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Welcome to Chefnash.com - The place where I lay creativity in a new adventures of my Culinary WoRLd, it is when food and us collide... FAQ me at norsah@chefnash.com - Chef Nash

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Binding food...


Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all…


Some people say food is the common ground to bind everyone. How do you find this true? It is fact that we need food to survive and ingredient is just that important for good food. As simple as the needs to feed for us, what in life have you tried eating? From simple food to the most expensive food in the world, in the end, what is the different? They’re still food, isn’t it?

As people has capabilities for traveling and brought they grew up food/ingredients with them, has infuse according to what is available at where they’re at.  One simple example I can give is, ‘noodle or pasta’. Until today, there is no truth about where is it originated, was the Chinese invented noodle and brought to the west and using ‘west’ ingredients they created pasta? Or vise versa… not a single person would care to solve this question because, it is food, it doesn’t matter who invent what as long as, we live to enjoy food.

And also yes, in some scenario, you couldn’t just claim you invented scramble egg, while that’s the simplest food you could eat but you can just remember that, probably about 90% of world populations eat scramble egg (or just egg generally) and the remaining 10% are those with some kind of sickness that never allow them to eat egg but don’t tell me that you never tried eating egg or food that are made from eggs in your life. So, that’s making it probably there are no 10%. Correct me if I am wrong… ;)

So, my question is what takes higher ground to bind everyone? Can anyone help me to answer this? Yes! It is still food, lets just get to one simple food of all time and very popular, of course. The classic recipe from both east and west part of the world… its combination that just bind us together which proves the world taste so good on a plate…

Sambal and Pesto… (this suppose to be my post’s topic but… try bind them, what could it be?)

These two foods are well known in places they were originated and for past decades it has been improvised in many ways but the original/traditional still reveal the best of it.


Sambal...



What is Sambal? Wikipedia.com said ‘A Sambal can be a condiment, an ingredient or a dish which will always contain a large amount of chilies’. I have grown up with Sambal and the best description for Sambal is spicy condiment.  Sambal is almost versatile in Asian cuisine, now has become one of the most important food in a restaurants or home. Thru time it has improvised using many different ingredients but the basic recipe still used, that is Chilies (many chilies).

There are two different kind of Sambal, that is raw and cooked, both are using same ingredient except the raw ones doesn’t use oil because it is not sautéed. It is true that some sambal is extremely ‘hot’ but some people just know how to make it eatable for people who can’t take spicy, it is not even ‘hot’ when using replacement ingredient, tomato and very little amount of boiled seeded chilies and sugar.

Sambal is also used as ingredients in meat, chicken, seafood or even vegetables.  Sambal prawn is one of my favorite dishes created from sambal. Some people eat sambal as dip for salad and some even dip it with fruits, especially sour fruits like young mango (ampalam) or pineapple – with soy sauce as additional ingredient.





It is not known where was sambal originated but the closes answer was probably from Indonesia’s Minagkabau, which their basic ingredient of sambal are still used until today that is chili pepper or green chili blended together with garlic, shallot, red or green tomato, salt and lemon or lime juice,  brown sugar, then sauteed with oil until dried or caramelized. Traditionally sambal’s ingredient was processed using ‘lesung’ (mortar) which all ingredients were blended together but today using food processor is the easiest way.

Traditional Malay ‘Nasi Lemak’ (steam rice in coconut milk fragrance with screw-pine leaf) must have Sambal on the side as condiment. Malay people have so many different kinds of Sambals which was named after alternative ingredients for example: Sambal Belacan with shrimp paste as additional ingredient, Sambal jeruk with ‘jeruk’ (mango pickles) as additional ingredient or Sambal Asam (tamarind) as ingredient.

In some places, they use vinegar or tamarind as replacement for lime. At home my mom any my sisters used both tamarind and lime but they too aware of the amount of chilies used as not everyone of us eating hot especially Sal (my elder sister). In my case, the hotter the better (never ask me to make sambal if your ‘hot’ level is none or just mild, you’ll regret to eat my sambal… lol!)

Allright, was that too little or too much about sambal – a specialty from the east part of the world. Now whats the west has to offer?


Pesto…

What is Pesto? Wikipedia.com said is a sauce originated from Genoa in the Linguria region of northern Italy. So, it’s a sauce but its more like condiment to me. Help me people… ;)

The basic ingredients for pesto is (or could this be the traditional pesto) basil, parsley, pine nut, olive oil and crushed garlic. Pesto used a large amount of Basil and blended together with other ingredient.





Historically, pesto is prepared in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. The leaves are washed, dried, placed in the mortar with garlic and coarse salt, and crushed to a creamy consistency. The pine nuts are added and crushed together with the other ingredients. When the nuts are well-incorporated into the "cream", grated cheese or olive oil can be added and mixed with a wooden spoon. In a tight jar (or simply in an air-tight plastic container), pesto can last in the refrigerator up to a week, and can also be frozen for later use.

