Archive for the ‘Four Seasons Food’ Category

Going back in time to my student days, learning about the geography and history of our neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia were compulsory subjects. If you asked me now, my knowledge of SEA is a smattering of everything which turned out to be rather piecemeal. Ha ha ha..

However, there’s one topic in “my” self-created chapter of SEA that really fascinates me. FOOD! While I could name a few dishes belonging to a particular SEAsian country, I was struggling with the dishes of the Philippines.

Least Known Kitchen in the World, or is it?

When my late Dad made a trip to Manila many years ago, he brought home with him some souvenirs including the barong tagalog, an embroidered and very lightweight shirt worn by the Filipinos. He also told us he sat in a jeepney and ate “rotten” eggs, with a chicken or duck embryo still intact in the egg. It sounded revolting and mind-boggling, but later I discovered that those “rotten” eggs are one of the country’s streetfood delicacies. I came to know the proper name of the egg from a Filipina friend. It’s called “Balut” or fertilized egg, where a developing – usually – duck embryo is boiled alive and eaten from the shell.

No offence to my friends from the Phil. I’ll give the balut a skip for now. Sorry D and N *grin*.

The dishes from the Philippines are the least known to most of us. While the Thai/ Laos, Vietnamese/ Cambodian, Indonesian/Malaysian/Singaporean/ Bruneian and Burmese’s kitchens are thriving and taking centre stage in Europe and elsewhere in the world, the semi-Hispanicized dishes of the Filipinos take backstage.

But wait a minute…

There’s one dish that completely defines the Philippines. It is none other than the country’s numero uno dish, the Adobo. Any Pinoys and Pinays would concur in unison: “No list of Filipino food would be complete without the Adobo”. So true.

Adobo with an “O”

It’s not Adobe as in “mud brick” or a computer software system. It’s ADOBO with an “O”, thank you.

The Philippines was a Spanish colony for more than three centuries, where Spanish culture had largely influenced the kitchen of the locals. Adobo is one of them.

Not long ago at work, I had a chat with a colleague, who is Spanish through and through. From one topic to another, we talked about Spain and of course the foods. I asked her if she has heard of ‘adobo’.

Why, of course, she said.

Adobo in Spanish means the method of pickling or preserving a dish, especially fish, meat and vegetables. It is definitely NOT a name of a dish; however in the Philippines the word adobo is given as part of a name to the dish, for instance, Chicken Adobo, Pork Adobo, Lamb Adobo, and etcetera.

Without a doubt, whatever adobo is a ubiquitous dish in every household in the Phil. The main ingredients in a basic adobo dish are vinegar (traditionally coconut vinegar), soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorns and salt.

When I told my Spanish colleague that soy sauce is used in the Filipino adobo dish, she was baffled as soy sauce is not the common ingredient in ‘pickling’ Spanish dishes. The basic ingredients in a Spanish adobo are vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and paprika powder or annatto (“poor man’s saffron”), herbs (usually oregano) and sometimes olive oil.

But, hey, not bad at all! Only one odd ingredient – the black soy sauce! The Filipinos have retained and maintained the other ingredients to this day. In some Filipino household, the red paprika powder is still used as part of the ingredient of an adobo dish. The black soy sauce is definitely a Chinese influence 😉

Either the Spanish or the Filipino method, both ways are used to preserve and enhance the flavour of the meat or seafood dish.

I made my first adobo dish last Sunday. Here’s the outcome.

20140727-175049-64249306.jpg

Flex Dish

Although pork is popularly used in the Philippines, I chose chicken meat as the protein ingredient of our Sunday adobo lunch.

I was happy with my adobo after a Filipina friend gave me the confidence in cooking my first ever Filipino dish, without her realizing it. Thanks, D!

I ate my first adobo at a pot-luck garden party of a common friend not so long ago. D brought her home-cooked chicken adobo. She added carrots for colour, although that’s not traditionally one of the ingredients used.

So what?

1b. Spicy Chicken Adobo_potluck

A Filipina once commented that adobo is like spaghetti. Like spaghetti, there are many ways of preparing an adobo dish. There is no hard and fast rule to conjure a plate of adobo if you keep all the basic ingredients in place.

