Monday 25 March 2013

Honey Granola

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If only I knew it was so easy to make healthy, not so sweet granola at home, I would have started to make it long ago instead of getting the sugar laden commercial available ones. It's all thanks to Giulia of Mondomulia for pointing this out in her recent post. I will definitely be making this over and over again, throwing in whatever nuts or dried fruits I feel like eating at the moment......The possibilities are endless!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ingredients (Adapted from Mondomulia)
2 cups jumbo oats
1 cup pecans, chopped roughly
20g dried coconut flakes
50g dessicated coconut
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup honey
100g mixed dried berries(I used Urban Fruits Superberry)

1) Pre-heat oven to 150 °C.
2) Chop the pecans roughly and mix them with oats, dessicated coconut and coconut flakes. Add the cinnamon powder.
3) Add the wet ingredients, olive oil and honey, to the oat mixture. Stir until evenly coated, adding more honey if required.
4) Spread the granola out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, stirring half way through, until golden.
5) Remove from the oven and let cool completely, until the granola has set. Stir in the dried berries.
6) Store in airtight containers.

Friday 22 March 2013

Marinated Aubergine Inspired by Honey & Co

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We've been on a middle eastern kinda kick recently, having first watched Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast. After catching it on TV, I immediately made a reservation at the highly recommended Honey & Co. Opened by the husband and wife team of Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer who have both been chefs in one of Ottelenghi's restaurant in London, they aim to bring childhood memories of home cooked food to the masses.This is what they've done with fresh, clean, well balanced, simple dishes that burst with flavours! The cakes are magnificent too! Even though we've only tried the very moist and moreish chestnut cake, i've heard rave reviews of some of the other items especially the Chocolate Krantz Cake.(search for it and I'm sure you'll be happy just looking at it!) We will definitely be going back soon to check out the rest of the menu.
Very Appetising Marinated aubergine that gets the tastebuds moving
Melt in the mouth Ox cheek sofrito with quince and bay leaves
Tender Pomegranate molasses chicken, served with a texture and flavour amazing cracked wheat salad with pistachios and barberries
Warm, moreish and moist Chestnut cake, salted caramel sauce, vanilla cream

My Lovely hubby then surprised me with Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi latest cookbook, Jerusalem but not before I tried making the marinated aubergines. Once I get some basic middle eastern ingredients such as Pomegranate molasses, barberries, sumac and zatar, I'll be so 'getting my hands dirty' cooking from this book!

Ingredients (From Delicious Days)
3 medium sized aubergine
olive oil for brushing
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

5 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 small red chili
3-4 tbsp finely chopped coriander
1-2 garlic cloves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 200°C (~390° Fahrenheit) and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Trim both ends of the aubergine, then cut each in two equal sized halves width-ways. Now cut each piece into six to eight wedges, depending on the aubergine's  initial size. Key is to obtain (almost) equally sized wedges.

2) Generously brush the wedges with olive oil, place on the tray (skin side down) and season with sea salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven (middle level) for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tips have turned brown and the wedges feel soft to the touch.

3) Meanwhile prepare the marinade: In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped red chili, chopped coriander, chopped garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

4) As soon as the aubergines are done, dump them into the bowl of marinade while still hot and carefully stir (the wedges should not be mashed!) until everything is well covered. Serve after an hour at room temperature, or keep in the fridge (in a container) for some days. Enjoy with bread.

Thursday 7 March 2013

Chap Chye (Mixed Vegetable Stew)

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I'm so excited! Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop has just been delivered and I can't wait to start cooking from it! I've only heard nothing but rave reviews so it's definitely going to be fab!
I'll also be doing some recipe testing for the up and coming plussixfive cookbook due to be out some time at the end of the year if i'm not wrong so keep a lookout for that as I've tried their cooking and it sure is awesome!
Anyway, back to the Chap Chye recipe, a vegetable stew so flavourful that you won't believe it's vegetarian. It's made with mostly store cupboard essentials (alright... I should say Chinese store cupboard essentials) as well as Red fermented beancurd which adds a nice depth of flavour to the dish. If red fermented beancurd can't be found, just replace this with soy bean paste(taucheo) and it'll still be just as delicious!
Top - Beancurd sticks Middle - Black fungus,dried chinese mushrooms Bottom - Glass Noodles,dried lilybulbs

Ingredients (Adapted from Noob Cook)

(Serves 3-4)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 slices ginger
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 50g red fermented bean curd (aka ‘nam yee')
- 250g sweetheart cabbage, cut to smaller pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 50g bean curd sticks
- 15g dried lily buds
- 40g Dried Chinese mushrooms
- 30g cellophane/glass noodles (aka ‘tang hoon’)
- 30g dried black (wood ear) fungus
-1 green chilli

Sauce (A)
- 2 tbsp vegetarian oyster-flavoured sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2/3 cup vegetable stock

1. Soak Chinese mushrooms, black fungus and lily buds in individual bowls of hot water. When softened, drain the water. Remove mushrooms stems, squeeze out excess water and cut to half. Remove the hard portion on the underside of the fungus. Then, cut the rest of the fungus into smaller pieces. For the lily buds, tie each bud in a knot (to prevent fraying).
2. Soak bean curd sticks and tang hoon in individual bowls of water till softened. When the beancurd sticks turn soft and paler shade, cut to smaller pieces.
3. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry chopped garlic & ginger till fragrant. Then add nam yee and mash/chop it to smaller pieces with the spatula.
4. Add cabbage and stir fry till softened (a few minutes).
5. Add Chinese mushrooms, black fungus, lily buds, beancurd sticks and green chilli along with the Sauce (A). Bring to a boil then cover with lid and let the vegetables simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Anytime the stock runs dry, top up with hot water.
6. When the vegetables are cooked and the stock is reduced, add tang hoon and stir the pot to allow the tang hoon to absorb the sauce. Serve with steamed rice.

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