Mrs. Chan

Archive for the ‘Amateur Cook’ Category

Banana Pancakes

In Amateur Cook, Dessert, Snack Food on June 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm

hakkachan

This simple snack is a sure HIT with kids.

Whenever there are children around, I’d love to serve them  banana pancakes. I don’t like the idea of them kids having individual serving plates. Most often, I will make my pancakes larger and cut them into smaller pieces. Serve in a common plate for all. Easy to pick. Easy to eat.

If I do serve them individually, children would glee whenever I top their pancakes with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

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The tricky part is, ripe bananas gives a sweeter taste when caramelised. I have been getting good results with local bananas, especially the ones from momsie’s garden.

Another important point you must note is, try to have a higher portion of bananas. Be as generous as possible. When pouring batter into pan, make sure that the sliced bananas are evenly spread. Kids get disappointed when biting into a chunk of dough without the tasty sweet bananas.

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As usual, we have 7 kids over for an afternoon get-together. I calculated in my heart that I should be able dish out a larger plate with the 4 ripe bananas left in the kitchen table. This time round the kids were all busy playing, the adults wiped out my banana pancakes. Winked. I am pleased.

INGREDIENTS:-

  • ripe bananas
  • crepe batter , left over by Mr. Florentin ( a guest chef at Agnes’s home birthday party)
  • butter or oil for frying
  • icing sugar (optional)
METHOD:-
  1. I normally will do a simple pancake batter with egg yolks, flour and milk.
  2. Slice peel bananas and put them inside the batter.
  3. Heat non-steak pan and add a little butter.
  4. Use ladle and scope sufficient batter for the pancake size desired. Make sure banana ratio is generous and consistent throughout.
  5. When pancakes turns golden and bananas caramelised enough, dish out quickly before it burns.
  6. Cut into triangles or random bite sizes. Arrange into serving dish.
  7. Garnishing and sugar icing sprinkle are optional.

Italian Basil Pesto Sauce

In Amateur Cook, Italian Dishes, Pasta Sauces on June 3, 2011 at 7:45 am

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The word pesto derives from pestare, to step on or mash, and therefore can be applied to a number of different sauces.

The main ingredient of pesto sauce is basil, the fresher and more flavoursome the better. The best basil in Italy is grown in Liguria, which is probably why the sauce originated in this region.

To serve 10 adults for a buffet, we cooked 2 pounds of spaghetti with 4 packets of basil leaves which we got from our favourite grocer and mortared. You will need toasted pine nuts, cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper.

However, to serve  for  4 to 6 as a main course with a tossed salad you will need:

Recipe adapted from help with cooking.

INGREDIENTS:-

1 cup fresh basil leaves – tightly packed
¼ cup grated aged pecorino cheese (a GOOD parmesan will substitute)
½ cup grated Parmigiano (increase this to ¾ if no pecorino)
2 cloves of garlic
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup pine nuts

METHOD:-

  1. Wash and drain dry basil leaves. Cut them into an inch long smaller pieces to ease your job at the mortar and pestle.
  2. Put the salt, garlic, nuts and basil in it and grind the mixture, firmly crushing the ingredients against the sides of the mortar, rather than striking sharp blows with the pestle. Do not pound.
  3. When the mixture is ground, add the cheese, a bit at a time, continuing to grind, and when it is all worked in, add the oil in a slow stream, stirring with a wooden spatula. The resulting pesto should be smooth and cream.

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Vel was getting all herbal.

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Little Margaux Chan said “CHEESE tastes so good”.

Little Chan’s Cake a.k.a No Butter Sponge Cake

In Amateur Cook, Apprentice Chef, Cakes on May 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm

hakkachan

Contemplation. Contemplation.

The night was still early. Dinner was over before half past seven and just didn’t seem right to be retiring for the evening.

Should we bake a bread or a cake?

Little Margaux Chan beamed.

Yes! Yes!

Let’s bake a Little Chan’s Cake.

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Margaux was so eager to bake with us and it would be sad to turn her down. She kept chanting, let’s bake a Little Chan’s Cake. A Little Chan’s Cake it shall be.

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My memory told me, no more butter. I didn’t give up on butter. There ought to be some lying around. Sadly, after rummaging the fridge, I found less than 20grams of butter. Not enough to even think of making pancakes.

Brilliant moms, Agnes and I, we quickly search for a cake recipe without butter. Random can be dangerous, as we did not sit and ponder things through. Moreover we were trying to finish the baking fast so that Margaux can be put to bed in time.

