The whole of last week had seen me suffering from bad cough, runny nose and recurring feverish feeling. It was indeed a very, very bad time for me but yes, I still went to school without fail. I had been omitting certain types of food which are labelled unsuitable to be taken in my condition with hopes for a speedy recovery but the illnesses just wouldn’t want to go away. I know it’s about time for an immediate action and you want to know what I did? Well, I started taking ice cream, ice-cold drinks and spicy food and hey presto! I did feel better. I guess, it takes different measures with different people and with me, it is always the weird way to the rescue!
On Sunday, I was in the mood of something soupy so I ‘d prepared a simple dish below. I’d paired my soup with blanched flat rice noodles and it turned out to be quite a satisfying meal for me. You may find this hardly a recipe but as I’ve said times and times, cooking is certainly a wonderful world of uncharted territories and unexpected outcomes. You would like the dish or decided that the first try would remain the first and the last. Anyway, happy experimenting folks!
CHICKEN BALL SOUP WITH VEGETABLES
- 3 shallots
- 5 pips of garlic
- 2 teaspoonfuls of white peppercorns
- 10 chicken balls (halved)
- 1 medium size carrots (julienned)
- 1 medium size ripe tomato (cut into wedges)
- 5-6 pieces of fresh button mushrooms (sliced)
- 2 bunches of Chinese mustard leaves (choy sam) (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 piece of chicken cube
- 3 cups of water
- some cooking oil
- salt to taste
- In a pestle and mortar, pound shallots and garlic till fine.
- In a pot, heat cooking oil a stir fry pounded ingredients till fragrant and pour in water.
- Let to boil and put in chicken cube and stir till dissolve.
- Put in your carrot and let to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Next, put in choy sum and chicken balls and let to simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and put in mushrooms and tomato wedges. Stir and turn off the heat.
- Spoon over your noodles.
- Serve hot.
It was pouring yesterday afternoon. Instantly, I knew that I need some comfort food to uplift my dampen spirit after looking at my piles of half-marked students’ projects. The feeling was worsen by the fact that there will only be just one more day before I have to get back to my daily routines. My self-motivating (if you can name it so) effort had resulted in the dish featured in the photo below. Piping hot from the steamer, they were certainly what I needed to shoo the blues away!
APAM COMEL YIS
I used cikgunita@MyResipi.com‘s recipe and I did half of the amount stated. Do give it a try
- 1 cup of rice flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of cooked rice (to be blended till fine with 1 cup of water)
- 1/2 tablespoonful of instant dry yeast
- 1 cup of lukewarm water
- In a large bowl, mix blended rice with the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Add a few drops of food colouring . Cover and keep aside for 3 to four hours.
- Heat up your steamer and make sure that the water is boiling rapidly.
- Spoon the mixture into plastic moulds.
- Steam over high heat for 15 minutes.
- Once cooked, soak the moulds in water so it would be easier to take out your ‘apam’.
After sampling my brownies with cream cheese topping, yesterday morning, Mr Khz had asked me to bake it again but this time, he specified the topping to be nothing but chocolate and only chocolate. Knowing that he’s a chocolate addict, I decided to top my brownies with chocolate ganache with white chocolate swirls.
By the way, do you want to know his verdict?
“Entah, hmm…sedap laa…I don’t know. It’s either I like it or I don’t. This time, I like it.“
Yes, people, that’s Mr KHz for your information. As far as I can remember, every time I prepare food for him, I would not be bothered asking for comments. If you really want to know, do not ask but observe. A clean platter means the food is good. However,second helpings might not carry the similar meaning for he could just be hungry.
Since chocolate desserts are not really my favourite, I took a bite and felt satisfied with the way my ganache turned out. Coming back to Mr KHz, just now, I noticed a container filled with brownies on the chest of drawers in our room so what do you think the verdict really is? Anyway, here are the photos for you to enjoy!
