Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Apricot Sweet Buns

These buns are soft and delicious, with a delicious filling made with dried apricots. I love dried apricots, they are my favourite dried fruits, great for snacking or used in baked goods. And also delicious made into jam.

There's milk and sour cream used for the dough, which makes for a nice soft tender crumb. I've used vanilla extract instead of almond extract for the dough. To make the filling, bring dried apricots and water to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes until the apricots are softened. Drain apricots, reserve some of the cooking liquid. Process the softened apricots in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, sugar, butter and ground cinnamon, and process until mixture has the texture of jam. I have however added only 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons of dark rum. Smells so lovely and tasted amazing. This filling would be a wonderful jam for bread and toast, it is quick to make, and can be made in small amounts. I'm making a batch of the filling soon just to enjoy with bread. Love it!

The dough is rolled out and spread  with the apricot filling, then fold in thirds in a rectangle, which is cut to 1 inch strips. Each strip is then twisted and tie in a knot, tucking ends under. Place on parchment lined baking sheets,  spaced well apart, then left to rise until puffed. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown.

The buns are glazed with a brown sugar glaze of which I have omitted, preferring to brush the hot buns with melted butter instead.  These buns are soft and delicious with the apricot-rum filling. Especially good when eaten still slightly warm. 

This fabulous recipe is from The Bread Collection cookbook, page 65, and can also be found at Bake From Scratch website. There is a video where Brian Hart-Hoffman shows how he shape the strips of dough into knotted buns. 

This post is linked to Cookbook Countdown #48

Friday, December 13, 2019

Gingered-Turkey (Chicken) Meatball Soup

Gingered-Turkey Meatball Soup is one of the recipe selected for this month, from Everyday Dorie, at Cook The Book Fridays. Ground turkey is not an easy ingredient to find, so I have used ground chicken meat instead.

This is a fairly easy dish to prepare. To make the meatballs, mix together egg, yoghurt (I've used sour cream), chopped onion, fresh cilantro, dry bread crumbs, chopped garlic, grated fresh ginger, lemon zest, salt and pepper. This mixture is then scooped (I used a heaping tablespoon )and shape into round meatballs. Drop them into the pot of boiling broth, and add veggies of your choice. I've used spinach and carrots. Then add the drained noodles (which was cooked in boiling water earlier), heat through and ladle into bowls to serve.  

The meatballs are tasty. With it's name Gingered-Turkey Meatball Soup, I cannot taste the ginger at all, and the taste of the lemon is a little strong. I may make the meatballs again, as they are rather tasty, but I'll skip the lemon, perhaps pan-fry them as small patties, to enjoy them with chilli sauce.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Afelia (Pork In Red Wine With Dried Coriander Seeds)

December Cuisine Spotlight : Holidays Around The World, is the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

I've made Tessa Kiros's, Afelia, a traditional Cypriot dish, which I think is perfect for any festive holidays or simply anytime of the year. 

Pork is marinated, soaked in red wine for a few hours, then braised with garlic, generous amount of cracked coriander seeds, bay leaf, and seasoned with salt and pepper. 

Tessa says Afelia is usually served with fried potatoes, bulgur wheat or a simple white pilaf. 

I wanted to eat the Afelia with rice, so I've made a simple rice pilaf, Rice With Butter And Lemon, another of Tessa Kiros's recipe, from the same book. Potatoes are our favourite, so I made some fried potatoes seasoned with salt and black pepper. Of course, we need our greens, so french beans sauteed with lots of crispy chopped garlic complete the set.

This Afelia dish is delicious. The pork is soft and tender, very flavourful from the red wine and coriander seeds.  This dish is wonderful with the fried potatoes, the rice pilaf, and the greens. A complete satisfying meal!

Afelia (Pork in Red Wine With Dried Coriander Seeds)
(Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros)
1.3kg boned shoulder of pork with some fat, sliced into 3/4 inch thick
2 cups (500ml) good red wine
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed a bit
5 heaped teaspoons of coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 or 2 bay leaves

If there is rind on the pork, remove this and any excess fat. Cut the pork into chunks of about 2 inches. Put in a bowl with the wine and leave to marinate overnight, or for a few hours in the fridge. Lift out the pork pieces with a slotted spoon (keeping the marinade) and pat dry with kitchen paper. (I drained the pork pieces in a colander in a single layer for 5 minutes).

Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the pork until it is dark golden on all sides. Season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and coriander.  Continue cooking until you can smell the garlic and then add the marinade with the bay leaves and about 1 cup of water. When it begins to boil, lower the heat to a minimum, cover and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours, or until the pork is very tender and there is a fair amount of sauce in the pan. If necessary, add a little more water during cooking. Serve warm.

