Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ozganics Magic @ Jaya Grocer, Empire Shopping Gallery

What are organic foods? Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, genetic tampering or chemical/artificial food additives.



Anni Brownjohn, President of Ozganics Australia is here in Malaysia to promote her line of organic products as well as conduct several cooking demos in Jaya Grocer, Empire Shopping Gallery. Organic food has garnered an unfair reputation as bland, boring and tasteless, but Anni is on a mission to change minds and lives by telling the world the benefits of eating organics and that they can be every bit as delicious.




Anni, with the assistance of the talented Chef Ryan Khang showed us how to make 3 dishes using Anni's Ozganics product plus a bonus dish of organic sprouted multigrain bread by Ryan and his team. Anni's range of products with include sauces, dressing and marinades are certified organic by the Australian government as well as being gluten-free and dairy-free with no preservatives.




Firstly, Anni showed us how to make a simple Thai pumpkin soup using the Ozganics Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce. The smooth and slightly spicy soup was finished off with a squeeze of lime juice, fresh coriander and some organic soy sauce. Next we got a taste of Moroccan chicken with lemon and olives, using her Ozganics Lemon Chicken Simmer Sauce, served with organic quinoa. This can be prepared in under 30 minutes. Anni also showed us her colorful watermelon and feta salad with three different dressings - lemon myrtle, creamy garlic and creamy avocado. Finally, we tried Chef Ryan's gorgeous multigrain bread with Ozganics' Fig Spread - we liked the spread so much that we bought a bottle home.

Thai pumpkin soup


Moroccan chicken with lemon and olives, served with organic quinoa


Watermelon and feta salad


Chef Ryan Khang making his multigrain bread



It was a fun and informative afternoon, enjoyed in the company of a great bunch of food bloggers and charming hosts, Anni and Chef Ryan. We were also presented with a few Ozganics products to bring home, will share some of the recipes soon. Thanks to Veron for extending the invite to me.

(L-R) Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover, Ping of Ping's Pickings, Shannon of Just As Delish, Baby Sumo, Anni Brownjohn, Veron of QuayPoCooks, and Esther of The Fuss Free Chef.


For those interested, Anni will be conducting a few demos next week at Jaya Grocer @ Empire Subang for RM100 per day (including cooking demo, 3-course lunch and RM100 worth of Ozganics products).


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We bought Ozganic's Fig Spread (RM19.80) - love it on toast and with cheese.


Made this roast chicken with Ozganic's honey, soy and garlic marinade, served with a fruity couscous. Will share the recipe soon!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Recipe for Anna Olson's Tourtiere (French-Canadian beef pie)

As promised, here is the recipe for Anna Olson's tourtière that she prepared during her cooking demo in KL last week. Tourtière is a French-Canadian classic dish originating from Quebec, commonly served during Christmas time, and is usually made with ground veal, beef or pork. It is quite similar to the British's steak and kidney pie, however the addition of all spice powder is what makes it unique.



Anna suggests that you add some lemon juice or vinegar to the pastry as the acidity will promote flakiness of the pastry. You also need to work quite fast with this pastry, especially in the hot Malaysian climate. Tourtière can be made up to 2 days in advance and reheated in a 149°C oven, so you can enjoy a stress-free Christmas.


Anna Olson with her tourtiere

You can also make mini bite-sized versions of them




Tourtière (French-Canadian beef pie)
Serves 8-10

Ingredients
For the pastry
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 tbsp lemon juice
6-10 tbsp of cold water, whenever needed

For the filling
1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 lbs ground veal or beef or a combination of both (You can also use pork)
2 onions, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3/4 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed celery seeds
A dash of all spice powder
A dash of ground cloves
1 cup of apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup water

1 egg mixed with 2 tbsp of water, for glazing

For the pastry:
1. Combine flour with salt.

2. Cut in butter and shortening until the mixture resembles a rough crumbly texture.

3. Add lemon juice and water. Using a stand mixer on low speed, blend until dough comes together.

4. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

For the filling:
1. Cook potatoes in an uncovered pot of salted water until soft and tender (about 10 minutes). Drain the potatoes. Mash the potatoes and set aside to cool.

2. In a large saute pan or skillet, saute the veal or beef over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Drain off excess fat.

