Saturday, 31 March 2012

Fake Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms & Cherry Tomatoes 鮮菇番茄炒素蛋配全麦鄉谷麵包

Do you remember when was the last time you cooked for your family & yourself a nice breakfast?  Well, for me, I can’t recall for this & that’s why I got up a bit earlier yesterday to make this simple but delicious breakfast, ie the "Scrambled Eggs" with Mushrooms & Cherry Tomatoes serve with wholemeal grain bread rolls(I didn’t make these rolls)!

It was my father-in-law & husband who showed me how to cook scrambled eggs for the first time.  I know, I know, it is such an easy recipe yet I did not know how to cook it! Well, this was a long long time ago when I first came to Sydney.  When I was in Malaysia, I had noodles or nasi lemak for breakfast!

OK, back to this breakfast again! It only took me 15 minutes to prepare & cook, a real simple dish that can never go wrong! I placed a big plate of this in front of my hubby, he grabbed his fork with a big smile showing on his face & then, he put some “scrambled eggs” into his mouth. Seconds later, he frowned & turned to me & asked:“What is this?” I told him:“scrambled eggs!” He said: “No, it’s not!” I said: “Haha, got you!”

So, if this is not “scrambled eggs,” what else could it be? Please take a look at this picture again! 
Here’s another picture.
The answer is firmed tofu! It is a dish that I have created especially for Very Good Recipes' 5th Recipe Challenge!
Few weeks ago, I received an invitation from Stephane to be one of the judges for the April Fool Recipe Challenge, organised by the Very Good Recipes! It is the same kind of competition which I had participated in last Dec but with a different theme!
If you are interested in this competition, here is what you need to know.


This month theme is: April Fool!

The challenge is to publish a recipe of a dish that looks like something but is actually made out of something completely different.
Here are few examples of disguised dishes found on the web:


The challenge is open to everyone, whether you have a food blog or not.

You can participate from April 1st 2012 until April 30th 2012.


The judges will select the winning recipes.

1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place

Stephane will offer a cookbook to each of the 3 winners (up to $30 value). Shipped to your place wherever you are!

The Judges:

The judges for this month are:
Please click here to view the full details!

Vegetarian “Scrambled Eggs” with Mushrooms & Cherry Tomatoes:
2 cubes Firm Tofu
5 Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
5 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 clove Garlic, chopped
Salt & pepper to season & taste
3-4 Drops Yellow Food Colouring
Dill to garnish

1. Gently rinse the firm tofu under the running tap water. Pat dry with paper towel. Slice the tofu in half.  Season with salt & pepper.
2. Heat some oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Pan fry the firm tofu on each side for few mitnues. Remove & place in a bowl. Use a fork to mash the tofu roughly. Add food colouring. Continue to mash till they look like scrambled eggs.
3. In the same saucepan, add garlic & cook till fragrant.  Add mushrooms & cook for 1 minute. Add 3-5tbsp water, cover the pan with a lid & continue cooking till the mushrooms are soft. Add cherry tomatoes & cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat. Mix "scrambled eggs" with mushrooms & tomatoes. Garnish with dill.  Add more salt & pepper(if needed).
Fetta cheese was my 1st choice to use to make this “fake” scrambled eggs but after having a 2nd thought, I chose firm tofu instead because I think it would be nice to create a 100% vegetarian food!
Please show some supports in this competition & kindly link back to my posting when you place a submission!
April Fool Challenge
on Very Good Recipes
Happy April Fools’ Day!

April Fool Recipe Challenge, Vegetarian Food

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Steamed Chicken with Cloud Ears & Golden Needles/Braised Pork Spareribs with Carrots & Tomatoes 云耳金针蒸鸡+红萝卜番茄焖猪腩排

At the age of 41/2 years old, my boy decides what he wants to wear everyday. He likes books, especially colouring books & maize games activity books.Angry bird is his favourite game.Yesterday, after he woke up in the morning, instead of coming to my room to wake me up, for the 1st time, he went downstairs by himself, turned on the tv & watched & had his favourite Kraft cheese while waiting for me to get up.  Oh, for that moment, I suddenly thought that my boy has grown up! I used to hear this kind of stories from my girlfriends as their children are few years older than mine. Now that these little things, happen to me, I feel different!

At the age of 22 months old, my girl is a copy cat! She copies what her brother does all the time, well for good & for bad!If he jumps on the sofa, she would jump on the sofa! If he shouts, she will shout! 2 days ago, she started calling my husband by his name, William. She kept saying:”William! William!” & we all had a good laugh about it! Recently, I teach her to say “I love you” & “Thank you” and to my surprise she has also learned saying:“Please” without me teaching her! She said “please” for the first time today spontaneously when she asked for my permission to let her out to the backyard while I was taking some photographs of my cooking! Awww, so cute, isn’t it?

