Crepes Florentine

One of the things I love about Australia is the cafe culture. I have grown to love the coffees and good food. It’s a very relaxing to be able to sit in your favourite cafe, looking out to the sunshine, sipping a cup of freshly made cappuccino, reading a magazine or newspaper and digging in to your plate of breakfast or brunch.

Somehow, I consider crepes to be “cafe food”. Crepes Florentine is inspired by Eggs Florentine-a classic breakfast. My vision of it is thin crepes covering eggs florentine. Rather than poached eggs, I was thinking of wet scrambled eggs with lightly beaten eggs (so that the whites is still showing) with bites of crumbed feta cheese through it.

By now you are probably familiar with “Daphne’s moments” in the kitchen. Which really means “mistakes that shouldnt have been made” or a simple “DOH”. Well, this time round, my mistake was to add 2.5 cups of flour into the mixture rather than 1/2 cup of flour. You can imagine how puzzled I was when I had really STICKY dough rather than a smooth crepe batter!!!!

What happened was that I made a batch of cookies just before making crepes florentine and that recipe called for 2.5 cups of flour. I was probably still in “cookie mode” rather than “Crepes florentine” mode resulting in a dough like mixture rather than smooth batter.

The optimistic me went “doh” and chunk out the batter, oping to try again than to add 4 times the amount of milk to make the dough into batter (that means 36 crepes!!!!).

So finally, I had smooth batter..and the cooking process begin.

Or rather..the flipping process.

See what I mean?

Doesn’t that bring back memories?

But finally, I did it!! A nice looking crepe!

=)

Cafe food at the comfort of your home. Bliss!

Crepes Florentine

Crepes
1/2 cup of flour
200ml milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon of butter melted

eggs florentine
1 tablespoon of butter
3 eggs
3 cup of baby spinach leaves
20 grams of crumbed feta
sea salt and cracked peper
(optional-rashers of bacon)

1) Crepe Batter-Whisk milk, egg and butter in a jug. Sift flour in bowl. Make a well in the middle. Add wet ingredients. Use a whisk to stir, gradually drawing flour to make a smooth batter. Cover and set aside or 30 minutes or so.

2) Make crepes- heat crepe pan or non stick frying pan. Add oil or brush the pan with some more butter. Ladle a generous scoop of batter into the pan. Swirl it till it cover the base. Cook for around 2 minutes before turning it over. cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat for 5-6 more crepes.

3) Using a small pan, quickly melt a tablespoon of butter. Saute spinach. Set aside. Lightly beat eggs. Pour into pan and scramble lightly. Add spinach. Crumbed feta over it. Spoon mixture onto each crepe. Serve! (if using bacon, saute bacon with spinach).

Jaden Kitchen Cookbook Testing 2- Noodles for Presto Pasta Nights

Like Mochachocolarita, I love blogging events. It’s a community thing. The world seems a little happier when like minded people get together to celebrate with food. The generosity of food bloggers (or floggers) with information and tips also amazes me.

Well, earlier I posted about my experience about testing out recipes for Jaden’s recipe book. I’m still learning heaps just by stepping out of my little comfort zone and trying out other cuisines and ingredients. Jaden is looking for more testers, so if you feel up to it..try it! It’s great fun.

Recently I have tested out two recipes which I love.

Miso Ramen


I have made Teriyaki Miso Noodles before but this one brings it to another level. Instead of staying safe and buying red miso paste, I decided to try Jaden’s suggestion and use white miso paste. Somehow, I can’t tell the difference!!! Shows how good my tastebuds are.
The use of ramen provided the textural bite to the noodles-which I enjoyed.
Instead of having hard boiled eggs, I under cook the eggs by 3 minutes. This resulted in soft yolks. The runny egg and miso soup combination? Yum! I did find the recipe slightly too salty for my liking but I like the easiness and healthy meal idea.

Korean Jap Chae

This is one recipe that I was a little nervous about trying. It’s not just any Korean stir fried noodles-Jap chae uses sweet potato noodles which I have never used before. I have heard horror stories about how it can become mushy when it becomes overcooked. Thankfully, it didn’t happen.

I like the sesame seeds sprinkle on top of the noodles. It just gives it an extra omph. However, I did find the original recipe a little blend and added a few more tablespoons of soya sauce. Other than that, I do like the amount of vegetables in this. It actually makes me feel healthy!


