Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Watermelon Sweet Drink

I learned this nifty little trick from my friend where she would make the most out of her bought watermelon by making a sweet drink by boiling the watermelon rind. The mild and pleasant taste reminded me a little like winter melon. :)

  1. Clean the watermelon skin thoroughly and place the watermelon rind in a big pot with enough water to cover the rinds.
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Add rock sugar according to taste.
  4. Serve it warm or cold.
You can choose to discard the rind after boiling but I actually ate the rind without the skin after boiling as well as it turns soft and it does taste like winter melon. I'm weird like that.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Strawberry Soufflé

I've always wanted to know what soufflés taste like but I never got around to making it. When I came across this recipe which ingredients were all lying in the pantry, I knew it was time to give it a go.

Soufflés can seem pretty intimidating but I assure you that if I can do it, almost anyone can. There's an indescribable amount of joy and glee to see the souffles rise beautifully. To be honest, I was actually more concerned about it deflating before I could take any nice pictures. :P

Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
  • 250g fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites (room temperature)
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and grease 4 ramekins with melted butter then coat with sugar.*
  2. Place the strawberries and vanilla extract into a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth puree.
  3. Beat the egg whites and sugar until you get a soft peak.
  4. Gently fold in the egg whites in thirds into the strawberry puree.
  5. Pour the mixtures into the greased ramekins.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes until puffed and golden brown on top.
  7. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
*When greasing ramekins, using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter on the side of the ramekins upwards in one direction. This will aid the rising of the souffles. Pour some caster sugar into the greased ramekins and turn so that a thin layer of sugar coats the butter completely. Pour out the excess sugar.

Beating the egg whites. Thank goodness for electronic mixers.

Please correct me if I'm wrong but I think this is the texture of egg white that needs to be achieved.

Beautiful strawberry puree.

Folding in the egg whites.

It should look something like this after well incorporated.

Pour into ramekins and be careful not to drip some at the sides.

Beautifully risen.

Slowly deflating.

Mmmm... Just look at that.

Don't you just love the french for coming up with delicious desserts? :D

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mapo, Adelaide

I've heard many good reviews of Mapo Korean Restaurant from peers and when I hear something is good, I've got to try it. So after much bugging and pleading for a friend to bring me there, I finally found myself sitting at their tables and having my senses in delight!

Entree platter (L-R): Chilli Mushroom Wontons, Mapo Money Bags and Yook Hwe.

The wontons were nothing to shout about but the money bags were filled with juicy, succulent prawns and the yook hwe is amazing! The yook hwe is the Korean version of steak tartare and it's basically seasoned julienne raw beef on a bed of fresh apple, with a raw egg yolk. I bet you're just as skeptical as my friend and I after reading that but trust me, it's oh so good!

Post-mixing 'Tender Duck Fillets'

My friend and I were too excited that we eagerly sliced it up and mixed everything before realizing I forgot to snap pictures! This dish is marinated duck breast, oven baked then chargrilled served on a nest of tempura vegetables with creamy basil sauce. The sauce is heavenly and it goes too well with the tempura vegetables. My friend and I were scraping every last bit of the sauce.

Coconut Tempura Prawns

Prawns coated in shredded coconut and cooked tempura style served with homemade Korean tartare sauce. When I first had a bite, the fusion of flavours delighted my tastebuds. It's definitely something out of the ordinary yet the flavours matched and blended well. However, the consecutive bites that follow weren't as exciting. It's good but it's not something I would scrape every last bit off.

Definitely a place worth going again! :D

Mapo Korean Restaurant
113 Gouger St
Adelaide 5000 SA
Phone: (08) 8211 6042
Website: www.mapo.com.au

Entree: $6.90-$19.90
Mains: $10.90-$19.90
Dessert: $5.50-$9.90

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apple Strudel

I fell in love with it the first time I had it at Perth. The texture and taste is just so hard to describe yet they somehow harmonize each other so perfectly. My filo pastry, otherwise known as phyllo dough was quickly drying out in the refrigerator so I had to use it up quickly.

I tried to take pictures of the process but I had to work quick with filo pastry before it dries out. I omitted sugar in feeble attempt to be healthier.

