Nov 24, 2008

BRIYANI RICE

I love Briyani. Every Saturday when I bring my daughter to her enrichment class, without fail, I'll have lunch of mutton briyani at the regular stall nearby. It was then I decided that I wanted to cook the Briyani rice at home and I searched many sites for recipe. After going through many sites, I finally settled for this one which is simple and can be cooked with a rice cooker after frying the spices in the wok.

A very pakistan way of cooking rice is usually by boiling water first. When the water is boiled, you add the rice that has been cleaned and soaked. Cook for about 20 minutes, test to see if cooked and pour out the remaining water. I watched my landlords cooking their rice this way for 3 years but I've never tried. The chinese way of cooking is to put just enough water into the right portion of rice. Both yields different texture. But basmati rice is slightly firm compared to white processed rice or fragrant rice.

Here is a very simple recipe that I've tried at home. This recipe is by Amy Beh, a very popular food writer, consultant in Malaysia and Asia. You can't go wrong with most of her recipes.

Ingredients
500g rice, wash and drain
2 tbsp oil or ghee
2 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup evaporated milk or yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp salt

Spices (A):
6 cardamoms
1 star anise
6 cloves
2 stalks lemon grass, smashed
2cm piece cinnamon stick
2 pandan leaves, knotted

Fry in oil till crispy:
15 shallots, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

Method
Heat oil or ghee in a wok and fry spices (a) until fragrant. Add rice and stir-fry well for about two to three minutes, then transfer rice into an electric rice cooker.

Add water, evaporated milk or yoghurt, pandan leaves and salt, then switch on the rice cooker.

When rice is cooked, dish out to serve with a sprinkling of shallots and garlic. Serve this with your favourite curry dish.

Nov 20, 2008

SPINACH LASAGNE

I copied this recipe from the nestle recipe finder. Spinach is my all time favourite vegetable and I enjoy it with pasta, pizzas, pies and even a chinese stirfry or in a soup. Here is the recipe, copied word for word so I don't miss any thing but the original.

Easy to find ingredients are:
2 teaspoons olive oil
350 grams minced beef
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup pumpkin, chopped (use the australian orange ones)
1 potato, chopped
200 grams mushrooms, sliced ( i used fresh brown mushrooms, you can use button mushrooms too)
1 teaspoon MAGGI Beef Stock Powder (or chicken is fine)
1/2 cup water, hot
1/2 cup red wine
400 grams tomato pasta sauce or canned tomato puree

2 packets MAGGI Tasty Cheese Sauce Mix ( i used kraft cream cheese)
3 cups spinach, chopped
9 instant lasagne sheets ( i got the San Remo in a box)
1/2 cup tasty cheese, grated ( i used mozzarella)


Method: Heat oil in large saucepan, add beef, cook, stirring until brown. Reduce heat, add garlic, pumpkin, potato and mushrooms, cook, stirring 2 minutes. Add stock powder, hot water, wine and tomato puree to beef mixture; simmer uncovered 15 minutes, stir occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare sauce mix according to directions on the packet. Add spinach.

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Spread 1/3 cheese sauce over base of shallow ovenproof dish.
Place 3 lasagne sheets over 1/2 the beef mixture and another 1/3 cheese sauce.
Top with 3 lasagne sheets, remaining beef mixture, then remaining sheets and cheese sauce.
Sprinkle top with cheese.
Bake in oven about 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Stand 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with a leafy green salad.

Wonderful, this recipe!

Nov 19, 2008

MARSHMALLOW CRISPIES FOR KIDS

Before I lose this simple recipe that my daughter made in her school cookery class, I better key it down and post it here. She brought home some samples the other day it it tasted really good. So I shall let her make another batch of this easy yummy crispies during the holidays. And I have to remind myself to take that photo before it's all gone!

4 tbsp of butter
A pack of marshmallows, about 40pcs regular sized/ 4 cups miniature ones
6 cups of rice crispies/cocoa crispies


Directions
Melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir it till it is all melted and mixed with the butter. Remove it from heat and add the rice crispies into the melted marshmallow butter. Stir until it is all coated evenly.

Scoop the mixture into large balls the size of a scoop of ice cream. Alternatively, you may like to place this mixture into a 2 inch pan that has been oiled or lined with wax paper. Let it cool and serve.

Nov 18, 2008

CARROT CAKE AND CHEESE FROSTING

I looked high and low for an easy carrot cake recipe. I found this very easy to make because the cake is baked using commercial cake mix. It is a yellow cake mix that you can get from the supermarket or bake shop in the pastry section. Do not underestimate pre-mix cake packs, they do wonders and is stress free

Here are the ingredients for this easy to make carrot cake with yummy frosting.

