Friday, May 23, 2008

Whimsical Vermicelli - Truly delicious pasta from the different corners of the world




Interesting Facts about Vermicelli

Are thin white slightly transparent rice noodles wound into a skein shape.

How and why this italian pasta got incorporated into the indian cuisine is not known and it is probable that the name was borrowed and applied to a similar product already in existence in India. Muslims consider the month of Ramadan as the holiest in their calendar. Austerity reigns in every home and the devout keep a fast from sunrise until sunset. A traditional sweet to eat after moonrise in Ramadan is made of fine vermicelli milk saffron and nuts.

Like all pasta vermicelli is made from wheatflour/ The dough is passed through machines with perforated cylinders which shape it into fine needles. These are fan or oven dried until hard and carefully packed to avoid breakage. Sometimes they are sold broken or roasted

As the name suggests vermicelli is worm like. It is fine hard pale beige in colour and sold in stick measurlng nearly 30cm. Venmicelli has a pleasant biscuit like aroma and taste which develops when it is fried in ghee or roasted.

Packed in cellophane or cardboard verrnicelli is widely available. It should keep well for 4 to 5 months.

culinary uses
Vermicelli milk pudding is extremely popular all over India. Vemmicelli also makes lovely addition to clear soup and some stews. It makes a great quick snack

Japanses Vermicelli


Translating as "spring rain," harusame are Japanese noodles made from soybean, rice or potato flour. They're available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Harusame are also called CELLOPHANE NOODLES and Japanese vermicelli.

Spanish Vermicelli Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 lb vermicelli (angel hair nests). Vermicelli usually comes in 1 lb packages, so about 1/2 a package.
1/2 cup olive or grape seed oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper

Method

1 In a 9-inch frying pan (with lid), fry the vermicelli on both sides in hot oil until golden brown in color. Remove from pan.



2 In the same oil, brown the minced onion, add the chopped tomato. Add chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3 When broth is boiling, add vermicelli and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the vermicelli has soaked up the liquid, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

Sesame and Cilantro Vermicelli Salad Recipe


Ingredients
Honey Soy Dressing
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or corn oil
3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or chili powder
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce (less if using tamari which is more concentrated than soy sauce)

Salad
8 ounces of vermicelli, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
Salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced and chopped red bell pepper
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Method
1 Cook the pasta in a large saucepan in salted boiling water, according to directions on pasta package. Drain but do not rinse.

2 While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the vegetable oil, sesame oil, and red pepper, in the microwave on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the honey and soy sauce and mix well.

3 Combine the drained pasta with the dressing in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Cover and chill for several hours.

4 When ready to serve, mix in the cilantro, peanuts, green onions and bell pepper. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Baked Vermicelli

Ingredients :

4 oz Vermicelli cooked and drained
4 tbl Butter
4 tbl Flour
1/4 cup Onion finely diced
16 oz Evoporated Skim Milk (3 small cans)
4 oz Colbyjack Cheese grated
4 oz Parmesan Cheese grated
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
3 dsh Tabasco Sauce
1 dsh White Pepper
1 dsh Cayenne Pepper
1 dsh Ground Nutmeg
2 x Eggs beaten
1/3 x To 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs

Method :
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain and place into a baking dish that has been buttered, oiled or sprayed with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a sauce pan, and add onions and saute until transparent. Add flour to make a roux and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the milk and stir until hot. Remove about a cup of the milk and set aside. Add the cheeses to the saucepan and continue stirring untill the cheese has melted.

Add the spices. Gradually add the eggs to the cooled reserved milk and beat until the eggs are incorporated.

Stirring continuously, add the eggs to the saucepan a little at a time. Continue stirring and cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Pour the cheese sauce over the vermicelli and sprinkle withe the breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown on top.

For a really neat looking dish, do a crust of breadcrumbs by layering the bottom and sides of the baking dish with beaten egg followed by a layer of breadcrumbs. Repeat several times. Then bake and unmold onto a serving plate.

Dry Sweet Vermicelli ( Sevian Sanja )

Ingredients :

4 tbl ghee
4 tbl raisins
4 tbl flaked almonds
300 gm vermicelli broken into short lengths
60 gm caster sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder

Method :
Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the raisins and the almonds until golden.

Remove with a slotted spoon.

In the same ghee fry the vermicelli until golden without allowing it to brown.

Add the sugar and mix well.

Sprinkle in a few drops of water stir and cook until soft adding a little water as necessary.

Take off the heat and stir in the cardamom powder.

