Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stir Fry Beef with Green Chilies

I’ve lunch at Le Shio Asian Fusion at Delaware a few times and they have this particular dish called Beef in Jalapeno peppers that Carlos and I like a lot. I tried to recreates it at home. Instead of just using Jalapeno peppers which I find a bit too spicy I added some non-spicy Shishito peppers to it. As for the beef I used top sirloin but you can always use any cut of meat that are good for stir-fry or replace it with any type of protein of your choice.


10 oz beef top sirloin – cut into long thin strips
15 shishito peppers/chilies – seeded and cut thinly
5 jalapeno peppers/chilies – seeded and cut thinly
2 cloves garlic – chopped
1 tsp chopped ginger
Salt to taste

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ciak Bek/Stir-Fried Pork with Preserved Soy Bean Paste


This is another special Nyonya/Peranakan dish shared by my good friend Shereen. According to her this is one dish that all Peranakan families will know as it is one of the mandatory dishes that you must have at the altar during any prayers. Peranakans are superstitious about many things with a lot of do's and don'ts. Even with food, these beliefs holds true. There are certain dishes that can only be served during sad times eg funerals, ancestor prayers etc and are a no-no for joyous occasions eg weddings, birthdays, Chinese New Year etc as they are deemed to be bad luck. This dish however is safe to be served at anytime.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fresh Salmon and Spinach with Parsley Pastry Lattice Tart

I am a very simple when come to cooking and baking. I don’t like complicated recipes that requires a lot of work or ingredients. But once a while when my crazy mood strike I will attempt something that requires a bit more work especially in baking. Like this tart, the pastry requires an extra step of chopping the parsley and also doing the lattice for the top. Since I have some leftover cheeses in my fridge it is a great way to finish them up too as I used both Ricotta and Parmesan cheese for the filling. Well it turns out pretty good and we had this tart for our dinner accompanied by a green salad and for the other tart I gave it to my neighbor.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Agar Agar Gula Melaka /Palm Sugar Jelly

It has been a while since I make Jelly. Actually this is Diana’s favorite agar agar but since she can’t visit me every month now so I hardly make any of it. Anyway, we are having some pretty warm weather and in the time like this I like to make something cooling to cool myself down.

So what is gula Melaka? Gula melaka, otherwise known in English as Palm Sugar or 'Malacca Sugar' originated from Melaka (Malacca) a historical state in Malaysia. Palm sugar is made from the sap of the flower bud of a coconut tree which then boiled until thickened and packed into bamboo tubes forming its cylindrical shape. The colour varies from dark brown to a light golden colour. It is widely used in South East Asia to flavour desserts. When cook it water it will give a rich dark caramel and butterscotch flavors.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Asian Pear Upside Down Cake

My neighbor Esther gave me a lot homegrown Asian pear from her backyard. They were crunchy and sweet. Carlos is not a fan of Asian pear so I am the only one eating it. Since it is organically grown it won’t last too long. I have them fresh but I can only eat so much. In order not to let them go to waste I decided to bake with it. I never bake with Asian pear before and not sure how it will turn out. But I am glad they turn out well, not mushy as I expected (because of the extra water content in asian pear). The recipe I used is from my previous Apple Upside Down Cake with minor modification.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kuih Koci Pulut Hitam/Black Glutinous Rice Cake with Coconut Filling

It has been a while since I made this kuih. Kuih koci is one of the traditional snack or dessert popular among the Malay and the Chinese Peranakan. Instead of using just the regular glutinous rice flour, I add some black glutinous rice flour to it. Kristy of My Little Space sent me flour and I’ve been keeping it in the fridge for a while now. It is time to put it to good use. Basically it’s steamed soft glutinous rice dough wrapped in banana leaf. The filling of this kuih is usually grated coconut cooked with palm sugar/gula Melaka.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lychee and Watermelon Cocktail

We are having some very hot summer for the past few days. I've been stocking up the fridge with lots of fresh fruits. As usual watermelon and lychees are in season during this time so I bought some of it when I went groceries shopping last week. I am the only one eating them since Carlos is not fan of both fruits. I normally will share it with my neighbor but her family is away on holiday. So I have to find ways to finish them up. Besides eating them fresh, I used some to make cocktail drink. Actually it is my sister Elizabeth that told me about this combination and she said it is really good. Well, I agreed with her. This is a refreshing drink and great to serve it during hot and humid weather. I must confess though, I used canned lychees as I am just too lazy to peel and deseed them. Feel free to use to add a splash of vodka to drink if you like.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ayam Buah Keras/Candle Nut Chicken