After gathering all the information, hmmm…. adobo is definitely my cup of tea 😉

It’s easy peasy. Love it!

By the way, my Chicken Adobo recipe was inspired by my Filipina friend, D and the Panlasang Pinoy.com website. Note I have made a few tweaks here and there (in blue) by amalgamating the best of everything in one dish at one time. The outcome was exactly what I was looking for – personally – mildly spiced, tasty, fragrant and I daresay, it was an excellent adobo, for a first timer *wink*

Ingredients –
(serves 4 -5)
• 2 lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces (I used 1.365kg or 4 chicken legs, divided into thighs and drumsticks)
• 3 pcs dried bay leaves (I used 4)
• 4 Tbsp soy sauce (It’s got to be dark soy sauce)
• 2 Tbsp vinegar (I used CRISTAL 100% natural white vinegar)
• 3 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 10 cloves garlic + ½ tsp coarse sea salt, pounded in a pestle and mortar)
• 1 to 2 cups water (I used 1 glass water)
• ¼ cup cooking oil (This was way too much. I used about 5 Tbsps corn oil for browning the chicken and sautéing the shallots)
• ½ Tbsp white sugar (I used Candico Kandij Cassonade Bruin “Brown” sugar)
• Salt (to taste)
• Whole peppercorn (I used 2 tsp whole black peppercorns)
• 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce – this was not in the recipe
• 2 tsp red paprika powder – this was not in the recipe
• ½ tsp turmeric powder – this was not in the recipe
• 2 green chillies, slit open lengthwise – this was definitely not in the recipe and btw I got these chillies from Miss B 🙂
• 2 shallots, chopped – this was not in the recipe
• 1 bunch/ plant fresh coriander leaves – this was not in the recipe (2/3 chopped and 1/3 for garnishing)

2. Spicy Chicken Adobo_ingredients_r3. Spicy Chicken Adobo_marinated chix_r

Method (own and fine-tuned)

1. Clean the chicken thighs and drumsticks by rubbing with some coarse sea salt and rinse under cold running water.
2. Place the chicken parts in a large bowl. Add bay leaves, soy sauce, vinegar, minced garlic, black peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce, paprika & turmeric powders and 1 green chilli cut lengthwise. Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour (cling filmed and refrigerated)
3. Brown the chicken and save the marinade for later.
4. In a wok, sauté the chopped shallots until fragrant. Add the chicken, the rest of the marinade, water, brown sugar and 1 green chilli, slit open lengthwise. Cover and simmer on low to medium heat for 45 minutes.
5. I added chopped fresh coriander at the 30th minute of cooking time.
6. Garnish with the remaining sprigs of coriander before serving with steamed white rice and your favourite vegetables or salad.

Masarap!

4. Spicy Chicken Adobo_closed up_r5. Spicy Chicken Adobo_closed up2_r6. Spicy Chicken Adobo_closed up3b_r7. Spicy Chicken Adobo_plate up_r8. Spicy Chicken Adobo_closed up4_r

I am definitely bringing this plate of Spicy Chicken Adobo to share with my friends at the Asian Food Fest . The July theme covers foods from The Philippines hosted by Swee San of  The Sweet Spot.

AsianFoodFest

There are no basils in this dish, but bay leaves and fresh coriander which I hope will do justice to Karen’s blog. Therefore, I’m linking this post to Lavender and Lovage’s  Cooking with Herbs challenge for July.

Cooking with Herbs

Since I ate my first ever Chicken Adobo at a potluck garden party, I thought it’s a perfect dish to link up with Four Seasons Food. Sure, I’m linking this post to Four Seasons Food  hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg. The July theme is Four Seasons Food goes Al Fresco! Grab a drumstick and enjoy!

