Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stir-Fry Bitter Melon With Preserved Salted Vegetable



I discovered that bitter melon or bitter gourd as it is being called , stir fry with just preserved salted vegetable aka 'hum choy' in cantonese tasted good. I read an article from the 'Flavour magazine' that a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur served that as their signature dish. Such a simple dish and that is their signature dish....mmmmm from the photos and description it looked actually like what I have cooked last night.

I would normally fry this bitter melon with salted black beans and shrimps, but this simple and easy to prepare dish is amazingly tasty even though there is no meat or shrimps in it. A very vegetarian dish no doubt. With just asome chopped garlic, julienne salted veg and some olive oil , stir fry the bitter melon under high flame. Add a pinch of salt, a dash of white pepper and some cooking wine when it is ready to be dish up....



......... and I get a plate of insanely delicious stir-fry bitter melon with preserved salted vegetable that goes well with a bowl of porridge or a plate of hot rice . The taste was awesome ! Do try this dish out if you are a bitter melon lover. Oh , by the way the chinese believes that bitter melon is good for the body. It helps to detoxify the blood in our body :)))



Have a nice day !


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake



This is a beautiful piece of apple pie-cake. The dough crust has a texture of a cake yet it gives you the satisfaction of eating an apple pie at the same time...haha fantastic piece of pie-cake. The filling has the tangy-ness from the green apples and refreshing sweetness from the dried cranberries. The cinnamon powder infused into the apple slices and cranberries , added flavor to the pie-cake and the aroma that comes out of the oven was most intoxicating to the hungry souls :)) 'Daddy' was the first to come running to the kitchen and asked when he can have that piece of wonderful smelling cake... I told him this... "sorry, you have to wait for that piece of goodness to cool down before you can get to eat it" .....and it was worth his while waiting coz it was yummilicious!!!


This recipe is taken from Dorie Greenspan book " Baking From My Home To Yours "




Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake
From Baking From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan

Serves 6

For The Dough
100 grams of butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of lime juice
1 3/4 cups of flour
For The Filling
5 medium apples
Squirt of fresh lime juice
1/2 cup of dried cranberries, soaked in hot water
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting

1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Then, add the lime juice. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough should begin to pull off the sides of the bowl. If it does not, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

2. Form dough into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle and wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days.

3. Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lime juice. Add the cranberries, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly.

4. Preheat the oven to 375F.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge. Press one half of the dough into the bottom of a square baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Pour the apple mixture over the bottom dough. Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Tuck any excess into the sides of the pan.

6. Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.

7. Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature.



Have a wonderful weekend!


******


Monday, April 20, 2009

Pecan Nut Butter

After reading Pearl’s post on Pecan Nut Butter, and drooling over it just couldn’t take away the urge to want to try making it myself , so I went out to buy some pecan nuts though they were sold at RM72 a kilogramme ^ O ^ . Expensive …rite :(




I bought only 300 grams and turned them into Pecan Nut Butter. I did not remove the skin of the pecan nuts , just toasted them in the oven and let them cooled down before I used a food processor and churned them into pecan nut butter. It was magical, seeing the nuts being churned into a paste and watching the pecan nuts natural oil oozing out …it was aromatic and I like the taste of the nut butter though it has a tinge of bitterness from the skin I did not remove I guessed. Being lazy doesn’t pay, does it ?


I could not wait to have them in my salad, I dribbled some of the nut butter on my mango though and it went well with the mango cubes. I kept the rest for my salad and I know it will go well with the salad be it fruit or vegetable salad. Easy to make but slightly expensive… but when you know how good pecan nuts are for our body, you won’t mind the price though.




Read on to find out what’s so good about the pecan nuts....

Studies show that pecan nuts offer distinct benefits to humans. They nutrient dense, which means that they contain a host of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. The nuts are sodium and cholesterol free, so they make an excellent snack food. Pecans have an 18% protein coantent, which makes the nuts a good choice for those on a plant-based diet. Pecans are a good source of potassium and Vitamin E( gamma tocopherol) in pecans is an important antioxidant in relation to intestinal and prostate health. This powerful antioxidant protects blood lipids from oxidatojn. When LDL cholesterol oxidizes, it can build up, leading to clogged arteries.
Landmark research shows that antioxidant- rich pecans are in the top category of foods that contain the highest antioxidant capacity, significant in relation to conditions such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and alzheimer’s. Phytochemicals found in pecans, act in the same fashion as antioxidnts and may render a protective effect against certain cancers and heart disease.

