This is the butter rice I made some time back for us to eat along the roasted chicken wings. It is so simple I actually didn’t measure much. Anyhow, here is a rough guidelines of what I’ve used and what I’ve done:
2 cups uncooked rice, washed until water run clear, drained
½ cup frozen mixed vegetables
½ a small brown onion, diced smallish
2 to 3 tbsp butter
Enough chicken stock to cook rice
I have wanted to make this Roasted Honey Chicken Wings from Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets for ages! She not only coo and bake well, she takes beautiful and stunning shots too! I am so lucky to be Down Under now where it is so sunny and I can play around with my food and shots though it is already 8pm! No, we usually have earlier dinner but today, we both had late lunch, hence late dinner.
I was trying to use the 'line' element taught by Neel of Learn Food Photography. But I somehow think the pomegranate seeds are covering the orange segments so I ended up scattering them up like this:
I think it looks more pleasing to the eye now and I could see the colours are more vibrant now. Erm, Neel, care to comment and correct me? Thanking you in advance! Angle is something I could never seem to get right. Up till now, I still can't seem to choose the best picture out of all here because different angles make them look differently. Oppss....I'm drifting! Sorrry, back to the chicken. It was flavourful and yummy. I like how the baby spinach, orange segments and pomegranate seeds completed the dish. It was like eating a healthy no-dressing fruity salad with honey wings.
Will I make this again? Hell yeah.....Thanks Gertrude for coming up with wonderful combinations for chicken wings. There is something ever so magical about wings. They always disappear very quickly on my table! And because we are high on carb and Aaron must have his daily rice intake, I serve this along a very simple butter rice. That's gonna be my next upcoming post!
Roasted Honey Chicken Wings with Baby Spinach, Orange and Pomegranate
(adapted form My Kitchen Snippets with modifications)
6 pieces of chicken wings, cleaned and pat dry
1 clove garlic, passed through a garlic presser or minced finely
1/2 tsp chili powder
Sea salt to taste
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
Dash of pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
Splash of POM juice
Zest of half an orange
1.5 tbsp honey
Generous handful of baby spinach
Whisk all the ingredients together except for the wings until well combined. Coat the wings with the marinade mixture. Massaged the marinade into the chicken for 5 minutes or so and let it marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking them. Roast them in a preheated oven of 200°C for 40 minutes, flipping and basting them often with the marinade until they are golden brown. Serve this over a bed of baby spinach with orange segments and pomegranate seeds.
An butter rice of course, if you are a Carb freak!
(makes 6 chicken wings and serves 2)
Made this for a quickie lunch. Adapted this from Pioneer Woman and she got this from an Australia food writer, Jill Dupleix. Yes Ree, I love Australia too!
This one somewhat reminds me of potato latkes but they are just not. These are a lot healthier though it did involve oil, EVOO. It's first parboiled until it's fork tender. Then it's placed on a well EVOO-ed tray. Space them a little and use a fork or potato masher to mash them down so you get potato cookies. That's why it's called crash hot potatoes right? It's crash like this and you eat it hot out from the oven.
I paired this with a Garlic Aioli. This garlic aioli is one I've been using twice and modified from various sources I could happily call it mine. It makes 1/2 a cup so use it to dip them generously or make less.
Crash Hot Potatoes
(adapted from Ree Drummond, click here to see step-by-step photos by Ree)
12 whole baby potatoes, washed and scrubbed clean.
3 tbsp EVOO
Seasalt To Taste
Freshly grinded black pepper to taste
Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in all the potatoes and cook until they are fork-tender. On a sheet pan, generously drizzle over EVOO. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato. With a potato masher or just a fork, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes. You can choose to rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again but I didn't. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more EVOO. Sprinkle potatoes with seasalt, freshly grinded black pepper and dried mixed herbs generously. Pop it into a preheated oven for 230°C and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
(makes 1/2 cup or so)
1 large egg yolk
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup EVOO
1/2 tbsp hot water
1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp egg mayonnaise or more
I like to use roasted garlic. There is something magical tasting when garlic head is well roasted. Plain raw garlic would do but crushed it finely through a garlic presser. You could also turn this into a bacon garlic aioli by using bacon drippings instead of EVOO or just half and half of both. Sometimes, when I ran out of mayonnaise, I actually added tartare sauce in place of mayo. and cut down the lemon juice a little. It tasted great to us. As I've said, this might not be very authentic of aioli but it's just how we like it. Please don't condemn me....
