Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

cheese garlic biscuitIs it just me or it is hard to get back to posting after a very long weekend? Well, Thanksgiving was good. Our friends, Shirley and Kevin came to celebrate it with us. We did not have any turkey this year but that does not mean we did not have lots of food. We had hot roast beef sandwiches, Cheesy Garlic Biscuits, sushi, potato salad, coleslaw, yeemee noodles and even a few vodka shots. ;)

I don't really fancy biscuits but Michael loves them especially the ones at Red Lobster. He could just eat those Cheesy Garlic Biscuits and nothing else and he is a happy camper. Very easy. So for Thanksgiving, I decided to make some. I found the recipe at and decided to give it a try. I'm glad everybody liked them. It is easy to make and goes well with the hot roast beef sandwiches.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits Recipe
Makes 12


*** Burst21 is a game made by my husband during his spare time. Please do extend your support to the game. Thank you all!

****Chef's note: I made these again last night but using Jiffy's Baking Mix. The result is almost the same. So if you can't find Biscuit Mix, you can always use baking mix or maybe even pancake mix. Good luck!

1 pack buttermilk biscuit mix (I used Bisquick, about 1 1/2cups)
1 1/2cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oregano (you can omit or use less)
3/4 tsp garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray cooking sheet with non-stick spray.

2. Put biscuit mix, cheese and milk in a bowl and mix well to form a sticky dough.

3. Using spoon, drop lumps of dough onto cookie sheets 1.5in apart. Bake for 10min.

4. In a bowl, melt butter and mix with oregano and garlic salt.

5. When the timer goes off, take them out and brush with butter mixture and bake 5min at 400F and another 5-6min at 350F.

6. Transfer into a plate and serves immediately.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Please Give Me a Name

Update: From all the suggestions received, I have decided to pick the one given by Jun of IndochineKitchen which is Frankly Onion. This dish is officially called Frankly Onion.

Thank you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

My friend invited us to a potluck farewell party yesterday at their place in Anaheim. 2 of our friends, Ping and Rachel are moving to Minnesota because Rachel got a job offer teaching at the university there. She had asked me to bring Mango Apple Salad which I did but I also wanted to bring something else. I really didn't know what to bring until it donned on me that we have a few packets of beef franks in the freezer.

They are served at the bar as snacks and I really do not know what it is called or what I should call it. That is why I need your help to give a name to these snacks. Until it is given a name, it shall remain as a 'name-less' dish but not recipe-less. These are good for parties or if you just want to snack on something but without too much work. If you are making these for kids, just omit the chili.

Frankly Onion
serves 3-4

1 packet beef franks, cut diagonally
1 onion, sliced
1 red chili, sliced
Sugar to taste

1. In a pan or wok, sauteed the beef franks on high heat.

2. Add onion and chili. Stir until soft.

3. Add sugar and taste.

4. Transfer to a plate and serve hot.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Swiss Souffle Potatoes

baked potato souffleLooking at my my blog entries it seems like I only make asian or Malaysian dishes. Well, that is not entirely true since Michael doesn't really eat my food so everytime I cook something for myself, I will cook something western for him like here, here and here.

Recently we went to Ross and I found this cooking book called Best-Ever 500 Recipes. They might have 500 recipes but typical me, I would only try to make something if 1) I have the ingredients or at least substitute with something that I already have 2) its easy to make 3) its something that either one of us would like. So I chose to make these Swiss Souffle Potatoes and they turned out so good I wish I had made more.

Swiss Souffle Potatoes
serves 2

2 baking potatoes (about 1lb)
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (I used mozzarella)
1/4 cup herb butter (I used regular butter)
2 tbsp double/heavy cream (I used evaporated milk)
1 egg, separated
salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Scrub the potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 1-1.5hrs or until tender. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350F.

3. Halves potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Place the potato shells on a baking sheet and return to the oven to crisp up while making the filling.

4. Mash the potato flesh, add cheese, butter and egg yolk. Mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Whisk white egg until stiff and carefully fold into the potato mixture. Pile the mixture back into the potato shells and bake for 20-25min until risen and golden brown.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crab in Spicy Plum Sauce

crab plum sauceSeafood is plenty here in California but being Asian, there is only so much of steamed seafood with butter or seafood in creamy sauce that I can take before I am craving for that spicy, sweet and sour seafood. Not to mention that it is also very pricey to eat seafood out in the restaurant.

