Friday, November 30, 2012

Little Penang Cafe - The Curve

When to the Little Penang Cafe @Curve for lunch. This is among one of my favourite food places. Up to a point the chef no longer pay much attention to the food quality. But most of the time, it's all good.


ENTREE
Often enough whenever i eat here, i would order these:
- Rojak RM8.50 (mixed frutis smothered in a special sauce). I'll explain the rojak sauce in some other posting
- Pai Tee. RM8.80 (a set of 6)

Rojak (left) and Pai Tee (right)

MAIN
What i had:
- Char Kuey Tiaw Seafood. RM 11.30
This apparently is one of those times the chef did not pay attention to the quality of the food. Mine, the spices was quite burnt.
- Fresh Orange RM6.30
                                                    Char Kuey Tiaw                                   Fresh Orange

What Pedro had
- Mee Jawa.RM11.30  (apparently was better then mine! **jealous**
- Sirap Bandung  RM3.50

                                                          Mee Jawa & Sirap Bandung

Can't complain though. Still eat till i was full. The taste is still good, only it really depends on your luck. Today, mine was quite overcooked but still nice to eat!

They say the simple things in life are the best. And i believe its true! Had a great lunch and had a great company!

TOTAL COST : RM57.90 (for 2 pax)



Dinner 29/11/2012 : Sambal Squid with Rice

As you all might have guessed by now, i love spicy food. So here's what we had for dinner yesterday.

SAMBAL SOTONG (SQUID) SERVED WITH RICE


INGREDIENTS
- Squid (about 200g), sliced and clean with the backbone removed as well as the ink.
- Rice (about 1 cup)

SAUCE
- 1 large red onion (yellow onion is better), finely chopped.
- Chilli paste (1½  tablespoon). For me, I like to add extra. (about 2½ tablespoon) :)
- Tamarind juice (30ml)
- Shrimp paste (1 teaspoon - mixed in about 30ml of water)
- Sugar (about 2 tablespoon)'

GARNISH (Optional)
- Chinese salary, finely chopped (about 1 stalk)
- Onion leaves, finely chopped (about 1 stalk)

METHOD
1) Heat up pan at medium heat, pour cooking oil (any would do, but preferred would be sunflower oil)
2) Once the pan is hot, throw in the onions. Be sure to be careful as the onion is wet and might cause a bit of a stir with the hot cooking oil.
3) Stir well until yellowish brown and you get a good aroma from the onions.
4) Put in the chilli paste and mix well. Keep stirring until the paste thickens and you see the oil above the chilli paste. We normally call this until breaking oil (Pecah minyak). The reason behind is to ensure that the chilli is well cooked, else you'll be in a bad time with stomach upset. At this point, the sambal colour will be dark gloomy red. Be sure not to burn it.
5) Next, put in the sugar. This will turn the chilli colour to bright red as well as balance out the heat from the chilli.
6) Next, mix in the shrimp paste.and give it a good stir.
7) Keep stirring until it thickens again. Then add the squids. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. You don't want to overcook the squids else you might end up with a rubbery texture.
8) Now add in the tamarind juice. This will add the sour taste, again to balance out the heat from the chilli. You can use tomato paste as substitute.
9) Keep cooking for another 1 minute until the sauce thickens a bit more.
10) Turn off the heat, put in a serving bowl. Add chopped Chinese salary and chopped onion leaves for garnish.

For the rice
1) Add rice to pot
2) Double the water amount to the rice amount. We are using 1 cup, so you should add 2 cups of water.
3) Boil it until its cooked under medium heat. Or just use a rice  cooker if you have one :)




Put all on a serving plate, and you are DONE!





P/s: You may notice i did not add any salt, that is because the shrimp paste is already salty. Always taste what you are cooking and add the seasoning as needed. :)

Enjoy!


TOTAL COST : RM12.00 (servers 2)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pizza!

Thinking of other things to post, i checked available photos in my computer and found the first pizza The Specter and I made. We sure enjoyed making it but after seeing the final product, we realized that we overloaded the pizza with toppings. So we justified it by saying .. "It's homemade, it doesn't matter if the topping is too much!" :)

I was told to put the price for every food item that i will be posting. But right now i cannot remember as we made it around four months ago.