The dish should be dry.

Serve warm garnished with the fried raisins and almonds.

Can be made richer with the addition of ghee and nuts.

Fried Vermicelli Noodles



Ingredients :

300 gm flour vermicelli noodles or 'mein seen'
100 gm small prawns - shelled
25 gm carrots - shredded
2 x Chinese black mushrooms - sliced thinly
50 gm white cabbage ('wong ngah pak')
25 gm bean sprouts
1/2 tbl chopped garlic
Seasoning:
1 tbl oyster sauce
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 dsh monosodium glutamate
1 dsh pepper
1 x salt to taste
Enough water or stock


Method:
HEAT enough oil in a wok and deep-fry vermicelli (a bundle at a time) until golden. Remember that vermicelli turns golden very fast, in a matter of seconds. Remove and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Plunge deep-fried vermicelli into a basin of cold water then drain well in a colander. (This is to remove the oil from the vermicelli.)

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in the wok and saute garlic until light brown. Add the prawns and all the vegetables and stir-fry well. Stir in vermicelli. Mix in seasoning and enough water or stock. Stir-fry well. Dish out and serve.

Footnote: This dish should come out rather damp but not soggy.

Serves 4

Kashmir Beef on Vermicelli

Ingredients :

500 gm Tenderbeef steak, eg rump, porterhouse or schnitzel
1 lrg kumara, peeled and diced finely
1 x capsicum, chopped
1 cup Wattie's stirfry vegetables
1 jar Sharwood's Korma cooking sauce
1/2 x 400 g can Samoa coconut cream
1 pkt San Remo vermicelli
1 tbl First Choice olive oil

Method :
Cook the pasta in boiling water until just tender.

Slice the Tenderbeef into small strips.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the beef and brown well.

Add the capsicum and stirfry vegetables, toss through to combine.

Mix together the cooking sauce and coconut cream.

Add to the meat and vegetables. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta and serve with the rich, fragrant beef over the top.

Add lemon slices and coriander leaves.

Kheer [Vermicelli Pudding]

Ingredients :

1 stk butter
2 handf very fine vermicelli
4 cup Milk
1 pt Whipping cream
1 handf raisins
3 tbl Sugar
4 x Almonds (optional) peeled
And thinly slice

Method :
1. Melt butter in 4 qt. pot
2. Break vermicelli into 3 inch pieces. Over low heat stir vermicelli into butter till it turns lightly brown.
3. Pour in the milk and stir over medium heat till the milk boils.
4. Put in the raisins, almonds and sugar.
5. Continue to cook under low heat for 10 minutes.
6. Add whipping cream and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
7. Remove from heat and when cool, chill in the refrigerator before serving


Mango Salsa Over Vermicelli

Ingredients :

8 oz Vermicelli or other fine
Strand pasta
1 3/4 cup Diced mangoes
3/4 cup Diced sweet red peppers
1/2 cup Diced red onions
1/2 cup Diced sweet green peppers
3 tbl Olive oil
3 tbl Lemon juice
2 tsp Crushed garlic
1/2 cup Chopped corander or parsley

Method :
1. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package instruction or until firm to the bite. Rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.

2. In bowl of food processor, combine mangoes, and all other ingrediants.

Process on and off just until finely diced. Pour over pasta; serve at room temperature.

TIP: Use a ripe sweet mango for a more intense flavor. If unripe, mangoes are unpleasantly sour. I have used papaya instead of mangoes. Make ahead))) Prepare salsa early in the day and refrigerate.

This will also allow it to develope more flavor.) Pour over pasta just before serving.

Vermicelli Pie
Ingredients :

6 oz Vermicelli
2 tbl Butter or margarine
1/3 cup Grated parmesan cheese
2 x Eggs, well beaten
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup Chopped onion
1/4 cup Chopped green pepper
8 oz Can stewed tomatoes
Undrained
1 x (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3/4 tsp Dried whole oregano
1/2 tsp Garlic salt
1 cup Cream-style cottage cheese
1/2 cup (about
2 oz ) shredded mozzarella
8 x To 12 pepperoni slices

Method :
Cook vermicelli according to package directions; drain. Stir butter and Parmesan cheese into hot vermicelli. Add eggs, stirring well. Spoon into a greased 10-inch pieplate. Use a spoon to shape noodles into a pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 9 minutes or until set.Combine beef, onion, and green pepper in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble; drain well. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Spread cottage cheese evenly over pie shell. Top with meat sauce.

Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; sprinkle with mozzarella, and top with pepperoni. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8servings.

Spicy Meatballs with Tomato Vermicelli

Ingredients :

(Indonesian)
500 gm minced beef
1 cup mashed potato
2 tsp sambal oelek
1 tbl light soy sauce
1 tbl ground coriander
1 x teaspoongrean ground cumin
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 x egg lightly beaten
1/4 cup peanut oil
Tomato vermicelli
425 gm can tomatoes crushed
1 cup water
1 x onion chopped
2 clv garlic crushed
1 tbl light soy sauce
100 gm vermicelli

Method :
Combine beef in a bowl with potato sambal oelek soy sauce coriander cumin cardamom nutmeg and egg.

Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls.

Heat oil in a frying pan add meatballs in a single layer fry on all sides over medium heat until cooked through.

Drain on absorbent paper.


To make Tomato Vermicelli:

Combine undrained crushed tomatoes water onion garlic and soy sauce m a pan bring to the boil reduce heat to low simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add vermicelli simmer for 3 minutes or until vermicelli is soft.
Serve with meatballs.

Serves 4

Vermicelli upma
vermicelli - 1 cup,
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp,
urud dal - 1/2 tsp,
gram dal - 1/2 tsp,
asafoetida - a pinch,
red chillies - 2,
oil - 5 tsp,
curry leaves - a bunch,
onion - 1 (optional)

Roast vermicelli in ghee/oil for 2 min until it becomes slightly white in color. Heat oil, add mustard seeds.
When it pops, add red chilies, urud dal, gram dal and asafoetida.Add curry leaves and finely chopped onions.
Add the roasted vermicelli .
Now add 2 cups water and leave it covered in low heat. Stir occasionally and cook until it becomes soft.
Roast cashews in little ghee and add it to the upma.
Serve hot
If onions are not added you may have to add 2 1/4 cups of water instead of 2 cups..



Now a vermicelli dish with a History!

Vermicelli Alla Sangiovannello (Midsummer Eve's Pasta

Ingredients :

3 x Salted anchovies or 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 x Garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Fresh red ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 sm Dried hot red chile pepper or 1/4, OR
1/4 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbl Capers
1/3 x Pitted and chopped black or green olives
2/3 cup Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt to taste
1 lb Spaghetti, vermicelli, or penne

Method :
If you are using salted anchovies, rinse them thoroughly under running water and strip away their bones. Then chop them coarsely. (If you are using oil-packed anchovy fillets, simply chop them.)

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, gently sweat the garlic in the oil. When the garlic is soft, add the anchovies and cook, stirring with a fork and pressing the anchovies to dissolve them in the oil.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook just long enough to soften them and release their juices. Add black pepper and, if you wish, the pepper flakes, and cook a few minutes more to blend the flavors. Stir in any of or all of the other possible ingredients - capers, olives, and parsley, reserving a little parsley for a garnish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Drop in the pasta and cook until almost done - about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and turn it into the pan with the sauce. Stir to mix well and let the pasta finish cooking in the sauce, another 2 minutes. Turn into a heated serving bowl, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

In years past, on the night of June 24, the Feast of St. John or San Giovanni, true Baresi celebrated midsummer's eve by taking their tables outside and dining in the streets or on overhanging balconies from which they could call to each other and carry on conversations and flirtations.

"True" Baresi are denizens of the old town, living in the crowded warren of narrow streets and alleys and overarching white-washed walls that still curls like a North African medina around the harbor's edge beside the beautiful twelfth-century church of the city's protector, St. Nicholas of Nyra, now of Bari. (Even among themselves, the Baresi have a reputation for thievery so it's not at all surprising that they seem to have entered Christian history in the year 1087, when a group of Barese businessmen of the time stole into the Greek city of Myra on Turkey's Agean coast and made off with the relics of the local saint, Nicholas, whom they later set up as the patron of Bari. And, yes, he was the original Santa Claus.)

On this, the longest (or almost) night of the year, the traditional dish served is vermicelli, spaghetti, or penne with a simple sauce of oil, garlic, anchovies, and tomatoes. Some add capers, some hot chile peppers and parsley, some olives, either black or green, but the basic idea is a quick, fresh, simple dish that celebrates the flavors of summer.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's day wish list.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone.

My mom passed away many years ago and although I miss her terribly, I Thank God for being born to her and having been allowed to spend 25 years of my life with her.

She was a wonderful, loving and caring person. If I were to describe her in one word, that would be "Patient".

