Given half a choice, I would choose to eat a plate of pesto spaghetti over an aglio olio. But basil leaves are not always easy to find, and pine nuts don’t come cheap. Since I have a tree in my garden, I usually make curry …
Here’s a recipe which guest chef No. 1 tried out the other day. Feeling adventurous, he decided to make muachee one afternoon – a very simple glutinous rice cake snack, a streetfood usually sold by the vendors who go around on bicycles. These days, nobody does this anymore, but you can still find the occasional stall in the morning or night markets.
Usually, this would be coated in a sweetish gritty peanut mixture but since we didn’t have peanuts at home, the hero decided to innovate and use almonds instead. Not that he knew almonds cost twice the price of peanuts … oh, well. Never mind, as long as the muachee tasted awesome.
I also learnt something new as I had no idea the recipe required fragrant shallot oil. And when it’s someone else cooking for you, it’s always nice.
120g glutinous rice flour
1 tablespoon shallot oil
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
180 ml water
70g roasted almonds, chopped fine (conventional recipe calls for peanuts)
30g sugar (you can add more if want this sweeter)
Use three shallot, cut into rings, and fry in oil. Keep this oil aside. You can use the shallots to sprinkle over your other dishes.
Mix the 30g sugar and almonds together until you get a nice, even gritty mixture. Set aside.
Mix the glutinous rice, sugar, water and 1 tablespoon shallot oil together in a bowl. Cook this by steaming the mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, then use a pair of chopsticks or a stirring paddle to stir around this mixture until it gets translucent and sticky.
Then, lift the sticky dough, drop this directly into the almonds, cutting it into small pieces along the way.
And that’s all there is to it! I reckon you can use normal vegetable oil too, but it’ll be less fragrant. Or, even add a dash of sesame oil. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with this recipe.
I still had all this cream in the fridge so decided to change up the normal quiche with a springroll cup as I had run out of pie pastry and was too lazy to make my own. Essentially, this is very similar to the frittata, but since it sits in a container of its own, it’s much easier to remove from the mould and not so messy, not to mention easier to wash! The springroll cups also provides a different texture and a nice crunch to the quiche, but do watch out as every oven is different so ensure your mini quiche doesn’t get burnt. Conversely, if the skin undercooked, it will be limp and soggy so that’s not good, either. If seafood is not your thing, feel free to add bits of ham, spinach or whatever you feel like having. Works just as well. This is great as a starter to a main course, or as a breakfast or tea snack.
10 pieces of crabstick, cut into smaller pieces
1 can tuna, in brine or oil.
One big onion, diced
1/2 cup cooking cream
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour, mixed into a paste with 1 tablespoon water.
Salt and pepper to taste
springroll sheets or wantan skin
Before starting, heat up the oven to about 170 degrees C.
Using just about a tablespoon of oil or butter, give the onion a quick saute. Then remove from pan and put aside.
If you are using wantan skin, use about 4 sheets for one mini quiche – butter one side, and line the inside of a muffin tray by layering them. I didn’t have wantan skin, so I used springroll sheets (popiah skin) instead, buttered on one side and then cut into 4 quarters per sheet, and laid similarly in the mould. Instead of a muffin tray which had only 8 slots, I used the small moulds for baking egg tarts as I wanted to bake more at one go.
Place some sauted onions at the bottom of each container with the skins, and then layer with a few pieces of crabstick and a teaspoon of tuna.
In a separate container, preferably in a jug with a pouring tip, beat the eggs together lightly, then add the milk, cream and seasoning, and lastly, the flour paste. Stir everything together and mix well.
Pour in some of the egg mixture into the springroll skin until it covers the tuna slightly over the top, but don’t overdo this lest it spills and overflows when it cooks and expands.
Bake for about 15 minutes, let it cool a bit and then, remove the seafood quiche cups from the mould to serve.
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And so, it’s back to the kitchen again with MCO 3.0. Sigh, is there no end in sight? In times like these, we all need to eat cake!
A friend passed me a few boxes of whipped cream so I was thinking what else could I do with it besides the usual pasta sauce and burnt cream cheese cake. The I remembered this old recipe – it’s the easiest cake in the world as you don’t even have to bake it, takes only 5 ingredients and tastes splendid! I layered this with fruit cocktail, but you can put anything you want to dress it up – try brandied cherries and rum raisins – that would be my dream indulgence, topped with fresh berries!
3 cups of whipping cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 packet digestive biscuits/oreos
1 can fruit cocktail/ fresh berries/whatever strikes your fancy
Line a tray with baking paper, no need to use any butter to grease the tin itself so that it’s easier to remove the cake later. I used a 9x5in loaf tin so that it would be easier to cut the cake later, but you can use a square or round mould too, that would be fine.
Whip the cream together with the icing sugar and vanilla essence until you see stiff peaks. Be careful not to overdo this or you might end up with froth and watery mushy which would be disastrous.
Start by spreading a thin layer of cream at the bottom to hold the cake, then arrange your digestive biscuits for the second layer. Break up the biscuits to fill up the loose holes. It’s OK if you miss some parts, doesn’t have to be perfect. Add a layer of cream and then a layer of fruit cocktail/berries/ berries with jam. Add another layer of biscuits on top and repeat the process until you get about 4 biscuit layers, ending with whip cream on top.
You can garnish the top with some more fruits, or chocolate chips or berries. Keep in freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. Ta da!!!! Your cake is done!