Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pla Rad Prig ~ Crispy Fried Snapper in tamarind sauce with spicy chilli topping

The first time we ate this fish was at a food court. The sweet, sour and slightly spicy sauce makes you want to eat more rice. Pla Rad Prig is very easy to prepare and a good dish to tempt fussy eaters.

1 600g whole snapper
½ Tbsp tamarind soaked to sieve out 1 Tbsp juice
1½-2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
4 Tbsp water
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 capsicum, green or red
3 sprigs coriander

oil for frying

1. Clean and score the fish in a diamond cut style. Rub lightly with some salt and dust with a light coating of flour (I find this give the fish a crispier skin and does not stick so much to the pan when frying).

2. Fry the fish with a thin layer of oil in your pan until golden. Do not attempt to flip the fish too early or the skin will break up.

3. Leave the cooked fish in a warm oven while getting the sauce ready.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Woo Kok ~ Crispy Yam Puff

The beehive web effect on the skin of the woo kok is eluding me. This is trial number 2. My first effort over a year ago was a disaster with the whole puff disintegrating before my eye when I lowered it into the oil.

This second effort is better. The taro puff stayed intact, has a nice crispy skin with creamy yam interior and the filling was good. Tasted like the authentic woo kok except without the oiliness.

I read somewhere the web effect can be created by lifting the yam puff out of the oil several times when frying. But obviously that was not the answer.

I wonder what the secret is ? But....I am not going to give up, I am sure I will get there eventually.

As I have not yet achieved what I am after I will not be posting the recipe.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cumin & Coriander Hummus

Hummus is slowly gaining popularity as a healthy alternative to the traditional dip. It is not difficult to make and definitely cheaper than buying from the supermarket. We prefer our hummus to have a bit of grit instead of smooth and creamy. If you are not watching those calories, drizzle the hummus with olive oil before serving.

The consistency of your hummus will depend on whether you are using it as a spread or as a dip. I usually make it thick to start with and add water to mix if we want it as a dip for chips.

200gm cooked chickpeas
2 Tbsp homemade tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water from the cooked chickpea or plain water
dash of salt to taste

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cooking Chickpeas with a pressure cooker

If I had not bought a pressure cooker recently I would never have tried cooking chickpeas or even venture into making hummus. With the pressure cooker it is so quick and easy to get the chickpeas cooked and be able to whip up a bowl of hummus within half an hour. The only forward thinking required will be the presoaking of the chickpeas.

Yield : 400gm cooked chickpeas

1 cup dry chickpeas
2½ cup water
1 tsp baking powder

1. Soak chickpeas overnight topped with heaps of water as the chickpea will expand.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Homemade Tahini

Making tahini is easy provided you have the proper blender or grinder. Unless you are making a big quantity, you will need something small or the blade will just go round and round without touching the mix. I used my coffee grinder which worked a treat.

This recipe is double what is needed for my cumin and coriander hummus.

Homemade Tahini
4 Tbsp sesame seed
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp sea salt
1-2 Tbsp warm water

1. Lightly toast sesame seeds in a small pot over a stove on low heat. This should not take more than 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
2. Grind your sesame seeds in the coffee grinder until smooth. Add in sesame oil and salt and grind again.

Tahini with a coffee grinder

Monday, April 09, 2007

Homemade Tomato Sauce

I waited until I had a glut from my home grown tomatoes to make this tomato sauce. The last lot I made had lasted me the year. This tomato sauce is lovely with fish n chips, bbq sausages, meat patties, fish cakes etc.... It can also be cooked until thick enough to be used on pizza.

Homemade Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 300ml jars

2kg tomato
600g apple, skin off
3 big onion

510g sugar
55g salt
300-350ml vinegar

10g clove
½ tsp black peppercorn
½ tsp whole all spice

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hot Cross Buns

I look forward to Easter so that I could indulge in my favourite hot cross buns. These are amazingly soft and fragrant with cinnamon and mixed spice and are irresistible especially fresh from the oven.

I added some rum to the fruits for extra kick . Rather than marking the buns with a traditional flour-paste cross , icing was used which tasted much nicer. For those who don't like the overpowering taste of spices and fruits, these buns will be ideal.

Makes 9 or 12 buns

Ingredients for Main Dough
85g starter dough *
210g bread flour
55g plain flour
20g milk powder
40g sugar
½ tsp salt
3¼ tsp Surebake yeast
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
30g egg
80g water
20g unsalted butter

40 g raisins
40 g sultanas
35 g mixed peel
1 tsp rum

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