Monday, September 28, 2009
Dear readers, good day! I am so glad to announce that today is my blog’s first anniversary! I can’t believe it, time certainly does fly when you are having fun! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers of Seasaltwithfood for supporting and leaving many nice comments on my blog. Not to mentioned as well, many emails with wonderful ideas and encouragements. I appreciated the kindness and will certainly continue to share as much recipes possible. Thanks!
FYI: One of my readers have also been so kind to bring to my attention recently that a certain new blog based in the UK, http://www.recipeideas.org.uk/, have been blatantly plagiarizing contents from my blog. Shocking! So, do you reckon that is some form of recognition that I must be doing something right? What do you think? Should I be flattered or upset that someone has made such an effort to steal my postings? Anyway, I hope the owners’ of that blog will read this and have some dignity to stop ripping off my work. Very disgraceful, don't you think so?
Anyway, I was rather busy the past few weeks and did not plan for any celebration for my blog’s first anniversary. Then, my two lovely kids thought they will make something pretty and sweet for me. I decided to have them make these cute brownie pops. It’s easy and a fun little project in the kitchen for them. So, keep those ideas and comments coming. Enjoy the recipe.
1 Brownie Buttons recipe
Brownie Pop Mold/Miniature Muffin Pan
Cookie Sticks/Lollipop Sticks
Candy and Chocolate Sprinkles
Brownie Buttons Recipe - Adapted from Baking From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan
Grated Zest of 1/2 Orange
1 tsp Sugar
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Stick (4 Tbsp) Unsalted Butter
2 1/1 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 Cup (packed) Light Brown Sugar (I used 1/4 Cup)
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Large Egg
For the Glaze
2 oz Bittersweet/Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Combine the orange zest with sugar. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, chocolate and brown sugar over a very low heat. Stir until the mixture is smooth and remove from the heat and cool for about 2 minutes.
Then stir in the vanilla, egg and orange zest into the chocolate mixture. Stir until well blended. Add the flour and stir only until it is incorporated. The batter should be smooth and glossy.
Spoon the batter into the mold and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the tops of the brownie spring back when touched. Transfer the mold to racks to cool for 3 minutes before carefully releasing the brownies. Cool to room temperature on the racks.
To assemble to Brownie Pops: Insert a cookie/lolly stick into the brownie. Dip the brownie pop into the melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.
Refrigerate the brownie pops for 15 minutes to set the glaze.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This is an easy to prepare Banana Pancakes recipe. I like to serve them plain, with a few slices of bananas. You can also sprinkle some confectioner sugar or add some maple syrup to the pancake as shown in the above picture.
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour, sifted
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
3 (about 380 g) Bananas, mashed
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
3/4 Cups Milk
1 to 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil or Butter for greasing
2 Bananas, sliced
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Maple syrup for serving
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix in the bananas, eggs, and milk and stir until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain.
Lightly grease the griddle or a non-stick pan with oil or butter. Ladle about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. (Grease the griddle again before frying another pancake.)
Serve the pancakes warm with confectioners' sugar and bananas slices or with maple syrup, if desired. Makes about 12 pancakes; serves 4.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Kam Heong crab is another popular crab dish in Malaysia. The word “Kam Heong” literally means Golden Fragrance. It really does light-up the smelling senses and tastes great. A profusion of smells from the key ingredients - curry leaves, curry powder, dried shrimps, shallots, garlic, and chilies. Well, if you like to try a different style of cooking these crustaceans, do consider giving this famous Malaysian style Kam Heong Crab recipe a try.
Malaysian Style Kam Heong Crab
2 Large Dungeness Crabs (4 1/2 lbs) Cut into 8 pieces for each crab
2 Tbsp Dried Shrimps, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
3 Shallots, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
8 to 10 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies, chopped
1 Bunch (15 g) Fresh Curry Leaves
2 Tbsp Fish Curry Powder
2 tsp Coarsely Ground Black Peppercorns
3 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 Tbsp Sugar
Oil for deep-frying
Put the oil in a large wok, or large deep saucepan and heat over high heat. Deep-fry the crabs for about 4 to 5 minutes and set aside. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the oil and drain off the excess oil.
Reheat the wok with the reserved oil on high heat. Cook the dried shrimps until crisps. Then toss in the shallots, garlic, and chilies; curry leaves, curry powder and cook until the mixture is golden in color and fragrant.
Then add the coarsely ground black peppers, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce, sugar and give the mixture a quick stir. Mix in the crabs and stir until well combine and season with salt if necessary. Serve immediately.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Today I am posting a crisps recipe that I have adapted from a website called Dinner With Julie. Julie is a food and nutrition columnist based in Calgary. Her Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps tastes very similar to the Raincoast crisps version, which can be found at most local stores here in Canada. I must warn you, these crisps are very addictive! So, do try making them and happy snacking.
Recipe adapted from Dinner With Julie
Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 cups Buttermilk (at room temperature)
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Honey
1 Cup Raisin or 1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries and 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 Finely chopped Pecans
1/4 Cup Sesame Seeds
1/4 Cup Ground Flaxseed
1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey. Then add the raisins or dried blueberries, dried cranberries, pecans, sesame seeds, flaxseed and rosemary and stir just until combined.