FSF

I’m also sharing this post this week at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Weekend Cooking

Oh by the way, I was amazed at how similar some Tagalog words are with the Malay words, but more so the Sarawak-Malay and extraordinarily, the Melanau! Here are some of the examples, from English to Tagalog.
Chicken – Manok
Pork – Baboy
Cat – Pusa
Dog – Aso
Goat – Kambing
Scissors – Gunting
Soap – Sabon
Towel – Tuwalya
Moon – Bulan
Husband – Asawa
Son – Anak
Teacher – Guro
Expensive – Mahal
Wet – Basa
Ball – Bola
Hair – Buhok
Male – Lalaki
Heaven/ Sky – Langit
Eye – Mata
Face – Mukha
Nail – Pako
Island – Pulo
Afraid – Takot
Laugh – Tawa
Head – Ulo
Foot – Paa
Brain – Utak
Debt – Utang

 

Tagay!

Cheers!

 

 

 

There must be something about Ireland or Irish that fascinates me quite a bit. In my previous post, here, I wrote briefly about watching one of the most spectacular shows I have ever watched live in years. It was none other than Riverdance – The International Irish Dancing Phenomenon, that made a breakthrough during an interval appearance at The 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. Without a doubt, the success of Riverdance was by far the most commercially successful Eurovision ever.

And by the way, Ireland has the highest number of wins at the Eurovision Song Contest. A magnificent 7!

When Riverdance became 20 years old this year, they made their Anniversary Tour round the globe, which included performing at Brussels Expo. I was really glad that we could get 4 tickets for the show, albeit sitting on a high and distant balcony from the stage *grin*

In hindsight, I wished I had brought a pair of binoculars that evening. These blurry pictures remained forever in my archived picture folder.

1. Riverdance2 2. Riverdance1

I was completely blown away by the mesmeric sound of the unison rapid tapping of leg and foot movements. At some point of time, I felt like rushing down the balcony and climbing up the stage and joined the dance troupe. I bet I would be squashed like a fly in split second. LOL!

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Funny how this tune kept playing and re-playing in my head. I used to hear my late Dad singing this lighthearted song in his bass voice while plucking and strumming the guitar. My Mum would sing along in her angelic voice. Beautiful!

By the way, there’s not a hint of Irish blood in my family. Far from it!

Although the alma mater of my Dad, my grandfather and my great-grandfather was founded by the Mill Hill Missionaries of London, it was later that my brothers and I went to the same alma mater (St Joseph’s) that came under the principalship of the Lasallian Brothers from Ireland.

St Joseph’s School in Kuching is an all-boys school, with admission of girls only in the 6th Form. It is one of the most sought-after premier schools of Sarawak, acing in both academic and co-curricular activities. I believe it is the only school in Kuching that still carries the school motto in Latin “Ora et Labora” (Pray and Work).

Pray and work we did under the capable wings of the smiling eyes of the Irish La Salle Brothers. It has been a privilege to be a Josephian, and of course prior to that, a Teresian. You can read the full write-up of my alma mater of 11 years and 3 days, HERE

Feeling More(ir)ish

Feeling somewhat “Irish”, I decided to make this hybrid of bread, flatbread and scone- type bun, called “Boxty”. The word boxty is derived from the Gaelic word aran bocht ti, which means “poor house bread” by making use of the most famous Irish staple – the potato!

The main ingredients in a Boxty included boiled mashed potatoes, raw grated potatoes, flour, baking powder/soda, (butter)milk and salt. There are 3 different ways of preparing boxty, ie pan boxty (pancake/ flatbread-type), baked boxty (loaf or bun) and boiled boxty (dumplings). Recently, I made boxty in the oven, hence, baked boxty (bun-type).

A boxty dish is rather plain and bland; hence, I spiked mine with fresh herbs and aromatic salt. Lovely!

3. Boxty in the oven_closed up2r 

It’s a really easy recipe to follow. I could swear the chance of failure is almost ZERO. No proofing necessary. No stand or hand mixer necessary. Just mix all the ingredients and knead the dough briefly. That’s IT! It’s easy peasy and delightfully wholesome, tasty and moreish.

The recipe is adapted from the Dutch-translated cookbook called “100 recepten Brood” or in English, Bread – compilation of 100 recipes from Parragon Publishing (LoveFood), with my modification in blue. The name of the recipe is “Iers aardappelbrood” (Irish Potato Bread).