Although she had brought up a brood of 6 kids, I had never heard her speak 1 harsh word. (Which really amazes me, when I think back, as I keep having to use "Harsh" words on my 4 kids to keep them in line).

She was a conservative and traditional Indian Muslim woman, born in Penang, Malaysia and migrated to Singapore upon her marriage to my dad.

She was a wonderful cook and I'm listing down many of my favourite dishes made by her. There is a proverb in Tamil which means "No one can cook as well as mom". I'm sure every child will feel this way about her mother's cooking. For me, this is definitely true. I hope my kids would feel this way about my cooking too.

Every Hari Raya, literally translated would mean "Big Day" which is a muslim festive day celebrated twice a year, we have Puttu Mayam with Chicken curry for breakfast. Nowadays, its even possible to buy pre-cooked Puttu Mayam in packets of 10, and having chicken curry is no big deal. But for me, that combination always bring back the memory of those sweet ole days when I was a child. ( My second elder brother, Razak hated to eat anything other than rice with curry. So he always used to eat the Puttu Mayam with red sugar and ground coconut. That's a yummy combination too.)

Here is a picture of how my brother likes to eat his Puttu Mayam
Puttu Mayam

Puttu Mayam

Ingredients

250g rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
325ml (approximately) boiling water
2 pandan leaves, knotted

Method
Steam the rice flour for about five minutes, then leave aside to cool completely.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add boiling water; mix. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture into a dough. (It should be light and not sticky to the touch.)

Put a little dough into a puttu mayam press or string-hopper mould. Onto a saucer, press out the dough into long strands in a circular motion to form a lacy circle.

Place the pressed-out circles on lightly greased rattan steamer trays. Steam for eight to 10 minutes over rapidly boiling water (place the pandan leaves in the boiling water).

Cool the puttu mayam before easing out from the rattan tray.



Curry Chicken
Curry Chicken

• 1.5kg chicken
• 4-5 tbsp oil
• 1 Bombay onion, sliced
• 3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
• 2 Pandan leaves
• 1 Star anise
• 6 cloves
• 2 Cardomons
• 4-5cm cinnamon stick
• 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed
• 500ml water
• 350ml thick coconut milk
• 250g potatoes, peeled and cubed

Spices – mix together
• 3 tbsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp turmeric powder
• 1 tsp coriander powder
• 1 tsp cumin powder
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp ginger paste
• Salt to taste

Clean chicken well and chop into 10-12 fairly large pieces. Heat oil in a pot and stir-fry onion, pandan leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardommons, cloves, lemongrass and green chillies until fragrant. Add mixed spices and fry over low heat till oil separates.
Put in chicken to mix and stir in potatoes. Pour in water and cook covered, until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and tender.

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Idli with potato chutney is my most favourite breakfast dish. My brother, Nagoor, always use to tease me because I used to dunk the idli in the chutney. So although I ate only two idlies, I used up the most chutney :)


Idli
Idli

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup Rice
• 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Daana)
• 1/2 Urad Dal
• Salt to taste
• A pinch of Soda Bi-Carb


How to make Idli:
• Soak urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds in water, for about 5 hours.
• After due time, grind the soaked ingredients in a mixer to make a paste.
• Now leave the paste aside, for about 8 hours.
• Afterwards, add soda bi-carb and salt to the paste.
• Pour the mixture into the cavities of Idli Stand.
• Expose Idli Stand to steam for few minutes in a cooker or closed vessel.
• Then, carefully take out the stand and cut out the idlis, using a spoon.
• Repeat the procedure for the remaining mixture.
• Idlis are ready. Serve them with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Potato Chutney

Ingredients:

• 2 Potatoes
• 1 Onion
• 1/2 Cup peas (optional)
• 3 tbsp Oil
• 1 tsp Mustard seeds
• 2 tsp Black gram
• 1 tsp Turmeric powder
• Curry leaves
• 1 Red chilly
• 2 Green chillies
• Salt to taste
• Sugar, a pinch
• Coriander leaves for garnishing
• Grated coconut for garnishing


• Cut the onions and green chilies into long and thin pieces.
• Boil the potatoes. Peel and mash them.
• Heat oil and add mustard seeds, black gram, curry leaves, red chilly, green chillies and turmeric powder.
• When it splutters, add onions and fry until translucent.
• Combine peas and fry for few minutes.
• Add mashed potatoes to it.
• Now mix salt and sugar to the potatoes.
• Garnish with coconut and coriander leaves.

