Sunday, April 12, 2015

Marble cake


A favourite teatime cake of mine; which I finally successfully recreate. The buttery smell and crumbly but not dry textures is just as I remembered.

My notes :-
1) Halved the recipe and baked in loaf tin.
2) Roughly divided the cake batter, keeping vanilla batter the most. Added rum to pink (red food) batter.

Marble cake
via BBC Good Food

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/gas 160C/gas 4. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line the bottom with a circle of greaseproof paper. If you want to make life easy, simply put all the ingredients (except the cocoa powder) into a food processor and whizz for 1-2 mins until smooth. If you prefer to mix by hand, beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold through the flour, milk and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls. Stir the cocoa powder into the mixture in one of the bowls. Take 2 spoons and use them to dollop the chocolate and vanilla cake mixes into the tin alternately. When all the mixture has been used up (and if young kids are doing this, you’ll need to ensure the base of the tin is fairly evenly covered), tap the bottom on your work surface to ensure that there aren’t any air bubbles. Take a skewer and swirl it around the mixture in the tin a few times to create a marbled effect.
  3. Bake the cake for 45-55 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Chicken soup with Hungarian Semolina Dumplings { Grizgombócleves}


As I was scrolling my news feed the other day, I came across Jamie Oliver's recipe of Jewish Penicillin . It was served with matzo balls. I love the idea but without the matzo crackers (to make the matzo balls) I needed a substitute for matzo. My search lead me to the Hungarian semolina dumplings, which I have eaten at my MIL's place. I thought what a perfect substitute as I will put one more Hungarian recipe under my belt!

Chicken soup with Hungarian semolina dumplings
dumpling recipe via Hami Hami

For soup :-
1 medium onion, peeled
1 knob of ginger, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
6 pepper corns
1 dried bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
oil, for sauteing
3 chicken legs, de-boned, keep the bone
3 carrots, peeled and chopped half
2 parsley root, peeled and chopped half
1/4 celery root, peeled
3/4 cup of frozen green peas
salt, to taste
water

for sprinkling
parsley leaves, chop finely
spring onion, leaves only chopped

For semolina dumplings
1 egg
4 Tbsp semolina flour
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
parsley leaves, chopped finely

Method
To make soup
1) Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in pot, saute whole onion, knob of ginger, cinnamon stick, whole garlic cloves, pepper corn, dried bay leaves and bones of chicken legs.Once browned a little, add all vegetables and about 2 tsp salt. add water enough to cover the vegetables and a little more.

2) Bring the water to a boil and put in the chicken leg meat, cook the meat for 20-25 mins until cooked. remove meat from soup and set aside let it cool and later keep in the fridge. Turn down the heat to simmer the soup for about 2 hours. remove the onion, and root vegetables except for celery root. set aside.
continue to simmer soup for another 1 hour. Cube the root vegetables, and put it back to the soup add the frozen peas. Bring it to a boil again check for seasoning. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley and spring onion leaves. It is ready to be served with semolina dumplings and chicken meat.

To make dumplings (start during the last hour of simmering the soup)
3) Prepare the batter for semolina dumplings. In a bowl, beat in the egg, add in the semolina flour, season with salt and parsley leaves, mix it well. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
After 30 mins., bring a small of pot of water to boil, season the boiling water with some salt. Take out the dumpling batter, use 2 spoons to quenelle the batter into dumplings. Drop dumplings one-by-one into boiling water gently. Turn it a few times. The dumplings are reading when they float to the top and the semolina is no longer hard. Set it aside until soup is ready to be served.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Steamed fish fillets, surimi with glass noodles

Happy Lunar New Year!
I have this carp fillets sitting in the freezer and since I'm unfamiliar with this fish, I was wondering what to cook with it. My thought process was, ok nothing too complicated like frying and too much effort since I'm not sure ..hahaa. So, let's just steam it in garlic, soy, shaosing wine and oil. Simple enough

Steamed carp fish fillets , surimi with glass noodles
Inspired by Thai steamed prawns like this one by The Woks of Life

Ingredients
350gm fish fillets
100gm glass noodles, soaked in warm water for 10-15 mins. until softened
Surimi sticks, imitation crab meat

seasoning
salt, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
oil for sauté
soy sauce, to taste
sugar, to taste
water, not too much
a dash of shaoxing wine (I've substitute with white wine)

