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Friday Foods: Spicy Soy Sauce Beef

Having to cook for myself when I was studying abroad meant that I usually asked around for easy recipes to cook. One of my favourite beef recipes to do was one that was give to me by my ex’s mother, a simple yet spicy soy sauce beef recipe or better known as Daging Masak Kicap (pic). It’s my go-to recipe when I feel like having beef and also one of my favourite dishes when my granny used to make them.

Ingredients
1/2 kilo of beef, cut thinly
2 potatoes cut into wedges and fried
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
6 shallots, sliced
a little bit of sliced ginger
Mixed together – 1 tsp chilli paste & 1 tsp curry powder
2 fresh red and green chillies, sliced
2 tsp vinegar


Marinate the beef with a little bit of salt and tumeric powder. Fry the beef in a little bit of oil. Add in a little bit of water and cook the beef until it’s well done. Remove the beef from the pot.

Add in a little bit of oil and fry the garlic, shallots and ginger. Add in the chilli past and curry powder mixture and fry until it’s fully cooked (basically when people outside of the kitchen are sneezing). Add in half a glass of water, soy sauce and a little sugar. You can add in a little crumbled cube of beef stock if you want. Stir until the sauce has thickened.

Add in the beef, the potatoes, fresh chillies and vinegar. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Serve hot with rice.

Serves about 4.


Friday Foods: My Mother’s Rendang

It’s been a really long while since I posted a recipe for this column. Things have gotten a bit hectic but fear not, here’s a recipe for you.

Beef Rendang
Photo by arnold | inuyaki

One of the dishes that one must have for Eid is rendang. There are many variations of the dish, using many different types of meat. I have an aunt who makes turkey rendang. Anyway, this dish is rather easy to make, that is if you don’t take into consideration the amount of ingredients you need.

Ingredients
1kg of beef, sliced
5 tbs coriander
1/2 tbs fennel
1/2 tbs cumin
20 dried chillies, cut open and soaked in hot water for at least 10 minutes
4 fresh chillies
3 lemongrass
6 cloves of garlic
3 shallots
1 large onion
2 inches turmeric
2 inches ginger
2 candlenuts
15 cloves
10 cardamom seeds
2 inches cinnamon
2 star anise
400ml coconut milk
100g kerisik
4-5 slices of tamarind, soaked in water
1/2 cup oil
1 turmeric leaf


Boil the beef with a stalk of lemon grass, a clove of garlic, sliced, and half an inch of ginger, sliced.

In the mean time, ground the fennel, cumin and coriander, and set it aside.

Drain the soaked chillies and put it in the blender with the fresh chillies, garlic, shallots, onion, turmeric, ginger, candlenuts and the bottom 2 inches of the remaining two lemon grass. Fill half the blender with water and blend all the ingredients until you get a smooth paste.

In a wok, heat up the oil and fry the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and star anise for a little while before adding in the blended ingredients. Mix in the ground spices and fry until the paste is dry, lumpy and fragrant. Add in about 1 tablespoon of salt and about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet or salty you want it.

Add the fried ingredients into the pot of beef that is boiling and stir in the coconut milk, the drained tamarind and the kerisik. Slice the turmeric leaf into the pot. Pound the remaining stalks of lemon grass and add it into the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beef is tender and the gravy has thickened.

Serve hot with white rice.


So Apparently, You CAN Make Chilli Without The Pre-mix

A while back, I posted about my modification to the McCormick’s chilli recipe. Yesterday, I discovered that I could actually make chilli, without using the pre-mix at all and I have to say, it tastes better too.

Dude picked my up from work and I thought, since it was nearly dinner time and what I have at home isn’t suitable for his slow-carb diet that he’s trying out after reading The 4-Hour Body, I thought, why don’t I make him dinner. The fastest thing that I could make was chilli and I could add in an extra helping of kidney beans for his carb intake. Unfortunately, the supermarket that I went to didn’t have the pre-mix and I’d ran out of it at home. So I thought, screw it, I’ll just see what I have at home and I’ll just wing it.

It worked out!

Ingredients

300-400g of mince meat
2tbs chilli powder
2tbs paprika powder
2tbs cayenne pepper
1-1.5tsp cumin
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can diced tomato
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 tbs oil
salt to taste


Heat the oil over a large flame and dump in the onions and garlic. Sweat them out until their nice and soft and add in the chilli, cayenne and paprika powder. Fry the mixture until its lost it’s ‘fresh’ chilli scent.

Add in the meat and fry until the meat is fully cooked. Add in the cumin, tomato and beans. Mix and bring to a boil. Taste and add salt to your taste.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it’s mostly dry, depending on how you like your chilli. Turn off the heat and serve.

Simple, huh?


Oh Hey! I Made Brownies!

Yesterday, I finally got around to bringing some of the cocoa powder and the large, dark chocolate chips that I had so much of, over to Dude’s house. We finally got around to making brownies after talking about it for so long.

baking brownies

Dude keeps telling everyone that I made everything, which isn’t true since I needed help seeing that we were using his kitchen and I wasn’t very familiar with everything there. Also, since we used his mom’s Kenwood mixer (which I’m totally in lust with), he had to help me set it up.


We used a blondie M&M brownie recipe as a base but substituted some things with the cocoa powder and chocolate chips and even adding in chopped almonds. I must say, it turned out well.

batter in the mold

Instead of using the usual pan, we used non stick cake moulds instead. Filling it with about a table spoon of batter into each well.

chocolate chips

Then we added extra chocolate chip on the top.

