Zoodle chicken broth


I could never believed I could make noodle without using flour, but using zucchini instead, I was surprise it is delicious when you pairing with a flavorsome broth, I couldn’t resist to use up my frozen chicken broth that I save it whenever I have some spare time in hand, I made them from scratch. Don’t be shocked with my freezer as I kept roasted chicken bones, a friend of mine keep saying I kept plenty of “animal corpse” in my freezer like those science fiction story. Well, you will be amazed by it, you could rustled some food out from those “corpses”. I don’t always prepare of stock from scratch, nevertheless keeping some reliable stock cube in the larder is useful when you just can’t face cooking from scratch.

This isn’t a recipe, is an idea. Sometime you will just need a bowl of hot soup to going through your stomach. I have a urge to use up cut ingredient that as been in the fridge for few days when I see the fridge have some empty space then I will be happy. I started off by chuck the frozen stock into a pan with low heat to let the stock melt gradually. Meanwhile I spiralized the zucchini into spaghetti form and place them into a dry bowl. When the stock is ready I will tumble in some chopped broccoli and tip in handful of frozen pea. If I feels like making the soup cloudy,  then I will separate an egg, pour the white into soup then turn the heat into low, disturb that liquid by stirring it, let the egg white break into small bits. I will finally drop the egg yolk and let it cook about 1 minute in the abandon water. Finally remove the pan from the heat and place the zoodle into a serving bowl and pour the soup into the bowl, you could sprinkle some chopped spring onion, this look like a Chinese noodle soup.

There many way of prepare this, you could do this. I certainly like it with the broth base, it is such comforting when the warm broth and zoodle met in the bowl. Beside that, during this tough time of pandemic, mindful eating was been talked a lot, I do think of starting a plant-based with mindful cooking, often people talk about mindful eating but not mindful cooking. I think gradually adding plant-based ingredient into my meal will be a surprised that how much plant-based food can be beneficial. Even I switching myself from meat eater to plant-based I though I shift from this zoodle chicken broth.

French classic cod with olives

This French classic is one of those instantly look healthy, and it is incredible easy to prepare. It is very hard to get cod fish in South East Asia, however any white fish can replicate this dish easily.

  • 20g butter
  • 2 rashers of bacon cut into strips
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g cod fillet, skinned and cut into chunks (or any white fish will do)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 8 pitted black olives
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, torn into chunks
  • 20g pine nuts
  • parsley, roughly chopped
  1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the bacon and onion and fry for 2 minutes or until the onion is starting to soften and bacon is cooked. Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 second or so.
  2. Drop in the chunks of cod (or any fish of your choice) and fry, turning the chunks every now and then, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes an bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the olives and mozzarella, then take the pan off the heat and let the mozzarella melt in the residual heat.
  4. Serve the cod topped with the pine nuts and the parsley.

This dish could make ahead if you short of time, by that mean you could cook the sauce and fish separately and keep them in the fridge until you needed.

Churros

It was long time ago I made churros for snack. It is time for me to revive the same old recipes that has been used for many years. My absolute classic churros with coated of cinnamon sugar was really my childhood taste for snack. It is very easy to make it at your comfortable zone of your kitchen.

  • 500ml water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 350g plain flour
  • vegetable or sunflower oil, for deep frying
  • Caster sugar mixed with ground cinnamon, for dusting
  • Piping bag fitted with large star nozzle
  1. Place the water and salt in a pan and bring to boil.
  2. Place the flour in mixing bowl and make a well in the middle Pour the boiling water into the well and whisk to combine with the flour, making sure you get rid of any lumps. The batter should be smooth and fir. Let it stand to cool for an hour.
  3. To cook the churros, heat the oil in a wide-based pan and test whether it is hot enough by dropping a piece of bread in. It should sizzle when it touches the oil.
  4. Put the batter into the piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe 10cm strips of batter on to the surface of hot oil and use scissors to snip them off. Fry the churros until golden brown, then drain on kitchen towel and sprinkle with caster sugar or cinnamon sugar.

I promised you, if you have a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, or even better melt the nutella a bit in microwave for the dipping then you will realized you are in the world of happiness is just there in your kitchen.

Taro Rolls

IMG_4334ATaro wrap are one of my family recipe has been pass from generation to another, now I am inherited from my Mother, we spend Chinese New Year together, as usual she will made this for that reason of celebrate Chinese New Year.  She did insisted on her method of doing this dish.

I had a lot of fun jotting down the recipe from her, she didn’t measure the ingredients because she had used to do it frequently by eye, so she don’t need to weight it. Indeed is very rare to get a good texture taro roots, whenever she found good taro roots laying around in the market or her friend give her a home-grown taro roots, she will be delighted to make this dish for self-indulgence as snack or give to her friend for sharing.

