Chilli Chocolate & Cinnamon Cake

Chilli Chocolate & Cinnamon Cake

Hello Everyone! Well… Today has been quite an eventful day! For my followers who do not know, today marks my quarter of a century years young! 25 years of achievements and failures has brought me to where I am today.

Round 1 of Birthday Celebrations

My colleagues surprised me with a cake earlier this afternoon – quite funny as the whole morning they kept telling me not to expect anything because they didn’t have a surprise for me, nor did they have cake. By afternoon, my Manager called me to their department, asking me to help her with a design that I had helped her with earlier in the afternoon. Being the gullible person that I am, I went up to her, and that’s when the rest started singing Happy Birthday and brought out the cake (mini tower of cream puffs). So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the office who greeted me today – and for the surprise!

Round 2 of Birthday Celebrations

Round 2 of celebrations began earlier tonight as well, with my Mom, Sister, and my Godmother. We had Japanese for dinner and of course, the restaurant staff sang Happy Birthday to me as they brought out the cake that I had baked for myself for my birthday – which is tonight’s recipe! Original recipe can be found over on Dish.

Dense, rich and moist with a little hint of chilli and cinnamon – everything a great chocolate cake should be, and even more delicious when served with candid pepitas. — Claire Aldous.

Chilli Chocolate & Cinnamon Cake Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | SERVES 10-12

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 200g Lindt Chilli Chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 200g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (optional if you’d like a little more kick to your chilli chocolate cake)

For the glaze:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100ml thickened cream

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F or gas mark 3).
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals and stirring until the butter and chocolate has melted. Once melted, stir in the sugar and vanilla extract, setting aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Once cooled, gradually stir in the eggs and then fold in the flour, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Pour into a buttered cake tin and smoothen the top.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the centre of the cake is set but not too firm. Once done, transfer to a rack and leave to cool completely in the tin.
  5. While the cake is cooling down, get started on the glaze by melting the dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Once the chocolate has melted, slowly add in the cream, stirring gently. Remove from the heat.
  6. Transfer the cake to a dish and pour the glass over. Finish with a light dust of confectioners’ sugar and enjoy with family and friends!

Chilli Chocolate & Cinnamon Cake

Chilli Chocolate & Cinnamon Cake

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

Hello Everyone! A new month means a new theme on the blog! If you have been following my blog on a weekly basis, you’ll probably know that two months ago I did a series on Healthy Eating, Salad Edition. During that time, I always paired my salads with a yummy roast chicken on the side. So for this month, I thought I’d share with you 4 different marinade recipes that are sure to bring your love for roast chicken to another level!

Tonight, I’ll be sharing a recipe that I kind of just threw together in a few minutes only with the items that I had in my fridge and pantry at that time. I was about to head over to a friend’s house, and I promised that I would cook something for him while he used my face as a canvas to practice his make-up skills. I had no idea what to bring over because I know that he is quite a healthy person. So I decided to roast some chicken breast fillets for us. The chicken I had to buy though because I don’t really eat the breast parts, so I walked over to the grocers and got a fillet each for the two of us. Then when I got home, I basically grabbed some herbs, spices, and basically whatever else I could find that I knew would/could make a nice flavour combination. I didn’t even use any measurements for this as well, I just dabbed in a whole lot of Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, chilli, paprika, and the works. I initially used fresh thyme leaves at the time since that was what I had in the fridge.

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken Ingredients

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what this would taste like. When we had these breasts fillets (after only having marinated them for about an hour or so), it was simply delicious! My friend really loved it and wanted to grab the recipe off from me too. I remember how he had a hard time trying to pronounce Worcestershire, so he ended up calling it the “Wot-shit-shit” sauce. When he went to the grocers one time, he called me up to ask which section was the sauce shelved at and I told him to ask one of the staff. He didn’t want to only because he didn’t want to ask “excuse me, where is you wot-shit-shit sauce?” Haha! Ever since then, I’ve made this recipe a couple of times for dinner gatherings with friends when I was still living in Sydney – and I’ve also made it for myself to pair with my salads. This was the first time that I had made it for my family and they too love it. I switch out the fresh thyme for fresh tarragon only because the grocers had that instead of thyme – but it tastes just as good!