Place the pureed or crushed garlic, the egg yolk and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth and gradually add in the EVOO or bacon drippings and continue processing until thick. Stir in the hot water and lemon juice and process until combined. Finally, stir in the mayonnaise and mix well. Keep warm until needed to serve.
Serve the crash hot potatoes with warm roasted garlic aioli and close your eyes to enjoy moments of rarity and comfort!
For those of you all who are not from Malaysia, Ayam Masak Merah is very typical of Malaysia and exceptionally famous among the Malays in Malaysia. This dish is sweet-ish and spicy. Ayam Masak Merah directly translates to Chicken Cook Red in native Malay.
Ayam Masak Merah brings back good memories for Aaron because this is what his mum cooks often for him when he was in Malaysia and staying with his parents. I tried to replicate it by combining various sources and came up with my own version (recipe below). It ended up not very close to those that I've tried in Malaysia though. Don't get me wrong. The dish was yummy and finger licking good and we polished the plate off. It's just that I think it tasted like a combination of Ayam Masak Kicap (Chicken Cook Soy Sauce) and Caramelized Onion Chicken.
Maybe I complain too much. Aaron likes it. He happily hold it for me to take a picture of it. And we had this for dinner just now. Bright natural sunlight at 7:30pm. It' summer in Adelaide, good or bad?
Ayam Masak Merah
6 to 8 large chicken drumsticks, cleaned and pat very dry
1 large red onion, sliced into half rings
1 small tomato, chopped into six wedges
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp sweet dark soya sauce
1 cup of water
Salt to taste
Rempah (Spice paste):
2 pips of garlic
3 candlenuts/buah keras macadamia nuts
5 cloves shallots
1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 1 inch only, diced smallish
8 dried red chillies, deseeded and soaked in hot water until softened
Process all ingredients for Rempah until you get a fine paste. In a large nonstick pan (you'll need to hold 6 to 8 chicken drumsticks in it later), heat up 1/4 cup of canola oil until smoky. Add in the processed paste and fry over medium low heat until the oil separates and rises to the surface. The paste would also turn a shade darker and redish now.
Add in the onion rings and the tomato wedges now. Sprinkle sugar over to enhance caramelization. Cook until onions are slightly soft and releases aroma. Add in the chicken drumsticks now and sear on all sides until brown and onions and tomato wedges are very very soft and mushy.
Add in all ingredients for kuah and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn heat down to the lowest setting possible and cover pan with a heavy glass lid. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or more until meat is tender and fall off one but still intact. Gently pierce the meat with fork and you'll know.
Remove chicken drumsticks onto serving plate and top with onion rings generously. Turn up the heat and thicken up the remaining gravy in the pan until bubbly and reduced. Strain off oil if there is too much and drizzle over chicken. You shouldn't get that much of a gravy really because Ayam Masak Merak is rather dry but flavourful. You can add slightly less than 1 cup of water because the purpose of the water really is to help cook it.
Serve with a bowl of steamed hot rice. The Malays in Malaysia generally serve this with Nasi Tomato (Tomato Rice) but I don't quite like Nasi Tomato, just my personal preference. Try it, who knows you might like it (provided you've not tried Ayam Masak Merah before in your entire life!)
I grew up in a small little city called Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Being quite Malaynized due to culture and ancestors, I have a soft spot for sambal. I always have had and I said sambal because I really do meant all kinds of sambals. From sambal ikan bilis you get on nasi lemak to sambal oelek and sambal belachan served alongside Hokkien Noodles,I never seem to get bored with them.
This time around, I've make a large batch of Sambal Tumis. Thanks Zu and you all should see Zurin's post. She explained in detail about the difference and what they translate to in Malay. I know tumis is sort of saute-ish but I cannot translate sambal. The next best thing I would say chilli jam. These are so good in fried rice, in simple stir-fried greens and yummy when eaten along with ulam. Yes, you gotta be Malaynized to understand what I'm saying and I've not gone nuts. It's versatile and keep well in the fridge. I wouldn't recommend you cut down the oil because oil is what preserves it in the fridge.
Here is the recipe adapted from Cherry On A Cake, owned by Zurin. Thanks again Zu and terima kasih because Aaron loves this. I totally adore it and if only Aaron would let me, I would have hug this jar to bed and sniff and smell the fragrance of belacan in it throughout my sleep. I'm gonna real good night sleeps!!!
