Ayam Kuzi / Kelantan Style Chicken Curry 吉兰丹式咖喱鸡

Every morning is a brain cracking moment for me - what to cook for the whole day? I used to plan a night before but now I learn to just live from day to day. It would be a lot easier if I am not bringing the little ones to the wet market. Sometimes, it could mean a few missing items in my shopping cart and a second trip to the supermarket. But hey, I bet the little ones do enjoy such trip, don't they?

Ayam Kuzi, especially, with the many ingredients, I have got to make sure each ingredient is written down so that I will not miss out anything. Most of you may not have tried (or even heard of) this dish before, this is a Kelantanese curry chicken dish, thick and rich in flavours. Despite having grown up in Malaysia, I too, have not heard of it until these recent years, and I wonder why? The chicken is cooked in briyani aromatic spices together with the sweet sultanas and yoghurt, simmered and reduced to a sauce that capture all its essence, irresistibly pleasing to the palate! A dish that we should popularise!

Just like any other curry dishes, this dish is best prepared slightly ahead of time and left to sit for the flavours to mingle. It might look like a spicy dish but it really isn't. The base of this chicken dish is made up of fried shallot, and lots of them! So don't try to cut on the shallot, you will soon regret your decision!

What about the reddish appearance? You might ask. Tomato paste is the culprit! 


Ayam Kuzi / Kuzi Chicken

Ingredients
  • 1/2 chicken
  • 15 shallots, sliced and fried
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 strands saffron
  • 30g sultana
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
(A)
  • 2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric, or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 slices galangal
(B)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised
Others
  • 70ml yoghurt
  • 125ml milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Blend ingredients (A) into paste.
  2. In a pan, heat ghee, stir fry (A) and (B) till fragrant.
  3. Add shallot, chicken and tomato paste, cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Add milk, saffron, and water, cook till chicken become tender.
  5. Add salt and sugar, stir in yoghurt, sultana, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Top with kaffir lime leaves.
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吉兰丹式咖喱鸡
配料
  • 1/2只鸡
  • 15粒葱头,切片和炸过
  • 3/4杯水
  • 3条藏红花
  • 30克葡萄干
  • 1汤匙酥油
  • 2汤匙番茄泥
  • 1小匙糖
  • 半小匙盐
(A)
  • 2茶匙芫荽子
  • 1茶匙茴香种子
  • 1茶匙孜然
  • 1/2英寸姜
  • 1英寸新鲜黄姜,或1/2茶匙黄姜粉
  • 2片高良姜
(B)
  • 2个丁香
  • 1个八角
  • 2个天唐果仁
  • 1个肉桂
  • 1个香茅,打扁
其他
  • 70毫升酸奶
  • 125毫升奶

做法
  1. 把材料(A)用搅拌器搅成泥状。
  2. 取一个锅,热酥油,翻炒(A)和(B)炒至香。
  3. 加入葱头,鸡肉和番茄泥,煮15分钟。
  4. 加入牛奶,藏红花,和水,煮至鸡肉变嫩。
  5. 加入盐和糖,拌入酸奶,葡萄干,再煮5分钟。
  6. 撒上青柠叶。


Chinese Fried Sauce Noodle 炸酱面

Zha Jiang Mian, or fried sauce noodle, is one of my favorite food during school days. It is an inexpensive, simple yet delicious meal, and often time we made extra meat sauce so that  it can be heated up easily and make a convenient quick meal afterwards.

As far as I remember, there was a decent Chinese food stall in my school canteen. The food portion was big, but I never had a problem finishing a big bowl of their zha jiang mian. Despite it sounded like a weird combination, I especially love to add their peanut sauce (which was meant for steamboat) in my noodle, its nutty fragrance goes surprisingly well with the meat sauce!

Whenever I had a longer lunch break, I would travel from a faculty to another just to have a taste of their noodle. However, something happened after I graduated. I didn't get the full story but I heard that they were closed down due to misuse of washing machine with their food! Erm.. washing machine for food?! Guess I better not to find out, at the very least, I could still retain my fond memories of them...

Now fast forward the time, gone are those days that I could finish a big bowl of zha jiang mian. With my current appetite, that big bowl of noodle is enough to feed me a whole day! So I make my own based on my portion, and surely I don't need a washing machine to do that!


Chinese Fried Sauce Noodle / Zha Jiang Mian

Ingredients

Main
  • 250g minced pork
  • 3 garlic, chopped
  • 2 slice ginger, grated
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 2.5 tbsp sweetened soy bean paste / Hoi Sin Sauce
  • 2.5 tbsp ABC Kicap Manis /dark sweet sauce
  • 1 tbsp taucu /salted soy bean paste
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp cooking wine
  • 400g noodle (eggless), cooked as per instruction on package
Garnish
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
Cooking Directions
  1. In a pan, heat oil and stir fry garlic and ginger.
  2. Add in sweetened soy bean paste, ABC kecap manis and taucu.
  3. Add in spring onion, minced meat, and cooking wine.
  4. Stir fry until the sauce thicken and the meat is cooked.
  5. Pour the meat sauce on noodle, garnish with cucumber and carrot.
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炸酱面
3-4人份