Pour the batter into two 4x8-inch, oiled loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch.
Remove from pans and cool thoroughly. Chilled the bread in the freezer for about 20 minutes. The cooler the bread the easier it is to slice thinly. Slice the loaves as thin as you can and place in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 300˚F for about 12 to 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp and golden brown in color.
Make about 8 dozens crackers.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A delicious Steamed Seafood Dumplings recipe for all you seafood lovers out there. These dumplings are succulent and perfect with just a simple dipping sauce, which consists of soy sauce, vinegar, and a bit of chili flakes. So, do try the recipe and have fun wrapping the dumplings.
Steamed Seafood Dumplings
150g Peeled Prawns, diced
150g Scallops, diced
100g Crabmeat, picked
2 Stalk Scallions, finely chopped
½ tsp Minced Ginger
1 tsp Soy Sauce
¼ tsp Sesame Oil
½ tsp Sugar
¼ Sea Salt
A few dashes White Pepper
½ of Egg White (about 2 Tbsp)
1 tsp Corn flour
1 Packet (about 50 pcs) Dumpling Wrappers
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 ½ tsp Chili Flakes
Prepare the filling by combining all the above ingredients and marinate for about 30 minutes.
Place 1 ½ tsp of the filling mixture in the center of wrapper. Brush or wet the edge of the wrapper with water. Fold up the wrapper in half and press both sides together to form a hat shape.
Steam the dumplings over high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Serve the dumplings with the soy sauce mixture and some chopped scallions, if desired.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sweet potato leaves are edible, and is an excellent source for Vitamin A and C. It is another great tasting and healthy quick stir-frying vegetable dish you should include for your family. This dish was simply fried with some chilies and roasted shrimp paste. The end result is a spicy and yet, fantastic stir fried vegetable that can either be a great side dish or a healthy vegetable dish to go with some steamed rice.
Stir-Fry Sweet Potato Leaves With Roasted Shrimp Paste
1 Bunch (about 400 g) of Sweet Potato Leaves, cleaned and cut into 1 1/2 inches in length
1 Tbsp Dried Prawns, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
5 Thai Bird's Eye Chilies, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 Tbsp Salted Soy Beans, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp Roasted Shrimp Paste (Belacan), crumbled
1 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
Sea salt to taste
In a large wok with high heat, add the oil and cook the dried prawns until crisp.
Toss in the garlic, chilies, shrimp paste, salted soybeans and give them a very quick stir. Then add the water spinach, oyster sauce and have a quick stir again. Mix in the water and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and continue to cook for about a minute or until the vegetables are cooked. Serve immediately.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
If you like artichokes, you will love these delicious Roasted Artichokes With Boncconcini Tart. Try to get hold of roasted artichokes in oil, if not, just substitute with canned artichokes in water. Drain and pat the artichokes dry with some paper towels. Then, drizzle with a little olive oil before baking the tarts. So easy to prepare, try it!
Roasted Artichokes With Bocconcini Tart
8 Ready Baked Tart Shells
1 Roasted Red Pepper, drained, pat dry and coarsely chopped
2 Roasted Artichokes in oil, quartered
3 to 4 Regular Size Bocconcini Cheese, sliced thickly
8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
Fresh Mint Leaves
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bake the tart shells according to the package instructions.
To assemble: Fill each tart shell with chopped red pepper. Top with cheese, artichoke and tomato. Then season with salt and pepper and drizzle a little oil from the artichoke jar.
Bake the tart for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Transfer the tart to a wire rack and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish each tart with mint leaves, a pinch of pepper and serve immediately.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Another great tasting tapas I like is called Patatas Bravas or Potatoes in Spicy Tomato Sauce. The cubed potatoes are fried twice to obtain the crunchiness. I am using the BC Yukon Gold Potatoes variety here. These potatoes have a creamy flesh, low in starch, and are excellent for deep-frying. As for the spicy tomato sauce, I have adapted the recipe from my favorite Traditional Spanish Cooking cookbook by Janet Mandel. The sauce is a little spicy, but, is perfect with the deep-fried potatoes.
Patatas Bravas-Potatoes In Spicy Tomato Sauce
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) Potatoes, peeled
Olive Oil for deep frying
175 ml (6 fl oz) Tomato Sauce
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp Chopped Oregano
Cayenne or Ground Chili
Sea Salt to taste
Combine the tomato sauce, oil, garlic, vinegar, paprika, cumin, oregano and enough cayenne or chili to make the sauce fierce (spicy, hot). Add salt if necessary.
Cut the potatoes into 2 cm ( 3/4 inch) cubes. Heat the olive oil in a deep-fryer over medium -high heat. (about 350˚F) Cook the potato in batches for 5 - 6 minutes, or until golden in color. Drain well on paper towel. Let the potatoes to cool slightly.
Reheat the oil to medium- high heat. Cook the potato in batches again, for 2 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Serve the potatoes hot with the spicy tomato sauce.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I made these Pork Rolls a few days ago. They are usually served as a meat starter in Spanish meals; but, I think they are just great as appetizers and make a wonderful party food. Try it!