The Making of the Pizza

Ingredients:
The Crust (Dough)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees Fahrenheit, yes i do have a food thermometer..)
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil
The Pizza Sauce
  • recipe may be found here or just use canned tomato paste
The Topping
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Ground beef pan-fried in olive oil with salt and pepper to taste (just a substitute since i can't find pepperoni...)
  • Beef meatloaf
  • Red and green bell peppers
Method
  1. Mix a little sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and Wait for 10 minutes or until it gets all foamy.
  2. Pour into a large bowl then add flour, salt, olive oil. Stir to combine. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to).
  3. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Lightly grease a 12-inch pizza pans. Sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal (this is optional).
  5. Divide dough in half. Place a half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan. Try to make it thicker around the edge.
  6. If desired, pre-bake at 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 10 minutes. Makes two 12-inch pizza crust. I only made one so I put half of the dough in the freezer for future use. Form remaining half of the dough into a ball, rub olive oil over it and place it in a freezer bag. 
  7. Spread pizza sauce onto dough and place the toppings.
  8. Bake the assembled pizza in pre-heated oven 175 degrees C for 10 minutes.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The task and an intro recipe...

After dinner, The Specter asked me when am i going to blog. And so here it is.

I am an Analyst Programmer/IT Trainer, i am not very sure how to write for a blog. I may have done some writing but those were technical documents. With technical documentation, i already know how to organise my thought as each company I worked at already have their template. But food blogging, though i have read a lot of food blogs, is quite scary for me. So now i am just thinking that this writing for blog will be as "anything goes."

But since this is a food blog, i may write about the following:
- Personal opinion on restaurants/food stalls that I and The Specter visited.
- Since i am very much interested in baking then I would be posting recipes from books and sites that i have read. Of course, i will have to do the baking as proof that i can do it.. :) Or even if the effort is a very big failure. heheh.

As part of my introduction to food blogging, I would to share this really nice (as per those who already tasted it) chocolate cake. The recipe may be found in Allrecipes.com and Hershey.com. But though the recipe is from Hersheys, i only have Van Houten Cocoa available so i substituted. Also, since i didn't have much time to make the One Bowl Buttercream Frosting, i replaced it with chocolate ganache that is also just a substitute because i did not have cream. Added some strawberry and mint leaf as decoration.

By the way, I would like to thank Ate Mayet, as she's the one who shared the original recipe for this cake.


Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:


  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup cocoa 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2  eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Procedure:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. 
  2. Combine together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes (or you can just use a wire whisk if you are scared of over-beating, like me :) ). Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. 
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache Substitute
Ingredients:

  • 100 g chocolate
  • 25 g butter
  • 60 ml milk.

Procedure:

  1. Combine milk and butter in a small sauce pan and place on stove in low heat.
  2. When butter has been melted, take the pan out from heat an put the chocolate. Let rest for 1 minute then stir.
  3.  Let cool and pour over the cake.



Dinner 28/11/2012 : Beef Steak with Black Pepper Sauce and Herbs served with Salad, Cherry Tomatoes and French Fries

Got home from work late today. Been a very busy week. Went to meet up ***** at Giant. Apparently ***** has already made plans for dinner. ***** asked me to cook this time as ***** wanted beef steaks.
So, there we were looking for the ingredients for tonight's dinner for 2.

BEEF STEAK WITH BLACK PEPPER SAUCE & HERBS & SALADS, CHERRY TOMATOES & FRENCH FRIES.

INGREDIENTS:
- 2 slabs of beef (preferred sirloin, tenderloin or just plain cut beef) but for plain cuts, you'll have to boil it for 30 mins to an hour to tenderize the beef. Don't throw away the water from the boil, it can be used later for the sauce. While the others, you can just use a kitchen mallet and bash away the flesh. I find it therapeutic after a hard day at work. When done, dry the beef with a kitchen towel. .

SEASONING ( a pinch of each)
- Salt (coarse sea salt preferred)
- Grounded Black Pepper
- Powdered White Pepper
- Dried Rosemary
- Dried Basil
- (Optional) Chili Powder. I like mine a bit hot, so i tend to get carried away with the chili powder.

VEGETABLES
You can pretty much use any vegetables you like, but for me, i used
- Red Coral Lettuce
- Baby Butterhead Lettuce
- Green Coral Lettuce
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fine Salt (iodized salt or pink himalayan salt or any that you currently have in your kitchen
- Olive oil (virgin preferred, no pun intended)

SAUCE
- Grounded Black Pepper
- Corn Starch
- Salt
- Sugar
- Thick Soy Sauce
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder

OTHERS
- Water
- Butter
- Margerine (optional)
- All Purpose Flour



Or, if you are too lazy like me, you can just get the Maggi - Instant Black Pepper Mix. If Nigella reads this, she's gonna flip!