For our 4th anniversary last month, we went to the Joe's Crab Shack. The crab legs are pretty good but somehow it does not satisfy my crave for crabs. So later in the week, we headed off to the asian supermarket and got me 2 huge dungeness (i think!) crabs for less than $4/lb. I would normally make sweet and sour crab but this time I decided to use the plum sauce that I bought and was very happy with the result.

Crab in Spicy Plum Sauce
serves 1-2

1 crab, cleaned, separate the claws and half the body
8-10 thai chili
1in ginger
3 garlic
1 shallot
7 tbsp plum sauce
1/3 cup water
salt and sugar
1 egg, slightly whisked
2 tbsp veggie oil

1. Pound thai chili, ginger, garlic and shallot until it forms a paste.

2. In a wok or deep pan, heat the oil on medium heat and sauteed the paste until fragrant.

3. Add water, plum sauce, salt and sugar. Stir and taste to your liking.

4. Add in the crab, turn the heat to high. Flip the crab until all covered with sauce. Cover. 1min.

5. Uncover, flip the crab again and add in the egg. Turn the heat off and keep flipping the crab until they are all covered with the egg.

6. Serve immediately with white rice or toast.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Portuguese Egg Tarts

I was hooked on these scrumptious Portuguese Egg Tart eversince the first time Rasa Malaysia made them for me. Everytime we meet up for makan (eating) session, I will request her to make them. So many times that she told me to request for something else beside egg tarts. haha.

Dan's Chocolates

I did not own the mini muffin pan until a few weeks ago when I found them at Walmart selling for 4.99 which is a real bargain so I grabbed one. Last weekend we were invited to a birthday party in Temecula and I decided to use it and make some Portuguese Egg Tarts. The first try was as usual a disaster. Instead of using 1 box of pastry mix, I used 2 so you can imagine how thick the crust was! The next morning we rushed to the supermarket and got another box of pie crust mix and finally they turned out so so good.

Portuguese Egg Tarts
makes 24 in mini muffin pan

A. Crust
1 box Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix 11oz
3 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup cold water

B. Filling
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup milk
1 tspn vanilla essence

1. Stir ingredients A in a bowl until it forms a big ball. On a floured surface, roll the dough and cut into 24 little balls.

2. Butter the muffin pan or you can also use pam. Preheat the oven to 200F.

3. Flatten the balls and try to mould/shape them to fit into the muffin pan using your fingers before you actually fit them into the pan. Once all 24 are ready, set aside.

4. Put all ingredients B in the blender and beat for 3-4 minutes. Strain using a strainer into a measurement cup for easy pouring. Fill them into the crust about 80% full.

5. Turn up the heat to 375F and bake for 25min or until the filling start turning a little bit brownish.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catfish In Spicy Coconut Broth / Ikan Keli Masak Lemak Cili Padi

I made Ulam Pegaga in my last post and promised that I was going to post the recipe for Catfish in Spicy Coconut Broth or Ikan Keli Masak Lemak Cili Padi. This dish is common in Negri Sembilan, 1 of the states in Malaysia. People from that state basically eat very very spicy food. As much I love spicy food, I dont think I can ever eat like them. Mine is very mild compared to how they are usually made.

The last time I made Masak Lemak Cili Padi was with crabs and that was like maybe a year ago. After seeing Roz of Home Creation using catfish in her dish and MamaFami cooked Masak Lemak Cili Padi, I decided to cook this dish using the catfish that I have.

Ikan Keli Masak Lemak Cili Padi
serves 2-3

1 whole catfish, cut and cleaned (you can also use filet)
7-8 thai chili, pounded (more or less depending on how spicy you want them to be)
Fresh turmeric, pounded (alternatively use 1 tbsp turmeric powder)
1 stick of lemongrass, bruised
3/4 can coconut milk (400ml)
1/2 cup water
Salt and sugar to taste

1. Put all the ingredients in a pot on medium low heat. Keep stirring.

2. When it is about to boil, add in the fish. Flip the fish once or twice until it is cooked.

3. Served with warm white rice together with Ulam Pegaga with Sambal Belacan.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Pennywort Leaves Salad / Ulam Pegaga with Sambal Belacan

Ulam is a Malay word meaning eating vegetables raw and bitter. Sambal Belacan is sambal (chili paste) with belacan (fermented shrimp paste). For Malaysian in general and Malay in particular, ulam with sambal belacan is eaten as a side dish together with white rice and other dishes. These are all spread like a buffet and enjoy by the whole family together for lunch or dinner.