Rice With Butter and Lemon
(Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros)
30-40gm butter
1 long strip of lemon rind
400gm basmati rice

Put the butter, lemon rind, a pinch of salt and 1 litre (4 cups) water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Rinse the rice a few times with cold water, drain and add to the pan. Stir through once and then leave the rice. When it comes back to the boil, lower the heat to a high simmer and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, until the rice seems dry and there are lots of holes in the surface. Don't stir the rice at all. Remove from the heat, fluff up from the bottom upwards with a fork and transfer gently to your serving bol.
(I cook the rice in the rice cooker ; boil the lemon rind and water in a pot on the stove. Place the washed basmati rice in the rice cooker, add the butter, and pour the hot lemon water into the rice cooker pot. Cook as per the rice cooker instructions).

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Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ginger Shortbread

It is potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). We have 19 chefs featured at IHCC, and Ina Garten, one of the chefs featured, whose recipe Ginger Shortbread, I've made for this week's potluck.

I love shortbread, and shortbread usually contain lots of butter, so I did not make them as often as I want. It has been too long since I've eaten or made any shortbread, it's time to indulge in some buttery shortbread!

There's 3 whole sticks (about 375gm) of butter used! Butter in Malaysia are mostly packed in 250gm bars. I've used one bar and the balance from an opened bar, which comes to 350gm weight in total, and I consider that as 375gm. I did reduce the sugar, using only 2/3 cup instead of the full cup. There's 3/4 cup of minced crystallized ginger used, next time I'll use a full cup.

Ina's Ginger Shortbread is just wonderful, so happy I've made them! They are buttery, crisp tender and yummy. Ina says these shortbread are great as dessert with vanilla ice cream. But I like them with a cup of warm Earl Grey tea, without cream. Yums!

This Ginger Shortbread recipe is from Ina Garten's cookbook, Make It Ahead, page 230. The same recipe can also be found at foodnetwork website, here.

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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala

This week, the theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is, I Am Thankful For...! Which ingredients that I am most thankful for? Potatoes comes to mind instantly! We love potatoes, cooked in any way! 

I've made Nigel Slater's, Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala. So easy and simple yet so good. Just 3 ingredients ; potatoes, onion and garam masala. Whole potatoes are cleaned and boil till tender, then drain and peel off the skins. Either break up the potatoes in chunks or slice them, I've cut them up in cubes. Recipe uses 1 small onion, but I've used one big onion. Next time I will use 2, as we love caramelized onions, and the quantity is reduced after cooking.  The onion are thinly sliced and cook in oil until they turn rich brown. Then a teaspoon of garam masala is added, (I've used 3 teaspoons), along with some salt to taste. Stir for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the potatoes. Stir briefly for a minute or two, then serve.

The dish may look dull, but trust me, it is so delicious! As the author says, "Brown onions and garam masala is a most magical combination". We ate this dish with rice as a side dish with egg sambal and stir-fry cabbage. Yum!

Pan-fried Potatoes with Browned Onions and Garam Masala
(Real Cooking, Nigel Slater)
4 medium-sized potatoes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
a teaspoon of garam masala (I use 3 teaspoons)

Bring the potatoes to the boil in enough cold water to cover them. Turn them down to an enthusiastic bubble and leave to cook until tender to the point of a knife - about fifteen minutes, depending on their size. Drain and peel off their skin.
Heat the oil in a pan, then add the sliced onion. Cook over a moderate heat until a rich brown. Perhaps darker than you might normally take. Its flavour will be deeper and more aromatic. Add the garam masala and about a teaspoonful of salt. Warm gently in the pan for a few seconds until it is fragrant. Brown onions and garam masala is a most magical combination. Break the potatoes up into chunks(you can slice them but you will lose the lovely rough, crumbly texture of the dish), then stir them briefly with the spiced onion. Cook for a minute or two. Serve hot.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

Apple Custard Crisp

A delightful dessert which we enjoyed very much, Apple Custard Crisp. Recipe from Dorie Greenspan's book, Everyday Dorie, the current book we are cooking through, at Cook The Book Fridays

To make the streusel, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter together, and toss some vanilla to blend. Keep covered, refrigerated for at least an hour before using.

Cubed apples, tossed with some lemon zest and juice,  are placed on a baking or pie dish. Custard is made by mixing together cream, sugar, spice, egg, rum and vanilla, and pour over the cubed apples in the dish. Scatter the streusel over, bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until the apples are tender and the streusel is brown. Mine took an extra 15 minutes until the streusel is brown. It was bubbling with the custard, looking very moist and smell so delicious, when I removed it from the oven, but there's almost no custard at all when it was at room temperature. It wasn't dry, it was rather moist, and the apples are tender, but I wish there was more custard. 

Served it with our favourite vanilla ice cream, a David Lebovitz recipe, Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream, my go-to vanilla ice cream which I have been making for years. This apple crisp is so delightful served with  the ice cream, and I find that I am not missing the custard, as I thought I would!

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, the theme is November Cuisine Spotlight : Asian Food! We can cook any Asian food recipe from any of the 19 featured chefs, full list can be found at IHCC.