A box of 2 layer yellow cake mix
1 and 1/4 cups mayonnaise based salad dressing
4 eggs
1/4 cup cold water
2 tsp cinammon
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Cheese frosting
3oz softened cream cheese
1 tbsp condesed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups of confectioners' suger, sifted

Method: Combine the cake mix, salad dressing, eggs, water, cinammon and vanilla in large mixing bowl, beating at medium speed. When it is all smoothed and well mixed, add the walnuts and carrots stir it till it is all covered with the mix. Bake this at medium heat till the cake comes out clean when inserted with a toothpick.

The frosting is simple, just beating the chees, milk, vanilla and sugar until it becomes smooth light and fluffy. When the cake is cooled completely, frost it with this creamy mix. Try it and you wont be disappointed.

Nov 16, 2008

CHAWAN MUSHI RECIPE

I think this receipe is something that many moms know how to make. Only slightly different in methods. This one is a favourite recipe and I got it on a receipe card when I bought the Maggi granule stock in a bottle. After trying it according to this recipe, I thought, hey that wasn't so bad. Exactly like the Japanese Chawan Mushi that I've tried in Japanese restaurant. Now I know that it is so easy to make.

You will need 4 medium eggs
Japanese Fish Cakes
Fresh Shitake Mushrooms
Shredded Chicken (this one i usually steam a large drum till just cooked and shred)

Stock - Mix together:
500mls of warm water
4tsp of Maggi Concentrated Chicken Stock
2 tsp of Mirin (you can get a bottle of these in supermarket in the Japanese section)

Method
Beat eggs and add the stock that has been mixed together. Blend it well.
Using a strainer, strain this mixture into the steaming bowl. Steam in medium to low heat for 8 minutes. If your egg has holes in them, it means you fire is too high.

Add the fish cake, chicken, mushrooms in and continue to steam for 5 more minutes and serve it hot. This is great for kids too. Mouth watering, melt in your mouth.

Nov 14, 2008

CHOCO TRUFFLES


Some women insist that chocolate is the next best thing, after sex, or the other way round.. Anyway, this recipe is simple and is very popular with adults and kids alike. It is easy to make and can be served in a party or served with an ice cream as a dessert.

You will need:
Half cup of unsalted butter, softened
2 and half cups of powdered confectionary's sugar
half cup of cocoa powder, unsweetened
quarter cup of whipping cream
1 tsp of vanilla extract

For center fillings, you can use marshmallow for kids, mints for adults or even nuts if you like something nutty.
You also need those powdered sugar for coating as well as chopped nuts.

Beat butter in a large bowl until it is creamy. Add powdered sugar, cocoa and alternate it with whipping cream and the vanilla. Blend to mix it well. Place this mixture in the fridge until it is firm.

Using an standard scoop, shape it into a ball but before you do that, add the centre filling of your choice and roll it into a ball. Once it is round, refrigerate it again until it is firm. This recipe is similar to rum balls too. If you like rum, you can add half a teaspoon of rum extract in place of half the vanilla extract. Don't forget to coat it in your powdered sugar too.

Easy to make and no cooking involved. You can even teach your children to make this!

Nov 12, 2008

BAKED CORNFLAKE MEATBALLS


Cornflake meatballs, anyone? Another yummy recipe using Kellogg's Corn Flakes. This is so simple you can actually mix the ingredient, shape it and leave it in the freezer. The sauce can also be cooked in advance and kept in the fridge. When you are busy, bake it in the oven and heat up the sauce.

2 cups of corn flakes
2 tbsp of ketchup
An egg, beat slightly
A pound (2.2kg)of ground beef, choose lean

Sauce
A can of tomato sauce
half cup of ketchup
50gm of brown sugar
50gm of onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp Pickle relish
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Vinegar
Pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine the cereal, 2 tbsp ketchup and egg. Add in the beef and mix it well. Shape it into meatball size. Place it in a baking pan that has been lined or greased. Bake until browned about 12 minutes.

In a saucepan, add all the ingredients for the sauce, and simmer it for about 15 minutes. Stir it frequently to avoid it burnt at the bottom. Cook for another 15 minutes and ladle it over the cooked meatballs and serve with pasta or rice.

Nov 9, 2008

CORNFLAKE CHICKEN


Have you ever tried Baked Chicken coated with cornflake cereal? I got these receipe from the Kellogg's website and it has been a favourite receipe since. It is actually very easy to prepare and the result is simply delicious too. Forget breadcrumbs, use cornflake!

