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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mango Panna Cotta

          What is a Panna Cotta one may ask?  In simple terms it is a custard/pudding made by simmering milk & sugar and then tempering cream, gelatine & letting it set in the fridge. The texture of the Panna Cotta should be velvety smooth. 

         I learnt this Mango Panna Cotta and the texture is lovely and it is not so sweet.

             Ingredients

             500 ml                   *Dairy Whipping Cream [brands like, "Anchor," "Shani", "Emborg"]
             240 ml                    UHT Milk
             110 gm                   Castor Sugar
             300 gm                   Mango [weight inclusive of skin]
               16 gm                   Gelatine powder
               75 ml                    cold Water

              Method
  1. Blend the *Mango with some of the Whipping Cream from the 500 ml Whipping Cream & set aside.
  2. Sprinkle slowly all the gelatine powder into a bowl containing the 75 ml cold water. Use a spoon to combine both the gelatine powder & water.  Leave for a few minutes for it to form a *"mass".  [see picture below].
  3. Put the Milk & Sugar in a pot & simmer on low medium fire; stir till sugar dissolves.  Once you see quite a bit of bubbles along the sides, remove from fire.
  4. Double boil the gelatine mixture for a *short while till it turns liquidy.
  5. Add a big laddleful of the *hot milk mixture to the balance of the whipping cream & stir while doing so.  Add another laddleful & stir.  Then add the rest of the milk mixture.
  6. Add in the mangoo puree & the warm gelatine a little bit at first, stir to mix well, then the rest of the warm gelatine.
  7. Straight away work on the lumps if any by pouring it through a siever into a jug & mashing the lumps.
  8. Put the bits of *mango pieces, if any, that is in the siever into the strained mixture * then pour into your small moulds & if possible *cover the moulds & chill in the fridge until it sets.
          Tips/comments:-

            (a)  *Dairy Whipping Cream, brands like the ones mentioned above.  The difference between Dairy Whipping Cream & Non-Dairy Whipping Cream is that:-

                    (i) Dairy Whipping Cream - you can use same to bake Cheese cakes & you can also
                         use it in your cooking;

                    (ii) Non-Dairy Whipping Cream is sweet & used for decorating cakes & again I stress
                          that I am not a Chef/Baker and these are just info given to us by our Chefs and
                          which I use accordingly. Without prejudice and no disrespect of any company.

            (b)  *Mango - it is easier to blend the mango with some of the whipping cream.
           
            (c)  *Milk - make sure when "boiling" the milk that (i) the fire is not high (ii) you Do not over boil the milk as it rises very quickly to the top but most importantly, it will form a skin on top;

            (d)  *Gelatine - it is double boiled/bain marie using an apparatus consisting of an upper pot containing the substance to be boiled and placed over a lower pot containing hot water and when the water is brought to a boil; the steam from it transfers the heat onto the upper pot.  Boil the water in the lower pot first; then place the "gelatine mass" in the upper pot.  It will liquidy quite quickly.  In the same manner do not over boil it as it may form some streaks of gelatine which will not give the Panna Cotta a smooth texture as you may get some chewy streaks of gelatine.  If you dont have a double boiler, use 2 small sauce pots! Another important point to take note is to add the melted gelatine mixture slowly into the mixture & stir as you dont want to "shock" the mixture.  In culnary terms this process of adding hot liquid into a room temperature mixture is called "Tempering".

              (e)  Whenever you make this or any jelly for that matter, always wet the moulds, just fling off the water as we were taught that it is easier for them to come out especially if you use plastic moulds like the one in my picture.  Then if you want to unmould the jelly from the plastic moulds, dip a knife into hot water and use the knife to go round the mould, then turn over onto saucer;

              (f)  Finally in respect of Step No.8 - by adding any little bits of mango pieces, if any, that is in the seiver, gives the Panna Cotta a kind of bite instead of just a perfect smooth texture.  The texture of this is very silky smooth, no effort or "teeth" needed!!! :) ]

                  Please note that I am not a Chef or Baker by professional; just someone who learnt baking & then the spin off, cooking, for more than 2 decades & whose passion for both is unconsumable!!!  Forgive me if my recipes seem indepth as I have also incorporated my notes that I took during class onto the recipe; as I believe that if I want to share my most treasured possession as I want to touch your lives in a little way especially young adults & after paying so many tens of thousands for all those numerous classes, it just didnt seem right if I let these recipes, that I learnt and love so much, die with me :) and I sincerely hope that they bring you much joy and "tummy" satisfaction as it mine and I like to give something back to society via blog world for all the good the Lord has done for me and my family, praise the Lord, Allelulia. God bless. Ophelia.



