Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nasi Beringin

It's been a long while since my last entry. A long while since I last cook something. This year I intend to cook something different for raya apart from ketupat, rendang, lodeh and sambal kacang, the usual dishes for raya. So I tried this "Nasi Beringin" recipe which I got from a newspaper article just before raya. And it worked!

4 cups Basmathi rice – wash and drain
3 cups coconut milk

2 cups water
4cm ginger – ground
15 shallots – finely sliced
4 stalks lemongrass – finely sliced
1 stick cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamons
1 star anise
3 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste

Heat ghee in the rice cooker. Sauté the spices, shallots, ground ginger and lemongrass until the shallots are soft. Add the coconut milk, water and salt to taste. Let the liquid boil, then add the rice. When the rice is cooked, fluff it up and serve.

Try soak the rice in water first and add just a tad more water (not too much) to get fluffier result.

Best served with curry, rendang or tomato-based meat dishes. Curry is the best!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kerang Bakar Lido

Yesterday I got the urge to cook. I felt like eating cockles. Then I remembered this recipe which I managed to get (believe it or not!) from a hawker at Tepian Tebrau, Lido Beach years ago. Now Tepian Tebrau has moved to a new place at Jalan Sungai Chat. As a matter of fact, it was only just last week my wife and I went to the place.
Usually hawker will keep recipes as trade secret but I was a regular at his hawker stall. I will usually order "ais kacang" and "kerang bakar". Then one day I tried my luck. Lo and behold, he told me all the ingredients including the special ingredient that he used for his famous "kerang bakar". What so special about his "kerang bakar" is the cockles are grilled with chilli paste in half-shells. Elsewhere e.g. Umbai, Melaka, "kerang bakar" means cockles grilled in whole shells over hot coal.
Actually, I had tried this recipe once long time ago. But my maid did it all. It didn't turn out well. So you can call this an experiment per se. Maybe last time I tried to cook too much. This time I will try with small amounts i.e. 1 kilogram of cockles only.

1 kg cockles, scrubbed & washed
3 shallots
2 cloves garlic
5 dried chilli, soaked in hot water & deseeded
1 stalk lemongrass
1/2 cm shrimp paste ("belacan")
50g dried shrimp ("udang kering") the more the better
2 tbs curry powder

Boil cockles in hot water till shells open up.
Remove half of the shells.
Put all ingredients except curry powder in blender.
Fry blended ingredients till fragrant. (you can do this in a wok or a flat grill)
Add curry powder then add cockles.
Add a little oil if too dry.
Cover & stir once in a while.
Season to taste.

The experiment last night was a success. It tasted almost like the original. Thumbs up from my wife. However, it was not enough. It turned out that 1 kg of cockles only filled a small bowl at the end. It was yummy, though. The lesson learnt after this experiment and the last one is: this recipe is best done in small batches. You can blend all the chilli paste that you want but cook the cockles in small batches.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mak Ngah's Suji Cookies

Apart from Ovaltine biscuit, this is another must during Eidul Fitr in my family. For as long as I remember, when I was growing up my mother has always been making this cookies. It is so easy to make. It takes just minutes to mix the dough BUT it takes hours to make those little balls and bake 'em. The first batch is usually finished as soon as it comes out of the oven. They just melts in your mouth.

Ingredients: (for 1 batch: can make several batches at a time)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup ghee
3 1/2 cups wheat flour

Beat ghee & sugar till sugar dissolved.
Add flour and knead till fully combined.
Make into small balls.
Bake in 170 C oven for 20 minutes or till underside golden.

This is my family's traditional recipe. However, there are many variations for suji cookies for example, melt the ghee, add butter, brown the flour, use icing sugar, use sugee flour or cornflour etc. Some even add some other ingredients like almond, vanilla essence or even a pinch of salt. It's all up to your creative imagination but the way I remember the way my mother has always been making 'em.

