Sunday, 31 August 2014

Cereal Prawns & Squids

This is the highlight of our lunch today.  Although this dish is very popular in seafood restaurants back in Singapore, it is unknown to my hubby.  Well, I guess I "forgotten" to introduce this dish to him and it is never too late as the saying goes.  The original dish is known as Cereal Prawns but I added squid rings as requested by our son.  It is simple & quick to prepare and the taste is awesome.

Ingredients (serves 4):
20-30 medium-size prawns or 10 large prawns, to be shelled leaving the tail on
200 g squid, to be cut into rings
3 tbsp tempura flour
2-3 stalks of curry leaves, to be plucked
8-10 chilli padi
1 tbsp (levelled) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5-6 tbsp Nestum Cereal
oil for deep-frying

Wash prawn & squids and dab them dry.  Toss them portion-wise in tempura flour and set aside.

In a wok, heat enough oil for deep-frying over medium/high heat.  Add prawns portion-wise and deep-fry for about 15 to 20 seconds.  Remove to a plate which is lined with absorbent paper.  Repeat likewise with the squid rings.

Remove oil from wok and wipe wok clean with kitchen paper.  Return wok to stove and add 1 or 2 tbsp of used oil.  Heat oil over medium heat and add curry leaves & chilli padis.

Then, add sugar and salt.  Stir well before adding Nestum.

Stir-fry for about 5 minutes before adding the deep-fried prawns and squids.  Stir well. Serve hot!

Bon Appetit!

Stir-fried French Beans

Our son hates french beans but I have found a way to make him eat them.  Last weekend, I prepared them with cherry tomatoes lightly sauteéd in butter.  He ate more than half of what was on the plate. So today, I cooked it malay-style i.e. sauteéd with blended onion, garlic and dried prawns.  Again, he ate most of it to my delight.

Ingredients (serves 4):
500 g french beans, to be washed, dried & cut into 5 cm lengths
10 cherry tomatoes, to be washed & dried
salt to taste
1 tbsp cooking oil

Blended Ingredients:
half a small onion or 2 small shallots
1 stalk red chillie, to be deseeded (optional) & sliced
1 small pip garlic
1 tsp (heaped) dried prawns, to be soaked in warm water until soft

In a medium-size pot, add french beans, a pinch of salt and water.  Bring to a light boil and cook without lid for about 5 minutes or until the beans are almost cooked. Pass beans through a sieve and add immediately to a bowl of ice cold water.  Leave aside.  Drain before use.

In a medium-size pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add blended ingredients and stir-fry until fragrant and crispy.  Season with salt.  Then, add cooked beans and stir well.

Lastly, add cherry tomatoes and stir well.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!

Sambal Sotong

Literally translated as Squids in Chilli Sauce, we never fail to order this dish whenever we go for seafood back home in Singapore.  As the weather is rather cool and rainy today, I prepared a seafood lunch for my two boys:  Sambal Sotong, Stir-fried French Beans and Cereal Prawns & Squids served with hot Jasmine rice cooked in my new, small rice cooker which I managed to bring in as cabin luggage.

This sambal recipe has been in our family's collection since ages.  To get a sambal with an appetising colour, one has to have patience to cook it.  It took me about an hour to cook it over low/medium heat.  I added a little palm sugar (gula melaka) to add taste and colour to the sambal.  Instead of squids, one can also use other kinds of seafood.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
500 g fresh or frozen squids, I sliced them into rings
20 g fresh tamarind, to be mixed with 150 ml water
salt to taste
sugar to taste
a little palm sugar (gula melaka), to be crumbled
1/4 cup cooking oil

Blended Ingredients:
50 g dried chillies, to be cut into strips & soaked in warm water until soft
2 large onions, to be peeled & sliced
1 pip garlic, to be peeled & sliced
8 g belacan (shrimp paste)

Heat 4 tbsp of oil in a wok over medium heat.  Add blended ingredients and stir-fry until fragrant. As and when needed, add cooking oil in order that the mixture is not too dry.  Cooking time will take about one hour in order that the sambal is well-blended with the oil.  Believe me, it is worth the wait!

Add tamarind juice (please use a small sieve in order that only the juice is used) a little at a time. Cook until sambal is thick.  Season with salt, sugar & palm sugar to taste.  Then, add the squids.

Cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until the squids are cooked.

This sambal can be served either hot or cold.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Left-over Bread Snack

A simple recipe which was taught to me by my dear sister-in-law on how to use up left-over bread instead of throwing them away.  One just need to slice the bread and "roast" them in the pan together with olive oil and an italian spice.  The recipe has no exact measurements.  One just have to estimate depending on the amount of left-over bread.

left-over bread, to be sliced thinly & cut into pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp "Aglio Olio Peperoncino"

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Then, add bread slices and "roast" until they are browned all over, not burnt.  Lastly, add "Aglio Olio Peperoncino". There is no need to add salt and pepper.

Bon Appetit!

Upper Bavarian Cheesecake (Oberbayerische Quarkkuchen)

After more than a month of absence due to our home holiday, I am now back to preparing home food. Hubby requested for this popular cheese cake and passed me the recipe which he found in one of our local newspapers.  I thought that it is going to be one of those "dry" german cheese cakes but I was wrong.  I followed the recipe to a tee and the end result resembles those offered for sale in the bakeries.  I must say that it tastes awesome and the texture is not dry at all.  To be exact, it is between my cheesecake recipe and those "dry" cheese cakes.  To round things up, I have two very happy men at home!

Dough Ingredients:
270 g flour
2 tsp baking powder (1 packet)
150 g fine sugar
180 g cold butter, to be taken directly from the fridge
1 medium-sized egg, to be taken directly from the fridge

Filling Ingredients:
4 medium-sized eggs
150 g fine sugar
4 tsp (2 packets) vanilla sugar
750 g Quark (curd cheese) - 20% fat content, can be found in any german shops
1 packet vanilla pudding powder
500 g fresh cream

some butter
some breadcrumbs
a 26 cm diameter springform

In a mixing bowl, knead all dough ingredients together by using the dough hook. Remove dough from bowl and wrap in cling wrap.  Store in the fridge for about half an hour.  Grease springform with butter and sprinkle some breadcrumbs all over. Shake off excess breadcrumbs.  Roll out dough between two plastic sheets to a diameter of about 32 cm.  Remove top plastic sheet and invert dough over springform.  Lightly press dough onto springform, making sure that the bottom and sides are lined with dough.  Remove bottom plastic sheet and store springform in the fridge while the filling is being prepared.

In a mixing bowl, whisk fresh cream until stiff.  Leave aside.  In another mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar until creamy.  Then, add vanilla pudding powder and Quark.  Mix thoroughly.

Carefully fold in the whipped cream by using a spatula.

Remove springform from the fridge and add filling into it.  Spread filling evenly and ensure the surface is even.

Bake in a preheated fan oven at a temperature of 150° C on the middle rack for 90 minutes.  The top of cake will start to "overflow" but don't worry, it should "overflow". Once done, remove from oven and leave to cool down completely.

This is how it looks like after being cut:

Happy Baking!