Friday, April 29, 2011

Session #2: Drink - Cinnamon & Ginger Tea

Ginger and Cinnamon *Pic Googled

We were so focused in snapping photos of the food that we forgot to snap the photo of our drink. It was so yummy we gulped the whole teapot in a few minutes only. The ingredients blend well and I did not even realize it has ginger until I check the recipe. So here is how we make our tea:

1 1/2 sticks cinnamon
3cm ginger, halves (we just use half of it)
5 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon tea leaves
1 sprig mint leaves

1. Infuse the tea leaves for a few minutes.
2. Strain the tea into the teapot.
3. Add water and sugar and adjust to your taste.
4. Add the cinnamon sticks, mint leaves and ginger in the teapot.
5. Let the taste blend for a while then serve.

I tried the tea with some ice cubes and it was as good. Give it a try!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Session #2: Dessert - Durian Pancake

The most awaited recipe is here! As now the king of fruits are in season, we can't think of a better dessert than this. Of 4 of us, I was the only one who had tasted this before, the rest don't know what to expect from it. I was a bit nervous though just in case it did not turn out well and they don't like it then I might be blamed. But thinking of how good those that I have tasted and their price tag, I decided to take the risk. If it turns out well, I can just make my own after this.

Here is how we make our yummylicious durian pancake. We got the recipe from Masak-masak blog. The recipe was adapted from the book At Home with Amy Beh 3.

30 grams icing sugar (6 teaspoons)
30 grams tapioca flour (6 teaspoons)
15 grams plain flour (3 teaspoons)
15 grams melted butter (3 teaspoon)
8 eggs, beaten
190ml water
100 grams UHT cream, whipped
durian flesh from 1 durian, pounded
  1. Sift the icing sugar, tapioca flour and plain flour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and cool it down before mixing it in the dry ingredients.
  3. Beat the eggs and sieve it into the mixture.
  4. Add the water and stir until the batter became smooth.
  5. Heat up a small non-stick frying pan and pour a ladle of the batter. Swirl the pan around so that it is evenly coated. When the sides of the pancake curl up immediately flip the pancake on to a big plate. (We just use our fingers to pick the pancake) It should be thin and soft to taste nice.
  6. When all the wrappers are ready, pound the durian flesh (we used clean bottom of sauce bottle).
  7. Whipped the cream. Careful not to over beat it.
  8. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the whipped cream and place in the middle of the wrapper. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon of durian paste on top of the whipped cream. Wrap into a mini sized parcel. Chill in the refrigerator until cool. It is best served chilled.
I was so lucky the pancake tasted so great and no one blames me for choosing it :) Anyway, the first batch of whipped cream was overbeaten and became watery so we whipped another batch. The second batch was fluffy only for a short while before it became watery again. I was not satisfied with the results so I went online to troubleshoot the problem.

So here is what I found:
  1. We are living in Malaysia and it is hot! So before you whip the cream, make sure the room is cool. During the session, not only there was no air-cond in the kitchen, we whipped the cream beside the hot oven! Big Mistake #1!
  2. The utensils used should be chilled first. If your mixer bowl is like ours (plastic instead of steel like Kenwood and Kitchen Aid), use a steel bowl instead. Chill the mixer hooks and the steel bowl in the freezer for at least 15 minutes prior to the whipping process.
  3. Start whipping from slow speed to avoid cream splashing all over you and increase slowly to high speed.

Now that we have given you the tips, do try it out and share your results with us. Good luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Session #2: Side Dish - Glass Noodle Salad

This is one of the simplest dish and most yummy dish for this session. As most of us were busy folding the dim sum and pancakes in between of our kids crying, most of us missed watching the process but according to the lead chef for this dish, it was very easy. So here is the recipe:

1 packet glass noodle (sooun)
Your favourite salad
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 skinless boneless chicken breast, finely chopped
Ground white pepper to taste
2 birds eye chillies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shrimp, peeled, deveined and coarsely chopped, boiled in salted water for a few minutes
1 red bell pepper
2 stalks green onions, chopped
2 stalks cilantro, chopped
2 stalks chinese celery, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon fish sauce (nampla)
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
salt to taste

1.Place noodles in a large bowl. Cover with cold water; let stand until noodles begin to soften. Drain. Transfer to a large pot of boiling water, cook until just tender and pliable, about 1-3 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain.Cut the noodles with a pair of scissor.
2.Heat the oil, add chicken, garlic, chillies, and white pepper. Stir fry until chicken is cooked. Season with salt to taste. Set aside in a large bowl.
3. Combine lemon juice, sesame oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
4. Add noodle, shrimp, green onions and remaining ingredients to bowl. Add in the sauces from the small bowl. Toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Arrange the salad on a big serving dish and place the noodle on top of the salad. Done!

