Fish Slices Hor Fun


Browsing through food blogs us my favorite way to obtain ideas for meals. This idea was inspired by Singairisgirl’s post. Having some fish fillets in the freezer came in handy as well. It’s an easy, healthy meal that won’t break your budget. Carb loaded though.

Fish Slices Hor Fun
200 grams of fish fillet sliced
1 cup of corn flour
1 tsp of salt
1 egg beaten

2 sticks of horfun
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 bunch of kai lan
2 fish cakes sliced

Egg sauce
1.5 cups of stock
1/4 cup of Shao Xian Jiu
1 tsp of sugar
1 tablespoon of soya
1 tsp of dark soya
1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with cold water.
pepper
1 egg beaten

Method
1) Coat fish slices in egg then corn flour. Pan fry them till light and golden. Put it aside.

2) Soak hor fun in boiling water. Drain.

3) Heat oil in wok. Make sure that the wok is hot! Add garlic and fry till fragrant. Add hor fun. Keep frying. Add kai lan and fish cake slices. Cook till through. Dish into separate plates.

4) Boil stock in the same wok. Add seasoning. Taste. Adjust if required. Add cornstarch mixture. When the stock boiled and thickens, turn off the heat. Slowly add beaten egg while gently stirring the water. Ladle sauce onto noodles.

Blue Cheese Burger + Wedges

From time to time I have cravings for a burger. When I was on placement, a lady there told me to crumbled some blue cheese into the beef mixture (the same lady who gave me an aloe vera plant! I had to carry it in the train!).

Anyhow, I tried her suggestion and was pleasantly surprised. AR isn’t much of a blue cheese fan but I am! I love the sharp pungent flavour of the cheese! The sharpness of the cheese goes really well with the beef. Because it is melted, it’s not as strong as eating it with crackers. It’s really lovely biting into the patty and tasting the sharpness of the cheese.

Give it a go! I loved it!

Blue Cheese Burgers
500 grams of lean ground beef
50 grams of blue cheese crumbed
1 tsp of chili ( can omit.. i’m just a chili freak)
1 tsp of cumin
seasoned with cracked pepper
1 egg
1- 1/2 cup of packaged breadcrumbs

Mixed everything together. Shape into patties. Pan fry them. Serve with burger bread and wedges!

Yogurt Sultana Choc Chip Cookies

I have been experimenting from the Australian Women’s weekly Biscuits and Slices cookbook recently. Yup. My first baking cookbook. It stayed hidden in my bookshelf while I toyed with Jaimie Oliver, Donna Hay and my good-old recipe file. And then one day, I felt attracted to this book again. There it was small and tattered, waiting patiently at the corner of the bookshelf. If books could talk, perhaps this one was saying “Finally Daphne…. you remembered me again!”

I made two versions of this cookie. The first one was using butter and the second was olive oil. I also learned something very very important while I did the first batch of cookies- never use chocolate lesser than 60% cocoa content for baking. I have always stuck by that rule but for that particular occasion, I wanted to BAKE and there was the only bar of chocolate left in the pantry.

See how ugly this cookie looked? It tasted delicious though. Slightly crisp. I had initial doubts about using yogurt sultanas but it was sooo good that I wondered why didn’t I attempt this earlier?

My second attempt with olive oil. Better wasn’t it? It was a mess trying to shape these little delights but it was worth every sticky bit of it.

Yogurt Sultana Chip Cookies (makes about 60)

120 to 125 grams of olive oil
1 1/4 cups of corn flakes
1 cup of self raising flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
200 grams yogurt coated sultans
80grams of dark choc chips
2/3 cups of chopped walnuts
1 egg beaten lightly

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 baking trays. Combine all ingrediants in a bowl. Mix and roll tablespoons of mixture into balls. Line them on trays and bake for around 15 minutes till brown.

5 Facts about me!

This is LONG overdue! Singairishgirl tagged me yons and yons ago!! Finally know what I can say in this tag.. =)

5 Facts about myself

1) I survived on Indo Mee (instant noodles) and instant pasta during the first 4-6 months of my arrival to Australia. Since then, I rarely touched that brand of instant noodles or have eaten instant pasta…

2) Sweet and sour pork remains my favorite dish. It should be a food group by itself.