3. Add onions, carrots and seasoning. Saute until tender, for about 10 minutes.

4. Add cider and water and bring up to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

5. Remove from heat, stir in potatoes and let cool at room temperature.

6. Preheat oven to 190°C.

7. On a lightly floured surface, cut dough in half and roll it out to about 1/4 inch (0.5cm) thickness and line an 8 inch (20cm) springform pan.

8. Fill it with tourtiere filling. Roll out the remaining dough and cut a hole in centre to allow the steam to escape. Place the dough on top of the filling. Pinch the edges of the crust together and brush with eggwash.

9. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry turns a rich golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and serve.

*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 3 December 2012.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I cooked: Spicy kimchi soup with prawns, tofu and glass noodles

The recent spate of rainy days has got me craving for something hot and spicy. During lunchtime one day, I ended up making a kimchi soup with prawns, tofu and glass noodles to satisfy my cravings - oooh, I loved it as the soup was spicy, sour and extremely appetizing.

Glass noodles (tang hoon - 冬粉) is one of my favorite kinds of noodles, be it in fishball soup, stir fried and now in kimchi soup. If you are unfamiliar with glass noodles, they are usually sold dry in Asian supermarkets (or any sundry shops/supermarkets/hypermarkets in Malaysia) and all you need to do is to soak it in cold water for 2-3 minutes to rehydrate and they are ready to use. It just needs to be cooked for about a minute, you do not want to overcook it or else it will become too soft and disintegrate easily. You can also use dangmyeon, a thicker type of Korean glass noodles made from sweet potato starch. I like that the glass noodles soak up all the lovely flavours of the kimchi soup.



For this dish, try to use matured kimchi as you would in kimchi jjigae as it has a more pronounced flavour and gives the soup more depth. Tofu cubes and kimchi always go hand-in-hand and I also love to add some big, juicy prawns for a complete meal.



Love the colours

I like using glass noodles as it soaks up all the lovely kimchi soup :) Glass noodles also have a lovely chewy texture. 

So, what have you been craving lately? Do share them with me in the comments below. :)


Kimchi soup with prawns, tofu and glass noodles
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 18-20 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
160g matured kimchi (see here for recipe)
4 tbsp kimchi juice
750ml water
70g chicken, cut into small chunks
2 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, cut into half
100g tofu, cut into cubes
45g glass noodle (tang hoon - 冬粉), soaked for 3 minutes in cold water or dangmyeon
2 cherry tomato, cut into half
2 small red chilli, whole
2 spring onion, cut into 1 inch length
Salt, to taste


1. Cut the matured kimchi into 1-inch pieces.You can use scissors, it will be less messy.



2. In a saucepan over high heat, add the kimchi, kimchi juice, chilli, shallot, garlic, chicken and water. Boil over medium heat for 15 minutes.

3. Then add glass noodles and cook for 1 minute then add tofu and cherry tomatoes and cook for a further minute. Season with salt, then add spring onion and prawns and cook for 30 seconds or until cooked.



4. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with spring onion.




See this post for step-by-step instructions on how to make kimchi.

* Btw, my apologies if I have not been leaving comments on your blogs lately as I have been busy preparing for Christmas (tree decorating and preparing mini gifts for our advent calendar for the kids)

*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 29 November 2012.

Sundown Festival 2012, Singapore



With Sundown Festival 2012 pulling all the stops to bring in leading acts from China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the F1 Pit Building at Marina Promenade is proving to be the place to be, rain or shine, on 1st December 2012.

Sundown Festival 2012 features buzzed-about newcomers and some of the region's hottest solo and group acts including Jeno Liu Li Yang from China; Raymond Lam from Hong Kong; BTOB from Korea; Anthony Neely from Taiwan and Alice Nine from Japan.

2012 marks the fourth anniversary for the homegrown Festival, which has emerged to become the definitive all-Asian music and cultural experience of the year. Sundown Festival 2012 is executive produced by Red Spade Entertainment, and is supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and presenting co-sponsor SingTel, Asia’s leading communications group, for the second consecutive year. Global wireless innovation leader, BlackBerry, is this year’s newest sponsor to come onboard.