Wow.. pecan nuts has lotz of goodness in it and this research is enough to make me want to start snacking on this nuts from now onwards…. A handful of pecan nuts a day may inhibit oxidation of blood lipids, which can help to prevent coronary heart disease.... so I will start with 2 tablespoon of pecan nut butter a day on my salad or fruits or on my toast bread :)))))




*********



Friday, April 10, 2009

Sesame Bun With Caramelized Sweet Potato Filling



If you have read my previous post dated 23 March, 2009 , you will know that I found this valuable website that provides lots of Japanese bread recipes. I knew I have to try them all out if possible but not knowing the Japanese language is indeed a handicap :( but becoz of this bun making passion that is so great in me , I was daring enough to want to try them out, just by using the online translating software :) and today I would like to share this wonderful recipe with my foodbuzz friends and faithful readers of my humble blog . The original name for this bun is Osatu de France but I named it Sesame Bun with Caramelized Sweet Potato Filling :)))


This Sesame Bun with Caramelized Sweet Potato filling was worth the effort and time making it. It turned out soft and fluffy , Daddy and Piggy Gal juz can’t wait to devour them :P Out of the oven and into their stomachs…haha what can I say, except one line… bun making has become a passion that pays ! My heart was filled with joy just looking at them :) no amount of ' 'moolahs 'can buy me this happiness , really, if you love making buns like I do, you will understand what I mean :)) Practice makes perfect is so true and it has proven to my Piggies that they have to practice many many times before they can be good in whatever they chose to do. Today , I am happy to tell them that many practices have turned my buns to perfect-ness…ahem excuse the proud vocab here :P

Back to the buns…I have posted up my perfect buns here for my Piggy boy to drool * wicked Momsie at it again ** ^ *

Divide the dough into 8 pieces ,each weighing

70 gms and leave them to proof for 50 mins

Wrapped the caramelized sweet potato with the dough


leave them to proof again till they double in size

Baked them in preheated oven at 240 º C for 15 mins
or till they are brown and cooked



does this make me happy? Of course, it fills my heart
with joy when it turned out soft and fluffy :)


who would have thought that sweet potato can
be a good match for the sesame bun...the Japanese can
come out with such a good combination

Ooshii !!!


Sesame Bun With Caramelized Sweet Potato Filling

Ingredients:

300 gm high protein flour
3 gm yeast
2 gm malt powder
6 gm sugar
6 gm salt
6 gm shortening
210 gm water
30 gm roasted sesame seed

Filling:
Caramel potatoes

500 gm sweet potato ( diced)
150 gm sugar
200gm water
1.5 tsp lemon juice


Method for making the bun dough is the same as the other buns I have posted up on my blog. I am not able to translate the original recipe from the website due to translation problem . Anyway it turned out good, so I guessed the method of kneading is correct :))




Method for making the caramel potato is the same as making the caramelized mango for my mango ice cream. You can refer to my mango ice cream post for the method.


Enjoy and have a bun-bliss day! :)





Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kimchi Jjigae - Pork And Kimchi Stew




The clouds were gloomy and it rained the last few days . Well, for me , I welcomed the rain for it was terribly hot and humid the past one month. A good time to cook Kimchi Jjigae for dinner ,for the weather was cooling last night after the heavy rain.

The happiest person was Piggy gal…she loves the homemade Kimchi that I made and she is now pestering to make another tub for her before she goes back to college , which is in a month’s time…gosh I will miss her when she goes back to college to finish her last year in college before she takes off to UK next year. Thinking of that , wouldn’t it be nice to pamper her now with all her favourites before she takes off ? :P So this weekend I am going to make another tub of kimchi for her :) Haha turning Korean nowadays :)))) I am glad that I made those kimchi and I can just cook anything Korean for Piggy and myself as and when we like :)))

My first try in cooking Kimchi Jjigae and it turned out good…it was pungent hot enough and the kimchi which was well fermented by now gave it the oomph and two thumbs up to the whole dish. I used chicken fillets instead of pork and I added in enoki for I love the mushroom family :) Piggy and myself finished the whole lot for Daddy is not adventurous at all.

pretty easy to cook and tasty too

the well fermented kimchi gave the stew
the oomph

Enoki as an extra to the kimchi jjigae

overall I got good reviews from Piggy gal :P
and the delicious kimchi-ness of this dish
made my day after the heavy rain!


