Anchovies & Capers Pizza

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

Hello Everyone! To kick off the week, we have something that might not fit people’s fancy. Yes, you read the title right, ANCHOVIES. I know a lot of people hate anchovies, in fact I heard from my manager while she was doing research for her client that there is even a ‘National Pizza with Everything (except Anchovies) Day’ which falls on the 12th of November. Both my manager and I found this ridiculous because we both love us some anchovies. If you too are part of the haters club, then just substitute the anchovies in this recipe for something else.

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

The links to the pizza dough and white-based pizza sauce is linked below in the ingredients list. Now, if you’re like me and don’t have a peel (a shovel-like tool used by bakers to slide loaves of bread, pizzas, and other baked goods into and out of an oven), then make sure that you roll out your pizza dough onto baking paper to ease in transferring the pizza onto the pizza stone.

Anchovies & Capers Pizza Ingredients

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 220C. Place your pizza stone in the oven as well to heat it up.
  2. Roll out your dough to a circle the same size as your pizza stone on a lightly floured surface as thick or thin as you want.
  3. Brush around the edge with a little water, then create a wall of the mozzarella cheese all the way around. Fold the edge over the mozzarella wall and seal it in by pressing down on the damp dough to form a stuffed crust.
  4. Spread a thin layer of sauce onto the dough. Be very careful not to overdo the sauce; if you use too much sauce, it’ll be too rich and also will bubble over the pizza and burn. A quarter cup to a third is just about right per pizza.
  5. Top the pizza with anchovies, bocconcini, capers, cherry tomatoes, chilli flakes, and olives. If these aren’t quite to your fancy, then get creative and top your pizza with your favourite toppings.
  6. Carefully remove the stone from the oven and quickly slide the pizza over the top of the stone. Place it back in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked all the way through. It should not take more than 15 minutes in total.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with fresh rocket leaves before serving.

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

Anchovies & Capers Pizza

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! As mentioned at the end of my last recipe post on Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken, I made a Caesar Salad to go with the roast. A quick and healthy dish (excluding the mayonnaise), to easily pack and take to work with you, which is exactly what I did last week.

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

I have a funny, but quite saddening story on my part about this. So as usual, I always pre-pack my lunches the day I make them, which is usually on Monday afternoon, and I made the decision to add the caesar dressing in the morning before going to work because I didn’t want the lettuce leaves to soak in the dressing overnight. Tuesday was fine, but I completely forgot to add the dressing on the salad for Wednesday. I specifically remembered to do it when I woke up in the morning, and even had it running in my mind throughout my morning shower. But for some mystical reason, it slipped my mind and it only hit my that I completely forgot to add the dressing was when I was halfway through the journey to work by bus. I was so devastated when I came to that realisation. I was too devastated that I didn’t even look forward to having my lunch that day. I now know what it’s like to eat rabbit food. Rabbits must have such a hard life to have to go through this every single meal of every single day.

All that aside, even though I had bottled caesar dressing sitting in the fridge, I decided to make my own (sort of) caesar dressing. I say ‘sort of’ because I used bottled mayonnaise; if you really want to go all out, then be my guest and whip up your own healthier version of mayo! Anyway, I wanted to give making my own caesar dressing a go since I had all the ingredients to make it possible already in the pantry. Maybe my next challenge will be to make my own mayo too! Also, I accidentally left the croutons in the oven for a little bit too long that they were overly tanned, but thankfully not burnt. Oops! I made the mistake of not setting a timer to remind me that they were in the oven; I think at that time I was busy carving the chicken. (I picked the least tanned ones for the photographs)!