"Sundown Festival has a legacy of highlighting the diversity of the Asian music culture. At the same time, with fans from all walks of life and nationalities banding together to show support for their favourite Asian acts, it illustrates the boundless power music has to unite people and unify differences," said Ellena Liu, Associate Director, Segment Marketing & Communications, Consumer Marketing, SingTel.

This year’s Festival is being headlined by visual key group Alice Nine, whose most recent releases included self-titled album “9” and compilation of music videos entitled ‘Alice in Pictures III’. Riding on the recent surge in popularity and demand for their brand of glam-metal rock and “visual style” of music outside of Japan, Alice Nine’s highly-anticipated appearance at Sundown Festival 2012 promises to be an evening of head-bopping entertainment.



Fans of Korean pop won’t want to miss Born to Beat, or BTOB, a seven-man group recently unveiled by Cube Entertainment (the same artiste management that produces talents the likes of 4Minute and G.Na). This Korean band is already reining in fans for its fancy footwork and masked mystique.



To complement this amazing line-up of musical entertainment, Sundown Festival will also welcome the Singapore debut of Jeno Liu Liyang, a Guangzhou native whose first shot to fame came when she won Super Girls, a popular singing contest in China, in 2006. With Liu’s soulful vocal, the charm of TVB series singer-actor, Raymond Lam and charismatic Taiwan Mandopop prince Anthony Neely all coming together on one stage, Sundown Festival is set to be a massive hit with those seeking quality Asian music and entertainment.

For more information about the line-up, visit www.sundownfestival.sg


SUNDOWN FESTIVAL 2012 DETAILS
Date: Saturday, 1 December 2012
Time: From 5.30pm
Venue: F1 Pit Area, Marina Promenade

TICKETING INFORMATION
Mosh pit (cat 1 & 2) - $158
Stage front (cat 3) - $118
Tier seats (cat 4) - $118
Walkabout tickets (cat 5) - $88

Tickets (all free-standing) are available at SISTIC only. Log on to www.sistic.com.sg to book or call ticketing hotline: (65) 6348 5555. For more information on Sundown Festival, check out www.sundownfestival.sg or contact contact@sundownfestival.sg.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Birthday #3: Bistro A Table, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Other than Japanese, I also love French cuisine. For my birthday celebratory dinner, we visited Bistro a Table, a restaurant serving modern French cuisine with a local twist, which we have been wanting to visit for a while. 

Opened on the auspicious date 6 June 2011 at restaurant no. 6, Bistro a Table is helmed by owner-cum-chef Isadora Chai. Named after the central common table in the restaurant, Bistro a Table literally means "to the table" in French and welcomes complete strangers to eat together within the same vicinity. On one side of the restaurant, tables are set for 2 to 4 pax with curtains in between tables, giving diners privacy, if required.  Suspended glass globes containing orchids make up part of the decor here, giving the place a casual yet romantic ambiance. 



Seasonal ingredients play a huge part in the menu here, hence the menus change on a regular basis.  They do maintain a few signature dishes such as the coddled maple syrup egg, cannelloni with seared scallops and prawns with keluak tapenade topping and Ode to Newton. 

Complimentary bread

Many of her dishes are inspired by local favourites, such as her signature coddled maple syrup egg (RM16). The inspiration comes from the soft boiled eggs at local kopitiams served with a sweet and savoury soy sauce. She uses only free range chicken eggs, and serves it with crouton dust, fleur de sel and a single asparagus stalk (instead of soldiers). The maple syrup and fleur de sel creates the desired sweet-savoury taste. To eat this, we were advised to mix the maple syrup with the egg and then pour over the crouton dust and dip the egg with the asparagus. This was a really nice (fun) way to start our meal (we ordered one each).



Mixed and ready to eat!

Just wish there was one more asparagus to dip into the egg.


We were feeling greedy, so decided to order a second starter each. Hubby had the Avruga caviar cold pasta with soy mirin and white truffle oil (RM65). This dish was inspired by Chef Gunther Hubrechsen of Gunther's in Singapore, which is restaurant we have visited before. It tasted really fantastic, with a strong truffle aftertaste (we like!). The portion though is really small, we wish there was more!