Lesson of the day:
Ghee is a class of clarified butter used in Indian subcontinent cooking. It is made by simmering unsalted butter until all water has evaporated and milk solids has settled at the bottom. The cooked, clarified butter at the top is spooned off avoiding the milk solids at the bottom. Unlike butter, ghee can be stored for extended period without refrigeration in airtight container.
Caution...ghee is composed almost entirely of saturated fat!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fruit Cake

Fancy baking a fruit cake for any occasion? Christmas or wedding or Eid's so simple!
This easy boil and bake recipe was handed down to me by Kasmah Dewi. Together with the Chocolate Cake recipe (in previous entry), these two recipes will always remind me of my previous place of work, Hospital Sultanah Aminah.
This recipe has also undergone several experimentations over the years with substitution and addition of ingredients to the original recipe. This is the equivalent to home improvement in the kitchen.....recipe improvement!

Fruit Cake Kasmah Dewi

Ingredients A:
2 packets dried lime peel
1 box mixed fruit
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 oz butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon* (optional)
1 tsp ground allspice* (optional)

Ingredients B:
4 cups flour
1 tbs bicarbonate of soda
4 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup golden syrup* (to replace "gula hangus")

Put ingredients A in a pan and bring to boil.
Simmer till sugar dissolved.
Cool to room temperature.
Add flour and eggs alternately into mixture.
Add golden syrup.
Turn into 8" lined and greased cake tin.
Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 1 to 1 1/2 hour.

Simple right? Give it a try.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chocolate Cake

Dear Chocoholics,

This recipe is dedicated to all chocoholics in the world. This could be the easiest moist chocolate cake recipe in the world. Steamed not baked. Try it out! It is "Better-Than-Sex Chocolate Cake" .... No lah! I am just exaggerating!

This recipe was given to me by MA Hamizan but since I have experimented with a few ingredients to enhance the chocolate flavour namely dash of salt, vanilla and coffee. Of course there's another flavour that I have not tried That'd be my future cooking experiment.

Moist Chocolate Cake MA HAmizan

Ingredients A
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp soda bicarbonate
1 tsp baking powder
a dash of salt

Ingredients B
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot water
1 tbs instant coffee powder
1 can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Sift all ingredients A.
Beat eggs.
Dissolve sugar and coffee in hot water.
Add condensed milk, oil and lastly the eggs. 
(Important to add eggs last or else you will get scrambled eggs)
Add ingredients A & B a little bit at a time till completely incorporated.
Pour into lined, greased pan and cover with aluminum foil.
Steam for 1 to 1 1/2 hour.
Cool in pan before turning out.

Chocolate Ganache
8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces 
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whippingcream 
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter 

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. 
Set aside. 
Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. 
Bring just to a boil. 
Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. 
Stir with a whisk until smooth.
Refrigerate till firm. (Best done the day before. Make sure cake is also cooled before spreading)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cream Puffs/ Profiteroles

Yummy! This is also one of my favourites.
Choux pastry (pâte à choux) contains only butter, water, flour and eggs. No raising agent. Its raising agent is the high water content, which creates steam during baking, puffing out the pastry. That's why it requires a very hot oven Gas mark 6 or 7.

I rediscovered this when I was flicking through the pages of my recipe book. I am not sure where I copied it from but I have tried it long, long time ago. It looked just like the photo which I googled from Delia Online. Yes Delia Smith. She is an English cook and TV presenter. She was famous in those days.

Delia's version of profiterole has added 1 level teaspoon of caster sugar. It's a variation for those with sweet tooth. This is my version.

Ingredients: (makes 30)
1 cup of water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour (sifted)
4 eggs (beaten)
2 tsp cocoa powder

Heat water & butter in a pan until rolling boil then turn down to low heat.
Add sifted flour all at once, stirring vigorously until mixture leaves sides of pan clean.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Add beaten egg a little at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition until you have a smooth paste.
Beat in sifted cocoa.
Put 1 tsp paste on greased baking sheet on an oven tray about 1 inch apart.
Bake in preheated oven 425 Fahrenheit/ 220 Celcius for 10 minutes.
Reduce to moderate heat (350-400 F/180-200 C), bake for furtehr 40 minutes or until crispand  golden colour.
Remove from oven.
Make a small slit at sides of each puff to let steam escape.
Return to oven for afew minutes to dry out.
The allow to cool on a wire rack.
Then fill the puffs with whipped cream and pour melted chocolate on top and serve immediately.

