Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thai-style Pork-stuffed Omelet ( ไข่เจียวยัดไส้ด้วย หมู)

When I need comfort, I turn to food...

My first choice is almost always soup, but for today, I am settling for my number 2 comfort food - eggs.

And I remembered that a long time ago, hubby and I ate this supremely tasty pork-stuffed omelet in a (literally) hole-in-a-wall eatery.  Don't ask me where though because we were just walking around and we saw a lot of people going into this door.  We were curious so we went in and up some narrow, rickety stairs was this rambunctious crowd lined up (haphazardly) for food - "turo-turo" (literally "point-point") style.  Which was actually a good thing because we didn't speak a word of Thai and it did not seem like they spoke any English!

Obviously all these people could not be wrong (as to the quality of the food) so we lined up as well and pointed to what we felt we wanted to eat... rice, soup, curry (obviously) and this square parcel of scrambled egg (which I chose because I thought it would not be spicy).  Turns out the best of the lot was the omelette!  It was slightly spicy, but it got really spicy because it was garnished with sriracha sauce!

Here is the latest of many attempts to re-create that dish.

This latest try is the one that looks most authentic... I (finally) checked youtube for demo videos on how to wrap the filling into a square.

For the filling, I found the interet abound with recipes (as usual), but I based my filling (roughly) on the recipe which I found in this book

For the filling:

Marinate for 15 to 30 minutes: 

1 cup ground pork (about 150 to 180 grams)
5 pieces large, shelled shrimp, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns

Meanwhile, prepare:

3 thin slices ginger, smashed
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 large tomato, diced
1 medium potato, diced
small handful wansoy, minced finely
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons chili sauce (or sriracha), optional (for me)

3 eggs, beaten with
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, or to taste

Heat a wok and saute the ginger, onion and garlic.  Add the tomatoes and stir-fry several seconds.  Add the marinated meat and wansoy; cook a couple of minutes then add the diced potatoes.  Season to taste.  Add water or stock, if necessary (the final mixture should be rather dry).  Cook until done; set aside.

Heat about a tablespoon of canola oil in a non-stick, flat frying pan, 11 to 12 inches in diameter.  When hot, pour in the beaten eggs and spread around to form a thin layer.  When the eggs are cooked, place the cooked ground meat filling in the middle and fold into a square parcel.  Flip into a serving plate.  Garnish with wansoy and serve with sriracha or sweet and sour sauce.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Curry Fishballs, HK Streetfood style

All of sudden, I had a craving for curry fish balls... the kind that we used to buy in the hole-in-a-wall place a block or two away from friend J's house.  A quick look in the freezer and I found a pack of Singaporean fish balls!  So off I went to the kitchen to cook a batch of curry fishballs, in the HK street food style that I (hopefully accurately) remember.

They were delicious and quite similar to the ones we always enjoyed!

200 to 250 grams fish balls
1 large onion, finely minced
2 large cloves, finely minced
1/3 cup yellow curry powder
1 tablespoon sesame oil
dried chili flakes, to taste, optional
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of fish sauce
cornstarch slurry

Saute the onions and garlic until fragrant.  Add the yellow curry powder and sesame oil and stir-fry until a paste forms.  Add chili flakes, to taste, if desired.  Add the coconut cream, 1/2 cup chicken broth and fish balls.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, fish sauce.  Simmer until the fish balls are puffed up (add more chicken broth if necessary).  Thicken with cornstarch slurry.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Faux Miniature Eggs Benedict

Every once in a while, hubby has friends over.  When he does, I take the opportunity to experiment with "finger" foods.  This time, the idea came from a book on canapes.

Although, I wonder how much change can be made to a recipe and still be considered authentic.

Because what I did was more of a bastardization... but in my defense, I wanted to use items that were already in the kitchen and pantry considering that I did not have time to go out and buy ingredients....

Classic or traditional eggs benedict are made of poached eggs and Canadian bacon on English muffins, topped with hollandaise sauce.  Mine were cheese, salami and fried quail egg on toast, topped with faux Ceasar dressing.

In short, my version is faux... or better known as... fake!

But it was fun to make and quite easy too! 

First, using a round cookie cutter, cut one or two circles of toast.  Place a slice of cheese on the toast, then a piece of folded salami.  Top with a piece of fried quail egg.  Drizzle with faux Ceasar dressing (or use a bottled one).
Then sit back as the praises fly (hubby's friends were impressed!  even the one who was on a strict diet could not resist!  ☺☺☺☺)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shrimp Vermicelli in Claypot (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น หม้อดิน)

Here's another try at Thai food.  This time the recipe link was forwarded to me by friend M, who currently lives in Bangkok.

