While I was there in physical form, my mind had raced home. I was cracking my head on what to cook as Greg needed dinner at 7pm to be able to start working at 7.30pm.
Basic Tomato Coullis
2 no of med onion, diced
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 no of big tomatos, diced
2 can of 400gm of tomato puree/core peel tomatos
1 teasp of oregano
4-5 tbsp of olive oil
Salt, pepper, sugar to taste
Tomato bases are the basic sauces for pizzas. Normally there are the traditional one and sometimes a fiery one. This recipe calls for core peel tomatos, or if you are more hardworking, cook your own 1 kg of plum tomatos. Or if you are lazy, then use ready-made tomato puree. So I usually go for an in-between with whole peel from the can.
1) Heat up a good quality pot with olive oil. Add chopped garlic and diced onions. Saute till light brown and soft. This step is important. If it's under saute, you will get a sauce with a raw taste or too garlicky. Should take approx 5 min or so.
2) Add diced fresh tomatos. Continue sauteing. Add oregano.
3) Add core peel tomatos with the juices all together. Let the sauce boil then turn to simmering flame to evaporate the water in the sauce, while stirring all the time to prevent burning and also to break up the whole peel.
4) When the sauce thickens, turn off fire and using a hand held blender, bamix the mixture till smooth. If you dont have a hand held, cool the mixture before blending it in the blender. Please remember to cool the mixture or you may explode your blender.
Coullis can be used for pizzas and pastas. It can be kept in refridgerator for up to 2 weeks or so.
I had recently obtained some tips about making this dough from a well known Western cooking chef in Kuching, Chef Sarah, at her cooking demo. The results were excellent and the steps were simple, almost cooking-idiot prove. For the first time, Greg actually finished almost the entire 12-inch pizza by himself. His actual words, "I did not know that pizza can be nice." Pizza Hut had really traumatized him and spoilt pizzas for him.
Here's what you need:
400gm of plain flour
100gm of semolina
250 gm of plain water
25 gm of olive oil
12 gm of salt
3 gm of active yeast instant
1) Sift flour and mix all dry ingredients together.
2) Start beating on no. 1 with a dough beater. When ingredients are mixed, slowly add in water. Then finally oil. If you find that the dough is still dry and has not fully come together, add a little water (be very sparing).
4) Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface. And hand-knead the dough to release all air bubbles. The dough will feel tight as you knead, if there are little air bubbles. Knead into a big round tight dough as shown above.
5) Leave in a clean bowl, lightly flour for 20-30 min or slightly longer depending on humidity and weather.
Test for doneness:
Poke two holes in the dough with your fingers. If the holes become really shallow, it is ready.
You can also light press the dough: if it bounces back slowly, it is ready.
6) Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, about 200gm for each part. Lightly knead each part into a round tight dough. Put those that you don't need in the fridge in zip lock or airtight container. The dough can keep up to a week.
6) Lightly dust the dough, the work surface and rolling pin. Using the rolling pin, roll from middle out into a thin round sheet of 10 inch - 12 inch. Turn the dough over so that the rolling is done on both sides of the dough. Lightly flour surface after each turn. This method gives a very thin, easily rolled out dough that will not tear easily.
7) Preheat oven at 250 deg with your pizza pan. Place dough sheet on a pre-heat pan. Put on tomato coullis, mozarella cheese and toppings, followed back by some more mozarella cheese.
8) Bake at 250 deg celcius NO FAN FORCED for home oven, for 12-15 min (for my ovens) on the floor of the oven. Check the pizza base at around 8 min, and subsequent every 2-3 min to understand your own oven. If it is lightly browned with little batches of darker brown, it is ready. Results are guaranteed very crispy pizzas. Good Luck!
This is the famous infamous Poot Chai Ko in all of Hong Kong.
I know the name doesn't do justice to this dessert, but these are the true originals in Hong Kong.
Most guerilla street vendors do not allow photographs to be taken for fear of the authorities. They would sometimes throw their pots & pans at you. But we had our way with them heheheh.
"Auntie ah, we heard your stall is very the famous. Can take picture ah?"
In fact, we were so good at it, they even posed with a smile.
These women were the archetypes of the old economy, the perfect example of hardwork for survival.
When you see these old folks working hard, earning by the dollar, you can't help to appreciate what they do.
However, for me personally, I thought these things tasted a bit bland.
They're probably made of glutinous rice flour or something similar.
Maybe it's one of those things with acquired taste. It probably takes some time for the taste to sink in. But we know that we'll definitely be eating this again when we return to Hong Kong. With a name like Poot Chai Ko, how can you resist?
This famous snacks are available at Central of Hong Kong Island at the junction of Wellington St and D' Aguilar St.