Tips of the day:
Cup measure is a convenient way to bake but some recipes use other measurements such as ounce, gram or mililitre. After researching on the internet I found the equivalet measures for the cup measure for various ingredients.

1 cup of water = 250 ml water

Cake flour = 114g
White flour = 120g
Bread flour = 130g
Wheat flour = 140g
Note: This measurement requires one to spoon the flour into the cup, not scooping.

1 cup of butter = 227g = 8 oz
1/2 cup of butter = 113g = 4 oz = and this is equivalent to 1 stick of butter.
1 tbs of butter = 0.5oz

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mak Ngah's Ovaltine Biscuit

Dear Followers,

In the previous blog (Rock Cake), I mentioned about "raya cookies" and what I thought the origin of my interest in baking. This is one of the favourite "raya cookies". The recipe actually originated from my aunt's family (Mak Teh) but somehow or rather now all my relativesalways  associate this biscuit with my family. Everybody who visited our house during Eidul fitr will ask "Where's Mak Ngah's Ovaltine biscuit?". It's a MUST have cookie! 

Last year I think, my family almost broke the tradition. There was nobody to bake the biscuit for "raya". Noni (one of my younger sisters) the best person who can make this biscuit did not come home early that year. So NO Ovaltine biscuit! I thought this cannot be happening. So when she arrived home, I got her to make several batches of dough for the biscuit. The tedious part about making this biscuit is the rolling, cutting into shapes and baking. Imagine having to bake 8 batches of biscuit dough a day before and first day of "raya"! It was a labour of love in the name of tradition. Tradition is something which makes us unique. Fond memories follow this tradition. By writing this recipe in this blog I hope to make the memories everlasting. Memories of my family. Memories for the future.

Advance warning: The cup measure used in this recipe is non-standard. Traditionally, the cup used in this recipe is a teacup, not any teacup but a particular teacup. I will try get a photo of this teacup. Otherwise, the dough will either be too sticky or too hard. Actually, I have never experimented on a standard measurement cup before. Yeah I will carry out the experiment!
One other thing, some people may find this biscuit too hard but that's the way it's supposed to be. So don't roll 'em too thick.

1 cup Ovaltine (don't use Milo, it won't come out the same)
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 cup corn flour
1 cup tapioca flour (cassava root) 
1/2 cup margerine
1/2 cup condensed milk

Beat margerine & sugar.
Sift all flour & Ovaltine. Mix well.
Add into sugar mixture. Knead well.
Add condensed milk a little bit at a time depending on the stickiness of the dough.
Roll, cut and bake at 190 C for 10-12 minutes or till underside is golden brown.

Have a try. I like to bake some of the cookies a little bit chewy. It tastes almost the same as Famous Amos' chewy cookies. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Banoffi Pie

Dear Foodies,

This is one of the simplest of desserts I've ever made those days. One of the sweeetest, too! I still remember trying out the recipe for the first time in Bristol. Ah! One will always remember one's first time falling in love. It's sweet when one's in love but then........Ouch! the heartache.......

8 oz butter
6 oz digestive biscuits (crushed)
6 oz caster sugar (reduce sugar if too sweet)
1 can condensed milk (small can)
2 bananas (sliced)

Melt 3 oz butter.
Stir in crushed biscuits.
Press into base and sides of a springform pan (8 inches/20 cm) (loose-bottomed for easy disassembly)
Heat remaining butter and sugar in an until melted.
Add condensed milk.
Stirring continuously.
Bring to a gentle boil for 5 minutes to make light golden caramel.
Pour this dulce de leche over biscuit base and allow to cool.
Arrange sliced bananas on top.
Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Hey Presto! Sweets for my sweet! 

Alternatively, you can boil the condensed milk can (whole, unopened) in water for 3 hours to make the dulce de leche. But I think this method is too time-consuming...........and energy-consuming too! Save energy & the environment!

