Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beef Casserole

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.

  • cooking oil
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil, onions, leeks, garlic and carrots to pan. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  3. Return beef to pan with tomatoes, wine and stock. Bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until beef is tender.
  5. Serve with crusty bread or with mashed potatoes as a side.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Four Angled Beans with Belacan

Four angled beans is a type of vegetable that is rarely seen in Australia so I took this opportunity to ask my mom to buy a few. While people think that belacan (shrimp paste) stinks up the whole house, I actually adore this smell. Weird, I know.

Recipe adapted from Delicious Asian Food.

Ingredients: (Serves 5)
  • 300g four angled beans, cut into 3cm slices
  • 50g dried prawns
  • 3 bulbs shallots
  • 1 1/2 bulb garlic
  • 4 fresh red chilies, seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 20g belacan/shrimp paste
  1. Pound or blend dried prawns, shallots, garlic, chilies and belacan until a fine paste forms.
  2. Heat oil in wok. Add paste above and fry on medium heat till fragrant and slightly brown.
  3. Increase heat to high and add four-angled beans and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Whilst stir frying, sprinkle water to keep moist.
  4. Add sugar to taste. Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yong Tau Foo

If I'm not mistaken, Yong Tau Foo is a Hakka dish and being half-Hakka my mom taught me how to make this dish. Feel free to omit or add in any vegetables to your liking.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
  • 300g fish paste
  • 200g pork mince
  • 50g salted fish, diced finely
  • 6 lady fingers/okra
  • 2 medium sized eggplant/brinjal
  • 3 fresh red chili
  • 1 medium sized bitter gourd
  • 3 tbsp preserved black bean sauce
  • 2 tbsp water + 2 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • oil
  • 2 sprigs spring onions, chopped
  1. Mix the fish paste, pork mince and salted fish together. Cut a single slit length ways down the chili and okra and remove the seeds.
  2. Cut the bitter gourd width ways into 1 inch rings and scoop out the middle using a spoon. Cut the eggplant width ways into 2 inches and cut a deep slit in the middle without cutting through.
  3. Stuff the mince mixture into the cavity of the vegetables.
  4. Heat up the oil in the wok. Pan fry the vegetables in batches, mince side down until brown. Plate up and set aside.
  5. To make the sauce, fry the minced garlic and add in the preserved black bean sauce and corn starch mixture. Drizzle sauce over vegetables and top with chopped spring onions. Serve immediately.

After stuffing mince mixture into vegetables.

After pan frying vegetables.

Drizzle sauce, top with spring onions and serve.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cinnamon Twigs

With Christmas just around the corner, this is the perfect recipe for those who are on a tight schedule but needs to whip up something yummy! After all, who doesn't like cinnamon sugar, right? ;)

Recipe adapted from Good Taste.

Ingredients: (Makes about 20)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, just thawed
  • milk or egg for glazing
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Brush pastry with milk or egg and sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
  3. Using a knife, cut the pastry sheet in half then cut the pastry into 1 cm thick strips crossways.
  4. Gently twist strips and place on the lined tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Transfer to a wire rack for 30 minutes to cool.

Use a piece of ribbon to tie 3-4 twigs together to make a small bundle to make a lovely gift.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asparagus with Sesame Oil

I love my vegetables and I don't know about all of you out there but I absolutely LOVE sesame oil. There's something so fragrant and sweet that makes it so addictive. I add it to congee, salads, blanched vegetables, instant noodles and so much more. Not to mention it's has many health benefits as well! :D

Ingredients: (Serves 2 as a side dish)
  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds, to sprinkle
  1. Steam asparagus for 8-10 depends until green and tender.
  2. Drizzle sesame oil over steamed asparagus and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Just how simple is that?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tom Yum Cookies

How exotic does these sound?! Everyone shot me a weird look when I introduced them during a gathering but hey, what's cooking or baking without being adventurous eh? ;) Trust me, I was equally skeptical when I stumbled upon the recipe.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Time

Ingredients: (Makes about 20)
  • 325g plain flour, sifted
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 150mL canola oil
  • 3 tbsp Tom Yum paste
  • 8 pieces Kaffir lime leaves, shredded finely
  1. Mix everything in a bowl until well incorporated.
  2. Scoop out portions using a tablespoon and place on a lined or greased baking tray.
  3. Baked in preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.
  4. Leave to cool completely before storing.

When I first bit into the cookie, my mind was utterly confused and some of my friends said the same. The flavours and texture are good but I probably need a while to get used to this exotic cookie. A few fell in love with it at first bite which is encouraging.

