25 August 2017

Thai-style Stuffed Chicken Wings

I like to eat Thai-style Stuffed Chicken Wings very much, but seldom order it at Thai restaurants as the HB says that he doesn't like how those taste.

No choice, I have to make it myself then! Actually it's a very simple dish, the tedious part is removing the bones from the mid-joint wings :p Seriously have to get the hands dirty and all, to the point of squishy squashy -_- Or maybe coz my knife skills is not good enough.


Anyways, "de-boning" the chicken wings aside, the stuffing is very straightforward. Some recipes choose to remove all the chicken meat (leaving the skin only), chop up the meat with ingredients like prawns, black fungus/mushroom, water chestnut etc, and stuff the mixture back to the wings.

For me, I chose to leave the chicken meat intact with the skin and use minced pork, along with prawns, water chestnut, garlic, cilantro root and seasonings for the stuffing. In this way, I get to enjoy different textures and tastes :)


As for cooking method, I tried 2 ways. One is recommended by a Thai cookbook, first steam the stuffed wings till cooked, then deep fry till golden brown. And secondly, using air-fryer and glazing with sauce.

I find the steam/deepfried one drier but more fragrant due to the deep-frying process. As for the airfried/glazed one, it's more juicy and succulent. Our family prefer the latter.


Ingredients for stuffing include minced pork, prawn, garlic, cilantro root, water chestnut, 5-spice powder, pepper, sugar, cooking oil, egg, salt, corn starch, and of course deboned mid-joint wings.


This is how the wings look like after stuffing.

Here's a short video clip of how I deboned the mid-joint and do the stuffing. Pardon my poor knife skills and videography skills :p

video


Thai-style Stuffed Chicken Wings
(reference from The Best of Thai Home Cooking by Forest Leong)
(makes 9 pieces)

  • 9 pcs chicken wing mid-joint
Marinate A
  • 100g minced pork
  • 3 prawns, roughly chopped
  • 2 water chestnut, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cilantro root, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp egg
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Pinch of 5-spice powder
Marinate B
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp hua tiao cooking wine
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil

  1. Debone the chicken wing mid-joint portion. Twist the mid-joint and wing tip to break up the bones. Insert a small knife into the mid-joint front and back to cut the meat, if need be use the fingers to ease the meat off the small bone and twist it out. Use the knife to scrape the meat away from the bigger bone and slowly twist/cut it out. Set aside.
  2. Add all the ingredients (Marinate A) for the stuffing in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Stuff the mixture into the mid-joint wing, about 1 tbsp per wing.
  4. Combine the ingredients for Marinate B and pour the marinate over the stuffed chicken wings. Marinate the wings for 4hrs or overnight.
  5. Before cooking, bring the wings back to room temperature. 
  6. Drain the marinate B into a sauce pot, bring to boil and set aside to use as glaze. Alternatively make a new batch of glaze.
  7. Place the wings inside the air-fryer, glaze on one side, air-fry for 6-8 mins at 160 degree celsius, turn over, glaze again, air-fry for 2-3 mins, then turn up heat to 180 degree celsius, air-fry for another 3-5 mins, glazing and turning as necessary, till wings are golden brown.
  8. Best serve warm, on its own or with thai sweet chilli sauce.
Note:
*Steam/deep-fry: steam the stuffed wings for 10-12 mins. Drain and pat dry, deep fry in very hot oil till golden brown and crispy.
*Baking: haven't test it, should be the same as air-fryer.


This is totally yummy! The seasoning is on the lighter side, as my family prefer it this way. Feel free to add more seasonings. It's great to eat it on its own or with some thai sweet chilli!

The HB gave thumbs up, this taste is what he preferred over the restaurants' ones. Yay!

This recipe is certainly a keeper for me, that is if I have the mood and time to debone the midjoint wings :p

23 August 2017

Vietnamese-style Honey Pork & Rice Noodle Salad

Collaboration with Sasha's Fine Food
Dish 1 - Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken
Dish 2 - Asian chicken skewers with peanut sauce
Dish 3 & 4 - Teriyaki salmon, Chirashi Sushi


The third product I'm showcasing from Sasha's Fine Food is the Wicks Manor English Pork Stir Fry which comes in 250g per pack (frozen); this pack of stir-fry pork uses a lean cut of chump meat - where the leg meets the loin.

