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Showing posts from May, 2006

Seafood Paella

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Paella (noun):

A dish made of saffron-flavoured rice with chicken, shellfish, and a variety of other ingredients cooked together, originally from Spain.

-- definition from Encarta World English Dictionary


I have came across this dish many times in a few of my cookbooks, but somehow it just didn't make it to my "to-attempt" list. However, when I have some squids and prawns sitting my fridge, the first recipe that came to my mind was this foreign sounding dish (so foreign that I am not even sure I know how to pronounce it!).

Much like the preparation of jambalaya and gumbo, this is a one skillet dish. Everything is cooked in just one pan. The only thing was that I didn't have any saffron, which by the way is a very very expensive herb, and hence will have to rely on turmeric to lend the yellow collouring to the dish. As for the lack of flavour due to the missing saffron, I could only guess how the original would taste like.

Since it is a one skillet dish, it also means that…

Power Mixer

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In my search for the next recipe to try on, I found a New York Cheesecake recipe in Baking Illustrated that calls for 2.5 pounds (equavalent of 1.134 kg) of cream cheese to be beated in a mixer. Yes, it is ALOT of cream cheese. When I thought of how my trusty stand mixer struggled under a load of 0.9 kg of cream cheese previously to make Oreo Cheesecake, I have no doubt that this would send it straight to the junk yard.

Then a quick flip to the front of the book which recommends the list of must-haves (and you would have to sell the rest of your house if you go about acquiring every piece on that really long list for your kitchen), KitchenAid stand mixers were highly recommended. And it is easy to see why.

Pictured here, this work-horse can handle up to 9 cups of flour or make enough dough for 4 loaves of bread in one go! Whipping up 2.5 lb of cream cheese would look like child's play with it.

Oh, how I wish that I could own one too!

Sponge Cake

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This is expriment No. 2 of my cake making.

After browsing through a couple of blogger's wonderful sponge cakes, I wondered if I should attempt to make my own. Then, a sign came. My fridge door was left ajar for 5/6 hour through the night and most of the things in it came close to room temperature! Diseaster! I had to think of ways to use all the highly perishables as I could. I had 7 eggs sitting in the fridge and that's just the number needed to make a sponge cake. Someone up there just sent me a sign, I think.

This is not my first time attempting sponge cakes, having made them as part of my Home Economics class while in school. I remember vividly that the sponge cakes I made then smells and tasted eggy. In my opinion, I would much rather have the Chinese version of steamed egg sponge cake. So when I saw all the sponge cakes were popping all over the blogs, I thought to myself that there must be something about sponge cakes that appeal to people. So I decided to give it a try a…

Japanese "Cottony" Cheesecake

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Came across this recipe from a fellow local blogger. From the description of it, it seemed easy enough so I decide to make this my first experiment in cakes. Indeed, the preparation was rather easy and the baking filled my house with wonderous smell of a bakery!

However, I met with a few glitches and my cake didn't turn out to be cottony and light as those store-bought. Well, I did confessed that I am not a very good cake baker. The taste of the cheesecake was really nice, but due to my lack of skill the signature mouthfeel was not there.

On a positive note, I have learnt a couple of points in cake making:

(a) ALL ingredients must be at room temperature before starting (and that includes the cream cheese in this instance if not there will be nodules of undissolved cream cheese).

(b) When folding in the egg whites, I should take my time to ensure that it is evenly folded in (especially into the heavier batter sitting right at the end of the mixing bowl).

The taste of this cheesecake is …

Cabbage Rolls

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Made these for dinner today. It was my first time making such rolls and Hubby asked: "Are we going Korean today?" Hmm... Well, I doubt that this is anything oriental at all, but this gave me ideas to make cabbage rolls by steaming it next time - oriental style.

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Cabbage Rolls
(adapted from Allrecipes.com)
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1 head of white chinese cabbage (those used for making kimichi)
(NB: You won't be needing so much, but rather you need whole leaves and also depending on how broad the leaves are for wrapping, you might need to use 2 slim leaves for wrapping instead of one broad one.)

Filling:
500g ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1 cup cooked white rice

Sauce:
1 (8oz) can of tomato sauce
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
Lemon juice of 1/2 a lemon

1. Seperate about 12 leaves of the cabbage into large bowl. Pour boiling water over. Make sure that all the leaves ar…

About cake making

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I had tried my hand at cake making numerous times. On good days, the cake looks decent and edible. On bad days, it would be dense and crumbly. I haven't given up hope of making those soft and melt-in-the-mouth cakes, but I know that if that's what I am shooting for, I would need to do my homework.

