Saturday, October 27, 2007

Muffin Series II

In the attempt to understand my friend, Mr Muffin better, I decided to make both bready muffins and cakey muffins at the same time for direct comparison. Greg came home to hills of muffins. Eyebrows raised but no complaints there.

I have come to the conclusion that what we usually get outside in coffee places are generally Bready Muffins. Therefore, muffins are generally called quick bread. Bready muffins if well made are very close to a cake with similar texture, moist and soft. The only slight difference is in the crumbs. Bready muffins are rougher in its crumbs, the airholes are slightly bigger and hence, making it side towards bread.

Cakey muffins are soft even on the side, crumbs are more refined and airholes smaller.

This is because of beating butter with sugar and hence, cutting off the gluten in the flour. So it really does not matter whichever one you're making. Both of them are rather close. But bready muffins take slightly less equipment.

Banana Walnut Muffins

I previously blogged about Banana Muffins, which is the bready one. This one is a cakey recipe, I added walnuts to increase the crunch. Greg's verdict- Love it. What's new?! He loves anything bananas.

125 gm of butter
110 gm of castor sugar
2 no of eggs
4 medium bananas (approx 200 gm or slightly more), mashed with potatos masher
125 gm of fresh milk
240 gm of plain flour
1 teasp of baking powder
1 teasp of baking soda
Oops i forgot walnuts 50 gm roughly chopped (edited)

1) Beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Add egg one at a time. Beat well with each addition.

2) Stop beating. Add sifted dry ingredients, alternating with milk and bananas. Stir with hand whisk til combined. But no need creamy smooth so that gluten are not overdeveloped.

3) Alternate until all ingredients are in. Scope into muffin cups to about 60% height of cups. Bake at preheat oven at 165 deg celcius without fan for approximately 25 - 30min. Test for doneness. If a few crumbs stick on skewer, muffins are ready.

4) Serve warm with butter.

White Choc Strawberry Muffins

This is another bready muffin recipe, which is quick to make.

250 gm of plain flour
1 1/2 teasp of baking powder
1 1/2 teasp of baking soda
100 gm of castor sugar
60 gm of frozen or fresh strawberry, cut to small pieces.
60 gm of white choc, chopped to small pcs
1 no of egg
110 gm of butter
125 gm of fresh milk

1) Melt butter and let it cool to luke warm. Add fresh milk. Beat egg up and add to wet mixture.

2) Sift all dry ingredients with sugar into a large bowl. Add strawberry and choc. Stir so that flour stick on to choc and strawberry.

3) Combine wet and dry. In about 10 to 15 strokes wet all dry ingredients. Mixture should be still very lumpy. Scope into muffin cups to about 60 % of cups height.

4) Bake in preheat oven of 165 with no fan. Bake for about 25 to 30 min. Test with skewer. If there are some crumbs sticking to skewer, the muffins are done. Do not over stir or over bake for bready muffins.

Hopefully, we all understand and appreciate muffins better after this. If anyone has anything to share, do drop a few words.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Crispy Almond Slices

This is a very simple yummy snack. The only problem for me is I cant stop munching on it. No good for the complexion nor the buttocks and thighs. This recipe makes approx 10 slices. Can easily double it.

1 no of Egg white (35 to 45 gm)
100gm of Almond flakes
15gm of Butter
40gm of Sugar
15gm of plain flour sifted.
Non stick baking paper (Glade has a version).

1) Preheat oven to 165 deg celcius.

2) Melt butter and stir in sugar. Stir well. Mixture look a little lumpy.

3) Add egg and flour. Stir well til mixture looks creamy.

4) Add almond flakes. Mix well

5) Shape into flat thin, round shapes on non-stick baking sheet. Mixture will be little sticky.

6) Bake for approximately 10 to 15 min to golden brown.

Crispy Almond Slices

Let it cool and keep in tupperware or airtight container.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DIY Chow Chai (In Theory)

Chow Chai is a Foochow preserved vegetable, which has a signature sourish taste. It is used to cooked the Famous Chow Chai Mee Fern with Fish or Prawns. It can also be used to cook Chow Chai Soup. I am salivating now as I am writing.

You can hardly find Chow Chai outside Sarawak in Malaysia. Chow Chai had moved around through Foochow migrants to other parts of Malaysia. Still the best Chow Chai can be found in Sibu, where the Foochows actually dominates. So if you are overseas where this is not available, you may consider making it yourself.

