Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
There was no need to melt the butter and brown the onion before pouring in the can of whole tomatoes. It's that easy, don't believe me, try it out for yourself.
EASY TOMATO PASTA SAUCE
1 can whole tomato
5 tbsp butter *I used EVOO instead*
1 onion - quartered
1/2 bulb garlic - crushed but with peel intact
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The tools needed:
Large scallop-edged round cutter
Smooth round cutter (1cm smaller in diameter than the above)
Plastic butter knife *from McD's Hot Cakes set*
Brown fondant - for lion's mane
Yellow fondant - for lion's face
White fondant - for lion's eyes and nose
Black colour edible marker
2 tiny chocolate chips
Step 1/ Roll out the brown fondant to 3mm thickness and cut out a piece using the large scallop-
edged round cutter. I coloured the Pettinice White Fondant with a little bit of Pettinice Chocolate Fondant to get brown fondant. Alternatively, one can use brown gel colouring to get the desired shade.
Step 2/ Roll out the yellow fondant to 3mm thickness and cut out a piece using the smaller smooth round cutter. This will be the face for the lion.
Step 3/ Roll two tiny pieces of white fondant to make the eye-ball, then use the pointy end of a chocolate chip to push into each to form the eye. I personally find this method easier than handling tiny weeny pieces of black fondant for the cornea. Choice is yours whichever method suits best.
Step 4/ Cut out a small triangular piece of white fondant for the nose.
Step 5/ Stick both the eyes and nose onto the yellow piece of fondant with a little dab of water.
Step 6/ Centre the yellow piece of fondant onto the brown fondant, and stick them together using you guessed it - a little dab of water.
I managed to pick up 3 boxes of JJ's swiss rolls, totalling 5 flavours because 2 of the boxes had mixed flavours. From top, it was Durian and Cempedak, then Coffee Walnut and Chocolate Hazelnut and lastly, Fresh Yam.
I managed to get 5 slices out of each half of swiss roll, and 10 out of the Fresh Yam Swiss Roll. Verdict is that I personally like the Cempedak (3 o'clock position in the photo) best eventhough Durian (9 o'clock position in the photo) came close behind. They could have done more with the Durian filling for this swiss roll. The Coffee Walnut (12 o'clock position in the photo) was as good as the Chocolate Hazelnut (centre of the photo). As for the yam, I won't be buying again because it was nothing special apart from the dots of yam seen on the swiss roll (6 o'clock position in the photo). I like the visual, wonder how it was done.
So we chose Chatter Kopitiam as the place for dinner out of the many eateries at Kinta City. We could have ventured across the street to the new place called De Garden to check out our options, but shall save that for another day.
Chatter Kopitiam serves those modern kopitiam fare, so first thing would be to check out their coffee. This Iced Kopi C was disappointing, so diluted and at RM2.60, I can easily get 2 glasses of the same drink with better quality back home.
However, their Nasi Lemak Beef Rendang was good. At least it helped to neutralise our grouse from the cuppa above. The rice was fragrant, how a plate of nasi lemak should taste like. Served with the usual condiments of ikan bilis, kacang, sambal and cucumber with some papadam, this was worth RM7.80. The beef was full of spice and quite tender, and the bull's eye on top of the pile of rice makes it so appealing to the eyes.
This RM6.00 Curry Chicken Rice was on par with the Nasi Lemak Beef Rendang. As the rice used was Nasi Lemak, it was quite similar to the above, just with a different type of meat sans the various side dishes.
After walking, dh needed his java fix, and being a weekday at 3-6pm, Secret Recipe has the Buy 1 piece of cake, get a free coffee/tea promotion, so we rested our tired legs there and enjoyed these
Banana Baked Cheese - with banana pulp filling as garnishing lines, we can taste a mixture of banana, almond flakes and peach in between the layers of baked cheese atop a cake-based cheesecake. This is a NEW item at SR.
Caramel CheeseCake - quite fragrant with the strong aroma of burnt sugar, and slightly sweeter than the Banana Baked Cheese.
With our body battery re-charged, we finished checking out the mall in time for dinner before we hit the road for our 1.25 hours journey drive back home.
Not sure why they are also closed for today when their off-day is suppossedly to be Tuesdays, so we went to Yoke Fook Moon instead, which was just a few doors away. This restaurant was fully air-conditioned, so it was a welcome respite for us from the heat as we were there half an hour before noon. Place was packed but being a weekday, finding a table wasn't tough luck, a little wait of 10 minutes suffice. We saw lots of patron sharing a big table, so I guess that's how it goes in this place.
Har gow was good, with crunchy prawns in the thin almost translucent skin. I like the greenish bits of chinese parsley, helps take away the fishyness in this dish. Can't recall the individual price of items but it's from RM3.00 onwards. Slightly upmarket to what we normally have back home, but good food comes with a price, right?
And then we tried their Lor Mai Kai, which was equally good as the glutinuous rice is cooked with some fragrance from cooking wine. We detest how some places sell their lor mai kai with semi-cooked rice, oh, that's yucky.
This plate of Yong Tau Foo with bean paste sauce was excellent, and without a word, the brinjal was our favourite. The other 2 pieces were green chilli and red chilli.