Yup. It’s that time of the week again. One of my favorite blogging event is Presto Pasta Nights. This showcase how versatile noodles and pasta is. This week Ruth, the founder of the event is hosting.

The sega continues…in search for the Perfect Choc Chip Cookies


Some of you may have recalled my obsession with chocolate chip cookies. There must be a password out there to decode those beautifully baked cookies from Subway or Famous Amos! Zen chef left me a comment some time ago about his favorite cookie recipes and if someone saw me then, they probably would see my eyes sparkle and mind ticking away.

So I have decided to embark on a long term chocolate chip cookie quest- Bring it on people! I have been toying with the idea on having a “Cookie Bake off” soon, so stay tune! Let me know what you think and if you will be interested in one.

There are so many choc chip cookie recipes out there, that they are mind boogling. I like mine with crisp edges and slight crumbly middle. My dream cookie would be those you can find at a deli-the HUGE ones.

But back to Zen Chef’s recipe. He left 3 recipes on his blog, inviting me to try them. So I did! I attempted the Flat and Chewy ones first and they were fantastic! So so so addictive. Seriously one of my favorite choc chip recipes so far. Thanks Zen chef!!

And yes! I did try his other 2 versions as well. Stay tuned!!

Zen Chef’s Flat and Chewy Cookies (40 cookies)
2 cups of flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon of sea salt
226 grams butter
1 1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of dark choc bits
2 cups of toasted walnuts

1) Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with baking paper.

2) Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs then vanilla. Add sifted flour, baking soda and salt. Fold through. Fold choc and walnuts. Chill the dough (I chilled for around 4 hrs).

3) Roll a tablespoon of dough in balls and flatten them. Bake for 15-20 minutes till edges become golden. Cool and transfer to rack. Chill dough in between batches.

ps-calling more choc chip recipes if you have any! I’m determine to crack the cookie code! =)

Mee Mamak-Mee and My Malaysia


Over the past year or so, I have taken food blogging more seriously. This blog started with lots of whinging and de stressing moments. Then I decided to grow up and blog about more positive things- Food came to mind.

One of the first food blogging events that I participated in was MUHIBBAH-an annual event organized by Babe in KL. This event invites Malaysians from all over the world to celebrate Merdeka day. Now, I’m not Malaysian but I do have some family ties to Malaysia-and given that I’m getting married to one, my mother is married to one (i.e., my dad) and even my auntie is married to one (Irene!), I asked Babe for permission to participate in that event.

*Ok, by this time you are probably wondering what is it about Malaysian men and Singaporean women in my family. I have no answer to that!*

This year though, I asked AR to contribute by giving me a suggestion on what should I prepare for this event. So to push it-it’s really his contribution but I cooked it. Teamwork! LOL

Looking at my past entry, it did struck me that I have gradually learned how to improve in my photography/lighting skills. Long way to go but I’m happy that I have progressed over time.

The theme this year is “Mee and My Malaysia“. AR first response was “MEE MAMAK!” and my response was… “what’s that?!” What a good start hey? So I goggled it up and even that hardly revealed any answers. AR patiently tried to explain it to me and said that the dish is usually eaten at Mamak stores (which I have grown to love!, pass me that plate of thosai please!). It features balachan and have ground nuts sprinkled on top of it.

So that got me intrigued. Is that not Mee Goreng? He said they are not quite the same. Firstly Mee Goreng does not have sambal belachan or ground nuts sprinkled on it. Secondly, Mee mamak also have a more tangy/sour taste to it. Thirdly, Mee Goreng is more tomatoey.

Since he has such an emotional response to the topic, I decided to go with Mee Mamak. His smile was worth the research… I think!

With that answer and some adaptation of versions that I found online, I came up with this recipe. I’m really not sure if this is the authentic version but AR claims that it is as close as it can get. He did say was that the mamak version doesnt have squid, the noodles was slightly too soft and the home cooked version is less oily.

I’m happy though that he reckons it is close to the real thing. Seriously, I have NO idea if this is or not because I was cooking blindly!

So Malaysians out there! Let me know! =)

Mee Mamak (Serves 4-5)

500 grams of yellow mee
A
7-8 baby squid

B
1 onion chopped finely
3-4 tablespoons of sambal belachan
4 pieces of dried chilli chopped
1/2 cup of dried shrimps chopped
1 red chilli chopped

C
2 chopped tomatoes
1 cup of bean sprouts
3 fried tofu sliced

D
4 tablespoon of light soya sauce
3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce or tomato paste (diluted with some stock)

3 eggs lightly beaten
ground nuts
lime
shallots
green chilli

1) Score squid. Fry on high heat quickly till done. Set aside.