The pork is sourced from Wick Manor a small, family-run pig farm in Essex, England. The pigs are fed a natural diet of wheat and barley that is grown and milled on the farm itself. Vitamins, minerals, vegetable oil, soya and biscuit meal are also added to their diet. The natural and clean environment along with healthy diet and lifestyle helps the pork develop a beautiful depth of flavour whilst remaining lean.

For stir-fry pork, I usually cook home-style dishes like stir-fry pork with kailan, potato or sze chuan vegetables and golden mushroom.

This time, I decided to go for something different, a Vietnamese-style Honey Pork and Rice Noodle Salad, which is sweet, tangy, spicy and salty, perfect for this hot and humid weather! 


The Vietnamese call it Bún Thịt Nướng. Bún means noodles, Thịt nướng means baked or barbecued meat and the meat used is always pork. So basically the dish consists of grilled pork, rice vermicelli or noodle, pickles, vegetables, aromatic herbs, all displayed in a colourful arrangement, and finally served with a tangy, spicy, salty fish sauce dressing called nước chấm.


Vietnamese-style Honey Pork & Rice Noodle Salad
(reference from Hungry Huy and Danang Cuisine)

(serves 1-2)


Honey pork
  • 250g sliced/stir-fry pork
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 clove shallot
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hua tiao cooking wine
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  •  1/4 tsp sesame oil
  1. Combine all the ingredients except pork into a food processor or electric chopper, blend into a paste.
  2. Marinate the pork slices using the paste at least 4hrs or overnight.
  3. Before cooking, remove from fridge and let the pork return to room temperature.
  4. Set a grill pan or frying pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil and grill/pan-fry the marinated pork till fully cooked and slightly charred. Set aside.

Pickles
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 1 chili padi, cut into 2-3 pieces
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly
  1. Combine water, sugar and vinegar in a small pot, bring to boil till sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add shallots and chilli padi into the pickling liquid and let the liquid cool completely.
  3. Add the sliced cucumber and carrot into the pickling liquid and store overnight in fridge.
Fish Sauce Dressing
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2pc chili padi, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  1. Mix water, fish sauce and sugar, stir till sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add lime juice, chili padi and garlic, mix well.
Assemble
  • 200g rice noodle
  • Honey pork
  • Pickled cucumber, carrot and shallot
  • Lettuce, basil, parsley, mint leaves, chili padi
  1. Blanch rice noodle in boiling water for 30s. Drain thoroughly and arrange in serving bowl/plate.
  2. Arrange pickles, lettuce, basil, parsley, mint leaves and chili padi in serving bowl/plate.
  3. Add honey pork.
  4. Drizzle with some fish sauce dressing before serving.

This is definitely my kind of salad! Totally appetising and aromatic as well!

By just looking at the photo, I'm already salivating over the pretty colours and presentation, not to mention the various tastes and textures that come together. The highlight of this dish is certainly the pork which is sweet and succulent and tasted great with a tinge of smoky flavour from the charred bits.

This dish is certainly a keeper for me :)

Stay tune as I present the last dish using cod fillet from Sasha's Fine Food.

Sasha's Fine Food is an online F&B company that sourced ethically produced goods with preference to free-range, organic and/or fair trade food and drinks, and at the same time avoiding foods with unacceptable or unhealthy addictive. There's a wide variety of produce available in the webstore, from meat and fish to dry goods and groceries, dairy to beverages.

22 August 2017

Teriyaki Salmon Donburi and Chirashi Sushi

Collaboration with Sasha's Fine Food
Dish 1 - Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken
Dish 2 - Asian chicken skewers with peanut sauce


The next product I'm showcasing from Sasha's Fine Food is their gorgeous Mt. Cook Alpine New Sealand Salmon Pieces which come in a pack of 250g. They are skinless and boneless  thus very convenient and easy to cook.

Sasha's salmon are imported from Mt. Cook Alphine, New Zealand where they are raised in pristine, fast-flowing fresh glacial waters making them fit, healthy and lean. In terms of taste and texture, the salmon is in fact sashimi-grade and has a firm, muscular texture with a clean, smooth flavour. And like the chicken which I have tried, the freshwater salmon is also free from hormones, antibiotics, vaccines and pesticides.


I cook salmon dishes at least once or twice a week as my son is crazy over salmon. One of his favourite dish is Teriyaki Salmon, so I decided to go for a Donburi using half of the portion.


