Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Strawberry Vodka Jam

Strawberry jam is easy to make and cooks in less than 20 minutes. With the fruit becoming quite cheap and abundant, now would be a good time to build up a supply.

Homemade jams will always taste better than store ones with the added advantage of being able to adjust the sweetness and also how chunky or smooth you like your jam. The balsamic vinegar gives the jam depth. Omit if you do not have any available.

Strawberry Vodka Jam
Makes 2 : 250gm jars

500gm strawberry, hulled
1 Tbsp lemon juice
250-400gm sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1½ Tbsp vodka

1. Place 2 small saucer into the freezer.

2. Put the strawberries and lemon juice in a pot. If the fruit is too big, cut in half. (I did not crush the strawberries as the fruit will be boiled to the point of almost disintegrating)

3. Add sugar, balsamic vinegar and stir thoroughly.

4. Boil rapidly (rolling boil) for about 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Test whether the jam is ready by spooning a little onto a chilled plate. If the jam is ready, a skin will form on top when it cools and 'wrinkles' when pushed with a fingertip.

6. Add vodka and use a lighter to burn off the alcohol or just stir to mix

Burning vodka

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Itek Sio ~ Braised Duck in Tamarind n' Coriander

Itek Sio is a Peranakan braised duck in tamarind and coriander gravy. Cooking duck can be time consuming but using a pressure cooker can reduce the cooking time to a third. To ensure a very fragrant sauce try to use freshly ground coriander. A very tasty fork tender duck with minimum preparation.

Itek Sio

½ duck (1kg)
1 Tbsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp raw sugar
2 tsp dark soy sauce

1 Tbsp tamarind paste
1 cup water

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rosemary Focassia

Rosemary focaccia is our favourite flat savoury bread. We always have a supply of it in our freezer for lunches. Slice it into thinner strips and it is great in the winter months for dipping into soups as well. It is a breeze to make and a hit for any gathering.

Rosemary Focaccia

I have already posted the recipe earlier this year but have recently spliced together a short 1:45 minute video on the making of this Italian flat bread. Crank up the volume to enjoy the music of Duel by Bond.

Italian Flat Bread Focaccia
There are numerous focaccia recipes but I find this recipe works well and require the least amount of skill in the shaping. Just let your fingers do the 'walking'.

Rosemary Focassia

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sweet and Spicy Sticky Chicken

Cooking this sweet spicy and sticky chicken is really simple as it does not involve a lot of preparation. The ingredients are common items most of us have in the pantry. We love the intense flavour of this dish.

I usually precook a meat dish at least an hour earlier and let it sit in the pot to let the meat absorb the flavour. That way you end up with a more flavoursome and better tasting meal.

Sweet Spicy Sticky Chicken
1½kg chicken pieces

1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 clove garlic, minced
3 spring onions or bunch of chives, thinly slices

Sauce Mix
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp water
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp chilli powder or chilli paste

Sweet Spicy Chicken

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