Pesto is never apart from Italian restaurant all over the world, it should be known that pesto must be in somehow even if it’s not in the menu.

A slightly different version of the sauce exists in Provence, where is is known as ‘Pistou’. In contrast with the genovese pesto, pistou is generally made with olive oil, basil and garlic only: while cheese may be added, usually no nuts are included. Pistou is used in the typical soupe au pistou, a hearty vegetable soup with pistou flavour. The sauce did not originally contain basil, however. Instead, cheese and olive oil were the main constituents. Sometimes almonds are used instead of pine nuts, and sometimes mint leaves are mixed in with the basil leaves.





Pesto is a generic term for anything which is made by pounding and there are various other Pestos, some traditional, some modern.

Pesto alla siciliana, sometimes called simply pesto rosso (red pesto) is a sauce from Sicily similar to Genovese pesto but with the addition of tomato, almonds instead of pine nuts and much less basil. Pesto alla calabrese is a sauce from Calabria consisting of (grilled) bell peppers, black pepper and more; these ingredients give it a distinctively spicy taste. Pesto alla genovese is made with Genovese basil, salt, garlic, Ligurian extra virgin olive oil (Taggiasco), European pine nuts (often toasted) and a grated hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano.

Other modern Pestos, some of international and not Italian origin, with ingredient variations include: arugula (instead of or in addition to basil), black olives, lemon peel, coriander or mushrooms. A German variety uses ramsons leaves instead of basil. In the 19th century, Genovese immigrants to Argentina brought pesto recipes with them. A Peruvian variety, known as "Tallarin Verde" (literally "Green Noodles", from Italian tagliarini) is slightly creamier, uses spinach leaves and is served with potatoes and sirloin steak.

Vegan variations of pesto can include mixes of fresh basil, walnut, olive oil and miso paste.

I think enough knowledge about the both Sambal and Pesto, correct me if I am wrong people and please add more knowledge/info on regards… so, next…

Binding Sambal and Pesto… So, I came up with this idea of binding both all time favorite food from east to the west part of the world…


Tagliatelle Sambal Pesto…



Serving 2 person

Ingredients
200gm tagliatelle pasta
80 gm chicken breast (sliced)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2nos garlic (sliced)
½ nos onion (diced)
50gm cherry tomato (quarter)
3 tbsp sambal
3 tbsp pesto
1 tbsp fresh basil (julienne)
Salt and pepper.

Methods
  1. Cook pasta in boiled water until cooked or al-dente.
  2. Heat up a pan and sauté onion and garlic until fragrance.
  3. Add chicken and stir until cooked.
  4. Add in sambal and pesto together with cherry tomato.
  5. Add in pasta stir or much better flip the pan.
  6. Check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add basil and ready to serve.

Tips: you can use different pasta if you want or may be replace pasta to noodle. It is more or less like cooking fried noodle.





So there goes how we bind food but I think food is just a common ground to bind us together and what important is to taste what is around us or even far from us because ‘the world just taste so good on a plate’.

I hope you enjoy reading this and have a great time… ;)


Regards, Chef Nash


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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Replacement for wine...


Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all…


Cooking with alcohol, well as a Muslim, I am well aware of limit in my food that I eat everyday or cooking, though there is always temptation of wanting to try anything that is widely available in the market and yet I still have to limit myself to do so. As my understanding, there is always alternative/replacement ingredients, one close example is: Carbonara is never a ‘halal’ food and as replacement for bacon, we use smoked beef strip (which taste almost the same I think).

This post topic is all about replacement for wine, more specific is red wine.  I dare to say that about 40 to 60% blogs that I’ve been thru are talking about alcohol in their food and for some, about 60-80% were highlighted. So, that makes me think that for a Muslims, those who read blogs are not interested to read any post that featured to non-halal food around (as for me those articles with pork featured post, I’ll straight away skip them) but with wine or anything alcoholic in the food, its still be considered just to add for knowledge.

There were period of time for me, where food is all about taste, satisfaction for your appetite and whatever you eat/taste, regardless religion, you will have to try to eat them especially foods that looks really good, oh! so good!. I know that, it is wrong but for me, you live only once and if you never try it you will never get the chance and I am glad that those periods has over except under some circumstances, I think.

Red wine is used as marinations, flavoring and finishing. As a replacement, I use red/white wine vinegar (you’ll have to be careful for their amount cause of sour taste), sparkling grape juice and stewed grape (usually home made). These are most available product in our limited market here in Brunei which I believed that in oversea there are more choices available in the market.



