Thursday, January 29, 2009

Homemade Silky Egg Tofu

I have to share this recipe with you guys who love tofu and it was an achievement in my cooking adventure. The silky texture is enough to woo my Piggies and this dish was the first to be finished :)))  I deep fried the tofu and served it with Thai Chilli Sauce as dipping. 

So, being the adventurous me, I gave it a shot and to my amazement, the tofu turned out silky despite the fact that I had oversteamed it by 3 minutes. The eggy rich flavoured tofu was easy to make and it was the favourite dish of the day….for I had a request from Daddy during the reunion lunch to make this tofu again for him (“,)

This homemade egg tofu was a last minute item for our reunion lunch . I can’t believe that I actually make my own homemade silky egg tofu! I came across this food magazine called “ flavours ” March-April 2008 issue,  which taught us how to make our own egg tofu. Wow, I thought what a good idea to add this item to the lunch menu coz tofu is light and everyone in the family loves tofu. The light and silky texture would fulfill the ever demanding expectations of my Piggies..what more when it is homemade and preservative free !  ^  *








Homemade Silky Egg Tofu

Ingredients:

500 ml fresh unsweetened soy milk
6 Grade A eggs - light beaten
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

Line a rectangular steel tray with cling wrap. Pour soy milk into a large bowl, add eggs , chicken stock powder and salt. Mix well with a fork and strain into the steel tray to come up the sides about 3 cm.

Cover the tray with cling wrap to prevent water droplets dripping on to the tofu while steaming.

Steam over medium heat for 12 minutes. Leave to cool, then slice the tofu into pieces. The tofu can be kept in the fridge covered , for 2 days.

Note: You can deep fried it and served with dippings or deep fried and stewed it with a sauce.

Sauce for recipe

200ml superior chicken stock
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
10 g tapioca flour, mixed with a little water

To prepare the sauce:

Heat a wok over medium heat; add superior chicken stock, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Add tapioca flour mixture, bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Pour over the deep fried tofu and serve.


Hope you too will get to experience my happiness when you try this out :)))

Enjoy !


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reunion Lunch

I wondered how I could have cooked the reunion lunch dishes single-handedly. Super woman or super momsie whatever , reunion lunch has to be served and was glad that all the dishes turned out yummilicious and the mmmm and the wow….was worth all the hard work and tiredness.
I prepared all the ingredients the nite before and woke up early to cook the first dish - Braised Dried Oysters With Fatt Choy ( dried black sea moss) & Mushrooms. The second dish - Steamed Drunken Prawns , steamed 20 minutes before lunch was served. The third dish - Ju Hu Char ( Fried Shredded Turnips with Dried Cuttlefish) a must for the Hokkien , the amount of work involved in cooking this dish is indescribeable...every ingredients have to be cut into fine strips ( done overnite). The fourth dish - Pan Seared Cod Fish With Garlic and the last dish was - Deep Fried Homemade Egg Tofu - the recipe for making this homemade egg tofu will be posted up in my next post. Dessert was made the nite before - Soybean Milk Jelly


Braised Dried Oysters With Fatt Choy & Mushrooms


Steamed Drunken Prawns


Ju Hu Char - Fried Shredded Turnips With Dried Cuttlefish


Pan Seared Cod Fish With Garlic


Deep Fried Homemade Egg Tofu


Dessert - Soybean Milk Jelly

We had a sumptious and yummilicious reunion lunch and the fellowship with one another over good food was great . We enjoyed not just the food but the fellowship as well. Piggy Gal’s bf came over to join us for our reunion lunch for the 3rd year. Wow…the friendship still strong :)))

I will be put up the recipe for the homemade egg tofu in my next post...stayed tuned!



********

For the last few days, I have been enjoying myself tremendously,
despite all the cooking and I am chomping down all the new year goodies
.............getting rounder and heavier ^ *

** shhhhh life is all about eating :))))


Monday, January 26, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai


Wishing all my friends and blog readers

Gong Xi Fa Cai

&
enjoy lotz of good food....
:)))

With Love,
Elin & Her Piggies




Friday, January 23, 2009

Pineapple Tarts/ Pineapple Rolls (2)


This is the rolled type of pineapple tarts aka known as nastar ( Indonesian style ) . With so much of the pineapple jam paste left, I decided to have more fun doing this tarts. Melts in the mouth and it’s everyone’s favourite . Even my muslim colleagues love it ! I will normally make extras for them before CNY becoz if I were to wait until I come back from the CNY holidays, the pineapple tarts will not be fresh then coz I will be taking a week off. To spend time with my Piggies of course.

Yipee….they have a week off from college before they goes back for their last paper . And then it will be their 2nd semester break. Piggy Boy has five weeks off and Piggy Gal has 3 months off…imagine that, it will sheer JOY for Momsie having her Piggies back with her. Typical of asian moms to have their children with them always :))) I AM ONE !!!

