Cheese Twists

Oh a quick idea for left over puff pastries. Cutting the pastries into quarters, I sprinkled some cheese, rolled it up and twist it.

It’s like the old song “twist it..shake it shake it shake it baby”!


Cheese Twists (I made around 4 of them)
1 puff pastry defrosted
3/4 cup of cheese
sprinkle of paprika

Preheat Oven 200C. Quarter puff pastry, sprinkle cheese and paprika. Roll and twist. Song and dance optional.

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Red Bean Ice-Cream

You guessed it right! After my 2nd attempt in making Mango Ice-cream, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone even more to create other flavours. At around the same time, Grandma complains that she misses her red bean ice-cream. Well, I thought her grand daughter can create something at home which is better than store bought one (hrmph!)

I have no recipes, just experience from the previous two attempts. I decided to use a coconut cream base instead given that red bean goes well with it. I used soy milk again and it still gave a lovely result. The coconut cream certainly adds a lovely sweetness and creaminess to this.

I cooked the red bean paste down using azuki beans. That took the longest, probably around 1 hr or so. I did it slowly because of my lack of experience, but also because I wanted it in a paste form and not like the watery dessert. I added one cup of water each time and cooked it down using a simmer. A pressure cooker would have been handy I think. I cooled the paste down and made the ice cream the next day.

Red Bean Ice-cream

1.5 cup of red bean soaked in water for at least 4-5 hrs
around 6 cups of water-each cup added in after the previous one was absorbed.
around 1/2 cup of brown sugar

Cook red beans till it becomes a paste. Use a fork to mash the beans if needed. Cool!

1 cup of soy milk
2 cups of coconut cream
1/4 cup of sugar
red bean paste

Whisk soy milk, cream and sugar till well combined and frothy. Then whisk in red bean paste till well combined. Pour into ice cream maker as per instructions. Freeze ice-cream for at least 2 hours before consuming.

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Chicken Mushroom Pie

Passing by a chicken specialty store one day, Granny asked “What’s that?”. I replied that it is a kind of chicken pie with mushrooms and bacon. I asked if she would like to try some and we could make some at home. She said yes. I gathered up the pastries and ingredients and went home with her to make some for dinner.

My granny does not know how to operate the oven. She was fascinated by the pastries can be easily defrosted and be filled with tasty ingredients. Once in the oven, she stood near it and observed the pastries being cooked. It really hit me on how I take things like this for granted. How even though technology has advanced, we shouldn’t take it for granted.

I took her to see some appliances the week before and she told me that the fridge is really smart and I should buy it… why? because it beeps when the door is left ajar 😉 My very adorable granny.


Chicken Mushroom Pie

3 pieces of puff pastries (into quarters)

300 grams chicken in cubes
1 tsp of garlic
2 cups of chopped mushrooms
seasoning such as salt, pepper and some mixed herbs.
1 spring of rosemary
(100 grams of bacon which I forgot!)
2 tablespoon of spread
1 tablespoon of flour
1 cup of soy milk

In a pan, saute chicken, mushrooms and garlic. In another pot, melt spread (butter or margarine) and stir in flour till golden brown. Whisk soy or normal milk in till it becomes thick. Add more milk or stock if needed if too thick. When it is done, your chicken should be browned. Add sauce to pan. Sprinkle in all seasoning and herbs. Season and taste if needed. Cook till it thickens. Then, cool.

Spoon mixture in each pastry. Seal with beaten egg. Use a fork to seal it tight if needed. Brush pastries with egg. Bake in 200 C oven for 30 mins. 

Timely to post a pie…. because… today is Australia Day!  
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!

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Lamb Curry- First Take

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to cook curry from scratch. I have been told that it is really not rocket science, just patience and good taste buds to do taste testing.

Having tasted mutton curry made with love by my Auntie in law (Is that such a term?), I plucked u the courage to request for the recipe. She was generous and proceeded to take out her little black book filled with hand written recipes and handed it to me. I took out my iphone and quickly typed the recipe in.

Coming back to Perth, I told myself that I have to try it quickly since if i leave it a side, it will become “the recipe that i said i will try but it’s still sitting there”. Plucking up my courage, I told granny that I would like to have a go on a Saturday evening. (Since returning to Perth, the kitchen is my granny’s playground! I have to ask permission to use it!)

Given that I do not have access to the kitchen as much, I planned and plotted. And guess what? My vege store RAN OUT OF CURRY LEAF and ginger was costing AU$38 a kg at Woolworths. WHY WHY WHY WHY. No fear, I decided to give it a go anyway and see how it pans out.

Next mistake, the recipe calls for 2 tsp of chili powder, I put 1/2 knowing that the chili powder I have on hand is potent. Yup, it was super potent..so potent that my poor granny couldn’t take more than 2 mouthfuls of it. Next time, It’s a sprinkle or a pinch.

