Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sweet potato soup recipe

Sweet potato soup for dinner tonight!

While I was on my trip to Brugge approximately 2 weeks ago, I saw this book on soups on the ferry cruise. It was such an interesting book that I decided to give it a go. The recipes looked pretty reliable too.

Took me 3 and half hours to make this soup. All the hassle in making the fresh chicken stock, then cooking the vege till tender before blending them all together.

But the end result was good. The soup tasted amazing. As good as butternut squash soup. Well, as long as my guests love it and ask for a second helping, I guess I have been pretty successful. hehe..

I have to apologise for not blogging for 3 days! That's because tuesday, I received good news that I have received a GP post in scotland, hence, was hyper with celebration for 3 days. Too busy to blog!

Back on track again!

Thanks to the book on 'Soups'! After the successful sweet potato soup, will try cream sweetcorn soup next!

Sweet potato soup recipe:

4-6 rindless smoked bacon rashers
25g butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 bay leaf
750g sweet potatoes, sliced
250g potatoes, sliced
1.2 litres chicken stock
150ml water
125ml dry white wine
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp white pepper

1. Heat the bacon in a frying pan over a gentle heat until the fat runs, then raise the heat and cook over a moderate heat until very crisp. Using tongs, transfer the bacon on to kitchen paper to drain.

2. Add the butter to the bacon fat left in the frying pan and cook the onion, celery, carrots and bay leaf over a low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan. Add the sweet potatoes, potatoes, stock, measured water and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

4. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Add the nutmeg, white pepper and salt to taste. Put the pan over a moderate heat, stirring until the soup is hot.

5. Serve the soup in warmed bowls, garnishing each portion with the reserved bacon.

Monday, 21 May 2012

char kway teow recipe

Char Kway teow...A dish which I love the most while in Malaysia and would make once a while in UK. The picture above was a char kway teow dish I made almost 2 years back. Thanks to Yao for the most amazing penang cookbook which has the most amazing char kway teow recipe ever.

I am sharing my most precious Char Kway teow recipe:

Chilli paste:
10 dried red chillies, soaked until soft
2 fresh red chillies
2 shallots, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp cooking oil

5 tbsp lard or cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp chilli paste or to taste
200g medium-sized prawns, shelled.

1 chinese sausage, sliced
400g fresh flat rice noodles (kway teow)
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp salt or to taste
4 eggs
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp water
200g bean sprouts
50 chinese chives
150g cockles (optional)
100g crab meat (optional)

to prepare chilli paste:
Cut up roughly the chillies and shallots. Pound or blend in an electric blender adding some water if necessary. Season to taste with salt. Heat oil over low heat and fry the chilli paste, stirring continuously until fragrant and oil has separated from the paste. Set aside.

To fry the kway teow:
Heat oil and fry the garlic until aromatic over medium heat. Turn up the heat and add the chilli paste. Fry until aromatic before adding prawns and Chinese sausage slices. Add the kway teow and stir fry for a few seconds before adding the light and dark soy sauce and salt.

Make a 'well' in the centre of the kway teow and add a tbsp of oil. Crack in the eggs and season with pepper. Let the eggs start to set before scrambling. Fry together with the kway teow.

Add the water, bean sprouts, chives and cockles (if using). Stir-fry for 20 seconds before dishing out. Serve topped with some crab meat, if desired.

I think the sauces use makes a lot of difference. I tend to use ABC kicap manis and soy sauce maggi brand. I did not follow the tsp/tbsp of sauces above, but used my judgement instead when I fried the kway teow.

Anyway, hope you enjoy cooking the kway teow as much as I do, and enjoy the lovely results of the recipe.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Raymond Blanc cookery school

Got inspired by a friend regarding some cookery courses in Bath but was unable to attend any of them as they coincided with my working time.

Then, I came across Raymond blanc cookery school! Raymond Blanc is one of UK most respected chefs who opened  Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. The restaurant owns 2 michelin stars since 1985, a restaurant I would love to visit before I leave UK for good.

Raymond Blanc Cookery School.

Patisserie & Desserts
Learn to create seasonal desserts from Maman Blanc's and Le Manoir's sumptuous repertoire with Head Tutor Mark Peregrine and/or Head Pastry Chef Benoit Blin. Impressive dishes might include the classic French cake fraisier, petits fours such as macaroons, and Le Manoir’s famous lemon drizzle cake. You’ll also acquire the skills needed to make soufflĂ©, chocolate Marquise, ice-cream and sorbet.