3x. Irish Farls_recipe book 

Ingredients-

(Makes 4 medium-sized buns)

  • 7 floury potatoes (about 800g) – I used the Boni Selection Kook-aardappelen “bloemig”(meaning floury, NOT waxy. I used 8 potatoes.
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter (I used Solo, Bakken en Braden slightly salted butter, about 50g)
  • 150 ml milk
  • 2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp of coarse sea salt, pounded finely with pestle and mortar and 1 tsp of Sel fin de Camargue aux Herbes)
  • ½ tsp pepper ( I used black pepper, about 20 turns of the pepper mill)
  • 1 ½ tsp dill or caraway seeds (I used one bunch of fresh chopped dill)
  • 400 g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out and dusting
  • 5 tsp baking powder (about 20g)

Preparation –

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 deg C. Peel 4 of the potatoes and cut into similar sizes. Instead of boiling the potatoes, I steamed the potatoes in the microwavable steaming basket for 9 minutes on 600W. Add the butter and mash the potatoes to a smooth puree.
  2. Peel the remaining potatoes and grate coarsely. Put the grated potatoes into a clean piece of muslin and squeeze out as much liquid or moisture as possible. Transfer the grated potatoes into a large bowl, adding the milk, fresh chopped dill, salt, freshly milled black pepper and the mashed potatoes. Mix to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder over the potato mixture. Mix to a smooth dough. If necessary, add a little more flour. For me, 400 g was perfect.
  4. Now, knead the dough lightly into a flattish round and divide the dough into “farls”, another Gaelic word meaning four quarters. Shape each quarter into a ball, and flatten to a thick-ish round and score or mark the top of the bun with a knife into 4 quarters, or a cross.
  5. Place the buns on a baking tray lined with baking or parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

 4. Boxty in the oven_mashed + grated potatoes_r

5. Boxty in the oven_mixed ingredients_r

6. Boxty in the oven_divide into 4_farls_r

7. Boxty in the oven_baked + cooling rack_r

I must warn you that these baked boxties were quite dense and literally speaking, heavier (weight-wise) than a normal bun or bread. Boxty is quite versatile and can be served any way you want. I had my baked boxty served with a plate of homemade Salad Niçoise. YUMMY!

8. Boxty in the oven_bun served with salad_r

9. Boxty in the oven_bun served with salad2_r

Boxty is listed as one of the notable Irish cuisines that it has inspired folk rhymes. The one below is dedicated to all the single ladies out there *wink*

Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can’t bake boxty
Sure you’ll never get a man.

LOL!

In my humble opinion, this great and simple dish is not only for single ladies, but also for young bachelors and an excellent dish for students and families on a frugal budget.

10. Boxty in the oven_closed up_r

11. Boxty in the oven_stack of baked buns_r

12. Boxty in the oven_cross-section of bun_r

Because potato is the main ingredient in this dish, I will definitely link this post to Little Thumbs Up (July 2014 Event: POTATO), organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen or Mui Mui as she’s fondly called of My Little Favourite DIY. The July LTU is hosted by Jasline of Foodie Baker.

Little Thumbs Up

Boxty in the oven or the Irish Potato Bread is adapted from a little cookbook about bread making from all over the world. I would like to share a little bit of Irish with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and everyone else who feels like having a boxty for breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper or just about any time of the day at Cook-Your-Books #14

Cook Your Books

These baked boxties are great with just about anything. I had mine with a plate of homemade Salad Niçoise. Perfect! You may want your boxty alongside a bowl of soup, as a snack or to pack in a picnic. The sky’s the limit! For this, I’m linking this post to Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg. The July theme is Four Seasons Food goes Al Fresco, so hop along and check out the post  HERE 

FSF

I’ve not been linking to Beth Fish Reads’Weekend Cooking for quite a while. The last time I wanted to link a post to Beth’s blog, Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets was closed. Anyway, I have not been posting like a bullet train, but more so, a locomotive. Slowly but surely J. Do check out Beth Fish Read’s blog here

Weekend Cooking

Since I have used fresh herbs in this boxty recipe, I’m also linking this post to Lavender and Lovage’s Cooking with Herbs July Challenge

Cooking with Herbs

 

Summer rolled in which signalled the end of Spring, the end of school examinations, the start of the LONG school holidays, the start of less cars and less stress when driving to work (Yay!!) , the beginning of the mercury’s rising and the start of starting to eat lighter meals….