I've cooked from Diana Henry's cookbook, A Bird In The Hand, Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken. I've used 3 whole chicken legs, cut to bite-sized pieces. The chicken pieces are marinated with fish sauce, crushed ginger and garlic, sugar and sliced chilli, for at least 4 hours, covered in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before cooking. Fry the chicken in some oil until they are browned all over. Remove and keep aside. Add sliced onion to the pan and cook until they are beginning to brown, remove and add to the chicken. In the same pan, place sugar and water, and let boil until caramelize, then add some chicken stock and lime juice. Let it come to a boil, then add the chicken and onion. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or so, until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is cooked through. Stir in sliced chilli, spring onions and coriander. Serve immediately with rice.

A flavourful chicken dish. We had it with rice, along with some stir-fried cos lettuce.

Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken
(A Bird In The Hand, by Diana Henry)
"It's important here to get the sugar to caramelize, otherwise you miss the depth of flavour this dish is supposed to have and will also end up with a bowlful that is rather too sweet"
Serves 4
6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
3 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp caster sugar
8 garlic cloves, crushed
50gm root ginger, peeled and grated
2 red chillies, 1 sliced with seeds, the other halved, deseeded and sliced
1 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
1 onion, halved and cut into small crescent moon-shaped wedges
400ml chicken stock\
juice of 1-2 limes
2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp ginger, julienned (my addition)

Remove the excess fat and skin from each thigh and cut each in half, through the bone. Put these in a bowl with the fish sauce, 1 tbsp of the sugar, the garlic, ginger and the sliced whole chili. Turn everything over to make sure the chicken gets coated. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to marinate. It ideally needs four hours, though overnight is even better. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Heat the oil in a saute pan and fry the chicken over a medium heat on all sides to get a good colour (reserve the marinade). Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and fry until it is just beginning to get a good colour. Add it to the chicken.
Drain any excess oil from the pan, but don't clean it. Add the rest of the sugar and 2 tbsp of water and heat until the sugar turns to caramel, you must take it far enough so that the sugar caramelizes (otherwise you will just have a sweet sauce), but no so far that it burns. The colour and smell should tell you wen you get there. Immediately add the stock and the juice of 1 lime. Bring to the boil, then add the chicken, onion and reserved marinade. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices are nice and glossy round the meat.
Stir in the rest of the chilli, the spring onions, and the coriander (and julienned ginger). Check to see  whether you need more lime. Serve immediately with rice and stir-fried greens.

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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Lightning-Fast Tahini Pork

An easy and quick pork dish, just as it's name, Lightning-Fast Tahini Pork, another nice recipe from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Every Day Dorie. This recipe is one of the two selected for this month's cook-along at Cook The Book Fridays

Pork tenderloin, cut to cubes then marinated in a spice mixture ; harissa powder or chile powder, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground turmeric, salt. The pork pieces are then browned on all sides with some olive oil, add some honey, stir for a minute, then stir in vinegar and water. A mixture of tahini and lemon juice, is then added in, and cook for a few minutes until the sauce is smooth and the pork are cooked through. Serve immediately with some sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. I have however doubled the amount of spices, which I'm glad I did, and a little extra water, simply because I wanted a little more sauce. Dorie says that sauteed spinach is delicious with this pork dish, but I have stir-fried some baby kai lan greens instead. We enjoyed this with white fluffy rice. 

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Potato Thyme Bread

This bread is so easy to make, and with its's soft crust and crumb, makes a fantastic sandwich bread. The recipe is a bread machine recipe, from start to finish, complete with the baking in the machine itself. But as usual, I have removed the dough from the machine after the first rise, and then shape the dough, let it rise, and finished the baking in the oven.

I've shaped the dough into an oval and let it rise in an oval banetton.

I like the firm yet soft crumb, the perfect sandwich bread. A good tasty bread!

Potato Thyme Bread
(The No-Fuss Bread Machine Cookbook by Michelle Anderson)
makes one 1-pound loaf
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp milk, at 80 to 90F
4 teaspoons melted butter, cooled
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt (I use 1/2 tsp)
2/3 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup instant potato flakes
2 cups white bread flour
1-1/3 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast

  1. Place the ingredients in your bread machine as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Program the machine for Basic/White bread, select light or medium crust, and press Start.
  3. When the loaf is done, remove the bucket from the machine.
  4. Let the loaf cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Gently shake the bucket to remove the loaf, and turn it out onto a rack to cool.
kitchen flavour's notes :
Place the ingredients in the bread machine, select basic dough. At the end of the first rise, remove the dough from the bread machine, turn it out onto a work surface, shape the dough into a 8-inch oval, place dough in oval banetton, cover with damp kitchen towel, let rise until almost double in size. Preheat oven to 200C. Turn dough out onto a baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C, and continue to bake for another 25 minutes or until bread is golden brown and cooked through.

I'm sharing this post with Cookbook Countdown #46

Monday, October 14, 2019

Chicken and Salad Milanese Style

This is the second chicken recipe which we, at Cook the Book Fridays, have made, from Everyday Dorie. And like the first recipe, Sweet Chili Chicken which we've tried back in January, this Chicken and Salad Milanese Style is just as delicious.

