Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shortbread Raspberry Cookies


These are Shortbread Raspberry Cookies. They are not traditional Chinese New Year cookies, but this buttery treat is a real crowd-pleaser.

Shortbread Raspberry Cookies

Ingredients

2 Sticks (227 grams) Unsalted Butter, softened
150 g Caster (Superfine) Sugar
200 g (7 oz/ 1 2/3 cups) Plain (All-Purpose) Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg, Lightly beaten
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
About 200 g (7 oz/ 2/3 cup) of Raspberry or your favorite Jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C /350˚F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the butter and sugar in a good-sized bowl and work them together by hand or with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the flour and baking powder and work them in. Add the egg and vanilla and knead them in until it is all compact and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least an hour.

Working with a teaspoonful of dough (about 15 grams) at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form small balls and place the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to press into the center of each cookie. Fill the indentations of all the cookies with enough of the jam to come level to the tops.

Bake for 17 to18 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be only slightly colored-they might even look undone, which is fine: they should not be over baked. When the cookies are baked, remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.

Makes 44 cookies



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pineapple Tart/Nastar Rolls


Pineapple Tart/Nastar Rolls

Ingredients

Pineapple Jam
3 Large Ripe Pineapples, skin and cut into chunks
200 g to 350 g Sugar (adjust accordingly)
2 cloves
5 cm Cinnamon Stick
3 Pandan leaves, cleaned and knotted
80 g Golden Syrup or Maltose

Method

Blend the pineapple chunks in a blender or a food processor. Then pour into a sieve and drain off some of the juice.

Place the pineapple, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick and pandan leaves in a heavy bottom saucepan and cook over a low heat. Adjust the sugar accordingly. Stir frequently until the jams are slightly thick and add in the golden syrup. Then cook until the jam is thick and glossy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Then roll the pineapple jam into a small cherry sized balls.

Pastry
2 Sticks (227 grams) Unsalted Butter, softened
30 g Confectioner Sugar
A Pinch of Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Egg Yolks
300 g All-Purpose Flour, sifted
2 Tbsp Custard Powder, sifted
1 Large Egg Yolks, lightly beaten for egg wash

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar and salt. With a wooden spoon mix until they are well combined and add the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Then mix in all the sifted flour, custard powder, and knead lightly to form soft dough.

To shape the tarts - Push some dough through a Nastar mold into a long strip. Place a ball of pineapple jam, and roll up into a roll. Place all the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and brush with some beaten egg wash. Bake the rolls for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden in color.

Cool on the rack and store in airtight cookie jar.

Makes about 55 cookies


Monday, January 28, 2013

Love Letters/Kuih Kapit


With the Chinese Lunar New Year just a couple of weeks away now, most Chinese families are busy preparing all sorts of cookies and goodies to be shared with family and friends. I'd like to share a couple of my favorite cookies recipes with you and I will start with this crispy, delectable, and lovely coconut fragrance cookies fondly known as Love Letters or Kuih Kapit in Malaysia. There are only five ingredients needed to whip up the batter, namely eggs, sugar, coconut milk, all-purpose flour, and rice flour. The traditional method is to use a special patterned iron mold press to cook the batter over a slow glowing charcoal fire. As I do not have access to the traditional apparatus and the weather here in Vancouver is still pretty chilly and wet, I used a Krumcake/Pizzelle maker to make these cookies instead. It works just as well, so, do try making these Love Letters using this tried and tested recipe and method.

Love Letters/Kuih Kapit

Ingredients

4 Large Eggs
100 g Sugar
450 ml Coconut Milk
50 g Rice Flour, sifted
75 g All-Purpose Flour, sifted

Method

Combine the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Add the coconut milk, and stir in the flours. Strain the batter and let it rest for an hour.

Preheat the Krumcake/Pizzelle maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set the color setting to number 3.

Scoop 2 Tbsp of batter onto the mold, cover and bake until they are ready or light brown in color. Remove the biscuit and quickly fold in half, and half again and then press down lightly. Cool on the rack and store them in an airtight container.