Zurin's Sambal Tumis
A real keeper and makes a large jar
50 gm dried chillies
3 medium large red onions
4 cloves garlic
5 candlenuts/buah keras/walnuts/ macadamia nuts
1/2 tbsp belacan, optional
Roughly snipped the dried chillies with scissors to remove all the seeds and pass it through a colander to remove the seeds thoroughly. Soak it in hot water for 30 minutes and then drain them. Toast the belacan in a dry and clean pan until it is crumbly and releases its fragrance. Place all the above in a blender and add 2 tbsp water of water to it and whiz until a fine paste is obtained. Else, use a food processor and process until fine without water.
1 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1/4 cup or more of EVOO
Combine the tamarind pulp with hot water and let it soak up the flavour. Moments later, use your hand and rub and squeeze the tamarind pulp to fully flavour the water. Pass them through a strainer and rub and squeeze every last bit of water from the pulp.
Heat up 1/4 cup of cooking oil in a small heavy/thick bottomed pot. Saute the blended ingredients, stirring on and off until the paste turns a shade darker, approximately 10 minutes. or longer if necessary. Use low heat at all the time as the paste burns easily. Add the tamarind juice, sugar and salt and stir and let it cook another 15 - 20 minutes more until the oil rises to the surface and the sambal is really cooked and turns a dark red shade.
Done! This is how I do my canning. Don't cool it but pour the hot paste into a clean and sterilized hot glass jar. Sterilize the metal cover and screw it on immediately. I always use jam jar with the little pressure cap on top. When I 'can' it this way, the pressure button just went down and the whole jar is pressurized. It last for more than a month just in the fridge if not opened before. Once opened, I always finish it off within 2 weeks so can't really tell what will happen if you keep it any longer than that.
Thanks Zu and I reckon everyone should have a jar of this multi purpose chili jam in their fridge!
This month's mingle is all about soups, a comfort food that tops the list as always. I wanted to do a chilled strawberry soup but I don't think it sounds comforting enough since soup always reminds me of winter and I wanted to make something warm and also vegan at the same time.
A simple flip through my recipe collection and I found cauliflower soup. The recipe has an accompaniment of cheese and bacon toast alongside, which I believe with simple modifications could still be vegan.
The soup itself is rich, simple and very much cauliflower soup. Using just water and vegetable stock, the cauliflower flavours shine through well. And I overdo the onion and garlic a little but it doesn't matter because the sauteed aftertaste was dominant in the soup too!
Cauliflower Soup with Cheese and Bacon Toasts
(adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly-Weeknight Favourites Edition)
Prep and cook time: 40 mins
1 tbsp EVOO
1 medium (150g) brown onion, chopped, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large (300g) potato, chopped finely
1kg cauliflower, trimmed, chopped
3 cups (750ml) salt reduced vegetable stock
3 cups (750ml) water
salt and freshly grounded black pepper
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh chives
Heat EVOO in a large saucepan; cook the onion and garlic, stirring until soft but not coloured. Add the potato, cauliflower, stock and water; bring to the boil, then simmer, covered for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Blend or process cauliflower mixture until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and stir gently over low heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper.
Cheese and Bacon Toast
(Optional but adds in depth flavour to soup when eaten alongside)
3 thin bacon rashers, quartered (Use mock bacon for vegan/vegetarian)
1 thin crusty Italian loaf (Make sure it is eggless for vegan/ vegetarian)
1 tbsp seeded mustard or Dijon Mustard spread would do fine
120g thinly sliced tasty cheese (Use vegan cheese for vegan/vegetarian)
Place the bacon on a foil-covered tray; grill the bacon until browned and crisp. Slice the bread diagonally into 12 thin soldiers. Grill the bread slices until browned lightly, spread with mustard, top with cheese. Grill until cheese melts, top with bacon right away. Sprinkle with freshly grinded black pepper, if desired.
To serve, ladle spoonfuls of soup into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chives and serve bacon toast alongside.
Soup suitable to freeze and microwave. The soup can be made two days ahead but the bacon toasts are best made close to serving.
This is Alan's recipe, Tess's friend. She trusted him completely with food and wine and according to Alan, this recipe is beautiful with pork, especially the part that benefit from a long cooking time.
I trusted Tessa Kiros.
This orange-tomato glaze is so good!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe simple ingredients and cooking steps can produce such fall-off bone meat. Just look at that sheen, that glaze that adorns the drumsticks.
Apples for Jam is so good that I've been using it over and over again to cook. Tessa can never stop amazing me wiht so many different varieties. I don't think I'll ever be sick of all her cookbooks. Nay, not anytime soon. Aye, recipe is as below and slightly modified by me.