Not for those who count calories! Again, photo is googled. I will post original photo when I get to make this sweetlicious dessert.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rock Cake

Dear All,

This is the first ever cookie recipe that I tried out when I was in the UK. It was my first time baking on my own. Actually I had helped my mum  baking biscuits before for Eid ul Fitr when I was a kid. I have fond memories of that. My mum usually started baking "kuih raya" 2 weeks before Eid..... usually after "sahur" (eating before the break of dawn) during Ramadhan month. By the time the cookies are ready, I can't eat them until time to break fast at 7pm later that day. You can imagine the anticipation! I think that was when I started to have the inclination to bake. Thanks Mum!

Btw, this is the recipe for Rock Cake. It's a's more of a biscuit than a cake.
8 oz self-raising flour
4 oz margarine
4 oz sugar
1 egg
50g mixed fruit
1 tbs milk

Mix flour & sugar.
Rub margarine until appears like breadcrumbs.
Beat egg and add into mixture & knead.
Divide into small mounds on lightly greased baking tray.
Bake at Gas Mark 6 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Yes Gas Mark 6! In the UK at the time, most ovens use Gas Mark. It means nothing if one does not know the conversion to temperature.

Lesson of the day:
This is the conversion of Gas Mark to temperature.
Gas Mark Celcius Fahrenheit
1 140 275
2 150 300
3 160 325
4 180 350
5 190 375
6 200 400
7 220 425
8 230 450

A conventional oven can reach only such temperatures. You can't go higher than that unless you happen to have a tandoori oven which can reach a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit (480 degrees Celcius).

Now you are in the know!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cassata Ice Cream

To all the followers of Chef Michel's Cooking Blog,

Hi All!

I have been busy lately........ and so the infrequent blog posts. So I have an idea! I am gonna post recipes that I have previously tried long, long time ago when I was studying in the UK................. I mean really long, long time ago.
To start off, this is one of my all-time favourite ice cream recipe. I have not made this for a long, long time. As I remembered it, it was simply scrumptious! YUMMY!

To make a Cassata ice cream, you need:
2 eggs (separated)
3 oz icing sugar (or less)
125 ml whipping cream
2 oz dark chocolate
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbs warmwater

Method: (you will need an electric beater...or else you will have a sore arm)
Beat egg white until firm peaks formed.
Beat in sugar gradually.
Whip cream until soft peaks formed.
Fold in egg white & sugar mixture.
Melt chocolate over boiling water.
Remove from heat & stir in egg yolks.
Combine cocoa powder with warm water.
Stir into choc/yolk mixture.
Then add into cream mixture.

As I remembered it, it was quite an easy recipe. Actually, looking at the photo it makes me wanna try it out again!

Photo used is googled. I will post a photo if and when I get to try out this recipe again.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lala Revisited

It has been a while since my last blog post. It has been busy at Regency Specialist last month with late nights with no sleep at all. So cooking is set aside for a while....however I miss trying out new recipes. Last weekend, my parents whom I have not met for quite some time (because of work!) came down to Johor Bahru for a visit. We had Sunday lunch at my house. My wife was the chef of the day. The menu is chicken kurma, lala with Tahi chili sauce (the
pièce de résistance) and steamed (actually microwaved!) baby pak choy with oyster sauce. The lala was a hit with my family. 

For the recipe, click this link:

The vegetable recipe is quick and easy to prepare.
Wash & trim the stump.
Arrange half in a microwave-proof container.
Add oyster sauce & vegetable oil.
Arrange the other half on top.
Sprinkle some fried onion.
Blast in microwave for a few minutes.

Voila!....and Bob's your uncle!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

BBQ Revisited

BBQ Honey Chicken (version 2)

I called this version 2 bcoz the ingredients are similar to the previous BBQ Honey Chicken with a few more improvisations.......It's kinda experimentation with omission of certain ingredients, changing proportions & trying ot new ingredients. Look through the ingredients and see whether you can spot the difference. It's a great satisfaction when ypur experiment turned out better than before!

12-14 chicken wings/drumstick (about 1 kg)
1 tbs coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp aniseed

10 shallots
5 cloves garlic
2 inch ginger
Blend with spices.

