Thursday, January 31, 2008

London Almond Chocolate Cookies......the all time favourite.....



Another favourite of my boys.....is this London Almond Cookie.... or is it Almond London cookie.....made from ground almond and almond nuts......it takes a bit of preparation....and patience.....to make these cookies...but it is worth the effort....and time.......the skill here is you must know how to melt the chocolate.......i used the ' baine marie' method '.....that used a gentle heat to melt the chocolate by putting a bowl of chopped chocolate on top of another smaller bowl of simmering water.....not touching the water.

Ingredients: A

250 gm butter - room temperature
120 gm icing sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Ingredients : B

300 gm superfine flour -sifted
200 gm ground almond
150 gm whole almond - toasted

Decoration:

small papercups - about 100 pcs
800 gm cooking chocolate
100 gm nibbed almonds - toasted

Method:

Cream A til well combine....and mix in B.......to form a soft dough....shape into small balls......and wrap up half almond.....bake at 180 degree C for about 15 mins til golden brown......removed and cooled on rack......when cooled..put cookie in small paper cups......covered with melted chocolate.......and sprinkle some nibbed almond on top..........chill in fridge to set before storing.

the baked cookies .....left to cool.......

cookies in paper cups before......putting in melted chocolate.....

almond cookies.....with dark chocolate and almond nibs topping...

almond cookies....with white chocolate and sugar hearts....topping.



Crunchy Peanut Cookies.....

peanut cookies........before baking in oven........


Peanut cookies after baking.................

After the pineapple tarts.....i made these peanut cookies for Chinese New Year....... it is quite easy to make.......here is a recipe i would like to share....


Ingredients:


500 gm peanuts - fried and removed skin and grind finely.
500 gm plain flour - sifted
400 gm castor sugar
350 ml peanut oil for mixing
1 beaten egg for glazing

Method:


Mix grinded peanut together with plain four and sugar in a big bowl......make a well in centre......slow...drizzle in peanut oil to mix .....into a soft dough......shape into small balls.....placed on baking pans lined with non-stick baking sheet.......glazed with beaten egg.....and decorate top with half peanut...bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celcius.....for about 25 minutes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Homecook Three Course Dinner................

the main course of herb crusted lamb leg chop served with potato dauphinoise and sauteed cabbage with bacon bits............


the laid out table for 4 of us by Janet.. with a bottle of white wine....that could not be open because we do not have a cockscrew opener....son forget to buy one when he bought his first bottle of wine....what a waste...the starter had been gobble up before the main course was ready....


Son R...his 'kor kor' on the right....finishing up his meal so fast and digging for more of the potato dauphinoise..we replace our unopen bottle of wine with jolly shandy.........

we really enjoy the lovely meal.......that is prepare with a lot of hardwork...sweat...and time...on a Sunday...by a dear son..who is only 19 yrs old...who still had his heart in those cybercafe games...and the other part of him wanting to be a Gordon Ramsay....

thanks a million...son..for this...lovely dinner...we truly appreciate your effort..

The Making of Gratin Dauphinoise...and Sauteed Cabbage with Bacon Bits......

A very nice name for a potato gratin.....son make this to be served with his main course.........

first he lined a layer of thinly sliced potatoes..overlapping them.. at the bottom of a baking tin......

then he season it with salt and black pepper.......and scatter a layer of cheese on top.....continue layering..til all the cheese and potatoes are used up....

preparing the creamy white sauce.....using 200 ml milk, 200ml cream, 1 bay leat, 1 smashed garlic clove.....bring it to a boil and then leave aside to cool slightly before pouring over the layered potatoes......then baked in a hot oven for 35 to 40 mins..til golden brown .....

the freshly baked potato dauphinoise.......

sauteeing the cabbage with bacon bits....lastly add in cherry tomatoes for colour.......another vege dish to be served with with main course......

The Main Course - Herb- Crusted Leg of Lamb...

Son H intended to cook herb crusted rack of lamb as his main course......another recipe by Gordon Ramsay....but could not find any in the supermarket.....there was only leg of lamb.....so had to settle for this one....here are also some pics i took of him in action......


preparing the herb crust consisting of day old slices of bread,handful of parsley,coriander,thyme and rosemary sprigs and grated parmesan in a food processor.............

fine crumbs of bright green colour .....herb crust.......


the seasoned lamb leg chops.....with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper...to be seared in pan on both sides for 4 minutes each...before baking in the oven for 10 minutes ...then coated with the herb crust...and warm in oven for another 5 minutes....this is not the end of it....son made some brown sauce gravy with the drippings of the cooked lamb legs and some cream.....a baked potato gratin and a fried cabbage with bacon bits was served with this lamb leg....see next posting...

