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Archive for August, 2011

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones Recipe (makes 12 small scones)

Ingredients:
2 cup all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter– cut into pieces
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
zest of 1 large orange or 2 lemon
2 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to combine, rub in butter until the mixture resembles of coarse crumbs. Mix in dried fruits, nuts and zest.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, cream and vanilla extract. Reserve 2 tbsp of egg mixture and pour the remaining egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture. Use a spatula gently stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently 4-6 times then divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6 inch circle, and cut into 6 wedges, for a total of 12 wedges.
  4. Place scones, 2 inches apart,  on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and chill in freezer for 30 minutes (see note below). In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Brush scones with reserved egg mixture and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is baked through and golden brown on the edge. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

  • Freezing scones: According to King Arthur’s Flour website, chilling scones for 30 minutes before baking help relax the gluten in the flour, and thus producing  flakier scones. My view is that if you have time and room in your freezer, go for it. If not, pop in the oven right away is okay too, just be sure to preheat the oven before prepping.

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Fried crispy shallots is a common condiment in South East Asia cuisine– we add it to soups, rice and all kinds of dishes, and it instantly makes the dish a lot tastier. Frying shallots is a skill, from choosing the right type of shallots, slicing and to the frying. I love how the whole house smells after I fried shallots– it is just so incredibly aromatic. For those who are afraid of frying shallots at home, luckily it is becoming common in Asian grocery stores. Although the store bought ones are not as fragrant as home made ones, at least they are crispy.

Fried Shallots & Cheese Scones

Fried Shallots & Cheese Scones

Fried Shallots & Cheese Scones Recipe (makes 12 small scones)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar– see note below
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into cubes
1/2 cup toasted walnuts– chopped
2/3 cup grated Asiago cheese– see note below
3 tbsp fried shallots– drain the oil
1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp heavy cream
2 eggs

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Rub in cold butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles crumbles. Add in walnuts, cheese and fried shallots, mix well. Make a well in the center.
  2. Whisk cream and eggs in a small bowl to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp of the egg mixture for glazing. Pour the remaining egg mixture into the flour mixture. Using a spatula, mix until the dough just combined.
  3. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Gently knead the dough a couple of times, then pat into a disc. Divide the dough in half, then shape each half into a disc of  6-inch diameter. Cut each disc into 6 equal small wedges.
  4. Place the scones on a floured non-stick baking pan and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes (see note below). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. Glaze the egg mixture on chilled scones, and bake for 20 minutes. Cool scones slightly on a rack. Served warm with butter.

Regina’s Note:

  • Sugar: since this is savory scones, I used less sugar.
  • Cheese: I like to use Asiago cheese, but you can use parmesan, cheddar or strong flavor hard cheese.
  • Freezing scones: According to King Arthur’s Flour website, chilling scones for 30 minutes before baking help relax the gluten in the flour, and thus producing  flakier scones. My view is that if you have time and room in your freezer, go for it. If not, pop in the oven right away is okay too, just be sure to preheat the oven before prepping.
  • Flavor: the flavor of the scones is pretty much like the garlic shallot cookies that I made, but without the heat. If you want to spice it up, feel free to add in some crushed red chili flakes or fresh chopped jalapeno peppers.

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With my first trial of otak-otak, I baked it in the oven. The flavor was good but it was missing the charcoal flavor with traditional otak-otak. So, when I made otak-otak this time, I decided to use banana leave,  and grill my otak-otak in my wok over the stove. The result is that the otak-otak is much better this time– burned banana leaves give it a nice grilled flavor. I also added more water and oil so the texture of otak-otak is much softer, but still no sheen of oil…hmm, I think I have to add more oil on my next trial.

Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #2 麻坡乌达

Muar Style "Otak-Otak" Trial #2 麻坡乌达

Muar “Otak-Otak” Trial #2 麻坡乌达 Recipe

Ingredients:
1 container (12 oz) fish paste
1 cup coarsely chopped Sierra Mackerel fish (boneless)
1 cloves garlic– minced
1 shallot– minced

Seasoning:
2 tbsp sambal or chili paste
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric  powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika powder (optional– for more brilliant color)
2 tbsp oil– see note below
4 tbsp water

150 ml (about 2/3 cup) thick coconut milk

2 pieces of banana leaves (11″x 11″ each piece)

Method:

  1. Blanch banana leaves in boiling water to soften it. Rinse and drain.
  2. Mix together fish paste, fish meat, garlic, shallot and seasoning. Add in coconut milk and mix to combine.
  3. Coat the bottom of a large wok or frying pan with a little oil. Lay down 2 pieces of banana leaves. Coat the top of banana leaves with a little more oil. Spoon otak-otak mixture on the top of the leaves, spread to form a even layer as big as possible, and smooth the top. Cover the wok/pan with a lid, cook on medium high heat until otak-otak is cooked through. As the bottom of banana leaves burns, it will give otak-otak a nice grill flavor.

Regina’s Note:

  • Oil: I added 4 tbsp of oil but there’s still no sheen of oil on my otak-otak. Maybe I should add another 2-3 tbsp oil/chili oil?…
This is the brand of frozen fish paste that I used for making otak-otak.

This is the brand of frozen fish paste that I used for making otak-otak.

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