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I just love this combination of food. Dal, Rasam, Sambal Ikan Billis and papaddum with white rice.

Tomato Rasam
Tomato Rasam

Ingredients:

• 1 kg Tomatoes
• 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
• 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
• 3 tbsp Tamarind water
• 2 Pinches turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Lemon juice
• Salt to taste

Make masala powder of:
• 1 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
• 1 tsp Cumin seeds
• 8 Peppercorns


How to make Tomato Rasam:
• Roast the peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds for a minute.
• Grind them into a masala powder.
• Chop the tomatoes into halves and put in 8 glasses of boiling water.
• Mix the remaining ingredients and masala powder.
• Boil again for 10 minutes.
• Squeeze the tomatoes with the help of a spoon.
• Boil for another 10 minutes.
• Tomato Rasam is ready. Garnish it with chopped coriander.

Tuvar Dal
Tuvar Dal
Happy Mother's Day everyone :)

Ingredients:

• 1 Cup split red gram
• 1 Tomato chopped finely
• 2 tbsp Oil
• 4 Cups water
• 1 tsp Mustard seeds
• 1 tsp Cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp Finely chopped ginger
• 2 Green chillies slit
• 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
• 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Lemon juice
• Jaggery and salt to taste
• 4 Curry leaves


How to make Tuvar Dal:
• Soak the split tuvar dal in water for about an hour.
• Combine turmeric powder, salt and a drop of oil to the gram along with the water in which it was soaked.
• Heat over medium flame until it comes to a boil.
• Now reduce the heat and cook it for 20 minutes, until the gram is fully cooked.
• Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and then asafoetida.
• Fry over medium heat for about 2 minutes till the seeds splutter.
• Mix this with the cooked red gram and let it come to a simmer.
• Add rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.


SAMBAL IKAN BILIS
Chilli Anchovies

Ingredients
½ cup dried anchovies
1 bombay onion, sliced
4 shallots
2 tbsp tamarind juice
Shrimp paste
8 dried chillies, deseeded
1 clove garlic
Salt and sugar to taste

Method
Boil chillies to make them soft and set aside. Fry the dried anchovies until crisp. Set aside. Pound shrimp paste, shallots, garlic and chillies. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry mixture until fragrant. Add in the onion, tamarind juice and salt and sugar to taste. Simmer until the mixture thickens. Add in the fried anchovies and mix well.

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My mother made the Best Mee Siam Kuah - Seriously. I have tried Mee Siam from many shops, but none have the just right combination of the sweet and sout taste.

Mee Siam
Mee Siam


1kg meehoon (soaked & drained) - thin rice vermicelli
1kg fresh prawns (shelled & deveined - reserve shells for stock)
900ml water
salt to taste
1 cup vegetable cooking oil
10 cloves garlic (chopped)
6 yellow bean curd (diced)
2 tbsp taucheo or salted soy beans (rinsed & mashed)
4 tbsp light soy sauce
500g bean sprouts (de-tailed)
125g daun bawang or spring onions (chopped)
6 red chillies (seeded and sliced thin)
20 bawang merah or shallots (sliced & deep fried)
4 hard boiled eggs (sliced)
15 to 20 limau kasturi or small limes (halved & seeded)

Ingredients for Mee Siam Sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
12 cloves garlic (puree to paste)
3 tbsp ground red chillies
3 tbsp taucheo or salted soya beans (rinsed, drained & pounded)
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup thick air asam jawa or tamarind juice
900ml santan or coconut milk
salt to taste

Fill a pot with water and add in the prawn shells to create the stock for the mee siam
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to get 1 cup of thick stock
Strain the shells and season with salt
Discard the prawn shells
Heat oil in a wok and fry the garlic till they become crip (but don't burn them!)
Add in the prawns, bean curd (tofu) and salted soya beans
Stir-fry everything (2 mins) and reduce the heat
Add in the stock and light soy sauce
Simmer covered for 4 minutes
Add the meehoon and fry for about 5 mins
Mix in the bean sprouts and spring onions
Continue to cook everything till all ingredients are done
Add as little or as much salt as you wish
Dish up the noodles on a serving platter and garnish with the chillies, shallots and eggs
Serve hot with lime wedges and the sauce

How to make Mee Siam Sauce: Heat oil in a wok
Fry the garlic, ground red chillies and salted soya beans (1 min)
Add in the sugar, tamarind juice and coconut milk then reduce the heat
Cook till the oil looks like it's separating from the sauce
Add in salt
Dish up and set aside sauce in a separate bowl - let guests take as little or as much sauce to go with their mee siam as they wish

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My Mom used to make two sweet dishes using glutinous rice. One was eaten for breakfast and the other was made specially for Hari Raya Puasa.

