15 August 2017

Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll


I've been craving for lobster roll for the longest time! I've eaten it before, once in Osaka, once at Pasar Bella (Turf City Singapore) and even made it at home. The combination of toasted butter roll with spicy, creamy and succulent lobster salad is simply perfect match.

But today I've found a match to the lobster roll, that is the Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll. Well, the crayfish meat can be substituted with lobster or even prawn, but the key here is Salted Egg Yolk!! I combined the ingredients for the lobster roll with a salted egg yolk sauce and wham, the result is pretty amazing I would say! 



The typical sauce ingredients for lobster roll are mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce/wasabi for those who wanted it spicy. What I did was to cook a salted egg yolk sauce using butter, curry leaves, chilli padi (optional), salted egg yolk powder, and add fresh milk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and sugar to make a thick creamy sauce, and finally toss in the crayfish meat along with some parsley and celery.
 
The sauce can also be used as a dip for fries (or anything you fancy), so I made extra batch for that :p

Why crayfish? Coz it's a cheaper alternative to lobster and I find the meat texture quite similar to that of lobster. Prawns can be used as well, but try to use larger prawns for the bouncy juicy crunch.


And oh, back to the salted egg yolk! I used to use whole salted eggs when I want to cook salted egg yolks dishes. I would basically steam the yolk and discard the egg white portion. I know it's kind of a waste. So I'm really glad that Knorr came up with this Golden Salted Egg Yolk Powder which is so convenient. It is made from real pasteurised egg yolks with no added MSG and preservatives as well! 




Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll
(makes 2-3 rolls)

Ingredients
  • 5 pcs crayfish meat (about 800g with shell) *can be substituted with lobster or prawn
  • 20g salted butter
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 chilli padi, finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Knorr golden salted egg powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh milk
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp finely diced celery
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 2-3 split-top hotdog buns (store-bought)
  • Salted butter
Steps
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the crayfish meat, cook for about 5 mins. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan over low heat, add salted butter. 
  3. Once butter melts, add curry leaves and fry till fragrant for 1 min.
  4. Add chopped chilli padi and fry for 1 min. 
  5. Add the salted egg powder, the mixture will turn dry as the powder soak up all the butter. Stir fry till fragrant.
  6. Add fresh milk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and sugar, mix well into a thick sauce. Let the sauce cool down slightly.
  7. Cut the crayfish into bite-size pieces. Toss the crayfish meat into the salted egg yolk sauce. Add parsley and celery and mix well.
  8. Split the top of the hotdog buns, butter the buns, toast in air-fryer or toaster for 3-4 mins till slightly browned.
  9. Stuff the salted egg yolk crayfish into the hotdog buns, sprinkle some chives.
  10. Best served warm.

*I made 2 rolls only as I overstuffed each roll. For smaller rolls, the ingredients are enough to fill 3 rolls.
*I made extra batch using same ingredients for fries dipping sauce.




Super super love this Salted Egg Yolk Crayfish Roll! The sauce is thick and creamy, slightly spicy and salty with the unique taste of salted egg yolk and really goes well with the bouncy and juicy crayfish meat, as well as toasted butter roll. Be sure to add the celery as it contributes a tiny sweet crunchy texture; as well as the aromatics (parsley and chives) to balance the otherwise heavy sauce.

Now that I can make this roll, not sure if I would go back to the regular lobster roll or not :p






I'm also submitting this recipe for Knorr's Most Egg-citing Cooking Contest organised by Singapore Home Cooks! Knorr is giving away attractive prizes for top recipes submitted – with goodie bags worth $100 + $20 Fairprice vouchers to be won! Selected recipes will even be featured on the Knorr Website!

Woohoo! Wish me luck!

#SaltedEggGoodnessSHC #SingaporeHomeCooks

11 August 2017

Asian Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce

Collaboration with Sasha's Fine Food
Dish 1 - Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken


A few days ago, I used the chicken dark meat from the free-range, hormones-free chicken provided by Sasha's Fine Food to cook a casserole dish. My family enjoyed the dish very much as the texture of the chicken was succulent and the chicken flesh was sweet and juicy.

Now my family isn't really fond of chicken breast meat, since most of the time the texture of breast meat is coarse and dry; so usually I'm the one eating it. My usual method of cooking breast meat is either pan-frying or air-frying with salt, black pepper and some herbs and eat it with salad. Or boil, shred and make it into chicken mayo for sandwich or salad.

This time I decided to try something a little special so that I could entice the family to eat chicken breast meat; that is to make a simplified version of satay and eat it with a peanut sauce dip.

