Sunday 31 May 2009

Steam Pumpkin Mantou - 金瓜馒头

Mantou(馒头) often referred to as "humbao" or Chinese steamed bun which is originating in China. It is made with wheat flour, water and leavening agents, they are similar in nutrition and eating qualities to the white bread of the West.

Recently, my mum has being into Mantou making with one of my son's kiddy's friend mummy. They will gather together at least once in a week to experiment with their Mantou making. So after tasting their delicious homemade Mantou, I am also interested in joining the fun of making it. For mine, I added some extra wolfberries to enhance the taste as well as a the texture.

Ingredients: (makes about 10)
250g Plain Flour
1 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
40ml Lukewarm Water
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
5 Tablespoons Caster Sugar
200g Pumpkin, skin removed
2 Tablespoon Wolfberries, cut into halves
1/2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1. Sift the plain flour and baking powder together in a big bowl, then stir in the caster sugar till combined.
2. Remove the outer skin of the pumpkin, cut into small cubes then rinse it with water and place in a microwave safe bowl and cook on High heat together with a cup of water for about 5 minutes. (Stop 2 minutes in between and give it a stir so that it will cook evenly)
3. Use a fork or food masher to mash the pumpkin cubes into paste form then set aside for later use.
4. Add the dry yeast into the lukewarm water and give it a quick stir then set aside for about 5 minutes till bubbles appeared(refer to the picutre above).
5. Next slowly add in the yeast water into the flour mixture and sitr using a pair of chopstick, then follow by the mashed pumpkin and stir till they form a soft dough.
6. Rub some oil on your hand then give the dough a quick knead till well combine.
7. Set the dough aside in a lightly flour/oil bowl and let it proof for about 20 - 30 minutes until it double in size.
8. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 portions then on a lightly floured work surface, flatten each portion into a rectangular shape shown like that picture below, sprinkle some chopped wolfberries then roll it up lengthwise into an oblong shape then cut them into equal portion.
9. Place each shaped portion on a piece of greaseproof paper, top with some extra wolfberries, then arrange on the steamer rack and steam over medium heat for about 8 - 10 minutes depend on the size.
10. Repeat for the rest of the portion of dough and steam accordingly. ( I made about 10 Mantou with the size of about 3" before steaming)

a) Lukewarm is about 40 degree Celsius
b) The pumpkin dough will be very stick when handling, so do not worry. You can wet your hand some oil before handling the dough for easy kneading.
c) You might need to cook the pumpkin for about 3 - 5 minutes more before it will be soften depend on the power of your microwave.

This is my homemade Steam Pumpkin & Wolfberries Mantou which is freshly out from the steamer. It really taste great and different for a chance in the usual Pandan or Plain Mantou that is sold in the supermarket.Posted by Picasa

Thursday 21 May 2009

Scramble Egg With Tomato

Are you one of those tomato lover who eats any kind of tomato that is on the shelf of the supermarket? Or you will just pick your choice of those that you love like cherry tomatoes or vineyard tomatoes or ?

Tomato fruit is classified as a berry. As a true fruit, it develops from the ovary of the plant after fertilization, its flesh comprising the pericarp walls. Tomato is also an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin A. So if you are trying to get one of your kids or love one to incorporate some tomato into their dish. You can try one of this Scramble Egg With Tomato serve in tomato cup as party food breakfast side dish.Posted by Picasa

Ingredients: (serve 2)
2 Medium Size Red Tomato
1 Medium Egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon Milk/Water
1/2 Tablespoon of Chopped Tomato
1 Tablespoon of Chopped Spring Onion
1/2 Tablespoon of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1. Cut the tomatoes, horizontal into halve and carefully scoop out the seeds in it. Pat the inside dry with kitchen paper towel and set them aside.
2. Take 1 of the tomato cup and chopped them into cubes.
3. Whisk the egg with either water or milk until well combined.
4. Drizzle some Olive oil onto a small preheat non-stick pan and add in the chopped tomatoes, give it a few stir until fragrant then scatter in the chopped spring onion.
5. Next pour in the egg mixture and cook the scramble egg accordingly, using a spoon to stir the mixture occasionally.
6. Lastly stir in the Thai chili sauce mixture and give it a quick stir until it combined, fill the egg mixture into the prepared tomato cups and serve as together with some cut fruits as side dish.

a) You can replace the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce with Tomato Sauce for kid's version.
b) You can also scatter some extra shredded cheese onto the egg tomato cups and put it into the toaster oven of about 3 minutes or so until the cheese started to melt.

