Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mini Chicken Pie

After those cool and rainy weather few days ago , now the temperature is on the rise again pfffttt

No wonder , I'm sick .....

Not that sick , I guess , as I still can scarf down food as if there's no tomorrow lol 

But I have a runny nose and a sore throat tsk tsk 

And that's a botheration since I need to finish several scoop of my peach ice cream -__-'' 

Need to make ice cream as fast as I can eat it .....

Just before you know it , it's winter again ...

I've been meaning to bake this since last week but got sidetracked ......

Or I just can't make up my mind whether to buy puff pastry or make a tart dough ....

And eventhough my nose kept dripping while I was rolling the dough ....

I need to met the deadline or else ! lol 

My no-frills and easy peasy filling itself is worth cooking for again and again .....

Er according to me hee hee   

It's not you pie dough , it's me ! hee hee 

Practice , practice ! -____ -

Tart dough recipe from Around my French table book 

Makes one 9- to 9 1/2-inches tart shell

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar 
1/2 tsp salt 
6 tablespoon / 3/4 stick / 84 grams very cold or frozen unsalted butter , cut into small bits 
1 large egg 
1 tsp ice water 

* To make the dough by hand : Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl . Scatter bits of butter around , using your hand or pastry blender , work the butter into the flour until it is evenly distributed . Beat the egg and water together , drizzle over the dough and using the fork , toss the dough until it is evenly moistened . Using your fingertips , mix and knead the dough until it comes together . Turn it onto the work surface and form into a ball and flatten into a disk . Chill for at least 3 hours .
* Roll the dough between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap , should be about 1/4-inch thick and at least 12 inches in diameter ; transfer to a tart pan and prick the the base of the crust in several places with a fork . Chill or freeze for at least 1 hour before  baking .  
* Partially bake the dough for about 20 minutes  , either with pie weights or dried beans / or if the dough is well-chilled that won't be necessary . 
* Cool the crust completely before you fill it .

Easy peasy chicken filling : ( I just used about 1/3 of this )

200 grams chicken tenders / fillet , cut in bite-sized pieces
150 grams frozen mixed veggies
3 small shallots , minced 
1/3 cup water 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
a generous handful of cilantro , coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp chili flakes 
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp chicken powder 
salt and black pepper 
1/2 tablespoon tapioca starch and 2 tablespoon water , mix together 

* Season chicken with salt and black pepper , chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes .
* Heat a nonstick pan , add oil and dump in the shallots , fry until slightly soften then add the chicken ; fry for 3 minutes ; add in the mixed veggies , another 2 minutes. Pour in the water  and the cream , add chili flakes , chicken powder and sugar let boil for 3  minutes , adjust taste . Pour in the tapioca and water mixture , stir until the sauce thickens ; set aside to cool .

***I made 3 mini pie using the muffin tin , a 5 and 2 1/2-inch oblong-shaped pies using the prepared pastry dough .

* Preheat oven to 190°C . Spoon filling into the crust , brush the rim of the crust with some of the egg wash ( 1 egg and 2 tablespoon milk , mix together ) ; top with lid ( 2 1/2-inch in diameter pastry dough) . Gently press the edge of the pie with fork to seal ; make some cuts at the surface to let the steam escape . Brush some egg wash ; repeat with the rest . Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown .

I'm submitting this post to the Bake Along event hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Lena of Frozen Wings and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours .


Friday, July 27, 2012

Spring Onion and Garlic Pancakes

Most people I know love Chinese food .....

But then who doesn't ?

I could subsists on dimsum for days ^___^ ''

What about you ?! lol

The beauty of cooking Chinese food is the ease of preparation er some, not all ....

A few ingredients , simple seasoning and a little bit of effort ....

Just like these pancakes from one of my fave chef .....

Chop it all up , chop it all up heh !

If Anne er Yan can cook so can you !!!!!! hee hee

Squint so that you can see those several layers inside , just like puff pastry ! lol

Recipe from Martin Yan's China book

For the dough :

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cold water , plus more as needed

* To make the dough , sift flour into a large mixing bowl ; add the water and stir with a wooden spoon until soft dough forms . Add a few more teaspoon of water if it seems too stiff .
* Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth , about 5 minutes ; cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 15 minutes .

