Sunday, 29 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 12:53 pm
I hesitate as I write this, wondering if I should tell you readers. After all, I've already shared this recipe before, so I have no obligation to tell you what I put in them. The only difference (at least as far as I can remember - haven't made these in awhile) is in the making of them. Of course, that's no big secret either so... I decided I should write it up.
Why all the hesitation, you ask? Why all the almost-secrecy? Simply because... these are the BEST cookies I've ever made. Ever. They're little bite-sized mouthfuls of delight - at least for me. :D They're exactly the kind of cookies I've been looking for. Crunchy, not chewy. Not all at dry, but oh-so-buttery. And of course, all the chocolate in there! And the best thing is... they are based on the easiest chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever come across with - the chocolate chip cookies v6!
As you can see if you look at my original post, the main difference is that these v6.5 cookies are rather smaller in size than the original palm-sized ones. I've already mentioned in the original post that I should try to make them smaller, but I only just recently tried them. And man, that is key to their particular success! In fact, I tried to make them as small as possible, as tedious as that was. A grape-sized ball of dough, maybe smaller - more marble-sized - is just about right, I've found.
As you might guess, by making them smaller, you get the crunchier cookies that I've been looking oh-so-long for. I know, its such a D-oh! moment, but oh well... at least I found it out eventually. I mean, Famous Amos' cookies are small for a reason, I guess?? I once saw a picture eor a documentary on them, and the balls of cookie dough on the baking tray were tiny. I mean, really small. And... I've only just tried making my cookies that small after so many years of trying the big palm-sized ones. Sigh.
Anyway, these cookies were delectable! They were tedious-ish to bake, particularly since I have so much work to do these days, but my sisters have been baking a lot back in Brunei, and I just had to make something of my own. I was wondering if I should try a new recipe and give you guys a v9 chocolate chip cookie recipe, but decided to stick with the v6 ones, so I don't have to take out my mixer. Which was a good thing! :D :D :D
The recipe makes a huge huge batch. I got two huge container-fulls of them - 9x6x3-inch containers. Because I couldn't possibly finish all of that in time while the cookies are still fresh and not become H-U-G-E (or possibly, on a sugar overload), I gave them all away. :D Well, most of them, hehe. I kept quite a bit for myself. The rest have mostly reached their recipients... except for one more batch, which should reach them soon. ;)
And mostly, they've been met with delight. The friends at uni I gave them to positively scarfed them down. They all seemed excited at getting home-made cookies, haha. I would ordinarily think that they were saying they were nice just coz I made it, you know? But some of them just kept on eating and eating and eating.... So... there must be a grain of truth in what they said, right? :D
I also gave away a batch to my relatives in London, who happened to have some guests over as well - some of my cousins. And they said that the cookies were deeeee-lish! Apparently, they have a slight... flavour to them, which they can't place but really liked, apparently. I can't say I noticed, since I've made these cookies before.... but it may have been the dark brown sugar I used. Also, I used golden granulated sugar instead of white, since that was available in the Brunei Hall kitchen and I didn't have any. So that probably contributed as well. Oh, and just in case you're curious, I used a mix of plain chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips since those were all I had. I would have preferred the plain chocolate chips, actually.
Anyway, there you go. :D The best cookies I've ever made... revealed. Seriously!
Quote of the day: All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 8:00 am
As I've mentioned in the last post... I like crispy golden fried chicken wings. *drool* So when I heard of this particular Thai dish... where chicken wings are stuffed with something then fried, I thought... "Whoa, that sounds awesome!" I just had had to try it!
Of course... some of the ingredients they used in the stuffing were not stuff that I could use, or would like to use. Things like... shrimps, prawn, pork, mushrooms.... Then again, there was the odd recipe that uses chicken meat. Chicken inside chicken? Sounds good to me, haha. Here we go!
