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Friday Favourites #8 – Oh Mee oh Moy

May 7, 2010
So, I think I’m allergic to work. Seriously. Its only my ninth day in the office and I’ve managed to catch myself a cold. Maybe its the windowless office or that the days have shortened and the nights cold-ened just at the same time that I’ve hit the workforce again! 
I suppose it’s not all bad, the going to work thing, this is my view travelling in to work by ferry

So, after feeling very sorry for myself last night I found moy (or congee for everyone who doesn’t speak hokkien) on the way to work this morning.  It’s a rice based porridge and one of my all time favourite comfort foods.

Just what the doctor ordered. Mummy Tee would put anyone in her house on a strict regimen of barley water and moy once they so much as dared to claim a sore throat, headache or a case of the sniffles.  Sorry about the photo quality – was taken on my phone! Same with the picture above, but seriously, it’s hard to make Sydney Harbour look bad.

Oh Moy. From the Hunter Connection in Sydney City.

I might also be sick because the universe is punishing me for skipping masterchef (don’t worry I caught up already, and for the record am a bit sad to see Mama Adele go, but that was too much tomato paste for shoooore!). I headed out to Fix St James for a quick splurg-y dinner last night and it was fabulous. No pictures this visit, but I highly recommend the mushroom tagliatelle.  Plus I’m happy that I can pretty much stumble out of my office and be at the restaurant!

So yes, not much bloggy reading or trawling of the web this week but I did stumble across this pretty measuring cup. It reminds me of the one that Mummy Tee owns. Swoon. Although I do have many many measuring apparatus-ses already…
 

If you live in the UK and love it, you can find them here.

Happy weekend readers!

It’s time – Bourke Street Bakery Flourless Chocolate Cake

March 23, 2010

I’m a terrible shopper, wait, let me rephrase that. I am quite good at shopping for things that I don’t need but when it comes to things that I need, like say all the ingredients for a particular recipe, I’m terrible at that. So often I’ll go to start a meal and realise that I’ve forgotten tomato paste for a bolognaise or milk for mashed potato. Luckily Call me Jose is pretty good at picking up things on his way home to save my dinners.

So anyway, despite being an adept “supplementary shopper” Call me Jose has tried everything to avoid going to the supermarket on the way home from work.  He’s got me writing lists, I’ve never been a list kinda person but now I’ve got a pad of paper in the kitchen and dutifully write down ingredients I need so I’m getting better at writing of shopping lists…its just that something happens to me when I get to the supermarket. Maybe its all the bright lights and pork products but even with the list I always forget something.

It’s my bad shopping skills that have prevented me from making the Bourke Street Bakery Flourless Chocolate cake. The first time I tried I forgot to buy milk, the second, I didn’t have yoghurt. This weekend though, I made an effort to tick everything off the list so that I would be able to give it a proper go.

Thanks to Ellie for adapting the recipe – I just added some of the conversions for those who don’t have kitchen scales. I need everything in cups!!I’ll also say that you need three big bowls for this, and if its anywhere near as hot as it was the day I baked, then try to clear some space on the top shelf of your fridge for them to sit before you start.

Bourke Street Bakery’s Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe
(Adapted from Bourke Street Bakery’s Cookbook)
Serves 12

You Need

260 g (9 1/4 oz) dark chocolate (55% cocoa), finely chopped
135 ml (4 1/2 fl oz) milk (just over half a cup)
40 g (1 1/2 oz) yoghurt (I used 3 tblspns)
4 eggs
105 g (3 3/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, for eggs (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
4 egg whites
160 g (5 3/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, for egg whites (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
135 ml (4 1/2 fl oz) pouring (whipping) cream (35% fat)
55 g (2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (1/2 cup)

You Need To

Preheat the oven to 150C (300F / Gas 2). Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper – the paper should protrude about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the tin.

Put the chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water – the bowl must be large enough to hold the whole cake mix. Allow the water in the saucepan to boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir the chocolate while it slowly melts.

Mmmm melted chocolate

Put the milk and yoghurt in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat – you should have a curdled milk mixture.
Put the eggs and the sugar for the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the eggs at medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is very light and has doubled in volume.

    The egg and sugar mixture

In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then slowly add the sugar for the whites, whisking until soft peaks form a shinny meringue. Be careful not to overwhisk. Place in the refrigerator.

Whisk the cream until soft peaks form and place in the refrigerator until needed.

You should have ready to fold together the melted chocolate, curdled milk, whipped eggs, meringue, whipped cream and cocoa powder. Pour the curdled milk into the chocolate and use a whisk to mix it in, then add the cocoa and whisk to completely incorporate.

