Archive for June, 2008

R: Asian crisps

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Perth is ABUZZ with sales at the moment. 50% mid year sale! Take an additional 30% off!! $20 off already reduced prices!!! $4.97 all dresses!!!!!!! So many shops, so little hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dizzy with excitment from the low low prices, i mistook the high derived from multiple purchases, for i-can-do-anything-if-i-put-my-mind-to-it bravado, and tried to alter my new acquired pants (plural), lest I double the price by the cost of professional alterations!

And I got to it without much hemming and hawing too!

Unfortunately i was right and there really wasn’t much hemming done at all.  This was my *2nd attempt*, and I used mum’s sewing machine as well. I knew as much at 14 when I cried every night before my home economics sewing assignments were due. Why did I think I could do it decades on? But then again, sew what if i can’t?

So I stuck to what I can- COOK! 🙂 Presenting, fying keropok (prawn crackers) 101!

1. Heat up oil

 

2. Put craker in, hold flat with chopsticks

 

3. Remove when fully expanded

TADA! As simple as ABC 🙂 And even simpler whan sewing. Phhhffft.

 

And just to how myself how great I am at other things than sewing- the chicken ‘tagine’ I made using A’s lu(s)cious preserved lemons!

A: I scream, you scream we all scream!!!

Posted in ice-cream with tags , on June 28, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

The lemon glut is growing, especially with me having procured more free lemons from my butcher! What with the price of eggs and butter growing exponentially as I type this post, I decided to make a dead easy lemon ice-cream from NL’s How to Eat (also on her website here).

Lemon season is gratifying for all sorts of reasons, one of which is the ultimate pleasure of watching minuscule shards of zest fall from my Microplane into the mixing bowl. Ah, if only the cavemen could see us now.

The recipe is so simple I could recite it by heart.

Combine zest and juice of 3 lemons with 170g icing sugar. Leave for 30 minutes for flavours to develop.

Whisk 420ml thick cream with 3 tablespoons ice-cold water until soft peaks form. Whisk in lemon juice mixture until well-combined.

Freeze.

Eat!

A: Buttermilk madness

Posted in Muffins with tags , , , , , on June 28, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

I adore baking with buttermilk, and have in my recipe collection a decent repertoire of muffins and cakes that call for buttermilk. Unfortunately, buttermilk once opened tends to spoil quickly (yes, even in the fountain of youth I affectionately refer to as Fridge). My local supermarket sells buttermilk in 1l quantities, where the average cake/muffin recipe uses 1/2-1 cup of buttermilk, which always results in the onslaught of buttermilk baking in a quest to use up every last drop of this milky ambrosia. More often than not I call on an old favourite of mine- a basic muffin recipe that doesn’t require the Kitchenaid (much as I adore my empire red powerhouse), just 2 bowls and a spatula.

cooling muffins

This time I split the basic mix in 2 and did a raspberry and white chocolate, as well as a lemon and poppyseed batch. I must say the raspberry and white chocolate combination is a hard one to beat!

Basic muffin mix

2 cups plain flour (or 1 1/2 cups plain and 1/2 wholemeal)

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3 tbsp melted butter

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well.

Combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.

Add wet to dry and mix gently with a spatula.

Add fruit/nuts/ chocolate chips (see tried and tested additions, below).

Bake at 190C for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12.

Tried and tested additions (no fixed quantities here, just add ingredients until it looks right!)

Raspberry and white chocolate

Strawberry and lemon zest, followed by drenching it in lemon syrup (equal proportions lemon juice and sugar, boiled till sugar dissolves)

Chocolate chocolate chip (substitute 1/2 cup flour for cocoa, add milk and dark chocolate chips)

Lemon and poppyseed- zest in mix, drenched in lemon syrup or topped with lemon butter after.

The list is endless!!!

A beautiful light crumb, thanks to the buttermilk no doubt. Enjoy!

A: Who’s your toddy now?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Voiceless yet again, this laryngitis has stalked me for 4 years now, sneaking up on me just as the holidays creep around the corner and pouncing when I least expect it. 😦

Sick of the standard honey-lemon mix and looking for a change from the mix-bag of bitter Chinese teas that really are quite comforting (despite the confronting assault on the taste buds), I have officially begun my quest for *drum roll* the perfect hot toddy!

