Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Golden Ball of Sweet Memories

A colleague of mine, Ryan, had a trip to Melaka and brought back some goodies. On top of the usual knick knacks, he got me a pack of red bean paste & gula melaka (palm sugar) too. sweet. He knows that I love to bake, so it was really thoughtful of him. Me bake = he eat. Pretty good equation there, smart boy. Just kidding Ryan!

I have plans for the red bean paste, big plans......but for now, I'll tackle the gula melaka. The first thing that came to my mind was, onde onde! I remember how my grandma would make this for tea on weekends. I would linger by the sidelines, popping chunks of gula melaka into my mouth when grandma was occupied, and when caught, I would claim that I was only trying to chase the flies away. Ahh......reminisce reminisce.

Grandma would always make the green variety, using pandan leaves as a natural colouring agent. And so I thought that will be the way to go for me too. But I did a little search online and found 2 other recipes, one called Black Beauty Onde Onde, using black glutinous flour and the other Sweet Potato Onde Onde, using mashed sweet potato. I decided to give the latter a try, thanks to this
recipe. (I substituted coconut flavoured evaporated milk with plain evaporated milk. Maybe next time I'll use fresh santan.)

It took most of my afternoon, but the effort was well worth it. I 'learned' quite a few things, for one - don't bother weighing the flour when the recipe calls for 600g and you're using a 500g pack. Alas, I had a blonde moment.....

I also learnt that I need to be more careful when shaping the onde onde. It's important to pinch close the edges neatly or the gula melaka will leak out. As a result of my carelessness, I had to eat about a dozen of my 'defects'. Haha..

a golden ball of sweet memories

ready for boiling
the green specks are bits of pandan leaves

mashed sweet potatoes and chopped gula melaka

I still have a couple of blocks of gula melaka left. What to do with them? Let me get back to you on that one. ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bak Kut Teh

I bought a claypot about a month ago, planned to do wonders with it but the 'wonders' never materialised. Sigh...Fact is, I got discouraged after reading the usage and care tips from a recipe book that I bought. There are a few steps recommended to ensure that the claypot will survive another dish, eg. coating the exterior with a layer of oil before the 1st use, avoid using detergent while washing and so on. Haiya so ma fan! Anyways, my craving for bak kut teh couldn't wait, so I decided to forgo the claypot.

I found out that making a basic bak kut teh dish is rather easy. Just put in the sachet of seasoning mix in a pot and add in whatever that's called for on the packaging, and you're halfway there!

While waiting for the soup to boil (i added pork ribs, meat balls, enoki mushrooms, tau pok and iceberg lettuce), I prepared the yam rice. Back home in Melaka, EVERYBODY has BKT with yam rice. It's just that here in KL, it's quite rare. (I wonder how much those shops would charge in addition of yam rice, as it is BKT with white rice costs a bomb).

So here's how to make your own basic yam rice for 2:

1 1/2 cups rice (rinsed and drained)
1 cup diced yam
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dried shrimp (washed and minced)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 cube chicken stock

1. Heat oil in a wok, then add in the dried shrimp. Fry for a few minutes then add
in garlic.
2. Fry for another minute or two and add yam cubes,dark soy sauce and chicken stock.
4. Add in the rice and give it a good stir.
5. Transfer mixture into a rice cooker and add in 2 cups of water.

But be warned though, when I say basic, i mean BASIC. This recipe is good when you're having it with BKT. If you plan to have just the rice as a one dish meal, I would recommend adding in mushroom and meat.

yummy yammy!

basic BKT

a simple meal for 2


Monday, July 21, 2008

R&R weekend

After a (good) afternoon watching the whole season of Pushing Daisies, my bum started to sore from too much of lying on the couch. So giddy up I went and here it is, my weekend project - Rum & Raisin Ice Cream.

