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Friday, December 30, 2005

leftover pockets



So after having graduated, i'm technically not a student anymore. But i'm still on a budget! Particularly since i haven't found a job yet which means i'm officially "unemployed".

No one's put up anything festive over the holidays, so i decided to do mine. It's kind of a budget recipe, since it's made with leftovers. Except for puff pastry. That's not the kind of thing you expect to have lying around in the fridge.

Leftover pockets

A handful of spinach, sliced
An equal amount of shredded cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
Pepper to taste

Leftover chicken/turkey/meat/uncooked white fish
Puff pastry sheet

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius, fan forced.

2. Mix the first four ingredients together in a bowl. Place mixture on the centre of a puff pastry sheet.

3. Lay meat over spinach mixture, wrap up in a neat package

4. Lay on greased baking sheet and tray and bake for 25 minutes

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

studentsonnavacation

Dear readers,

You might be wondering where we all are, and why no recipes have been posted in a while. Well, it's holiday time for (most of) us, and we are enjoying ourselves back home, eating home-cooked food that our parents lovingly make. We don't expect recipes to come up any time soon, so stay tuned when term starts again!

ps: are you a student on a budget? would you like to share your recipes here? email us!

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

May's oh-my-god-it's-so-easy Salmon


I love fish. It's rich in calcium and being lactose intolerant fish seems to be one of the few thingies I can eat without running to the toilet in a huffy. There's no carbs too so I don't have to fret too much about maintaining my erm, standards.

Let's move on, shall we?

This dish is easy peasy. And very yummy. Mum thought me this, and I added a few things myself.

Vat you need:

Salmon cutlet
Olive oil
Butter
Garlic - chopped finely
Parsley - chopped finely
Salt and peper to taste

How now, brown cow?

1. Mix butter, garlic and parsley together.

2. Get fishy out and slap on the mixture of butter, garlic and parsley on both sides of the cutlet.

3. Leave fishy in the fridge for about an hour.

4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

5. Line oven-proof tray with aluminum foil and spread a little olive oil over.

6. Place fishy on tray. Talk to it before it goes into oven to prevent from burning. (Don't know what to say to your food? Refer to the first recipe I posted on this blog!)

7. Let fishy cook for 10 minutes. Turn fishy over and cook again for another 10 minutes.

Done!

Easy, no?

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

May's Spicy No-Cream Carbonara


It's a well known fact that I'm lactose intolerant. One dollop of flavoured milk, full cream milk, rich cream (whipped cream included) or any too-rich ice cream sends me running off to the loo in 3 minutes flat. It's a born-with-it thing and it's a pain in the arse (literally). On happier note it also prevents me from putting on too much weight. So there.

I've always loved a good Italian carbonara but after my first and failed attempt at preventing it from coming out of the other end I gave up hope of ever finding a good carbo that would sit well with my tummy.

Until I found a similar recipe to this in a magazine. I've modified it quite a bit as I personally like to add more ingredients and spice. And I also like it to be low fat and light.

Vat you need:

Pasta - I prefer penne anytime
Lots of garlic - chopped finely
Lots of red chili - chopped finely
A few slices of bacon - minus fat!
2 eggs - beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
Parsley - chopped
Chives - chopped
Olive oil

How now brown cow?

1. Talk to your food first. Important. Oh, and remember to boil pasta to al dante.

2. Heat olive oil in pan. Throw in garlic and chili. Fry till fragrant.

3. Throw in bacon and fry until cooked. Add parsley. Season with pepper only.

4. Turn off fire. Drain pasta and add it to bacon mixture.

5. Turn fire on to low and slowly add beaten egg mixture to the pasta.

6. Stir constantly to prevent eggies from scrambling.

Done!

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Sarawak Laksa


Less than two weeks before i return to home sweet home and i'm already craving the food back home , especially the three treasures of Kuching and dare i say , Sarawak , local dishes . These treasures in no particular order (in my mind) are kolo mee , foochow kam pua mee (i'm true to the foochow side of me) and of course , Sarawak Laksa...not the KL imitations that are simply different...the real Sarawak Laksa...the rich belachan , tamarind paste and lemongrass based broth enveloping the soft lucious rice vermicelli (none of those fat yellow noodle versions which i refuse to take) all accompanied with heaps of tauge (bean sprouts) , large prawns , chicken shreds , sometimes a touch of coriander and my favourite...heaps of omelette shreds.

I searched in vain for a recipe from the most reliable source (the net lar) in vain. It seems no one has ever posted up a Sarawak Laksa recipe...there's the Penang one , the Lemak Laksa and all sorts of laksa but the Sarawak laksa...sigh...no trace of it. Perhaps its one passed down in families only? And so i set out assimilating my memory and knowledge of curries to create my own. The initial yellow colour of my broth was deceptive until i mixed in the vercimelli and tasted it...ahh...what's that i feel? Not just satisfaction but pride...haha. I don't dare say its an exact Sarawak Laksa replica...but i tried my best and i'm sitting here typing with a runny nose from the spices...so don't go after me if it doesn't meet your standards hor...but it should. This recipe is quite budget lor if you make lots of curries and have the ingredients lying around like me...plus i had lots of rice vermicelli and prawns to clear before i fly home...so i only had to buy the most important ingredient - belachan paste . And so...i give to you...Sarawak Laksa:

What you need ar?

6 tablespoons belachan paste
1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste...duh
3 stalks lemongrass...hard outer layers removed , soft inner layer chopped
4 cloves garlic...chopped
3 small red chillies...chopped
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1/2 tablespoon hot paprika powder (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
5 curry leaves
3 lime leaves
50 ml coconut cream
100 ml coconut milk
500 ml of water
2 tablespoons palm oil
100 g rice vermicelli...this one depends on how much you want to eat hor
prawns...this wan depends on how much you like seafood hor
1 egg
beansprouts...i personally don''t like beansprouts...so this one depends on individual taste lor...
a touch of coriander :)

Now follow instructions carefully liao:

Wait...for those of you who are unable to consume spicy food comfortably , please be warned that this dish is HOT...but what's laksa without its spiciness eh? I guess you can reduce the amount of spices used...get rid off the chilli powder if you want but always mantain the belachan paste.

The most important thing is the broth. So here's how i made it...First , put the garlic (should be chopped by now ar) , lemongrass (should already be chopped also hor) and the chillies (need i tell you?..these should also be chopped already) into a blender / processor to blend the tastes together....or just chop them really fine. What you should get is a strong pungent mix that if mixed with soy sauce will taste good with chicken rice , like Noel's cheater's chicken rice...haha. In a pot of reasonable size , saute this mix with palm oil (actually...what oil you use doesn't really matter lar) for a while. When you feel happy enough with the frangrance (not till everything's burnt lar) , pour in the coconut cream and mix . Then , pour in the coconut milk too . At this point , mix in the belachan paste , tamarind paste , turmeric powder , chilli powder , paprika powder and brown sugar . For extra taste , add the lime and curry leaves (preferably torn to expedite this process) . Let this simmer for a while and to make sure your broth isn't too sticky , fill her up with water .

