Monday, March 28, 2011

Lemon Chicken

This dish i believe can be found in almost all chinese restaurants and also quite common among takeaways. For i dont cook this too often due to the cleaning and washing especially after the much deepfrying, i enjoy eating this a lot. There are quite a number of versions out there and this is simply my own version. Just make sure that we really deep fry the chicken until brown and crispy..we dont need to make much sauce for this chicken as we dont want the chicken to really get soaked in the gravy and lost its crispness , i did not use up all of the sauce..just a reasonable amount to pour them over the chicken but i must admit that this time i didnt make the sauce really thick enough but they still taste just as good, just add a little bit more cornflour solution if you want a thicker sauce.

1/2 chicken, about 500gms
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
some pepper
2tsp cornflour
1/2 egg, lighly beaten

for frying
4 heaps spoonful of cornflour
enough cooking oil for deepfrying

Lemon sauce
2tbsp lemon juice
1tsp sugar
slightly less than 1/2 cup water
1tsp cornflour +2 tbsp water ( cornflour solution)

1. After cleaning the chicken , pat dry and marinate the chicken with lemon juice, salt, pepper, cornflour and egg for an hour.
2.Pour enough oil into wok or pot for deepfrying and deep fry them till they turn golden brown and crispy. Remove and leave aside.
3. To make lemon sauce, combine lemon juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan and let it to boil.
4. Add in cornflour solution for thickening the sauce.

This post will  be linked to Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event hosted by Shaz ( Test with a Skewer) and also Aspiring Bakers#5 - Fruity March ( Mar 2011) hosted by Jess of Bakericious

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blackberry and Apple Bread with Streusel Topping

Just as you think i might have mistyped the word' bread' instead of 'cake' , i did not. Ha! From the picture, i think it looks much like a cake but than a bread, not that kind of quick bread but yeasted type of bread. Quite a rich bread, the blackberries and the apples did not add much flavour to the bread, instead more flavour actually comes from the streusel topping.. the cinnamon. Just in case you're wondering what are those brown patches on top, those are the streusel toppings. From the recipe, it says sprinkle the streusels, that's quite impossible for me to do that as the streusel worked out to be like paste form so i just spooned them onto the dough. I baked this into 2 separate tins instead of one, 8"x6" and 8"x8". You can find the picture and the original recipe from Joy of Baking but i will still copy down the recipe here.

Ingredients for Bread Dough
1/2 cup( 120ml) of lukewarm milk
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 oz/7gms active dry yeast ( i used instant yeast)
2 1/2 cups (325 gm) all purpose flour ( i used bread flour)
1/4 cup (50gm) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup ( 113gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

Egg wash
1 tbsp cream
1 large egg
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup( 50gm) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (45gms) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4cup (56gms) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Apples ( peeled and diced) ..i sliced that

1.In a mixer bowl, stir milk, 1/2 tsp sugar and yeast and let stand for about 5-10mins or until foamy.
2.Add flour, remaining 50gms sugar, salt and beat until combined. Add egg and beat for a few minutes.
3.Gradually add in the pieces of butter and continue kneading until dough is soft and shiny.
4.Remove to a slightly buttered bowl and leave to rise in warm place until double in size.
5. Once it has doubled its size, punch the dough down and on a lightly floured surface, roll or press to a 13" by 9" rectangle .Transfer to a prepared lining tin or baking sheet. Then in a small bowl, whisk the cream , egg and cinnamon for the egg wash and brush this on the surface of the dough.
6.Cover and let rise for 2nd time till double its size.
7.While dough is rising, make the streusel topping.. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon powder. The cut in the butter till mixture is lumpy. Set aside.
8.Preheat oven to 325F/177C. When dough has doubled its volume, lightly brush the surface with egg wash again, place the balckberries and apples on the dough and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake for about 35minutes or until nicely browned . Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Will also be submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #5- Fruity March ( March 2011) hosted by Jess Bakericious

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fresh Berries Pavlova with Lemon Curd

I've never eaten a pavlova and many times when i looked at the pictures of pavlova and the description of their textures, it always got me curious abt the taste of those pavlovas. It's my second time making this. My first attempt was a total failure, disastrous. It looked fine without touching it but when i lifted it up, the whole thing just cracked into pieces and the inside was uncooked. I did again the next day at a different baking temperature using a different oven, slightly wider about 9"diameter and shorter about 1 1/2 ". This time i was luckier becos the pavlova seems to have some very tiny holes on it where i can actually put in the cake tester to check the inside if it was done. I'm not sure if my first pavlova has holes on them , maybe they have and i probably never noticed that.
homemade lemon curd
I decided to use lemon curd for spreading as i wanted to try making lemon curd for a long time. I followed the recipe given Quay Po Cooks . The colour of her lemon curd caught my heart instantly! It is delicious and because the pavlova itself is very sweet, i should say that for me, the lemon curd complements well with the berries. Just one thing to take note is that i would suggest to do the spreading and the topping only upon serving as i dont think it would be nice to have the curd or creams to soak in the meringues for long. I only did the topping and decoration on half the pavlova for photography purpose as i know i wont be able to finish that all at once. The meringue is light and crispy and the filling is like soft marshmallow just like what it's usually described as so i know i got it right this time. Another thing i noticed is that the pavlova did cracked a little when i was putting the berries on it because the berries and the curd are a bit heavy for that light pavlovas, that is why another reason i suggest to do the topping only last minute. I enjoyed eating this pavlova a lot especially when it's chilled , the meringue is even chewier. i've eaten half of this pavlova myself!

Ingredients for pavlova ( from here and Joy of Baking )
4 large egg whites ( 120gm)
1 cup caster sugar
1tsp lemon juice
2tsp cornflour(isifted)

1. In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks and add sugar one tbsp at a time and beat till stiff and glossy.
2.Turn on low speed ,add in lemon juice and cornflour and beat till combined.
3.Cover a baking tray with baking paper
4.Pile meringue onto paper and shape into large circle, leaving the centre slightly hollowed.
5.Bake in a preheated oven 130Cfor 1 1/2 hrs or until crisp on the outside. ( I baked mine at 120C for 1 hour and reduced to 105C for another 45minutes)
6.Turn oven off and leave pavlova cool in the oven with door ajar.
7. Decorate as desired.

 Submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers#5 - Fruity March ( Mar2011) hosted by Jess from Bakericious

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creamy Bacon Mushroom Fettucine with Poached Egg and Award

Firstly, i would like to thank Elin from Elinluv's Titbits Corner and Kitchen Flavours for passing this award to me, i know this has been long overdue!I'm truly honoured to receive this award from them, two of the bloggers whom their blogs that i will never fail to visit. There are always delicious and mouthwatering food good enough to torture me!
Also, I received yet another lovely award from CG from Cooking Gallery, a very talented lady and always creative in all her bentos making. You will be amazed looking at her bento sets and not forgetting a wide range of Japanese food. Thank you so much for all these awards and i really appreciate that.

Again, there are some rules to abide in order to accept this award and they are:

1.Post linking back to the person that gave you the award
2.Share 7 random things about yourself
3.Award 15 recently discovered blogs
4.Drop them a note and tell them about it.

Can i just skip note (2)? OK, well, i'm not good at this so i'm going to be very brief about this..
1. I'm a chinese ..the reason i put this down is because recently there is a reader who thinks i'm a malay and was puzzled when i put up a pork dish in my blog recently. I claimed medium built though there are some say that i'm small, they must really go and have their eyes checked.
2. I usually blog during the night cos this is time when i can really have some quiet moments.
3. I love dogs and have a lab retriever at home and now considering getting another retriever or maybe a german shepherd
4. My favourite song in karaoke is 'love will keep us alive'..ahem..i can sing a little bit .at least i wont crack the glass!
5. Have not stopped colouring my hair since 15 years ago..oh, it's not blue or green..just the many shades of brown. I like abit of orangey brown but unfortunately bright colour doesnt usually last long.
6. Am still curious about the taste of macarons, i'm not confident enough to do this at the moment but would like to have a taste of it. Everytime i can only eat from my computer screen! If anyone dropping by ipoh and visit me, please get me some macarons!
7. Have a weakness for earrings. Dangling ones, stud ones but not the very big ones.

From here, i would like to forward these awards to the following bloggers, do find time to visit their beautiful blogs.

1. Hanushi from Simply Hanushi
2. Jeannie from Baking Diary
3. Jasmine from The Sweetylicious
4. Sharon from SharonMoh
5. Cik Manggis from Jom masak, Jom makan makan
6. Jean from Noms I Must
7. Esther from X3baking
8. Tze from Away Of Mind
9. Brittany from les reves dune boulangere
10. Daphne from More than Words
11. Doris from Tested and Tasted
12. Cathy from Cathy's Joy
13. Min from Min's Blog
14. Jay from Tasty Appetite
15. Umm from Taste of Pearl City

And here's my lunch for today..a simple, quick and easy pasta with poached egg. In case some of you who is not too familiar with poaching an egg, you can refer to Victor (Random Cuisine) method of poaching an egg. I followed his method of doing this.

