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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Osmanthus Tea Pork Ribs

Before I talk about the ribs, I'd like to add something to the pancake giveaway.

Very frankly, I haven't been WOWed by the entries. They were like , ok. They all look delicious, no doubt, but a bit within the norm. Not bad, but I am not WOWed.
I hope you get what I mean. I need something that will make my jaw drop in awe. Drop down to the floor, if possible.

Ever went to Paddington House of Pancakes???
Maybe you can think of different ways to serve the pancake (fry in smaller pieces but don't use cookie cutter, or fry in longish shapes, or roll them up, or stack them pile high like a cake, or make a whatever with the sponge pancake base), rather than just put in fillings to fry and fold. You can cut them to serve, like in wedges, but not so cut up like making verrines or triffles or lamingtons.

There are few days left, and I hope to give the thermometer to one that made me look like I'm having tetanus. Nuff said!!


Thinking of ways to use some osmanthus??? Try this then.

If you don’t eat pork, you can try this with chicken, and chicken takes shorter time to cook. I think chicken wings will be a lovely substitute  : )
For Muslims, you want to omit the Shao Xing Wine, it’s ok.

Osmanthus Tea Pork Ribs
adapted from FengYiZhouShi

Part One
330gm pork soft ribs
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
½ Tbsp Shao Xing wine
Dash of white pepper

Marinate the ribs with all the ingredients for 30 minutes and deep fry until lightly browned. You can pan fry them as well if you don’t want to deep fry. Do not fry them until dry, just lightly browned and it will be fine. Drain off the oil and set aside.

Part 2
1tsp osmanthus flowers
1 Ooloong teabag for 1 cup
Put both in a cup and infuse these twice with 1 cup of hot water each time. Infuse 2 times for adequate liquid for simmering.

½ tsp dark soy sauce (can omit if prefer lighter coloured ribs)
1 tsp light soy sauce
30gm rock sugar (10% of ribs amount)
1 Tbsp cooking oil

Strain the osmanthus tea and put it together with both soy sauces and rock sugar into a saucepan/pot, then bring to a boil.
Put in fried ribs and make sure the tea is enough to cover the ribs. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour until ribs are tender. Put in oil, reduce gravy and dish up. Garnish with some osmanthus flowers and some sliced spring onions. They complement the sweet ribs very well, taste wise.

The pot is not charred in anyway. Just cook until it dries up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Triple Chocolate Brownies

I’m not much a brownie eater, actually never eaten a fudgy brownie before. It was always cakey brownie. So, this is my first fudgy brownie.

The fudgy look of the brownie caught my attention and with specks of white and brown all over, hidden and peeking at me. I just got to make this someday… But I need choc lovers to help me eat up the brownies.
Then came the chance, I needed to visit an aunt and uncle and I wanted to bring some bakes for them. And that weekend, her daughter Esther was back with baby Tristan. Esther told me she loves brownies and chocolate cakes… AH-Ha!!!! The chance to bake brownies has finally arrived!!!

I adapted the recipe from Anna Olsen. I used almost less of everything by cut down the choc to one pack size of 250gm. I was lazy to break another pack for the other 50gm. Then I cut down 1/3 sugar and butter. I slightly increased the choc chips cos here, the smallest packs that suppliers will sell is 100gm, so why leave the 10gm behind if I were to follow the recipe to go at 90gm. And I also had some chopped roasted walnuts leftover from a cake, and so in it went too.

250gm dark chocolate (I used dark compound chocolate)
100gm butter
100gm sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
60gm all purpose flour
100gm chocolate chips (There are no milk chocolate chips here that are light brown in colour)
100gm white chocolate chips
Small handful of walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven at 140/160C. Line an 8 inch shallow square pan with overlapping sides.
2. Place dark chocolate and butter into a mixing bowl. Place mixing bowl over another bowl of hot water and let the butter and chocolate melt, stirring gently.
3. Remove mixing bowl from hot water and mix in sugar and vanilla extract.
4. Put in eggs and mix.
5. Sift in flour and mix.
6. Put in 2/3 of both choc chips and nuts and mix.
7. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle balance of nuts and choc chips.
8. Bake for 35- 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Baked Tropical Banana Flaugnarde

I've been thinking of making this the day I made my first clafoutis, giving the french thing a tropical twist. And now it's the perfect time since I have everything at exact amount, leftovers of coconut milk, pandan juice and some bananas from another kitchen adenture.

