Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fifty-one : Alhamdulillah

I woke up today, as usual at 5.30 in the morning, still dark outside, and everyone in the household (and other houses!) were still asleep.  Alhamdulillah.  I walked silently to the stove and put a kettle on to boil some water.  Alhamdulillah.  I went into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, washed myself and took my 'wuduk'.  Alhamdulillah.  I spread my prayer mat, started and completed by Subuh prayer and ended with a 'doa'.  Alhamdulillah.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tofu Braised in Sweet Chili Sauce

I have the habit of freezing leftovers in small portions in plastic bags; ones that are easy to access whenever I want to use them.  One of the dishes that I prepare that always has leftovers is our Chicken Rice.  No!  There is no leftover rice, but more often than not, I will find myself making too much chicken soup and too much chili sauce for the chicken.  These are the ones that I freeze.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Skate in Black Pepper and Chili Gravy

Skate or Ray Fish is a peculiar type of fish that is not favored by many people, probably due the odor that it has.  However, there is a technique to cleaning the fish that can get rid of the fishy smell.  As for me, whenever I clean the fish, I usually use a healthy mix of tamarind and salt to rub into the meat of the fish, leave it for a few minutes and then rinse with cold water.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Curry Burger with Avocado

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I only have oats every day (maybe minus the odd Saturdays and Sundays!)  Even though, it may seem light, having oats does take me through the day, at least until 11.00 or 11.30 when it is just right for brunch.  That is the time I will have something a bit heavier that will satisfy me until I have my main meal at 4.00 in the evening.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Home-made Hand-made Currypuffs

Whenever my wife and I make currypuffs, we will always finish up one kilo of flour to make the pastry.  That may sound a lot for a family of four (minus one who is now staying with her aunt!) but this is something we cannot get enough of, including myself!  I personally can eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between!    In fact, we even freeze half of the currypuffs to be fried and consumed on a later date; which incidentally, is another reason why we make such a huge batch!

Peachy Cheese Cake

I must confess that I do love peaches (even though here in Malaysia, the only ones we have are the canned varieties!) and I love to eat them as is or cooked and prepared in different ways.  But, I can only take so much of the oh-so-sweet canned peaches and the rest of my family just do not find them appetizing.  So, for a few days, I have been having six or seven peach halves swimming in sugar syrup enjoying the cool temperature of my fridge.  

Furthermore, since I started baking again, my crisper in the fridge seems to be burgeoning to the brim with ingredients for an impromptu baking; from the ubiquitous butter to walnuts and from the collection of cheeses to glace cherries.  It seems like every time I go to the supermarket, I will buy a thing or two that I can use for baking (I have yet to buy new bake ware!)  And so, after rummaging through the crisper for the ingredients and through @yatiememories blog for the recipe, I started baking this Peachy Cheese cake!  As usual, I reduced all the ingredients by half!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Cooked in Red Gravy/Ayam Masak Merah

Okay, we're off to send my son back to campus!  It's been a hectic morning on our (the parents!) part.  The packing's done; the shopping's done and the cooking's done, too!  It was my wife's idea to bring along some food because we will be spending the night at her sister's place.  I also thought it was a good idea to bring something because we really didn't want to trouble her with the cooking!

We decided to prepare 'Ayam Masak Merah' or Chicken cooked in Red Gravy because it's everybody's favorite, and even though it's red in colour, it's not really that hot at all.  So, even small children (well, not so small!) can enjoy this chicken dish with a plate of rice.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken In Hot Turmeric Gravy

Our family have a dish based on chicken every other day, even if it is just simple fried chicken.  This is mainly because my children just love to eat chicken.  When it happens to be a day when my wife cooks fish, they will ask when we will be having chicken for dinner or lunch.  My children love chicken so much that when we already have a chicken dish, they will not hesitate to order a take-away of that oh-so-famous fried chicken to be eaten as a side dish!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sultana and Raisin Rock Drops

Cookies?  No, I have never made them myself.  But if memory serves me right (and it still does!) the only experience I have in baking cookies was just as my late mother's helper.  Come every fasting month, my mother would be planning what cookies to make and I would be trusted to sit by the oven and check if the cookies were done, take them out of the oven and put them in bottles, ready for the Hari Raya celebration!

However, today was the first time I actually made and baked cookies.  Well, actually I helped with the weighing of the ingredients and checking if the cookies in the oven were done (deja vu!)  I was helping my youngest daughter with her cookie-baking endeavor!  She had been wanting to bake any cookie (requesting simple ones and not-so time consuming, so I would agree!) for three days, so I had to agree.  Anyway, I think it's good to build her self-confidence and helps bond the father-daughter relationship (hmmm!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mini Red Velvets

Gotcha!  Sorry for pulling this prank on you but I don't want to be accused of promoting Valentine's Day just because I made some Red Velvets.  This dessert, like red roses, have been celebrated and linked directly to Valentine's Day of late.  Personally in my opinion, one doesn't have to wait for any particular day to express one's love to another person!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vol-au-vent of Love

I am of the opinion that one does not have to wait for February the fourteenth to express one's love, because for me love can (and should!) be expressed every day of the year.  In fact love can be expressed in many forms.  

So, today just to prove myself right, I have decided to express my feelings of love by making this very French pastry (with a very Malaysian filling!)  Incidentally, vol-au-vent was created by a French named Antonin Careme in rue de la Paix in 1803-04.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hailam Noodles

This hawker food has become one of my family's favorite.  My kids love this all-in-one dish with all the trimmings; chicken, prawns, squids, fishballs and whatever else.  Of course, with an all-in-one dish it is difficult to limit the choices of ingredients that go into the dish, which usually means all!