I love being their slaves..haha juz kidding here. They love to EAT and I love to COOK & BAKE so we are one best team here :)





Back to this tarts, it is actually not that hard to make. Juz that the pastry has to be rested awhile before it can be put into the nastar mould and press out. And the pastry will not be too soft to handle. This , I discovered after many attempts. I won’t say that I am good at it but at least for this attempt , the pastry was easier to handle and I managed to do one load in two hours and it turned out nice and I had a wonderful time making them.

This is truly one tart that melts in the mouth and you won’t realize how many you have taken…haha juz like Daddy , the first thing he told me was “ this is really good ” . ^ * This recipe is adapted from Amy Beh second cook book.



Pineapple Tarts/Pineapple Rolls

Ingredients

150g butter
100g margarine
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt

Sift:350g plain flour
50g cornflour

Pineapple jam:

300g grated pineapple
150g castor sugar
1/2 tsp pineapple essence
1/4 tsp lemon essenceEgg

Glaze:

1 egg yolk
1 tsp condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
l/4 tsp water

Method

To make the pineapple jam: Place grated pineapple and sugar in a heavy-bottomed aluminium saucepan and cook over moderate heat until it begins to boil. Add essences and lower the flame, then continue to cook until mixture is almost dry and thick. Keep stirring all the time (this takes about an hour). Leave aside to cool.

To make the pastry:

Cream butter, margarine and sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add essence and salt and beat until fluffy.Fold in sifted dry ingredients and mix to a firm dough. Put mixture into a nastar mould and press out into strips 6cm to 7cm long.Place 1/2 tsp of pineapple jam filling on the edge of a strip and make a small elongated roll. Cut off excess dough. Put nastar rolls on greased trays. Brush with egg glaze. Bake in preheated oven at 180ºC for 20 minutes or till golden brown. Cool on wire racks before storing.

Note: To make egg glaze, lightly beat the above glaze ingredients together.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chilled Tofu



Tofu is one wonderful food item that my family loves and wouldn’t mind having them daily. Tofu has a silky texture and blandness…..only the Chinese and Japanese can truly appreciate it. It can be prepared in so many ways and no matter how it is cooked, will still have us enthralled each time it is being served. It is cheap and its non-animal protein source make us want to eat more tofu. Also rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre and low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free.




Since my Piggies love tofu so much, I will have to learn to make my own tofu . I am not joking as tofu manufacturing methods using additives that are potential health hazards. Traditionally, the Chinese use calcium sulfate (gysum, sek ko fuhn ) to create a tofu rich in calcium. Whereas , the Japanese uses nigari to coagulate the soybean milk. I will use nigari which is much healthier when I make my own tofu. I am now very keen to try out making my own tofu :))


Although tofu is pretty much bland on its own, it is quite delicious when dressed up with bvarious kinds of meat, seafood, vegetables and sauces. The combination is almost endless and tofu can also be stir-fried, deep fried, steamed,baked, boiled and braised. And today I will share with you , chilled tofu with ginger and onions paste topping. The aroma from the sizzled ginger and shallots paste , added to the chilled tofu..MmmMmmm every mouthful will have the lips smacking each others... really… try it to know what I mean.

Here is the recipe.

Chilled Tofu

Ingredients:
1 piece of chilled tofu

Topping:
1 thumb sized ginger – pounded to a paste
4 shallots – pounded to a paste
1 tsp of table salt
½ tbsp of light soysauce
some chopped spring onion * optional
( mixed the above ingredients together into a paste
and leave aside)

3 tablespoon of oil

Method:

Steamed the tofu for a while and chilled in the fridge till required. Pound the ginger and shallots into a paste ( fine / coarse – depends on individual taste ) Mixed in 1 tsp of salt , light soysauce and some chopped spring onion ( this is optional) . Leave aside . Meanwhile,heat up the oil in a wok and poured over the ginger-shallots mixture, It will sizzles and cooked the ginger-shallots . Take out the chilled tofu (you can slice the tofu into slices or as a whole block ), add in the sizzled ginger-shallots topping on the tofu top .This dish can be served as a side dish. The aroma from the sizzled ginger shallots dressing is enough to make me want to have the whole piece of tofu all to myself !
^ *

Enjoy my sharing and have a nice day !


***********


Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Moment's Pause

Hibiscus I


Roses


Hibiscus II



I can't resist taking pictures of these flowers that were blooming in my small garden before I went to work this morning. It was so beautiful that I just had to take a moment's pause to watch the glory of these blooms and to smell them. It was soul satisfying and a wonderful sight to behold. What a wonderful way to start a beautiful morning !

