March 23, 2013

BBD-57: Savoury Bread

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Bread Baking Day #57 - Blogwarming Party - please bring Bread! (Last day of submission April 1st, 2013)

I have been missing out so many blogging world's online event for years, blaming my own mood if not this business of raising two homeschoolers and a toddler. The time to write is so limited and always be interrupted with the kids' and (sometimes) the father's needs. I guess it's just one risk of being a multitasking person, I believe.

Assorted Bread

Today, I ask them to let me have an hour free to prepare this blog post and here I am. Zorra, I keep my promise. Here is my entry for your BBD#57: Blogwarming Party.

Savoury Bread 
with Beef Mince and Mushroom Filling

Actually, I made assorted bread from one dough recipe. I am that kind of person, who'd like to grab any opportunity to taste different things at one time. I think I am eligible for a wine tasting. *kidding

From this rich bread dough recipe, I made three kinds of bread: Mexican Coffee Buns, Savoury Bread with beef mince and mushroom filling, and Mexican Coffee Buns with Nutella filling. They all turned out really good and delicious. That's what my family said.

I followed the recipe for the bread dough here. It turned out really good, kind of spongy for a homemade bread. 

Savoury Bread

And this is my recipe for the Beef Mince and Mushroom filling.

300g beef mince
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 cup shiitake mushroom, soaked in warm water, chopped, reserve the soaking water
2 medium tomatoes, blanched and diced
2 Tbs tomato paste
3 Tbs smokey BBQ sauce
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp chopped thyme
2 cups fresh homemade beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
oil to cook

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook chopped onion until translucent. Add in beef and brown. Throw in chopped garlic while beef is cooking. Throw in chopped mushrooms and its soaking water. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste and BBQ sauce, stir well. Pour in beef stock, cook until bubbly and the beef mince is tender. Throw in chopped herbs and season to taste. When the sauce is thickened, remove the filling from the stove to cool and ready to be used for bread filling. 

Have a great party, everyone!

March 18, 2013

Ayam Taliwang, A Memory from Bali

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Kafe Batan Waru is one of Bali Good Food's restaurants, which is located on Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, Bali that I often dine in when I am back to Indonesia. I love the atmosphere, I love the staffs, and I love the food. I go there so often that right now I can have a vision sitting at one of those chairs, overlooking the street, and watching the passers by while munching away lemper ayam or lumpiah as a starter. 

Dining in Kafe Batan Waru when I just landed for several hours on this lovely island is like a child learning more Indonesian flavours that I have been missing during my living abroad. Although I often cook Indonesian food at my Kiwi kitchen, it just is not the same. In New Zealand, many of the ingredients on a recipe I have to omit because of its rarity or if I'm lucky enough I might bump into some ice-burnt items from the frozen bins in an Asian groceries shop. But it is not often the case. The thing like kencur (kaempferia galanga), I have given up looking now. The shop keepers always raise their eyebrows when I ask about a specific herb like that, indicating it is a foreigner.

I often have a thought to smuggle kencur from Bali, but as a good citizen of New Zealand, I don't ever try as I know it is impossible to happen. Well, it might happen, but I might end up paying fine for it, since New Zealand custom is very strict on biosecurity check. Even when I declare, perhaps the herbs will end up in an airport bin or destroyed by the biosecurity officers. I may be right or I may be wrong.

To tell you the truth, that is the herb I miss so much, as there is a number of dish uses this herb for a complete Indonesian recipe and flavour. Pecel (Javanese steamed green leaves with peanut sauce) does not taste like it when it misses kencur in its peanut sauce, to name a few.

Fortunately, when I craved for Ayam Taliwang, kencur is not required, so I am just quite happy to cook it. I first eat Ayam Taliwang at this very restaurant, Kafe Batan Waru, Bali, although Ayam Taliwang itself is told to be Mataram's delicacy. They served it with a small bowl of rice placed nicely in a traditional bamboo-woven bowl, a plate of sauteed water spinach, and a bowl heap of sweet chili sambal

The sambal was so deliciously red, I could just lick the bowl empty. Surely, they are generous with sambal. If you do love it, just never miss Chili Crab Tuesday they often hold as a weekly deal. You'll be devoured by lovely sweet chili sauce! 

I brought that memory back to my Kiwi kitchen, just like when I experienced that green mango salad with crispy fish and cooked it at home to become Crispy Fish and Granny Smiths Salad with Thai Dressing. With Ayam Taliwang, I have made a research and I decided to do it my way.

Here is what I do.

Ayam Taliwang

Ayam Taliwang
I am using chicken legs for this dish. You can use fresh chilies if you'd like, but I use dried chilies because the chilies in my garden are still green. The hotness of the chili paste can be made to your liking. I tend to use less chilies because I cannot eat too much chilies any more, and neither can the rest of my family member. I love using kaffir lime leaf for more flavour and scent, but you can omit it if you don't feel like it.

