Sunday, March 31, 2013

Egg and Tomatoes Little Pies

Before the event Little Thumbs Up ends for the month today being tomato as the theme, i want to quickly post this up. These pies idea was inspired when i was looking thru the BHG magazine yesterday. These little pies use puff pastry as the base and of course if you are adventurous enough, you can always make your own puff pastry as i've already seen some of you did. Fairly easy to make with very simple ingredients, just eggs and tomatoes. When i was making this, i thought of those Baked Eggs which i had made earlier. It's almost similar except this comes in a little pastry.

I am rushing to link this post  to Little Thumbs Up event hosted by Doreen of My Little Favourites :D

Ingredients ( inspired by the breakfast pies in BHG mag )
makes 5 little pies
1 large egg, whisked
1 large tomato, chopped
5 pieces of puff pastry, slightly thawed ( i used Kawan brand)
Parsley, to sprinkle

1. Preheat your oven to 180C and cut out five 9cm rounds from the pastry and use them to line the muffin pan. ( i used a glass to cut out the pastry ).
2. Spoon some tomatoes into the cases and pour in the eggs till 3/4 full. Sprinkle some parsley and bake for 20 minutes or until egg is set.

this is how it looks like ...when you take a bite :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pickled Vegetable Johor Style ( Acar Darat )

Seeing Gertrude making this acar, i was very eager to try. This is a very simple way of making acar, no sun drying your ingredients or grinding your spices..well, maybe i shouldnt compare this to the traditional nyonya acar making. I still love nyonya acar very much but i havent tried making my own. It was the simplicity of making this johor style acar that makes me wanted to try..Much lesser ingredients and quick to make...nice to go with some rice, also i think it will make a very appetising side dish when served along with some grilled meat or fish..

Recipe ( from My Kitchen Snippets, whom adapted from Mat Gebu )
1 cucumber, seeds removed, cut into thick match stick size
1 carrot, cut into thick match stick size
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, halves
1 onion, cut into wedges
1/2 inch piece young ginger, thinly striped
1 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked and pounded ( udang kering )
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cinnamon stick/ kayu manis
1 star anise / bunga lawang
5 cloves/ bunga cengkih
2 cardamon / pelaga
1 tsp mustard seeds/ biji sawi

1. Mix the cucumber with the turmeric powder and some salt. Set aside.
2. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in wok and fry the mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and cardamon until fragrant. Add the ginger, garlic and pounded dried shrimps and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add in sugar and salt to taste  ( i did not add in salt ) and stir till sugar is dissolved, follow by the vinegar.
3. Put in the carrots, chilli and onion. Stir to combine and add in the turmeric coated cucumber ( squeeze the water out first ) and cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste and see if more sugar or salt needed then remove from heat.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Johor Month ) hosted by Annie of Annielicious Food

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Blackberry Turnovers

After making the cheat turnovers for our Bake Along,  i made these more proper turnovers the next day..if not, Joyce and Zoe may kick me out from the group :D  Initially i wanted to use the same pastry dough that i had used for my hand pies before, then i thought of trying another recipe out from the book which i just got not long ago.  This dough meant to be flaky but i dont really find it as flaky as how i wanted it to a shortcrust pastry. It is still nice anyway in terms of taste but one thing, i find it so difficult to manage the dough. The dough gets soft so easily and i feel like dumping the whole dough away! Quite frustrating actually as it took up so much more time to complete the shaping and everything because i had to keep chilling the dough again and again. I dont think i will be using this recipe again in future..but i will still list the recipe down..perhaps some of you have better hands than mine and works better in colder countries. By the way, the blackberry filling is nice too, sweet..not sour.

Recipe ( from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book )
Pastry Dough
200gm all purpose /plain flour
1tbsp sugar
1/4tsp salt
125gm unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3tbsp ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the 3 tbsps water thru the feed tube, pulsing once after each addition and adding just enough to make a crumbly dough, it will not hold together on its own but will when gathered into a ball with your hands. If the dough is dry, mix in more water 1 tbsp at a time. ( i put in 4 tbsp altogether).

Transfer the dough to a work surface, flatten into a disk and roll it out.  You can choose to use it right away but i cant, the dough is quite soft so i put it in the fridge for about 30 mins. I used a drinking glass to cut out the dough into rounds.