As i said , the broth is most of the work...so after this , all you need to do is cook your vermicelli , prawns and tauge...i just boil them in a pot of water and set them aside in that order . If you love omelette shreds like me , fry an egg and cut it lor. Sadly , if you haven't noticed , i did not have the time to cook and shred chicken...i'm still in exam mode hor. Maybe just buy some cooked chicken and shred lar.

Anyway...pour your broth in a bowl (making sure you filter all the chunky leaves and all) , drop the vermicelli in , then decorate with prawns , coriander , tauge and omelette shreds as i did...haha.Oh...how could i forget? Serve with some extra belachan and of course , the half lime.



Enjoy it piping hot and get set for a night of sweat , runny noses and bowel problems later...haha...but it's worth it.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cheater's Chicken Rice


Last night, before I slept, I found myself craving for chicken rice. So i told myself i would make some for lunch today. It's a cheater's version of chicken rice, meaning that this is the super-budget version of chicken rice: not full-on enough for the heavy preparation (making the chicken soup stock). The second reason it's a cheater's recipe is bacause it uses roast chicken rice recipe, and not the steamed chicken. But the best part is that it'seasy to prepare and it tastes like the real deal.

Cheater's Chicken Rice
(serves 2)

For the rice:
300 ml white uncooked rice
Chicken fat - skim some off chicken thighs and render them under heat
A few slices of ginger
450 ml Water (or chicken stock, if you have time to make the real deal)
1 tsp salt

For the chicken:
Supermarket ready-roasted chicken, enough portions for two people
1 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp sesame oil

1. Prep the rice! Heat the chicken fat (you want the oil) and fry the ginger slices until fragrant. Add uncooked rice and coat everything with the oil. Yes, it sounds disgusting, but this is what makes the chicken rice so tasty. Another reason why you shouldn't eat so much chicken rice back home!

2. Pop everything - rice, oil, ginger - into rice cooker and add water and salt. Stir well before cooking. The rice to water ratio should be 1:1.5. Cook in rice cooker (or, if you're like me, in the microwave).

3. Cut up chicken in portions, paying special attention to parts with skin. Skin is good! Helps soak up the seasoning and give taste. Also adds the fat content to this recipe, so again, don't be eating chicken rice night and day. Good parts for portions: the breasts and drumsticks. Thighs are a bit oily. Make sure you lay them out skin side up.

4. Heat up oven - 160 fan forced. We're not going to cook the chicken again, just heat it up and baste it. Mix the soy sauce and sesame oil and brush half the mixture over the chicken. Place basted chicken in the oven for a couple of minutes, and then baste with the remaining mixture. Place in oven again and switch off. Let heat keep the chicken warm while the rice finishes cooking.

5. Dish out rice and serve with chicken on top! Drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil if desired, serve with sliced cucumber if you have it. Share with depressed housemate.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Better than Campbells (TM) mushroom soup


When i was a kid, campbell's mushroom soup was a regular feature on the dinner table. We would have campbell's mushroom soup at least once a week, especially if it was american dinner day. That was the day we had western food for dinner - roast chicken, with mash potatoes and salad. And mushroom soup. And it always had to be campbells. Once we tried Heinz and it really really sucked! Then i grew up and found out how to make cream of mushroom soup on my own. It's super easy, and super cheap. I made this version with extremely budget stuff. Clearance mushrooms, homebrand cream and homebrand soup stock.

What you need:
2 - 3 large mushrooms, chopped (finely, if you don't have a hand blender)
150 ml of cream (that's half a small bottle of cream)
1 tsp beef stock powder / cube
250 ml water
Pepper to taste
Salt
Olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

In a pot, heat olive oil on a slow fire and fry the mushrooms. When the mushrooms look wet, add a pinch of salt. If you've chopped the mushrooms finely, add salt immediately. Add cream and use blend to the consistency you want (I use a hand blender). Top up with beef stock and water, add pepper to taste and parsley to garnish. Serve with bread.

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Some assembly required

I decided on a simple dinner today while needing to clear out what was in my fridge and pantry. I had some shrimp and some bee hoon. I decided to make rice paper rolls. Of course, i had to buy the rice paper rolls, but that's ok. The other tricky thing is actually making the rice paper rolls... out of the seven i did, only two came out decent.


Rice Paper Rolls

What you need:
Rice paper skins
Prawns, cooked
Lettuce
Crushed peanuts

Bee hoon (vermicelli)
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp Light soy
1 tsp Sesame oil
Pepper
Fresh mint leaves

Soak the bee hoon in hot water. When soft, drain the water and add fish sauce, light soy, sesame oil and pepper. Mix well. Add mint leaves and mix well again

Soak the rice paper in warm water. When soft, lay skin on a clean wet tea towel. place shrimp, lettuce leaf, peanuts and bee hoon mix. Wrap. Curse self for putting too much the first time.

Perfect process by third try. Lose it all over again in the fourth. If you really can't get it right, fret not. Mix everything but the rice paper together and serve as a salad!

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Breakfast Anyone?


Recently , i was reminiscing my childhood...and then suddenly one particular memory stood out. Maybe i was just hungry in the morning , but i recalled how dad used to carry me up as a child on a wooden four-legged stool (which i couldn't climb because it was just as big as me then) to watch him fry french toasts in a chinese wok...haha...i remember watching intently as he dipped the bread slices into his mix and then transforming them into frangrantly golden delicacies. Fuah , my mouth watering already . That , i believe , was the first time i was exposed to cooking...and strangely also the only thing dad knew how to cook (don't ask me why...i never asked)...the rest of my kitchen training...credits to mum lor...and that is another story i shall not disgress to.

Despite my sudden cravings for french toast , i didn't call dad to steal his recipe , probably because in Malaysian time , he would be busy (which will land me in scoldings hor) and i doubt that he remembers because i haven't had his french toast in years...i can't even remember when the last time was.

And so , i turned to someone i was certain knew how to make french toasts...heh heh...and i think i pestered her annoyingly in the process...sorry.

Anyway , here's how to make french toast...loads of it in fact...good for the morning boost before work / study with excerpts of me pestering dear Melissa on MSN (i put her words in pink because she types in pink...haha) :

haha...okie...which wan are u more confident in ? pancakes or french toast?

french toast i guess
ok...where is this heading to?

