Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cookies. Show all posts

Saturday, January 19, 2013

SPICY ARTISTRY

 
The Ambassador of the United States of America
Paul W. Jones & Catherine Jones
 
request the pleasure of
Ms. Alice Yong & Guest
 
at “The Artistry of Spices” Program
on Thursday, January 3, 2013
at 6:30 p.m.
(Program starts at 7:00 p.m.)

Dress: Smart Casual
Venue: The Residence, 9 Jalan Langgak Golf, Kuala Lumpur


Imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from the US Ambassador to attend a special event at His Excellency's residence! What a fab way to open a brand new year...

His Excellency Paul Jones delivering his welcome remarks
I felt the butterflies playing havoc in my tummy as we walked into the compound of the Ambassador's residence. But the ladies who greeted us at the door soon put us at ease. We even managed to catch the last few minutes of the official press conference...

One for the album...HE Paul Jones and his wife Catherine Jones with guest artist Brookie Maxwell and the celeb chefs: Amy Beh, Manju Saigal and Rohani Jelani
A US State Department project, The Artistry of Spices merges food and art; to showcase the significant role of spices in shaping the history and culture of our world. Wars were fought, empires rose and fell, and daring explorers crossed the seven seas just for this precious commodity.
Creative use of fresh and dried spices for the table centerpiece
Guest artist Brookie Maxwell who is a curator and founding director of Gallery 138 in New York city travelled to Penang and Melaka for this project; to paint, photography and collect myriad spices for her artistic works which were showcased that evening.

To complement this visual arts feast, three celebrity chefs: Amy Beh, Manju Saigal and Rohani Jelani were roped in to spice up the evening with their culinary masterpieces.

Each chef also conducted a brief demo of their recipes that incorporated spices. Best of all, we all were treated to their handiwork whilst they cooked up a storm on stage.

 
Chef Manju - a Punjab native who has been teaching Indian cooking and running her own catering venture for over a decade and a half - shared with us how to prepare Achari Sabzi (pickled vege), Lemon Rice, Seekh Kebab (grilled minced lamb cutlets) and Kesari Murgh (saffron chicken). Prior to dinner, we were treated to Nimbu Pani, her concoction of lime cooler that was both refreshing and tantalising.

Pungently aromatic, subtly spicy but delectably rich and robust on the palate, we polished everything that came within minutes. This should tell you how good the food was!

Chef Amy Beh brought an unexpected twist to Bak Kut Teh when she rustled up a vegetarian version...should we call it Chai Kut Teh? Purists would be outraged but the resultant broth actually tasted surprisingly agreeable!

Assorted mushroom, beancurd puffs and mock meat (gluten chunks) make unexpectedly tasty Chai Kut Teh

She also showed invitees how to cook Kiam Chye Ark (duck with salted mustard greens soup), Bee Koh (traditional white glutinous cake) and Otak-otak (spicy steamed fish custard). We almost missed sampling the homely, evergreen soup but all was well in the end once the service team realised our table weren't served earlier.

 
Having attended several cooking classes at Bayan Indah and as a long time fan of Rohani, I was more than eager to savour her delicious creations and the Malay cuisine guru certainly didn't disappoint.

Her signature Nasi Kunyit (turmeric rice), Chicken Rendang (dry chicken curry), Masak Lemak Udang Nenas (pineapple and prawn curry) and Onde-Onde (grated coconut-covered glutinous rice balls with palm sugar filling) left us amply replete and happily satisfied.

 
Dinner closed with a sumptuous dessert selection courtesy of Catherine Jones, the Ambassador's wife who is a trained chef in her own right. The rather Christmassy Apple Mincemeat Crisp was sublime and left us wanting more.

We felt so spoilt and pampered when dainty glasses of Curry Ice Cream complemented by Five Spice, Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Cookies and Coconut Macaroons appeared; inducing us further into a sweet and slightly spicy stupour! 

Just as we thought nothing could top that, out came gold-rimmed cups of velvety smooth and ultra-decadent Chocolate Pots with Garam Masala! Digging into the luxuriant death by chocolate treat, I was elevated to heavenly chocolatey bliss...

One of the art pieces by Brookie Maxwell

By the time we left, all of us were literally floating on cloud nine...thanks to the surfeit of conviviality and sumptuous food and drinks lavished on us throughout the event. This was one spiced-up evening we're unlikely to forget in a hurry!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

NUTS! IT'S A STICK-UP!

These simple, fail-proof recipes are easy to whip up and makes entertaining at home a real breeze!