But, as usual, I prefer the simple version.  Ho hum!  Of course, I long for the Hailam Noodles that my late mum used to make where she included soy caramel, the dark treacle-like soy sauce, which gave instant body and flavor to the gravy.  Alas, that caramel is not sold in the market anymore for reasons which I myself am unaware of.  Anyway, necessity is the mother of invention, and if there is no soy caramel, we just have to find some other alternative!  And we did!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bread-based Cook-off Fun!

Today's entry is specially dedicated to the Bread-based Cook-off held by the Form six's Scouts Unit as one of their many co-curricular activities other than camping, jamboree and gadget-making.  This competition has been held for three years now, and has been a much waited activity among the members and teachers alike.

Members were encouraged to use their creativity in creating new dishes (as far as possible) using the ordinary sandwich bread.  Originally Scouts have their cook-off during camping when they only use ingredients that are long-lasting, usually dried or canned food.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Kerabu Pucuk Paku dengan Kerang

One of Prophet Muhammad's eating habits include not to mix food that comes from the land and sea together, for example he advised us not to eat food from land animals like beef from cattle with sea animals, like mackerels.  It has been scientifically proven that these foods take different lengths of time to digest where fish takes a shorter time while beef takes longer.  The difference in time that it takes for these foods to digest can cause stomach upset and if an individual persists on this type of diet, things can get more serious!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pattaya Fried Rice

Some dishes you don't really have to know the exact recipe because cooking dishes unlike baking isn't really an exact science.  So, after several sampling of Pattaya Fried Rice at Jusco 2 Food Court and Tesco Oakland's Food Court, we could sort of guessed the ingredients that go into the dish.  The several sampling happened because every time we go to these places to eat, my youngest kid would more often than not order this dish.  No matter how we try to dissuade her, she will still insist on having this dish.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lemon Grass Fried Chicken

Coconut rice has become one of our national dishes, mainly because of its adaptability to be eaten at any hour of the day; it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper.  The humble breakfast food has evolved from being a simple dish consisting of coconut rice, some 'sambal', fried anchovies and sliced cucumber into an elaborate meal that may contain side dishes of chicken, beef, mutton, squids, prawns, eggs and an array of vegetables.  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cucur Cempaka

Waste not want not, as the saying goes!  And it seems a waste to throw the Jackfruit and Cempedak given to us by friends.  These two fruits, which should be eaten fresh, will turn slightly mushy when left to ripen further; and this was what happened to them here in my household.  

So, rather than throwing them away, and since we don't bring these fruits into our house often (since I don't like their smell!), my wife decided that we make full use of them and turn them into fritters.  The result was a nice combination of the two fruit aromas and the texture of the fritters turned out to be satisfying for breakfast.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tuna and Potato Puffs

It's another long weekend (spelled looooooong weekend!) and I was thinking of getting up late.  Then again who would ever think of such a thing, when one can actually hear the puff pastry in the fridge calling your name, and insisting that it be turned into something delectable for breakfast.

Breakfast?  Oh well!  Even though initially I felt breakfast and puff pastry do not go together especially if I am the one preparing them, I lazily got up and immediately peeled some potatoes and began frying the filling for the puffs (after Suboh prayer that is!)  It was time consuming, but I was happy to see the puff pastry rise!  I must admit though, that the one and a half hour that I spent to prepare the puffs from start to finish was, well, worth it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jackfruit Loaf

I don't really like to eat Jackfruit, mostly because of it's aroma that I personally find a bit repulsive.  I have never been fond of it, at least not in its fresh state.  However if it were cooked, then it is a different case altogether.  

It is a typical Malaysian custom where neighbors often give each other things especially food, and the recipient always reciprocates by giving something else in return.  This is especially true for me and my neighbor where we often give each other food (cakes from me!) and fruits (Jackfruit from my neighbor!)  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fruit Tartlets

I am still in the mood for making fruit tarts after the success I had earlier (I am being very modest here!)  And so when a colleague asked me to make some for her, I agreed without a second thought.  In fact, my willingness came in an instant, especially when the order was for a party which she was going to hold for a favorite "kakak" of mine who will be retiring this Friday!

For this batch of tarlets, I decided not to use the recipe I used for my Fruit Tart.  Instead, I used a combination of recipes; for the sweet pastry dough, I used a recipe by CMG (for which I got 32 tart cases) and for the custard cream, I used a recipe by Chef Alex Goh.  I even used his technique, which was better, since it resulted in a smoother and creamier custard!  Plus left over to eat in a quiet corner!  So, here are the recipes!

Fun Frikandels

One of the things that all my kids love to eat is frikandel (or 'bergedil' in Malay)  Frikandel, which were initially made to accompany our Soto Nasi Himpit as part of the garnish has now evolved into a food on it's own, a side dish and some times (more often than not!) as my kids' snack!

So it is no wonder that my wife (with my help) prepared a large batch of frikandel to take to Seremban where our daughter is working part-time while waiting for her SPM examination results.  I find preparing this dish a bit tedious due to the many steps taken.  Thankfully, eating it is such a pleasure and quite addictive.  As with many popular dishes which have many variations, this is my version!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Potluck and Chit-chat!

One of the highlights of school days is the occasional potlucks that we have in the teachers' common room.  We usually have potlucks on Wednesdays considering it is co-curricular day and teachers go back late; which means they can continue eating as long as there's still food left!

Today's potluck is a bit special in the sense that it is held to commemorate one of our colleagues' last day in the teaching profession.  Pn Siti Marzian has been a regular contributor to our potlucks and it seems befitting that we held this do for her.