Monday, 30 April 2012

Cocoa Brownies

Cocoa Brownies
recipe by Alton Brown

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces melted butter
  • 11/4 cups cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 160C. 

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
Pour the batter into a prepared  pan and bake for 45 minutes. 
When it's done, remove to a rack to cool and cut into it when it's mostly cool.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Pulut Kuning and Turkey Rendang

For the potluck lunch we had yesterday, I made these dishes...

Turkey Rendang

2 kg boneless turkey leg, remove skin
400ml thick coconut cream
1 cup water

12 shallots
5 garlic cloves
2 tbsp dried chillie paste
5 thai green chillies
1 small knob ginger
1 small knob galangal

3 stalks lemongrass, bruised
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 fresh turmeric leaves, finely sliced
1 tbsp kerisik

sugar and salt, to taste

Put the shallots, garlic, chillies, ginger and galangal in a food processor. Add a splash of water and blend until smooth.

In a large heavy casserole pan, add all the ingredients except kerisik and the seasonings and simmer over low heat for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add in kerisek and adjust the seasonings.

Pulut Kuning or Yellow Glutinous Rice is often served during Eid and during most Malay social gatherings and feasts, such as weddings, the birth of a baby, and other malay custom related activities.

For the recipe, I'm using MamaFaMi's Pulut Kuning and it was fabulous.
Many thanks Ma for sharing!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Rendang Pucuk Ubi Kayu

... using purple kale 

A traditional Negeri Sembilan dish, using the soft young leaves from the tapioca plant.
Since it is almost impossible to find the leaves here, it left me thinking of a good alternative.
My light bulb moment came when I saw these gorgeous tender purple kale florets... they'll do!

Rendang Pucuk Ubi Kayu

450 g purple kale
400 ml coconut milk
3 pcs dried assam gelugor
5 lemongrass stalks, bruised
salt and sugar, to taste

70g dried anchovies 
1 small knob of fresh turmeric
8 small red onions 
5 fresh thai chillies

 Put the anchovies, red onions and chillies in a food processor. Add a splash of water and blend until well chopped but not too smooth. 

Heat a wok, add in the blended ingredients coconut milk, dried assam and lemongrass, and bring to a gentle simmer.
Cook for between one hour, stirring frequently during this time.
When the gravy is reduced and thickened, add the chopped kale.
Season with salt and sugar and continue cooking over low heat until mixture is very dry, crumbly and takes on a darker colour.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Banana Nutella Crepes

What intended to be my all-by-myself lunch menu became my tea offering,
since MrD  came home for lunch unexpectedly bearing some store-bought sandwiches

Banana Nutella Crepes
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello

For the crepes:

2 large eggs 
1 cup skimmed milk 
1 cup flour 
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons butte, made into beurre noisette 
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and milk. 

Add the egg and milk mix to the flour and mix well so that there are no large clumps.
Add the browned butter and mix to incorporate, being careful not to overwork batter.
The batter should just coat the back of a spoon. If seems too thick, thin it out with a little more milk or water. Let the batter rest for 1 hour prior to cooking crepes.

After the crepe batter has rested for 1 hour, heat pancake pan over medium heat.
Add 2 ladles of the crepe batter to the pan, remove pan from heat and tilt slightly to spread the batter over the entire pan.
Return to heat and sprinkle the top with 1 teaspoon of the chopped hazelnuts. Cook for about 1 minute until the bottom side is lightly browned.
With a spatula, carefully flip crepe and cook the second side for about 15 seconds. Set the cooked crepe on a baking sheet and repeat until you have used all of the batter.
You should be able to produce 8 to 10 crepes. 

Lay the crepes out on a flat surface.
Spread each crepe with about 1 tablespoon of Nutella spread.
In one fourth of the crepe, place some sliced bananas and fold the crepe over in half and in half again so that it has a triangular shape.
Repeat this with all of the crepes. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Chicken and Prawn Wonton Noodle Soup

Chicken and Prawn Wonton Noodle Soup

2 boneless chicken thighs, diced
200g tenderstem broccoli, cut into smaller pieces
200g baby corn
4 cups clear chicken broth

For the prawn wontons:
8 medium prawn (shelled and deveined)
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch  powder
sesame oil
salt and pepper
wonton skins

Dried rice vermicelli (beehoon) soaked in hot water until softened and rinsed under cold running water. Drain and set aside.

To make the prawn wontons, combine all the ingredients.
Fill each wonton skin with 1 prawn each and seal the wonton skin with a bit of cornstarch and water mixture.

In a stock pot, heat chicken broth until boiling.
Reduce the heat and add in the chicken pieces. Leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Then, add in the vegetables and prawn wontons. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Check seasoning and remove from heat.

Divide the noodles into deep soup bowls.  Ladle the soup into the bowls, then sprinkle over with some thinly sliced spring onions. Serve immediately.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Canary Puddings

This is a great dessert if you love love love lemons!!

Canary Puddings
(recipe adapted from Delia Smith's How To Cook)

For the lemon curd

grated zest and juice from 2 lemons
5 oz golden caster sugar
2 eggs
4 oz unsalted butter, melted

In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave

For the sponge

6 oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 oz butter, softened
3 large eggs
4 oz golden caster sugar
grated zest from 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of lemon juice

8 ramekins

First of all butter the ramekins well and place a piece of buttered  parchment paper in the bottom of each ramekin. 
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and baking powder into it, add the softened butter, eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice. 
Then, beat the mixture for about 2 minutes until it is thoroughly blended.
Fill the bottom of each ramekin with 1 dessertspoon of lemon curd and then follow this with the sponge mixture, dividing it equally between the eight ramekins. 
Level the tops, then place a piece of foil over each one, making a pleat in the centre.
Place the puddings in a steamer and steam them for about 25 minutes.  
When the puddings are cooked turn them out on to serving plate. 
Serve warm with a dribble of cream.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Peking Duck Fried Rice

Well, I'm back in my kitchen.
Not that I miss it... I was having far too much fun eating out and being waited on hand and foot!

Getting me back into the rhythm of cooking (not that I have much to begin with) may take a while, so MrD and Elsa... bear with!
Let's just start with good old simple fried rice...

Peking Duck Fried Rice

2 boneless duck breasts
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
salt and black pepper

3 cups cooked jasmine rice, chilled until completely cold
1 small garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp plum sauce
a dash of soy sauce

thin slivers of spring onion and cucumber
a dash of sesame oil

First, prepare the duck.
Score the skin a couple of times with a sharp knife. Season well with five spice powder and salt and pepper. Leave to marinade for a few hours.
Heat a frying pan. When hot, sear the duck, skin side down, until golden brown. Remove from the heat and put the duck breasts into a baking dish. Cook in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven to rest.
Once the duck has cooled a little bit, use two forks to shred the meat.

Heat a wok until smoking and add a little of the oil rendered from the roasted duck.
Add in the chopped garlic and the cooked rice and stir well to break up the grains, then add the shredded meat and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
Season to taste, with the rest of the ingredients.