Friday, August 31, 2007

Refreshing Longan Ice Jelly..................

The packet of ice-jelly powder I used...............................

A bowl of longan ice-jelly.....................................

This is a sweet dessert with ice-jelly and longan . Longan is heaty and ice-jelly is cooling. So that makes it a balance drink. Not too cool or heaty for the body.
Dried longan flesh...................................................

I used dried longan for this dessert to give it more flavour and colour. I boiled about 150gm of dried longan in 12 cups of water. Then I add in about 200gm of rock sugar to boil until the sugar dissolved and the longan flesh soft. Put in 2 to 3 pandan leaves to boil with the longans. After about 20 minutes keep aside for it to cool.

Cook the ice-jelly as directed in the package. Pour into moulds or bowls and leave to cool. When cooled put it in the fridge to set until firm. The jelly I used is a type of seaweed extract called Carrageenan. It has a soft gummy texture unlike the normal agar-agar powder which is more firm. This jelly is light brown in colour.

Ice-jelly set in a bowl...........................
Canned Palm Fruit.......................................................
To make the dessert, I cut up the jelly into pieces with a fork and put it in a bowl of boiled longan. I added some canned coconut palm fruit and some ice-cubes. It is then ready to be served.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beef Stew with Toasted Garlic Bread....................

The beef tossed in flour...............................
The vegetables for the stew...............

Cubed potatoes soak in water with a pinch of salt..............

A bowl of piping hot beef stew....................................

Slices of warmed toasted garlic bread to dip into the stew..............


It has been quite a while since I have cook a beef stew. Last weekend when shopping for groceries , I bought a packet of australian beef which is quite expensive compared to the local ones. I have never used this type of beef for my stew so I thought it might taste better since it is more expensive. But it did not turn out that way...the meat taste quite bland and dry. It must be because it had been frozen for quite sometime. So a lesson learned....expensive doesn't means better.
Actually a stew is easy to cook. You just cut up all the ingredients and dump it all into a pot to simmer for a few hours. For the beef stew I used:-

400gm of beef-cubed (cubed)
1 medium sized carrot (cubed)
2 nos. tomatoes ( cubed)
1 nos. big onion ( chopped)
4 -5 nos of potatoes(peeled and cubed)
some flour for tossing the beef.
A knob of butter
1 tbsp of oil
1 cup of water

Seasoning:

dried mix herbs
1 bayleaf
1 cube beef stock
coarsely ground black pepper

Heat up a pot and put in oil and butter. Saute the onions and bayleaf in oil til fragrant. Then add in the tomatoes,carrots and potatoes to fry for a minute. Sprinkle some mix herbs and black pepper into the mixture. Put in the beef that is tossed with some flour.(do not use a lot of flour or else your stew will be very thick and it will stick to the bottom of the pot to cause it to burnt easily). Mix it well with the vegetables. Then pour in the water and add in the beef cube. Covered the pot and simmer on a low heat for 2 to 3 hours depending on the cut of meat used.
The stew should be stirred constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of pot.
The stew is ready when the meat is tender and will fall apart when mashed with a fork.

Stew is best eaten with warm bread. I bought a baguette and sliced it sideway. Mashed some butter with chopped garlic and spread it on one side and then toast it in an oven toaster. ...Dip it in a bowl of hot beef stew and enjoy the lovely meal.......my kids love this stew since they were young. It could also be eaten with rice..... It will taste better when kept overnight in the fridge.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What does Ipoh has to offer....??..Gunung Rapat Hiong Piah..!

The biscuits in this packaging are individually pack to retain their freshness............


The packet of Yee Hup Hiong Piah...............which is cheaper than the above.


During my recent trip to Ipoh, I passed by Gunung Rapat on the outskirt of Ipoh town which is famous for its Hiong Piah.What is Hiong Piah? 'Hiong' in chinese means 'fragrant' and 'Piah' means 'biscuit'. It is type of biscuit which is bake til crispy on the outside and has a sticky sweet filling on the inside. What is so special about this biscuit in Gunung Rapat is that it is charboil which means it uses charcoal to bake it. It has a nice crunchy shell with a fragrant aroma when you bite into it.


This is how Hiong Piah looks like...................

The sweet and sticky filling on the inside...............

For those who happen to be in Ipoh you can try to get this biscuit. The address is:-

Yee Hup Enterprise Yee Hup Enterprise
Gunung Rapat Hiong Piah
7, 9. 11, Jln Sri Ampang
Tmn Ipoh Jaya
31350 Ipoh, Perak.

Tel: 605 3132328

The other address in Ipoh town is :-

Yee Hup Enterprise
151, Jln Sultan Iskandar
30000 Ipoh.

Tel: 605 242 3200





What does Ipoh has to offer.....???..(City of hills)

The beautiful sceneries of limestone hills around Ipoh.........