Since it's my birthday (it's ok to splurge, Hubby says), I went for the most expensive starter on the menu - the goose foie gras Liverpop (RM72). Rich and decadent, and what an eye-candy too! So pretty to look at. The goose liver terrine is made to look like a lollipop... a very posh one, I say! The foie has been steeped in 30 yr old Armagnac and then coated with spun maple syrup, served with a soft bun and some apple chutney. It tastes just as nice as it looks... 'nuff said.


For mains, I ordered the stuffed saddle of rabbit with Trompette de la Mort & Morel mushrooms with parsnip puree (RM68). The rabbit was moist and the mushrooms gave it a nice texture. I like the sweet and smooth parnish puree, which goes well with the rabbit.




Hubby had the truffled Trompette de la Mort & morel mushroom risotto (RM48), which was fabulous. It was so well-executed, by far the best risotto we've tasted in KL. Hubby also ordered a side garden salad (RM8) to go with his risotto.





Ode to Newton (RM37) is a dessert I have been wanting to try since I interviewed Isadora for an article while I was freelancing last year. The way she described it certainly got my interest piqued. This is a precisely timed dessert - start with the candied ginger souffle and by the time you finish that, the cinnamon and nutmeg ice cream on a lemongrass hemisphere would have fallen into the warm ginger beer to form a ginger beer float. There is a waiting time of 25 minutes for this dessert and usually, you can only order it after 9:30pm, but since it was a quiet service in the restaurant, we got to try this. The souffle was really good, and we both sat there like kids, with our eyes glued to the ginger beer.. waiting for the ice cream to drop into the cup. Oh, we managed to capture it on video too. Certainly a dessert worth waiting for.


This dessert got a mention the Wall Street Journal too


Ready for the drop



Watch the video here:

video

Hubby had the Caramelised apple tart tatin with creme fraiche ice cream (RM22) which also has a 20 minute wait. He found it to be slightly too caramelised for his liking, however he commented that the ice cream was nice.



Verdict: We had a very enjoyable meal here at Bistro a Table. The food certainly has the wow factor, in terms of taste and creativity. A great place for a celebratory meal.

Pork-free.

Service: Good.

Price: Total bill RM456, including a glass of wine.

Location: Bistro a Table, 6 Jalan 17/54, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-7931 2831

Website: http://www.bistroatable.com

GPS Coordinates: 3.12599, 101.637093

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recipe: Fried strawberries with basil and whipped cream

When it comes to choosing strawberries, my favorite type is the Korean variant as they're usually much juicier and sweeter . If we cannot get our hands on the Korean ones, then we would go for the Australian or US ones. Other than eating them fresh, I also like cook the strawberries quickly with a teeny bit of sugar and red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, which the kids enjoy.

Fried strawberries with basil and whipped cream


The strawberries are pan fried with sugar, vanilla extract and red wine vinegar for a couple of minutes. The strawberries will soften a little and usually tastes much juicier. I like to serve them with whipped cream or Mock Devonshire cream, some fresh basil leaves and a touch  of grated dark chocolate or chocolate chips (for the kids). I feel that basil goes very well with the strawberries, and since it is quite a mild tasting herb, even the kids would eat them up. Plus these herbs are grown in our own garden, so all the better! This is another simple, and delicious dessert recipe that you can prepare in no time.



For the kids


Cutie Baby C with her fried strawberries dessert



Fried strawberries with basil and whipped cream
Recipe by Baby Sumo, with adaptions from BBC Food - Tony Tobin
Preparation time: 5 - 10 minutes
Cooking time: 4 minutes
Serves 3-4

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
250g fresh strawberries, hulls removed (I skipped this step)
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar)

To serve
150ml whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks or 150g Mock Devonshire cream
2-3 basil leaves, washed and cut into thin strips
Mint sprig, to garnish (optional)
Dark chocolate shavings (optional)
Chocolate chips (for the kids)


1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the strawberries, caster sugar and vanilla extract, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.

2. Add the red wine vinegar and turn up the heat (to medium high). Cook for another 2 minutes to reduce, then stir in the remaining tablespoon of oil.

3. To serve, place the whipped cream on the serving plate and top with the strawberries. Grate some dark chocolate (or chocolate chips) over the strawberries, then sprinkle the basil leaves on top. Garnish with mint sprig and serve.


They taste much better than being pan fried :)



*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 27 November 2012.
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