What you need:
3 chicken wings
1 small drumstick - I dunno, niblets, they call them? The part that is attached to the wing - debone and mince finely
50g vermicelli noodles, soaked and cut into 1cm pieces
1 teaspoon chopped lemon grass
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 shallot, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh root ginger
1 tablespoon basil, chopped finely
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
Crushed dried chillies, to taste
1 teaspoons baking powder
70g plain flour
20g rice flour
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- mix with enough water to make a batter
Cornflour, mixed with a little bit of water to make a thin paste
Turmeric, with a bit of salt
What you do:
- Bend the chicken wings back against the joint and use kitchen scissors to cut around the top of the bone that usually attaches the wing to the small drumstick. Scrape the meat and skin down the bone so that you can break the bone free at the joint.
- Ease the skin down the joint and detach from the flesh and bone. Scrape off the flesh and skin from the rest of the bones. Remove the bones at the joint leaving the end section. Set aside.
- To make the filling, mix up all the filling ingredients together. Using a teaspoon, place a small amount into the space in each wing. Don't overstuff!
- Meanwhile, heat some oil for deepfrying (I just shallow fried :P Oil is expensive!). Dip each wing into the batter of your choice and fry for about 7-8 minutes or until they are cooked through. When deepfrying, the wings apparently float to the top once they're done? Not sure about that, since I didn't do it...
- Drain on kitchen towels, and serve immediately.
I used batter #2, the one with the cornflour and water. I must say, it was quite nice. Very crispy yet very light, so you don't get a skin of flour like you would, if you had coated the chicken with just cornflour and fried it. I should have seasoned either the chicken or the coating though, because I found it a bit bland (apart from the filling). Of course, it might be my salt-accustomed tastebuds talking, so feel free to do what you like. :)
Also, of course, feel free to fill this with whatever filling you like too. Before I made this, I was contemplating on filling this with cheese and sundried tomatoes, and making it into sort of a pitta bread filling thing. Sort of like an inside-out pizza thing, hehe. But in the end, I decided against it because I didn't really want to fry it, not with the cheese. Too unhealthy. :P I might try it someday though, if I feel braver, haha.
If you have any extra filling, don't fret! Just shape it into a ball, dip it in your chosen coating and fry together with the rest of the wings. I made too much filling myself, and thought the mini chicken ball was rather nice as well. I love love the coating. So nice and crispy!
Oh, one more thing. This did take awhile to make. Mostly deboning the chicken wings. And also chopping up the chicken meat to make the filling. But filling the chicken wings were easier than expected, so everything was smooth sailing after that. You might not want to make this for more than 2 people though. At least not without some help. You have been warned. :)
Quote of the day: A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen and this kitchen is delirious.
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 8:10 am
I like chicken, as you might be able to tell, but what I like most of all is fried chicken. Crispy but juicy chicken wings, fried to golden perfection. Mmmmmmmmmmm! Often, simple is best. I think not many dishes can beat chicken wings marinated briefly in plenty of salt, a dash of white pepper and just a little bit of turmeric, with perhaps a squeeze of tamarind juice. Fry that up, and I am well on my way to happiness. Luckily, these kinds of fried chicken are easily available during family functions (usually!!) so I have no lack of them. Except here, of course, but again, they're easy to make. :D
Anyway... all that ramble is to introduce today's dish - Taiwanese Pop Corn Chicken, posted earlier by the Cookie Monster. :D Because I like fried chicken, I am ready to try almost any dish which vaguely resembles it, haha. But of course, I keep on coming back to the simple one I've detailed above. But Cookie Monster has been extolling the virtues of this particular dish, and especially using sweet potato starch. Can it beat my favourite? ;) Here we go!
What you need:
500g boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup thick soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
1 garlic clove, minced finely
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Original recipe uses 1/4 cup sweet rice wine or mirin, which apparently can be substituted with white grape juice and grated lemon zest. I couldn't find white grape juice, so just squeezed a bit of lemon juice into the marinade
SWEET potato starch, for coating
Oil, for frying
Fresh sweet Thai basil - couldn't find this, so used normal Italian basil instead
2 tortilla wraps (optional)
Thai sweet chilli sauce, or another sauce of your choice
What you do:
- Mix marinade ingredients together in a bowl, then add in chicken pieces. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat up the oil (I added in enough to cover lower half of the chicken pieces - not quite deep-frying, but you're welcome to deepfry if you want :) )
- Coat the chicken pieces in the sweet potato starch, and fry in batches until golden brown and cooked through. Drain well.
