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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mashed Potatoes with Eggs - Potato Week #3 and an announcement

Roughly about 12 years back, during uni's 2nd year, my housemates and I held a pot luck at our newly moved in student house. We invited friends and seniors over. One of my seniors, Peggy, brought a fantastic mashed potato and it was mashed together with hard boiled eggs. The egg yolk lent a wonderful aroma to the mash. Yummy!! That was all I can say.

Allan CCM, if you're reading this, please tell Peggy, ok!!

It's not difficult to make...
The rule of thumb that I abide with whenever I make this is

1 Russset Potato : 1 hard boiled egg : 1 Tbsp butter

Easy and nice!

Mashed Potatoes with Eggs
Recipe source: Wendyywy
Inspired by: Peggy

4 russet potatoes
4 hard boiled eggs,
4 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a pot of water to boil (won't need to big a pot,  5-6 cups of water will be sufficient)
2. Peel and cut potato into chunks.
3. When water has come to a boil, put in 1 tsp salt into the water.
4. Put in potatoes and boil until soft.
5. Drain potatoes and put into a mixing bowl.
6. Put in peeled hard boiled eggs and butter into the hot potatoes. Put in 1/3 tsp salt and some pepper.
7. With a mixer, whip the potatoes until they look all mashed up.Taste and adjust if not salty.
8. Serve with roast or just eat it on its own. Yummy!!!

All these pics were taken during the period of time where my dearie set the ISO to 1600!!!
And I was just stupid stupid taking ugly pictures not knowing why
Very high noise problem and super hard editing them.



Dear Readers,
This will be my last post for potato week.
I need to take another break, this time, for much longer.
I do not know when I'll be back, probably 3-4 weeks time, maybe sooner, maybe later.
I'm moving, yes I am. Finally!!!
The house has been renovating since October 2010 and it's time to move in and I'm busy with the final fittings and packing and unpacking stuff.

I'll still be checking email from time to time and the comments section too, just in case some of you have questions, but I cannot promise prompt reply.

Thankyou and I'll see you again with pictures of my new kitchen.

Love ya all,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fork Pressed Purple Potatoes with Pinked Shallots and a Corelle Set ++ - Potato Week #2

Purple potatoes, yes. Not sweet potatoes. They are purple spuds. I never thought that I'd be able to get them here, until I saw in Tesco's brochure (less than 1 month back). I was very very ecstatic about it.

The purple colour in the potatoes are due to the pigment anthocyanin, which is the same pigment found in blueberries, red cabbages, roselle and of course, purple sweet potatoes. But it's not the same as beetroots or red dragonfruit. If anthocyanin comes into contact with acid, it turns pink and with alkaline it turns blue.

I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen before I even saw the potatoes in Tesco, thinking, will I ever get a chance to try it out? And when I really did get similiar potatoes (hers were another variety and were much much higher in anthocyanins), I was so so so so happy!!

I didn't really follow the recipe, but just recreated something based on how Deb's dish look like, visually.

Fork Pressed Purple Potatoes with Pinked Shallots
Visually inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Recipe source: Wendyywy

500gm purple potatoes
2 Tbsp butter or more
1/4 tsp salt
Handful of parsley, chopped

Peel and steam potatoes (whole) until soft (can be poked through easily with a chopstick or with a dinner knife). Remove from heat and place potatoes onto serving plate. Press potatoes until they break apart, but not mashy. Heat small saucepan and melt the butter. Put some salt into the butter. Pour melted salty butter evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle pinked shallots over potatoes and lastly top with chopped parsley.

Pinked shallots
5 shallots
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp sugar or more
1/3 tsp salt

Peel and slice shallots thinly.
Mix with lemon juice and salt. The adjust the taste with sugar. Let it sit for 1 hour before using. Before use, fish out shallot and do not use the remaining liquid.

The potatoes tasted OMG. I mean, the dish itself. I'm a lover of all things sweet and sour (but I don't take dried pickled fruits, like sour plum. Not that I hate them but I don't really think of eating it, even when I'm pregs) The potatoes were slightly sweetish.. err.. or was it due to the pinked shallots.. kekeke. The pickled shallots were a perfect contrast to the buttery steamed potatoes. All I know is that I love love love this potato dish and if I were to see these purple spuds again, I'll definately get my hands on more. The colour actually turned nicer an hour later, compared to what you see in the pics, which was fresh and still hot.


