Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bread & Butter Pudding

Inspiration - I heard that it is very easy to make, especially when you have day old bread. So I have been itching to make it. I have some leftovers of organic whole wheat bread and I really wanted to get rid of it. So I bravely ventured into making bread and butter pudding even though I am not a fan of this dessert.
Ok the simple ingredients -
1) Bread - 5 slices
2) Butter
3) Milk
4) 2 eggs
5) Raisins (and I even added some cut peaches)
6) 1 tsp of vanilla essence
I read all I needed to do was this -
1) Cut the bread into triangle slices and put some butter on each slice and arrange on a baking dish.
2) Then mix milk and eggs with vanilla extract.

3) Then add the mixture onto the bread. Put the raisins on top.

4) Place the baking dish onto a larger baking dish filled with water. This is to ensure that the pudding does not burn. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

5) This is what turned out. Well..... it did not turn out! I am so dissapointed. The bread was just soggy and it did not taste good at all. Well, I don't really know what I did wrong.

Hubby-D was nice and said it is not too bad and even ate it for breakfast the next day. I tried but I knew it was really not good. Anyone out there - Help! What did I do wrong? :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fried Chicken

Inspiration - I hardly ever fry chicken at home. Few reasons - 1) KFC taste must better 2) So much easier to buy outside vs frying myself 3) I feel really guilty when I see the amount of oil I need to use to fry chicken. So for taste, convenience and price and less guilt, buying fried chicken from outside works just fine for me.

However, I decided not to bake or roast chicken today and my mouth was itching for some fried chicken. So since, I was have 4 chicken drumsticks, I decided to do some frying on my own. As you can see below, I used a small pot (to nicely fit my 4 pcs of chicken) and less oil - just enough to half cover the chicken. I will have to flip the chicken to fry it evenly but that's ok. It is home-cooked and I feel less guilty about the oil :)

I used salt, pepper, a dash of soy sauce and oyster sauce as marinade for chicken.
For the batter, I used 2 TBSP of flour, 1 tsp of corn starch mixed with 1 egg and 1 cup of water. Add salt and pepper too.

After I marinade the chicken for at least 1/2 hr, I heat up the oil in pot. Make sure oil is really hot before putting in the chicken. I dip the chicken in batter and put into oil. No matter how tempting, do not turn the chicken first. Let it fry for 5-8 minutes before turning.

My fried chicken is no KFC but it was fast and simple and I can have fried chicken within minutes!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Loh Mai Rice

Since I made loh mai kai, I decided to go for an another recipe, an easier version, more or less same ingredients but definitely tasty and yummy. Loh Mai Fan or just plainly called Glutinous rice, I often find it sold in Malaysia at morning market and night market (pasar malam) alongside the fried meehoon, mee and the different assortment of kueh. It is surprisingly easy to make and pretty fast too.
Simple ingredients -
1) Glutinous rice - 200gm - soak in water overnight.
2) Chicken breast -10-15 medium cubes
3) Mushroom - 5-6 small pieces - soak and cut to slices
4) Chinese sausage (lap cheong) - 2 pieces - cut to slices.
5) Dried shrimp - a handful - soaked
6) Raw peanuts - a handful
7) Shallots
8) Marinate for chicken - soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, sesame oil.
9) Seasoning for rice - 2 tbsp oil or lard, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt, pepper.

Simple preparation -
1) Firstly in a dry hot wok, put in the peanuts. On medium fry, stir the peanuts around from time to time. Once it is hot, the skin will come off. Peanuts are ready. Remove and keep separately.

2) Then put oil in the wok and stirfry the shallots till cripsy. Drain oil, remove and put aside.

3) In the same oil (add a bit more if not enough), fry the dried shrimp till fragrant and crispy. Remove and keep aside.

4) Put in the Chinese sausage (lap cheong) into wok. Do not need to add oil as the lap cheong is oily. Once fragrant, remove and keep aside.

5) Next, in the remaning oil, stirfry the mushroom first.

6) After add the marinated chicken. Stir and add some water. Once the chicken is brown (it's ok if not completely cooked) remove and put aside.

7) In the same wok, put in the rice. Please ensure rice have been soaked for at least 3 hours. Much better if you soaked it overnight. Put in the seasonings.

8) Next, add in all the earlier cooked ingredients (except kacang) and mixed with rice.

9) Scoop it up into a big bowl (flat bottom) and steam about 1 hour.

10) That's eat. It may look like many steps but it is pretty easy. Just get all your ingredients ready and it will just be a step by step process. Voila! Ready to Eat! Yummmmmy! Oh yeah! don't forget to add the peanuts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Marble Cake

My 2nd attempt in baking after my successful Cereal Cookies.

Now for my favourite cake - Marble Cake. I searched and searched the internet for various recipes and found some that suited the ingredients I had in the pantry. Ah yes, I don't go buy whatever ingredients I need for a recipe, usually I try to find a recipe and more often I combine recipes to suit whatever I have in my pantry. Then I crossed my fingers and pray it will turn out. And always, I have beginner's luck cos my first time making a dish always turns out pretty well. Infact, when I make it the second time, it usually turn out worse! I wonder why?

But anyway, here I will list down and show you step by step exactly what I did. So, you first time or wannabe bakers, I hope you find this useful. And all the experienced cooks and bakers out there, I would appreciate any comments or suggestions to be better.

