May 2011 - Page 3 of 9 - Narcissism is Necessary

Archive | May, 2011

Ham & gherkin puff with mustard and blue cheese recipe.

I’ve been refraining from making anything that involves puff pastry because frozen puff pastry are quite expensive in Malaysia, mainly cause they’re imported. I know, I should attempt to make my own puff pastry but I’m really bad with pastry :P

# – Ham & gherkin puff with mustard and blue cheese.

Recently I discovered these locally made puff pasty for about 1/4 of the price of imported frozen puff pastry so of course, I got some to try out.

# – RM5.50 for 10 pieces of puff pastry squares. CHEAP!

I didn’t have very high expectations cause they’re so cheap, but hey….never try, never know. Anyway, I was going to make some sandwiches for lunch but realised I had run out of bread so I decided to make savoury puffs instead!

The ingredients:

  • 6 slices of puff pasty squares
  • 3 slices of ham, cut in half
  • 3 medium size gherkins, sliced
  • A handful of peas, boiled and drained
  • 2 tablespoons of blue cheese (can substitute with cream cheese or other soft cheese)
  • 2 tablespoon of yellow mustard

# – First, roll the pastry out gently to thin it out a bit as well as to get the right size.

# – Lay a slice of ham and then some sliced gherkins over half of the pastry.

# – Then some peas.

# – And a dollop of blue cheese. Hrmmm…

# – Finish off with a squeeze of mustard.

# – Fold the pastry over to the other side and press down the edges with a fork to form a triangle. If the pastry got too soft to handle, just stick it in the fridge to firm up for a couple of minutes, it will make handling puff pastry so much easier.

# – With a fork, poke all over the surface of the triangles.

# – Chill in the fridge for about 5 minutes.

# – Then, stick in the oven at 210 degrees celcius for 13 minutes.

# – Ham & gherkin puff with mustard and blue cheese, DONE!

# – Crispy, buttery with porky, mustardy and cheesy stinking goodness.

This was surprisingly easy to make and fast. It’s a good change from the average ham and gherkin sandwiches as well. A bit naughty but of so delicious!

These frozen puff pastry, they’re so useful as well! I can think of a dozen other things to do with them, both sweet and savoury.

That said, I’m going to attempt to make puff pastries FROM SCRATCH, I promise.

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Snacks - Continue Reading

How to peel a pomelo and torture your dog for fun.

My dad went to Ipoh recently, an idyllic city in Northern Malaysia for a game of golf with his friends. He brought home a couple of signature goodies, namely baked salted chickens (orgasmic!), green bean biscuits (meh!) and pomelos (yums!).

# – Pomelo.

This is a post on how to peel a pomelo and then torture your dog for fun.

# – First of all, cut off the top of the pomelo as close to the flesh as possible, about an inch from the top.

# – Like this…

# – Then score from the start of the peel all the way to the bottom without cutting through. Do this all around the pomelo.

# – Using your fingers, pull the thick pomelo peel away from the side of the flesh.

# – Lastly, insert your finger underneath the bottom of the peel, and pull it off.

# – The result….

# – Then, peel the thick soft skin off the flesh.

# – Finally, enjoy the sweet pomelo fruit while…

# – …….having a good laugh at your poor dog wearing his new hat.

# – No dog was harmed at the expense of our enjoyment. Not physically anyway…..

Have a good weekend, peeps!

Posted in: Charlie & Friends, Tips & Tricks - Continue Reading

Sweet Princess Beef Recipe (hot, sweet and sour dry beef curry)

I have a confession.

I can’t do Asian food. I don’t know why, but I just can’t get my head around it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Asian food but I can’t seem to be able to achieve that delicate balance of flavours that the cuisine is known for. Lets not even begin on some of the techniques and skills involved with preparing Asian food…

And that’s why I decided to buy a cook book by Chef Wan, Malaysia’s answer to Jamie Oliver. It’s called “Simply Sedap!” and it contains apparently all of Chef Wan’s favourite recipes. The recipes, are not all local, but there are enough of them of which I would love to learn how to cook.

While flipping through the book, I realised that I have yet to acquire a lot of spices needed for some of the recipes. There I was…stupidly thinking that I had an awesome spice collection, but yet, I still did not have in my possession spices like fennel powder, cumin powder, candlenuts, mustard seeds and garam masala.

I believe there will be more to come. I can actually think of one more now…coriander powder! Arghh!

I believe I need more spice jars.

I’m hyperventilating!

Oh gawd, stop me!

I need help!

/give myself a good slap to the side of the head/

Anyway, the first recipe that I tried from Chef Wan’s book is called “Daging Puteri Manis” in Malay or Sweet Princess Beef in English. Don’t ask me why Chef Wan named the dish as such, but you got to admit…it’s a pretty catchy name.

# – “Daging Puteri Manis” or Sweet Princess Beef.

It was STUPENDOUS. Yeah, sorry I really do use words like that in my household. Sometimes, ‘delicious’ just doesn’t cut it, you know. The thick sauce was a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy. The knuckle steak was surprisingly tender thanks to an hour long of simmering.

The ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges then fried
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 2 inches of cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 10 shallots, finely diced (actually I used only 1 large red onion cause that’s all I had :P)
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons of chilli paste (original recipe called for 4 but I think mine was quite spicy, so go easy…you can add more if you want later)
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander powder (I used the seeds cause I didn’t have powder)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel powder
  • 500 grams of cubed beef (I used knuckle steak)
  • 250 ml of water (if you’re only cooking for 30 minutes, I did add a dash more later on to prevent drying as I cooked for 60 minutes)
  • 60 ml of tamarind juice (derived from 60ml of water + 2 tablespoon of tamarind paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings

There are loads of ingredients but the steps are really simple so it helps to prepare all the ingredients beforehand to avoid confusion.

# – First, you heat up enough oil to cover the bottom of the saucepan.

# – Chuck in the potato wedges to brown (I’ve already nuked them in the microwave to ensure they cooked through, you can boil or steam them first if you like)

# – When potatoes are browned, set aside.

# – With the same saucepan and leftover oil, throw in the cinnamon sticks, curry leaves, cardamom pods and cloves and stir around till fragrant.

# – Then, throw in the finely diced garlic, ginger and shallots.

# – When the shallots have turned translucent, throw in 2 teaspoons of cumin powder.

# – Followed by a teaspoon of fennel powder.

# – And a tablespoon of coriander seeds (original recipe called for powdered coriander seeds but I had none).

# – Next, 3 tablespoons of chili paste. Stir to combine.

# – Now, throw in the beef!

# – Then the water.

# – Stir and let it simmer uncovered for 30-60 minutes (I did 60 minutes, beef got more tender!)

# – 5 minutes before serving, pour in the tamarind juice.

# – Followed by 3 tablespoons of sugar.

# – And not to forget, a sprinkling of salt.

# – Almost done now….stir in the sliced onion.

# – As well as the tomatoes.

# – Most importantly, the divine potatoes prepared earlier. Stir till everything’s covered in the awesomesauce.

# – Then cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

# – 5 minutes later, Sweet Princess Beef, DONE!

# – Serve with piping hot rice for a STUPENDOUS dinner. Sorry, I did it again..

We cleared it.

Just short of licking the saucepan.

# – Only because I couldn’t fit my head inside :(

Have fun cooking!

Posted in: Beef, Homemade Recipes - Continue Reading