3 tbs chili sauce
3 tbs dark soy sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs chili paste (cili boh)
4 tbs honey
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Marinate chicken overnight in fridge or about 2 hours.

Rosemary Lamb Chops

Last time I tried lamb with mint. This time I am trying a match-made-in-heaven.......lamb with rosemary! When in UK, I used to see rosemary bush all over the place, so one can easily pick fresh rosemary from one's neighbour's lawn. Here in Malaysia, I have to settle with dried rosemary. However, fresh herb is not necessarily better. Some herbs are best used dried like bay leaves, marjoram & oregano. 

10-12 lamb chops
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tbsp dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 
1 tsp sugar
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Marinate lamb overnight in fridge or about 4 hours.

Prawns with Cajun Spice & Garlic

You need some prawns. The bigger the better depending on how much you are willing to pay.
Wash 'em. Keep shell & head. Butterflied (cut top end with sharp knife) and devein.
Crush a few cloves of garlic. Sprinkle cajun spice until well-coated. Toss.
Marinate for at least 2 hours.

I bought my cajun spice ready-mix but you can mix your own cajun spice.
These are the ingredients, FYI:

1/4 cup of salt
2 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp freshly ground white pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tspdried thyme
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Combine all the ingredients in small jar (makes 3/4 cup)
Keep for up to 4 months in a tightly covered jar in cool dry place away from sunlight.
Nevertheless, it's probably cheaper to buy ready-mix bottle bcoz the combined price of all the spices are not worth least in Malaysia.

Salad mixture of iceberg lettuce, romane lettuce & plum tomatoes served with thousand island dressing.

Buy ready-made or you can make your own thosand island salad dressing.
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp chili sauce
2 tbs white vinegar
3-4 tsp sugar
2 tbs chopped onions
1 clove garlic
1 tbs sweet pickle relish
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Combine all in food processor.
Season to taste.
Cover and chill for minimum of 5 hours before using.

Some of dishes on the table spread. Special fried rice and vermicelli (prepared by my mother-in-law. Thank you Umi!) completed the food pyramid of meat protein, vegetables and carbohydrate. 
Lamb chops were gone very fast.....not exactly "gone in 60 seconds". I find the best lamb chops are still the ones in Jusco. Expensive but meat is very tender. Eight minutes per side and the lamb is medium done. The best cut of lamb is the lamb rack. I still can't find a butcher in Malaysia who sell it. KL maybe? If I find it I wanna try roast crusted lamb rack with black pepper sauce served with steamed asparagus & cream mashed potato. Yummy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nestum Butter Prawns

Something I cooked up yesterday. Tasty treat.....but NOT for those on diet!
It all started when a friend of mine (in Facebook) asked for this recipe.
Then I remembered the frozen prawns in the freezer. 
I thought if I could thaw 'em before going to work and cook 'em after work.
And so I DID!

It's difficult to get this recipe right the first time.
This is my second try. Still I cannot get 'em prawns to be as crispy as in the restaurant. Maybe because u need a LOT of oil.....really HOt oil to deep fry 'em. 
I don't wanna use up and waste too much cooking oil in the process.

300g big prawns, trimmed, washed and drained.
enough flour to coat prawns
4 cups oil for deepfrying
3 tbsp butter
3 egg yolk, beaten lightly
2 shallots chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 tbsp chicken stock granules
1/2 tsp sugar
2 sprigs curry leaves
6 bird's eye chilli/cili padi (sliced) 
salt and pepper to taste
5 tbsp Nestum or oatmeal

Wipe prawns dry. Toss in flour to coat. 
(Tip: It's important to pat dry the prawns to make it crispier)
Heat up oil, deep fry prawns for 1-2 min. Dish and drain.
Leave 1/2 cup of oil in wok, add butter. Heat together till "silent".
Stir in egg yolk. 
(I m just guessing.......but to make strings like in the restaurant, u may pour egg yolk through a sieve. Never tried it but theoretically it may work. I'll try it next time)
Add other ingredients except nestum/oatmeal and continue to fry till fragrant. 
Add prawns and fry till aromatic.
Lastly, add nestum/oatmeal and fry till dry.
Dish up and serve hot.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Kacang Phool (Foul Bean)

This is the famous Kacang Phool near Larkin Firestation.
Thanks Kak Raha. Both of us had kacang phool that u bought for lunch yesterday.