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS* | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | SERVES 6

*plus 4-6 hours of marination, or preferably overnight

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg whole chicken, washed and cleaned thoroughly
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Butter for basting
  • Cooking twine

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined. Coat your chicken in the marinade and then leave in the fridge to marinate for about 4-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Remove chicken from the fridge 45-60 minutes before roasting to bring it back to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 230C (450F or gas mark 8). Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a rack above it.
  3. Start by making a loop with the twine and fastening it around the stub of the neck. Bring it around the sides and tie a knot at the cavity, then pull it tight around the breast. Now, loop the twine around the drumsticks and tie another knot, tightening it until the legs cross.
  4. Place the chicken on the rack and into the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. The lover the heat down to 175C (350F or gas mark 4) and continue roasting for an hour and 20 minutes more. Baste the chicken with a little bit of butter at every 20 minute intervals.
  5. Once done, remove the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Chilli, Paprika, Tarragon, & Worcestershire Roast Chicken

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Hello Everyone! First off, I just want to say that this is the last noodle dish for the month of November! There’ll be one more post going up on Sunday on one of my designs, and after that I’ll be taking a 2-week break from blogging. There’s no particular reason for it – well okay, I guess you can say it’s for me to take a short break since I have been complaining for the past however so many posts about being mentally tired. It’s also mainly to go with the theme I have planned for next month; more will be revealed after my 2-week break 🙂

Okay, so before I dive into the recipe for tonight, I’d like to say sorry for a later than usual upload – I just came home from an evening with friends. We met up and did an escape room challenge together; well we split into two teams and did a different room from each other, CSI and Prison Break. Sadly I was in the losing team but they did say that CSI was definitely harder than the other one. Anyway, it was a fun night altogether but we didn’t get to talk much about our experiences over dinner because we didn’t want to ruin it for each other. Instead we vaguely talked about what we encountered and then all unanimously decided to go back again next week and do the rooms that we didn’t get to do tonight. All I can say that our brains were frazzled and scrambled after we got out of the CSI room – but in the end, we all had a great time. (I actually still can’t believe that I’m still mentally capable to write this post after a long day, and then a difficult escape room challenge).

Anyway! Back to tonight’s recipe – I don’t actually eat this dish that often, be it ordering it at a restaurant or making it at home. It’s not that I don’t like this dish, I actually enjoy it but not as much as the other noodle dishes. Char Kway Teow literally means stir-fried rice cake strips and is a national favourite in Malaysia and Singapore.

Here’s a fact that some of you may not know (I didn’t know myself too until I did my research), Char Kway Teow has a reputation of being unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content. It is this way because it made it attractive, in terms of it being a cheap source of energy and nutrients, to labourers since it was mainly served to them. When the dish was first served, it was sold by fishermen farmers and cockle-gathers who doubled as char kway teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income.

Over time, the dish became increasingly popular and many cooks have developed their own interpretations while still using the same basic ingredients of ricecake strips/flat rice noodles fried with anything from eggs (chicken or duck), onions, garlic, prawns, cockles, Chinese sausage, chives, etc. Pork fat was predominately used to stir-fry char kway teow, but over the years, ordinary cooking oil is now used for health or religious reasons.

I based this recipe from Rasa Malaysia, so go check out the original recipe if you get the chance to!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g kway teow noodles (rice cake strips)
  • 250g prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 100g baby clam meat
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 4-6 large free range eggs, sunny side-up
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Chinese sausages, sliced diagonally
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • Chilli paste
    • 30g dried red chillies, seeded and soaked in water until soft
    • 3 small shallots, diced
    • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded
    •  1 tsp oil
    • Pinch of salt
  • Spring onions

Sauce Mix

  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 dashes white pepper powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Grind all the ingredients of the chilli paste together using a mini food processor until fine. Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a small frying pan, over medium-high. Stir-fry the chili paste until aromatic, about 3-5 minutes and then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, heat up about a tablespoon or two of oil in a large frying pan, or wok, over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown, then add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether.
  4. Add in the Chinese sausage slices and cook until you can smell the aroma coming from the sausages. Then, add in your prawns and cook until they start to change colour, about 5 minutes altogether.
  5. Add in the baby clam meat, followed by a half portion of the beansprouts and give it a quick mix. The add in the rice cake strips, making sure that you untangle the clumps when you’re adding them to the pan, followed by the sauce mix and chilli paste. Give it a good stir and make sure that all the noodles are covered with the sauce.
  6. Turn the heat off, and then mix in the rest of the beansprouts and the spring onions. Serve immediately with or without a sunny side-up egg on top. Enjoy!