2 cups blackberries ( i hv used frozen ones )
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt

egg wash for surface ( optional )

In a bowl, toss the blackberries, cornstarch, sugar and salt. (As i've have used frozen berries, there were a lot of water and juices drawing out from the berries after some time, so i seived out the liquid ). Divide the blackberries evenly among the dough rounds and then fold the dough over the filling to form the shape. Press the edges to seal and apply egg wash.  Refrigerate the turnovers on the baking sheet until the dough is firm, about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 190C. Bake until golden brown about 40 minutes, transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Sting Ray Assam Pedas ( Hot and Sour Fish Johor Style )

From the past MFF events, i've come to realise different states have their own so called version of hot and sour fish. Malacca has their Ikan Gerang Assam ( Spicy and Sour Fish Curry ) and Kedah has its own Asam Pedas Utara ( Hot and Sour Fish ). I have cooked the northern style hot and sour fish couple of months back and if compared, i would say that this Johor's version is much richer in taste and in broth. While the northern style of cooking sour fish is mainly employed by just boiling the ingredients, the chilli paste here needs to be sauteed. Both the ingredients are quite the same. I have not tried the Malacca Sour Fish curry but looking at the ingredients, Johor's type includes laksa leaves and also Torch gingerbud which they are not being used in the Malacca's version. Nevertheless, I believe that both are equally good as i've seen some of you have given some really good feedback. I am not sure about you, but anything hot and sour really whets my appetite. If you are like me and want to cook this, be prepared to cook a big pot or rice, but just dont blame me if you overeat :D

Main ingredients and the grinding ingredients
Marinating the fish with tamarind pulp

Recipe ( from Table for 2 ..or more , reference from CT Delima  and Myresepi)
750gm stingray
1 torch gingerbud, halved
4 sprigs of daun kesum /laksa leaves
2 lemon grass ( 4 inches from the base ) , smashed
10 young okra, trimmed
2 tomatoes, quartered
75gm + 25gm tamarind pulp
750ml water
4tbsp oil
2tbsp sugar
1/3 tsp salt
mint leaves ( optional, i just used that for garnishing )
Grind to a paste
12 dried chillies( soaked to soften)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
15gm chopped ginger
1 thumbsize turmeric root, chopped
5gm belachan/ dried shrimp paste

1. Cut string ray into preferred size and rub 25gm of tamarind pulp onto it, let it sit for 30 mins and rinse the fish clean after that. Proceed to preparing the chilli paste
2. Rub 75gm of tamarind pulp in 750ml water until seeds are clean. Strain and discard the juice. Leave aside.
3. Heat wok and put in oil and saute grinded ingredients till oil separates. Put in lemon grass, torch gingerbud, daun kesum , tomatoes and the tamarind juice from (2). Bring to a boil.
4. Put in the fish, salt and sugar, bring it back to a boil , taste and fine tune the taste. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes or till fish is cooked.
5.Put in the okra and let it cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Remove from wok.

p/s If you look at Wendy's assam pedas and mine, you will see that her broth is much more richer in colour,
..maybe due to the grades of dried chillies and probably mine not grinded till fine enough.. not sure why.

I am submitting this to Malaysian Food Fest Event ( Johor Month ) hosted by Annie of Annielicious Food

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ham and Egg Cheat Turnovers

These turnovers are not in any kind of pastry form, they are just slices of bread. They are therefore called the cheat version....bluff ones.   At a glance, they do look like puff pastry turnovers, dont they? I got the idea from here. When i decided to make this, I thought of an egg sandwich. So i put in some bits of ham and came up with these ham and egg turnovers... Now looking at these, it also reminds me of those sandwiches that are made using a sandwich maker, toasted ones and also comes in triangle shapes.

You will need to get fresh soft bread to ensure easier folding. Cut away the crusts, roll them flat , put in the filling and fold over the bread to a triangle or rectangular,  it's then ready to be baked in the oven to get the crispy effect and enjoy the turnovers..err..i mean sandwich..! I hope there's no protest from anyone...i wonder if Joyce and Zoe are rolling their eyes now.. haha! anyway, my more proper turnovers will be coming after the next post.

remove the crust..
and using a rolling pin, roll them flat
i left a few out skipping the wheatgerms to see how it looks like after baking..

7-8 slices of whole wheat bread, crust removed
1 slice of ham, chopped small
3 hard boiled eggs, mashed
2 small onions
2tbsp mayonnaise
1tsp dijon mustard
some wheatgerm ( for the surface )
shredded cheese ( optional )
egg whites ( for sticking the edges of the bread and on the surface )

1. Roll each slice of bread with a rolling pin till flat, sides including.
2. To make fillings, combine everything together and divide among all the bread slices. Then scatter some cheese on too if you like, brush the bread edges with the egg whites and fold the bread into triangle, pressing the edges to seal using a fork
3. Brush the surface of the bread with some egg whites and sprinkle wheatgerm onto the surface. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 12 minutes.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Pan Fried Pizza ( Quickest Home Made Pizza )

Usually I do not use high sounding words like "most delicious", " best ever" or '" easiest" in the title of the post but today, i'm just going to do that.. quickest home made pizza. Easy and quickly to make, from making the pizza dough from scratch till it goes into your stomach, probably it just takes 30 mins or perhaps even less than that. I couldnt believe that i was actually making a pizza ! :D

I have already seen many of you are doing recipes from Delia Smith for Cook Like A Star event and here i am today pretending to cook like Delia Smith. I came upon this method of making pizza from deliaonline and yes, it claims that this is also the easiest home made pizza ever. It doesnt require us to proof the dough, no waiting time and with just a few kneading, the dough is ready to be cooked the frying pan. This just takes about 7 minutes in the pan, then add your choice of toppings and grill it in the oven for several minutes and it's all ready to be served. I think this method is really good  if we are pressed for time and especially good if we crave for a pizza all of a sudden, faster than waiting for a pizza delivery..LOL!  Try it, i'm sure many of you will be delighted with the results too. Happy Baking!

you can use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients for the dough or like me, do it on the kitchen counter.
After mixing , knead a little and shape into a ball before rolling it out to a disc shape.
Heat up the pan with some oil and pan fry it till both sides are cooked and lightly browned. The pizza base is then ready.

For the toppings, i have used what i have on hand ..smoked salmon, tomatoes and some cheese and i never put down the amount required, it's really up to your choice.

I am happy to link this post to Cook Like A Star event ( Delia Smith ) hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake.

Also linking this post to the event Little Thumbs Up hosted by Doreen of My Little Favourites with the theme ingredient this month, Tomatoes.

Recipe ( from )
makes one 7 inch pizza, serves one
For Pizza Base
110gm plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
freshly milled black pepper( i did not add )
1/2tsp dried oregano ( i used italian herbs)
1tbsp of olive oil plus 3tbsps water ( i added another 2tbsps water )

smoked salmon
cherry tomatoes
mozarella cheese
1tsp of capers
basil leaves

1.Start off by measuring the flour and baking powder, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl and mix them together.
2.Then in a cup, combine 1 tbsp of oil with 3 tbsp of water and pour this into the dry mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to form a moist but unsticky dough and transfer to a floured surface.  I need to add another 2 tbsps of water to form the dough and i did the mixing on the counter table instead. Knead a little before rolling or patting to a 7 inch diameter round.
3. Heat up a frying pan before adding sufficient oil to give you a depth of about 1/4 inch or just enough to pan fry the pizza dough. When the oil is hot, slip in the pizza dough and cook over moderate heat for 5 mins, flip over and cook the other side until nicely browned. Remove from pan and transfer to a pizza pan or any baking tray.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Scattered the cheese all over, then smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes, capers and some torn basil. Drizzle a little oil over the top of pizza and cook under grill for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Orange Frosted Sponge Cake

Hi, i am sure some of you had already seen this orange frosted cake at several blogs. Yes, we at The Home Bakers are back after taking a short break during the month of February. Currently we are baking from the book, Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas and we are here at our 15th bake. For those of you who are interested to join the group, kindly contact Joyce from Kitchen Flavours

The method of making this sponge cake is quite similar to the normal sponge cakes that i know using egg separation method except that there isnt any oil in this recipe. Also as suggested by Lou, this sponge cake is baked in a tube pan or in my case, a 9 inch chiffon pan and not the usual round or square pan that we would normally use for making sponge cakes. I agree with the rest of the members who had already made this cake, it is soft even though i think i have deflated the egg whites a little. However i find that the cake is a little dry for me. Initially i only wanted to pipe a minimal amount of buttercream but after tasting the cake, i went ahead and did more icing to compensate for the dryness of the cake. That was much better ;)

