The three ingredients for this month’s Royal Food Joust are apple, cayenne pepper and maple syrup, picked by Natasha @5 Star Foodie. When I saw this I have everything in the kitchen, Dutch baking apples from our neighbours, maple syrup from Canada and cayenne pepper sitting on the shelf. It immediately inspired me to make a pot roast pork. I like the idea of using roast apples instead of apple sauce. The cayenne pepper did not make the pork too spicy at all because of the maple syrup; the fragrance of the herbs infused into the pork without the need of marinating the pork loin and the masala wine in the gravy sauce made a nice finishing touch for this dish.
When I came across to Ben’s avocado corn muffins of What’s Cooking? It has triggered me to click the links in his post to find out more about a cookbook campaign initiated by a social network called BloggerAid. This meaningful food event is founded by three food bloggers: Ivy of Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality, Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen and Val of More than Burnt Toast. And without hesitation, I joined this Social Network immediately.
Currently this campaign is the biggest fundraiser of BloggerAid and the most ambitious project to date. This cookbook is scheduled to be sold in amazon.com by end of 2009 and the funds raised from the book will be directed to The World Food Program, a UN agency. There is a great deal of work involved in delivering this project and to make it a tremendous success, all of you are invited to contribute by submitting a recipe that you haven’t published on your blog (or anywhere else) you can send it to BloggerAid to be included in the book. To learn more about this project and how you can help, please visit the official annoucement on the BloggerAid social network.
Regarding to my submission, the first thing that crossed into my mind when think of world famine are those kids who are suffering from hunger but we are so fortunate to enjoy all kinds of food everyday, thinking of what to cook each day and which restaurant we want to try. A lot of time we have forgotten those who are still finding ways to solve the fundamental issue of filling up their stomachs, they won’t even have time or dare to think of if the food they take have to be delicious.
Therefore I was thinking along the line to come up with something that is simple, nutritious, easily accessible, tasty and filling. It was not an easy decision as each person can only submit one recipe, so after long consideration here it is:
Chinese Potato Pancake with a twist
This is actually a dish my mom used to prepare for us from time to time when I was a kid, my brother and I loved it. In Hong Kong, my mom serves this with rice as one of the main dishes for dinner. This dish actually would be gone in minutes. I have altered my mom’s version with a Swiss touch, being now in Switzerland. Believe me, I ate this before I learnt about the Swiss Rösti or hash brown or the Kartoffelpuffer (German version of potato pancake) and this version uses comparatively much less oil to pan-fry, hence healthier. I am pretty sure you will give your thumb up too once you have tried!
Lastly, hope to see you joining us in BloggerAid, the submission deadline has been extened to 31 March, 2009 !
Learnt from Rosa’s Yum Yum’s post on Pecan Sandies that there is a worldwide cookie event called “Eat Christmas Cookies” by Susan at “Food Blogga” (USA), so I thought I can submit my amaretti too. This is already Season 2 of this event, you can see the round up so far here. The deadline is 21 December so there is still time to submit for all of you!
The chewy cookies quest has got me went on to explore how to make amaretti. Amaretti is my husband favorite, he was so happy when the first batch of the amaretti came out of the oven to be a success. I have never thought that they are so easy to make. The beauty is that I can buy the ground almond easily in Switzerland, saves a lot of time from grounding. The Swiss loves almond flavored desserts, the ground almonds was run out from Coop and I have to run to next door Migros to buy them, Migros has almost run out too so I immediately stocked up 6 packs of 100g in case I fail in my first attempt. Now that they come out so nicely, I have already received a pre-order from my in-laws to take over to Holland when we visit them over Christmas. This will keep me busy in the next days in the kitchen : )
- 300g ground almond (200g blanched & 100g non-blanched)
- 280g fine sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 3 egg whites (use large eggs)
- 1 tbsp white flour
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- pinch of salt
- a little of lemon juice
- 1 tsp bitter almond essence
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- butter and flour for baking paper
Make: 32-36 pieces
- Line the baking sheets on the baking trays, butter and flour them accordingly .
- If you cannot find ground almond, you will need to ground the almond (with skin removed) using a food processor. Otherwise mix the ground almond with the sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice until you get a dense white foam.
- Gradually fold in the almond sugar mix, flour and corn starch using a spatula. Make sure there are no lumps, use a colander where necessary.
- Add in the bitter almond and vanilla essence, blend well until it is throughoutly mixed.
- You should now have a very nice almond dough. Place teaspoon size of the dough in the buttered and floured baking sheets. The doughs can be quite close together about 2cm aparts, as they will not rise much. Each amaretti will be about 5cm x 5cm. Use your finger to help shaping the amaretti a little if necessary.
- Dust the dough with powdered sugar and leave them in a cool place for 4-5 hours before baking.
- Preheat oven to 170°C, half an hour before baking.
- Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 25 mins or until subtle golden brown. This will give you crispy sides and nicely chewy in the middle. If you like them more crispy, you can add a few more minutes accordingly to your preference.
- When out of the oven, let them cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transfer them to the cooling rack.
- Serve when cooled or store them in air-tight metal cookie tins.
- Don’t forget to prepare a nice coffee or expresso to go with them.