I don't really have a specific recipe this time. Basically, sprinkle the salmon pieces with some salt and pepper, coat with corn starch and pan-fry till browned and crispy, set aside. I usually make my own teriyaki sauce to taste, using soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake and sugar. Bring the sauce to boil and slightly thickened, reserve half for the rice and toss the pan-fried salmon into the remaining sauce. In a bowl, add Japanese rice, drizzle with some teriyaki sauce, then top with the teriyaki salmon, ikura (salmon roe), tobiko (flying fish roe), chopped spring onion and seaweed.

Easy peasy and a meal that would make my son very happy!



For the other half portion of the salmon pieces, I chose to make Chirashi Sushi with them. Chirashi Sushi (ちらし寿司) is also called Gomoku Sushi (五目寿司), Gomoku Chirashi (五目ちらし), or Bara Sushi (ばら寿司) depending on the different regions in Japan.

Chirashi (散らし) means “scattered”, some finely chopped ingredients are mixed into sushi rice and then the rice is topped with more ingredients to make it look colourful. Usually cooked ingredients like unagi and shrimp are used (rather than raw fish), as well as some shredded egg, vegetables like snow peas, cucumber.

As a tradition in Japan, Chirashi Sushi is usually eaten on Hinamatsuri (雛祭り) or Doll’s Festival on March 3 every year. In addition, it's also a popular dish for parties, gatherings and celebrations.

The first time I ate it was during a homestay programme in Osaka where my host family made it for me, and the second time (also the last time) was a gathering for homestay participants at the end of the programme. I haven't eat this for a long time!


For detail ingredients and method of making Chirashi Sushi, my go-to reference is Just One Cookbook.

But for ease of preparation, I bought this Gomoku premix from a Japanese supermarket. All I have to do, is to cook the Japanese rice and mix the premix (sweet vinegar sauce, bits of mushroom, carrot, bamboo shoots, dried gourd shavings) into the cooked rice to get a flavourful sweet and tangy sushi rice. Then just top the sushi rice with desired ingredients; I used pan-fried salmon, cooked shrimp, shredded omelette, cucumber, ikura, tobiko and sprinkle with seaweed and sesame seeds.

Chirashi Sushi is typically served in a special type of sushi bowl called Hangiri (or Sushi Oke) which is a big wooden tub, but I couldn't find it so I just used a normal Japanese lacquer serving plate.


This is certainly a hearty Japanese meal which made me miss Japan so much! Definitely gonna make this from time to time :)

Stay tune as I continue cooking dishes with the pork slices and cod fillet from Sasha's Fine Food.

Sasha's Fine Food is an online F&B company that sourced ethically produced goods with preference to free-range, organic and/or fair trade food and drinks, and at the same time avoiding foods with unacceptable or unhealthy addictive. There's a wide variety of produce available in the webstore, from meat and fish to dry goods and groceries, dairy to beverages.

15 August 2017

Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll


I've been craving for lobster roll for the longest time! I've eaten it before, once in Osaka, once at Pasar Bella (Turf City Singapore) and even made it at home. The combination of toasted butter roll with spicy, creamy and succulent lobster salad is simply perfect match.

But today I've found a match to the lobster roll, that is the Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll. Well, the crayfish meat can be substituted with lobster or even prawn, but the key here is Salted Egg Yolk!! I combined the ingredients for the lobster roll with a salted egg yolk sauce and wham, the result is pretty amazing I would say! 



The typical sauce ingredients for lobster roll are mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce/wasabi for those who wanted it spicy. What I did was to cook a salted egg yolk sauce using butter, curry leaves, chilli padi (optional), salted egg yolk powder, and add fresh milk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and sugar to make a thick creamy sauce, and finally toss in the crayfish meat along with some parsley and celery.
 
The sauce can also be used as a dip for fries (or anything you fancy), so I made extra batch for that :p

Why crayfish? Coz it's a cheaper alternative to lobster and I find the meat texture quite similar to that of lobster. Prawns can be used as well, but try to use larger prawns for the bouncy juicy crunch.


And oh, back to the salted egg yolk! I used to use whole salted eggs when I want to cook salted egg yolks dishes. I would basically steam the yolk and discard the egg white portion. I know it's kind of a waste. So I'm really glad that Knorr came up with this Golden Salted Egg Yolk Powder which is so convenient. It is made from real pasteurised egg yolks with no added MSG and preservatives as well! 




Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll
(makes 2-3 rolls)

Ingredients
  • 5 pcs crayfish meat (about 800g with shell) *can be substituted with lobster or prawn
  • 20g salted butter
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 chilli padi, finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Knorr golden salted egg powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh milk
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp finely diced celery
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 2-3 split-top hotdog buns (store-bought)
  • Salted butter
Steps
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the crayfish meat, cook for about 5 mins. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan over low heat, add salted butter. 
  3. Once butter melts, add curry leaves and fry till fragrant for 1 min.
  4. Add chopped chilli padi and fry for 1 min. 
  5. Add the salted egg powder, the mixture will turn dry as the powder soak up all the butter. Stir fry till fragrant.
  6. Add fresh milk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and sugar, mix well into a thick sauce. Let the sauce cool down slightly.
  7. Cut the crayfish into bite-size pieces. Toss the crayfish meat into the salted egg yolk sauce. Add parsley and celery and mix well.
  8. Split the top of the hotdog buns, butter the buns, toast in air-fryer or toaster for 3-4 mins till slightly browned.
  9. Stuff the salted egg yolk crayfish into the hotdog buns, sprinkle some chives.
  10. Best served warm.

*I made 2 rolls only as I overstuffed each roll. For smaller rolls, the ingredients are enough to fill 3 rolls.
*I made extra batch using same ingredients for fries dipping sauce.




Super super love this Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll! The sauce is thick and creamy, slightly spicy and salty with the unique taste of salted egg yolk and really goes well with the bouncy and juicy crayfish meat, as well as toasted butter roll. Be sure to add the celery as it contributes a tiny sweet crunchy texture; as well as the aromatics (parsley and chives) to balance the otherwise heavy sauce.

Now that I can make this roll, not sure if I would go back to the regular lobster roll or not :p






I'm also submitting this recipe for Knorr's Most Egg-citing Cooking Contest organised by Singapore Home Cooks! Knorr is giving away attractive prizes for top recipes submitted – with goodie bags worth $100 + $20 Fairprice vouchers to be won! Selected recipes will even be featured on the Knorr Website!

Woohoo! Wish me luck!

#SaltedEggGoodnessSHC #SingaporeHomeCooks

11 August 2017

Asian Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce

Collaboration with Sasha's Fine Food
Dish 1 - Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken


A few days ago, I used the chicken dark meat from the free-range, hormones-free chicken provided by Sasha's Fine Food to cook a casserole dish. My family enjoyed the dish very much as the texture of the chicken was succulent and the chicken flesh was sweet and juicy.

Now my family isn't really fond of chicken breast meat, since most of the time the texture of breast meat is coarse and dry; so usually I'm the one eating it. My usual method of cooking breast meat is either pan-frying or air-frying with salt, black pepper and some herbs and eat it with salad. Or boil, shred and make it into chicken mayo for sandwich or salad.

This time I decided to try something a little special so that I could entice the family to eat chicken breast meat; that is to make a simplified version of satay and eat it with a peanut sauce dip.

Satay or sate is skewered meats (whether chicken, pork, beef, mutton or even intestines) marinated with various spices and sauces and typically grilled over charcoal fire and enjoyed with a spicy peanut sauce with ketaput (rice dumpling), cucumbers and onions. It is a very popular dish here in Singapore, we can easily find at least one satay stall at local hawker centres. As true blue Singaporeans, it is also a must-have dish for our BBQ gatherings and we would order raw satay from hawker stalls or BBQ specialty shops and grill it ourselves. Sate is said to have originated from Indonesia, and these days we can find similar and varied renditions in most South East Asian countries.



Anyways, I shouldn't call my version Satay as I'm not using the typical spices and sauces, rather it's a cheat version using the available sauces I have at home. Likewise, the peanut sauce is also a shortcut one using what I have in my pantry. So I would just call it Asian Chicken Skewers since the ingredients used to marinate the chicken breast are commonly found in Asian markets.

The chicken breast meat is first cut into bite-size pieces, marinated with the various sauces preferable overnight and then grill over a grill pan till golden brown and slightly charred. For the peanut sauce dip, simply combine all the sauces and cook till well-blended. That's it.

I served the dish with some Indonesian fried rice and quick cucumber and carrot pickles to make it a complete meal.