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

Penang Char Kway Teow (Stir-fried Rice Cake Strips)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

Hello Everyone! Tonight, I’ve got a very popular breakfast/brunch noodle dish to share. I remember when I was growing up, we’d travel at least 20 minutes to our favourite kolo mee place in Brunei for many years! It was kind of like our special Sunday breakfast routine with the whole family before we’d go about and do our grocery shoppings for the week. Since that place closed down a couple of years ago, we barely have kolo mee in our weekly meals – but now that I have my own way of making kolo mee, I can whip it up almost any time I crave for it!

“The secret to amazing kolo mee lies in the use of pork lard. I know this is not very healthy if eaten in large quantities but the reason why it’s used is because it coats each and every strand of the noodles with some seriously delicious meaty flavours.” — The Malay Mail Online, 2013

I guess you could say that my version of Kolo Mee is a little bit healthier (but not entirely) as I use vegetable oil instead of pork lard. Also, traditional kolo mee dishes, especially in restaurants, use quite a significant amount of MSG to enhance the flavour of the dish. The recipe that I will be sharing today doesn’t use MSG at all and is still very tasty! If you want a halal version of this dish, you can substitute the minced pork for minced chicken and just have a generous serving of fish cakes/balls instead of char is pork. You can also get creative and top it with your favourite breakfast must haves like some crispy bacon on the side or topped with a sunny-side up with the runny yolk and all that pizzaz!

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 450g fresh kolo mee noodles
  • 250g lean minced pork
  • 250g char siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork)*, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 1 bunch gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cut into 2″ lengths
  • 1 fish cake, sliced diagonally
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  • Chilli Oil
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Light soy sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Spring onion

*Apparently, it takes a considerate amount of time when you’re making your own char siu pork at home that is! If you can easily buy it at the shops, or even your local Chinese restaurant, then I do recommend that you just buy it if you want your kolo mee now and fast!

METHOD

  1. Add about a tablespoon of light soy sauce, and a teaspoon of chilli and sesame oil into about 6-8 individual bowls/deep dishes. Set aside.
  2. In a small frying pan, heat about 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high. Add the diced onions and frying until browned and crispy. Set aside. In the same frying pan, fry off the fish cake slices, about a minute or two per side. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium-sized frying pan (or wok if you like) over medium-high. Add about a tablespoon of the oil used to fry the onions and fish cake to the pan and sauté the garlic and chillies until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute or two.
  4. Then add in the minced pork, followed by the ground salt and black pepper. Give it a good mix and leave to cook for about 5 minutes. Add in about 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and cook for a further five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, flash-boil the stalks of the gai lan first, then followed by the leaves until tender and wilted. Remove from the boiling water and set aside.
  6. Flash-boil the kolo mee noodles, in batches if you wish, for about a minute or two.  Once done, divide equally into your prepared bowls with the sauces and give it a good mix. Top with the minced meat, fish cakes, char siu pork, gai lan, fried onions, and spring onions. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Kolo Mee (Flash-boiled Egg Noodles)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe we’ve come to an end to Breakfast/Brunch Month, which also means that it’s almost the end of October! Once again, where did the days go? Time flies too quickly. Luckily for you guys, today will not be the last post for October for I have a recipe going up on the 31st for a Halloween Special. I won’t say much about it now but the only thing I will say about it is that it’s gonna get bloody!

So anyway, since today will be my last post for Breakfast/Brunch Month, I’m going to end it with a recipe that is sure to knock you socks off! I’ve not tried this recipe before earlier on this week, but I can assure you that for those of you who like a little bit of spice in your life, these muffins pack a good kick! I had actually planned to bake some Chorizo, Corn, and Chilli Streusel muffins two weeks ago to post for today, but we could not find any chorizo at all that week. So I told my mom that I’ll hold off making the muffins since they weren’t going up on the blog for another week or so during that time, but as the days drew closer and chorizo still could not be found – so maybe I will hold off this recipe for another time when chorizo is available.