Lighter meals? Huh?

Changing the diet of my three carnivore-hombres is a HUGE challenge  ;-). The so-called light dish has got to be dancing on their plates, like Michael Flatley.

Well, that’s exactly what happened. I ‘riverdanced’ my way from the Mighty Mekong and the Red River Delta and whipped up this super light, and attractive-looking wrap, the Vietnamese Summer Roll.

1. Vietnamese Summer Roll 

Summer Rolls are NOT fried, which is the lighter and healthier cousin of the Spring Rolls. Summer Rolls are served cold or at room temperature – and as the name implies – are a favourite of the locals during warm weather.

Here’s how to differentiate between the Summer and Spring Rolls, with simple equations. Confuse no more!!

Summer = warm weather = cold food

Spring = cool weather = hot (fried) food

Riverdance 20 years, The Anniversary Tour

2a. Riverdance2 2b. Riverdance1

2c. Riverdance3

I was inspired to make these healthy wraps after watching the spectacular Riverdance show at Brussels Expo Palais/Paleis Hall 12 end April.

Hubs, my 2 boys and I headed for the Brussels Expo one Saturday evening. There was no time to prepare dinner at home; hence, we ended up grabbing pre-packed lunchboxes from the cold storage at the Brussels Expo before the show started. I took the Bánh tráng cuốn (Rice paper rolls). It was light, very refreshing but I was really disappointed that there were no prawns!!

I vowed to outdo that slightly mediocre pre-packed din-din boxes, and went in search for a tastier Summer Roll recipe.

Oh by the way, the Riverdance show was absolutely superb!

Number 30

Nope, this is not the number of the order item on a take-away menu card, however, Gỏi cuốn (Summer Roll), Vietnam was listed at number 30 on World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011.

Quote: “This snack made from pork, shrimp, herbs, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped in rice paper is served at room temperature. It’s “meat-light”, with the flavours of refreshing herbs erupting in your mouth. Dipped in slightly sweet Vietnamese sauce laced with ground peanuts, its wholesome, easy and the very definition of “moreish”.

3. Vietnamese Summer Roll_dipping sauce 

Unquote: While CNN scoured the planet in search of 50 most delicious foods ever created, I scoured my kitchen to replicate number 30 *wink*.

This recipe is adapted from DanangCuisine.Com or Helen’s Recipe’s Vietnamese Fresh Spring Roll (Gỏi cuốn) with my modifications in blue

Makes 15 rolls

  • 300 g pork belly (I did not use pork belly, but lean pork meat. You may use chicken, duck, beef or no meat at all)
  • 200 g shrimps (For 15 rolls, I used at least 23 prawns or shrimps. I bought frozen peeled prawns. I cut the prawns in two halves)
  • 200 g rice vermicelli (I used cellophane noodles or bean thread noodles, soaked in hot water until softened or al dente)
  • Lettuce
  • Mint Leaves
  • Basil Leaves (this was not in the recipe)
  • Coriander Leaves
  • Chives (I did not use)
  • Cucumber (cut in flat strips)
  • Carrot (this was not in the recipe – cut in flat strips)
  • Rice Paper
  • Warm water (for dipping/ soaking the rice paper briefly)

 4a. Vietnames Summer Roll_ingredients

4b. Vietnamese Summer Roll_Rice paper

Recipe for the Dipping Sauce –

  • 1 Tbsp oil (I used corn oil)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 5 Tbsp Hoisin sauce (I used 4 Tbsp)
  • 5 Tbsp broth
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (to taste)
  • Crushed peanuts (this was not in the recipe)

 5. Vietnamese Summer Roll_prepping the dipping sauce

I did not follow Helen’s recipe when prepping the pork meat. Helen boils her pork belly in salted water. Instead, I wanted some flavour to the broth and added 1 onion pricked with 2 cloves, 2 cloves garlic, 1 stalk lemon grass, 4 kaffir lime leaves, some fresh coriander and 2 stalks pandan leaves tied in a knot. I added some chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste. Boil the meat until cooked but not over-cooked to avoid the meat getting too tough. I used the same broth to cook the prawns.