Pulut

Ingredients
150g glutinous rice or pulut, washed and soaked for 4 hours
140ml santan from 100g coconut
1/4 tsp salt
3 pandan leaves


Palm Sugar Syrup

200g Palm sugar
salt
pandan leaves
Water

Drain pulut. Add in santan and salt. Place in a 17cm steaming tray, top with pandan leaves and steam for 10 minutes or till cooked.

In another pot, boil water, then add the palm sugar pandan leaves and salt. Stir until all the sugar is desolved and syrupy consistancey is reached.

Serve the rice (pulut) with a topping of the syrup. YUMMY :)


Wajik Pulut

Ingredients

500gm glutinuous rice (soaked overnight)
750ml coconut milk (from 1/2 or 1 coconut)
1 tsp lime paste (air kapur)
2 screwpine leaves
a pinch of salt

Ingredients (B):
350gm brown sugar/gula melaka/gula merah
150ml water

Method:


Wash glutinuous rice and soak overnight with 1 tsp lime paste water.
Then toast and steam with coconut milk, knotted screwpine leaves and salt for 30 minutes or until the milk evaporates.
Once cooked take a fork and turn anti-clock wise and loosen the rice.
Leave it to cool.
Meanwhile, mix brown sugar and water and cook in a pan.
For those who are using gula merah sieve it first.
Leave the sugar syrup to boil at least 5 minutes
Lower the flame and mix in the glutinuous rice and mix it thoroughly.
Stir constantly for 3 minutes and close the flame.
Pour it into a cake pan and leave it to cool before serving.


P.S - There is a problem with blogger right now - I'll Do my spell check and add the photos tomorrow, do check back tomorrow.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gingerly Creations - Spice up your life with these delicious recipes

Ginger


Ginger Ginger - used all over the world ( From Wikipedia)

In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally restricted to sweet foods, such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps, ginger cake and ginger biscuits. A ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton is produced in Jarnac, France. Green ginger wine is a ginger flavored wine produced in the United Kingdom, traditionally sold in a green glass bottle. Ginger is also used as a spice added to hot coffee and tea.

In Arabic, ginger is called Zanjabil and in some parts of the Middle East ginger powder is used as a spice for coffee.

In India, ginger is called "Aadu" in Gujarati, "Shunti" in Kannada language[Karnataka], Allam in Telugu, Inji in Tamil and Malayalam, Alay in Marathi and Adrak in Hindi and Urdu. Fresh ginger is one of the main spices used for making pulse and lentil curries and other vegetable preparations. It is used fresh to spice tea especially in winter. Also, ginger powder is used in certain food preparations that are made particularly for expecting women and feeding mothers, the most popular one being Katlu which is a mixture of gum resin, ghee, nuts and sugar.

In south India, ginger is used in the production of a candy called Inji-murappa ("ginger candy" from Tamil). This candy is mostly sold by vendors to bus passengers in bus stops and in small tea shops as a locally produced item. Candied ginger is also very famous around these parts. Additionally, in Tamil Nadu, especially in the Tanjore belt, a variety of ginger which is less spicy is used when tender to make fresh pickle with the combination of lemon juice or vinegar, salt and tender green chillies. This kind of pickle was generally made before the invention of refrigeration and stored for a maximum of 4-5 days. The pickle gains a mature flavor when the juices cook the ginger over the first 24 hours. Ginger is also added as a flavoring in tea.

In Japan, ginger is pickled to make beni shoga and gari or grated and used raw on tofu or noodles. It is also made into a candy called shoga no satozuke.

In Burma, ginger is used in a salad dish called gyin-tho, which consists of shredded ginger preserved in oil, and a variety of nuts and seeds.

Indonesia has a famous beverage that called Wedang Jahe, which is made from ginger and palm sugar; Indonesians also use ground ginger root, called jahe or djahe, as a frequent ingredient in local recipes.

In traditional Korean kimchi, ginger is finely minced and added to the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process.

In South East Asia, the flower of a the Torch ginger (Etlingera eliator) is used in cooking. The unopened flower is known in the Malay language as Bunga Kantan, and is used in salads and also as garnish for sour-savoury soups, like Assam Laksa.

In the Ivory Coast, ginger is ground and mixed with orange, pineapple and lemon to produce a juice called Nyamanku.