I read in Fannie Farmer's Cookbook (the un-updated 1918 version ) and she said this: "The mixing and baking of cake requires more care and judgment than any other branch of cookery; notwithstanding, it seems the one most frequently attempted by the inexperienced." Sound daunting already, doesn't it? Well, if I want to have my cake and eat it, I will have to put in some hard work.

Currently, I am reading this cake making book I got from the library. Entitled "Chocolate Cake" by Michele Urvater. She devoted at least a third of the book to the technique of cake making, which is good for me, cos I would think I need to start from the basics. But the tone of her …

Bountiful Bento

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If you have been seeing my same old meatballs on this page till you are ready to stop checking my page, here are two links to feast your sight on!

Bento Corner

Cooking Cute

Came across these links from another blogger.

Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Meatballs

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** Warning: This is yet again another post on slow cook pot cooking. **

I always prefer home made spaghetti sauce over those bottled ones, as I feel that those made from scratch is more zesty and tangy. That's how I like my sauce. Although I have in my previous post mentioned that we like to cook stew and serve with pasta, those are by no means the true-blue spaghetti sauce. This is the first time I made spaghetti sauce using a slow cooker. It was really easy. Open cans of tomatoes and load them into cooker. Set the timer. Done.

Since I grind my own beef and pork, I dumped all the indgredients for making the meatballs into a food processor and within a minute it was done. Only left with the shaping. Speaking of which, instead of 24 balls, I made 45 bigger-than-your-average-sotong-size meatballs. So I can't imagine how huge those 24 meatballs must be!

If you don't like your meatballs to be soggy and soft, don't add them in. I added them and they were too soft for my liking…

Savoury Pepper Steak

We are once again back to our slow cook pot cooking. I shan't go ranting and raving about the pros of slow cook pot cooking, if not this would be a very long post. To put simply, food is always ready when we are ready for dinner. We always like to make a thick stew and serve it with either rice or pasta or the newcomer, couscous. Easy and fussy free!

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Savoury Pepper Steak
(adapted from Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes)
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1 kg beef chuck, cubed
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 large green bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
1 can (14oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge beef cubes to coat thoroughly. Add to slow cooker with onion, garlic and bell peppers. Stir to combine.
2. Combine tomatoes with beef cube, soy sauce and Worchestershire …

Mi Jiang Kueh (Peanut Pancakes)

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Mi jiang kueh stalls are something that I would usually see in a morning market. Perhaps most people who eat it only have it for breakfast, but for Hubby who was an avid fan of Jolly Bean, he could eat this at any time of the day. Whenever I go marketing, I would be sure to get some of these for him (I don't eat this as I don't care much for peanuts!).

I first had the idea of making this pancakes when I still had access to Kitchen Capers and one of its members requested for others to share a recipe for this pancake. Before I was able to jot down the recipe, I was already denied access. Sigh.... Thank goodness I found another wonderful website with this recipe!

This was how the first piece turned out, guess I didn't grease the pan evenly enough and did not add enough batter.


Hubby made the second one. This time round he greased it properly and also cooked it over ultra low flame to achieve the light brown colour.


This is how the cross-section looks like. Honeycomb texture! Yay!…

Ginseng Chicken Soup

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After stumbling upon Angie's page and was introduced to Kitchen Capers, I was swamped with lots and lots of recipes that I was searching high and low to find. This online forum was started by this lady, Gina Chong, who is also a contributor to the Kitchen Culture Food and Travel magazine (the one which I took a recipe from for Drunken Prawns). Recipes are shared enthusiastically and cooking tips are given generously. Wonderful site! But however, I have been locked out of the site for a couple of days now, I don't know what's wrong as the site doesn't recognise my UserID. Have to wait patiently for them to rectify it. =/

I tried this recipe from the online forum. Made it with D.O.M. instead of Ginseng Wine. The end result was that the whole soup was ultra rich and also very very sweet (due to the amount of D.O.M. I added!). I had to boil uncovered for quite a long time to rid of the alcohol. In fact, it tasted better on the 3rd day. I will definitely make it again, but t…