6. Vietnamese Summer Roll_prepping the pork + prawns 

Method –

Dip the rice paper in warm water and dab it dry (not too dry, but just enough to remove some access water) on a clean kitchen towel. Start assembling the ingredients from one end of the rice paper, starting with some lettuce, and then moving up with slices of cucumber, carrot, glass noodles, pork slices, mint, basil and coriander leaves. On the further end down the rice paper, take 3 halves of the prawns with the cut side up. Roll the rice paper gently but tightly.

By placing the presentation side of the prawns down will result in a beautiful bright orange colour of the crustacean ’emerging’ from the almost transparent sheet of rice paper. Absolutely gorgeous!

7. Vietnamese Summer Roll_wrapping the rolls

Continue rolling until you have used up most or all of the ingredients. I found the Summer Roll on its own was rather bland but bursting with honest and natural flavours and the aromas of the fresh herbs were really fascinating and then the different layers of textures in between the folds managed to titillate my palate. I was completely bowled over! The special dipping sauce completed the dish and made it whole.  YUM!

8. Vietnamese Summer Roll_plating up 9. Vietnamese Summer Roll_dipping sauce

10. Vietnamese Summer Roll_per plate

And here were my leftovers. I wrapped each roll with a cling film and placed the wrapped roll in my lunchbox. These went in the fridge overnight before I consumed them at midday the next day. The flavours remained unchanged but the rice paper was not as pliable as when they were made fresh, meaning, they became a wee bit chewer, but definitely not a problem when you dipped the roll in that amazing sauce 🙂

11. Vietnamese Summer Roll_leftover 

Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in South East Asia, I thought by submitting this most revered Vietnamese dish to the Asian Food Fest at the June theme “IndoChina” hosted by Kelly Siew Cooks is most appropriate.

AsianFoodFest 

Four Seasons Food is hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg, however for the month of June, the theme is the colour RED. Prawns when cooked turned out a beautiful orange-red. It would be a pity if I did not link this recipe to June’s FSF event, hosted by The Spicy Pear. So here goes…

 FSF

Have a fabulous Summer!

 Cheers!

If One’s a wanderer, Two’s a company, Three’s a crowd, what’s Four?

Too many?

Not allowed?

A party?

Well, I think I would go for Fantastic … as in Fantastic Four?

Nope, it’s not what you think!

Let’s just say that I’m wandering into my 4th fantastically crowded company 😉 Does it make sense?

I meant I was into my 4th Rice Cooker Cake *wink*

That’s correct! I made my Fantastic fourth as a request by my younger son WEEKS ago but I was up to my ears in work and then I had guests over for lunch and then I fell and took a week MC from work and then I had a molar surgically removed! Whew! Loads of mishaps and calamities the past weeks *sigh*

If you have read my 3rd attempt in cooking cakes in a Rice Cooker, my son was asking if Rice Cooker Cakes would be part of our weekly menu. Can you imagine that? LOL!

After discovering a way to outsmart my traditional 19-year old single-button National Rice Cooker, my third attempt was the litmus test. By following that method, I was more confident to move on further and even started ‘coaching’ interested newcomers 😉

Eureka!

By not going out too much of the box yet, I stuck to the basic ingredients of a sponge cake which I made in my 3rd attempt. Instead of using the green pandan paste, I used one fresh lemon, called Eureka Lemon. Yes, Eureka!

1. Eureka Lemon_closed up1 

Eureka Lemon is available all-year round. This is the most common lemon type sold in supermarkets. Since I had 4 lemons in my basket that day, giving up one was definitely very easy. It was better to consume the fruit when still very fresh than leaving it to rot unconsumed, right?

Right!

Here’s the end result of the cake I made recently.