Ingredients: ( serves 2 )
200gm of fettucine
2 bacon rashers ( cut into pieces)
3 pieces of white mushrooms
100ml  heavy cream
2 eggs
olive oil and garlic
little black pepper

1. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water until cooked. Drain and set aside.
2. Pour oil in a frying pan and add garlic, bacon and white mushooms and fry them for several minutes till mushroom is soft.
3.Add cream and bring to boil and until cream is slightly thickened.
4. Pour the cream mixture to the pasta and toss till well mixed. Divide into portions and add in the poached egg and sprinkle some black pepper on top if you like.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kailan with Braised Taro/Yam

Please welcome Elin's version of baby kailan with braised taro! Braised taro is something that i cook occasionally but never did it with vegetables. More common is braised taro with meat or fish but not with vegetables, it's quite rare to see this too in restaurants. Thanks to elin for sharing this recipe, i would surely cook this again, it's simply delicious and as what elin pointed out, please get a good taro that will be creamy and mushy after cooking.  I couldnt get baby kailan so i used normal kailan instead and replaced the dried squids with dried shrimps. Fans of taro would definately love this dish!

Ingredients: (adapted from Elinluv's Titbits Corner )
4 medium stalks of kailan, cleaned and cut
1 tbsp cooking oil

1/2 taro - cut into cubes
a handful of dried shrimps
some chopped garlic
2 tbsp of cooking oil
1 1/2 cup of water
1 tsp of chicken granules
pinch of salt

Method: ( with slight changes)
1. Blanch the kailan in a pot of water, add a few drops of cooking oil and blanch for 5 minutes till soft and cooked. Drain dry and left aside.
2. In a wok, fry the taros for several minutes till slightly brown. Remove from wok and keep aside.
3.Saute garlic and dry shrimps till fragrant and add in the cubed taros, chicken granules and salt. Stir fry till evenly mixed for 2-3 minutes. Add in water and braised the taro till creamy and gravy is slightly thick.
4. Pour gravy on top of blanched kailan and toss to mix well.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Green Tea Bread Loaf

If you like the taste of green tea and if you like bread, then i suggest you try making this. This time i steal the recipe from Min's Blog, all her breads are always so beautiful looking and i know that i just got to try out one of those someday. I thought green tea would be nice and this is it. Do get a good quality green tea powder if you're making this, you do not want to put in heaps and heaps of the powder and yet lack of taste and dull looking colour.. that would be very frustrated. Min, i've changed the rolling technique a bit .. i must admit that there are some chinese characters which i do not understand but that will not stop me from making this bread and thank you so much for sharing this.

Ingredients: ( from Min's Blog )
high protein flour 300gm
caster sugar 30gm
salt 1/4 tsp
instant yeast 1 1/4 tsp
water 180ml
butter 20gm
green tea powder 1/2 tsp ( i used abt 1 tsp for stronger taste and colour )

1. Combine flour, sugar , salt , yeast and water in a mixer and mix well till smooth dough is formed.
2. Add in butter till dough is smooth and shiny.
3. Divide dough into 2 portions and add in the green tea powder into one portion and mix till dough is even colour.
4. Clingwrap both dough and let it proof about an hour or almost double in size.
5. Shape both dough into round shapes and let them rest for 10 minutes.
6. Divide each dough into 2 portions, so now altogether 2 portions of plain dough and 2 portions of green tea dough.
7. Roll them out and shape them into rectangle
8. Stack the layers alternately, flatten the dough and roll them up tight.
9. Place in a lightly greased loaf tin ( 11cmx11cmx23cm) and let proof for second time for an hour .
10. Bake in a preheated oven 180C for 30 mins. ( i baked mine at 200C for 40 mins)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Japanese Milky Madeleines

I've tagged this recipe few months back when i saw that in the 'GoodFood' magazine and i also happened to see a few bloggers making them from the book" Okashi: Sweet Treats Made with Love", basically it's the same recipe from the same author. I have not tried making the traditional madeleines before so i cant really comment the difference between these and the traditional ones. I was quite impressed with the results of these madeleines, they are very soft, light and melt in your mouth kind of texture..maybe a little sweeter. I've also kept a few till the 3rd day and they were still soft. I always think that madeleines are probably like little sponge cakes , taste like sponge cakes but not this one. There's also a little honey included in the recipe here, normally  i do not favour too much  honey in my bakes but i just went ahead and put that in. The honey taste is quite significant here but surprisingly , i didnt seem to hate it.

