Thursday, October 29, 2009

French Apple Tart

I have so many apples in my fruits compartment and they are all getting wrinkly and drying up. I have to find a quick way to use it up before it goes bad. I made this very simple French Apple Tarts using Ina Garten recipe. As usual her recipe never fails me. The crust came out perfectly flaky, buttery and delicious. I’m sure it would be equally delicious with whipped cream or some really good ice cream on top. I love the simple rustic nature of this tart, and the burned sugar on the top and edges of the crust. This is one of those recipes I'm going to keep in my arsenal for those times when I want to make a great impression without a lot of effort.

For the pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks/170 grm) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

For the apples:

4 Granny Smith apples or any type of apples
1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/3 cup)
4 tablespoons cold butter - small diced (I used 2 tbsp)
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons rum, or water

1. For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll the dough to about 1/4" thick and place the dough in a tart pan. Refrigerate the dough while you prepare the apples.
3. Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices.
4. Place overlapping slices of apples to top of the pastry until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with the sugar on top and dot with the butter.
5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking.
6. When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with rum or water and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature

Monday, October 26, 2009

Salted Egg Yolk Tofu

The first time I tried this dish was when I went back to Malaysia early this year. Cooking with salted egg yolk is very popular at the restaurant there. They will cook crab, prawns and also chicken in it. For today I am trying to re-creates this dish using tofu. The tofu is pan fried until crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside. The richness of the salted egg yolk complements well with bland taste of tofu. Delicious!!


3 pieces of firm tofu -cut into 1” length
¼ cup of corn flour
1 tsp of salt
½ tsp pepper


1 tablespoon butter
2 cooked salted egg yolks, mashed
3 tbsp of milk
4 bird’s eye chilies, sliced finely
4-5 curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp chicken bullion
1 tsp sugar

1. Cut the tofu and drain dry on paper towel. Combined corn flour, salt and pepper in a plate. Mix well. Dust the tofu with the corn flour. Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan and pan fried the tofu on both side until lightly brown. Dish out and drain the oil on paper towel.
2. Remove any access oil from the frying pan. Melt the butter and add the curry leaves and chilies. Stir fry until fragrant and add in salted egg yolks and milk. Stir rapidly in a circular motion until well mixed. Add in chicken bullion and sugar. Mix well.
3. Add the tofu and coat well in the mixture. Dish out and serve warm.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yam/Taro Rice

I still have half of the yam left the other day from my Taro meatballs. So I decided to make some Yam Rice. I like this type of quick and easy all in one dish meal as you don’t really need to cook anything else. All you have to do is make a simple soup and it is a complete meal. The trick to make is good yam rice is to pre-fried the yam separately before adding it into the rice. This way the Yam won’t turn mushy or break up in the rice. For this dish I used Basmati rice as I find this type of rice give the dish a fluffier texture.


2 cups rice - washed and drained
250g yam - cut into ½” cubes
5 pcs dried mushrooms - soaked and sliced thinly
2 pieces chicken breast - sliced thinly and season with ½ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic - chopped
5 shallots - sliced thinly
1 tsp grated ginger
3 spring onions – cut small


2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar or to taste
3 cups chicken stock/ water
1 tsp of black soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat about ¼ cup of oil and fried the yam until lightly brown. Remove and set it aside. In the same oil, fry the shallots until lightly brown. Remove the shallot crisps and drain well. Set a side.
2. Remove the oil and leave about 4 tbsp in the wok. Sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant and lightly brown. Add in the chicken and mushroom, stir-fry for a minute. Add rice and seasoning. Stir-fry well.
3. Dish rice mixture into an electric rice cooker. Add water chicken stock/water and yam and cook rice as usual. Stand rice in cooker for 10 to 15 minutes before dishing out to serve.
4. Serve rice with a sprinkling of shallot crisps and spring onions.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Asian Potstickers/Dumplings

Potstickers is a Chinese dumpling, typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. You can just buy the wrappers now from most of the Asian store. Dumplings wrappers is much thicker than the wanton wrappers and has a chewier texture. I loved eating dumplings. I made this whole lots of dumplings and freezed it and this way we can eat it whenever we want to. This dumplings can be boiled, deep fried, steam-fry or steam.