Chicken Drumsticks with Orange-Tomato Glaze
5 to 6 large chicken drumsticks
5 tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Place all the above in a pan except for the chicken and bring to boil. While that is happening, preheat oven to 165°C and line a roasting pan just large enough to fit all the chicken pieces with foil. Spread the chicken drumsticks on a single layer. When the sauce is boiling and all sugar has dissolved, simmer for 5 minutes and pour over the chicken.
Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, basting and turning the pieces every now and then until teh chicken is crispy and sticky and sauce is a thick sticky glaze. Serve warm or even at room temperature.
It took me two years to post this. I've been doing lots of experimentation, playing around with the cooking method like boiling, steaming and pan-frying them. Then I try out different wrapping style and whether it affect the taste. I also tried different methods of boiling them.
Yes, you heard me right! There's a few techniques in boiling too! Some do the triple boil method (Those who make dumplings often enough would know what I'm talking about and no, I'm not mad!), rolling boil for a couple of minutes, and bring to boil and simmer for 10 mins or so.
Same goes to steaming and pan-frying. Pan-fry it and you call it potstickers. It's really because it sticks to the pan and you pour in water to deglaze them. You get a nice crunchy and crispy bottom with soft, not rubbery skin. They are so good eaten plain!
Other issues include wrapping techniques. I find that boiling them is fast and easy however sometimes when your wrapping skills is not good enough, the filling burst out and floats in the water because you've entrapped air pockets in the dumplings when wrapping. In the end, what you get is a sort of diluted taste dumpling with skin all over!
Steaming however can help prevent this. Simply line a steaming tray with a few napa leaves and place the dumplings all over it and steam it until its cooked. Juice retain itself well and flavour comes through better too.
As for wrapping, I really find the purse shape dumplings taste better. Not being psychological, but because they hold their shape better and even if you wrap them lousily, it will not burst open and ooze out meat juice. Because purse shape dumplings have a sort of flat surface bottom it can sit on but the crescent shape on is sort of like invertebrate. It has to be lying in either sides and there's a chance where juice might leak out.
As for recipes, I've tried more than 7 different recipes in 2 years and it's really the matter of not substituting for any of the ingredients and the wrapping method and cooking method all helps in making flavours come through.
If I am pressed on time, I did rather not make dumplings because they are easy but takes time to wrap and to master. And you really gotta make sure you squeeze every last bit of water out from the napa. Heavily salt them and no, your dumpling filling will not be too salty in the end, I assure you! Salt helps draw water out from napa cabbage that is known to be high in water content. And chopping everything as finely as possible gives you a better texture. However, some people like my dad likes them not chopped too fine. He likes to bite into things and be able to tell what's in them and it makes him feel smarter so cook according to your liking and people that you are serving it to.
For potstickers, some people like to precooked the filling first because they'll cook faster and it does taste better. However, I've tried just pan-frying them with raw meat filling and they are delicious too. Your choice.
Finally, did I mention that these dumplings are freezable and they keep well for long. Just flash freeze them in a single layer and then you can place all of them in a large ziploc bag. And when you're in for a quick fix, drop a couple of them in your instant noodle soup and you have the most delicious supper in no time!
For this, I am going to describe all methods that I know and feel free to pick whichever way you like. This recipe is one that I have gathered from many sources and come up with one I feel suit our tastebud the most. If you are not comfortable, always do a taste test first. Simply boil a little of the meat filling and taste it. If it's to your liking, you can start wrapping. If you think it needed a little bit more salt, add it. Be flexible and cook according to your liking. And most importantly, enjoy and have fun!
250g pork mince*
160g Napa cabbage
1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing Wine
1 tbsp peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tbsp cornflour
A generous handful of fresh chives (try getting your hands on garlic chives if possible!)
*For the pork mince, I would say you buy preminced pork because they usually give use the cheapest cut of the meat to make pork mince for you and we all know cheapest cut means more fat and fat is what makes it delicious. You can go all vegan and healthy 364 days of the year but let this one day when you eat these be a true indulgence and remembrance!
30-40 dumpling skins (Sometimes called gyoza skin)
1 tbsp cornflour + 1/4 cup cold water
Start off by drawing water out from the cabbage. Finely minced the Napa and place them in a large bowl. Add a generous amount of salt and tossed them a bit. Let them sit for 10-15mins.
While that is happening, combine everything else in a large bowl and mixed them up really well. When the cabbage is ready, place a large muslin cloth over a colander and pour in the cabbage. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the cabbage and combine the cabbage into the pork mince mixture. If the mixture is not binding well, feel free to add a little more cornflour to bind it.