Well, at least i gave it a go. It was still good. Just that I think curry leaves and ginger would have make a huge difference to the fragrance. I saw curry leaves in stock last week, I decided to store it in the freezer for one of those weekends that I can make another batch of Lamb Curry.

Lamb Curry

1kg of Lamb or Mutton
2 medium onions
4 springs of curry leaves
4 cm of cinnamon stick
2 star anise
6 cloves
2 cardamons
1 cm ginger
blend together 3 cloves of garlic, 1 big onion
2 tbsp of meat curry powder
sprinkle of chili powder-TASTE TEST!!
salt to taste.
2 potatoes in cubes
Coriander to garnish.

Boil lamb with sliced onions with just enough water to cover meat (approx 30 to 45 mins)

Heat some oil, add cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, cardamon and curry leaves. Stir till u can smell it! Then add blended ingredients.
Fry mixture till brown and fragrant. Add curry and chili powder. Add in cooked meat with the remaining liquid and potatoes. Season. Simmer till it’s slightly thicker.

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Home Made Mango Ice Cream

ooo… Hubby bought me a Cusinart Ice Cream maker for Christmas! Yeah! What a cool appliance to have. Soon after opening up the package, I realised that the main thing that an ice cream maker does is to churn cream into a thicker substance.

Indeed it is a good present as due to my lactose sensitivity, it is getting harder to eat store bought ice cream unless it is soy or gelato/sorbet. I can consume small quantities but not a whole bowl. Timely plus a new toy for me to play with.

The first time I made mango ice-cream, I used yogurt and the result was an ice cream that has a watery texture. I think perhaps I should try greek yogurt for my next attempt in yogurt ice-cream. This one though, I used Philadelphia cooking cream which has 60% less fat than normal cream. The result was a much creamier ice-cream.

Gotto scoop and eat it up quick though- it melts quickly!

Mango Ice-cream (Serves 3-4)
1 cup of soy milk
2 cups of philadelphia cooking cream
1/2 cup of sugar
1 mango cut up in tiny cubes

Whisk milk, cream and sugar till well combined. Pour into freezer bowl of ice-cream maker and start churning. Add mango cubes in the last 5 minutes of the 30 minutes cycle. Spoon into container and freeze for additional 2 hours+. Serve and enjoy healthy, natural ice cream.

Submitting this to Sugar High Friday. This week it is hosted by Zoe with the theme Grain Free!! 

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One Pot Delight- Fragrant Rice

Often, I marinate meat and throw it into the rice cooker for a quick and easy meal. Nothing fancy, just plain old simple good food. A colleague of mine brought in her version and I was hooked straight away. She told me that her mother often cooks this with half jasmine and half glutinous rice. The secret it seems, is to add shrimps. Since attempting it her way, I have never looked back.

I tend to make this in big batches and fridge/freeze it. I was abit worried about freezing glutinous rice but it turned out as delicious after reheating.

The only thing is that our near 6 years cheap old rice cooker died soon after! Well, no fear, we picked up a nicer one for AU$89. A bargain since it was down from AU $120.

What is your version of a one pot delight?


One Pot Delight-Fragrant Rice (serves 6-8)
2cups of  jasmine or basmatic rice
2 cups of glutinous rice soaked overnight

Marinate
300 grams chicken thigh meat sliced
1 tablespoon of dark soya
2 tablespoon of light soya
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1/4 cup of hua tiao jiu

2 chinese sausages sliced
1 cup of dried shrimps washed and toasted.

Marinate meat for around 30 mins or so. If you are tight of time, you can skip this step (but not as tasty!). Cook rice per normal instructions. When rice is nearly ready, pour chicken mixture + chinese sausages + dried shrimps into rice cooker. Toss through. Close lid and let it cook till done. Serve with veges.

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Viet Style- Roasted Peanut Noodle Salad

We had friends over a couple of months ago and they taught us how to make Viet Paper rolls. We had a ball! Our friend taught me how to make the dipping sauce and I thought how good is it to make it as a dressing for a noodle salad?

I had some chicken patties on hand and chose to pan fry and toss it through the salad. The winner of this though, is the dressing and the crunchy nuts and vegetables. Good for a summer day or picnic.

Viet Style- Roasted Peanut Noodle Salad (Serves 3-4)
1/2 packet of rice vermicelli noodle, blanched, drained and set aside.
1 cup of peanuts roasted
1/2 lettuce shredded
around 1 cup of shredded basil leaves
1 bunch of chives chopped
1 carrot shredded
1 cup of bean sprouts washed and blanched quickly with hot water
1 fresh chili chopped
fried shallots

Optional- 2 chicken patties pan fried and sliced.I think mince or even some crumbed fish might add texture and interest to this salad.