Btw, it is really marble cake recipe I am making, the photo above looks like muffins but it is not muffins. I used the muffin tray to make the marble cake so that I get indivdual portions without needing to cut the cake. This is a tip I learned from my Aunt Judy who makes fabulous marble cakes.

Simple ingredients -

1) Butter - 110gm
2) Sugar - 100gm
3) Eggs - 2 (large)
4) Flour - 110gm
5) Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
6) Vanilla Essence - 1/2 tsp
6) Cocoa powder - 1 TBSP
7) Milk - 3.5 TBSP

This may seem like such a small recipe but since I am making it for the 1st time and only me and my hubby would be eating, this is the right portion for me. I like it as it will last for 2-3 days and it is just nice. It will make about 7-9 muffin cups. If you want a bigger cake, just double up the ingredients.

Simple steps

1) Put butter and sugar in mixer and beat till blended.

2) Then add egg one by one and continue to blend together.

3) Add flour and baking powder and a pinch of salt and continue to mix. Add in the vanilla essence last. The mix should look like below and smell quite good - fragrance of vanilla essence and butter.

4) Get ready your baking dish. Here I am using muffin trays. Grease it lightly.

5) Put aside 1/3 of the mixture. Then scoop the remaining mixture into the muffin tray filling up to half.

6) Remember the 1/3 of mixture kept aside. This is for the chocolate portion. Firstly mix the cocoa powder with the milk. Make sure it is blended well. Then add in the butter/flour mixture and mix.

7) Put the chocolate mixture on to the muffin tray too.

8) Take a chopstick or the handle of a spoon and slowly swirl the mixture in circular motion. Don't over mix.

9) Put into pre-heated oven at 350' for 20- 25 minutes.

10) That's it! Pretty easy! Voila! Ready to eat! And it is YUMMY!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

5 seasonings must haves in my cooking.

Since I started this food recipe blog, I became more aware of my cooking and what I put into my cooking. I also realize that my cooking is pretty basic and I just use a couple of basic must haves ingredients. I love Chinese food best and I think that these are my basic must haves....For a simple meal, if you have these seasonings in the are set for a delicious meal.

1) Salt. This is a no brainer. If you wanna know more about salt, click here.

2) Pepper. This is another no brainer. There are many types of pepper. For Malaysia Chinese cooking, I heard the best is the Sarawak pepper. Any truth? Not sure. Read more about pepper, click here.

3) This is a definite must have! Just a dash here and there in cooking. I use it for marinade on all my meat. I use it as a dip. I don't know what I will do without it. Click here for more info.

4) Oyster sauce. This also goes well for Chinese dishes. Use as a marinade for meat, brings out the sweetness in the meat. Use this when stir-frying vegetables, it is just yum yum. I am using more of this to just bring more taste to my dishes. Click here.

5) Last but not least is Sesame oil. Ohhh!! the strong fragrance of sesame oil. It just add the "oommph" in the cooking. I usually add it at the end of cooking the dish so that the fragance lingers. Infact, when I cook Maggie Mee Chicken Flavour, a dash of sesame oil at the end, wow! brings out a wonderful aroma, you will slurp up every last drop. Click here!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My USA Porky Pork recipe

This is totally non-halal and delicious....

My favourite porky pork! This was my recipe and how I made it back in Malaysia. See Link.

BUT now here is US, I somehow feel the need to be healthier or maybe since I cook inside ( windows are not opened at my house) , I prefer less deep frying. My kitchen can't take it.

So I discovered that you can kinda get the nearly the same effect with an oven. Since I only cook for myself and Hubby-D, I am using the toaster oven but I think mine quite "powderful" wan cos I can adjust heat up to 450 degrees.

It's so simple to make -

1) Pork Belly - 2 strips.

2) Marinade - soy sauce, salt, pepper and five spice powder and a bit of oyster sauce.

That's all. Marinade for at least 30 mins or longer. Lay it on a sheet pan. Take a sharp knife and poke the skin on top of the pork belly. You can also draw criss-cross. This is so that the skin will end up crispy. The piece of pork I have below looks a bit fat right??! But it's ok, after you bake it, the oil will come out and it won't look so fatty. But it will taste fantastic.

Bake in oven for 30 mins. It would look like below. This is not a great picture due to poor lighting. Also I should have left it in oven a bit longer cos I prefer it more brown but I was hungry. Cannot "tahan" already!

So, I chopped, chopped it up.

Hmmm...making my stomach growl, growl.

I am ready to munch it down. Voila! Ready to eat! Super super super YUMMY!
This is the super fast and simple version. I have since experimented, looked at how some experts do it, taken the tips and improved to make "Siew Yoke" or Chinese roasted pork. Stay tuned for the recipe.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

French Bean Eggs

Inspirations - I go for everything simple and fast and this dish is definitely it. Kinda boring if we always just fry the egg. There are loads of variations to frying eggs. This time, I am using french beans. See my previous posting for Eggs with preserved turnips ("chai poh)

Anyway for this, as you can see, we only need 2 or 3 eggs (put some salt & pepper and beat) and chopped french beans.

Simple steps -

1) Oil in pan. When hot, put in the chopped french beans. Stir fry for 3 minutes.

2) Then add egg over it and spread to make sure egg coat all the french beans. Let it sit for 2 mins on medium to high fire. Then flip it over and in 2 mins, it's ready. Fast right??

3) Voila! So fast, so simple! Ready to eat! Yummy! Yummy! My stomach growling cos it is lunch now for me now!