wonderful aromatic spices like cumin, black pepper,coriander, cardamon as well as the use of fresh tumeric, ginger, coriander and mint.
Among those wonderful spices...my favourite spices are coriander seeds and cumin, and I have them in big bottles...stock up in my pantry.winking what's your favourite spice/s...?

Going down memory lane... when I was in my teens and my sisters left home to either work or start their family, and I was the only 'girl' left in the house to help my mom in her kitchen... boys were spared and barred from the kitchen... dont ask me why!! I haven't a clue till today I don't knowmom would asked me to prepare spices for her...either cumin or coriander.
I had to pound the spices... using mortar and pestle, I kept crushing and pounding until my hand ached but the  aroma from the spices permeated my senses that makes everything worthwhile... my love for cumin and coriander blossomed... The taste of cumin or coriander added to curries or any Indian cuisine... is heavenly... Cumin and coriander had made a rubberstamp in my brain sensory cells...
That's one of the reasons, I love Indian food... the aroma of the freshly grounded spices... and a good memory~ spending time with mom...in her kitchen happy

Aromatic Chicken in Yoghurt Sauce is an exquisite Indian Cuisine that uses plentiful of fresh herbs with spices, that one would fall in love with ...every single bite... plus it has grounded coriander big grin
Dont be discouraged by the long list of ingredients... it just takes a matter of minutes to blend the spices, yoghurt and herbs before adding to the chicken and straight to oven...


Recipe (from The best of Indian Cookery)
1 kg of chicken thighs
3 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoon almonds
3 tablespoon golden fried shallots (plus 1 tablespoon for garnishing)
300 ml Greek Yoghurt
2 tablespoon Hara Masala (chopped mint and fresh coriander)
2 teaspoon Garam Masala (store bought)
400ml water
1 tablespoon coriander- grounded
2 tablespoon Four Spice (ginger, garlic, chilli and tumeric - blended into a smooth paste)
3 tablespoon of oil and dollop of butter
salt
  1. Wash the chicken and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  2. Heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan, brown the chicken to seal the juice. Remove and place the chicken in a casserole dish and set aside.
  3. In another frying pan, roast then grind poppy seeds and almonds.
  4. Place the grounded almond and poppy seeds into a blender together with Greek Yoghurt, golden fried shallots, Hara Masala, Garam Masala and 200ml water. Blend into a smooth paste.
  5. Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Reuse the oil (chicken earlier) and reheat in the same dish with a dollop of butter.
  7. Add the Four Spice and grounded coriander and fry until fragrant.
  8. Pour in the blended yoghurt spice and the remaining 200ml water, leave it for 5 minutes until the mixture is heated through.
  9. Pour the mixture over the chicken.
  10. Baked in moderate oven for 1 hour or until the sauce thickened...
  11. Garnish with golden fried shallots and serve...


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baked Ricotta with Grapes and Black Olives


When it comes to cheeses.. I am the most boring person ..as I have very little knowledge about them ... my all time favourite would be English Cheddar... the only cheese I would consumed during my years in the UK... for a simple reason~ I wasn't the adventurous type...
Things change over the period of time... I started to explore, frequent and spend longer time at the 'Cheese sections' in the supermarket... again for a simple reason ~ Mr H Jr loves Cheese...

When we were living in Kuala Lumpur, his choices were limited to Kraft slices... sometimes cheddar and gouda, depending on the cost and its 'freshness'... there weren't many to choose from. Yet he was a happy, contented boy.
Perth, has changed his love for cheese into a passion... and has been on Cheese eating spree since... if he could, he wanted to sample every single Cheese on display. 
He is happier with the varieties ... right from the most common Tasty cheese... to the exquisite selection... and he would go for any type but Blue Cheese. And no more Kraft Slice Cheese for him!!!smug

And when I saw Karen Martini whipped up this Baked Ricotta Cheese with Grapes and Black olives...on Better Homes and Garden... that's it~ I had to bake this for him Us  ~ otherwise my drama queen will make a fuss and accuse me of favouritism.... so yeah ... bake for all of US!
Furthermore, I was intrigued with the combination of Grapes, Black Olives and Ricotta.