Garnishing
Spring onions, green only
Coriander / Parsley leaves

Preparations:-
1) First prep. glass noodles as mentioned above. Set aside. You can do this in advance and keep in the fridge until you need it.
2) Start by heating water in your steamer. Meanwhile, on a plate, big enough for steamer. Lay the soaked glass noodles evenly. Then place the fish fillets/surimi sticks on top. Sprinkle salt over the fish, to taste
3) In a jar, mix together soy sauce, sugar, water and dash of shaoxing wine. Pour over the fish and glass noodles.
4) Sauté finely chopped garlic in oil, don't burn it.When ready pour all over fish and glass noodles.
5) When water is boiling in steamer, place the fish platter into steamer and steam for 10 mins. After 10 mins. check for doneness. If not continue to steam for another 5 and check again until it is ready.
6) Serve immediately garnished with spring onions and coriander/parsley.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Homemade Yee Sang / Yusheng


To understand what this is all about , please visit wiki

Homemade Yee Sang / Yusheng

Ingredients
carrots, julienned
daikon, julienned (I've used local white radish)
cucumber, julienned
pomelo segments then into pieces (I've substitute with grapefruits) 
+ and other crispy vegetables to your liking
raw salmon (I've used smoked)
friend wonton skin (I've homemade based on this recipe by kitchen simplicity  )

Garnish
pinch of 5-spice powder
pince of white pepper


pickled Japanese ginger (I've made my own by shred ginger finely+water+brown sugar+salt+vinegar)

Salad dressing
Plum sauce (I've used apricot jam)
sesame oil
1 lime juice
pickling juice from ginger

Methods :-
1) Prep. the ingredients the vegetables and fruit. Put the prepped veg., pomelo, fried wonton skin and salmon in a bowl or arrange nicely on a plate. Sprinkle on the seasoning. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients together. Drizzle salad dressing all over the bowl/plate. Check seasoning, adjust if need to. Mix well and serve.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baked spring rolls


On Chinese New Year, my family would make spring rolls; a favourite of mine because I love fried foods. Chinese spring rolls as far as my knowledge goes, is deep fried. The spring roll wrappers could be bought at the wet market or the frozen section of the super/hyper market. These wrappers are moist and must be kept moist until ready to use unlike the dry rice wrappers for the Vietnamese spring rolls.

For this occasion, since the Chinese spring roll wrappers are not available to me, I've used the Vietnamese dried type. Filling for spring rolls for me growing up only consisted of carrots,jicama, dried shrimp stir fried. I've noticed many add mince meat but. that is completely up to you. Just make sure the fillings are not too wet.

Once stir fried vegetable and meat have been cooled. Pre-heat oven at 180°c.
Soak Vietnamese spring roll wrapper one wrapper at a time in cold water, lay flat and fill it up with filling. wrap. brush with cooking oil. place on baking tray with parchment paper. Repeat process until fillings is finish. Once wrapping done, sprinkle sesame seeds on top of each spring roll. Place in oven and bake for 15 mins. check if the skin is crispy. if it is, then it is done. Otherwise, keep baking until skin is crisp.

serve hot with any Asian dipping sauce of your choice.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Homemade Peanut Sauce

By now, many have figured out the short cut in making peanut sauce. It's really not hard especially if you have peanut butter in your pantry. However, in my case, peanut butter is not regularly featured on my grocery list as I'm the only one who eats it and that's dangerous! :D
One day a dish really needed this sauce to make it complete, so I thought why not give it a go with  toasted peanuts in packet that I've got on hand. The recipe still needs tweaking but the result was very promising !

Homemade Peanut dipping sauce

Ingredients (estimate only)
Peanuts, toasted, it depend on how "peanutty" you want it
oil for cooking
onion, minced
dried red chillies, to taste
anchovy paste, to taste
salt and sugar, to taste
water, as needed

Method
1) Heat oil in sauce pan. Sauté minced onion until translucent. Add in the anchovy paste, dried chillies and peanuts. Stir it a bit. add water , not too much. you can adjust later. cook until peanuts are blendable.
2) Remove from sauce pan and blend to the preferred texture (smooth or chunky) , pour in back to pan . At this point, season with salt and sugar, also adjust water, if needed.
3) Serve room temperature or hot.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Marble cake


A favourite teatime cake of mine; which I finally successfully recreate. The buttery smell and crumbly but not dry textures is just as I remembered.