In China, sliced or whole ginger root is often paired with savory dishes, such as fish. However, candied ginger is sometimes a component of Chinese candy boxes, and an herbal tea can also be prepared from ginger.
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My personal favourite is Ginger tea where I add ground ginger into boiling water before adding the tea leaves. After draining the leaves and ginger, add milk and sugar to taste. This drink is "Heaty" and helps to draw out phlegm and reduces your cough.

In Indian meat dishes ginger is always added (ground together with garlic) to give an aromatic and spicy smell and taste.



Chicken Fondue in Ginger Broth
Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup white wine or 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
2 lemon slices
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced gingerroot
2 tsp granulated sugar

Chicken and Vegetable Tray:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 bunch broccoli
1 small yellow summer squash or zucchini
2 cups torn Swiss chard or romaine lettuce
1 sweet red pepper or green pepper
1/4 pound mushrooms
Hot Chili Sauce (recipe follows)
Garlic Sauce (recipe follows)


Instructions
Fondue Cooking Stock: In fondue pot, electric skillet or electric wok, combine chicken stock, white wine, lemon slices, garlic, ginger and sugar. Just before serving, heat to simmer in fondue pot.

Chicken and Vegetable Tray: Cut chicken into 3/4 inch pieces; place on serving platter. Cut broccoli, summer squash, Swiss chard and sweet pepper into bite-sized pieces; arrange along with mushrooms on a separate platter. Using long fondue forks, spear chicken or vegetables; dip into simmering fondue broth to cook. Cook chicken pieces until no longer pink inside, and vegetables until tender-crisp. Serve with Hot Chili Sauce and Garlic Sauce for dipping.

Garlic Sauce:
1/2 cup light sour cream or low-fat yogurt or a mixture of both
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl combine sour cream, garlic and parsley. For a variation, substitute chopped fresh basil or coriander to taste for the garlic and reduce the parsley to 1 Tbsp.

Hot Chili Sauce:
1/3 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice or lime juice
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes

In a small bowl, combine water, lemon or lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and hot pepper flakes.

Yield: 6 Servings

Candied Ginger Butter

Butter is flavored with candied ginger and makes a great condiment for muffins and quick breads. Try some on steamed carrots for a burst of flavor.

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 Tablespoon honey
Generous dash of salt

PREPARATION:
In a small bowl, stir together butter, ginger, honey, and salt until combined. Serve butter immediately or cover and refrigerate.


Beet, Lemon, and Ginger Marmalade
Beet, Lemon, and Ginger Marmalade
If you do not like beets, this will make a believer of you. If you do like beets, you will be in ecstasy. This delicious marmalade is sweetened with honey and flavored with ginger. It is very quick and simple to make and makes a great condiment for any savory dish.
INGREDIENTS:
1 pound cooked beets
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons light honey
2 to 3 Tablespoons chopped lemon zest
1/3 cup crystallized ginger
PREPARATION:
Peel and coarsely grate or mince the beets, and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

Add salt, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest, and ginger.

Gingerbread House
Gingerbread House

Don't rely on a box! Make your own homemade gingerbread house or cookies at home. This recipe may be used to make delicious gingerbread cookies or building slabs for gingerbread houses. The icing may be used to decorate the cookies or paste together the slabs of the house. You may make the pieces up to 1 month in advance. Sketch out your gingerbread house pattern and cut it out before you begin.

INGREDIENTS:
Cookie Dough:
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/3 cups light or dark molasses
9 cups all-purpose flour
.
Icing Cement:
2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons water
3 cups sifted powdered sugar

PREPARATION:
Line 12 x 15-inch rimless baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.

In a small bowl, whip cream and vanilla until it holds soft peaks.
Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Beat in the molasses and whipped cream mixture until well-combined.

With mixer running, gradually add flour, beating until completely mixed.

Lightly flour a pastry board or mat. Roll out a portion of the dough until flat, but not so thin that you cannot pick it up without it tearing. Drape it over the rolling pin and move to the prepared baking sheet.

Continue rolling the dough to an even thickness on the baking sheet. This is easily achieved by placing two equally thick wooden strips on either side of the baking sheet to support the rolling pin. An even thickness is important. Lower areas will bake darker in color and be more brittle. You will need about 2 cups of dough for each 1/8-inch thickness, about 4 cups for each 1/4-inch slab, and about 6 cups for each 3/8-inch slab.