Chicken breast halves are pounded with the flat side of a meat tenderizer to flatten them, coat in seasoned bread crumbs, dipped in seasoned beaten egg, then coat again with seasoned bread crumbs. At this point, I placed them in the fridge uncovered, in parchment lined baking tray, for a couple of hours before cooking.

For the salad, veggies used are celery, cucumber, bell pepper, fresh cilantro, a mix of baby greens. The dressing is a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the veggies with the vinaigrette just before serving.

The breaded chicken are fried in a non-stick pan with some butter and oil on both sides until golden brown and chicken is cooked. Serve immediately with the salad on the side.

Both the chicken and the salad are delicious! Perfect pairing!

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This is a lovely bread, with yellow raisins throughout the loaf, and swirls of cinnamon-sugar filling. The swirl is made using the Russian braid style, where the filled rolled dough is cut into two halves lengthwise, gently stretch into 14-inch lengths, and then braided  together with the cut sides up. Press the seams to close and pop them into the prepared greased loaf pan to rise, then bake.

It smells amazing while the bread is baking! 

I made the bread the night before, and sliced it for breakfast the next morning. Lovely bread, with soft crumb. Because of the exposed cinnamon-sugar filling on the top, the crust is slightly sticky, sweet and delicious. It is good on its own with a mug of hot black coffee.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
(Breads Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen)
makes 2 loaves
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 32 pieces
3-3/4 cups (20-2/3 ounces) bread flour
3/4 cup (2-1/4 ounces) non-fat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) water, room temperature
1/3 cup (12 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (7-1/2 ounces) golden raisins

1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water and pinch of salt

  1. For the dough : Toss butter with 1 tablespoon flour in bowl and set aside to soften. Whisk remaining flour, milk powder, and yeast together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk water, sugar, and egg in 4-cup liquid measuring cup until sugar has dissovled. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add water mixture to flour mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Add salt to dough and knead on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, about 8 minutes. With mixer running, add butter, a few pieces at a time, and knead until butter is fully incorporated, about 4 minutes. Continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, slowly add raisins, and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer dough to lightly greased large bowl or container. Using greased bowl scraper (or your fingertips), fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. turn bowl 45 degrees and fold dough again; repeat turning bowl and folding dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Cover tightly with plastic and let dough rise for 45 minutes. Repeat folding, then cover bowl tightly with plastic and let dough rise until nearly doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and cover loosely with greased plastic. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining piece covered), press and roll into 11 by 6-inch rectangle, with short side parallel to counter edge. Stretch and fold dough lengthwise into thirds to form ball, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Cover balls loosely with greased plastic.
  5. For the filling : Whisk all together in bowl until well combined. Coat 1 dough ball lightly with flour and place on lightly floured counter. With seam side down, flatten ball with rolling pin into 18 by 7-inch rectangle, with short side parallel to counter edge. Mist surface of dough with water. Sprinkle half of sugar mixture over dough, leaving 1/4-inch border on sides and 3/4-inch border on top and bottom, and press lightly to adhere. Mist filling with water until entire surface is speckled.
  6. Roll dough away from you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Pinch seam and ends closed. Dust cylinder lightly on all sides with flour, cover loosely with greased plastic, and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough ball and filling.
  7. Grease two 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pans. Using bench scraper, cut 1 cylinder in half lengthwise. Turn halves cut side up and gently stretch into 14-inch lengths. Arrange strips side by side, perpendicular to counter edge, and pinch far ends together. Take left strip of dough and lay over right strip of dough. Repeat, keeping cut sides up, until pieces of dough are tightly twisted. Pinch remaining ends together. Transfer loaf cut sides up to prepared pan. Press dough gently into corners of pans and push any exposed raisins into seams of braid. Repeat with second loaf. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until loaves reach 1 inch above lip of pans and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  8. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Gently brush loaves with egg mixture and bake until crust is well browned, about 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, tent loaves with aluminium foil, and continue to bake until loaves register 200 to 205 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes. Let loaves cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely on wire rack, about 3 hours, before serving.

This post is linked with Cookbook Countdown #45

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Sauteed Potatoes

It is the monthly cuisine spotlight week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC),  and the spotlight is on ITALIAN ! There are 19 IHCC featured chefs' recipes to choose from, and I've made Tessa Kiros's, Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Sauteed Potatoes, recipe from her book, Recipes and Dreams From An Italian Life.

An easy potato dish which is cooked on the stove top. If you like balsamic vinegar, then you would love this. I've added a few more extra garlic, because we love garlic. A delicious plate of potatoes, Yum!

Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Sauteed Potatoes
(Recipes and Dreams From An Italian Life, Tessa Kiros)
serves 6
some coarse salt
2-1/4 pounds potatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole medium clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary, plus extra, to serve (optional)
freshly ground black pepper

In a mortar, crush some coarse salt with a pestle to break it down a bit, but still leave some texture. Peel the potatoes, rinse them, halve lengthwise and cut into gondolas. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet that has a lid. Add the potatoes and garlic and saute over a fairly high heat, turning through and tossing until they have a bit of colour and are starting to stick. Season with some of the crushed salt and a little pepper. Add half the vinegar and turn through. Sit the rosemary sprigs on top, cover with a lid and lower the heat.
Simmer for about 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender and much of the vinegar seems to have been absorbed. Add the rest of the vinegar, stir and cook, uncovered now, for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and crisping up just a bit and most of the liquid has reduced. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and serve hot with a couple of extra rosemary sprigs on top if you like. These are also surprisingly good at room temperature.

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Lemon and Poppy Seed Bread

I do not use my bread machine often enough, preferring always to mix the bread dough in the stand mixer. But on those days when I do use the bread machine, it is only to mix the dough, the final shaping is done in a standard loaf pan, and the baking is done in the oven. I do not like the shape of my bread machine pan, it is sort of a large square, yet not quite a square, nor a rectangle, rather an odd shape to me. So the baking is always done in the oven instead.

As with almost all bread machine recipes, it is very straightforward and easy. I did add about 1/2 cup of bread flour as the dough was rather sticky.  I reduced the salt slightly to a scant 1/2 teaspoon as this is a small loaf. After the first rise, I remove the dough, pat it out to a rectangle and roll in up to the length of the loaf pan. Place the dough in the greased loaf pan, cover with greased cling wrap and leave to rise until amost doubled in size. Remove the cling wrap and bake in the preheated oven at 180F for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown, taking care to tent the top with foil if it is browning too quickly.

The bread is soft with nice lemony crumb and a light crunch from the poppy seed. Just like a lemon and poppy seed cake, but in bread form. Especially good when toasted and spread with salted butter and jam. Lovely bread indeed!

The recipes comes with measurements for a 1-pound, 1-1/2-pounds and 2 pounds loaf. I've made the 1-pound loaf as per the recipe below.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Bread
(The No-Fuss Bread Machine Cookbook by Michelle Anderson)
makes 1 pound/8 slices
1/2 cup water, at 80F to 90F
1 egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, at room temperature
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt (scant 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cups white bread flour (I added an additional 1/2 cup bread flour, as the dough was sticky)
1-1/2 tbsps poppy seeds
1 teaspoon bread machine or instant yeast

  1. Place the ingredients in your bread machine as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Program the machine for Basic/White bread, select light or medium crust, and press Start.
  3. When the loaf is done, remove the bucket from the machine.
  4. Let the loaf cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Gently shake the bucket to remove the loaf, and turn it out onto a rack to cool.
kitchen flavours notes :
Select the Basic Dough setting, and at the end of the cycle ; when the dough has risen once, remove the dough, pat it gently to a rectangle, then roll it up swiss roll style, pressing the seams to seal. Place the dough in a greased 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover loosely with greased cling wrap, and leave to rise until almost double in size. Remove the cling wrap and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. 

This post is linked to Cookbook Countdown #44

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sugar and Cinnamon Fritters

It's Pool Party! over at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I'm bringing something to snack on, Donna Hay's, Sugar and Cinnamon Fritters.

These are very easy and quick to make. Mix flour, baking powder, egg, milk, sugar, whisk to combine. Teaspoons of the batter is fried in hot oil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, then drain on absorbent paper, and while still warm, roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture. 

I made only half the sugar and cinnamon mixture and there were plenty leftover.

Kids would love this sweet treat. 

Sugar and Cinnamon Fritters
(Donna Hay Magazine)
1 cup (220gm/7oz) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup (2 fl oz) milk
1/4 cup (55gm/2 oz) caster sugar, extra
1 cup (150gm/5-1/4 oz) all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Place the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
Place the egg, milk and extra sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually add the flour and baking powder, whisking well to combine. Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add teaspoons of the flour mixture and deep-fry in batches for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper and while still hot, toss in the cinnamon sugar. Makes 32.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Baked Fried Chicken

Craving for some fried chicken? We love fried chicken, but the thought of frying which can be a greasy mess, makes me think twice about frying them. And the leftover oil, kinda waste.

This easy peasy recipe would take care of your fried chicken craving. The chicken pieces are dipped in egg white, then coat with the crumb coating which is a mixture of dried bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, cornmeal, ground red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Place the pieces in a greased baking tray, then spray lightly with some cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven until the chicken is done. 

The skin are so crispy, with moist tender juicy meat. The cornmeal really gives a crunchy texture. Delicious!

Baked Fried Chicken
(Sheet Pan Cooking by Good Housekeeping)
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 egg white
1 chicken, cut into pieces
green onions, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Spray 15-1/2x10-1/2-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. On waxed paper, mix bread crumbs, cheese, cornmeal, and ground red pepper. In pie plate, beat egg white and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken in egg-white mixture, then coat with bread-crumb mixture. Place chicken in pan; spray lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Bake chicken 35 minutes, or until cooking is crisp and juices run clear when chicken is pierced with tip of knife. Garnish with spring onions if you like.