As you can see, i didnt frost the cake, just started off with just little cream..
Please go over to Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House, the host of this 15th bake to get the full recipe. The only changes i made is i had reduced the sugar to 100gm, which i think you can still add a little bit more, also added some orange zest and did a simple orange buttercream using orange juice. You can also take a look at the rest of members with their orange frosted sponge cakes here

decided to 'ruin' the cake now with my lousy piping with more sweet stuff. Pardon my piping skills , as usual i dont know what i was piping !!! also excuse me for that missing piece..!
i just wanted more cream..i need to make my life more sweeter! LOL!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Stir Fried Glutinous Rice (炒糯米饭)

When my mother was still passionate about cooking, she told me she made this not from the steaming method but  frying the raw glutinous rice from raw. She would had to keep adding water during the frying process but she said that now we can just steam the glutinous rice, which she thinks that the process is less tedious compared to the former. So far i have made this twice using the steaming method , i'm not sure how good this is as compared to the conventional frying method cos i have never tried frying the rice from raw but was quite happy how they turned out.  So is this less tedious? I dont know but i still have to sprinkle water during the steaming process to ensure the rice is soft. After steaming, we would then have to stir fry it in the wok together with the rest of the ingredients. Now frying glutinous rice is not as easy as frying rice..they are sticky and also your arms a good exercise but it's not going to take you frying for 1/2 hour or so, just probably 10-15 minutes, so your arms should be fine :)

500gm glutinous rice, soaked overnight
50gm dried shrimps, soaked and cleaned
50gm shredded dried cuttlefish, cleaned
3 chinese sausages, sliced
8 chinese mushrooms, cut into cubes
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
3-4 tbsps of garlic oil/cooking oil
1-2 egg omelette, as desired

1tbsp dark soya sauce
1tbsp oyster sauce
2tsp salt

1. Clean and drain the soaked glutinous rice and let it steam for about 35-45 minutes. Sprinkle water into the steamed rice every 15mins and continue steaming. Fluff up the rice after 25 minutes and continue sprinkling water till the rice is soft. You can pinch some rice and try if it's soft enough, if not, just continue to steam. ( i hv used about 1.5cup of water to sprinkle the steamed rice in between ) 
2. Remove from steamer and set aside. In a wok, pour in the cooking oil or garlic oil if using, then put in the dried shrimps and dried cuttlefish and fry them till aromatic, add the chinese mushroom, chinese sausages and saute them for several minutes on medium fire. Now add in the steamed glutinous rice and seasoning and keep frying. You will probably need to fry them for about 10 mins, just keep stirring till they are well mixed with the seasoning . Taste and add more salt if necessary. . Toss in the chopped spring onions, mix them around. Remove from heat and sprinkle with omelette all over.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Banana Nut Bread

I always enjoy eating banana cake, especially the type that is soft, light and spongy. Err, i sound like i'm making a funny statement..who actually likes eating a hard banana cake? In fact i have also bookmarked one or two banana cake recipes that some of you made after reading how good it was. Now banana cake or banana bread or quick bread maybe.. do you think there's actually any difference between the 2? Sometimes i am also a little puzzled..i guess most of us cant really tell the difference between the two just by its looks. This banana bread is soft and moist but the texture is still not alike the type of spongy banana cake that i'm thinking of. Maybe hence the name, banana bread or quickbread. Not really a disappointment.  Just not that spongy, a little heavy but tasted good.. and nutty too. I actually find it much better to eat it cold from the fridge..did i tell you that i like eating cold cakes?'s a habit :)

Recipe ( from The Williams Sonoma Baking Book )
makes one 9 by 5 inch loaf
95gm unsalted butter , softened
170gm sugar
9oz/280gm mashed bananas ( i only had 260gms)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup/125ml buttermilk
2cups plain flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg ( i used 1/2 tsp )
1/2 tsp salt
3/4cup/90gms coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts ( mine was pecans )

1.Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and lightly flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan. ( i lined the pan too).
2.In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, abt 1 min ( 4 mins).Add the bananas and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk and beat until just combined.
3. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy . Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It should be no more than two thirds full. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and dry to the touch, about 55-60minutes ( mine for 50mins ). A cake tester inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

I am baking along with Joyce and Zoe, do hop over to see their banana breads and also the rest who are joining us . The linky will be opened from today till March 13, 2013. We will be making turnovers for our next Bake Along on March 20, 2013..  any fillings, any flavour. All are welcomed to join! Cheers!

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