Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Malaysian cuisine

Few weeks back i invited my aunt from Johor over to supervise my 1st attempt to cook Laksa Johor for my darlings, Eza & Ikram. Alhamdulillah it turned out great! I invited both of them over for Laksa Johor and try out Bread pudding i made. My mum was from Penang so i'm quite familiar with Laksa Penang than Laksa Johor (though my dad was from Johor). I find Johorian Laksa is rather rigid to prepare but worth the patience..

I couldn't recall the recipe of Laksa Johor but i can share the recipe of Bread Pudding i got from the radio. Try this out its damn simple!

*Gambar hiasan
Bread Pudding
Bread (cut small in cube or triange)
1 litre of UHT milk
200g Sugar
6 eggs
150g Butter
Choc Chips /Sweet Corn / etc
Step A
Grease the baking pan with butter, sprinkle some sugar, and nicely arrange the bread
Sapu mentega, buat 3 tingkat. (haha kan dah melayu)
Tabuq la kismis ka, sweet corn ka apa2 hangpa suka pada setiap tingkat.
Kasi tabur itu choc chip juga..
Step B
Beat eggs, sugar and lastly the UHT milk.
Pour these ingredients into the baking pan of Step A.
Bake for 30-40mins on 150 Degree Celcius.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Eastern European Food Review


So two nights ago, while my friends Ruth, Indhira (gandhi?) and I were crawling all over the East Village for food almost to midnight, we knew we would end up going nowhere. Too bad most restaurants would be close by 10 ESPECIALLY on Sunday in New York, which sucks big time.

But thank god for Veselka.

Located 9th street, 2nd avenue
Sorry gambar kecik.

Veselka (meaning, "rainbow") is a Ukrainian coffee shop slash restaurant slash gerenti cekik darah. Well it wasn't THAT expensive, but for $12 a meal, that's considered above average in the New York style of dining. Or maybe with my student status lah kut!

Looking through the menu, I noticed the similarities of their meals with Polish food (which I had in Greenpoint, Brooklyn last year) so, I might as well wrap up my Polish and Ukrainian food report altogether in a single entry as....


Okay, so apparently they like boiled stuff. Vegetables and potatoes. And pigs. It's kinda gross, but I'm all about exotic foods, remember?

First up, Ruth ordered
the borshch (борщ) , which is a predominantly beet soup. Apparently the most popular and uniquely Ukrainian dish.

When the bowl arrived on to our table, the first thing that came to my mind were of those pink onion thingies you ate with murtabak, except its... soupy. But it's distinctively red and suspicious to eat at first!! I tried some of it later, and it has a salty, dry taste to it. Very savoury. But still suspicious. Made out of veggies such as beans, cabbages, carrots, onions, etc with a bit of meat in it. With beef in it instead of pork.


Indhira then ordered her favourite
pierogi (pyrohy):

A common eastern european dumpling (fried or steamed) with goat cheese and mushroom in it, served with apple jam and lots of sour cream as a dipping sauce. They even have a meat pierogi served, with only pork as the option, which obviously I cannot makan!!

Personally, I love dumplings, pierogi, dim sum of all kinds. I know commonly in Malaysia we would dip it with chilli, tomato or even soy sauce, but apple jam? It was bizarre. The combination taste of cheese with sour cream and apple sauce turned out to be more bizarre than I expected.

Borat would definitely say it's like a mouth partyyyyy!!


I however, was extremely wise in choosing my own food, so I got myself
The Beef Strogranoff:

I'm sure you guys have heard of it; it's made of onion, mushroom, sour cream (again!!) sauce with beef and paste cooked together. Served with french fries (my choice actually). God it was amazingly delicious!! It was the safest food I could fall back on besides the borshch (pronounced boa-rsh) or...


The Golabki (Gołąbki)

Boiled cabbage, stuffed with ground beef, rice, chopped onions, and made it look like a huge light green coloured sausage. Eaten with more beet sauce/jam/whatever the hell AND sour cream. It tasted a little plain, until you dipped them in beet and sour cream. I don't know how to describe the feeling on my tongue, but was simply... interesting. Seriously, what are these people thinking when it comes to their own dishes??

