Category Archives: Food

Pancakes with Strawberries

The (Not-so) Little Teochew updated her blog with a strawberry shortcake recipe and watching Ochikeron’s video on how to make strawberry shortcake I felt like eating strawberry shortcake. At least something with strawberry and cream. Lucky for me Sainsbury’s was having a 2 for £3 offer. Unfortunate that I made the wrong decision to buy single cream (kononnya less calories lah pffttt). Next time when in doubt, get the fatter option.

I thought of improvising a butterscotch sauce using the single cream, but the strawberries were already sweet and I was craving for the sweet-tangy flavour. The initial plan was to hand whip the cream with a light lashing of icing sugar. Attempt to whip the single cream yielded a frothy mixture that seems pretty good to top my coffee with, just not as photogenic to top pancakes with. Hungry girl is hungry so she simply wallowed the pancakes and strawberries in a pool of cream.

The next pancake recipe follows after the next picture. For the one you see above,

Pancake #1 (makes approx. 6 medium sized pancakes)

  •  1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

Measure everything into a bowl and whisk the life out of it. Heat oil in pan and be patient. The pancake cooks better when the pan is properly heated. Ladle some of the batter into the pan. Dance around. When the pancake is somewhat halfway done, flip over. Shimmy for a bit and slide it out onto a plate. Repeat until the batter is finished.

This recipe is pretty much the staple for many food blogs all over the internet. Nigella and Nigel Slater uses about the same ratio of ingredients.

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This, was perfection for me.  I modified the recipe slightly with an alteration to an ingredient and to half the serving size (because six pancakes with all that cream turns me lazy and unproductive). This one smelled and tasted like Papparoti! 😀

Pancake #2 (makes approx. 3 medium sized pancakes)

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cream (I used single cream)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk (you’ll require more or less depending on how thick/runny you’d like the batter to be)

Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the vinegar to the cream and let it sit. Meanwhile, break the egg into the bowl of dry ingredients. Pour the soured cream into the mixture and beat it with a whisk – batter will be extremely thick at this point. Add milk gradually while whisking until you the batter form ribbons when you lift the whisk. It is now ready for the pan.

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Garlic Butter Prawns on Toast

I woke up at noon wondering “Is it term break yet?” There were no lectures and I spent the day being a sloth. My notes for the presentation slides for Thursday are still notes in the notebook and the most productive I’ve been today was finishing 3 episodes of K-drama; Pasta.

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This was lunch and made after being brainwashed with dozens of aglio olio featured on the K-drama, Pasta, which is obviously, about pasta. And love. Lots of love. Wish I could have that many pretty boys slaving in my kitchen dishing out gourmet dishes (haha!). I didn’t have any spaghetti at hand so I had them with toast. Unsalted butter was used but the taste was lovely nonetheless without any addition of salt.

A rough idea of the recipe (I didn’t take any exact measurements and referred to no recipe in particular).

Garlic Butter Prawns on Toast

  • Half a bulb of garlic [essential to my speedy recovery from this cold and tummy ailment I’m having]
  • Approx. one tablespoon butter
  • A handful of peeled, frozen king prawns – defrosted.
  • 2 slices of soy and linseed bread (anything goes, choose what you like. The garlic butter prawns can be paired with pasta or rice.)

Peel and mince garlic. Melt butter in pan, throw garlic in, sautee, throw prawns in, put bread into toaster, turn prawns on the other side, turn off the hob. Let it cook in the remaining heat. This ensures the prawns don’t get overcooked and the butter doesn’t get burnt. When toast pops out, dish the garlic butter onto plate, or you can eat them straight out of the pan ^_^

I sometimes make garlic butter prawns with chilli + ginger and have them with rice. Spicy foods are best with heavier starch to balance it out. You can turn it oriental by substituting butter with vegetable oil and adding a little bit of soy sauce at the end, or have it the Italian way by using olive oil, garlic, and optional seafood to go with regular spaghetti or angel hair pasta.

I remember a franchise back in Malaysia that does aglio oglio with the fiery passion of sambal. At least sambal wasn’t used in the dish, but it was loaded with either chilli powder/chilli oil or a combination of chilli powder and a truckload of tabasco and lots of mixed seafood. I guess wherever a dish is introduced to a new place, it will be a matter of time before the recipe is adjusted to the local taste, just how Malaysian food outlets in the UK are less intense compared to their original counterparts.

Productivity of the Non-academic Kind

Today I took a stroll in the sun, did my groceries, renewed my library book loan, cooked lunch, and baked brownies.

Revision = nil.

A little writing assignment (non-academic related, this is an external project) = nil.

Giving room for a little positivity, perhaps the 24-hour break would do some good.

The recipe for the brownie is adapated from Chasing Delicious, instead of 4oz (approximately 113g) of dark chocolate I used 200g (a whole bar) of Sainsbury’s dark chocolate for cooking and decorating and tapped whatever remnants inside my package of Green and Black’s cocoa into a bowl of decadent chocolate concoction which is then poured into a cake tin and sprinkled with leftover chopped nuts. Mmmmmnnmmm. . . .

