Friday, October 31, 2008

recipe is : apple crumble


Apple Filling
8 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
10 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
1/3 cup blueberry jam

Crumble Base
3 1/2 cup flour
250 gm butter, cold and diced
6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Crumble Topping
2 cups flour
10 tbsp instant oats
8 tbsp brown sugar
120 gm butter, cold and diced


in a large pan cook the apples, sugar and cinnamon over a med flame for 10 minutes to soften the apples. mix the lemon juice and cornflour. stir the mixture into the apples and mix thoroughly. take of the heat and set aside

preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. line the bottom of a 9 inch by 9 inch pan and let the baking paper overhang over the 2 sides. lightly grease the other sides

in a big bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt for the base. add the diced butter and using only the fingertips, rub the flour mixture into the butter til it resembles fine breadcrumbs. pour into the prepared tin and lightly press down to pack it in a little. bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 mins or until the base just starts to brown

remove from oven and spread blueberry jam over the base. top with the cooked apple. set aside

in the same bowl, mix the flour and sugar. add the butter and in the rub in the same method as before, only this time, rub until the dough resembles lumpy clumps of breadcrumbs. sprinkle the topping on top of the apples and put in the oven to bake for a further 30 minutes or until it turns golden brown. remove from oven and let cool

best served warm with vanilla ice cream

Note: the cornflour is used as a thickener for the juice that oozes out of the cooked apples. any non-taste-altering agent can be used to substitute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

recipe is : pot stickers


600 gm minced meat (minced pork is normally used, but other minced meat works as well)
1 cup cabbage, finely chopped, sprinkled with a dash of salt, stand for 5 min then squeezed dry
a handful chives or spring onion or both, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp chinese cooking wine
salt to taste
chicken stock or water
a large knob of young ginger, finely julienne
chilly sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 pack round wonton wrappers


mix the meat, cabbage, chives/spring onion, garlic, salt and cooking wine. mix well to thoroughly incorporate

take a piece of wonton wrapper and soon about 2 tsp of filling in the middle and pleat the edge of the wrapper til halfway round. seal the pleated edge to the unpleated side with a bit of water. repeat til all filling is finished

in a flat pan, heat up about 1 tbsp of oil and arrange the dumplings to fry til golden brown on one side. do not turn or move the dumplings. add about 1/3 cup of chicken stock and cover the pan. turn down the flame and cook for about 6 minutes until most of the stock has been absorbed and the wrappers turn almost translucent. turn up the heat again and cook for about another 6 mins or til the bottom of the dumpling has turn a darker brown

mix the chilly sauce with the vinegar

serve the dumplings with the ginger and the chilly sauce


- this is a simpler version. i used wonton skin to wrap the dumplings. the original calls for the preparation of the wrappers from scratch. methods of making the wrappers can be found on the internet. just do a search of "pot sticker wrappers"

- an alternative dipping sauce is to use malt vinegar instead of the chilly sauce. the young ginger is also used to acompany the malt vinegar

recipe is: simple potato bake


4 big potatoes, peeled and sliced into 5mm thick pieces
a handful of english chives, finely chopped
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, skin on
300 ml cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper


preheat the oven to 170 degrees C

bring to boil a pot of water and once the water is bubbling, throw in the garlic and boil for 10 mins. add a dash of salt and throw in the potatoes. boil for 10 minutes and drain.

remove the skin from the garlic, use a fork to mash up the garlic flesh

in a small saucepan, pour in the cream, add a dash of salt and the mashed garlic, stir and over a low flame, bring it to a simmer

in a shallow baking dish, arrange the potatoes in a layer and sprinkle a little of the cheeses, parsley and chives. repeat with another layer of potatoes, cheeses and herbs. it should be about 3 to 4 layers.

pour in the cream and bake for 30 minutes