Ivan: Wife I am hungry!
Mykhaila: But Ukrainian/Russian/Polish/slavic dish hasn't been invented yet!
Ivan: well just go make something!
Mykhaila: I got er, beet, pork and cabbages.
Ivan: .....
Mykhaila: wait, and LOTS OF SOUR CREAM!!!!!!!!
Приятного аппетита!!!! (enjoy your meal!!)

We didn't get desert though, the food was too filling for us to continue anymore munching. I guess the French are right when it comes to dining, that they do it for the taste, not gluttony. Meaning, you order a little so you can eat a lot at the same time, and not shoving everything in huge portions to actually enjoy it!


However, there is one more dish I'd like to share, which puzzles me until today. I couldn't find an image for it, no matter how hard I've googled and wiki-ed it. I think basically it's a
MEAT PATE, and not exactly french, but here goes the description:

Ground meat, lightly cooked so it would stay red and sliiiightly brown from the fire.
Raw egg yolk on top of it.
Radish chopped one side.
Peppers that look like little pellets (Ukrainian red midget, I think)
Raw, chopped garlic and onions.

It was a questionable dish when I ate it with Nadia in Greenpoint. It took us forever to start digging in because it was a very raw looking meal, more like a set of food you make before you toss them into the kuali.

I was the first to try it. Wow. It was actually delicious!!! The combination taste of pepper, yolk and whatever the hell they marinate the ground beef with was amazing. It was the best taste I've experienced with eastern european cuisine so far, and I count the very day I wanna try it again. In fact, maybe I should call up my friends to join me do so this very moment!! (chey konon ahahhaha)


There you go. My first and very long review on food. Sorry there are no recipes or whatever, because I can't bloody jack cook to save my own soul!! I would be, however, responsible reviewing the nice restaurants, meals and pastries I experience in NYC, so y'all can be more prepared the moment you come into this city :)

Oh yes, I don't think I'll be going back to Veselka again. Bankrap aku. Oh, the price for exotic food!

Thursday, 15 March 2007


Last week I decided to give Paddington Pancake House a try and so i had to drag Z along...hehehe :D I wanted to go to the Curve outlet but we ended up in the one in One Utama because someone wanted to go to eneos to check out car stuff *rolling eyeballs*. Anyway it was all good as we took sometime to decide what to order because they all look soooo scrumptious...the menu ain't that short either. It's more like a booklet with labels and sections and what not. But mainly there were the desserts and main meals. So Z got the lamb chops which came with 2 pieces of soft pancakes, a scoop of mash on top, tomato, lettuce and a small cute jug of gravy. According to him the lamb was just so-so and he saved his pancakes to actually eat it later with maple syrup! (which he had to request for and came in another small cute jug) I had something which would look like breakfast but i'm having for dinner which is 2 pancakes, 2 sausages which has cheese oozing out of em (heavenly), a hash brown, 2 slices of beef salami, tomato, lettuce and a jug of gravy of course. I loved it!

my breakfast lookalike plate of goodness with a background of Z's hand (sebok je)

Z's lambchops & pancake

Overall the food was good, it's such a waste that we didn't have space to try the dessert pancakes because frankly the helpings is really huge for one person. We were too ambitious when we thought we could get each a main course and have each a dessert later. Never gonna happen here!!! We then decided if we do come back, the best way is to share one order of main course and one order of dessert, or we could always come for dessert only! The desserts is just so mouth watering, i really really really want to go back and try the pancakes with banana, caramel, nuts, vanilla ice cream combo. (picture in the menu looks heavenly) Lastly i'll close off with another photo of my wonderful breakfast dinner plate.

check out someones fingers at the gravy jug (he just had to selit)

Sunday, 11 March 2007

nutella biscotti

It's a good day to experiment on biscottis. I've not tried this recipe before on my own so was really pleased that it turned out well-ish.