Instead of milk cream, I used coconut milk and flavoured it with all time favourite natural pandan juice. Used bananas which are so so tropical and the end result is super yummilicious. My kids and I walloped the whole thing for tea.

Baked Tropical Banana Flaugnarde
Recipe Source : Wendyywy

65gm coconut milk
35gm concentrated pandan juice
17gm or 1 ½ Tbsp sugar
1 egg
23gm or 3 Tbsp all purpose flour (sift before measure)
A few slices of bananas

1. Preheat oven to 160/180C
2. Mix everything except bananas together. Do not incorporate too much air.
3. Strain and pour into a shallow baking dish. (no need to grease, it comes off nicely)
4.  Put in sliced bananas and bake for 30 minutes until surface of the flaugnarde is golden.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tateishi Kazu’s Miracle Vegetable Soup

This is a DETOX soup
I tried this miracle soup after reading Happy Homemaker88’s post on it.
It actually taste quite good, even without salt or sugar or meat. Something like a herbal tea.
Try this if you like.

Please refer to her blog for a long long explaination and to read about her experience.

450 gm white radish/ daikon
225 to 380 gm white daikon greens (the leaves that came with the white radish)
225 to 280 gm carrots (I use Australian carrots for better flavour)
225 gm fresh burdock root (also known as Gobo in Japanese, Uang in Korean, Ngau Pong or Niu Pang in Chinese) [if using dried burdock root, use only 2 ounces or 1/4 of fresh amount required]
• 3-5 fresh shitake mushrooms (sundried) – if not sundried, expose dried mushrooms to sun again. This is to convert the good stuff into Vitamin D in the mushrooms (refer to information on mushrooms below)—I sundried it for one day under the hot sun, and the strong smell of fresh shitakes were greatly eliminated. Actually I don’t like the smell of fresh shitake. The sunning process is vital for the mushrooms to “produce” Vitamin D.

1. Don’t peel anything! Don’t add any seasoning!
2. Fill a pot with three times the quantity of water as the vegetable.
3. When it comes to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer for two hours.
4. Strain and drink.
5. Store in refrigerator immediately when cool to avoid losing any of the soup’s goodness. Be sure to store in stainless steel pots or glass containers as the soup may react with other materials (especially aluminium)

If you’re wondering where to get fresh daikon/white radish that comes with leaves, I got mine from Jusco Ipoh's organic section. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the butterfly eggs. Some even hatched to be caterpillars. But that shows it’s really organic. Be brave and wash them away.

Or just order from your vegetable vendor. The daikons usually comes with the leaves from the farms, but the vendors trim them off before they sell it.

I didn't separately weigh the daikon and leaves, but I just used 700 grams of the whole thing, as I found that the ratio(the whole daikon) is almost like what is stated in the recipe.

I didn't make this daily, but every other 2 day for the 1st two pots,and another pot a week later. If you like to know how did this soup fare... my hubby had black stool after the 3rd pot of soup. He wasn't feeling good about having black stool, but it's a sure sign that it's working on him, and he refused to drink anymore. So, I stopped after the 3rd pot. None of us had black stool, because we had some sort of detox done before, at least once. And I didn't let my kids drink this.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hakka Thunder Tea Rice

Healthy!!!! This is healthy food. Loaded with loads of greens and drenched in green soup too. How much greener can you get?

Hakka Thunder Tea rice or Hakka Lui Cha, is a traditional fare among the Hor Poh clan which is part of the Hakkas. But it’s no longer confined to those of that clan, but anyone, everyone who loves to eat lots of green and adores aromatic herbs like mint and basil.

I’ve never planned to make or even try this, but suddenly I just felt like making it with basil and mint already on hand, what was I waiting for? I only needed the wait for the next day to make this for lunch for everybody at Mike’s shop. It was past dinner time when I thought of it.

Currently one bowl of this can be anywhere between RM3-RM8, depending on where you eat this.
Making this yourself is a lot cheaper and you can have as much tea soup as you like : )

You may think that preparing this is tedious. But actually after trying this, it’s not too hard. One hour was all I took. But you must really go according to sequence to save work on washing and waiting.
One pot
One pan
One blender
Was all that I used, with no washing in between. So, it’s not that tedious, but you have to prepare quite a few bowls or plates to separate the condiments.