Can you stomach this? Guess you've got to try it to know it. ;)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Butter Chicken

Every time when my family patronized a particular restaurant, I would insist that we order the 'Butter Chicken'. It happened so often that it reached a point where they got so sick of it. Fine, looks like I had to satisfy my own taste buds by tackling the kitchen then I can have the whole plate to myself.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
  • 600g chicken breast, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp corn flour (extra for coating)
  • 125g butter
  • 6 sprigs curry leaves
  • 5 bird's eye chillies
  • 1 375mL can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  1. Marinade the chicken with garlic, soy sauce, pepper, dark soy sauce and corn flour for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Coat the chicken with excess corn flour and fry until it turns golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and add in the coconut, curry leaves and bird's eye chillies and fry until fragrant.
  4. Add in the chicken and stir for 2-3 minutes. Dish up and serve.

You can also opt to put in salted egg yolk for better flavour.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Low Calorie Garlic Spread

I'm guilty of being a huge fan of everything garlic. I love throwing minced garlic into everything imaginable. Being a garlic lover, it's pretty obvious that I will love garlic bread as well. The strong garlic taste that goes with the butter. Mmmm... Bliss.

Sadly, the butter doesn't agree with the waistline so here's an alternative and healthier solution to garlic spread.

  • 3 slices bread
  • 2 tbsp low fat plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 tsp herbs of your choice
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread onto bread slice.
  2. Grill bread slices until the top just turns brown.
There's your healthy alternative! Be warned that it will definitely taste different to your regular garlic bread. After all, there is no substitution for butter. ;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


In my opinion, this dessert is fuss-free which requires no baking and it's simple to whip up with short notice. I've always been partial to Tiramisu until I tried the one made by my aunt. I was hooked ever since.

Recipe adapted from Almost Bourdain.

Ingredients: (Makes 8)
  • 2 tsp of strong instant coffee powder
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of Kahlua (can be substituted with Frangelico, Marsala or Baileys)
  • 75g brown sugar + 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g Mascarpone cheese
  • 300mL thickened cream
  • 250g packet sponge fingers
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  1. Mix 2 tbsp of sugar with coffee powder, water and Kahlua until everything dissolves.
  2. Combine eggs and remaining sugar in electric mixer and whisk until thick and light. The mixture should be thick enough to leave a trail on the surface.
  3. Put the Mascarpone cheese into a large bowl. Stir in a little of the egg mixture. Fold in the remaining egg mixture. Fold in the thickened cream.
  4. Cut the sponge fingers to fit the size of the base of the wine glass.
  5. Line the bottom of the glass with a layer of sponge fingers. Drizzle the coffee and Kahlua mixture over the sponge fingers.
  6. Sprinkle over a thick layer of chocolate, then spoon Mascarpone mixture on top (3-4 tbsp, enough to cover the sponge fingers). Level the surface.
  7. Repeat the layers until it reaches the top of glass.
  8. Decorate with the remaining chocolate. Cover and chill for 4 hours.

A simple dessert that oozes class. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sparrow, Adelaide

I am awfully blessed to have friends who love eating as much as I do and are willing to join me in having a nice meal occasionally. Eating good food makes me happy. :)

On the numerous occasions we've passed by this place, it always seems to be packed and I've read some pretty good reviews about it so it's about time we gave it a try. The food did take a while to arrive but because it was a weekend and the place was packed, it is understandable.

Ocean Trout with Mandarin Jelly and Sliced Carrots

The trout was really fresh and when paired with the mandarin jelly, it felt like everything was melting in the mouth. The flower petal is actually dehydrated sliced carrot. A delicate touch to the dish and it turned out beautiful.

BBQ Rabbit Pizza

The house made barbecue sauce paired wonderfully with the smoked rabbit and with dollops of fontina cheese. The pizza crust was wonderfully crisp (just the way I like it). We wished that they would have been more generous with the portion of rabbit meat though because we kept wanting more.

Braised Duck Breast, Confit Duck Leg with Speck and Lentils

The meat from the duck leg fell off the bone beautifully and the duck breast was perfectly cooked to medium rare. The duck was so juicy and tender. In my opinion, although the lentils were nice, it didn't really complement the taste of the duck. However, I'll be glad to polish more of the duck!

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cheese and Celery Leaf

This dish was very rich and cheesy. Probably something I couldn't take if I had the whole dish to myself. The sauce was delightfully thick and creamy and the gnocchi was so fluffy and soft that it felt like a piece of cloud in the mouth. Slightly more celery leaves could have helped with the slight saltiness of the sauce.