Pan-Roasted Scallops with Cauliflower Puree....

this is what Son H made for his starter.....with recipe taken from his idol chef...the famous 'f ' word chef with a few michelin stars to his credit... Gordon Ramsay......here are some pics i took while he is busy preparing the food....


cooking the florets of cauliflower in milk and cream...after sauteeing in butter..

pureefying the cauliflower mixture in a food processor....


pan roasting the scallops that had shrinked to 1/3 of its original size when we bought it frozen......son was not too happy with his shrinked tiny scallops....



son skilfully shaping the cauliflower puree with two spoons.....

here is a video clip of him doing the presentation: with vinaigrette dressing made from sherry vinegar,olive oil,salt and pepper....and caper dressings...


video


Verdict: a really delicious starter meal..with the smooth and creamy cauliflower puree melting in the mouth...... the scallop is tender and sweet too...but a bit too tiny to get a satisfying bite.....will buy a bigger scallop next time.....

Apricot Bread Pudding ...with Almond Flakes Crumble.....

this is the dessert i made for Son H....to compliment his starter and main course for a complete full course dinner........

Ingredients for crumble:

50 gm plain flour
50 gm soft brown sugar
pinch of mixed spice
35 gm butter - melted and cooled
25 gm almond flakes

Ingredients for pudding:

100 gm apricot jam
200 ml whipping cream
4 medium eggs - beaten
2 tsp castor sugar
6 to 8 slices of bread

To prepare crumble.....sift flour in bowl....add sugar...and mixed spice....drizzle in butter...and mix with fork into a crumbly mixture....stir inhalf of the almond flakes....

To make the pudding....grease a heat proof shallow glass bowl...in a separate bowl..mix together the jam,cream,egg and castor sugar....set aside....using a fluted cutter...stamp out the bread into rounds to fit the bowl....use all the left overs bits to line the prepared bowl....next pour 1/3 of egg mixture bread...then line the fluted bread on top....pour another 1/3 of the egg mixture...repeat procedure with remaining bread and egg mixture....then sprinkle the crumble mixture to cover the surface...top with the remaining almond flakes...bake in preheated oven at 160 degree celcius....for about 20 to 25 minutes til springy to touch....
stamping out the bread with a fluted cutter...........


lining the bowl with fluted bread on top of bread bits mixture..

topping it with almond flakes and crumble before baking......

It is a wonderful bread pudding which is not too sweet....and has a spongy cake like texture.......with a nutty bite.....easy to make....can recycle your left over bread into this lovely pudding.......

p.s....supermum made this while still having the sprained shoulder....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Painful Start to a Day......

my painful shoulder is all plaster up..................

Today..i woke up to a late morning.....and i was lying on the couch....when son H...said he is going to cook a full course dinner for the four of us....( i recently bought him a Ramsey Gordon cookbook and he was so anxious to cook something....)and he asked me if i had any recipe for a nice bread pudding.....and i was lazy to get up from couch....so when i lifted my right arm to show him where i put my recipe book which is just under the coffee table and i felt a a sharp pain running down my shoulder blade...... ouch..! i knew i had a sprain.....so after some rubbing and massage by maid......the pain was still there ....so i took some pain killers and put on medicated plasters.....coz son was waiting for me to go with him to buy some ingredients in supermarket for tonight's dinner.............so like a supermum.....a hot bath and a change of clothes....we made our way to Gurney's cold storage.........

bought more medication .......for standby...............

Son H is so nice to cook us a great dinner today which i'll blog about later......worth all the painful trip to the supermarket...........

Friday, January 25, 2008

More pineapple jam.... for more pineapple tarts....

i have been making pineapple tarts for three days in a row this week ( not the whole day...but in the evening only after dinner coz i don't want to miss some of my HK dramas on TV.)...and i had run out of jam.....so i made my own jams from 2 pineapples today......my recipe is in the previous posting....


the pineapple jam looks ....thick and glossy after cooking for nearly an hour....

pressing the dough from the nastar cutter.......


putting a jam on top of dough and roll over.......

egg washing the pineapple tarts before baking in oven.....

Sweet and Sour Pork...with Pineapple....

Homecook sweet and sour pork.......

Its not easy being a stay -at- home mum too..today..son H came back from college....feeling very hungry and i was busy making my cookies....so my brains was really blank on what to cook for him ....so i ask him to name a dish....which must have at least 90 % of the ingredients on hand.....and he requested for Ku Lou Yuk....meaning sweet and sour pork. .......a can of pineapple.....a piece of 500 gms meat....some big onions....and some chillis.. and the ku lou sauce is all i need to make this dish.....this is how i made this dish in less than an hour.....

