Je Mange. Donc, Je Suis.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Fried Karaage Chicken, wrapped in Pandan leaves

My Today's challenge: frozen boneless chicken + remaining pandan leaves + left-over carrot ? Then I remembered that I had found a good recipe from the internet a few days ago...that would fit right in:-) 
I reduced the measurement of ingredients, for 1-2 person(s) only.
Kindly refer to the following link for Karaage-Japanese Fried Chicken Recipe, accordingly:  
After the marinade process, I wrapped the chicken firmly in Pandan order that the chicken would not be loosened once frying. It was not an easy task for me at all as either the leaf could be torn apart or the chicken could fly away upon wrapping:-) I had to put all my focus and gently wrapped it one by one....prior to frying process...No matter how hard it might be, I eventually did it! :-)

My late brunch: Karaage Fried Chicken with
sweet & spicy chili sauce and Ginger-soy sauce,
served with "Som Tum Carrot", shredded carrot (mild spicy) salad
and cherry tomatoes, Thai style:-)
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Monday 25 June 2012

Oeufs en Croustade

My Monday Brunch: Oeufs en Croustade (baked left-over brioche w/ crushed garlic + salted butter, topped with poached egg , Hollandaise sauce, garnished w/ grated cheese, chopped spring onions & coriander leaves), served w/ pan fried tomatoes + a glass of pineapple juice + a Sunkist + 1 dark chocolate ball:-)) 
I'm not fond of egg yolk at all (poached or, fried or scrambled, etc...), so I only eat the egg whites, and left the egg yolks aside...;-P Not quite picky, ehhh!  
"Oeuf" in french = egg
"Croustade" in french = a crisp piece of bread or pastry hollowed to receive a savoury filling. :-))
Croustades (for 1 person):

1/2 stale unsliced loaf white bread or french brioche
25 g butter, melted
1 garlic clove, crushed
To make the croustades:
Preheat the oven to 180°C . Cut four 3 cm thick slices from the brioche bread and remove the crusts. Cut each piece of bread into a 9 cm square, then use a round cutter to cut a circle, or a square if you prefer, in the centre of the bread, without cutting all the way through. Use a knife to scoop out the bread from the centre to form a hollow.
Mix together the melted butter and garlic and brush all over the bread. Place on a baking tray and bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden. Keep warm.
Hollandaise Sauce:1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
45 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
To make the hollandaise sauce:
Put the egg yolk, a bit of salt and black pepper in a blender and mix together. Heat the lemon juice and butter until boiling and then, with the motor running, poor onto the yolk in a steady stream.
2 eggs
1 teaspoon finely chopped coriander and spring onion or parley 
To poach the eggs:
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Crack an egg into a small bowl, reduce the heat and slide the egg into the simmering water. Poach for 3 minutes, then remove carefully with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Poach another egg. Trim the eggs of any straggly bits of white.
Gently place an egg into each croustade. Pour over a little hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with chopped spring onion and coriander (or parsley). Serve at once with extra hollandaise sauce. 
Note from a chef:
Use the freshest eggs you can find for poaching, so that the whites don't spread too much in the water. If you can't guarantee their freshness, add a little vinegar to the water to keep the whites together. 

{this photo taken in HDR Mode}  Bon Appétit!

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French Toast "Pain Perdu" (My Version)

I made my own "Hokkaido Soft Bread" last week with several efforts, I must say:-) The first time, it was like french "Brioche" and its outer edge was terribly hard! I realized that I did not put enough love and attentive concern for the first-rounded soft bread. I, therefore, corrected and put more love and attention to its ingredients, measurement, techniques all through the process. The second one was much better, but its taste and texture was not what I desired. So I tried harder...and it was worth my effort as the third one turned out exactly what I really wanted it to be: soft, cottony and springy texture & harmonious taste, melt in the mouth! Yes!!!! I did it, finally!:-) 
Sinfully beautiful, isn't it? :-D
I thought of making the most of my left-over bread in order that I can make a new one...Well, nothing beats homemade "French toast (Pain Perdu)" with homemade bread for lovely Sunday breakfast...
while listening to chirping birds outside my window:-)
Ta da! My Sunday breakfast: Pain Perdu,
a glass of pineapple juice, an orange and a cuppa coffee:-) 
Ingredients (for 1-2 person(s):
2-3 super big n thick bread
(preferably Brioche) 
100 ml Milk 
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
orange juice from 1/2 Sunkist
2 teaspoons (Vanilla) sugar
1 or 2 egg(s)
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Stir the ingredients with a fork or balloon whisk...
  • Soak the toasts (one by one) into the mixture w/ both sides. 
  • Gently place the toast on salted butter, melt in a pan with medium heat; 
  • Fry each side 1 -2 minutes approximately. 
  • Sprinkle a little bit more sugar or spread w/ honey or maple syrup of your preference before serving.
Note: If you don't have orange juice, it's not a can then substitute w/ a bit of Vanilla Rum ;-P
I love it too!!!

