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Soto Kudus


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Soto Kudus ~  Indonesian Chicken Soup, Javanese Style.  “Kudus”  is a city in Central Java, Indonesia.  There’re so many varieties of “soto” or soup from different parts of provinces in Indonesia. This particular one is quite easy to distinguish from its dominant garlicky flavours from generous sprinkles of deep fried garlic, delicious clear chicken soup with a hint of ginger, toasted coriander seeds and squeeze of lemon juice….. 

One of our weekend eat-out with my family when I was a little, was this great little place near Mayestik Market where they served the best Soto Kudus. It’s so good that my family decided to make it a must-stop restaurant  every Sunday afternoon.  The main thing about the whole dining experience is it’s usually served with a plateful of various kind of skewered yummies as side dish – paru goreng, sate usus goreng, sate telur puyuh, perkedel kentang and my favorite one sumsum goreng telur. Important condiment is also a must for me, chili soy sauce mixed with fried garlic.  It adds an entirely different flavours to the soto.

I find this recipe tastes very close to the original Soto Kudus I used to have, and am still crazy about.



 

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SOTO KUDUS
Indonesian Chicken Soup – Kudus Style

Ingredients:
* 6  pcs chicken thighs
*  4 pcs boiled eggs
*  200 gr bean sprouts, soak in hot water 5 mnts
*  celery stalk/spring onion, chopped
*  2 stalks of lemon grass, bruised
*  2 pcs bay leaves
*  3 tbs of  garlic fried to golden yellow color
*  salt, pepper, sugar to taste

Processed ingredients till smooth:
* 6 pcs garlic
* 6 pcs shallots
* 1 tbs roast coriander seeds
* 1/2 tbs cumin
* 6 pcs roast candlenuts
* 4 cm fresh ginger, slightly roasted

 

Cooking Directions:
1.)  Boil chicken in 1 ltr of water, lemongrass & bay leaves till tender
2.) Heat 1 tbs of oil, stir fry processsed ingredients till cooked
3.) Pour into the chicken pot, add salt, pepper, sugar & fried garlic
4.) Set aside and cut chicken into bite size strips
5.) Prepare individual bowls with: steam rice, boiled eggs, bean sprouts
    chicken strips, pour in steaming soup, sprinkle with spring onions
6.) Don’t forget those tasty chili condiment….  whoa yummy!

Chili for Soto:
* 10 pcs bird’s eye chili or red chili – slice thinly
* 2 tbs sweet soy sauce
* slices of indonesian palm sugar (gula jawa)
* 2 tbs fried garlic – smoothen
* sprinkles of lemon juice
(mix them all together)

 

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Beef Croquettes

Catching up on my postings that I missed for almost 2 weeks since my computer crashed! What a headache, it began with a seemingly innocent download update from microsoft that causes some programs do not work – followed by internet connection crashing. I ended up spending the last 4 days re-installing all of the programs + their plugins, which sounds easier than done. Now I got the necessary program running, but my sound card is messed up pretty good. Don’t understand why….   oh well!

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This week is just not my good week. Being stuck in the hotel for most of the time, I could only find limited grocery to cook with.  Not too bad with the croquette though.  Great for afternoon snacking while getting my feet warmed up in a pair of fuzzy socks and a cup of warm ginger tea in hand.

 

BEEF CROQUETTE
(you may alternate beef roux with potato fillings instead)

Ingredients:
* 400gr minced beef  (can subs with chicken if you wish)
* 1 large carrot, tiny cubes
* small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 2 pcs garlic, crushed
* 300 gr of toasted breadcrumbs
* 4 pcs of egg white
*  1 cup grated strong vintage cheese

Roux (filling) ingredients:
* 80 gr of butter
* 80 gr of flour
* 3 cups of beef stock
* salt, sugar, white pepper, nutmeg to taste

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Directions on how to make roux:
1.) Melt the butter in a pan slightly brown.
2.) Add flour all at once and stir until completely mixed
3.) Keep them on low heat while adding stock/water bit by bit
3.) Keep stirring until the mix is smooth & creamy enough to mold. Set aside

Cooking the croquettes:
1.) Melt butter to cook onion & garlic until fragrant
2.) Stir in beef, carrot & parsley until cooked through
3.) Mix roux & beef together – add salt, pepper, nutmeg & grated cheese
4.) Set aside and refrigerate for a while so it would be easier to shape
5.) Shape roux mixing into balls of 4cm diameter
6.) Coat with flour, dip into whisked white eggs,
       then double coat it again with toasted breadcrumbs
7.) Deep fry until light golden color. Set aside and drain on paper towel.