2) Heat wok with a little oil. Add in B and stir till the mixture gets fragrant. Add about 2 tablespoons of water to in. Simmer till done.

3) Add C and fry briefly till the tomatoes turn soft. Add the yellow mee in.

4) Mix D in a jug. Toss the mee with D. Taste and see if the taste is sufficient. Add more soya/tomato sauce if it isn’t.

5) Make a well in the middle and add the eggs. Toss it through. Don’t forget the squid!

6) Serve it with green chilli, deep fried shallots, ground nuts and lime juice.

I’m sharing this with my Malaysian friends at Mederka Day Open House 2008 hosted by Babe in KL.

Steak with Bean Mash


What a fabulous 2 weeks of the Olympics huh? I did not manage to catch much of it, but what I watched, I appreciate. The hard work of the Olympians, training for so many years just to achieve their dreams is so inspiring.

I’m a big believer of setting goals and having a vision for one self. Dreams help to fuel those I suppose. Without life goals and dreams, life will become meaningless no? =)

AR and I attended our first marriage prep session on Saturday. We completed a multiple choice questionnaire with 165 questions aim to look at our personalities, communication and plans for the future. Sitting in an empty room with the pieces of paper, we joked about some of the questions and took others more seriously. At the end of the day, we returned with a few discussion questions that allowed us to talk freely. One of our discussion question was about the vision for our relationship and how we are going to work on it.

To change the topic quite drastically and back on to the topic of dreams and the purpose of this blog, food! One of my major goals in the kitchen is to cook a mean steak. Since reading Jaden’s post on how to tenderize steaks, it has changed my fear of cooking steaks. Still, I have my hit and misses at times.

This time round, I decided to trim the steaks to a smaller portion. Firstly, I cannot stomach a whole chunk of steak, and 2ndly, it allowed me to practise on more pieces of meat. Of course, the time require to cook these treasures are shorter as well.

I also decided to serve this with mash butter beans rather than potatoes. Certainly an interesting touch and add abit of a dimension to the usual “Steak and mash” nights. I also did a avocado, tomato, corn and edaname bean salsa.


Steak with Bean Mash (serves 2)
2 pieces of rump steak trimmed
sea salt
chili flakes
cracked pepper
olive oil

Bean mash
1 can of butter beans drained
1 tablespoon of butter
salt n pepper
1/4 cup of milk

Avocado, corn, tomato and edaname bean salsa
1 avoacdo,
1/2 cup of corn kernals
1 tomato chopped
1/2 cup of edaname beans-after shells r removed.
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
salt n pepper.

1) Sprinkle or grind fine sea salt all over steaks liberally. Set aside for around 20-30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, boil and drain butter beans. Mash with butter and milk. Season.

3) Chop avovado and mix with corn, tomato and edname beans. Stir in lemon juice and season.

4) Heat grill to very hot. Rinse salt of steaks. Pat dry. Lightly season with chili flakes and cracked pepper. Toss some olive oil over it. Grill each side for around 3-4 minutes.

5) plate them up and enjoy!

Fruit Tarts

There are some food that you associate with breakups (i.e. chocolates), some that you associate with weddings (i.e. beautifully crafted cakes) and some that you associate with relationships. Well, I associate fruit tarts with time spent with my mother.

Growing up, I was never strong in my academic subjects. My parents enrolled me in numerous tuition class and never gave up encouraging me to do just slightly better. Every Sunday after church, my mother would encourage me to attend my English tuition by promising a nice lunch with her after tuition (plus window shopping of course). We would nearly always end up at Delifrance for some mother-daughter time and a fruit tart for me. Because mum works full time, those precious moments spent together were highly cherish by me, and I’m sure by my mum as well.

I love the custard that filled the sweet crust. The slight tang from the strawberries + kiwi fruit goes so well with the sweetness of the crust and custard. I remembered savoring every bite while mum and I chatted about tuition, school and shopping.