Grand Aunt (Yi Po) had learned this from Great Grandma. And I was lucky Yi Po was in Kuching over the weekend. In theory, Chow Chai is made with the fermented leftovers of Foochow Red Wine. These leftovers are called Ang Chow, which is basically Red Rice and Glutinous Rice.

Sun dry the kua chai for a day or so. No need very dry as Chow Chai has no added water. Rub generously with Ang Chow and salt into mustards (kua chai). Stuff them tightly into a clean glass bowl and cover with tight lid for a week or so. Check to see if the mustards had fully fermented. If not leave it for another few days. Great Grandma used to stuff it tightly in clay urns and flip upside down on a bowl of water.

The hard part is to find Ang Chow. If you know someone who makes Foochow Red Wine, try getting some from them. If not, you can actually buy them in Sibu or at Kuching Tabuan Jaya Market at the Foochow stall selling toufu. Ang Chow can be used to cook Foochow Ang Chow Duck or Meat.

This is the theory only. I actually wanted to try making Foochow Red Wine first before doing the Chow Chai. (Greg: Nee is nuts) So once I have the photos, will blog it for those away from home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

KENNY SIA at Ah Beng's World!

Newsflash! Ah Lien has just written a blog entry on her encounter with Kenny Sia in Kuching! Go here.

Nee's Baked Potatos

This is my absolute favourite dish to eat and to serve for big or small parties. Greg loves potatoes and he looks like a happy puppy whenever i say we are having Western meal at home, which includes this.

I first got the recipe two years back from Fiona , who made this for the cell pot luck. Then with a slight modification here and there, it has become (to be very thick-skin) my own signature dish. There isn't anyone who does not like it. My sister-in-law's words when she ate this "I just melted".

800gm - 1kg of potatoes (potatos with floury texture are better. Eg. Spunta, Chats)
3-4 pcs of honey leg ham or bacon
100gm of button mushrooms
1 1/2 cup of diary cream or diary cream and milk
3/4 to 1 cup of cheddar + mozarella cheese
2 teasp of salt
a pinch of dried mixed herbs (optional)
Pepper to taste

1) Clean and shaved skin off potatos. Slice them into thin round slices. Soak in water with 1 teasp of salt for at least 3 hours in fridge. I normally leave it overnight especially if I'm cooking for a gathering next day so to cut down on some work. Leave it cover in fridge.

2) Turn on oven to 170 degree Celcius (no fan) or less 10 degrees for fan forced mode. Drain water and overall pat dry the potatos.

3) Line slices of potatos in oven proof square or rectangular dish. Do overlap slightly. Sprinkle some ham on. Drizzle with some cream pre-mixed with 1 teasp of salt, some pepper and mixed herbs. Line the next layer of potatos. Sprinkle some mushrooms on.

Drizzle with some cream mixture. Line with 3rd layer of potatos. Sprinkle with some cheese. Drizzle with some more cream.

4) Repeat til all ingredients finished or around 85% of the dish height. Pour leftover cream on. Cover the final layer with some cheese. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 30 min. Test with skewer. Potatoes should feel really soft but not mushy.

5) When ready, increase oven heat to 190 to 200 degree Celcius no fan, reduce 10 for fan forced mode. Bake without aluminium foil til surface turn slightly golden brown. Approximately 5 to 8 min. Watch the baking as you dont want to burn the top.

Suggestion: Serve with Salad and Meat dish like Honey Roasted Chicken.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Celebrity BBQ Ducks

I never knew that this is one of the most earliest & famous BBQ shops in Kuching. Everyone seems to know except me. Even Nee grew up eating this.

We decided to meet up for lunch there last week. This is a photo of CK waiting for his date. Unfortunately we turned up instead, very late.

The shop is within the perimeters of the tourism waterfront Golden Triangle area. It is a stone's throw away from all the major hotels & backpackers' inns. Small pebbles also can reach. When the wind blows, you're there already.

Look Ma! It's just in front of the Tun Jugah Shopping Complex!

This shop claims to be the 'first family' in BBQ.

And when you look closely, it has a very interesting signboard.

My first thought was that its a clever little advertising ploy to attract kids.

Look Ma! Got Donald Duck. I want to eat Donald Duck BBQ!

...!!!!!... Wait a minute. That didn't sound right.

Donald Duck???!!!

Daffy Duck????!!!

The Ugly Duckling????!!!

What Horrors! The duck killer himself! It's a shop that would make small children cry!

But anyway, we were there for the BBQ ribs which it was famous for.

