Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kofta Rolls Filled WIth Spinach, Pine Nuts, Almonds And Raisins (Kafta Mashi Bi Sabenekh)

This is yet another recipe I picked from Abla's Lebanese Kitchen. It made sense to use up the nuts and spices we bought for our last Lebanese meal -  Chicken Breast Roll with Rice Stuffing. I must say this is a whole lot easier than stuffing the chicken breasts but it will still impress your guests at a dinner party. You may replace the stuffing with hard boiled eggs and minced lamb with beef instead. Enjoy your weekend and happy cooking!

Recipe adapted from Abla's Lebanese Kitchen
serves 4 
you'll need;
1 kg of minced lamb
3/4 cup of chopped parsley
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of allspice
1/2 tsp of black pepper
olive oil for brushing
steamed vegetables to serve

for the filling;
200 g of spinach, washed, drained and chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
1 tbs of olive oil
1/3 cup of pine nuts*
1/3 cup of blanched almonds, halved*
1/3 cup of raisin
1/4 tsp of allspice
1/4 tsp of black pepper
salt to taste
1 tbs of lemon juice
* Dry toast nuts til golden then add in a dollop of butter, drained well

Place minced lamb, parsley, onion and spices in a blender and process to combine. (Do it in batches)

Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl.

Brush cling film with a little oil and place half of the mince mixture on it. Flatten it out and place half of the filling in a line down the centre.

fold the sides over to form a roll.

Place kofta rolls in an oiled roasting tray, brush with olive oil and bake in the pre heated oven for 30-40 minutes.

Rest kofta rolls for 10 minutes before slicing. Skim off excess oil and reserve the cooking jus.

I served the kofta slices with boiled cabbage and green beans with the reserved cooking jus poured over the vegetables.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just A Little Prettiness 10

It has been 3 weeks since the eating arrangement here at the tummies' been abandoned and I am loving the new way of planning and cooking for myself. Sorry I haven't been posting too many recipes but yes! I have been cooking and there are many recipes I can't wait to share. I will spend some time to prepare a few exciting posts over the weekend,  meanwhile lets see what is happening in my much ignored garden in the middle of winter. 
P.S This is a schedule post. All queries and comments will be answered ASAP.

The holiday cactus is in full display this time of the year. This was a rather sad plant when I first took it back 2 years ago.

I still have no idea what is the name of this plant but it brighten up the garden every winter without fail. Do you know the name of this beauty?

All the succulents are doing extremely well at the moment if only I can say the same about my herbs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spicy Fragrant Coconut Veal Dice 香辣椰絲肉丁 "Malaysian Monday 5"

This is a little invention of mine using ingredients I found in my fridge, garden and pantry. I can proudly call it a Malaysian dish as it is done using Chinese cooking techniques and ingredients used in the cuisines of all three major ethnic groups in Malaysia namely, Chinese (wanton wrappers, soy and oyster sauce), Malay (kerisik) and Indian (curry powder and curry leaves). More importantly, this texture haven also tastes absolutely delicious! (sorry for blowing my own trumpet here) Perhaps our PM back home should be serving this at all the "One Malaysia" gatherings :) Do give this a try and tell me what you think. 
P.S This is a scheduled post. I will answer all queries and comments ASAP.

serves 3 to 4 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need;
300 g of veal fillet, diced*
10 wanton wrappers, cut into strips, deep fried and drained
3 tbs of desiccated coconut, dry roasted (kerisk)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 long red chili, chopped
3 stems of curry leaves
1/2 tbs of Malaysian curry powder (Burung Nuri brand)**
1 tbs of soy**
2 tbs of corn flour**
1.5 tbs of soy***
1 tbs of oyster sauce***
1 tbs of sugar***
*feel free to use pork or chicken instead
*marinate diced meat with ingredients marked **
for the sauce - mix ingredients marked*** well and set aside

Prepare the ingredients.

Fry wonton wrappers, veal and curry leaves and set aside. Prepare the kerisik.

Saute chopped garlic and chili til lightly brown then add in a stem of the curry leaves, fry for 30 seconds.

Return chicken, curry leaves and kerisk to the wok and mix well.

Pour in the sauce ingredients and stir well before adding the fried wanton wrappers. Turn off heat and mix thoroughly.

Serve immediately with plenty of steamed rice.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Guest Post - Chinese Style Beef Steak 中式牛扒

When Mr. Noodles of "eat noodles love noodles" asked me to do a guest post for his blog I said yes without any hesitation. It is not just any guest post; it is his 100th post and with such an honour bestowed upon me, I put my mind to work right away for something appropriate for such occasion. A noodle post might be an easy option but I decided against it and instead chosen a dish that might represent who he is - A British born Chinese whose parents emigrated from Hong Kong, who is also very passionate and proud of his heritage. What I have chosen is this Cantonese classic created by talented Hong Kong cooks using both Chinese and English ingredients. It looks unmistakably Chinese that is until you have your first taste of the sauce that has all the English condiments in it,  more importantly the Chineseness of the dish has not been compromised with the added foreign sauces. For Mr. Noodles' friends who are still not convinced by the beauty of Chinese food, this might be a good dish to show them how versatile and diverse the cuisine can be. Please go to "eat noodles love noodles" and find out more about one man's quest to eat all noodles (among other things) under the sun. I am looking forward to the day we meet; there will be beers, wine and zha jiang mian.... opps! I mean dan dan mian! Last but not least, congratulations on your 100th post and am looking forward to the 200th and 300th...
P.S This is a scheduled post. I will answer all queries and comments ASAP. My Malaysian Monday will be posted on a later date.

