Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year & 2012 Top Ten Recipes

Today is the last day of 2012 and it’s only appropriate I wish all my loyal readers a Happy and Prosperous New Year filled with peace, joy, happiness, and health. With that, I’d like to complete this year’s final post with a highlight of the ten most popular recipes in seasaltwithfood for 2012.



                  






Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spicy Dried Shrimp Floss


This classic Malaysian condiment, Spicy Dried Shrimp Floss is a very versatile side dish. Here, I am enjoying it with just some steamed rice as a quick meal. It also tastes great as a savory bread spread, or used as a stuffing in baked pastries/buns. I usually make a big batch and store it in the freezer for later use. Just bring the floss back to room temperature when ready to serve.


UPDATED: December 29th 2013
This is an updated post with a new video cooking guide.




Spicy Dried Shrimp Floss

Ingredients

300 grams Dried Shrimps, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, drained and pounded

4 Tbsp Peanut Oil
½ tsp Sea Salt or to taste

1 Tbsp Sugar or to taste
Kalamansi Limes, optional

Sambal Paste
15 to 18 Dried Chilies, soaked in boiling water and drained well
6 Fresh Red Chilies, seeded
6 (150 g) Shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 Candlenuts
1 ½ tsp Roasted Shrimp Paste/Belachan

Method

Make the sambal paste: Blend the spice paste and cook on a moderate heat with the oil. Stir frequently until fragrant and the oil have separated from the sambal. Dish out and set aside.

Clean the wok and dry fry the pounded shrimps over medium heat. Keep stirring for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the shrimp is dry. Add the sambal paste, and continue to stir and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes until the shrimp floss is dry but still moist, and season with sea salt and sugar.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Home-Styled Chicken Curry


If you love curries, you will enjoy this home styled chicken curry. This curry is simply delicious when served over some steamed rice or roti. It's a little spicy with lots of chicken chunks, potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs. This simple curry is also an ideal one-pot meal to feed family or friends during any gathering.

Home-Styled Chicken Curry

Ingredients

3 Pieces (about 600g) Chicken Breast (skinless), cut into chunks

6 Yellow Flesh Potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut into chunks
8 Hard-Boiled Eggs, peeled
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Sprigs Curry Leaves
400 ml Coconut Milk
2 Cups Chicken Stock

Sea Salt to taste
Peanut Oil for cooking

Curry Powder
4 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 ½ tsp Ground Turmeric
4 tsp Aniseed Powder
4 Tbsp Ground Coriander
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
2 ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon

Method


Combine the chili powder, turmeric, aniseed, coriander, cumin, pepper, and cinnamon. Remove 2 tablespoon of the curry powder and season the chicken chunks with a little sea salt. Add 6 tablespoons of water into the curry powder, mix well to form a paste.

In a heavy pot, heat the oil and add the chopped yellow onion, together with the curry leaves. Cook until the onions are lightly brown in color. 

Add the curry paste, and cook until they are fragrant. Mix in the marinated chicken and cook for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked. 

Add the coconut milk with 2 cups of water. Bring the curry sauce to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, add the eggs and potatoes and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season the curry with sea salt and serve warm or at room temperature.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Garlic And Cheese Pull-Apart Pizza Bread


Whether you are just enjoying this on it's own or alongside a bowl of warm soup, this Garlic And Cheese Pull-Apart Pizza Bread tastes fantastic! This recipe is so flexible you can even substitute the cheese and flavoring with your favorites. Here I had used store-bought fresh pizza dough and filled them with Monterey Jack's cheese. Then, I seasoned it with garlic and onion powder, paprika, black pepper, sea salt, and some good-quality olive oil.   
 



Garlic And Cheese Pull-Apart Pizza Bread

Ingredients

2 Packets (about 620 grams) Fresh Pizza Dough (available at Whole Foods Market)
¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp Spanish Paprika
½ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Sea Salt
A few grinds of Black Pepper
180 g Monterey Jack Cheese, small-diced



Loaf Pan-lightly oiled




Method

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.



Mix together the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper in a medium sized bowl. 

Press down the dough on a lightly flour surface. Divide each dough into 15 to 16 balls. Press the center of each ball and filled with some diced cheese. Then wrap the dough around the cheese and continue with the rest of the dough and cheese. 

Dip the filled dough in olive oil mixture, and layer the dough in the loaf pan. Bake in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown in color. Serve warm.   