Nice and tender. Juicy and taste fabulous!

See how succulent they are!

Not Porky Pig I hope!

The shop also sells Simmered Soups. See Yang Chai soup, which has body heat cooling properties is one of the main dish.
This is how they are steamed, in what is known as a big steamy apparatus thingy in non-cooking lingo. (NEE: It is just a steamer duh! With Very pointy top specially made to prevent water from dripping in the dish. Simmered soup (Tuin Tang) is soup double boiled in a pot or porcelain containers as shown. To be called simmered soup it must be double boiled for at least 3 hours)

It may not be as good as the other shop in Padungan (also nearby) but it passes our basic ISO/QA certification. (NEE: It is actually quite nice. But I may be biased cause I grew up with this)

So is the herbal Chicken soup (Ginseng Chicken Soup with thornberry) thingy that Nee ordered.

And finally, Greg's famous Teh-C-Peng Special Report:

So so lah. Can pass the minimum standard. Ok for a first try if you've never had it before.

NEE: Overall the shop scored 8.5/10 as compared with other BBQ places in Kuching.

Food 54/60. All the meat is good. Nice and succulent. Even the roast pork is crispy albeit a little oily. Soup is nice but Greg says so so and drinks so so.
Environment 11/15. Love the very traditional feel of the place but due to our enthusiasm as bloggers and wanting to take fabulous pictures, we picked to sit outside and thus ate dust together with our food. Got very very bad nose itch after lunch.
Service 13/15. Very good. Fast delivery.
Value for money 7/10. RM 10 per person is not exactly cheap for Kuching standard. We did not ask for the individual price but with all the meat and soups and rice with drinks, we spent RM21. Not so bad for a rather complete lunch.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Foochow Siu Muai (Siew Mai)

Uncooked Siu Muai. Cook ones all walloped before photos can be taken (you guys know who you are).

Siew Mai is a must-have dim sum at any Yum Cha session. Besides Har Kow, a dim sum place is judged by its Siew Mai. It is basically minced pork with prawns semi wrapped in wanton wrapper. A good Siew Mai is crunchy and the meat and prawns must be super fresh.

Kuching has its own version called Sio Bee. It is chewier rather than crunchier with a slight hint of sweetness in some places. It is also denser. The famous Kuching Sio Bee is at the Open Air Market. And many eateries would claim they sell Open Air Sio Bee. But somehow we are not that keen on this version.

Interestingly, the Foochows in Sibu also has Siu Muai. People actually buy Siu Muai and carry it back to Kuching as gifts. Some foochows in Kuching actually order ins hundreds for occasions like weddings as the guests' finger food. You can freeze it and they keep quite well. This version is closer to the Cantonese version but not as crunchy. Slightly on the softer and juicy side. The
famous Siu Muai places in Sibu is non other than Fu Chew Liau and Sin Siew Tu (Foochow pronounciation).

We really dont want to go all the way Sibu to eat this. So here's the recipe. I kinda learn this from my Grand Aunt (Yi Po).

350 gm of pork mince with some fat (can ask your butcher to mince a piece of skin off sham cham meat), chicken mince can also but results not fantastic
120 gm of prawns, pat with chopper knife or mixture of prawns and fish (flat mackerel)
60 gm of sengkuang, shred and squeezed water out before using
2 stalks of spring onions, finely chopped
1 teasp of salt
1/2 teasp of white pepper
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1/2 teasp of sesame oil
2tbsp of tapioca flour with 2 tbsp of plain flour
1/3 of small carrot, finely grated
30 nos of wanton wrapper (Sibu ones which is thin white round are the best for their Siu Muai)

1) Mix all ingredients in the bowl and stir with a pair of chopsticks until gluten developed. Take the mixture and slap it against the bowl for 10 -15 times til the mixture look slightly shiny. Set aside in fridge for at least an hour for easy wrapping.

2) Put a wanton wrapper in your palm and scope with a heaped tablespoon of mixture in the middle of wrapper. Squeeze gently between your fore finger and thumb to the Siu Muai Shape. And lightly pat the bottom so that Siu Muai can sit nicely.

3) Place some grated carrots on top to give colour. Steam on high for 10 to 12 (edited) min in bamboo steamer lined with oiled banana leaves or on plate lined with oiled banana leaves placed in normal steamer with a piece of cloth or aluminium foil covering the top of steamer to prevent water from dripping on Siu Muai.

Nuffnang Ad