Hakka Thunder Tea Rice /Hakka Lui Cha recipe
Recipe Source : Wendyywy
Serves 5-6

120gm preserved chopped salted radish (choy poh), soaked in water for 30 minutes, squeeze dry
30gm dried shrimps, soaked in water for 15 mins, drained and coarsely chop
250-300gm choysum/bak choy
250-300gm cabbage/spinach/kalian
10 pcs of long beans
2 pieces (3 inch square) pressed tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 onions or leeks, sliced
5 Tbsp toasted peanuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds (half for paste, half for sprinkling on rice)

Tea soup paste
1 handful of Thai basil 九程塔, leaves only (before trimming from stalks was 45gm)
1 handful of mint (applemint, 香花菜, leaves only (amount about the same as basil)
3 Tbsp roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (amount taken from above)
1 green tea bag (snipped open for the tea dust/leaves)
½ tsp salt, more if you like it saltier
1 anchovy soup cube (replace with vegetarian seasoning if vegetarian)
½ cup drinkable plain water (or the water squeezed from the blanched, cut, veggies)

1. First, cook your rice, prepare only 70% of what you would normally eat.
2. Soak the preserved radish and dried shrimp in water, separately.
3. Bring a pot of water to boil, it should be enough for blanching the vegetables.
4. Meanwhile, cube the tofu, slice the onions/leeks. Rinse the vege, leave them whole.
5. When the water has come to a boil, blanch the vege separately. Long beans for 30 seconds, choysum/bakchoy/kalian for 30 seconds, Spinach until just wilted, cabbage for 1-2 minutes. Drain all vege and leave to cool down.
6. Now, squeeze dry the preserved radish and the soaked shrimps. Coarsely chop the shrimps.
7. Prepare a pan. Put sesame seeds in and put on medium low heat. Gently toast them until slightly golden, or sometimes they may start jumping (some don’t jump, but will just turn golden). Remove and set aside.
8. Put in 2 tbsp of oil and pan fry half the tofu cubes until golden. Drain and dish up. Repeat with the other half of tofu.
9. With oil remaining in pan, turn heat to high, let pan heat up and put in sliced onions/leeks and cook for 30 seconds and turn to medium heat and cook until soft and translucent. (The initial high heat is needed to give the onions a nice aroma). Lightly season with some salt. Remove onions/leeks and put in a bowl/plate
10. With the same pan, if there is still some oil (1tsp), if there is none , then add some oil in, then fry the dried shrimps until golden. Dish up.
11. Put in preserved radish and cook for 1 minute until it turns hot. Dish up.
12. Now, slice all the vegetables thinly and keep them aside. Squeeze excess water out fom leafy vege. (You can retain the squeezed out juice for blending the paste)Do not mix them together.

To prepare tea soup paste
1. Put everything in to a blender and whizz until fine.
2. Put into a bowl.

1. Place rice in center or bowl (I only fill 70% of my normal portion)
2. Divide all condiments into 5 portions and arrange condiments onto rice.
3. Put 2 Tbsp of tea soup paste into another rice bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water onto paste and let it infuse for 1 minute.
4. You can either consume the rice and soup separately or pour the soup onto the rice.

I wonder if you realised that the bowls of rice actually looked different. I actually made this rice twice before posting, with different veggie each time. I super love this and the man super hates this, ahahhaha!!!  I had to cook him fried rice with all the leftovers of condiments after placing out all the portions.

Pics from my 2nd attempt:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Plum Brown Betty

Plums are the cheapest stone fruits available here. And although the season will end soon, it won't take another year for you to get some plums. Australian and South African fruits will be easily available here few months later.

A brown betty, (not a ugly betty, hahah) is a baked pudding made with buttered bread crumbs, not soft and mushy, but still very much retains its crispiness as seen in a lot of recipes. Apples are usually used, but other fruits may be used too. I was attracted to this recipe due the caramel, and not all recipes call for this. And when it has some sort of caramel, the whole thing holds together much better, but still, it won't come off in one piece like a pie.

Plum Brown Betty
Adapted from : Waitrose

5 black plums, halved and stoned
50gm butter
50gm caster sugar
2 Tbsp whipping cream
110gm whole meal sandwich bread (4 slices Gardenia), crust on, cut into 1 cm cubes
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour

1. Preheat oven to 170/190C. Butter and line a 8 inch shallow round pan
2. Slice plum halves into 6.
3. Melt butter, caster sugar and cream in a saucepan.
4. In another bowl, mix flour and brown sugar together. Toss with cubed bread. Set aside
5. Pour half the butter mixture into lined pan.
6. Arrange plum slices in pan. Sprinkle half the bread cubes over.
7. Arrange balance of plums over bread cubes. Sprinkle remaining bread cubes over plums.
8. Drizzle the remaining butter mixture over bread cubes.
9. Bake for 30 minutes.
10. Let the baked pudding cool for 5-10 minutes and then overturn onto serving plate. Do not wait until it's too cool, it'll stick to the pan or too impatient to overturn it too soon. I did the latter and some of the plums fell off cos the caramel was still gooey.
11. Serve warm with a dollop of whipping cream. (I just ate it like it was, crunchy buttery bread with soft sweet plums)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Steamed Tofu with Prawns and Glass Noodles

When I saw this on 3 Hungry Tummies, it looked so so delicious.
When I served this for dinner, everybody says it's so delicious.
Credits to 3 hungry tummies for creating this yummylicious dish.

