Thursday, September 29, 2011

Get your Jelly on – Royal Selangor Pewter

I’ve been contacted by the Royal Selangor Pewter a few weeks ago and they invited me to be one of the 10 inspiring bloggers worldwide to participate in their 2011 ‘Get Your Jelly On!’ competitions. This competition will be conducted throughout the month of October; the competition is a 30-day challenge in which bloggers will devise a new and creative use of the Nick Munro jelly mould daily, accompanied by a blog posting for 30 days detailing the process. Each of us was given 2 of the Jelly Moulds, an Olympus VG-110 digital camera and an apron. You can check out the list of bloggers who participate here .

Royal Selangor is the foremost producer and retailer of fine pewter products globally and is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Every year, Royal Selangor raises funds for the Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) through the sales of our Nick Munro jelly mould (as seen here), designed by the British designer in support of breast cancer awareness and welfare. Since 2006, Royal Selangor has been working with BWCA and organizing jelly-making sessions particularly during Pink October month to promote awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds through the sale of our jelly mould. However, this year they decided to work with food bloggers across the world, whose creativity and individualism strongly support what the jelly mould represents.

After giving it some thoughts I’ve decided to participate. After all I like making jelly and it will be a great challenge for me to experiment and hopefully come up with something new to share with all of you and to support a great cause at the same time. It is not an easy task as I’ve been cracking my head since on what to make with it so much so until I dreamt about it. So, my dear friends and readers if you have some wonderful ideas on how to use the Jelly mould please please let me know. I need all your support. However, this Jelly Mould is only steamed proof and not oven proof so I can’t bake with it. So do join me in this worthy cause and stop by here each day on the month of October and see what I creates with the mould.

My husband made this little jelly mould holder for me this week and he is working on another display for me. Stay tune to see what he make.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stir-Fry String beans with Shrimps

This is our favorite way of eating string beans. It is just a quick stir-fry with shrimps. Actually this is one of Carlos favorite dish. Sometime I will cook it with dried shrimps and sambal but since Carlos is eating I can’t do that. Just like how they cook it in the restaurant I like the string beans to be crunchy and not overcook. I will usually stir-fry them for a few minutes and dish them out before cooking the rest of the ingredients. This way the string beans will retain its crunch.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fookchow Red Bean Mooncakes

I know this posting came a bit too late as Moon Cake festival was over some time ago. Actually I have no intention of making any kind of moon cakes as I am not a fan of it but since the Aspiring Baker’s theme for the month of September is Mooncakes, I’ve decided to make something. I don’t want to miss the boat. I saw this mooncake recipe at Frozen Wings blog and the method of making the pastry is like Tau Sar Pheah so I give it a go. It turns out really well with plenty of layers on the pastry which I like.

Ingredients for water dough
Adapted from Frozen Wings

120 gram flour
15 gram powder sugar
45 gram melted butter ( I used vegetable oil )
70 ml water

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

We are having autumn like weather here and I liking it a lot. I can’t help thinking of pumpkin. The local markets already start selling all kinds of pumpkins and I can’t resist buying one. I don’t buy pumpkin often as Carlos is not a fan of it so I hardly cook dishes with it but he doesn’t mind having it bakes. This recipe is pretty much my favorite as I can just prepare the dough and leave it overnight on the kitchen counter and the next morning, all I have to do is I just shape it up and bakes it and we can have piping hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Portuguese Egg Tarts

These are such a delightful little treats. Diana and I could never resist them whenever we see them at the Asian Bakery or at the dim sum place. I’ve made some egg tarts using the short-crust pastry before and this is the first time I am trying my hand in making Portuguese egg tart which have a flakier type of pastries. I went online to check on the recipe and most of them used store bought puff pastry for the crust which I am not too keen of using. In the end I used the recipe of a Dim Sum book I bought many years ago. The pastry turns out pretty flaky but I wish they were a bit tenderer. I think the next time I will try out Shirley of Kokken69 recipe for the pastry as they look so soft and tender.

I don’t think I will put up the recipe for the pastry here until I perfect it but I am posting up the recipe of the custard filling which I got it from Christine’s Recipe.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ayam Kampong Goreng/Fried Free Range Chicken

This is a popular fried chicken dish using Kampong Chicken/free range chicken. It is usually serve with Nasi Lemak. I remember there was this Nasi Lemak seller at Subang Jaya that sells tons of this daily. It will be fried on the spot and people will make a bee line for it. Sometime you have a wait for some time to get serve but it is all worthwhile when you sink your teeth into the tasty juicy chicken. With very few ingredients but it is packed with explosive flavors. So here I am trying to replica it. It actually turns out pretty well.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cherry Frangipane Tarts

Cherries are a must have summer treats. They are great in dessert or simply popping them in your mouth. There are still plenty of cherries out there but for now I can only find the Bing cherries and not the Rainier. They are both different in color and flavor. Bing cherry has a deep red skin with similar colored flesh while the Rainier has translucent flesh and yellow skin with a rosy hue. I prefer Rainier because they are bigger, much sweeter and more refined in flavor. They have a very short season of availability, so I will always grab some when I see them. I splurged quite a bit of $$$ each season on this particular fruit as they are the most costly than the regular Bing cherry. Anyway, I reserved some of it to use it in the frangipane tarts. There recipe is the same as Peach Frangipane Tarts and I re-post it here again.

Here is a bit of history on Rainier Cherry.
From WiseGeek

Rainier cherries are especially large, sweet cherries developed by researchers at Washington State University. These cherries are highly prized in the Pacific Northwest for their superb flavor, and several nations, including Japan, also import large amounts of Rainier cherries when they are in season. As a general rule, Rainier cherries are more costly than other cherry varieties, but some consumers feel that the added price is worth the superb flavor.