Finding a typical leaves for ulam here in the USA is of course not an easy task. They are of course the usual 'suspects' that I usually use for my ulam here like cucumber and cabbage. Others like petai (stinky beans), ulam raja (wild cosmos) and kacang botol (winged bean) are not easily available. But I am pretty lucky since the Asian community in California is huge and ulam pegaga or pennywort leaves is plenty at the asian supermarket.

You can eat them just like that with sambal belacan or you can make a salad. Today I am going to show you how to make the salad.

Pennywort Leaves Salad

A bunch of pennywort leaves, rinsed and chopped/sliced
2-3 tbsp grated coconut

Sambal Belacan

4-5 red chilies
2-3 thai chilies
1 tsp belacan
1.5 tbsp sugar
A pinch of salt

1. Put the chopped pennywort leaves and grated coconut in a bowl.

2. Pound all the ingredients for sambal belacan in mortar and pestle or you can also use food processor.

3. Transfer the sambal belacan into the bowl and mix well.

4. Serves with warm white rice and other dishes.

I also made catfish in spicy coconut broth to go with my rice and ulam which I will post the recipe next. Please do come back for that recipe soon.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Eid Open House Menu 4 - Chicken Soto / Soto Ayam

chicken soto
It is already the month of November. Today is my Big-Day. And the whole world is waiting for it. Of course for a totally different reason but it is nevertheless, still exciting. For this special day, I thought I would post my chicken soto recipe. I think it is rather appropriate since it is raining today and having some soupy dish when it rains is just so good. Of course, Soto is just good regardless of the weather condition.

soto ayamChicken Soto or Soto Ayam is what this is normally called. It comes in a set of rice cake and soup, garnishes with shredded chicken, sweet chili soy sauce, bean sprout and bergedil. However, I did not make any bergedil since I already had so much food. Back home, you can find a ready-made chicken soto paste which is called 'sop bonjot' but I never used it. I find the result to be too watery and not to my liking. So if there is 1 thing that I make from scratch, soto ayam is it.

I learned to make soto ayam from my aunt in Johor. That was 1 of the many dishes served during Eid. Once I have mastered (*wink*) the know-how to make soto ayam, it became my duty to make them for our yearly Eid openhouse. I have even had to make them for my friend's openhouse and my cousin's openhouse. Of course then when I made soto ayam, it would be for like 100 people and no measurements required. Everything is by-ear measurement. Now that I am married and living away from home, I learned to make it in smaller portion and with measurement so I can share them with other people.

Chicken Soto / Soto Ayam
serves 2-3

1 piece chicken thigh,bone-in (u can also use 2 pieces for this recipe)
4 cardamon seed
4 cloves
2 star anise
2in cinnamon stick
4-5 tablespoon oil1/2 cup santan (coconut milk)

B. (Blended)
4 shallots
1 onion
4 garlic
2in ginger

Rice cake / Ketupat
Fried tung hoon - fried and crushes (optional)
Fried shallot

1. In a pot, heat the oil and add the cardamon, cloves, star anise and cinnamon. Stir for about 1-2 min.

2. Add in B and stir for another 4-5min.

3. Add in the chicken and water enough to cover the chicken, (about 1.5-3 cups). 2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp sugar. Keep flipping the chicken and continue boiling for abt 15-20min. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out and let it cool down.

4. Add another cup of water and the coconut milk. (The blended ingredients and coconut milk will make the soup thicker and that is wht we want. So make sure you dont add too much water.

5. Let it boil and then only you add more salt and sugar to taste.

6. Shred the chicken and put the bones back in the soup. You can also put the shredded chicken meat back into the soup if you like.

Chili Soy Sauce

4-5 thai chili (more if you like it spicier)
Sweet soy sauce (I use habhal brand)
Lime juice

Pound thai chili using mortar and pestle. If you are making a lot, you can use the blender. Add in the rest of the ingredients

Soto Ayam - Guest Blogging

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