Sunday, September 26, 2010

Charcoal Noodle Topped with Acar

The other day, when I got a bottle of Acar from my mom, an odd conception popped up in my mind. I thought of a noodle dish that is topped with Acar. Does this sound appealing to you? I had no idea at all how will it turn out be. I just wanted a short-cut to prepare a simple dinner. So, I beared the risk to proceed with the idea.

As you can see, it turned out quite acceptable. I'm glad with it. Haha...Besides Acar, the charcoal noodle is garnished with fried beancurd strips, carrot strips and mint leaves. This is quite a healthy dish for our meatless dinner. 

I'm submitting this dish to Presto Pasta Night #183 which is hosted by Ruth from Once Upon A Feast.

Charcoal Noodle Topped with Acar
Serves 2

Dried charcoal noodle, portion for 2
1 hard beancurd, cut into strips
half carrot, peeled and cut into strips
Acar for topping
cooking oil

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the charcoal noodle as per the packaging instruction. Drain and divide the portion into 2 bowls.
2. Heat some oil in a pan. Shallow fried the beancurd strips until golden brown. Dish out and set aside. With the remaining oil, sauté carrot strips for 30 seconds. Dish out and set aside.
3. Top the noodle with Acar, and garnish with beancurd strips, carrot strips and mint leaves.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Apple and Calamansi Green Tea

While enjoying mooncake on the Mid-Autumn Festival, don't forget to prepare a jar of tea. This is what I did while munching away my favorite mooncake  - Apple and Calamansi Green Tea. The mooncake itself is very sweet and filling, not to mention the ones with salted egg yolk! So it is good to have a refreshing tea to cleanse your taste bud.

Apple and Calamansi Green Tea

2 tea bag if organis green tea bag (2g each)
4 calamansi, halved
1 green apple, cubed
1.2liter boiling water
honey to taste


1. Pour boiling water into a jar.
2. Infuse the tea bags into the water. Remove the tea bags after 2 minutes.
3. Squeeze the calamansi juice and add the rind.
4. Add green apple cubes and honey to taste. Serve hot or chilled.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jelly Mooncake and Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

I don't know how to bake a moon cake nor snow skin moon cake. So, I just played around with the jelly molds to come out with these crystal clear jelly moon cakes. I made 12 of them to share with my nieces and nephews.

My home made jelly moon cakes contain less sugar and  more fruits. I try to use different colors of fruits to beautify the jelly moon cake.

Here, I would like to wish all of you, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 中秋节快乐!

Jelly Moon Cake

10g Konnyaku jelly powder
180g of fine sugar
1000ml of water
pineapple cubes
ruby  grapes, halved
green kiwi, cubed

1. Mix Konnyaku jelly powder with sugar.

2. Bring 1000ml of water to a boil. Gradually pour in the mixture in boiling water and stir well until mixture is dissolved .

3. Put cut pieces of fruits into moulds and pour the Konnyaku solution into the moulds.

4. Put moulded jelly solution in the fridge for at least one hour. Serve chilled.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Acar (Pickled Vegetables)

Mom cooks quite a lot of delicious Nyonya food, though she is not from Peranakan family. For example, she cooks very nice loh bak, assam curry, chai boey, jiu hu char, assam prawn, curry chicken, bubur cha cha, and many more.

Recently I brought up a topic that is related to the food that mom has not cook for very long. I thought about Acar - the pickled vegetables. I volunteer to cook with mom on my off day, so that I can learn how it is prepared. I want to learn mom's home cooked food. I want to pick up her dishes as much as possible.

About Acar, it's a kind of Nyonya pickled vegetables. It has cucumber, long bean, pineapple, carrot, cabbage and chili. Before cooking, some veggies are marinated with salt and rice vinegar, and some is boiled vinegar-salt water. Then the veggies are stir-fried with chili paste and seasoned with turmeric powder, vinegar, salt, sugar and light soy sauce. Once it's done, mix it with grounded roast peanut powder and top with roasted sesame seeds. It tastes sweet and sour, with a hint of spiciness and aroma of roasted peanut. Hmm...and viola!

Mom used to make a big portion of Acar, so we can keep the left over in fridge for the next few days. It can be served either warm or chilled.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Strawberry Smoothies

I'm quite relax during the long Raya break (4 days in a row). I manage to read a few selected cook books and food magazines. What's more enjoyable is to have a glass of chilled drink while reading. So, I made some strawberry smoothies since I have some imported strawberry from Australia. 

Strawberry Smoothies
Make 2 small glasses

375ml chilled fresh milk
120gm strawberry
2tbsp honey

Put everything in a blender and blend for few seconds and it's done.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birthday Cake with Yogurt Frosting

Remember what I mentioned earlier that I hope to make a frosting birthday cake for my dear? Yes, mission accomplished! Though it didn't turned out as beautiful as those selling in bakery shop. But hey, this is my first time making a frosting cake without proper tools, so I think the result is still acceptable. :-)

The base is a chocolate cake. I make a 2 layers of it, with peach-yogurt sandwiched in between. Then, it is topped with yogurt, and decorated with peach and strawberry. This is so called my version of healthy frosting cake. About 750g of plain yogurt is prepared for the frosting purpose. After draining off the water from the yogurt, what's left is only 260g in cream cheese form.