While waiting for the meat to thaw.....i made the ku lou sauce first...

The Ku Lou sauce....

5 tbsp tomato sauce.....( i used the many small packets from the fast food like kfc and mcdonalds that had been scattering in my kitchen drawer...recycle instead of throwing away....)

3 tbsp chilli sauce
3 tbsp plum sauce
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
a dash of salt

Mix all together and bring to a boil in a pan....leave aside.....then cube one big onion into big chunks.....can cube some cucumber ..but i do not have any...open the canned pineapple.....buy the cubed ones so just save me some time....cut up a chilli...i used the dried ones(poor me did not even had fresh ones...) after soaking it in hot water.....

Slice the meat...(can used chicken meat and fish if you do not eat pork)...into thick slices....and season it with a tablespoon of oyster sauce....salt and pepper....coat it lightly with corn flour before deepfrying it in hot oil..til crispy and brown...drain and keep aside.....

In a clean pan...fried the chillis , onions and pineapple cubes in a tablespoon of oil til fragrant....add in ku lou sauce, fried meat, and mix well...the dish is ready to be served.........my two sons are happy eating it now.......

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pineapple tarts....for Chinese New Year...

my nastar cookie cutter.....
my pineapple rolls placed neatly in plastic containers

Chinese New Year is just around the corner.....so it is time to make some cookies......i made some pineapple tarts for a start recently......' pineapple' in hockien is 'ong lai' meaning ' wealth comes'.....so you can see the hanging of paper pineapples in the front door of some chinese houses during chinese new year....and the making and eating this delicious cookie....is synonymous with welcoming the new year with prosperity and wealth......but i made these cookies because my family and friends love it.....so here i would like to share my recipe with my fellow readers.......

Ingredients:

250 gm butter

50 gm icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

350 plain flour

50 gm cornflour

1 egg- lightly beaten for egg wash


Method:

Cream butter with sugar,vanilla extract and egg yolk til light anf fluffy....about 2 mins.....then add in sifted plain flour and cornflour.....mix well into a soft dough......take a handful of dough and put it in a nastar cookie mould....and press down with both thumbs......into 4 to 5 cm length (the tire track facing down).....put a teaspoon of pineapple jam on top and roll over....place tarts on tray.....lined with greased proof paper....and brush top with egg wash....made from a beaten egg......then bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celcius for 15 mins..til golden brown....

the rolled tarts before baking in oven..............

my rolled pineapple jam....which i rolled with both palms beforehand....you can buy your jam from specialist cake shop or you can make your own.....here is a recipe on how to make your own pineapple jam.....

Ingredients:

500 gms grated pineapple

150 gms castor sugar or to taste

3 cloves or 1/2 tsp pineapple essence

Method:

Cook all ingredients over medium low heat til thick and glossy.....leave aside to cool before using...


Note: More pics here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A busy...busy... week for me.....!

i went back to hometown to do some spring cleaning to a big house that i stayed less than 10 days in a month.........went to Kuala Lumpur for my appointment with my rheumatologist.....thereafter to do some shopping for CNY clothes for everyone....including maternity wear for my dear niece Jo who is expecting her first baby.......clothings are really expensive these days....so just manage to buy the ones with the best bargain...... after walking around for hours.......catch up with friends......take MIL for dinner on her birthday......and more cleaning with a really slow maid on tow......back to Penang again....with a big pile of clothes to wash.....lucky i got the maid or else.........i won't writing this........hope to make some cookies......SOON...!

Monday, January 14, 2008

What's Your Blog Reading Level...?

I saw this blog reading level test in wokkingmum....and i too got curious and decided to try it out....see my test results below :

cash advance

I'm in High School !.......not too bad.....but had yet to improve to the level of University or Genius ........Check out your reading level of your blog by clicking here......buddies.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Soya Sauce Stewed Pork........

This is the fragrant stewed pork i cooked today to go with my slit pau.......

Ingredients:

300 gm pork belly - sliced into 1/2 cm thick
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped shallots
4 nos of dried shitake mushroom - soak in water and sliced
Seasoning :

2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp thick soya sauce
1/4 tsp five spice powder
1 piece star anise
2 tbsp hsiao shing rice wine
3/4 cup water
1 tsp chicken stock granules
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce

Method:

First i season the slice meat with the two soya sauces ...five spice powder...oyster sauce..rice wine...and chicken granules for 1/2 an hour...then i fry the shallots and garlic in oil...til soft....add in the mushroom....fry for a minute...then add in the seasoned meat and fry til brown and a bit dry.....add in water and star anise to simmer in low heat til the meat is tender......and the gravy thick....stirring occasionaly..

