Archive for recipes

Menu Juara: Soto Tangkar Betawi

Also known as Indonesian Beef Ribs Soup. A specialty from Jakarta, the city where I was born and grew up in.  But what does “soto” means?  Have a look ~ here ~ from my previous posting.  Soto Betawi has become a regular menu that keeps popping up every two weeks or so.  The reason is because I like it better than the chicken version and Michael would never say no this this.

I ran out of some ingredients & spices a few weeks ago. Little things like lemon grass, fresh galangal and frozen kaffir lime leaves. Of course you can substitute them with powdered ones if that’s the only option, but you know already, nothing beats the real thing. Even from the moment I started mixing the ingredients, I can tell whether the soto is going to have the correct taste or not from the scent of the cooked ingredients.  Powdered or packaged ingredients usually have a slightly “off’ chemically taste to it – well, only a few very good brands like Munik, tastes almost like the real thing.

This weekend, a friend brought me a new supply of these ingredients from Shanghai. Whoa my gosh! That gift equals with a pouch of gold nuggets to me. No kidding, where can you get these stuff in the middle of a grassland? So here I am, cooking away my favorite recipes once again….


Recipe for Soto Tangkar Betawi
(or Batavian Beef Ribs Soup)  you can have a look  HERE



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Winter Comfort: Red Beans & Green Chilies Soup

 

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The weather is getting chillier now in IM. Although I stay indoors most of the time and have the grocery shopping delivered to the room, I went outside yesterday for a quick stroll to a bakery next door. They have great pastry selections that are just perfect for morning coffee and afternoon tea.  Well, I got the pastries, but came back feeling horrible. Sniffles, heavy head and chest. I think I’m getting a bad flu. Can’t believe it, over a 20 minute stroll?

Good thing that I made the soup right before the flu hit hard. It was quite easy and quick to prepare, unlike the Indonesian “soto” or soup that would usually mess up my kitchen.  A nice change in the menu. I love the flavours of green chilies blend in nicely with red beans. A few pieces of pork ribs also brings out a nice rich flavour to the soup. Oh, I oven-roasted the rest of the pork ribs with minimum barbecue seasonings.  Some slices of corn bread on the side.

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CORNBREAD RECIPE
**Recipe from Mark Bittman – NYTimes

Ingredients:
* 4 tablespoons butter, olive oil, lard or bacon drippings
* 1 1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs1
* 1/4 cups milk, more if needed

Cooking Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Put fat in an 8-inch square baking pan.
     Place pan in oven.
2. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Mix eggs into milk, stir this mixture into dry ingredients, 
     If mixture seems dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk.
4. When fat and oven are hot, remove skillet or pan
      from oven, pour batter into it and smooth out top.
5. Return pan to oven. Bake about 30 minutes,
     until top is lightly browned
6. Serve warm

 

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RED BEANS & GREEN CHILIES SOUP

Ingredients:
* 2 cups of dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
* 1/2 cup chopped green chili peppers
* 3 cloves minced garlic
* 1 pcs large onions, chopped
* 2 pcs bay leaves
* 3 pcs of pork ribs
* 1/2 cup diced carrots
*  3 tbs tomato pasta
*  1 stalk leeks – sliced
* some diced bacons
* 2 tbs Sherry
* salt, pepper & sugar to taste

Additional Seasoning:
* 3 tbs paprika  powder
* 2 tbs cayenne pepper powder
* dried leaf oregano
* dried thyme

Cooking Directions:

1.)  Cook chopped onions & garlic until transparent
2.)  Add chopped green chilies, bayleaves, bacon/pork, stir for 2 mnts
3.)  Add beans, water & additional seasonings.  Add tomato pasta
4.)  Let it cook until beans are tender. Add carrots
5.)  Remove about 1 cup of  beans & pureed. Add leeks
6.)  Add sherry & pureed beans. Simmer for about 5 mnts
7.)  Serve hot with corn bread

 

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Experimenting with Sweet Potato

Closing in to winter, root vegetables are becoming abundant in the local market. Potatoes, daikon, regular and purple carrots, and sweet potatoes. Heavy coal smelling air is also a sign that winter is in the air. The locals still use coals as their main heating. In this part of the world, even heating is still controlled by the government who decides that heater will only be allowed to be turned on at certain times of the day. Thank God we live in a hotel with certain privileges and so much better heating. Winter here can be quite harsh when the temperature drops down to minus 25ish degree celcius.