Thus, I decided to change my recipe – Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli Muffins! I kind of like how it is sort of in theme with fall (for the Northern Hemisphere), and Halloween – the pumpkin aspect of today’s recipe that is. The original recipe for these muffins can be found over on Taste;I didn’t really do anything to alter the recipe, only that I added half of the pepitas into the muffin batter mixture. Other than that, I pretty much just followed this quick and easy recipe.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 22-25 MINS | SERVES 12 MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup coarse polenta
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Softened butter, to serve

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Grease a 12 hole muffin pan with either cooking spray or with butter.
  2. Place the pumpkin chunks on a baking tray lined with foil and season with a bit of salt, pepper, and coat with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Once done, remove from the oven and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Using a fork, mash the pumpkin and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the self-raising flour, sugar, polenta, chilli flakes, coriander, and half of the pepitas in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined and then make a well in the centre.
  4. Add the milk, egg, vegetable oil, and pumpkin into the well and then mix until just combined. Your batter will be very thick which is exactly what you want! Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and the spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan. Top with the remaining pepitas.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Remove from the oven and stand in muffin pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool down completely.
  6. Serve and enjoy warm or cold with softened butter!

Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

Breakfast Muffins: Pumpkin, Polenta, and Chilli

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak)

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak)

Hello Everyone and sorry for a very late post tonight (or more like just past midnight by the time I am done with the post)! I spent the day bringing my family around to Bondi Beach and Maroubra Beach despite the gloomy weather. We managed to visit the beaches and take some photographs before it started to pour. After that, we chilled around at my friend’s place before finally heading off to the airport; I said my goodbyes to my Mom and my two younger sisters. Safe travels! They’ll be in Kuala Lumpur for about 7-hours, and then finally arriving in Brunei the next day in the afternoon. I just finished editing and uploading my graduation photos on Facebook, and now I am writing this post. I thought of just going to bed since I am quite tired, but I felt bad for not even attempting to write a post for tonight/today. Anyway, I’ll make it quick if I can; I’ll probably end up taking the long route and explaining some components of the dish that may be unfamiliar to some people.

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak) Ingredients

Bangús (or Milkfish) is the national fish of the Philippines. They are notorious for being much bonier than other fish, which is why deboned milkfish, called “boneless bangús” in the Philippines, has become popular in stores and markets. There are many ways in which you can use this fish to create many loved home-cooked Filipino dishes, and I will show you two/three easy ways to prepare the milkfish for a tasteful lunch or dinner. Pritong Bangús (fried milkfish) is a simple dish that is packed with flavours. The milkfish alone has its deliciously rich taste, especially the belly, but the marinade enhances its flavour with a hint of sourness and spiciness. The bangús belly is my favourite part of the fish, especially when it is fried. I would always fight for the bigger piece of belly, or I would always make sure that I get the bigger share of the belly. In an ideal world, the belly would be ALL mine.

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak) Ingredients

PREP TIME 8 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 12 MINS | SERVES 2-3

*Minimum. Up to 12 or even better, overnight in the fridge for marination time.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large boneless bangus (milkfish); scales removed, cleaned and butterflied
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, cut in half
  • 1 large red spanish onion, cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Juice of 2-3 calamansi

METHOD

  1. Combine chillies, vinegar, garlic, whole peppercorns, and salt in a large container. Give it a good stir to combine the ingredients before laying down the fish skin side up. Cover the container and place in the fridge to marinate for about 8 to 12 hours, or even better, overnight to soak up all the flavours.
  2. Heat about 1 cup of oil in a large frying pan (preferably with a lid)** over medium-high. Fry both sides of the bangús until each side turns medium brown in colour. Once cooked, place on a serving plate. You can enjoy the fried bangús just like this with some steamed rice and atchara*** on the side, or you can add a few more ingredients to further heighten the flavour of the dish.
  3. Tip the oil out into an empty jar (you can reuse for your next frying adventure) from the same frying pan, leaving about a tablespoon or two. Fry the onions until soft and then turn the heat off. Add in the soy sauce and give it a good stir, about 1-2 minutes, and the pour the mixture over the fried bangús. Squeeze the juice from the calamansi over the fish and serve!

