Sunday, September 26, 2010
Green tea latte, cheese baked kimchi fried rice with chicken katsu, Nigella's new book and thick pyjamas = the perfect weekend
Green tea latte
1 green tea bag~matcha powder would be so much better but beggars can't be choosers
Less than half a mug of water just off the boil
Half a mug of milk
Sugar to taste
Your favourite mug
1. Steep the teabag in hot water to get very very strong green tea
2. Heat the milk in a pan, whisking until it gets beautifully frothy
3. Add to your tea and stir in some sugar to taste
I swear the film companies that make korean dramas all own secret ramyun factories. I mean, they must. I've yet to watch a korean drama that doesn't involve at least one steaming bowl of kimchi ramyun per episode...and at 11 at night, it.looks.so.damn.tempting. Didn't help that I woke up to a taiwanese food show that just had to be about korean food...and yes, they had ramyun...in a large wok filled to the brim with vegetables, tofu, ham, frankfurters, korean rice cakes and cheese....It took all the self control I had to sit and finish the show..granted there really isn't much of it to begin with...before I headed straight to my kitchen and had a quick fumble around. I had everything that was needed......hello korean army base stew for dinner.
Korean army base stew~ so much better than your standard packet of kimchi ramyun..If you do do give this a go, please don't leave out the cheese...it all but melts into oblivion and it does serve to temper the almost acrid heat from the pepper paste
2 sausages, diced and browned
1 clove garlic, minced
1 spring onion, minced
leafy greens of your choice, roughly torn
1 tbsp kimchi, chopped
1-2 slices cheese [ I used cheddar']
soy to taste
1 piece ramyun
1. Chunk everything but the ramyun in a pot, pour in a bowl of water or more if you'd like more soup, pop the lid on, and bring to the boil
2. Give it a quick stir, splash of soy to taste, and let it simmer for a few minutes
3. Add the ramyun and boil till the noodles soften
4. Top with a bit more cheese and slurp as noisily as you can :)
I have come to really appreciate the beauty of smooth, velvety congee......the contrast of creamy grains and crunchy yao char kuai, the robust flavour of good quality stock lifted by the subtle fragrance of jasmine rice...and with winter just around the corner, I forsee many many pots of congee bubbling merrily away on my stove. The secret to thick, lush congee that all but glides down the throat, I think, lies in the choice of rice. I've experimented with quite a few being the anal retentive person that I am..and for me, a mixture of sushi rice and glutinous rice with a ratio of 1:1 is perfect. Add a spoonful of shallot oil to marinade the rice with overnight and you're on your way to congee heaven.
Sweetcorn congee~ my new favourite thing to eat. If you love congee, you must try this....the perfect combination of savoury and that lovely golden sweetness you can only get from corn.
50g sushi rice
50g glutinous rice
1 tbsp shallot oil
2 pork ribs
1 small can sweetcorn
small handful goji berries
few dried scallops~mine are baby scallops so i used about 6 or 7
salt to taste
1. Wash rice grains until water turns clear and drain
2. Marinate with shallot oil and leave overnight
3. Blanche the ribs in boiling water, and drain
4. Put the ribs back in the now empty pot, add cold water and your can of corn. [ I don't actually measure out the water, I just generally fill it to about the level of the handle if that makes sense]
5. Add goji berries and scallops and bring to a gentle boil. I used a double boiler which is an absolute godsend when it comes to soups and congees. If you don't have one, keep an eye on the heat, and use a heat diffuser.
6. Now chuck in the rice and give it a good stir. If you're using a normal pot over direct heat, stick around and give it constant stirs to break up the grains and make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
7. I left mine to simmer gently for 2-3 hours only because I had a certain consistency in mind
8. Season to taste, garnish with fried shallots and tuck into a hot little bowl of bliss. Trust me when I say you don't need any other accompaniments... :)
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Fluffy homemade naan and creamy chicken curry. So easy..yet so satisfying. On a completely unrelated note, my patient told me I look 25.....so I stuck in a large bore cannula instead of a bitty blue one....the things we do to get through the day....
