Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes:

8 medium-sized potatoes
60g butter, melted (used half olive oil and half butter)
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
1/2 cup bacon bits

1. Peel potatoes and cut into halves. Make thin slits on potatoes only 3/4 way.

2. Place potatoes flat side down in a microwave dish with about 30ml water.(Water prevents the potatoes from drying up) Cover and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Remove and place on a greased and foil-lined baking tray.

4. Bake in preheated oven 200 deg C for 30 minutes, brushing with butter occasionally.

5. Sprinkle breadcrumb mix and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Breadcrumb mix

All baked and ready! (should have used more cheddar and some mozzarella)

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Christmas Menu - Baked Ribs

Baked Prime Pork Ribs
Baked Salmon
Hasselback Potatoes
Honey-baked Ham*(bought)
Spaghetti with Meatball Sauce*(sister)
Caesar's Salad*(elder daughter)
Tiramisu*(elder daughter)

Phew! It's finally over and done with!
I used to do the full menu myself, all single-handedly but for the past couple of years, I had been getting my sister and daughter to contribute something. So many Christmases meant so many years of baking and roasting! And I've aged and am no longer the 'superwoman' I once was! Gotta admit defeat! SIGH!

My Baked Ribs Recipe:

(I used 3 slabs of ribs which was slightly over 3 kg.)

I kg prime ribs or baby backs (score the meaty parts before marinating)

Marinade for 1 kg ribs:
3 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Steak sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice(depends on preferred tanginess)
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Mix all the seasonings together.

2. Marinate the ribs overnight. You may cut into 2 or 3-rib pieces or use the whole slab.(I cut to fit into the pot)

3. Place ribs with marinade in a pot and enough water to cover ribs and bring to a boil.

4. Simmer for about one hour or more and test if meat is chewable but not too soft or it will fall off the bones. This keeps the meat moist and not dry after baking.

5. Remove ribs and continue to boil the marinade(at this stage, it is watery) till it thickens.

6. Arrange ribs in a foil-covered tray(for easy cleaning) and spoon thicken marinade over the ribs. Keep some for basting later. Cover tray with foil.

7. Bake in preheated oven 200 deg C for about 45 minutes, remove foil, baste with marinade and use grill function to grill for a slightly burnt effect. (Unfortunately my oven's grill function had to fail me on such an occasion and so I merely baked it on a higher level, closer to the top element. It wasn't that effective but nevertheless it tasted good.)

From the pot to the baking tray!

From the oven to the table! Finger-licking good!

p/s I will post the rest of the dishes later.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Season's Greetings

This is it!
The Day is finally here!
Countdown to Christmas!

Amidst all that last minute shopping
Bustling about in the kitchen
To lay a sumptuous feast on the table
And gearing up for a party
I would like to pause and ponder
The true meaning of Christmas.........

Thank you God for Christmas
Thank you for Lord Jesus
There would never be Christmas
If You had not come down to us.

That said, I would like to wish all fellow bloggers, visitors and people all over the world,

God Bless!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Almond Chews

No... the almond doesn't bite nor chew. It requires chewing, yes... that's right, chew !

Just as the name suggests, these cake-like slices do indeed require chewing. Anything that is nutty, has got to be chewed or masticated!

These are indeed indulgent slices. Sweet and chewy!
I couldn't stop at one, I had four!!
Those with a sweet tooth will not resist this.

The Recipe:

160g unsalted butter
310g caster sugar (used 240g)
45g soft brown sugar (used 60g)
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla essence
250g self-raising flour, sifted
150g white chocolate chips
150g almond flakes (used 170g)
icing sugar, for dusting

1. Prepare a 30 x 20 cm shallow tin, greased and lined, leaving the paper hanging over the sides. This makes it easier to lift the slice out.

2. Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

3. Beat eggs till thick and creamy. Add vanilla essence, flour and cooled butter mixture and mix well. Stir in white chocolate chips and half of the almond flakes.

4. Spread evenly in the tin and sprinkle remaining almond flakes on top. The mixture is gooey and thick.

5. Bake in preheated oven, 170 deg C for 30 minutes or until golden brown. The centre will be soft and chewy.

6. Leave to cool in the tin and lift out and cut into squares or rectangles. Dust with icing sugar.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Dinner Menu

The annual battle in my head!

Shall I......maybe......or perhaps......
Roast Beef....
Baked Ribs......
Baked Salmon....
Beef Bourguigon.....
Beef Stew in Red Wine.....
Honey Baked Ham.....
Grilled Chicken........ or ...........??????

What a hassle! But I love it!
Planning a Christmas dinner for 12 persons!
Making sure that the dishes suit everyone
Not too spicy, not too salty, not to sweet.........

1. Meat
2. Fish
3. Potatoes
4. Two salads
5. Pasta
6. Appetizers
7. Dessert

Coming soon on Christmas Day!

What's For Lunch?

What's on the menu for lunch? The usual, would be the retort!

Stir- fried Broccoli, Carrot and Roselle

Stir-fried Leek and Beancake (Taukwa)

Braised Belly Pork in Soya sauce

A bowl of rice, please? I'm famished!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peanut Blossoms

Sounds interesting? Well it certainly did to me when I saw it in the book which I bought in June. In fact I did my bedtime reading and bookmarked quite a number of recipes in this book. I was taking a long time to try out the recipes until I read about this very same cookie on Shirley's blog.

Well, I decided to give it a shot!

48 Hershey's Kisses brand Milk Chocolate

3/4 cup Reese Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter (I used Skippy)
1/2 cup shortening (used butter)
1/3 granulated sugar (didn't have any, so used fine sugar)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk (used UHT)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (used plain flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
extra granulated sugar to roll unbaked cookies (didn't used it)

1. Heat oven to 190 deg C. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Set aside.

2. Beat peanut butter and shortening with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

3. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat well.

4. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt, gradually beat into peanut mixture.

5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in additional granulated sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into the centre of each cookie. Cookie will crack around edges. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
Makes about 48 cookies.

The Book - I was attracted to the pictures.

I an not sure about Shirley, but I definitely won't want to bake this again unless I tweak the recipe. It's not crunchy enough for me. Perhaps it could be the butter which I substituted. It's a pity cos they are cute-looking!