Ok, here, straying away a bit from my blog...
I have, actually not me, I'm just helping someone. But it's non profit for me.

A Corelle dinnerset.
If you've heard about this brand, I need not say more.

picture from

•Callaway 16-pc Set includes 4 each: 10-1/4" Sculptured Dinner Plates, 7 1/4" Sculptured Salad Plates, 18-oz. Sculptured Soup/Cereal Bowls, and 10 1/2-oz. Stoneware Mugs
•Dishwasher safe for long lasting patterns
•Microwave and oven use for versatility
•Patterns won’t wash, wear or scratch off
•Break and chip resistance for carefree durability
•Stackability for cupboard space efficiency
•3 Year Limited Warranty (US)

Local department store (Jsc's) price : RM599
Featured price on this blog : RM 380 (36.5% discount)
This design is not available in Malaysia.
picture from

Purchase with Purchase Option

Product: Callaway dinner plates, 4 pieces  (picture above)

Local department store (Jsc's) price : 4 X RM66 = RM 264
Featured price on this blog : RM 158
Special Purchase with Purchase price : RM50

RM380+50= RM420
and you'll get the 16 pcs set and additional 4 dinner plates.

Purchase information:
Deposit : RM 50, balance upon delivery.
Delivery: By hand on either only 25 March or 26 March 2011 in Klang Valley or any other day if Ipoh or anywhere near Ipoh.
First come (deposit), first served.

Interested parties, please email me for more information

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eggs baked in Ham and Potato Hash - Potato Week # 1

A week of school break passed by so quickly. Now that Lydia is in kindergarden, I do feel the spirit of school holidays, the breath of relief that I do not need to wake up that early to prepare her, hahahaha!!
Well, I didn't go anywhere except back to my mom's for a few days and meeting up with Lena over for lunch. I didn't take any pictures with her, except that to tell you, she's a very nice lady. She came to pick me up at my mom's as I didn't drive that time, wasn't allowed to! We chatted for almost.... 4 hours. Hahaha, if it's not for the rain, it'll be even longer. Thanks Lena for the tarts, my nieces walloped every piece except for one that I ate. Hahah!

I had been sewing and sewing during the school break. 14 windows and glass doors needs to be adorned with curtains, which brings to 14 pairs of curtains and 13 pairs of screens, which comes to 27 pairs = 54 pieces of curtains!!! Crazy? Yes. My SIL asked me, why didn't I just pay to get it done. Gosh, if you have invested in a good sewing machine and yet pay thousands to get the curtains... then the machine would've gone wasted. I only used less than RM600 for 54 pieces of curtains. Less than 10% of what I would've been charged to get it done.

Many years back, I bought a book at Doulos. If you have no idea what Doulos is, it’s a ship that sells books. Yes, you go on the ship and buy books!!! It was only RM10 for a 256 colour filled country kitchen cookbook. A steal, so I didn’t really look through.

That time, I wasn’t exposed much to western food, besides what fast food outlets offer or, Steak houses(The Ship, Victoria Station, and the rest), so called western food that are all steaks, potatoes and boiled vege. When I flipped the book when I got home, I was only interested in 1 recipe, Duck Casserole with Chestnuts. The rest seemed unappetizing to me. Casseroles and everything jumbled up in one pan is not my thing that time.

Now, as I grew older, and as my cooking knowledge increases through blogging and surfing, I seem to go beyond the looks and look into the recipes.
Few days back (or months back), while chatting with Pei-Lin, I flipped through this book again, and I just found myself mesmerized by so so many of the recipes in a book I once made a white elephant.

Here’s the first recipe I tried from this white elephant that will now be made a treasure trove.

