Thursday, 30 December 2010

Home Made Flour Noodles - Pan Mee


Now trust me you would love my version of the famous home made flour noodles. This was a dish that I took sometime to make as the amount of work put into it seriously got me intimidated. But rest assured, I bucked up and decided to make it and the results were fantastic!

The process however took me two days to cook as I prepared the stock the night before and precooked most of the ingredients before commencing on making the noodles. So what went into making this spectacle of a dish?

Ingredients:

Part 1:
Stock:
1 kg dried anchovies (equivalent to 4 packets of dried anchovies from the Asian Grocery Store) - peeled, heads removed.
1 litre water

Part 2:
Condiments 1:
500gms (1 packet) pork / chicken minced meat
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce (sos kicap pekat)
1 tsp soy sauce 
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cornflour
2 cloves of garlic

Condiments 2:
6 - 8 dried shiitake mushroms - finely sliced
2 medium sized dried morsels - finely sliced
2 tbsp Chinese Wine
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with some water
2 cloves of garlic

Condiment 3:
Dried Anchovies - from stock, dried in oven tossed with salt and oil and grilled in oven for about 30 minutes constantly stirred to avoid sticking to grill pan.
Spring Onions - finely chopped
Chinese Vegetables (Choy Sum, Kai Lan or Watercress Shoots) - washed and set aside.

Noodles:
250gms plain flour
250gms self-raising flour
1tsp salt
250ml water

Method:
  1. Firstly make the stock before hand to avoid longer cooking time. So if you have time to make the stock the night before even better. Simply put water and dried anchovies into a pot and boil. Warning: dried anchovies does give out a fishy smell and may stink the house up but trust me the effort is worth it.
  2. Drain anchovies from stock and store stock in fridge once cooled down. 
  3. Next prepare the anchovies for grilling. On a baking sheet, spread the anchovies and allow it to settle. Crank up the oven to about 200 Degrees C and put in the oven to start the drying process. After 15 minutes, you'll notice the anchovies turning dry. Remove them from the oven and sprinkle salt and oil. Toss them to ensure all the anchovies are fully covered in salt and oil before spreading them again for grilling. Put them back in the oven and let it sit for a further 15 minutes before stirring them to make sure the anchovies are fully grilled on all sides. Repeat the process and make sure to check the anchovies that they do not burn. Remove from the oven and let it sit in a plastic container and cool before covering.
  4. Prepare the condiments separately. First the minced meat. Fry up some garlic and add in the minced meat and fry till almost cooked through. Add some water to ensure everything gets cooked. Add some seasoning, the sauces and cook till the sauce reduces. Remove from heat. Repeat the same with the mushrooms and morsels. Leave aside to cool. 
  5. Next prepare the dough for the noodles. In a big mixing bowl, mix both flours salt and water until it becomes sticky and combined. Roll out onto a floured surface and knead a little to ensure all loose pieces of dough sticks together and cover with cling film. Leave in the refrigerator for an hour. Take it out and knead for a little while. Cut a quarter of the dough and roll it out till it is 1mm thickness. To make noodles strands, you can use a pizza cutter or a knife and cut downwards. If you fancy tearing the dough instead then leave the dough as is.
  6. Take the stock out of the fridge. Pour into a fresh pot and bring to boil. Once boiling, tear in the dough or noodles and constantly stir until it bounces up to the surface. Cook a little longer to ensure the noodles are cooked through. Then add in the washed vegetables and cook for a little bit more before dishing out onto a serving bowl. Add in a portion of morsels and mushrooms and a portion of minced meat before finally adding some grilled anchovies and fresh spring onions.
  7. Serve with a freshly made batch of sambal belacan (shrimp chilli paste) or sliced chillies soaked in soy sauce.

The end result was a fantastic meal, and the portions above can served up to 4 people. I know it fed me 4 days... 

The sambal belacan recipe waiting to be perfected, I leave you with this recipe to perhaps round up an exciting year of cooking (despite it not being as frequent as it should) to many wondrous other escapades from the kitchen of the Innovative Baker.

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year,
The Innovative Baker :)


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Chicken cooked Chinese Wine - simply divine in super cold weather!


In times of extreme cold, a nice hearty soup always does the trick. Living in the UK meant you'd have a variety of English soups. From chicken and parsnip, leek and potato, butternut squash to the traditional winter vegetables and mushroom variety. I however, miss the typical Asian soups that have a clear broth but packed with goodies to munch on. One such dish is Chicken cooked in Chinese Wine. Before my coming here, I've never actually had to venture out to buy Chinese cooking wine, but in my larder, trust me, I have every single sauce you can think of. Anyway getting on... what went into the dish?