This cake is dedicated to my dear on his special day. Happy Birthday, my dear!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Milo Banana Paratha

Instead of having cake for afternoon tea, I tweaked the menu to Milo Banana Paratha. This is something that is easy to prepare at home with minimal cost. It's suitable for breakfast or for afternoon tea.

Milo Banana Paratha
Serves 2

2 small banana, peeled and sliced thinly
2 frozen Paratha bread
4tbsp of Milo or Chocolate powder

1. Heat up a pan, fry the Paratha bread. When it's done at the bottom side, over-turn it to fry the other side.

2. Arrange banana slices on top of the paratha bread. Fry it for another 1 minute. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of Milo powder and dish out. Continue the same steps for the 2nd Paratha bread.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fried Garlic Oil

Fried garlic oil - the condiment that I can't miss in my cooking. I always store some fried garlic oil in the kitchen. I made some over the weekend so that I can use it in my cooking throughout the week. I use it to garnish boiled vegetables and soups. It makes huge difference in taste for the dishes mentioned.

Fried Garlic Oil

1 bulb of garlic, peeled and choped
half cup of oil

Heat up oil in a wok. Fry the chopped garlic under medium flame. Continue to stir it under it turn golden yellow. Remove it from wok and leave it cool in a bowl. You can see the fried garlic turns golden brown after a while. Store it in an air-tight container after it cooled down to room temperature.

Do not wait till the garlic turns golden brown before you off the flame. This will burn the garlic.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cotton Cake 棉花蛋糕

I chanced upon this Cotton Cake from Sonia's blog - Nasi Lemak Lover.  The recipe was originated by Jane's Corner. I tried to bake one immediately since I have all the ingredients on hand.

Now I know why it is called cotton cake. It's soft, moist, milky but light. This is my first time baking in water-bath.  No regret of trying this recipe, and I will bake it again later. Both hubby and I love this type of moist cake.

The result compensates my frustration due to a failure in baking a vanilla sponge cake in that morning. Phew......

Cotton Cake 棉花蛋糕 (Recipe Adapted From Nasi Lemak Lover)
makes 2 x (3”x6”) Aluminum tin
30g butter
40g cake flour
40g Evaporated milk
3 egg yolk (big size)
3 egg white (big size)
40g sugar
1tsp corn flour

1. In a pot, melt butter over low flame.

2. Pour melted butter in a mixing bowl, sift in cake flour, stir well till a thick paste.

3. Lightly beaten egg yolks using a hand whisk, slowly add in milk, mix well.

4. Slowly pour egg yolk mixture (No3) into butter mixture (No2), whisk till well combined.

5. In another mixing bowl, beat egg white under high speed till foamy (about 1 min).

6. Gradually add in sugar, continue beat.

7. Add in corn flour, beat till soft peak form.

8. Take 1/3 of egg white mixture mix with egg yolk mixture (No4) using a hand whisk, stir till well combine.

9. Gentle fold in the balance egg white using a spatula, combine well, but don’t over mix.

10. Spoon batter into cake pan, smooth the top of the batter, lightly tap cake pans on counter to bring air bubbles to top.

11. Bake over water-bath at 170c for 8mins, reduce to 150c and bake another 20mins.

12. Up side down the freshly baked cake on a wire rack until it's completely cool before removing from cake pan.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chicken Kebab In Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Sauce

Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Chicken is always my favorite. I'm inspired by the grilled chicken which is infused with the Nando's spices blended sauce. It just awesome!

Nando's sauce is available at most of the hypermarket now. So, with lower cost and little effort, I can prepare a yummy Nando's meal at home. I get the kebab roasted instead of grilling. If you are looking for kebab with a kick, this is one that you should try at home. It tastes exactly like the one served in Nando's.

Chicken Kebab
Yields for 6 -7 skewers

1 chicken breast (skinned, excess fat discarded and cubed)
1 red capsicum (seeded and cubed)
1 green capsicum (seeded and cubed)
1 tsp of salt (for cleaning purpose)
1 tbsp of olive oil

4 tbsp of Nando's Hot Peri-Peri sauce
1 tbsp of light soy sauce

1. Rub the chicken breat with 1 tsp of salt. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen towel. Using the meat tenderizer, knocker the chicken cubes at both side.

2. Marinate the chicken with 3 tbsp of Nando's Hot Peri-Peri sauce and 1 tbsp of light soy sauce. Leave it over-night in fridge.

3. Half an hour before roasting, remove the chicken from fridge.

4. Prepare the skewers with the chicken cubes and capsicums. Place it on baking tray.

5. Roast the skewers under 200 deg C for 20 minutes. Remove it from oven. Sprinkle a tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of Nando's Hot Peri-Peri sauce over the skewers. Roast for another 10 minutes.


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