Makes 33 pieces

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lemon Garlic Shrimp


This Lemon Garlic Shrimp is a great appetizer to any meal or served as a light snack with some salsa. The crispy Panko breadcrumb coating added more flavor and texture to every bite of the tasty fresh shrimps. Just sprinkle some salt and squeeze some lemon juice onto the shrimps before serving. Yummy.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Ingredients

1 lb (454 g) Peeled White Shrimps
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten

1 Cup Japanese (Panko) Breadcrumbs
Zest of 1 Lemon

1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Chili Flakes
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Sea Salt
Lemon Wedges

4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil



Method

In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, onion powder, garlic powder, chili flakes, and some freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.

Pour the oil onto a large baking tray, and place in the oven for about 5 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the shrimps into the flour and shake off the excess flour. Then dip the shrimp in the beaten eggs, and then into the breadcrumbs mixture, making sure to coat shrimp well.

Remove the baking tray from the oven and arrange the shrimps in a single layer and bake for about 8 to 9 minutes turn the shrimps over and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle some salt on the shrimps and serve with some lemon wedges.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rosemary And Garlic Baguette Chips


These little baguette chips are crispy, and irresistible with dips.

Rosemary And Garlic Baguette Chips

Ingredients

1 Baguette

4 Tbsp Butter, softened
4 Cloves Roasted Garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary

¼ tsp Sea Salt

A few grind of Black Pepper


Method


Preheat the oven 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the butter with garlic, rosemary, sea salt, black pepper in a bowl, and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined.

Thinly slice baguette into 3mm-thick slices with a serrated knife. Spread some flavored butter on sliced baguette, and place in a single layer. Bake in preheated oven for 9 to 10 minutes or until light brown and crisp. Remove from the oven, and let it cool completely before serving.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Brunch Chimichangas


Chimichangas are deep-fried burritos. It's typically served with either salsa, guacamole, cheese, or sour cream. Here, I have opted to baked these Brunch Chimichangas instead of frying them. The soft tortillas will house the diced onion and pepper scrambled eggs, cheese, and roasted tomato salsa. Neatly wrap it all and brush with olive oil before baking in the oven until crispy on the outside. Serve with some fresh guacamole, it tastes fantastic!

Brunch Chimichangas

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Butter
1 Red or Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 Medium Onion, diced
8 Large Eggs
½ tsp Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Roasted Tomato Salsa, click here for the recipe
1 to 1 ½ Cups Sargento® Chef Blends™ Shredded Taco Cheese or Sargento® Fine Cut Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican
8 (about 7 to 8 inches) Tortillas, warmed
Guacamole

Method

Melt butter in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook 8 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Beat eggs and salt together in small bowl; add to skillet. Cook eggs 3 minutes or until soft set, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes.

Stir in salsa, breaking eggs into chunks; stir in cheese. Spoon scants 1/2 cup egg mixture in center of each tortilla. Fold 2 sides of tortilla over filling; tuck in tortilla ends and place seam-side down in 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Brush tops of tortillas with olive oil. Bake in preheated 475°F oven 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with fresh guacamole.

{Recipe adapted from Sargento}

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chicken Sliders


Try this Easy Chicken Sliders with Spicy Tomato Sauce, or, with your favorite dressing. 


Chicken Sliders

Ingredients

Baked Chicken
2 Pieces (360 grams) Boneless & Skinless Chicken Breast, lightly pounded and cubed (about 2 inches)
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
¼ Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Spicy Tomato Sauce, click here for the recipe
6 Mini Burger Buns, toasted

Method

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a large baking pan with tin foil.

Season the chicken cubes with sea salt, and black pepper. Toss the seasoned chicken cubes with the flour, then into the beaten eggs and coat with Panko breadcrumbs making sure that all the nooks and crannies are covered. Arrange coated chicken cubes in a single layer.

Drizzle a little oil on top of the chicken and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

To serve, spread some spicy tomato sauce on the buns, and place the baked chicken on the bun. Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mango Orange Smoothie


I'd like to kick start the New Year with this refreshing Mango Orange Smoothie recipe as my first post for 2013. It's a tantalizing combination of mango, orange juice, banana, Greek yogurt, and some almond milk. Very yummy and healthy, it’s one of my favorite morning pick-me up drinks. A perfect drink as well for all of you who are adhering to a healthy new year resolution. :-)

Mango Orange Smoothie

Ingredients

1 Ripe Mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
½ Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Frozen Sliced Banana
4 Tbsp Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Almond Milk

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and process until thick, smooth, and creamy. Serve immediately.

Makes 3 Cups

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