Eggs baked in Ham and Potato Hash
Recipe source: Country Cook's Companion by Liz Trigg
Servings: 4
200gm cooked ham (I used ham chips, and requested for the thicker chips)
200gm cooked russet potatoes (2 medium sized ones)
1 can of corn nibbles (the large one, I added this, because it's on the brink of expiry. It wasn't in the recipe itself)
3 pieces sliced cheddar cheese (That's the only cheese I have)
1 medium sized onion (about 70gm)
2 Tbsp Ketchup (I forgot to put, and it'll definately taste better with this)
200ml whipping cream (I put this in last minute because I was worried about the dish being dry)
4 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
50gm butter
1 heaped tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I had a pot of this, had**)
Some parsley for garnish


1. Dice ham, potatoes, cheese and chop the onion.
2. Preheat oven at 160/180
3. In a pan, melt half the butter and and pour the butter into a 8 inch baking dish/4 small dishes. Swirl the butter around and pour back into the pan.
4. Put in chopped rosemary and let it heat for few seconds. Pour rosemary infused butter into a bowl, Set aside.
5. Melt remaining butter and cook the onions until soft.
6. Pour the onions into a large bowl and put in ham, potatoes, cheese, and ketchup.
7. Taste. If not salty enough, season with salt and pepper.
8. Spread the mixture in the buttered dish/dishes.
9. Make 4 wells in the dish/dishes (picture above), drizzle in the whipping cream and bake for 15 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and pour egg into the wells and and drizzle the rosemary infused butter over the dish.
11. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until eggs are set.
12. Garnish with parsley and serve.

My kids loved this dish. Especially Lydia
Picture taken months ago, they do look older now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blueberry Yeasted Sugar Tart - Berry Week #5

Remember the Apple Yeasted Sugar Tart? It was so delicious that I made another version 2 weeks later with blueberries. My blueberries were wrinkled... hahaha. But then it won't matter when it's smothered with cream and baked.

Recipe here

Simply sprinkle the blueberries on top instead of pressing the apples in at step (8). The rest of the instructions remain the same.
Because the blueberries weren't pressed in, the yeast tart might puff up during baking and cause the cream topping to flow down the sides. To prevent this, I shaped a ring around it, with small pieces of dough.
I also changed my baking temperature to 180C (first bake) and 150C(second bake after putting on the cream). Colour was better this time. The baking temperature may vary with your oven.

Frankly, I preferred the apple version. The inserted apples gave the tart a moist and soft texture. This version is not as soft, but still nice.

I'm taking a week off.
Happy School Break to all parents and students
and see you again on
21st March 2011

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers March 2011 Fruity March

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Bowl Blackberry Cake - Berry Week #4

I’ve seen blackberries last year and they were super expensive, like about RM25 per punnet. And few weeks back (the time I wrote this post) I saw them at Jaya Grocer for RM15.90. I just got to buy them!!!
I came back, kept them in the fridge, I had no time to make anything as Christmas was around the corner and Lyanne’s birthday was soon to come too (that time).

After everything passed, I finally could get my hands on the blackberries. I used a few for the pizza cake and the balance I made them into this cake.
I didn’t have milk and lemon, but then I thought of the apple juice I have in the fridge. Haha, could use that instead to substitute the acidic part of the recipe. And I also reduced the sugar as I found 2/3 cup plus extra for sprinkling to be a bit too much, plus, now I’m using apple juice, so better reduce, not the usual 30% for American recipes, but more.

A simple one bowl cake, Lydia’s first cake. She helped with the stirring and putting in the blackberries. That girl put her finger into the batter bowl and licked it. “Yucky, I don’t like this!”
Haha, I told her, it’s not cooked yet. Wait til it’s out from the oven, then you tell me it’s yucky.

Kids : )

One Bowl Blackberry Cake
Recipe Source : Espresso and Cream

135gm cake flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sodium bicarbonate
80gm sugar + 20gm sugar for sprinkling (reduced from 2/3 cups(135gm) +extra for sprinkling)
125ml unsweetened apple juice (substituted the milk and lemon juice in original recipe)
55gm melted butter
1 egg
1 cup black berries (I used less than one punnet)

1. Preheat oven at 170(fan)/190C. Line the base of a 9 or 10 inch shallow pan. (I used 10)
2. Sift flour, baking powder and sodium bicarb into a mixing bowl. Mix in 80gm sugar.
3. Make a well and pour in apple juice, melted butter and egg. Mix until combined.
4. Pour batter into lined pan and arrange blackberries(I cut each into half) onto cake.
5. Sprinkle sugar over batter
6. Bake cake for 20 minutes (the baked cake is only about 1.5cm tall when cooled down)

The moment Lyanne saw the cake, she yelled “Pizza!!”. Hahaha, she didn’t give the same reaction when she saw her birthday “Pizza Cake”. I wished she said the same when she saw her birthday cake. Ok, about the taste, simply divine. It may be thin, but it’s not dry. Soft and fluffy and the sugary crust was simply delicious. Best eaten warm so that the sugary crust remains crunchy. When I brought this cake down to Mike’s office, people looked at it, asking me whether it’s sweet, due to the look of it, but when they all tasted it, they said, not sweet, and it’s just nice and very yummy.