This was while it was still warm out of the oven. Shiny, gooey, chocolate indulgence. Mmmmnmmhhh.

A Modest Celebration

Nothing beats exam stress like chanting “First Class! First Class!” while tossing random vegetables in the air. Enter second week of exams and I took the kitchen to the room, shredding cucumbers, carrots, red cabbage, and red pepper for nearly an hour, and peeling quarter of a pomelo to make yee sang. There’s only so much design equations and formulas you can take in a day and I find cooking/assembling a dish a good break. It’s more productive than drooling over recipes for hours during revision break.

I took ideas from here. For my version I used half of a carrot, two leaves of a red cabbage (which is actually dark purple in colour), half a red pepper, half a cucumber, quarter of a pomelo, a heap of mee hoon (cooked as per pack instructions), Sainsbury’s Basics Smoked Salmon Trimmings, and a drizzle of chopped mixed nuts. For the sauce; Lee Kum Kee’s Plum Sauce and a generous dash of lime juice. You will be able to find all the ingredients in Sainbury’s, although I bought the mee hoon and plum sauce from an oriental store. Considering it was a first try, the result was good. Not as fancy as the ones you would get in hotels or restaurants back in Malaysian/Singapore, but I was happy with it. It was plum sauce overload too, making it “the Chinese version of Rojak” (Chong, 2012).

Happy Lunar New Year to all celebrating! Wishing everyone and their loved ones abundance of wealth and health for the year ahead 🙂

 

Truffle in Progress

There was chocolate on my hands, all over the spoon, a little stain on the door knob, parts of the kitchen, the room smells of chocolate. Typing this while taking a break from making truffles. To complete may take a while, I’m hoping to be done by midnight.

Bashed ginger snaps using my 895-paged engineering book and a hard-covered second hand Dickens I’m halfway through reading. The bits are then used to coat the little spheres of chocolate decadence. I had one and I’m happy to say the result was good despite failing to adhere to parts of the recipe.

So, tonight I’m truffle-ing!

Reference : Jamie Oliver’s Amazing DIY Chocolate Truffles.

The Cracked-Egg Tiramisu

I had guests for tea today and treated them to my home-made Tiramisu.

The making of the Tiramisu was not planned and the guests coming over coincided with the Italian dessert ready to serve. What happened was yesterday, I dropped my groceries and broke my eggs on my way home from Sainsbury’s. While trying to scavenge what was left within the cracked eggs, I somehow managed to separate the yolks from the white. Only one egg I managed to recover about 80% of the white and I used that to make chocolate meringue cookies. I couldn’t resist eating them right away after I took them out of the oven.

The original recipe called for five egg yolks. I only had three, but proceeded anyway. Turns out I had barely enough to cover 3/4 of the top layer of coffee-soaked sponge fingers so I improvised by using whipped double cream to imitate a full coverage.

The result was not bad at all. My guests and I managed to finish half the tray and the remaining is sitting in the fridge.

Maybe not for long. 😉

The Cracked-Egg Tiramisu

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks

250g Mascarpone cheese (I used Sainsbury’s)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

I medium sized double cream, whipped (keep it in the refrigerator until needed. I used Elmlea. Sainsbury’s work just as fine, but Elmlea lasts longer)

2 packets sponge fingers (I used Fingerellas, am going to try using Saviovardi biscuits next time)

3/4 cup of really strong coffee (I put three or four tablespoons of instant coffee into 3/4 cup of hot water)

Put half a pot of hot water to boil while you whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a pyrex or a heatproof bowl. When the water has boil, place the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar mixture over it and continue whisking it for a good ten minutes. Don’t stop or your mixture will get clumpy. Then your Tiramisu won’t have a smooth texture.

Take it off the heat and mix in the Mascarpone. Let it cool. While waiting, place your sponge fingers into a shallow dish or tray and pour coffee all over it.

When the Mascarpone, egg and sugar concoction has cooled, FOLD in the whipped double cream. The little air bubbles in the whipped double cream gives the Tiramisu a little bit of body. Otherwise it will turn out like a custard mixture.

Layer the bottom of a deep tray/container/trifle bowl with the coffee-soaked sponge fingers and pour half the Mascarpone-egg-sugar-cream mixture on top of it and repeat, finishing with the Mascarpone-egg-sugar-cream mixture. Cover with foil or wrapping film and refrigerate overnight, or at least six hours until firm.

Good luck if you’re trying, and enjoy! 😉

Maca-wrongs!

Two weeks or so before Aidilfitri I tried making macaroons in an attempt to do a kuih raya, western version. The end result tasted like mini chocolate cake, sans the look of  a macaroon. Here’s where I got it wrong.

I should have beaten the egg whites a little longer.. I stopped when it formed peaks but was still sliding around my bowl when the almond meal was folded in.

I should have used a gel/powder colouring instead of the normal liquid ones. I put in a few drops of red, hoping to make pink coloured macaroons. This batch turned out white.