I was so excited ...and once Ricotta is ready .... out of the oven... and after the 'Photo Session'... I grabbed the crackers nearby... and started to chomp away...
It tasted GOOD... superb combination ~ sweetness from the grapes... saltiness from the black olives... with a hint of lemon thyme....  yum.. still not drooling yet??? drooling

If you are entertaining families and friends... this Easter... perhaps you may want to give this easy Ricotta bake a try?? ...



I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #6: say cheese (april 2011) hosted by Jean of Need More Noms

Recipe (adapted from Karen Martini of Better Homes and Garden)
500g fresh ricotta
2 handful of seedless grapes
1/4 cup of sliced Kalamata Olives
olive oil
sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
  1. Slice the ricotta and arrange in a baking dish.
  2. Crush the grapes in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle crushed grapes, thyme and olives over the ricotta, and add in grapes juice.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle olive oil.
  6. Pre heat the oven to 180C and baked for 35-40 minutes until ricotta is firm and slightly brown on the edges.
  7. Serve with water crackers.
note : Karen Martini added fresh oregano too... I didn't .... ~ I have no more fresh oregano in my garden as they did not survive the HOT summer

Have a Good EASTER holiday ...

psss....I have been good this Easter... I have yet to succumb to the great TEMPTATION of feasting on Easter Egg CHOCOLATES!!!batting eyelashes

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sausage and Vegetable Quiche


quiche

Friday ~ always looking forward to Fridays. I guess I am not the only one who look forward to the start of weekend. Right? Weekdays ~ I am up to my eyeball , running around kids' schedules :- school work, homework, music lessons... and the worst would be EXAM week..nail biting I think my stress level is higher than theirs.

My weekend starts around 5pm Friday evening. I can take a deep breath ... fill my lungs with O2 (oxygen)... and forget about the clock  ... I can put my feet up and relax...

And Fridays are my marketing day too, the day that I would clear out last week stock and replenish with fresh supplies.
Whatever leftover stuff that I have in either my freezer or crisper compartment in my fridge, I would chopped them up and make into this easy pie.  Nothing goes to waste....

Line pie dish with store-bought shortcrust pastry, blind bake... then fill with thinly sliced sausages and sauteed vegetables

 Pour in the egg mixture...

Sprinkle some tasty cheese...  and straight into preheated oven..

After half an hour (approximately)... Pie is ready to be consumed....oh go on

I am submitting this quickie pie to Aspiring Bakers #6 ~ Say cheese (April 2011) hosted by Jean of Need More Noms...

Recipe
2 shortcrust pastry - thaw
1/2 cup milk
5 cooked sausages - thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced capsicum
1 onion - diced
1/2 cup diced zucchini
salt and pepper
5 eggs
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1/2 cup of tasty cheese

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line a loose base quiche or tart dish with shortcrust pastry. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and continue to bake another 10 minutes.
  3. Saute the onion until soft, then add in the capsicum. Stir for about 5 minutes or until capsicum is slightly cooked. Add sausages and stir well.
  4. In a jug, mix the eggs, milk and flour. Season to taste.
  5. Arrange the sausage mix onto the baked shortcrust pastry.
  6. Pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle some tasty cheese.
  7. Bake for another 25-35 minutes until the center is set.
  8. Serve with salad.
Quiche

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nyonya Ayam Sioh/ Chicken in Coriander and Beanpaste Sauce


chicken-in-coriander-and-beanpaste-sauce

All of us are familiar with the expression of "Don't judge a book by its Cover" or "Looks can be deceiving" ... I would apply both 'saying' to this dish.

Ayam Sioh is a Nyonya Dish. One look at the dish ~ one would tend to think...
"hmm.. nothing exciting about this dish ...its plain... not colourful...dark brown in colour.." 
and eventually, we would skip to the next page or dish... and forget all about it.