材料

主材料
  • 250克猪肉剁碎
  • 3瓣大蒜,切碎
  • 2片姜,切碎
  • 1葱,切碎
  • 2.5汤匙甜面酱
  • 2.5汤匙ABC黑甜酱
  • 1汤匙豆酱
  • 3大匙油
  • 2汤匙料酒
  • 400克面条,按照包装指令煮熟
装饰
  • 1根黄瓜,切丝
  • 1根胡萝卜,切丝

做法
  • 锅里热油,炒香大蒜和姜。
  • 加入甜面酱,甜酱,和豆酱。
  • 加入葱段,肉末,和料酒。
  • 翻炒直到肉煮熟,收汁。
  • 面条放入碗里,倒入肉酱,配上黄瓜和胡萝卜。

During the weekend of 23rd August 2015, while some us are enjoying our leisure time, be it at home, shopping etc., a group of home cooks are wrecking their brain to produce the most creative and healthy baked dishes for their first ever Samsung cook-off competition.


Photo taken from Singapore Home Cook Fanpage 

Jointly sponsored by Samsung and Alce Nero, organized by Singapore Homecook Fanpage and held at TOTT Dunearn, this cook-off promote healthy home made dishes, and showcase how Samsung appliances and organic Alce Nero products can play an integral part in the healthy home cook setting.


Photo taken from Singapore Home Cook Fanpage

Each contestant are provided with one brand-new Samsung Smart Oven, completed with Hot Blast and Slim Fry function. Most (if not, all) of the contestant are using this model oven for the first time, but none had any problem handling it, a proof that the oven is use friendly and produce superior result.


Photo taken from Singapore Home Cook Fanpage

Adding to the excitement, top prizes were Samsung smart oven and TOTT vouchers, and basically no one would walk away empty handed from the competition! We were honored to have Samsung Senior Product Manager, Wan Wai San, Director, Executive Chef, Senior Master Mixologist Chef Ethan Leslie Leong, and Alce Nero Marketing Manager, Priscilla Tan as the judges of this competition.


Photo taken from Singapore Home Cook Fanpage

Enough of the introduction, now lets feed your eyes with the top 3 winning dishes:

3rd Prize:
Seafood Paella by Anna Tan

Photo taken Samsung Singapore 

Sticky Date Pudding with Rum Butterscotch Sauce by Anna Tan
Photo taken Samsung Singapore 

2nd Prize
Baked Chilli Crab Balls by Rontree
Photo taken Samsung Singapore 

Key Lime Yogurt Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese by Rontree
Photo taken Samsung Singapore 

1st Prize
Baked Pork Chop with Prosciutto and Caramelised Onion by Darwin

Photo taken from Singapore Home Cook Fanpage 

Fig and Cheese Puff Pastry by Darwin

Photo taken from Singapore Home Cook Fanpage 

Special thanks to Darwin for allowing us to feature his recipe here:

Baked Pork Chop with Prosciutto and Caramelised Onion
Ingredients
A
  • 50g butter
  • 2 onion, sliced
B
  • 4 pork loin (150g-200g each)
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 litre water
C
  • 6 slices white bread
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
D
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
E
  • 3 egg white
  • 3 tbsp mustard
F
  • 3/4 cup plain flour 
G
  • 4-8 slices prosciutto
Cooking Directions
  1. In a pan, heat up butter, over medium heat stir fry onion until golden brown, around 1.5 hour. Set aside
  2. In a container, brine the meat in salt and water for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Cut the bread into small pieces (remove the side of the bread) and bake at 140ºC for 30 minutes.          
  4. Pulse the bread in food processor until coarsely ground.
  5. Add in the rest of ingredients C and bake at 120ºC for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Add ingredients D into bread crumbs, transfer to a plate.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg white and mustard, transfer to a plate
  8. In yet another separate plate, pour in ingredients F 
  9. Place 1/4 portion of the onion on top of each slice of pork loin, then wrap the loin with 1-2 slices of prosciutto.
  10. Coat the loin with plain flour, then dip it into the egg white mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs.
  11. Bake in preheated oven at 220ºC for 25 minutes
Credit: Adapted from American Test Kitchen recipe


Fig and Cheese Puff Pastry
Ingredients (serve 6)
  • 1 roll of frozen puff pastry
  • 3 figs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 75g cream cheese
  • 1/2 orange
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • salt and pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. Cut 6 rings out of the puff pastry and place onto lined baking tray. Gently prick the pastry surface with fork.
  2. Whisk the egg yolk with water and baste the pastry with it. Set aside.
  3. Juice and zest the orange, pour it in a bowl and mix with sugar, cinnamon, and honey.
  4. Cut each figs into 4 quarters and lay them in a baking dish. Pour the prepared mixture (in step 3) over the figs and add the sprigs of thyme (and add a pinch of salt and pepper as desired).
  5. Baked the figs and pastry for about 10-12 minutes at 180 ºC.
  6. Separate each pastry into half and put cheese and figs in the pastry, distribute the sauce and serve warm.