3) My friends nicked named me “daf” then “daffy” then “daffy duck”-hence the url of this blog is http://www.theduckquacking.blogspot.com

4) I have never watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S until the reruns came on. (now u know I’m slow in catching trends…).

5) I love my freedom in Perth but miss my loved ones in Singapore.

And I’m tagging

Baking Blondie
Mochachocolalata-Rita
A Malaysian Kitchen in Manchester
Celine
Precious Pea

Spinach and Fetta Pie


Spinach and Feta is another classic combination. The saltness of feta goes so well with the texture and taste of spinach. I have been wanting to experiment with filo pastry for a while now. The last time I used it was about 4-5 years ago. I remembered that experience to be tedious. The brushing of butter on each piece of filo. My clumsy hands tore several sheets of filo along the way and I was tired after making 24 spinach feta triangles! I decided to be less ambitious and tackle a pie dish this time round rather than individual tiny triangles that required more attention.

This time round, I tore a few sheets of filo again and was tired of brushing the pastry after the first 4 sheets. Then I grew lazy and decided to pile the sheets on the pyrex, praying that it will work. I figured out it will be more successful if I could stop tearing the pastry! Thankfully, the pastry still came out crisp and lovely despite not having butter brushed on individually. I’m pretty sure I have around 8-10 sheets on the pyrex.

Spinach and Fetta Pie (adapted from Donna Hay 1, pg. 170).
8-10 sheets of filo pastry
50 grams of butter melted

Filling
1 bunch of english spinach trimmed, soaked and washed.
150 grams of fetta crumbed
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon of mixed spice
1 cup of light and easy evaporated milk
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C. Tear spinach.

Prepare filo pastyr by brushing each sheet with butter and layering it with another piece of filo. Repeat. Place pastry in pyrex or square baking tray (around 8 1/2 inch pan), letting some of the pastry hang out.

Combine egg, milk, fetta, mixed spice and seasoning in a jug. Place spinach onto the pan first. Pour egg mixture next. Bake for 20-25 minutes till the filo turns golden.

ps: coincidentally, Singairishgirl made spinach puffs too!

Macademia and White Choc Cookies

After a week of feeling uneasy, shaken and sad, the last post did make me feel better. It’s cathartic. The cycle of life never lies. You go through birth, teenage, young adulthood, adulthood, marriage, parents. grandparents and finally death. Sometimes, people skip a few stages and jump from one to another. It’s human life. It’s unavoidable.

I’m know that I’m blessed with a set of loving and patient parents, great grandma, life partner and a group of close friends who will walk through life with me (just as I will walk with them). And I’m blessed with friends I met through the blogging world who offer me great tips and advice.

Death is usually an ugly word. One comfort I found is the fact that tomorrow is Good Friday. A day when Christians remember the death of Jesus and God’s grace to us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood; how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him?

Romans 2:8-9

So I have two things to share with you today!

Number 1:

What would you do with a $50 Williams-Sonoma giftcard?

The Clean Plate Club has been so kind to offer a giftaway! Check it out! I lurveeee the things at Williams-Sonoma. I know what I want if I win that gift card. It would be tartlette and non-stick Madeleine pans.

Visit the link and participate in it too! You have until 30th of April. Go quick! =)

Number 2:

A cafe favorite.

Macademia and White Chocolate Cookies

It’s not often that you hear me rave about white chocolate. Technically, they are not even chocolate. It’s a combo not to be missed though. White chocolate and macadamia nuts are a match made in heaven. I tried dark chocolate with it and for some odd reason, it just didn’t taste as good as the white chocolate. There must be something about macademia that goes well with white choc.

Do you still have the first recipe book that you baked from? I still do. In fact, seven years ago I tried recipes from there and I failed miserably. I picked this book up again not too long ago and boy am I surprised by what I can do now compared to previous attempts.