(sniggers evilly) haha...just curious...i'm thinking of trying and posting a breakfast recipe...since i "wake up" damn early nowadays...mind sharing?


errrr well i just generally toss things in and then i taste

i dont actually have a recepie
and spelt tt wrong
egs sugar milk and bread

haha

hmm...approximation...true style :)...haha...and yes u did...but as long as we understand each other thats fine...try to remember how much u put? (subtly digging more info)


errr crap i really don't know

eggs depends on how much youre making

milk depends on how soggy you like your french toast
i like mine super soggy

haha

and sugar depends on how sweet u like it

i dont eat mine with like syrup or anythign so it tends to be sweet
then fry in butter until it turns a nice color
oh ya the length u soak the bread depends on how soft u want it to be


after this , i started getting annoying in asking for specific quantifcation of ingredients. So, i said my apologies and then based on the newly gained pearls of wisdom , i came up with this :

yeild for 5 pieces of thick slice white bread = 10 pieces of triangular french toast = 1 days worth of breakfast = yes i know i eat quite a bit :

3 eggs
1 cup of milk...one standard metric cup = 250 ml
1 tbs sugar per thick slice white bread = heaps of sugar and sweet enough to keep you sugar high for the morning...please cut down if diabetic...or don't put any at all if you don't have a sweet tooth...i don't want to get sued.
and some butter for frying.

How ar? aiya...this recipe is so easy even a kid can make it...just beat the eggs in a bowl , add the milk , stir , add sugar , stir , dip bread in mix and then fry on butter until it turns nicely golden...

how to get it beautifully golden? generosity with butter (try frying both sides with different parts of your pan each time and making sure both parts for frying are generously laced with butter for every piece) + patience + fire control = simple and yummylicious.

Oh...and i found out i prefer my french toast super soggy too...heh.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Steak with A Twist


Hmm...this blog has been silent for quite some time...people aren't blogging because:
(a) too busy during exam period to spend time on blogging
(b) too busy during exam period to cook
or i think the most plausible answer is
(c) all of the above

I woke up from my afternoon nap a couple of days ago dreaming of a good dinner...probably because i missed lunch...normal for a student facing exams lor. Deciding somehow that i didn't want it to be spicy like the last steak recipe...i thought well...Noel used marmalade for his pork chops , why don't i make something slightly sweeter too...heh heh...and since my house mate was trying to finish some up , i decided to use this...jeng jeng...*drum roll*



that's right...raspberry jam...wahaha

How to make this dish leh?

Use the same "marinade" from the last steak recipe i.e butter and pepper...After that for the sauce , use :

2-3 tablespoons of raspberry jam.
2 pinches of black and white crushed peppercorns (of course , again...Sarawak pepper is the ideal hor...)
2 pinches of paprika powder.
reasonable amount of chopped coriander...about 2 teaspoons will do.
some butter...about a teaspoon should do.
and a touch of red wine (only if you have some lar...no point buying some just for this dish)...just to give it some class (if you can actually taste it out lar like me)

Don't worry too much about the spices...most people hardly taste them...raspberry jam has a good powerful flavour...the spices are there to bring up the flavour a notch or two. Enjoy .

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

May's sicky soupie


The other day I fell sick and was feeling sorry for myself.

Then I realised I had some dry peanuts and pork bones. So I made my happy peanut soup.

Vat you need:

Pork bones
Dry peanuts
Soya sauce

How now, brown cow?

1. Clean the pork first. Then pour hot boiling water over it so porky won't smell.
2. Soak peanuts in water.
3. Get a nice big pot and throw in peanuts and pork.
4. Boil for at least 2 hours.
5. Add soya souce for taste.

Easy peasy!

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May's impress-your-friends Seafood Marinara


This is probably the easiest recipie in the world. Unless you really can't cook and/or you like to burn your food.

The happy thing about cooking seafood it's that it's super yummy. The sad bit? It can be expensive depending what you choose.

My mum actually taught me this dish but I seem to be better at it than her. Hah! Why, you might ask? Well, I decided that one has to put at least 3 or 4 different types of seafood in this dish.

Ok ok, that's why it's expensive.

This marinara is quite different from what we normally have in Melbourne. It's not cooked in Napoli sauce *I tried it that day, yuck* or cream. I'm lactose intolerant so I hate cream. So this dish is cooked in olive oil. Extra virgin, to be exact.

Why am I smirking? I'd better stop it. *smacks self*

Vat you need:

Lots of garlic, chopped finely
A few nice red chillies, seeds removed, chopped finely
Parsley, chopped
Prawns, peeled
Calamari
Loose crab meat
Any other type of seafood
Pasta, preferbaly spagetthi

How now, brown cow?

*start cooking your pasta first!*
(I always forget this part and end up kicking myself)

1. Put in lots of olive oil.
2. Throw in garlic, chili and parsley and fry till fragrant.
3. Turn fire down to low and throw in all the seafood.
4. Remember to befriend your food. Talk to your seafood.
5. If mixture seems dry, add more olive oil.
6. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off fire.
7. Remove boiling pasta, place under cold water to prevent from sticking.
8. Under a super low fire, toss pasta and seafood evenly.

Dinner!

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cheesy pork chops

funny how i've been posting pork chop recipes nowadays. here's another one, inspired by my auntie Elsie, who is not really my auntie, but a family friend back home who used to cook for us all the time.



what you need:
pork chops
sliced cheese
pepper
breadcrumbs
minced garlic
basil

1. First, butterfly the pork chop so that it opens up in the middle. That, of course, is where you stuff the cheese and pepper in.
2. Coat the chop with a mixture of breadcrumbs, garlic and chopped basil.
3. Grill and serve. I ate it with wedges (store bought, too lazy to make my own. hahaha)

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Lite & Easy Butter Cake




This must be the easiest and yummiest cake to bake and enjoy.

Tis' being the season of Divali and Hari Raya, I was reminded of the mountaineous amount of sweets and goodies on our friends' coffee table when we made our visiting rounds.

The butter cake was always a feature but it was always oily, heavy and after eating 3 or more slices, as the Malays would say, we would feel so jelat.

This recipe's different: It's light, non-greasy and a definite success for the jittery first-time bakers.

15 mintues preparation time
1 hour cooking time

The Baker's Tool Box:

Large and deep 20cm round cake pan
Electric mixer
Big mixing bowl (a must have!)
Skewer

The Baker's Pantry:

125g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 (275g) caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup (125ml) milk

Flour Up To My Elbows:

1. Preheat oven to moderately slow (140 to 160 degrees).

2. Grease the cake pan and line the base with baking paper.

3. Beat all the ingrediants in a large bowl on low speed with an electric mixer until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is smooth and changed to a paler colour.

4. Pour mixture into the prepared cake pan.

5. Bake for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes; depending on your oven. Insert a skewer in the middle of the cake when you think the cake's done and only remove the cake from the oven when the skewer comes out clean.

6. Stand the cake in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Turn the cake top-side up to cool.

Baker's tips:

1. The secret to a wonderfully smooth and moist butter cake is the mixture itself. So make sure you take some time mixing it well and ensuring that the mixture is smooth and a golden yellow.

2. The cake can be done in less than an hour so make sure you keep a careful eye on your cake.

3. Use a large and deep baking pan to avoid getting an ugly looking cake with cracks in the middle.

4. Always use the skewer method!

5. If you would like your cake to have a slight caramel flavour, substitute the caster sugar for 295g of firmly packed brown sugar.