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak)

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak) Ingredients

**Caution: take care when frying as the oil has a tendency to splatter because of the liquid from the marinade. Make sure to cover the frying pan while leaving open a small space for the steam to escape.

***Atchara or Atcharang Papaya is basically pickled julienned or grated green papaya and soaked for a week in cooked vinegar and sugar mixture with onions, garlic, ginger, pepper corn, and red bell pepper.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่)

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่)

Hey Everyone! Just letting you guys know that I’m currently in Victoria with my family for 9 days; staying in Cranbourne with a family friend. Anyway, yes, besides that, today’s recipe is based on what I uploaded on Tuesday; using the homemade tom yum paste to make a (yes) chicken feet tom yum soup. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Chicken feet, really? And gizzards as well? Ew!” – actually not ew, well in my opinion that is! When I first learnt this dish from my Auntie, she cooked this with these cuts of chicken. My mom even gives the chicken feet a little pedicure; scrubbing them clean and cutting off their nails on each toe – so much work that I myself wouldn’t even be bothered to do! If you’re not into chicken feet, this spicy and sour soup can be made with other meats varying from mixed seafood such as prawns, squid, and clams, or other cuts of chicken, pork, and fish.

Also, I didn’t know this until I did a bit of research, but tom yum is actually a Lao and Thai dish; all along I thought it was just Thai. Anyway, for those of you who don’t know what tom yum is, it is a clear, spicy, and sour soup served widely in many neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, but has also been popularised around the world. “Tom” actually refers to the boiling process while “yum” refers to a spicy and sour salad; and therefore “tom yum” is a hot and sour soup characterised by the fragrant herbs used to flavour the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed fresh chillies. When I first learnt to cook this dish, I added coconut milk to the broth. Over time, we eliminated the coconut milk because my mom can’t eat, or more like, isn’t allowed to have anything with coconut in her diet.

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่) Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg chicken feet, wash, cleaned, and nails cut off
  • 250g chicken gizzards, washed and cleaned
  • 2.5L boiling water
  • 1 heaped tbsp Homemade Tom Yum Paste (or more if you’ve deseeded your chillies before making it into a paste), likewise, you may use store-bought paste
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 4 pcs kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 inch galangal, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 pcs red bird’s eye chillies
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Fish sauce to taste

METHOD

  1. Add the all the ingredients, except for the kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice, and tom yum paste, into a large pot. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Then add in the kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and tom yum paste. Give it a good mix and then add in the fish sauce about a tablespoon at a time; taste until the seasoning and taste is to your liking. At this point, you may also add in straw mushrooms or oyster mushroom if you wish. Let it cook for a further 45 minutes, or until chicken feet and gizzards are tender.
  3. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy! Quite a nice dish actually for a cold winter night.

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Crispy Pata (Deep-fried Pork Leg)

Crispy Pata (Deep-fried Pork Leg)

Hello Everyone! After spending the past month in the Philippines, I thought that it’d be a good idea to share some of the foods that I came across and ate along the way. A classic dish that I will be sharing with you is the very famous Crispy Pata, or Deep-fried Pork Leg. Crispy Pata can be found in most eating places in the Philippines; one place that we dined at while staying Lucena City specialises in this dish and is even called Bubbles Crispy Pata & Restaurant. I remember the first time I came here with my cousins from the Barrientos side, my cousin JR joked about ordering a crispy para dish EACH. I think we ended up ordering one between two people, which, looking back, in my opinion is still quite a lot to eat between two; but just like me, he loves him some crispy pata. What I love about this very simple dish, is the crispy skin and of course the very tender meat beneath that layer of crispy goodness.

Crispy Pata (Deep-fried Pork Leg) Ingredients

As you probably would’ve already figured out from my description above, and the photographs, Crispy Pata is a famous Filipino pork dish that uses a whole pig’s leg. The leg (or pata) is made tender by simmering in water along with other spices, mainly peppercorns and bay leaves. It is then deep-fried until the texture becomes very crunchy. The dish is then served with various dipping sauces, the main being a soy-vingear sauce with chopped onions, or along with some pickled green papaya known as atchara, served as either a main dish with steamed rice, or as beer food known as pulutan.