I was one of many that would judge a dish by how it is presented and colour... afterall the concept of "We eat with our Eyes first' do play a major part in our daily life... agree with me?

When Mr H suggested Ayam Sioh few years back... I was the 'reluctant cook' because of the 'what I mentioned above'... but the minute I pan-roasted the coriander seeds, then grind them... The beautiful aroma of coriander is amazing!!!. Ayam Sioh had me at 'Hello'... like love at first whiff...winking

When I started to blog ... about 2 years ago... I wanted to share with everyone this gorgeous mouth watering dish, but the photos held me back... I didn't like it...
A challenging task~ to capture and present something that looks so plain but yet tasted wonderful... hence I KIV the post for 2 years... until recently... I gave it another go ... I still find it difficult to photograph ... with my limited creativity...sad but I gave my best shot...

My photos may not be 'drool-worthy' but I do encourage you to try this Nyonya Dish... you will fall in love with the dish on your first bite...



Recipe (adapted fromNyonya Flavours)
8 chicken drumsticks
1 brown onion - pounded and extract the juice
1/2 cup yellow soy bean paste or taucu
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1/2 cup of coriander seeds - pan roasted then ground
2 tablespoon of tamarind paste (or 100g tamarind pulp strained and extract with 1 cup of water)
2 tablespoon of sugar
salt to taste
  1. Heat the cooking oil in wok and saute the onion pulp until golden brown.
  2. Add in the chicken and the bean paste. Mix well. 
  3. Add in the grounded coriander, dark soy sauce, tamarind juice and the onion extract. Add in sugar and salt to taste.Add about 1/2 cup of water if the sauce is too thick.
  4. Cook until gravy thickened and chicken is cooked through.
  5. To serve, heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in frying pan, and fry chicken with some gravy until slightly brown.  
  6. Serve with steam rice.
Note:
Do taste the sauce before adding salt (beanpaste has salt added).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Raspberries and Lemon curd in Wonton Cup


Saturday was a gorgeous day... sun shining, blue sky and fresh cold Southerly wind blowing... 

I was planning to sit down and finish up this post ... but I just couldn't stay indoor for long... I kept on typing... hit the delete button... then typed and delete again...  After struggling for few more minutes... finally, I decided to go out and do some gardening... looking for some inspirationwinking If only my composing... typing would be as fuss-free as this dessert...



Only 3 main ingredients are required to whipped up this wonderful dessert :  wonton skins, frozen raspberries and lemon curd either homemade or store-bought... big grin
Since I have all the above plus some lemons in the fridge.... so I went on an extra mile to make my own lemon curd... 
Whipped up lemon curd, if you are in a hurry... refrigerate for at least 30 minutes..
Note : Add more sugar to the lemon curd if the packet of frozen raspberries are a little bit 'tart' and sour-ish.
And just before serving... prepare the wonton skins for baking... placed in mini muffin tray, shaped it like a cup and bake...  voila... refreshing crunchy dessert is ready...thumbs up...
I have only one comment about my wonton cups... although the packet labelled as extra-thin wonton skins... it is still too thick... to my liking...

Recipe
Lemon Curd click here for recipe
wonton skins
20g butter melted
fresh or frozen raspberry
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Brush both side of wonton skins with melted butter.
  3. Gently push them into mini muffins pan.
  4. Bake for 5 -8 minutes depending on the oven, until golden in colour
  5. Leave it to cool.
  6. Spoon lemon curd into the wonton cups and top with raspberry
  7. sprinkle with some icing sugar ..

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Samoan Whole Roasted Fish with Coconut Sauce


Holidaying in one of the South Pacific Islands has always been one of my many 'dream' places to visit...

imagine...day dreaming

.
waking up to the sound of waves rushing to shore...
.
swimming in the crystal clear water under the bluest sky... 
.
indulging in exotic food... fresh seafood abundance...  


