Friday, August 15, 2014

Turmeric Chicken

Turmeric Chicken

Some like turmeric for its taste, others the color, and some for the medicinal properties. For many centuries, the Indian had been using turmeric as spice and for medicinal purposes. It used to be a knowledge passed down from ancestors to the next generations. Now with the advancement in science, it came into light that turmeric indeed has beneficial effects on health. Curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory compound, and a potent antioxidant, is found in turmeric. It is believed that Curcumin can help to prevent some brain diseases, heart disease, cancer, and even fight depression.

Turmeric used to be a rare guest on our dining table. Once I bought some and totally forgotten about it. Then one day,  I found a recipe with turmeric and was really excited to try it. Imagine my joy when I found that there were still turmeric left in the shelf. When I opened the bottle and tried to dash out some powder, something was not right, the turmeric didn't came right out and seems to be clumped together. I hold it close to take a good look. Oh my! The bottle was full chubby snowy white worms that was wiggling all around. ( I consider myself lucky though because the worms were too fat to come out from the hole, or else I might be ended up with many ninja flying worms when I tried to dash the powder out.)

Turmeric Chicken

What could I say? Hmm the worms looked really well-nourished I think. So I guess it must be right that turmeric is good! 

Who says delicious food is always unhealthy? I challenge you to make this dish that packed with loads of health benefits! 


Turmeric Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1/2 chicken, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 5 kaffir lime leaf
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, pounded
  • 5 shallot, deep fried
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat oil, stir fry garlic until fragrant
  2. Add lemongrass and shallot, stir fry until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken, kaffir lime leaf and turmeric powder, stir fry until chicken is cooked. Season with salt and sugar.
黄姜鸡 
材料
  • 半只鸡,切块 
  • 1大蒜,剁碎
  • 5叶青柠檬叶
  • 1汤匙黄姜粉 
  • 4支香茅,捣烂 
  • 5粒葱头,切片,爆香
  • 盐少许 
  • 1茶匙糖 
做法
  1. 油烧热,爆香蒜 
  2. 加入香茅和葱,煸炒至香。 
  3. 加入鸡肉,青柠檬叶和黄姜粉,翻炒至鸡肉熟。加入盐和糖调味。

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Coffee Almond Cookies 咖啡杏仁饼



I have tried coffee almond cookies a couple of times, they are crunchy, fragrant, and was a hit in my family. Even a non regular coffee drinker like me enjoy these cookies too. 

It is not that cheap from where I bought it from, almost $20 for a medium size container of 'em. The cost of making? Well below $5. What's more, you don't even need a mixer for this. It is fuss free and almost no special technique required.


When the cookies were being baked in the oven, the smell was almost addictive. If you are a coffee lover, you can surely appreciate the coffee aroma that wakes you up in an instant (or sleepy, perhaps?).

Some warm crunchy coffee cookies, paired with a cup of dark black coffee. Aaaaah~~~

Recipe adapted from Classic Cookies

Coffee Almond Cookies

Ingredients
  • 180g butter, softened
  • 160g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 20g coffee powder
  • 320g plain flour
  • 100g almond slices
Cooking Directions
  1. In a bowl, add butter and sugar, slowly add in egg and mix well.
  2. Sift in coffee powder and plain flour, mix well.
  3. Add almond slices, mix well.
  4. Shape the dough into rectangular shape. If you have a rectangle form, it will come in handy. If not, just use whatever tools you have to shape it.
  5. Cover the dough (you can place it in a container or wrap with clingwrap) and freeze for around 1.5 hours or until the dough is hard enough to maintain the shape but still soft enough to be cut.
  6. Cut the dough into 0.5cm thickness.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 170C for 20 minutes, turn off the lower heat and continue to bake for another 5 minutes.

咖啡杏仁饼干 
材料 
  • 180克黄油,软化 
  • 160克红糖 
  • 1个鸡蛋 
  • 20克咖啡粉 
  • 320克面粉 
  • 100克杏仁片 

做法 
  1. 在一个碗里,放入黄油和糖,然后慢慢地加入鸡蛋拌匀。 
  2. 筛入咖啡粉和面粉,拌匀。 
  3. 加入杏仁片,拌匀。 
  4. 将面团塑造成长方形。如果你有长方形的模型,可以使用。如果没有,就随意使用任何工具或用手也可以。 
  5. 用保鲜膜盖住面团(可以放在一个容器里或用保鲜膜包裹),放入冰箱冷冻大约1.5小时或直到面团定型,但依然能切得下。 
  6. 将面团切成大约0.5厘米厚片。 
  7. 放入焗炉以上下火烤170℃20分钟,熄掉下火,继续烘烤5分钟。

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Copycat Pepperidge Farm Brussel Cookies 布鲁塞尔饼干


Brussel cookie is one of my favourites among the Pepperidge Farm Cookies series. Those cookies are baked to crisp, with semi sweet chocolate sandwiched in between. It tasted so good I can easily finish up a packet on my own, let alone the two little cookie monsters in my house!

However, it is such a luxury because it is not cheap in Singapore. So why not make your own? 

I am now happily munching the cookies while writing this for you. The chocolate is still warm from the melting process, and the cookies crumbled away in the pool of chocolate with every bites. Can you hear the crackling sound yet?

Don't get envy, these cookies are not difficult to make, try make some to pamper yourself and lets enjoy the cookies together!


Copycat Pepperidge Farm Brussel Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats bran
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp fresh milk
  • 5 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix all ingredients (except chocolate chips). Stir to combine well.
  3. Spoon around 1/2 tsp of dough, lightly flatten it on lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 150C for 15 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown.
  5. In a pan, melt chocolate chips over low heat.
  6. Spread chocolate on cookies and sandwich with another cookies.

布鲁塞尔饼干
材料
  • 半杯面粉 
  • 半杯燕麦麸 
  • 1/4茶匙发酵粉 
  • 半杯红糖 
  • 100克牛油 
  • 1茶匙香草精 
  • 2汤匙枫糖浆 
  • 3大匙鲜奶 
  • 5oz半甜巧克力豆

做法
  1. 将黄油和糖打到轻和蓬松。 
  2. 混合所有的原料(除巧克力豆)。搅拌均匀。 
  3. 面团勺约半小勺,在烤盘上轻轻压平。 
  4. 在150℃预热烘箱中烘烤15分钟,或直到曲奇饼转金黄色。 
  5. 在平底锅,用慢火融化巧克力豆。 
  6. 将适量巧克力夹在两片饼干中间。

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Churros - With or Without Egg?

I have read some debates as to whether we should add eggs when making churros. Personally, I had tried Churros a couple of times, in US. Hence I decided to make two batches of dough, one with egg, another one without, for comparison sake. Based on my memory, I am going to choose the one that shares the most similarity in terms of taste and texture with those that I had before.

In order to make a clearer comparison, the photos taken below are the churros before any coatings. Those on the left of the picture are from the dough with egg. They are more yellowish in color. When frying the churros, those with eggs release more fragrant aroma compared to those without.

churros with and without egg

In terms of texture, those with eggs are rather fluffy. Taste-wise, I would have to admit that the one with egg is far from those churros that I had in US. Churros that I remember, are crispy and slightly chewy rather than fluffy.

churros with and without egg

However, those are just my personal view. Let me know what do you think too!

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。