Got this recipe from a  website. I have not tried this recipe yet but it's worthy of mention. This is a basic recipe......why basic? Coz u can add your own secret ingredient if u want!
One day I am gonna try it. Once I did I will add a new photo to this entry.

1 tbs ghee
½ cup veg oil
200 g minced beef (browned)
2 tbs curry powder 1 can foul bean (kacang phool)
1 can kidney bean
2 large onion (blended)
3 cloves garlic (blended)  
2 cm ginger (blended) 

1 large onion (chopped)
6 fried eggs (for 6 people)
10 green chillies (sliced)
Calamansi lime (limau kasturi) cut into 2 

1. Fry all blended ingredients & curry powder.
2. Blend half of foul & kidney beans and roughly crush the other half. 
3. Add browned minced beef with a little bit of water if needed. 
4. Season to taste.
5. Serve with fried egg, chopped garnish & toasted bread or French bread.

Foul bean translated to "kacang phool" in Malay.

I have translated this recipe in English for the benefit of all the international viewer of my blog.I noticed that my blog is viewed from all over the world..... from Sweden, USA, UK etc etc.
Thank you all for viewing. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chocolate Brownie with Choc Syrup & Choc Ice Cream

Being a chocoholic myself, a chocolate dessert is a must for every occassion. I made this for the BBQ the other day. Very easy to make......there are many versions. This is from my fav Chef at Home, Michael Smith.

Choc Brownie
12 oz bittersweet dark chocolate
8 oz butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tbs baking powder
2 tbs cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
4 eggs
A big splash of vanilla
(You can add 1 cup of chopped walnut or any nut if you want. I did not add any coz I don't have any at the time)

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Toss the chocolate and butter into a small bowl set over a small pot of simmering water (bain marie). This will insulate the delicate chocolate from direct heat and keep it from scorching. As they begin to melt stir until smooth then remove from the heat.
In a large bowl sift the flour, salt and baking powder together.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together then stir into the chocolate. Stir in the dry ingredients and walnuts.
Lightly oil the bottom and sides of an 8” by 12” baking pan. Sprinkle a bit of flour into the pan and shake until all the surfaces are evenly covered. Tap the pan upside-down on the counter to dislodge any extra. Pour in the batter and bake until set, about 40 minutes.

It took me only about an hour from start (measuring ingredients) to finish baking.
Best served with ice cream (chocolate of course) and choc syrup. 
Triple chocolate dessert!
This is how to make choc can buy of course if no time. 

Choc Syrup
1 can unsweetened evaporated milk
2 handfuls choc chips
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs brown sugar (less if you want less sweet or if you use sweetened choc chips)
Splash of vanilla

Whisk over low heat (bain marie)

This choc brownie was also a hit like the lamb. However, there's a special request for the Chocolate Molten Cake that I made earlier last December. I am gonna make 'em tomorrow. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stirfried Rice with Prawns

Breakfast.....what to eat for breakfast?
Toasted bread.....boring!
Frozen roti canai.......boring!
A look in the rice cooker & the freezer....... there are some leftover rice & leftover prawns (from bbq the other day).

It's time for a quick stirfried rice with prawns.

2 red chillies (or more if u like some heat)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
dried anchovies (or dried shrimp...whatever u have)
Pound/blend all the ingredients.
Heat some oil.
Stirfry till fragrant.
Break an egg & stir.
Add prawns. Cook for 2-3 min.
Add rice (my mum usually add salt to the rice beforehand)
Add thawed frozen veg.
Splash of soya & oyster sauce.
Stirfry till rice fully heated.
Garnish with coriander leaves & spring onion if u want.