There: Easy, ain't it?

Enjoy munching!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Slow Cooker Beef Stew


This dish requires a slow cooker which guarantees beef that melts in your mouth. Cheap dish you can eat it for a lunch and dinner for a couple of days too.

Buy the cheapest cut of beef (Gravy Beef or Beef Chuck), cut them into chunks coat with some flour and shallow fry it for a while to seal in the favour. Put it into the slow cooker.

With the remaining oil, put a knob of butter, fry an onion (sliced). After the onion is transparent, pour in a glass of red wine. Bring to boil and then remove and pour into the beef (which is already in the slow cooker). Pour in about 500ml of beef stock and 1 whole tomato.

Next put some Bay Leaves, Carrots, Celery and Mushrooms. Cover and turn it to high.

Just before serving stir in a tablespoon of Tomato Puree. If you want your stew to be thicker, you can add some statch (flour with water).

Season with salt and pepper. I cheat with a cube of Continential bacon stock.

It may take hours to cook so it's perfect to put your slow cooker to "Auto" and then go for lectures and then come home, dinner is serve.

Best served with a dollop of sour cream eaten with warm crusty bread.

*I made so much of this on Sunday, it lasted me 3 meals.

  • Monday - Served with sour cream and eaten with a Baguette
  • Tuesday - Served with Mashed Potatoes
  • Wednesday - Mixed with Pasta (Beef Stew Spaghetti)


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Macadamia Shortbread


"I'm not a cook...I'm not a cook...", chants Robin Williams in my favorite film of all times, Mrs Doubtfire as he/she places a perfectly cooked lobster on a platter.

In many ways, I relate to shim: I'm not a great cook but I've had some success in certain areas, particularly baking.

I know many kinda freak out at the idea of baking cos' you need the equiptment and tools, but if you're interested enough in baking but lack the tools, it's best to start with cookies cos' for most cookies, all you need is a spatula and a big bowl.

Macadamia shortbread.

Arnott's makes wonderful ones but are so expensive and stingy with the amount of biscuits in the box.

So why not make your own?

Contrary to popular belief, it's not expensive because you only need 75g of macadamias (which is really nothing).

(note: The picture above is not the macadamia cookies I made but it should look something like that)

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes per tray

The Baker's Toolbox:

Baking tray
Large bowl
Electric mixer
Sift
Rolling pin (optional)
Baking paper
Cookie cutter

The Baker's Pantry:

250g butter (chopped)
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (300g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) rice flour
1/2 cup (75g) finely chopped macadamias
2 tablespoons caster sugar (extras)

Flour Up To My Elbows:

1. Preheat oven to moderately slow (140 to 160 degrees; depending on how hot your oven gets).

2. Beat butter, sugar and extract in a big bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.

3. Sift flours and nuts in TWO batches, stirring ingrediants well with a spatula after each batch.

4. Press ingrediants together.

5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, taking care not to over-knead.

6. Divide mixture into 2 portions. Roll and flatten each portion between 2 sheets of baking paper, using a rolling pin if necessary.

7. Using a cookie cutter, cut through the mixture and place on lightly greased baking trays.

8. Mark biscuits with a fork and sprinkle with extra sugar.

9. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (again depending on your oven) until the cookies turn yellowish/straw coloured.

10. Stand on tray for 10 minutes before trasferring to a wire rack to cool.

Baker's tips:

1. If you find it difficult to roll out the mixture, refridgerate the dough for awhile before moulding and cutting. Make sure you don't leave it too long in the fridge; just firm enough to be rolled out smoothly.

2. Be creative! Use any sort of cookie cutters.

3. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. The shortbreads can be frozen up to 3 months.

Serve with tea and enjoy the afternoon!



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Me Steak and Sweet Potato Mash


Last part of my marathon...Hmm...craving for some juicy meat , i set out to buy some to make this dish...satisfaction of a growing boy's primal craving for steak is priceless...

What you need ar?
For the steak:
One piece of big juicy steak (i used a 350 g rump steak because its one of the cheapest you can get in any market)
Some butter
Some mixed crush peppercorns...which means black and white peppercorns lar (as always , Sarawak pepper is the best hor)
An oven
2 tablespoons of Horseradish cream(can get in almost any supermarket ya)
2 tablespoons of cream or 1/2 cup of milk (preferably extra creamy wan)
2 tablespoons of butter

For the sweet potato mash:
one sweet potato...i used a big 300 g wan
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cream or 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
A sprinkle of thyme

Now what?
Use your hands to massage the steak with butter until you happy with the coating...then rub the crushed mixed peppercorns however much you like (some people like more spicy wan mar) onto the steak...chuck in fridge to marinate for at least half an hour.Before cooking the steak , preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celcius (my oven lies about the temperature...so i think you people better use 210 degrees instead or you can just follow me if you want).Boil the sweet potato in water until soft soft.After your potato confirm soft soft , chuck the steak into the preheated oven for 4 to 5 minutes per side...or more if it doesn't look done to your liking.Whilst waiting , peel the boiled potato and mash it...then cook it on a pan with the 2 tbs butter , 1 tbs cream or 1/4 cup milk , 2 tbs sweetened condensed milk and thyme until everything is absorbed.By now your steak should be done...so dish it out onto a plate.To make the sauce for the steak , mix the horseradish cream , 2 tbs cream or 1/2 cup milk , 2 tbs butter and a sprinkle of mixed crushed peppercorns.Cook this for awhile on the pan and then pour over steak.Sauce for the sweet potato mash is just some more sweetened condensed milk to your liking.Decorate nice nice with some coriander and impress some girls if you want...

Warning ar : The sauce for the steak usually looks very slimy fatty at first but it will set wan so don't worry...and the sweet potato mash is not for the faint-hearted...it is a delicious acquired taste...so try only if you're willing to try something new hor...

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Me Mr.Smiley Mango Delight


Mango season's here...woohoo!!...One of my favourite fruits because you can hardly get durian here and the durian here sucks...

So here's my favourite simple dessert recipe of all time that some people are willing to kill me for...makes girls smile all the time when i make it for them...

How to make ar?

