food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘recipe

hainanese chicken rice

leave a comment »

Adapted from early Chinese immigrants from Hainan province in Southern China, Hainanese Chicken Rice is a popular street food in Singapore and Malaysia. There are many different cooking methods and the dipping sauces seem to be a personal choice. I chose to follow Rosemary Brissenden’s recipe from her book South East Asian Food.

The chicken is steeped rather than boiled and this gives a tender juicy result. First remove the 2 pads of fat from near the opening of your chicken and keep them. Boil a pot of water large enough to fit your chicken and fill enough to immerse it completely. When the water boils add the chicken, 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, an equal amount of sliced ginger and ½ a brown onion. Boil for 2-3 minutes then take the pot off the heat and allow the chicken to steep for 30 minutes. Repeat this one more time and the chicken should be cooked. While the chicken is cooking you can make your sauces. I made a chilli/ginger sauce and a sweet soy sauce. For the chilli/ginger sauce, with a mortar and pestle pound 6 chopped red chillies with 3 chopped cloves of garlic and an equal amount of diced ginger until they become a paste. Season with salt to taste and a drizzle of white rice vinegar. If you need more moisture add a little of the chicken stock. For the sweet soy sauce, caramelise some sugar and add soy sauce to taste. While the chicken cooks you can also prepare some chopped coriander (cilantro) and spring onion for garnish as well as slicing some cucumber and tomato as an accompaniment to the meal. When the chicken is cooked remove it to a plate and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Now take the chicken fat and in a saucepan fry it in some oil until the fat renders then remove the solids. Rinse and drain your rice and add it to the saucepan, cooking for a few minutes until coated with the fat and a little translucent. Add the chicken stock (for 2 cups of rice you will need 3 cups of stock) and some salt to taste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Meanwhile season the remaining chicken stock to taste with salt and white pepper. Traditionally the chicken is  garnished with chopped coriander and spring onion and chopped then eaten with rice, cucumber and tomato, a small bowl of soup and the dipping sauces.

coconut and pineapple upside down cake

leave a comment »

Wonderfully caramelised ripe pineapple crowns this coconut cake.

Preheat your oven to 175ºC (350ºF) and grease a 20cm (8″) round, deep-sided cake tin. Peel and slice half a very ripe pineapple into thin slices. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large pan over medium-high heat and cook the pineapple slices for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly caramelised. Arrange them in the base of the prepared cake tin, overlapping them so no gap remains. In a bowl beat 200g (7 oz) of butter and 150g (5¼ oz) of sugar until fluffy and pale. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, then add 200g (7 oz) of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 45g (1½ oz) of desiccated coconut, 1 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix to combine well. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin over the pineapple and bake for 50 minutes or until the cake tests clean. Cool in the tin before turning out.

* Adapted from a Jill Dupleix recipe on delicious.com.au.

Written by michelle picker

August 13, 2017 at 5:25 am

saffron cauliflower + tomato, onion and roasted lemon salad

leave a comment »

Here are 2 salads from the master of salads, Yotam Ottolenghi. Serve them as part of a mezze selection or as side dishes.

Cauliflower is so versatile. In this recipe from PLENTY it’s paired with raisins and olives.

Preheat your oven to 200ºC (390ºF). Soak 1½ teaspoons of saffron strands in a little boiling water and allow to infuse. To a large salad bowl add a medium cauliflower (broken into florets), 1 large sliced red onion, 100g (3½ oz) of moist of sultanas, 90g (3¼ oz) of pitted green olives, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 bay leaves and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the soaked saffron and toss everything to combine. Transfer to a baking tray, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. I uncovered the tray for some of the cooking time to allow the cauliflower to brown a little more. Allow to cool a little and stir in 4 tablespoons of roughly chopped parsley.

This unusual tomato, onion and roasted lemon salad was published by bon appétit.

tomato-salad

Preheat your oven to 160ºC (325ºF). Halve and thinly slice 1 small lemon and cook the slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, pat dry and toss with 1 tablespoon of finely sliced fresh sage leaves, ½ a teaspoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread them onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake until they are dry and slightly coloured. Allow them to cool. Meanwhile, whisk 2 teaspoons of pomegranate syrup with ½ a teaspoon of ground allspice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 700g (1½ lbs) of mixed tomatoes, ½ a finely sliced red onion, generous amounts of roughly chopped fresh parsley and mint and the cooled lemon slices. Season again to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss gently.
 

Written by michelle picker

August 7, 2017 at 5:44 am

arrachera

leave a comment »

Hanger steak is a cut of beef (from the lower belly of a steer or heifer) prized for its flavour and tenderness. In the past it was sometimes known as butcher’s steak because butchers would keep it for themselves. In Mexico it’s known as Arrachera and is generally marinated, grilled and served with a squeeze of lime juice, accompanied by guacamole, salsa and tortillas.