You can also hop over to jesskitchen and Sweetylicious, they have also made these madeleiens not too long ago. Jess, in case you're reading this, i've also used some on the madeleines that you gave me. thanks again..but i didnt manage to get the indentations clear ..sigh..

Ingredients ( makes 18small cakes)
120gm pastry flour or top flour ( i used cake flour)
20gm rice flour or corn flour( cornstarch)
15gm milk powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
15gm honey
1 tbsp hot water
100gm unsalted butter
50gm double ( heavy) cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs (140gm)
a pinch of salt
150gm Japanese sugar( jo haku tou) or caster sugar

1.Preheat oven to 170C.  Sift together flours, milk powder and baking powder. Combine honey and hot water in a bowl.
2. Place butter, cream and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water and heat, stirring until butter has melted. Set aside.
3. In another heatproof bowl, beat eggs and salt with a whisk until yolks break. dd sugar and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and mix well. When egg mixture is warm, use an electric mixer to beat on high speed unti light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Reduce speed to medium and continue beating for abt 1 minute. Add honey and mix well.
4.Gently flod in flour mixture with a spatula. Add cream and butter mixture and fold until just incorporated.
5.Spoon batter into a piping bag and pipe into paper cups or  greased madeleine pans. Bake for about 25mins until madeleines are light golden in colour . Cool on a wire rack . Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Braised Hot and Sour Trotters

These pig trotters were supposed to be cooked during the last chinese new year but because i had too much eating out at restaurants, had pork trotters too so i ended up just keeping those trotters till just recently to cook them. Initially i wanted to cook them with sea cucumber for the new year but now i just thought of cooking them spicy. Excuse me to some of the readers here because pig trotters may sound gross or look uninviting to some of you.. visualising the legs of those pigs but i simply find them delicious after cooking it though i dont eat them very regularly. I will usually get the fore trotters if i can, they seem to be less fat compared to the hind trotters.
1/2 of a medium size trotter, cleaned and chopped ,mine abt 800gm
1 big onion, cut into wedges
1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
1 heap tbsp sambal paste ( from here )
1/4 tsp of dark soya sauce
 tamarind juice ( 1 tbsp tamarind mixed with 1cup of water )
1tbsp cooking oil
1tsp of salt approx, sugar to taste
water to braise

Usually i will cook the trotters in boiling water for 10minutes to get rid of the scum surrounding the trotters.
After that i will rub in some salt for marinating for about an hour or maybe overnight in the fridge.

1. Saute garlic and big onions in cooking oil on low fire for abt a minute, switch to medium high fire and put in the pork trotters and the sambal paste together. Keep stirring them in the wok for about 10mins and splash in some water if you find a little dry.
2. Add in the tamarind juice. ( do not add them all at once, you may put in 1/2 a cup first , you can adjust the sourness later if you find that it's not sour enough)
3. Add in the dark soya sauce , the salt and sugar and stir fry them for another min.
4. Transfer them to a small pot and pour in water till it reaches slightly more than half way covering the trotters.  Simmer them for about 30minutes till gravy is thick .(you can taste the gravy here when it's simmering half way through and adjust the salt and sugar here for taste.)
5. Turn off the fire when gravy is thick and meat is tender.

Submitting this post to Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event hosted by Shaz

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sweet Potatoes Konnyaku Jelly

After making the dragonfuit konnyaku jelly last month, i still have half a packet of the konnyaku jelly powder left. This time i actually think of a colour first then decided what to to put in as filling. Purple or red is the colour that i wanted. Strawberry, grapes , watermelon have all crossed my mind..i thought watermelon would be nice but then how about the Earlier somebody suggested kiwi fruit on my dragonfruit jelly post which i think it's beautiful with the green colour and refreshing too. Red dragonfruit would be nice too but since i've made dragonfruit earlier, i thought of using another fruit. Then i thought of purple sweet potatoes. Do you think it's a bit weird to use sweet potatoes in jelly? I just went ahead and tried that. I love the natural colour from the purple sweet potatoes and if you think it's really weird, it's not. Ok, you can almost imagine the texture of the sweet potatoes but to go with this jelly, i dont find it unpleasant at all. If you are still curious about the taste of these jellies, try making it and you will know..

I used about 2 small medium size purple sweet pototoes here, steam and mash them till fine and lastly shape them into balls. Jelly making as per instructions in the packet.
Will be linking this to Seasonal Sunday