1/2 pound ground pork/chicken
1/2 pound of shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups of finely chopped napa cabbage
2 green onion, finely chopped
a small bunch of chives - chopped
1" ginger roots - finely grated
6 water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 egg
1 package of frozen dumpling skins

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Some finely julienned ginger

1. Put the shrimp in a food processor and pulse several times. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp mixture with all the rest of the ingredients except the wrappers. Mix well and set it aside to marinate for an hour.
2. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the filling onto dumpling skin. Brush the edge of the wrapper with some water. Fold over and press to secure edges. Make sure edges are sealed tightly. Shape the dumpling so that it has a flat bottom. Cover loosely with plastic wrap so that it doesn’t dry out.
3. When you are ready to cook, heat a nonstick pan with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot arrange the dumplings, flat side down to the pan. Let it fry for 1 minute until the bottoms are light golden brown.
4. Pour 1/2 cup of water or stock into the pan and immediately cover with a tight fitting lid. Turn heat to medium and let the dumplings steam for 4-5 minutes. Open lid and let the remaining liquid cook off about 1 minute.
5. Remove to plate and serve with dipping sauce.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Cookies

I’ve made tons of Oatmeal cookies in my baking life but I can’t seems to get the right taste, the crunch or flavor the way I like it. I’ve been tweaking around with this recipe for sometime and I finally got it right. This will be my ultimate Oatmeal cookies. The Cookies were light, crunchy, not too sweet and with the right amount of oatmeal and dried fruits. Just the way I like it. I think this is the best Oatmeal cookies I ever bake if I should said so myself ;)


2 sticks/1 cup/226 grm butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup of sugar
1 ½ cups flour
3 cups of old-fashion oats
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of cinnamon powder
2 cup raisin
1 cup dried cranberries

1. In a food processor, give the oats a few pulses, then combined it with flour, salt, cinnamon powder and baking soda. Mix well and set it aside.
2. In a mixer beat soft butter with brown sugar for 3 minutes or until well combined Add in eggs and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes.
3. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixtures until combined. Last add in raisins and cranberries. Mix well.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop about 1 tbsp of cookies in a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 20-25 min or until golden brown. Cool before storing in an air tight container.

Note : If you like chewy cookies, just bake until the edges of the cookies lightly brown, but if you like crunchy cookies like me bake if for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wanton Soup

We are having some cold winter blast for the past few days’ and man, it can get pretty cold. What can be better than slurping up a bowl of warm and comforting delicious wanton soup. This is a simple, light 'Chinese dumpling' classic that can be found in every restaurants or take-out place but I think it taste much better making it yourself.


1/2 pound ground meat (either pork, chicken or turkey)
1 cup of shrimp, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 spring onion - finely chopped
1 teaspoon grataed fresh ginger root
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
24 wanton wrappers


3 cups chicken stock
Some green vegetables like mustard green or bak choy
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare the filling. Mix in a bowl, combined meat, shrimp, and all the seasoning. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.
2. Place a wanton wrapper on your palm and put about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wanton wrapper. Wet the edges and gather the corners of the wrapper with the other hand and give it a twist in the middle to “close” the wanton. Repeat until the filling is used up.
3. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil and add in the wantons and cook for approx. 4 - 5 minutes. Add in the vegetables and check seasoning.
4. Transfer to bowls and serve warm.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake

During summer blueberries is really cheap and I freezes a lot of it so that I can use it anytime I want to. For today I bake a pound cake using some of it and this pound cake is soft, moist and not too sweet. This cake is great for entertaining or simply enjoys it with a pot of hot brewing coffee.


1 cup/2 stick/226 grm butter
1 block/8 oz cream cheese (I used fat free cream cheese)
1 3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries + 1 tbsp flour (toss together)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F. Line and greased a 8" x 8" square pan or baking pan of your choice.
2. In a mixer beat butter, cream cheese and sugar until creamy and light. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla.
3. In a mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Slow down the mixer and slowly add in the flour to the butter mixture. Mix well.
4. Lastly add in the blueberries and mix well. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool for 10 min in the pan before remove the cake out of the pan.
5. Cool completely before serving.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grilled Fish/Shrimp with Sweet Dipping Sauce

I have been craving for some Malaysian style grill fish for the longest time. I never fail to get this type of grill fish from the Ramadan market when I was living in Malaysia. I like the simplicity of the grill fish with just a touch of salt, pepper and some turmeric powder. The result is perfect. The fish is moist, the skin is crispy and it was delicious with the spicy sweet dipping sauce. Since I have some shrimps in my freezer I added it to the grill too.