We followed this recipe from BBC but I would suggest you adopt this one from JeenasKitchen that has a more descriptive recipe to success.

INGREDIENTS:-

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
METHOD:-
  1. eat through the milk in a small plan until bubbling at edge. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix at high speed, eggs, until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is smooth and well blended…about 5 min.
  4. At low speed, blend in flour mixture until smooth. Add warm milk and lemon peel, beating until combined. Immediately pour batter into ungreased, 9-inch cake pan.
  5. Bake 30 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely. Then serve.

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Little Chan is impressed with her cake. We didn’t have the heart to explain the difference between a cake baked well or other wise.

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I bet, for Margaux this is the best Little Chan’s Cake in the world.

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Kee Heong Bakuteh 奇香肉骨茶

In Amateur Cook, family festivities, Labour of Love, Pork Dishes on May 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

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My master, my chef, Mr. Stevie Chan.

He is an ardent home entertainer, or should I say great host to family parties. Loves cooking for immediate family members and close friends. Cooking at another’s kitchen can be stressful and difficult. Ingredients and utensils are alway not perfect as you needed them be, moreover you will be so conscious of the fact that you are actually invading someone else’s “important” place.

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As some of you already know, Stevie and I are in the midst of getting our matrimonial home in order. Bought the place before we wed and now we have been living like nomads in between residences of  Agnes and my Mom. It is moving well and we hope to be hosting many a great home parties for closed buddies and relatives. Pickyin a great food blogger from Singapore has booked to come and stay over to give me tuition on cooking and baking tips. I smell great feast and festivities!

Bakuteh, is a very difficult dish. You can asked around, what and how people like their BKT. Trust me, you get very funny and personal comments. I am an almost expert on BKT as I was brought up eating BKT for breakfast everyday before my dad dropped me off to school in Ulu Kepong in the 1970s.Then. in the 1980s we travelled slightly further to Klang and Imbi, venturing beyond in search for finer concoction and presentation of BKT.

I am quite open to the choices offered, I fancy the pig trotter braised in dark soya sauce, pork intestines and stomach, or the big bone/small bone delicacy, or a casserole pot of assorted meats and additional garnish of straw mushrooms, bean curd sheet, mushrooms, fried fritters/yau char kueh etc. You are spoilt for choice and there rightfully will be one that match your taste bud.

Bakuteh, truly a personal dish, one man’s meat can be another’s poison.

hakkachan

Tofu a very complimentary stuff that goes well with casserole pot BKT. Choose the best, from Bukit Tinggi or Bentong.

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Our honored guests tonight is a very beautiful and soulful couple, Lam Yuet and hubby, Jian Quiang. Behind the cooking counter, Stevie is pretty stressed out because Jian Quiang comes from Klang and an expert on BKT and tea. Apologetic as well because, we chosen to take a short cut to use a very good ready mixed BKT herbal sachet from Kee Heong. Anyway, what matters is, Stevie is a very serious cook and makes sure he has the best ingredients.

While cooking we were reminiscing the last trip up to Ah Her’s at Pandamaran, Klang, recommended and treated by Jian Quiang. It was the best BKT we ever tasted, nowhere else in the world you can find another match. The consistency, the texture and flavour; immaculate and just right.

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Coco Chan, the youngest sibling of Stevie, sharing a light moment with hubby.

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Sol looking good at 6 months.

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Home parties are so warm and fun.

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My 3 choice recommendations for BKT is as follows:-

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Kee Heong Bakuteh 奇香肉骨茶

INGREDIENTS:-

  • 1 kilo of meat, ideally secret pork belly and soft spareribs (for halal substitute with chicken) Do Not cut meat into bite size.
  • 2 packet of Kee Heong Bakuteh Sachet
  • 4 big whole pulps of garlic with skin
  • kei chee, dangguai, huaishan, pakkei (optional)
  • whole bean curds and deep fried tofus
  • mushrooms
  • dark and lite soya sauce
  • salt
METHOD:-
  1. bring 3 liters of water to boil, add both dark and light soy sauces, whole garlic, whole meat and spareribs, and Kee Heong BKT herb sachets,
  2. boil for 10 minutes, turn fire to low setting,
  3. after 30 minutes, add whole deep fired tofus and whole bean curds,
  4. simmer for another 30 minutes
  5. cut into smaller bite size the meat to be served
  6. serve mushrooms, bean curds and deep fried tofus into smaller bowls as side dish (optional)

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