- After that, deep fry some of the basil leaves and drain.
- You can eat this as it is, with some rice perhaps, or on its own as a snack, but I decided to make it into a wrap. To assemble, place half the chicken pieces in the middle of a tortilla wrap. Scatter over the fried basil leaves, as well as some more fresh ones if you want. Drizzle over the chilli sauce. Fold over the bottom of the tortilla, then wrap the sides around the chicken. Repeat with the other tortilla wrap, and eat immediately.
Also... that wasn't my only problem. I bought potato starch, and it was only when I got home that I realised it said SWEET potato starch. Not that I would have had a choice, as I don't remember seeig sweet potato starch in the shop I went to. So oh well. Normally, I wouldn't even mention it, but potato starch acts a bit... strange. Its texture is a bit like rice flour, I think, a bit squeaky. but when you fry it... it doesn't turn golden brown. It just stays white. Which is strange-looking, as it kind of looks like I dusted icing sugar all over the chicken, haha. I tried frying it for longer, but only managed to burn the chicken, so that wasn't a very good idea.
So yeah, word of warning, use SWEET potato starch. I've never used that one before either, but the picture in his post doesn't have white splotches all over, so I'm guessing it doesn't act the same way. Of course, you could just use normal flour, but apparently, using sweet potato starch makes your chicken even crispier. I can't confirm that, but my chicken was rather crispy. I don't fry much with flour though, so I can't say whether its crispy-er. But yeah...
Anyway, on to the chicken taste-test! I thought... that this chicken was quite sweet. Probably because of the honey. (Also, I'm not sure what exactly was thick soy sauce, so I used sweet soy sauce - kicap manis. That might have been wrong on my part, I guess. :P) I mean, I don't mind slightly sweet chicken IF its ... you now, sticky-ish with a sauce, or perhaps barbecued or roasted. But sweet fried chicken? Its a bit strange on my tastebuds. But I am not quite sure if its supposed to be sweet, or I did something wrong... will have to check.
Anyway, truth be told... my chicken was rather ugly, haha. Half of them were slightly burnt to a dark black-ish brown while the other half had white splotches over them. Doesn't sound appetising does it? :P Sounds like some kind of horrible disease that afflicts fried chicken. Anyway, it didn't taste all that bad though. Just a bit sweet for my liking, like I said.
But add it into the wrap, with the basil and sweet chilli sauce, it was great! The basil provided a nice tang, as always, while the sweet chilli sauce... well, made it slightly sweeter, but also gave a nice spicy kick. You might want to use a stronger sauce, if you're more spice-tolerant. :) Or use mayo, if you like that kind of thing.
So there you go... taiwanese pop corn chicken wraps. :D Of course, you can actually use your favorite fillings instead of this, if you like. Or forgo the wrap altogether and have this with rice or on its own. Its really up to you. :D
Quote of the day: Cook-books have always intrigued and seduced me. When I was still a dilettante in the kitchen they held my attention, even the dull ones, from cover to cover, the way crime and murder stories did.
Saturday, 14 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 7:20 am
Okay, maybe to some people, the thought of a savoury muffin may be a little bit... disturbing. Because most muffins are sweet, aren't they? I have no such qualms though, and am happy enough to try one of the many savoury muffin recipes I have with me. :D (I even have some savoury *cupcakes*... which sound a little bit strange, even to me. Oh well, never mind. If you mind about these kind of things (and I really can't see why), just think of this of a kind of a small bread roll, or a bun. :D Anyway, here we go!
What you need:
Oil or melted butter, for greasing (if using)
280g plain white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained (oil reserved) and finely chopped
2 medium eggs
250mL buttermilk - couldn't find this, so I substituted with yoghurt
4 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves (my poor basil plant!)