Satay or sate is skewered meats (whether chicken, pork, beef, mutton or even intestines) marinated with various spices and sauces and typically grilled over charcoal fire and enjoyed with a spicy peanut sauce with ketaput (rice dumpling), cucumbers and onions. It is a very popular dish here in Singapore, we can easily find at least one satay stall at local hawker centres. As true blue Singaporeans, it is also a must-have dish for our BBQ gatherings and we would order raw satay from hawker stalls or BBQ specialty shops and grill it ourselves. Sate is said to have originated from Indonesia, and these days we can find similar and varied renditions in most South East Asian countries.



Anyways, I shouldn't call my version Satay as I'm not using the typical spices and sauces, rather it's a cheat version using the available sauces I have at home. Likewise, the peanut sauce is also a shortcut one using what I have in my pantry. So I would just call it Asian Chicken Skewers since the ingredients used to marinate the chicken breast are commonly found in Asian markets.

The chicken breast meat is first cut into bite-size pieces, marinated with the various sauces preferable overnight and then grill over a grill pan till golden brown and slightly charred. For the peanut sauce dip, simply combine all the sauces and cook till well-blended. That's it.

I served the dish with some Indonesian fried rice and quick cucumber and carrot pickles to make it a complete meal.


Asian Chicken Skewers
(makes 8 skewers)

  • 200g chicken breast meat (extracted from one chicken)
  • 2 tsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1.5 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 8 pieces bamboo skewers, pre-soaked

  1. Cut the chicken breast meat into bite-size pieces.
  2. Combine all the sauces, ginger and garlic and mix till well-blended.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and marinate overnight.
  4. The next day, thread the chicken pieces onto the bamboo skewers.
  5. Heat up a grill pan, brush the pan with oil and grill the skewered chickens on both sides till golden brown and slightly charred. 
  6. Best served hot with peanut sauce.

Peanut sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp gula melaka (coconut palm sugar)
  • 2 tsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp raw peanut, toasted and finely chopped

  1. In a small cooking pot, combine all the ingredients except lime juice and peanut. 
  2. Bring the mixture to boil and cook till gula melaka is melted.
  3. Add lime juice and adjust taste accordingly (add more sriracha sauce for spiciness).
  4. Stir in the fine chopped peanut and mix till blended.
  5. Sauce is ready to be enjoyed with the chicken skewers.


I love how the chicken skewers turned out! The chicken breast meat itself has a mild sweet, salty and spicy taste due to the marinate, it's actually yummy to eat on its own. But with the peanut sauce, it's even better! Love the cheatone peanut sauce, it's creamy, sweet, savoury with a tad of spiciness and tang, goes perfectly with the chicken skewers.

This dish is a keeper, and I think I'm going to try concocting the marinate and dip sauce with other similar ones next time!

For recipes for the fried rice and pickles, please go to: http://dreamersloft.blogspot.sg/2014/03/nasi-goreng-with-achar-indonesian-fried.html

Stay tune as I continue cooking dishes with the pork slices, salmon pieces and cod fillet from Sasha's Fine Food.

Sasha's Fine Food is an online F&B company that sourced ethically produced goods with preference to free-range, organic and/or fair trade food and drinks, and at the same time avoiding foods with unacceptable or unhealthy addictive. There's a wide variety of produce available in the webstore, from meat and fish to dry goods and groceries, dairy to beverages.

09 August 2017

Bake Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart

Happy 52nd Birthday Singapore!

Last Saturday, I was invited to attend a Drool Potluck Tea Party organised by Drool Cook Club in collaboration with Singapore Home Cooks. It was an eye-opening networking event as some 30 home-cooks gathered to present 30 different variety of savoury and sweet canapes! I was in awe and really impressed by the canapes showcased, both in terms of taste and presentation. But most importantly, finally got to meet "new" friends whom I've been chatting with at SHC FB group and of course happy to catch up with the old" friends whom I've not met for a while =D

My contribution is mini version of Bake Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart, a twist to my Bake Cheese Tart infused with local flavours of pandan and coconut milk, created in celebration of Singapore's National Day 2017! Initially I was thinking of sticking to the original Bake Cheese Tart, but since I've already tried a Thai Milk Tea version, I might as well challenge myself to come up with a local flavour :) And surprisingly, pandan and coconut work quite well with cheese!


Since I've already made hundreds and hundreds of tarts by now, making them is not difficult, the only challenge is balancing the 3 flavours of pandan, coconut and cheese so that each stands out on its own yet complement each other.

Had to prepare a few days in advance before attempting the tart itself as I prefer making my own pandan extract instead of purchasing commercial ones.

The tart pastry is pretty straightforward, simply add pandan extract instead of fresh milk and vanilla extract, so I get this lovely aroma of pandan in the tart pastry itself. Maybe next time I should add a bit of coconut milk too. *KIV for next time.

As for the cheese filling, initially tested 2 small batches, 1 using only pandan extract and 1 using pandan extract with coconut milk. For the cheese, cream cheese is a must and I added mascarpone cheese since it has a creamy texture and yet very light. After seeking opinions from my home-tasters aka the HB and kiddo, the conclusion is the version with coconut milk stands out more in terms of overall taste.

