Cooking has been somewhat fun and it undoubtedly does bring people together. However, due to various reasons, I might give up this blog of mine. I'm not going to give up entirely on cooking or baking yet because I do have a passion for food and sharing good food with loved ones brings a inexplicable amount of joy.
There is a possibility that I may continue this blog again someday but currently there are no intentions of doing so. I hereby thank everyone- my family, my friends, my loyal readers, regular commenters, food bloggers and you(!) who have shared marvelous ideas, provided me with great support and believed in me.
An old friend of mine has been aching for some pie time so we got up as early as 6am in the morning to satisfy this craving of hers and to provide some Baking 101 lessons. :P
Ingredients: (Makes a 9" pie)
2 1/2 cups + 1/3 cup plain flour
250g butter, cut into cubes
5 tbsp cold water
2 leeks, white part only, sliced into 1 cm intervals
2 cloves garlic, minced
1kg chicken, diced
500mL chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
First prepare the dough by mixing 2 1/2 cups plain flour with butter using only your fingertips. Rub until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add just enough cold water until it becomes a dough.
Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in cling wrap. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Brown the chicken in a generously oiled pan and set aside. Add oil to a pot and add in the garlic and leek until the leek softens.
Add in the chicken and stock. Gradually add in the remaining 1/3 cup of plain to thicken the mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. When it starts to thicken, switch of the fire and prepare the pastry.
Divide the dough into two portions. Roll out the pastry on a generously floured surface until it is sufficient to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Lift the pastry and gently press onto the pie pan. Prick the base with a fork.
Place the chicken filling onto the pastry and top the pie with the other portion of rolled pastry. Press the edges together using a fork so that the edges are sealed. Cut holes in the middle to allow steam to escape.
Bake in 200°C and bake for about 30 minutes or until brown. Serve warm.
Oozing pie filling.
While my friend commented that the crust was good, the filling lacked a bit of seasoning. The top and side crust was yummy but the bottom crust turned out soggy (as always). I've tried blind baking it first and various other methods but that doesn't work either so next time I might just omit the bottom crust.
Mix everything together in a large pot except the longan and bring everything to a boil. Stir to make sure everything is melted.
Let it simmer for a 3-5 minutes and scoop contents into the plastic cups.
Once the mixture starts to set, place the longans on top. Chill in refrigerator overnight.
This is the perhaps one of the easiest desserts you can bring during a party and from previous experiences, people do seem to like it. Please do not question me about placing hot liquid into plastic containers. I am fully aware of the hazard but perhaps you could provide a better suggestion?
Mee Suah or 面线 is a specialty of Xiamen, Fujian. It is a fine dried wheat noodle with a smooth texture & is used mainly in soup. I'm unsure of the origin of this dish but I always loved it whenever my sister cooked this dish. Finally took the chance to take down the recipe so that I can make it on my own.
Ingredients: (Makes 9 inch)
i) Pumpkin Kueh
300g mee suah or 面线
300g pumpkin flesh, shredded
6 shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
3 chinese sausages or lap cheong, diced
75g dried shrimps, ground
5 shallots, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
120g pork, diced
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 sprig spring onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, sliced
1 red chili, sliced
Soak mee suah in water until softened and keep aside. Heat oil in a wok and sauté shallots and garlic till golden brown. Reserve for garnishing.
Fry minced shallots, garlic till fragrant then add in mushrooms, dried prawns, minced meat, chinese sausages and pumpkin shreds.
Add in the softened mee suah, water and seasonings. Stir well and adjust to taste.
Keep frying until most water has evaporated and everything becomes very sticky or gooey.
Press mee sua firmly into a greased 9 inch tray and steam for 20 minutes.
Garnish with red chilies, spring onions and fried shallots.
*Note: Although original recipe calls for 700mL water, use 500mL water first and then adjust accordingly.
Soba noodles, made of soba (buckwheat) are most popular during the hot summer days of Japan. This is a simple, healthy dish that is really refreshing. Even my daddy likes it too which is always a positive sign.
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
400g soba noodles
2 sprigs spring onions, chopped
Nori seaweed, grated
Sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup tsuyu* sauce
2 cups of water
First make the sauce by diluting* 1 cup tsuyu sauce with 2 cups of water and keep in refrigerator to chill. This step can be made a day ahead.
Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Place the soba noodles in the pot of boiling water and cook for about 7 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Drain the noodles into a colander and immediately rinse with cold running water for about 3 minutes or until water runs clear.
While rinsing, take handfuls and gently swish and rub them in the water to wash off any trace of starchiness or gumminess on the noodles.
After rinsing, soak the noodles in cold, icy water for about 5 minutes to ensure that the noodle is icy cold as it tastes best. Cold water kept in fridge or ice from freezer would come in handy.
Drain the noodles and divide them among 4 bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds, seaweed and spring onions. Pour previously made soba sauce over the noodles. Serve immediately.
*Note: Tsuyu sauce is made of a strong mixture of dashi, sweetened soy sauce and mirin and can be obtained from any Japanese grocery stores. Not all tsuyu sauce needs to be diluted. Read the label carefully or ask shop assistant if unsure.
Durian is also known as the king of fruits and has this pungent smell that many Caucasians are not able to stomach. To us, it definitely smells good but I've had Caucasian friends who compared the smell to that of a sewage. :s
Maybe it's because I've been deprived from good durian in Australia so lately I've been in this durian phase especially when it's incorporated into pastries. This year's durian harvest was really good and my sister bought me this gorgeous cream puffs from Petaling Street which tasted absolutely divine!
While walking at Pavilion, KL. I came across this shop which sells all durian incorporated pastry! Yummy! I managed to sample some of their products and the durian butter cake tastes good with really strong durian flavour. :D Apparently their durian mochi uses 100% pure durian without the addition of any cream, so it's something I'm eyeing the next time I'm there.
I bought home some durian macarons because I am still too afraid to attempt macaron making just yet. :P A box of 6 costs me RM8 and I was disappointed with how little durian cream they gave me. :( Despite the small box and miserable amount of durian cream, the smell and taste was still very strong. Quadruple the amount of cream would make me a very happy girl. :P
The products sold in this shop definitely has a very distinct and strong durian flavour in their pastries which is something I like. Durian mochi, I'm coming back for you. :)
After I came back, my mom has asked me to whip up some western dishes as Chinese food can be easily, not to mention cheaply obtained here. She is a hard one to please as she is usually very critical when it comes to food. Talk about pressure. I hope this one managed to suit her taste buds.
Recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas.
500g beef shank (suggested by the butcher)
2 red onions, sliced
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1/2 bulb of garlic, sliced
4 sticks celery, sliced (I omitted this)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks (I used 4 instead)
430g can of tomato puree
1/4 cup of red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
Pat the beef dry with a kitchen town to ensure that the beef browns. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook beef, in batches until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil, onions, leeks, garlic and carrots to pan. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Return beef to pan with tomatoes, wine and stock. Bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until beef is tender.
Serve with crusty bread or with mashed potatoes as a side.
The comments expressed here are entirely based on my opinion. Due to varying food preferences of each individual, thoughts and views of others might differ. Recipes are altered and modified to suit my preference, convenience and also the type of oven. Success of recipes are not 100% guaranteed as techniques and other external factors might differ. Reviews written here is true based on time patronized and changes might occur to the restaurants after review. No compensation has been received from restaurants for writing reviews.