Monthly Archives: July 2012

Semi Sundried Tomatoes & Feta Scones

When I learned that the Bakers Delight near my work has stopped selling savoury scones, I was disappointed.

I thought this couldn’t mark the end of  my savoury scone supply. No way.

So I man up like any savoury-scones-obssessed-person would be and attempt at scone-making again. ;) My last attempt was lacklustre (I think it has to do with I didn’t place the scones close enough on the tray while baking).  They did not rise and they became “butter cookies”. Bummer!

After trying a different scone recipe (this time was from my 4 Ingredients – One Pot One Bowl cookbook, I can only say my scones are “butter cookies” no more! They puffed and fluffed…like a proper scone should be. The beauty of this recipe is no butter is required and there’s a secret ingredient in the recipe…

And guess what …it’s sparkling water!

Semi Sundried Tomatoes & Feta Scones

(tweaked original recipe as suggested by 4 Ingredient cookbook – One Pot One Bowl)

What you’ll need:-

  • 4 cups (500g/17.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 8 tsps baking powder
  • 50g/1.76 ounces semi sundried tomatoes, finely sliced
  • 100g/3.4 ounces feta, finely chopped
  • 1 & 1/4 cup (300ml/10.1 fluid ounces) cream
  • 1 cup (250ml/8.45 fluid ounces) sparkling water (I used San Vittoria Sparkling Mineral Water)

(1) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius/364 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with baking paper. (2) Sift the flour into a bowl (I actually skipped this step :P).  Add semi sundried tomatoes and feta and mix well with the flour with a fork. (3)Make a well in the middle, pour in the cream and sparkling mineral water. Use a fork and eventually your hand to mix until a firm dough is formed (be careful not to overbeat). (4) Roll the dough out and cut with a scone cutter (or any round cookie cutter). (5) Arrange closely together on the baking tray *important* and bake until golden brown. The recipe book said about 12 minutes, but it took me about 15 minutes to brown the top.

{Slather with some herbed garlic butter… and you won’t regret it! Okay, maybe your waistline will…but that’s what flowy and oversized tops are for hehe! ;)}

   

Beef & Broccolini Chow Mac with Gochujang (Korean Hot Pepper Paste)

I wasn’t kidding when I said I make chow mac a lot at home on my facebook page. My weekend in Sydney (partly to attend the Nuffnang Blogopolis) has threw me out of my grocery shopping routine and meal planning for the week. Oh yes, I have started to meal plan! Are you proud of me?

Anyway, my beloved told me how much he missed my cooking when I was away. Whilst it was flattering,  I had my suspicion that he was sicked of fixing his own meal. Of course, I can never get him to admit to that. ;)

So this was what I’ve made after a quick trip to the supermarket right after work today. Yes, it was another variation of chow mac.  A meaty and spicy one this time.

(Please note I already bought the Gochujang aka Korean hot bean paste some time ago from an online Asian grocery store.)

{This is how the Korean hot bean paste looks like. You can read more about it on wikipedia. My Korean housemate back in my university days used to add this paste in her stir fry with ground beef. I remember reading about a squid recipe with this paste in Ms Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen cookbook. I’ve tried it with fish which I may share some time in the future. A versatile ingredient if you like a kick in the tastebuds.}

Beef & Broccolini Chow Mac with Gochujang (Korean Hot Pepper Paste)

(Feed 2 -3 people)

What you’ll need:-

  • 250g uncooked/8.8 ounces uncooked San Remo macaroni
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g/8.8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1.5 tbsp Korean hot bean paste (gochujang) – if your spicy tolerance is low and you are new to this paste, start with a teaspoon.
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Kikkoman light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • A bundle of baby broccolini (about 25 stalks), cut in 3 sections
  • Cooking oil

(1) Mix ground beef with 1 tsp of light soy sauce and 1/2 tbsp (or 1 tsp for newbies) of Korean hot pepper paste. Set aside. (2) Cook macaroni according to the packet instruction. Drained. (3) While the macaroni is cooking, mix 1 tbsp of the hot pepper paste with 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a small bowl. Stir until resembles ketchup consistency. Set aside. – See Note 1 (4) Heat a tbsp of cooking oil in a stir fry pan. When the oil is hot, add garlic. (5) When the garlic starts to sizzle and becomes aromatic, add marinated ground beef and saute over high heat. (6) When the beef is almost cooked (i.e. 90%, there’s some speckles of pink in the beef), add broccolini and saute until they turn bright green and feel slightly soften(whichever comes first). (7) Switch the heat to low, add the cooked macaroni and  hot pepper sauce mixture into the pan. Stir until well combine. Then turn the heat to high and saute for a minute or until well heated through. Serve immediately.