First , decide how much you want to make...Once you decide the amount , you mix half that amount of plain creamy yoghurt with another half that amount of pure cream...For you slow people , as an example hor , if you want to make 300 ml of this , you mix 150 ml of yoghurt with 150 ml of cream.How much mango leh?i think this wan best leave to you...my rule of thumb is usually 1 medim mango for every 150 ml of yeild which is actually quite a lot ya...Make sure your mango ripe and sweet wan so the expression of the people who taste it also sweet wan...Haven't finish yet...After mixing the yoghurt and cream , sprinkle brown sugar over the bowl of mixture and mix it in...then mix in some sweetened condensed milk (3 tbs for every 150 ml)...then mix in cubed mangoes...Finally , sprinkle one last sprinkle of brown sugar but don't mix and leave it overnight in the fridge to condition...When ready to eat , mix one last time and if you want to make a girl smile , arrange some mango cubes in the shape of a smiley face :)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fried Cooked Noodles


Part 2 of a marathon from me...heh heh

I grew up following mum's foochow traditions closely...especially in food...i really enjoyed this as a child...foochow fried cooked noodles...but this is not the original recipe...i created it with memory of its taste and perfected it somewhat over three tries...but don't sue me for any differences hor

What you need ar?
300 grams of noodles (preferably hokkien style...the big fat yellow ones)
reasonable amount of tofu (the fried bean curd puffs thing)
Reasonble amount of prawns peeled...i used 50 grams of large prawns...heh heh
2 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
2 eggs

80 grams of sliced beef or minced pork
1/2 teaspoon of corn flour
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of ground white pepper (remember...Sarawak Pepper is the best lar...)
1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
3 cups of chicken stock /water mixture
White pepper to taste
a touch of sugar and a touch of chinese wine (optional)

Lets get cooking:

Quite complicated hor...so listen...firstly , fry the noodles in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil then set aside...Marinade the beef or minced pork (rolled into meatballs if use minced pork hor) with the cornflour , 1/2 teaspoon olive oil , pepper , salt and the eggwhite of one egg...wah...this marinade is shiok.To make the soup , mix the oyster sauce , light soy sauce and chicken stock / water mixture , pepper, sugar and chinese wine together in a big bowl.Then , after heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the wok , fry the chopped garlic until can smell the nice fragrance and it looks nice nice golden...then fried the marinated meat...making sure the egg white dun stick so much when fried...Then , add the soup.Bring to boil and simmer.Add in the prawns and tofu.Bring to boil and simmer for about 2 minutes...then drop in the fried noodles from earlier...and simmer another minute...then crack the last egg into the soup...if need...add thickening (1 tbs corn flour + 2 tbs water)...simmer for the final minute then...Fuah...now...dish the stuff in your wok into the big soup bowl you use just now.The original one actually only got roast pork (char siu) and some vege and no tofu...but i don't like vege and cannot find roast pork...some more i like tofu...so i make do lor hor...as long as taste good never mind lar hor?

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Humble Porridge


Towards the end of my period of no-moolahness , I had to settle for a bowl of humble porridge...didn't even have money to buy meat...so I cooked a bowl of something with what i had left around...so here we go:

What you need hor:
1 cup of rice (doesn't really matter what type of rice...its up to you how much you want to spend hor)
4 cups of chicken stock / water mixture
Some chopped cilantro a.k.a coriander
a touch of milk
Half an onion (chopped)
Some sliced ginger ( about 6 cm unchopped length)
2 tablespoons of oil (doesn't really matter what type...olive oil or vegetable oil preferred though)

and lots of sides...I was lucky enough to have a mum who smuggled pork floss for me to Melbourne...i hope no Customs officers are reading this...she packed some Malaysian style ikan bilis a.k.a anchovies too along with some acar (sourish thingies made with pickled vegetables seen as the greenish slimy stuff on the sort of upper left hand corner of the bowl of porridge in the picture...goes perfectly with keropok...which i don't have)

What you do leh?

Boil the chicken stock / coriander mixture , touch of milk and half the ginger (chooped) together in a pot because there's just a slightly reputable divine taste from this combination ya...Then after washing the rice till you happy with how clean it is , drop it all into the boiling mixture to let the rice expand and absorb the delicious broth by reducing the heat to a low one(don't use high heat lar...later the broth all evaporate too fast before can absorb)...Whilst waiting , fry the rest of the ginger in the oil in a saucepan to make ginger oil...after frying the ginger to a golden brown , remove the pieces and chuck them into the bin unless you can find something to do with it.Just as your stuff in the boiling pot begins to resemble porridge...which actually takes quite long so be patient , fry the chopped onions in the ginger oil . Then pour out the porridge into a bowl and top with the fried onions along with the other sides or serve these separately...of course...if u have meat...pop it in with the boiling mixture earlier in the form of meatballs...and there you have it...a humble bowl of porridge lar...enjoy hor but don't blame me if it doesn't reach your expectations...

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Eunice's apple and pork bake

Eunice is my housemate, and this is kinda her signature dish. So here she is in her own words... (okay lah, i just cut and paste her email)



ingredients:
porkchops
apples
onions
cinnamon sugar
salt
herbs
pepper and chilli powder if you want.
olive oil.

(don ask me about the proportaions..its guesstimation..)

fry onions in olive oil.. use quite a fair bit of olive oil.cos you need to
drench the pork chops and apple slices with it...
just add salt, cinnammon sugar.. pepper and all the powder stuff to the
chops..
and only cinnamon sugar on the apple slices.. make sure eveything is covered
with olive oil..if not it'll get burnt in the oven.. bake for about 35-45
mins depending on how many chops you have...min 35 for one.. so.. just put everything on a baking tray and bake it!!!

thats it...

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Teochew Steamed Fish

Okay, I know this is a blog for poor students on a "budget". But I thought, growing children should eat healthy too. Besides, if you order a steam fish in a resturant, it's going to cost a bomb.

So, here is the Teochew styled Steamed Fish.

Get a small SeaBass (they call it Baramundi here), wash it well (clean gutted area and make sure its scaled) then slice the sides of the fish (for easy cooking). You’ll need carrot, ginger, dried mushrooms, salted vegetable, salted prune, chilli and spring onions.

* Traditionally, Teochew resturants will use Pomfret, but I prefer Baramundi.

Slice a couple of carrots thick and place on a plate for steaming. After that, rest the fish on it. The carrot elevates the fish so that the steam can get under the other side of the fish. Use the remaining carrots to garnish on top (or around) of the fish.

Next, slice chunks of ginger and stuff it under the gutted stomach. Use more ginger strips to put on top of your fish.

Soak a couple of dried mushrooms with hot water on a small bowl. After about half hour or more, remove the dried mushroom and slice it. Again, sprinkle around and on the top of your fish. Remember to save the soaking liquid of the mushroom.

Sliced the salted vegetable and soak it for about 15 mins, changing the water at least twice. So that the salted vegetable won’t be that salty. Also, decorate the salted vegetable on the fish.

Take about 2 salted prune from the jar and remove the seed. Cut each prune into quarters and place it around the fish. This gives the steam fish a nice soury taste.

Finally, garnish with slice chilli. Pour a capful of chinese wine over fish (be generous) as well as pepper.

Season the liquid of the mushroom with some chicken stock powder(cheat) and more pepper. Pour the liquid over the fish. And you are ready to steam the fish.

My grandma taught me that when the eyes of the fish popped out, It’s ready. Alternatively, if u see the eye turning white, it also means its cooked.

Final garnish with spring onions and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

* I love this dish because, there is soup and all the garnish can be eaten. It's a well balanced diet.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

pork chops with chilli and orange glaze



Chilli? And orange? And pork? Sounds like a weird combo, but it works! Meats are all about the marinade, and here's one that works.