I love the sandy texture of the taro roots when you cut it in half before you use it in the recipe. Is time to get your hands dirty with this.

Ingredients:

  • 510g Taro root, coarsely shredded
  • 400g White radish, coarsely shredded
  • 400g Yam bean, coarsely shredded
  • 140g Dried peanut
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp MSG (optional)
  • 150g Rice flour
  • 50g Tapioca starch
  • 4 sheet of bean curd (approx 30cm x 30cm)
  • Vegetable oil or flavorless oil for frying
  1. Soak the dried peanut in water for 10 minutes, then drain the water away. Use mortal & pestle to coarsely smash the peanut, set aside.
  2. Mix the shredded radish, bean, taro roots in a large bowl, then mix in the crushed peanut. Now, sprinkle the salt, pepper, MSG (if using) you could use hand or spatula to combine it. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the rice flour and tapioca starch then use a whisk to give them a good mix.
  4. Tip the flour mixture into the mixture of shredded vegetable, the best way to mix these two main ingredients is by using your hand, so you could feel the texture, if is too runnier you could add a bit of flour.
  5. Lay the bean curd sheet on flat surface, place the mixture at the end of the sheet; then roll it away from you firmly, use sharp knife to cut off the remaining sheet. Make sure you are not double layering the bean curd sheet.
  6. Place the wrapped rolls into a bamboo steamer and steam it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove it from the steamer and place them on a tray to cool, before you could cut into smaller pieces. (You can keep this roll in fridge or fridge if you planned to make it ahead)
  7. In a frying pan heat up the oil, and slowly place the cut-roll into the hot oil; fry it until golden brown, remove it from the pan then place it on the kitchen paper to catch the dripping oil.

There you are the taro rolls, I love the idea it is vegetarian friendly too. I hope you going to enjoy it too.

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Gingerbread spice

thumb_img_6144_1024-aI’m thrilled to be invited to host a baking demo in a beautiful kitchen showroom of Rowenda in Kuala Lumpur on the lovely Sunday. I have an attentive audience that been working from their home, and also keen bakers too.

During this time of the year, also a time to indulgent yourself into delicious food; I felt I have got many excuses for the eating opportunity during this time of the year. This is time that warmth, contentment, welcome and friendship emanate from and are celebrated in the kitchen. I find it the most cogent expression at Christmas.

  • Holiday cake
  • Nut truffle
  • Chocolate pistachio fudge
  • Christmas mince pie

I would love to share this very special recipe of my gingerbread spice, You could use it in the mince pie dough, or any filling of pie. This is the most Christmassy spice! I could ever known for.

Get ready a sterilized jar that with lid. Mix in 2 tablespoons of ground ginger, 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of allspice, 1 tablespoon of ground cloves and 1 tablespoon of nutmeg. Cover the lid up and give it a good shake. ç’est tout!

Here are the links for the recipe that I had done in the demo.

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/holiday-cake/

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/562/

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/chocolate-pistachio-fudge/

https://andrewscookery.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/humble-mince-pie/

Basil

IMG_2050AWriting this post to honour Doris Andrew, one of Andrew’s family member pass away two weeks ago. I will be missing your laughter, your accompany, your food. All these are going to lived in my memory forever. I remembered you enjoyed the pizza with the fresh basil on the topping, you said the leaf is the fragrance on top of the pizza…. I will be missing you, I love you!

Growing your own herbs is so fun to do at home, if you have some left over herb that you brought from market. I picked those mature leaves for cooking and I remain some of it, so I can plant them in a pot for my potted herbs garden.

I love the fragrance of sweet basil leaves, the smell of the Italian cooking. This delicate herbs has a very unique story behind back to Ancient Greeks. You may have noticed I had been away for long time and I didn’t update my blog. I been reading a lot of home grown produce for the past few months. I found one of the article written by Anne Del Conte regarding basil.  There is a wonderful story of it, and recipe are superb too.

A native of India, basil was known to the ancient Greeks and the Romans and flourished wherever it could find warmth, sun and sea breezes. In Boccaccio’s Decameron, basil is the symbol of love when the noble Lisabetta, whose brothers have murdered her plebeian lover, buries the lover’s head in a pot of basil, a story that is taken up some 400 years later by Keats in his poem ‘Isabella, or the Pot of Basil’. During the Renaissance basil is mentioned by Platina, who suggested using it in moderation. It was popular all over Italy, often kept in pots on window sills as it appears in some Renaissance paintings.

For hundreds of years, basil had been used around the Italian coast in salads, with fish and in tomato sauces. In the 18th century, Corrado is the first cookery writer to mention the use of basil to dress stewed meat and to flavour vegetable soups. Artusi adds basil to his tomato sauce which, he writes, is ‘good with boiled beef and it is excellent to make very pleasant a dish of pasta dressed with butter and cheese, or a risotto’.

