Monday, July 28, 2014

Churros

Churros

You tiao I like, but Spanish you tiao, have you tried it before?

It is called Churros, a kind of choux pastry with rigged surface, being deep fried until crunchy and served with dipping sauce or simply rolled in sugar. Made this and family came out with different opinions, some thought too sweet, while others tempted to add some chocolate/ caramel sauce for additional kick!

Churros

So, was it really originate from you tiao? That is certainly one of the plausible theory. It was said that the Portuguese encountered you tiao during their visit to Dinasty of Ming when they sailed for Orient. After went back to Portugal, they tried to recreate and modify you tiao. Ends up, churros is what they got!

Caution: Churros could burst if there are air pockets trapped inside the dough and  if oil not hot enough. Beware hot oil could splash out when churros burst. Suggest to use a splatter screen when frying. I am using the Norpro one and I strongly recommend that.


Churros

Ingredients
  • 130g all purpose flour
  • Enough frying oil
(A)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
(B)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine ingredients (A) in a saucepan, bring the mitxture to boil.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in flour. Stir vigorously until the mixture form a ball.
  3. Heat oil (at least 2 inches) to 190C (375F) for frying (if you do not have a food thermometer, you may test by dropping a bit of dough in the oil, the dough should sink and quickly float to the top and start bubbling) .
  4. Put dough in piping bag. Pipe strips of dough into oil. 
  5. Fry until golden brown, around 4-6 minutes. Drain oil on paper towels.
  6. Combine ingredients (B), roll churros in the mixture.
西班牙油条
材料 
  • 130克中筋面粉 
  • 足够的煎炸油 
(A) 
  • 1杯水 
  • 1汤匙白砂糖 
  • 半茶匙盐 
  • 2汤匙植物油 
(B)
  • 半杯白砂糖
  • 2茶匙肉桂粉 
做法 
热锅,混合材料(A),煮到沸腾。 
熄火,拌入面粉。大力搅拌,直到混合物形成一个球。 
烧热油(至少2英寸)到190℃(375°F)(如果你没有食物温度计,可用一小撮面糊试油,面糊要下沉并迅速浮到顶端,开始冒泡)。 
把面糊装入裱花袋,将面糊挤入油里。 
炸至金黄色,大约4-6分钟,捞出。 
混合材料(B),将油条放入均匀裹上。

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Smooth Ginger Chicken


Ginger is a very well-loved ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is spicy, aromatic and most importantly, it adds a special zest to the food that it mingles with. At times, ginger is also being used for medical purpose - it is believed to be able to get rid of the 'wind' in the body. When do we have 'wind' in the body, you may ask? All right, no giggling, call it whatever you like - bloated stomach, air attack, frequent farting, flatulence etc... by now I believe you should have gotten a picture of it. So, you can get some of the juice, rub it on your tummy, or simply boil the ginger with some water and drink it up. There might be some other way too but I am really not an expert of that.

Maybe, perhaps, I will just prepare this dish if anyone got the 'wind'.

Smooth Ginger Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1/2 chicken, roughly chopped
  • 80g ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped spring onion
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 4 tbsp fried shallot oil
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt, to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Steam chicken over medium high heat for 20 minutes, or until chicken cooked through.
  2. Drain chicken, reserve 4 tbsp of chicken soup.
  3. In a saucepan, heat up shallot oil and sesame oil, add ginger, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, 4 tbsp of chicken soup and salt for a minute.
  4. Drizzle the sauce over chicken, garnish with chopped spring onion.
  5. Serve hot.

滑姜鸡
材料
  • 半只鸡,切块 
  • 80克姜,捣碎 
  • 2大匙青葱粒 
  • 1汤匙蚝油 
  • 2汤匙绍酒 
  • 4大匙炸葱油 
  • 4汤匙麻油 
  • 盐,适量
做法
  1. 用中大火蒸鸡肉20分钟,或直到鸡肉熟透。 
  2. 把鸡肉取出(汤汁另外放),置放一旁。储备4汤匙鸡汤汁。 
  3. 在一个锅里,热香葱油和香油,加入姜,蚝油,绍酒,4汤匙鸡汤和盐。加热一分钟。 
  4. 把酱汁淋在鸡上,洒上葱花。 
  5. 趁热享用。

Friday, July 25, 2014

Shanghai Mooncake

I am a mooncake fanatic. I could leisurely munch away a whole mooncake while sitting around, Facebook'ing, internet surfing, or watching a movie. Sweet die me? Yes I know, but I will think about that later.



I love Shanghai mooncake, especially those with the skin easily crumble away once the teeth sink in. Yum yum...


Is homemade always better? I sure think so. You can always adjust the sweetness, the amount of fat, and you know what has gone inside you every delicious mouthful of mooncake.