The croquettes are best served hot with mustard dipping. Our family’s favorite is Dijonnaise Mustard by Masterfoods. Yummie!!!

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Grilled Fish ala Jimbaran Bali

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One of our favorite dish that we always have whenever we visit Bali. It’s probably the combination of beautiful ambience overlooking a beautiful beach stretched far into the horizon, toes burried in the white sand, fresh coconut juice off the shells and everything else that makes the grilled fish in this Jimbaran Beach  taste beautifully sweet and succulent.

The recipe is modified from Business Bali online. A pretty good recipe, although we can tell there’s a subtle flavour that’s missing. Probably those coconut shell charcoal grill taste. Very possible. I subs red snapper with grouper fish, which is more common here.  *in case you forget, we live in a middle of a grassland  😛 *

 

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IKAN BAKAR ala JIMBARAN
(Grilled Fish ala Jimbaran Bali)

Ingredients:
*  3 tbs toasted coriander seeds
*  1 tsp tamarind paste
*  5 cloves of garlic
*  5 pcs shallots
*  3 pcs red chillies peper
*  5 pcs candlenuts
*  3 cm fresh galangal
*  salt, pepper, bit of sugar
~ mix all this ingredients into a smooth paste

For gilling sauce:
*  4 tbs sweet soy sauce
*  2 tbs cooking oil
*  2 tbs melted butter

Cooking Directions:
1.) Stir fry the smooth paste until fragrant and cooked enough.
     Add 75 ml of water. Marinate the fish in this sauce.
     Leave for a couple of hours or overnight
2.) Prepare hot grill, cook the fish while brushing it
     with the grilling sauce.
3.) Serve with warm steamed rice.

 

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Peking Cabbage Pillows

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I’m such a cabbage fan. I love it in my stir fries, stuffed, rolled, souped, ‘tongseng’ or simply served as fresh sundanese salad or ‘lalap’ dipped in fresh ground chilis. But you know what’s the best cabbage dish is? stuffed shumay with drizzles of spicy peanut sauce….  That, would take me back home instantly. Such effects food can do to people.

I was quite intrigued to experiment with Martin Yan’s version of stuffed cabbage though. After a three hour session of cooking class he hosted in Shenzhen last week, we were sent home smiling carrying two bulky cooking books he gave us. One of the recipe in his book is “Peking Cabbage Pillows” – another version of stuffed cabbage using tofu, carrots and ginger.

Although, instead of using vinegar chili dipping (chinese style) I use Indonesian spicy peanut sauce.

Verdict: Tofu can be a great subs instead of fish meat that is commonly used. It’s lighter and always works wonders when dipped in Indonesian peanut sauce.  *just a little note: Indonesian peanut sauce is less sweet and has more kicks than the Malaysian/Singaporean satay sauce.


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PEKING CABBAGE PILLOWS
Recipe by Chef Martin Yan

Ingredients:
*  2 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
*  1 large napa cabbage (green cabbage)
(at least 6-7 cabbage leaves for wrapping)
*  1/4 cup chopped carrots
*  3 cloves minced garlic
*  1 cup minced chicken/prawns (skip for vegetarian)
*  2 tbs oyster sauce
*  2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
*  1 tsp sesame oil
*  1 tsp minced ginger
*  1 tsp chopped cilantro

Yummy Peanut Sauce:
** For sauce recipe, click here

Directions:
1.)  Parboil cabbage in boiling water for 2-3 mnts
Drain & rinse. Shave thick ribs at stem ends
2.)  Mash tofu in a bowl, squeeze to extract moist
3.)  Cook garlic till fragrant, add minced chicken
4.)  Add mushrooms & garlic
5.)  Add oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, carrot
6.)  Set aside, mix in mashed tofu. Add cilantro
7.)  Place 2 tbs of cooked tofu on cabbage leave
Roll the leave, tucked both sides in
8.)  Place ‘pillows’ in a steamer. Steam high for 10 mtns
Serve with dippings

Recipe from “Culinary Journey Through China” by Martin Yan

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I am submitting this posting to DMBLGIT January 2009.
For more information to participate please click ~  HERE

DMBLGIT - January 2009

Choux Pastry ~ Kue Sus

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I’ve put off baking since coming back from that Shenzhen trip. Trying to catch up on the vacation pics, retouching, sorting out laundry & other things. But I have this crazy cravings for sweets which seems to be getting worse since I’m on my 20th week. Mike’s been talking about how he loves custard, that particular Edmonds brand from New Zealand. Suddenly I remember all of those choux pastries my mom often made at home.

