Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Japanese Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings and Happy New Year

Happy New Year and May the New Year 2014 bring joy and peace to us all!

Recipe ( as seen in Bake for Happy Kids, from the book Bill's Everyday Asian )
10 chicken wings *
1 tbsp oil, plus extra for brushing
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 long red chilli ( omitted )
4 tbsp mirin
4tbsp sake
4 tbsp soy sauce/kikkoman
110gm white sugar
1tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 200C ( I used 170C fan forced ). Line a roasting tray with non stick baking paper.
2. Place the wings on a tray and roast for 25mins or until starting to brown. Meanwhile heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and chilli until garlic is turning brown.
3. Add the mirin, sake and soy sauce and cook until liquid has been reduced by half.
4. Removed the chicken from oven and pour over the sticky mirin mixture or you can toss to coat on the saucepan and return to oven , basting occasionally for about 15 mins. Scatter with sesame seeds.

* I separate the drummettes and the wingettes and roast on 2 trays on top and bottom level of the oven.

I am linking this post to Cook Like A Star ( Bill Granger ) organised by Bake for Happy KidsBaby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Menemen ( Turkish Egg Dish )

Menemen is Turkish food dish often served at breakfast. It is very similar to the more popular i believe, Shakshouka except for the eggs are often scrambled. I made this for my brunch yesterday , made some quick flatbreads and also to make use of some sumac which i have, made a sumac yogurt to eat along with this.

It has an intense tomato flavour, serve this on some crusty bread or flatbread and scoop some yogurt on top of that or without , it is just as satisfying. Feel free to add in sausages, onions and feta cheese which is another common ingredient in menemen.

Recipe ( reference from here )
2tbsp olive oil
1/4 of bell pepper/capsicum , cubed
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 eggs
some chopped parsley
salt and pepper

1. In a pan, heat olive oil. Saute bell pepper and add in chopped tomatoes and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
2. Add tomato paste and stir. Season with salt and pepper
3.Break in the eggs, do not stir util the eggs start to set and scramble the eggs.  Cook until eggs are just done, do not overcook or it will be dry.
3. Remove from heat and sprinkle some parsley on top.

Sumac Yogurt ( from deliciousmagazine.co.uk )
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp sumac
1 clove garlic, crushed
100gm plain or greek yogurt
squueze of lemon juice ( omitted )

Direction : 
In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, sumac and garlic into the yogurt. Whisk in the lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest : West Asia hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fattoush Salad

Fattoush is a bread salad that is common and popular in some Mediterranean and Arab countries. It is made with mixed greens, vegetables and some toasted pita bread pieces. I purposely kept 1 pita in the freezer from the batch of pita breads that i made earlier to make this salad. I toasted the pita in my oven while i was preparing the rest of the ingredients. Some recipes that i checked online use lettuce as the main green while some add red radish to it. I used a combination of romaine and our local lettuce here, i also have a bit of oak leaves in the fridge so that goes in as well, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, mint and parsley.

At the same time, i also received some sumac, compliments from Shannon so i thought it is good to put that to use which i read that it is a nice stuff to be added to fattoush which gives a slightly tangy flavour. Those red speckles you see on the salad are the sumac. The pita pieces are tossed with the dressing, can let the salad sit for a while to allow the pita to soak up a bit of the dressing, it's actually quite nice to me eating that bit soaked pita and it is not soggy as what you think. I enjoyed eating this salad a lot, it is crunchy and refreshing with the lemony tangy dressing.

Recipe ( reference fr here ) with changes
serves 2
6 big lettuce leaves, chopped ( i used a combination of romaine and local lettuce )
a handful of oak leaves, chopped
1 Japanese cucumber, cut into cubes
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 shallots, sliced
a handful of parsley and mint leaves, chopped
1 piece of toasted pita bread, torn into pieces

Dressing ( you may not need to use all )
1 clove garlic
1.5 tsp sumac
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

1. For dressing, mashed the garlic with a little salt , add in sumac and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil and set the dressing aside.
2. Put all the chopped salad leaves, onion, tomatoes, parsley and mint in a large bowl and pour in half of the seasoning. Toss in the pita bread and add in more seasoning. Let the salad sit for a while to let flavours blend and the pita chips absorb some dressing.
3. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with more sumac if desired.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( West Asia ) hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Chicken with DOM Benedictine

My mother always believes that drinking Benedictine ( DOM ) helps to boost her energy level. Just two or three sips before bedtime. How true DOM helps to promote good health, i dont know! But i know this France produced liquer is extremely popular among Chinese new mothers during their postnatal period which is believed that it helps to regain good health, vitality and warms the body. It can also be used for cooking as in some confinement dishes and soups.