Caesar Salad Ingredients

Croutons Ingredients

Caesar Salad Dressing Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • Baby cos lettuce, washed and sliced
  • Garlic infused olive oil
  • Mini stone-baked pane di casa, cut into small chunks
  • Roast chicken slices

For the caesar dressing

  • 1/3 cup free range egg mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed then minced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Handful of grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Spread the small chunks of bread over a large baking tray lined with parchment paper and sprinkle the garlic infused olive oil over them. Rub the oil into the bread and season with a little salt if you like. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, turning the croutons a few times during cooking so they brown evenly on all sides. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the caesar dressing into and small bowl and whisk together to combine.
  3. Plate up the baby cos lettuce and the roast chicken. Drizzle a generous amount of the dressing, and top with the croutons, shaved parmesan, and a bit of cracked black pepper.

Caesar Salad with Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken

You can skip the chicken if you wish for a great light salad for lunch, and for those who want to bulk it up so that it’s not just leaves, have it with the chicken of course! For this salad, I carved up the breast parts from the whole roast chicken that I posted the recipe to last week. Check it out here on the blog for those of you who missed it!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Hello Everyone! I’m back tonight with a recipe for you guys. So I did a little bit of reading on what Nasi Lemak actually translates to – I knew “Nasi” (pronounced nah-see) meant rice, but I was not sure what “Lemak” (pronounced leh-mahk) meant. Lemak apparently, if directly translated means “fat” and therefore Nasi Lemak means “fat rice”, but in the cooking context, lemak means enriched, and in this case, rice enriched with coconut milk.

The truth is, no one really know where the dish originated from as coconut rice is common in many other South-east Asian cultures such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Apparently there is an old folklore story from a village just south of the country’s state, Kuala Lumpur, where a village girl accidentally spilled a cup of coconut milk in a pot of rice while she was helping her mother cook. Though her mother was enraged, she ended up liking the taste of the rice with coconut milk, and hence the birth of Nasi Lemak.

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

Traditionally, the two elements that make up this dish are the rice of course, and the spicy sambal (a chilli-based sauce) that either has anchovies or prawns in it accompanying the rice. Sliced cucumbers, half a hard-boiled egg, and roasted peanuts are also essential condiments found in this dish. Nowadays, many variations of accompaniments are served with the dish, such as chicken, beef or prawn curry, and even fried chicken. It is then wrapped and packed in a banana tree leaf as this gives an added fragrance. Restaurants nowadays serve up a modernised version on a plate with all the trimmings.

Back home in Brunei, Nasi Lemak was practically on every menu in every restaurant. They were sold in almost every stall at the Gadong Pasar Malam (Night Market) and even on the side of the streets if I’m not mistaken. All ranging between $1.00 to $3.00, probably a little bit more in restaurant, but surely no more than $5.00. I remember I went to Mamak in Chinatown somewhere in the middle of last year to meet up with Sam’s friends (now my friends too) from the Netherlands. I had a sudden crave for Roti Kosong and Nasi Lemak, but it was so difficult to order it. I think I may have complained about this place before in terms of price comparisons to back home, and I am about to do it again. Their Nasi Lemak here was $9.00, and if you wanted a curry or fried chicken to go with it, it was another $3.00 extra, $4.00 if you wanted seafood. After that, never getting Nasi Lemak here ever again. Thus I decided to give homemade Nasi Lemak a go! Now, I may have steered away from ‘traditional’ by using pre-made sambal, but it tasted pretty good!

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) Ingredients

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) Ingredients

Here is where you can get quite creative yourself. As I’ve mentioned before, the rice and the sambal is essential. The other components are basically up to you. I paired my Nasi Lemak with Sambal Kangkung, which is basically water spinach stir fried in the chilli-based sauce with garlic and onions, and a piece of fried chicken. You can whip up your own curry with your choice of meat or vegetables to accompany this dish.