Ingredients:
7-8 cups of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and crushed to about about 2 cups of corn crumbed flakes.
1 egg medium
1 cup of milk
1 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
Chicken Drumsticks, rinsed and dried with paper towel
4 tablespoons of margarine

Place the crushed cornflake in a shallow pan. In a mixing bowl, beat together egg and milk. Add the flour and seasoning. Mix the batter well. Dip your drumsticks into the batter and coat it with cereal all over evenly. Place it in a baking pan that has been lined with wax paper or oiled slightly. Bake it at medium heat until the chicken is tender. You may like to turn it if you think it cooks better this way.

No oil splashes and simple, right? You can try it on chicken fillets if you like to have a healthy part of the chicken instead of the drum.

Nov 7, 2008

PEANUT BUTTER FREEZE


Lately I've been looking for recipes that are either frothy ice blended, ice creams or cakes because I am trying to do something nice for my daughter's birthday instead of buying them.

So I discovered this blended dessert beverage that sounds so delicious and yummy so I am going to post it her and share with you before I lose it again.

Ingredients:
3 scoops of Vanilla ice cream
Half cup of cold milk
3 tablespoons of REESE's Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping

Simple method by just blending the ice cream, chilled milk, chocolate peanut butter topping together. Once it is smooth, you can pour it into your serving tall glass and serve with whipped cream (optional).

If you don't have the Peanut Butter Topping, you might want to use creamy peanut butter in it. I did that and it tasted just as delicious!
more recipes from hersheys.com

Nov 5, 2008

BANANA CHOCO POPSICLE


If you like bananas in your ice cream, this recipe from Hersheys is wonderful and yummy. I never knew you can make such an interesting ice pops using banana and my favourite brand of chocolate from Hershey's Cocoa.

The picture is taken from Hershey's.com of their original Banana Fudge Pops.

Here are the ingredients

A ripe medium banana
1 and 1/2 cups of Orange Banana Juice (see method below)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of Hershey's Cocoa (i got the square box, rounded corners Hershey's Cocoa)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of evaporated milk (5oz can)
6 paper cold drink cups (disposable papaer cups for parties that holds about 5oz)
6 ice cream sticks

To make Orange Banana Juice, slice the banana, add orange juice and blend it till it is like a smoothie. Add the sugar, cocoa powder and continue to blend it. Add the evaporated milk and blend till all the ingredients are mixed well.

Pour them into the disposable cups and freeze for about an hour till it crystalizes. Pop the sticks in the centre and continue to freeze it until it is firm and ready to eat.
If you are not into bananas in your popsicle, you might want to try using strawberries instead. They taste just as great. Strawberry Chocolate Popsicles!

BASIC WHITE SAUCE FOR PASTA

Several times, some friends asked me what is the basic White Sauce that is used for creamy white sauce pasta. As each time I cook according to my taste buds, it is a little to pin point the exact recipe as I usually like to improvise. However I do have a simple and easy white sauce recipe that can be used as a basic white sauce and it is very simple to make.

This recipe was the first basic one before I learnt to improvise. It was actually taken from the back of a food label and I had it written down in my tattered book so I figured that i should post it online just in case I lose it.

Ingredients;

Half cup of butter
Half cup of flour
2 cups of Chicken Broth
Cooking Cream or Cream in Cans such as Nestle
Dash of nutmeg powder
Dash of pepper
Dash of mustard powder

Heat the butter but be careful not to let it burn. Stir in the flour and mix it well for about 2 or 3 minuts till it is cooked. Add the broth and stir it till mixed well and add the cream and the powder seasoning.

Stir it in low fire until the mixture is thickened. This is the basic sauce that you can use for your pasta. For instance, fry your onions, mushrooms and veg till cooked and add in this sauce to have a cream style gravy.

Nov 4, 2008

BAKED ALASKA - VERY RETRO



I'm not sure if it's still a trend to serve Baked Alaska these days, but in the 70s, Baked Alaska was consider a luxury treat for special occasions. What exactly is Baked Alaska, if you had not heard of it.

Ii is actually a dessert, with ice cream, cake and topped with meringue all around. Before it is served, it is usually either baked briefly or flamed and cut to serve.

Here is a simple recipe that I have:

Sponge Flan Case
A Block of Vanilla Ice Cream
2 tasblspoons Strawberry Jam
2 Egg Whites
4 oz (100g) Sugar

Spread the Jam over the bottom of the Flan Case. Place it in a dish that fits exactly. Put the Ice Cream into the Flan Case and mould to a pyramid shape using a spoon. Do not let it melt. Whisk the Egg Whites until stiff, then gently stir in the Sugar. Pile the meringue all over the Ice Cream, forming small peaks. Cook in the oven at 400F / 200C / Mark 6 for about 3 minutes - until the meringue stars to brown. Serves 4.