*sigh*... I can only dream for the time being... as I don't foresee that happening soon... The idea of holidaying to one of the islands was put forward every year, and every year the answer would be ..."NO"... but I will not give up... smug

Recently an online book company had a Mega Sale... I ordered Me' a Kai ~ The Food and Flavours of South Pacific... since I can't experience the first two ~ the wave and the swim!!.... I could still have a taste of South Pacific... may be that will make him change his mind !!!!


samoan

Palumalau Sosi Pe'epe'e that's what it is called in Samoa... a whole roasted fish in coconut sauce.
Flavoursome meal ... strong flavours with taste of fresh ingredients that I am familiar with... lemongrass, kaffir lime and coriander...  and the 'spicy' heat comes from garam masala...
It tasted like Thai- Indian fusion...


Coconut Sauce
Tasty, easy (wash, blend, marinate... ), less mess (no sauteing, no frying... everything in oven...) ...
Definitely will be cooking this again..thumbs up plus pushing the idea of holidaying there again.. and again... and again...

Recipe
2 Taylors - scaled and gutted, then pat dry (or snapper)
juice of 1 lemon
1 can of coconut milk
2 stalks of lemongrass -coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves - coarsely chopped
2 garlic - chopped
2 tablespoon of mince ginger ( I used bottled mince ginger)
1 cup of chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon of masala spice
3 tablespoon of fish sauce
pepper
extra chilli -optional
lime wedges and slices to serve

  1. Rub the fish with some salt and lemon juice. Put it aside.
  2. Mix coconut milk, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime leaves, coriander and garam masala and fish sauce into a blender. Blend well.
  3. Cut 3 or 4 diagonal slashes on each side of the fish. Rub the coconut spice mix all over the fish and inside the gut cavity. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  5. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the fish is cook (the eyes goes opaque and flesh pulls away easily from the bone). 
  6. Leave it to cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Carefully lift the fish to another platter, drizzle some of the coconut sauce over the fish and pour the remaning sauce into the gravy boat.
  8. Garnish the fish with lime wedges, lime slices and fresh coriander.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Scallops with Saffron Cream

saffron-scallops

Scallops ~ my first taste... when I was in KL, during one of the company dinners ~ 8 course dinner in a posh Chinese Restaurant. I remembered looking at the disc-like morsels thinking... 'Is this really scallops? it doesn't look exciting...raised eyebrows'  Took a bite... I didn't like the taste of dried scallops... and canned Abalone too... It had a tiny hint of Oyster Sauce straight from the bottle with slight taste of metal... It has been years... since...

Few weeks ago, I noticed scallops ~ fresh scallops at Leedeville, on sale for AUD$2 per shell... I was keen to grab a few shells for my props .. always thinking of props... but decided against it... too many props... I have to find a proper home for them...sigh until last week, again I saw them on display in Woollies, going for AUD$ 1.15 per piece... cheaper, so I grabbed some and tried cooking scallops for the first time...  


This time... the scallops tasted much better... sweet and delicate, not fishy although it is SEAFOOD!

The saffron infused 'lemony' creamy sauce goes superbly well with the lightly seared scallops...  and  I am the happiest as I can keep the SHELLS too...thumbs up

 Recipe (adapted from Fast Seafood)
12 scallops in half shells
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 small brown onion - finely chopped
a pinch of saffron
160ml light cream
2 teaspoon lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon roe
  1. Remove scallops from shell. Wash and pat dry the shells and put it aside.
  2. Heat up oil in a small saucepan, and saute onions until soften. Add lemon rind, saffron and cream. Bring to a rapid boil and turn down the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the cream thickened and halved.
  3. Turn off the heat and put it aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain and add lemon juice once the sauce has cooled.
  5. Return to the clean saucepan and bring to boil and simmer again for another 5 minutes.
  6. Pan fry or grilled scallops until brown.
  7. Place the scallops onto the cleaned shells.
  8. Drizzle over with saffron sauce and top with little pink fish roe.