Wendy from Table for 2…or more organized an event called Malaysian Food Fest . It is an online event to introduce the specialty food from each state in Malaysia. For each state, the event will run for a month and the whole event will conclude by the end of August 2013. Bloggers or non bloggers, Malaysians or non Malaysians are encouraged to take part in this event; all you have to do is cook and submit your entry/ entries to the respective hosts for the month. This is such a great event especially for us living oversea as we can refer to all the recipes features when we are missing food from our home country. I will be hosting the State of Kelantan in the month of April 2013 and I need all your support. To kick off event the very first state feature will be Malacca, hosted by Cindy from Yummylittlecooks . You can find out more details of the event and the schedule ahead here .

Of all the states I think I’ve visited Malacca the most as it is one of the nearest state to Kuala Lumpur. I am able to make a day trip there mostly for shopping and their food especially for their cendol , chicken rice balls and also the Nyonya Food. Since Wendy of Table for 2 told me about Event I’ve been cracking my head on what to cook for Malacca/Melaka. I don’t want to cook the usual Chicken Rice Balls, Ayam Pogteh , Sambal Petai or Kapitan Chicken as I already feature them in my blog previously. So I consult my good friend Shereen who is a pure Nyonya from Melaka about the dishes that her mom’s used to cook for her. She told me many of her mom’s favorite dishes, but I don’t think I am able to cook most of it because of the lack of ingredients that I can get here in the US. So we settle for some of the easiest ones. So thank you Shereen for sharing your mom precious recipes with us here. Do stay tune for other authentic Nyonya dishes coming up soon.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Vegetable Croquettes

This is one of the best and tastiest ways to use up left over roasted vegetables from our previous roast chicken meal. A Croquette is a small, fried food roll with its main ingredients usually being mashed potatoes or ground meat (veal, beef, chicken, or turkey), fish or vegetables often encased in bread crumbs. The Croquette is usually shaped into a cylinder or disk, and then deep-fried. Croquette (from the French word croquer, "to crunch") gained worldwide popularity as they are great as snacks or appetizers.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Plum Frangipane Tart

I have lots of plums from the backyard tree. They were super sweet and juicy and actually they were the best plums that I’ve even tasted. I Google to find what type of plum this is and they were called Satsuma Japanese Plum. They were a bit smaller than the regular plums, solid red skin, and firm with dark red flesh. They were rich in carbohydrates and Vitamin A and C, calcium, potassium, and iron. It contains high amounts of fiber too. Like other fruits, plums are also low in calories and contain no sodium, saturated fat or cholesterol. We love eating them fresh but with so many of it I reserved some to make jam and also tarts. Actually we are able to finish it all but it is just an excuse for me to do some baking with it :)

I used some of the plums to make frangipane tart. It turns out really well. The pastry dough is buttery and crunchy, the sweet and a hint of bitter tart plums (from the skin) compliment so well with the aromatic sweet almond filling. This is a dessert for summer!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Crusty Rustic Bread

I always have soft spots for bread especially those rustic, crusty looking ones. I am never a fan of bread until I came to America. As you know, I don’t have the luxury of having chee cheong fun , nasi lemak , curry laksa or roti canai for breakfast so I have to make do with 2 slices of whole wheat bread almost daily. Then I met Carlos, and he is the one that introduce me to sourdough bread or any type of rustic bread. He is a bread monster. He can eat bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I guess it is like us Asian that we can eat rice or noodles every day.

Anyway, let’s talk about this rustic bread. For me rustic bread means freeform looking, round, has a heavy crust, chewy interior and flavorful. It is made with minimal ingredients. The kind bread people used to make 100 of years ago. I like making this type of bread as it requires minimal work. I usually mix all the ingredients up (no kneading requires) before I go to bed and let it proof in the fridge overnight. The next day I just take it out, shape it, proof again and bake it. It is that simple and you will be rewarded with a homey, crusty loft of bread to go with your dinner or simply make sandwich out of it.