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Thursday, November 15, 2012

The King of Fruits

@ Sin Ming Cookhouse / Bakery / Whatever

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Let it be know I love the king of fruits – Durian.  It was described to me recently by a friend as something pungently horrible.  In my house 9 times out of 10 it’s a prohibited substance.  Yesterday however I decided to try recreating a cake that I love eating here in Singapore; The Spike-D.

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It’s essentially a durian filled sponge cake coated with chocolate; heaven in a cake!  So here’s my recreated version of the Spike-D.

For the Sponge Cake
Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar, divided into 2 portions
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup superfine flour
  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • 50 ml milk

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 180
  2. Sift the flour together with the baking powder
  3. Separate the egg yolk from the white
  4. In the bowl with the egg white, add the cream of tartar and lemon juice and beat until thicken
  5. Add in ¼ cup of sugar and beat further until the mixture shines
  6. In another bowl, beat the egg yolk with the remainder ¼ cup of sugar until the sugar dissolve
  7. Add milk and vegetable oil into the egg yolk mixture and stir to mix well
  8. Fold in the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture
  9. Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg yolk flour mixture into the egg white until blend. Repeat with the remainder of the egg yolk in 1/3 portions
  10. Pour the mixture into 2 parchment paper lined 4” circular cake pan. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or till cooked
  11. Remove from the oven and invert cakes on a cake rack and let it cool completely before cutting into layers

Durian Filling

Ingredients:

  • 300gm of fresh durian pulp
  • 100gm of whip cream

Preparation:

  1. Whip the non-diary cream till it can holds its form
  2. Gently fold the durians pulps to the cream till evenly mixed
  3. Chill in the fridge till ready for use

For the chocolate ganache I used a tried and trust recipe of chocolate buttons, butter and cream. Essentially once the ganache has been made you have to let to cool to about 38 degrees Celsius and coat the sponge with the cooled chocolate and refrigerate.

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With the left over durian paste I decided to make some durian profiteroles.

Bon Appétit

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Easy Peasy Cooking

One of the best things that I love about my Dutch oven is that you can put anything in it to braise and it comes out perfect! I had on hand two lamb shanks that I wanted to braise for dinner, here's a simple recipe that turns your boring old lamb shank into something deliciously mouth watering and perfect for those cold chilly days!

Braised Lamb Shanks

INGREDIENTS

2 lamb shanks
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onions,peeled and chopped
1 large carrots,peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
3 cloves garlic, crushed
350ml bottle red wine
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes with juice
150ml chicken stock
150 ml beef stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

DIRECTIONS

1. Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry shanks until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
2. Transfer shanks to a plate.
3. Add onions, carrots and garlic to the pan and fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir in wine, tomatoes, chicken and beef stock. Season with rosemary and thyme.
5. Return shanks to the pan, pressing down to submerge. Bring to a boil, then place the pot in the oven set at 140 degrees for at least 2 hours
6. Remove from oven, remove cover and simmer about 20 minutes longer.
7. Transfer shanks to a platter, place in a warm oven. Boil juices in pan until thickened, about 15 minutes. Spoon over shanks.


I coupled my shanks with some oven roasted French beans and some corn. Mash potatoes would have been ideal but I'm trying to cut down on my carbs :)

Bon appetite

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Coffee See Coffee Do

Stumbled upon a new coffee joint @ 20 Kandahar Street; Maison Ikkoku. When first you enter the place the smell of freshly ground coffee hits you ad makes you wanna dive into a huge cup yourself!

The place is filled with the arty farty / hippie type from Hadji Lane.

On the menu today was the eggs Benedict and their in house M1 latte. A cool place to come to if you're looking for an all day breakfast and a very nice cup of coffee!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Little Hole in the Wall

Thanks to one of Zanga / Facebook friends postings I decided to search for a little hole in the wall call Keong Saik Snacks.

Don't be amused by the size of the joint.. They serve up a limited but very tasty menu.

Ordered a lobster roll and the donuts with cinnamon. The lobster roll was to die for.. I could have eaten a dozen more I swear!

The donuts were similar to the fluffy pillows I ate while in Austin.. Served in a tea cup the only real way to eat these little suckers is with your fingers!

A productive little excursion out today I would have to say.. I can foresee this place getting popular very very soon!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Date with Dean & Deluca

One of the good things about being on a course is the ability to go out and try places you'd not ordinarily get to try during lunch.


Today I paid a visit to Dean & Deluca at Orchard Central for some flap jacks!