After baking it for about 25 minutes to half an hour, we let it cool and then we tasted it. It was so good; so chocolaty and I just wanted to stuff everything in my mouth.

The only problem we had was in trying to get the brownies out of the pan. We realised that if we filled it too much, the mushroom top of the brownie would prevent us from just scooping it out easily. Live and learn.

Since I know how to make it now, I’m going to make it at my house.


Friday Foods: Vegetable Curry

Curry
Photo by roolrool

When I was in uni, I only had a few recipes that I could do well and one of them was curry. For the whole year, I had curry almost every week but I’ve never done a vegetarian one. Even so, I find that the base or all the curries that my grandmother taught me are all the same.

Ingredients
2-3 cloves
1-2 star anise
2-3 cardamom
1-1.5 inch cinnamon stick
a handful of curry leaves
2 tbs curry powder
1 small onion, sliced
5 shallots and 2 garlic cloves, blended
2 potatoes, cubed
1 carrot, cubed
3-5 okras
1 cup of water
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbs oil
salt to taste


Heat the oil in a pot and add in the spices and the curry leaves. When the spices are fragrant add in the sliced onions and fry until it’s translucent. Add in the blended shallots and garlic. Fry again until it’s all soft and fragrant, then add in the curry powder. Once the powder has a ‘crispy’ scent, add in the water and the vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the hard veggies are cooked through. Add in the coconut milk to thicken it and salt to taste.

Served with either white rice or bread.

Note:
This curry is so versatile that you can add in almost any different kind of vegetables; eggplant, long beans, peas and chillies. You can even put in lentils like dhal. Just soak it over night and put it into the curry when adding in the vegetables. To get an even thicker curry, boil the dhal until it’s nice and soft and add it into the curry. It’s so good you can even eat it on it’s own.


Friday Foods: Mushroom Risotto

Bison Mushroom Risotto
Photo by eatallthethings

One of my favourite cook books is Cook With Jamie. I love the pictures and the instructions are rather simple to follow. So I decided to try it out.

Ingredients

For rice base:
3/4 cups of carnaroli rice
1/2 celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1L chicken/vegetable stock

For the Mushrooms:
100g of mushrooms, sliced
2 garlics, chopped
2tbs butter
some thyme
salt and black pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1L stock
grated Parmesan
an extra knob of butter


To make the rice base, melt the butter in the olive oil and fry the onion and celery over medium heat for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft but not coloured.

Add in the rice and keep stirring so that the rice won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add in the stock, a ladle at a time and keep stirring until the rice has absorbed all the stock. Keep adding the stock and stirring until the rice is about 3/4 cook (or as Jamie refers to it as al dente).

Remove the rice from the pan onto an oiled tray and let it cool. If you make large portions of the rice base, you can store it in an air tight container in the fridge so that you can use it for other risotto recipes.

For the mushrooms, melt the butter in the same pan that you used for the rice. When it’s nice and foamy, drop in the mushrooms. (You can use a mix of mushrooms like porcini, golden trumpet or even other wild mushrooms. I used Portobello) When the mushrooms are tender, add in the garlic and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Add in about half of the stock and put the rice back into the pan and stir until all the stock has been absorbed into the rice. Make sure that you keep stirring the rice as you add in more stock ladle by ladle so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

When the rice is nice and soft but not soggy, turn off the fire and stir in the extra knob of butter, parsley and grated Parmesan. Now it’s ready to eat.

Serves 1-2, depending on how much you eat.

Personally, I think there’s so many things that you can do with the rice base, so many different types of risotto. Even this risotto can be modified to how ever you want it to be, like adding bits of ham or bacon into it. So try it out.

If you want to try something even more interesting, head on to Rinaz’s site and try out her Strawberry Risotto recipe.


Friday Foods: Microwave MILO Chocolate Cake

Milo cake
Photo courtesy of Dude

One of the more interesting and yet extremely easy to make desserts that I’ve tried lately is the microwave cooked chocolate cake. There have been many different recipes out there for microwaved chocolate cake but so far, I don’t think that there’s any that involves Milo.

The recipe is based on this one but Dude made some changes that turned out really well.

Ingredients
4 tbs self-raising flour
4 tbs MILO powder
3 tbs sugar
3 tbs milk
3 tbs oil
1 egg

ingredients

So now that you have all your ingredients, what do you do?


dry ingredients

Add in all the dry ingredients into a large mug and mix it all together. Mix well and get rid of any lumps of dry ingredients to get a better mixture when the wet ingredients are added later.

wet ingredients

Add in all the wet ingredients and mix well with a fork. Make sure that the mixture is smooth and not lumpy at all.

microwaving

The mixture can be microwaved in the large mug or you can pour it into small cups. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, depending on your microwave. This part requires a little trial and error on your part as each microwave is slightly different. The best way to guage if the cake is done is to see if the glass of the microwave door is covered in steam and if the cake has stopped rising.

Run a knife along the side of the mug and you can pop it out of the container easily. Serve with scoop or two of your favourite ice cream or just eat it straight out of the mug.

There are many other variations that you can do with it, like dropping a couple of your favourite nuts into the mixture just before you pop it into the microwave with add that bit of nutty crunchiness.