Pork chops
one and a half tbsp marmalade
one tsp light soy
two tbsp of olive oil
one or two red chillis, sliced thinly

Marinade the pork chops with the mixture and grill until the marinade becomes a nice glaze. best to get a little char, and to use chops with a fatty strip on the side. yummy...

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no sweat! chicken feet! ha! ha! all the way!

you either love them or you loathe them... me, i'm definitely in the love category.

This one is like the one you find travelling around in dimsum carts. Although, what i'd really like is the recipe for the one they have with chicken rice. you know? the translucent cold boneless one. but on to the recipe...

What you need:
Chicken feet, half kilo

(Marinade)
1 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 chilli, finely sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce

1. First, get chicken feet from the butcher. Big poultry stores should have it, and for cheap too... like will cost less than $2 for a kilo. Alternatively, get eight chickens and chop off their feet. hahahaha... Don't forget to chop off their claws. They don't call it chicken scratchings for nuthin.

2. Boil the feet in water until skin is soft... about 15 to 20 min maybe? Don't throw the water away! You can use them to steam the feet later, but better still, save it because it's quite good chicken stock on its own.

3. In the meantime, mix the marinade ingredients together in a large boil. Place the boiled chicken feet in the bowl and marinade well for a few hours.

4. Finally, steam the chicken feet, marinade and all. Eat with rice or place it on a cart (shopping trolley also can) and push around the house.

No sweat! Chicken feet! Ha! Ha! All the way!

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Me raisin bun


This is not really a recipe...more like a story...due to "monetary circumstances"...i have been forced to create my own recipes from whatever ingredients i can find at home to stay alive...so i found a banana bread recipe and modified it to make *drum roll*...raisin bun...yalar yalar...i know the title say already...

what the recipe said:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed over ripe bananas

I think this recipe will make delicious banana bread...but at home,i got no bananas and only one egg and lots of raisins...so this is what i came up with:

Soak raisins (i used 1 cup) overnight in rum...hehe...after helping yourself to some of course...i know what you're thinking...no...i'm not an alcoholic...

Preheat oven at 175 degrees celcius...i had mine at 140 because my oven always lies about the temperature...

Mix 2 cups of plain flour(my house got plenty of flour...plain flour,self raising flour,corn flour also got...enough to last till next year...haha) with 1 teaspoon of baking powder in a huge mixing bowl . Add 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter...Mix with mixer...i know...very dry right ? so i added whatever milk i had left in my fridge...it was only about 1/8 th of a cup...then mix again...then still a bit dry...nehmind...add egg (my house only got one egg left...cannot even put two...sigh) ...add the raisins that have been soaked overnight...and since it was so dry...i added...hehehe...some of the rum the raisins were soaked in (again i stress...no...i'm not an alcoholic) ...about 45 ml...or about 1/6 th of a cup...and also an approximately same amount of whipped cream...don't ask me why...it just felt right...maybe its the rum i had earlier doing its work(again...no...i am not an alcoholic...)...but anyway,then mix again until it's gooey sticky...knead into whatever shape you want and put in a suitable baking tray...pop in oven for about 50 minutes...the best way to judge is when a toothpick/knife comes out smoothly without any gooey sticky feeling inside after you poke the pasrty with it...and then...enjoy the suspiciously alcoholic raisin bun that's supposed to be bread and has the texture of a large cookie...wahaha...cheers...and no...i'm not an alcoholic...

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Potato & Egg Salad


This is really easy and cheap to make. Most importantly, very substantial!

I used, 1 Potato (skin it), 3 eggs (coz my eggs were small). Boil them in salted water so that the salt will be absorbed by the potato and also makes the egg shells easy to remove.

Wait for them to cool, then cut the potato and eggs to cubes. Put one whole spoonful of Mayo, couple of drops of thousand island sauce, a bit more salt and pepper(normal or black pepper). Then mix well. Taste if need more salt, pepper and mayo. Up to you if you want it to be creamy.

Serve well when chilled. Remember that this is the best dish to bring to a potluck party because it's the most economical(Cheapskate!) and hassle-free (very important) dish. Let other people do the cooking while u just enjoy their food. Hehee...

Optional: Add some nuts if you want. Pine nuts are most desirable but expensive. In the picture, I used roasted sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and black poppy seeds combo.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

May's happy dry indian curry


*Err..not yet. Let me tell you a little something about myself first*

You know the funniest thing? Nearly a year ago I couldn't cook. Didn't want to. A year down the line and I'm posting recipes. Hmm.

Moral of story? Anybody can cook.

I must admit that I can be quite weird when I cook. For one, I'm bloody picky about who I cook for (exceptions in potluck parties). I don't cook for bastards. And certainly not pricks. So if you're a bastard, or a prick...too bad. If you're nice to me, I'll cook for you.

My second quirky habit is that I like to talk to my food. Yes you heard right. Even when I cook for myself. But most of the time, I start having this full-on conversation (in my head) when I prepare a meal for an exclusive bunch of friends. Or for my partner. A normal in-may's-head conversation goes something like this:

Okays...be nice...today we're cooking for ****, so let's see. What do we have here? Hmm. Okay, okay...looking good...let's taste it...hmm....

I know it sounds wrong but hey. :D

I discovered something interesting yesterday; if I don't talk to my food, there's bound to be disaster. Yesterday I made bak kut teh. Didn't talk to it and sure enough, I forgot the dark sauce. Bak kut teh looked murky brown. Oopsie.

Anyways....

May's happy dry indian curry! (finally.)

I love Indian food. I also like showing it off when I know it looks, tastes and smells authentic. Picture above was taken by dear prettyhazy during a party.

Now now...vat you need:

Chicken (duh...use chikadoo drumstick!)
Potatoes (chopped roughly)
Tomatoes (sliced thinly)
Red onion(nice red ones that can make you cry when sliced)
Garlic (crushed and chopped into bits)
Ginger (just a tiny bit)
Dry chilli
Fresh curry leaves (from Safeway. Bloody expensive but worth it!)
1 teaspoon of black mustard seed (this you can get at any good asian grocer)
Aniseed star (just one would do; too much of it and your dish would taste like colgate)
Cinnamon stick (just one!)
Kunyit (yellow powder thingy; don't really know how to describe it)
Chilli powder
Baba's meat curry powder

*Unless specifically mentioned, I haven't put any measurement/quantity on most ingredients. I’m a happy believer and follower of estimation. Just talk to your food.*

Okay! Let us start!

The night before:

Marinate chicken/s. Cut drumstick into smaller pieces so that it's easier.

1. Add in a dash of kunyit
2. Lots of chilli powder
3. And lots of meat curry powder.
4. Then add salt. Add a tiny bit of water and marinate the whole thing.
5. Place chikadoo in fridge overnight.