Naan~adapted from here
1 satchet dry yeast, about 7g
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2.5-3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk [ 1/3cup milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar, left to curdle]
1. Mix warm water and sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Make sure the water isnt too hot, else it'll kill the yeast. Leave the mix in a warm place until it foams, the oven is a good place as long as it's switched off please
2. Whisk the oil, milk and egg and set aside
3. Start off with about 2 cups of flour. Make a well in the centre of the flour and salt, add in the now bubble yeast mixture, give a few quick stirs, and add the egg mix
4. Once you get a clumpy, sticky dough, turn onto a well floured counter and knead, adding flour as you go along. You want a soft, smooth dough that doesn't stick to your hands
5. Pat into a ball and leave to rise in a lightly greased bowl for about 45 minutes. Again, oven is a good place.
6. Once it's doubled in volume, flatten slightly and divide into 8 balls
7. Heat up a non stick frying pan, you could grease it lightly if you'd like, I didn't bother. Roll out the bread dough, don't do it all in one go, best to roll one out and cook it straightaway.
8. Cook the bread on medium heat till it bubbles on top, flip over and cook for a while longer...generally takes a few minutes
9. Serve as is or brush with some garlic oil and sprinkle with chopped coriander...I'm thinking cumin seeds and crushed curry leaves for my next batch:)
I love my carbs. I think there is very little in this world that is more comforting than a big bowl of steaming hot kimchi noodles...or a generous hunk of freshly baked bread. I don't, however, like potatoes...I know...I have my fish and chips without the chips..if I had my way I'd have it without the fish too..deep fried batter and tartar sauce..mm...I'd much rather have my sunday roast with steamed vegetables...and don't get me started on mashed potatoes...I wish I knew why...it's actually quite inconvenient to have to nibble the crispy bits off big fat chips and leave the rest of it in a pile..
Polenta chips~ the answer to my tuberphobia...not sure how much healthier it is though, considering the amount of cheese that went into it..but I suppose if you really want healthy, you could always opt for a carrot stick instead. Adapted from NQN
1 cup full cream milk
1 cup stock
3/4 cup polenta
1/4 cup finely grated cheddar
salt to taste
some paprika for a little kick
oil to grease the pan with
1. Grease an 8x8 baking tin
2. Heat milk, stock and stock until it just starts to bubble
3. Grab a whisk and start whisking as you pour in the polenta slowly
4. Keep stirring until cooked, mine took about 5 minutes...it's not a science..they tell you what to do on the packaging
5. You'll know when it's done...you end up with quite a stiff mixture...like super thick cake batter
6. Stir in the cheese
7. Scoop it into your greased tin and level it out with a spatula
8. Stick it in the fridge to set....should take a few hours
9. When it's ready, cut into thick chips and either shallow fry it till golden brown and crispy or bake in a 220 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
10. Serve with a juicy burger and lots of dip :)
Saturday, September 18, 2010
It's no fun to cook for one. It's even less fun to bake for one...especially when I don't have a sweet tooth. But you know those days when you're dying for some cheesecake....yet baking an entire cheesecake just seems excessive...and buying a sub-par slice from Tesco's is hardly worth the effort...so you go to bed feeling unfulfilled, wake up cranky the next morning, and spend the day secretly wanting to suspend analgesia for over dramatic patients...I'm a firm believer in not going to bed angry..enter mini cake tins, about the size of half a coffee mug, perfect for midnight cravings and those odd moments of self indulgence.
Mini lime and coconut cheesecake~ Because I had 1 lime, 1 carton of expiring cream cheese and a tubful of coconut cookies that never made it to the Tuesday MDT.
