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Monday, November 28, 2011

Ponteh (Braised Meat with Potatoes and Mushroom)

It's been such a hectic month and most of my weekends are occupied with this and that. December is no different either with my daughter's birthday coming up, Christmas dinner to organize and not to mention the Christmas gifts as well.  Soon after the seasons greeting, school gonna re-open again and then we will be scrambling in getting the books all wrapped up, buying new school uniforms and shoes etc etc etc.  At the end of this, then it's the Chinese New Year time again.  All these will leave a big big hole in the pocket!  Sigh!

Anyway, as mentioned in my previous post, here's my late mom's version of the authentic Nyonya dish - Ponteh!  Usually this dish uses pork belly or pork ribs which tastes so much flavorful than chicken.  However, you may mix pork and chicken if you wish.  For this post, I use chicken.  A great accompaniment with this dish is the Sambal Belacan which is made from pounded shrimp paste, red chilies and squeeze of lime juice.

Pound to a paste:  Shallots, garlic
1 tbsp of bean paste
Gula Melaka (dark brown sugar) to taste
1 cup water

1 chicken - cut into bite sizes
potatoes - quartered or halved
black mushroom - soak in hot water to soften and discard the stem
dark soya sauce for color

Heat oil in wok and fry the paste together with bean paste  till fragrant.
Add chicken and fry for 2 mins and add water.
Add in the potatoes and mushroom, let boil and add the sugar and dark soya sauce.
Simmer till chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender.
(Do not add salt as the bean paste is very salty.  If it's not salty enough for you, add light soya sauce)

Serve with hot rice

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kapitan Chicken

Kapitan Chicken is one of the Nyonya cuisine that has strong influence from the Portuguese.  This Nyonya dish has so many versions but the main ingredients remain the same.  Like many other Nyonya or Peranakan dishes, there are many versions from the north peranakan as in Penang, the straits peranakan from Malacca (that's where I'm from and the origin of peranakan descendants) and the south peranakan from Singapore.

With the diversity of different states ie. the north, the straits and the south peranakans, each have their own distinctive flavor in preparing the same type of dish just like Ayam/Babi Ponteh, Ayam Masak Buah Keluak, Lemak Udang Nenas, Gerang Assam, just to name a few.  And for this particular dish, Kapitan Chicken, is no different either.

The word 'kapitan' means the 'captain' of a colony.  Malacca was first invaded by the Portuguese Kapitan, Alfonso de Albuquerque in the year 1511 and their occupation lasted for 130 years from 1511 - 1641.  Not only the Portuguese that occupied Malacca.  As history goes, she was under the occupation by the Dutch and the British as well.

Here's one of the version of Kapitan Chicken.

1 chicken cut into bite sizes
1 - 1/2 cup medium light coconut milk
1 lime
salt to taste

Blend into paste:
lemon grass
fresh chilies
dried chilies
shrim paste

1. Heat oil in a deep saucepan or pot. Fry the paste till fragrant.
2. Add in the chicken and coat well with the paste for about 2-3mins.
3. Add the coconut milk, salt to taste and lime.
4. Let boil till chicken is cooked.

Serve with hot fluffy white rice.

My next post shall be Chicken Ponteh, another authentic Nyonya cuisine.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crown Birthday Cake - Red Velvet and Chocolate Moist

My daughter turned 10 today!  She's been looking forward for her big day for months and months and months.  When I asked her what cake does she wants and her answer was 'Princess Cake'.  Since last year I made her a castle princess cake, I decided to make her a Crown one this year.  Even though I'm at 'elementary stage' with fondant icing, the joy at seeing her happy expression when she saw her cake was indescribable.  For her, mommy is just awesome in making her dream cake.  Mommy's imperfection and sloppy work is just wonderful!!  She made my day - all the effort and the days of preparing the cake makes it all worth the while.  I'm truly glad I made the cake for her :)...

And the crown not only decorated the cake but everyone took turn at 'wearing' the crown...but of course, it was thrown away after that as nobody would want to have a lick at the gum paste!  hhaahahaa..

The bottom cake is Red Velvet and the top cake is Chocolate Moist.  Both cakes are sandwiched with cream cheese filling with butter cream as the outer layer and then covered with fondant.

After this project, my youngest girl placed an 'order' for her birthday cake next month - an Angry Bird Cake!! Hmmm...a challenge indeed!

Happy 10th Birthday, our sweet darling Cait! Por Por (Grandma) is overlooking you with love from heaven above together with Lord Buddha and will always keep you safe and happy!

Thanks to Khai Ma and Khai Yeh in making time all the way from Ipoh to join in Caitlyn's birthday celebration at La Gomera!  Last but not least, to all the wonderful and loving Ah Ees and Ee Teows, Ah Em and Ah Pek and cousins too..thank you for all the wonderful presents!