On the streets, baked sweet potato vendors are everywhere. With RMB1 or about 1 cent USD, you can get a nice big beautiful smelling baked sweet potato with skin charred from being slowly cooked for hours in the big smoky barrel.

I have a couple of fresh sweet potatoes in the kitchen and was thinking to make a dessert. Yups, the cravings for sweets is still there. Bubur Candil  had crossed my mind actually, but not sure if he likes it. Maybe it should be a cake with some nice frosting. I found a recipe that looks yummy and settled with that one.

 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Sweet Potato Cake with palm sugar drizzles

 

In short, the cake does not taste as what I had in mind. I guess I’m a bit of an old fashioned when it comes to flavours. Sweet potato should taste like sweet potato. Not white chocolate or cream cheese or anything minty. Honestly, how can I swallow something that tastes like a mouthwash in my cake?

Fine, I guess I will stick with “bubur candil” then. I know how it should taste like. Bubur candil brings me back to my late afternoon snacks – that is after shower in front of TV watching cartoons, buka puasa with relatives or treats mom usually brings back after her grocery shopping in the market. Bubur Candil means “home”.

 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBubur Candil ~ Sweet Potato Balls in Palm Sugar syrup
drizzled with coconut milk

 Let me know if you want to know the recipe 😀

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“Martabak” – meat pancake asian style

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Martabak or murtabak is a popular street food which is probably originated from the arab culture – which is also popular in Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia & Brunei.  Although I swear I’ve seen a different variety of “martabak” sold on the street corners in China.  The chinese version of martabak is using solely chopped spring onions as fillings, slightly smaller in size, using soft pancake instead of crispy outer layers.

So martabak is more like a late afternoon/evening snacks. Mind you, we Indonesians, love snacking so much that there’re so many varities of snack food for different times of day. If you’re lucky enough to see the martabak seller “in action” when he’s carefully stretching a lump of dough into a huge thin skin to cover the entire wok. I always love a good show before my meal anyway 😀

While the dough is frying in oil, he will whip up the fillings – eggs, cooked minced meat/lamb, chopped leeks/spring onions, pinch of this and that. He will then spread the fillings into the dough, fold the dough into a square, flip it. Before you know it, you have a plate of warm martabak cut into bite size squares with divinely crispy layers.

A few weeks ago, David mentioned about his new discovering of this “absolutely yummy” mongolian pancake. When he described it in detail, I thought it sounds so familiar with Indonesian martabak. Hey, maybe I should try making one, didn’t look too difficult….

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Verdict:  this is such a hard work! least for me. The dough can’t be stretched thin enough, although the pancake turned out to be quite crispy. I don’t think I’d want to make it too often.  Pls excuse the photo too, tough to get the perfect angle….  I hate it!

** Recipe source: Sexy Chef – makasih mbak Rieke!

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Nasi Pepes Ayam Jamur

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That’s the Indonesian name for steam fragrant yellow rice with chicken and mushroom wrapped in banana leaf. Definitely a mouthful title 😀  It’s a beautiful dish though. The rice is pre-cooked in grated fresh turmeric, coconut milk and thin slices of kaffir lime leaves that makes the steam wafting in the air smelling of fresh turmeric and lime leaves. More fragrant spices e.g. lemon grass, purple basil & coriander leaves are added, wrapped in banana leaf and then double cook the rice in a steamer. Resulting in amazing  combination of fragrances. Just beauuuutiful….!

Mike and David had them for dinner last night. One nice comment from him  “If I close my eyes when I eat this, I swear I’m in a different country” . Not too bad 😀

NASI PEPES AYAM JAMUR

Ingredients:
* 2 cups of rice
* 3-4 cups of coconut milk (I use powdered Kara)
* fresh turmeric 2 cm, grated
* 8 pcs kaffir lime leaves – thinly sliced
* banana leaf for wrapping – (I use alum. foil)
* 4 stalks of lemon grass, bruised
* 6 pcs bay leaves
* boneless chicken thighs – cut bite size
* boiled eggs (optional)
* coriander leaves
* purple basil leaves
* straw mushrooms

Ingredients 2:
* 10 pcs shallots
* 7 pcs garlic
* 7 pcs candle nuts
* 2 cm fresh ginger, bruised
* 2 cm fresh turmeric, bruised
* 1 large tomato, chopped
(grind “ingredients 2” into a smooth paste)