1 garlic clove, crushed - I used garlic powder
10g freshly grated Parmesan cheese - substituted with Cheddar cheese
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 200 C. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with 12 paper cases. This time, I did something a little different. I cut 10x10cm squares of unbleached baking paper, and used that as a lining instead.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper to taste into a large bowl. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a large jug or bowl then beat in the buttermilk, 6 tablespoons of the reserved oil from the tomatoes, the basil and garlic. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently until just combined; do not overmix.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin. Scatter the cheese over the tops of the muffins. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Leave muffins in the tin for 5 minutes, then serve warm.
Anyway, as you can see, I decided to do something a little bit different with the lining. I don't think the image of savoury muffins go very well with those paper muffin cups, so I was just going to make them unlined, like before. But I saw somewhere, where they used baking paper to line the muffins, and I thought I'd copy that. :D I can't seem to find where I found it though, which is a bit strange... I'm pretty sure I didn't dream it, but I really don't know where it came from. Very pretty though :D
Anyway, I said earlier that you should try thinking of this as a kind of bread. While that was a good idea, I think actually making a bread bun/roll would be a much better idea. For one thing, the textures of a muffin and bread are slightly different. I think bread is slightly more... elastic, somehow. So when you put this muffin in your mouth, you get the texture of something almost cake-like. Which isn't bad. Just more delicate that what I'd like.
Something else that was lost was that .... aroma of freshly baked bread. Love love love that smell. Our house in Brunei is situated in an area close to a bread factory (Gardenia, I am assuming) and every afternoon, during our enforced "outside play time", there would be the smell of bread being baked wafting over the garden. Yummy! I sometimes just sat on the fence and stuck my nose in the air and took a deep big breath of the bread smell. (Though to tell you the truth, I used to not like the smell of yeast fermenting. Microbiology lessons have gotten me over that though. :P)
Anyway, back to the point... while the muffin did indeed smell good, it didn't have that bread-y smell. The lovely smell of fresh-baked bread... yes, I am obsessing, haha. And because it didn't have that, it lacked something for me. Still good for breakfast (yummy toasted!), but lacking something.
I guess it would teach me to make a savoury muffin, haha! But it does look good, don't you agree? :D Also, to those of you who care... muffins are obviously better eaten the day they are made. I've had this for breakfast for the past 3 days, with no ill effects as of yet. I'm not sure if I'm being paranoid or what, but I thought (just thought) that one of them tasted a bit funny. Oh well, I've got one more batch for tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. At least I know how long they last. :D
Quote of the day: The sight and scent of a newly baked loaf has a romantic appeal that transcends all other culinary achievements.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 8:14 am
After all the easy-peasy dishes I've been giving you all the last few posts, I thought I'd go a little fancy. ;) Or rather, fancy looking. This is Food for Thought after all, and I abhor complicated food. Tedious, time-consuming food, no. Complicated, yes. Hope all you readers see the difference. ;) The one exception is of course, cakes, but even that, only rarely.
But anyway, back to the tart. Recently, I "acquired" some (relatively) cheap ready-made puff pastry sheets, so I bought a couple. Normally, I would make Ibu's Puff Pastries, but I thought I'd try something a little different this time. And when in doubt, always look on the back of the packet, where they usually have all sorts of handy recipes. (At least, in the UK) This one wasn't an exception. ;) So, here we go!
What you need:
1 375g sheet of ready-made puff pastry
4 teaspoons pesto
About 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
Olives, chopped (optional) - I omitted
1 pack feta cheese, crumbled into 1cm squares
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
Fresh basil, for garnishing
What you do:
- Preheat your oven to 200 C.
- Unroll the sheet of puff pastry on a large baking tray, and cut into four equal-ish rectangles. Using a sharp knife, score a 2cm border on each of the rectangles. Prick all over the inside of the border using a fork.
- For each tart, spread one teaspoon of pesto all over the inside of the border. Top with four or five halved cherry tomatoes (that's 8-12 tomato halves), cut-side up. Scatter over some olives and cubes of feta cheese, then drizzle over some olive oil. Season well with salt and black pepper.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until pastry is risen and golden. Make sure the bottom of the pastry is cooked! Leave to stand for at least 5 minutes, then serve warm or cold with a green salad.
