Sunday, 28 September 2008

End of Summer Flowers



We had such a lousy summer this year or rather none at all, only a few miserable days of 27 degs at the most. And now it's autumn already. Mornings are terrible, because at 6 when my alarm goes off, it is still dark, unlike summer when it gets bright at 4.30 and you have the dawn chorus to wake you up! By the time I reach the station near my home - which usually is around 7 or so, it is already rather dark, sigh!

So, considering that this year or rather last year, we did not bother to dig out the dahlia bulbs, we still managed to get some rather lovely flowers. Dahlias are pretty but it is so time consuming to dig them out and put them to dry and keep them in boxes till spring to plant them out again. So we left them in the ground and hey,they still produced flowers but not as good as what we had last year or year before. Previously I managed to cut and fill about 6 - 7 vases weekly like the pictures below show.



Fried Rice Vermicelli


Chocolate Fudge Cake


Chicken Kiev



This is my version of Chicken Kiev. Pat does not like the origial version as he finds it too buttery and as I do not like breast meat, I use chicken thighs and instead of the butter parsly filling, I used Boursin soft cheese with herbs and it turned out beautiful!

Also, the original Chiken Kiev is deep fried. I bake mine.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Butter Shortbread Biscuits

Butter Shortbread Biscuits

GP, as promised,recipe for Shortbread Biscuits below.

Ingredients
150 gm softened butter
115 gm caster sugar
150 gm plain flour
65 gm rice flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
2. Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
3. Sift over the flours, baking powder and mix well.
4. Roll either into rectangular block or round tube and cut in 1/2 inch pieces.
5. Bake until golden, about 15 - 20 mins.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Pineapple tarts

Was craving to eat pineapple tarts, so made them last Saturday. Craving satisfied! Yum

Pineapple Tarts


Recipe

This is my mother's recipe and is easy, hassle free, meltingly delicious!

Ingredients:

400gms plain flour minus 2 tbsp replaced by corn flour
250gms butter - softened
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 egg yolks

Method:

1. Put butter in bowl and stir for few minutes till smooth.
2. Add eggs and stir till combined, then add flour, cornflour and icing sugar.
Knead for few minutes till you get a smooth dough. Do not overknead otherwise baked tart will be hard.
3. It is now ready to be rolled out! Glaze with egg yolk mixed with a little water.
4. Bake in 160 deg oven for around 20 mins.

Note: For the pineapple jam, for those of you who are "hardworking", you can do the traditional way and grate it. But nowadays, I skin and core the pineapple, then cut into chucks and whack it into the food processor. Done in minutes!

To make the jam, squeeze out as much juice as you can (you can boil the juice separately with some sugar and have homemade pineapple syrup!).

Tradtional Method:
Put the grated/processed pineapple into a saucepan, add sugar and stir till mixture is thick and jammy. You can add a couple of cloves for fragrance (optional). Be warned though, have the fire on low as the pineapple jam will start spitting and popping when it is cooking!!!

My way – microwave
Put the grated/processed pineapple into a bowl, add sugar and microwave for 8 – 10 mins each time. When the time is up, take out the bowl, stir and put back into microwave again. Do this until the jam is thick. Before the jam gets too thick, taste to make sure that the jam is sweet enough.

Remove from microwave, cool and use as required.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

These were a few of my dinners cooked last week.

Green Curry Chicken with soba noodles. Instead of eating with rice, I cooked some soba noodles and poured the curry over it.

Fried mixed veg with hoisin sauce


Fish cooked with tamarind
This is one of the childhood dishes that my mum used to make


Otak


Babi Pongteh


Ingredients:

(A)
100 gm shallots or 1 big onion ) Ground together
4 pcs garlic )

2 tbsp preserved soya beans (tau cheo) – pounded
1 tbp sugar
1tbsp dark soya sauce

500 gm – mix shoulder and belly pork – cubed
7 pcs Chinese mushroom – soak in hot water and cut into slices when soft

Method:
1.Heat oil in wok and fry A till brown. Add preserved soy beans, sugar and soya sauce and stir fry for 1 minute.
2. Add meat, sliced mushrooms and the water used to soak mushrooms and cook over high heat for 10 mins. Turn down heat to low and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours till meat is tender. Add water occasionally if gravy gets too dry.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sat lunch & dinner

Okonomiyaki



Nonya Popiah

Was in the mood for popiah. Nowadays when I make popiah, instead of using bangkwang, I use celeriac. It's because bangkwang over here costs so much (in SG, it costs around $1, here it costs around £3 - £4)so I buy celeriac which would cost somewhere between £1.50 - £2!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Spag Bol

We haven't had Spag Bol in a very long time, so decided to have it for dinner last night.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Decided in the afternoon that I was going to have Asparagus and Crab rissotto for dinner, so here it is.



Ingredients: - to feed 2 people
(Preparation time: 10 mins, cooking time 25-30 mins)
1 cup arborio rice
25 gms butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion - chopped finely
1 clove garlic - minced
1 bundle asparagus
crab meat
1 cup white wine
1 litre stock - vegetable or chicken (I used chicken)
Parmesan cheese

Method:
1. Break the ends off the asparagus and add it to the stock. Then cut the asparagus on the diagonal and blanch it for about 2 mins in the stock. Remove and refresh in ice-cold water to retain the green colour. In the meantime, keep the stock on low heat in the saucepan.
2. Heat pan and melt butter and add oil. When butter has melted, add minced onion and garlic and fry till translucent - about 5 mins.
3. Add rice till well coated with butter/oil.
4. Fry for about 3 mins, then add in the wine and cook till it is absorbed by the rice.
5. Slowly add in the stock a ladleful at a time and stir constantly. Add in the next ladleful only after all the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
6. Cook until rice has plumped out and cooked.
7. Add in the grated parmesan cheese and stir.
8. Lastly, add in the asparagus and crab meet and fold in gently to heat up.
9. Serve!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Dinner

Last night's dinner.
Asparagus with enoki mushrooms

Fish in Batter

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Dinner - 2 nights ago - Fried Spaghetti

This is the western version of our fried noodle. I fry spaghetti with tomato ketchup, seafood and anything else I can find in the freezer. This is good when I come back late from work and need to whip up something in a hurry

Dinner - Last week

This was our dinner last Sunday.
Satay Babi

Another of dd's favourite - Sambal Okra

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