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Yoghurt Dip

Serves 4 – 6 persons



1 pc Chicken Breast

1 stalk Lemongrass

1 tbsp Coriander Powder

1 tbsp Cumin Powder

½ tbsp Fennel Powder

Salt & pepper to taste

1 Red Capsicum

1 Slice Pineapple

3 sprigs Fresh Basil (optional)

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yoghurt Dip
1 cup Low-fat Yoghurt
3 sprigs Coriander
Juice from 1/2 Orange


Methods

1. Soak skewers for 1-2 hours in water.

2. Cut chicken breast into bite-size cubes. Bruise lemongrass stalks lightly.

3. Marinate chicken with spice powder, lemongrass, fresh basil, salt and pepper for 1-2 hours.

4. Remove seeds from capsicum. Cut capsicum and pineapple into 1cm dices.

5. Thread chicken cubes onto skewers alternating with capsicum and pineapple dices.

6. Lightly brush chicken skewers with oil. Grill skewered chicken for 15-20 minutes until thoroughly cooked.

7. Chop coriander finely. Whisk yoghurt with orange juice. Add in chopped coriander and stir evenly.

8. Serve chicken skewers dressed with yoghurt dip.

Chef's Tips:

Chicken can be substituted for your preferred choice of meat such as beef, lamb or duck.

Use your favourite combination of spices or herbs or both as marinade. The sky's the limit!

Instead of capsicum and pineapple, try tasty options like sweet potato, pumpkin, leek, shallots or any other vegetable or fruit that can withstand grilling.

**************************************************************************

Almond Tuiles

  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 120g egg whites (approximately 4-5 egg whites)
  • 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 1g salt
  • 1 Orange for its zest
  • 45g flour
  • 60g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 100g almond flakes

  1. Whisk sugar, egg whites and vanilla. Add in salt, orange zest and flour. Stir well to ensure no floury lumps in the mixture.
  2. Line baking tray with parchment paper and brush melted butter thoroughly on it.
  3. Drop teaspoon amounts of earlier blended mixture on the buttered paper.
  4. Flatten into disk shapes using a fork dipped in butter.
  5. Sprinkle almond flakes onto each disk.
  6. Bake at 200°C until golden brown for about 8-10 minutes.
  7. After cooling, place almond tuiles in a tight fitted container.

Chef’s Tip: Almond tuiles can be eaten on its own with coffee or tea or serve with ice cream or your favourite cream-based dessert.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

BINGING ON BISCOTTI



I will never forget the first time I attempted to make biscotti. It was a disaster! Instead of achieving a light, slightly crunchy texture, everything ended up hard as rock. Only the flavour was agreeable but I was thankful that my Mom encouraged me not to give up. She also gamely finished the trial batch which I truly appreciate.

Happily, my subsequent attempt turned out better - thanks I suspect mainly to Rohani Jelani's recipe which appeared in a backdated issue of Flavours magazine. Having purchased several jars of Rohani's splendid biscotti before some years ago, I had never quite forgotten how nice they tasted. So I was estatic when I discovered her biscotti recipe! The results were so good, I actually made about a dozen canisters of them a week before Chinese New Year as pai nin giftaways. Not quite enough to go around so a small coterie of relatives and friends were the lucky beneficiaries.



For those who are game to try their hands at churning out a batch or two here's the recipe.

ROHANI'S ALMOND BISCOTTI

3 eggs (size A)
160 g caster sugar (the original recipe has it down as 200g but I used less)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (you can also use real vanilla flecks scraped from 1 vanilla pod - the flavour is fab! It's pricey though as 3 pods cost RM20)
50g ground almonds
200g whole almonds (I use skinned almonds but again these tend to be slightly pricier. You can also use hazelnuts or pistachios or even a mixture)

Sift together
320g plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Spread whole almonds onto baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool thoroughly before using.

Stir ground almonds together with sifted flour. Then add in whole almonds and mix evenly. Divide mixture into three portions

Cream sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until light and frothy. Using a large sturdy spatula or metal spoon, fold each portion of the flour mixture into the egg and sugar batter. You should end up with a soft, sticky dough.

Dust your worktop, baking tray and hands with flour. Roll 1/4 of the dough mixture on the floured surface with your hands. Shape roughly into a log and place it onto the baking tray. Leave enough room in between for the dough to spread during baking.

Bake for 15 minutes. The logs should feel firm to the touch. If they are not, bake for another 5 minutes. After that, remove from oven and leave them to cool down.

Use a serrated knife to slice the logs thinly. Lay the slices on a clean, dry tray. Bake each side for 6-8 minutes depending on thickness. When done, remove and let the slices cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, be sure to store them in airtight containers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

IT'S RAINING CHOCOLATE MEN!

Oh oh here she comes...she's the chocolate men eater!



Feast your eyes on these...here's how I churn out my army of little chocolate men!


Chocolate Men Cookie

8 oz butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups plain wheat flour
12 oz chocolate chip
1 egg white

Method

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla essence and salt until creamy and fluffy. Blend in egg yolk and mix well. Fold in flour and chocolate chips. Divide dough into 2 portions and chill in fridge for an hour. Then cut out cookie into desired shapes. Brush surface of cookies with egg white and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove once done and let cookies cool down before storing in an airtight container.