My notes :-
1) Halved the recipe and baked in loaf tin.
2) Roughly divided the cake batter, keeping vanilla batter the most. Added rum to pink (red food) batter.

Marble cake
via BBC Good Food

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/gas 160C/gas 4. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line the bottom with a circle of greaseproof paper. If you want to make life easy, simply put all the ingredients (except the cocoa powder) into a food processor and whizz for 1-2 mins until smooth. If you prefer to mix by hand, beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold through the flour, milk and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls. Stir the cocoa powder into the mixture in one of the bowls. Take 2 spoons and use them to dollop the chocolate and vanilla cake mixes into the tin alternately. When all the mixture has been used up (and if young kids are doing this, you’ll need to ensure the base of the tin is fairly evenly covered), tap the bottom on your work surface to ensure that there aren’t any air bubbles. Take a skewer and swirl it around the mixture in the tin a few times to create a marbled effect.
  3. Bake the cake for 45-55 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Chicken soup with Hungarian Semolina Dumplings { Grizgombócleves}


As I was scrolling my news feed the other day, I came across Jamie Oliver's recipe of Jewish Penicillin . It was served with matzo balls. I love the idea but without the matzo crackers (to make the matzo balls) I needed a substitute for matzo. My search lead me to the Hungarian semolina dumplings, which I have eaten at my MIL's place. I thought what a perfect substitute as I will put one more Hungarian recipe under my belt!

Chicken soup with Hungarian semolina dumplings
dumpling recipe via Hami Hami

For soup :-
1 medium onion, peeled
1 knob of ginger, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
6 pepper corns
1 dried bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
oil, for sauteing
3 chicken legs, de-boned, keep the bone
3 carrots, peeled and chopped half
2 parsley root, peeled and chopped half
1/4 celery root, peeled
3/4 cup of frozen green peas
salt, to taste
water

for sprinkling
parsley leaves, chop finely
spring onion, leaves only chopped

For semolina dumplings
1 egg
4 Tbsp semolina flour
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
parsley leaves, chopped finely

Method
To make soup
1) Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in pot, saute whole onion, knob of ginger, cinnamon stick, whole garlic cloves, pepper corn, dried bay leaves and bones of chicken legs.Once browned a little, add all vegetables and about 2 tsp salt. add water enough to cover the vegetables and a little more.

2) Bring the water to a boil and put in the chicken leg meat, cook the meat for 20-25 mins until cooked. remove meat from soup and set aside let it cool and later keep in the fridge. Turn down the heat to simmer the soup for about 2 hours. remove the onion, and root vegetables except for celery root. set aside.
continue to simmer soup for another 1 hour. Cube the root vegetables, and put it back to the soup add the frozen peas. Bring it to a boil again check for seasoning. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley and spring onion leaves. It is ready to be served with semolina dumplings and chicken meat.

To make dumplings (start during the last hour of simmering the soup)
3) Prepare the batter for semolina dumplings. In a bowl, beat in the egg, add in the semolina flour, season with salt and parsley leaves, mix it well. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
After 30 mins., bring a small of pot of water to boil, season the boiling water with some salt. Take out the dumpling batter, use 2 spoons to quenelle the batter into dumplings. Drop dumplings one-by-one into boiling water gently. Turn it a few times. The dumplings are reading when they float to the top and the semolina is no longer hard. Set it aside until soup is ready to be served.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Steamed fish fillets, surimi with glass noodles

Happy Lunar New Year!
I have this carp fillets sitting in the freezer and since I'm unfamiliar with this fish, I was wondering what to cook with it. My thought process was, ok nothing too complicated like frying and too much effort since I'm not sure ..hahaa. So, let's just steam it in garlic, soy, shaosing wine and oil. Simple enough

Steamed carp fish fillets , surimi with glass noodles
Inspired by Thai steamed prawns like this one by The Woks of Life

Ingredients
350gm fish fillets
100gm glass noodles, soaked in warm water for 10-15 mins. until softened
Surimi sticks, imitation crab meat

seasoning
salt, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
oil for sauté
soy sauce, to taste
sugar, to taste
water, not too much
a dash of shaoxing wine (I've substitute with white wine)