Here's part of the cast, with the tall handsome gentleman in the middle as the protagonist;

Actually the recipe calls for semi skimmed milk & muscovado sugar (a type of unrefined brown sugar with a strong molasses flavour), but I couldn't find either from the local hypermaket. Did a search on google and found the best alternative that I could come up with. (Truth is I got confused, the more I googled, the more definitions and explanations came up. And that was only good old MILK. Not to mention the musco-yada-yada so I made a wise decision, haha). Semi skimmed milk was replaced with low fat milk and muscovado with brown sugar. That's it, the final ensemble cast.

The process itself was rather simple. Just like any other ice cream making process, it includes whisking, simmering and more whisking. And oh, also that classic method of
 "coats the back of a spoon". That troubled me at first. But thank goodness my custard mixture began to thicken soon after I put it on the flame. Phew....

Then came the easiest part, chilling! Both for me and the mixture. One went in the fridge and the other one surfed FB. :)

After a few hours, came the churning process. Here's how it looks like, rockin' & rollin' in the freezing bowl;

After that's done, rum soaked raisins were folded in the soft ice cream. It took another few hours before it became this;

End result: I think there's way too much raisins and it could be sweeter. But all and all, ok lar. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Comfort Food - Century Egg Porridge

TW & I were wondering what to have for dinner when she suggested porridge. I usually have minced pork porridge back home in Melaka, but here in KL, there's just so many to choose from. There's this little stall in Sri Petaling that sells a variety of them. From claypot to tomyam to frog (eek! but I must admit the poor amphibian does taste very delicate). I personally prefer my porridge with meat in it but back home mom just loves to have them plain, accompanied with sweet dried sambal anchovies and peanuts. But that recipe, is for another day. :)

So for our dinner, I opted for this simple recipe. I just salvaged what's left in our refrigerator. Here's my version of pei tan chok. Enjoy!

This recipe serves 2:
1 cup of rice cooked with 10 cups of water
2 pieces of ginger (about an inch each), bruised
1 cube of chicken stock

chicken fillet (or pork)
1 century egg, shelled and diced
1 cooked salted egg, shelled and diced


shallots (sliced thinly and fried till crisp)
spring onion, coriander leaves (chopped) and ginger (sliced thinly)

Here's the fun part:
Put rice, water, chicken cube and ginger into a rice cooker. Let it boil (15-20mins) and add in the chicke
n fillet. When the fillet is cooked, remove to cool and then shred. Return the shredded chicken and diced eggs to the rice cooker. Cook for another 5 mins and that's it!

To serve:

Dish into a bowl and top with garnish. Don't forget a dash of pepper and oh, best eaten while it's piping hot!

nothing beats this as comfort food

dig in!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NICE stands for Nutella Ice Cream's been a couple of months since I last blogged. Blame it on procrastination. Which boils down to.....ME. Gotta kick this habit of mine. life has been rather e
ventful since the last entry. Let's see now; went for an island holiday, got straight again (calm down folks, I'm talking about my hair), moved in with my colleague TW, got involved in a car accident and got myself an ice cream maker. Yup, was so excited about the whole idea of making my own ice cream but didn't put the machine to the test until yesterday. Alas....procrastination got the better of me, yet again.

Since my blog is about food, this entry will be about my new toy - the IM280. My mean lean ice cream machin

A few weeks before it arrived, my bf
f Sweet and I went to scout for recipe books. That was how semangat we were. We also raided almost every duty free shop there is at our island holiday, for flavoured liqueurs and rum. And so with a bottle of Captain Morgan and a couple of recipe books clutched in our arms, we went home and waited diligently for our parcel. came! Sweet was more excited than I was. You could see the sparkle in her eyes when she received it. Hah....

Sweet was first to de-virginise her
machine. Twas rum and raisin for her. Mine was a far simpler recipe. Nutella. I figured it would be wise to use a fuss free recipe for the 1st time. So I googled and yahoo-ed till I came across this no brainer recipe.

All you gotta do is mix the ingredients together, chill and churn. That's all! Here's a pic of the heavenly mixtu

And here's the end product. All I can say prepared for sugar rush!

the texture is more like gelato than ice cream