Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Penang Assam Laksa

It took me this long to finally attempt making Assam Laksa, and if mum says it's easy to prepare, she's quite right there. Just steam (or boil) the fish, add the blended ingredients to the stock and simmer before adding the flaked fish. Then serve with noodles and garnishing. Sounds easy doesn't it? In fact, I think I took more time preparing all the ingredients then the actual process of cooking it (man, those shallots sure took forever to peel, and they brought buckets of tears to my eyes).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pav Bhaji (Bread and vegetables)


My Indian friends from work threw a little Diwali party at their apartment last Friday, and I must say it was a very enjoyable evening, with good food, great company and lots of dancing. Moreover, it's hard not to fall in love with the phenomenal view from the balcony of the 33rd floor apartment right in the heart of Sydney. Dinner was a wonderful spread of  home-cooked vegetarian dishes, including pasta, salad and this delicious dish called pav bhaji. Pav (pronounced "pau" as in char siew pau) is equivalent to bun/bread, and bhaji refers to a vegetable dish. Apparently (or so internet sources say), pav bhaji is a popular Indian streetfood snack that originated in Marathi cuisine. It is basically a dish of mashed vegetables cooked in spices, and served with fried buttered pav. This dish uses loads of butter, which explains why it tastes so good. The bhaji is also topped with chopped onions, coriander and a splash of lemon juice which lifts the flavours in the dish.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sans Rival

Sans Rival is a rich, buttery and nutty cake (or dessert) made with crisp layers of cashewnut meringue and filled with French buttercream. Sounds decadent enough? It was Al from work who introduced me to this dessert, and as she didn't really know the exact name, she merely referred to it as Sandflower cake, or San something. I totally fell in love with it at first bite. The combination of silky buttercream, the light and crispy meringue and scattering of chopped cashews was just amazing. The next thing I did was to google Philippines, san, cashew and cake, and to my delight and excitement, I discovered the Sans Rival, which literally means "without rival", and it is indeed true to its name.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grilled Pork Belly with Spicy Sauce

Hello! It's been a while since I last did a proper post on my blog. Life has just been a little busy lately, and just when I thought things were starting to wind down, my calendar for the next two months is fast filling up with dates for parties, school events, concerts and birthdays. And when you have three kids like me, multiply that by three and you'd wish weekends were a little longer, and perhaps with a free day for cooking and baking. Last weekend, I managed to find time to prepare these grilled pork belly skewers which were inspired by my recent dining experience at Sake restaurant in Sydney. What I found interesting was the spicy antichucho sauce that was served with the grilled pork (kushiyaki). Antichucho is apparently Peruvian grilled marinated beef hearts, served with a tangy and spicy sauce, I believe. As there is a considerable Japanese influence on Peruvian cuisine (one of Peru's presidents was of Japanese descent), that explains the use of the antichucho sauce in this dish.