At SGD18.00 it's a little pricey but well it's good to indulge one in a while. My biggest gripes were the flap jacks are not cooked on the spot and the coffee I ordered was served in a disposable cup (for dine in!!!)

If you’ve money to burn then yes I ‘d pay this place a visit, it’s one of those places to see and to be seen.  Food wise the quality is slightly above average, but the prices are a little too much for what I think you can get elsewhere.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Head Job!

Ocean Fish Head Curry

Sometimes one feels lazy to cook. What better way to celebrate not cooking than by eating fish head curry (eyes and all)!

One of the better fish head curry places is Ocean Curry Fish Head at block 92 Lorong 3, Toa Payoh!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Milky Pork

Sin Ming Bakery / Cookhouse / Whateva

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If you have 2 hours to kill and want to make yourself something totally scrumptious give this pork roast cooked in a milk bath recipe a try!  I was inspired to try making this after seeing it featured on one of Laura Calder’s shows: French Food at Home.

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Cooking pork in milk makes sense; the milk helps accentuate and further enhances the sweetness of the pork.  The end result of this two hour milk bath is a tender and juicy hunk of pork that begs to be eaten.  The heady aroma of the milk infused with the butter, rosemary, onion and bay leaf make for a rich velvety gravy.

Ingredients

  • 1 boned pork roast, about 3 pounds/1.5 kilograms
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into slivers
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 large rosemary branches
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups milk
  • A generous handful chopped fresh chives and/or parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Make small slits all over the meat with a sharp knife, inserting a sliver of garlic into each as you go
  2. Rub the meat all over with salt and pepper
  3. Heat the oven to 160ºC
  4. Melt the butter in a deep, lidded casserole, and brown the meat well on all sides
  5. Add the onion, carrot, and herbs to the pot
  6. Pour over the milk, and bring to a simmer on the stovetop
  7. Cover the dish and transfer to the oven until tender, about 2 hours, turning the meat at least once
  8. Remove the meat from the pot and wrap in foil to keep warm
  9. Remove the herbs, carrot, and onion and discard
  10. The cooking juices will be curdled – ugly – but this is how they’re meant to be
  11. Boil down to about a cup/250 ml and purée with an immersion blender
  12. Carve the meat and arrange in a serving dish. Pour over the sauce, sprinkle with the chives and/or parsley

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While waiting for this to cook, take the time to sit down and chill, you know what they say, all good things come to those who wait.  Believe me when you open up the oven after the first hour to turn the pork you are tempted to eat it straight away, it smells oh so good!

I accompanied my pork with some sautéed French beans, oven roasted yellow zucchini, carrots, corn and peas; a hearty yet simple meal.

Bon Appétit – Sidney

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Man Food

@ Sin Ming Cookhouse / Bakery / Whatever

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Well it’s been a while since I last posted up a recipe; primarily because I’ve not been able to cook anything for the past 2 months due to a busted shoulder.  Happy to say that I’m well on the way to recovery; and what better way to celebrate than by cooking something!

I had two rib-eye steaks in the freezer and a brand new herb garden at my disposal I opted to make a communal dining platter of steak with herbs from the garden.  I took and slightly modified a recipe from Jamie Oliver so here it is:

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Ingredients

  • 2 pieces thick-cut rib-eye steak
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil

For the steak dressing

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 fresh red chili - de-seeded or not
  • 3 cloves garlic-peeled
  • 1/2 lemon
  • About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions

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  1. Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat
  2. While the pan is heating, season the steak liberally with salt and pepper on the first side
  3. Pull the rosemary leaves off the stems and push them into the meat
  4. Leave the meat aside while you prepare the dressing


Steak Dressing

  1. Finely chop the mint, basil, chili and garlic on a clean wooden board.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil onto the chopped herbs.
  3. Mix

Searing the meat

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  1. Drizzle and rub olive oil on both sides of the meat just before searing
  2. When the pan is good and hot (Remember to wear your oven mitts at all times when handling the cast iron pan)- the steak should sizzle aggressively when it touches the pan
  3. Put the steak in the pan and don't touch it or press it or do anything stupid like that after you add it.
  4. After about 2-3 mins (depends on your preference for doneness and also your instincts really), the steak should release easily from the pan and the seared side should be on the golden side of browned
  5. Flip it. Sear the other side for another 2-3 mins.
  6. Transfer meat to the board and coat with dressing.
  7. Let meat rest for about 5-10 mins before cutting and serving.