Ginger Macaroon with Ginger Sorbet and Lemon Curd

I loved the macaroon! It was slight crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. The ginger sorbet was particularly refreshing and the lemon curd went really well with the other two elements.

Roasted Loquats with Orange and Thyme Ice Cream and Madeleines

Loquats were something new to me and the lady mentioned that it belongs to the same family to the apricots. I liked the way the loquats were roasted and how it provided some acidity and zesty, tangy taste to the tongue. All three elements provided different textures and flavours.

Service was not too bad seeing the overwhelming number of customers and waitress did help out with our selection of food which we're pretty happy about. Will I be back? You betcha. ;)

Sparrow Kitchen and Bar

10 O'Connell Street
North Adelaide 5006 SA
Phone: (08) 8267 2444

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chicken Curry Buns

Quinn is an excellent baker and I was really honoured when she offered to teach me how to make my very first batch of Asian buns using the infamous water roux starter otherwise known as 65°C Tang Zhong.

Seeing that it's my first time attempting to make buns, I'm pretty proud with the outcome and I'm surprised my arms didn't ache from all that kneading.

Thanks so much for the lessons Quinn!

Ingredients: (Makes approximately 11 small buns)

i) Water Roux (Tang Zhong) Starter:
  • 25g bread flour or high protein flour
  • 1/2 cup of water
Tang Zhong is one part of bread flour or high-protein flour to 5 parts of room temperature water, measured by weight. It is cooked until it reaches 65°C and cooled before added into any bread recipes.

Breads with Tang Zhong incorporated in it are softer and remain softer for a longer period without any bread softener added to it. It is the gelatinization of starch in bread flour that causes this when the mixture of bread flour and water is heated until it reaches 65°C. Starch gelatinization helps absorb more water to provide the soft and elastic texture bread. It's all about the chemical reaction, baby! ;)

ii) Bread dough:
  • 195g bread flour
  • 90g cake flour
  • 1.5 tsp instant yeast (6g)
  • 1 tsp salt (6g)
  • 2 tbsp heaped castor sugar (30g)
  • 1.5 tsp heaped milk powder (12g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 75g Tang Zhong or water roux starter
iii) Filling:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp curry powder, mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 1 big onion, diced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 200g chicken meat, cubed
  • 2 boiled potatoes, cubed
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp water
iv) Glaze:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  1. To make Tang Zhong or water roux starter, whisk the bread flour with water in a small pot until well combined.
  2. Using low to medium heat, cook, stirring often until the mixture turns white, starchy or when it reaches 65°C.
  3. For those without a thermometer like me, draw the figure 8 using a whisk. It is ready when it leaves a trail on the surface.
  4. Remove Tang Zhong to a small bowl and cover it with cling wrap touching the surface to prevent skin formation.
  5. This could be kept up to 3 days in the fridge before it turns greyish.
  6. To make the dough, combine bread flour, cake clour, instant yeast, salt, sugar and milk powder in a large bowl and mix well.
  7. Combine egg, water and Tang Zhong starter in a smaller bowl and mix well.
  8. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until it's no longer whisk-able then transfer onto a clean surface and knead the dough for a minimum of 20 minutes to develop the gluten.
  9. Once it forms a smooth mixture, add in 45g softened unsalted butter and knead till a smooth glossy, satiny ball of dough is formed. Add bread flour only if necessary and very sticky.
  10. Smooth out dough and place ball of dough, seams side down in a lightly greased bowl. Cling wrap it and let it rise until double in size which takes about 30-45 minutes depending on weather and climate.
  11. While waiting for the dough to proof, prepare the filling. Stir fry curry powder mixture, onion and curry leaves in oil until fragrant.
  12. Add in chicken, potatoes, chicken bouillon powder, salt and water and continue stir frying until dry.
  13. Once the dough doubles in size, punch out all air bubbles from dough with your fist and knead it briefly. Weigh each portion of dough to approximately 50g.
  14. Wrap up with the curry chicken filling and seal the seams well to prevent leakage.Very loosely wrap a strip of pandan leaf across the centre of the oblong shaped bun.
  15. Place it on a greased tray. Repeat with remaining buns. Leave it for second proofing and allow it to double in size again.
  16. When size doubles, bake it in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15mins.