Asian Chicken Skewers
(makes 8 skewers)

  • 200g chicken breast meat (extracted from one chicken)
  • 2 tsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1.5 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 8 pieces bamboo skewers, pre-soaked

  1. Cut the chicken breast meat into bite-size pieces.
  2. Combine all the sauces, ginger and garlic and mix till well-blended.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and marinate overnight.
  4. The next day, thread the chicken pieces onto the bamboo skewers.
  5. Heat up a grill pan, brush the pan with oil and grill the skewered chickens on both sides till golden brown and slightly charred. 
  6. Best served hot with peanut sauce.

Peanut sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp gula melaka (coconut palm sugar)
  • 2 tsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp raw peanut, toasted and finely chopped

  1. In a small cooking pot, combine all the ingredients except lime juice and peanut. 
  2. Bring the mixture to boil and cook till gula melaka is melted.
  3. Add lime juice and adjust taste accordingly (add more sriracha sauce for spiciness).
  4. Stir in the fine chopped peanut and mix till blended.
  5. Sauce is ready to be enjoyed with the chicken skewers.


I love how the chicken skewers turned out! The chicken breast meat itself has a mild sweet, salty and spicy taste due to the marinate, it's actually yummy to eat on its own. But with the peanut sauce, it's even better! Love the cheatone peanut sauce, it's creamy, sweet, savoury with a tad of spiciness and tang, goes perfectly with the chicken skewers.

This dish is a keeper, and I think I'm going to try concocting the marinate and dip sauce with other similar ones next time!

For recipes for the fried rice and pickles, please go to: http://dreamersloft.blogspot.sg/2014/03/nasi-goreng-with-achar-indonesian-fried.html

Stay tune as I continue cooking dishes with the pork slices, salmon pieces and cod fillet from Sasha's Fine Food.

Sasha's Fine Food is an online F&B company that sourced ethically produced goods with preference to free-range, organic and/or fair trade food and drinks, and at the same time avoiding foods with unacceptable or unhealthy addictive. There's a wide variety of produce available in the webstore, from meat and fish to dry goods and groceries, dairy to beverages.

09 August 2017

Bake Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart

Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!

Last Saturday, I was invited to attend a Drool Potluck Tea Party organised by Drool Cook Club in collaboration with Singapore Home Cooks. It was an eye-opening networking event as some 30 home-cooks gathered to present 30 different variety of savoury and sweet canapes! I was in awe and really impressed by the canapes showcased, both in terms of taste and presentation. But most importantly, finally got to meet "new" friends whom I've been chatting with at SHC FB group and of course happy to catch up with the old" friends whom I've not met for a while =D

My contribution is mini version of Bake Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart, a twist to my Bake Cheese Tart infused with local flavours of pandan and coconut milk, created in celebration of Singapore's National Day 2017! Initially I was thinking of sticking to the original Bake Cheese Tart, but since I've already tried a Thai Milk Tea version, I might as well challenge myself to come up with a local flavour :) And surprisingly, pandan and coconut work quite well with cheese!


Since I've already made hundreds and hundreds of tarts by now, making them is not difficult, the only challenge is balancing the 3 flavours of pandan, coconut and cheese so that each stands out on its own yet complement each other.

Had to prepare a few days in advance before attempting the tart itself as I prefer making my own pandan extract instead of purchasing commercial ones.

The tart pastry is pretty straightforward, simply add pandan extract instead of fresh milk and vanilla extract, so I get this lovely aroma of pandan in the tart pastry itself. Maybe next time I should add a bit of coconut milk too. *KIV for next time.

As for the cheese filling, initially tested 2 small batches, 1 using only pandan extract and 1 using pandan extract with coconut milk. For the cheese, cream cheese is a must and I added mascarpone cheese since it has a creamy texture and yet very light. After seeking opinions from my home-tasters aka the HB and kiddo, the conclusion is the version with coconut milk stands out more in terms of overall taste.

However, the HB commented that the pandan taste seemed to be overpowered by the coconut and cheese. Had wanted to do another test-bake before the actual day but I was simply too busy and hence did the best I could on the morning itself.

So when I was cooking the custard, I had to add the pandan extract teaspoon by teaspoon to make sure that the flavour is distinct enough. In the end added quite a lot, probably because homemade extract is milder as compared to commercial paste.

Anyways, I love how these little gems turned out; the petite size makes it look cute and easy to eat and the colour is a lovely shade of green.