While waiting for a vacant table, we were eyeing other table's food to see what's good to order, since it's our maiden visit to Yoke Fook Moon and we saw almost every table ordered their Wu Kok, which means it must be good. We had to wait a long time for this because the kitchen was in the process of making a new batch, but good that we wait because then, we get crispy Wu Kok just out from the wok. The skin made of yam was crispy, paired well with the char siew filling made up of meat, ham, onion and peas. We heart this very much.
This other fried dish we ordered was so-so only, eventhough there was century egg within. I think it might be because it was not hot when served, so not as tasty.
I can only remember the price of this Beef Balls because it was made-to-order, and the waitress came to us with a pictorial guide on the menu. Good to be eaten with the sliced ginger and black vinegar dip at RM4.20. Not many places offer Beef Balls, and I'm glad we managed to try it here.
Siew Mai, the other must have at dim sum was mediocre, but the following photo of Har Mai, we like. We got chunks of prawns as we bite into the Har Mai, and it was sweeter and juicier.
Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun was silky with a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds and shallot crisp. We like the addition of sesame seeds because in Penang, only shallot crisp is used.
Wanted to order the Peanut Paste as dessert as I had eyed that in their menu board, but dessert for the day was some other item. Another time then, so we had their silky Egg Tarts...
...and Muar Chee filled with Black Sesame Paste. See the black sesame paste oozing out? It was yummy if not for the fact that we ordered this way too early, so by the time we got down to it at the end of the meal, the paste had sort of harden due to the cool air-conditioned.
All in all, it was a scrumptious dim sum meal in Ipoh, which we paid RM50+ for 2 pax plus some take-away paus.
One thing good about digging out a cavity in the bread roll is that the decoration fits snugly in it and there's no need to secure it with spaghetti strip. There was no way for the decoration to move about during transportation as once put in place, I can't even remove it without damage should I decide to change the position whatsoever, it is that tight a fit.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Well, like I said, since this was a chicken dish, it errs on the salty side. Overall it was awesome, but I will reduce the salt portion be it in the chicken marinade or the accompanying sauce for next time. I had to modify the sauce a tad as it was way too salty by adding 2 extra tablespoons of water to dilute it, but it was too watered down so a tablespoon of honey did the trick of thickening the sauce and balancing the flavour.
Worth special mention is the onion rings which were superb, and it was so easy to do only. Definitely going to make use of the onion rings in other recipes.
CHICKEN CHOP WITH ONION RINGS IN SPECIAL SAUCE
2 chicken thighs - deboned
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Waugh's curry powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp corn flour
1 onion - cut into 3 thick rings
1/2 tsp salt
Corn flour for dredging
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp chili sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Waugh's curry powder
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp light soya sauce
5 tbsp water
1/ Marinate chicken for 30 minutes, then coat with corn flour and deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown.
2/ Dip oinion rings in egg and salt mixture, then coat with corn flour and deep-fry in hot oil until golden.
3/ Leave 1 tbsp of oil in work, pour in sauce ingredients and cook until thick.
4/ Arrange onion rings on top of chicken, then pour sauce over just before serving.
As seen freom the photo, I served this with garlic steamed rice and salad for our complete meal at home. The garlic steamed rice was my first trial, just add 3 cloves of raw garlic with peel on into the rice before steaming. Once rice is cooked, the garlic is soft as well. Either mash the garlic and mix together with the rice to serve, or serve the garlic whole with the rice.
A close-up here, there was an omelette roll with tomato sauce and some black peppper resting on the oblong bun. Potato chips and a tiny weeny little box of sauce, a lone strawberry and half a persimmon.
Monday, October 25, 2010
ROASTED BRINJALS WITH PEANUT BUTTER DRESSING
1 tbsp olive oil
4.5 tbsp peanut butter (equivalent to 100g) *I used Skippy's Chunky style peanut butter*
1.5 tbsp light soya sauce *I used Lee Kum Kee's Select brand*
3 tbsp hot water *I added this to get a smooth consistency for the dressing*
1.5 tsp sesame oil
The set lunch menu looks interesting, but then we got attracted to their Baked Mussels. At RM23.00 for a dozen of mussels of this size, it was simply irressitable. The tomato-based gravy was so yummy, we licked the plate dry, no joke. The mussels were juicy and done just right, I'm not over-rating it.
The Sicilian Pizza that came next was also superb. On the thin crust were pepperoni, olives, green capsicum and red onion rings. The tomato puree sauce was worth mentioning, and we concurred that if their sauce is good, definitely their Margherita Pizza is worth a shot. We already have that in mind for next time, there goes my waistline. This was RM31.00 by the way.
Wanted to try their RM12.90 Tiramisu, but they ran out, so next best alternative was this Mango Pie of RM8.90. Keep the Tiramisu for next visit together with the Margherita Pizza then. This was average only, the thick layer of cream is not my cup of tea.
Plus a cup of Lavazza Cappuccino which was not photoed, total came up to RM78.35 after +10% for service charge. Ambience is good also, and nice deco which I was not in the mood to take more pictures.