Well, so many years have past but my love for fruit tarts remain. I spotted Mrs Kwok’s recipe and was impressed by how easy it seems to be…and so I thought! I underestimated the time and skill required to make these little beauties though and screwed up big time with the custard the first time round. Obviously, I did not heat the custard long enough and it was still watery. The 2nd time was better-but there wasn’t enough custard to fill the tart shells! I quickly whipped up another batch of custard and that seem to be sufficient.


See how wet the custard was?

These babies aren’t as pretty as the ones at Delifrance but bitting into one sure bring backs memories. Mum- fruit tart and lunch at Delifrance when I get back next year! =)

Fruit Tarts (4 large size tarts and 10 mini ones)

Custard Cream 4 tablespoon of corn flour
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp of sugar
200 ml of milk

Tart Shells
500 grams of cake flour
150 grams icing sugar
250 grams butter
2 large whole eggs

1) Custard- Combine egg ylk and corn flour. Whisk till ingredients combined. Add sugar into the yolk mixture and mix well. Warm milk on stove. Stir warmed milk gently into the egg yolk. Put the mixture back on low heat and keep stirring till it gets thicken (expect 10-15 minutes of stirring if not more). Chill.

2) Tart Shells- Cream butter and icing sugar. Add eggs. Fold in 2/3 flour by batches. Gather up dough and knead it genthly. Add remaining flour to make into a smooth dough. Roll dough in longular shape and cut into equal portion. (I cut 4 into big portions and 10 tiny ones). Shape dough into tart mould. Bake for 250 C in 180C preheated oven.

3) Assemble- Spoon custard cream into shell and top it with fruits. If you like, heat up some jam and glace the tarts.

Chicken Bibimbup

There is a recent new wave of Korean Restaurants in Perth. I tried it a few months ago, and I’m hooked! simply adore those tiny side dishes that they serve with the main meal. AR isn’t a fan of kimchi but that means I get to eat more of it! =)

We met up with a friend a few months ago for a catch up at a tiny Korean eatery. I ordered my first bibimbup and absolutely love the spicy kick + runny egg on a hot bowl of rice. Then we tried the stone bowl version-which was soo sooo good. The meal remained hot even after 25 minutes on a cold wintery day.

I spotted a tub of spicy paste at a Korean supermarket but wasn’t able to understand its instructions. Thank goodness for food bloggers-because I pop a question to peony and she gave me the leads on what paste is needed to make bibimbup. It’s easy to prepare at home and what is there not to love-especially since there are less dishes to wash after serving.

I dare not say this is the authentic version-far from it! Still, it’s lovely to enjoy this dish at home and is budget friendly too! One thing I will change though-I will add crisp seaweed to it the next time round!

Chicken Bibimbup (serves 2)
2 generous tablespoon of Korean Hot paste
1to 2 pieces of chicken breast or thigh-chopped
garlic
1 cup of rice
2 eggs

Sides
Sesame Shitake Mushrooms
1 cup of dehydrated mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of roasted sesame seeds
1 tsp of sugar
1tablespoon of soya sauce

1 cup of bean sprouts blanched
1 tsp of sesame oil

1 carrot, julienne.

1) Marinate chicken in bibimbup paste.

2) Cook rice.

3) Quickly saute chicken with garlic. Keep warm and set aside.

4) Quickly marinate mushrooms with sesame oil, sugar and soya. Saute it for 2 minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds.

5) I like my carrots slightly soft-so I blanched it with hot water and fry it for 3 minutes with some sesame oil. Same thing with bean sprouts.

6) Spoon rice into seperate bowls. Assemble chicken and other sides around the rice.

7) Fry up the egg. Make sure the yolk is still runny. Dish egg into bowl.

8) Serve with more hot paste sauce.

Check out Tigerfish’s salmon version of this dish.

I can’t be bothered but easy peasy noodles


There are days when I have no ideas on what should I be cooking. Generally, those are days when we are in a rush or had a tough day out there and being infront of the kitchen stove just doesn’t seem too appealing.

On those days, fried noodles are usually on the agenda. It’s quick, easy and require little washing up. I call them the “I can’t be bothered but easy peasy” noodles. =)


I can’t be bothered but easy peasy Noodles aka Fried Noodles (serves 4)
250 grams of Singapore noodles blanched with hot water
2 celery sticks
1 red capsicum chopped
1 carrot diced
1 small onion chopped
2 lup chong or chinese sausages, sliced
1 tablespoon of bean sauce
1 tsp of sugar
1/4 cup of huo tiao cooking wine
2 beaten eggs

1) Saute Chinese sausages. Drain some of the oil. Set it aside.