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Soup


This hearty and heartwarming Roasted Vegetable Soup is just wonderful, and it's an ideal soup for vegetarians too. The soup has a wonderful natural sweet flavor from the caramelize red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. For a complete meal, you may serve it warm with your favorite bread or with some Garlic Cheese Pull-Apart Pizza Bread on the side. The recipe for the Pizza Bread will be available on my next post.

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

6 Red Bell Peppers, seeded and halved
6 Roma Tomatoes, halved

1 Large Yellow Onion, peeled and quartered
1 Whole Garlic cut off the very tip of the head
1 Eggplant
1 ½ Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
¼ tsp Chili Flakes
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Cups Vegetable Broth
Some chopped Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley



Method





Preheat the oven to 425˚F.

In a large roasting pan, combine red peppers, tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili flakes, oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Arrange the peppers and tomatoes skin side up. Wrap the eggplant with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until all the veggies are fully cooked and tender. Remove from the oven and let the eggplant to roast for another 15 minutes.

Place the peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it for about 5 minutes, scrape of the skin with a knife or your hand. Reserved any juices in the bottom of the bowl. Peel the tomato skins and squeeze out the garlic.

Remove the eggplant from the oven, let cool slightly and scoop out the pulp and discard the skin. Coarsely chop all the vegetables and place in a pot together with the broth. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 10 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.



Monday, December 17, 2012

Raspberry Scones


I'd like to share this fantastic Raspberry Scones recipe with you today. They are filled with jam and baked until golden delicious. The scones taste scrumptious straight from the oven and it's perfect with a cup of tea of coffee.

Raspberry Scones

Ingredients

2-½ Cups (300 g)Sifted All-Purpose Flour

1/3 Cup (65 g) Sugar

2 tsp Baking Powder

¼ tsp Sea Salt
½ Cup/1 Stick Cold Unsalted Butter, cubed
¾ Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ Cup Raspberry Jam

Glaze

2 Tbsp Buttermilk

Method



With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a cookie sheet with 2 layer of parchment paper. 



In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are pea-sized. Add the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and pulse just long enough to moisten the flour. 


On a floured surface, flatten the dough with your hands or roll out to about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick. Using 2½ inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving space between each one. Then use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle of the scone. Fill with jam and brush the tops and side with buttermilk.


Bake until golden brown, 25 to 28 minutes. Let cool on a rack, and serve warm.

Makes 8 to 10 Raspberry Scones

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lemon Cookies


These delicate snow-dusted Lemon Cookies have a wonderful lemon and almond flavor. The cookies are rich, crumbly, and melt in the mouth. They are simple to put together and make a lovely Christmas gift too.   

Lemon Cookies

Ingredients

1 Stick (1/2 Cup/4 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
½ Cup (65 g) Confectioner’s/Powder Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
½ Cup (56 g) Ground Almond
1 Cup (120 g) All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Corn Flour/Starch
A Pinch of Sea Salt

¼ Cup of Confectioner’s/Powder Sugar, for dusting

Method


Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking tray with a piece of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon beat the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Mix in lemon zest, juice, and ground almonds until well blended. Add the flour, salt, mixing only until it is incorporated into the dough.


Pull off a tablespoon of dough and roll with your hand into a short rope, and shape into crescents, or roll into a longer rope and shape into candy canes. Place on the baking tray and bake for about 12 to 14 minutes and transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

Dust the cookies with some confectioner’s sugar. Store in an airtight container to keep them crisp.



Makes 24 cookies.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shrimp Scampi


My family loves seafood, and this Shrimp Scampi recipe is one of their favorites! It's a really easy recipe to follow, and it tastes fantastic. The sauce is cooked with garlic, lemon, parsley, and some chili flakes to give it the extra kick. Serve up the fresh shrimps and the tasty garlic sauce with some of your favorite pasta for a wonderful and complete meal.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients

1 lb Shelled White Shrimps,rinsed and patted dry with paper towel
1 ½ tsp Chili Flakes
6 Cloves Garlic, chopped
Zest of 1 Large Lemon
3 Tbsp Chopped Flat-leaf Parsley
1 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
8 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Box of Pasta (454 g), cook as per manufacturer’s instruction
Lemon Wedges

Method

Preheat the oven to 450˚F.

Pour the olive oil in a large baking dish. Place in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the oil is hot.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the shrimps, chili flakes, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, breadcrumbs, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and mix well.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and carefully place the shrimp mixtures in the hot oil, and top with butter. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes or until the prawns are just cook. If you are serving with pasta, then mix in the cooked pasta and season with lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, and top with additional parsley. Serve warm.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

General Tso's Chicken


General Tso's chicken is one of North America's favorite Chinese-takeaway dishes. It's also a really easy dish to whip up at home when you feel like skipping your local Chinese restaurant. Do try making it using this recipe when you get the chance. It's a much tastier and healthier option as well. You can always adjust the sweetness and spiciness level to suit your palate and personal preference.