And of course, french fries. I used crinkle cut fries as it has more body to the potatoes.You can use any that you prefer (i.e wedges, straight cuts and etc)

METHOD:
1) Prepare the beef (see above). Heat up oven at 200ยบC. While the oven is heating up, proceed with the next step.
2) Rub all the seasoning onto the beef. Make sure to get both sides of the beef.
3) Heat the pan. Pour olive oil. or any cooking oil When hot, turn down the heat to medium heat, throw in some butter (about a table spoon) and let the butter melt.
4) Put the beef in the pan and let it sizzle for 2 minutes a side. Turn over when brown.
5) Turn off the heat, throw in a few cloves of garlic (peeled, also optional). I added these for the taste.
6) Place the pan in the oven and let it cook for another 20 minutes. While the beef is cooking in the over, you can start preparing the salads, sauce and the french fries.
7) Clean the vegetables and spin dry using a salad spinner.
8) Add olive oil (you can mix the virgin olive oil with regular olive oil like what i did, found that it gave a bit more texture and flavor) and salt to taste.
9) Get a sauce pan, pour about 200ml of water and leave it to boil.
10) Then add the sauce ingredients and gently whisk away using a wire wish. Or you can use a fork if it fancies you,
11) Mix together a 2 table spoon of butter (or margarine) & 4 table spoon regular flour in a small mixing bowl to create a paste, Make sure to mix well. This will be a thickening agent for our sauce.
12) Once done, slowly add the thickening agent one table spoon at a time into the sauce pan. Use the wire whisk and whisk well until the all is dissolved. The sauce will be thicker now. (keep adding the thickening agent to get your desired consistency). But remember to keep stirring/whisking to avoid the bottom from being burnt.
13) When ready, put the sauce a side.
14) Take the beef out of the oven. (be sure not to miss this! 20 minutes is more than enough to get a well done, 10 for medium rare)
15) Place everything on a plate to serve.

Enjoy!

PREPARATION TIME : 5mins - 1 Hour
COOKING TIME : 30 Minutes

TOTAL COST: RM 18.40 (serves 2)



Malaysia Food Trail


Foodies in Malaysia now will be able to scout around for the tastiest of dishes, now that Food Trail has been launched, a new book by The Star.
The book is a compilation of articles written by StarMetro journalist Sam Cheong under the same name and which was featured in its central edition every Thursday.
The Star executive director and group chief editor said they had “explored every nook and corner” to find the most delectable dishes in town and had put together a trail for people who loved good food.
The Star media group, he added, is passionate about food and would go the extra mile in promoting it via its newspaper, Flavours magazine, Kuali portal and LiTV on Astro Channel 728.
The 160-page, full-colour book contains some of the best halal and non-halal fares in the Klang Valley.
Food Trail is available at all major bookstores in Malaysia 
PRICE : RM25 
-or-


You can check out this interactive brochure at http://www.mm2h.eu/?page_id=694

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The big bang theory.

Was browsing through some old friends blogs and it got me wondering if Blogging is still relevant. Does it matter?

Anyways, been thinking of the agonizing pain of having the tasks to keep updating the blogs and keeping it alive. Not sure if i'm up to it. All i can say is that, this is my 5th blog to date. The rest are all dead, probably zombefied and screaming for *BRAINS* ~~! Yet, they say its fun to blog. Maybe true for a while. but after a few posting, you begin to feel the cramps in your upper region, a slow numbness in you fingers and suddenly a flatline sound - *beeepppp* and your blog is dead (died of stoke, probably, curling up my tongue just in case). Nope. Not yet.

I've set out to find an identity and interest. Sadly enough, i don't have any. NO! I DON'T HAVE ANY! I'm just a regular bloke with no passion in life whatsoever. Not sure when that happened. All i know is that i like to eat (isn't everyone?). I'm not talking about food as just sustenance. I'm talking about food that is orgasmic and would throw your pallet off and leaving you crying over such a wonderful gastronomic experience. If there is anyone out there who doesn't like food, then the You-Should-Not-Be-Alive blog is around the other corner, so please leave this blog immediately.

So, just to entertain myself, here we are. My 5th blog. About Food. Or precisely, how an IT geek such as myself gets lost in the kitchen and starts wanking up the spades and throwing about the woks and pans in search of that great recipe that redefines what we call flavour. (Did i just type wank? Ermm.. that would be good too, and definitely orgasmic). Uhhh ~~~

Here we go. Let the agony begin!

P/s:
WELCOME TO 'OUR' BLOG
there is two of us. like how the Golem in LOTR got addicted to the one ring, i and ***** got addicted to food. Wonderful! Wonderful food!