Maison Rose – Sparkling Grape Drink, this drink has sweet taste and far from wine taste, so, I wouldn’t recommend to be used as marinations.

As for marinations for meat or seafood, I would recommend red/white wine vinegar (I don’t have pics for this, sorry)



Spaghetti Alla Mediterranean prepared by Chef Jimmy using Rose – an improved version of his signature spaghetti


And here is his recipe…

1 tsp garlic (sliced)
1 tsp onion (diced)
3 nos asparagus (sliced)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Black olive (crushed)
Diced tomato
Dried tomato (diced)
Spinach
Chili (sliced)
¼ cup rose
100 gm cooked spaghetti
Salt and pepper

Method:
Heat up a pan, add in evoo, saute onion and garlic to fragrance. Add in chili, asparagus, dried tomato, stir and cook to a bit brown color. Put in rose and reduced, simmer for about 5 minute, add in tomato and black olive, cook for about 2 minute.  Add in Spaghetti, spinach and seasoning. Serve hot.



Spaghetti Alla Mediterenean - I am not a Veggie dish fan but this one gets your appetite to top... and I think it would taste better if using wine... let me know...
 


Rose as a side drink, great combination right? - just like having your dish with wine...



Spaghetti with chicken in cream sauce with touch of Saffron and Rose - another dish that was prepared by Chef Jimmy

 

I have to highlight here that I still doubt non-halal-ness of wine in cooking (can anyone give me a good answer to this) that alcohol evaporated during cooking process, so, there is no more alcohol.  My big question is, no more alcohol in that so cooked food, is it still consider non-halal?...


Regards, Chef Nash




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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Risotto Prawn...


Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all…


Risotto again! Yeah and you gotta love this one, really! cause I do… ;)
I’ve been busy lately and there was actually time for me to post recipes but its just that I got no idea which one to post, wow! so many? No… kidding… and yes! Its going to be another Risotto, just for sharing… ;)


Risotto Prawn





Serving 4 people

400gm risotto
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
12 pieces medium sized prawn (clean and peeled)
Half nos onion (diced)
3 nos garlic (sliced)
800ml fish stock/prawn stock
100 gm asparagus
120 gm parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
Chopped parsley
Basil
Salt and pepper

Method:
  1. Heat up a pan and add in ‘evoo’, seal that prawn until light brown color, set aside (not necessarily cooked. 
  2. And then sauté garlic and onion until lightly brown using the same oil. 
  3. Add risotto and stock, cook until the water reduced and stir frequently.   
  4. Add in asparagus, let rice cook to al-dente (add more stock if u need to).   
  5. Add in prawn, basil and parsley and stir for about 1 minute and then add parmesan and seasoning. 
  6. Off fire, put in butter and stir until butter dissolved.

Tips: prawns cook very fast, it better to cook them at last minute, you can actually replace prawn with other seafood like fish, clams, mussel, squid, crab etc…



Dish garnished with shaved parmesan, tomato, fresh basil and pesto/oil 


This in one of my simple recipe and also my short post, just for update…

Hope you guys enjoy and have a great time… ;)


Chef Nash


______________________

 





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Monday, 21 September 2009

Selamat Hari Raya...



obcces.blogspot.com

mengucapkan 

Selamat Berhari Raya


Kepada seluruh muslimin dan muslimah, maafkan lah jika ada terkasar bahasa dan sebagainya...



obcces.blogspot.com

wish



Eid Mubarak 


to all muslim and seek forgiveness for any harsh-ness in our writing...



Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri...

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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Black Risotto...

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all...


This is my first Risotto featured recipe post and what interesting? I am giving a black beautiful dish… wow!!. I love rice so much and been eating it since a very young age and say how many different rice I’ve tried? Hmmm… soo many! (can’t count them).

How about Risotto? As Risotto is not locally produced, I’ve only tried it in my early days of working in the kitchen, that was back twelve years ago… wow! so long? I was a kitchen assistant after graduated in cooking college, in one of the first Italian restaurant here in Brunei.  I’ve never knew the existence of ‘squid ink’, even I’ve been playing with squid (‘sotong’ in our dialect) since I was a little boy, what else that black looking dishes… lol, I think Italian/westerners have eat so many ingredients that I was so naïve to know such things and that makes me think that I still need to taste as much ingredients the world has to offer… may be you can help… tell me what else I never try… ;)
                       
So, enough with that… lets get to what I am sharing now…


Squid ink Risotto a.k.a Risotto Al Nero Di Seppia
        
 

Serving 2 portion
Ingredients:
200gm risotto
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp squid ink
Half onion (brunoise/cube)
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
600ml fish stock
80 gm asparagus (chunk)
2 tbsp tomato sauce
80gm grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter
Basil (julienne)
Italian parsley (chopped)
Chilies (optional) 
Salt and pepper.                       