I came upon a few recipes using DOM from a cookbook and apparently those dishes were cooked by some contestants during a cooking competition which they had to use DOM as part of the ingredient. This dish and recipe is originally named 'Old Fashioned Hakka Wine Chicken' and the ingredients used are quite similar to a steamed herbal chicken dish but it isnt a steamed dish. Mushroom, ginger and black fungus are first sauteed before adding the chicken and DOM and then it get simmered. I did made some changes to the recipe as i wanted more sauce and more DOM!

DOM is quite strong in its alcohol taste and a little sweet on its own but due to the fact that i added more water and a couple more tablespoons of DOM, it isnt that of an 'alcoholic' dish, i dont think you can get drunk, you can always do adjustments to your preference.

Recipe ( from Y3K cookbook 2007 March issue )
my modification in red
1 chicken, chopped into pieces ( 1/2 chicken, abt 700gms )
50gm old ginger, sliced
1 piece black wood fungus, soaked and shred thinly
2 mushrooms, soaked and sliced
5 red dates ( omitted )
2 tbsp medlar seeds/kei chi
3 tbsps sesame oil

3 tbsps DOM Benedictine ( 5 tablespoons )
dash of salt and pepper
1/2 tbsps of soy sauce ( my addition )
1/3 cup of water ( my addition )

some deep fried ginger shreds and chopped green onions for garnishing ( optional )

1. Heat wok with sesame oil, saute old ginger slices, mushroom and black wood fungus shreds. ( you can scoop out some for garnishing later ) Add in chicken pieces and stir fry for 5 mins. You can add a little water if it's too dry to not burn the wok. Put in the red dates, medlar seeds and seasoning . Simmer on low heat for 20 mins till the chicken meat is cooked through. During the simmering process, you can check if more water or dom are needed.
2. Remove from heat and add in garnishing. Serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers # 38 : Boozy-licious ( December 2013 ) hosted by Jasline of Foodie Baker

Also linking this post to Cook Your Books #7 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Log Cake

Making swiss roll is always intimidating for me, it is something that i rarely do and i always envy some of you who can make swiss rolls that are always so perfect looking. At least this time is not that bad, even if the roll cracks or get disfigured in any form, i can still cover it with frosting and nobody can see it.

Decorating is never a fun thing for me though i say i need to practise more on decorating and piping but it never happens! So here what i did was just simply cover the cake with frosting and used chocolate shavings to  'decorate' the cake .

 JoyceZoe and myself will be baking cookies on our next bake along on the 6th January 2014 and since Chinese New Year is just a month away, we would like to invite anyone of you who will be baking cookies for Chinese New Year to share it with us on our next Bake Along. It will run for 3 weeks starting from the 6th January up till 27th January, 2014.

Recipe ( from 孟老师的美味蛋糕卷 , idea inspired from here )
in a 36cm x 26cm tray
Ingredients for chiffon roll
egg yolks 85gm
caster sugar 25gm
vegetable oil 45gm
milk 45gm
low protein flour 85gm

egg whites 170gm
caster sugar 85gm

Method :
1. Using a hand whisk, beat egg yolks and sugar till sugar dissolved. Slowly add in milk and oil and using the whisk, mix well into the egg yolks and sugar mixture.
2. Add in flour and lightly fold in using a whisk. Set aside.
3. Beat egg whites till frothy and gradually add in sugar and beat till medium stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolks batter and mix. Then add in the rest of the egg whites into the egg yolks batter . Spread onto the baking tin lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven at 175C for about 12 mins.
4. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 mins before inverting . Pull the parchment paper out and invert onto another baking paper. Spread filling across the cake and roll up tightly, cover with baking paper and let it keep in the fridge for several hours .
5. When the roll has stayed in shape, cut one piece of the end of the cake and using cream as a glue, stick it to the side of the log to resemble a log . Apply frosting and decorate as desired.

unsalted butter 100gm
icing sugar 20gm
milk 55gm
cocoa powder 10gm

Direction :
Using a electric mixer, beat butter and icing sugar till creamy. Add in milk and stir followed by the cocoa powder and beat till spreadable consistency.