This post is linked with Cookbook Countdown #44

Friday, August 9, 2019

Fresh-Off-The-Cob Corn Chowder

This week at Cook The Book Fridays, the selected recipe from Everyday Dorie is Fresh-Off-The-Cob Corn Chowder.

This chowder is so "corny-sweet" and delicious ! We are lucky that corns are available throughout the year. Could not resist nibbling on the sweet juicy kernels when I was cutting the kernels from the ears. The cobs are then used to flavour the soup, which we do all the time when we cook our corn soup, Chinese style. But this is the first time I've made corn chowder, and we like it. 

Half of the vegetables; corn, celery, onion, are sauteed and cooked in stock with potatoes until tender. Fresh rosemary, thymes and bay leaf are added for extra flavour. Half of the potatoes are taken out, cut into smaller pieces and reserved, while the other half and the rest of the cooked vegetables are pureed to a smooth texture. The other half of the raw vegetables are then sauteed in some bacon oil until they have softened a little, and added to the soup together with the reserved cut potatoes. Heat the soup through and serve, scoop into bowls, garnish with crispy fried bacon pieces and some chopped fresh herbs.

Please visit Cook The Book Fridays to see what the others think of this chowder.

This post is shared with Cookbook Countdown #44.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Italian Sesame Loaf

A wonderful bread from master baker, Nick Malgieri. This Italian Sesame Loaf with a mixture of bread flour and whole wheat flour, is coated with sesame seeds, baked to a lovely golden brown. In the recipe, the bread is baked as a 10-inch round loaf, but I've used a 11-inch oval banetton, since I prefer an oval loaf for my sandwich.

The bread has fabulous oven spring! With flavoursome taste from the whole-wheat flour, soft crumb and a nice crust, it makes a wonderful sandwich with sliced ham, cheese and greens. Yums!

Italian Sesame Loaf
(Bread by Nick Malgieri)
1-2/3 cups (375gm) room-temperature tap water, about 75
1/2 teaspoon (about 1.5gm) fine granulated active dry or instant yeast
3 cups (400gm) bread flour, spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off
3/4 cup (100gm) whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons (9gms) fine sea salt (I use scant 1 tsp)
1/3 cup (60gm) white untoasted sesame seeds
cornmeal for the pan

one heavy cookie or pizza pan lined with sprayed or lightly oiled parchment, plus a spray bottle filled with warm water

  1. Pour the water into a 3-quart or slightly larger mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast. Wait 30 seconds, then whisk again.
  2. Combine the flours and salt and use a large rubber spatula to stir them into the liquid. Scrape the side of the bowl to make sure that no flour remains stuck there. Once the dough is a coherent mass, beat it for a few seconds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment at room temperature for at least 8 hours. It will more than double in bulk.
  3. A couple of hours before you are ready to form and bake the bread, use a plastic scraper to remove the dough from the bowl to a well-floured work surface. Flour your hands and gently flatten the dough to a disk. Fold the two sides in to overlap at the middle, then roll the top toward you all the way to the end, jelly-roll style. Invert, flatten and repeat. Flour a small area on the work surface and set the dough on it, cover with a towel or sprayed or oiled plastic wrap, and let rest for 1 hour.
  4. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 450℉.
  5. Use a scraper to invert the dough onto a floured work surface and pull the sides of the dough in toward the centre to give the loaf a round shape, pinching the pulled-in pieces in place at the top. Invert the dough into a floured banetton or a basket lined with a floured cloth. Cover with a flat-weave towel or a piece of oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and proof the loaf until it puffs visibly, about 1 hour- it will not double in bulk.
  6. Invert the paper-lined pan onto the banetton and flip the banetton over onto the pan and remove it. Use an X-Acto knife or a single-edge razor blade to cut a slash across the diameter of the loaf. Spray with water and generously sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place in the oven.
  7. Wait 5 minutes and spray again, then decrease the oven temperature to 425℉.
  8. Bake the loaf until it is deep golden and the internal temperature reads 200℉ on an instant read thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the loaf on a rack.

This post is linked with Cookbook Countdown #44

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Shrimp Tacos

This week, at Cook The Book Fridays, the selected recipe from Everyday Dorie cookbook, is Shrimp Tacos.

It may look like there's a whole lot of prep work, but they are fairly simple and easy to do.

The cast of characters, that makes the Shrimp Tacos 😉; Salsa, Shredded Lettuce, Shrimps, Yoghurt Cream, Avocado Mash, slices of lime, Toasted Tortilla.

