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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Thai green beef curry


Keep calm and curry on.

Because making this dish is easier than laminating the croissant dough... Hey, one can only make so many French pastries!

Green curry is one of my favourite Thai food. Chicken rather than beef is commonly used when making this type of curry but I think using the latter is so much better.

Green curry paste is made up of different spices, the green colour comes from bird's eyes chillies and by adding Thai basil in the mixture, it will intensify the colour without the heat.


It may not look like much but this curry is packed full of flavour, the combination of different flavours and textures are perfect with steamed rice or noodles. Nope, the green curry paste is not made from scratch as I don't have all the spices on hand. 

This is more like a soupy curry rather than the thick saucy version that I usually have in some Thai resto here. According to Hot Thai Kitchen cookbook, where I got this recipe, this curry should have a creamy mouthfeel but should not be thick or viscous, so I got it right. I like a more thicker version though, maybe will adjust the amount of liquid next time 🤪Recipe listed below is my tweak version.

You can use different kinds of vegetables when making this dish. I added zucchini for its firm and crunchy texture. 


Recipe adapted from Hot Thai Kitchen cookbook

600 grams boneless short ribs, cut into bite-sized pieces
500 grams coconut milk
85 grams (store-bought) green curry paste
5 grams coarse sea salt
3-4 cups water, for boiling the beef
5 kaffir lime leaves, torn into chunks
50 grams palm sugar, grated or finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
300 grams bamboo shoots (from 1 can, drained), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 stems of Thai basil, use only the leaves

* In a medium-sized saucepan, add the beef, 60 grams coconut milk, 25 grams curry paste and 5 grams salt. Add enough water to completely cover the beef, bring to the boil, loosely cover and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours. Skim off the scum that accumulates on the surface of the stock. Add more water if necessary.

* Remove beef chunks from the stock and set aside. Reserve 500 ml of the beef stock, if there isn't enough, add more water to make up the difference.

* Reduce 3/4 cup of the coconut milk in the saucepan over medium-heat until very thick and the clear coconut oil starts to separate from the white portion, 10-15 minutes. If the separation doesn't happen, don't worry, just proceed with the recipe.

* Add curry paste to the reduced coconut milk and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes until curry paste is very thick. Add the remaining coconut milk and stir to mix. Turn heat to medium and add the beef stock, lime leaves, palm sugar, and the fish sauce, bring to the boil. Add the beef chunks, bamboo shoots, zucchini and bell pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes, adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat and add in the basil leaves, mix well.

* Transfer to a serving plate or bowl or ladle over rice or noodles. Garnish with basil leaves. Serve hot.


Friday, June 21, 2019

No-bake mango-calamansi curd mini cheesecake


To err is human, to forgive, absolutely galling (N.R)

Instead of practicing my non-existent frosting skill, I decided to make another mango-based dessert. Mango season is nearly over but I've read online that it's a bumper crop this year back home in #Duterteland. A boon to those who love mangoes as the price per kilo is a bit lower than usual. Hopefully, some will continue to trickle here in "smoggy" Hong Kong.


If I have a "roadside" café, this cheesecake will be one of seasonal produce desserts. It's refreshingly delicious and perfect summer treat. The calamansi curd certainly adds a delightful flavour contrast.

This maybe a no-bake cheesecake but the "crust" base is baked cookie made from pâte sucrée. The base is 3mm thick, ideally, it should be 2 or 2.5mm so that it'll be thin enough to cut with a dessert spoon or fork easily. The cookie ring though is a perfect thickness or should I say, thinness?! If you haven't tried that type of sweet pastry dough, you've probably missed two-thirds of you life lol  

I used silicone mould to shape the cheesecake "filling". You can use any mould you have on hand. Filling will "probably" fill a 5x2-inch mousse ring with 1/2 inch crust base.


Toppings are just the usual suspects, mango compote or sauce (a leftover from last month yup, it's still edible because it'll stay fine indefinitely as long as you freeze it), mango cubes and piped calamansi curd. I don't have mint leaves on hand so I used cilantro leaves 😁And for a pop of colour, I added green tea macarons.

Have you ever wondered why those goodies at French or Japanese pâtiserries are expensive?! 


Calamansi curd

1 (61 grams with shell) egg
65 grams sugar
70 grams freshly-squeezed calamansi juice
35 grams butter, cubed and softened

* In a small saucepan, combine egg and sugar; whisk until mixture is light and smooth. Pour in calamansi juice and stir well. Add in the cubed butter.

* Cook mixture over low heat for 10-12 minutes until thickens. Strain over a fine-mesh sieve, let cool for few minutes before pouring into a small sterilized jar. Let cool completely. Store in the fridge.

Makes about 145 grams


Mango-calamansi curd cheesecake

100 grams whipping cream, whipped (medium peaks), chill in the fridge until needed
5 grams gelatine sheet/leaf, soaked in cold water for 5-10 minutes, excess water squeezed off
100 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
45 grams condensed milk
120 grams mango purée
75 grams calamansi curd, recipe above
5 grams dark rum, optional

* Melt softened gelatine over a pan of barely simmering water. Keep warm.

* Beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Add in the purée, curd and rum, mix well. Pour in the melted gelatine and beat until well incorporated.

* Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, mix well.

* Place cheesecake batter into a piping bag and pipe into the prepared silicone mould. Rap mould onto the counter to prevent air pockets from forming. Smooth top with a spatula.

* Freeze for at least 6 hours preferably, overnight.



Pâte Sucrée, recipe adapted here

110 grams cake flour, sifted
50 grams icing sugar
30 grams almond flour
1 gram fine sea salt
60 grams cold butter, cubed
1 (18-20 grams) egg yolk

* In a mixing bowl or a clean work surface, combine the flour, sugar, almond flour, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and add in the butter. Using your fingers, rub everything together until it forms a cohesive dough. Gently knead dough, 4-6 times, until smooth. Place in a plastic wrap and shape into a 5-inch square. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.

* Roll out dough, between 2 sheets of lightly-floured parchment paper, into 2-2.5mm thick. Using a 7cm scalloped-shaped round cookie cutter, cut out 12 pieces, re-roll the dough if necessary. Use a 4cm round to cut the middle of the 6 pieces for cookie rings. Bake excess dough together with the rest.

* Bake tart dough at 170ºC for 12-18 minutes. Cool completely before using.



To assemble the cheesecake

Makes 6 

Toppings:

1 mango, cut into cubes
some mango compote/sauce
6 pieces homemade green tea macarons, optional
some mint leaves
some calamansi curd

* Place cookies on the cake holders, add the frozen cheesecakes on top and de-frost for 1 hour inside the  fridge.

* Take out from the fridge, place one cookie ring on top of each cheesecakes. Add about 1 teaspoon compote sauce in the middle of the cookie ring and some mango cubes. Decorate with macarons, mint leaves and pipe in a bit of calamansi curd. Serve immediately.