serves 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
500 g of beef fillet - sliced across the grains to roughly 8 mm slices*
1 tbs of light soy
1 tsp of white pepper
1 tbs of corn flour
2 tbs of peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 brown onion, sliced
1 bunch of bokchoy or Asian greens of your choice, halved lengthwise and blanched just before serving
1 spring onion, cut into 5 cm lengths and julienne
* Place beef in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up to make slicing easier. I am not a big fan of meat tenderised using soda powder, if you do use rump and add a tsp of soda powder to the marinade. Pork and chicken can be used with great success.

for the sauce;
6 tbs of tomato ketchup
3 tbs of HP sauce*
1 tbs of worcestershire sauce
1 tbs of oyster sauce
dash of sesame oil
2 tbs of sugar
1/2 cup of stock
dash of white pepper
corn flour solution
* A1 sauce is a good substitute

Mix everything for the sauce in a bowl (except the corn flour solution) and set aside.

Slice beef across the grains and lightly pounded with a kitchen mallet.

Marinate beef with soy, white pepper, corn flour and peanut oil.

Pan fry beef in a hot pan without using any oil (a non stick pan is best) for 15 seconds on each side and set aside. The beef is juicy and tender without having to use any soda powder - my pet hate!

Saute garlic and onion for a minute then add in the sauce mixture and cook for a minute. Check for seasonings and thicken with a little corn flour solution.

Return beef to the wok and lower the heat. Coat beef pieces with the sauce and warm through, take care not to cook the beef any further.

Blanch Asian greens very briefly and drain well.

Serve beef with blanched greens and top with some julienne spring onions. I hope Mr. Noodles will be making this for his Chinese food sceptic friends sometime soon. I found out later Mr. Noodles' father used to make a similar dish using pork fillet when he was growing up.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mini Chicken Omelet With Spicy Tomato Sauce 茄汁蛋肉餅

I am getting use to the idea of cooking and eating on my own ever since the eating arrangement at the tummies was abandoned 2 weeks ago. I am spending less time thinking about food and planning for my own menu can't be easier without any restrictions. A dish that I would request when I was little, so it was perfect on a very depressing day. Few free to use your choice of mince and the meat omelet is just as delicious without the sauce.

serves 4 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
500 g of chicken breasts, minced
2 eggs, beaten
dash of soy
dash of white pepper
dash of sesame oil
1 tsp of grated ginger
mix all the ingredients well

for the sauce;
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 bird chillies, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup of peas
5 tbs of tomato sauce
1 tbs of Chinkiang black Vinegar
1 tbs of sugar
1 tbs of light soy
dash of white pepper
1/2 cup of chicken stock
corn flour solution

Pan fry meat and egg mixture in a hot pan til golden on both side. You may make a large omelet and cut it up later.

Place meat omelets aside and keep warm. 

To prepare the sauce - saute chopped garlic and chillies til fragrant then add in tomato sauce and onion. Fry for a minute then add in the rest of the seasonings and stock, add peas. Check for seasonings and thicken sauce with a little corn flour solution.

Pour sauce over meat omelet. Garnish with some chopped spring onions.

Perfect with a hot bowl of rice. I am feeling so much better already :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rice With Onsen Tamago And Furikake

I won't claim this to be a recipe but rather an idea for a light lunch or a quick snack. If you love onsen tamago (hot spring egg) you are going to adore this. Furikake is a type of Japanese condiment for rice. It is usually consists of sesame seeds, nori, bonito, shiso and so on and it is perfect to spice up a bowl of plain rice. I will be posting a few furikake recipes in my next "Japanese week", meanwhile you are able to find different types of furikake in both Japanese and Korean grocers. 
P.S This is a scheduled post. I will answer and reply all comments ASAP.

serves as a light lunch or a quick snack
you'll need;
cooked Japanese rice
furikake of your choice
dash of Japanese soy

Place hot rice in a bowl, top with an onsen tamago and sprinkle with furikake of your choice and a dash of Japanese soy. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Braised Yi fu Noodles 燜伊府麵

For the Chinese a good dish must possess the following qualities - colour/appearance (色, she), aroma/fragrance (香, xiang) and taste (味, wei), texture/mouthfeel of a dish (口感, kou kan) is also being taken very seriously. Yi fu or yee foo (伊府) noodle is the result of such obsession. The noodles are sold pre deep fried; they need to be soaked and soften before being put in soup or a braise, the result is bowlful of silky and tender  strands of golden delicious goodness that one simply can't get enough of (I hope I am not sounding like Nigella Lawson). This is how it is always prepared back home, do you have a different way of cooking this gem?
P.S This is a scheduled post. I will answer and reply all comments and queries ASAP.

serves 4
you'll need;
4 yi fu noodles
4 Chinese cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
1 large carrot, cut into strips
1 chicken breast, cut into strips*
1 cup of bean sprouts, topped and tailed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbs of grated ginger
2 tbs of dark soy
2 tbs of light soy
dash of oyster sauce
dash of white pepper
dash of sesame oil
1 cup of chicken stock
1 cup of mushroom soaking water
corn flour solution
* marinate chicken with dash of soy, sesame oil, cooking wine, white pepper and corn flour.

Prepare all ingredients and have everything close to the stove.

Soak noodles in hot water to soften then rinse under cold running water and drain well.

Saute garlic and ginger follow by the carrots and mushrooms.

Add Chinese cabbage and fry for a minute, add chicken stock and mushroom soaking water.

Add noodles and seasoning, cover and simmer for a minute or two. Check for seasonings and thicken the sauce with a little corn flour solution.

Serve with plenty of cut chillies and soy.

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