How do you like to eat mooncake? Traditionally, the mooncake is enjoyed in small pieces, and served with Chinese tea. A hint of bitterness from the tea naturally neutralise the overly sweetened lotus paste. At the night of the mooncake festival, watching the full moon and carrying lanterns were the leisure and fun things to do. Little kids lighting up candles in the lanterns, strolling around a garden, circling around their parents... A peaceful night filled of fun, can you visualise that?



The mid-autumn festival is coming soon, do you have any plan yet?


Shanghai Mooncake
Makes 6

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
Skin
  • 180g plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 10g custard powder
  • 20g milk powder
  • 90g butter
  • 60g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 drops vanilla essence
Fillings
  • 6 salted egg yolk
  • 420g lotus paste
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix together the skin ingredients to form a dough.
  2. Set it aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough to 6 portions (each around 67g)
  4. Wrap each cooked salted egg yolk inside 70g lotus paste (total weight around 80g)
  5. Roll the dough into round shape, flatten it and wrap up the fillings.
  6. Brush the surface of mooncake with eggyolk, sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes.
Notes: adjust the amount of fillings to your liking - i.e. if you prefer thicker/ thinner skin, reduce/ increase the amount fillings accordingly.

上海月饼
做6个月饼 
材料
  • 1茶匙黑芝麻 
  • 1个蛋黄, 打散
饼皮 
  • 180克面粉,过筛 
  • 1/2茶匙泡打粉 
  • 10克吉士粉 
  • 20克奶粉 
  • 90克牛油
  • 60克糖粉 
  • 1个鸡蛋 
  • 2滴香草精 
馅料 
  • 6粒咸蛋黄 
  • 420克莲蓉 
做法
  1. 把饼皮的材料混合在一起,形成面团。 
  2. 放在一边休息10分钟。 
  3. 将面团分成6份(每份约67克) 
  4. 将每个熟咸蛋黄裹入70克莲蓉里(加起来总工约80克)。 
  5. 面团擀成圆形,压扁,包入馅料。 
  6. 在月饼的表面上刷上蛋黄液,撒些黑芝麻在上面。 
  7. 在180℃预热烤箱中烘烤30分钟。
贴士:随喜好增加/减少馅料的分量,i.e.如果喜欢饼皮厚/薄些,可以减少/增加馅料的分量。

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crunchy Ginger Cookies 脆姜饼

Crunchy Ginger Cookies

Just a while ago, we traveled to New Haven, US. The hotel which we stayed always had some ginger cookies displayed in a glass jar on the counter. It is free and my little ones love 'em! They would jump up and down and unanimously asked for the cookies whenever we passed by the counter. It became an habit, day by day, night by night... until the staff could even recognize those cookies monsters of mine!

Crunchy Ginger Cookies

After returned from our trip, even though I was still fighting my jet lag, I decided to make those little cookies that was much adored. Those cookies were such a gem! The ginger taste was intense and complemented well with the various spices added. Every crunchy bite brought delightful smiles on the face of my little ones.

Crunchy Ginger Cookies

It shouldn't be difficult, or so I thought. However, I have got to admit that it wasn't as easy as I assumed, it took me a while to get that nice crunch and sufficient gingery spicy taste. Try this out and you won't regret it!


Crunchy Ginger Cookies

Ingredients
  • 170g plain flour, sifted
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 70g butter, soften
  • 2.5 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 40g egg, beaten
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients (except egg) together.
  2. Add egg bit by bit to make a stiff consistency.
  3. Roll out to an inch size.
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 180C (350F) for 12 minutes, then gently flatten the cookies with a spoon and continue to bake for another 5 minutes.
Notes: Rolling the cookie dough into sphere shape and then flattening it is done merely for aesthetic purpose (the crackling effect). You can simply roll the dough without flattening for a side crisp with soft centre cookie, or flatten the dough from beginning (no crackling if you do so) for a crunchy cookie.

脆姜饼

材料 
170克面粉, 过筛
150克软棕糖 
1/2 茶匙小苏打
1茶匙柠檬汁 
70克黄油,软化 
2.5汤匙姜粉 
1茶匙肉桂粉 
1茶匙五香粉 
40克鸡蛋

做法
  1. 混合所有的材料(除了蛋)。 
  2. 慢慢加入鸡蛋。 伴均匀
  3. 用手磋出一英寸大小。
  4. 放入已预热焗炉以180℃(350°F)烤12分钟。打开烤炉,用勺子将饼稍微压平(不压也可以,饼干中间会稍微软些),然后继续烘烤5分钟。
注:将饼干面团磋圆再压扁是为了作出有裂痕的表面。如果不喜欢可以一开始就把面团压扁。

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

When I first heard about butter chicken, I thought to myself, 'This must be a very fattening dish. A stick of butter inside, maybe?'.