Was tempted to tip the remaining cocoa powder in the can into the bowl, but figured this should be enough.

Was lazy to get my piping bag (and to wash it later), so used a spoon to place the batter onto the baking sheets.

The oven at my current place has a mind of its own. Just because you turn the knob perfectly to 150 degrees Celcius doesn’t mean the temperature is. Burnt the first batch by about three minutes because I was on Facebook chat. Second batch turned out “perfect”, the third was under-baked.

Overall, the taste did come out nicely and would have been sinful if I had made the chocolate ganache filling. Didn’t take them out for Aidilfitri however, so I ate them myself.

Om nom nom nom.

Blissful secret of the amateur chef. 😉

Salmon Teriyaki Egg Noodles

I think you would have noticed by now my penchant for spinach and egg noodles. This is due to the offer they are having at Sainsbury’s right now that I can get these two ingredients cheaply. Come on, who can resist a huge bag of spinach for £1.00 or three packets of egg noodles for £2.50 ? Especially when you’re a university student who lives on (almost) a shoestring.

Anyway, I was inspired to recreate this dish which I had a couple of nights ago at Wagamama. Their price, £10.48. My price, £3.00. Read on to find out how I did it.

You will need some salmon, I bought mine at £4.00 for two portions of teriyaki. Egg noodles or soba if you prefer, spinach or any vegetable of your choice, soy sauce and rice mirin (a.k.a sweet cooking alcohol. You can substitute this with wine or sherry to your liking).

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First you will need to marinade the salmon for at least two hours with equal parts of soy sauce to equal parts of rice mirin and some sugar. I used 4 tablespoons each of soy sauce and mirin and two tablespoons of icing sugar (because I did not have granulated ones on hand). Keep the salmon and the marinade covered in the fridge.

When the salmon is ready, chuck some egg noodles and a handful of spinach into a microwavable bowl and microwave on high for two minutes.

In the mean time, heat some oil/butter in a frying pan. Take the salmon (just the salmon, leave the marinade sauce alone) and fry it in the pan. When one side looks cooked (it has turned pale pink, burnt bits are also a good indicator) flip it on the other side. When the salmon is almost fully cooked, pour in the marinade sauce and let it simmer for half a minute before turning off the fire. Leave the salmon and the sauce in the pan for a little while, then pour into the bowl with the spinach and egg noodles.

Your salmon teriyaki egg noodles is ready to be served.

Bon Appetit!

Curry Mee

    Some of you might have known that I have recently been feeding largely off spinach and fruits. No, I have not turned into a rabbit (though I still and always will, twitch my nose) it is just that there is no halal meat shop in Bath. However, I can still eat seafood and from my recent discovery of ready to eat mixed prawns, calamari and mussels – look what I came up with. TA-DA!!!  Mixed seafood Curry Mee! 

    All the ingredients are bought from Sainsbury’s. You will need:

    Thai Red Curry Paste (£1.00), Egg noodles (£1.00), Spinach (£1.50 for a 200g packet) or Stir Fry Vegetable with Mushroom mix (£1.50  for 350g), Ready to Eat Mixed Seafood (£5.00 for two packets = 4 or 5 servings of curry mee).

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    Obviously you don’t need the whole bottle of curry paste or the whole bag of spinach to begin with if you are only cooking for yourself. The actual shopping list was as follows and it yielded 6-7 large portions of curry mee. University life makes me a hungry person.

    Procedure :

  1. Place a handful of spinach into a microwavable bowl and cover with cling wrap. Microwave it on high for two minutes.
  2. Place a dollop of butter/margarine/oil whichever one you prefer, and whirl it around until the base of the pan is evenly coated. Drop a large tablespoon and a half of the curry paste and stir it around until the whole house smells of it (but don’t set the fire alarm off).  Pour a quarter cup of water and stir until even (you can use coconut milk here if you want the extra oomph! And the extra calories).
  3. Once the curry starts to simmer, add in the egg noodles. Then again, it depends on how many people you are cooking for. Coat the noodles evenly with curry and noodle it around.
  4. Always add in the seafood last because these babies will shrivel if cooked for too long. You can substitute the seafood I used with cod or mackerel, and if you have a fatter wallet, salmon.
  5. Pour the contents of the pan into the bowl with the spinach/vegetables in it and mix them around. Your curry mee is ready to be served.
  6. Note that if you are using the Stir Fry Vegetable mix, stir fry the vegetables first. I know it is common sense, but well. . .

    Anyway, one thing I like about the supermarkets here is that nearly everything is ready to cook – the Stir Fry Vege mix I referred to is washed and cut prior to packing. This makes it convenient for busy people who doesn’t have the leisure to cook meals which require a lot of preparations.

    Then again, I noticed a lot of instant food – even housewives are depicted on adverts, satisfying their hubby’s appetite by relying on microwavable meals in a bag.

    This makes me think, where is the love? The love that comes from the “air tangan” or the personal touch of the cook? The feeling when preparing the food? Or has the love been traded for instant gratification and convenience?