Thanks to the Tang Zhong starter, the buns remained soft and fluffy for the next few days. That's the way I like my buns! Thanks for the amazing experience again Quinn!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cotton Soft Japanese Souffle Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are one of my weaknesses. Especially baked ones. This time, however, instead of the sinfully and luxuriously rich baked American style cheesecakes, I opted for a lighter, softer version of cheesecake which is the Japanese Cheesecake otherwise known as Souffle Cheesecake.

Recipe adapted from Diana's Desserts.

Ingredients: (Makes a 9 inch cake)
  • 140g castor sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 50g butter
  • 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 100mL milk
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 55g plain flour, sifted
  • 20g corn flour, sifted
  1. Melt cream cheese, milk and butter over a double boiler. Allow to cool. Fold in the plain flour, corn flour, egg yolks, lemon juice and vanilla extract until well incorporated.
  2. Whisk egg whites with sugar until soft peaks form.
  3. Fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Pour into a 9 inch round cake pan.
  4. Bake cheesecake in water bath for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160°C.
  5. Allow to cool in oven with oven slightly ajar to prevent surface cracking.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baked Turkey Drumsticks

Turkey drumsticks are usually sold quite cheap in the supermarket and I managed to get an even better deal by grabbing hold of 2 large drumsticks for less than $3! Talk about a good bargain.

I've never cooked using turkey before and numerous sources have told me that turkey meat can be quite dry and tough but Google is gold when it comes to finding out about baking times and temperature for turkey drumsticks. The meat was tender and just cooked. No such thing about being dry or tough. :D

It reminds me of the famous 'Siew Ngap' or roasted duck I used to get from Petaling Street back in KL. Yum! Double thumbs up.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
  • 2 turkey drumsticks (can be replaced with 8 chicken drumsticks or wings)
  • 1/4 cup of soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp black pepper (I would use only 1/2 tbsp next time)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  1. Marinade the drumsticks with all of the ingredients above in a large bowl overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place the drumsticks on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.
  3. Bake the drumsticks for 2 hours to 2 1/4 hours, remembering to flip the drumsticks once.
  4. Drain the marinade and slice the turkey for serving. (I chose not to reserve the marinade because it is too salty unless you're eating it with rice)

*Note: The baking time has been suited for baking turkey drumsticks, if substituting turkey drumsticks, baking temperature and time should vary.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chicken Corn Soup

Corn was never a favourite of mine as a child but as I grew up, I've allowed my taste buds to step into different territories and now there's almost nothing I don't eat except maybe perhaps for cilantro or coriander. I'm just not a fan of its' strong taste.

Anyway, here is a quick, simple and hearty soup in less than 10 minutes.

Chicken Corn Soup

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
  • 1L of water
  • 400g can of creamed corn
  • 6 tsp of chicken bouillon powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  1. Bring the water with added chicken bouillon powder and the can of creamed corn to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat to allow the contents to simmer for a minute or two.
  3. Gently pour in the beaten eggs slowly.
  4. Turn off the fire immediately and serve.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Max Brenner, Melbourne

You can't possibly go to Melbourne and not try out their famous chocolate cafes, right? Sure, we have Cocolat and Bracegirdle's at Adelaide but come on, it's Melbourne!

Food is supposed to taste better! The air is supposed to smell fresher! The toilets are supposed to be cleaner! LOL. Ok, I'm biased like that. :P

Latte. Average. Not the smoothest I've tasted but very much forgiven since I'm guessing coffee isn't their forte but rather chocolate.

Their signature hot chocolate in a hug mug. My sister requested for the milk chocolate and it was everything you had hoped for in a hot chocolate: milky, creamy, smooth and most of all: chocolate-y! :D

Belgian waffles! YUM! The drizzled chocolate is smooth and packed with richness of the chocolate. When the warm waffles were mixed with the cold ice cream, it created such an amazing feat for my taste buds. Beats the belgian waffles I had at Theobroma hands down.

Warning: For peanut butter lovers only

OH MY! OH MY! Their Peanut Butter Iced Chockie Frappe... Imagine Reese Peanut Butter Cups melted into one tall glass of frappe. Mmmm.... Freaking awesome! My sister laughed when she saw the way my face lit up and had the orgasmic look after having my first sip. I thought the peanut butter frappe at Bracegirdle's, Adelaide was good but apparently, I haven't tasted anything yet. I feel like having this drink everyday for the rest of my life. Does that say something?

Max Brenner
25-27 Red Cape Lane,
Level 2, QV Square,
210 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9663 6000

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quiche Lorraine

I have this thing for meat pies and quiches. There's just something very comforting about biting into pastry and allowing the savoury and pastry bits dance in your mouth and entice your taste buds.