6 coconut cookies- the kind that's made of tightly packed toasted coconut and sugar
2 digestives [ you don't have to use coconut cookies, either use more digestives or add some toasted coconut]
2-3 tbsp melted butter, salted please
Abt 70-80g cream cheese
100 ml double cream
2 heaped tbsp sugar
Zest of 1-2 limes
juice of 1 lime
pinch of gelatine powder/ agar powder
1. Crush the biscuits till fine, add melted butter and mix until it looks like wet sand
2. Press firmly into a greased mini cake tin and pop in the fridge to set. I left mine overnight
3. For the cheese topping, rub the zest into the sugar to release all that gorgeous citrusy oil
4. Whisk sugar and cream into soft peaks
5. Zap lime juice and gelatine powder in the microwave for about 10 seconds
6. Add that to the cream cheese and mix till the cheese is softened. Don't overdo it or the whole thing will just turn to liquid
7. Fold the cream into the cheese mix, pour over your biscuit base and chill to set..again, couple of hours should do it, but I left it overnight
8. Makes one palm sized cheesecake packed with tropical flavour......that still took me about a week to finish...one deliciously tangy bite at a time
Sunday, September 12, 2010
With weekdays spent on wards and moving to a new hospital every few weeks, I used to think weekends were pretty precious commodity in uni. But if anyone had told me how much rarer they were going to be once I started working..I would've made a conscious effort to cram every single Saturday and Sunday with all the books I wanted to read, backlogs of fashion magazines, leisurely pedicures and massive dinner parties....that, or I would've just quit med school all together. Nobody messes with my pyjama-time.
Sausage and asparagus pasta~ because my mum decided she didn't like the sausages she bought and left them in my freezer. Thanks, ma
2 pork sausages~preferably non-mushy ones...not like the ones my mum left
2 cloves garlic
5-6 stalks of asparagus
1/2-1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
freshly cracked black pepper
torn up basil
1. Boil some water and cook the pasta
2. Chop the sausages into bite sized pieces and pan fry till you get crispy little nuggets
3. Add the garlic and asparagus and sauteed on low heat till tender
4. Add double cream and mustard
5. Season to taste, toss in the cooked pasta and coat with the silky cream
6. Top with freshly cracked black pepper and some torn up basil. Sheer comfort food..the perfect ending to a lazy weekend...the kind where you do nothing but laze around in a soft kimono and red lipstick:)
Monday, September 6, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
It's the end of the day, everyone's huddled around the ward computer, going through papers for journal club.
Registrar: Here's one. Sex as a prognostic predictor for stroke recovery
Jade: *snicker*...*starts going on about how she saw a pamphlet on sex after stroke and suggests bringing one in as a prop for the presentation.*..*giggles like a mad woman*
Dr. P: Jade....they mean gender..
Jade: *locks herself in the stationery room and prays everyone forgets she's there*
In my defence, it's probably because I usually have more important things to think about. Like how gorgeous Pierre Hermes salted caramel macaroons are...or if Selfridges will still be open by the time I finish my oncall this weekend...or how to make my own Bakwa because frankly, at about RM 40 for half a kilo of roast pork, Bee Cheng Hiang is a bloody rip off.
Bakwa~ adapted from Taste of Time. Perfect for Chinese New Year..think fire crackers, loud chinese music and smoky sweet roast pork...
250g streaky bacon
1 tbsp fish sauce [ I like my bakwa sweet so I would actually do less than a tbsp]
Pinch of 5 spice just because I don't like 5 spice all that much
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
30ml maple syrup
25ml golden syrup
1. Run the bacon slices under the tap, lay them on some kitchen towels and pat dry
2. Pour over the marinade and mix it all up with your hands
3. Separate the bacon slices and arrange them in a container, pour in the rest of the marinade and pop it in the fridge for about 2 days
4. When you're ready to roast the bacon, preheat the oven to 220 degrees, line a baking tray with foil [ else it will be a pain in the arse to clean], and lay on your bacon strips
5. Brush the strips with the remaining marinade and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. I say 15 if you prefer more gooey, charred bits
6. Once they're done, leave them on a cooling rack for a while....although if I were you, I'd have at least 1 strip of glistening, meltingly tender bakwa fresh out of the oven...and in the time it takes for the rest to cool, I'd pop down to the shops to get summore bacon to make a second lot;)