Hello Everyone! Can you believe it?! It’s already the middle of the year! How did time fly by so quickly when I felt like it was only just yesterday that 2017 kicked in?! The next thing you know, it’ll be December and I hope that the next half of the month will be exciting for me in terms of personal and career growth.
So let’s just get right into it shall we? I promise that this won’t be a long-winded post as have the previous ones been so far. I’ve got nothing much to share anyway as things at work have been progressively slow, but I’m not complaining though!
The theme for the month of June on Amcarmen’s Kitchen is hero-ing Tilapia! For those of you who are just tuning into the blog, I made a post at the beginning of the year about Hypertension, or known commonly as High Blood Pressure. Last year, I did a medical check up and found out that I had High Blood Pressure – now I don’t know if this was due to the amount of stress I had been experiencing from work prior to my medical check up, or that it is already a part of my health. Nonetheless, after knowing about my high blood pressure, I’ve been rather careful with my diet and making sure that I eat foods that help lower and maintain a stable blood pressure. In the post, I listed out 20 foods and drinks that help to prevent, lower, or control your high blood pressure naturally without the need for medication. Tilapia is one of the foods that I listed out in that post, and just to recap: just 133 grams (4 oz) of tilapia provides 8% of the magnesium and 8% of the potassium you need every day. I promised that this wouldn’t be a long-winded post but it seems like it is turning out to be one, and I do apologise for misleading everyone!
So, maybe you’ve read this in a previous post, or you know me personally to know where I’d like to travel to next; it’s an absolute dream of mine to travel Iceland. I talked to an Icelandic acquaintance not too long and asked him what Icelandic dish he would recommend I try if I were to visit Iceland in the near future. A dish that he pointed out was Plokkfiskur. Plokkfiskur, or roughly translating to ‘mashed fish’ is an Icelandic Fish Stew that isn’t quite like the stews that you’re traditionally used too. It’s not soup based, but instead it is a combination of fish, potatoes, onions and béchamel sauce is a firm favourite in Icelandic kitchens. It’s a traditional dish and a true comfort food. For my dish, I completely left the béchamel sauce out for no particular reason – okay I lied, there is a reason and that reason is because the recipe that I looked up did not have béchamel sauce in it. It was only after when I was trying to describe what Plokkfiskur was for this post that I saw “béchamel sauce” in the description and had a little oh shit reaction. So any Icelanders out there reading this post, please do not butcher me for this – I’ve simply adapted the recipe to what is available here in Brunei and also paired it with other side dishes… Without the rye bread *gasps*.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 30-40 MINS| SERVES 3-4
For the plokkfiskur
1kg fresh or frozen tilapia fillets, skins removed and cubed
200g gouda cheese, grated
2 medium brown onions, diced
Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Spring onion, chopped
Butter, for greasing
For the garlic rosemary potatoes
500g small to medium-sized potatoes, skin on
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5).
Add the diced onions and cubed tilapia into a greased baking dish, and season with salt and pepper. Top with the grated gouda cheese and pop into the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly on top.
Once done remove from the oven and sprinkle some chopped spring onions on top.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Once done, drain and set aside to cool down a bit. Then take a flat surfaced object (I used a small plate), to press down on the potatoes so that they are slightly smashed but not completely broke into pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick frying pan and sauté the minced garlic and rosemary spring until slightly fragrant. Add the potatoes in, working in batches if needed, and panfry each side until golden in colour, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once done transfer to individual dishes.
Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the asparagus stalks for about a minute or two until tender but still crunchy. Drain and submerge in an ice bath immediately to stop the cooking process. Divide evenly between the individual dishes.
Divide the Plokkfiskur into the individual dishes and enjoy with your family and/or friends!
Hello Everyone! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Bare with me as I get back on track with my posting schedule, but I must warn you once again that I may or may not be travelling back to the Philippines, and as you already know, Internet connection will once again be disrupted, but hopefully for only a week or so. I am aware that it is a Sunday, and on amcarmenskitchen it should in fact be a Review Sunday! But not today for I have a special post for you guys tonight as it is Easter Sunday! I will sort out my reviews from various places that I visited during my month-long trip to the Philippines and get working on them to have one up for next week.
I remember how every bakery in Sydney, be in along the streets, inside a shopping centre, or supermarket, smelled of freshly baked hot cross buns. I definitely miss those chocolate chip flavoured ones from Baker’s Delight! A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in most parts of Europe, the United States, and Australia/New Zealand. Apparently, hot cross buns may go on sale in Australia and New Zealand as early as New Year’s Day or even right after Christmas.
To be honest, I was quite reluctant on whether or not I should post this up because a few things went wrong even though I followed the recipe from Taste very carefully. My buns did not at all look like the photograph and I think it because I under baked the buns (even though I followed the recipe). Okay, I technically didn’t quite follow it because the dough was very wet and quite sticky so I added probably the equivalent of about 1/2 or 3/4 more cups of flour. Maybe this is where it went wrong? I don’t know. Half of the buns deflated when I removed them from the oven (this is why I mentioned that I may have quite possibly under baked them), and they were still pretty pale when they had an extra 15 minutes in the oven. The crosses ended up appearing the same in terms of colour as the bun and didn’t look as evident. Oh the many mishaps; and now you see why I was hesitant to show my fail buns. Anyway, I deserve an A for effort as this is my first time making bread ever! And even still I am showing you my result!
When I reheated the buns again our small electric oven for about 6-8 minutes (for our afternoon snack), the tops browned nicely; and it was only then did I decide that maybe I should post it on my blog even if they don’t look that appetising. However, by this time, having been in the oven for quite some time since the initial baking, the bottoms and even the outside became quite crusty, however, the inside remained soft and dense. The 6 that are missing from the photograph were the deflated ones that we ate, and so I only managed to photograph the remaining 6. I will definitely give this recipe another go some other time.
PREP TIME 2 HOURS 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS| MAKES 12 BUNS
For the dough
4 cups plain flour
1 & 1/2 cups of raisins (or currents/sultanas)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 sachets (7g each) dried yeast
1 & 1/2 tsp mixed spices (I used cinnamon, cloves, & nutmeg)
Pinch of salt
For the flour paste
1/4 cup plain flour
3 tbsp water
For the glaze
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp caster sugar
Butter to serve
Bread Dough: Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spices, and salt in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add in the milk. Heat for about a minute, or until the mixture is lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture. Then, using a flat-bladed knife, mix until the dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Punch the dough down to its original size and add the raisins to the dough. Knead with the raisins for about a minute on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto a large tray lined with baking paper, about 1cm apart, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C.
Flour Paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
Glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and let it boil for about 3-4 minutes. Then, brush the warm glaze over the hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.