If you cannot find blackberries, feel free to use other berries. But don't forget to change the name to fit the cake.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers March 2011 Fruity March

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Berrylicious Yogurt Ice cream - Berry Week #3

This is a cleaning the fridge ice cream.

The strawberries has been in my freezer for many many months. More than 9 months, I guess. And a punnet of blueberries almost on the brink of being totally dried up by the fridge, half a lemon left from a rhubarb juice, a carton of half finished yogurt and a bit of whipping cream left in a large carton.

What better way than to use them all up in an ice cream. So I made this up.. and the outcome was really good. But weirdly, this melted faster than my Blueberry Ripple Yogurt Ice Cream, although this version contains more gelatin. The actual fact is that this version contains more cream than the former version. Maybe that’s why.. maybe.. I’m saying maybe.

I also made some into popsicles

Berrylicious Yogurt Ice Cream
Recipe source: Wendyywy

125gm blueberries
125gm strawberries, hulled
100gm sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp gelatin
1 Tbsp water

170gm plain yogurt
300gm whipping cream

1. Cook strawberry blueberries and sugar until the syrup turns into a nice purplish colour.
2. Turn off the heat and put in lemon zest and juice.
3. Let it cool down and blitz to a puree. Set aside.
4. Place gelatin and water into a larger bowl. Let it sit for 2 minutes.
5. Heat 1/3 of the puree until it is hot and pour into gelatin mixture. Stir until gelatin melts.
6. Mix with the rest of the puree. Combine with the yogurt.
7. In a cold bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks.
8. Pour 1/4 of the puree into the whipped cream and fold with a whisk.
9. Repeat step (8)
10. Pour in all the puree and fold.
11. Pour ice cream mixture into prepared moulds (a loaf pan or popsicle moulds)
12. Chill overnight until totally frozen.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers March 2011 Fruity March

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Red Berries Tray Bake with Cheesecake Ripple - Berry Week #2

I am a girl and I love pink. Well, maybe a woman now, hehe.

Well, girls seem to be born with this liking for pink. My girls love pink. I never teach them to like pink.
I am not pink crazy that I love my car or room to be pink, dressed in pink from top to toe, pink lipstick and eyeshadow, but when cakes or desserts come in pink, I am totally swooned. Absolutely swooned!!! So, when I saw this cake on Technicolor Kitchen, I just can’t say no to it, and I have half a block of cream cheese left from my Pomegranate Cream Cheese Orange Salad. And I also have strawberries left over from the “tomato sauce” for the Pizza Cake. And I just bought some raspberries too.

Not that I don’t love plums that I don’t want to use them like Patricia did. Red plums are in season now, and I just saw them at RM12/kg. Not too expensive, cheaper compared to using rasps and strawberries. But since I already have those ingredients in hand, so just use them, rather than go and buy 4 plums for this. Plums when baked are very pretty. They have this wonderful pinkish hue from their skin. It doesn’t look as pretty when the fruit is raw, but when baked, the colour is super pretty. You can see how pretty it is in my plum and nectarine cobbler.

At first I wanted to use some blueberries too, but then I don’t want to spoil the “pinkness” in this cake. Feel free to use blueberries or even fresh peaches (Australian peaches in season now!!!!).
Basically, any soft fruit will work with this cake. Substitute with whatever you have on hand. But don't forget to change the name to fit the cake. A cake with blueberries can't be called red berries tray bake, or a cake with peach can't be called a berry cake too, as peaches are stone fruits, a category in its own.
I also changed the method for the cake. I used creaming method, just to reduce slightly the amount of baking powder used. I didn’t reduce the sugar content as my fruits are rather tart. If your fruits are really, really sweet, then reduce the sugar, as the sourness of the fruits seems to intensify after baking.

