Archive for Fresh!

Kumquat Salsa Asian Style

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Beautiful bright orange with soft even tone, smooth firm skin that looks so promisingly juicy and sweet inside. These fruit has always intrigued me since the first time I found it. But how do I eat it? I tried peeling that firm oval skin once, only to find a slippery pulp inside. Maybe I should squeeze it, I wondered. Hey, nothing comes out. Only later after a thorough search on the internet, I understand that one should eat kumquat whole – skin, pulp and seeds.

Having been familiarized with unique flavours of kumquat, I toyed with many ideas how to make this an interesting dish. It has interesting flavours after all. One day I put them in my hot ginger tea with honey. The flavours is just beautiful. I love it. This would go great with pan fried fish steak. Hmmmm…. Mike’s gonna love it for his lunch today.


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Lucky me, the kitchen had some fresh fillet of weaver fish. Perfect! Can hardly wait to experiment with new menu. I went straight to work on the kumquat salsa. Then marinate the fish. By 1pm lunch is served. Just beautiful as I had in mind. The kumquat salsa complements the pan-fried fish fillet perfectly……



Pan Fried Weaver Fish
just marinate in salt, pepper & lemon. Leave about 1 hour.
Quickly pan fried in olive oil or butter until it turns nice brownish color. Ready to serve with the salsa


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Then I saw some recipes of candied kumquat (will make that next week), kumquat cheesecake – sounds interesting, must try soon – lamb tagine with kumquat (instead of that bitter taste dried lemon) – a definite YES!

I am submitting this recipe for BloggerAid Cookbook Cuisine
supporting their vision of alleviating world famine.
If you’re interested to find out more about this event, click here


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Tahu Telur Petis Surabaya


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usTofu & bean sprouts doused in special black peanut sauce –
delicacy from East Java   –  as featured in Tastespotting

Tahu Tek Surabaya – or loosely translated as Tofu Bean Sprouts Salad with Black Peanut Sauce – is quite a special dish for East Javanese in Indonesia. As you already know, Indonesians are serious food fanatics. Many would go overboard going to the farthest corner in a small alley tucked away somewhere in a market 2 hrs drive or even further, for the best dish of its kind. Like the best suckling pig in Bali, is at Bu Oka’s behind an old temple of Ubud, or for Tahu Telur Petis Surabaya, the best of its kind is at Pak Ali’s little warung on Dinoyo Street in Surabaya. How I miss home talking about this now ….

But thanks to Mbak Lisa for her recipe, I managed to bring some of the authentic Surabayan flavours to my home in Inner Mongolia. Two packs of petis udang brought from Indonesia are now being put to use. Petis udang is a black shrimp paste, pretty similar to ‘belachan’ or ‘terasi’ but not quite, as it has a stronger pungent scent, richer flavours and slightly moister than their counterpart.

The dish is mostly vegetable based and eggs, except for the peanut sauce which contains some shrimps. I didn’t make it too spicy for Mike and by cooking the peanut sauce seems to take away some of the strong flavours of petis & garlic. Otherwise he wouldn’t touch the thing and I would have to cook something else.

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TAHU TELUR PETIS SURABAYA

Ingredients:
* 1 block of tofu, cubed bite size
* 1 egg whisked
# Whisk the egg with salt, add tofu and spring onion.
# Make a tofu omelette, then cut into bite size

Black Peanut Sauce:
* 2 cups of fried peanut, processed
* 2 pcs fried garlic, minced
* 2 pcs red chili minced
* 2 tsp shrimp paste (petis udang)
* Dark sweet soy sauce (tiny bit only)
* salt, palm sugar to taste
# Cook garlic + chili, add peanut and a cup of water over low heat
# Cook till the sauce change to a thicker brighter reddish color
# Add petis, salt, drizzles of soy sauce. Stir for 1-2 mnts

Serving directions:

Place tofu omelette, then a one-minute blanched of bean sprouts, sprinkles of chopped spring onions, drizzles of black peanut sauce and top with fried shallots. Some krupuks on the side would be nice too

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us“Petis Udang” – special delicacy of Jawa Timur
(East Java) in Indonesia

ALL ABOUT “PETIS” in Indonesian  –  Petis is presumably only made in Indonesia. It’s the real shrimp paste (deep dark color like licorice, not dry at al like terasi or belacan but gooey, stronger & richer flavours great for salad mixing and most East Java dish)


This dish is submitted for JFI – Sprouts Event hosted by Ammalu’s Kitchen. More information to join the event can be viewed on her blog  HERE.


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More Indonesian Recipe using this special delicacy “Petis”
Krengseng Kambing or Stewed Lamb/Goat by Indonesia-Eats Blogspot
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Rosewater Panna Cotta

 

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Rosewater. Ancient’s most romantic herbs used in various recipes during the Arab Empire to make sweet drinks and desserts or for seasoning savory dishes. I just love the idea of making sweets using rosewater. The sweet scent of  rose beautifully lingers on a little longer in the mouth after the the food has gone.

I love it!

Today, I decided to cook up a simple dessert with divine flavours of rosewater. Rosewater is a rare thing to find here in Inner Mongolia, but I managed to buy a bottle a few weeks ago. I’ve kept it for a while and now it’s the perfect time to make one. After last night’s simpe birthday party at home, left me with some ingredients, enough to make panna cotta – plus there’re lots of red roses for my photo props.