Quiche Lorraine

Adapted from The Big Book of Baking.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Shortcrust Pastry:
  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cubed finely
  • 4-5 tbsp cold water
  • 15g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 lean streaky bacon rashers, diced
  • 55g of cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 300mL cream
  • pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. For the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter with only your fingertips* until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, process it in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in just enough water to bind the mixture to a firm dough. Roll the dough into a ball, place in cling wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to allow the pastry to rest and prevent shrinkage.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a round slightly larger than a 9' tart tin. Lift the pastry onto the tin and press it down into the fluted edge. Trim off excess pastry.
  5. Prick the base all over with a fork and place a sheet of baking paper in the pastry-lined tin and fill with baking beans/rice to weigh it down*.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. This process is called blind baking.
  7. For the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion and bacon over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and lightly browned.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly in the hot pastry case and sprinkle with half the cheese. Beat together the eggs and cream in a small bowl and season to taste with pepper.
  9. Pour into the pastry case and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C. Place the quiche in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and just set. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

Before blind baking.

Out of oven.

* Notes:

- The fingertips are the coolest part of your hands. Using your palm will cause the butter to melt which will alter the texture of the pastry. You want everything to be as cold as possible to result in a short, crispy pastry.

- Blind baking is a method to prevent soggy crust and bottom especially putting in wet ingredients therefore the pastry is baked beforehand. Beans/Rice is used to prevent the pastry from puffing up during blind baking. Be sure to put sufficient beans to press against the sides as the sides may also puff up.

Definitely something I would remake over and over again. After all, you know it's pretty good when you receive thumbs of approval from your family. ;)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Timpana is a Maltese dish and it's basically a baked pasta pie. Pasta is cooked separately to under al dente and added to a rich bolognaise style sauce, originally and often with chicken livers. With the addition of eggs, the mixture is cooked in a pastry case in either a deep dish or baking tray until its golden brown.

Just imagine your spaghetti bolognaise topped with flaky puff pastry. :D

Recipe adapted from SBS Food. (Serves 8-10)

  • 2 frozen puff pastry sheets
  • 500g penne
  • 500g pork mince
  • 300g bacon, finely diced
  • 500g onions, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 300g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 400g canned diced tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 500ml chicken or beef stock
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Sauté the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add pork mince, stirring well to separate and break up any lumps.
  2. Add stock, mix well and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add canned tomatoes with purée.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just undercooked.
  4. Drain and mix with sauce, adding tasty cheese. Stir in beaten eggs.
  5. Spoon pasta into a baking dish and top with your puff pastry sheets. Making sure to cut some holes to allow the steam to escape.
  6. Brush top of pastry with some beaten eggs. Bake in oven for 45 minutes.

Fresh out of oven.

Mine didn't turn out as red as it should be as I didn't use tomato paste. For a dish that requires star ingredients such as bacon and cheese, I'm quite disappointed with the outcome because I know I can create so much more lip smacking stuff with those key ingredients which consumes less time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fellini, Adelaide

Upon listening to others telling me that not only does Fellini serve wood oven pizzas, they also make dessert pizzas! Of course, me being the adventurous one when it comes to food, we went there. :P

Mars Bars Pizza

Looks good? But.

The wait for the pizza was extremely long. It took 40 minutes after putting in the order before it actually arrived. The pizza itself was nothing to shout about. Obviously store bought chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream was used. The best bit was the Mars bars and condensed milk which I easily could have gotten myself.

Doubt I'll be back anytime soon.

Fellini Cafe
102 O'Connell St
North Adelaide 5006 SA
Phone: (08) 8239 2235

Entree: $9.90-$17.90
Mains: $9.90-$32.90
Dessert: $15.90-$16.90

Monday, October 19, 2009

Basic chowder

This dish was introduced to me by a friend and the ingredients are very similiar to ABC soup except with the addition of bacon and cream. My friend scolded me when I cut off the fatty part of the bacon because she believes it is the best bit.

I'm sorry but it is my arteries that will be ending up clogged. :P

Ingredients:(Serves 5)
  • 5 bacon rashers, cut
  • 5 potatoes, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1.25L water
  • 6 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 200g meat
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp dried chives
  • 300mL cream
  1. Fry the meat and bacon until cooked then add in onions, carrots and potatoes. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
  2. Pour in 1.25L of water and add in the chicken bouillon powder to make chicken stock.
  3. Sprinkle in dried chives and dried parsley and simmer on low heat until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Pour in cream and stir well. Leave for 1 minute then serve.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ETC, Adelaide

The first and most frequent comment I hear about ETC cafe otherwise known as East Terrace Continental cafe is that they have "The Best Banana Pancakes Ever!" and mentioned by Delicious Magazine 2007 as "The Best Breakfast in SA". If people dare to dub it the best, I suppose you would agree with me that it's definitely worth a try?

