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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shanghai Pancakes

Who love Shanghai Pancakes?  I know my family and I do.  Whenever there's Chinese Wedding dinner, sometimes the restaurant will serve Shanghai Pancakes with Creamy Almond or Peanut Soup as dessert.  The 'soup' is very thick and slightly sweetened.  It tastes absolutely delicious with these pancakes.  The pancakes has a very crispy thin crust with lovely layer of lotus paste filling.  We love eating it as it is, without the creamy almond soup.

I've never make these pancakes and I don't have the recipe for it either.  I cheated since I have the puff pastry in my freezer and some left over lotus paste.  I thought what can I do with it that is fast and with less hassle.  Hmm..Shanghai Pancake came to mind.  How hard can it be right, in making these pancakes?  Of course, since I cheated, it's very easy indeed...I just need to pan fry it and voila, it's done!  Here's how I long as you have the puff pastry and lotus paste, you are good to go.

Take a sheet of puff pastry, give a generous slab of lotus paste on first half of the puff sheet, then fold the other half over it.  Press all sides to ensure it's 'secured' and shallow pan fry it to golden perfection.  While it's hot, cut it into strips of rectangles and serve immediately with a cup of hot tea! Wonderful tea-time snack for anyone! Lovely.

I foresee that in near future, I shall substitute the lotus paste with kaya (local coconut egg jam).  Yumzz.. can almost taste it already.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mixed Berry Millefeuille

Hi there! As promised from my earlier post, here's my first French dessert - Mixed Berry Millefeuille! Millefeuille in French term, literally means a thousand leaves or a thousand sheets, which refers to the many layers of the puff pastry.

I am amazed that such a classy and elegant dessert is so simple to make that you'd be really is simple.  Believe me!  With the help of ready made puff pastry, off course!  lol.  Not only that, it's soooo delicious.  Only thing is, you must make this fresh and eat it.  Tell you frankly, I'm starting to crave for some right now as I speak. Haahaaha.

Ok, here's the recipe:
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
150g sour cream
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp cream
200g mixed fresh or frozen berries of your choice
icing sugar to dust

1. Pre-heat oven to moderately hot at 200dC. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Cut the pastry sheet into eight 6 x 12 cm rectangles (I cut it to the size that I want), place on the prepared tray and bake for 10 mins or until pastry is puffed and lightly golden. Set aside to cool. (If you lightly flatten the puffs with your hand, the cream will sit better).
3. Place the sour cream, brown sugar and cream in a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide into the four portions and spoon one portion each onto the flat side of the pastry puffs.  Top with mixed berries and cover with the remaining pastry puffs on to each. Dust with icing sugar, serve immediately.

Note: The puffs can be made ahead to save time and store in an airtight container.

Next post will feature local dessert.  Till then, enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Buffalo Wings & Loaded Potato Skin

Anyone wants to have some Tex Mex food?  I know I do..however, can't afford to have it in Chillies Restaurant, a popular Tex Mex cuisine in KL everytime I feel like having some. So, here's my homemade Tex Mex dinner with family.  I tell you, what you can find in the Net is amazing. Practically anything and everything.  Thanks to the wonders of the Net, my family is well satisfied and happy!! Too bad my BIL and SIL unable to join us - they don't know what they missed! Err...after seeing this, they'd probably say "oh..i hope she'll make these again and invite us", my dears, i certainly will.

Apart from the Buffalo Wings and the Loaded Potato Skin, we also had Olio de Aglio (have I told you that this is my fav pasta?).  I'll not tell you how the olio was prepared as I'm sure you guys out there are more pro than me in preparing pastas.  There are so many versions and personal styles in preparing this, so I'll spare you the boredom of me telling you how to prepare a simple olio.

 Olio de Aglio

 Nope! This is not ice cream! It's mash potatoes.

Buffalo Wings (taken from Anchor Bar Buffalo Chicken Wings Recipe):
This recipe calls for 36 chic wings but I made only 12 wings..adjust recipe to your preference. The wings are baked in this recipe below but I opted for the authentic wings by deep frying it before coat it with the hot sauce

36 chicken wings pieces - I separate the wings and the drummets.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 tp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp tabasco sauce (i used lots of this)
1/4 salt
6 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
6 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 210dC.
1. In a bowl, toss the wings with oil and salt. Place in large plastic bag, add the flour. Shake to coat evenly. Remove wings from bag, shaking off excess flour, spread out evenly on oiled foil-lined pans. Do not crowd. Bake for 20 mins, turn the wings over, and cook another 20 mins, or until wings are cooked through and browned.
2. While wings are baking, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan, over low heat. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, then turn off.
3. After wings are done, transfer to a large bowl, pour the sauce over and toss well to coat.

Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing on the the side.

Loaded Potato Skin:
(Serves 5-6 pax)
5 or 6 large potatoes - Idaho or Russet
Bacon streaks - fry till crispy and cut into small pieces
cheddar cheese
mozarella cheese
olive oil

1. Wash and scrub potatoes with the skin. Boil till almost tender, drain and let cool.
2.  Cut cooled potatoes into halves and scoop the flesh out.  Make mash potatoes with the flesh.
3.  Fill the potatoes with cheddar cheese, top with the bacon and mozarella.
4.  Place in a baking tray, sprinkle some oilve oil on each pot skin and bake at 210dC for about 15 mins or until cheese melts.
Serve immediately.

As for dessert, we had French dessert called Mixed Berry Millefeuille which will be the next feature on my's the sneak peak

Friday, April 13, 2012

Goreng Kodok (Fried Banana Fritters)

What a lazy Saturday morning.  Woke up late, went out to have breakfast with family. Son couldn't eat well since he suffered from throat ulcers and he moaned about being hungry but couldn't eat a thing.  Then he was invited to a friend's birthday lunch. Although he went, he couldn't enjoy the food - pizza! That's his favorite.  Since he wasn't eating lunch at home and neither do we want any lunch as we had late brunch, I decided to make some Fried Banana Fritters.  Anyway, all this happened last weekend and he's better now.

Banana Fritters is very popular here.  You can get this from any road side stalls usually manned by local Malays.  It's made of mashed bananas, flour and sugar.  However, not all types of bananas are suitable to make these fritters.  The best kind will be the Pisang Rajah, Pisang Emas and Pisang Berangan.  The ripe ones make the best fritters as they are naturally sweet and therefore you may not need to add too much sugar.

I don't know the scientific or English names for these species of bananas but here are the photos of each types which I found in the internet. Maybe you will know what it's called in your home ground. 

            'Rajah'                             'Emas'                               'Berangan'

Here's my Fried Banana Fritters.  In this recipe, I used 'Berangan' species although I would prefer the 'Rajah' type.  It's best eaten hot with a cup of tea.  A great tea-time snack to serve your visitors. Lovely!

 You can see the yellow bits, is the banana.  The more bananas you use, the tastier the fritters will be.

1 comb of bananas (mashed the bananas into lumps)
self raising flour (1 1/2 cups but add more if needed)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups water (add more if needed)
sugar to taste

Method: Add all ingredients together.  Place spoonfuls of batter into hot oil and deep fry till golden brown.  Drain on paper towels, serve.

(Note: Batter should not be too runny or too thick.  It should be able to hold together without being too 'drippy' when you scoop with a spoon.)

This is not only easy to prepare but cheap as well and perfect snack for all.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Strawberry Cupcake

This is one yummy cupcake especially for children.  No wonder it's been categorized as Kid's Cupcakes in the 'Cupcakes Galore' cookbook where this recipe is taken from.  Strawberries or any berries for that matter, is just great in any cakes or desserts.  The fruit itself is full of fiber, the colors and burst of flavors, just compliments the bakes.

The buttermilk makes the cake very soft and moist and the chunks of strawberries starts to burst in the cake as it gets baked.  When you bite into it, you get all the goodness natural flavors of the strawberries.  Try to get the ripe ones if you can.

They smelled so good while baking that as soon as it's done and cooled, my little nephew couldn't wait for me to frost it to have a bite!  After the frosting with Strawberry Buttercream, I say more..

Makes 12 cupcakes
375g plain flour
150g sugar
2 1/2tsp baking powder
1 tsp b.o.s.
1/2tsp salt
240ml buttermilk
185g unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 tsp vanilla
175g fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut into small pieces

1. Pre-heat oven to 180d C. In large bow, mix flour, sugar, b.p., b.o.s. and salt together and set aside.
2. In another bowl, mix buttermilk, melted butter, eggs and vanilla.  Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and beat well with a wooden spoon.  Fold in strawberries.
3. Spoon batter into cupcakes cases, filling cups about 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-25 mins or until done. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream:
250g butter
250g icing sugar
8 large strawberries, pureed

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, add pureed strawberries.  Check the frosting consistency.  Add more sugar if it's too soft if you plan to pipe the frosting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lotus Paste Sesame Balls

I love these sesame balls snacks anytime of the day. Especially with a cup of hot chinese tea.  Oooh, I'm in heaven!  You can find these in most dim sum restaurants and the filing is usually red bean, lotus paste or peanut.  I love the lotus paste most.  I made these same sesame balls in my earlier posts and the filing was red bean.  For the recipe and how to make them, please click here  Having a "Ball" of a time!