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Friday Foods: Caramelised Bananas

caramelised bananas

When I was growing up, my grandmother used to talk about a traditional Baweanes dessert called , literally translated, Broken Log. I have no idea why it’s called that. Anyway, it’s basically caramelised bananas.

The recipe below is a modernised version of it, with a twist.

Ingredients

4 ripe but firm bananas (the Del Monte bananas work nicely)
1 tbs butter
1 tsp sugar (you can use any type of sugar of your choice)
a pinch of cinnamon powder


Cut the bananas into halves, lengthwise. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan. When the butter is nice and foamy, add in the bananas. Shake the bananas gently in the pan and cook on both sides until it has caramelised a little. Transfer the bananas onto a plate.

In the pan with the left over butter from cooking the bananas, add in the sugar and cinnamon powder. Stir the mixture until all the sugars have caramelised. Pour it onto the bananas and serve.

Serves about 4, depending on how much you want to eat.

Note: For this recipe, we used slightly over-ripe bananas. It wasn’t a really good idea since the bananas turned to mush after a while in the pan but it still tasted really good


Friday Foods: Gnocchi alla Sorentina

Gnocchi con sugo di salsiccia
via francescomucio

I like trying out new recipes but sometimes, I’ve never had the food that I’m attempting to make. For example, gnocchi is something that I’ve never had before so it involves a lot of trial and error, though I think it turned out OK.

Ingredients
500g potatoes
1 cup flour (you may not need to use all)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium onion, sliced finely
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 table spoon tomato paste
1 can pasta sauce
Parmesan, grated


Boil the potatoes. Once they’re nice and soft, drain and wash them in cold water. Removed the skin and mash them. Add in the flour bit by bit and knead until you get a nice dough consistency. Normally, you should roll out the dough into a 1.5cm diameter strand and cut it, but I just pinched off little pieces of it, about 1-1.5cm sized balls and roll it in dough to prevent it from sticking. Store it in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.

To make the sauce, fry the garlic and onion in one or two table spoons of olive oil. When it’s nice and fragrant, add in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add in half a cup of water to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add in the fresh tomatoes and the can of pasta sauce. Stir well and simmer the sauce.

In another pot, boil some water and some salt. When the water is boiling add in the gnocchi, a few at a time. When they start floating to the top, scoop the out and add it into the simmering sauce. When all the gnocchi are in the sauce, stir it carefully so as not to break the dumplings up. If the sauce is too dry, add some of the water that was used to boil the gnocchi.

Serve in a oven proof dish. Grate some Parmesan cheese and break some mozzarella cheese on top and stick it in the oven to melt the cheese. Or, you can just serve it on a plate like I did and tuck in.

Now, all I need is to sample gnocchi that is made by people who know what they’re doing just so that I can compare.


Friday Foods: Moutabel

baba ganoush
via snekse

Other than hummus, moutabel is another favourite of mine. It’s relatively easy to make too. I love the roasted, smokey flavour that comes with the roasting of the eggplant.

Ingredients
1 large eggplant
1 medium sized onion
1/3 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
4 table spoons lemon juice
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 green chili


Cut the eggplant, onion and chili in half and roast for half an hour in the oven at 180°c-200°c or until the eggplant is tender. (I put my ingredients to be roasted in the toaster oven for half an hour) When the roasted vegetables are cool, remove the skin on the eggplant. Put all the ingredients into a food processor and give it a whizz until you get a nice paste.


The Way To His Stomach

The sight of a man eating, enjoying his food, has got to be, in my opinion, one of the most interesting things to watch. Especially if said man has an insatiable appetite for gastronomic delights, a refined palate and an honest appreciation for all things food related, be it in the cooking or the eating. It’s this kind of appreciation that makes one want to continue cooking and trying out recipes.

Imagine him taking a bite of food that you’ve prepared and watch him close his eyes and sigh, as he let the taste of it fill his mouth. As he starts chewing, the burst of flavours makes him sigh audibly. He can’t help himself when he lets out a tiny moan of pleasure and it sends shivers down your spine knowing that you’re the one that made him moan, even if it’s just with your cooking.

He keeps telling you that he can’t really tell how good the food is and so he has to take another bite. One bite is followed by another, and then another, and before you know it, all the food is gone. The satisfied man in front of you says, “Fail! You need to make it again!” And you know that is his way of saying that it’s good there fore you should make more of it.


Truthfully, it’s never happen to me but it would really, really nice to have someone appreciate my cooking that way.


Friday Foods: Honey Joys

perth_05
via clara-maya

My family makes this ever year for Eid as it is very simple and quick to make. The best part is that it’s really tasty too.

Ingredients

125g butter
250g cornflakes
80g caster sugar
50g honey
80g chopped nuts (peanuts or almonds)
sufficient paper cups
sufficient hundred thousand sprinkles (optional)


Pan roast the chopped nuts for a minute or two and put it aside. Heat the honey and sugar together over low heat. Add in the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Take the pot off the flame.

Stir in the cornflakes and nuts until everything is evenly coated with the honey mixture. Using teaspoons, scoop the cornflakes into the paper cups and sprinkle the colourful sprinkles.

Bake at 160°C for 8-10min, until it’s a nice golden brown.

Note: If you’re going to keep it in a jar, always make sure that the honey joys are at room temperature before putting it into an air-tight container. This is to retain the crispiness and freshness of it.


Friday Foods: Falafel

Falafel
via kudumomo

Falafel is one of my favourite Middle Eastern cuisines ever since I first had it at a Lebanese restaurant. I’ve been wanting to see if I could make it at home since I‘m cheap don’t always go to that restaurant. So when Cartcart game me a very simple recipe, I decided to try it out.

Ingredients

175g dried chickpeas
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp parsley, chopped
salt


Soak the chickpeas over night in water and remove the skin. (Tip: To remove the skin, wrap the soaked peas in a towel and smash them with the bottom of a heavy bottle.)

Put all the ingredients into a blender or a food processor and give it a whiz.

Roll the paste into small balls and deep fry them. If you had added a little water into the blender like I did, you can just drop teaspoonful of the mixture into the hot oil. Cook until it’s golden brown.

You can eat it on it’s own or in pita bread with veggies. I like to dip it in hummus.

Note: My falafels ended up looking like pakoras but I think that falafels are essential Middle Eastern pakoras. I think that it would have turned out better if I had used a food processor instead of a blender but it still turned out nice and tasty. Since the dhal pakoras have about the same texture, I’m going to try it with dhal the next time.


Friday Foods: Homemade Coney Dog Sauce

I didn’t expect it to be such a hit when I tried out the recipe but it was. Now you don’t have to go all the way to A&W for coney dogs.

Two with everything
via mollyali

Coney Island Chili Dog Sauce

1 pound ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 six ounce can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (heaping)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Brown ground beef in a skillet, adding onions half way
through. Add minced garlic when meat is nearly done.

Add remaining ingredients; stir well to combine. Simmer over
low heat 15 minutes.

Serve over hot dogs, Coney Island style!

Changes I did when I tested it out: I thought that 2 teaspoons of chilli powder was a wussy amount to use so instead, I added 1½ tablespoons of home-made chilli paste. Also, I omitted the celery seed, the mustard and the Worcestershire sauce.

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