Life is not intended to be simply a round of work, no matter how interesting and important that work may be. A moment's pause to look at the beautiful flowers in your garden or to watch the glory of a sunrise or a sunset is indeed soul satisfying. I went to work with a smile on my face . 

I could hear Daddy muttering as I get into the car :)  " Must you do things last minute, wasting time in the garden. Don't you know that you are going to be late for work and make me rush thru the heavy traffic to send you in time for work " I pretended not to hear that and just smile.If  he knew that I was snapping away with the cam, he would have snapped off my head...:p ;) ",  hahaha...what a wonderful day !



Have a wonderful day !




Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The JOY Of Domestic Baking And Cooking.

Can I say this again, homemadeS - domestic cooking and baking bring lotz of JOY - the process of domestic cooking and baking – very therapeutic for me and thus soothes and relaxes me . Looking back, I have tried out many recipes, from books and from food bloggers and each time I succeeded in making the homemadeS , it brings me to a greater height of achievement and encourages me to be even more adventurous in trying out new things :) Life is all about moving on and not just staying stagnant. This is my theme for year 2009 and I hope to achieve and do better in whatever I do!

This is what I have messing around in the kitchen the whole of last week. Homemade Mango Ices ...trying to improve on the texture ^ * . My Piggies love this!


I love making ice cream and each time I see my Piggies licking them from their spoon brings even greater JOY….haha so easy to keep them happy ! In exchange, they only need to give me their truthful opinions and be my FOC taster :p


I know banana cake is the most easiest to make cake , but sad to say I still haven’t master it till date. So lately , I have been going b a n a n a s...keek keekeek now I sound like a monkey :)))) Basically, I don’t like banana cake that has the banana essence in it, I prefer to have the natural sweet scent of banana..hmmm I hope to achieve a better looking banana cake because I want to bake for someone who loves banana cake and I want to present the best banana cake for this someone special. So I have to keep telling myself this “ Gambate Momsie..you will get it right soon!



And needless to say, I have been baking these delicious buns too. Three types of buns in one night..sounds great…those aromatic scent of freshly baked buns filled the kitchen and I sometimes feel like I have been transported to a bakery kitchen :)) I have 3 persons with different likes, one wants sausage bun, another one garlic bun and another one prefers bacon rolls….haih the trouble is when you introduced different flavors to them, this is the outcome ..3 different types in one nite but don’t worry this Momsie is super woman…tricked them by using the same type of dough but just make different shape and use fillings of their choices and TADA…this is enough to make them happy. Momsie is the happiest when I get feedback from them…Mom, so yummy..make more next time. Really, Piggies no doubt! And I told them, if you want more, please go to Elinluv's Tidbits Corner and drool there :0 :0

Top: Garlic Buns for Piggy Gal


Top: Sausage Buns for Piggy Boy
Bottom : Bacon Rolls for Daddy


********



Monday, January 12, 2009

Charco


This is Charco, the new mixed breed in our home. He is 3 months old and Daddy said he is going to be Bear's beau when he grows up... :p :0 :))) Quite good looking though so Bear doesn't need to worry. He is full of tolerance and a well behaved one too...so far so good..house trained and an obedient chap. Good candidate for Bear, our gal dog.

We put 'Eeyore' on his head and surprisingly no respond...


Haha...guess he is too s l e e p y to bother.....:))))

Daddy adopted him from the veterinary clinic.

Now we have two dogs in the house...
* Momsie's eyes rolling like Eeyore**


******

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Savoury Shrimps In Tomato Ketchup


How could one resists shrimps if one loves seafood ? Momsie , for one will find it hard to resist but being one who believes in moderation in everything....this is no problem at all. I cooked and I will eat in moderation. A little gastronomical delight to satisfy cravings :)))

I have about 15 medium sized shrimps left in the freezer and not knowing what to do with them. Keeping them too long in the freezer will not be good so I decided to make a simple dish out of them. Yup, cooked them in tomato ketchup for once would be nice. Simple to cook and savoury in taste. It will whet the appetite definitely and the aroma while cooking is indeed heavenly…garlic being sautéed and the shrimps gives out the salty sea scent while being stir fried in a wok hmmm delicious!



Savoury Shrimps In Tomato Ketchup

Ingredients:

15 medium sized shrimps – washed and deveined
(keep shell intact )

4 pips of garlic = chopped
2 tbsp of cooking oil
½ red capsicum – sliced
½ big yellow onions- quartered
2 tomato – quartered
2 sprigs of Italian parsley

¼ cup of thick tomato ketchup
1 tsp of sugar
a pinch of salt
1tbsp of cooking wine



Some people like to have a bit more gravy, but for me , I perfer just to have the shrimps coated with the savoury sauce :) That's why you don't see much gravy on this dish! Simple to cook especially for a full time working momsie like me ^ * Haha, infact I prefer to cook one dish meal for just the two of us when my Piggies are away at college so that I have all the time for my baking (",) Can?