Let's get to know the casts a little better 😃:
Salsa - Grape tomatoes, red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, and mango. (I have replaced the pineapple and peach with mango). Season with salt and lime juice. Omitted the hot sauce as I did not have any. (I thought I did!).
Lettuce - Well, simply sliced or shred them.
Shrimps - Shelled and deveined. Marinate with some olive oil and old bay seasoning or chile powder. I've used smoked paprika instead. Fry the shrimps in a little oil until cooked through, season with salt and a squeeze of lime juice.
Yoghurt Cream - Mixture of Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise, whisk together with minced chipotles in adobo sauce. I did not have any chipotles, so I've used some sriracha sauce instead.. Season with salt and lime juice.
Avocado Mash - Stir together ; lime zest and juice, minced jalapeno, and mashed avocado, season with some salt.
Tortilla - Toast lightly over the stove in a dry skillet.
Lime - Slice some wedges for serving.

Now that we are familiar with the casts, it is time to bring them together for a grand finale !

 Here's the...... Shrimp Tacos !

Well, everyone's tummy is full and happy. Review time !

Son : Yummy good!
Daughter : Very nice!
Me, me, me! : Burp..... Already thinking of making it again with perhaps, panfried chicken, or garlic, butter and chile stir-fry prawns or fish ....... . One thing for sure, I need to get a bottle of hot sauce!

Please visit the links at Cook The Book Fridays to read the others' review on this recipe.

This post is shared with Cookbook Countdown #43

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Chicken And Bean Stew

It is June Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). We get to cook from any of the featured chefs at IHCC, using any of their recipes. I've made Jacques Pepin's, Chicken and Bean Stew.

According to Jacques Pepin, this stew is satisfying, hearty, and inexpensive, ideal for a family meal. He's right, of course! 

The recipe uses meaty chicken bones and parts, but I've used two whole large pieces of chicken legs. As for the beans, I've used black-eyed beans since I have some frozen ones stashed in my freezer, and added them during the last 30 minutes of cooking. According to the recipe, whole carrots and celery stalk are simmered until the end of cooking time, after which, they are removed and chopped coarsely to be added back to the stew. I merely chopped the carrots and celery before cooking, so i don't have to chop them up later. 

The stew was delicious. Very tasty and flavourful. We've enjoyed bowls of it with my homemade Ciabatta bread.

Chicken and Bean Stew
(Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin)
4 pounds meaty chicken bones and parts (including backs and necks, if available gizzards and hearts)
1 pound (about 2-1/3 cups) navy beans, picked over and rinsed
2 medium onions (about 12 ounces0, each studded with 3 whole cloves
3 medium to large carrots, peeled
1 celery stalk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 bay leaves
8 cups cold water
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Put the bones in a large pot, add the beans, onions, carrots, celery, salt, thyme, bay leaves and water, bring to a boil; skim off foam that rises to the surface. Cover, reduce the heat, and boil very gently for 1-1/2 hours; stir every 15 to 20 minutes to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom. Pour the mixture into a large roasting pan.
When the bean mixture is cold enough, remove the bones and vegetables from the beans and put the beans back into the pot.
When the bones are cool enough to handle, pick off the meat and discard any skin. (You should have at least  2 to 2-1/2 cups of meat). Remove the cloves from the onions and discard them. Coarsely chop the onions, carrots, celery, and gizzards and hearts, if you have them. Add to the pot, along with the meat, and mix with the beans.
Add the tomato, garlic, and parsley and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer for 5 minutes, and serve.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pain à ľAncienne Rustic Bread (Ciabatta)

Ciabatta is an Italian white bread made with just few ingredients ; flour, salt, olive oil, water and yeast. It's shape is elongated, flat, rustic and broad, looks like a worn-out slipper, hence it is called Ciabatta which means slipper.  

This recipe that I've tried is from Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart. Ciabatta has a very wet dough, so it is preferable to mix the dough in a stand mixer. This high hydration dough (with more water than other regular bread dough), is required in order to achieve a light, airy and holey crumbs as the characteristics of a ciabatta bread. 

Oiling your hands and the work counter with some oil will really help to handle the sticky dough. There's a series of stretch and fold, with 10 minutes rest, which is repeated a few times. The dough is then keep covered in a bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 4 days. The next day, the dough is taken out and let rest for an hour, then shape as per the instructions given, and let rise for another hour before baking.

The dough has puffed a little before it went into the oven. And during the first 15 minutes or so, the bread has puffed even more in the oven. Happy to see that! 
I did not have a baking stone, so I've used an overturned baking sheet instead. 

It bakes up lovely, with a rich brown crust and soft, spongy crumb, with those lovely holes that I was looking for!

The crumb is still soft on the next day, though the crust has become softer and chewy in a delicious way. I enjoyed slices of it with just a spread of salted butter, so good! Great with stew too!

The recipe for this ciabatta can be found here.

Note ; I've made half a recipe for one large ciabatta. I've reduced the salt to 3/4 teaspoon which works out great for us.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Saturday Morning Fruit And Nut Toast (Sourdough)

A fruity sourdough loaf, with dried cranberries, apricots and raisins. I have omitted the sunflower seeds as I prefer my fruit loaf with well, just dried fruits only. The dried fruits are soaked in some warm water just enough to cover, with some added vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. Drain well and dry with paper towels before using them in the recipe. 