Fold in the whipped eggs in three batches, making sure you completely incorporate the first batch before adding more – do not worry too much if you can still see streaks of eggs with the following batches.

Lightly fold the meringue into the whipped cream, taking care not to knock out too much air. Fold this into the chocolate mix in three batches, making sure you incorporate the first batch before adding more.

Using a spatula, scoop the cake batter into the prepared tin and tap it twice gently on the bench to even out the mix. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. (If you smell the cake cooking within the first 25 minutes your oven is too hot and you need to drop the temperature.)

This is the last photo I took of my ugly but tasty cake!

Friday Favourites #1 – Scanwiches and Singing!

March 19, 2010

I’ve been meaning to share more of my favourite things with you. It might be a meal I enjoyed during the week that doesn’t quite warrant a whole post, or something I have stumbled upon during my travels across the world wide interweb.

There are recipes I want to try, things I want to buy and also, sometimes some un-food related posts that I am so in love with that I want to share. So welcome to the inagural edition of Friday Favourites, with thanks to Miss J at Pixel and Post for the concept! It seems like a perfect way to kickstart the weekend!

In any case I hope you enjoy my Friday Favourites for this week:

  • Eat sandwiches often? I do. Ever thought of scanning it to share with the world? No. Luckily Scanwiches is a site that is full of ‘Scans of sandwiches for education and delight.’ Mmmm mmm.
  • Oh wow, this made me smile, a rendition of Phoenix’s Lisztomania by the PS22 Chorus (a group of primary school kids in New York) via Deb at the Debonaire.

I'm beaming after spending Sunday evening cleaning out my cupboards and drawers

  • I had to write out a recipe for my Roasted Pork Belly this morning, it reminded me of this wonderful eat-fest with the Malaysian Invasion.
  • An interesting introduction to fresh tumeric (I’m hoping to post a rendang recipe using fresh tumeric soon, stay posted!)
  • My tomatoes, of course. I’m a little obsessed.

Weeknight dinner, wontons, noodles and soup. Perfect for the Autumnal chilll and Call me Jose's flu

  • Following Maggie Alderson on twitter. She’s my current favourite, especially because I’m pretty sure she sends all of her followers a ‘thank you for following me’ direct message. What manners!!

Hope you have a delicious start to the weekend! I kicked off last weekend with a scone and a cup of tea with AG and the Editor, at Burnt Orange cafe, Mosman. This was our stunning view.

I love you, but what are you? My mystery tomatoes

March 17, 2010

I’ve written before about my emerging herb garden, the crowning glory of which are two tomato plants. You can see them in their infancy here and here.

I’m enjoying watching the tomatoes grow every day, I’ve got about ten on the plants now, with new flowers sprouting daily.

I do have one concern though…I don’t know what type of tomatoes they are. The seedlings were a leaving Newcastle gift from Mrs F who has also forgotten the type of seeds she planted (I forgive her, she’s got a three year old with the largest vocabulary in history, is studying her way to domination of the radio medium and makes a mean carrot cake without flinching…ok you’re right, the forgiveness has a lot to do with that carrot cake).

So, have you got a green thumb, or do you grow tomatoes at home? Could you tell me what type of tomatoes I’ve got on my vines and the best time to harvest them? Leave me a comment, email me, spell it out in jelly beans then take a photo and post that to me…just help me!!

In other herby news, my mint has recovered from multiple looper caterpillar invasions!

In the neighbouring pot, the rosemary, which I grew from a cutting of another rosemary plant, is also doing well and sprouting its own branches.

Success.

Tastes Like Home – The Best of Eating in Malaysia and Singapore #2

March 15, 2010

There are some meals that are so perfectly timed, it may inflate their deliciousness. Duh?! You might be thinking, everything tastes good when you’re hungry. True, but sometimes if you’ve eaten out a lot you’re just dying for a home cooked meal or if you’ve spent the day swimming at the beach some crispy battered chips will hit the spot.

I was initially worried that a plate I enjoyed at the end of my Sinapore trip suffered from a similar type of flavour bias. I found it in corner of a large, white and shiny foodcourt, Food Republic smack bang in the middle of Singapore’s Orchard Road shopping strip.  All of the traditional hawker centre feeds are in this food court, but it is definitely missing the rustic hawker centre feel. There’s a large TV screen playing on loop, interviews with the stallholders from around the  food court, the furniture is glistening new ikea-white with some stainless steel thrown in for that futuristic look.

It must get busy if you can reserve tables in the food court!