Together, they fight all the time. But there is also time when they can make very good friends.  The photo below was taken while I was busy at the kitchen. When seeing them sitting closely & watching tv quietly & peacefully, I couldn’t stand but quickly went to take my camera to take down these shots, only because this doesn’t happen very often, haha!

#2Reborn Dish:Steamed Chicken with Cloud Ears & Golden Needles:-
(Adapted from spdong’s Recipe)
1kg Skinless Chicken Thigh
10g Cloud Ears, soak in warm water till soft, then remove the hard parts
20g Golden Needles, soak in warm water till soft, remove both ends, tie in a knot
1tbsp Ginger, coarsely chopped
2tbsp Garlic, chopped
2tbsp Oyster Sauce
1tsp Shao Xing Cooking Wine
1tsp Sesame Oil
1/2tbsp Potato Starch(or Corn Flour)
1/4tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1tsp Light Soy Sauce
1/2-1tsp Sugar
Pepper to taste
Coriander Leaves to garnish

Place all ingredients in a large heat-proof plate & mix well. Steam over high heat for about 30-40 mintues or till the chicken is cooked!Garnish with coriander leaves.

#3 Reborn Dish:Braised Pork Ribs with Carrots & Tomatoes:-
(Adapted from Table for 2 or More's Recipe)
600g Pork SpareRibs, cut in small pieces
1tbsp Garlic, chopped
Thumb size Ginger
2 Carrots, cut into chunks
4 Tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/2tsp Salt
1tsp Brown Sugar
Coriander Leaves to garnish

1tsp Light Soy Sauce
1tsp Shao Xing Cooking Wine
1/4tsp Five Spice Powder
1/2tsp Sesame Oil
1tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1/8tsp Ground Ginger
Some White Ground Pepper

1. Marinate pork ribs with seasonings for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat up a wok with 2tbsp of oil over medium heat. Cook the ribs till golden & scoop out.
3. Using the same wok, cook garlic & ginger till fragrant.  Add carrots & ½ of the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add ribs & 1 cup of water. Stir fry for a while to mix well. Cover with lid & cook for 20-30 minutes! Stir the content from time to time. 
5. Add the remaining of the tomatoes, salt & sugar. Mix Well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves
NOTE:If this is your 1st visit, I owe you an explaination, the reason I call this 2 dishes “reborn dishes” is because I lost some photos recently when my computer was broken. So I decided to re-cook some of them. My 1st reborn dish can be found here.

Which dish do you feel like eating today, Chicken or Pork?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Cranberry Yoghurt Bread@Pai Bao 蔓越莓优格排包

Yes, yes, this is another posting about bread & this time is Cranberries Yoghurt Bread, which is better known as “Pai Bao” in Chinese which means the bread that is arranged in a line . “Pai Bao” is commonly seen in the Hong Kong style bakery shop but they are normally sold as plain bread, unlike this homemade version that contains cranberries & yoghurt in it! What makes this bread even more special is that without using any additive, it remains soft on the next day & saves you from heating up in the mircowave!
This is my 2nd attempt of making the same bread. On my 1st attempt, everything went smoothly & the photos were taken beautifully, but unfortunately the photos were lost when my laptop was broken & since my computer technician could not retrieve the few hundred photos that I’ve taken on the few recipes that I’ve tried, I wasted no time & made myself very busy in the kitchen to remake/rebake/recook some of the dishes over the weekend. So this is my 1st “reborn dish”& they are more to come in the next weeks! Ah, I must mention that I’ve now not only saving 1 copy but 3 in total, yeah! Enjoy!

Cranberry Yoghurt Bread@Pai Bao:
(Using Recipes of Cass Tan & 尒尒的玩乐坊)
50g Yoghurt
40g Dried Cranberries
280g Bread Flour/High Gluten Flour, sifted
40g Caster Sugar
2.5g Salt
121g Milk
37g Egg + Some extra for brushing
4g Instant Dried Yeast
28g Butter, soften at room temperature, chopped