It smells so fragrant with the cinnamon, while the bread is baking in the oven.

Soft, moist crumb, especially good when toasted, and spread with a generous amount of salted cold butter.  Love this bread! Another keeper recipe from Emilie Raffa.

Saturday Morning Fruit & Nut Toast recipe from Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa, on page 66. The recipe can be also be found here .

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Mushroom-Bacon Galette

Over at Cook The Book Fridays, the selected recipe from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook. Everyday Dorie, is Mushroom-Bacon Galette. A savoury free-from tart, with mushrooms, leek, bacon, walnuts for the filling.

Dorie's galette dough is a pleasure to work with. I did reduce the sugar to only 1 tablespoon.  The filling is very tasty, cooked using the following ingredients ; bacon, mushroom, leeks, garlic, white wine, heavy cream, walnuts, parmesan, fresh thyme (I've used rosemary), and black pepper. 

I did not sprinkle any parmesan over the baked galette, simply because i have forgotten ! But it was good too without the parmesan. The next time if I were to make this again, I will omit the walnuts, since we prefer the bites where there wasn't any walnuts.

Please visit CtbF to see the other bakers view on this galette.

This post is shared at Cookbook Countdown #42

Monday, June 3, 2019

Rosemary Loaf Cake

At I Heart Cooking clubs (IHCC) this week, "It's time to make a dish and Take It Outside to a picnic, outdoor gathering, park, porch or lanai!". I've made Nigella Lawson's Rosemary Loaf Cake, which is perfect for any gathering, either outdoor or indoors. 

I have a pot of bushy rosemary plant in my garden, and am always looking for ways to use them. I can't believe that I have overlooked this recipe from one of my favourite baking books, How To Be A Domestic Goddess. 

This is a plain butter cake, with bits of chopped rosemary leaves in it. The rosemary does not give it's herb flavour to the cake but rather a light aroma which is really very nice. As Nigella says " ...there is something muskily aromatic about it against the sweet vanilla egginess of the cake"

I've used salted butter instead of unsalted as in the recipe. The salted butter gives a really nice salty buttery flavour to the cake.

The cake is moist, with soft buttery crumb. My kinda cake, simple and yummy! 

Rosemary Loaf Cake
(How To Be A Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (I use salted butter)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/3 self-raising cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
needles from 4-inch stalk of rosemary, chopped small, but not too fine (about 2 teaspoon)
4 tablespoons milk (I use 2 tbsps)
1-2 tablespoons rosemary sugar or granulated brown or white sugar (omitted)

9x5-inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment or wax paper

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Now cream the butter, adding the sugar when it's really soft, and creaming both together till pale and smooth and light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, folding in a spoonful of the flour after each addition, then add the vanilla. Fold in the rest of the flour (Nigella recommends using a rubber spatula), and finally the rosemary. Thin the batter with the milk, you're after a soft, dropping consistency - and pour, into the waiting pan. Sprinkle the top with a little sugar (I omitted the sugar), before putting it in the oven, and cook for 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack, in its pan, and when completely cold, unmould and wrap well in foil till you need to eat it. Like all sorts of cakes, it keeps well.
(serves 8-10)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Boiled Potato Salad

It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. We can cook any recipes from any of the 19 chefs previously featured at IHCC. I've made Tessa Kiros's simple, easy and delicious potato side dish.

always have potatoes in my pantry basket. We love potatoes, any way they are cooked. Baked, roast, boiled, braised, mashed, fried, these humble potatoes would be the first ones to disappear most of the time. 

My changes/substitutes :
~ replace the parsley with fresh coriander leaves
~ use only the juice from 1/4 lemon, instead of 1-1/2 lemons

This easy and simple potato salad makes a great dish to any meal. We had the salad with some fried chicken drumettes and broccoli. Yum!

Boiled Potato Salad
(Falling Cloudberries, Tessa Kiros)
serves 8 as a side dish
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1.5kg waxy potatoes
3 tablespoons drained baby capers
30gm (1/2 cup) chopped parsley
juice of 1-1/2 lemons
100gm (bout 1/2 cup) good-quality black olives
125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil

Put the onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water and the salt. Leave for 30 minutes or so (while you prepare the potatoes). The soaking is important and will give your onions a softer taste in the finished dish and make them ore digestible.
Scrub the potatoes and boil in salted water for about 20-25 minutes until they are cooked but not falling apart. Drain well, then peel them when they have cooled a little - it is easier to do this if they are still warm. Cut them into chunks the size that you would like to see in your salad bowl.
Rinse the onion and drain well, patting it dry with kitchen paper if necessary. Add to the potato with the remaining ingredients, seasoning with pepper and probably with a little extra salt. Mix through gently and serve warm or at room temperature. If you make this in advance, the potatoes will soak up some of the oil as they cool, so you will have less dressing. You could save a little of the oil and add it closer to the serving time, if more is needed.

This post is linked to :
I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC)
Cookbook Countdown #40