Monday, 19 September 2011

Salmon in Tamarind Sauce

 Salmon in Tamarind Sauce

4  pcs salmon fillets

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce

 black pepper

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1 small garlic, minced

3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp sugar palm

1 fresh red chilli, sliced

¼  cup tamarind juice

Place salmon fillets in a in a medium bowl, add sesame oil, soy sauce and black pepper and combine all the ingredients together. 

Marinate the salmon fillets for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Grill the salmon for 5 minutes on a medium hot grill and set aside.

To make the sauce, Heat a pot over low heat, add the tamarind juice, fish sauce, and sugar palm.

Stir until the sauce thickened.

Then add chilli, shallot and garlic.

Once the sauce is boiling and slightly reduced, remove from heat.

Pour the tamarind sauce over the grilled salmon.

Pineapple Fried Rice


Pineapple Fried Rice 

2 cups cooked rice
6 large prawns
1 cup pineapple, sliced into whatever size you desire
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
fresh coriander
Wash, peel and devein the prawns. Discard the heads; leave the tail fins attached.
Heat oil in a pan.
Fry the shallot in the oil over medium heat until softened.
Add the pineapple and prawns. Fry until they are cooked.
Add the rice, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar.
Add the chopped fresh coriander and remove from heat.
Serve hot.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake


 Old-fashioned Chocolate Cake
 adapted from Nigella's Feast

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted soft butter
1/3 cup cocoa
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to fan160°C.
Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with a little butter and base line with baking paper.
In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa, then lightly fold into the mixture.
Add sour cream until you have a dropping consistency, then divide between the tins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For this celebration cake, I doubled the amount of ingredients.

Basic Butter Icing Recipe

  250g butter, cubed, at room temperature
450g  pure icing sugar, sifted
60ml  milk

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric beater to beat for 2 minutes or until very light and fluffy.
Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until the mixture is very pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the milk and beat until smooth and well combined.


The icing was flavoured with a hint of rose and lemon.


Friday, 16 September 2011

Chicken Kuzi

Chicken Kuzi
Recipe adapted from Chef Wan’s Simply Sedap
4 pcs chicken breast
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp tomato paste
1 cup passata
½ cup thick yoghurt
½ cup water
handful of dark raisins
1 tbsp kerisik (roasted dessicated coconut, pounded like there’s no tomorrow)
salt and sugar
fresh coriander
cashew nuts
2 tsp dried chilli paste
5 shallots, finely minced
1 small knob ginger, finely minced
Heat a little oil in a wok and saute chilli paste, shallots, ginger and curry powder till fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, passata and  chicken.
Add in yoghurt, water, raisins and salt and sugar and simmer over low heat until the gravy thickens.
Add in kerisik.
To serve, garnish with fresh coriander, raisins and cashew nuts.

Butterscotch Cookies

Baking with my baby.

Made a batch of Butterscotch Cookies using a recipe I found while googling for ideas for an easy-enough cookie recipes.
The resulting cookies have a serious crunch but a tad too sweet for my liking.
Still and all, Elsa simply adores these cookies and had been seen lurking suspiciously around the cookie tin. I do hope I still have enough left till the end of the month.

Butterscotch Cookies
adapted from SimplyRecipes

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized slices
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Sugar Dredging Mixture

1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 170C and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.
Mix together the sugar dredging mixture in another bowl and set aside.

Place 10 tablespoons of the butter into a microwave-proof container, preferably clear glass bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Watch it carefully, when the butter turn dark golden brown and begins to smell nutty take it off of the microwave and add the other two tablespoons of butter and mix it in until it melts.

Pour the brown butter into a mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar and salt and mix. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix together, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once.
Add the flour mixture in three increments being sure to scrape down the sides and bottom once or twice. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be very thick.

Take 1 teaspoon of dough and gently roll them into ball shapes. Dredge them in the sugar dredging mixture until well-coated. Place on the baking sheet.

Bake for 6 minutes or until the edges have browned a bit.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Kashmiri Chicken

Kashmiri Chicken

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
4 cloves
6 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
2 large shallots, sliced
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
300ml crushed tomatoes
7 chicken thighs, skinned
salt and sugar, to taste

Heat the oil in a pot and add the bay leaves, cloves, green cardamom and black cardamom. Fry for about 15 seconds.

Add the onion and fry until golden-brown.

Add salt, garlic, ginger, paprika, chilli powder, cumin, coriander and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until oil is released from the ingredients - around 10-15 minutes.

Add 200ml of water (or chicken stock) and bring to the boil. Season with salt and sugar.

Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook, covered, until the chicken is tender and cooked through - around 30-40 minutes.

Remove the lid and add a splash of boiling water if the sauce is looking too thick. If the sauce seems too watery, remove the chicken and cook over a high heat until the volume of liquid has reduced, then add the chicken back to the pot.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Casserole Day

Simple Beef Casserole

500g diced beef
30g plain flour
Salt and black pepper
4 tbs sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 carrots
2 parsnips
1 small turnip
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 vegetable stock cube
400ml unsweetened apple juice
400ml chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary

Prepare the vegetables, wash , cut and set aside.

Place the flour in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper . Add the diced beef, toss to cover the meat in the flour.

Heat half the oil in a large casserole dish and saute the meat until golden brown all over, remove and set aside.

Return the casserole dish to the heat and saute the vegetables, garlic and shallots in the remaining oil until golden brown. Add the beef, coriander and the remaining flour left over from dusting the meat, saute for about 5 minutes.

Deglaze the casserole dish with the apple juice, tomatoes and vegetable stock.

Cover the casserole dish with a lid and bring the casserole to a gentle simmer, add the bay leaf and rosemary, stir and cook the casserole over very low heat for 40 - 60 minutes.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Smoked Salmon Risotto

My first attempt at making risotto.

When I think risotto, I think labour.
It is a general culinary consensus that successful execution of the dish requires constant stirring and attention; basically, risotto becomes your baby in the kitchen.

The most important part of any risotto is, of course, the rice.
Arborio, carnaroli and vialone-nano are the classic choices; they are short-grain varieties that will result in a creamy product that retains a slight bite to each grain. Using regular long-grain rice will produce a mushy, gummy mass.

The next essential ingredient in risotto is the broth or stock.
Make sure you have the stock on a low simmer as you prepare the rice.

Have all ingredients chopped and prepared beforehand. That way you can cook your risotto straight through in 20 minutes maximum.

You want your risotto to be smooth, creamy and oozy, not thick and stodgy. A successful risotto is al dente, or cooked enough that the teeth can still detect firmness and is slightly creamy.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Viennese Chocolate Sables

These cookies are soft, crumbly and not-too-sweet, with a slight cocoa-bitter edge.
Traditionally, the cookies are piped to look like a "W" (or as I'd like to think of it, an upside-down "M" for Muna). Obviously, mine does not look anything like any letter from the alphabet, though a few objects do come to mind.... anyways, what matters is the taste (if all else fails...)

Pierre Herme’s Viennese Chocolate Sables

260g flour
30g good quality cocoa powder
250g room temperature butter
100g powder sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp egg white (approx. from 2 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract (the original recipe does not call for this but I couldn't resist)

Preheat oven to 180C.

Whisk together the flour and cocoa powder and set aside.

In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk butter, sugar until creamy. Whisk in egg white until it is well combined with butter cream. Then add in the cocoa and flour mixture and mix until well combined.

Spoon dough into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe dough into whatever design you desire.

Bake at 180C for 6-8 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies).

Monday, 15 August 2011

Friday, 12 August 2011

Fillet of Beef with mixed peppercorn sauce

Fillet of Beef with mixed peppercorn sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 fillet steaks, at room temperature
a knob of butter
2 shallots , finely chopped
2 tsp green and pink peppercorns , crushed
1 tsp anchovy sauce
150ml apple juice
100ml stock
3 tbsp sour cream

Heat a grill pan over a medium-to-high heat. Rub oil all over steak. Season the steak with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and cook to your liking. Be sure to seal the rounded edges, too. Transfer to a plate.

To make the sauce, add the knob of butter to the pan, then fry the shallots and peppercorns over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the shallots have softened.
Pour the apple juice into the pan, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until reduced by half. This will take about 5 mins. Add the stock and anchovy sauce and reduce again, this time by two-thirds. Stir the cream in to the sauce and allow it to thicken slightly. Check the sauce for seasoning.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

For dinner, we had fillet steak with homemade red onion relish and barbecue sauce, with a side of new potatoes in tarragon butter.

Galton Blackiston's Barbecue Sauce

1 tbsp honey
25g dark muscovado sugar
1 red chili, split and seeded
Fresh root ginger, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
100ml pineapple juice
100ml orange juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
100ml red wine vinegar
4 tbsp tomato puree
Good pinch of ground cumin
Good pinch of ground turmeric
2 tbsp brown sauce

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, transfer to a liquidizer, and blitz really well.
Transfer to a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly.

(Thank you, Elsa, for typing this and many other entries before this. Love ya!!!)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Goan Red Curry

Goan Red Curry

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp Goan red spice paste
4 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped
salt, to taste
6 chicken thighs, skinned

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan.
Add the onion and cook until browned, around 10 minutes. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the salt, cover, and cook for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and reduced.
Uncover the pan and simmer the tomatoes in their own juices for a further 6-8 minutes or until they have become good shade darker.
Add the chicken.
Add 1 cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Goan Red Curry Paste:

2 red chilies, deseeded
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
3 cloves
6 peppercorns
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
9 large of garlic, peeled
1/2 in slice fresh ginger, peeled
1 1/2 in piece of cinnamon
1 tsp tamarind paste
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup vinegar

Blend all the ingredients together to make a fine paste. Store in a sterilized jar in the fridge for 1 week.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Broccoli Lemon Pasta

Broccoli Lemon Pasta

Broccoli florets
your favourite pasta, I'm using macaroni
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lemon, zested
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried peperoncino flakes
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pignoli nuts
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis, peperoncino and cheese and serve.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Dip

Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Dip

4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
4 Arab-style flatbreads

For the marinade
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp hot paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the avocado dip
2 ripe avocados
1 tsp ground cumin
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
Toss the chicken chunks in the marinade until evenly coated, then refrigerate overnight.

To make the avocado dip; spoon the flesh into a bowl. Add all the other dip ingredients and a pinch of salt and pepper, and mash well, then put aside.

When you're ready to cook, Skewer the chicken meat using metal skewers.
Grill in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning once.

Serve with warm breads and the avocado dip.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Beetroot Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake

Beetroot Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake

1/2 cup beet root puree
1/4 cup raspberry puree
1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 oz butter, softened, but not quite room temperature
9 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Stir-Fry Chicken with Asparagus

Stir-Fry Chicken with Asparagus

3 pcs boneless chicken thigh, cubed
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp fermented soya bean in chilli
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and sliced

Combine ginger, garlic and all sauces and mix in the chicken. Stir to coat the chicken with the sauce and leave to marinade for about 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan on high. Stir-fry chicken until cooked. Add asparagus and stir-fry for another minute.