Bake two sheets of dough at a time. Bake until fairly firm in the center. The temperature and time will vary with the thickness of the slab. For 1/8-thick slabs, bake in preheated 300 F. oven for about 1 hour; for 1/4-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 1-3/4 hours; and for 3/8-inch slabs, bake at 275 F. about 2-1/4 hours.

After 30 minutes, position your gingerbread house pattern cut-outs as close together as possible on the sheet of cookies. Cut around the pattern with a sharp knife, remove the pattern, and separate the scrap pieces (may be baked later to eat). Return house pieces to the oven, swapping their rack positions, and continue to bake.

While the pieces are baking, any remaining dough may be rolled out for cookies or additional decorative gingerbread house pieces.

When pieces are finished baking, loosen gently with a flat spatula and let them cool on the sheet another 5 to 10 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.

At this point, you may wrap the gingerbread house pieces airtight in plastic wrap and store up to one month. Or proceed to assemble and decorate your house or cookies using icing cement (below).

Yield: about 9 cups dough, or 4-1/2 slabs 1/8 inch thick, 2-1/2 slabs 1/4 inch thick, or 1-1/2 slabs 3/8 inch thick. Each full slab is 10 by 15 inches.

Icing Cement:
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and water until frothy. Blend in sugar on high speed until stiff, 5 to 10 minutes. Use immediately or cover and use within 8 hours.


Gingered Chicken with Mango

Mangoes, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce make a delightful sauce to spice up bland chicken breasts. Be sure to use ripe mangoes for best flavor. Serve with green veggies and rice for a full meal.

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
2 pounds chicken breast fillets, skinned
1 cup peeled and diced mangoes
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

PREPARATION:
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.

Then, add the chicken fillets.

Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the mango with the sugar, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the cooked fillets and gently mix to cover the chicken pieces. Add soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 more minutes.

Serve hot with a fresh green vegetable and a side dish of rice.

Yield: 4 servings


Gingered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crystallized ginger shines in this pumpkin cheesecake in a pecan gingersnap crust. You may use fresh pureed pumpkin or canned. This dessert is perfect for Thanksgiving.

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup crushed gingersnaps, (about 8-12, depending on size)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

PREPARATION:
In a mixing bowl, combine the gingersnaps, pecan, and brown sugar. Dribble the butter over the mixture, toss well until the crumbs start to adhere to each other, and press the mixture onto the sides and bottom of a 9-1/2-inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Drop the cream cheese into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade or the bowl of an electric mixer. Whirl until it is creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whirling after each addition. Add the sugar, and blend briefly. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and whirl until they are blended in. Blend in the pumpkin puree. Add the crystallized ginger, and whirl briefly to distribute the pieces.

With a rubber spatula, scrape the contents of the processor into the chilled crust. Bake the cheesecake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes. It may seem slightly soft. Do not be concerned; it will solidify as it cools. Cool the cheesecake, in its pan, on a rack for 1 to 2 hours.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings


Ginger-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ginger-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
7oz (1 tin) crystallized ginger chips
4oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets. Mix together flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Set aside. At medium speed, beat butter and sugars until well blended. Add egg and vanilla extract. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until smooth. Stir in crystallized ginger. Add chocolate chips if desired. Heap teaspoonsfuls of dough onto cookie sheets, space 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until light brown. Remove sheet and let stand until cookies firm slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack to cool. Makes 3 dozen.

Ginger Carrot Soup

Ingredients

4 to 5 tbsp. coriander seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 pounds sliced carrots
6 13 3/4 oz cans chicken stock
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain yogurt or créme fraiche for garnish

Instructions: In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the coriander seeds until golden, about 3 minutes. Shake the seeds constantly until fragance. Cool and process in a blender or mortar and pestle, into a fine powder. Reserve. In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, chicken stock, salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. If the carrots are not sweet, add sugar at this time. Stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat. Process the soup in a food process until smooth. Just before serving, garnish each bowl with a dollop of yogurt or créme fraiche.<;BR< span>>

Triple-Gingerbread
Triple-Gingerbread
Ingredients

1 2/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. Ground ginger
1 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp. Salt
6 Tbsp. The Ginger People Crystallized Baking Chips, minced
1/2 cup(1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 extra large eggs
3 Tbsp. Grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk

Offer this tender ginger bread with fresh fruit for a lovely dessert.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour
8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Sift first 6 ingredients into medium bowl. Mix in 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger. Beat the butter and both sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in fresh ginger. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry
ingredients. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger over batter.
Press ginger lightly into batter. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.