Thanks Michelle and Karen for the cherry trees pictures.
These cherries were bred in 1952 by crossing the well-known Bing variety with the Van cultivar. The result was an unusually large golden to orange cherry with sweet yellow flesh. The pomologists who developed the Rainier cherry named it after Mount Rainier, a landmark in Washington State, and a number of cherry orchards began producing the crop commercially. Several things distinguish the Rainier cherry from other cherry varieties. The first is the unusual and distinctive color discussed above. Rainiers also have a tender texture which is almost creamy, and their sweetness is much higher than that of ordinary cherries. Many producers wait until their cherries are at the peak of sweetness before picking, so that they can negotiate the best price for them. This can expose farmers to loss, because birds are big fans of the sweet fruit, and they can consume up to a third of a crop.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Steamed Meat Buns/Sang Yoke Bao

Each time I go to dim sum place I will definitely order their steamed baos/buns. The nearest Chinatown is about an hour away from my house so I don’t get to eat dim sum often. So when craving strike I will have to make it myself. I will usually use the Vietnamese pre-mixed bao flour but they are not always as fluffy as I wanted them to be. I tried making them from scratch a few times but the results were not good. The buns usually turn out yellowish and pretty chewy. I’ve been searching for a recipe that uses regular flour for the dough as most recipes I see used Hong Kong flour. I can’t seem to find them here in the US.

Finally I saw this posting from Vivian Phang Kitchen that used regular flour for her baos. I bookmarked them and finally get to try them out recently. It turns out pretty good when they were warm but slightly chewy texture when it cools down. Overall, I am satisfied with it for the time being until I get Diana to bring back a few kilograms of the Hong Kong flour for me from Malaysia.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peanut Butter Cake with Maple Syrup Glaze

Growing up we had a lot of peanut butter with bread. My mom will always have a big jar of Smuckers ‘Groober’ peanut butter with grape jelly for us. My sister Angela will only eat the peanut butter and I will only have the grape jelly. So can you imagine how the jar looks like as we both will try to scrape out our favorite ha ha… we always get scolding from our mother for doing that.

I am sure my mom and sister would love this cake as both of them are a huge fan of peanut butter. Too bad they are so far away and I can’t share it with them. I don’t have a specific recipe to follow and I just made it up as I go along. I didn’t expect it to turn out well but it did. If you like peanut butter this is the cake for you.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Laksa Lemak/Nyonya Laksa

There are so many different variations of laksa in Malaysia. . It depends on which part of Malaysia and you will surely get a different bowl of laksa. Penang Laksa, Asam Laksa , Kelantan Laksa, Johor Laksa, Sarawak Laksa and the list goes on. The most common one from Kuala Lumpur is Curry Laksa or curry mee Laksa lemak, also known as Nyonya laksa is a Laksa from Melaka. It is a type of curry laksa with rich and sweet coconut gravy. Lemak is a Malay culinary term which refers to the presence of coconut milk. As the name implies, this dish is all about the broth, it is made with rich, slightly sweet and strongly spiced coconut broth.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

Since there are still so many nice strawberries around, I decided to make this classic American dessert. Strawberry shortcake is the combination of biscuit, fresh strawberries and cream. This no fuss dessert is great for summer when strawberries are at its peak. You can actually use any type of fruits or berries for your shortcake but the most popular one is the strawberry.

Recipe source: My Kitchen Snippets

2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter – cut into cubes
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Vietnamese Shaking Beef/Bo Luc Lac

My friend Janice and I went to Philly for our Asian groceries shopping a couple of weeks ago and after that we went for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant. Since I’ve never been there I let her do the ordering. She ordered a few dishes and one of them was Bo Luc Lac. Bo Luc Lac literally translated is ‘Shaking Beef’ The luc Lac refers to how you have to shake back and forth the skillet or wok to sear the cubes of beef.

I love this beef salad so much that I have to re-creates it at home. After a little research online I came up with this. I used my leftover tenderloin from the freezer for this but you can use other cuts of meat of your choice as long as they are good for quick stir-fry. This dish is normally served on a bed of watercress salad and since I am too lazy to drive out to get it I just served them with lettuce and tomatoes. Both of us enjoyed this dish very much. The beef is so tender, succulent and flavorful... it packs such a punch of flavor. The next time I cook this again I will try it out with other cuts of meat and see the difference in taste.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Clay pot Loh Shu Fun/Clay pot Silver Needle Noodles

I like all kinds of noodles and I can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are so many types of noodles out there and three of my most favorite has to be flat rice noodles, yee mee and this Loh Shu Fun or literally means rat noodles. The noodle got its name from its shape resembling the tail of a rat. Loh Shu fun is white and semi-transparent and it is made mainly from rice flour and corn flour to get the smooth texture.

I am so glad that I am able to get this type of noodles here in the US. I will never hesitate to buy a few packets if I see them on the noodles shelves. There was once I was looking for it at the Asian supermarket and can’t seem to find any of it and I asked the cashier if they have any Loh Shu Fun at the back of the store. She gave me a weird look and had no clue what I was talking about. She must think I was crazy ha ha.. I described the noodles to her and she said… are looking for "Ngan Chum Fun". I never knew it was called ngan chum fun in Cantonese. Literally means Silver Needle noodles. Well, now I know.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Strawberries are abundance now and it can be really cheap. I bought a few pounds of it the other day. Some I had it fresh and some I made it into jam. This recipe yield 2 jars and it will last me for some time. I usually have it with toast or scones.