1 whole fish (type of fish is up to you)
Some shrimps or calamari
2 tsp of turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce:

Juice of 2 lemons
3 tbsp of kicap manis (Indonesian sweet dark soy sauce)
1 ripe tomato – cut into small cubes
1 shallot – cut into cubes
2 bird eyes chilies – slice thinly

1. Clean fish and shrimp. Pad it dry with paper towel. Marinate it with turmeric powder, salt and pepper and set it aside for an hour.
2. For the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together and set it aside in the fridge.
3. You can grill the fish and shrimp on top of the grill or just line a baking pan with some aluminum foil. Drizzle it with some oil and line the fish and shrimps on the baking pan. Using the broiler, grill the fish and shrimp until cooked and lightly brown. Remember to flip the fish and shrimp half way through the grilling.
4. Serve it warm with the dipping sauce.

All the computers at home are acting up and I am so frustrated. I might have problem visiting my favorite blogs and leaving comments. Sorry about that.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp fried rice is a great dish for nights when you're looking for a quick way to use up leftovers in your fridge. Feel free to experiment with using fresh mushrooms or other vegetables to place of the peas, and roast chicken or ham if you don't have fresh shrimps. This fried rice is sure to please everyone in the family. Yum!!

3 cups of cooked rice
1 cup of fresh shrimps – clean and deveined
½ cup of fresh peas
2 eggs
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 shallots – finely slice
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
3 tbsp of soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up wok on high heat and add some oil. Put in shallots and garlic and stir fry until fragrant and lightly brown.
2. Add in the shrimp, stir fry until shrimp changes color, then add in the peas and mix well. Stir fry for a minute and then push all the meat and vegetables to the side of the wok and then add in the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs until half cook.
3. Add in the rice and all the seasoning. Continue the stir fry for 3 minutes until everything well mixed. Check seasoning, dish out and serve warm.

Note: Since I have a bit of roast meat left in the fridge, I added it to the rice too.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Green Tea Mochi with Azuki Bean Filling

I have a box of Mochiko (glutinous/sweet rice flour)and it's sitting in my pantry for the longest time. I finally made some mochi out of it. I just love this chewy soft dough especially with sweet Azuki (red bean paste). You can buy this type of sweet mochi at most Asian Store but it is not difficult to make it yourself either. All you need is glutinous rice flour and some sweet Azuki.


1 cup of Mochiko/glutinous rice flour
2 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of green tea powder
2/3 cup of water
Some sweet azuki/red bean paste
Some cornstarch – for dusting

1. With wet hands, take 1 tbsp of azuki/ red bean paste and roll it into a ball. Make about 4-5 balls.
2. In a microwave safe bowl, mix together mochiko/glutinous rice flour, sugar, green tea and water. Mix well.
3. Microwave the mixture on high for two minutes. Remove and stir quickly. Return to the microwave and cook for another 2 minutes. The dough will bubble up and inflate, but be careful not to overcook or the dough will be too tough.
4. Divide dough into 4-5 equal portions by use a tablespoon. Make sure the plate or counter top are dust with cornstarch as the dough is very sticky.
5. Dust your fingers and palms with cornstarch and flatten a piece of dough (it will be quite hot so be careful) and put in the filling, then wrap dough up and seal the opening with a tight pinch. Repeat until all dough is used up. Chill the mochi before serving.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Lemon Cake

I made this cake for Carlos birthday recently. I used Ina Garten recipe and as usual it never fails me. This cake is moist and with great balance of sweetness and tanginess. This cake taste even better the next day as the syrup really seep into the cakes. This recipe is a keeper and I will make it again and again.


2 stick (226 grms) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs
1/3 cup grated lemon zest
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

For the Glaze:

2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans or any pan of your choice. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
2. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
4. To make the syrup, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
5. For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Herbs and Garlic Focaccia Bread

The weather is getting so much cooler and its time for soup and stew again. I baked this focaccia to eat it with our beef stew. Focaccia is a flat Italian bread traditionally flavored with olive oil and salt and often topped with herbs, onions, or other items. I top this focaccia bread with loads of garlic and rosemary. This is a great alternative to garlic bread.


2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of sugar
1 packet (7 grms) dry yeast
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup lukewarm water


4 cloves garlic - chopped
2 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

1. Mix yeast and the sugar into the lukewarm water. Set it aside until it is foamy. Place the hook attachment to the mixer. In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, oregano and parsley. Slowly add in the yeast mixture to the flour. Knead till the dough pulled together. Add in the oil. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
2. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for an hour or until double it size.
3. Punch the dough down and place the dough on greased baking sheet. Pat the dough into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Mix all the topping ingredients together. Put the topping all over the bread.
4. Bake the bread in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.