1. Place all ingredients, except butter & cranberries in an electric mixer, use dough hook to mix the dough at Speed 1(or low speed) for 5 minutes or till the dough becomes smooth.
2. Add butter & continue to mix the dough at Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes, then increase to Speed 2-3(or medium speed) for another 15-18 minutes or till the dough becomes smooth, glossy & elastic like the picture below.These photos were taken while making another type of bread.
NOTE:The dough is ready when you pull out a small portion of it, it will form a thin & transparent layer like bubble gum or facial mask!
3. Add cranberries & gently mix with a spatula.
4. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough inside. Cover with cling wrap & let the 1st proof begins in a warm place until it is 1.5 size bigger. This may take between 40-60 minutes.
5. Place the dough on a non-stick baking tray/floured surface. Gently press the dough to remove air bubble. Divide the dough evenly into 6 portions, about 95g each. Roll each small dough into balls. Spray with some water, cover with cling wrap & let to rest for 15 minutes.
6. Flour your hand & rolling pin. Take 1 small dough & roll out into an oval shape, about 15cm long. Flip over to a smooth side, roll up like swiss roll. Press firm on the seam.  
7. With seam facing down, place it on an oiled shallow, baking pan. Repeat Step 6 for other dough.
Note: My baking pan measures about 17.5cm x 27cm.
8. Spray with some water, cover with cling wrap & let the final proof begins in a warm place for another 40-50 minutes.
9. Turn on the oven at 170C(fan-forced).  Brush the dough with egg & bake for approximately 10 minutes. Reduce to 165C & continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes or till golden brown.
TIP: If some bread are browning more than others during the process of baking, change the pan position so all the bread will have an even browning at the end of the baking!

 I would like to share this with BYOB – Bake YourOwn Bread organized by Girlichef!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Heart-Shaped Tuna&Corn Buns 心型吞拿玉米面包

Hello all, at last, I have taken my laptop back but the sad news is some of the files are lost & the computer technician is trying his best to help me to retrieve some of the photos that I’ve taken recently & they are mainly my cooking photos which I haven’t been posted on my blog, sigh, anyway, it’s Friday & let me share with you this yummy Heart-Shaped Tuna & Sweet Corn Buns, ok?

I made these buns on last weekend.  It is a love at first sight recipe when I saw it from Li Shuan(Helena’sKitchen) blog in Jan/Feb.  I still remember I told her that she should have made this on Valentine’s Day for her hubby due to the shape of the buns. 

By the way, I took her advice by letting my bread maker to do the jobs like dough mixing, kneading & 1st proofing, then take the dough out to remove air bubbles, shaping & finish by last proofing in the oven.  If it wasn’t her idea to use the bread maker, I think this little wonder would still be abandoned by me in my store room.  Bought this bread maker over 5 years ago & I haven’t been using it for over 5 years too, why? Because the urge of buying it came after my ex-colleague offered me with some of her lovely scones. She also gave me some of the bread & scone recipes but sadly this interest only lasted for a month & after using it for 3 or 4 times, I wasn’t keen enough to continue in baking. That was the time before I has my elder child.

So, do you want to try this Asian-flavoured buns? They taste quite good, in fact, better than BreadTop buns, haha. Made 8 of them & gave 4 to my parents-in-law.

Heart-Shaped Tuna&Sweet Corn Buns:
Makes 8:
(Using Helena’s Kitchen & Carol 自在生活 Recipes with minor adjustments)
(A) Buns Ingredients:
270g Bread/High Gluten Flour, sifted
30g Pure Cake Flour/Low Gluten Flour, sifted
1/2tsp Instant Dried Yeast
35g Caster Sugar
Pinch of Salt
50g Egg + Some extra for brushing
150ml Milk
30g Unsalted Butter, soften at room temperature

(B) Topping Ingredients:
1 Canned Tuna in Spring Water(95g)
¼ Brown Onion, sliced
1tbsp Corn Kernels, cooked
1-2tbsp Mayonnaise
Parsley, finely chopped
***Mix (B) ingredients in a bowl.Keep them fresh in the fridge***

1. Place all (A) ingredients, except butter in the bread maker. Select “Dough” mode & press start. My machine takes 1 & ½ hour to mix, knead & finish the 1st proof, so 10 minutes after pressing the start button, I add in butter.  If you are using electric mixer(with dough hook), add the butter after the dough has become smooth which takes about 5 minutes.
2. After finish the 1st proof, remove the dough & place on a non-stick baking tray/lightly floured surface. Press the dough gently with hand to remove air bubbles.
If you are using the electric mixer, knead the dough till it becomes smooth, glossy & elastic. It is ready when you pull out a small portion of the dough, it  forms a thin transparent sheet like bubble gum/face mask.  Oil a bowl, add in dough & cover with a cling wrap. Place in a warm place to do 1st proofing which takes about 50minutes-1 hour. Click here to check whether the proofing is finished.
3. Divide & cut the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll individual dough into balls. Spray with some water & cover with cling wrap. Rest for 15 minutes.
4. Lightly oil your hand & a rolling pin.  Use the rolling pin to roll out each dough into oval shape(about 15cm long). Flip over & place the long side towards you. Roll up the dough like swiss roll.
Each time when you roll up, use your fingers to press the dough firmly.See below to get a clearer picture.

5. When finish, gently roll the dough to make a nice looking hotdog-shape. Place the “closing edge” facing down. Use a knife to cut the dough in the middle, leaving few centimerers(cm) uncut.
6. Open up the cut dough in “V” shape. Fold 1 side to the uncut section. Fold the other side to make a heart shape. Place the heart-shaped dough on a lined baking tray. Repeat till all other dough are shaped.

