Category Archives: Food

15

The younger son turned 15 today. Fifteen!

Yesterday, I wondered what I should make for breakfast for him and was tossing up between French Toast and pancakes. I had also bought some crumpets that were on special from the supermarket.

“Do you prefer French Toast or pancakes?”

“Umm….pancakes…?”

Then I remembered his love for Nasi Lemak.

“Would you like Nasi Lemak for breakfast?” I asked.

“Is that even a question?”

Nasi Lemak

 

Lamb Vindaloo for dinner. Forgot to take a picture! It was very good!

Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert.

Strawberry Cheesecake

 

 

Foodful Friday: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownies

I wanted brownies.

I wanted an easy recipe, ie, something that didn’t involve a lot of time and energy. The fewer ingredients, the better. The more just-put-everything-together-and-mix-and-bake the better.

I found the three-ingredient Nutella Brownies recipe that everyone was posting on Facebook.

Problem: I didn’t have Nutella. Don’t judge me.

Good News:did, however, have chocolate hazelnut spread. (Yes, it’s the same thing. Don’t judge me.)

Problem: I didn’t have enough. (I said, Don’t Judge Me!)

Potential Good News: I had Peanut Butter and Cooking Chocolate.

Question: Could I find a recipe for brownies using those ingredients?

Answer: Yes. Yes, I could.

I got the recipe from here. (And it’s in metric!!)

Ingredients:

  • 225g crunchy peanut butter
  • 200g bar dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used dark cooking chocolate)
  • 280g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g self-raising flour

Method:

  1. Set aside 50g each of the peanut butter and chocolate. This will be for the topping.
  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.
  3. Gently melt remaining chocolate in a pan. When chocolate is melted, remove from heat, stir in peanut butter.
  4. When peanut butter is well combined, add in the sugar and stir until the sugar is just about melted.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to beat in the eggs one by one. Stir in the flour and scrape into the tin.
  6. Melt reserved peanut butter in the microwave on High for 45 secs, or in a pan, until runny, then drizzle over the brownie. Bake for 30-35 mins until it has a crust, but the middle still seems slightly uncooked.
  7. Melt reserved chocolate, drizzle over the brownie, then cool in the tin before cutting into squares.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly just-put-everything-together-and-mix-and-bake, but it was SO good!

I used crunchy peanut butter for the batter, and smooth peanut butter for the topping.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownies

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownies

Foodful Friday: Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit-and-Jelly Topping

Note: When I say jelly, I am NOT referring to fruit preserve. I am referring to a gelatin dessert-type of food. US Americans refer to such foods by the brand name, Jell-O.

Now that I’ve got that cleared up….

I made this for my younger son’s birthday recently. He said he wanted a cheesecake and so I tried.

Ingredients:
Base:
1 1/4 cups sweet biscuit crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:
2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk

Topping:
1 x 400g can mixed berries
1 x 85g packet jelly crystals (I used Port Wine flavour, but I reckon any berry flavour would work just as well.)

Method:

  1. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter, press onto the base of a 24cm spring form pan. Chill.
  2. Beat cream cheese until smooth, add lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk and beat well.
  3. Pour into prepared crumb crust. Chill until firm.
  4. Top chilled cheesecake with canned mixed berries.
  5. Prepare the jelly using 3/4 the amount of water the packet directions call for. I do this so the jelly will be firmer and not so wobbly. Pour jelly mixture carefully over the cheesecake.
  6. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm.
Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit-and-Jelly Topping

Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit-and-Jelly Topping

Candles are optional. 😉

Foodful Friday: Hong Shao Rou (Red Cooked Pork)

Hong Shao Rou (红烧 肉) is a Chinese dish that doesn’t really appear on many Chinese restaurant menus. I guess it’s because it’s comfort food —  one doesn’t go out for hong shao rou; one eats it at home, ladling copious amounts into one’s bowl of hot steamed rice. Heaven.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg pork belly meat cut into two inch cubes
  • 2 carrots cubed
  • 2 potatoes cubed
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • thumb-size knob of ginger, shredded
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 6 cloves of garlic peeled
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (you can use any white wine, or sherry, or rice wine as substitute)
  • 1 1/2 cups clear stock (or water)

Hong Shao Rou ingredients

Method

Heat up vegetable oil and the sugar in a pot over medium heat. Stir until sugar is melted and starting to caramelise.

I used brown sugar. Plain old white sugar is probably better, to get the caramelising happening.

I used brown sugar. Plain old white sugar is probably better, to get the caramelising happening.

Put the cubed pork in the pot and brown it with the caramelized sugar. Stir until meat is nicely browned.