During the event itself, there's actually a voting contest by all the participants for their favourite canapes, and I was over the moon to be one of the top 6 winners and won myself a cutlery set sponsored by De Dietrich (who is the venue sponsor as well)! Woohoo! Also elated to hear positive feedback about this new flavour =D When I was going around soliciting for feedback, dear friend Alan of Travelling Foodies mentioned that the aftertaste of cheese was a little sharp and suggested that I cut down on the cream cheese further.
 
So I made another batch, adjusting the proportion of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, and the overall flavour turned out slightly smoother. But those who like the cheese taste may think otherwise. Anyways, I have made a note in my recipe below, feel free to adjust the proportions according to your liking.

I have also put together 4 short video clips of the process (trimmed so that they are not too draggy). This is my first time taking videos so pardon me if they are not well filmed and cut :p

video 
Video 1 - Making the tart pastry and rolling it out.

  video

Video 2 - Stamping the pastry and moulding the pastry into the tart case.

video

Video 3 - Cooking the pandan coconut cheese custard, sifting and filling into piping bag.

video

Video 4 - Piping the custard into the tart pastry (already baked once), smoothen with spatula and brush with egg wash.


Bake Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart
(makes 20 petite size tarts, using 5cm round cutter/2.5cm base tart case)

Ingredients

(A) Tart pastry
  • 120g plain flour
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 60g salted butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 4-6 tsp homemade pandan extract (note 1)

(B) Pandan coconut cheese custard
  • 75g coconut milk
  • 75g fresh milk
  • 25g cream cheese (note 2)
  • 45g mascarpone cheese (note 2)
  • 40g salted butter
  • 30g caster sugar 
  • 10g corn starch
  • 1 egg (about 50-55g nett weight)
  • 40-50ml homemade pandan extract (note 3)
  • Egg wash for brushing sides of tart pastry 
Steps

(A) Tart pastry
  1. Sift plain flour into a large bowl, add caster sugar and mix well.
  2. Add cold salted butter cubes. Using finger tips, break the butter and rub the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles bread crumbs.
  3. Add 4-6 tsp of pandan extract to the mixture, use a scrapper to help with the mixing.
  4. The mixture will come together and thereafter, use hands to form the mixture into a dough.
  5. Knead the dough gently into a ball. Place the dough between 2 pieces of plastic sheet.
  6. Roll the dough to about 3mm thickness and place in fridge to rest for about 1 hour.

(B) Pandan coconut cheese custard
  1. Add coconut milk, fresh milk, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, salted butter and caster sugar into a small pot.
  2. Place the pot into a large, shallow pan/pot with barely simmering water. This is the bain marie method, to create a gentle and uniform heat for cooking custard. Keep stirring the mixture till everything is melted.
  3. Add pandan extract teaspoon by teaspoon (to personal taste and preference) and mix till well blended.
  4. Add sifted corn starch. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will thicken slowly.
  5. Add the egg and keep stirring till well-blended, the mixture will further thicken into custard. Stop cooking once the desired thickness of custard is reached (shorter cooking time - runny texture, longer cooking time - gooey texture)
  6. Sift the custard for a smoother texture (as they may be some fine lumps and grainy bits in the custard).
  7. At this point, may add additional pandan extract if taste is not strong enough or custard is too thick.
  8. Cover the custard with a clingwrap on the surface and let the custard cool down completely. 
  9. Fill the custard into a piping bag. Set aside.

(C) Assembly
  1. Remove the dough from fridge. Dust a baking mat (and rolling pin) with flour, use the round cutter to stamp the dough.
  2. Use a metal scrapper (dust with flour) to lift up the cut dough.
  3. Place the cut dough over the tart case and gently press it downwards.
  4. Using finger tips, gently press and mold the dough into the tart case. Use a fork to poke holes at the base of the tart pastry.
  5. Bake the tarts at 180C, fan mode for 10mins. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
  6. After the tart cases are cooled slightly, remove them from the tins and let cool completely before use.
  7. Preheat oven to 235C conventional mode. 
  8. Pipe the pandan coconut cheese custard into the tart pastry, shape slightly domed. Use a spatula to smoothen the top if necessary. Brush the sides of the tart pastry evenly with egg wash.
  9. Bake the tarts at 235C conventional mode, for 6-7 mins.
  10. Once baked, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Best eaten warm, freshly baked.