  • One-day course tuition
  • Morning and afternoon tea
  • Informal lunch in the cookery school
  • Course certificate
  • Check in: 8:45am
  • Class starts: 9:00am
  • Class ends: 4:30/4:45pm
  • Weekdays - £350 per person
  • Weekends - £365 per person

And yes, I enquired about spaces and they do have places available on the 10th july! Wheeeeet! BUT BUT BUT I will only enrol for the day course as a reward for myself if I manage to secure a job in Scotland. If I don't get a job, then no cooking class for me then. =(

Really wanna learn how to perfect macaroons, soufflé and sorbets. Yummmmms!

Phnom Penh noodle soup

Can't believe my last post was in 2009?

2 years have passed in a blink of an eye and how much things have changed.. This including the presentation of my cooking, type of food I cook, even the places I visit for good food.

Am planning to relive this blog. Was difficult to maintain it while a student. But now that I am working and life is more exciting, no reason to not being able to keep this blog going then I guess. Also, easier for me to access my recipes when I need to!

Maybe I can start off with what I cooked for dinner tonight! =)

Pnhom penh noodles soup from 'Rasamalaysia'.

Thanks for Rasamalaysia, I get to cook yummy dishes in a faraway land!

Took me 3 hours to make this. 

Serves 4:

1 recipe quantity Pork Stock
1 onion
½ tsp coriander seeds
2 cloves
1⁄4 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
250g/9oz pork mince
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
200g/7oz raw, peeled king prawns, deveined
150g/5½ oz/1 1⁄4 cups bean sprouts
250g/9oz cooked thick rice noodles
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small handful of coriander leaves (to serve)
2 tbsp Fried Shallots (to serve)
1 lime, cut into wedges (to serve)
bean sprouts (to serve)
Pork Stock Ingredients:
300g/10½ oz chicken wings and drumsticks, skin and excess fat removed
500g/1lb 2oz pork ribs or pork bones
5cm/2in piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 spring onions, cut in half lengthways
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1⁄4 tsp white peppercorns
Pork Stock
1. Put the chicken pieces, pork ribs, ginger, spring onions, garlic, white peppercorns and 2 litres/70fl oz/8 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2–3 hours, skimming off any scum from the surface as required.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and discard all the solid ingredients. Cool the stock, then strain over a bowl lined with muslin. Pork stock can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Phnom Penh Noodle Soup
1. Pour the pork stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, dry-fry the whole onion in a frying pan over a medium-high heat until the outer layer is slightly charred all round. Add the charred onion to the simmering stock. Put the coriander seeds, cloves and Sichuan peppercorns in a spice bag or secure in a piece of muslin and add into the stock. Continue to simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
2. Put the pork mince in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Tip into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Put the pork back into the bowl, add the spring onion and mix until well combined. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop up the paste and shape into chestnut-sized balls and arrange on a plate – they don’t need to be perfectly round. Repeat until all the pork paste is used. Cover with cling film and leave to one side.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the prawns and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes until they turn pink and are cooked through. Transfer to a plate and leave to one side.
4. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the bean sprouts for about 20 seconds. Divide the warm, cooked noodles into deep soup bowls, then top with the blanched bean sprouts.
5. Bring the stock back to the boil, then add the pork balls and cook for 4–5 minutes until they are cooked through and float to the surface. Divide the pork balls into the bowls of noodles and add
the cooked prawns.
6. Add the fish sauce, a generous pinch of salt and the sugar to the pork stock and bring to a vigorous boil. Ladle the stock into the bowls, then sprinkle over the coriander and fried shallots. Serve immediately with the lime wedges and extra bean sprouts on the side.

I omitted prawns because i was reluctant to pay so much for prawns! Cost 14 pounds for a box of prawns. Not worth it! Used to cost 8 pounds per box, no idea when did the price went up exponentially. hmm
Will try to post more entries when I can, except the days when I am on calls (nights especially). 

Saturday, 26 December 2009

sushi night

We look like one big happy family...hehehe

Many would probably have seen my sushi pictures on facebook.

Decided to blog about it. =p I have a lot of pics that I wanted to blog about but simply is either too lazy or no time to blog.