Hong shao rou

Put the ginger, garlic, carrots, potatoes, cinnamon, star anise, dark soy sauce, rice wine and clear stock into the pot. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat and cook for about 90 minutes. Stir every once in a while to prevent sticking and burning.

Cooking and Food 004
After about 90 minutes, raise the heat to medium high and stir until the sauce reduces and becomes thick.

Hong Shao Rou 3

Serve hot with white rice.

This dish keeps well and tastes better with age.

Foodful Friday: Baked Moroccan Chicken

I have been looking for ways to cook chicken drumsticks. Lest you think I have only been cooking chicken drumsticks lately, let me assure you that is not the case! I’m merely posting new-to-me recipes.

I got the idea for this Moroccan recipe from this blog. I doubled the amounts —  but totally forgot to put the coconut! — and reduced the amount of chicken stock.

Read the rest of this entry

Foodful Friday: Spicy Tomatoes Chicken Drumsticks and Potatoes

Chicken drumsticks are pretty cheap and economical from ALDI. A 2kg package costs AUD$5.99, meaning that it costs less than AUD$3 a kg. However, thinking up new and interesting ways to cook drumsticks can be a challenge. After a while, even Hainanese Chicken Rice gets a bit boring. (Just a teeny tiny bit, mind, because we still do love it so much and it is easy to prepare.)

So, in an age where thousands of recipes are at one’s fingertips — with comments and reviews and suggestions — I hit upon a recipe for baked chicken drumsticks with potatoes with Indian flavours. We do so love Indian spices here at the Yewnique homestead.

I got the following recipe from this website.

As with any recipe I come across, I sometimes tweak it because I don’t have the exact ingredients or I am trying to cut corners or whatever.

So without further ado, here is my attempt.

Read the rest of this entry

Foodful Friday: Meatball Curry

Once in a while —  okay, more than once in a while —  I crave a curry. However, only once in a while do I actually step up and cook a curry from scratch. Maybe things will be different this year (which is already more than a quarter gone).

I have never cooked a meatball curry before, but the mince was in the fridge waiting and waiting to be cooked and bolognese sauce just wasn’t going to cut it, so I decided to have a go at meatballing and currifying it. Why yes, I like verbing nouns, didn’t you know?

Ingredients:
Meatballs:
1.5 kg minced beef
1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
3 tsp. ground cumin
3 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp.  salt
4 tsp. lemon juice

Sauce:
1Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1 onion finely chopped
1-2 chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp.  ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 can tinned tomatoes
4 tsp.  lemon juice
salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine ingredients for the meatballs, shape into balls and set aside.
  2. Set a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the ginger-garlic paste, chillies, cumin, coriander and turmeric and cook for another minute. Add the tinned tomatoes, lemon juice and salt. Stir in 3 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Carefully place the meatballs into the pan and cook for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has reduced.
  4. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top for garnish and serve hot with rice.
Easy Meatball Curry

Easy Meatball Curry

Happy Pi Day 2015

A once-in-a-lifetime event: March 14, ’15 9.26.53

I ought to be congratulated because this is the first time EVER I remembered to do something for Pi Day!

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

 

Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert

Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert

 

Foodful Friday: Ginger Garlic Baked Chicken

Got the recipe from here. I tweaked it a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 kgs chicken drumsticks
  • 2 Tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 heavy dashes white pepper (or to taste)
  • Pinch of Chinese five-spice powder (optional)

Method:

  1. Place chicken in baking dish. Gently rub the ginger-garlic paste onto the chicken. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine evenly. Pour over chicken drumsticks  and stir until the drumsticks are nicely coated with all the ingredients.
    Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2.  Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the surface turn golden brown and charred. Serve warm.

What I was aiming for (pic from here):

What I got:

2015-01-09 18.23.50

Nailed it? Close enough? Missing sesame seeds and coriander leaf garnish, I know.

 

Foodful Friday: Madras Beef Curry

Got the idea from here. Tweaked it a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 3 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 kg chuck steak, cut into 2.5 cm cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock

Method:

  1. Combine coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, and lemon juice in a bowl to form a paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add half the beef. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add spice paste. Cook for 1 minute. Return beef to saucepan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until meat is coated with paste. Add tomato paste and stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until beef is tender.
  4. Remove lid. Cook, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes, or until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Serve with rice and salad.
Madras Beef Curry

Madras Beef Curry

Picture from recipe site:

What I got:

Serve with rice.

No fork, no raita, no mint leaves.

 

Salad: Spinach leaves, carrots, pineapple pieces, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions

Salad: Spinach leaves, carrots, pineapple pieces, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions

The meat, if cooked properly, should be so tender it breaks apart when you pierce it with a fork.

Enjoy!

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