Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beef Sliders on Brioche with Sticky BBQ sauce and Thousand Island Dressing

Ever since I started baking brioche buns (see my Pulled Pork burger with Korean Slaw) and using them for mini beef burgers (a.k.a. sliders), there was no turning back. Given a choice, brioche wins over plain hamburger buns (particularly those that are sold by the dozen at the supermarket). Not all brioche buns are created equal. I have ordered brioche burgers before when dining out, and have come across really thick, heavy, dense and sweet buns that makes the mammoth of the burger a feat to eat (and enjoy). The recipe that I've used for these brioche buns is adapted from Taste.com.au magazine (August 2014 edition). Rich, melt-in-your-mouth and buttery with a hint of sweetness, these brioche buns make supremely delicious burgers. I've also tried buttermilk brioche buns and they are equally good, with the slightest tang from the buttermilk.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

King brown mushroom with XO sauce

This has been the dish of the month for me. I've made these mushrooms at least five times since the start of August, and I've enjoyed it as a side dish, a light lunch and even added it to my instant noodles for a touch of "gourmet". I made a big batch of it which has lasted up till now (there's still some left in the fridge) and have been spooning it liberally on almost anything I can think of. Last night, I made some sushi for the kids and had leftover rice, which I mixed through with some XO sauce. Tasty! I also used the XO sauce in cooking Mapo tofu (instead of using hot bean paste) along with some diced chinese mushrooms. It's a wonderful condiment which I've also used to spruce up some boring fried rice from the Chinese takeaway.

I never knew how to make XO sauce until I found it in Gary Mehigan's new book "Favourites", and it was the first recipe I bookmarked to try (among many others). I thought it was the perfect recipe to try, as I had some premium dried scallops that was long forgotten in the fridge, and the rest were just pantry ingredients that I had. A pretty simple recipe, though I added some extra dried chillies to "colour" the oil more. I added a drop of Cheong Chan caramel towards the end for a little extra flavour. Homemade XO sauce is definitely worth making, and it's probably best you use good quality dried scallops if you plan to do so. I highly recommend serving it on top of grilled king brown (or king oyster) mushrooms and grilled scallions (also from "Favourites") as it's the simplest and tastiest way to enjoy XO sauce.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cream cheese cinnamon rolls with blueberries and white chocolate icing

I've come across many recipes for cinnamon rolls, from yeast-free doughs to the fancier ones using buttermilk or cream cheese. The key to a good cinnamon roll (or scroll/bun) is to use good quality cinnamon and in the right proportion to the sugar filling. The addition of a syrup (like maple syrup) makes for a sticky cinnamon roll, and you can add nuts or fruits to that as well. In my "search" for cinnamon, I learnt that there are hundreds of types of cinnamon, but the main ones are Ceylon Cinnamon, Chinese Cassia Cinnamon, Saigon Cinnamon and Indonesian Korintje Cinnamon. In this recipe, I've used Indonesian cinnamon which has a strong aromatic flavour that is sweet and spicy, and perfect for cinnamon rolls. Make sure you check the label on your bottle of ground cinnamon to see where it's sourced from.