Sauce
100 ml of coconut milk
1/2 cup of hoi sin sauce
2 tsp of fish sauce
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of garlic

To make the sauce- saute garlic. Add hoisin sauce and coconut milk. Stir to combine and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add fish sauce and sugar. Taste and adjust accordingly.

Toss noodles with vegetables and meat. Toss sauce through noodles and vegetables. Sprinkle nuts on it and some shallots. Serve!

A quick addition to the round up to Presto Pasta founded by Ruth-Once Upon a Feast. This week’s host is Heather from Girlichef

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Garlic Prawn Bocconcini Cheese Pizza

Sometimes, I wonder if pizzas are like open faced sandwiches. Cheesy ingredients toasted under heat resulting in melted goodness on crisp dough. I wonder if anyone ever top another piece of dough on top of it and eat it like a sandwich? Ahh.. imagination + random thoughts!

Having some prawns and bocconcini cheese on hand, I thought it could be interesting to put a different type of cheese rather than the traditional mozzarella and cheddar combination. Later, I found out that bocconcini cheese is a type of mozzarella-rather, it’s also called little morsels which suit the tiny looking cheese.

Hubby says he prefers using bocconcini than the usual cheese. He commented that it tasted lighter. Perhaps this cheese has more use than bruschetta.

Garlic Prawn Bocconcini Cheese Pizza

3 pita bread
2 tsp of garlic
1 to 2 cup of shelled prawns
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoon of tomato paste
around 200 grams of bocconcini cheese

Preheat oven 200 C. Line 2 baking tray with baking paper. Place both pita bread on the tray. Spread a tablespoon of paste on each bread. Sprinkle garlic, mushrooms and prawns on it. Bake for around 10-15 mins.

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Thai Inspired- Tom Yum Instant Noodles

Often, I have a bottle of Tom Yum paste in my fridge. I like them in stir fries or even for fried rice or fried noodles. Needing a quick dinner, I recall I have 1 tablespoon of paste left and used it as a soup base for my usually plain instant noodles.  Coincidentally, my previous Thai Inspired (also!) Noodles   is similar. Ah, my love for spicy food and noodles. 

Most recently, my grandma was preparing to come to Aus for a while. As part of her preparation, she bought some dried herbs (for boiling soup), some clothes pegs (apparently, they are better from SG ;P) and 3 huge bottles of Tom Yum paste!

I think there will be more Tom Yum creations! =)


Thai Inspired Tom Yum Instant Noodles (2 serves)
2 cakes of noodles
1 tablespoon of tom yum paste 
1 stalk of lemon grass sliced (if I only I had some in my fridge when I made this)
2 fish cakes sliced
6 crab sticks
a small bowl of bean sprouts 
1 ltre of stock
2 eggs
green chili sliced

Saute tom yum paste with lemon grass. Add stock and boil. Add noodles. Add in fish cakes and bean sprouts. Simmer for 5 mins. Switch off heat, add eggs. Serve with green chili.



Presto Pasta Nights is back on. This week Claire from Chez Cayenne is hosting. Thanks to Ruth from Once Upon a Kitchen for starting this event.

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Lamb Sausage Rolls

The aroma of freshly baked pastries as we walked passed a bakery hits us. The internal battle of “should I or should I not” crosses my mind. The golden brown pastries sparkle under the light. The tomato sauce by its side. The price, being $3.50 isn’t really too expensive… or so I thought!

Often, we avoid having meat pastries from shops as the type of meat, amount of fat and ingredients is unknown. A quick search on line gave me the inspirations of making sausage rolls at home. Gathering up the ingredients, I realised that puff pastries, lamb (or even lean beef mince), plus the other ingredients add up to be around $15. With that amount, I managed to make enough sausage rolls to last us for 3meals + a snack for hubby. That’s around 16 sausage rolls!!! Although they are not huge in size, but at least when hubby is eating them, I know he is not eating fat and sinew. Not forgetting a big serve of salad to counteract the the cholesterol.

At least that is what I kept telling myself ;P


Lamb Sausage Rolls (makes at least 16 rolls)

450 grams of lamb mince-as lean as possible.
2 springs of rosemary
1 cup of bread crumbs (I used packaged but 2 pieces of old bread processed into crumbs)
some spices- I used 1/4 tsp of chili, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of honey 
2 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
cracked pepper
2 tablespoon of corn flour
1 egg

4 pieces of puff pastry-defrosted1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
1 egg -beaten lightly

Marinate lamb mince with the other ingredients. Preheat Oven to 200C. Place baking paper on 2 baking trays.Divide each pastry into fourths. Place around 1 to 2 tablespoon of mince in the middle of the quarter. Roll. Seal using some of the egg. Place on baking tray. Repeat. Brush eggwash on to each sausage roll. Sprinkle poppy seeds on them. Bake for 25 minutes till golden brown. Serve with a salad.

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