Tips: if you buying fresh whole squids, take the squid sacs and put aside, be careful not to break the sacs or else it will be blacky (bloody)… ;)
                          
Method:
1. Heat up a pan and put in ‘evoo’. Sautee garlic and onion until fragrance (not necessarily brown).
2. Add risotto in and stir, then put in stock, squid ink and tomato sauce.
3. Add asparagus and chilies, stir frequently.
4. Let risotto cook thru and reduced, add more stock little by little if necessary.
5. Taste risotto, when its already al-dente then you may add squid, parmesan, basil, parsley and seasoning. when u happy with the taste, turn off fire, add butter and stir until solved.
6. Ready to be serve.
                              
Tips: Squid cook really fast and if you cook it longer, it will become tough, so putting it in a very last minute is important, you don’t want to eat tough squid right? ;). I preferred risotto to be al-dente too. You may add more parmesan for cheesy taste. Some people add wine in this dish and you may do so… and to make that dish more Italian like, add ricotta…                  

My Italian friend (former colleague) used to serve this dish in every party I was invited to, and its funny/lovely to see the person you talk to with black tooth when eating this dish… nice!!                             


Who got lucky to eat it?

 
And guess who got lucky to eat that Black Risotto… Naz, one of my regular reader a.k.a BarMan and colleague… I actually add 2 nos of ‘Lada Padi’ (hot chili) in that dish… haha, I just love it when its hot, hope you love that black rice Naz… next time, ask for more lada… lol! 
Naz, jangan ko marah gambarmu kluar yoo... suka ku nyimpan gambar mu sini ah hehe... 

            
Close up!
 
Dish garnished with chives (not actually chives tho, its spring onion…) at background Chef Jimmy staring at that Black Risotto with his sleepless posture, trying hard not to eat it while his saliva already dripping… haha!
                
 
 
I used Squid head… much presentable and looks very octopus-ish… ;)
           

Thats all for this time, hope you enjoy and have a great time...
Regards, Chef Nash
 
 
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Sunday, 13 September 2009

Poached Salmon Steak in Soyed Gazpacho Sauce...

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all...

Who doesn't love Salmon? I think babies don't... lol!

I would rank Salmon as one of the most popular fish in the world… You think? Yes, I think so: Salmon fillet, smoked Salmon, Salmon Roe, Sushi as Sashimi and what else? That red-ish orange fish meat turned pink when cooked!! I think no other fish have what Salmon has and taste wise – ‘just that kind of fish I’d love to eat’ but it is also expensive, what else at a place like ours, all Salmon/product are all imported.
                       
Fact: Salmon are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce – that I find interesting.  
       
And this time, for the 2nd time I featured Salmon in my recipe post… but not only that, some other interesting side dishes too, so, keep reading… ;)



Poached Salmon Steak in Soyed Gazpacho Sauce with Gnocchi, Poached Asparagus and Caramelized Onion…


The first thing to do...

Poached Salmon...

Ingredients:
Half carrot
1 stick leek
1 stick celery
Half small sized fennel
1 nos onion
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
3 bay leaves
15 nos black pepper corn
1 nos lemon (cut quarter and get rid of the skin)
300ml fish stock
800ml water
Salt and pepper                        
              
Method:
Cut all veggies to maripoix (chunk).  Pour stock and water in a pot, add in all ingredient and cook until 20% to boiling point (poaching needs to be under boiling point).  Check seasoning and put in that Salmon for about 4 to 6 minute. 
         
Tips: remember to not to poach salmon in that stock for too long, it’ll become over cooked/welldone and not nice, I much preferred medium to medium well cooking.    
  
Tips too: if you don’t have fish stock, just use water, as after poaching that Salmon it’ll become fish stock and you going to use it for your sauce.  Mind you that, if you are going to cook this dish with the same sauce from here, I advice not to poach that Salmon first and prepare the sauce ingredient first, as the sauce takes longer cooking.

    
Then you’ll have to prepare that Soyed Gazpacho Sauce…
Note: this sauce is sponsored by Kikkoman (in my dream! lol!)  
           


Ingredients:
3 nos red bell pepper a.k.a capsicum (chunk, no seed)
2 nos tomato (chunk, no seed)
1 nos green apple (peeled, chunk, no seed)
1 nos onion (sliced)
2 nos garlic (sliced)
1 nos lemon (juiced)
Half cucumber (peeled and seeded, chunk)
4 sliced bread (chunk)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Tabasco
Chopped parsley
80 ml fish stock
6 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
3 tbsp sweet dark soy sauce
1 tbsp chilled butter
Salt and pepper           

Method:
Heat up ‘evoo’ in a pan and sauté onion and garlic to light brown color. Blend all chunk ingredients thru food processor together with that sautéed onion and garlic, fish stock and blend until fine. Put that fine mix into a pot and cook to boiled, low fire and let it simmer.  Add lemon, kikkoman and sweet soy sauce, stir. When sauce thickened and reduced (about 10 to 15 minutes) check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.  Add in tabasco and parsley. Lastly, off that fire, add in chilled butter and stir to mix.              