This stew pork can be eaten with rice......besides the pau......

Steamed Leaf Buns or Slit Pau with Stewed Pork...

the yummy slit pau served with stewed pork.................

The wonderful pau flour ....with everything inside.......

Today...my cooking mood has return and i made some split pau to be eaten with some fragrant stew pork.....cooked in soya sauce....here i would like to share with my readers the making of this pau or buns the easy way....easy because i bought the packet pau flour with everything inside.....and there is no need to weigh anything... plus all the instruction...even for a novice cook...easy isn't it..?

roll the dough into oval shape......then brush surface with oil...

flip over and place a non stick baking paper...at bottom...

the slit pau.....after steaming.........

So i mix everything as instructed....knead it til smooth....leave covered to stand for 30 mins......shape into balls....and rolled into oval shape.....brushed with mixture of sesame oil plus normal cooking oil....fold over....steamed for 10 mins on high heat.....the buns or pau are ready to be served....with fillings of your choice.......it is best eaten hot with stewed pork.....i will share my stewed pork recipe in my next posting........

This is also a popular dish often served in a Hock Chiew wedding feast......they served it with stewed too kar' or pig's leg....too oily for my stomach....

Garlic and Herbs Crusted Steaks........

Garlic and herbs crusted steak...........

Son H skilfully pressing the hot baked potato into a flower.......

This is another dish.....son H cook up for himself and his ' kor kor '...elder brother.....lucky 'kor kor' gets to eat this delicious steak from little brother in return for ......his ( kor kor's .....a computer whiz ) help in troubleshooting .....'ti ti's...computer. I bought two not so big pieces of imported Australian sirloin steaks for him to make these.....coz...it was quite expensive.....it cost around rm 10 bucks for a 125 gm piece of steak....here is how he cook it....

First he seasoned the steaks with salt and ground black pepper....then he pan fried it for a minute in butter on both sides til brown....leave it aside. He then prepared the crusted garlic herbs... by frying a tsp of chopped fresh thyme ...a tsp of chopped garlic with a few tablespoon of breadcrumbs ....in a little butter..til fragrant and golden brown....then he pressed the prepared crust on top of the half cooked steak ......he put the steak in a tray and bake it in a hot oven together with the potato wrapped in foil to bake for about 45 to 60 mins...
he garnished it with pasley and coleslaw.....which he made himself too.....i did not get to taste this except for a small piece.....but his kor kor gave the thumbs up.....for this.......cheers to you son.....hope you cook more often....and mummy can 'shake legs '.......and have some blogging time......

Friday, January 11, 2008

Homemade Burger ......and Chips....

The homemade burger and chips................

Since Christmas.......or rather since the month of November.....with so many birthdays.....we have been stuffing ourselves with so much food....and i had been lazy....to cook at home......and so my sons could not have much choice with food besides the usual rice and soups and vege thing.......and my meat lover sons craving for some meat dishes were not my cup of tea......So son H had to cook himself......this is what he made recently......the ultimate burger adapted from Jamie Oliver cookbook.......here is how he made his delicious burger.....

600 gm chuck steak - pulsed it in a processor
1/2 big onion - chopped finely -
a pinch of cumin powder
a pinch of coriander powder
a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
a handful of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp English mustard
1 egg
80 gm of breadcrumbs

In a pan cook the chopped onion in a little olive oil til softened....then add to the meat together with all the above ingredients and half the breadcrumbs and mix well.

Wrap a chopping board with tin foil......and sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top.....shape the meat into 6 fat burgers with hands....and place it on top of the crumbs on the chopping board.....sprinkle more crumbs on top of burger and press down gently with palms...place the burger in a clean bag to chill in fridge for an hour before frying.....


Mix well all the ingredients.........before shaping...

The pressed burger................
Son preparing the chips.....................

Fry the burger in pan ....in a little oil for 8 to 10 mins ....on medium heat...turning occasionally.....served them on toasted buns...lined with cucumber and tomato slices ....lettuce...or any vege of prefered....

He also fried some chips and season it with rosemary salt to go with the burger....to make the fragrant salt he bash up some rosemary leaves with lemon jest....and some salt.....to make a paste......then mix it to the french fries while it is still hot..........

the chips seasoned with rosemary salt...............