Monday 18 May 2009

Baked Pasta With Bolognese Sauce & Cheese

Baked Pasta is always one of my favourite Quick and Easy dish in the list. Sometime I also baked this in in small foil tin shown above and packed it as lunch to work. It's very simple dish and yet full of vibrant texture and taste.

For this baked pasta, I prepared it with some seasoned mince meat, pre-cooked elbow macaroni, chopped brown onion and parsley, sliced assorted mushrooms and some shredded mozzarella cheese. In this recipe I use a few tablespoons of LEGGO'S PASTA SAUCE - BOLOGNESE (click on the LINK to see the sample and range of available sauce) to act as the sauce based for the pasta. If you don't prefer tomato base sauce, you can always swap it with white sauce like Carbonara.

Since I am sharing this baked pasta with my colleagues for lunch. I decided to fill the cooked pasta into individual small foil tin and top it with some extra chopped parsley and a generous amount of shredded cheese. (so sorry I won't be sharing the details of this recipe because it will be feature in the recipe column of Parents World which I am contributing the recipes on)

Pop them into a toaster oven for about 5 minutes or less to melt the cheese and you can served them hot or warm with some extra chili flake or parmesan cheese....... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Avocado ~ Egg ~ Tomato

This is my combination of appetiser meal, Avocado Vs Egg Vs Tomato. I simply just love the taste of Avocado, when this is in season I'll always have it in my fruit basket. I love to eat it with plain yogurt, or blend it with some fresh milk and honey and serve it as a health afternoon snack or after meal refreshment with a few ice cubes.

There are so many ways and ideas that you can eat your avocado with. And also high avocado intake has been shown to have an effect on blood serum cholesterol levels and it is also rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E.

In this appetiser, I used 1 avocado, 1 hard boiled egg and 2 ripe medium size tomato to come out with 3 different taste and texture of the combination.

Mashed Avocado & Egg Salad
~ Mashed half of the hard-boiled egg with about 2 to 3 slices of avocado and serve it in a tomato cup.

Avocado Slices With Plain Yogurt
~ Arrange some avocado slices on plate and top with a dollar of plain Greek yogurt(or you can choose yogurt of your favour).

This is great to serve as a an presentable appetiser when you have guest around the house. You can top with with other fresh fruits of your choice or you can use tomato or cucumber or any combination that you prefer.Posted by Picasa

~ Cut the avocado into half, carefully scoop out the fruit and leave the shell in shape.
~ Place half of the hard-boiled egg in the middle and filled the space of the shelf with avocado & tomato cubes.
~ Drizzle with some BBQ or Thai Chilli sauce before serving.

Monday 11 May 2009

Steam Salted Chicken

This is one of the backdate posts which I have no time to publish it out. We have this dish a few weeks ago on one of the weekend meal together with the Tomato Scramble Egg. The method of this Steam Salted Chicken is sort of similar to the Steam Herbal Chicken. But the main Ingredients here is salt pair with a lot of grated ginger and spring onion to infuse the chicken.

You can use either Chicken Maryland (refers to the thigh and leg)like what I have here or you can substitute it with chicken wings, or cut chicken pieces.

1 Chicken Maryland, trim
2 Stalks of Spring Onion, cut into sections
1/2 Tablespoon of Grated Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Wolfberries
2 Red Date, halves
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine, optional

1. Clean and trim the chicken fats, pat dry with paper kitchen towel then rub salt and ginger all over it and set aside.
2. Get a ceramic bowl or deep plate, arrange some spring onion at the base (this is to act as a supporting based to let the chicken cook through easily) then place the marinate chicken on top of it.
3. Next put half of the remaining spring onion on top of the chicken together with the red date and set aside in the fridge to marinate for about 30 minute or longer.
4. Remove from the fridge 5 minutes before steaming and steam it over medium heat for about 20 - 25 minutes or till chicken is cook through when you poke it with fork and the juice runs out clear.
5. Remember to add in the wolfberries and rice wine after 15 minutes of steaming time.

a) You can also cover the bowl or plate with a foil to keep steam chicken moist and as well trap the fragrant of the dish but then you might need a longer steaming time for this. Usually I will cover only when I add herbs to it so as to keep the fragrant of the herbs.