For the filling :

1/2 cup plus 2 T lard or vegetable shortening
1 head of roasted garlic or 2 T of minced garlic , sautéed in a little bit oil
3 green onions , green parts only , thinly sliced
2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 1 T vegetable oil

* Mash lard and garlic together in a medium bowl ; add green onion , sesame oil and salt ans stir until well mixed  .


* Unwrap the dough and cut into 15 equal portions  ; roll each piece of dough into a 1-inch -thick cylinder ; using a pastry brush , lightly oil a smooth surface with some of the vegetable oil ( I didn't do this since the lard in the filling is more than enough ) . Roll a cylinder out to a 3-by-10-inch strip of dough . ( You don't have to measure just like this , I didn't  , I just roll it in my desired thickness and width )  Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling across the entire surface of the dough ; starting from one end , fold the strip of dough diagonally , as you would fold the flag , up and over the filling until you have a compact triangle of dough ( also check this easy how-to @ SERIOUS EATS ) . Pinch the seam shut and shape into a 1 12/-inch round disk . Repeat with the remaining dough and filling .
* Heat a large , nonstick skillet over medium heat ; add the half cup of oil and heat until hot . Put about half of the cakes into the hot oil ; they should not touch and fry until golden brown and crisp , flip and continue to cook the second side . Repeat the process with the remaining cakes ; adding more oil if necessary .

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meatballs and Spaghetti

Another Jamie O's recipe !

And one of  his recipes that I've been meaning to make for quiet sometime ...

Glad that I did ...

These meatballs so far are the best I ever tasted ...

Okay , besides my fave Ikea meatballs ! lol

No wonder the lovely ladies at Zoe's ongoing blog hop , Cook like a Star , love to make these .

Please check recipe @ Jamie Oliver online

This post is linked to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Cook Like a Star blog hop event featuring Jamie Oliver's recipes .

Please check out other blogging friends awesome offering !


Friday, July 20, 2012

Cheese Tarts

I promised myself that the second time I'll bake some tart , the tart shell/crust would be thick ....

Well , this time it's more than thick ! tsk tsk

Unevenly thick ! Oh well ..... There's still next time  ....... -__-"

I was mumbling , okay , more like swearing while I was pressing the dough into the tart pan ...

I told myself , the way you're manhandling that dough , just don't expect a nice crumbly texture ...

Ha ! The tart gods are feeling generous that day ! lol

I tried Dorie Greenspan's sweet tart dough recipe and that thick crust is just scrumptious - just like you're eating a buttery cookies !

Oh ! The filling ?! I guess , I'll make it again and again but will add some homemade sauce or jam because on its own , it's too blah !

Just don't mind that bleh strawberry jam swirl .....

So as the spotted mint leaves ! lol

Sweet tart dough recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Around my French table book

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
9 tablespoons / 126 grams  very cold , unsalted butter , cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

* Put the flour , sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine . Scatter butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until butter is cut in coarsely . Stir in the yolk , just to break it up , and add it a little at a time , pulsing after every addition , when the egg is in , process in long pulses , about 10 seconds each -until the dough which will look granular soon after the egg is added , forms a clump and curds ; just before you reach this clumpy stage , turn the dough out onto the work surface and very lightly knead it just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing .
* I chilled the dough for an hour before pressing it into the tart pans ; prick the crust  all over and freeze for at least 10 minutes or longer .
* Preheat oven to 375° F/190°C , partially bake the crust for 25 minutes - I didn't put any pie weights as my crust was frozen solid - or until lightly golden ; cool completely before you fill it .

Cheese tart filling - recipe from Alex Goh's Baking Class - Pastry book

250 grams cream cheese
50 grams sugar
25 grams butter
1 egg
25 grams whipping cream
20 grams flour
some blueberry jam for topping

* Beat cream cheese , sugar and butter until smooth ; add in egg and mix until well blended ; add in the cream  and mix until well combined ; and add flour and mix thoroughly .
* Put the cheese filling into the prepared crust ; add some jam on top and use a toothpick to swirl it .
* Bake at 200°C for 10 to 12 minutes .

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Peach Ice Cream

I've been checking out some US peaches at our local supermarket these past few days ....

