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Sunday Night Roast

Opps, it’s almost another Sunday and we haven’t posted what we had LAST Sunday! I think we got totally distracted by the daily screenings of Masterchef…YES! I am using Masterchef as an excuse! If you watched it…how good was yesterday’s episode? It was their time to showcase what they could cook and most of the dishes were so different – all of them looked amazing and a far cry from that one episode of Masterchef USA that I watched (terrible plating). I thought Billy’s (Asian, from Sydney, food blogger, designer) twice cooked pork belly looked great – and was so happy that they posted his recipe up online! I think we will definitely try it one day…

Coincidentally, we Esthey cooked pork last Sunday too…once again, Esthey was the Iron Chef who cooked most of the dishes that made up our Sunday night feast. We had less people this week – many were away, some were sick etc, but the amount of food remained the same – funny that huh.

Sunday Night feast BBQ Pork Roast Pork Tofu CAbbage soup

Esthey made Roast Pork – and this is what I gleamed from Sammy was the process; it was marinated with five spice powder and the skin part was covered in salt (for the crackle); people sometimes boil the pork first before putting it in the oven. When it came out, the skin wasn’t that crispy so what Esthey did was pan fry the skin a little to crisp it up a bit. The result? Crunchy pork crackle with tender meat…yummm…definitely a contender to Chinese Restaurants that’s for sure!

Roast Pork Siu Yok

She also made BBQ Pork, or also known as Char siu (can anyone guess the theme by now?) – which she marinated with Char Siu sauce and put into the oven – we realized that it’s better to use the Pork Belly for Char Siu because it makes it more tender. And would be better to have 2 ovens, because of the different temperatures that the meat has to be cooked. No matter – still tasted good anyway! Just dry in some bits, but someone (DEB!) happily picked on the dry bits :)

Esthey also made (along with the two pork dishes), a HUGE pot of soup, a tofu dish and a token vegetable dish in the form of cabbage. Phew, I feel tired just talking about it, let alone cooking it – so well done Esthey, you are indeed a Kitchen Superwoman! :)

Tofu with Coriander

Meanwhile, Sammy used leftover green apples to make a quick apple crumble…was delish! :) You can find a recipe of apple crumble here.

 Apples with cinnamon before the crumble

It is a great dessert to make, especially when you are short of time and have leftover apples, pears or rhubarb lying around :) We added some leftover oats that were meant for a souffle, which was great because it added that crunch to the crumble layer. And of course, we topped it off with vanilla ice-cream – match made in heaven!

Apple Crumble with Ice-Cream

And then we sat down to our meal whilst we watched the premiere of Masterchef Australia (Season 3)..which is shaping up to be quite an interesting season – what with a middle-aged flirty mum, a gorgeously cute 62 year old man, not one but 2 food bloggers, and the rise of another Jono…! An interesting mix of people, and very entertaining to watch at this stage…and all in Week 1! Can’t wait for Masterclass tonight..this is where we pick up a lot of handy tips in the kitchen…who’s watching with me?

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Malaysian, Sunday Night Theme

 

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Easy Dessert: Pandan Agar-Agar (Jelly)

Pandan-leaf agar-agar jelly green

I love simple dessert recipes – especially in this day and age where everyone is busy, has a full time job and not having much time to cook, let alone make dessert! We don’t usually have much dessert after meals and they are usually a treat.  The most frequent “dessert” that I remember eating in our family are fruits! Imagine my surprise knowing that Westerners have dessert (cakes, pastries, tarts) after meals most of the time :)

Sometimes, asian desserts are not too difficult to make, especially with modern technology and how everything comes in packets! I got this agar-agar recipe from a book that I picked up during one of my travels back home to Malaysia. Many times, I crave home made or bought kuihs and dessert so I thought that I’d try my hand at some of the local delicacies.

Malaysian Cakes and Dessert

I’ve chosen to make the Pandan Agar-Agar because it was quite a simple recipe and once you’re done, all you have to do is store it in the fridge and forget about it until dessert time comes! “Agar-agar” is from the Malay word meaning “jelly”, and is a tasteless dried seaweed. It is used in many Malaysian desserts and is usually sold in small packets of white powder (but I was told, that it can also come in bars, strips or flakes). Interesting fact about “agar” from Wikipedia – when it’s not used for desserts, it is used as an agent for growth of bacteria or fungi (like in a petri dish) because ” microbial growth does not destroy the gel structure because most microorganisms are unable to digest agar.” NO WAY! Interesting for a noob like me anyway!

Back to the dessert!

Ingredients:

500ml (2 cups) water
3 tsp agar agar powder
120g white sugar
100 ml Pandanus Juice
(above made out of 7-8 Pandan leaves and 100 ml water)
120 ml thick coconut milk
1 egg (beaten)

Method:

Making the Pandanus Juice

Pandan-juice leaves green
We had to use frozen Pandan Leaves that we bought from our local oriental store and they come vacuum packed. Sadly beggars can’t be choosers, but if you do have access to fresh ones (Melbournians!), use them!

Pick about 7-8 leaves, wash them and cut them into 2cm pieces. Then put them into a blender (NOT a food processor! Once again, learnt the hard way) with 150ml water and blend well and until completely pulverized. Then strain the mixture through a fine sieve and push out the juice as required. Discard the solids. This should give you about 100 ml of pandanus juice.

Making the Pandan Agar-agar

pandanus jelly pandan

  1. Combine the water, agar-agar powder and sugar in a pan and heat until its boiling. Once it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue unitl the powder completely dissolves which will take about 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the Pandanus Juice, coconut milk and beaten egg together. Mix well.
  3. Pour the Pandan mixture into the agar-agar mixture in the pan and stir constantly until it comes back to a roiling boil. Once it reaches that point, remove the pan from the heat and pour it into a glass dish or cake pan (approx 16cm across).
  4. Set aside to cool completely. Then, place in the refridgerator to chill and set completely. You’d know that it’s completely set when it’s firm when you press down on it with a finger.
  5. Then cut it into any shape that you want! I used cookie cutters for mine :) But you could, of course just cut it the quentessentially asian way by cutting diamond shapes.

Pandanus Jelly pandan agar-agar

I like how it automatically sets in 2 layers, makes it preetier…

It’s a really easy dessert to make and eat – it’s not too sweet and you could just pop a few in without even thinking about it :) This plate was gone in about 5 minutes!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Asian Sweets, Cookbooks, Desserts

 

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