Tips: if you don’t like it hot do not put Tabasco. If you don’t have Kikkoman, its alright you can use any other salted soy sauce but I much advice you to use Kikkoman – taste better, that’s why I am a fan… click here to be a Kikkoman fan…
                        

Side kick dishes:

Gnocchi...

 

This recipe produce about 25 to 30 nos gnocchi…              

500 gm mashed potato (finely mashes)
125 gm grated parmesan cheese
125 gm flour
Salt and pepper                

Method:
Mixed all ingredients into dough using your hand (in a bowl or on your preps table), then cut into small pieces and shape it round with your hand/palm. Press it flat – not too flat (see picture) and you might need some flour next to you as it would get sticky. Put into boiled water for about 5 to 7 minute or until it float. Bake in the 200’C oven until color to light brown.                  

Tips: You going to need to boil water and heat up oven at 200’C. You may keep that molded gnocchi in your chiller in a tray and cook them just before you going to eat them.               


Poached Asparagus…                   
Ingredients:
Asparagus (as many as you want and cut them 5 inches long from the top)               

Method:
Hmmm… I don’t remember how I did it… I think I blanched them in that boiled water… I think so! May be… lol!             

Tips: hmmm… do not boil that asparaguses too long, at boiling point water, just blanch them in 15 to 20 seconds, al-dente wise… ;)
           

The last recipe… that yummy yumma yummies Caramelized onion…
This is one of my favorite side dish of all time!!

 

Ingredients:
1 nos big size onion (sliced thin)
1 tbsp butter
2 nos bay leaves
Chopped parsley                

Method:
Heat up a pan (non-sticky) at low fire, then melt that butter and add in that sliced onion and those bay leaves. Let it cook, stir frequently, cook until onion soft and light brown color… and then sprinkle that chopped parsley, once cooked place it on a tray lined with kitchen towel to get rid of that grease.             

Tips: I never put seasoning in this dish, it is so tasty until you can’t see your own ears… lol! even when you eat it in front of mirror… who does? ;)              

Tips too: this is a base method for Onion Soup, if you add some broth… there you go!!


Wow!! 5 recipes at one post! Hmmm…                  

This is one recipe post that you can’t skip and it is not a simple cooking… you going to need passion doing them… and I gotta tell you, that Salmon with that sauce… Wow!!! you should/must try it… ;)          

Note: before you make any of these recipes from this post, I suggest you to study them first or read them carefully and understood, as I understand if you are first time in cooking these recipes, not understanding the method would give you trouble later or not succeed.
                 
Before I end this post… some pictures would help you to decide to save this post… ;)


 
  
  
  

  I can't get enough! don't I?

And some more...


 
  
Ohhh... you gotta save this picture... ;)
              

Alright, I think that’s all for now… I hope you all enjoy this post, good luck and have a great time…         

Regards, Chef Nash                   


_________________

 

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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Pandan Chocolate Cupcake

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all...


Hello everyone, its been a while... really? hmmm, I dont think so... but actually I suppose to publish my last post that didn't published two days ago, it was all because of the new post editor from Blogger but never mind I'll post it next time. This time, I m posting something else and guess what? I m posting a cake, what cake? Cupcake or Crabcake? haha

Yes, I haven't bake for so long, I would say, its been two thousand six hundred and three years (2603) wow!! that long, (kidding) but seriously, I have bake for like I think 3 years now and this is the first time I did in since then and I am excited about it.

So, actually I made a deal with someone that she make a blog I make cupcake and I think it was 2 days ago, finally she made a blog... here it is click  take bake taste and create by Shmoopiegurl, I with this, congratulate her for doing that and as the deal goes... here is my Cupcake (as promised) haha, now you owe me a cupcake recipe.. and I personally thank you because, u made me wants to make cake, as I am so lazy to do it and also, welcome to bloggers family and hope you'll keep on blogging... ;)

So, I got my self digging on my old recipes books and 'bibles' and found this recipe Pandan Cake and turn it into Cuppies. Got all my tools and ingredients ready, haha, have to go shopping earlier since at my place has no baking ingredients but hey... I think now I am changing from a Hot kitchen Chef to a Pastry Chef... ;)

In case you don't know what is pandan (sorry I dont know ehat they call it in english), its a kind of bush that grows at my back yard wildly... haha, noo... but this plant has a sweet aroma and taste too... Sorry, I dont have picture tho...

I modified the recipe by adding chocolate crunchy (which was given by my Chocolate Guru Chef Mera) and grated them...

So, here it is....


Pandan Chocolate Cupcake


Ingredients:

350gm cake flour
200gm plain flour
400gm caster sugar
3tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
200gm unsalted butter (soften)
4nos egg
400ml full cream milk
1tsp vanilla essence
200gm chocolate bar (I used Chocolate Crunchy - My Fav)
1/4tsp pandan paste

Method:
1. Mixed all blue ingredients in mixer bowl until sandy texture.
2. During the mixing process, whisk well ingredients red in different bowl.
3. Pour ingredients red into blue slowly while the machine at slow spin. Let is mix thoroughly until creamy.
4. Add pandan paste until the colour mixed.
5. Take out the bowl and grated chocolate bar in and mix using spatula.
6. Place in cup mold and bake in the oven at 180'C for about half an hour.
7. Garnish with grated Chocolate.

Tips: you may add more chocolate if you love chocolate a lot, in my case I was lazy to grate it... haha


 
After I stripped them off their mold (still hot) sexy!!! ;) and my nephew love the top part when it still hot... yummy!!


Actually I ask my nephew to help me on measuring the ingredients while I was watching Prison Break season one... and a while after my little nephews came over and help me to eat the rest of the cake... ;)
 
Can you see chocolate inside? but hey you can add more chocolate in tho... ;)
  
The last round just got out from oven, still hot tho... 
So, there goes my Pandan Chocolate Cupcake... I am starting to love baking now, its very easy work to do (only while my little angels around tho) but seriously... you'll see more cake or baking product in my blog from now on... ;)
  
And I hope you enjoy my little Cupcake story and recipes... and have a great time trying...
  
Until next time...

Regards, Chef Nash

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Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Soup Udang Galah...

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all…


Hello everyone, its been so long that I haven’t blog and yeah, as Spaghettini’s busy period is over, now I can post as usual. This time I am sharing a soup recipe, that is Soup Udang Galah masam pedas or Fresh Water Prawn in sour spicy soup.

Udang Galah is a fresh water prawn species that is found in fresh water river in Brunei, this prawn is one of the few species of prawn that can be caught by fishing rod or ‘kail’ in local dialect. Usually fisherman caught them in the river of Temburung and Tutung districts in Brunei.


Udang Galah in picture…

Udang means Prawn while Galah is Bamboo, that is a direct translation as its sound funny when you say Bamboo Prawn, so, I much preferred calling it “Udang Galah”… or in English it is popular known as fresh water prawn. The reason why it is called galah is because of its claw, it is long like bamboo…


Soup Udang Galah…


Ingredients:

1Kg udang galah
3 litre wate
2nos onion
3nos garlic
100gm leeks
3 tbsp chilli paste
1nos cinnamon stick
3nos bay leave
1 tsp black pepper corn
2 tbsp asam jawa (tamarind paste)
1handfull dried mushroom
Corn oil for frying
Salt and pepper

Ingredients in picture…




Methods:

First you’ll have to clean and skin the prawns and keep them aside.
And then wash prawn trimming and put in the pot together with water and all ingredients.



Prawn’s trimming in pot (right), simmered soup…

Bring to boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Correct seasoning and strain.
After straining put back in the pot and heat at low fire, skimmed and simmer for about 15 minutes.

While doing that, take the claws and cut to take the meat…



Cooked prawn’s claws, cut the claws to get the meat, shred them and keep aside as garnish for the soup.


And than heat a pan with corn oil and pan fried the prawns until cook, place prawn in soup bowl and pour soup in... and get ready to eat your ‘Udang Galah Soup’

Tips: this method of cooking is much into a ‘fine’ dining style as the traditional method is to put all ingredient (including prawns with skin/shell) in the pot altogether, boiled until prawn cooked and you can eat it as main course with rice and other dishes, that’s how my mom used to cooked ‘Udang Galah Rabus’.

Tips too: or you can use tomato paste if you don’t eat chilies…


Close up…

Shredded Udang Galah’s meat as garnish with the claw… nice… ;)


I hope you guys enjoy reading this recipes and please try it and if you couldn’t find Udang Galah at shops around you… hmmm, how? I don’t know, don’t cook it then or may be if your house is close to a river, get your fishing rod and try to catch some Udang Galah there, who knows u might be lucky to caught one or two… LOL!!!, but I think you can replace it with Tiger prawns or big size prawns or perhaps Lobster… ;)

So, that’s it for this time… eeeyyyhhhh, wait!!!

As a bonus, this is my recipe of chili paste a.k.a ‘Chili Boh’… as I always mentioned, home made taste better, right?


Home Made Chili Paste…



Ingredients

100gm dried chilies
1.5 litre chicken stock

Boiled both ingredients in a pot and simmer for about one hour, blend thru food processor until fine and its ready for use.

Tips: you can use water instead of chicken stock, I use stock for extra flavor as my chicken stock taste delisioucities!!! Some dried chilies is not hot especially after u cooked them, some are really hot, so, u might need to ask the chili monger if you don’t eat chillies, but I much preferred the hot ones, it is if you use to make sambal, or much better to make sambal belacan… yummm… nyaman tu…


So, until next time… have a great time everyone… ;)


Regards, Chef Nash

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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Mr and Mrs Tomato...

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all…


Hello everyone… this time I am sharing my knowledge and what in the world I know about Tomato, and as for a start, when I was a boy, I like to watch this cartoon character of Tomato, I dont remember the title of the series but I think it was a Japanese cartoon and actually still remembered how the song was… ‘tomato, tomato, tomato ma tot’ that’s how it was sound… hahaha…

So, how essential is Tomato in your daily cooking? As for me, I used tomato in about 85% of my cooking in many form: mostly sauce, salad, key ingredients and so on. In Italian cooking, Pomodoro is one of a must ingredient in their cooking and an Italian who doesn’t eat tomato, would be a shame… (is it?)… Also, as if your watch in any cooking in TVs or in a magazine or even in cookbook… I would say, every cook book using tomato as one of their ingredient except for those cake book or similar… correct me if I am wrong… ;)

So, the big question is… do you really know its nutritious content, uses and anything about it?

So, this is knowledge for us to learn and it is important that we know what we eat…so, keep reading, I m learning and at the same time, you should too…


Tomato



Tomato was believed to be originated in South America but now it is planted and used worldwide.


Vernacular Names: Tomato, Pomodoro, Love Apple, Rante Raja, Tomat (and many more…)
Botanical Name: Lycopersicon Esculentum Miller
Family Name: Solanaceae


Content: Edible portion of the ripe fruit contains 94% water, 3.6-4.3% carbohydrates, 1% protein, 0.6% fibre, 0.1-0.2% fat, calcium, carotenes, hydroxytryptamine, iron, lycopene, magnesium, narcotine, phosphorus, pattasium, quercetin, tryptemine, vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E.





Bioactivities: Human skin may develop dermatitis if in contact with raw fruit juice or fresh wet plant. Lycopene is an antioxidant, protects against breast cancer, heart disease, lung disease, prostate cancer. Narcotine is an isoquinoline alkaloid that is analgesic, anticancer, antitussive. Solanine and solanidine are toxic compounds that can cause symptoms of poisoning. Solanine is a glycoalkaliod with antifeeding, antifungal and pesticidal activities; used in the treatment of asthma and epilepsy. Comsuming too much of this compounds can cause gastrointestinal and neurological problems, birth defects, death. Solanine is more toxic than solanidine.


Uses in food: Tomatoes are eaten fresh or cooked, is also dried, canned, made into candies, wine, paste. Green tomatoes are used to make pickles, preserve. Seeds oil is used as salad oil in making margarine.


Tips: Canned tomatoes have less carotenes and vitamin C compared to fresh tomatoes. Dried tomatoes and paste are rich in carotenes and vitamin E. Tomato juice often have much salt added and this hinders the absorption of potassium.


Tomato is antifungal. The antioxidants carotenes, vitamin C and vitamin E helps to lower the risks of many forms of cancer, also cataracts, heart disease and stroke.





Health and Healing:

Leaves: Pounded and applied on the skin to treat sunburn. Pounded with salt and placed on boils.


Fruits: Used as laxative, used to treat gravel, ophthalmia, ortitis, phthisis, typhoid fever. Pulp applied on burns, calluses, corns, heamorrhoids inflammations, scalds. Decoction taken as a diuretic to treat mouth and throat ulcers, urinary ailments. Cut a piece of green fruit to apply on ringworm. Dried fruits make into powder, mixed with water and taken to treat diarrhea.


Caution: Green tomato leaves contain the toxic chemical solanine and should not be eaten or used internally as herbal medicine. Raw green tomato fruits may not be suitable to be eaten. Degree of toxicity depends on the genetic type and surrounding conditions. Solanine cannot be destroyed by cooking. Acid from tomato products can leach out of the lining from the metal or plastic containers. Choose tomato products low in salt and packed in glass containers.


My Cherry Tomato Plant…

Tomato is one kind of vegetable that are easy to grow… this is Cherry Tomato I grow at my backyard, do I have to buy tomato and how essential tomato in my cooking and how fresh is my tomato? I can just pick them from my backyard… and eat it like that… ;)


So, do we all learnt from this… I hope we all do…


Info taken from ‘Ong Hean Chooi – Natural therapy vegetables for health and healing’
(this is not a copy and paste, it more into copy and typing…)

So, anymore info about Tomato you’d like to add, please link me up… or comment this post…


______________


And… as Bonus I am sharing one of a very basic soup recipe that has rich tomato taste…

Tomato Broth…

Tomato broth is one of the most basic soup that could turn into many different kind of soup…

First you’ll have to make chicken stock… (sorry I don’t have chicken stock pics)

1kg chicken trimming (preferred bones)
3 liter of water
100gm onion (chunk)
100gm carrot (chunk)
100gm celery (chunk)
15 nos peppercorn (white)

Mixed all ingredients in a pot and bring to boiled. Once boiled, simmer for about 2 hours. Remove all fats that surfaced. Strain thru a fine strainer.

Tips: this is a white chicken stock recipe for certain soups that uses white chicken stock, Brown chicken stock used different method that is: chicken and veggies need to be colored (either in oven or sauté in pot) then add water boiled and simmer. Chicken stock can be stored in chiller up to 3 to 4 days, so you can use it whenever you want it…


And then…. Tomato Broth...



Ingredients:


1kg tomato (diced)
100gm carrot (chunk)
100gm onion (chunk)
2 liter chicken stock
1 number cinnamon stick
10gm basil leaves
5nos bay leaves

Mixed all ingredients in pot except for basil which I pun in last minute. Bring to boiled and simmer for about 2 hours. At last minutes, add basil and continue simmer for about 3 minute.

Tips: no seasoning added as this is basic soup but then, it is already tasty… don’t believed me, try it… for more sweetness, you could add more carrots but remember if you put too much it would over taste tomato… and will become carrot broth… ;)

Once ready, get a clean piece of cloth and lined it on a strainer... see pic


You may leave it just like this until all the water drained… it would take sometimes tho… ;) so, may be you could do some more preps for another dishes…

And it took me about two hour to completely strain it because I don’t want to waste every single drop of the broth…


Tomato Broth…

This is one kind of clear soup and of course a ‘Healthy’ choice…


So, I hope you all enjoy this post and learn a lot… so, better check out more of my up coming post for “what can I make out of tomato broth”…


Until next time… have a pleasant time…


Chef Nash

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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Saffron...

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all...



Vernacular Name: Saffron, Zafran
Botanical Name: Crocus Sativus L.
Family Name: Iridadeae

Saffron was believed to be originated in Mediterranean area, now it is widely planted in Europe, Middle east, and spread further to east part of the world. Unfortunately, I can’t grow Saffron at my backyard because it need moderate dry and cold atmosphere. It is known that the best saffron were found in middle east… or is it somewhere else?

Saffron was claimed to be the most expensive herbs in the world and for that not much quantity to be used in food, that is for costing reason.


Content: cineol, carotene, crocatine, crocine, likopen, essence oil, picrocrocin, pinean, safronal and zeaxantine.


Uses on food: as flavoring, as herbs and colouring.


My style: I usually used saffron in creamy sauce because of the colouring, red-ish yellow. Taste wise, I usually put about 4 to 5 nos per portion as adding too much saffron will spoiled other ingredients. Saffron are nice with seafood especially prawns. I also add saffron in my coffee and I called it ‘Kupi SaprunKu’. I don’t used saffron so much because of its high price but I drink it with my coffee… ;)


Uses for health: the female saffron can heal asthma, cough and fit. It is also can cure irregular menstrual cycle for women.


Other uses: Some people use saffron for coloring in textile but I don’t think they can afford it since saffron is so expensive.



I bought saffron 4 years ago, it was 30gm weight for $75/= (if I m not mistaken) in one of herbs shop in Dubai and I still have it in my kitchen but never used them since it is too dry or may be expired… In the pics, is not the saffron I bought 4 years ago…



Check this recipe out… with saffron… Click me...


Just for fun…


What is on the plate?


Seafood platter, 3 different seafood, (hints, from left-clockwise: imported from New Zealand, locally bought and imported from japan… the answer at the bottom…


What is it then?


It is Sydah a.k.a Penari Shuffle Battle alla Mahdy time di pantai and Daud a.k.a Penari Ronggeng alla Mahdy battle with Zatty… hahaha, there will be no answer to it, its so obvious that you should know what it is… if not, Well!! What can I hope… No Need!! Jangan marah kawan-kawan semua…;)


Bonus features…


How long since u saw last sunset?


View of sunset from Spaghettini’s, the last sunset I saw was last Sunday at workplace…
Discover whats interesting at The Empire Hotel and Country Club website…


Regards, Chef Nash and the three dots

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