As usual I made changes... the first of which was that I did not use a clay pot.  I didn't have a clay pot so I just used a glass casserole.

And because I couldn't find my mortar and pestle, I couldn't grind the spices together, so I just layered them as is.

I also added mini shitake mushrooms... and skipped the celery...

And I scaled the recipe to make about 6 servings...

The verdict?  Super yummy!  Another favorite!  Yey!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tom Kha Gai (ต้ม ข่า ไก่)

If it seems like I am on a Thai-food binge, it's because I am!  After tasting real Thai cuisine, I am absolutely hooked! (And to think I already like the "localized version" Thai food.)  Time to recreate a popular Thai dish in my kitchen.

The Chicken and Galangal in Coconut Milk Soup is by far my most liked dish.  It's the easiest one for me to make too, considering I have galangal (havested mid-last year and frozen/dried), lemongrass and kaffir lime in the food garden!  Then, just last Sunday, I found lime in the weekend market.  Together with the fish sauce (น้ำปลา) I brought back from Thailand, my ingredients line up was virtually complete.

And given its popularity, the web is full of recipes.  In my case, however, I followed the recipe in this book (which I bought at the airport on our way back).  The book is not a new publication (it was first published in 2003) and certainly not the latest by the author but it has been re-published almost every year!  And flipping through its pages, I found it more suited to a novice to Thai food (like I am) considering it has a section on basic Thai ingredients and a general introduction to various Thai sauces and pastes, as well as "step-by-step" photographs.  (And notice the bookmark - Thai souvenir from MBK!)

While there are many recipes on the internet, quite a number of them indicate ginger as an ingredient rather than galangal.  I don't believe that ginger should be substituted, especially since Asian markets already have galangal paste, dried galangal, etc.  Besides, it cannot be Chicken Galangal (ข่า or Kha) Soup without galangal!

In any case, here is a recipe quite similar to the one in the book.  The slight differences - I used coconut cream (about 400 ml), chicken stock (made from the breast bones, about 500 to 600 ml) and instead of straw mushrooms, I used about 250 grams oyster mushrooms.  I also added a generous teaspoon of coco-sugar and adjusted the fish sauce according to personal taste.

My verdict?  While it tastes great immediately after it is cooked, I discovered that it was better the next day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Poached Fish in Lime & Coconut Cream (ปลา ใน มะนาว และ กะทิ)

I am still recovering from my Bangkok vacation, which includes withdrawal symptoms due to the yummy Thai food that I am missing now that I'm back home.

Solution?  Try to cook food, Thai-style.  I say Thai-style because I don't know if this dish exists in Thai cuisine, but I am making it inspired by Thai food and using "Thai" ingredients - kaffir lime (I have a couple of trees in the food garden!), coconut cream, lime, galangal, chili...

300 ml thick coconut cream
2 fillets of sole, about 700 to 800 grams
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 pieces kaffir lime leaves (double leaf)
1 large lime or 2 small limes (or lemon)
2 pieces dried galangal
2 pieces finger chili

Place 150 ml of coconut cream in a baking dish (just big enough to fit the fillets).  Rub 1 tablespoon of fish sauce on each fillet then lay the fillet in the coconut cream.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce to the remaining 150 ml of coconut cream; mix then set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350℉.  Slice the kaffir lime leaves into thin strips.  Slice half the large lime or 1 small lime into thin rounds.  Slice the finger chilies in diagonal strips.
Place the dried galangal in the baking dish (not on the fish).  Arrange the lime slices on the fish fillets, then place the kaffir lime leaf strips and finger chili pieces all over.

Bake about 30 to 35 minutes.  Drizzle lime juice over the fish after it bakes, in accordance to personal taste.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Madiera Cake

The little girl wanted to bake a cake for her beloved Ninang R.  She kept insisting, and she even chose the pan herself.  It was a pan in the shape of a flat cupcake.

Here is the cake. 

I chose a madeira cake recipe because madeira cakes are supposed to be unfrosted.  And although they are usually baked as a loaf, I figured they could be made into a "flat" cake, too, with adjustments in baking time.  My choice for a recipe?  Nigella's Mother-in-law's Madeira Cake recipe.

It's delicious!  How do I know?  Because I sneaked a little cupcake on the side for me!

Now I almost wish I didn't have to give the cake to B's Ninang.

Oh well, I just might bake another one!