Red Berries Tray Bake with Cheesecake Ripple
Original recipe from : Waitrose

Cream cheese mixture
125gm cream cheese
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cake batter
120gm butter
120gm soft brown sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
140gm all purpose flour
1/ 2 tsp baking powder
200gm raspberries and strawberries

1. Rinse fruits and set aside to air dry.
2. Fully line a 8 inch shallow square pan with overlapping baking paper.
3. Preheat oven to 160(fan)/180C.
4. Sift flour with baking powder, set aside.
5. Beat cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until creamy, put into a plastic bag.
6. Cut the strawberries and tear raspberries into halves.
7. Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
8. Add in eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
9. Put in half of sifted flour and beat until combined and beat in the balance of flour.
10. Put 40% of the batter into the lined pan, spread it around.
11. Snip a corner (abt 8mm) off the plastic bag with cream cheese in it. Squirt ½ the cream cheese all over the spread out batter.
12. Arrange half the fruits over the batter. Gently press them in.
13. Dollop remaining batter over fruits, press and spread the batter over the fruit.
14. Squirt the balance of cream cheese over cake and arrange the balance of fruits. Gently press the fruits in.
15. Bake for 35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Very soft and moist!!! The cream cheese ripple added a special dimension to the taste of the cake. Creamy and dense compared to the soft moist cake. Yummylicious! As predicted, the berries turned tarter after being baked. The strawberries were still fine, but the rasps are…. Hahaha, squince a bit when you eat. But then, the next day, the tartness mellowed and was longer as sharp. Same thing happened to my Stone Fruit Tea Cake 2. It only tasted fragrant and sweet the next day. So, if you ever find the cake to be too sour for your tastebud, keep it for one day, it’ll be much better.

Do not keep it at room temperature for more than 24 hours. It contains cream cheese and you better chill it to prevent it from turning bitter and bad. Warm it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, and the cake is very nice when eaten warm.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers March 2011 Fruity March

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cake - Berry Week #1

A bluish purple cake is such a pain the neck to produce without food colouring added. Natural pigments like anthocyanins found in fruits and vegetables seem to not remain prettily purple after baking. So, I tried to play around with its colour. The colour of the pigment can be easily altered by either adding an acid or an alkali. Acids like lemon juice, vinegar and alkali like baking soda.

I also found that South American blueberries tend to have a redder hue, compared to the ones planted in US. When I cooked the blueberry paste, I found that it turned magentaish, something like the colour of Barney the Dinosaur because I made it with SA blueberries, grown in Chile. I tried another batch with Argentinean blueberries and they too, turned to the colour of Barney. When I made my Blueberry Ripple Yogurt Ice Cream last time with American blueberries, the colour was more bluish. Which was why I realised the colour difference. Your opinion may differ from mine, this is purely my own opinion. So, in order to turn it to become more purplish, I added some baking soda bit by bit to turn it into the colour I want. Don't get it too blue as when it gets made into a batter, it turns bluer. Which might explain why some blueberry bakes turn greyish. Too alkaline already. I guess that is more rampant with northern blueberries. To counter that, add in some lemon juice.

Actually at first I didn't think of turning this into a lemon flavoured chiffon. But when I mixed the blueberry paste with the yolk batter, it turned blue!!! Oh.. now I'm starting to worry that it'll turn grey instead when baked. And that was why I added in some lemon juice and zest in the end to counter it. This chiffon cake was bluer when fresh out from the oven, I peeked at the crack. But as it cooled down, it turned to be a soft lilac coloured chiffon. Oh well, better than a grey chiffon. Hahaha!

The pictures do not look sharp with high noise due to my hubby adjusting the ISO to the highest and I didn't know.
I only knew he clicked on the settings after I complained that all my pictures weren't sharp with weird light exposures and they all gave me a hard time editing and he checked the settings. A lot of up coming post with high noise problems were all taken during this period of time.

Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cake
Recipe source: Wendyywy

Blueberry paste
125gm blueberries
50gm water

Cook blueberries in the water over low heat until it turns mushy. Puree the cooked berries together with the liquid. Set aside to cool down.
The cake
4 egg yolks
70gm corn oil
50gm sugar
135gm blueberry paste
125gm cake flour
½ tsp baking powder
1tsp (packed) lemon zest
½ Tbsp lemon juice
(some baking soda for colour adjustment)

4 egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
90gm sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160(fan)/180C. Prepare a clean 22/25cm tube pan. Do not grease it.
2. Combine the yolk, sugar and oil and mix. Mix in the blueberry paste.
3. Sift flour and baking powder. Mix into (2)
4. Mix in lemon zest. Use lemon juice to adjust colour. If it turns too pink, add some baking soda. It the batter is too blue for you, use more lemon juice. It's hard to say how much as natural pigments varies in different berries.
5. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Put in lemon juice and beat until soft peaks.
6. Gradually put in sugar and beat until stiff peaks.
7. Put 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter. Fold. Repeat with another 1/4 of the egg whites.
8. Pour batter into the egg whites and fold.
9. Pour folded batter into prepared tube pan and lightly shake it left and right to level it.
10. Bake for 40 minutes or until done.
11. Invert immediately upon removal from oven and let it cool down totally before removing from the mould and slicing to serve.

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers March 2011 Fruity March

Friday, March 4, 2011

Clams in Broth 上汤蝲蝲

Lala is the local name for the clams used here. It's a thin shelled clam that is not found countrywide naturally. But sold countrywide. Maybe for the peninsula only. I'm not sure. East Malaysians, would be glad to get your clarification on this.

I'm not the type of person that consumes all molluscs. I don't like mussels and oysters. But I like them in soups, but don't ask me to bite into one. I CANNOT comsume cockles, no matter how tasty they are, no. I'd be in the toilet the whole day. I like scallops but they are too pricey. So, the cheapest and tastiest for me is Lala.
Used to be cheaper, but recently due to low supplies, prices hit RM8kg, which is considered rather pricey.

Lalas are very sweet, but they are dirty. They live in mud, not sand beds. So, you must wash them internally before cooking.
How to wash the insides? Soak them in salt water(as salty as the sea), not fresh water. If not, you'd kill them. You don't want to eat dead clams. When they sense there is salty water around them they will open up their shells and this way, the mud in them wil be spit out as well. Soak for a few hours at least. And never ever chill your lalas, you'd kill them too. Buy them the day you want to eat. If you intend to cook it for dinner but bought it in the morning, keep them alive in salt water. After cooked, do not eat any closed clams. Only eat opened up clams.

If you intend to cook them with a thick gravy, do not dump them straight into your wok. They'd release so much moisture you will have soup at the end and not thick gravy. Parboil the lalas before adding into you favourite gravy. You can check out my Spicy LaLa post.

But today, I intend to cook this with something light and clear. With broth. My hubby was estatic when he knew I was cooking lala for dinner, but when he saw I cooked it in broth, he said, 'Ohh Wasted. I thought you're going to cook spicy lala." But in the end, he slurped every bit of the broth, took 2nds and 3rds. Licking the bowl clean each time. Hahah! Never judge a book by its cover, or maybe a broth by it's colour.

This dish is inspired by Shogun. A Japanese buffet restaurant in Klang Valley. I know it's not one of the best places to eat Japanese food, but just close one eye for the price that one pays. They have this 'clams in superior stock' that I'd eat by the bowlsful each time I go there. My hubby wonders why. Hahaha. I did not use superior broth, but just frugal dried anchovies and this is good enough for us. The soup was cleared up by only 4 adults. MSG free and absolutely SWEEEEEEEEET!

Clams in Broth
Recipe source: Wendyywy

1kg lala clam
1/2 bowl dried anchovies, rinsed
1 L water

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed, do not chop
2 shallots, sliced
2 inch ginger, julienned
2 Tbsp goji berries (wolfberry)
Large handful of Chinese Celery / Kan Choy/ Daun sup
2 Tbsp Shao Xing Wine
Salt to taste

1. In a small pot, put in 1 tsp oil and saute rinsed anchovies for a while. Put in water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until broth turns whitish.
2. Soak lalas in salt water for few hours. Wash and rinse a few times in fresh water just before cooking. Removing clams with only mud in them. Some clams were long dead and the shells were filled with mud instead.
3. Heat a bigger pot /wok and put in 1 Tbsp oil. Put in smashed garlic and sliced shallots and cook until fragrant, no need to be golden.
4. Put in rinsed lalas and pour in hot strained broth. Add more water if needed. Put in ginger.
5. Bring a boil and season with salt.
6. Put in goji berries and cook until clams have opened up. Turn off the heat and put in Chinese celery and Shao Xing Wine.

