Sunday, July 19, 2009

Still here...

Just busy...

Will post more in the very near future...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nanay Pinay’s Gulay na Mais (Grandma Josephine’s Corn Soup)

My grandma (Nanay Pinay [read as Peeenay]/Josephine) from Laguna taught me this simple yet very comforting soup. Aside from the corn cooked in their husks this soup is what she serves us to get an appreciation of the corn harvest season.

I don’t know what it is called but the ideal variety for this recipe is the white kernelled corn rather than the more common yellow sweet corn.

“White” corn is less fibrous but more starchy and just perfect for this dish. It gives the finished soup a creamy consistency sans the fatty cream.

But there was no white corn to be found. I had to settle for what’s available…

Like the Tinola we use ‘chilli leaves’ to finish this dish. The leaves might come from the chilli plant but they’re by no means spicy. Actually, chilli leaves have no taste at all. Spinach is probably a good substitute.

It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients but if you want to make it heartier just add minced chicken or even seafood.

Nanay Pinay’s Gulay na Mais (Grandma Josephine’s Corn Soup)

3 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 bunch of chilli leaves
3-4 cups stock or water
Salt/fish sauce to taste
A bit of oil

1. Heat up a bit of oil in a pan. Sauté the garlic until golden brown.
2. Add the corn and cook for about a minute
3. Add the stock/water. Let it boil and then simmer for about half an hour. Just adjust the amount of stock to your liking.
4. Adjust the taste by adding fish sauce or salt.
5. Throw in the chilli leaves just before serving.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Malaysian Chicken Curry ala Beancounter

I’ve heard somewhere before that there is no such thing as “curry powder” in India. It is more an innovation to help cooks like me who are less astute in combining spices.

Curry powder usually includes coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek. Depending on the blend, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, cardamom, mace, nutmeg, and all sorts of peppers may also be added.

I’ve named my recipe as such as I find the Malaysian Curry powder blend to suit my taste the best. The recipe below is a variation to my Beef Curry recipe which I blogged about months ago.

Using a whole free range chicken makes for a tastier curry than simply using chicken breast. But if you’re horrified at the thought of bones in your curry then use de-boned chicken meat by all means.

Malaysian Chicken Curry ala Beancounter

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
6 slices of ginger
1 stalk of lemon grass sliced
1 red capsicum julienned
4-6 teaspoon Malaysian curry powder (more if you want it spicier)
1 whole free range chicken cut into pieces
1 can coconut cream (substitute coconut milk if you want a less creamy sauce)
Salt to taste
Potatoes quartered and fried
A bit of oil for sautéing

Tip: It’s best to use heavy based pots.

1. Marinate the chicken in a little of curry powder. Heat up a bit of oil using heavy based pot. Sear the chicken pieces in the pot (a few at a time) to seal in the juices. Remove from the pot and set aside.
2. Add a bit more oil if needed. Sauté the ginger first.
3. After about a minute or so add the garlic. Before it turns completely brown add the lemon grass.
4. After another minute add the onions and the capsicum (save about a quarter for garnishing later). Cook this for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the curry powder to the mix and cook for another minute.
6. Add the chicken and the carrots to the mixture.
7. Add the coconut cream and simmer for about 40 minutes.
8. Add the potatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
9. Serve with roti parathas or jasmine rice.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Australia – The Food Icons – Tim Tams

If there is one Australian food icon that is easy to love it would have to be Arnott’s Tim Tams. The manufacturers are so confident about its appeal that they’ve bravely printed on every packet “The most irresistible chocolate biscuit” (with emphasis on the “biscuit” - this being Australian).

Tim Tams are made up of a chocolate cream filling sandwiched by two chocolate malt biscuits and the whole thing is coated in chocolate. It’s hard to go wrong with three types of chocolate in one biscuit.

Tim Tams first came out in 1964 and was named after the winning horse in the 1958 Kentucky Derby which Mr Ross Arnott attended.

The original Tim Tams are mainly milk chocolate. But in recent years Arnott’s have come up with more imaginative varieties to include Chewy Caramel, Creamy Truffle Temptation, Tia Maria, Black Forest Fantasy, Classic Dark (my favourite) and a whole lot more.

Devotees have what they call Tim Tam Slam. It is supposed to be the best way to enjoy Tim Tams. You basically bite the opposite corners of the biscuit then use it as a ‘straw’ to suck up your favourite beverage. I’ve never tried this (as I do not like soggy, wet biscuits) but you can see Hugh Jackman demonstrating this on Oprah when he was promoting the movie Australia.