MY BROWNIES QUEUING ON MY RECENTLY PURCHASED RM 5 PLATTER AT DAISHO, THE CURVE
ANOTHER LOOK TO EXCITE
As I’ve stated times and times, baking is my way to unwind. For me, waiting for my cakes to bake in the oven is a mixture of anxiety and relaxation. A weirdo? Yes, I am. My joy is heightened later while listening to the comments from those who sampled my cakes. I accept both positive and negative comments positively for just like cooking, baking is entirely experimental.
As for this afternoon, it was positive all the way through for my cheese brownies were sold out! We had a ‘makan-makan‘ session in school and everyone enjoyed their share of brownies. Some even had third helpings! Although I found the recipe a wee bit too sweet (even with some sugar reduction), it was okay for everyone else. Frankly, I was very satisfied. When you see people kept coming to gobble up the pieces of brownies, baking is definitely a bliss!
According to the recipe, the cheese topping should be marbled but this time, I decided to leave it as it is. Here’s the recipe, taken from rinnchan.
For the brownies :
- 250g butter
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 3 medium size eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups of caster sugar ( I reduced it to 1 and 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup of evaporated milk (I used low-fat milk)
- 1 teaspoonful of baking powder
- 1 teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda
- 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoonful of vanilla essence
- Sift flour with baking powder and soda bicarbonate and keep aside.
- Using a double boiler method, melt butter. Then, put in the cocoa powder and mix well. Turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, mix sugar and eggs using a balloon whisk. Then, pour into the butter and cocoa powder mixture.
- Then, pour in the milk and mix again.
- Preheat your oven at 175C (I set mine at 150c). Line and grease a 10″x10″ cake tin with greaseproof paper. Your paper should be slightly bigger than the tin so it would be easy to take out your brownies later.
- Pour the brownies mixture into the tin and level it. Bake for 20 minutes.
For the cheese topping :
- 250g cream cheese
- 1 cup of caster sugar
- 1 medium size egg
- Beat cream cheese till fluffy.
- Put in the sugar and continue beating till well-mixed.
- Add the egg and beat till your mixture is well-blended.
- Take out your brownies from the oven. Pour the cheese mixture and level it.
- I reduce my oven temperature to 130C and bake for 15 minutes. Leave it longer if you want your cheese topping to be slightly brown.
- Let to cool and cut into squares.
Those who read my entries do know that I’m married to a book-addict. In fact, we have more visits to bookshops (the major one being Kinokuniya in Suria KLCC) than other places. Whenever we go places, a bag full of books is part of the items brought along. Fortunately, countless visits to Kinokuniya, which is Mr KHz’s most favourite bookstore, do include lunch at this Indonesian restaurant called Bumbu Desa.
If you like spicy and filling kampung- style food, this place is a good choice but I have to admit that the price is a bit on the high side so having lunch at this place very often might not be a good idea after all. When we are eating out, as usual, I have to do the selection and after our third visit to Bumbu Desa, I realised that we had ordered the same dishes. One of the dishes is deep-fried tilapia dipped in spicy soy sauce. Thinking of the price they are charging us for a fried fish, perhaps, it’s about time for me to try to prepare it at home.
I had a chance to do so when I saw live tilapia sold at my regular fishwife’s stall at Section 14 market . The dish is one of Norzailina Nordin’s recipes (ammended as usual) and I would recommend you to fry the fish till very crispy for total eating pleasure!
DEEP FRIED TILAPIA WITH SPICY SAUCE
- 1 medium size tilapia (cleaned and coated with 1/2 teaspoonful of salt and 1 teaspoonful of turmeric powder and deep fried and placed on a serving platter
(A) (finely chopped)
- 5 shallots
- 3 pips of garlic
- 3cm piece of young ginger
(B) (finely sliced)
- 1/2 torch ginger
- 5 pieces of bird’s eye chillies
- 2 pieces of kaffir lime leaves
(C) (for the sauce)
- 2 tablespoonfuls of chilli paste
- 2 tablespoonfuls of chilli sauce
- 1 tablespoonful of tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoonful of sugar
- 3 tablespoonfuls of lime juice
- 1 teaspoonful of sweet soy sauce
- 1ooml water
- Heat some oil in your sauce pot and stir fry ingredients (A) till fragrant.