Ipoh can be called the city of hills or Hillcity because it is surrounded by lovely limestome hills that cannot be seen anywhere else. Even the Menora tunnel were cut through a hill when they built the North-South highway.

The entrance to the Menora Tunnel........................

Inside the tunnel cut through a hill...................

Coming out from the tunnel...........lovely scenery.....except for the bird dropping on my screen....!
The shit spoilt my scenery............!

When driving down this stretch of road you have to be very careful...because of the steep gradient uphill and downhill many accidents happen near this place especially at the Jelapang toll plaza near the Menora tunnel.The toll plaza going to Ipoh....................
The highway going pass the hill slope.....................

Stucked in Gurney Plaza's Basement 2 .................

video

Last Saturday night, my son no.2 and I had dinner at Gurney and I was thinking of doing some shopping after dinner....but during our dinner my son's phone keeps ringing from his friends who were inviting him to you know whatlah....cybercafeloh! Some of them were already waiting for him outside our apartment...so poor mummy have to gobble up food fast..fast...even when son said 'no hurry mum'...So off we hurried to the carpark after my son managed to buy himself a McFlurry ice cream....(lucky for him to do that).

I let my son drive because he said mummy always so slow and since he was in a hurry I obliged.After moving a minute , we were caught in a jam in the basement...damn it ! for nearly an hour...see video people horning like mad...(Just want to test this new video uploading by bloggers.com)...Luckily we had the icecream between us to enjoy and had some mum and son talk - time and also took part in some silly horning..........

Monday, August 27, 2007

Spaghetti in Creamy White Sauce..Bacon and Ham.

Crispy bacon cut into bite size...........................
Slices of cut ham....................................


The thick cream I used.......................


The thick and creamy white sauce.....................

Yummy spaghetti in white sauce...........................

The last time I wrote about Spaghetti Bolognaise which uses tomatoes for its base as sauce. For those who do not like the sourish taste of tomatoes you can cook the white sauce instead. My son no. 1 prefers this white sauce which uses butter , milk and some flour for thickening.

Yesterday, I decided to cook up some white sauce when I was wondering what to do with my double-cream lying in the fridge that is nearing the expiry date. So this is how I cook my white sauce.........

Ingredients: for 2 - 3 serving.

300ml low-fat milk-( you can use fresh or reconstituted milk.)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp plain flour ( I used self-raising flour because I run out of plain flour)
4-5 tbsp thick cream-(optional- but I find that the sauce taste better and thick with this)
2 tsp of chicken granules- can add more to taste.
1-2 slices of cheddar cheese

Method:

Melt the butter over low heat in a sauce pan and sift in the flour slowly into the melted butter while stirring constantly to form a paste. Add in the chicken granules. Pour in half the milk slowly and stirring all the while until cook and thicken. Add the rest of the milk and cook til it boils stirring again in a slow boil for a minute and then add in the double cream and cheddar cheese to cook til it melts. If the sauce is lumpy with unmelted flour you can just sieve it . Cook over low heat for a minute or two to get a smooth and thick sauce. Use a wooden ladle or a balloon whisk to stir the sauce. When cooked leave the sauce aside while you cook the spaghetti.
This sauce can also be used for making lasagne which I will blog about in my later post.

As for my spaghetti, I cook it in a big pot of boiling water adding a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of cooking oil in it . When cooked I sieved it and then mixed it with some olive oil and a knob of butter so it would not stick together or too dry. I sprinkled some black pepper and some mix herbs to the spaghetti and mix thoroughly and then I top it with some bacon bits(bacon fried til crispy) and some slices of cut ham. When ready to serve pour in the hot white sauce. I also sprinkled some grated parmesan cheese on top. My son gobbled up the pasta in no time and asked for more....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pisang Goreng.....the tea time snack....

Pisang Awak............................


The banana halves ready for coating with batter...............


Coat the banana with batter before frying............


Pisang goreng in hot oil........................


Crispy Golden Brown Pisang Goreng .........................

"Pisang" is the Malay word for "banana" and "goreng" means" fry "in Malay. In English term it means Banana Fritters. In Malaysia we can get many varieties of bananas all year round. These versatile tropical fruit can be eaten on its own , can be deep-fried with batter , mashed and make into cakes or eaten as dessert with ice-cream.

Today, I made some pisang goreng for tea. I used pisang awak, a type of banana which is very sweet and is suitable for frying. For the batter I used:
100gm self raising flour
50gm cornflour
2 tbsp rice flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
150ml water
1 tbsp oil

Mix all the flours together with water until smooth and then stir in the oil. Peel the skin of banana and cut it into half lengthwise. Heat up some oil in a non-stick pan for deep frying. Coat the banana with batter and fry it in the hot oil until golden brown. I used about 8 nos. of banana for the above batter.It is best eaten while still hot.