I did some minor adaptations, by lining the base with glass noodles instead of wrapping the tofu with it, so that the glass noodles will have juices from the tofu and prawns because glass noodles need a lot of liquid during the cooking process. And I also used soft tofu, instead of firm tofu.

It's actually very simple, not much rules here.

Steamed tofu with Prawns and Glass Noodles
Recipe source : 3 Hungry Tummies

As much soft tofu as you like,
As many prawns as per pieces of tofu.
As much glass noodles as you like, just soak them until they get soft before you use them.
Garlic oil for drizzling
Light soy sauce for flavouring
Sliced spring onion for garnish, and definately extra aroma and flavour.

1. Soak glass noodles until soft, Drain and snip shorter. Place in steaming dish.
2. Cut tofu into prefered sizes. Arrange on top of glass noodles
3. Arrange one piece of prawn on each tofu.
4. Steam on high heat for 10 minutes.
5. Drizzle with garlic oil and light soy sauce and top with sliced spring onions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nantucket Blend Granola Bars

There's another 10 days to the closing date for Sponge Pancake giveaway contest. So far response has been very cold. With just 4 entries.

I was hoping to see lots of creativity flowing in from fellow readers, but so far I've only seen 4 versions... sigh..... Is it really that difficult?

How to enter:
1. Prepare sponge pancakes with creativity (but please abide by the rules). You can submit more than one entry. One variation per entry.
2. Blog about it, and send in the link via comments section here, or
3. If you don't own a blog, take pics, do a simple write up in Microsoft Word, especially on the recipe and email me at wendyinkk[@]yahoo.[com] (remove the brackets when you type the email address), I'll help you post them here in this post.
4. Open to readers with Malaysian or Singaporean address. If you are overseas, and will be back here for a trip, can enter with any suitable local address.

Rules, Just make sure
1. Your pancake is a version that I've never attempted before
2. Your pancake is not cut more than once (except for photography purposes to show the inside)
3. It is cooked over the stove, no baking, no steaming
4. Recipe goes by the ratio of 1 egg: 1 Tbsp sugar : 1 Tbsp flour, with additional ingredients for flavouring allowed

1. One Candy and Deep Frying thermometer for Most Creative entry (I'll be judging)
2. One Cake Leveler for a lucky entry (draw lots)

Closing date: 2 Dec 2010, 12pm GMT+8


Back to the post......

Ooh… I still have quite a lot of mixed fruit and nut from the Nantucket Blend that my MIL got me. What’s the next best way to finish them up other than making granola :p

Well, I still can’t finish it, I think I’ll do a cake with the balance, since I’ve done cookie and now breakfast bars…. Wait, gimme some time.

Nantucket Blend Granola Bars
Recipe adapted from 2 recipes: Anna Olsen and Ina Garten

2 cup rolled oats (I used quick cooking)
1 cup nuts and seeds, lightly toasted and chopped (any nuts or seeds that you like), this time I used almonds and pistachios
1 cup dried fruits (any fruit you like), a mix of cranberries and raisins
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes (angel flakes), lightly toasted
½ tsp salt

100gm soft brown sugar
50gm honey
80gm butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten

1. Preheat the oven at 160/180C. fully line a 10 inch square pan (a 9 inch square will be fine too), with overlapping sides
2. Mix oats, chopped nuts, dried fruits, toasted coconut and salt together.
3. In a small saucepan, heat butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla until melted.
4. Pour(3) into (2) and mix.
5. Mix in beaten egg.
6. Pour everything into prepared pan and level the surface. Press the surface (maybe with a flat bottom glass or a layer cake press)
7. Bake for 30 minutes, cool in pan for 20 minutes and put the whole thing into the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
8. After chilling, lift granola out from pan with the overlapping paper and cut into bars.