7. Spray with some water. Cover the tray with cling wrap. Proof for 50-60minutes.
I placed them in the middle level of my oven with door closed & leaving 2 bowls of hot waters underneath.
8. When finish,remove the tray. Turn on the oven at 165C(fan-forced). Spread the (B) topping ingredients evenly in the middle of the buns, leaving the edge untouched.  Brush the edge with beaten egg.
9. Bake for 18-20 minutes or untill golden.
TIP:If some of the buns are browning more than others during the process of baking, change their positions to give an evenly browning.
All right,here comes the end of this posting. I hope you will have a lovely weekend! Take care!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Mango Panna Cotta with Pistachio Praline

Whoever loves eating mangoes & dessert, I would like to treat you this beautiful Mango Panna Cotta, served with some homemade Pistachio Praline! I'm writing this posting using someone else computer as mine is still in the repair shop. That's why I have been missing for a while & isn't able to visit everyone, sorry!

OK, let's talk about this dessert now!  Mango season has nearly come to an end here & when I read through my cooking list, I realised that there are 3 mango dishes that I still haven't tried out but at last, I picked this panna cotta which looks the most attractive one among the three!  The drive of making this mango dessert came from 2 blogger friends, ie Anna Tay & Eileen & after seeing their mango desserts, I told myself that I should start making one without any further delay.  And for a beautiful coincidence, the day after I made them, I found out that Li Shuan(Helena's Kitchen) had also made a delicious-looking panna cotta dish.  Li Shuan, here's my turn to treat you this beautiful mango dessert!

Here's my 1st time of making Panna Cotta & Praline! It turned out beautifully! Overall, they taste delicious but the cream layer was a bit firm compares to what I had from a restaurant before.  The original recipe uses 1tbsp of gelatine powder. For my future attempt, I'll reduce the gelatine powder to just 2tsp(or may be 2.5tsp)!
Thinking of making your own version of Praline? Besides pistachio, you can also use hazelnuts, macademia nuts or almonds. Or or or even sesame seeds! You are the boss, you decide what you want!
So friends, what are you waiting for, feel free to take 1 home!

Mango Panna Cotta with Homemade Pistachio Praline:
(Adapted from Coles Free Summer Magazine 2012)
Makes 8
Mango Layer Ingredients:
2 Medium Mangoes, peeled & chopped
1tbsp Gelatine Powder

Cream Layer Ingredients:
1&2/3cups Thickened Cream(If buying the 600ml packaging, there will be some left over)
45g Caster Sugar
2tsp Vanilla Essence
1tbsp Gelatine Powder(for best result, reduce to 2-2.5tsp)

Pistachio Praline Ingredients:
2tbsp Pistachios, chopped
50g Caster Sugar

How to make:
(A)Mango Jelly:
1. Lightly oil 8 x 125ml capacity moulds. Process mangoes in a food processor till you get a smooth puree. Scoop out the mango puree. Measure 1 & 2/3 cups(453g) & return to the food processor.
2. Place 80ml water in a small glass. Sprinkle with gelatine powder.Stand this small glass in a pan of hot water & whisk with a fork for few minutes to dissolve the gelatine. Once the gelatine powder is well dissolved,let it cool to room temperature.
3. Stir the gelatine water again with a fork before pouring into the food processor. Process with mango puree.Sieve the mango puree through a strainer. Divide equally among the moulds. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

(B) Cream Layer:
1. Place cream, sugar & vanilla essence in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat to dissolve sugar. When you start seeing small bubbles building up around the edges, turn off the heat & remove from the stove. Leave to cool till just warm.
TIP:To fasten the cooling process, place the cream mixture in a clean bowl, leave it in the coolest place in your house. This process could take up to 30-40 minutes.
2. Dissolve gelatine powder with 80ml water, as directed above. Cool till just warm, then stir into cream mixture. Pour over the mango jelly & refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.

(C)Pistachio Praline:
1. Spread pistachios on a foil-lined baking tray, covering a 10cm diameter area.
2. Cook sugar with 2 tbsp water over low heat.Keep stirring until sugar is well dissolved.Bring to boil without increase the heat and continue cooking without stirring until golden.  Let bubbles subside, then pour over pistachio & leave to cool down & become hard. Roughly chop.
NOTE:The recipe said the sugar takes about 6 minutes in low heat to turn golden, mine took about 22 minutes to become yellow, then another few minutes to become golden.

To serve, turn panna cotta out onto serving plate. Let it stands for few minutes. Then use all you tricks to remove the panna cotta out from the moulds. Top with pistachio praline & serve immediately.
I notice that the release job has become easier if I leave the panna cotta in the fridge for overnight!


Panna Cotta, Mango Panna CottaPistachio Praline