Breakfast, here we come! :)

ETC works

A friend ordered this which is bacon, eggs of your choice, sausage, mushrooms, hash browns and roasted tomatoes served on sliced foccacia bread. Definitely very heavy for breakfast but the eggs were poached to perfection and every element on this dish is tender, succulent and definitely packed with flavour.

Of course, then there's the legendary banana pancakes. Their pancakes are moist and fluffy served with chunks of fresh bananas in between. I must admit that the secret lies within their banana syrup! I flooded every bite of pancake with the syrup and was compelled to lick it off the plate. From what I can tell, it tastes like a very good butterscotch cream with a hint of banana. Yum!

East Terrace Continental
6 East Tce
Adelaide 5000 SA
Phone: (08) 8359 2255

Entree: $7.50-$13.50
Mains: $8-$22.90
Dessert: $2.50-$5.50

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thai Sticky Glutinous Rice with Mango

I remember my family and I used to visit the Thai Food Bazaar that was held annually at One Utama Shopping Centre, KL and we would feed ourselves with their lovely laksa and desserts. The Thai sticky glutinous rice with mango was definitely a must for my sister and I.

It has been a few years since I last had it but since I had the opportunity to stumble upon the recipe, I knew I had to give it a whirl and satisfy this dormant craving for this dessert. :P It's a pity I didn't use fresh mangoes as they were not in season, otherwise it would be perfect. Had to resort to canned sliced mangoes. :(

Thai Sticky Glutinous Rice with Mango (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

Recipe adapted from Tan's Kitchen.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)
  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt + 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp rice flour
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • 1 mango, sliced
  1. Wash glutinous rice, then soak it for two to three hours or overnight. Steam it for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat, on low, half of the coconut cream needed in a small saucepan and add sugar and 1/2 tbsp of salt until all dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into cooked rice. Stir to mix well and set aside to let stand for about 15 mins.
  4. Heat the rest of coconut milk and add salt. Stir until the salt is dissolved. This makes the topping sauce.
  5. To serve, place sliced mangoes on a side of a plate. Spoon some seasoned sticky rice on the other side.
  6. Top the rice with 1 or 2 tsp of coconut milk, sprinkle some sesame seeds and serve.

Why must coconut cream taste so good?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Apple Crumble Bars

Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and methods, it isn't as hard as it looks. I was recipe hopping as usual and when I saw that all the ingredients are lying in the pantry, why not? ;)

The streusel topping is a winner! The apple filling is good as well. I'm not too sure about the crust but the streusel is amazing!

Recipe adapted from Dessert First


a) Filling:
  • 3 large apples, approximately 800g
  • 50g butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
b) Crust:
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
c) Streusel:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 100g chilled butter, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Peel, core, and chop the apples in 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the apples and sauté for about 8 minutes until the apples are semi-soft.
  3. Add sugar, lemon juice, flour, and cinnamon to the apples and stir to combine. Cook until mixture begins to bubble, then turn heat to low and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Allow filling to cool.
  4. Line a 9 by 9 inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough to hang over the edge and act as handles to remove bars after baking. Grease foil.
  5. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed for several minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Add egg and mix to combine. Add flour mixture and mix to combine.
  7. Pour the dough into the prepared pan and gently press into the bottom of the pan and about 1/4” up the sides, making sure it is level. Set pan aside while you make the streusel.
  8. In a stand mixer, combine sugar, flour, and salt and mix to combine. Add butter and mix until crumbly and the butter pieces are very small.
  9. Spread cooled apple filling evenly over the crust, leaving about 3/4” between the pan sides and the filling. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the filling.
  10. Bake for about 35 minutes until the top layer is golden. Cool completely on wire rack before removing. Cut into bars.

Apple cinnamon filling

Pressing the crust onto the bottom of pan

In goes the filling.

Fresh out of oven.

I'm stubborn and impatient. I'm the one who opens the oven before time is up and always eager to pop it in my mouth and slice it up for serving immediately out of oven instead of allowing it to cool.

Which usually results in less beautiful presentation during slicing. :(
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