And I wrapped them up... so that one can just take a piece and eat, anytime :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chocolate Cherries Oatmeal Cookies

I have this large pack of mixed fruit and nuts that my MIL got me from US. There’s dried bing cherries, cranberries (they look brown cos no additive was added), raisins, pistachios and almonds. I didn’t know what to do with them, so, when I saw this recipe on Honey Bee Sweets, I was delighted!!!

I picked out the cherries and used some of the nuts, and voila, a yummy and chewy oatmeal cookie.
As Honey Bee says, this is supposed to be soft and chewy, and it’s not “Lau Foong 漏风", or masuk angin . It’s meant to be like that, and not crunchy. I did change the method though…. Using a method I learnt from doing a cranberry white chocolate cookie that never got photographed cos I was in my confinement when I did it.

Chocolate Cherries Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe adapted from Honey Bee Sweets

80gm dried bing cherries, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1.5tsp vanilla extract
Mix chopped cherries together with beaten egg and vanilla. Let it sit for at least half an hour until the eggs are absorbed by the cherries.

115gm butter, softened (I always use salted, and I skipped the salt)
100gm soft brown sugar
125gm rolled oats (I used quick cooking)
115gm all purpose flour, sifted with 1 tsp baking powder and 1 t/s tsp baking soda
100gm mixed nuts, chopped
75gm chocolate chips

1. Combine sifted flour with oats.
2. Cream the butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Mix in half of (1), then the cherries and all that is in the bowl.
4. Mix in the balance of (1). Then mix in the nuts and choc chips.
5. Preheat oven to 170/180C. Prepare your cookie sheets and line them with non stick baking paper/parchment
6. Roll balls of dough and place them onto cookie sheet (I used a 1/2Tbsp measuring spoon to form half spheres)
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Place on rack to cool down before packing them in air tight jars.

My kids love these and kept on asking for more cookies : )

Friday, November 19, 2010

Figs and Tangerine Tea

Few months back, yes, this was done months back.... Blessed Homemaker posted this and I found this to be interesting, I said, I might try this out for nourishment.

But then few weeks later, I had some bad phlegm. So bad, that it was dry and sticks to the back of the throat. There was no coughing, so there was no way I could get it out. And then I remembered this cough remedy from her blog. With just 30 minutes to the medicinal shop's closing time, I wrote everything down and hurried to get my dosage of herbs.

Figs and Tangerine Tea, Zhi Ke Tang 止咳汤
(serve 3-4)
Recipe Source : Blessed Homemaker

10g Fritillaria, crushed (川贝母)
20g Apricot kernels/chinese almonds (南北杏)
1 - 2 dried orange/kat paeng (桔饼)
30g Dried Figs (无花果)
4g Liquorice Root (干草)
1.5 litre water

Rinse all ingredients.
Put all ingredients in a pot with 1.5 litres of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 - 2 hours.

Verdict: The taste was very nice, "Gam Gam Tim Tim". I won't say that I was "healed" when I drank this. But it did feel better, slightly better. But since I only took one dosage, it's hard to say. I took all the infusion in one night, but it's one dosage, you see. I was about to travel the next day, so I didn't make anymore.

But nonetheless for those of you who's got a bit sticky phlegm in the throat, try this out, it might work for you. I said might, not "would".

Thursday, November 18, 2010

White Radish Soup

We used to make white radish (daikon) soup by just boiling the radishes with pork ribs, with some cracked peppercorns, until we tasted a version that was so good in Seri Kembangan, Serdang.

My university is in Serdang, Selangor and my elder brother was actually my senior. Yeah, we took the same course. When I was a freshie, he was almost graduating. After his graduation ceremony, he brought our family to this Hakka Stuffed Tofu shop in the Seri Kembangan Chinese Village. My brother will definitely order their radish soup and indeed, it was very very good. And from then onwards, we never cooked our radish soup the same way that we used to, but tried to recreate what we had from the shop.

White Radish Soup Recipe

200gm white radish, peeled and cut into slanting pieces
50 gm carrots, peeled and cut into slanting pieces
200gm pork loin or 300gm spareribs (blanched)
30gm raw peanuts, soaked for minimum 4 hours, best overnight.
1 Tbsp dried mussels, rinsed
6 red dates, seeds removed
10 white peppercorns, cracked with the sides of a cleaver
1 sprig green onion/scallion, thinly sliced
2L water
Salt to taste

1. Put water into a pot and bring to boil.
2. Put in everything else except green onions and salt.
3. Bring to a boil and turn to low heat and simmer for 2 hours.
4. Season with salt and serve.


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