Anyway, I made a few modifications. Main thing being ... I made it just enough for one person, obviously. Also, I didn't use feta. I would have loved loved loved to try it out, but it was much too expensive for me. Plus, I didn't know what I'd do with the rest once I used some for this dish. So I decided to substitute with mozzarella instead, but I would highly suggest you use feta, if you can. Mozzarella is a mild cheese, while feta is made from sheep's milk, and is apparently quite salty. Quite a big difference, but it was my tart, haha. But if you plan on making this, I really think you should stick with feta.
Mainly because the dish lost something, by using mozzarella. It was a bit bland, and lacking a bit of something, even with the pesto trying to keep it flavoursome. To be really really honest with you, I didn't really like this tart much. Mainly, because I don't like tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes, that is. I tried to offset that by added a few chunks of chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and even some toasted pine nuts, but they didn't help that much.
However! However, I can see that other people possibly might like this. I don't have the most adventurous sense of taste in the whole world, I am the first to admit that. So while this dish was not to my taste, it definitely can be to other people's tastes. Salty cheese, puffy flaky pastry, juicy soft tomatoes... how does that not sound nice to you? ;)
Plus, it really does look ever-so-pretty! I might try to make a similar open-faced tart with ingredients more to my liking, but I doubt it will look as nice. The red tomatoes, green basil, golden pastry... they just look so good!
Oh yes... one teeny tiny problem. I dunno if it was the oven I was using, or maybe the baking tray, but it took quite awhile for the bottom of the pastry to be cooked. And even then, it was still a bit soft, though it didn't taste raw. But in trying to get it as cooked as I possibly can, I probably stuck the thing in the oven longer than it should have been. Hence, the cheese was slightly overdone and the sun-dried tomatoes were little more than crisps. The rest of the pastry and cherry tomatoes were intact though. :)
Quote of the day: High-tech tomatoes. Mysterious milk. Supersquash. Are we supposed to eat this stuff? Or is it going to eat us?
Sunday, 8 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 9:28 am
Ah, the infamous Begedil. So easy, you probably don't need a recipe, but oh well, I might as well. Now, I'm pretty sure this originates from Indonesia, but do correct me if I'm wrong. Wherever it came from, its pretty popular in Brunei. :) Though weirdly enough... I don't remember Ibu making it at home. We either have it at some majlis (function) or some relative's house, or buy it from a stall somewhere. The ones from the stall are usually substandard though. I've had one that was bland, not tender and almost all potato. Not very nice.
Anyway, there are probably millions of recipe for begedil out there, so I'll add my own to the pack. This recipe was mixed and mashed up together from various different versions I saw online, so ... well, here we go! :)
What you need:
750g potatoes - I was using baby new potatoes. If you're using larger ones, cut into smaller chunks
200g minced beef
Handful of crispy fried shallots
1 clove garlic, chopped very finely - or use garlic powder
3 spring onions, very finely chopped
1 cup dried breadcrumbs - I used Japanese breadcrumbs, which aren't really made of bread I should think
Salt and pepper, to taste - I also used this grinder mix which had black pepper, salt, dried chillies, parsley and dried garlic to season, as well as extra crushed dried chillies
Flour, to coat
Oil, for frying - usually deepfrying, but I just shallow-fried them (hence the little pale circles in the centre, haha)
What you do:
- Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, fry the meat (no oil needed if you're using a non-stick pan) until cooked through. Set aside and leave to cool.
- Once potatoes are done, mash up with a fork or potato masher until smooth and lump free.
- Add in the meat, garlic, fried shallots, spring onions and dried breadcrumbs. Mix well to combine, then add and adjust seasoning to taste. Crack in the egg and mix well again.
- Using your hands, shape the potato mix into flat little cake shapes, about 2.5 inches across. I got about 24 begedils from this, but that would obviously depend on your size. If using immediately, lightly coat each begedil with flour and place on a plate. But it's recommended that you place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for a few hours.
- Once you're ready to fry it, heat up the oil in a frying pan.
- Break the remaining egg in a shallow bowl and beat lightly. Coat each begedil lightly in flour, then dip both sides in the beaten egg and then fry in the oil. Repeat with the rest of the begedils.
