Thursday, November 6, 2008

Photo Showcase by Derbe

Hi Derbe, Nee here. Please don't be shocked to see your name on our blog.

A while ago, we had a dinner do at our place to welcome CK home. It was a small one as many individuals were either travelling or not available. So the dinner was pretty simple with nothing much to shout about.

But Derbe took some really nice photos with her Canon DSLR 400 and I thought we must give credit to her for such nice shots on the food. Please note that we are not those super technical people who will tell you whether the angle, colour, background & the lighting are correct or not. We just like what we saw and thought of sharing this with you.

My Braised Lamb Shank. This is my favourite. I actually gasped the first time she showed it to me on her camera.

Potato Salad. This is Greg's version cos Derbe's didn't turn out well cos lack of light.

My Lagsana.

Cheese and Fruit Platter

Our 572 Richmond Hill wine from Tasmania

Derbe's mixed vegies taken by Greg on his Nikon Coolpix.

CK's Japanese Choc for dessert

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oatmeal Raisins Cookies

I have this thing about being handicapped when it comes to baking or cooking with approximated volume like one cup, tablespoon etc. Being a more science background person, I believe in weighing things or use the exact ml or litre. That is why when I see recipes with volume, I get a little lazy to try because I know I will end up having to convert them or measure them by weight.

A while ago, a fellow foodie, Jo let me try her delicious oatmeal cookies and she got it online from Greg loves it so I know I have to make it. Anyway, this sort of item is always good to make in bulk (well 20 pieces is bulk for only two of us) and to keep in cookie jars for later consumption or whenever we need emergency quick bites. Sort of in case of emergency break glass.

But the recipe is one of those done in volume. The following is my version of conversion into weight.

Make 18-20 pieces
225 gm of unsalted butter
120 gm of brown or castor sugar
2 no of med eggs
1 tbsp of vanilla
225 gm plain or multi purpose flour/plain flour
1/2 teasp of nutmeg powder
1/2 teasp of cinnamon powder
1 teasp of salt
1 teasp of baking soda
360 gm of rolled oats *
125 gm of dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, sultanas, apricots)*
50gm of nuts (walnuts, almonds)*
If you can find the organic version, use that. Maybe it is psychology but it probably will be a healthier option. I use organic rolled oats from Love Organic BDC, organic cranberries and raisins from UNACO and some walnuts.

1) Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Add egg one at a time. Continue creaming till even and smooth.

2) Sift flour, nutmeg, cinammon, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Continue working with machine, add into butter mixture. Add oats, nuts and fruits. Stir to well mixed.

3) Spoon onto a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Bake a preheat oven of 180 deg celcius without fan for 18-20 min for softer chewier cookies or 25-30 min for crunchier type.

Happy Baking!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Foochow Cha Chu Mien (Fried Cooked Noodle)

I had prepared this post for a while but wanted to get the ingredients more accurate. And Maria, one of our readers requested for this. So hopefully it will worked for you!

This is a very distinct foochow dish in Malaysia like the Hokkien Noodle of the Hokkiens, Hailam Mee of the Hainans, Cantonese Hor fun for the Cantonese, Heng Hua Mee of the Heng Huas etc. Definition of Cha Chu is to stir fry the noodle first, then to cook it in superior soup. Cha basically means stir fried and Chu means cook. So this dish is basically a soupy fried noodle dish popular among the Foochows in Sarawak. The name itself gives a good indication of how to cook it. And when we do it at home, we can really use good ingredients like good fish fillets or huge prawns. And cooking at home does not mean the taste is inferior, in fact it is really delicious.

Serve 3-4
450gm of Oil Noodle, get the freshest and best quality ones (those with eggs instead of colouring) you can find
3 tbsp of oil
1 tbsp of minced garlic
3 tbsp of good quality dark soya (Chinese ones like Pearl bridge are NOT recommended, try Camel or Yeo Hiap Seng or Lee Kum Kee)
1 tbsp of light soya
3-4 tbsp of Foochow Red Wine

1) Loosen and clean noodles by running through some hot water. Heat up wok with oil. Add garlic and stir fry till fragrant. Add noodles and with two spatulas, toss noodles. Add dark soya and light soya. Continue tossing. Add red wine. Toss till all ingredients are even. Don't overcook at this stage or you will get mushy noodles later. Process should take less than 5 min. Dish out and set aside.

1.2 litre of superior stock (Simmer pork bones and chicken bones with slightly over 2 litre of water for more than an hour or if you ran out time 1.2 litre of water with 1 tbsp of chicken stock powder like Knorr)
200 gm of fish fillet like Tapah, Patin, Garoupa
4 pcs of fresh water King Prawns halved or 8 pcs of XL sea prawns
80 gm of chicken/pork meat, sliced
4 stalks of medium choy sum
2-3 pcs of dried black fungus, stripped
100 gm of pork balls, fish balls, fish slices, liver (optional)
approx 3/4 -1 cup of Foochow Red Wine (quantity based on taste)
3 tbsp of dark soya
1 teasp of pepper, salt and msg to taste

1) With a little oil, stir fry meat slices to cook the exterior. Add stock and bring it to boil. Add black fungus, balls and let it simmer for a little.

2) Add the large prawns followed slightly later by fish fillets while the stock is kept simmering.

3) Return noodles to stock. Add choy sum and dark soya, seasoning and half of foochow red wine. Turn to boil till all ingredients are cooked. Dish out noodles onto individual bowls, divide the rest of ingredients evenly followed by the soup to cover noodles. Drizzle rest of red wine evenly right before serving.

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