Garnishing
Spring onions, green only
Coriander / Parsley leaves

Preparations:-
1) First prep. glass noodles as mentioned above. Set aside. You can do this in advance and keep in the fridge until you need it.
2) Start by heating water in your steamer. Meanwhile, on a plate, big enough for steamer. Lay the soaked glass noodles evenly. Then place the fish fillets/surimi sticks on top. Sprinkle salt over the fish, to taste
3) In a jar, mix together soy sauce, sugar, water and dash of shaoxing wine. Pour over the fish and glass noodles.
4) Sauté finely chopped garlic in oil, don't burn it.When ready pour all over fish and glass noodles.
5) When water is boiling in steamer, place the fish platter into steamer and steam for 10 mins. After 10 mins. check for doneness. If not continue to steam for another 5 and check again until it is ready.
6) Serve immediately garnished with spring onions and coriander/parsley.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Homemade Yee Sang / Yusheng


To understand what this is all about , please visit wiki

Homemade Yee Sang / Yusheng

Ingredients
carrots, julienned
daikon, julienned (I've used local white radish)
cucumber, julienned
pomelo segments then into pieces (I've substitute with grapefruits) 
+ and other crispy vegetables to your liking
raw salmon (I've used smoked)
friend wonton skin (I've homemade based on this recipe by kitchen simplicity  )

Garnish
pinch of 5-spice powder
pince of white pepper


pickled Japanese ginger (I've made my own by shred ginger finely+water+brown sugar+salt+vinegar)

Salad dressing
Plum sauce (I've used apricot jam)
sesame oil
1 lime juice
pickling juice from ginger

Methods :-
1) Prep. the ingredients the vegetables and fruit. Put the prepped veg., pomelo, fried wonton skin and salmon in a bowl or arrange nicely on a plate. Sprinkle on the seasoning. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients together. Drizzle salad dressing all over the bowl/plate. Check seasoning, adjust if need to. Mix well and serve.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Baked spring rolls


On Chinese New Year, my family would make spring rolls; a favourite of mine because I love fried foods. Chinese spring rolls as far as my knowledge goes, is deep fried. The spring roll wrappers could be bought at the wet market or the frozen section of the super/hyper market. These wrappers are moist and must be kept moist until ready to use unlike the dry rice wrappers for the Vietnamese spring rolls.

For this occasion, since the Chinese spring roll wrappers are not available to me, I've used the Vietnamese dried type. Filling for spring rolls for me growing up only consisted of carrots,jicama, dried shrimp stir fried. I've noticed many add mince meat but. that is completely up to you. Just make sure the fillings are not too wet.

Once stir fried vegetable and meat have been cooled. Pre-heat oven at 180°c.
Soak Vietnamese spring roll wrapper one wrapper at a time in cold water, lay flat and fill it up with filling. wrap. brush with cooking oil. place on baking tray with parchment paper. Repeat process until fillings is finish. Once wrapping done, sprinkle sesame seeds on top of each spring roll. Place in oven and bake for 15 mins. check if the skin is crispy. if it is, then it is done. Otherwise, keep baking until skin is crisp.

serve hot with any Asian dipping sauce of your choice.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Homemade Peanut Sauce

By now, many have figured out the short cut in making peanut sauce. It's really not hard especially if you have peanut butter in your pantry. However, in my case, peanut butter is not regularly featured on my grocery list as I'm the only one who eats it and that's dangerous! :D
One day a dish really needed this sauce to make it complete, so I thought why not give it a go with  toasted peanuts in packet that I've got on hand. The recipe still needs tweaking but the result was very promising !

Homemade Peanut dipping sauce

Ingredients (estimate only)
Peanuts, toasted, it depend on how "peanutty" you want it
oil for cooking
onion, minced
dried red chillies, to taste
anchovy paste, to taste
salt and sugar, to taste
water, as needed

Method
1) Heat oil in sauce pan. Sauté minced onion until translucent. Add in the anchovy paste, dried chillies and peanuts. Stir it a bit. add water , not too much. you can adjust later. cook until peanuts are blendable.
2) Remove from sauce pan and blend to the preferred texture (smooth or chunky) , pour in back to pan . At this point, season with salt and sugar, also adjust water, if needed.
3) Serve room temperature or hot.