Note 1: homemade pandan extract may taste milder than commercial pastes, pls adjust according to taste.
Note 2: for those who prefer a strong cheese taste, use equal proportion of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese i.e. 35g each
Note 3: homemade pandan extract may taste milder than commercial pastes, pls adjust according to taste.


Like I mentioned earlier, super love these petite little gems, I can easily pop one whole piece into the mouth or ok, maybe 2 bites.

The tart crust is crunchy and not too sweet (have reduced sugar for this version so that the custard can stand out more). The custard has this lovely aroma of pandan along with the lemak coconut, and texture-wise  creamy and gooey. In terms of taste, the pandan comes first, follow by coconut and finally a cheesy after taste.

Dedicating this Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart to Singapore!

06 August 2017

Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken

I'm pleased to be collaborating with Sasha's Fine Food to come up with some home cooked dishes using the meat and fish that they have kindly provided me!

Sasha's Fine Food is an online F&B company that sourced ethically produced goods with preference to free-range, organic and/or fair trade food and drinks, and at the same time avoiding foods with unacceptable or unhealthy addictive. There's a wide variety of produce available in the webstore, from meat and fish to dry goods and groceries, dairy to beverages.

Will be presenting a variety of dishes over the next few weeks using these lovely produce :)


First up, will be using the local whole chicken to prepare two dishes. I'm very particular about raw chicken, and would only buy hormones and antibiotics free raw chicken from trusted sources. Very glad to know that their  chicken (free-roaming) is sourced from Southern Malaysia, raised in natural, clean and healthy environment with no growth hormones or antibiotics used.

My family is small, only 2 adults and 1 kiddo so usually I don't cook a whole chicken since we can't finish it in a meal. Separated and cooked the chicken over 2 meals instead, first meal using the wings, drumsticks and thigh, and second using the chicken breasts.The carcass is used to make chicken stock #nowaste


So using the chicken dark meat, I cooked this really simple casserole oven roasted chicken which I saw in an old Donna Hay magazine few years ago. The chicken parts are marinated in olive oil, honey, wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper for an hour, add rosemary, onion and garlic, roast in oven for 15 mins on one side, add asparagus and cherry tomatoes, turn the chicken over and roast for another 10 mins.

And in a bid to make my hb and kiddo eat healthier and more vegetables, I served the chicken with creamy mashed cauliflower instead of potato ;p

Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken
(serves 2-3)
  • 2 chicken thigh 
  • 2 chicken drumstick 
  • 2 chicken wings 
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper 
  • 4 sprig rosemary 
  • 1/4 red onion, cut into wedges 
  • 4 cloves garlic, leave skin intact and smash 
  • 9-10 cherry tomato 
  • A bunch of asparagus 
  1. Marinate chicken with honey, wholegrain mustard, olive oil, salt and black pepper for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven using roast/grill mode at 200 degree celsius.
  3. Place the marinated chicken, rosemary, smashed garlic and onion wedges into a casserole dish. 
  4. Roast at 200 degree celsius for 15 mins on one side. 
  5. Turn the chicken over. Add asparagus and cherry tomatoes. 
  6. Roast for another 10 mins and ready to serve.

Creamy mashed potato
  • 300g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 10g butter 
  • 20g cooking cream 
  • 20g fresh milk 
  • 15g grated parmesan 
  • Salt & pepper, to taste 
  • Thyme (optional)
  1. Steam the cauliflower for 10-15 mins until fork tender. Remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.
  2. Add the steamed cauliflower florets into a food processor/chopper, add butter, cooking cream, fresh milk, parmesan and blended till creamy.
  3. Add salt, pepper to taste, sprinkle with some thyme for additional aroma.


I must say that the texture of the chicken is really good and succulent, very much like the kampung chicken that I always buy. The marinate of dijon mustard and honey complements the chicken well, the roasting method retains the natural juices of the chicken well, and the rosemary adds such a nice aroma to the dish . The creamy mashed potato is also well-received by the hb and kiddo (told a white lie that it's potato and only told them it's cauliflower after the meal :p), although they did suspect it's not potato but since it's yummy they ate up everything.

Simply love how simple and effortless it takes to prepare this roast chicken, perfect for days when I'm pressed for time. I can marinate the chicken in advance and roast it just before mealtime. Definitely gonna make this dish during my busy days!

Once again, thank you to Sasha's Fine Food and stay tuned for the next dish using chicken breast meat!