- Fry on both sides, until nice and golden. But remember, don't put too many in the pan at one time, or they'll turn out soggy and greasy. Not nice.
- Drain on kitchen towels, and serve while hot.
So anyway... to be honest, there's nothing much I can say to this, haha. Begedil is begedil. Obviously, you can modify this to your heart content. The base of the begedil is probably just the potatoes and the flour and egg coating around it. You can put whatever meat you want in it, so long as its in very small pieces - beef, chicken, lamb, fish even! Instead of spring onions, you can put in... leeks, coriander, or any green herb you like. :) So yes, there can be many many variations of the same dish. I only used my favorite ingredients. Well, not that beef is a particular favorite, but I like potatoes with beef. So beef it is. :D
In fact, I'm pretty sure there are many variations of begedil the world over. I know for a fact that there's a pretty similar dish in Sri Lankan cuisine, only they use fish. Not sure what its name is though, I should find out. Fish seems to be a popular ingredient with potatoes, actually. I've seen this little fish cakes here in the UK, which are also made of potatoes and fish. But there usually isn't any other ingredient, except for maybe salt, and I *think* its coated with breadcrumbs.
So anyway... how did my version go? I must say that there was very very little beef in it, haha. I didn't have a lot, and was trying to use up all my potatoes (which I bought specifically for the chicken curry before). All in all, I probably had about 100g, maybe less. If I had bought it, I probably would have complained about the person being stingy with the meat. :P
But happily, I liked the spring onions and the fried shallots were particularly good. I love those things. I like them better when they're crispy, but oh well. But other than that... I actually thought something was missing. Not sure what, but while the begedil wasn't bland, it was lacking a bit of ... something, a bit of depth. I just can't pinpoint what it was though. :( But on the other hand, I did quite like the kick from the chillies, which I hardly get in begedils. At least the ones I've eaten so far.
So um... yes... there you go, ladies and gents! Ihsan's take on the humble begedil!
Quote of the day: What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 9:12 am
For some reason, I fail at making Malay dishes. Its embarrassing. Even Hadi can make a decent chicken curry (albeit from those ready-made pastes) but I couldn't. I have no idea why. I tried making kari ayam from the same paste thingy that he used... but it somehow didn't work out. Don't ask me why.
But anyway, I'm always on the lookout for kari ayam recipes, though I know the recipe depends on the cook, of course. And many of the ones I've seen have long long long lists of ingredients, which may not be easily available (or afforddable!) here in the UK. So when I came across this particular recipe (offline source), I was pleased. It looked easy to do, doesn't have a lot of fancy ingredients, so .. I can probably make it right? But the big question is... will it taste good? Here we go!
What you need:
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
200g chicken - I used 4 wings
2-3 teaspoons curry powder, adjust according to taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 carrot, sliced into 1cm pieces - omitted
1 small potato, sliced into 1cm pieces
1 cube chicken stock
100mL coconut cream (santan kelapa - correct right?)
What you do:
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan/wok. Add in the ginger and garlic and fry until it starts smelling good. Add in the chicken pieces and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until nice and golden all over..
- Add in the curry and turmeric powders and stirfry for about a minute.
- Add in the carrots, potatoes, chicken stock cube and water. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is nice and thickened.
- Add in the coconut cream and stir to mix. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more curry powder, chilli powder (if you want it spicier) or salt as necessary. Serve with white rice, or roti canai (murtabak). Yum!
Anyway, as you can see, this is a really really basic chicken curry. Curry powder, potatoes, chicken and coconut milk. I really think the turmeric is there just for colour, haha. No fancy spices or anything. So don't expect much from this recipe, okay? I am not a miracle worker, haha. But in the end, I didn't think it was too bad, really. I found it a bit too sweet, maybe I added too much coconut milk (or maybe I wasn't supposed to boil it?). But compared to my previous attempts, it was a veritable feast, hehe.
The only breakfast I like to eat here at Brunei Hall is the one they serve on Thursdays, which is chicken curry with murtabak. I haven't had it in awhile though, so I replicated it here by eating this curry with murtabak. Mmmmmmmm, yummy!