Fresh out of oven

Ingredients: (Makes 2 rolls)
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 sheets filo pastry
  • melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a large baking tray.
  2. Place diced apples in a large bowl and drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Add in cinnamon. Stir until well combined.
  3. Place 1 sheet filo on a workbench. Brush with melted butter and top with another filo sheet. Repeat layers of filo and melted butter until you have 6 layers in total.
  4. Spoon half of the apple mixture along one long edge of filo, leaving a 6cm border at both short ends. Fold ends in and roll up. Lift onto prepared tray. Brush top with butter.
  5. Repeat with the remaining sheets and apple mixture to form the second roll.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar.
  7. Best served with vanilla ice cream or custard.

How do others wrap theirs so nicely? :(

I like the buttery layers of pastry but cutting the filo pastry resulted in a horrific mess with layers and shards of filo pastry flying everywhere! Anyone knows the solution to this problem?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cream Puffs

Recipe adapted from The Big Book of Baking.

Ingredients: (Makes 8)
  • 200mL water
  • 70g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and grease a large baking tray.
  2. Put the water and butter into a small pot and bring to the boil.
  3. Immediately add all the flour, remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture into a paste that leaves the side of the pan clean.
  4. Leave to cool slightly then beat in enough of the eggs to give the mixture a soft dropping consistency.
  5. Spoon tablespoons of the paste onto the prepared baking tray and using wet fingers, smooth the top of the paste.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes and allow it to cool down.
  7. Cut the pastry balls into half then pipe with whatever filling you desire. Custard and cream are great choices.

I chose to fill mine with previously made homemade kaya.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ding Hao, Adelaide

This is the favourite Chinese restaurant for my friend and her family to dine and they're sure to visit the place whenever her family is here for a visit. Since her bf came all the way, she thought it would seem appropriate for her to ask us along for dinner.

Spicy eggplant with minced chicken. Wasn't quite what I expected. Was a bit too sour for my liking.

Salted egg with minced chicken and tofu. One of my preferred dished for the night. Would have been better if there was more salted fish.

Stir fry chili garlic long bean. This dish was the hit of the night. Crunchy and packed with garlicky goodness.

Pork belly with preserved vegetables. Flavour was alright but was too stingy on the preserved vegetables.

Smoked tea duck. Your average roasted duck served with hoisin sauce.

Ding Hao
26 Gouger St
Adelaide 5000 SA
Phone: (08) 8211 7036

Entree: $4-$6
Mains: $11-$19
Dessert: $6

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Banana chocolate chip

Bananas are a fruit that I can't get enough of and it makes me wonder why some people don't like the taste of bananas. What's even better is baking using overripe bananas.

This is a recipe that I have done more than once and will definitely be doing over and over again. I love how the kitchen smells of banana! :D The mini ones are for taste testing and housemates. *evil smirk*

Banana bread. Banana cake. Call it whatever you want.

Ingredients: (Makes 2 loaves)
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 100g milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 mashed ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush two 9 x 19cm (base measurement) loaf pans with melted butter to lightly grease.
  2. Place the flour, chocolate bits, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
  3. Combine the banana, milk, butter and eggs in a medium bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture evenly among prepared pans and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean.

Banana and chocolate is a match made in heaven. I hope you'll love this as much as I do. :D

On a side note, I thought I'd throw in a picture of the most mutated strawberry I've seen in my life.

Do you have a mutated strawberry picture to share?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Loh Mai Kai

One of my favourite small dishes is definitely the Loh Mai Kai or Glutinous Rice with chicken. In this instance however, I used pork. The final product came out a bit too wet and the rice didn't have enough flavour but the marinade for the meat was perfect. Well, it is after all my first try.

Recipe adapted from Kuali.com

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
  • 125g glutinous rice
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 75g pork meat
  • 1 Chinese sausage (Lap Cheong), thinly sliced
  • 2g black Chinese mushrooms, soaked

    Seasoning (A):

  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ginger juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Shao Hsing Hua Tiau wine
  • 1/4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour

    Seasoning (B):

  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder

  • Method:
    1. Wash glutinous rice, then soak it for two to three hours or overnight. Steam it for 30 minutes.
    2. Cut pork meat into slices. Marinate with seasoning (A) for about one to two hours or overnight.
    3. Heat oil in and stir fry quickly mushroom and lap cheong then dish up. Add cooked glutinous rice and seasoning (B) and water. Stir fry well for five minutes.
    4. Grease two medium-size rice bowls. Add mushroom, a few slices of Chinese sausages and seasoned pork slices. Fill up with glutinous rice and press down with a ladle.
    5. Steam for 30-40 minutes. Turn over the rice bowl onto a plate and serve Loh Mai Kai.

    Hope this will turn out even more delicious for you. :)
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