Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thai Basil Chicken

I found some fresh Thai basil at the Asian store the other day and decided to make a Thai dish out of it. This recipe is one of the favorite dishes of the Thai people. You can substitute the chicken with pork, beef, squid, shrimp, seafood or anything you like. Simple to prepare, it is a quick one-dish meal. The addition of fresh chilies makes the dish spicy, but you may adjust the recipe to taste by adding fewer chilies.

Ingredients :

1 pound chicken - cut into bite size pieces
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 yellow pepper - cut in chunks
1" of ginger - slice thinly
3 small fresh green Thai Bird chilies or any kind of chilies
a small bunch of Thai Basil
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce (naam pla)
1 tsp of dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1. Heat a wok or heavy skillet and add oil, garlic, ginger and stir-fry until lightly brown. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, until all chicken turn colour about 2 minutes.
2. Add chilies, pepper, broth or water, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and stir-fry until combined. Cover and let the chicken cook for a few minutes.
3. Check seasoning, add in basil and stir-fry 30 seconds. Lastly stir in lime juice.
4. Serve with warm rice.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Berries Tarts

I bought 2 punnets of beautiful strawberries from the produce place last week and it turns out to be sour. Carlos refused to eat it so it's sitting in the fridge drying away. Since we both love pies I decided to make some berries tarts with it. I especially liked it a lot because is something sweet but definitely on the lighter side as dessert go.

Pastry :

1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of sugar
1 stick (8 tbsp) of cold butter
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp of very cold water

1. In a large bowl mixed together flour, sugar and salt. Using your hand or pastry cutter rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal or breadcrumbs.
2. Add in egg yolk and cold water and mix until dough come together. Form it into a disk and chilled the dough for an hour before using it.

For the filling:

3 cups of berries - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries & blackberries
4 tbsp of sugar
juice of one lemon
2 tbsp of cornflour
1 egg - beaten

1) Mixed all the filling ingredients except the egg and set aside.
2) Roll out the pastry to about 1/8" thick and line the pastry into the tart pan.
3) Put the filling into the tart pan and cover the top with the balance of the pastry.
4) Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with some sugar on it.
5) Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chicken Wrapped in Pandan

This is a must order dish each time I visit any Thai restaurant. I just love the sweet smell of the pandan leaves. I made this healthier version by baking it instead of frying it.

Ingredients :

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp finely minced cilantro with roots
1 tbsp of minced ginger
2 tbsp finely minced garlic
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp palm or regular sugar
1/2 tsp of tumeric powder
pandan leaves (screwpine pandanus) - thawed and cleaned

Method :

1. Mix all ingredients except pandan leaves. Marinate for 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
2. Form pandan leaf into little pockets and fill with a couple pieces of marinated chicken, or simply wrap a few pieces of chicken with pandan leaf.
3. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree F oven for 20-25 min or until golden brown.

Note : You can deep fry this in a hot oil until chicken is cooked. Drain well and serve immediately.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Coffee Marble Cake

Carlos is not a big fan of chocolate marble cake as he always complaint that is too dry so I change this cake to Coffee Marble Cake and he likes it.

Ingredients :

250 grm of butter
210 grm of sugar
5 eggs
50 ml of fresh milk
250 grms of flour
1 tsp of orange zest
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of instant coffee

Method :

1) Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in one egg at the time and continue beating until well combined.
2) Sift flour with baking powder. Fold in 1/3 of the flour follow by 1/2 of the milk and continue to do so with all the milk and flour.
3) Prepared an 8" baking pan, lined with grease proof paper.
4) Divide the cake better into 2 portion. Add instant coffee to one portion and the other portion with orange zest.
5) Scoop the batter alternately into the baking pan until is all finish.
6) Bake in a 325 degree F oven for an hour or until the cake it done. Cool on wire rack before cutting into it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Butter Prawns

I made this delicious butter prawns using the recipe from Sue's blog. I've yet to get my sense of smell back so when I ate this I just imagine the sweet smell of prawns and curry leaves ;)

Ingredients :

500gm fresh prawns
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp butter
1/2 can evaporated milk
1 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp chopped chilli
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Method :

1. Coat the prawns with cornflour. In a pan of hot oil, stir fried the prawns till it turned pink colour. Dish up and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a pan. Stir fry garlic until lightly brown. Add in the evaporated milk.
3. Stir fry at low heat till it dry up and formed granules.
4. Then add in sugar, salt and pepper, curry leaves and chilli and fry till fragrant.
5. Add in prawns and mixed well.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hot Cross Buns

Thank you everyone for your kind words and concerned. I am feeling much better today but this flu bugs really hit me hard. I never been so sick before in my life. With all the medicine and nasal spray I lost my sense of smell and taste now and hopefully I will get it back soon.