Have ready one or two large baking sheets, lined with parchment and lightly dusted with plain flour.
Wrapping time. Remove about five or so of the dumpling skin onto your work table and use the muslin cloth which is damp now to wrap the remaining dumpling skins. It works a little like Phyllo here, the dumpling skin will dry out if exposed to air too long. Wrap it in two ways:
Typical Crescent Shape
Place a scant tablespoon of filling at the centre of each dumpling skin and dab your finger into the cornflour mixture. Gently glaze one half of the circle of skin and fold the skin over to make a crescent shape. Press from the centre outwards to make sure you don't get air pockets in the dumplings. Seal them up well and place them on the prepared sheets. Do not stack them up!
Beautiful Purse-Looking Shape
Place a scant tablespoon of filling at the centre of each dumpling skin and dab your finger into the cornflour mixture. Gently glaze one half of the circle of ski. Now, bring both opposite sides of the skin together. Hold them at the centre an pinch to seal the point.
With your left hand still holding the sealed centre point, use your right hand to gently fold and pleat one half of the skin towards the other unpleated side; sort of like fluting it. Pinch tight. Do 3 to 4 pleats from centre to right and repeat for the other side. This video here is close to what I described but the difference is I only pleat one half of the dumpling skin but what the video did was to form crescent and pleat like I've described. No, don't try what she did, it doesn't work with store bought skin and you must be crazy if you think I'll make my own dumpling skins. Well, I do have crazy moments but I find buying them is a lot more convenient.
I hope my picture helps. All pleats should be pointing towards the centre. I didn't pleat well because store bought skins are thick and because I totally stuff the dumpling, I think it's rather obvious from the picture.
Cooking time. Feel free to do one of the below:
In a large pot, heat the water until boiling. Add half the dumplings, stirring once in a while to prevent them from sticking together, and when water reach boiling point again, add a cup of cold water and bring to boil again. When the dumplings are boiling for the third time, fish them out. This method, it does taste better to me and I never get burst dumplings and floating skins when I do this.
In a large pot, heat the water until boiling and add in half the dumplings, stirring once in a while to prevent them from sticking together. When it comes to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer for approximately 8 to 10 mins, covered or uncovered is fine. Fish them out and serve.
Line a steamer tray with a few Napa leaves and place the dumplings on the leaves. Steam them on high heat, covered of course for 7-8 mins. Serve straight.
Potstickers (Pan-frying method)
Wrap the dumplings into purse-like shape. Heat up a nonstick pan with some oil and coat the base well. When oil is hot but not smoky, turn down the heat to medium low and working quickly, place as many dumplings as you can fit into the non-stick pan. Make sure there is no room for them to move around and that they all fit snuggly. Sear the bottom until it's brown and crisp. When that is achieved, add in enough water so that water comes up to approximately 1 cm of the dumpling height. Bring to boil and lower the heat to simmer. Partially cover the pan with a lid and let it cook it for 5 mins or so. Reason is because you want your filling to be cook and you also want all the water to evaporate away. Uncover and turn up the heat to medium high. When all the water evaporated and you can totally see that your pan is dry, run a spatula around the sides and the bottom of the dumplings to loosen it from the pan. Turn off the heat and place a large plate over the pan. With one quick motion, turn the pan upside down with one hand holding the plate. Serve the potstickers upside down to reveal it's beautiful crisp and seared bottom.
Serve this with a traditional ginger and vingar soy dip or just garlic oil and chili dip. I hope this write up would be helpful to some of you. Have fun and good night! It's so late now!
There's really not much of a recipe and no, I didn't make these. Aaron did. So here is his rough guidelines:
Have ready 3 shallow plates. Crack one egg into one plate and beat it with a pinch of salt Have ready approximately 3/4 cup of plain flour in another shallow plate. Throw in some dried parsley and mix well. Pulse one or two squares of stale bread until you get fine breadcrumb, about say 3/4 cup as well.
Cut two to three large fish fillts in half and salt and pepper them, Make sure they are cleaned and pat dry. Coat them in flour mixture followed by egg mixture and finally the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat until you ran out of fish fillets, you get the idea.
Place them on an EVOO-ed baking tray and drizzle more EVOO over it. Bake the fillets in a preheated oven of 220°C-220°C for 20mins, flipping over after 10 or 15 minutes. They will look golden and crisp.
Serve with lemon wedge if you like and no, this one does not taste like it's deep fried like those beer battered fish and chips but this is certainly a lot healthier.
We hope you like our simple dinner. These are what we eat alongside a simple EVOO pasta or just hot chips.