- Next, put in all ingredients (C) and let to boil.
- Once boiled, put in ingredients (B) and cook till thickens.
- Pour over your fish and serve hot.
My sister and I work in the same vicinity and if the time permits, we would have lunch together. Last week, one of her colleagues had tagged along. She also brought with her an ingredient which was used in the dish featured in this entry.
The ingredient is
‘BUNGA KANTAN’ OR GINGER TORCH
This ingredient is very commonly used in ‘laksa’ (rice noodles in fish broth) and has a very distinctive smell. I rarely use it in my cooking for Mr KHz doesn’t really like the smell. However, I decided to use it in this steamed fish recipe because I like the smell and the taste. Once in a while, I get to decide what I want for I’m the one preparing the dish. Although Mr KHz is undoubtedly the king, the kitchen is my territory and this time, it’s the Queen’s turn to decide! Surprisingly, even with the ‘bunga kantan’, Mr KHz took a large portion but of course, he had pushed all the toppings aside. Anyway, here’s the photo and the recipe if you wish to try.
- 1 medium size siakap
- 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
- 1/2 teaspoonful of freshly cracked white peppercorns.
- 3 shallots
- 5 pips of garlic
- 3 cm piece of young ginger
- 10 bird’s eye chillies
- 1/2 a ginger torch
- 1 lemongrass
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/2 teaspoonful of freshly cracked white peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
- 2 teaspoonfuls of sugar
- 3 tablespoonfuls of lime juice
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoonfuls of cooking oil
- 1 teaspoonful MAGGI ikan bilis granules
- Coat the fish with 1/2 a teaspoonful of salt and 1/2 teaspoonful of freshly cracked white peppercorns and keep aside.
- Slice all ingredients in (B) thinly and put into a bowl.
- Mix well with all ingredients in (C). Pour this over your fish.
- Steam over high fire till cooked. This will usually take 7-10 minutes depending on the size of your fish.
- Serve hot.
‘Rojak buah‘ (Malaysian Fruit Salad) is also my idea of what a snack should be. There are various brands of ‘kuah rojak’ (the sauce to be mixed with your cut fruits) available in the market but I find the smell of ’petis’ (a type of shrimp paste made from prawn heads and a mixture sugar and chillies) a bit overpowering. Since I enjoy eating ‘rojak’, I went to myresipi.com to look for an alternative and this wonderful site has never failed me.
I have been using this recipe (ammended, as usual) all this while and whenever we are having a ‘makan-makan’ session in school, I have always been asked to bring this kuah rojak along. I like this recipe because it is simple and keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge.
Last Sunday, as I was ‘studying’ the ingredients in my fridge to figure out what to prepare, I couldn’t help but noticing my ‘kuah rojak‘ container in the fridge. I was very sure that the half-filled container has been around for quite long so I decided to prepare this snack below. After all, I had to use up my cucumber as well. Ah yes, if you also enjoy deep fried tofu, this would be a good snack for you. All you need to do is to deep dry your tofu pieces, cut them into smaller chunks and pour your sauce. It would have tasted better if ground peanuts are sprinkled over but I did not have any. However, being the glutton me, I finished everything on the plate!
DEEP FRIED TOFU WITH ‘KUAH ROJAK’ AND SHREDDED CUCUMBER
Ingredients for the sauce :
- 2 bottles of chilli sauce (I used Aminah Hassan brand)
- 1 bottle of sweet soy sauce (I used Kipas Udang brand)
- 15 to 20 pieces of bird’s eye chillies
- 3 cm piece of shrimp paste (belacan)
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 pieces of palm sugar (finely chopped)
- In a pot, put all ingredients and stir continuously over medium heat till thickens.
- Let to cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.