Butter Chicken

Turned out, I was wrong, but still glad about it! Why, you may ask? Because I love to eat butter chicken but doesn't want to expand my waistline further.

Butter Chicken

I served this dish when some of my friends visited my place. It was a hit! Its red appearance may fool many to think that it is hot and spicy. But in fact, much to the reverse, it is a sweet and mild dish, with refreshing hint from the yoghurt.

So, are you ready to 'butter' up yourself?

Butter Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 500g chicken, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garam marsala
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander (stalk and leaves)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 200g tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream
  • some coriander leaves for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. In a frying pan, heat up butter.
  2. Add onion and stir fry until soft and lightly brown.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, garam marsala and coriander powder and stir fry for another minute.
  4. Add chicken, chicken stocks, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring it to boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer until the gravy slightly thicken. 
  6. Add yoghurt and cream, cook through.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves.
黄油鸡 

材料 
1汤匙牛油 
500克鸡,切块 
1个洋葱,切碎 
1瓣大蒜,切碎 
2茶匙磨碎的生姜 
2茶匙黄姜粉 
1茶匙孜然粉 
2茶匙姆马沙拉 
2茶匙香菜粉 
1汤匙切碎的香菜(茎和叶) 
2粒中型番茄,切碎 
200克番茄泥 
3/4杯鸡汤 
半杯酸奶 
1/4杯忌廉
一些香菜叶,装饰用 

做法
取一个煎锅,加热黄油。 
加入洋葱煸炒至软。 
加入大蒜,生姜,小茴香,盐仓马沙拉和香菜粉,翻炒一分钟。 
加入鸡肉,鸡汤,番茄和番茄泥。烧开。 
用小火煮至酱汁稍微浓稠。 
加入酸奶和奶油。 
洒上香菜叶。

Friday, July 4, 2014

Rommelsbacher Travel Cooker Review

Are you traveling with young toddler and worrying about over feeding them outside food? Or are you traveling to a country which you know for sure you would not enjoy the style of food there? Fret not, with this travel cooker, you can cook simple meals everywhere (as long as you can find power point).

Surely, I sounds as if I am advertising for them, right? But too bad, this is not a sponsored product, just a piece of new toy that I really love. It is dual voltage (115/230V), it is compact, and most importanly, efficient.

I had been eyeing for a reliable travel cooker, because I want to cook for my little ones when traveling. There were a few other brands that had been under my consideration, which are way cheaper. However, judging from the appearance of the product, some are already full of scratches even though brand new, and some with the coating looks like at the brim of falling off. So, the choice is pretty obvious, what make me took so long to buy is only the price factor - SGD179.

My first testing of the product didn't go well, I didn't read the manual before using. So, according to the manual, I am supposed to heat up the heating plate by turning on the heat on maximum, without putting any pots on top. This is to ensure a better protection to the coating of the hot plate. I didn't do it, a painful lesson learnt, the coating came off a little. 

Still, after much heart pain and cold sweat, I was relieved that the cooker still works very well, it took me 7-8 minutes to heat up almost full pot of water.


I bought this from Isetan, Singapore. I saw it selling at CK Tang too. Hope this little review helps you!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cranberry Cream Cheese Flat Bun

Cranberry Cream Cheese Flat Bun / Bread

Cranberry Cream Cheese Flat Bun / Bread

I first tried cranberry cream cheese flat bun when my in-laws bought it home. She told us 'very nice, try it!'. I wasn't half convinced because it looks plain, flatten, and nothing in its appearance that attracts me to it. However, one bite and I am in love with it. The bun was very soft, and the cream cheese inside was simply addicting.

I searched around for the recipe of this bun and it seems to be quite an easy bun to make. The challenging part is probably to make that 'flatten' shape. My first trial was good, but it turned out to be a raised bun, even though I had flatten it during shaping. This time, I placed another baking sheet on top of the bun in the oven, so as to restrict the rising 'upward' to create that flat appearance. Now I am really satisfied with it!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bun
Makes 6

Ingredients
Dough
  • 90g high protein flour
  • 60g low protein flour
  • 20g sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 70ml water
  • 20g egg
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tablespoon cranberry
Fillings
  • 120g cream cheese
  • 20g sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all the dough ingredients (except butter) together, combine and knead for 10 minutes. Add in butter, knead until smooth.
  2. Leave the dough to rise until double in size.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 portions.
  4. Roll each portion flat, spoon in cream cheese fillings in the middle of the dough, wrap up the fillings and pinch to seal up the edges.
  5. Lightly roll/press down the dough to create the flatten appearance.
  6. Arrange the wrapped up dough on a baking sheet, place another baking sheet (or anything flat that can be used in the oven) on top.
  7. let the dough rise for another 1 hour.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven at 190 degree Celsius for 15 minutes.