Don't forget that I'm posting Mon-Fri.
See you on Monday.

Berry Week

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cheese Baked Rice with Prawns - Seafood Week #4

It’s been long long time since I had mozzarella cheese on my dinners, besides pizza.
Today I’m yearning for some. And the week before, I’ve just bought 500gm of mozzarella.
I was thinking of doing seafood with the rice, but my squids are all frozen in one lump, so I can’t get some out. I only have prawns, that were separated into portions. So, I only used prawns.

Baked rice needs a creamy sauce, and what’s better than béchamel sauce. Bechamel sauce needs milk and I don’t have milk, then I went to the nearby Indian eatery to get some fresh cow’s milk. You can use any milk you like, just that this fresh milk is the only milk available by now within walking distance as all the shops are closed on a Sunday evening. For baked rice, the sauce is not as thick as those used for baked pasta, so, you might find this to be much more liquidy than the original version.

Bechamel Sauce
20gm butter
1 Tbsp flour
350ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter on medium low heat in a saucepan. With a whisk in hand, put in flour and stir until no lumps are seen. Let it cook for a while then pour in milk and gently whisking all the while. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Stir the sauce once in a while, to prevent a skin from forming on top.

The Rice
Adequate rice for 2 persons

As many prawns as you like n
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 medium sized carrots, finely diced (5mm)
Salt and pepper
Cooking oil
As much sliced spring onions as you like
As much mozzarella cheese as you like

1. Preheat oven at 180/200C.
2. Heat wok on high. Put in 1 Tbsp of oil and put in prawns, spread around in a single layer. Do not toss them around. Let them cook until they start to curl and turn pink, then flip them over to fry the other side. When both sides are cooked and fragrant, dish up and set aside. Wash wok.
3. Heat wok and put in 2 Tbsp of oil. Put in garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly golden.
4. Put in carrots and rice and toss until rice is hot.
5. Push rice aside and put in eggs.
6. Push rice back onto eggs and toss everything until eggs are cooked. Season with salt and pepper, make sure it’s not as salty as your usual fried rice.
7. Place rice into individual baking vessels.
8. Top rice with béchamel sauce. Then arrange prawns on top of sauce. Then sprinkle spring onions and finally the mozzarella cheese, as much as you like.
9. Place the baking pans into a large shallow pan and put into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

See the sauce in there?

I was delighted with the outcome of the rice. The sauce was the right thing to add and the extra step of frying the rice made everything more flavourful. The spring onions were the best addition (never see anyone adding this), as when baked right under the cheese, it imparted a wonderful fragrance to the baked rice.
But let me warn you, if you are on a diet, just put that aside when you savour this rice. Definitely calorie laden, but definitely satisfying (IMPO).

See the stringy mozzarella cheese? Yummm

I wonder if you noticed the different coasters? My girls love to play with them and they always get missing.
Which is why you see mismatched coasters. I can't find matching ones!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Crab Cake Burgers - Seafood Week # 3

I never ever thought I’d make crab cakes. Never! Simple because crab meat is pricey.

For CNY this year, my FIL went on a seafood spree. Bought this and that and this and that. My MIL looked at the pack of crab meat and asked me, “Do you know how to finish this up??”
Haha, of course I do! The easiest way is crab cakes. It uses a great deal of crab meat.

And then few days before the day I was supposed to cook this (hey, I need to buy and gather ingredients ok, it’s not like I want to cook now, I can cook now), I then had the idea of making burgers out of the crab cakes and then hahaha, make my own mayo!!! Lime mayo with crab sounds good eh??? This crab cake burger is 100% homemade, except that I didn’t make the raw ingredients myself, didn’t plant my own lettuce, didn’t plant my own wheat, but then, all made from scratch.

I’m not that always that particular about my food, but I take it as a learning experience. Of course, buying buns and mayo is like.. walking next door only. Yes, I do mean that literally. My current neighbour, front and side are grocery stores and 2 more few doors away. But then, it’s a good chance for me to add more ‘posts” to my blog. Kekekekeke. But in the process, I do learn something new of course. I’ll talk about my mayo next time. And my burger buns too.