Ingredients:
8 chicken legs chopped into bite size pieces with skin left on (equivalent to one packet from the local supermarket)
10 dried shiitake mushrooms - soaked in hot water
3 large pieces of morsels - soaked in hot water
2 large stalks of leek (optional) - chopped finely
10 to 15 whole black / white pepper
1 large bowl of water
1 cup of Chinese cooking wine
1 thumb sized ginger - skinned and julienned
Some cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
  1. Firstly prepare your dried ingredients. Soak the mushrooms and morsels before putting on the pot on the stove. Whilst waiting for both ingredients to soak through before slicing them up, heat up a sizable pot and add in ginger into pan with the cooking oil. Stir fry for a bit before adding in the chicken. As you have kept the chicken skin on, the dish will have enough oil at the end.
  2. After stir frying the chicken for a bit add in the water. Then add in the whole peppers and bring to boil. Now your dried ingredients would be soft enough to be sliced. There is no need to finely slice the mushrooms nor morsels. The bigger sized the better. Toss them all in including the water that was used to soak both the dried ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil, once boiling, reduce to a simmering temperature and add in the Chinese cooking wine. 1 cup is just to add flavour but I normally add in more to give it that extra zing. Continue simmering and add in salt and pepper when needed for extra flavouring.
  4. Turn off the gas and serve piping hot with white rice and blanched Chinese Vegetables.
This dish warmed me up immediately! But in Malaysia, we eat it regardless of temperature. Hahahaha... enjoy it. No Chinese Wine? Then use normal white wine. It has the same effect :)

Next recipe to come devour coming up!
The Innovative Baker

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bramley Apple Cake - The Most Divine you'd ever have!

Much apologies for the missing posts. I have been pretty caught up with many different projects one of which is write a Malaysian Recipe Cookbook using local ingredients from the UK and see how that grows. It is still in the beginning stages and I must say it is quite an exciting adventure as my culinary skills are put to the test. 

As the Christmas festivities have already kicked off and I am somewhat late in actually posting up yummy Christmas goodies, I'd much prefer to take things into my own stride. 

One of my favourite cakes is the Bromley Apple Cake. I was actually spurred on by a coursemate of mine from Denmark who requested a recipe with apples and I have finally gotten down to penning it.

The original recipe this apple cake is based on comes from Channel 4 but I've put my own tweek into it and the cake still turns out moist!

So what went into it?

Ingredients:
225g butter - partly melted in the microwave oven at medium heat for 50 seconds
3 medium sized Bramley Apples - it is about 450g. Once peeled, cored and diced, it will add up so don't worry
Lime zest from 2 limes and lime juice from one
200g sugar
3 medium sized eggs
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
30g ground almonds (alternatively use fresh almonds and blitz them in the food processor)
some demerara sugar

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 Degree Celcius. Grease a round 20' springform cake tin before lining it with grease proof paper. Set aside.
  2. Next prepare the apples by peeling, coring and dicing them - no need for uniformity. In a bowl, pour the lime juice and grated lime zest from 1 lime and stir well. Leave for juices to mix with the apples.
  3. Next combine semi-melted butter, sugar and remaining lime zest and beat till fluffy. Then add in one egg at a time whilst pouring in the sifted flour and baking powder bit by bit. Beat until batter becomes smooth and even.
  4. Drain the juice from the apple mixture before pouring into batter. Then fold apples into batter until well mixed. Pour into cake tin and even the surface with a spatula. Then scatter some demerara sugar on the surface of the batter before popping it into the oven.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. The surface of the cake will look lumpy but don't worry. It will turn golden brown. Then take it out of the oven and let it rest for a good 10 minutes before turning it out on the cooling rack. Let the cake sit and serve whilst still warm with a dollop of clotted cream or cold with ice cream.
When you read the recipe, notice that there is absolutely no milk nor water involved? But there's juice right? Well, even that is drained. Wouldn't that mean the cake would be dry? Trust me, the cake remains moist at any temperature and friends who have divulged in it have said that it is absolutely divine.

It doesn't take long to prepare so go out there and get those apples!

If you liked the recipe, then click on the paypal button on the right and donate an ingredient! 

Coming up with another recipe soon,
The Innovative Baker.

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