Since Easter is just around the corner I made this wonderful Hot Cross Bun typically eaten on Good Friday. I used the recipe of "Modern Classic 2" by Donna Hay with minor modification to suit my taste.

Ingredients :

1 tbsp of dry yeast
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk
4 1/2 cup of flour
2 tsp of mixed spice
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
50 grm melted butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cup of sultanas
1 egg - beaten for egg wash

Sugar Glaze

1 cup of powder sugar
2 tbsp of milk

1) Place the yeast, 2 tsp of sugar and lukewarm milk in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes to make sure the yeast is activating.
2) Sift the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon. Add this to the yeast mixture along with butter, remaining sugar, egg and sultanas. Using a dough hook of the mixer, mix on low speed until it form a dough.
3) Take out the dough and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place until it's doubled in size.
4) Place dough onto the counter and divide dough into 12 equal portion and roll each one into a ball and place in a well greased rectangular baking pan.
5) Cover with towel and put it in a warm place to let it rise again for least an hour.
6) Brush the top of the bread with beaten egg and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 minutes or until well rise and golden brown.
7) When the bread is cool pipe the top with glaze.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Under The Weather

I am feeling unwell for the past few days. I have sore throat, running nose, achy body, difficulty breathing…etc.

The nose can’t smell and the brain can’t work so my kitchen will be closed for few days until I am well again. Take care everyone!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce

Life is short so there is nothing wrong with a little bit of indulgence with this elegant and beautiful Italian dessert. You can serve this dessert with caramel sauce, mocha or chocolate sauce but I like mine with some raspberry sauce.

Ingredients :

1 tbsp of gelatin powder
1 cup of light cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla

Raspberry sauce :

2 cup of raspberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water

1) Put 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl and sprinkle in the gelatin powder and set aside to bloom.
2) Put the cream, milk and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolved.
3) Add in the gelatin and continue to stir until gelatin dissolved. Add in vanilla.
4) Pour the mixture into small cups or ramekins and refrigerate until set.
5) Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook until raspberries are broken down. It will take about 10 minutes.
6) Remove from heat and strain through a sieve to remove the seeds.
7) Pour sauce over the panna cotta and garnish with some fresh fruits

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fried Noodles

I made this simple and delicious fried noodles for lunch very often. It is something you can cook up in 15 minutes. I will usually have all the ingredients ready in the fridge and I cook this up anytime I want to.

Ingredients :

1/2 packet of fresh yellow noodles
10 shrimps
1 small piece of meat - cut small or ground
a handful of mustard green - cut into 1"
half red pepper - julienned
half carrot - julienned
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp of sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1) Wash the yellow noodles (to remove the oil) and set aside
2) Heat up oil and stir-fry the garlic until lightly brown.
3) Add in the meat and stir fry for a minute. Then add in pepper, carrot and mustard green andstir fry until lightly cooked.
3) Add in shrimps and then stir fry for a few second and add in the noodles.
4) Stir fry for a few second and then add in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
5) Continue stirring the noodles and make sure everything evenly coated with the sauce. If the noodles is too dry add in a bit of water.
6) Check seasoning and serve warm.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Asian Salad with Grilled Shrimps

I made this very simple salad with grilled shrimp for dinner last week. I marinated 1/2 pound medium sized shrimp with salt and pepper, Cajun seasoning and some olive oil and then grill with my George Foreman grill.

As for the salad I used Jicama, carrot, cucumber, green grapes, some pomelo and red pepper. The dressing is very simple. I whisked together some sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, a bit of sugar and pepper.

Tossed the greens together with the dressing and top it with shrimps and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds, ground peanuts and garnish it with some cilantro. Lastly drizzle some extra dressing on top.