1tbsp instant coffee powder
2tbsp boiling water
100gm butter, softened
220gm icing sugar
2tbsp milk

Direction :
Dissolve instant coffee in boiling water. Beat butter and icing sugar together and add in 2 tbsp of the coffee
and milk and beat till spreadable consistency.

I am also linking this post to Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013 hosted by Baby Sumo 

and Cook Your Books #7 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours

get the InLinkz code

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Peppermint Bark Chocolate Shortbread

Do not laugh when i say that i have never eaten a candy cane before. I know it tastes peppermint because everyone says so. I received a couple of candy canes during a christmas gathering at a church last year and i gave it to the children..but when i saw Chris posted some elegant shortbreads last week with candy canes. i was very keen to try. Firstly, It is just not candy cane , it is a shortbread and the shortbread is also studded with chocolate all over. Secondly, it is also simple to make. We just need to cream the butter and sugar and add in the flour, pat it on the tart pan, bake and we are almost done with it. When it's ready, sprinkle the candy canes and the choc chips all over and return to oven for 2 mins and the shortbread is ready.

Is candy cane only available at this time of the year? i cant seem to find candy canes from the supermarket and i finally got it from Famous Amos cookies outlet. I have added some cocoa powder to make a chocolate version of shortbread, if you prefer non chocolate ones, then you can add in all 125gm plain flour. Recipe can be easily doubled. Watch out for the baking time as we do not want to overbake these shortbreads otherwise they will turn out to be hard cookies. It will harden as it cools. This delightful shortbreads are also quick to make, get the butter out few hours before work on it, a lovely treat for the holiday season.

Recipe ( from The Cafe Sucre Farine )
makes three 41/2 inches shortbread
4oz butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4tsp salt
110gm plain flour
15gm cocoa powder
2-3 medium sized candy canes
enough chocolate chips to sprinkle ( i used a mixture of regular and twin choc chips)

1. Preheat oven to 175C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper if desired and place tart pans with removable bottom on top of the parchment paper.
2. Crush the candy canes into pieces with a rolling pin or use a knife to chop them into pieces.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar till soft and fluffy, this will take 2-3 mins. Add salt and mix to combine.
4. Divide the dough between the tart pans with removable bottoms. Pat dough into pan to form a level surface. Dough should not come more than 1/2 way up sides of the pan to allow rising during baking. Place shortbread in oven for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven.
5.Top immediately with 1 tablespoon of crushed peppermint and fill the rest of the spots with choc chips.
6. Return to oven for exactly 2 mins, remove and transfer pans to a cooling rack.

I am submitting this post to Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013 hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lahmachun Turkish Pizza

I see most of my friends here are already into christmas baking...and i'm still cooking west asia.. Seeing all of the christmas bakes and desserts already got me into mood for baking something festive..i did today, i made shortbread and hope to post it next. What i am posting here now  is a pizza, a Turkish pizza or better known as Lahmachun. The dough is basically just like any pizza dough, a flatbread made from yeast, flour, water and oil, rolled out into a thin crust and topped with a fine layer of spiced ground meat that comes with a sauce of blended onions, peppers, tomatoes and parsley. Once the lahmachun is done, it is normally served with some salad, tomatoes, raw onions and to some a squeeze of lemon juice.

The sauce : Process the tomatoes, peppers, parsley, onions till they become a paste..then add the spices, tomato paste and ground chicken. 

spread on the thin crust 

While you can just cook the raw meat and the pizza at the same time during baking, i prefer to pre cook my meat first..cos i fear that the meat might not be thoroughly cooked through with just few minutes in the oven.. well it should...i am just taking an extra step to make sure it is well cooked. Another thing is that i also 'grounded' the ground meat in the food processor so that it looks more fine but i think i hv overprocessed it that perhaps makes it not look so appealing. Tasted not bad, just like a spiced chicken pizza, without the cheese and the dough is soft that you can actually fold over or wrap.

