Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Honey Sauce Chicken

This recipe is from famous Amy Beh at Kuali.

- chicken wings (i used thighs coz i have not tried cooking with this cut yet, yea can u imagine?)
- garlic
- shallots (omited coz didnt hv any)
- ginger
- 3–4 cili padi or bird’s eye chillies (substituted with red chillies)
- oil
- toasted sesame seeds (omited this as well hee hee)

-1 tbsp ginger juice
-1 tbsp oyster sauce
-1 tbsp light soy sauce
-¼ tsp salt
-½ tsp pepper
-1 tsp sugar

Honey sauce – (combined)
-1 tbsp oyster sauce
-2 tbsp light soy sauce
-4 tbsp honey
-2 tbsp sugar
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-150ml water

Massage chicken well with marinade. Leave overnight.
Deep-fry chicken until golden brown. (i pan fried instead which isnt such a good idea but i really didnt want to eat deep fried food)
Heat wok with oil, saute shallots, ginger and garlic. Add in chillies and pour in combined honey sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil.
Return pre-fried chicken to the wok. Cover and cook over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced.
Garnish with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

Verdict: The sauce was excellent!!! Hubby and I give it a 7/10.
It was very flavourful, with just the right hints of sweetness from the honey, followed by a spicy tinge from chillies and pepper, well rounded off by the oyster sauce. Mmm mmmm....(sounds like me doing my job describing fragrances). I kept scooping up the ginger and garlic pieces which were soaked in the sauce. yum! Prepare for stinkbombs tomorrow everyone! Heh.

The chicky however was grossly bloody... grrr that's why I hate cooking chicken with bones. If you noticed, most of my other dishes use chicken fillets or chicken breast meat. I can never get it right with a chick and its bones. It is just because its undercooked? Mom! How to avoid bloody chickies? Do I just need to cook it until its really well done?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Brussels Sprouts & Leek?

Was thinking of a new veg to cook and brussels sprouts came to mind! I love these little green balls! They resemble mini cabbages don't they? And they have such a vibrant green colour that makes my picture look good haha!

Surfed around for ways to cook. hmmm looks like the common ang moh style is to steam them. This method will help prevent overcooking as they will turn bitter and release sulphur when overcooked. I decided to do a quick stir fry with leeks. Can you imagine - 10 years ago i would have made a face at such a combination... yelch. (Brussels sprout was once Britain's most hated vegetable, I don't know about leeks though)

However, I think age or maturity helps you to learn to appreciate the different aspects of things in life, in this case brussels sprouts. ahem. (my hubby didn't like the dish so that's saying sumthin heee)

There were some recipes that combined these 2 vegetables together so it shouldnt go so bad. I just cut the leek into thin slices, stir fried them, then added the halved brussels sprouts. Add salt to taste. Dish them up quickly when the sprouts turn a brighter green or suffer the taste of sulphur! Cooking certainly has its hazards.

Some tips: When selecting, go for small sprouts with tight heads. Apparently small sprouts are more tender and the tight head indicate freshness. Also, cut of a bit of the base off and discard the outer, older leaves.

Verdict: Not bad (6.5/10). The leek gave a slight meaty taste - I'm not sure if it does that when its stir-fried though. And the brussels sprouts were slightly bitter and sweet. I didnt get the nutty flavour which they say comes out when its cooked correctly. I do like its crunchy texture and felt a sense of satisfaction that i was doing a big favour to my bowel movement (its green and leafy and high in fibre)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Potato Chow Down!

Tell me one person you know who doesnt like potatoes. They gotta be weird. Hahah!
Everyone loves potatoes! They're super versatile, tastes great fried, baked, mashed, boiled; in creamy or clear soups, curries, stir-fries, the list goes on!

This recipe is originally called Rustic Potato Chowder from 101 cookbooks.

8 to 10 slices Bacon
extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions,
chopped 3 shallots, (whoops, didnt hv this so i just omited it)
chopped 4 cloves garlic,
chopped 4 cups diced potatoes
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 cups milk
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated (i substituted with Parmesan)

Pan fry bacon until browned and crispy. Cool and chop into small pieces. Put aside.
Heat up the olive oil and saute the onions, shallots, and garlic for 5 mins, or until the onions start to get soft.
Add potatoes and a teaspoon of salt and saute for ~ 2 mins.