I’ve never really tried to make them myself, although I remember clearly how she does it. I used to watch her a lot in the kitchen. Helping to stir or chop something and play with flour. After a quick scrambling of recipe search on the internet, I’m settled with the one from Penny Lane  and  Joy of Cooking  *Thank you Riana!*

True, it’s probably the easiest pastry to make, but it can be tricky too. With some helpful tips, those babies can rise beautifully, puffy and hollow on the inside. My first batch wasn’t quite a success. I didn’t cook the flour long enough, the dough was sort of watery and my biggest mistake was to dump in more flour. Tsk… tsk…!  Here’s the ‘unsuccessful’  first batch. Smacked flat! the inside is still a bit doughey  😦

 

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  The first batch went flat!       But the second one works!!

Determined to get this right, I made the second batch. I remember my mom this time “Let the flour to cook long enough on the heat” she would say.  I paid close attention to the eggs too. Three eggs till the dough consistency looked perfect. Not runny.  After about 20 mnts in the oven, those babies started rising higher and higher. Beautiful! Yay! It works!!!

 

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CHOUX PASTRY

Ingredients:
* 130 gr high protein flour
* 1 tsp salt
* 90 gr unsalted butter
* 3 pcs eggs
* 250 ml water

Fillings:  ( I made from instant custard)
*  2 tbs custard powder from Edmonds
*  4 tbs sugar
*  2 cups of fresh milk
*  3 tbs dark rum
*  1/2 tsp crystal vanilla

Cooking Directions:
1.) Heat water, butter & salt until boiling
2.) Add flour bit by bit while whisking, keep it on low heat
3.) Ensure to whisk the dough thoroughly till well blended
4.) Turn off heat. Let it cool for a while
5.) Add eggs one by one while whisking
6.) Spoon/use pastry bag & squeeze onto silicone sheet
7.) Make a big blog, ensure no hole at the bottom
8.) Pre-heat oven 200C, bake for 25-30 mnts

Few Tips:
* Do not open the oven door while baking
* Ensure dough is on low heat while mixing the flour
* Do not take out the puff when the surface is still
   bubbling with butter. Leave it a little bit longer
* Once baked, cool on a wire rack

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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Beef Rendang

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There’re so many recipes for rendang around the internet. Some recipes call for liters and liters of coconut milk, some uses loads ginger but no galangal… *this one is a bit strange though*  This is the first time ever I cook rendang as I’m aware it’s so time-consuming and requires certain ingredients that can’t be substitute with any powdered stuff. Like this powdered lemon grass or powdered galangal…..   that’ll never work. Trust me, I’ve been there. Nothing beats the real thing, you know what I mean  😉

Finally I found the one I’m really happy with. The recipe adopted from uni Dewi Anwar –  she has this special recipe using 1 tbs of ground beef liver plus toasted coconut that would surely taste fantastic in rendang. Her secret recipe combined with a few others would be just awesome!  For this recipe I use 1 kg of  beef topside and silverside. Oh, I also found two fresh beef tongue from the same shop in the market. Just beautiful! would be perfect for ox tongue steak the next day. Or perhaps something else yummie….

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 BEEF RENDANG – the real deal from West Sumatra Indonesia

● 1 kg beef topside/silverside – discard fat
● 20 pcs shallot
● 10 pcs garlic
● 3 cm fresh ginger
● 15 pcs red chilies
● 4 cm fresh galangal
● 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
● 2 tsp nutmeg
● 15 pcs red chilies
● salt, pepper, palm sugar to taste
** Process all ingredients into a smooth paste

● 3 pcs star anise
● 2 cm cinnamon stick
● 5-7 pcs kaffir lime leaves
● 3 pcs lemon grass, bruised the stalks
● 1 tbs tamarind
● 2 pcs bay leave
● 3 cups of thick coconut milk (I use dessicated coconut)

Additional seasoning:
● 1 tbs toasted coconut – smoothly ground
● 1 tbs steamed beef liver – smoothly ground
** Mix both ingredients into the gravy

Cooking Directions:
1. Cook beef in ground ingredients + a cup of water in low heat
    until tender
2. Once it’s properly cooked, add coconut milk
    Then add the leafy ingredients
3. If using fresh coconut milk, keep stirring until gravy thickens
4. Add additional seasoning upon serving
5. You can keep on cooking until it turns dark, or the one I prefer
    is just beautifully reddish-yellow almost dry but not so.

Recipe is adopted and slightly modified from Dewi Anwar. Thank you Uni Dewi.

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