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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Angry Mussels Pasta

Jamie Oliver called this Angry Mussels , perhaps because of the addition of chilli. The recipe is rather forgiving and there is room for lots of improvisation.

I did this minus the pasta and it was a great hit with my guests.  As I enjoyed the sauce, I thought what better way to 'drink' it than having some pasta soaking up the yummy wine sauce. 

Get a good wine that you don’t mind enjoying on its own and it will become one of your favorite pasta recipes when you are in a mood for wine.

For 2.

160g angel hair pasta
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp chilli flakes
3 cups of half shelled green lipped mussels
1 handful of chopped English parsley
½ cup Chardonnay
1½ cup chopped tomatoes
generous amount of fresh lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
Parsley to garnish

Method :
Bring water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al-dente.
While pasta is cooking, saute garlic until it turns translucent. Add chilli, medium heat. Do not burn chilli.
Add prepared mussels.
Add parsley, chardonnay, tomatoes.
Add zest, lemon juice. Toss.
Cook covered for 4 minutes.
Add cooked pasta. Toss and rest for 1 minute.
Serve garnished with parsley.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Char Siew Polo Bun

This was hubby’s request and that's how the 10 buns came into being. It was a lot of work making everything from scratch but at least I get to control how much salt goes into his late night snack. If you have 6 hours to spare, this is a good experiment to undertake.

On hindsight , I shouldn’t have baked the meat cubes but instead simmer it until it is soft and succulent. the baking gave crispy edges to my char siew, hardly the texture I desire for in a bun. Covering it with a loose foil should mitigate this problem, unless you have a thing for char siew with crispy edges in a bun.

If the tacky crispy topping does not deter you, use any leftover meat filling from the previous dinner and use it in place of char siew. The pleasure of the snack is in the crispy topping so I don’t  mind what is in the bun anyway.

Should you find the crispy topping hard to handle, toss the prepared balls in cake flour and shake off the excess before flattening it. Mist spray the bun with water if the topping does not stick well due to the flour.

The time taken to make these ican be a turn off but all is forgotten once I sank my teeth into one of these.

Makes 10 buns.

Char Siew:
400g diced pork cubes ( fatty ones can do )
80g brown sugar
3g salt
3 g MSG
1 tsp 5-spice powder
10g sesame oil
10g hoisin sauce
10g oyster sauce
10g cooking wine
1 tsp egg (  lightly beaten )
Honey ( last stage )

1.   Combine all of the above, mixed and marinate for 1 hour in the fridge.
2.   Bake on a lined tray for 30 minutes, loosely covered. Drizzle some honey over the almost cooked meat and toss. Bake for another 5 minutes.

Char Siew Sauce:
1 Tbsp shallots + 1 Tbsp minced garlic + 2 Tbsp oil
4g dark sauce
2g light sauce
4 g oyster sauce
20 ml water
5g corn starch dissolved on 10g water

1.   Saute shallots and garlic until soft.
2.   Add sauces and water
3.   Turn off the heat.
4.   Stir in corn starch solution to thicken but not lumpy.

Char Siew filling :
Combine baked char siew with char siew sauce. Reserve.

Roux – 25g of bread flour + 125 ml of water
1.   Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it form lines with the whisk. Cool roux.

The main dough
270g bread flour
40g fine sugar
1g salt
10g milk powder
6g instant yeast
30g whipping cream
30g milk
25g butter

1.   Combine all of the components for main dough and water roux.
2.   Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3.   Let it rise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, crispy topping :
1.   150g cake flour + 2 g baking soda + 5 Tbsp fine sugar   + 1 Tbsp milk powder
2.   100g cold butter, cubed
3.   1 egg
4.   Except the egg, blend all the contents until it turns sandy.
5.   Add egg and blend until all comes together.
6.   Chill in a plastic bag for 30 minutes.
7.   Make out 10 equal portions and roll into balls. Chill again.

Assembly :
1.   Make out 10 equal portions of the dough. Make balls.
2.   Spoon char siew filling and seal the bun. Omit the sauce if it gets messy.
3.   In between 2 plastic sheets or silpat, flatten the crispy topping. I toss the topping in cake flour for easy handling and shake off excess flour.
4.   Mist spray the bun. Place the flattened crispy topping on the bun.
5.   Make criss cross patterns with a pastry spatula.
6.   Bake the buns in a preheated oven at 170C for 23 minutes.
7.   Cool the buns further on a rack.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Semolina savory tart

It is one of those long days when I can experiment uninterrupted because everyone else is away. Experimenting with flour is now easier with the stand mixer always on standby in the kitchen corner.

Post Chinese New Year, I found some ham, semolina flour and a block of cheese still uneaten. After some Kitchen Aid magic, this is what turned out.

Verdict ? Light crunch, some savory and a little sweet with orange overtones. Worth the washing up that came with the experiment.

2 medium tarts.

Ingredients :

40g plain flour _ 1 tsp baking powder
40g semolina flour
50g suar
50g almond meal
½ tsp orange zest

3 eggs
125g melted unsalted butter

80g chopped ham
cheese slivers for topping

Method :
Combine A in a bowl. Set aside.
Whisk egg on high until volume triples. Drizzle butter on the side of the mixer bowl and fold into the egg mix ( paddle on Kitchen Aid ).
Add (A) and fold into the egg mix.
Fold in ham.

Preheat oven t o 170C.
Pour batter into mini pie trays. Top with cheese.
Bake at 170C for 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Enjoy warm.