However, the HB commented that the pandan taste seemed to be overpowered by the coconut and cheese. Had wanted to do another test-bake before the actual day but I was simply too busy and hence did the best I could on the morning itself.

So when I was cooking the custard, I had to add the pandan extract teaspoon by teaspoon to make sure that the flavour is distinct enough. In the end added quite a lot, probably because homemade extract is milder as compared to commercial paste.

Anyways, I love how these little gems turned out; the petite size makes it look cute and easy to eat and the colour is a lovely shade of green.

During the event itself, there's actually a voting contest by all the participants for their favourite canapes, and I was over the moon to be one of the top 6 winners and won myself a cutlery set sponsored by De Dietrich (who is the venue sponsor as well)! Woohoo! Also elated to hear positive feedback about this new flavour =D When I was going around soliciting for feedback, dear friend Alan of Travelling Foodies mentioned that the aftertaste of cheese was a little sharp and suggested that I cut down on the cream cheese further.
 
So I made another batch, adjusting the proportion of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, and the overall flavour turned out slightly smoother. But those who like the cheese taste may think otherwise. Anyways, I have made a note in my recipe below, feel free to adjust the proportions according to your liking.

I have also put together 4 short video clips of the process (trimmed so that they are not too draggy). This is my first time taking videos so pardon me if they are not well filmed and cut :p

video 
Video 1 - Making the tart pastry and rolling it out.

  video

Video 2 - Stamping the pastry and moulding the pastry into the tart case.

video

Video 3 - Cooking the pandan coconut cheese custard, sifting and filling into piping bag.

video

Video 4 - Piping the custard into the tart pastry (already baked once), smoothen with spatula and brush with egg wash.


Bake Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart
(makes 20 petite size tarts, using 5cm round cutter/2.5cm base tart case)

Ingredients

(A) Tart pastry
  • 120g plain flour
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 60g salted butter, cut into cubes, cold
  • 4-6 tsp homemade pandan extract (note 1)

(B) Pandan coconut cheese custard
  • 75g coconut milk
  • 75g fresh milk
  • 25g cream cheese (note 2)
  • 45g mascarpone cheese (note 2)
  • 40g salted butter
  • 30g caster sugar 
  • 10g corn starch
  • 1 egg (about 50-55g nett weight)
  • 40-50ml homemade pandan extract (note 3)
  • Egg wash for brushing sides of tart pastry 
Steps

(A) Tart pastry
  1. Sift plain flour into a large bowl, add caster sugar and mix well.
  2. Add cold salted butter cubes. Using finger tips, break the butter and rub the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles bread crumbs.
  3. Add 4-6 tsp of pandan extract to the mixture, use a scrapper to help with the mixing.
  4. The mixture will come together and thereafter, use hands to form the mixture into a dough.
  5. Knead the dough gently into a ball. Place the dough between 2 pieces of plastic sheet.
  6. Roll the dough to about 3mm thickness and place in fridge to rest for about 1 hour.

(B) Pandan coconut cheese custard
  1. Add coconut milk, fresh milk, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, salted butter and caster sugar into a small pot.
  2. Place the pot into a large, shallow pan/pot with barely simmering water. This is the bain marie method, to create a gentle and uniform heat for cooking custard. Keep stirring the mixture till everything is melted.
  3. Add pandan extract teaspoon by teaspoon (to personal taste and preference) and mix till well blended.
  4. Add sifted corn starch. Mix till well-blended, the mixture will thicken slowly.
  5. Add the egg and keep stirring till well-blended, the mixture will further thicken into custard. Stop cooking once the desired thickness of custard is reached (shorter cooking time - runny texture, longer cooking time - gooey texture)
  6. Sift the custard for a smoother texture (as they may be some fine lumps and grainy bits in the custard).
  7. At this point, may add additional pandan extract if taste is not strong enough or custard is too thick.
  8. Cover the custard with a clingwrap on the surface and let the custard cool down completely. 
  9. Fill the custard into a piping bag. Set aside.

(C) Assembly
  1. Remove the dough from fridge. Dust a baking mat (and rolling pin) with flour, use the round cutter to stamp the dough.
  2. Use a metal scrapper (dust with flour) to lift up the cut dough.
  3. Place the cut dough over the tart case and gently press it downwards.
  4. Using finger tips, gently press and mold the dough into the tart case. Use a fork to poke holes at the base of the tart pastry.
  5. Bake the tarts at 180C, fan mode for 10mins. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
  6. After the tart cases are cooled slightly, remove them from the tins and let cool completely before use.
  7. Preheat oven to 235C conventional mode. 
  8. Pipe the pandan coconut cheese custard into the tart pastry, shape slightly domed. Use a spatula to smoothen the top if necessary. Brush the sides of the tart pastry evenly with egg wash.
  9. Bake the tarts at 235C conventional mode, for 6-7 mins.
  10. Once baked, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Best eaten warm, freshly baked.