Basil gained a wider fame when Pesto crossed the borders of Liguria to become one of the favourite pasta sauces of the world. But that didn’t happen until well after World War II. Apart from pesto and in tomato sauces, basil also gives an extra dimension to a Minestrone or a vegetable soup and it makes a delicious salad with tomatoes and mozzarella, insalata caprese.

There are many varieties of basil, including: the Genovese, with a very strong yet sweet flavour; the Napoletano, with rather crinkly leaves and a minty aroma; the Fine Verde Compatto, with very small leaves and more delicate scent; and the Mammoth, with very big leaves, the best for drying. However, basil does not dry well and its flavour changes considerably. The best way to preserve basil is to layer the leaves with olive oil in a sterilised jar, or to freeze the leaves.

Basil sauce Pesto

This famous sauce has its origins in Liguria, when the basil is sweeter yet more aromatic than anywhere else, thanks to the perfect balance between humidity and hot sun. It is indeed odd that the only speciality from Liguria that genuinely needs a local ingredient should be the one that has travelled all over the world.

There are two fundamental types of pesto: the pesto of the western Riviera and the pesto of the eastern Riviera. The former, which includes the classic pesto genovese, is stronger and simpler, the latter is more delicate, containing less garlic, some pine nuts, grated Pecorino and or Parmesan and other ingredients which make it less fierce. But, after that, there are as many recipes as cooks, and no Ligurian cook would actually know how much of this or that goes into it: it’s all a question of judgement and personal taste. The basil is pounded in a mortar with some garlic, salt and, if added, pine nuts or walnuts, the basil local extra virgin olive oil being added drop by drop. This at least, is the old-fashioned method; nowadays it is often made in the blender or food processor. Connoisseurs say this is to the detriment of its flavour, since the basil is being chopped by a metal blade. which might also warm the mixture, rather than pounded by wooden pestle. There is a more delicate version of pesto, in which some butter or cream is added, and the garlic reduced.

Pesto is traditionally used to dress Trenette, Trofie and picagge; to a Genoese it would be inconceivable that it should be used with any other shape of pasta. The pasta is often cooked with sliced potatoes and green beans and all three ingredients are dressed with pesto and eaten together. Pesto is used also to dress potato gnocchi or to give a local touch – one spoonful is enough – to a Minestrone  all genovese.

Make for 4 pasta or gnocchi
20g/ 2 1/2 tbsp pine nuts
50g fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
a pinch of coarse sea salt
4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp freshly grated mature pecorino cheese
125ml extra virgin olive oil, preferably Ligurian

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F.

Spread the pine nuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 3-4 minutes, to release the aroma of the nuts

Put the basil, garlic, pine nuts and salt in a mortar. Grind with the pestle, crushing all the ingredients against the side of the mortar until the mixture has become a paste. You can use a food processor or blender.

Mix in the grated cheeses and pour over the oil very gradually, beating with a wooden spoon.

Doris, this recipe is dedicated for you.

Potato Crisps

Potatoes crispsRecently, I had been  finding some homemade snack, as I do prefer homemade instead of shop brought crisps. I did it in the office on a Friday after working hour, thinly sliced potatoes with mandoline  slicer, I do not have a great knife skill to achieve the thin slices of the potatoes. If I could make it, so do you too.

This kind of snack are versatile for any occasion and suitable for any age group too. It is matching so well with a macho cold beer with bowl of this warm crisps, I had made a similar crisps as well but that is the Chinese version of wonton crisps.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ 356ºF. To start of with slicing the potatoes into thin slices, (I used mandoline to do the work), Place them onto flat surface with kitchen paper underneath the potatoes slices and other sheet of kitchen paper on top of it. This process is to absorb the liquid starch from the potato.

In the lightly oiled baking tray, (I used garlic infused oil, you could use regular olive oil, not extra virgin as it burn much quickly than the regular olive oil.) place the sliced potatoes on the oiled tray, do not overlapping the potatoes slices in order to cook it evenly brown. Cook it about 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly in the middle and sides.

Once it is done, remove the tray from the oven and place the cooked crisps onto kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil, let it cool down. Transfer the crisps into a large bowl, then sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper (I adding little bit of chilies powder to give extra kick in the taste) serve immediately.

I bet everyone loves this. Make your own crisps is not difficult but joyful few mouthful of and cold beer, is so wonderful with this. I can’t wait to make another batch for the weekend treat!