Note. My first attempt turned out to be so good that I went to make a second batch but this time I have left them overnight and it turned out that they only need to be baked for 20 mins, and they turned to golden yellow and still soft inside so I turned them to cooling rack straight away. Alternatively, you can turn the oven to 150°C for 24 mins . It’s really a matter of adjusting between time and temperature and of course knowing your oven : )
Food Event: A-Fruit-A-Month (AFAM) initiated by Maheswari from Beyond the Usual
Recently I was referred to a food event called A Fruit A Month (AFAM) by Ivy from kopiaste. And the Fruit selected for September was Gooseberry hosted by Vani from Illatharasi. I was invited to submit my gooseberries recipes. I like the concept of this food event, there will be a collection of all entries and information about the selected fruit at the beginning of the following month. Here is the link for the Gooseberry round up to share with up.
Another type of Gooseberry? Mini Kiwi is also know as Siberian Gooseberry!
Recently I have discovered another unusual fruit in the supermarket: Mini Kiwi. There are 2 versions (see picture below) and I was just curious and bought both to try out at home. Apparently they are locally grown here in Basel. You can just wash them, cut both ends and eat them like grapes, it is not necessary to peel off the skin.
Excerpt from Wikipedia (translated from Dutch): The mini kiwi (Actinidia arguta) is a relative of the kiwi. It is an ancient species, in 770 AD. mini-kiwi for the first time described. The plant was soon in Europe and Asia cultivated, mainly in the botanical .gardens. The mini kiwi originated in northern Japan. eastern Manchuria and the taiga ’s Siberia. The mini-kiwi is under many different names known. Funny enough one of them is known as Siberian gooseberry. Gooseberry again?
Can you find the only Kiwi shaped Rock Candy in the Kiwi platter?
Note. Rock candy got from Sweet Basel.
And here comes the Blog Award….
Many thanks to Núria from Spanish Recipes that have passed a blog award to me in September. Funny enough I have received another award that day at the same time so it took me some time to collect another 7 blogs to nominate in order to stick to the game plan.
The rules are as follow:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (as shown above).
3) Nominate at least seven other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.
And I would like to pass onto the following:
- Gertrude from My Kitchen Snippets
- Karen from Rambling Spoon
- Kiriel from The Papillon Pantry
- Amy from We are Never Full
- Jessica from Apples and Butter
- Pixen from Life loves the Curious
- Bentoist from Bentoism
I want to mention that there are many more blogs iLike but most of the above are recently discovered and would like to share with you, please see my blogroll for more….
Happy cooking and blogging!
It’s almost end of October, just in time to join the monthly Foodie event: Royal Foodie Joust created by Jenn’s The Leftover Queen’s Forum-The Foodie Blogroll. Each month, the previous month winner will pick three ingredients for the following event.
Last month’s winner, Peter from Souvlaki for the Soul had made a tempting Greek dessert-Halvas of which his wonderful picture had certainly caught my attention immediately. He has picked the following ingredients for this month’s event:
Fennel (whole, ground, seeds)
Dairy (in any form)
Personally I am not fond of fennel bulbs (due to the liquorice) but fennel seeds seem to be okay when mixed with other things.
Out of curiosity, I did a little search about fennel seeds and learnt that Fennel Seeds are very effective for digestive problems. These seeds can be chewed for beneficial effects to the stomach. In India, these are routinely chewed upon after meals to aid in digestion after a rich meal while acting as a herbal mouth freshener.
Recently when I spent the holiday in France, I bought three boxes of candies because the tin-containers are pretty (see picture below). Each sweet has a fennel seed inside. I did not know why they have to be like that now I understand the reason behind…..
At first I do not plan to join this month’s event because of the choice of fennel. But tonight, I have a friend coming over for dinner and she hopes I can make something Thai for her so it inspires me to make this Northern Thai curry for her, it’s adapted from Darlene Schmidt’s recipe. We all enjoyed this curry very much, it had a very unique taste that blend the Thai and Indian curries together. I find making curries from scratch are always special because you cannot easily find the same taste in the restaurants. Whatsmore I like mixing things in general since I was little and it’s very nice to see how the spices can produce so many different flavors when mixed together. So here’s my entry:
- 1 small can coconut milk (165ml)
- 400g natural bifudus yogurt
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 shallots, cut into pieces
- 1 onion, cut into pieces
- 1 fresh tomato, cut into pieces
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 red chili & 1 green chili (removed seeds and cut into small pieces)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce
- approx 6cm piece of ginger, grated
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp graham masala
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
To put into the curry:
- 1 medium chicken, chopped into pieces
- 4 carrots, cut into pieces
- 1 purple onion
- 2 tomatoes, cut into big pieces
- 6-8 mini yellow aubergines, cut into halves
- 2 cinnamon sticks, break into halves
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley, cut with scissors only use the leaves
- Cut the whole chicken into pieces.
- Preheat the oven at 200°C.
- Make the curry sauce by blending all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor.
- Put the chicken, purple onion, carrots, aubergines and the cinnamon sticks into a baking tray and then pour the curry sauce over, stir until they are mixed with the sauce.
- Place the baking tray into the oven and bake at for 1 hour or so until chicken and vegetables are cooked.
- Remove the baking tray from the oven.
- Serve the curry on your favorite dish and generously sprinkle the parley on top.
- Serve with Indian Roti Parathra, basmati or long grain rice