Why am I forever behind my blogging? Every time I cooked or baked something, I would very eagerly take down the pictures before they're gone. But when it comes to blogging, I seem to be taking forever.
Here's some of what I've done for the past week.
Chicken in Vinegar 鸡醋
The pig trotters in vinegar is one of my favourite confinement dish that I could eat everyday during my confinement. This is a variation of that, minus the gingers to eliminate the heatiness. I use chicken drumsticks instead and cook for about 1.5 hrs. It was very yummy, even the kids love it, especially Karina. She asked for more meat after finishing her dinner.
Baked Beef Stew
I learnt the above from a fellow forum member. The special thing about this stew is, you use the oven to bake it slowly, hence producing juicy meat and absolutely yummy stew. The aroma started to emit from the oven after about an hour and my tummy started complaining! The cut of meat is very important for a tender stew, choose meat with a little fat in between. I find that baking for at least 3 hrs is the best if you like your veges to be on the softer side. The advantage of making stew in the oven is, you do not have to worry about the sauce drying up as all is enclosed in the pot. However, do use a large pot and fill only up to about 70% of the pot or the juice will overflow when it starts to boil, which happens to me and I had a hard time cleaning the oven. Another tip is to place the pot on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil for easy cleaning in case of spilling.
Did these on Sun when Kat and her family came over for dinner. I had been wanting to try these ever since seeing them in KC. I did a little variation. I mixed a little Kentucky flour into my own-made self-raising flour for a tastier fritters. The kids love them. They're tasty, but I'm still wondering why they're not crispy.
Cheesy Luncheon Buns
Finally I did buns yesterday after a long, long break from bread. It was an impromptu decision. I woke up in the morning feeling a little free after sending son off to school (a rare feeling ever since I became the royal maid, maybe I'm becoming more efficient? lol...). Decided to make bread as I really miss the bread making feeling. I wanted to test my new mixer (not the high power KitchenAid) to see if I can knead dough with it. Well, it's not supposed to be able to take the kind of constant kneading stress. I read the manual, it says to stop for a while after constant usage for 5 mins. Bearing that in mind, I gave the machine a few stops intermittently to ensure it did not die from overheating. It wasn't performing very well and was a little shaky when the dough passed through the hooks. Maybe really a little too much for the machine to handle though it was a small dough. So I ended up hand kneading the bread after about 10 mins.
There was another uncertainty. I wasn't sure if the yeast is still working. I had mixed a little yeast with warm water a few days ago to test if it's still viable. No bubbling. I was wondering if the yeast is dead. But I decided to take the risk to test it out rather than guessing. I was very relieved when I see the dough rising.
The recipe was from a new bread book which Gina had bought back for me, all the way from Hong Kong. Thanks Gina! I love the book! The author, who is also a mother, loves to make bread for her girl. The good thing about her recipe is, the portion is small, very suitable for small family consumption. So will have more excuses to make bread...lol...
If you're thinking the idea of using seaweed to decorate bread is fantastic, the credit goes to the author. The pictures were cut using paper cutter (which I got from Popular). I was immediately sold when I saw her pictures and just had to try them. The bread tasted fine, but the luncheon I had used (I used SPAM Cheese Luncheon) was too salty, or maybe I had been too generous to put a big piece in each bun.
If you love bread, give this a try. The dough is manageable and not too wet.
195g bread flour
3g instant yeast
100g warm water
18g egg (leave remaining for egg wash)
9 pieces of luncheon meat
a few slices of ready-to-eat nori
1. Combine all ingredients (except butter) to form a dough.
2. Transfer to working top and knead until dough is smooth.
3. Add butter and continue kneading until membrane stage.
4. Roll dough into ball and leave, covered, in a greased bowl for proofing (about 45 mins) to double its size.
5. When proofing is done, divide dough into 9 portions. Roll into balls and leave, covered, for 10 mins.
6. Knead each ball into teardrop shape. Roll out dough thinly.
7. Place a luncheon meat at the wider end. Roll up the dough with closing edge facing downwards.
8. Place dough on lined baking tray, covered, for second proofing.
9. When dough has risen to twice its original size, brush surface gently with egg wash.
10. Stick on nori as decoration. Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 14-18 mins (my oven requires 25 mins).