Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Panang Muu แพนงหมู Panang Curry With Pork

I was determined to use up all the meat and seafood in my freezer, bounties that I bought months ago that I didn't have the opportunity to cook.

Among the goodies I unearthed was a piece of pork fillet which I turned into a delicious panang curry. With the homemade curry paste I prepared beforehand, frozen kaffir lime leaves in the freezer and coconut cream in my pantry, such a wonderful meal can be prepared with ease.

As I have mentioned before, this keang (Thai curry) is named after the Malaysian state of Penang but it is simply the Thais' interpretation of a Malaysian curry, so don't expect to find anything similar when you are in Penang next.

Though completely misleading, whoever invented this luscious dish should truly be applauded.

P.S feel free to add some green beans to the curry if our heart desires.

serves 4 as part of a Thai meal
you'll need;
500g of pork fillet, thinly sliced
1 can of coconut cream (Mae Ploy brand)
3 heaped tbs of Panang curry paste, homemade or shop bought
4 tbs of fish sauce
4 tbs of palm sugar
6 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
5 bird chillies, halved lengthwise
3 heaped tbs of toasted peanut, pounded (optional)

Slice pork and finely shred the kaffir lime leaves.

Fish sauce and palm sugar is a must of course.

Add 1/3 can of the coconut cream to the wok and cook on medium heat until the oil starts to split.

Add curry paste, mix well and allow the paste to fry in the coconut cream/oil mixture on medium heat for about a minute.

Add the rest of the coconut cream (reserving a few tablespoons for later use) and bring it to a simmer, season with fish sauce and palm sugar. Add pork to the wok together with half of the kaffir lime leaves and chili halves, mix and cook gently until the pork is just cooked. Finally stir in the pounded peanut (if using) and check for seasonings.

Drizzle the reserved coconut cream and garnish with the rest of the shredded kaffir lime leaves and chili halves.

Serve with plenty of steamed rice and perhaps a perfectly fried egg?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower And Quinoa Salad

I am completely hooked on quinoa at the moment. Though I have always enjoyed dishes with quinoa when dinning out, I have never cooked it at home until a few weeks ago. 

We bought a box of quinoa and guess what? There is a recipe on the back of the package by Cath Claringbold, a Melbourne chef renowned for her Middle Eastern cooking. I tweaked the recipe a little and it is now a favourite at the Tummies'!

Give it a try if you are a lover of quinoa or a late convert like us. Serve it as it is or as a side dish when you next roast a chook.

Happy cooking and have a wonderful weekend!

P.S The original recipe asks for pomegranate seeds. When the fruit is in season, make sure you add 1 cup of the ruby coloured seeds to brighten up the dish. 

recipe adapted from Cath Claringbold's
serve 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish
you'll need;
1/2 a cauliflower, sliced 
160 g of white quinoa, cooked and cooled
500 ml of vegetable stock
1/4 cup of slivered almonds, lightly roasted
1/4 cup of sultanas, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley, shredded
1/2 bunch of coriander, shredded
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 red onion, sliced and caramelised

for the dressing;
3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs of sherry vinegar
1 tbs of pomegranate molasses
sea salt to taste
crushed black pepper to taste

Place sliced cauliflower in a roasting pan, drizzle with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure even browning. Remove and allow to cool.

To cook the quinoa - place quinoa in a pot, wash and drain well then add stock to the pot simmer on low heat and cook until the quinoa is tender and the stock has evaporated. Remove from pot and allow to cool.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients and set aside.

I have added caramelised onion to the salad which works wonder to the already delicious salad.

Place all ingredients in a salad bowl, drizzle with the dressing and toss well. Serve it as a light vegetarian meal.

Or as a side dish with roast chicken or grilled fish.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Niu Rou Dan Dan Mian 牛肉擔擔麵 Beef Dan Dan Noodles

Too soon for another noodle dish with mince? Well certainly not here at the Tummies'!

Spring is here and the weather has been brilliant. Spending hours in the kitchen (after a 9 hour shift in a commercial kitchen) is out of the question, so a simple, quick and delicious one dish meal such as this Sichuan classic is a godsend.

The dish is named after the shoulder poles (dan dan, 擔擔) that once transported street vendors' stoves and everything else needed for business around the neighbourhood.