Add mustard and milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the soup thickens and the potatoes are soft.
Throw in the cheese, another dash of salt and pepper.

Sprinkle with the bacon.

You can also make this into a pot pie. Roll out some Pampas pastry, cut into desired size and cover your little bowl with it. Poke several air vents for the steam to escape. Pop into oven and wait eagerly for it to turn a golden brown. :)

Rating: Hubby said 7/10! I say problie 6/10 coz the milk taste was a bit overpowering... I used HL milk so maybe its taste is a bit strong. Also, the potatoes were quite a lot and as I made this on a Sunday and put into the fridge for the next day's dinner, the liquids were kinda soaked up by the potatoes so there wasn't enough 'soup' or should I say 'sauce'. I may add some chicken stock to counter the 'milky' taste and problie chicken bits for more 'texture' to the soup.

The pot pie I like best is Dome's Chicken and Mushroom pie.. , but it is soOOoo expensive. I remember the good old days when it was ~ RM17.. now its RM22 or 25. !!! hmph. this is another driving factor for me to cook my own food. Prices are just escalating everywhere.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Chocolate Banana Cake

I love this picture!

What are the odds of my hubby coming home and looking around expectantly, popping his head into this picture just as I was snapping it? *grin* The best thing i like about the the pix is it really says a lot about my hubby HAHAaha (he hardly reads my blog so i'm pretty safe here heeeee) He's always snooping and sniffing around when I'm cooking, pinching here and there and always enthusiastic to try anything I whip up. He's my number one fan! (or victim hee hee). I think I like to cook coz I like to feed him and see that satisfied look on his face when his tummy is stuffed.

I'm still trying variations of Chocholate cake recipes. This recipe is from Baking 911. It's suppose to be a 'sinfully rich and moist cake'.

Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
Whole-grain wheat pastry flour (couldnt find this anywhere so I just used all purpose)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup lightly mashed bananas ( I used pisang emas)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup lowfat buttermilk (I substituted with 1 cup milk + 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease cake tin.
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In another bowl, with a hand held mixer, beat the wet ingredients for about 1 minute, until frothy.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry and quickly combine with a large spoon. Do not overmix.
Pour into cake tin and bake for about 25 minutes.
Cool in pan on wire cake rack for 10 minutes before removing.

I STILL have not mastered the art of baking. SIGH. It seems that once you get something right, something else goes wrong! This time my cake rose properly with very minimal cracks. Hurrah! I was pretty happy coz my past cakes had crackes and peaks - very volcano looking :(

It looked a bit dense, not velvety and crumbly when I sliced thru. I think it's coz I didnt use the specified flour. Apparently whole wheat pastry flour is low- gluten so it can give a more tender outcome. Oh dear, I always find these things out the hard way :(.

The taste also wasnt as banana-rish as I liked. My bananas were pretty ripe so it could be the type of banana I used. Maybe next time I'll try the large Montel kind. Hmmm and it wasnt sweet enough. Clever old me cut down about 1/4 of the sugar coz I read other banana cake recipes where ppl commented that they cut down on the sugar and the cakes still came out just right. So I thought to cut down here as well coz the bananas would be pretty sweet already. Anyway, I sprinkled icing sugar on the cake and this gave it the sweetness it needed.

All in all I give myself only 5/10 until I try again with the proper ingredients.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Delicious Chicken Curry

Mmmm... this an all Malaysian favourite.. chicken curry... Goes great with rice, roti canai, even day old toasted bread! Mmmm a bowl of this spicy dish just makes my day. The proper, "homecooked' way to cook it would require too many spices, lots of preparation and time - all of which I am not able to indulge in so...

Heh, a quick fix for working girls like me :) Instant Chicken Curry paste from Cosway's very own brand. Yummers! Its not new but I was involved in the tasting sessions that eventually lead to its launch so yes, I contributed greatly to this yummy mix heh!