Quick & easy breakfast .........from leftovers!
Waste not, want not!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

BBQ Honey Chicken, BBQ Mint Lamb & BBQ Chilli Prawns

Yesterday I hosted a barbeque for my family & in-laws.
Among the dishes in the menu were bbq honey chicken, lamb chops with mint & citrus juices, prawn with olive oil & chillies and cockles.
Only managed to take photo of the chicken only........ coz the lamb chops were gone in a jiffy before I even get to the camera! It was a HIT!

This is the recipe for the BBQ honey chicken. Basically, almost the same ingredients for satay marinade with honey and a few personal improvisations.

For 1 whole chicken you need:
1 tbs coriander seed
1 tsp aniseed (jintan manis)
1 tsp cummin seed (jintan putih)
Toast these 3 spices in a skillet.
2 inch ginger
2 inch fresh turmeric
2 cloves garlic
2 onions
2 stalks lemon grass
a bunch of dried chillies (as much as u can tolerate)
Put all in blender.

2 tbs sweet soya sauce
1 tbs thick soya sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
4 tbs honey

Add blended ingredients with chicken in a sealable bag (easy storage in fridge, no washing up & meat and marinade will mix better in a bag)
Marinate for 2-4 hours (overnight if possible)
Take out of fridge well before barbequeing so that meat is at room temperature.

BBQ Mint Lamb
For every 2 racks of lamb chops (12-16 chops usually)
Crush a bunch of mint leaves
Juice from 1 orange & 1 lemon
1 tbs oyster sauce
Salt & pepper

Marinate for 1-2 hours in a sealable bag.
Same as before.....let meat to room temperature before bbqing.
Best served with black pepper sauce.

BBQ Chilli Prawn
Devein & butterfly prawns but keep shells on.
Chop some chillies
Add some olive oil
Salt & pepper
Marinate in a sealable bag.

Cockles (kerang)
Wash 'em.
Then just toss 'em on the bbq.
Easy peasy!

I made a small basket using aluminium foil (double-layer).
Make some holes at the bottom with a fork.
So that they won't roll all over your bbq grill.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prawn with Coconut Milk/Bird's Eye Chilli (Udang Masak Lemak Cili Padi) & Stirfried Pumpkin

I just had the urge to be a chef yesterday. I feel the need to flex my "culinary skills".

So I figured out a couple of simple dishes to cook.... actually I don't need a recipe book, it's in my head already. Chef Michael Smith always says "the secret of cooking is cooking without a recipe". Yeah! Right! He can say that coz he was trained as a chef...... I am an amatuer cook. Nevertheless, everyone knows how to cook "masak lemak" but there are variations on how to cook it.

Here's the first recipe:

300-400g prawns
 --> wash with tamarind juice (to get rid of the fishy .... or rather prawny smell)
A bunch of bird eye chillies (cili padi) 
--> the amount is up to you actually.... I like it mild although my other half like it hot hot hot! So she always complains that my cooking is not  HOT enough!
3 shallots
2 garlic
1 turmeric leave
1 lemon grass (bruised)
1 dried tamarind slice or 2 tomatoes (to add sourness)
1 anchovies cube
Enough coconut milk (2 cups or so)
salt to taste
Optional: you can add long beans

Pound bird eye chillies, shallots & garlic.
Pour coconut milk in a pot. 
Add pounded ingredients, lemon grass, turmeric leave and acnhovies stock.
Simmer on a slow fire and always stir. DO NOT leave unstirred or the coconut milk will "separate".
Let simmer.
When boiling, this is the time to add the long beans.
Then add prawns followed by tamarind slice or tomatoes.
Add salt to taste.
Once the prawns has changed color, remove from heat.

For the next recipe, easy peasy;

Anchovies or dried shrimps
Oyster sauce
Fish sauce
Light soy sauce

Chop up shallot, garlic & chillies.
Heat some veg oil.
Sir fry anchovies/shrimp and chopped ingredients.
Add pumpkin. Stir.
Add sauces and a bit of water.
Cover & simmer till pumpkin tender (NOT mushy!)


Finished in less than 1 hour.
Waited my other half to arrive home.
Had early dinner for 2 at 6.45pm
No candlelight though!
Unfortunately, it was NOT Thursday night! You know what I mean! :-)