Sunday, April 26, 2009

MEE SIAM SINGAPORE


Mee Siam, which means "Siamese noodle", is a dish of thin rice noodles (vermicelli or bihun) in spicy, sweet and sour light gravy. It is one of the most popular dish in Singapore. The Malaysian version (dry version) is completely different. Originally a Thai dish, it became a Nyonya specialty eventually.
Here's how it done...

The Gravy
Prepare mixture A and set aside..
Cut & Blend:

5 Shallots
3 Cloves garlic
6 Dried chilli
1 tablespoon shrimp paste (Belacan)
1 tablespoon dried shrimp
2 onions
6 candle nuts

Prepare mixture B and set aside
Blend:

4 heaped tablespoon of preserved yellow beans (Tau Cheo)
(Note: While most people lightly crush the Tau Cheo, it will taste better blended until it become a paste)
Tamarind Juice from 3 tablespoons of the pulp, strained.
1.5 tablespoon of Palm sugar (Gula Merah)
1/2 teaspoon of salt (Do not add more than this coz Tau Cheo is already salty)

Cook mixture A in 5 tablespoons of olive oil until fragrant then add mixture B


Add 1 litre of water
Add 3 piece dried tamarind fruit (asam keping), & 2 smashed lemon grass stalk
Add 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
Simmer for 30 minutes under slow heat.
Now the gravy is done. Set Aside

The Noodle...
Blanch vermicelli in boiling water for 30 seconds
Heat 4 tablespoon of olive oil
Stir fry 1 clove of garlic, 3 tablespoon of pounded dried shrimp, 2 tablespoon of chilli paste & 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Add the vermicelli & cook lightly.
When it's done, add the gravy & garnish.

Alternatively, just blanch the vermicelli in boiling water for 1 minute and add the prepared gravy and garnish.

Serve piping hot.

As you like, garnish with:

Potato Cake (Bergedil)
Chopped Spring onion & coriander leaves
Boiled egg
Blanced bean sprout
Diced fried bean curd
Finely chopped Tau Foo Pok
Boiled shrimp

Bon appetit

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE




This is not really an Asian recipe. However I felt compelled to add this recipe as most Asians simply love good cheesecake. It is a great dessert and it will simply suit all occasion. Baking cheesecake is relatively easy as long as these steps are complied. Cracks on the surface of a baked cheesecake is a common problem and is caused either by over beating the mixture or by overbaking. In order to prevent cracks make sure you beat the ingredients at low speed as, unlike other cakes, you do not want to add a lot of air into the mixture. The thing to remember is that you want the cheesecake to be firm but, if you shake the pan gently, it should still wobble a little, and the center will still look a little wet. Do not exceed 120 degrees Celsius. Cheesecakes should not to be eaten straight away as they need to cool and then be refrigerated overnight, so the flavors have time to blend and the texture becomes nice and firm. Time is the main issue here. You can’t rush to bake a cheesecake

The ingredients..
The Crust:
2 cups (190 grams) of Digestive biscuits (Blend whole cookies in a food processor
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Knead all the ingredients together until they become cookie dough


The Filling:
1 kg Philadelphia cream cheese. (Room temperature)
1 cup (200 grams) castor sugar
3 tablespoons (40 grams) all purpose flour
5 large eggs. (Room temperature
1/3 cup (80 ml) whipping cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla e
ssence
½ teaspoon of salt


Topping:
Canned blueberry paste. Alternatively, you can use strawberry paste.
This is the way it's done..
Grease spring form pan with butter. Make sure that the spring form pan is well greased as cracking can occur if the cheesecake sticks to the sides as it cools

For Base Crust:
Press the cookie dough evenly over the bottom and about 2cm up the sides of the spring form pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Cheesecake Filling:
In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on low speed until smooth. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape the
sides of the bowl again. Add the whipping cream, lemon juice, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling.

Now it's time to bake...
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Place the pan in the centre of the oven and lower the oven temperature to 120 degrees Celsius and continue to bake for about another 2 hours. (Away from direct heat as far as possible)

The cheesecake will be firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. (trust me, it's done) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecake tastes best after being refrigerated for at least a day.

Final touch...
Brush the sides of the cheesecake with melted chocolate.
Spread the blueberry paste on top of the cheesecake and refrigerate it again for another hour at least. (If the top of your cheesecake still cracks, the blueberry topping will hide them)


Bon app├ętit.