Wishing you a Smiley Day :-)) !!!
"Something I learned early is not to worry about what I cannot control...
But what I can control: my attitude, my efforts, and my focus every single day."
-- Tim Tebow
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Sunday 24 June 2012

Churros & Pandan Flavoured "Kaya" Dip

Yesterday I wanted to eat fried dough sticks, Thai style...but I didn't have "Ammonium bicarbonate powder", one of important ingredients, in store...So a flash idea popped up with the name "Churros", delicious Spanish Fritters!!! The funniest part of Churros making, as I could recall from my previous making: using a pair of scissors to cut the dough from cookie tube, into hot boiling oil in a heavy based saucepan:-) 
I love eating them in short sticks as they are more crispy-crunchy than the traditional sized ones. This time, I slightly adjusted churros ingredients' measurement from a very easy & practical to my own preference, served with homemade pandan flavoured "Kaya" dip, coconut jam, made from coconut milk, egg yolks, flavoured with pandan leaves and sweetened with sugar.  Lovely Saturday, indeed!
125g multi-purpose flour or plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons caster sugar
a good pinch salt
125g water
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (I used Olive oil for mixture)
Palm oil for frying
for Churros preparation, step by step, you can therefore visit the following link:
Kaya is sort of Crème pâtissière (Pastry Cream), South East Asian version. We use coconut cream in lieu of cow milk, and without butter or vanilla pod...Its method & the rest of ingredients: the same ( Sugar and Egg Yolks)! "Kaya" is literally translated as "Coconut Jam" because it is usually seen as popular accompaniment of toast or local "Cakoi" (or fried dough sticks), and can be found in almost any Kopi Tiam in the region. There are two flavours: Original and Pandan. My preference: Pandan!
Homemade "Kaya" Recipe:
3 eggs
125g sugar
170 ml coconut milk
(for those who avoid coconut milk, you can substitute with cow milk)
6-9 pandan leaves
(you'll have almost 1 cup of pandan juice)
2,5 tablespoons Corn flour
  • Pandan leaves, pressed and blended with 100 ml water, and strain for pandan juice;
  • In a large bowl, crack in eggs. Add in coconut milk and pandan juice using a hand whisk, then strain;
  • Add sugar, corn flour and a pinch of salt (If you'd prefer a bit salty taste) into the egg mixture. 
  • Gently stir the mixture till sugar has been dissolved. Strain again. 
  • Then pour the ready-mixture into a medium sized stainless-steel milk saucepan;
  • Boil water in a heavy based pan with medium heat.
  • Place the saucepan into the pan (bain-marie method), stir the mixture till it has thickened ***Kaya mixture must be stirred consistenly and in the same direction to avoid lumps as well as must be cooked for at least 45 minutes with the bain-marie method (or about 1,5 hours on double boiler) to get the fragrant taste and to enable it to last longer***.
  • Served warm, with steamed toasts or grilled toasts or Churros, of course:-)) Enjoy!
...Life is Art...
"I think everything in life is art,
What you do, how you dress,
The way you love someone,
and how you talk. 
Your smile and your personality,
What you believe in,
and all your dreams.
The way you drink your tea,
How you decorate your home,
or party; your grocery list,
the food you make,
How your writing looks,
and the way you feel..."
--Unknown author
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Sunday 10 June 2012

Veggie Curry Puff (Thai Style)