For 1½ kilos (3 lbs) of hanger steak whisk together 3 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic, 3 tablespoons of corn oil, ½ a cup of tequila, ¼ of a cup fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, ½ a tablespoon of ground cumin and ½ a tablespoon ground black pepper. Place the steak in the marinade and leave for 1 hour (or up to 24 in the fridge), turning often. When you’re ready to cook the steak heat a heavy (peferably cast iron) pan or griddle until very hot. Cook the steak for 2-4 minutes a side depending how you like your steak. Serve sliced and garnished with coriander (cilantro).

* this marinade recipe comes from Galley Wench on food.com

Written by michelle picker

August 1, 2017 at 5:44 am

stewed rhubarb with vanilla yoghurt

leave a comment »

An excellent version of a classic from Jamie Oliver. Serve it for breakfast or dessert.

Place 750g (1.6 lbs) of chopped fresh rhubarb in a medium-sized saucepan with the juice and zest of 1 large orange, 100g (3½ oz) of caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 pieces of finely diced or grated fresh ginger. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and cooked but still holds its shape. Meanwhile, scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod and mix them into 1 cup of natural yoghurt, adding 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. Serve the warm rhubarb topped with a large dollop of vanilla yoghurt.

Written by michelle picker

July 26, 2017 at 5:41 am

spicy stir-fried squid + cabbage and bok choy with bean paste

leave a comment »

Now that I’m home I’m inspired to try some Korean cooking. Ojingeo bokkeum is a perennial favorite among Koreans and can be found on most restaurant menus. Like most Korean food it is hearty and spicy. This recipe is adapted from kimchimom.com.

In a large bowl mix together 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of minced ginger, 1 tablespoon of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, ¼ of a cup of gochujang (Korean red pepper paste). Clean and score 450g (1 lb) of squid (or use thawed frozen squid) and cut it into pieces. Add it to the sauce, making sure it is thoroughly coated, and allow it to marinate for 20 minutes. Heat some oil in a wok or large frypan over high heat. Add 5 stalks green onions (cut into lengths), 1 green chili pepper (thinly sliced) and 1 red pepper cut into pieces. Sauté until the onions start to wilt. Now add the marinated squid and cook for approximately 1½ – 2 minutes until cooked through (the squid will curl and become opaque). Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tabelspoon of sesame oil. Remove to a platter and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

This cabbage and bok choy recipe (adapted from maangchi.com) is a great foil for the spicy squid.

Cut 300g (10½ oz) of cabbage into pieces and separate the leaves of 3 large bok choy. Blanch the cabbage in boiling water for approximately 5 minutes then add the bok choy for 1-2 minutes until the stems appear slightly less opaque. Strain the vegetables and rinse under cold running water to stop them cooking. In a bowl combine 1 minced garlic clove, 1 minced green onion, 2 tablespoons of doenjang (fermented soybean paste), 2 teaspoons of gochujang (hot pepper paste), a pinch of sugar and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and mix well. Squeeze the cabbage and bok choy to remove excess water and add to the bowl, mixing well. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.

Written by michelle picker

July 20, 2017 at 5:42 am

salty-sweet orange and tahini pretzels

leave a comment »

Another delight from Honey & Co The Baking Book by Sarit Packer & Itmar Srulovich and my first attempt at pretzels.

Mix together 200g (7 oz) of strong white flour, 150g (5⅓ oz) of plain flour, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of icing sugar. Warm 140ml (4¾ fl oz) of milk to blood temperature and add 4½ teaspoons of dry active yeast, the grated zest of 1 orange and 50g (1¾ oz) of date molasses or dark honey. Stir to dissolve then add this liquid to the dry ingredients and knead together to form a ball. Slowly incorporate 80g (2¾ oz) of tahini paste then 50g (1¾ oz) of unsalted butter (diced and at room temperature). Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for at least 1 hour. On an un-floured work surface, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each one into a long 40-45cm (16-17″) snake. Lie the snake in a semi-circle with the 2 ends facing you. Lift the ends only and twist them around each other then lower them towards the remaining half circle and press the ends down gently. Carefully flip the pretzel onto a prepared, paper-covered baking sheet so that the ends are underneath. Repeat the process until you have 8 pretzels, allowing a little space between each pretzel. Prove for a further 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (390ºF). Brush the pretzels with an egg yolk beaten with a pinch of sugar and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes until they have a dark golden brown crust. Delicious at any time of day.

Written by michelle picker

June 2, 2017 at 5:30 am