Ayam Goreng Ingredients

Kang Kong Belacan Ingredients

PREP TIME 1 HOUR | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the coconut rice

  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 pandan (screwpine) leaves, tie them into a knot as shown above
  • 1 small can (170ml) coconut milk

For the fried chicken

  • 4 pcs chicken thigh cutlets, skin-on, washed and cleaned
  • 1/2 vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of ground black pepper

For the sambal kangkung

  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp sambal belacan
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • Handfull of small-sized ikan bilis (dried anchovies), fried
  • Handfull of peanuts, roasted
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Banana leaf

METHOD

  1. First things first, combine all the marinade ingredients for the fried chicken in a large bowl. Mix the chicken around until well coated in the batter. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside to marinade for 1 hour.
  2. Coconut Rice: Just like making steamed rice, rinse your rice and drain. Add the coconut milk, a pinch of salt, and water. Add the pandan leaves into the rice and cook your rice. Once done, transfer to a serving dish lined with a banana leaf together with the other condiments.
  3. Fried Chicken: Preheat oven to 180C. Heat up oil in a large frying pan an working in batches, shallow dry the chicken until skin is crispy and golden (about 4-5 minutes per side). Remove from the heat and place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Place the wings in the oven for a further 8-10 minutes to finish off in the oven.
  4. Sambal Kangkung: Heat oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and 1 of the sliced bird’s eye chilli and sauté until golden brown. Add in the onions and sauté until soft. Bring the heat down to low and then add in the sambal belacan, cooking the belacan over high heat will cause it to spit all over the stovetop and we don’t want to have a messy cooking area. Cover if needed. Sauté the belacan until fragrant.
  5. Add the the kangkung leaves, stems and a little bit of water to dilute the belacan you think can’t handle the heat. Cover until the leaves start to wilt. Toss around the belacan to coat the leaves and stems evenly (kangkung literally takes only a minute to cook). Serve together with your coconut rice and fried chicken, and top with fresh red chillies.

Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Kangkung Belacan

Kangkung Belacan

My mom used to make this dish all the time back home. Honestly, I’ve never made it for myself ever since being here in Sydney, except for today. On occasions though when I’d be eating out with friends in various Asian-Malaysian restaurants, I would come across this on their menu and MY GOODNESS were they overpriced! Like I get the whole profit making thing but honestly, it’s like more than a 500-600% profit for this simple dish! Mamak in Chinatown for example is priced at $14.00 while Delima Restaurant is priced at $17.95. I know Delima adds prawns to their kangkung, but seriously. Overall, if I totalled how much I spent for this dish, it would total to about $3.00 inclusive of all the ingredients, and naturally it’d be even cheaper back home. Here a bunch of kangkung averages to about $1.50 depending where you get it from, while back home you paid 99c for five bunches.

Kangkung, also known as ‘water spinach’, is a vegetable commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisines, mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore where it is usually stir-fried in a chilli sauce. Kangkung is also evident in other Asian cuisines and I do recommend that you check out how else it can be used by going to wikipedia (I know, the whole conception of wikipedia not being a reliable source, but trust me). Belacan, or sambal belacan, basically consists of fresh red hot chillies, roasted Malaysian shrimp paste and lime, made into a paste or sauce to be used either as a condiment, or as an ingredient in cooking.

So for today’s recipe as titled: Kangkung Belacan (stir-fried water spinach with chillies and shrimp paste).

Kangkung Belacan

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp sambal belacan*
  • 1 bunch kangkung, washed, leaves separated from the stems, and stems cut into short lengths
  • Handfull of small-sized ikan bilis (dried anchovies)

*I used a store bought paste, but you can always follow a recipe make your own.

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add the ikan bilis and fry until crisp. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, add the garlic and 1 of the sliced bird’s eye chilli and sauté until golden brown. Add in the onions and sauté until soft. Bring the heat down to low and then add in the sambal belacan, cooking the belacan over high heat will cause it to spit all over the stovetop and we don’t want to have a messy cooking area. Cover if needed. Sauté the belacan until fragrant.
  3. Add the the kangkung leaves, stems and a little bit of water to dilute the belacan you think can’t handle the heat. Cover until the leaves start to wilt. Toss around the belacan to coat the leaves and stems evenly (kangkung literally takes only a minute to cook).
  4. Transfer to a serving plate and top with the fried ikan bilis and fresh red chillies. Serve with hot rice.

Kangkung Belacan

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com