This is a very fragrant dish that you can serve it with hot rice and use the gravy from the steam chicken to serve with your rice. If you want it to be more herbal, you can add 2 to 3 slices of Dang Gui (当归) on top of the chicken and steam it accordingly.Posted by Picasa

Sunday 10 May 2009

Chocolate Overload

Talk about Chocolate both Reyon and me can't resists it. We have all kind of chocolate stuffs in the kitchen pantry and fridge, ranging from cookies to ice-cream and cakes.....So when I come across this recipe, I told myself that this is a must try list on our baking list. I show Rey the picture of this Chocolate muffin and at once he told me that he wants to make for me, Grandma and Grandaunt on Mother's Day.

So immediately after the washing up from our Salmon Bento lunch. We started our Mother's Day baking project. I help Reyon to measure all the ingredients and put them into separate bowl while he will follow my instructions to make the muffins. This as usual is suitable to be handle by kids as it require only, WHISK, STIR, POUR and BAKE. So do give your kids a chance to whisk up this simple and yet irresistible chocolate muffin.

Bento #27 - Salmon Onigiri Bento

Today is Mother's Day and after our usual Sunday Church service, we went to the nearby Supermarket to get some ingredients to prepare our lunch. After looking at the ingredients, we settle for Salmon Fillet, Button Mushroom and Corn.

With the ingredients in hand, we made some Salmon Flake & Corn Onigiri. Rey and I love the colour combination as our Church dress code for Mother's Day is Pink this year. I pan-fry the salmon fillet with shredded ginger and spring onion until brown then set aside. I cook the rice as per normal by adding some fresh corn kernel and chestnut and cook until done then I add in the salmon flakes and mould them into round onigiri.

With some olive oil, I do a quick stir-fry using the sliced button mushroom and carrot to serve it as a side dish. Tata... so after assemble above is what we have for our lunch today.... Posted by Picasa

Thursday 7 May 2009

Bento #26 - Cheese Pie & Fruit Salad

Since I am alone in the office this week as my colleague went for Holiday Trip. I decided to pack some light and simple lunch for work today. I packed 3 different types of cut fruits which are Kiwi, Dragon fruit and apple to go with my Blueberry Cheese Pie. As we are in a rush, I forget to soak the cut apple slices in some salted water to prevent it for discolouration.

On the second day, I bring some cut dragon fruits and apple slices to work again and this round I have soaked the cut apple in some salted water for a while and the colour remain clear and nice through out even when I eat it quite late after lunch :)

I used this set of Mickey Mouse design vegetable cutter to cut my apple slices for the bento.... :) You can take a look at other range of the Mickey Mouse Bento Tools here.(click the link) Posted by Picasa

Monday 4 May 2009

Bento #25 - Happy Mother's Day

This coming Sunday, 10 May 2009 will be the once a year Mother's Day. And we had this Pre-Mother's Day Bento last weekend just in case we are out for celebration on the actual day. It's done by me and my 5 years old boy. He helps to remove the shell from the cooked quail eggs, cut the features and assemble them into cute little farm animals. Cut the jam sandwiches and kiwi slices using the heart-shape cutter. We did have a lot of fun making all and it's a great way to bond with kids too.

Tata... this is what I did for the finally arrangement. After Rey had finished all the cutter and sticking of the features, I will do the finally touch up as well as the arrangement into the bento box. So in the end, this is what we have..........

This is the set of Quail Egg Cutter which CP from Bentomarket get it for us through the suggestion of Amy(Shoppingmum) from MotheringCorner to source for this cute cutter. Amy has a cute froggies bento using this quail cutter to make the frog too... take a look :)

I have help Rey cooked the Quail Eggs, then he did all the peeling and using the cutter to cut the features and assemble these cute little Farm Animals. Out of the 5 animals, I only help him to cut the zig-zag outline for the chick using the special cutter available in the set. He really have a lot of fun doing these and it's the best Mother's Day present for me because these cuties are from the hand of my darling......

Look at this row of farm animals queuing up in action..... starting from Little Dog, Chick, Rabbit and Piglets...... Posted by Picasa