Crispy Pata is definitely an easy dish to cook, but be cautious as the process does involve dangerous steps. Deep frying a whole leg can cause the hot oil to be uncontrollable. It is a must to slightly (not fully, as the cover can pop-up due to pressure) cover the cooking pot while frying. What my mom does is that instead of submerging the whole leg in scalding hot oil, she adds enough oil to submerge at least half of the leg and fries it for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. She then cautiously turns the leg and fries the other side for the same amount of time in medium heat until it becomes crispy. This is quite possibly one of the reasons why I only ever have crispy pata at a restaurant or when I’m home and my mom is there to do it for me – I don’t like the frying process!

Crispy Pata (Deep-fried Pork Leg) Ingredients

PREP TIME 24 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS 30 MINS | SERVES 4

*Includes setting aside the boiled pork leg in the fridge overnight to draw out the moisture before deep-frying.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole pig’s leg (about 2 or 2.5kg)
  • 12 to 15 cups water
  • 8 to 12 cups cooking oil
  • 6 pcs dried bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp salt

For the soy dipping sauce

  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • Juice of two calamansi**

For the vinegar dipping sauce

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies, halved
  • Whole peppercorns

**Calamansi (or calamondin), is a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a kumquat. It is widely cultivated in the Philippines and primarily used in cooking to flavour foods and drinks. If calamansi isn’t available, you may substitute it with lemon or lime, but the taste will not be the same. I can’t say exactly what the difference in taste is, but I think calamansi is a tad more sour than a lemon/lime, and has a slight orange taste to it.

METHOD

  1. Pour water into a large cooking pot along with the bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the whole pork leg and simmer under mediumm-high heat until the leg becomes tender (about 1.5 to 2 hours).
  2. Remove the tender leg from the cooking pot, transfer to a plate large enough to fit it and set aside until the temperature goes down. Once it has cooled down, place a clean cloth above the leg and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge a few hours before cooking to bring it back to room temperature. Some recipes I’ve seen don’t require you to refrigerate the meat, I do it so that it draws out excess moisture from the leg.
  3. At this point you may want to rub on some different spices such as garlic powder, ground black pepper, and salt onto the skin. If you do, let it stand for 15 minutes for the leg to absorb the rub. If you don’t want to season it any further, which is what I did, then you can move onto frying.
  4. Heat a clean large cooking pot (preferably with cover), over high heat and pour the cooking oil in. When the oil becomes hot, turn the heat down to medium high. Carefully lower the leg into the hot oil and deep fry. Cook until one side becomes brown and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes, and then cautiously flip the leg to brown and crisp the other side. Be extra careful in doing this procedure.
  5. Turn the heat off and remove the crispy pork leg. Transfer it to a wide serving plate.
  6. Combine all the ingredients together for the separate dipping sauces dance serve together with the crispy pata!

Crispy Pata (Deep-fried Pork Leg)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Hello Everyone! This pizza was actually the last pizza I made before flying off, so it was basically a pizza with anything I had left in the fridge to top it off with (except for the smoked salmon though, I bought that especially for this pizza). I have a few others up my sleeve but I haven’t had the chance to try them out. Maybe I’ll do another pizza series later on in the year when I get around to making them again.

If you read my very first post on the pizza series, you would’ve read somewhere that I was inspired to make my own pizzas from a DIY pizza night that my friend Tara held for her birthday last year. I made sort of the similar thing as tonights post. What I had planned was to do another stuffed crust pizza recipe, but I realised, once I had lined the walls of the pizza and sealed it, the dough that I rolled out was too thin in the middle. So what I ended up doing was folding the dough back in and instead of it being a stuffed crust pizza base, I incorporated the mozzarella cheese into the dough.

Smoked Salmon 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. Top with a handful of mozzarella cheese and fold the dough in again to incorporate the cheese into the dough. Or, if you prefer a stuffed crust, 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 the bocconcini, capers, and red onion. 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 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and top the pizza with the smoked salmon. Then put it back in the oven for a further 2-3 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 and chilli flakes before serving.

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Smoked Salmon Pizza

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

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