For the Filling:
2 small Potatoes (diced) 
1 onion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons mushroom sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth or water
20 g butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 tablespoon curry powder 
a pinch of salt
Another veggie filling of mine: Shiitake & white sesame!
hmmmm...heavenly, irresistibly yummm!:)
  • Melt the butter in a medium frying pan. 
  • Add in olive oil and cook the onion with low heat, stirring, until tender. 
  • Add diced potatoes, mushroom sauce and stir well, until just cooked. 
  • Season with curry powder and a pinch of salt. Leave to cool.  
Pastry (a)
70 g flour
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (I use Olive oil)
  • Sift the flour into a small bowl. Make a well in the centre and add in vegetable oil. Use a spatula to mix the ingredients together, then with a little help of a hand, to knead the dough to bring it together. Shape the dough into 10 small balls.
Pastry (b)
130 g flour
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
a pinch of salt
  • Mix sugar, salt into cold water. Stir well until they dissolve. Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add in vegetable oil, ready-mixed cold water. Use a spatula to mix all the ingredients together, then use a hand to knead the dough for a minute to bring it together. Please do not knead too many times as it will thicken the pastry. Divide the dough into 10 bigger balls. 
  • Roll out pastry (b) into a circle, then place pastry (a) in the centre and cover it completely. Repeat with the rest of the balls (picture #1-4). Cover them with moist tea-towel and leave for 15 minutes. 
  • Roll out the pastry with up-down direction (as demonstrated on picture #5). 
  • Then roll in the pastry with your fingers (picture #6).
  • Rotate the rolled pastry into vertical direction, then roll out again (picture #7-8).
  • Roll in the you have 1 shorter roll. Cut it into 2 pieces (picture # 9-10) 
  • Pull the pastry lap to the top. (in order that when you roll out again, the lap won't come out of the pastry) Then roll out the pastry in an oval shape or round shape
    (picture # 11-12). 
  • Add 1-2 teaspoon(s) potato filling. Press and cover the edge with your fingertips or a fork.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a heavy based medium saucepan with low heat until hot. 
  • Add the pastry and fry until light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  Enjoy your weekend with your loved ones!     
As for me, really enjoyed watching a classic film called "The Apartment" :-)
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Saturday 9 June 2012

Caramel Custard ( Crème caramel )

My favourite dessert of all time! :-) 
I am a loyal fan of Caramel, you name it... Caramba Caramel, Iced Caramel Latte, Caramel Toffee, Crème brûlée, Caramel ice-cream, etc. 
100 g caster (superfine) sugar
300 ml milk
1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
80 g caster sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
2 egg yolks
To make the caramel, put the sugar in a saucepan and heat until it dissolves and starts to caramelize--tip the saucepan from side to side to keep the colouring even. Remove from the heat and carefully add 2 teaspoons water to stop the cooking process. Pour into six 125 ml ramekins and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Put the milk and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring just to boil. 
  • Mix together the sugar, eggs and egg yolks. (I also add in a few drops of vanilla essence)
  • Strain the boiling milk over the egg mixture and stir well. 
  • Ladle into the ramekins and place in a roasting tin. 
  • Pour enough hot water into the tin to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until firm to touch.
  • Remove from the tin and leave for 15 minutes.
Unmold onto plates and pour on any left-over caramel.

"Kaffee und Liebe sind heiß am besten."
the above German proverb states that,
“Coffee and love are best when they are hot.” :-P
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
There's a Lebanese film called "Caramel" or Sukkar banat. A romantic comedy centered on the daily lives of five Lebanese women living in Beirut.... a dark-brown colouring with intense & aromatic taste of Caramel...Interesting! :-) Kindly visit for its storyline and so forth:-) Enjoy!
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Classic Swiss Roll (Biscuit roulé à la confiture)

 Biscuit roulé à la confiture, inspired by Françoise Bernard's.
I found it very practical and easy to make with not much preparation...
only with a little adjustment for my version. Here we go...:)
3 eggs (large)
100 g caster or sifted icing sugar 
1 sachet vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
30 g plain flour
30 g corn flour
a pinch of salt
200 g Raspberry or Strawberry Jam
For my aunt :-))
Filled roll is best eaten immediately!
Preheat oven to moderately hot 200°C. Line a 22 x 33 cm base the tin with grease-proof paper. 
To make the roll:
  • Using electric beater, beat egg yolks, 50 sugar and vanilla essence in small mixing bowl over hot water until thick and pale.
  • In another bowl, also over hot water, beat the egg whites and salt, until they stand in peaks. beat in the remaining sugar until they become glossy meringue;
  • Sift the flour and corn flour onto grease-proof paper. Fold in rapidly half of the flour to the yolk mixture, then half of the whites, using a wooden spoon. Repeat with the rest of the flour as well as the whites until just combined.
  • Spread mixture evenly into prepared tin; smooth surface. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Turn the cake out onto a dry, clean tea-towel covered with greaseproof paper that has been sprinkled with the extra sugar. Then using the tea-towel as a guide, carefully roll cake up with the paper; leave for 5 minutes or until cool. 
  • Unroll cake, discard paper. Spread with jam; reroll. Trim ends with knife; decorate as desire.
Served with a cup of hot green tea 
or coffee:-))
Ta da! My Swiss Roll (Raspberry jam filling),
topped with reduced fat whipped cream! :-))
Hint: Jam is best beaten with a spatula for 30 seconds before it is applied to the cake. This will soften the jam and make it easier to spread.
"What does it mean to be totally loving? It means to be fully present, in every single moment.
To be fully aware. To be fully loving means to be fully naked,
without hidden agenda or hidden motive,
without hidden anything."
--Neale Donald Walsch
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