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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Christmas Soirée 2014

During the year of 2014, it has been a great year for me. When I reviewed it last week, it wasn’t bad at all. Well, as usual I organized a Christmas Soirée to finish the year.

Obviously, the food should be familiar and welcoming. Although I born and grew up in Asia, and I have not experienced a proper Christmas during my childhood until I met Andrews, therefore I tried to embrace and relishing the British tradition in its foreign land of Asia; it may sounds odd and it turned out to be surprised. All of them has the story to tell, such as mince pie, it is used to be large savoury dish back in Middle Ages and filled with chopped meat or liver mixed with diced hard-boiled egg and ginger; until it predominated and the meat was replaced with suet. Even during the Christmas of 1644, mince pie was banned by Oliver Cromwell. How interesting history become.

Every Continent of Europe has it tradition of food especially during Christmas. French have a simple almost seafood palette from oyster or seashell seafood to fish or goose as main course, dessert are usually chocolate, Kouglof. Most people will terrified with the preparation of Christmas dinner, when you think about it, with some help from local butcher, some of the skilled work they can done it for you. Of course with some good supermarket selling good quality prepared food in can or jar that obviously help to ease off the stress of Christmas cooking. Andrews told me about how their grandmother prepared the Christmas dinner, everything from scratch. I’m really impressed with most of the food that Andrews grandmother cooked, the recipe is complicated for to understand.

I think is a good practice to have a family cook book pass down to next generation, so the family will inherited the recipe for many year. That’s all about home cooking, I think restaurant food is based on home cooked recipe and present it in the different way so it look nicer on the serving plate. I believe every household has a good recipe that going to embrace by the family, this make me feel very grounded to family recipe as it is always the basic to start off your fancy cookery. So start to jotting down your family recipe and embrace it. Don’t let the time vanish away a good recipe.

Dory fish with celery, peas & beurre blanc

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I should really tell you the meal I had this evening is very much pleasing with the beurre blanc sauce over the fish. Albert Jack’s book said the beurre blanc sauce was discovered after a mistake from a chef. Here is the story.

“One of famous sauce, beurre blanc (white butter) apparently evolved from a mistake made by French chef Madame Clémence Lefeuvre towards the end of the nineteenth century while she was working in the kitchens of the marquis de Goulaine. On one occasion, the story goes, intending to make Béarnaise sauce for a pike dish, Lefeuvre ran out of eggs at the crucial moment and had to quickly improvise, using wine and lemon juice instead. Legend has it that her new sauce became so popular she opened her own restaurant, La Bubette de la Marine, on the banks of the Loire River near Nantes, on the strength of it with beurre blanc as her signature sauce”.

Here is my recipe for you to try it at home. It’s important that you have all of the ingredients for the sauce ready prepared before you start to cook the fish, or the fish will become dry and cold while you’re making the sauce.

Marinate for the fish

Vegetable side

  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 50g sweet peas
  • pinch of salt

Beurre Blanc Sauce

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Herb of your choice: mint, parsley, basil or tarragon
  1. Marinate the fish by putting all marinate ingredient into freezer bag and put the fish into the bag and give it a mix with the fish and set aside so that the flavours can infuse the fish. The fish can marinate in the bag for 1 hour in the fridge, or less if you’re in a hurry.
  2. Cut celery into bite size then set aside. Bring a pot of water to boil then add pinch of salt into boiling water, reduce the heat to medium and then add in the celery and let it boil for about 3 minutes and add in the pea to finish up to 5 minutes. After that drain it off, put on a lid and set aside somewhere warm.
  3. Heat up a frying pan to medium heat, place the marinated fish in the heated pan and pan fry until golden colour at the edge and is not pale in colour. Put the cooked fish on a warmed serving plate with the vegetable, and set aside somewhere warm.
  4. Simmer the shallot, wine and vinegar in a pan until reduced to 1 tablespoon, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream followed by 1 cube of the butter at a time. Make sure to whisk energetically. If the butter isn’t melting, put the pan back on a very low heat. Once all the butter is incorporated, season with salt and little cayenne. Serve immediately by spoon it over the cooked fish. Chopped herbs, such as mint, parsely, basil or tarragon, make a nice addition.

Beurre blanc should taste creamy, frothy, light and tangy. This simple yet classic French sauce is probably the quickest way to add extra flavour to fish, meat, poultry and vegetable. It’s quite quick to make, apart from melting a little butter. Remember, this is for one portion, if you have a guest, you’ll need to double the ingredients., Bon appetit.