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Archive for March, 2012

Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

Bacon, Ham and Cheese Scones (makes 12 scones)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
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 combination of grated Italian five cheeses (Parmesan, Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, Asiago) and sharp Cheddar cheese
3 cooked bacon strips– chopped
2 slices ham– chopped
1 stalk green onion– chopped
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
2 eggs

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix loud, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Add cold butter, rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles crumbles. Add in walnuts, cheeses, bacon, ham, garlic and green onion. Mix well. Make a well in the center.
  2. Whisk cream and eggs in a small bowl to combine. Reserve 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.
    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:

  • 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.
  • If you want to spice it up, feel free to add in some crushed red chili flakes or fresh chopped jalapeno peppers.
Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

Bacon, Ham & Cheese Scones

 

 

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I love mussels cooked with garlic and white wine, but since Richard and I are both not wine drinkers we usually don’t stock wines in our house. And I don’t want to purposely buy a bottle of white wine for cooking the mussels, and then have the leftover wine sitting in our fridge for two plus weeks. So, this is what I came up with (well, not really as I saw more and more restaurants making mussels dishes using curry flavor)– mussels in light curry broth. All I did was just adding some curry powder. Nothing fancy about the curry powder I used. Different brand of curry powder brings out different curry flavor, so choose your favorite brand. Back to the mussels– the curry flavor was not spicy at all; it added a nice touch to the taste and not overwhelming. Serve the mussels with pastas, breads or garlic toasts/croutons, and don’t forget to dip the broth!

Mussels in Light Curry Broth

Mussels in Light Curry Broth

Mussels in Light Curry Broth Recipe (serves 2-3 peoples)

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh mussels– wash and clean, pull off the beards if there’s any
3 cloves garlic– finely chopped
1 cup hot water
1-2 tsp curry powder– adjust to taste
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a deep frying pan or pot. Saute garlic over high heat until aromatic but not brown.
  2. Add in mussels and water. Give it a few stir and cover with a lid until the mussels are just cooked (I used hot water and it took me about a minute for the mussels to open up and cooked). Stir around so the mussels on the top are cooked too.
  3. Add curry powder and salt to taste. Stir to blend in seasoning. Serve immediately with pasta/bread/toasts/croutons.

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Chicken satay, one of my favorite hawker foods in Malaysia, is marinated chicken/beef/pork meat skewed on a bamboo stick and grilled. The meat is flavorful enough, but we like to dip it in satay sauce. In Malaysia, if you go to eat satays, the vendor will bring up a batch of freshly grilled satays, individual satay sauce for each person, and condiments– chopped pieces of cucumber, pineapples, onion and let’s not forget the ketupat (rice cubes)! You can eat as much or as little as you’d like because only the eaten ones count towards your bill– when you are ready to pay, the vendor will collect and count all the empty skewers and tell you the total price. I remember when I was little, the satay costed RM0.10 for each skewer and the condiments (except ketupat) were free, but not anymore…

Malaysian Chicken Satays, served with satay sauce, cucumbers and ketupat (rice cubes)

Malaysian Chicken Satays, served with satay sauce, cucumbers and ketupat (rice cubes)

Malaysian Chicken Satay Recipe (makes about 100 skewers)

Ingredients:
6 lbs of boneless chicken thighs– cut across the grain, to strips of 1 inch width– see note below
about 100 bamboo skewers (10 inch)– rinsed

marinade (blend fine):
5 stalks (about 1 bunch) lemon grass
6 gloves garlic
12 shallots
3 tbsp ground coriander seeds
12 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
enough oil to facilitate blending

Method:

  1. Marinate chicken meat in the marinade for 24 hours. Skew the meat on bamboo sticks (about the length of 5 inches). Be sure the top end piece of meat is securely skewed or it may fall off during grilling. The skewing is a very time consuming process so extra pair of hands helps! After skewing, chicken satays can be wrapped up and bag in batches, and keep frozen.
  2. When it’s time to grill, turn your grill on high heat. Brush chicken satays with some oil and grilled on high heat, uncovered, until the meat is just cooked. Always keep an eye on the satays because the meat is thin and they cook fast. Serve immediately with satay sauce and condiments (pineapples, cucumber, onion and ketupat).

Regina’s Note:

  • Chicken thighs: I don’t trim off the chicken fat because they give more flavor and prevent the meat from drying during grilling.

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Malaysian Satay Sauce

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Ingredients:

for spice paste:
1/3 cup oil
4 lemon grass– use only the whitish part
6 cloves garlic
3 shallots
1 inch galangal
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
12 dry red hot chilis– soaked in hot water briefly to soften

2 tbsp oil
1 cup water
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp tamarind juice (mix 2 tbsp of tamarind paste with 5 tbsp of hot water)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sambal– optional, for color and extra heat
1 1/2 cup roasted ground peanuts

Method:

  1. Blend all spice paste ingredients until very fine.
  2. Add 2 tbsp oil to a heated frying pan, add blended spice paste and cook until it is aromatic and bubbly. Stir constantly.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the sauce bubbles again. The satay sauce should taste sweet and a little tangy from tamarind juice. Adjust amount of sugar, tamarind juice and salt accordingly. The sauce will thicken when it cools.

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