Monday, March 21, 2011

Ayam Masak Merah

This is another favourite in the household. Well, it's actually more of my favourite. Since it's my favourite, it has to become everyone's favourite, no? :P

I love having it with nasi tomato (tomato rice), nasi minyak and it is just as yummy when served with steamed rice.

Here's my version of ayam masak merah:


4 to 6 pieces of chicken - marinate with salt and tumeric powder for 30minutes

1 large red onion - sliced
2 pieces of star anise, 3 cardamoms, 3 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks
1 stalk of lemongrass - bruised and cut into two
4tbsps of blended red onions
2 tbsps of chilli paste - you can use instant chilli paste or blended from dried chillies
5cm ginger - grated
3 cloves of garlic - grated
1 tomato - cubed
3/4cup of tomato sauce
salt and sugar to taste

1. Fry the chicken till 2/3 cooked. Do not overfry. Set aside
2. Heat some oil
3. Sautee star anise, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon sticks together till fragrant
4. Add in the sliced onions and fry till the onions become translucent
5. Then add in the blended onions, chilli paste, grated ginger and grated garlic. Fry till fragrant.
6. Then add the lemongrass. Stir again for around 3 minutes.
7. Add the cubed tomatoes and let the tomatoes cooked for a while
8. Add in the tomato sauce, some salt and sugar (1 tsp) to taste. Stir again. Add water bit by bit till you get the consistency that you want cos' we don't want the sauce to become diluted.
9. Add the chicken pieces and coat with the sauce. Let it boil and then reduce heat to simmer for ~15minutes till sauce thickens.
10. Garnish with some peas and coriander leaves (I omitted the garnishing this time round)

Easy? :) Try it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cheese Biscuits

I do have occasional bake days with the little boy.

He has thus far baked muffins, which surprisingly survived his over-enthusiastic stirring, brownies and cheese biscuits.

I have a few cheese biscuits recipes in my recipe file and after comparing the few that I have, I thought the following was the easiest. As long as there is not a need to use my electric mixer is considered fuss-free and easy.

And so, the following was the recipe used for 1 of the little boy's bake days with mummy.

Ingredients :
250g plain flour
125g butter softened to room temperature
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk

1 egg yolk for brushing the biscuits and 1/4 cup of cheese for the topping

1.Combine flour, butter, 1 egg yolk and 1/2 cup of cheese together, mix and knead to become dough. The pastry will turn out soft.

2.Refrigerate the pastry for half an hour. Roll out and cut with cookie cutter.

3.Brush the cookies with egg yolk and sprinkle some cheese on top.

4. Bake at 180C for 15mins or till golden brown.

I am a boy and I am 3-years old. :)

The cookie cutters that we used to motivate him to bake.

Did he enjoy it? Tremendously.

And no, there wasn't much mess to be cleaned up too, thank God for that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sotong Masak Hitam (Squid in Black Ink)

This is 1 very asian, very traditional 'kampung' (village) dish that we adore.
While I'm not a crustacean fan, I love sotong (squids) and cuttlefish; sambal sotong kering, cumi-cumi are my favourites too.

And although I'm very much an urban-city dweller, because I have no kampung (sob sob!), I grew up with kampung food, thanks to my mom. Now, who can resist 'urap' (raw salad), 'ulam' sambal belachan and the likes. I can't! And sotong hitam is another I-can't-resist-dish.

There are many ways of cooking sotong hitam. This is how I do it:


500g of squid - to keep the ink pouches.

1 tsp fennel seeds - dry roast and crushed
1 tsp whole black pepper - dry roast and crushed
2 stalks of lemon grass - bruised
1 red onion - sliced
1 tbsp of blended red onion
1 inch ginger - grated
2 garlics - grated
2 pieces of sliced dried tamarind (asam keping)
2 tbsps of tomato sauce
A cup of water, thereabout
Salt and sugar to taste.

1. Heat some oil.
2. Fry the sliced onions till translucent, then add the crushed fennel seeds and black pepper.
3. Add lemon grass. When fragrant, add the tbsp of blended onion, grated ginger and grated
4. Fry for a while. Then add 2 tbsps of tomato sauce.
5. Add the squids. Followed by a cup of water, tamarind pieces and also the squids' ink.
6. Cook till gravy thickens. You can add a bit more water to dilute it if you think the gravy's too thick for you. .

It's too yummy when served with hot rice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chilli Crab

I'm not a crustacean fan but the hubster is. So, I still indulge him but not too much though.

One of his favourites is and I'm sure many out there love this dish too, simply put, it's almost everyone's favourite, THE Chilli Crab.

I first cooked this dish for the hubster-then-bf and our 'kakis' when he and our 'kakis' came to my place during our courtship jalan2-raya days. When was that, again?
I looked through the old photos and the year was there, printed in all of its glory, 1999.

12 years ago that is. *Gulp*. I digress.

Now, back to my crustacean story.

And so he loved it. Our 'kakis' loved it too. He still loves it.

This is another very simple recipe that I've been using for more than a decade long now. Also shows just how much I love this recipe.

1kg Medium-sized Crabs

To blend together:
3 cloves of garlic
5cm old ginger
3 big red onions
1 stalk of lemongrass

2 tbsp chilli paste - can grind from dried chillis or u can buy the instant chilli paste.
2 tbsp chilli sauce
2tbsp tomato sauce
2 eggs
1 cup of tamarind juice
1 blue ginger (lengkuas)- to crush a bit

Sugar and Salt to taste

Fry blended ingredients together till fragrant. Then, add chilli paste, tomato sauce and chilli sauce. Add sugar and salt to taste.

Add the crabs, tamarind juice and blue ginger. Leave to boil.

Add in eggs and Stir. Voila! It's Ready!

It IS really very simple. Try it!