Easy peasy right?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Session #2: Main Dish - Roast Duck

One of the reason we have this "Main Masak-masak Session" was that most of us are still learning how to cook. Just like any other things in life, when you are new at it, you might do a mistake. So, for example, if I want to learn how to roast a whole chicken, even if it turns out perfect, who is going to finish them all? If I were to invite families and friends, the chicken might ended up burnt instead By experimenting the dishes with my dearest friends, we divide the cost between us and if it burns, it wouldn't cost as much per person. If it turns out well, we could all feast on it and most of the time, even our partners get to taste them. With this group, we could eliminate some risk as well as each of us have some experience of our own and by sharing them, we could avoid some mistakes that we might have experienced before.

Malay restaurants rarely serve ducks. So it is very hard to find duck dishes as most of them are non-halal. So, this session, we decided to have duck as our main dish. One of us had never tasted duck in her whole life but is daring enough to give it a try. Glad that the duck turns out well and enjoyed by all of us. Here is how we roast our duck.

1 whole duck
Lemon juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoon ginger, blended
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoon ground rosemary
3 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoon margarine, melted

1. Marinate the duck with the mix of lemon juice, onion and ginger for 45 minutes.
2. Mix well the rest of the ingredients and use it to marinate the duck overnight. 
3. Roast the duck at 220c for 1 hour or until cooked. Once in a while, glaze the duck with the marinade.

Here is the recipe for the sauce:

1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoon plain flour
300 ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon soy sauc
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1. Sauté the onion until softened, add in plain flour. Stir until browned.
2. After onion and flour mix is thick, add in chicken stock, bay leaf, soy sauce, ketchup. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Session #2: Appetizer - Dim Sum (Shrimp & Chicken Dumplings)

Ingredients : (we doubled the original recipe)
400 grams of ground chicken
400 grams of shrimp (roughly chopped)
5 water chestnuts (diced small) ~ should put more
6 dry shiitake mushroom (soak still soft and diced small)
2 stalk of spring onions - finely chopped
1 stalk of coriander (optional) - finely chopped
2 egg whites
4 tsp of corn starch
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
100 pieces wanton wrapper

1. Combine all ingredients in a big bowl. Stir until everything is mixed together.
2. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Scoop about 1 teaspoon into wanton skin and fold.This recipe makes about 100 pieces
4. Steam in a bamboo steamer for about 10-15 minutes.

Sauce Ingredients
3 tbsp dried chillies (blended)
3 tbsp chili sauce (we used Life brand)
3 tbsp tomato sauce (Life brand or any of your preference)
3 tbsp sugar
1 clove garlic
some oil
salt to taste

1. Mix dried chillies, chili sauce and tomato sauce in a bowl
2. Saute garlic with oil
3. Add in mixed ingredients. Stir till cooked. Add in sugar and salt to taste.
4. If it is too thick, add some water.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Session #2: Oriental

Clockwise from top: Glass Noodle Salad, Durian Pancake, Roast Duck, Siew Mai ( Shrimp and Chicken Dumplings)
Stay tuned for the recipes!

Session #1: Appetizer - Shepherd's Pie

For the shepherd's pie, we combined these two recipes:
1. Shepherd's Pie (Cottage Pie)
2. Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Here is how we made our Shepherd's Pie..

800g ground beef
1 onion chopped
2 cups vegetables - chopped red, yellow and green bell pepper, carrot and celery
1kg Russet potatoes
1 stick butter
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce,
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
40g Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

1. Boil potato in salted water until tender. Peel the skin and mashed the potatoes with 4 tablespoons of butter, season to taste.

2. Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat. Add in the bell peppers.

3. Add the carrots and celery in with the onions and peppers and cook until tender.

4. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink.

5. Add salt and pepper. Add in dried Rosemary and dried Thyme. 

6. Add Worcestershire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist. 

5. Place beef and onions on baking dish. 

7. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.

8. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of the potatoes.