                                                  After soaking the gelatine powder in the cold water for a few minutes, it will
                                                  come to this stage and that's when you double boil/bain maire same.


                                          Plastic mould.  Sorry picture not so clear.  Will take a picture again & upload
                                          later.





                               Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, October 14, 2011

Muruku

                I grew up in a small kampung/neighbourhood where there was a blend of Malays, Chinese, Eurasians, Indians and Sikhs living harmously in close quarters.  I remember vividly when it came to the Puasa/fasting month, the Mak Chiks in our area will pass us food that was so tasty and when it came to Deepavali, the array of Indian delicacy were awesome; the Berani and the accompanying Mutton Varival, etc. etc and the same thing when it came to Christmas and Chinese New Year; it was a never ending feast.  One thing I remember well is the Muruku; it was such a joy eating this spicy & aromatic snack so when the Chef was teaching Muruku, I made sure that I cleared my calendar and attended this class and it was awesome as she used Cornflakes in the mix also.  Now who would have heard of that? Now that Deepavali is just round the corner, I do hope you will try this.

               For new visitors to my blog, welcome.  For all spoons and cups mentioned in my Blog, please always, use cake measuring spoons & cups.


                  Ingredients

                 300 gm                                Rice Flour, sieved
                 250 gm                               Ulunthu Flour, sieved
                      3 level teasp                 Baking Powder, sieved
                      2 level Tablesp               Meat Curry Powder, sieved
                      1 level Tablesp               Chilli Powder, sieved
                      2 level teasp                  *Ajowan seeds, wash, drain, fried without oil, Cool completely
                    25 gm                               *Sesame seeds, fried without oil, opt.  Cool completely
                      5 gm                               Curry leaves
                      4                                     Kafir leaves/daun Limau Perut, remove vein & slice thinly
                   100 gm                              Corn flakes, crushed finely
                   450 ml                               UHT Coconut Milk
                   450 ml                               Water
                        1 level teasp               Salt
                        1 level teasp               Sugar
                      50 gm                             Margarine or Vegetable Oil
                      16 gm                             Dried Prawn seasoning powder

                                                            Oil for deep frying
                   Method
  1. Sieve the Rice Flour, Ulunthu Flour, Baking Powder, Curry Powder, Chilli Powder & sieve together into a large mixing bowl. Then add the spices, herbs, seeds, curry leaves, Kafir leaves into the same mixing bowl & use a spatula to stir.  Make a well in the centre & set aside.
  2. Combine the UHT Coconut Milk, Water, Salt, Sugar, Margarine & Dried Prawn seasoning powder in a pot & bring it to a slow boil over Low heat.  Remove Coconut mixture from the fire & add into the well ie No.1 above, while stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft, smooth dough forms.
  3. Add  the crushed corn flakes & give it a stir.  Remove dough to another bowl & Cover with cling film & set aside.
  4. Heat oil in *wok  [to test whether hot enuf; drop a small piece of dough into oil, if it floats, the oil is hot enough] OR use a deep fryer temperature 160 degrees Centigrade if you are making thick Muruku or 180 degrees Centigrade if you are making thin muruku.
  5. Fit a Muruku mould with any plate of your choice.  Fill mould with dough.
  6. Pipe as desired into the hot oil.
  7. If you are using a *wok fry over medium heat till brown and crisp.  For thick muruku increase the fire towards the end of frying.
  8. Drain on disposable paper kitchen towels.  Once cooled, store in air tight containers.
                  Tips:-

                     (a)  Grease the muruku mould;
                     (b)  Ajowan/Oman seeds - put then into a siever under running water till it is clear.  Squeeze then drain them on a siever.  Then pan fry without oil short while till fragrant.  Cool completely.  Perhaps, you should do this first in order for it to cool.

                  till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kum Heong Lala



           This dish happens to be one of my better half's favourite and whenever we go to this particular restaurant, this dish will be one of the dishes we order and then when it is placed in front of me, I will use my fork to try to "dissect" and take note what is in the mix and then I will find the recipe for same, if I have learnt it before & I will then incorporate what I saw at the restaurant. 