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As a side I made a basic salad with a balsamic vinegar emulsion and some oven roasted fries.  All in all not a bad come back from someone who hasn’t cooked anything substantial in quite a while!

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Bon Appétit – Sidney

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Off the Beaten Menu

Here's a quick-fire way to get yourself fed in under 7 minutes. Granted you're using a few pre-made semi instant stuff with some leftovers, but it's a delicious meal none the less.

So what am I talking about? A fusion of east meets west: Pulled Pork Roti Plaster! The roti plaster is something that people here in Singapore & Malaysia have grown up with: a roti with a egg cracked on the outside. It's usually eaten with some curry to moisten it (along with a nice runny egg yolk).

My version consisted of the standard roti plaster, but I stuffed mine some juicy pulled pork and basil.



Ingredients
• instant cook roti prata
• one egg
• pulled pork
• handful of sweet basil

Directions
1. Reheat pulled pork and sauce in pan
2. Dice small handful of basil and incorporate into pulled pork
3. Remove and set aside
4. In same pan cook the roti prata I one side
5. Once cooked, flip the roti to cook the other side, on the cooked side crack the egg and season with pepper
6. Flip the prata to cook for an additional 1 minute
7. Remove from pan and stuff with pulled pork and basil, fold over the roti


Bon appetite!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Don’t Be Rude

Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q

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2400 North IH-35
Round Rock, Texas 78681
Phone: 512-244-2936

What’s a visit to Texas without digging ones teeth into BBQ?  I had the fortunate honor of being taken to one of the founders of Texas BBQ: Rudy’s, not once but twice!  If you’re a fan of meat read on, this review contains no mention of anything vegetable!

Rudy’s was established in Sacramento, Texas; with their signature oak smoked meats it wasn’t long before there were Rudy’s springing up everywhere.  Of the two restaurants I visited (Round Rock and George Town) they had the same ‘homely’ look and feel, ordering is a relatively simple affair, upon entry get yourself in the queue select your meats: brisket, ribs, links (sausages), chicken and your sides, bread is free flow.

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Pork Spare Ribs, Links, Bread and Coleslaw – two huge pork spare ribs, with tubular pork by-products equals heaven, forget about the coleslaw (which I was duly informed tasted deliciously thick and creamy with a little bite) and the bread I was entirely focused on the meat.  All lathered in some of Rudy’s in house BBQ and the equation was complete!

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Beef Brisket – I have to say it’s not my most favorite part of meat but if you look carefully you can discern the smoke rings that gives the cut its awesome flavor!

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St. Louis Styled Pork Ribs – Heaven, that is all I can say, a subset of the ‘spare rib’ these tasty little morsels are fingerfuls of yum again dipped in Rudy’s BBQ sauce

Condiment Heaven – so yes, this is the sauce I have been raving about.  Take a look at the list of ingredients and you can see why it tastes soooo good!

So if you’re in Texas and are looking for all things BBQ-ed head on over to a Rudy’s near you!  The folks there are mighty friendly and they’ll make sure you’re properly fed!

Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q (Round Rock) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 7, 2012

High on Tea?

Crossroads Cafe @ The Marriott Hotel


A trip out to town resulted in us stopping by the Marriott hotels crossroads cafe for a spot of high tea. Originally we were supposed to head out for some chicken rice sampling with the Unofficial Singapore FoodSpotting group but due to my inability to move around much we settled for the buffet high tea.


For SGD38++ one is able to sample a variety of dishes from their buffet spread, but sadly on the whole their selection of food was 'passable' at best: the prawns were over cooked and tasteless and the oysters were very much a hit and miss affair, 3 of the oysters I tried from the plate of 7 tasted dubious at best.

If you want to come to a place to people watch and fill up on non-surprising buffet then this is the place to be, I personally don't think I'll see myself actively wanting to come back any time soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Meals on Wheels?

Houston, Texas

Melange Creperie

(713) 555-1212
1001 Studewood Map.f5e7842
Houston, TX 77008
I love crepes! The thought of a the thinner version of a pancake stuffed with sweet or savory ingredients sends my mind a flutter.  When we happened to change upon this mobile stall I was very pleasantly surprised!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh My..

Houston Texas

Oh My Gogi!
(281) 694-4644
West Loop
Rice Village  
Houston, TX 77005
This was the main reason for me to drive to Rice Village; the promise of Korea and Mexican food.  On the previous weekend in Houston I drove by late at night to find a horde of people munching away on piles and piles of Korean styled tacos!  I knew that this was something that I had to try!

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