2. closed up3 

For the ingredients and method, you may want to refer to my previous post here.   Instead of adding 1½ teaspoons of pandan extract or paste, I used the zest or grated rind of one fresh Eureka Lemon plus 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice. I also added one small packet of 8 grams Dr.Oetker pure Bourbon vanilla sugar.

3. RCC Lemon Sponge_collage_lemon zest 

If you are wondering, no, the cake was not sour – on the contrary – it was less sweet, yes!

It was perfect as far my taste bud is concerned. We all loved the moist lemon sponge cake and my sons were fighting to get the last wedged pieces. LOL!

Here’s another snapshot of the amazingly tasty cake cooked in my humble rice cooker.

4. closed up4 

A wee bit longer …

I noted the start time was 6.30 pm. Five minutes later, the Rice Cooker automatically shifted to the “Keep Warm” mode. I left the Rice Cooker alone, without pressing “Cooking”.

At 6.45 pm, I pressed “Cooking”. Two minutes later, the button switched to warming mode which I left it that way for the next 10 minutes.

At 6.55 pm, I pressed the “Cooking” mode for the 3rd time. One minute later, the button switched back to “Keep Warm”.

At 7.00 pm, I opened the lid of the Rice Cooker. The cake batter was not quite set yet, hence I pressed the “Cooking” mode for the 4th time.

At 7.15 pm, the first smell of the lovely sweet lemony aroma of the cake whizzed past my nostrils. At this juncture, I took the wire rack and flipped the cake from bottom up to top down. I wanted a golden crust on both sides of the cake 🙂

I pressed the “Cooking” mode for the last time. At exactly 7.20 pm, I turned the cake the right side up on the wire rack to cool. DONE!

Conclusion: 10 minutes on “Cooking mode” with 5 presses, and 40 minutes on “Keep Warm” mode. Total time: 50 minutes

Oh by the way, this cake took a slightly longer time to cook than the Pandan Sponge Cake because the lemon sponge batter was wetter or more moist than the pandan sponge batter. The slightly longer wait was worth the wait. The cake had a lovely light, spongy texture. We loved it!

5. RCC Lemon Sponge_closed up3

6. RCC Lemon Sponge_Wedge2

Miss B, I finally got down to posting this recipe! It’s a wee bit late but still within timeline, hence, I’m submitting this post to your Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #2 – What Else Can a Rice Cooker Do?, hosted by yourself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well In Flanders.

With May slowly trailing to the tail end, I’m squeezing this post to “Wow, Vanilla” May’s Spice Trail, hosted by Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup and Bangers ‘n Mash. I have used Dr.Oetker’s pure BourbonVanilla Sugar as part of the recipe.

spice-trail-badge-square[1]

The Eureka Lemon is available all year round. Since Spring is one of the 4 seasons, I’m ‘springing’ in with this entry to Four Seasons Food May Challenge: Celebrating Spring hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg

fsf-spring

 

Have a great week ahead … and it’s back to the grind for me …. YIKES!

Cheers!

I cannot believe this. We are almost at the tail end of Spring! Geez… how time flies! It seemed like only yesterday when we celebrated Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas – last year – I bought a simple electrical Soup Maker that became the be-all and end-all of (one of) my kitchen appliance(s) today.

To buy or not to buy…?

I must have walked round the shelf in that electrical store a myriad of times. To buy or not to buy? I reckoned the store’s CCTV was following every step and movement I made that day. LOL!

It was winter, for God’s sake, and the vision of a bowl of freshly-made hot soup was certainly very inviting in my mind’s eye. Mmmm…

And the Soup Maker looked SO cool!

But alas, the one I saw on the shelf was the last piece, not for sale but for the showroom! I immediately placed an order with the shop assistant, who graciously informed me that I had to wait for another week or two. The gadget was enormously popular.

A week passed by.  

I received a missed call on my cell phone from a rather unusual number. The ‘caller’ left a message on my voicemail and courteously informed me to pick up my order I had placed a week before!

Bingo!

My Soup Maker had arrived! Yay!