I must say I really like this one. It’s probably the smell of cinnamon and cloves through the house that I’m truly addicted to, but the tea balances out the whiskey and really boosts the restorative feel of the toddy. I suspect the next one will be a green tea toddy, possibly with rum? Mmm… rum…

Trial 1: Spiced tea and whiskey toddy

ingredients for toddy

Bring to the boil:

1 thermos mug of water, 6 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 heaped tablespoon honey, 2 fat sliced of lemon

Once boiling, add 1 shot of whiskey and turn the heat off.

Add hot mix (spices and lemon included) to 1 teaspoon assam tea leaves in the thermos and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea leaves and enjoy!

I read somewhere that a toddy is really the sort of thing one sips slowly over the course of say, an hour rather than a wham-bam-thank-you-mam style drink, which sounds just right to me.

A: Haunted oven/pantry

Posted in Muffins with tags , , on June 26, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Botched up a lemon slice BIG TIME a couple nights ago. So much that I was too ashamed to even consider photographing it. Granted, I decided to make it in a new set of tart tins instead of a baking tray, which is what caused the giant leak, which resulted in giant pool of lemon filling on bottom of oven, which resulted in big black gooey mess, which ended up in big old sulk on kitchen floor.

THEN came the wonderfully moist chocolate cake that I have made over and over again with no trouble, that decided NOT TO RISE!!! Turns out self-raising flour really does expire and the pantry isn’t a rot-free zone like the fridge (because we all know that the fridge is a safe haven from all bacteria and spoilage, and food lasts infinitely in the fridge). Tastes ok but way too dense. 😦

flat choc cake

And FINALLY came the buttermilk chocolate cupcakes that just couldn’t quite hackit. Cupcake tins too full, not full enough, all in all they just didn’t look right!

sunken chocolate muffinoverflowing cupcake

So I picked out the best of the lot, slapped on some frosting and played with the cat.

frosted cupcakes

Try and try again they say!

A: Lemon season is officially upon us!!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 26, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

lemons

Bring on the Meyer lemons, Eurekas, limes that look like lemons, limes that look like lemons but taste decidedly like limes, Lisbon lemons,, big ones, little ones, bumpy ones, smooth ones yay!

I have a new lemon lady- she inherited a small orchard when she and her husband bought a place down south and it’s awash with all sorts of goodies! Not Meyer lemons (my ultimate favourite) but lemons nonetheless. (And persimmons and chestnuts and much more to come!)

Have done 1 jar of preserved lemons and lots of lemon butter but not much else as yet.

WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE LEMON MADNESS!!!

R: Hey hey hey!

Posted in Soup with tags on June 25, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

Last night’s dinner was AsianFusion. Thai, Nonya and Chinese. Love it! Spurred by our visit to Longrain in Sydney’s Surrey Hills and Amazon’s great deals, we ordered, and received our latest cookbook, Modern Thai Food, by Martin Boetz.  

Made the deep fried fish in hot and sour soup/sauce. It was lurrrrvely. Except for the fact that the house now smells of deep fried fish. Made mum’s winter melon and pork stir-fry. It was comfort food on a cold cold winter’s evening.

And to top it off, i tried this recipe from my nonya cookbook that I’ve gazed at longingly for ages now, but haven’t actually made. Not quite sure why, considering there’s only 1 ingredient, and 4 seasonings. UN-possible!

Tamarind prawns (or assam hei, hei hei) is dead simple to make, and the deliciounessity of it far exceeds the amount (or lack) or effort required.

For 2 people, I used 8 prawns. And what you do is basically marinade the prawns for about 2 hours in :

  • 2 Tbsp. of tamarind pulps, soaked in 1/3 cup of warm water; or 1/3 cup tamarind paste
  • 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Then heat your wok, and add in 2Tbsp of peanut oil. When the oil is hot enough, put the prawns in and fry on one side. Flip prawns onto the other side and pour the remaining marinade in. Simply fry until most of the marinade has evaporated, dish up and serve!

Of course, being gluttony, my resulting dish had garlic chives, broccoli florets, cracked pepper and chilli flakes in it.  Chilli is EVERYTHING. 🙂 I also used a thick caramelish dark soy so I omited the sugar.

Would loved to have pictures of the cooked dishes but the belly monsters attacked, and they were too quick and too ferocious. There was nothing we could do to stop them.

Picture from eatingaisa

<Picture courtesy of eatingasia>