2 thumbs up from my dad too. Apparently even better than our famous local brand Brahims. My dad's been cooking our family's chicken curry since i could count to ten (or more?) so he should know *wink*

Only rm3.50 for a 200g pack For a big pot of delicious chicken curry FOR the whole family in 20 minutes flat! (almost) Wahh every housewives' dream eh?

All you need to add is just water, santan (coconut milk) and potatoes. I used milk instead of santan - a healthier alternative :)

Anyone wants a packet to try?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Deep Fried Spicy Chicken

I usually try to avoid deep fried food for my cooking but baking them takes too long and too much effort. I'm also slightly bored with stir frying so wat the heck, deep frying just once in a while wouldnt clog my arteries right?

Used Amy Beh's recipe just as a guide coz as usual I didnt have all the ingredients so I just improvised here and there. heh

- Chicken wings
- Oil for deep frying

- onions
- garlic
- oyster sauce
- ginger juice (actually, i never know what ppl mean by this so usually i just chop the ginger into thin slices)
- Worchestershire sauce
- brown sugar
- salt

You'll be wondering which ingredient is suppose to give it a spicy kick? Well, the recipe actually called for lemon grass, curry powder, curry leaves, fish sauce and tumeric powder (!! ok i cheated a lot but I those spices are really not the usual ones I use in my preferred cooking style... hmmm.. maybe i should start learning more dishes with these spices .. after all, I am a Malaysian... )

Anyway, for the spicy bit, i used this--->

Found it at Cold Storage, Japanese section. Actually I think its just chilli powder with some other seasonings. ermm wasnt that spicy or maybe I didnt add enough.

Combine all the marinade ingredients and rub them into the chicky and leave it overnight in the fridge. Heat up oil and deep fry the chickies! Pat all over with paper towels to ease the guilt.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Updated Pumpkin Soup

Just made this golden-licious soup again (wow did i coined a new word there? hee hee) and remembered to take a pix this time round. Recipe is here. This creamy soup is best eaten with warm, freshly toasted crusty bread with generous slatherings of buttah!
Hmm my pictures are all rather dark coz the lightings in my home are all yellow and I only manage to cook at nights. Oh dear, makes me so envious of all the other foodie blogs with cheery, bright pictures. Natural lightings are the best aren't they?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Shell pasta with Zucchini Swirls in Cream

One easy peasy pasta dish that can be served up in a jiffy! Got this recipe from Female appetite magazine. Its a light cream based pasta that's easy on the stomach. Great for those who who fear getting 'jelak' (ermm wat's the English word for 'jelak'? stuffed? creamed out?) after a few bites.

Hey Alicey, try it out and tell me how it goes :)

- half packet shell pasta (250g)
- 3 large zucchinis, or more :)
- garlic
- Light cream
- Parmesan cheese (1/4 block)
- red chillies
- butter
- salt
- pepper

Use a potato peeler and peel the zucchinis into thin ribbons. Don't use the middle seeded part. Heat butter in a pan and throw in the chopped garlic. Saute over low heat for about a minute or until fragrant. Add zucchinis, stir for another 5 mins. Stir in chillies, then light cream. Add salt and pepper. Simmer sauce for one min.
Cook pasta in a pot of rolling boiling water. Add salt into the water. Cook till al dente. Drain.
Top pasta with the zucchini sauce and add shaved Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Note: The baguette at the back is not part of the dish. My hubby plans to dip it into some leftover rendang which his aunt made. Its a killer! i'm gonna pick it up from her ONE DAY.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Baked salmon with pasta

I really love salmon :) This time I baked it instead of pan-frying it. Pretty simple recipe.
- Salmon
- Lemon
- Garlic
- Dash of pepper and salt
- Olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 deg Celcius.
Rub salmon with just a pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice over it or you can place lemon slices on the salmon. Wrap it in aluminium foil and seal the ends well. Pop into the oven and bake for ~ 10-12 mins or until flesh flakes off easily.

Serve with pasta. This time I cheated and used instant pasta sauce :( I know, i know.... But i bought this sauce some time back and thought I'd better use it before it starts moulding haha.. It wasnt that good - Leggo's Alfredo Sauce. I thought it would be nice and creamy but oddly, it was on the sour side! (no, it's not expired yet)

What a let down.. and I even used my fresh button mushrooms to go with it. Oh well...