Recipe ( from traditional turkishcooking.com ) with some changes
recipe has been scaled down to make four 7 inch pizza
Ingredients for dough
250gm all purpose flour ( i used 190gm bread flour and 60gm plain flour )
1/2 cup of water or more ( i added another 40ml )
40ml vegetable oil
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1.5tsp instant yeast

200gm ground chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 a bell pepper ( combination of red and green ), cut into big strips
1 piece tomato, quartered
3/4 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
pinch of cayenne ( i use chilli powder )
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
3tbsp tomato paste
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp olive oil

1. For the dough, combine flour, salt , sugar and yeast in the mixing bowl and with the machine running on low speed , slowly add in water and oil till the dough is formed. Keep kneading the dough becomes smooth , about 10 mins on the machine. Remove and let it proof for about 1.5-2 hours
2. Meanwhile make the filling. Process onion, bell peppers, tomato in a food processor till everything is well ground. Remove to a bowl and add in ground chicken, paprika, cumin, cayenne, black pepper,  tomato paste, salt and oil . Mix till all is well combined. Set aside. ( i cooked the ground meat till almost cooked and also put them in the food processor last to ground them again. Drain the meat before process if you pre cook like i did  )
3. Divide the dough into 4 portions and roll into a circle into very thin, about 2 mm thickness. Transfer the dough into a baking tin or pizza pan, put in the fillings and bake in a preheated oven at 205C for about 7 -10 minutes.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( West Asia ) hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chicken Shawarma

In each Asian Food Fest monthly event, it has made me aware and discover some of the country's own cuisine, many of which i have not heard of , just like the previous Baba Ghanoush, which i was not even aware of this popular dip until the event.  There are food which sound really delicious, there are also some i think i might not like it and also some i have heard of it but i just couldnt figure out what's the taste like. Just like this chicken shawarma, which i'm quite curious about the taste.. is one common and popular food in the middle east, lebanon and some mediterranean countries. It can be served in shavings on a plate or in a pita or bread , like a middle eastern sandwich. There are quite a number of recipes listed on the internet with variations and here i have chosen one that was made by my blogger friend, Chris from The Cafe Sucre Farine. Chris also made her own sauce that goes so well with the chicken and me a copycat, i threaded the chicken onto skewers too, just like Chris did :D

it's light, not heavily spiced..just the way i like it 

Recipe ( from The Cafe Sucre Farine )
300gm boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4tsp turmeric powder ( i added this )
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
chopped tomatoes, capsicum, cucumbers, olives, etc
grilled pita bread

1/2 cup greek yogurt ( or a combination of yogurt and sour cream )
1.5tbsp tahini sauce
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp lemon juice plus some zest
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp crushed coriander
1/8 tsp ground pepper

In a medium bowl, combine lmeon juice, curry powder, turmeric powder, olive oil, salt, cumin  and minced garlic. Add chicken , toss to coat and marinate for 3-4 hours. ( i did it overnight ). Remove from refrigerator and allow to sit for room temperature for 20 mins before grilling.

Set oven to broil function and grill the meat till cooked. ( i set mine at 200C using grill function for about 15mins , flipping them once). Alternatively, you can cook this on a

Directions for the sauce
In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and whisk until smooth. Serve with chicken and pita. You can serve the leftover sauce as a dip for veggies .

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest : West Asia hosted by Shannon of Just as Delish

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Baba Ghanoush - Roasted Eggplant Dip

Baba Ghanoush is a well known dip in the Middle East and some Mediterranean countries. It is often served as a mezze where there are a variety of other small dishes served along at the same time or a starter dish. Like hummus, it is a spread or dip to be eaten with pita or breads but instead of chickpeas used to make hummus, baba ghanoush is made from roasted eggplant or brinjal.  The eggplant are roasted or grilled till they are soft and smoky and i think that this wonderful smoky flavour is one charateristic that what makes baba ghanoush so good..that is if you like eggplants...

It is very easy to make, you dont have to use a food processor to make this, just allow some time for the eggplant to get roasted in the oven. This is not a big recipe, you can finish this off by 2 or 3 pita bread, also note that the eggplant will shrink to a lesser volume after cooked. You can tweak the recipe by adjusting the tahini and lemon juice as to your preference to this nutty, garlicky and smoky eggplant dip.

Recipe ( from food.com )
1 eggplant ( i used 3 medium size eggplant, approx 650gm )
1/4 cup tahini, plus more as needed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch of cumin
salt to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped flat leaves parsley
1/4 cup brine cured black olives, such as kalamata ( omitted )

Method ( from shiksa.com )
Prick some holes on the eggplant and cut the each eggplant into half lengthwise. Place the flatside of the sliced eggplant against an lightly oiled baking tray. Roast under broiler for about 30 mins until the skin of the eggplants are charred or black and the halves starting to collapse. Remove from oven. Let cool and scoop out the pulp and place it in a bowl
Alternatively, you can grill the eggplant on a top stove. Click on the link above.

