Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flour Tortillas

Whenever we have leftover roasted whole chicken, I will make flour tortilla for wraps. This is better than the store-bought white flour tortilla we once had and MUCH healthier as I use atta flour as well as white flour.

This yields 3 servings.

3 tablespoons and 1­3/4 teaspoons all­-purpose flour
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon atta flour
1 tablespoon and 2­1/4 teaspoons shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
a large pinch of baking powder
1/3 cup boiling water
all­-purpose flour for rolling

1. In a large bowl, stir together all­-purpose flour, the atta flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in the shortening by hand until the mixture is the texture of oatmeal. Make a well in the center, and pour in the boiling water. Mix with a fork until all of the water is evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with a bit of additional flour, and knead until the dough does not stick to your fingers. The dough should be smooth.
2. Cover dough with a cloth. Let stand for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours. Then divide the dough to make 3 balls.
3. Heat a griddle or large frying pan over high heat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a tortilla to your preferred thinness. Fry one at a time.
Place on the griddle for 10 seconds, as soon as you see a bubble on
the top, flip the tortilla over. Let it cook for about 30 seconds, then flip
and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Roll out the next
tortilla while you wait for that one to cook. Repeat until all of the balls
have been cooked.

Tortillas can be refrigerated or frozen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Braised Balsamic Chicken

This was undoubtedly the best dish I prepared so far. The balsamic vinegar brings out the flavour of the tomatoes and herbs perfectly. Make more of the sauce as you will definitely can't get enough of it. I made the mistake of pairing this dish with wine. Do not do this as vinegar and wine definitely do not mix.

This recipe yields 3 servings.


3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 bulb garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
brown sugar to taste
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Season chicken breasts with ground black pepper and salt. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and brown the onion and seasoned chicken breasts.
2. Mix the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme and pour over chicken. Add in brown sugar to taste and the garlic. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Xiao Loong Bao

I love xiao loong bao. I followed this recipe on the web. However, for the skin, I used 3 cups of flour instead of 1. The skin ended up quite tough for me. However, the meat filling was very good. I intend to try making it again. The next time, I will use the skin recipe from other websites but I will retain the meat filling recipe.

I was too lazy to make the soup myself so I just put aside some soup from when I ate pai kut mee suah t'ng (Pork Ribs with Vermicelli Soup) and made the aspic from it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ban Jian Kuih

Ban Jian Kuih is a local street food which is like a big fluffy pancake with peanut and sweet corn filling. When I came across the recipe on the web, I was excited to try my hand at making this popular snack. It turned out okay. It was a bit hard and a little too sweet, but overall not too bad.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spiced Honey-Lemon Muffins

I had leftover lemons so I decided to make lemon cupcakes.

This recipe yields 8 servings


3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Honey-Lemon Glaze -- (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Heat oven to 400º. Grease bottoms only of 8 medium muffin cups, 2 1/2 × 1 1/4 inches, or line with paper baking cups. Beat milk, oil, honey, lemon peel and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except Honey-Lemon Glaze just until flour is moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (cups will be about 3/4 full). Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Brush Honey-Lemon Glaze over warm muffins.

To make the Honey-Lemon Glaze:
Mix all ingredients until well blended.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Banana Pancakes

My dad makes fantastic banana pancakes. He mashes up the bananas and add them to the pancake batter. Today I decided to try another type of banana pancake, with pancakes and caramelised bananas on the side.

This recipe yields 3 servings

2 large eggs
2oz plain flour
7.5ml spoon (heaped) baking powder
70ml milk
Pinch of salt
1 tbs butter
7.5ml spoons caster sugar
2 bananas, peeled and cut lengthwise
Crème fraîche or plain yogurt

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.
Combine the plain flour, baking powder and milk with egg yolks, and mix until it forms a smooth, thick batter. Whisk the whites with salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold these whites into the batter - it is now ready to use. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan, and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. Loosen with a spatula, and either turn or flip the pancake over. Continue frying until golden, then stack on a plate. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. Melt sugar in pan without stirring. Once all sugar crystals melted and you're happy with colour, take it off stove. Add butter and bananas and cook gently until they are golden, turning after a few minutes. Add a little amount of water so caramel is not too thick. Serve them on the pancakes topped with a good spoonful of crème fraîche or yogurt.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pork With Red Wine and Coriander

I'm a big fan of Bitten by Mark Bittman. His recipes seem simple yet hearty. This is one of the recipes I tried, adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe. It was full of flavour and the pork was tender. Pair this with vegetables and potatoes or corn or rice or baked beans.

This recipe yields 3 servings.
As advised by Mark Bittman, ensure that the pork you use has some fat in it, as the cooked meat may dry out before it becomes tender.

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
340g pork shoulder in 1­inch cubes
1/2 head garlic, papery coating removed, cut in half crosswise
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/8 tablespoons coriander seeds, cracked and wrapped in cheesecloth
1/2 tablespoon butter
Lemon juice to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

1. Place oil in a large, deep skillet on medium­high heat. A minute later, add pork, and cook, undisturbed, until brown on one side, about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn and
brown another side. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for a minute or two. Add 1 cup wine, then coriander.
2. Turn heat to low, and cover. Simmer gently for 30-45 minutes to an hour, until pork is tender. Remove coriander. Stir in remaining wine; cook 2 or 3 minutes. Stir
in butter.
3. Add lemon juice to taste. Stir in half the cilantro, then serve, garnished with remaining cilantro.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

I recently took up bread making. I started with simple white bread and through trial and error, learnt to develop a feel of how a dough should look and feel like for it to turn out correctly.

After mastering the technique, I moved on to whole wheat bread. I must say I do not quite like whole wheat bread. It is slightly too dry. I baked a light wheat bread which uses half whole wheat flour and half white flour and I much preferred that one. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of that bread. However, I will be making it again so will post the recipe in the coming months.

This particular bread recipe is from Beginning with Bread.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chicken Pie (in Puff Pastry)

I've always loved chicken pies. There's much of the comfort food in them. When I came across a recipe in Kuali, I had to try it. It was delicious!

2 tablespoons cooking oil
400g chicken fillet, cubed
50g butter
250g button mushrooms, sliced
3 shallots, finely chopped
200ml UHT cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
400g frozen puff pastry
1 egg (for egg wash), beaten

To prepare filling: Heat oil and sear the chicken over high heat until browned. The chicken should not be fully cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add butter and cook mushrooms over high heat until golden brown.
Remove from pan and set aside with the chicken.
In the same pan, fry the shallots over low heat until translucent. Add cream and bring to boil.
Add mustard, chicken and mushrooms and season to taste. Dish into the pie dish.
To assemble & bake: Roll out the thawed puff pastry and place over the top of the pie dish.
Brush with egg wash. Bake in a preheated at 180ºC for 15 minutes or until pastry is crisp
and golden.