Vanilla Meringue

Vanilla meringueFrench meringue, one of the easiest meringue you could make in no time, this is my version of mini meringue that melts in your mouth. Only three ingredient, you could have a jar of this to keep in cupboard for a week. In my case, it won’t even last for a week, should be gone in third day. Meringue and macaroon is a very similar however macaroon involved many steps and preparation. Macaroon, always gave an impression that it was one of the recipe I called “failure of success” and the pâtissier recover the bake goods with filling the bottom with cream and sandwich another piece of macaroon. Somehow many French recipe had that kind of repertoire.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  1.  Preheat the oven to 100ºC/ 212ºF. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg white until peak firm was formed.
  2. Shift the caster over the egg white, make sure there is no lumps of sugar, then add in the vanilla extract.
  3. Use a large metal spoon, careful fold over the sugar and vanilla into whisked egg white. Do not over work with it otherwise you may knock out the air you had created into the egg whites.
  4. Use your finger or a spoon and dip into the mixture and smear it onto the four corner of the baking sheet, then line the baking sheet with baking parchment or baking paper.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a large plain nozzle piping bag and pipe it on the baking paper.
  6. Pop them in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Once it is done remove it from the oven and let it cool completely before you store them in the clean jar.

There texture is smooth and melts in your mouth, however it has a bit of chewiness at the end, that is because of the sugar. I think in the batch I going to reduce the sugar, as I think is a bit too sweet to my tooth, however in some explanation saying sugar in the meringue is crucial because sugar is the structure of the meringue, since I’m architectural amateur that word “structure” is sounds seriously in construction industry; which is true because that is the only ingredient comes in a tinny little form or crystal, supporting the “cotton” above it. How wonderful is that?

Berry Barque

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Reminding me about the pâtisserie shops in Paris, the Parisian are so proud of their patisserie because of their passionate and love with their culinary. I must say if you have the easy access to good patisserie, I don’t see any reason you won’t fall in love with. The recipe was picked up on the TV show that Michel Roux and Marry Berry was preparing these little beautiful pastry.

This really make me feels like a French pâtissier, patisserie is the work of art for the pâtissier that created with a flawless not only the taste is good, and is really great to look at too. Eventually walking in streets of Paris whenever I saw a patisserie shop even at the opposite road I could traverse and just to have a look at it, because it is like my favorite masterpiece of Mona Lisa was stolen and hung in the shop for sell!

I have a recipe just for the occasion that you need for dinner party of tea time treat. I used my classic sweet pastry. (refer to my previous post of humble mince pie)

For the filling, I used crème pâtissière (pastry cream, the reason, it taste nicer and the fruit can sitting in creamlike soft sponge and it holds the fruits)

  • 120g egg yolks (approximately 6 medium egg yolks)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 40g corn flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla exact
  • 500ml whole milk
  1. For the crème pâtissière, whisk the egg yolks with sugar until pale and thick, then whisk in the corn flour.
  2. Add the vanilla into the milk and bring to boil then switch off the heat.
  3. Pour the milk in a slow stream onto the egg mixture, whisking vigorously all the time. (Pour slowly to avoid scrambling the egg)
  4. Return the mixture to a clean pot over a medium heat and whisk continuously. Make sure to scrape the sides and the bottom, otherwise it will burn.
  5. The cream will start to thicken. Once it release a bubble or two, take it off the heat.
  6. Pour into a shallow bowl. Cover with cling film (pat the cling film so it sticks directly on to the cream) letting it cool before put in the fridge. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

To give the fruit a better shine, warm a jar of apricot jam in saucepan in low heat, do keep your eye on it, no one like the burnt sugar taste, once the jam had warm through then use a pastry brush to brush the arranged fruit.

I like the size of this shape it is much easy as a bite size, usually fruit tattler is in round shape. It is not elegance as this one.

Tips: The jam will thicken as it cool down, you can add little bit of water and warm it through again, to mix the water and jam then continue to brush the fruit again.

 

 

Vanilla biscuit

Vanilla BiscuitThis is one my childhood’s memory, I used to brought it from the shop in the market and I had became addictive to it. I leave them in coffee, the biscuit swim in coffee and I eat it with a spoon, sometime it drop into the coffee. The vanilla infused in the coffee and it tasted vanilla. I had brought these little treat to office, my colleague loves every piece, she dipping into coffee too. I like the soft texture of the biscuit, at least, I don’t need use all the strength to bite the biscuits.

  • 115g Butter, softened
  • 95g Caster sugar
  • 50g Brown sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 167g Plain flour
  • ½ tsp Table salt
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 3cm diameter circles onto the parchment paper to pipe the mixture onto the circle.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Sift the mixed flour into the egg, sugar and butter and then stir to combine.
  5. Scrap dough into a piping bag fitted with plain piping nozzle.
  6. Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Pipe the dough onto drawn circles. The biscuit will spread, but only little space is needed between each biscuit
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until biscuit are light golden brown. After removing it from the oven let it cool on the baking sheet before transfer onto the cooling rack. Store them in airtight container or jar.