Unlike its equally popular cousin zha jiang mian (炸醬麵), this dish doesn't require slow simmering of the meat sauce, leaving one plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful spring days. But be warned, it is just as addictive!

There are numerous versions of this popular dish around but this is one I adapted from my favourite food writer and Sichuan cookery expert Fuchsia Dunlop's latest book, Every Grain Of Rice.

recipe adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain Of Rice
serve 10 as an one dish meal
you'll need;
3 tbs of cooking oil
15 dried chillies, snipped and seeds removed
5 tsp of Sichuan pepper
250 g of Sichuanese ya cai (see next photo and notes)
3 tbs of light soy
pinch of salt
Dried Chinese wheat flour noodles (allow 100g per serve)
chopped spring onions to serve
blanched bok choy or Asian greens of your choice to serve

for the sauce (individual serve) ;
1/4 tsp of ground roasted Sichuan pepper
2 tbs of sesame paste
3 tbs of light soy
2 tsp of dark soy
4 tbs of chilli oil with itd sediment

This is what Sichuanese ya cai looks like. A must have ingredient in another popular Sichuan dish - dry fried green beans. If unavailable, substitute with more commonly available Tianjin preserved vegetable instead.

Add cooking oil to a hot wok or pan and saute the dried chillies and Sichuan pepper for around 10 seconds over medium heat. Add ya cai and continue to saute until the oil is hot and fragrant.

Add mince to the pan and stir fry on high heat, breaking up large lumps as you go.

When the meat is lightly brown and a little crisp, splash in the soy. Mix well and season with a pinch of salt.

To prepare the sauce, simply place all sauce ingredients in individual bowl and mix well.

Cook noodles till al dente, drain, rinse and drain well.

Place noodles in the bowls with the sauce , top with some of the fried mince, (I also added some chopped spring onions and blanched bok choy for a bit of extra vibrancy), mix well and enjoy.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Knife Cut Noodles With Spicy Preserved Vegetable And Mince Sauce 麻辣雪菜肉碎刀削麵

It has been a while since I last posted a noodle dish and this is another variation of "noodles with mince sauce" that will feed the whole family happily without breaking a sweat or the bank.

I found this knife cut noodles 刀削麵 from an Asian grocer a while back and I must say we are now completely hooked, needless to say my pantry is now very well stocked with this new favourite of ours. Together with my other kitchen staples such as hot bean paste and various kinds of preserved vegetables, such a simple but delicious meal can be prepared without too much of a fuss.

Feel free to serve the mince sauce with your favourite noodles if you are unable to find the knife cut noodles used here.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 8 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 cm knob of ginger, chopped
5 bird chillies, chopped (optional)
4 tbs of hot bean paste
1 kg of mince of your choice
1 packet of preserved xue cai (see bellow)
1 l of stock
2 tbs of light soy
2 tbs of dack soy
1 tbs of sichuan pepper, roasted and crushed
corn flour solution for thickening
1 continental cucumber, julienned
1 bunch of spinach, picked, blanched and refreshed, drained well
2 spring onions, chopped
1 packet of dried knife cut noodles, cooked until al dente just before serving

This is what fresh xue cai (雪菜,Brassica juncea var. crispifolia), also known as curly mustard greens looks like. Preserved xue cai is available at most Asian grocers, sometimes with added bamboo shoots which is what I used in this recipe. If preserved xue cai is not available, simply replace it with other type of preserved vegetables.

Chop onion, garlic and ginger. On the right is what preserved xue cai looks like.

Saute chopped ingredients with 4 tbs of cooking oil, when the onion is slightly brown add in the hot bean paste. Continue to saute for a minute or two.

Add mince to the pot and mix well, breaking up lumps as you go. 

When the mince is no longer pink, add in the preserved xue cai, stock and the rest of the seasonings, mix well, cover and allow to simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. Thicken the sauce with a little corn flour solution and check for seasonings.

While the sauce is cooking away, prepare the cucumber and spinach. They help to cut through the fairly intense sauce, also will brighten up the final dish.

Cook noodles just before serving.

Divide noodles into individual serving bowls, ladle some of the mince sauce over, top with julienned cucumber, blanched spinach and some chopped spring onions.

Mix well and enjoy!

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