Credit: Adapted from Sabine's recipe @ Kitchen Stories.


Cilantro Lime Rice 香菜青拧饭


Rice is the staple food in Asia, we serve rice alongside with other dishes such as vegetables, meat, or soup. Just like potatoes, rice can be cooked in many ways, it can be stir-fried, stewed, baked or cooked into one pot dish such as yam / taro rice, pineapple fried rice, olive rice etc.. There are countless ways to transform your plain rice into delicious meal but I had never encountered any recipe that gets any simpler than this.

El and Lyn take afternoon nap everyday. Once they are asleep, that is the time I hit the ground running. Cooking with them around is almost disastrous, with them whizzing around, and their swayer / bike parking all around the kitchen like mines awaiting to be kicked or stepped on, accidents are bound to happen. During some good days when they have longer resting time, I can then prepare more elaborate dishes but if not, even the rice can be transformed into a dish.

This cilantro lime rice is a breeze to make. It takes only 3 additional ingredients, less than 5 minutes of your time, and ta-dah... the plain white rice just had a make-over and it is now oh-so refreshing! The butter contribute largely to the flavour of the rice, hence selecting a good quality butter will enhance the taste tremendously. Sometimes when I am running out of green lime, I would substitute it with yellow lemon. Although they have slightly different fragrant, I guess it works too! Afterall, homecooks are used to working around ingredients and who knows, we may create something better than what the recipe calls for!


Cilantro Lime Rice

Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp lemon/lime zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • water, as needed
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook rice in rice cooker as per usual, but add in 1 tbsp butter together with water.
  2. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped cilantro right before serving.
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香菜青拧饭
主料
  • 1杯米
  • 1汤匙牛油
  • 1小匙,青柠皮削
  • 2汤匙青柠汁
  • 1/2杯香菜,切碎
  • 水,适量

做法
  1. 洗好的米放入电饭煲,加入适量的水和1汤匙牛油一起煮。
  2. 食用前拌入青柠皮削,柠檬汁和切碎的香菜。

Kek Lapis Legit / Thousand Layer Cake 印尼千层糕

Indonesia is famous for their spekkoek, or kek lapis legit, which literally translated to sweet and sticky layer cake. Every time we visited Indonesia, we would always bring back some cakes, either as gifts or for self-consumption.

There are many brands out there, ranging from a few dollars per cake to $50+ per cake. So what contributed to the price difference? Well, what I understand from a cake master was that, the traditional layer cakes are made without egg whites, only yolks are used (imagine 30+ egg yolks per cake?) However, in order to cut cost, some bakeries may add in egg whites too. The volumn of a whipped egg white can be many folds compared to that of a whipped egg yolk. This resulted in a more cake-like texture rather than the rich texture produced by the traditional method.

To achieve the many thin layers of the cake, it is a rather labor intensive process. Hours are spent in order to bake the cake layer by layer, which requires much patience. However, the end product is certainly worth the effort. By just looking at those delicate layers, you got that sense of achievement already.

Kek Lapis Legit / Thousand Layer Cake 印尼千层糕

There are many variations available - pandan, cheese, coffee, prunes... Once you have master the basic cake, you can tweak it as much as you like and make your own concoction!


Kek Lapis Legit

Ingredients
  • 380g butter
  • 35 egg yolks
  • 230g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp brandy/ rum
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 80g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cake spices
Cooking Directions
  1. Cream butter until soft.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (around 10-15 minutes)
  3. Add in brandy/rum and condense milk, beat till just combine.
  4. Mix together egg yolks mixture with butter.
  5. In another bowl mix together plain flour and cake spices. Sift in the flour to batter and mix well.
  6. Layer baking paper at the bottom of the pan. Spoon around 2 - 2.5 tbsp of batter at the bottom of the cake pan, grill at 230C for 3 minutes or until brown.
  7. Poke the cake with toothpick and flatten it with a piece of parchment paper.
  8. Repeat step 6-7
  9. For the last layer spoon in 3.5 tbsp of batter, grill at 200C until brown.

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印尼千层糕
主料
  • 380克牛油
  • 35个蛋黄
  • 230克糖粉
  • 2汤匙白兰地/朗姆酒
  • 2汤匙炼乳
  • 80克面粉
  • 2茶匙蛋糕香料

做法
  1. 牛油用搅拌器打到顺滑。
  2. 取另一碗,把蛋黄和糖打到蓬松(约10-15分钟)
  3. 加入白兰地/朗姆酒和炼乳,打至结合。
  4. 蛋黄糊和牛油混合在一起。
  5. 再取另一个碗,把面粉和蛋糕香料混合在一起,然后把面粉筛入面糊拌匀。
  6. 蛋糕模型底部铺好烤纸,勺入2 -2.5汤匙面糊,在已经预热好的烤炉以230℃(上火)烤3分钟或直至棕色。
     
  7. 用牙签在蛋糕上刺洞,然后再用一张烤纸压平蛋糕。
     
  8. 重复步骤6-7
  9. 最后一层勺入3.5汤匙面糊,用200℃(上火)烤至褐色。

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