Nutella biscotti

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup nutella (or more!!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I think if it's white chocolate chips would be aesthetically nicer)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium bowl
3. Beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes
4. Beat in nutella until well combined. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until combined. Did I say you need to mix them? Yes, mix mix mix.
5. Stir in chocolate chip
6. Divide dough into 2/3 logs with well floured hands. This is really tricky because mine turned out real sticky so it's either you're left with absolutely messy hand or just stick to spatula and spoons. Basically just arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press logs into rectangles of roughly 1/2 inch thick. Don't worry if it looks flat because it'll rise later on.
7. Bake for 20 mins. Remove from oven
8. Change the oven setting to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Cut logs into 1/3-1/2 inch slices. Or to your liking. Arrange on baking sheets and pop them in the oven again.
10. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, turn biscotti over and bake for another 10-12. This is up to your own discretion because it depends on how thick your biscotti is and how well done you want them. The idea of biscotti is for it to be quite hard so when you dunk it in your coffee, it's lush!

Selamat mencuba!

(note to lovanilla: I can't change the tags for your entries because it'll change the author. boooo....)

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Shepherd's Pie

I had Shepherd's pie a few days ago but didn't take any pictures. The pictures above are taken in the summer when I first tried out the recipe I found here.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 celery, sliced
Some mushrooms, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt (it depends if you want to put it but I didn't because I was using Maggi's Beef stock and it's salty enough)
1 tsp oregano
3 tbsp tomato paste
250g beef (diced)
1/4 cup beef stock
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Some cheese depending to your liking.
Mashed potatoes (see underneath)

Step by step (ooh baby, gonna get to you girl)
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

2. Heat oil and butter in pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, mushroom, garlic and oregano. Cook until vegetables are tender but not soft (approx. 7-10 mins depending on how big the chunks are).

3. Stir in tomato paste and cook until mushrooms are soft and tomato paste has turned brick red (approx 8 mins, but mine didn't turn brick red. It was just... red?).

4. Stir in the beef and add in the broth, the Worcestershire, some pepper and salt (if you like). Break up any large clumps of meat and cook it until the meat is no longer pink (approx 5 mins, depending on how big the chunks are).

5. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a 2-quart oval casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top.

6. Sprinkle with cheese, if using. Bake until potatoes brown and the juices bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Mashed Potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled quartered
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover by about 1-inch and add the salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. At the same time, combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Toss the potatoes over medium heat until dry. Add the heated milk mixture and mash the potatoes until just slightly chunky, then stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

I didn't use the instructions of making the mashed potatoes because I like mine chunky and rough, not the smooth whipped potatoes you get at KFC. I just boiled some potatoes until it's soft (butter knife cuts through effortlessly), mashed it with cheddar cheese and a bit of milk (or single/double cream, if you like) using a fork. I also didn't peel the potatoes because I used new potatoes instead of russet so you just need to clean it well and it saves you the hassle of peeling it hahaha. It's up to you really, even those instant mash potatoes would be OK, I would think.

I also added a bit of paprika to get that wee bit of zingggg.

I must say that my mother makes the best Shepherd's pie but the ones I made was quite good (angkat bakul!). The great thing about Shepherd's pie is that it lasts for a couple of days and even though it probably would take you up to 2 hours of preparation and cooking time, it saves you from cooking the next 3 meals because you just can pop it back in the oven or the microwave and dinners ready!

Selamat mencuba.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Back to Rasta...

Z and I went back to Rasta a few days back for supper. I didn't get anything to eat but Z did so i took the opportunity to snap a couple of photos of what he had since i did mention on my first post that i'll be visiting this particular place again. He ordered the crispy beef bacon sandwich...mmmm....i had a bite of course and i liked it! Nothing much to elaborate about as it is a simple BLT sandwich. The bacon was cooked just nice as it wasn't rubbery or hard to chew on, the veggies were fresh and bread was slightly buttered so you don't get those overly oily kind of sandwich. I would say opting for a sandwich here, especially for supper is a good choice health wise because you get a good amount of sandwich that doesn't come with a side of chips. Other fillings available are tuna, chicken, cheese, mushroom and a couple more. Sandwiches here range from RM5 - RM10 which i think is reasonable.

top view of the crispy beef bacon sandwich

one satisfied guy...

After a plate of crispy beef bacon sandwich and a glass of watermelon juice, it was time to go home... :)