********

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Chinese Arrowroot Chips aka Nga Ku Chips




Lately ,chinese arrowroots aka 'nga ku ' in cantonese are being sold everywhere in the supermart and wet market and you will know that CNY is just around the corner. How could I not buy them and join the womanfolks in making the arrowroot chips for the CNY festive. Daddy famous words “ don't waste time making them , juz buy them ready made! ” . He doesn’t know how fun it is to make them ourselves and the joy when we put that crispy chips into our mouth and hmmmm when we start eating there will be no stopping till we touch the jar bottom..that’s how good and yummilicious it is!!!

This year CNY falls on 26th of January and it is just 2 weeks from now ..time flies , we barely got over the Christmas and New Year feast and now CNY is around the corner! We, the Chinese community in Malaysia celebrates the CNY with lots of fuss. Spring cleaning comes once a year, old things to be thrown away and replaced with new things , gates to be painted with new colors etc etc. Haha..welcoming the chinese new year , year of the Ox , with new things. Some believes that every year they must add new things to the house and if we go deep into this , chinese has lotz of superstition believes and sorry to say, I do not follow them even though I am Chinese :) but when it comes to F O O D , I do follow the traditional chinese new year reunion dishes though :)))))))

For a start, I have started making the arrowroot chips and I am quite happy they turned out nice. I managed to single handed- ly made 2 big jars and 3 smaller jars out of 1 Kg of arrowroots and I have finished eating 2 small jars while watching the idiot box. The natural sweetness from the arrowroot is enough to make you yearn for more . And guess who helped to finish eating it all ! You are rite! 'Daddy ' the guy who told me to just buy them and not waste time making them…

If you want to know how to make them please click here . I did it last year and have posted pics to show you how to make it.


Have fun making them if you have the time,
as for me,
I always make time for FOOD (",)


*******

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chickpea Salad



We pop in chickpeas as a snack , but to turn it into a salad dish is the first time I have ever tried and surprisingly it turned out to be good. The dressing blends well with the chickpeas. The recipe was adapted from Family Circle Salad book.


I boiled the chickpeas for the Piggies as snack while watching their holiday movie and I suddenly remembered reading this recipe from the Salad Book by Family Circle. After those artery clogging goodies we indulged in since Christmas, I thought it was a good idea to have more salad in our daily intake and since I have the chickpeas ready for consumption I might as well try it out….curiousity kills the cat but in this case curiousity benefits the Piggies..oink oink and Piggies and myself love it.

The subtle fragrant from the chopped italian parsleys , the tangy taste of lemon juice and the after taste sweetness from the honey makes this a perfect combo. The chopped garlic and red onion of course added extra flavor to the salad! The scent is out of this world. And the infusion it makes is absolutely heavenly . This salad is easy to whip up, but its taste is much more luxurious than its simplicity belies.



Chickpea Salad - adapted from Family Circle/ Salad

Ingredients:

(A)
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup tomatoes - diced
1/2 cup red capsicum - diced
10 pitted black olive - diced
1/2 cup zucchini - diced - * I left this out

dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
3 pips of garlic - chopped finely
2 shallots - chopped finely
italian parsley - chopped

Method:

Mix together ingredients A in a salad bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a jar and shake it to get the infusion to start its magical work. Pour over the salad and toss well.

Note: This can be prepared a day ahead and keep in fridge.


Have a nice day!



********

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Eve Dinner - Fusion Style



Serving this fusion style dinner to suit my Piggies is one hard task :p . One likes beef, one likes fried wanton with special fillings and one likes prawns…haih so many likes, so this poor Momsie puts everything together on a plate and served them fusion style dinner so that no one needs to complain and everyone laughed when I served them all their favourites on their dinner plate! Save washing up later…:)))))


On the dinner plate, there were Beef Rolls with mango, red capsicum , cucumber and ginger strips , Fried Wanton, Cauliflower with my olive oil dressing and Garlic Prawns and a bowl of white rice and a bowl of old cucumber soup each. Dessert was Coconut Jelly :)) 






I asked Daddy to cook his famous dish Garlic Prawns which was superbly done and have our fingers licked good :p .  Oh.. by the way, the Beef rolls tasted fantastic. I added the mango strips for extra flavor  :)) 



After tucking in those sumptuous stuff, a bowl of old cucumber soup really complement the digestive system .

We had a wonderful dinner …a fusion of east and west ... to suit my Piggies whim. Looking back, we are gluttons in every sense. Haih , I feel so guilty when the poor outside are suffering and we are eating like gluttons !!!




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