It really was not too bad, considering. I definitely wouldn't mind having this again, so yay! I can add a really basic curry to my repertoire now, hehe.
Quote of the day: This curry was like a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony that I'd once heard.....especially the last movement, with everything screaming and banging 'Joy.' It stunned, it made one fear great art. My father could say nothing after the meal.
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Cooked by Ihsan at 8:00 am
I quite like pizza. All the stringy melty cheese... mmmmmmm! But it is very unhealthy. Oh yes. Plus, you would have to bake one whole pizza and it is impossible to eat one whole pizza by yourself. Unless, of course, you had one of those personal pan ones.
But anyway, I'm rambling out of topic here... what I'm trying to say is... I like pizza. And wil be willing to try almost any recipe that has "pizza" in the title, with Spaghetti Pizza Lasagne being a prime example. So when I came across this recipe, where the pizza is rolled up instead of being flat out, I was intrigued. Plus, I've had some minced beef stuck at the bottom of the freezer for quite awhile now, so it was an oppurtunity to use them. So here we go!
What you need:
1 portion pizza bread dough (or any other bread dough, really) - either ready-made, like I had, or home-made, if you're in Brunei. Just google for recipes :)
150g minced beef
Salt and pepper, to taste
Handful of grated mozzarella - as much as you like! I also threw in a bit of Cheddar cheese
Herbs, of your choice - remmended is Italian herb mix, but of course, this probably isn't available in Brunei. Just use your favorite :)
1/2 a 400g jar of Italian pasta sauce
*I also put in a chopped tomato and an onion into my filling
What you do:
- Brown beef (no oil needed, if using a non-stick pan), then stir in all the ingredients except the pasta sauce. Leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare dough according to pack directions, then roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Not sure about the dimensions (original recipe had "14-inch by 24-inch", but that would obviously depend on the amount of dough you have. Just use your common sense. :)
- Spoon filling evenly onto dough, pressing slightly into the dough.
- Roll dough lengthwise and cut into 1 inch-slices.
- Place rolls on greased baking trays, about 1 inch apart.
- Allow to rise for about 10 minutes (or whatever it says on the directions for your particular dough) in a warm place. I had forgotten that my filling was cold (I prepared it earlier, and put it in the fridge) so mine probably didn't rise so well. Meanwhile, preheat oven to about 200 C.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden.
- Cool roll-ups and place in freezer bags - 1 serving per bag. Add as much sauce as you want into each bag and return to freezer.
- To prepare, thaw roll-ups and warm in preheated oven (again, about 200 C) for 10 minutes, or cook from frozen in a microwave for 2 minutes.
- Serve with more sauce.
Obviously, you can use any filling you like for this. Just use your favorite pizza topping, and make sure it goes well with tomato sauce. :) Or, you can get rid of the tomato sauce bit altogether, if you like. :) Of course, you can just do a "normal" flat pizza, but where would be the fun in that? :P
That said, these roll-ups are not all that simple to make. Oh yes, it is easy, even with the long list of instructions up there, since most of the items are pre-made and the only real bit of cooking you have to do would be for the filling. Plus, rolling the bread dough up is not as hard as rolling up cake, for example. Which I've tried to do before, with limited success. Pastry too. But I found cutting the roll into slices was a bit tricky. The bread dough was kinda soft and squishy, so you can't press to hard with the knife, and if you see-saw too much, the whole thing ends up kinda distorted. Which is why mine look so ugly. :P
So what would be the advantage of these roll-ups over pizza, since normal pizza also freezes well? The biggest reason would be... its much much healthier. :P Of course, that depends on the amount of cheese you put in, but for this one, you can put just enough cheese you need for taste, as there's no need for the whole thing to be covered in a gleaming golden carpet of melted cheese. Not that I wouldn't like that. :P But this is definitely a slightly healthier alternative to pizza.
And ... um... that's it. :P I wouldn't dare say this tastes better, not without all that cheese. Mmmmmmmmmm!
Quote of the day: Believe it or not, American’s eat 75 acres of pizza a day.