I have to say this is my absolute favourite malay dish and is something that I crave for often. As it is too much work to make from scratch, I use premix. Amongst the different brands, personally, I think PrimaTaste is closest to the real thing and best satisfies my cravings. I like it simple with lots of bean sprouts, taupok (fried bean curd), ku cai (chinese chives) and a hardboiled egg - just the way it is at hawker stalls.
I came across Griottines when I first moved to Paris. They come from the east of France and are actually small cherries soaked in Kirsch liquer... superlicious stuff. I - who would not even touch one maraschino cherry - can eat a bunch of these straight from the jar, the liquer syrup is heavenly too. I introduced these gems to my sister when she was here for a visit last year and boy, was she sold immediately. It is hard to find them though, most supermarkets don't carry them. I got my supply from the Nicolas stores here in France. They are beautifully packaged and ready to be given away as gifts. Some of my friends would buy them in large jars whenever they go to the east of France as these things keep a long time.
I will be going back to Asia for Lunar New Year and will not be able to update this blog for a while unfortunately, save for a few posts that I have scheduled in advance. Till I am back, have a great Year of the Ox, everyone!
I am pleasantly surprised by these cookies. The amalgamation of buttery and nutty green tea flavours produces a complex hard-to-describe aroma/taste that I like a lot. I am addicted. I had to stop myself from gobbling them all up at one go! What an incredibly simple recipe with sophisticated results... brilliant.
I will just type the recipe out for my readers' easy reference:
Amai's Green Tea Sweets
Yields approximately 25 cookies
3/4 cup (2.25 oz) Confectioners sugar 5 oz Unsalted butter, cut into cubes 1 3/4 cup (8.5 oz) All-purpose flour 3 Large egg yolks 1.5 tablespoons Matcha powder* 1 cup Granulated sugar (for coating)
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and green tea together in a bowl. Add the butter and green tea/sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until smooth and light in color. Add the flour and mix until well combined. Add the egg yolks and mix just until the eggs are fully incorporated and a mass forms. Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator until firm (about 30 minutes). Roll the dough out to ½” thickness. Cut the dough with a leaf cookie cutter. Toss each cut cookie in a bowl of granulated sugar to coat. Place the sugar-coated cookie on a parchment lined pan. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges.
* People who are not big fans of green tea may find this overpowering, in which case, do reduce the amount of matcha by half.
Much to my surprise, I received good feedback for this very humble dish. Can't be easier: cut up a head of cauliflower (1.5 cm thick) and spread them out single layer in a baking pan. Salt and pepper to taste, add enough milk to barely cover the cauliflower. Top generously with grated cheese (any flavourful ones that you like, I use french cheese "Comte"). Bake covered at 190 degree Celsius for 50 minutes. Serve hot.
My dear japanese friend just got back from Japan and got me these: matcha powder and a matcha set! How sweet of her. Her instructions: Add a small teacupful of hot water to 1 matchaspoonful of powder, whisk rapidly 50 times, rotate bowl 3 times and serve.
What a beautiful green, I can't wait to bake some matcha cookies and macarons au matcha!
Here is another of those super easy no fuss tasty dishes that I embrace: marinate chicken quarters and vegetables with whatever spices available (I have used salt, pepper, honey and soy sauce this time) and bake covered at 200 degree Celsius for one hour i.e. ample time for the meat to reach that fall-off-the-bones tenderness... the way I like it. If crispy skin preferred, further grill uncovered skin-side up until lightly charred and your home smells of fried chicken:) (about 15 minutes). Voila, simple and very tasty. I use different seasonings (asian, mexican, etc) and vegetables (carrots, zuchinis, peppers, etc) so it seems like a whole new dish each time.
On another note: the lighting at home is just not right for photo-taking in the evenings. Any advice for me?
What better way to start the new year than a big luscious bowl of Rojak. This salad from Malaysia/Singapore has got loads of vegetables (namely cucumber,bean sprouts and kangkong), fruits (namely pineapple, green apple and mango), and fried beancurd (aka "taupok") and fried crullers (aka "yu char kway") for extra texture, and is topped with a to-die-for spicy, sweet, tangy shrimp paste sauce with peanuts and sesame seeds... yum! The authentic stuff comes with ginger flower which is not available at the asian store here unfortunately.
I had the good sense to bring back 3 small bottles of rojak sauce the last time I was home. Not quite as tasty as the ones we get from the hawkers but nonetheless sufficiently satisfying when mixed with some sambal balacan.