Note 1 – I  emphasise that 1.5 tbsps of hot pepper paste in this dish can be QUITE SPICY. If you’re new to the hot pepper paste, I’d suggest you add 1 tsp first to marinate the beef and DO NOT add hot pepper paste in Step #3.  When you reach Step #7,  taste test the macaroni and beef after you stir everything together and see if you like the dish to be spicier. If yes, increase the quantity of the hot bean paste with a little of hot water and mix into the macaroni.

As I have mentioned above, I got mine online from here (Australia only). If your Coles (the bigger ones) has a full aisle dedicated to Asian stuff, you may find one there as well (maybe different brand though). I’ve came across it in Coles, Bathurst, NSW – the one on Wiliam Street.

   

Cheat “Creme Brulee” with Fruits & Yoghurt

This cheat creme brulee was a result of my residual cravings for the classic Creme Brulee served during the Blogopolis conference last Saturday.  I know I should talk about the stuff I’ve learned from the conference, which in all honesty, was very inspirational and gave me a lot to think about which direction I want my blog to go. Mostly, I’m thinking of revamping the look of my blog. But I can’t make up my mind on how I want my blog to look. Maybe more white background? Less sidebars? Simpler header? I don’t know where to start.

Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with my indecisiveness. Instead, may I interest you with something colorful, fruity and sweet?

This cheat brulee is consisted of your breakfast food: yoghurt and fruits. Okay, before you all go WTF on me, please hear me out.

Yoghurt and fruits combo makes a healthy breakfast. I think it makes an even better last minute, unplanned dessert. Yoghurt parfaits have been a popular choice. But in case you run out of crackers, biscuits or cookie crumbs one day, this recipe from the delicious. Sweet magazine may be the next best thing (if not better).

Basically, what makes a creme brulee is a custardy base with a crusty layer of burnt sugar. Since there are fruit toppings, running your blow torch over it may not be the smartest idea. So to go around this, you cook sugar and water until it turnes into caramel and pour (or drizzle) over the fruits. The caramel hardens as soon as it reaches the chilled surface of the fruits and yoghurt. And voila, you got your crusty surface with “custardy” (from the yoghurt) base. Oh so clever eh? ;)

PS: Just to be clear, F stands for fudge on this blog. :P

Cheat Brulee with Fruits & Yoghurt

(recipe tweaked slightly & scaled down to fit 2 people from delicious. Sweet – The Ultimate Collection )

What you’ll need:

  • 250g/ 8.8 ounces plain Greek-Style yoghurt
  • Vanilla beans from half a pod (alternatively 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 1 tsp honey *optional if you like a sweeter yoghurt
  • Fruits of your choice (I used 2 large strawberries and a kiwi fruit, diced)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar (or all-purpose sugar)
  • 1.25 tbsp hot water

(1) Place the yoghurt in a bowl. Add vanilla beans and honey and use a spoon to mix until smooth and well-combined. Set aside. (2) Peel and dice fruits – see Note 1. (3) Transfer the yoghurt into a serving bowl or ramekins. Top with the diced fruits. Set aside. (4) Place sugar and hot water in a small pot (really small i.e. like an egg pot). Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook without stirring until the mixture becomes a golden caramel. (5) Quickly, spoon the hot toffee over the fruits – see Note 2. Serve immediately.

Note 1 – the size of the dicing depends on the size of your serving dish. If you are using small ramekins, dice about 1cm (0.3 inches) in width & length. If you are serving a larger crowd (as per recipe below), you  can get away by just halving the strawberries and segmented peaches.

Note 2 – if you making a larger quantity, pour the hot toffee over the fruits instead of using a spoon.

For those who want to cater to a bigger crowd, here’s the original recipe – called yoghurt & berry brulee

Original Recipe (for 8 servings):-

(Recipe from the delicious. Sweet – The Ultimate Collection )

  • 600g/21.16 ounces Greek-Style yoghurt
  • 125g/4.4 ounces punnet raspberries
  • 125g/ 4.4 ounces punnet blueberries
  • 125g/ 4.4 ounces strawberries, halved
  • 1 – 2 small peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup (220g/ 7.76 ounces) caster sugar
  • 1.25 cup (310ml/10.48 fluid ounces) water