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ROSEWATER PANNA COTTA
(makes 6/7 pcs)

*  100 gr caster sugar
*  500 ml heavy cream
*  100 gr sour cream
*  4 tbs rosewater (dillute in 1 cup of water)
*  10 gr gelatine powder
*  sprinkles of vanilla crystal

1.)  Heat sugar, vanilla & rosewater + water in a pan
2.)  When sugar dissolved, add gelatine. Careful not to boil
3.)  Whisk it until gelatine dissolves completely
4.)  Add heavy cream. Cook through
5.)  Pour mixture into panna cotta moulds
6.)  Let it cool – refrigerate for 4/5 hrs until set.
7.)  Drizzle with rosewater syrup

 

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THIS POSTING IS SUBMITTED FOR  “SUGAR HIGH FRIDAY” hosted by SUSAN.
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Strawberry Cupcakes

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I love cooking. But baking is still a pretty new thing for me. Although I used to watch and help mom baked when I was a kid – she’s quite an expert in that field and does it as her side business, none of her baking skills seem to stick with me. My baking experience so far hasn’t been exactly a smooth ride; lots of hiccups that ends up in baking disasters. You name it, I’ve been through all of them: burnt cakes, underbaked bread, flat head muffins, dough that won’t rise and budge, etc. But not today

I wasn’t really planning on baking anything when I saw these beautifully ripe strawberries from Beijing stacked up on a display in the supermarket. They smell soooo sweet. I have to get them. Will decide later what to do with them.

Flipping through some cook books, I think I found a recipe from 500 Cupcakes Recipe Book. So simple to make and so wonderfully creamy with quite a distinct strawberry scent in it. Beautiful!!!

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STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES
Simple yet sophisticated!

Ingredients:
* 225 gram unsalted butter – softened
* 225 caster sugar
* 225 self-raising flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 4 eggs – room temp
* 1 tsp strawberry essence
* 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

For ICING:
* 200 gr cream cheese
* 375 gr icing sugar, sieved
* 225 gr unsalted butter, softened
* pink food coloring
* silver balls/sliced fresh strawberries
~ Whisk all with electric whisk until smooth

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Directions:
1.) Preheat oven 175C/350F – prepare baking cases in muffin tins
2.) Combine butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs & essence
     Beat with electric whisk until light and creamy
3.) Stir in chopped fresh strawberries
4.) Spoon batter into cases. Bake for 20 mnts
5.) Remove cupcakes and cool on a rack
6.) Spread icing on top of cupcakes

Recipe from 500 Cupcakes

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Chinese Lantern Fruit

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Grassland in Summertime

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August is the busiest month in the grassland of Inner Mongolia as there will be so many different festivals for the entire month. Most farmers will put up some extra tents or “yurt” as they call it, for the tourists. What I mean by “some” is more like a couple of hundreds or so.

July is just a perfect time, right before the domestic tourists start to flood in,  perfectly green all round  with the blossoming shrubbery.  I love exploring the wild florals that are scattered practically everywhere. All kinds of wonderful fragrances are in the air. Summer fragrance. Wild flowers. Some smell like rosemary,  other smell like lavender – now I have them both potted at the corner of in my livingroom   *hopefully they stay alive*   😦  

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 David collecting wild spring onions – with a cake fork!

 

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We were invited once for a dinner at a farmer’s home some time ago and I remember the wild spring onion dish. It was such a simple dish but with the taste that I apparently will never forget. The farmer’s wife proudly explained every single dish: the boiled mutton, steamed buns, some unidentified stir fried vegetables and wild spring onions which caught my curiousity instantly.  I’ve never seen ones before….   and there they were, sprouting wildly on a hill where we spread our picnic blanket.

It was amazing…  The stalks are much tougher & have a distinct sharp fragrance than the regular ones. See the purplish tinge at the bottom of their stalk? I think it’s rather appealing…..

Meanwhile, in the distant, a local villager digging into the ground pulling out roots of a particular plant with yellow flower. Collecting them for medicine, I suppose.

I love summer in the grassland. Beautiful weather and sunshine, thick cushy grass to lay down on, cool breeze… and those smells. Whoa, I would never forget those gorgeous smells….

Monthly Mingle: Mango Peach Sorbet

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Mango is in season too here in Inner Mongolia. We don’t get as many varieties as other part of Asia. But there’re quite a few nice ones. Like these little yellow babies which I’m not sure of their variety but definitely local. They’re quite petit. About half the size of your palm and deliciously sweet. Kinda reminds me of the Alfonso mango from India. Pretty close though.

A simple recipe I found from Cook Smart – Low Fat by Hamlyn, with an itsy bit of modification. It’s refreshing to cool off the day.

Ingredients:
* 2 pcs whole mangoes, peeled & cubed
* 1 pcs fresh peach, peeled & cored
* 2 pcs of lime – squeezed & grated rind
* 150 ml water
* 125 gr sugar

Directions:
1.) Gently heat water + sugar until dissolves. 
     Bring to boil for 5 mnts. Allow to cool
2.) Place cubed mangoes in food processor,
     mix in the cooled sugar syrup until smooth
3.) Stir in lime juice & grated rind. 
4.) Pour mixture into shallow freezer container
5.) Freeze for 3 hrs. Remove from freezer, beat with a fork to break up the ice crystals.
6.) Return to freezer, freeze until solid. Take sorbet out 10 mnts before serving.
  

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This “Mango Mania” event is hosted by Meeta WFLH.
If you’re interested to participate have a look at the link HERE. Have fun!

Like this story? Then say it: Gustoso!

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