So have a go at this during the Easter Break. It’s really really good.

Macademia and White Chocolate Cookies (makes about 40)
125grams of butter
2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of self raising flour
1 cup chopped unsalted roasted macademias
3/4 cup of rolled oats
200grms white choc bits

Preheat Oven to 180C
Beat butter, eggs, sugar and essence till they become light and fluffy. Fold in flours, nuts, oats and chocolate.

Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls; placed them on lined baking trays. Bake for 15 minutes or till browned slightly. Cool and EAT.

Have a BLESSED Easter!

My grandma’s coffee agar agar


Ok, I admit. I was in a dessert mood recently. Coffee Agar Agar (or coffee jelly) is my grandmother specialty. I miss her terribly-especially during the last few days when there are so many unfortunate events happening in Singapore. Nothing beats being with your family members and loved ones around.

The father of my very close friend is in a critical condition. So critical that the doctors told us that there are no chances of survival. Not even 1%. It broke my heart when I heard that. My friend who is married to a German, flew all the way from Germany back to be by her papa’s bedside.

It hit home. It brought back memories when my mum and grandma were in critical conditions separately previously. Fortunately and with the Lord’s blessing, they are doing great now. Since then, I made them SWEAR to tell me EVERYTHING, especially if any of family members or close friends are hospitalized! Yup, they chose to hide from me for more than a month when they were ill separately.

When I close my eyes, I remembered how Haz’s dad used to tease us. How he welcomed me to his home every week when I hung around in her room (She has this amazing display of boy band posters!). oh! and he rang me when haz sneaked out on a date with a boy. Every year, when I visit her parents on my annual trip back to SG, uncle would teasingly asked when I’m getting married or when I’m finishing my studies. Sometimes, he would even generously show us his extensive DVD collection. Uncle’s sense of humor never fail to crack me up and even grandma would laugh (despite not really understanding what he was saying….).

I wouldn’t say that I have a close relationship with Haz’s dad. However, I would say that I admire this man. He is an amazing parent to Haz. His giving ways to his daughter and one of my closest friend is unconditional.

Maybe I’m in denial to type this in present tense. The family has decided not to pull the life support out but to let him go naturally. But this is a nightmare to those who are away from their family and close friends. I can’t help but be in tears because I just cannot imagine what haz is going through right now.

I can’t help but reflect how much I miss my family and friends.

So I present to you my grandmother’s agar agar that I made sometime ago. The dessert that brings a little sanity to what I’m feeling now. The dessert that makes me feel slightly closer to home.


Coffee Agar Agar
2 packets of swallow brand agar agar
1 tablespoon of coffee powder
sugar
2-3 tablespoons of boling water
1 can of coconut milk or evaporated milk.

Follow the instructions on the agar agar packet. When it comes to boil, add sugar and powder. Keep stirring till the powder dissolve. Remove from heat. When it is cooled slightly, add coconut milk or evaporated milk. Stir. Pour into mould.

Next, boil another pot of water. Again, dissolve sugar and powder in the boiling water. Remove from heat and add coffee mixture (mix boiling water with coffee powder). Cool slightly. Pour on top of the coconut/evaporated milk mixture. Chill for 2-4 hours.

Serve.

To everyone: I’m fine. A little shaken but doing ok. This post has done me good. I needed to write my feelings down. I’m sorry for such a depressing write up. I will be back with my normal posts. Haz, if you are reading- I love you. My thoughts and prayers are with you*hugs*

Black Bean Yong Tau Fu

Just in case you think that I’m eating nothing but sweets, I have decided to do a YTF post today YTF-Yong Tau Fu. It’s another of my “must have” when I return to SG. Although limited in selections, there is a shop nearby that sells fresh yong tau fu every Saturday. I bought a few packets of different variaties (e.g. bitter gourd, fried bean curd..etc) and froze it.

One of my favorite way to have this, is in noodles soup. However, I used this in a stirfry as well. Lots of garlic, freshly chopped chili and black bean sauce is the way to go!