7. Bake in 205°C for 30 minutes or until bubbling and brown. 

The meat was a bit watery because we added in 1 cup right away instead of half a cup. To improve this, we figured we should have added in 1 tablespoon of flour/cornstarch so that the meat will stick to the potatoes better. Nevertheless, it was really yummy and was a hit among our kids as well.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Session #1: Main Dish - Homemade Aglio Olio Fettuccine

This was the easiest dish for this session. You can use store bought spaghetti for this as well but we decided to make our fettuccine from scratch. Here is the fettuccine recipe we used.

1 cup flour, sifted
1 egg (Grade A)
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Beat the egg lightly with the water and olive oil.
2. Make a well in the pile of the flour and add in the egg.
3. Slowly mix the egg with the flour.
4. Knead the dough until it is smooth, firm and dry. Add more flour bit by bit if it is not dry or firm enough. (If it is soft and sticky, it will stick to your pasta maker and it is not an easy task to take out the dried pasta from the pasta maker)
5. Divide your dough into a few balls and roll the dough to your desired thickness. First roll the pasta a few times using the thickest setting. Then, roll in the thinner setting once each until you reached your desired thickness. (For example, after 10 times rolling at 0, you roll once at 1, once at 2 and once at 3 if that is your desired thickness)
6. Roll the pasta through the pasta cutter.

And here is the Aglio Olio recipe:

1/5 cup Anchovy fillets
7 dried chillies, chopped coarsely
7 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/5 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
300g squids, boiled with a pinch of salt and tamarind juice
Fresh pasta / half a packet of store bought pasta
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta until al dente (No more white spot, firm enough to bite yet cooked). Drain immediately (so it won't continue to cook in the hot water).
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the garlic and dried chillies until it speaks.
3. Add in anchovies and stir until anchovies are cooked.
4. Add in the cooked squids.
5. Toss in pasta and stir until well mixed.
6. Add parsley and black pepper. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.

I love this dish the most! I heard it's a hit among the partners as well :)

Session #1: Dessert - Pavlova

Believe it or not, it was the first time all of us had a taste of a pavlova. We had never seen a real one, let alone saw one being baked but we baked it anyway. It was not that hard but it was not easy either as we did not know if the eggs were over beaten or were they still under beaten. Had to call my cousin in Aussie and BBM her the pic to ensure we were on the right track.

Anyway, here is how we made this pretty pavlova. It was originally from allrecipes but we changed here and there where we deemed fit.

4 egg whites
2 cups white sugar (original recipe asks for less but most websites called for 2:1 for eggs and sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 can whipped cream
strawberries for decoration


1. Beat the egg whites until stiff but bot dry. Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites (this is very IMPORTANT). 

2. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
3. Spoon mixture on the baking tray (we used non-stick tray instead of parchment paper as per original recipe). Working from the centre, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.

4. Bake for 1 hour at 150ºc in a preheated oven. (DO NOT open the oven door before it is done, else it will collapse and become a pancake instead ;p  After it is done, let the oven door slightly ajar and let it cool in the oven)
(We baked for more than 1 hour hence the brown colour. It should be white. Noticed the bubble? We thought the existence of the bubbles means that it was not done yet but we were wrong. The bubbles were cooked and not soft.)
5. Spray the whipped cream on top of the pavlova and decorate with fresh berries. (It was a big MISTAKE to use canned peach as they are wet though we have already strained them. It melted our whipped cream. And make sure the room is cool enough too)

The pavlova was very sweet! I was told it is meant to be sweet so maybe we should have stick to 1 1/4 cup sugar as per original recipe. But if you have enough berries, it should complement the pavlova well. Ours was not enough. But I still love it to bits! 

P/S: Some part of the pavlova reminds me of the honeycombs in the Crunchie bar.

Session #1: Drink - Lemonade with Mint

3 medium sized lemon
1/2 lemon for decoration, sliced
4 tablespoon of sugar
1 sprig of mint
3-4 cups of cold water
1/4 hot water

1. Use the juicer to extract the juice from the lemons.
2. Dilute the sugar with hot water and add in the lemon juice into the pitcher.
3. Add in cold water and refrigerate for about 1 hour. You may add ice cubes if you want to serve immediately.
4. Add in the mint just before you serve.

Perfect for a hot day. Personally, I like it if it is more sour so I may add 1 or 2 more lemons. I think if we blend the lemonade with ice cubes, it will make a perfect ice blended lemonade for a very very very hot day :)