         What is also nice is cuttlefish, crabs & prawns but whatever you use here, just remember that you shouldnt cook it too long as they get cooked fast but a word of advice though, for the:-

             (i)  Cuttlefish - 1.  after cleaning; cut it into two; if you are using the small type; then use your knife to cut some lines on the top, this would give you pattern after it has been scalded/cooked;  2.  then boil some water & put in the cuttlefish for a 1 - 2 minutes, then straight away remove it with a siever;

            (ii)  Crabs - just fry them in sufficient hot oil till it turns red in colour, dish out onto platter, as you are going to continue cooking them when you mix the pre fried crabs with the Kum Heong ingredients but most important used this oil, that has been flavoured with the crabs/prawns for there is tons of flavour, for cooking the Kum Heong.  For this crabs, I just use Yoke Hai/Flower Crabs; of course for the crabs you have to use crabs & the other ingredients so buy 1 kg crabs & double the "C" portion in the recipe;

           (iii) Finally for the Lala, I didn't pre cook them.

              Now let's get down to the business of "cooking" :)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

           "A"

             1 Tablesp         Dried Prawns
             3 Tablesp         Oil

           "B"

             6 cloves             Garlic
             1                        Big Onion
             5                        Dried Chillies
             2 sprigs               Curry Leaves
             5                         Chilli Padi

             "C"

               2 Tablesp          Meat Curry Powder
               1 Tablesp          Red Chilli Powder
               1/2 Tablesp       Castor Sugar
               1/4 teaspoon    Salt
                  3 Tablesp       Water

               "D"

               500 gm              Lala

                 Method
  1. Wash, dry & chop the dried prawns.
  2. Combine "C" in a small bowl.
  3. Heat the Oil in a frying pan & fragrant the Dried Prawns short while [when you see them "jumping" :) in the hot oil proceed with Step No.3].
  4. Add in the Garlic, Big Onions, Dried Chillies, Curry leaves & Chilli Padi & saute/fry them 2 - 3 minutes.
  5. Add in "C" give it a stir then add in the Lala; give it a stir.  If you want a little more gravy; add in a tablespoon of water; check for taste & add Salt, if necessary.
  6. Add a few drops of Oil give it a stir then Dish out; most important dont overcook the Lala.  [Adding a few drops of Oil at the very last minute; gives the dish a glossyness but note that these few drops of oil is not mentioned in the above ingredients.  This is my own trade secret :) ]
                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

          

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Potato Salad

Potato Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
                   When I had a small dinner gathering quite sometime ago with a few relatives, I made this Salad as first it was a pretty sight & second it was easy to prepare.  I was going more for the colourful presentation that it would bring to the rest of the food and in terms of taste, it was not very spectular but I did love biting into the Pomegranate seed as the Pomegranta that I bought was from Pakistan and it was sweet.  Sometimes we need a little show piece to bring some colour to the rest of the food on displayed.

                   Ingredients

                   300 gm            Potatoes
                   1/2 cup            fresh Pomegranate seeds Or Red Grapes
                   1 teasp           Cumin seeds/Jintan Putih
                   1                     big Onion
                   1                     Tomato
                   1 Tabsp           Lemon juice
                                          *Chaat Masala to taste OR Salt to taste
                                          Mint leaves for garnishing

                    Method
  1. Boil Potato with some Salt till Potato soft. *Peel the skin & cut in uniform cubes.
  2. Heat a little oil & toss in the Cumin seeds.  Remove from fire & toss in the cubed Potatoes.
  3. Season with *Chaat Masala OR Salt & Lemon juice.
  4. Mix in the Pomegranate seeds & arrange  on a serving platter.  Arrange the Onions & Tomates around the edges & garnish with the Mint leaves.
           Comments:-

             a)  Make one small slit around each Potato then boil same.  It is slightly easier to peel the skin off after they have been boiled;
             b)  One imp thing to note is that you have to peel the Potato while it is hot as it is easier for the skin to come off;
             c)  *Chaat Masala is a spice mix & the one I tasted had salt in it too.  If you dont have same just add Salt.

                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia