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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Nyonyas Little Tea-Party

We had a full weekend last week.  Went for the friendly match between Liverpool and Malaysian Team.  It was a good game and we really enjoyed it.  The crowd cheered at each goal made by both teams.  My family is a die-hard Liverpool fan so, yes, all of us were wearing the team's jersey/t-shirt.  That was on Saturday.  The next day, on Sunday, my sisters and I planned to have a little party for two of my sisters and a nephew whose birthdays fall in the month of July.  There we go again.  Another 'makan-makan'.  We had potluck and it was fun. 

My youngest sis, whose house is the venue for this little party, decided to entertain us with her beautiful English tea-set complete with cake trays.  And a hilarious little English tea-party it was with us playing the role of English Ladies cam-cam Nyonya style!  It was so funny.  We felt like it's a lost childhood as we never had any toys when we were little.  Yes, not a toy!  We used our creativity by playing with whatever we can find e.g. leaves, boxes, tin cans, self-made wooden gun etc.  We were not as fortunate as other kids where they can have the luxury of buying whatever they want.  We had very little and we just made do with what we have back then.  Our kids are very lucky as we are now able to afford to buy some luxuries for them.  Okay, enough of me rambling about my childhood.    

There's no recipe for today.  Only photos on our party. Hope you enjoy the photos.

 Baked Macaroni - baked by my 4th sis.

 Baked Jamie Oliver Potatoes - from my 4th sis

 Nyonya Fried Noodle - by my 4th sis

 Enjoying the food the food!  And now, dessert time!

Portuguese Egg Tart (on the left) and Red Velvet Cupcake - by me

 Vanilla Cupcake with Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Icing - by my youngest sis

Paparazzi at work!

 'Playing' English Ladies!

Delicious food, good company and a wonderful family! What more could I ask for....Happy Birthday to my dear sisters and my 'little' nephew. May you be blessed with good health, happiness and all your hearts' desire! Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu!  Love you lots!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sweet & Sour Pork (Ku-Lo-Yoke) and Pork Trotters in Black Vinegar

Chinese food is prepared in one of the most simplest way of cooking.  It retains the freshness of the ingredients used and is rich in flavor.  Chinese food is most of the time, either stir fried or steamed or braised or boiled.   One of the most popular Chinese food is the' Ku-Lo-Yoke' or the Sweet and Sour Pork.  Each time we have an eat-out in any of the Chinese Kopitiam, this is the favorite dish my children and their cousins will be asking for.  Here's my version of Sweet and Sour Pork.

Sweet & Sour Pork (Ku-Lo-Yoke)

 Lean Pork cut into cubes (marinate with light soya sauce, sesame oil, cornflour, rice wine)
Garlic - minced
Big onion - quartered
Capsicum, Tomatoes, Pineapple (optional) - cut into bite size pieces

Sauce: 1/2 bowl of water, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce, rice wine, light soya sauce, vinegar, sugar, 1 tsp cornflour - mix all together in a bowl and set aside.

1. Heat oil in work and coat marinated pork in flour and fry till golden brown, take off heat and set aside.
2. Stir fry garlic, add onion, capsicum, tomatoes, pineapple.
3. Add the sauce and then add the pork.
4. Let it boil till the sauce thickens.  Serve hot with white rice.

Pork Trotters in Black Vinegar (Chi-Kiok Choh)

This particular dish is usually served during 'confinement' period for mothers who went through the pains of childbirth.  During this period, it is crucial to care for mothers in regaining their strength and recuperation of their being.  

This dish is sour with a little tinge of sweetness and yet a little hot from loads of ginger being used in preparing it and it tastes even better overnight.

My family and I love this dish.  I made a big pot of it last week.  Great with a bowl of steaming white rice!

Bird eye chillies is a must as an accompaniment to this dish.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pancake with Strawberry Ice Cream

Have you been to The Rocks in Sydney?  I was there last month holidaying with my family.  A friend of mine recommended us to this pancake restaurant which is in The Rocks.  It's very near to Circular Quay.  Guess what's the name of the restaurant?? The Pancake on The Rocks!

They serve wonderful fluffy and soft pancakes.  It melts in the mouth.  We ordered the all-time favorite, the typical, Pancake with Blueberry and Pancake with Vanilla Ice Cream.  They were great and if you ever in that area, do go visit this restaurant.  Here's the picture of the pancake that we had.

Look at how fluffiness!  Yumzz..

Yes, so, this kinda inspired me to try my hands at pancakes when we get back home.  So, after a month, here's my pancake served with homemade strawberry ice cream.  My pancakes are not as fluffy but it's soft and light.

Pancake: 1 cup self-raising flour. 1 eggs, 1 1/4 cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp maple syrup, 20g melted butter.
Mix all ingredients and blend together.  Heat non-stick pan and add a little oil, using a ladle, scoop batter and place in the center of the pan.  Cook till small bubbles appear on the top of batter and turn it over.  Cook till both sides are brown.  Service with maple syrup or honey or chocolate sauce or ice cream.

Strawberry Ice Cream:  Puree strawberry add 1 lime juice. Chill overnight.  Mix pureed strawberry with 1 1/4cup whipping cream and churn in ice cream maker.  Freeze till done.

Blueberry Pie & Lemon Ice Cream

I have this pastry dough which I've made some months ago and had it frozen.  I had forgotten all about it until today when I decided to make Lemon Ice Cream.  The dough was wrapped in cling wrap and tucked away in my freezer (not that it's a big freezer), it's just that I had totally forgotten about it.

Since I've 'discovered' it, I then decided to make Blueberry Pie as I had recently bought a can of Blueberry Pie filling with the intention of eating it with pancakes.  Then I thought since I'm making Lemon Ice Cream, it will be a perfect combination.  And it is perfect!  That's what my husband said.  The pie is not too sweet and the Lemon Ice Cream is very refreshing with tinge of sweet and sourness in it.  Purrfect!!

The dough recipe which I used in my pie is not the same as the recipe below.  I don't have an exact measurement for my recipe as I used 'gut-feel' for done-ness of the dough.  Basically the ingredients are the same as below except that I used eggs and not shortening.  However, you can use the recipe below as this is taken from Good Housekeeping cookbook which it claimed to have 'tripled tried & tested'.

Pastry Dough:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces 
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
4-6 tbsp iced water

1. In large bowl, combine flour & salt. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tbsp at a time until dough is just moist enough to hold together.
3. Shape dough into 2 disks and refrigerate overnight.
4. Roll dough on floured board into 12 inch round and pie pan. Press dough against the pan.
5. Add in pie filling and roll another disk to cover the pie.  Make a 'cross' cut in the centre and cover the pie.
5. Seal the sides and if you like, brush with egg wash.
6. Bake in preheated oven at 170degree celcius for about an hour till the top is golden.

Filling:  Blueberry Pie Filling (1 can)

 Lemon Ice-Cream:
Grated rind and juice of 3 lemon
8 tbsp sugar (to your taste)
4 egg yolks
2 tsp cornflour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream

1. Mix rind, juice, sugar, eggs and cornflour together.  Give it a good whisk.
2. Head milk in a pan till just bubbling. Remove from heat.
3. Slowly pour milk into lemon mixture while constantly whisking it.
4. Return mixture to pan and cook custard till thicken.
5. Cool custard and chill overnight.
6. Prepare ice cream maker as per the manufacture instructions.
7. Mix chilled custard with whipping cream and pour into ice cream maker.
8. Freeze.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cheesy Weekend

My oven is working overtime this weekend.  I have lots of cheddar and mozzarella leftovers from the pizza project yesterday.  Once the package is opened, it does not take long for the cheese to turn moldy even if you keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.  The hot weather in Malaysia doesn't help at all!  Rather than risk it from going bad, I used them up today.  So for dinner, we had baked macaroni with cheese and for dessert, Cheddar Cheese Butter Cake.  Hmm, that's a lot of cheese for a meal!  My family and I love cheese, so, once in a while we don't mind getting a little bit too cheesy.

This is the first time I baked this cake and I liked it.  It has a soft texture with not too strong on the cheese.  It's just about right and the top is very crusty.  I will definitely bake this again whenever I have extra cheese from any of my kitchen project!

Cheddar Cheese Butter Cake
250g butter         }
100g marjerin     } (I used 300g butter)
250g caster sugar (I used 200g)
4 eggs
340g plain flour            } sift together with baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder }
150g cheddar cheese - roughly grated
40g cheddar cheese - extra for topping (grated as well)

1. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time and beat till well combined.
3. Add grated cheddar and fold in flour.
4. Mix well and pour into a baking tray, topped with the extra grated cheddar.
5. Bake at pre-heated oven at 170degree celsius for 40 mins.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pizza! Pizza!

Feeling like having a good home made pizza? With lots of fresh ingredients?  Call toll free number at 1-300-00-1234..haaha..just kidding!!

My children were delighted when I decided to make pizza for dinner tonight.  Not only pizza is one of their favorite food but they get to help with making it too!  Great time for family bonding.

I never liked frozen pizza dough.  Each time I make pizza, it has to be done from scratch.  You will see that it's not difficult to make the dough.

Pizza Dough:  7g dry yeast, 1/2tsp sugar, 1/2tsp salt, 1cup warm water, 2 1/5 cup bread flour; olive oil to oil the pan and semolina flour for dusting.
Mix yeast, sugar, salt and water and cover with cling film and set aside for 10 mins.  Mixture will be foamy.

 Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast mixture. 

 Mix the yeast with the flour and knead till it's elastic.

 Bonding with my 2 lovely assistants!

The good thing about baking your own pizza is that you can choose what flavor and ingredients you want to add. I made 3 flavors - Barbeque Chicken, Bacon & Sausage and Salmon.  Since I have some Salmon in my freezer, thought of experimenting it as pizza topping.  It turned out okay except that the taste of salmon is quite strong.  For those who love salmon, I guess, this is alright but for those who doesn't like the fish, they will find the taste a bit too fishy for them.  Not such a good idea after all!  Luckily it's only a small tray.

 Salmon Pizza

 Bacon & Sausage

 Barbeque Chicken

 Digging-in time!
(Pst! pst!..hey my friend, 17.02, try not to salivate okay?)