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Showing posts from September, 2010

Repetitions - Bread

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Finally, I've nailed this down. A bread which I am able to call my own. Or rather a bread whose recipe my overcrowded brain is able to recall without missing an ingredient. At least, not yet.

The original recipe came from the Japanese website and I tweaked it slightly to streamline the process (read: to facilitate laziness or cut corners).

Athough I love my white bread, a little fibre in the bread is always a good thing. So I added a little dash of wholemeal in the dough. Just a little.

So here's my streamlined recipe:

Measure 250g bread flour, 30g wholemeal flour, 60g plain flour, 4g yeast, 4g salt and 30g sugar. Empty into mixing bowl of standing mixer and turn on lower speed to mix evenly.

Measure 270g milk (cold and full cream; straight out from fridge is fine - really!). Pour into mixing bowl. Mix with a dough hook on medium speed.

While the flours are getting hydrated, measure out 30g of butter (+/- 10g; I like more when working with wholemeal flour). Set aside to let it softe…

A Scoop Of ...

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Ice-cream.

It has been on my mind quite often these days. Especially since I bought these cute little ice-cream makers by Tupperware.



Although the easiest way to go about it is to just buy an ice-cream maker from Cuisinart, I just can't bring myself to buy a single purpose equipment much less think about where to store it in my tiny kitchen. But all hope is not lost, for I've learnt that people do make ice-cream long before Cuisinart makes ice-cream makers. What a discovery!

I'm doing some research and hopefully get to experiment with it once our little princess is done with her cough. Sigh ...

But in the meanwhile, I made this.



When I saw this, I asked our little princess if she would want some ice-cream. Her whole face lit up brighter than a bulb. Then reality hit her and her eyes were full of suspicion. She leaned closer for a sniff.

And then, she said: "This is not ice-cream!" Her eyes were full of accusation.

I love doing that to her. I would think that after I die…

Hawker of Yesteryear

Go grab today's copy The Straits Times and read "Singapore's amnesia of the taste buds" (ST, 22 Sept 2010).

Recently I found myself repeatedly saying to various different people that the hawker these days are more interested in counting money than cooking the food. It is hard to find good food these days.

But then again how do I define good food? I am not too sure if I can articulate that well but here is what I found online which sounds closest to my way of defining good food.

"Good food means ... tastes, looks and smells delicious, is fresh, wholesome and pure, has nutritional value and will do no harm if eaten in moderation, is produced by methods, traditional or modern, the producer would be proud to show the public, has had minimal processing, has been humane in the keeping and slaughter of animals, has minimal chemical content, contains no unnecessary additives."

I think for the purpose of this post, let's restrict to the first half of the description…

Nicoise Salad

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Did you know that salad is now the new bubble tea in Singapore? Execpt that it is a whole lot healthier.

Healthier??

Okay, maybe not healthier. But definitely a whole lot more fibre.

There. A more politically correct statement.

For the longest time, salad to me was:

(1) just a lazy cook's way of adding fibre into the menu. I mean, come on, you don't even cook your vegetables? Maybe it is just me who has been brought up eating 99% of my vegetables cooked.;

(2) more for decorative purposes on a plate than as a side dish.

In short, I never took salad seriously.

But now I am a lazy cook myself, I am looking at salad with a whole new set of glasses. Especially after trying them out during my sampling of the Gourmet Cookbook and my Cooking The Cookbooks - The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2007. Suddenly I realised that I do like salads for the refreshing taste and do they make a difference in a meal experience. Or that they could actually be a meal by itself. Like this Nicoise Salad.

Sour Cream or Yogurt Coffeecake

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What is a coffeecake?

I had no idea. So I googled it.

Coffeecake: a cake or sweet bread usually served with coffee.

Oh ... okay ... .That was ... erm, enlightening.

Now, what is a teacake then?

Alright, that's another story for some other day. Today it is about coffeecake.



I found a small tub of sour cream sitting in my fridge. I find such surprises everyday in my fridge and wonder constantly who the smart alec was to stock the fridge with such stuff and conveniently forgot about it. Oh look! I found a round block of Provolone cheese, too!



Chucking the cheese back into the fridge, I looked at the tub of sour cream. Possibilites race through my mind. Nachos? Baked potatoes? Rosti?

Nah ... I was in a mood for something sweet. Which doesn't happen often these days.

Flipping through JOC, I stumbled upon this recipe. I love serendipity, don't you?
By the time I sat down to eat the cake, it was almost 10pm and it just didn't feel right to pump caffeine into the body at this time. So I…

TV To Table

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Just the other day, I was watching Chef at Home and the guy on the tv started frying up some potatoes. Princess and I looked at the tv for a while and then at each other.
Princess: "Mommy, I wish I can have some of that fried potatoes."
Me: "Yeah, I wish for some too."

Then after a while of staring at the tv, the chef, Michael Smith, poured some garlicky dressing over the pan-roasted potatoes.

Princess: "Noooooooo ... That is yucky!"

Me: "Yeah, way too much garlic for me." I am no vampire, but one whole head of it??!!

Princess: "Mommy, can you make the potatoes for me without the yucky sauce (referring to the dressing)?"

Me: "Well, I do have a bag of baby potatoes ... "

20 minutes and many splatters of oil later, we were happily munching on the crispy potatoes. Princess ate hers with her favourite mayonnaise and we ate ours with the reduced garlic version of the dressing.

Repetitions - Salsa

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Lesson learned: Ultra-chunky salsa = bad idea when eating with taco chips. Unless your taco chips are made of sturdier stuff than just brittle taco.This is easy to put together once I fished out all the ingredients from the fridge. The rest was just pure knife-work. So depending on how fast you flash your knife, I put it together in about 10 minutes. I had listed this on my Repetition list for a few reasons: (1) we love anything with salsa; and (2) it is a handy dish to bring when going for casual gatherings.Burgers with salsa topping, grilled meats with salsa on the side, and nachos are just some of the ways with salsa.I love the recipe so much I tacked it on my fridge door!