Recipe adapted from Traditional Spanish Cooking by Janet Mendel
4 Thinly Sliced Pork Loin
4 Thinly Sliced Serrano Ham
4 Strips of Cheese or Cheese Strings
3 Tbsp Flour
1 Large Egg, beaten
6 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
Olive Oil for deep frying
Placed sliced pork between two layers of cling film and pound thinly with a mallet.
Top each slice of pork loin with a slice of ham and a strip of cheese. Roll up into a cylinder and secure with cocktail sticks if necessary.
Dip in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Fry in oil until browned on all sides. Drain and cut into smaller bite size. Serve immediately.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Mango Chutney is a very versatile condiment, typically served as a side dish with many curries. Not forgetting, a great accompaniment for sandwiches, and it’s also a fantastic dip for chips, crisps, and crackers too.
Speaking of crackers, I recently had an opportunity to try out Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps’ newest creation, the Cinnamon Raisin crackers. Fabulous all natural crackers, handmade with care in small batches. I found this new cracker tasted great and was even better with the mango chutney. So, do try out my mango chutney recipe as your next side dish or snack dip. Enjoy!
2 Large Ripe Mangoes, pitted and cut the flesh into 1/2 inch dice (about 3 Cups)
1 Clove Garlic, grated or minced
1/2 inch Ginger, grated or minced
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Cardamon Pods
80 g Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 to 3 Tbsp Honey
1/2 Cup (about 70g) Raisins or Sultanas
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil.
Stir well and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to simmer the mango mixture for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the sauce has thicken. Cool completely.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Tom Kha Gai or Chicken Soup With Coconut Milk and Galangal is another popular soup from the Thai cuisine. This soup is a milder version compared to the other well known spicy Tom Yum. Some of you probably know that the word “Kha” in Thai means Galangal. Thus, no surprise here that the soup has a distinct galangal flavor. Using a good chicken stock soup base, coconut milk is added together with chicken meat, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and fried dried chilies. The fried chilies in the recipe provides a smoky flavor to the soup with a slight hint of heat.
Tom Kha Gai - Chicken Soup With Coconut Milk And Galangal
2 pcs (300 - 340 g) Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breast, sliced into bite size
1 inch Fresh Galangal, thinly sliced
2 stalk Lemongrass, crushed
5 Kaffir Lime Leaves, torn
1 tin (400 ml) Coconut Milk
600 ml Chicken Stock
100 g Fresh Straw or Oyster Mushrooms
4 Tbsp Fish Sauce
4 to 5 Tbsp Lime juice
10 Dried Thai Chilies
Coriander Leaves for garnish
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the Galangal, Lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Then add the coconut milk and chicken pieces. Bring the soup to a boil and mix in the mushrooms, fish sauce, lime juice and continue to cook for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the chilies with a Tbsp of Oil on a moderate heat until crispy. Then add the chilies to the soup. Serve immediately and garnish with coriander leaves, if desired.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Fancy having some Carrot Spice Muffins? The aroma from the combination of ginger and cinnamon used in this recipe certainly makes this one of my favorites. For me, the best way to savor muffins is to serve them warm with some cream cheese or whipped cream, as suggested by my son. Whichever way you prefer to enjoy your muffins, I hope you will try this recipe. Happy baking!
Recipe adapted from Baking From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan
Carrot Spice Muffins
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar (I used 1/3 Cup)
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup (Packed) Light Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup Flavorless Oil, such as Canola, Safflower or Corn
2 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Shredded Carrots (about 3, peeled and trimmed)
1/2 Cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut
1/3 Cup Moist, plump currants or raisins
1/3 Cup Pecans, or Walnuts, toasted, cooled and chopped
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Then place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps.
In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined.
Pour the the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly sir to blend. Stir in the carrots, coconut, currants and nuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Finally, we are beginning to experience some cooler weather here in Vancouver with the recent rainfall. The rainy weather got me craving for some nice warm soup for lunch. This Roasted Tomato Soup was my perfect fix, it has a light hint of spiciness and smoky flavor from the chipotle chili. I used Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, which comes in cans with a sauce made of spices, vinegar, tomato sauce, and sometimes with other chilies. Caution, they are very spicy so use only a half portion of the chili and make sure to remove all the seeds.
Roasted Tomato Soup
3 lbs Roma Tomatoes, halved
3 Cloves Garlic, whole
1 Yellow Onion, halved and quartered
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 - 3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1/2 of a Chipotle chili in Adobo Sauce, seeded
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Preheat the oven to 205˚C/400˚F.
In a large baking tray, arrange the tomatoes, garlic, onion, thyme and coat them with olive oil. Season the tomato mixture well with salt and pepper.
Roast the tomato mixture for about 30 - 35 minutes. Remove the skin from the garlic and discard the thyme. In a large pot, combine the tomato mixture and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and add in the Chipotle chili. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Let the mixture cool slightly and blend until they are smooth and velvety. Return the soup to the pot and warm up gently and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve the soup warm.