It all started on a day in November when I had a strong craving for sushi and CF kindly agreed to buy a salmon. He went to the market and found a really fresh salmon which was quite expensive. Without the salmon, we probably wouldn't be able to have a feast like this. =p

I tried to make dragon roll which failed miserably because the avocado I bought was not of very good quality. Thank God CF managed to get some good avocados from Morrisons so that saved the salmon rolls. He also bought the sweet potatoes so we could make tempura.

I bought the miscellanous stuff to make the sushi. Anyway, we had great fun. I started preparing at 4pm. At the same time, I was waiting for CF to call me so that he could pass me the salmon. I was guessing that he was having his afternoon nap so I didn't want to pester him to bring over the salmon. By the time I got the salmon, it was 7pm. I told Gerald and Shen wei to come over at 7pm and when they got over, I had only just started preparing the salmon.

Preparing the salmon was hard work without a sashimi knife. I only had a cooks knife which I had to sharpen so many times so that I do not destroy the precious fish. Took me 40 minutes to deskin the fish and cut it into different parts for nigiri and sashimi. It was then CF surprised me with another salmon from Morrisons. So, I had to prepare the salmon again. By the time I finished preparing two salmons, it was 8.30pm which is not too bad.

We ate the sashimi and concluded that the salmon from market was so much fresher compared to the salmon bought from Morrisons. Morrisons salmon tasted as though it was thawed after being freezed even though the fishmonger from Morrisons told CF that it was caught on the morning itself. The salmon from the market was caught 2 days earlier yet it tasted so good. I was surprised by CF skills in choosing salmon because the salmon was so fresh. I admit I was worried beforehand that his money may be wasted if the salmon wasn't fresh and I might not make any sashimi or nigiri if that was the case.

Sushi night was great. The next time I am making sushi again would probably be in 3 months time. In the meantime, all of us are scared of salmon because we had an overdose that night! =p

Friday, 25 December 2009

Marbled cheesecake

Uni holidays started a week ago which kicked off the baking spree again. Had a cake order from a friend this week which was a bit of a disappointment to me because I accidentally put in a bit too much sugar making the cream too sweet. If not, the cake would have been just nice.

Tried baking two new cakes which were green tea tiramisu and mango cheesecake. After baking the green tea tiramisu, I realise that I am not actually much of a fan of green tea because it has a slight tinge of bitterness which my taste buds are unable to tolerate. =p Mango cheesecake was quite good but it was not set enough or maybe I had been too greedy and put in too much mango puree. Plus the mangoes in UK are not sweet so my mango cheesecake wasn't that great in my opinion.

Anyway, I decided to go back to basics my time and the cakes are delicious too. I decided to try a marbled cheesecake from the recipe book I got Malaysia (Y3K Delicious cakes). It is considered one of the most basic cakes compared to the other cakes I have attempted which were relatively complicated.

I brought the marbled cheesecake to Yee Kuan's place for pot luck and there was good response. Many liked the cake and took many many helpings. Some people wanted to take some cake home but I quickly stored it away so that I can keep some pieces for shen wei's friends who are my regular guinea pigs + customers.

Since the cake was so well received, I decided to share this recipe on my blog. =)

For base:
200g digestive biscuits (milled)
50g ground almond (toasted)
120g butter (melted)

750g cream cheese
120g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
120g white cooking chocolate (melted by double boiling)
30g cornflour
300ml UHT whipping cream
3 eggs (beaten)

50g dark cooking chocolate (melted by double-boiling)

Utensils needed:
9" loose-base cake tin

1. Base: Preheat the oven at 140 deg celcius. Mix melted butter with dry ingredients until well-combined. Press into a 9" loose-base cake tin. Refridgerate until set.

2. Filling: Beat cheese and sugar until creamy. Add in melted white chocolate. Add in cream, vanilla essence and cornflour.
Lastly, add in eggs.
Pour batter onto set base, drizzle with melted dark chocolate on top.
Steam bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Leave cake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes but temperature turned off.

3. Remove cake from oven and let cake cool at room temperature. Refridgerate for 6 hours before serving.

Enjoy baking this fabulous cake!! I would strongly recommend this recipe book! =)

I apologise for the grammatical errors etc because I am too lazy to edit it since it is not one of my assignments that need to be handed in into uni. =p

Merry christmas everyone!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Apple crumble cheesecake

It was Janice's bday!! So a reason for me to bake a cake. The Y3k cookbook is really good. Been really satisfied with it cuz it was surprisingly good. Tasted similar to apple pie just that it was in the form of a cake. =p

Hopes to make it again...if only I have the near future I guess..

Loving the new recipe book...