General Tso's Chicken

Ingredients

4 Pieces /450 g Skinless and boneless Chicken Thighs, cubed (about ¾-inch pieces)
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

A pinch of Sea Salt
A few dashes of White Pepper
2 ½ Tbsp Corn Flour
8 to 10 Dried Chilies, cut into smaller pieces
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
½ inch Ginger, sliced
3 Stalks Scallion, sliced
1 tsp Roasted Sesame Oil
Oil for deep-frying

For the sauce:

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine

1 Tbsp White Rice Vinegar
2 tsp White Sugar

6 Tbsp Chicken Stock or Water
1 tsp Corn Flour

Method

Marinade the chicken pieces with egg, soy sauce, sea salt, pepper, and corn flour for about 15 minutes.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. 



Heat enough oil for deep-frying to 350-380˚F. (Medium to high heat) Add the chicken and deep-fry until it is crisp and golden, about 2 ½ to 3 minutes. (If you are deep-frying in a wok with a relatively small volume of oil, fry the chicken in batches.) Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour the oil into a heatproof container, and clean the wok if necessary.

Return the wok to a high flame with 2 Tbsp of the oil. Add the dried chilies and stir-fry briefly until they are fragrant and just changing color (do not burn them). Toss in the ginger and garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds more, then add the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Tip in the chicken and stir vigorously to coat it in sauce. Add the scallions and stir a few times, then, switch off the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nyonya Laksa


A warm bowl of this delicious Nyonya Laksa is just another perfect fix for the current cooler weather. This Laksa uses fresh thick rice noodles, which can be easily found at most Asian's grocers. The mild curry coconut soup is made of spice paste, pounded dried shrimps, coconut milk, chicken broth, and pandan leaves. When ready to serve, just ladle the curry soup onto the noodles and sprinkle with a generous amount of bean sprouts, tofu puffs, prawns, fish cakes, hard-boiled eggs, Daun Kesum (or Vietnamese mint), chili sauce, and some Kalamansi lime juice. The list of ingredients might seem like a lot; but, rest assured it's pretty easy to prepare, and it will be worth your effort!


Nyonya Laksa

Ingredients

2 lbs Fresh Thick Rice Noodles (Lai Fun/Laksa Noodles), scalded and drained
2 Packs (2 x 90 g) Tofu Puffs, halved
300 g Bean Sprouts, scalded
300 g Prawns, cooked and shelled
200 g Fish Cakes, sliced
1 Bunch Daun Kesum/Vietnamese Mints, finely sliced
8 Hard-boiled Eggs, halved
1 Cucumber, shredded, optional
Some Kalamansi Limes

Soup Base

6 to 8 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Cups Coconut Milk
4 Pandanus/Pandan Leaves, knotted

1/3 Cup Peanut or Vegetable Oil

Sea Salt to taste



Spice Paste

30 g Dried Chilies, cut into ½ inch in length and soaked in hot water, drained
4 Stalks Lemongrass, chopped
4 Fresh Red Chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
10 g (1/2 inch) Fresh Turmeric, coarsely chopped

100 g Galangal, coarsely chopped
8 (about 200 g) Shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tsp Roasted Shrimp Paste (Belachan)

5 Candlenuts
1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
30 g Dried Shrimps, soaked, drained, and pounded


Chili Sauce
8 Red Chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
¼ tsp Sea Salt, to taste
½ tsp Sugar, to taste
White Vinegar or Kalamansi juice, to taste

Method



For the soup base: Grind the spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor.

In a large stockpot over low medium heat, add the oil and cook the spice paste until fragrant, stirring continuously. If the mixture is too dry, add more oil. Stir-fry continuously until the spices are fragrant. Then add in the pounded dried shrimps, follow by the pandan leaves and continue to stir the paste for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth into the spice paste mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then add the tofu puffs and let it cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Season the soup with sea salt.


Chili sauce: Blend together the chilies, sea salt, and sugar. Adjust the seasoning with vinegar or Lime juice.

When ready to serve, just ladle the curry soup onto the noodles and sprinkle with generous amount of bean sprouts, tofu puffs, fish cakes, prawns, hard-boiled eggs, Daun Kesum (or Vietnamese mint), chili sauce, shredded cucumber, if using, and some Kalamansi lime juice

Serves 8


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