All of Food Republic’s modernism is contrasted by large, faux-rustic lanterns hanging from the ceiling and more importantly, when you close your eyes and bite into one of the dishes, it tastes just like home, or even better. It was my first choice  when Call me Jose started to fade in the early afternoon and I hadn’t finished my shopping yet.  You see, by the time we got to Singapore Call me Jose had eaten so many different Chinese/Malaysian/Singaporean foods in such great quantities that he had food fatigue (I didn’t even know this existed!) and had met so many of my relatives that he had people fatigue.

I was sure that some home-style food would buy me a couple more hours of Singaporean shopping bliss so couldn’t go past Hainanese Chicken Rice.

The chicken rice was from Sargeant’s Chicken Rice, founded by former chefs at the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong. It’s now, thankfully a chain store which pops up in various food courts around Singapore. As we waited for our rice we got to read an article extolling the virtues of Sargeant’s chicken rice, apparently after one bite we would be begging for more.

Hainanese chicken rice must be the greatest food ever. It has saved me on many occasions from throwing hunger related tantrums, convinced both Call me Jose’s mum and some very picky overseas relatives that I can cook Chinese food  and and it gives me a pretty perfect chicken stock, every time. This occasion was no different. Call me Jose was so happily fed afterward that we did a couple of hours more shopping, including quite a long visit to Topshop.

Not before I tried a green tea egg tart. Not bad, but I’ll stick to the traditional eggy type thanks, this one wasn’t that smooth and the green tea flavour took out some of the custardy richness that I usually associate with a good tan tart. It’s ok though, it gave me an excuse to come back for more!

Sargeant Chicken
Food Republic Food Court
Level 5
313 Orchard Road
Singapore

Chipping In – Thick Cut Oven Roasted Chips

March 12, 2010

Recently it was was International Women’s Day. Its a personal favourite of mine. I celebrated by having Call me Jose do the washing up and by reading fascinating stories about women everywhere.

Apart from this though,  I just can’t seem to get too excited about all of the “insert great cause awareness days” or “insert very fashionable cause awareness weeks” that happen all the time . So I was a bit of an awareness hater you could say. That was until I stumbled across this site.

Sure, it is a shameless marketing ploy for potatoes, or chips but National Chip Week?! I can’t believe I missed it. I might even have to move to the UK to celebrate this week properly, they really do love their chips over there.

Anyway, I took some inspiration from this site for my own take on thick cut chips.

Thick Cut Oven Roasted Chips

(makes enough for two people, as a side)

You Need

4 potatoes of decent size, I used nicola potatoes

Salt flakes (the good fancy kind)

A sprinkling of your favourite herbs and spices (I used smoked paprika, dried oregano and garlic)

Olive oil

You Need To

Peel the potatoes and then slice them lengthways into 2cm slices. Then slice these into 1.5-2cm pieces.

Rinse the potato slices and then dry them on a paper towel.

Lay them flat onto a non-stick baking tray or a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Sprinkle salt (generously) and herbs and spices over potatoes and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast in a 200C oven for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how crisp you want them), turning regularly to ensure even cooking. Try not to eat all of the chips during the cooking process.

Enjoy.

I served the chips up with a rack of lamb, marinated in garlic and rosemary as well as a salad, to appease the heart attack gods.

I Love #2 – The Sporkful

March 11, 2010

This may come as no surprise to any of you but I’m not particularly cool. My current uber nerd favourite activity is finding about new podcasts and listening to them, get this, in my car, when I am driving during a time where none of my favourite AM radio shows are playing.

You might be wondering what my middle aged listening habits have to do with my or your stomach, but today I listened to two new podcasts (I had a little time to kill on the road) which I love equally but only one managed to make me drool as I negotiated the peak hour rush. Enter, the Sporkful.

The premise of the podcast is really just taking one eating experience and talking about it in the most intricate detail. We’re not talking deconstructed foods or 10 course degustations but things that happen everyday, in the kitchens of normal people (well normal American people). It’s about guilty pleasures, with subsequent editions are about popcorn, french fries and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Well, I should probably say that the podcast is really really American the first episode is about ‘grilled cheese(s)’, which I subsequently found out are cheese sandwiches covered in butter and fried in a skillet rather than what I envisaged when I heard ‘grilled cheese’ being cheese on toast put under the griller in the oven! Dan and Mark the hosts are loveable food enthusiasts who will banter about whether cheese with pepperoni in it (YES OMG, I must find this cheese!!) is acceptable as part of a grilled cheese. Swoon. I love it, they sound like my internal dialogue, or a conversation between myself and the Malaysian Invasion. Plus, I just love the idea of a grilled cheese, what have I been doing not frying my sandwiches up until today??* What a chump.

So what are you waiting for, download and digest the Sporkful!!

You can download it or listen online here and follow the blog here.