1. PeaMintSoup_Soupmaker 

The Soup Maker came with a recipe book, but I have yet to follow any of the recipes. I may get some ideas for making compotes later 😉

By the way, I am not being sponsored by the Maker – at all. It just so happened that that product was on the special Year End promotion at the store 😉

Warm Cold Days and One Big Supporter

I did not tell hubs about my “secret investment”. I don’t blame him because he knew that I have the tendency to hoard my ‘investment’. Gadgets I have bought seemed to be stashed in the cupboards untouched and unused – all brand new. LOL!

But not this time:-D

My Soup Maker is one of the most used items to-date!

1. RCC#1_soupmaker 

Hubs could not believe the soups I have concocted were made fresh from the Soup Maker. I have not only warmed our cold winter days, but I have won the heart of one huge supporter *wink*

Easing Number 26

Ouch!

I have one rather sick tooth. In the world of dentistry, this tooth has a name, and it’s called “Number 26”.

Number 26 has been bugging me for quite some time now. I could not enjoy eating a hearty meal as Number 26 just does not allow me to.

By the way, everyone has Number 26. It’s one of the 12 broad-faced grinding teeth. Number 26 happens to be my once-upon-a-time most used and active left upper grinder, but it’s currently quite ‘sick’ 😦 

No worries, it will be “repaired” soon … but only in a week or two … fingers crossed!

The Soup Maker has been my saviour the past days in calming my Number 26.

Here’s a soup I made recently, the Pea Mint Soup – all things fresh and in season, ready within half an hour from washing, chopping, slicing, cooking and platting up. Exactly what I needed with my busy schedule…

3. PeaMintSoup_Closedup 

Peas are in season, especially starting in the month of May through October. Peas and mint go really well together. Mint is a useful herb and is one of the remedial herbs to easing toothaches. In my case, it’s easing my Number 26 😀

Here’s how I made my quick and fresh Pea Mint Soup in my Soup Maker.

Ingredients (own recipe)
(serves 4)
 
  • 350 g peas, washed
  • 1 leek – the white part only, washed away any signs of grits and grimes between the folds and layers
  • 3 stalks white celery sticks, washed and removed the stringy outer layer
  • Fresh Mint leaves, washed and roughly torn
  • 1 medium-sized potato, peeled, washed and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • Course Sea Salt and pepper to taste

 4. PeaMintSoup_ingredients 

 Method –

  1. All vegetables must be cut, chopped and diced in more or less even sizes
  2. Transfer the cut vegetables into the Soup Maker
  3. Add seasoning – course sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
  4. Stir the mixture with a spoon
  5. Add water up to the level between MIN and MAX
  6. Stir one more time
  7. Select the button (I chose the 1st button for finely blended soup. Other functions included chunky soups, compotes and smoothies)
  8. Press Start

5a. PeaMintSoup_Soupmaker1

5b. PeaMintSoup_Soupmaker2

 

After 20 minutes, the soup was done!

Enjoy!

6a. PeaMintSoup_before

6b. PeaMintSoup_after

6c. PeaMintSoup_end result

Note: If you do not own a Soup Maker, by all means, prepare the soup in the manner you are most used to.

Oh by the way, I just came across this blog event, May’s Four Seasons Food which really intrigued me. Before the season’s up, I’m joining in the fun and am submitting this entry to Four Seasons Food May Challenge: Celebrating Spring hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg

fsf-spring

In my previous post, Malaysian Honeycomb Cake Re-visited, I made a “grievous” fault in linking that entry to Made With Love Mondays Event (Week 5/5/2014). I should have read and re-read the event’s list of “prohibited / restricted” items. I have used a ‘canned’ item in the form of canned sweetened condensed milk. I would like to apologize to Mark. Then again I wonder if I could buy freshly made sweetened condensed milk anywhere. I have found one in a tube, though. To make amends for my previous linkup, this time, I am submitting all things fresh and made from scratch to Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w/ Luv‘s  Made With Love Mondays: Week of 5th May 2014.  I hope I’m not disqualified with this submission…

Made with Love Mondays

 

I am also linking this post to Cooking With Herbs Recipe Challenge for the month of May, hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage. I have used fresh “Mint” as the selected cooking herb.

 Cooking with Herbs

 

P“eas(e)” be with you 😀

 

Cheers!