Cooking Directions:
1.) Cook the rice in a rice cooker in coconut milk, grated turmeric
salt and sliced lime leaves. Let it cook through
2.) In the mean time, stir fry paste ingredients until fragrant
3.) Add chicken, mushrooms, stir well, add lemon grass, bay leaves
4.) Add salt, pepper & sugar to taste. Cook chicken till tender
set aside
5.) Prepare steamer. Cut banana leaves, on a bed of rice, place
chicken & mushroom, purple basil, chopped tomato. then
topped with another layer of rice. Sprinkle with coriander leaves
6.) Fold banana leave and make it into a tight pocket.
Secure with string or tooth picks
7.) Arrange inside steamer and steam for about 1 hour or so

** Recipe from Mbak Ine Elkaje – thank you mbak  😀

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Tea Time Donuts – ala JCO


* as featured in Tastespotting *

Long long time ago, I’ve tried making donuts and been getting inconsistent results. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it’d be a complete disaster to a point that I cringed even on hearing the word ‘donuts’. It was my final decision, never to make donuts ever again. Ha! Until yesterday I was still convinced that baking donuts would be a complete waste of time.

Then I read Dita’s donut posting, followed by other foodie bloggers who’ve tried NCC’s donut recipe. Hmmm, this sounds like a fail-proof recipe. Maybe I should give it a try. Even without shortenings, my donuts were puffed up nicely with evenly light yellow color. Ooooohhh, this is soooo cool. So there I was, nicely cuddled up among fuzzy cushions in the sofa, watching the storm brewing in the evening sky outside, then droplets of rain spattering on the living room window. Warm donuts and a hot cup of tea in my hand. Yummmmm……

TEA TIME DONUTS – ala JCO
Ingredients:
DOUGH 1
* 850 gr flour or japanese ‘Komachi’ flour
* 30 gr instant yeast
* 10 gr gsalt
* 600 ml water

DOUGH 2:
* 200 gr flour or japanese ‘Komachi’ flour
* 10 gr salt
* 60 gr milk powder (I use milk flavoring)
* 125 gr sugar
* 100 gr eggs
* 125 gr shortening (I use butter)

Cooking Direction:
1.) Mix dough 1 until smooth with a mixer, cover & rest for 90 mnts
2.) Mix dough 2 until smooth. Knead dough 1 & 2 together    
     until smooth for 10 mnts. Cover and rest for 15 mnts
3.) With a roller pin, roll the dough abt 1 cm thick. Rest for 10 mnts
4.) Cut with donut cutter, remove the hole bit.
     Move to a tray with baking sheet & rest for another 10 mnts
5.) Deep fry in low heat until it turns light golden yellow.
6.) Cool on cooling rack, decorate with toppings.

** Recipe source NCC

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Eggplant Koresh

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Eggplant Koresh or Khoresh-e Bademjan is a Persian dish,  another one of my favorite dish found in cookbook “A Taste of Persia” sent by my dear foodie buddy, Fitri. Thanks a looooottt, luv!!! I have certain fascination with eggplant dish, which I think absolutely yummy in stews and grilling. 

This one is quite easy to make. Although it would be even better if we had the right kind of bread, but that focaccia bread we had was not too bad either. Actually the dish itself is quite filling already with all the eggplants.

EGGPLANT KORESH

Ingredients:
* 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
* 4 cloves garlic, crushed
* small strip boneless chicken
* 1 tsp cracked black pepper
* 1/2 tsp ground saffron threads
  dissolved in 4 tsp hot water
* 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
* 6 pcs tomatoes chopped
* 1 cup unripe grapes or 4tbs lime juice
* 3 medium eggplants, peeled & sliced
* egg whites, beaten
* cherry tomatoes, roasted for garnish
* green peppers, roasted for garnish

Cooking Directions:
1.) Stir fry onions + garlic until transluscent
2.) Add chicken strips, cook until golden brown
3.) Add salt, pepper, saffron & turmeric
4.) Stir in tomatoes, unripe grapes/lime juice. Simmer for 15 mnts
5.) In the mean time, fry eggplants slices in separate skillet
    dip into egg whites to reduce oil absorbed while frying
    set aside
7.) Roast/grilled cherry tomatoes & green peppers for garnish
8.) Preheat oven 350 F. Transfer chicken & sauce into a deep
    casserole dish/pan. Arrange eggplant.
9.) Cover & bake for 30 mnts. Remove cover, bake for 15 mnts
8.) Serve with roasted vegetables on top as garnish

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