Black Bean YTF
400grams of mixed YTF
3 Tablespoons of black bean sauce (go for Lee Kum Kee, Ayam brand isn’t as good)
1 tsp of sugar
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 chopped chili

Heat oil in pan. Stir fry garlic and chili till fragrant. Add YFT and stir fry. Stir in the sauce. Toss for a few more minutes. Serve with hot steamy rice.


Besides Laksa, what other ways would you use YTF?

Mango Mochi

Maybe I should re-name all these posts to “mango mania”. It wasn’t intentional but I realized that some of my meals/desserts that I have been making consist of mango pretty often. Oh, and I didn’t make them all at once. I just consolidated them into a series.

Inspired by a dimsum trip, I decided to make these little jewels. Mochi is one of my favorite sweets so I thought mango+mochi= perfect dessert!

I was a little disappointed by this attempt. Even though I used mango juice, the taste of mango wasn’t strong enough in the mochi skin. Perhaps some mango essence or fresh mango puree would make a difference.

I also used small cubed mangoes as the filling rather than mango puree, purely because it was easier to handle. It might be worthwhile experimenting with puree though. Oh! And I coated the mochi with shredded coconut rather than corn starch, which I felt was slightly too strong for this. In fact, I think this mochi resembles ondeh ondeh….

I have adapted this recipe from my previous attempts of making Mochi. Please feel free to provide some suggestions on how I could improve it further. =)

Mango Mochi
1 cup glutinous rice flour
180ml mango juice

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 mango in tiny cubes

shredded coconut for dusting/coating

Method:

1. In a glass bowl, combine flour,juice and sugar. Stir to mix well.

2. Cover with a plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and stir well. Return to microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir-well and check for doneness. If not, put it back for another 30 seconds, be careful not to burn it. In most cases, the first 30 seconds after the initial 2 mins should be enough.

3. Flour the working surface with coconut and use a spoon to drop a ball of mochi on top and quickly cover it with coconut. Wrap the mango inside and cover with more coconut. Shape into balls. Moisten if necessary to close the edges. Pop in your mouth and enjoy!

Min Jiang Kueh (Chinese Peanut Pancake)

One of my favorite snacks in SG. There is a different version of this in Malaysia. Malaysia’s version is crispier with shreds of coconut, peanuts and cream corn. This one is slightly thicker. Nevertheless, I can’t get enough of this!

When I told grandma that I attempted this, she said it will make a good breakfast for AR! Since AR usually wakes up at 6am (if not earlier), I told grandma that there is NO way that I’m going to get up at 5:15am just to make breakfast!!! Anyhow, grandma clarified to say I could make it the day before and AR can toast it for his breakfast which sort of make sense…

edit: That above paragraph sounds illogical. Now you know the way I speak and blog when I’m in a daze. What I meant to say was this would make a good breakfast item as well. Oh, did I mention that my neighbours’ children finished this up in record time? They make really good candidates for trying out my bakes/food experiments. *evil grin* Having said that, I did check if they have a peanut allergy and they do not (phew).

Here it goes =)

Chinese Peanut Pancake (makes 6)

Pancake
150 g plain flour
1 tsp instant dry yeast
25grams of caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
220 ml lukewarm water
2 eggs lightly beaten
50ml canola oil
1/2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/2 tsp water
more lukewarm water
Filling
150grams of peanuts
40grams of sesame seeds
50grams of caster sugar

Method

1) Mix flour, yeast, sugar, salt and luke warm water. Stir to mix well. Cover with cling wrap and let the mixture proof for about 15 minutes or so.
2) Add eggs, oil and baking soda water
3) Let it stand for 10 minutes before cooking.
4) Mean while, prepare filling by mixing the ingrediants together.
4) Heat a small non stick pan. Pour a little oil. Using a soup ladle, scoop 1-2 ladle full batter into the pan.
5) Cook for about 3 minutes or so. Spoon filling onto half of the pancake. Fold over.
Serve it warm!

Check out Aimei’s blog for her version. This recipe was adapted from her blog.
Also, Yummie Dummies for unique filling ideas!