Mash the eggplant with a fork. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and mix well. Season with salt, taste and see if more lemon juice is needed. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. With the back of a spoon, form a shallow well and drizzle in the olive oil. Sprinkle with parsley and place the olives around the sides . Serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest : West Asia hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sticky Caramel Pinwheel Roll

These caramel pinwheel buns are almost similar to the Classic Cinnamon Rolls which i baked couple of months back. The taste, the method are almost the same..only thing this has a more fancy name..sticky caramel pinwheel cake bread. This is our 27th bake at  The Home Bakers and the group is currently baking from the book Coffee Cake by Lou Seibert Pappas.

 Unlike the more popular way of making a glaze and pour over the rolls, the glaze or the caramel coating or syrup here are spread on the bottom of the pan. While these are baking, the caramel will melt , making it gooey and delicious to eat when it is warm. I did however find it getting a little tough the next day so needed to put it back in the oven for the rolls to get soft again.

Left : caramel and nuts are spread on the pan
Right : Place the buns in the caramel coated pan
For the recipe, kindly visit Jasline of The Foodie Baker as she is the host of this bake. To view the rest who had made this, please click here

The key thing here is the caramel at the roll bottom so i have to shoot the roll upside down :D

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

From Thailand, Asian Food Fest now moves to West Asia. There are quite a number of countries that fall under this region namely Lebanon, Syria, UAE, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq and a few more. For more details, you can find more information over at Just As Delish. I want to start off by making something more familiar to myself that is pita bread. It is widely used in Middle East cuisines, like a staple food but pita is not an arabic word, it is a Greek word. Other than pita, there are so many more kinds of flatbreads that are consumed by the people of the above countries that i mentioned. .yes so many more ..hopefully i can try making another one before this event ends by end of this month.

Pita can be shaped into oval or round and it can opened up to form a pocket to fill in a variety of fillings. And of course, one common way of eating pita by the middle east people is dip the pita into some hummus or spoon the sauces or dip onto the pita.  I have also made some eggplant dip which is called Baba Ghanoush, to go with these pita bread, to be shared next. The pita bread which i made here are wholewheat type, more wholewheat flour than white flour. It tasted a lot more..err..wheat-y?..and it is soft. As this is my first time making a pita bread, i was quite excited to see how it puffed up in the oven. If it doesnt puff up by 3 minutes as per the recipe, wait for another minute, that's what i did..you will see the puff in action.

Recipe ( from xawaash.com ) with some changes
makes 6 or 8
140gm bread flour
280gm wholewheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
1tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil ( i used 1tbsp )
300ml lukewarm water

1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast together with a fork. Attached dough hook and let the mixer run on low speed. Pour in half the water and oil. Then pour in the rest of the water and knead for 5 minutes.
2.Remove the dough , shape into a ball , cover with a cloth and let proof for 1 hour.
3. Divide into 6 or 8 equal pieces and shape them into round. Cover and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
4.Roll them out into circle with 1/4 inches thick, transfer onto the baking tray and let it rest for 10minutes. Bake in a preheated oven at 260C for 3 minutes. ( i baked mine at 250C for 4 mins )

i baked them in 3 batches, 3-3-2

For all white pita
320gm plain flour/bread flour
1/4tsp salt
2tsp instant yeast
1tbsp sugar
2tbsp olive oil
270ml lukewarm water

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( West Asia ) hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Round Up for Asian Food Fest Thailand ( November 2013 )

Asian Food Fest ( Thailand )  has now ended ! We have a total of 140 entries submitted in by bloggers, thank you very much for your participation! I have learnt various new dishes from all of you here, many of those which i'm not aware of and to those who have taken part in the event, i hope you have enjoyed cooking thai food too as well. Below are all the delicious entries that have been submitted for this month's Thai food event, just click on the link and it will direct you to the respective posts. Hope that this will you an inspiration and ideas when you want to cook thai in the future. You can also go over to our Facebook Page ( Thailand Album ) where we have compiled a list of all Thai food entries submitted by bloggers and non bloggers as well. The above picture is just some of the old posts shared by some.

Coming up next this month, December 2013,  Asian Food Fest will be moving to West Asia Countries and the host for this month is Shannon of Just As Delish . Please visit Just As Delish to find out more information on this month AFF and West Asia Cuisine!  Thanks again for everyone's support!