Kimchi Jjigae

Ingredients

1 tsp of sesame oil
1 serving of chicken fillets or pork
1 clove garlic ( chopped )
A tsp of ginger ( grated)
2 cups of dashi ( or water )
1 small onion ( sliced)
enoki mushroom ( 1 pkt)
soft tofu ( cut into 1” blocks )
½ cup kimchi
1 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tbsp of gochujang
scallions ( sliced into 1” length )


Method:

1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan

2. Add the chicken/pork fillets and sauté until it is just cooked.

3. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant.

4. Add the dashi, onion, enoki mushrooms, kimchi , tofu and soy sauce and brings to a boil.
Reduce heat.

5. Spoon some of the liquid and mix in the gochujang.

6. Add the gochujang back into the pan and add in the tofu and
simmer until the onions are tender.

7. Pour into serving bowl and garnish with the sliced scallions.

Enjoy !


Have a nice day with your loved ones :)



Monday, April 6, 2009

Gougères - Savoury Cheese Puffs



Making gougère [goozhair] is pretty much like making cream puffs as I just discovered :)) I can't make them puff up nicely though :P but I will not give up..I will definitely make this again for they tasted good...all cheesy and herby as Piggy gal termed it :)

Gougères can be made as small, finger-sized pastries, or filled with ingredients such as mushrooms, beef, or ham. In the latter case, the gougère is usually made using a ring or pie tin. Traditionally, gougères are made with Gruyère, but other cheeses are sometimes used. Gougère is a specialty of the Burgundy region.

Anything savoury would be nice and one can really eat a lot…like someone , I don’t need to introduce :P She likes to nibble away while watching the idiot box or studying..heehee so this Momsie will have to think of what to bake as nibbles for her and I happened to see this recipe from Dorie’s blog and really , the temptation was too great , I had to try it out….anything cheesy will be welcomed by the Piggy clan.

Strange, I am most happy when I am baking :))) the aroma of baked puffs coming from the oven was so good that Piggy gal can’t wait to savor those cheesey puffs! The cheddar cheese gave the puffs the oomph and I added some chopped chives into the dough though the recipe doesn't call for it :P ….wow…..it was fantastic, the combination was good . Once you start eating it, you won’t know when to stop :P

This is good for parties…..easy and fun to make finger food. Délicieux !!!

The dough was slightly watery :(
I may have measured the milk more I guessed ;)


Never judge the appearance..this gougère
tasted good :)

you can fill it with ingredients such as
mushrooms , beef, or ham :)

P/s
By the way, if anyone has any questions to ask regarding
recipes which I had posted some time back,
pls do email me coz I found out recently that some readers have
posted enquiries on my old posts and I have overlooked them
and did not reply till today :) My sincere apology to all.

^________^


Have a nice day!




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Savoury Cheese Scones

Hello again :)


It's me, Joanna a.k.a Piggy gal once again invading this space. I'm here with my second project. After baking muffins, I decided to try this cheese scones recipe from the very talented Aunty Gertrude.

When I stumbled upon this recipe from My Kitchen Snippets, I knew I had to try it out. It sounds exactly like something I'd love making and of course, eating. If you see the original recipe here, Aunty Gertrude made really nice heart shaped scones. Truth be told, I've been eyeing these star shaped cookie cutters of mum's for some time and what better occasion to lay my hands on them than this? Thus, I present to you.....star shaped savoury cheese scones.


I'm supposed to be the engineer at home but
credits to mum for engineering this star tower


Stars lined up in a march on the way to erm.......our stomachs...*wink*


It's a good thing I had ample practice crumbing butter thanks
to years of helping out with apple pie crusts......




A spoonful of cheddar makes the scones go yum.......



The scones came out great. The salty tang of cheddar went well with the fragrant herby aroma lacing every bite. Now I can at least say I've baked and not make it an April's Fool trick =p Thank you Aunty Gertrude for sharing such an awesome recipe :)

Savoury Cheese Scones - adapted from My Kitchen's Snippets

Ingredients :

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
5 tbsp cold butter
1 red chili - finely chopped
2 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs (chives, rosemary,thyme or parsley)
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 egg - beaten for brushing
Some sesame seeds or parmesan cheese - garnish


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in cheese and mix well.
2. Rub cold butter into flour mixture until it resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Add in chili and herbs. Beat 2 eggs with milk and add to flour mixture to form dough. Dough should be wet but not too sticky.
3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; knead just until dough comes together. Pat out dough to 1-inch-thick round. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter cutter, cut out scones. Gather dough scraps and repeat. Transfer to prepared sheet.
4. Whisk the 1 egg in small bowl and brush over scones. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or parmesan cheese.
5. Bake scones until golden brown. Cool scones on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to basket. Serve warm.




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