Then on the day itself:

1. Put oil in pan and fry potatoes. Once cooked, place aside.
2. Put a little more oil in pan. Wait till heated then throw in black mustard seed. Fry.
3. Throw in cinnamon and aniseed star.
4. Add garlic, onion, curry leaves, dry chilli and ginger. Fry until fragrant.
5. Once satisfied with smell (it would smell divine at this stage), add in chicken pieces.
6. Once cooked, add in tomatoes.
7. You'd be able to see a tiny layer of oil rising on the top. This means you're nearly done!
8. Turn fire down to low and add the potatoes.
9. Stir, stir, stir, stir, stir. Talk to your curry. Befriend it.

Done!

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soba salad

As seen on real life! Serves 8! Here's what you need:



Got that? No? Okay, in words and numbers.

400g soba (green tea flavour preferred for colour)
sesame oil
sesame seeds
seaweed
seafood salad/fish sticks, shredded
light soy sauce
dark soy sauce

First, the soba. Boil the soba noodles as per packet instructions. Drain, and wash immediately in cold water. Place on dish and mix well with sesame oil so that they don't stick.



Mix in two tablespoons of light soy and one tablespoon of dark soy. Stir and mix well. Add and mix the sesame seeds and seafood salad seperately. Garnish with more seafood salad and seaweed. Serve cold.



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Friday, September 23, 2005

Me "mee-hoon-that-tastes-like-mee-siam"


Some people commented that my mee hoon tastes like mee siam...i give up lar...i shalll call it "mee-hoon-that-tastes-like-mee-siam"...and to overcome my craving for some air time...i shall reveal one of my back-home recipes...this one quite budget lar hor if you cook lots of chinese food like me...got ingredients lying around already...can last few days also...unless you eat a lot like me...i must say the flavour was nicer after a day in the fridge...haha

What you need ar?man...this is quite a long list but heck...
250g of rice vercimelli or mee hoon
250g tauge (beansprouts)...i used less cause i don't like my veges...
350g prawns...proud me only use tiger prawns...but shrimps for budgeting times...
lots of tofu...cause i like tofu...oh...i mean the fried beancurd puffs
1/4 cup oil...i use vege oil
2 cups of chicken stock/water mixture for relatively wet version...if you want it dry...cut by half...
3 cloves garlic,6 shallots(i used much less though...i think 3 only),1 1/2 tbs black bean paste,50g dried prawns/shrimps,12 dried chillies(for those who like spicy like me...use 18...haha)
1 ts sugar,generous amount of dry chicken stock(i used about 6 tbs),1/2 ts pepper(again...only sarawak pepper is the best...hehe),3 tbs fish sauce

How ar?
Soak the vercimelli till nicely puffed...should only take about 5 minutes lar...then strain until quite dry.Season the vercimelli with the sugar,chicken stock,pepper and fish sauce.Leave aside...let the seasoning do its work lar.While waiting,pound the garlic,shallots,black bean paste,dried shrimps and dried chillies together...don't need until all mash lar...just to blend the flavours together.Heat oil in wok(preferably wok hor but i guess big saucepan also can)...and stirfry the pounded stuff until you can smell the wonderful fragrance...then add prawns and chicken stock/water mixture...bring to boil then simmer for a while...about 5 minutes will do...Now add the seasoned vercimelli and tauge to stir fry again...then mix in beancurd puffs and toss well...Finally,if you're particular about presentation like me,chop some spring onion and coriander and fresh chilli to put on the vercimelli and decorate your dish or bowl with 2 halved hard boil eggs and some lime wedges that'll be squeezed in for taste because the lime complements the chilli flavour...shiok...of course to keep,pop lar in the fridge...wahaha...enjoy :)

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pork Stomach Soup

Noel asked me today to contribute to this site. And since I'm a housewife (aka unemployed) and loves to eat (almost everything), I should know a thing or two on saving grocery money.

So, this is a story about my attempt to make Pork Stomach Soup.
(Pork Stomach - 70cents)

First, boil some pork ribs with some white peppercorn.

Next turn the pork stomach inside out. First picture shows the stomach when you first buy it. Second one shows how it would look like when you turn it inside out (Yes, I know it looks gross!). Then soak the inverted stomach with some salted water. Wash and Rinse (with salt), wash and rinse, kept repeating until your fingers become numb.

While you are washing, soaking and rinsing, take a small knife and scrape the stomach (the inverted part). You know you are doing it right when you see this (see picture) gooey, slimey thing on the knife. All housewives who have done this dish before will tell you that this is the nasty part. Do it well and your stomach and soup won't stink! (I know that it's a lot of work for a 70cents Pork Offals)

After you are contented with how much time you have wasted and how pruney your hands have become (
it took me about 2 hours), throw the whole damn pork stomach into your pork ribs soup and boil in low heat forever! Okay, for a long long time until the stomach is nice and tender.

Finally, take out the stomach and slice it to a desirable length and throw the stomach back into the soup.
Dish out and serve. Let your husband/boyfriend try and if he critises it, empty the soup over his head.


*Note: You can add Pork liver/Pork slices/Pork Balls with salted vegetable into the soup and serve hot with steamed rice.


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Friday, September 16, 2005

wurst and bierkraut

In the spirit of Oktoberfest!



Celebration food for my post-essay season. Actually, bierkraut doesn't really need a reason. I cheated a lot for this recipe, buying store-bought canned sauerkraut and sausages. But it's the flavor extention that makes it count, right?

Half-can sauerkraut
1 cup of beer (i used VB)
1 small onion, sliced
1 rasher bacon, cut in bits
2 - 3 sausages, of your choice. Of course, bratwurst is recommended. Weisswurst also can.
A little oil or butter

Heat the oil or butter in a heavy pan and fry the bacon until all the fat is rendered onto the pan. Move the bacon bits onto the side of the pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the sauerkraut and mix in the bacon and onions well. Place the sausages on top of the sauerkraut mix and top with beer. Cover the pan and simmer, letting the beer boil the sausages, making sure to turn the sausages occasionally. Boil until the beer simmers off, leaving a slight gravy. Serve with mustard and more beer. Prost!

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Long & Green


500-800g of Long Beans
1 tblspn Garlic
3 tblspn Dried Shrimps
1 tblispn Oyster Sauce
3 tspn Sugar

1) Soak dried shrimps in hot water for a couple of minutes, till it expands and softens. Dice the shrimps to small bits
2) Brown garlic and shrimps with splash of oil
3) Put in Long Beans (1-inch cuts), stir through and cover to keep the heat in. (DO NOT add water). Toss the vege and do this till veg is cooked.
4) Put in the sugar and oyster sauce. Stir it in thoroughly before serving.

Apologies: No Photo
PS: An alternative to shrimps could be pork floss


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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Me mussels


Me Mussells

I had been deprived from seafood for awhile...craving for some,i managed to find some stuff around my kitchen and some unused bag of mussells to cook for myself...this dish...

