Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vicki's Gift From The Sea

Something Fishy
I could live off sea food for the rest of my life. So whenever Fairy Godmother Vicki descends with a load of frozen fish from her hometown, it is certainly time for that something special. This time I decided to make fried fish with Tom Yam sauce and take a good photograph of it. It is easy, quick and sure to be polished off. Thank you Vicki, this one is for you.
The Recipe
1 large fish (pomfret or snapper), scaled and gutted, head, tail and fins intact. Wash, drain, rub with salt and turmeric powder and keep ready for use.
2 tbsp flour to coat fish with; oil for deep frying fish; large platter to hold fish
For Sauce: 1 tbsp tom yam paste (those who like it spicier can use more); 1 ½ cup water; 1 tbsp cornflour;1 tbsp oil; 4 flakes garlic, cut fine; 1 inch ginger, minced; salt to taste; 1 medium sized tomato sliced and coriander leaves for garnishing.
Coat fish with flour and deep fry till crisp. Drain and keep hot.
To Make The Sauce: Heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for a minute on high heat. Lower flame and add the tom yam paste. Stir fry another minute till fragrant. Now add the water mixed with the corn flour, salt to taste and bring to the boil stirring continuously to avoid lumps. As soon as the sauce thickens (1 to 2 minutes), remove from fire. Transfer fish to serving plate and pour sauce over it. Garnish with coriander leaves and sliced tomato and serve hot with white rice.
N.B. Can also add 100 gms ladies finger(cut each into three pieces), stir fried in 1tbsp oil. (Optional)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Treasure Hunt

Chilli Chicken Surprise

This is another delectable recipe which evokes mirth. Soon after we came to Kuala Lumpur I began to be fascinated by the varieties of cuisine one could see in every quarter. Since I love Chinese food, I decided to learn how to make it and beseeched all my new friends and acquaintances for recipes and demonstrations. One of the recipes I observed was the above and so I decided to make it myself one Sunday. The ingredients were bought and stored away. I finally made it and found that my dear daughters had found my hidden stash of cashewnuts and eaten it all up!
The Recipe
1 large chicken breast without skin, washed, drained and cut into cubes: oil for deep frying
For marinade: 1 tbsp cornflour; 1 egg, beaten lightly; salt and pepper to taste
Seasoning: 3 to 4 dried red chillies, broken into pieces; 2 tbsp peanut oil
For Garnish: 15 cashewnuts fried golden brown; 1 spring onion chopped fine
For Sauce: 1 tbsp cornflour and 1 soup cube dissolved in ½ cup water
1 red or green capsicum, cubed.
Marinade chicken in cornflour, pepper powder, salt and egg for 15 minutes making the pieces are coated nicely. Heat the oil and deep fry to golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, cover and keep hot.
Heat 2 tbsp peanut oil and add the broken chillies to it. Stir fry a minute. Add the sauce ingredients and when it begins to boil, lower flame stirring all the while for a minute. Add the fried chicken and capsicum, mix well and transfer to serving dish. Garnish with cashew nuts and spring onions. Serve hot with Chinese Fried Rice.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Woman Of Substance

Appetite For Avocado

Avocados or butterfruit as they are also known, are one of my favourite fruits. And whenever I see one I remember my late mum-in-law Mercy Isaac (Pichamuthu). And have a good laugh over the story she told me. She was a force to reckon with. Have no idea how she managed to nurture eleven children, feed them, clothe them and give them the attention they each required, and also do her numerous good deeds and social work, when I had to juggle my time between two girls. She was always ready to help people and was a very good conversationalist. And was a wizard at cooking. She had a huge compound in which there were numerous avocado trees and apparently none of her family liked them, so the boys used the fruit for target practice. I love them and Nehru watched in horror as I devoured them in soups, sauces, dips, salads, cakes, smoothies, shakes, puddings and much more. One day I decided to trick him and served him a delicious pudding with pieces of mango in it. After he ate it with enjoyment, I told him it was his favourite bĂȘte noire.
The Recipe
2 cups low fat milk; 2 ripe avocados, scoop out the flesh and blend till smooth; 1 ripe mango, skinned & cubed; 3 tsp gelatine dissolved in ¼ cup hot milk; sugar to taste.
Add the sugar to the milk and stir till dissolved. Add the blended avocado, and gelatine and beat till smooth and creamy with an electric beater. Transfer to serving dish and gently add the cubed mangoes, reserving some for decoration. Set in refrigerator. Decorate with reserved mango before serving.

Avocados are a very misunderstood fruit. A lot of people detest them. They are a super food packed with essential nutrients, easy to digest and are rich in natural antibiotic and antifungal chemicals. Avocados contain monounstaurated fat, which is a healthy, beneficial fat. Research has shown that adding naturally fatty foods such as avocados to the diet is associated with optimal nutrient absorption.