1.5kg chicken legs
half lime, juiced
Sweet Chili Paste: 3 shallots, 3 garlic, 1 dried chilies, toasted shrimp paste, a pinch of salt, 1 Tbs of shaved palm sugar, oil to marinate (blend all of these ingredients in a blender or mortal and pestle until smooth)

Make Chili Paste:
8 large shallots, peeled
6 large cloves garlic, peeled
8 dried red chilies
1 Tbs shrimp paste, toasted
1 tsp shaved dark palm sugar
1 tsp white sugar
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped
juice of one lime

oil to cook

Clean and trim chicken legs. Pat dry. Marinate the chicken in sweet chili paste in a ovenproof dish. Cover with aluminum foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160C. Slow roast the chicken for 30 minutes. The chicken should be just half-cooked. We will finish them on a grill later on, getting that lovely char on them. Remove from the oven. 

Heat the grill. Grill the chicken, basting it often with both the rest of the marinate mixture and the chili paste until they are all used and the chicken are thoroughly cooked. Serve warm with the vegetables of your choice and warm fluffy jasmine rice. We enjoy them with turmeric rice, microgreens, sliced of tomatoes and cucumber.

Chili Paste: Roughly chopped shallots, garlic and red chilies. Grind in the mortar and pestle until smooth. Grind in toasted shrimp paste, sugar, and chopped kaffir lime leaf. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Sauteed the paste until your kitchen smells heavenly exotic. Add in lime juice and remove from the heat to cool. Use this chili paste to baste the chicken while grilling.

March 16, 2013

NCC Indonesian Jajanan Traditional Week: Ketan Serundeng

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Natural Cooking Club mailing group once again is holding a one-off event. This time, we all are celebrating Indonesian Jajanan Traditional Food, persuading our memories to rake up childhood delicacies which often are memorable to be presented today in the modern day. 

It's not that 'jajanan pasar', as we call it, has vanished completely from the culture and modern culinary, but it seems people less and less regard it as something to be appreciated these days. Kids eat more burgers than wajik (sweet sticky rice cakes). I think many confessions have to be declared here, that Indonesian mothers today are interested in making black forest cake or tiramisu rather than are mucking their hands up in a bowl of klepon.

It's a shame, really. I believe the love of culture of one's origin can only be developed when someone makes it by doing it. Introducing kids to traditional food can give them insights of cultural experiences from other countries. I tend to cook any food from other countries, as well as from my home country, to let my kids grow with various flavours, to let them understand what other kids eat at some parts of the world.

I'm quite blessed to have children as are good eaters. They love Indonesian food I often make for a break from other cakes and cookies. It's good that they appreciate Indonesia through its cuisine. It's important for them to know where their half root is coming from.

Ketan Serundeng

This Ketan Serundeng that I made the other day is no stranger to my children, for I have made it many times for their after-school snacks.

My mother used to make this for us when we were kids and I just loved it. My grandmother used to feed me with this too when I was still living with her at my early years. I loved it when she wrapped it in a banana leaf and put it on my little palm. The scent of banana leaf against the warm sticky rice and sprinkled with fragrant serundeng was enough to satisfy my senses. I was so happy.

To make sticky rice as traditional as it is, I found it a bit of a hassle in my Kiwi kitchen at the moment. For we are in a dry summer season, I need to save water from washing too many dishes. Therefore, I made the sticky rice in a rice cooker, with adjustment and patience.

Here is what I do.

Ketan Serundeng-2

2 cups glutinous rice, rinsed well
2 pandan leaves, knotted
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut cream, at least 50% cream
1/2-1 cup extra coconut cream or water

Put the rinsed rice in the rice cooker. Add in salt and pandan leaves. Pour in 1 cup coconut cream and 1/2 cup of water, stir well. Put the rice cooker on. When it's bubbling, stir the rice. Keep checking. When the water is totally absorbed, and the rice grain is still a little dry, pour in a little tablespoon of water/coconut cream at a time, and stir well until the rice is thoroughly cooked but the grain is still visible. I don't recommend you to pour all the extra coconut cream or water, because your sticky rice will become a porridge.

(Traditionally, you need to steam the rice for about 15-20 minutes, then transfer it to a saucepan and cook it with coconut cream, pandan leaves and salt until rice absorbed all the liquid and then steam it again until cooked through).

Serve the rice with serundeng. Here is my recipe for serundeng.

This serundeng is typically lighter from my mother's serundeng. She uses toasted coriander seeds, tamarind paste, and shredded kaffir limes leaves in hers. I chose to use dried shrimps as to replace shrimp paste, as I could not find the proper shrimp paste we used to use at home at our local Asian groceries store in Pukekohe.

Traditionally, we use freshly grated coconut flesh to make serundeng, but because New Zealand does not grow its own coconut trees, I have to use desiccated coconut. The reason to soak desiccated coconut in a heated coconut cream is to moistened the dry coconut thread in its supposedly original flavour substance. My theory.

Well, I hope you enjoy something traditional from my Kiwi kitchen this time. Have a great weekend!