Well,i did tell Noel that my dishes were definitely not budget at times...This is one of them i think...Let me talk you through anyway in case you still wanna try it out:

What u need:
(1)Mussells lar of course...I used nine...just nice for a side dish :P
(2)A good white wine...actually up to you lar but i think the wine is very important...I used some St.Hubert's Cabernet Sauvignon 2004...in case you wondered...leftovers from sometime ago...
(3)Half a lemon...actually i used less...
(4)Marjoram leaves...can buy lar at Safeway...dun need fresh one...
(5)Black Pepper...I proudly only use Sarawak Pepper...and grind them myself...
(6)Saffron...Quite a pricey herb but gives it a nice distinct taste...
(7)Sea salt...can use normal salt lar...but i have 2 bags of sea salt left...might as well use some...
(8)An oven and an oven proof plate.

How leh?
First,pre heat oven lar...gonna use it later eh(i used 150 celcius)...Whilst the oven's heating up,wash lar the mussells.Then,arrange on plate nicely.Take out your bottle of white wine,enjoy some,then pour enough to cover each mussell(about 1 and 1/2 teaspoon per mussell) and a bit on the plate for presentation.Having cut your lemon,squeeze a few drops per mussell and a little all over.Next,sprinkle marjoram leaves generously over mussells.Use only a couple of small strands of saffron on each mussell...expensive ya...i used more though...haha.If possible,open the "mouths" of the mussells and put some herbs there...mine were too frozen.Don't add salt and pepper yet...salt will only dry your mussells and they'll all look wrinkly.Put in oven at 150 for 10-13 minutes...i did 15 cause mine were frozen.Take out after allocated time and squeeze some more lemon juice on them...thats why mine look a tad shiny...and if you want,some more marjoram.Then sprinkle salt and pepper to liking...and there you have it...simplicity...slurp away...

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

enter the fist!

kung-POW! weee-oooo-weee-oooo-weee-oooo-weeeeeee!




The Kung
1 tbsp light soy
1 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp water
pepper
sesame oil

The Pow
1 tbsp dark soy
2 tsp light soy
1 tbsp black vinegar
1 tbsp water
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
sesame oil
1 tbsp cornflour

1 chicken breast (cut in one-inch chunks)
10 dried chilli (cut in one-inch sections, seeds optional)
One half onion, quartered
100 grams cashew nuts

Mix everything in The Kung, marinade the chicken pieces in it. In a wok, stir fry the chicken and then set aside. In the same wok, stir fry the onions and dried chilli. Add in chicken, pour in The Pow and let thicken. Add cashews last and serve to the chosen one.

wee-oooo-weee-oooo-weeee-ooooo-weeeeee!!!!

**ps. why nobody post recipes one!!! sniff sniff...

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

single-handed zuppa di mare




i'm eating this while i'm blogging this. it's a late dinner for me, on account of having breakfast at 3. to fully appreciate this recipe you have to do it on ONE HAND.

zuppa di mare (seafood soup)

one half onion, chopped
one half carrot, cubed
one stalk celery, chopped
one chili padi, sliced
one clove garlic, sliced
one can roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 piece of flake (or other white fish), in cubes
1/3 calamari tube, in one-inch squares
5-6 small prawns, peeled
tsp dried basil

Brown onions, celery and carrots in pot with some olive oil. Add garlic, roma tomatoes and two cans of water. Bring to boil, add flake, basil and chili padi. Once boiling, add squid. Once boiling again, add prawns. Bring to boil and simmer. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves one hungry person and half a small hungry person.

Option 1: Add a dash of olive oil just before serving.
Option 2: Eat with toasted crusty bread.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Almond Jelly

This is the 1st recipe and perhaps the only one from my personal blog. Want to know my history of this desert? You'll have to cehck out my blog.
In the mean time, you can make this extremely easily at an extremely low budget. In fact, most of the ingredients mentioned come in quantities which allow you to use over a few sessions.

Agar-agar Powder (Colourless) -- 1pkt
Water (1100ml)
Sugar
375ml of evaporated milk (1 can)
Almond Essence
Gelatine (Colourless)
Longan in syrup (1 can)

(Over low flame)
1. Dissolve agar2 powder with 900ml of water
2. 3 tblspn of sugar
3. Add evaporated milk and 200ml of water
4. 3 tblspn of sugar
5. 4 1/2 teaspn of almond essence
6. 2 tblspn of sugar
7. Gelatine mixture: mix 1 teaspn of gelatine with some water
8. Pour gelatine into jelly mixture
9. Leave jelly mixture to cool and placed into fridge overnight

Note: Serve with Longan serves 6-7



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Sunday, April 24, 2005

I had a craving for prawns.... I could imagine the succulent taste of freshly cooked prawns as it created ripples of tingling feelings as it danced on my taste buds... *Sighs in ecstasy*

I decided to try a famous but simple recipe from my lil Sis (thanx sis!! ^_^)
Today's dish is *drums rolling* Butter Prawns!!!

Step right up boys and girls...


yum...prawns

Ingredients:
Prawns (DUH)

Steps:
1. Buy fresh, uncooked prawns!! Don't be a cheapskate.
2. Decapitate its head and remove shells up to the tail.
3. Slice across the underbelly and de-vein the prawns. Open the flaps and spread it. Take the tail and bend it backwards (like a scorpion's tail).
4. Marinate prawns with sugar and add pinches of salt (to taste, for a spicy flavour add cracked black pepper)
5. Heat pan. Turn fire to low heat and add butter. Place the acrobatic prawns flat side down.
6. Do not overcook the prawns as flattened surface allows the prawn to cook fast. Flip the prawn on its side for a minute and repeat it with the other side.
7. Get creative and create ur own masterpiece of a garnish. Serve warm.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

octopus on fire

Feeling very adventurous, i decided to buy an octopus. Not as a pet, but for a meal. It was a three-tentacled medium sized bugger who was deheaded, desac-ed and de-beaked when i bought him at vicmart. Today i sliced him in twain (and kept the other half for a latter meal, of course and marinated one half for dinner:




Noel's Octopus Experiment
1 half-octopus, cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 and 1/2 limes, juice of
1 chilli padi, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tabasco
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Pepper

Marinate for a while. Marinate some more. Stir fry until all moisture draw out. (or maybe not. Mine was a little tough.)

I had it with some leftover rice (hence the white flecks).

Incidentally, the tentacles are fun to play with. They actually still have suction power! So i slammed the tentacles repeatedly on the chopping board and had fun with the pop sound when i disengaged them. Talk about playing with your food.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

to warm a cold / Miso noodle soup

Back in Melbourne and to the living on a shoestring budget. Landed on a Friday morning on an overnight flight, ran around doing errands, fell sick on Saturday. Remedy? A nice hot noodle soup.




1 tbsp miso paste
1 packet instant noodles
1/3 pack of beancurd
A couple of sliced mushrooms
A few prawns
Seaweed to garnish

Vicmart was selling some coral prawns for about $8 a kilo, so a bought half a kilo. Total cost of this dish? About $2.

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