No sightings yet but I've seen some big ones that costs $68 for 2 pieces pfffttttt

In fairness , those 2 are big but at that price forget it ! lol

I've been buying peaches at the wet market every summer but I never think of making some ice cream out of it .

I don't really know if those peaches are from China and compare to US peaches , are more hard/crunchier and good for snacking only , well , if it is sweet heh !

There were times when I'm lucky and bought some of it and it all turned out very sweet and a trek to the market again , bought some and then it tastes like cardboard tsk tsk It's rather hit and miss -__-'

So , another market foray , and there were loads of peaches and they look really good !

Bought some , thought of making some ice cream  , though only two tastes sweet but what's the purpose of sugar anyway ?! lol

Result ?! Okay lah ! But I want more PEACH flavor that only ripe , sweet and soft peaches can deliver ...

Recipe from The Perfect Scoop via the bookstore , copied the ingredients but didn't buy the book ...

Original instruction just Google it .......

4 large peaches , peeled and pitted
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream ( I used yogurt )
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
a few squeezed of fresh lemon juice ( I used half of a lime ) 

* Chop peaches and transfer to saucepan , add water , sugar and salt and cook for about 10 minutes
* Let cool and puree in the food processor ; add cream , sour cream , vanilla and lemon juice . Chill mixture in the fridge .
* Churn the mixture in the ice cream maker ; then transfer it to a freezer-proof container and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving .

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cheese , Bacon & Cilantro Quick Bread

If you're a regular lurker in this blog , you'll probably know by now that I really love cilantro ....

From soups - no blog post  about soup yet - pasta , biscuits , fritters , meatballs , to some Chinese dish ....

Recipe that calls for basil , thyme , sage , rosemary , chives all substituted by cilantro ! lol

And dish that don't even need some herbs , I added cilantro ....

Good thing , all dishes tastes great and it looks good as well !

Okay , don't take my word for it !

Try it yourself , well , if you like cilantro , that is !

This bread is a spin from Dorie Greenspan cheese bread and of the 3 of her recipe that I've tried , this is so far I'm most happy with !

I couldn't believed it when I check each and every slice that it has several cubed cheese in it ! lol

I'm always complaining that when I bought some cheese bread at the bakery , there were not enough cubed cheese to go around and some slice didn't even merit a speck of it ! -___-''

Maybe when I baked this , the bread gods were having a good day ! lol

Recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Around my French table book

Savory cheese and chive bread

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2-1 tsp salt , depending on what cheese and add-ins you're using  ( omitted this )
1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper or more to taste or add a pinch of cayenne
3 large eggs , at room temp
1/3 cup whole milk at room temp
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil ( scant 1/3 )
1 generous cup, about 4 oz , coarsely grated Gruyère , Comté, Emmenthal or cheddar ( 4 oz grated cheddar ) 
2 oz , 1/2 cup - 2/3 cup , as above cheeses , cut into very small cubes ( 3 oz cubed cheddar ) 
3/4 cup bacon , chopped
1/2 cups fresh chives or other herbs or thinly sliced scallions ( about 2/3 cup loosely packed cilantro )
1/3 cup toasted walnuts , chopped ( optional ) ( omitted this ) 

* Preheat oven to 350°C/180°F . Generously butter an 8-x41/2-x- 2 /34-inch loaf pan .
* Whisk flour , baking powder , salt , and white pepper together on a large bowl ; put eggs in a medium bowl and whisk for about 1 minute ,until they're foamy and blended ; whisk milk and olive oil .
* Pour wet ingredients over dry and using a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon , gently mix until dough comes together , don't over-mix , stir in cheese , grated and cubed , herbs , walnuts and whatever add-ins you're using ; you'll have a thick dough - turn dough into the prepared pan .
* Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until bread is golden and a skewer or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean .

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake

It's been months since I haven't made some cheesecake .....

I know , I know , it's calorific but in moderation .....

So , here's another one to make my ever expanding tummy well and truly satisfied , who cares if it increases another inch ?! Ouch ! lol

For recipe , please click cherry , blueberry , strawberry and kiwi cheesecake link .