Today it’s only about the crab cake burger.

These are the crab cakes

The recipe initially called for 1 pound of crab meat, so then I reduced everything accordingly and skipped most of the seasonings as I can’t be bothered to go get mustard that I don’t’ really consume.
I too, like the other try-ers of this recipe found it too wet, even when I skipped the lemon juice and the mayo. My crab meat were moist but they weren’t wet as they weren’t frozen in water as some in supermarkets are. I found it so so hard to form into patties and flour them before frying. So, in the end, I threw the flour that I prepared to coat the patties with into the whole mixture itself. Phew, life is easier then on. I could form soft balls of it and gently place them into the pan. Life is full of contingency plans. Just don’t sit there and cry. Crab meat is very expensive to be wasted.

Crab Cake Burgers
Crab cake recipe loosely adapted from Paula Deen

350gm crab meat
1/3 cup chopped red capsicum
1 cup chopped spring onion (green and white, 2 large sprigs)
1/3 cup finely ground Ritz crackers (can use more actually)
1 egg
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp black pepper powder
8 burger buns
Some butter for spreading
2 cups of coarsely chopped iceberg lettuce
Some homemade lime mayo (recipe to be posted don’t know when) as dressing or any other dressing of choice

1. Mix all together and form 8 balls.
2. Heat a pan on medium low heat and put in some cooking oil.
3. Place balls of crab mixture into pan, and with an oiled spatula, carefully press the mixture down to form a patty.
4. Fry until both sides are golden.
5. Dish up and drain on absorbent papers.
6. Split burger buns into half and lightly butter them before toasting on a clean pan.
7. Place crab cake onto the lower half of the toasted bun, top with a tablespoon of lime mayo and then some coarsely chopped lettuce before covering with upper half of bun.

All packed into a large Tupperware and will be transported to my in law's place to be chowed down together

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Squids in Sambal - Seafood Week #2

These squids have been in my freezer for………… 5 months. I bought them before I got to know I was pregs, and after that as you all know I haven’t been cooking for a long time.

So, I finally thawed these and cooked them for dinner. Served them with piping hot nasi lemak. Being the understanding wife (*coughs), I cooked extra rice knowing that dear hubby will definitely ask for seconds. And truly he did. He can never resist my nasi lemak. Hahaha. Hey, not that nasi lemak Seringgit or 20 sen type ok, don’t stain ur brain. If you don’t understand the relation of nasi lemak and a woman, please refer to your Malay friends. It’s equivalent to our Chinese saying of Siao Loong Pau, Cha Siew Pau or Big Pau. Now I guess you know what is the relation of nasi lemak and a woman. Hahahaha!!!

Squids in Sambal
Recipe source: Wendyywy

300gm cleaned squids, cut into rings or whichever way you fancy
10 dried chilli
100gm fresh chilli (mine were really huge ones, so I don’t know how many regular sized ones, they were about the length of a del monte/dole banana)
50gm shallots (5 pieces)
10gm garlic (2 cloves)
7gm belacan (1 pinkie sized piece)
1 tsp tamarind paste (I used Adabi ready to use paste)
2 Tbsp coconut milk
2 Tbsp sugar (might need more)
1.5 tsp salt (don’t put in all first)
1 red onion, sliced
3 Tbsp cooking oil

1. Snip dry chillies into halves and rub them to remove the seeds. Soak the chillies in water for 10 minutes at least.
2. Remove seeds from fresh chillis, peel shallots and garlic.
3. Mill/Grind dried chilli, fresh chilli, shallots, garlic and belacan until fine.
4. Heat a wok and put in cooking oil. Carefully pour in the chilli paste and on medium low heat,
5. Cook until paste is almost dry. Put in coconut milk and cook until the milky colour disappears
6. Put in tamarind paste, salt and sugar. Adjust the taste.
7. Turn heat to high and put in sliced onions and cook until wilted.
8. Put in cleaned squid rings and cook until the squids firm up, it will only take 1 minute. (Take note that squids will release moisture, so do not put in water in the chilli paste earlier on)
9. Dish up and serve.


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