Note 1: homemade pandan extract may taste milder than commercial pastes, pls adjust according to taste.
Note 2: for those who prefer a strong cheese taste, use equal proportion of cream cheese and mascarpone cheese i.e. 35g each
Note 3: homemade pandan extract may taste milder than commercial pastes, pls adjust according to taste.


Like I mentioned earlier, super love these petite little gems, I can easily pop one whole piece into the mouth or ok, maybe 2 bites.

The tart crust is crunchy and not too sweet (have reduced sugar for this version so that the custard can stand out more). The custard has this lovely aroma of pandan along with the lemak coconut, and texture-wise  creamy and gooey. In terms of taste, the pandan comes first, follow by coconut and finally a cheesy after taste.

Dedicating this Pandan Coconut Cheese Tart to Singapore!

06 August 2017

Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken

I'm pleased to be collaborating with Sasha's Fine Food to come up with some home cooked dishes using the meat and fish that they have kindly provided me!

Sasha's Fine Food is an online F&B company that sourced ethically produced goods with preference to free-range, organic and/or fair trade food and drinks, and at the same time avoiding foods with unacceptable or unhealthy addictive. There's a wide variety of produce available in the webstore, from meat and fish to dry goods and groceries, dairy to beverages.

Will be presenting a variety of dishes over the next few weeks using these lovely produce :)


First up, will be using the chicken to prepare two dishes. I'm very particular about raw chicken, and would only buy hormones and antibiotics free raw chicken from trusted sources. Very glad to know that their  chicken (free-roaming) is sourced from Southern Malaysia, raised in natural, clean and healthy environment with no growth hormones or antibiotics used.

My family is small, only 2 adults and 1 kiddo so usually I don't cook a whole chicken since we can't finish it in a meal. Separated and cooked the chicken over 2 meals instead, first meal using the wings, drumsticks and thigh, and second using the chicken breasts.The carcass is used to make chicken stock #nowaste


So using the chicken dark meat, I cooked this really simple casserole oven roasted chicken which I saw in an old Donna Hay magazine few years ago. The chicken parts are marinated in olive oil, honey, wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper for an hour, add rosemary, onion and garlic, roast in oven for 15 mins on one side, add asparagus and cherry tomatoes, turn the chicken over and roast for another 10 mins.

And in a bid to make my hb and kiddo eat healthier and more vegetables, I served the chicken with creamy mashed cauliflower instead of potato ;p

Honey mustard rosemary roasted chicken
(serves 2-3)
  • 2 chicken thigh 
  • 2 chicken drumstick 
  • 2 chicken wings 
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper 
  • 4 sprig rosemary 
  • 1/4 red onion, cut into wedges 
  • 4 cloves garlic, leave skin intact and smash 
  • 9-10 cherry tomato 
  • A bunch of asparagus 
  1. Marinate chicken with honey, wholegrain mustard, olive oil, salt and black pepper for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven using roast/grill mode at 200 degree celsius.
  3. Place the marinated chicken, rosemary, smashed garlic and onion wedges into a casserole dish. 
  4. Roast at 200 degree celsius for 15 mins on one side. 
  5. Turn the chicken over. Add asparagus and cherry tomatoes. 
  6. Roast for another 10 mins and ready to serve.

Creamy mashed potato
  • 300g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 10g butter 
  • 20g cooking cream 
  • 20g fresh milk 
  • 15g grated parmesan 
  • Salt & pepper, to taste 
  • Thyme (optional)
  1. Steam the cauliflower for 10-15 mins until fork tender. Remove from heat and cool for 5 mins.
  2. Add the steamed cauliflower florets into a food processor/chopper, add butter, cooking cream, fresh milk, parmesan and blended till creamy.
  3. Add salt, pepper to taste, sprinkle with some thyme for additional aroma.


I must say that the texture of the chicken is really good and succulent, very much like the kampung chicken that I always buy. The marinate of dijon mustard and honey complements the chicken well, the roasting method retains the natural juices of the chicken well, and the rosemary adds such a nice aroma to the dish . The creamy mashed potato is also well-received by the hb and kiddo (told a white lie that it's potato and only told them it's cauliflower after the meal :p), although they did suspect it's not potato but since it's yummy they ate up everything.

Simply love how simple and effortless it takes to prepare this roast chicken, perfect for days when I'm pressed for time. I can marinate the chicken in advance and roast it just before mealtime. Definitely gonna make this dish during my busy days!

Once again, thank you to Sasha's Fine Food and stay tuned for the next dish using chicken breast meat!