I made an attempt of layering the blueberry cheesecake batter but the result are not that good pffffftttt

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Two-nuts Chocolate Torte

Jamie O says it's the best chocolate nut thang around .....

But I guess I'll be much more happier if I used milk instead of dark chocolate ^__^''

It's very chocolatey and I only used 63% ( cocoa solids ) chocolate chips !

One of the nice thing about this cake is the texture , all nuts and no flour so every bite tastes of nuts and chocolate and another plus - it's not sweet ....

Sort of flourless chocolate cake but in my opinion , way better ......

Now , if only I used milk chocolate ! lol

Recipe from Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef book

***I made half of the recipe and used 6x6-inch square pan

Serves 8

150 grams shelled and peeled almonds
150 grams shelled walnuts , finely ground
300 grams best-quality cooking chocolate ( 70% cocoa solids )
1 heaped teaspoon best-quality cocoa powder
255 grams butter
100 grams caster sugar
6 large free-range eggs , separated

* Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F  . Line the bottom of a 8 or 10-inch tin with a piece of parchment paper before buttering the bottom and the sides then dusting with flour .
* Place the nuts into the food processor and process up until finely ground . Then add the chocolate and cocoa and blend for 30 seconds to break up the chocolate . Put to one side in a separate bowl . Add the butter and sugar to the food processor and beat until light and fluffy ; add egg yolks one at a time then mix together with the chocolate and nuts .
* In another bowl , beat the whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks ; gently fold the whites into the chocolate mixture . Pour mixture into the tin and bake in the preheated oven for an hour . To test if the torte  is cooked , insert a toothpick or a tip of the knife for 5 seconds ; when removed it should be reasonably clean . Serve with whipped cream , ICE CREAM or crème fraîche .

This post is linked to the blog hop event , Cook like a Star featuring Jamie Oliver's recipes , hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cherry ( licious ) Ice cream

Summer is such a thirsty business ......

I'm so happy and very delighted when I saw loads of lusciously delectable cherries at our local market

I thought after those gorgeously cheap cherries early this year , the next time I'm going to see cherries again will be next year ....

Just like Maltesers , which I just can't stop eating that the last time I baked cookies that calls for malted choco , there were not just enough to use ! Good thing choco chips as a sub were just as good ^__^''

Cherries like Maltesers are one of those food that once you pop , you just can't stop er that's Pringles hee hee

So did I use fresh cherries ?!

Nah !

Fresh cherries are for snacking  ! Okay ! Okay , there were not enough to make this batch of ice cream lol

I got a standby , canned cherries , which I bought last year just in case , you know ! -__-'  pfffttttt

Recipe idea stolen from Sherry Yard's Strawberry Ice Cream

1 can / 439 grams dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup , I used S&W brand
2 1/2 tablespoon sugar
generous tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy , I used Bols
pinch of salt
scant cup of heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
50 grams each of milk and white chocolate chips

* Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan , cook for 10 minutes ; stirring from time to time until the mixture are very soft . Let cool and transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth ; - I got a cup of cherry puree from this cooked mixture - add the cream and milk and blend until smooth . transfer to a bowl and chill for at least an hour .
* Pour the mixture in an ice cream maker and churn ; add in the choco chips after the last minute of churning ; transfer to the freezerproof container and freeze overnight .

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stuffed Tofu and Eggplant / to ( Flower ) Market , to Market !

I've posted about it several months ago but it's worth posting it the second time around .....

It's simple and easy to prepare , delicious and most of all it's cheap !

It's a ubiquitous Hongkong street  food but I prefer eating it with rice .

I've forgotten how to call it in Cantonese - my 3 translator are MIA ^-^'' , maybe it's also called yong tau fu , I googled it and that is what Google spewed out ! lol

Mine's more like topping though as I just spread the minced fish evenly on the top of  tofu and eggplant and pan-fried it .

If you can't find minced ( dace ) fish , you can use minced pork or shrimp or a combination .

Went to Flower Market few days ago , it's just few walks away er more like at the end of our building pfffttt

Ah !!!! Basil ! If only I don't have a black thumb ! tsk tsk 

Hungry ?! Don't worry ! There are some bakeries/resto around ! lol

Poor chicken ! Mmmmmmmmm !