2) Fry the onion till transparent. Add carrot, capsicum and celery. Saute for around 2 minutes. Add noodles. Keep tossing. Add the bean sauce. sugar and wine. Fry it up!

3) Push noodles aside and add beaten egg. Cook till slightly set and start tossing in the wok. Remember to include in the chinese sausages. Serve with fried shallots.

I’m sharing this with my friends at Pasta Presto Nights. This week, Got no milk is hosting.

Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

Being engaged to us means that it is preparation time for marriage. Yes, there is a wedding to plan (or 3 celebrations for that matter), but we rather get the marriage part right. A blink of an eye and we are engaged for nearly 9 months now, another 8 more months to go before we become Mr and Mrs, truly amazing times ahead of us.

This weekend, we are going for our first marriage preparation session. I refuse to call it “counseling”-especially since I’m in that profession myself! Counseling usually denotes that something has gone wrong, which I do not think it is necessary true (for any sense) but that is just the tail of my work hazard behavior peeking out. It will be good to sit on the other side of the chair and gain a perspective of our relationship and our personality traits. I’m really looking forward to it.

A few weeks ago, AR said he would like to prepare a breakfast celebration for us… How sweet, I thought..

And then the next sentence…

“Could you make the batter for pancakes please?”

DOH!

Turns out he remembered that I dislike package pancake mix, and given that it was a weekday morning, he didn’t want to appear lost in the kitchen and wake me up at 5:30am. (hint-i will probably be very grumpy).

Oh alright. It’s the thought that counts and so I did the mix the night before and he cooked a batch up the next morning. I have been wanting to try this recipe for some time now, especially since it came out of ABC Delicious magazine, out from “Cafe food”. They invited cafes to send in their most popular recipes and this was one of the featured ones. Amazingly simple to make and one that will wow your loved ones. AR absolutely enjoyed the whipped palm sugar butter which I thought was an unique touch. I like the chunky banana slices in the pancakes rather than the mashed version. We kept the batter for 2-3 mornings, only folding in slices of banana just before the cooking process. Makes the early morning more appealing to wake up to.

As for us, well….I suppose it is a partnership alright. I make the batter, he wakes up early on a workday to cook up the pancakes. =) Fair enough!


Banana Buttermilk Pancakes with Palm Sugar Butter
(serves 4-6)
35 grams of grated palm sugar
100 grams of unsalted butter softend
1 egg
2 1/2 cup (620ml) of buttermilk
1 tsp of canola oil
2 large ripen bananas, sliced
450 grams flour
1 1/2 tbs of brown sugar
1 1/2 tbs bicarb soda
icing sugar
fruits to serve with

1) Palm sugar butter- beat palm sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Chill.

2) Whisk egg, buttermilk, oil in large bowl. Stir in banana pieces. Sieve flour into a separate bowl and add in brown sugar, soda and inch of salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon.

3) Heat greased pan. Add 1/3 cup of batter into pan and cook 2-3 minutes till bubbles appear. Turn and cook for 1 minute till golden. Keep warm while you whip up the rest of the pancakes.

4) Serve with fruits, honey/syrup/ice-cream and palm-sugar butter.

Ginger Chicken

Every monsoon season, my grandmother will cook this dish in Singapore (other than for other ladies going through confinement). Ginger is known to increase blood circulation and keeps the body warm-so it is perfect for the rainy season. When the rain starts falling in Perth and the cold sets in, I automatically crave for my Grandmother’s ginger chicken.

Unfortunately I’m unable to locate “wine biscuit” that is required to make the alcohol for Ginger chicken. I did, however, managed to purchase a bottle of ginger wine. It’s not as strong as the real thing and it is towards the sweeter side. Beggars can’t be choosy and this is as close as what I can get so I’m not complaining! =)

As I was about to dish this up for dinner, I realized that I forgot the wood ear mushrooms! Oh well, there is always a next time.

Ginger Chicken
(serves 4)
6 Chicken Drumsticks
1 cup of ginger wine
6 slices of ginger
1/4 cup of stock
oil

1) Heat oil in pan. Fry ginger slices till fragrant. Turn heat to high and add chicken. Quickly brown chicken.

2) Turn heat to low. Add ginger wine and stock. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes till meat turns tender. (add wood ear mushrooms)

3) Serve with hot rice and vegetables.