Sunday, March 31, 2013

Egg-cellent Ways to Use Up Leftover Easter Eggs

Happy Easter everyone! Have you got much planned for Easter day today? We will be having our annual egg-hunting ritual, followed by creme eggs and some cute Easter bunny biscuits.

If you are going to have lots of leftover hard boiled eggs after your Easter egg hunt, this post may come in handy - some tips on how to use up those leftover Easter eggs. Click on the links and it will bring you to the respective recipes. This post first appeared on Great British Chefs website :)


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As a family with young children, our favorite Easter activity is definitely egg hunting on Easter morning. We would decorate the eggs with the kids on the eve of Easter and then pray hard that it would not rain the following morning.

Easter eggs


On Easter morning, we would hide the eggs all over the garden and send the children out on an egg hunt. The question is, once the egg hunt is over, what do you do with all those Easter eggs you have accumulated?

Hunting for Easter eggs

Here are several egg-cellent suggestions on how to put those leftover Easter eggs to good use.


Eating hard boiled eggs, the Chinese way

1. Eat them straight away

Not only do kids love hunting for Easter eggs, they also cannot wait to eat them! The easiest and simplest way of eating them is to peel and have them with some light soy sauce. This is how the Chinese like eating their boiled eggs.


Eggs mayonnaise sandwiches


2. Mayonnaise and eggs make a great pair

Add 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to every boiled egg and you have a versatile filling which you can use in wraps as well as sandwiches. A classic combination is cucumber with egg mayonnaise sandwiches, which you can make using any type of thin white or wholemeal bread and can be served for breakfast or afternoon tea. You can also use tortilla wraps and fill them with egg mayonnaise and a variety of vegetables such as lettuce, cherry tomatoes and grapes, for something different.



A Nutty Salad


3. Use them in salads

Boiled eggs are great in salads, and since they keep well you can make them for your packed lunches, picnics or even parties well in advance . They are also a great source of protein so you can substitute them for meat in your salads.

Try using boiled eggs in Salad Nicoise, Cobb Salad or you can even come up with your own salad creation - just put anything you like and make it your own. "A nutty salad" is my creation consisting of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, walnuts, almond flakes, croutons, bacon and hard boiled eggs with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.


Devilled Eggs with Shichimi and Olive 



4. Dress them up

With a few ingredients, you can transform an ordinary boiled egg into something quite delicious, such as Devilled eggs or Scotch eggs. My Devilled Eggs recipe contains a little butter to give the yolks extra creaminess plus Shichimi powder (Japanese 7-spice powder) to give it a spicy kick. For the kids, you can make this version of cheesy creamy boiled egg with dill for them - non-spicy but just as nice.

http://goodyfoodies.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-cooked-braised-pork-belly-with-soy.html
Braised pork belly with soy sauce and boiled egg(Tau Yew Bak)


5. Complement your main meal

In Malaysian cuisine, boiled eggs are often added to complement a main meal. Examples are nasi lemak (fragrant coconut rice served with various condiments), Hokkien prawn mee and braised pork belly with soy sauce.

Braised pork belly with soy sauce and boiled egg, also known as tau yew bak was a dish I often cooked when I was a university student in the UK and feeling homesick. The meat is braised until fork tender with melting layers of fat. Here's my family recipe for this dish, which has received approval from friends (including many British ones) who have tried this in the past. Recipe is shared on Great British Chefs website and can also be found on my blog here.


So, what are your favorite ways for eating hard boiled eggs?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Recipe: Irish Colcannon Potatoes (Delia Smith)

The Irish have several variations of mash potatoes, two of which I have tried making - champ and colcannon.  Colcannon is traditionally made with mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale and can contain other ingredients such as scallions, leeks, onions or chives. Delia's colcannon recipe uses green firm cabbage and spring onions and then topped with extra melted butter - the idea was to dip each forkful into the melted butter before eating it! 


A lovely fluffy pile ;)


I made two portions - one with and one without melted butter. Even without the extra butter, the colcannon was very rich, smooth and creamy so the more health-conscious would probably want to skip the extra butter. I would like to try it using kale, a dark green leafy vegetable which will give a nice colour to the colcannon.  I served the colcannon potatoes with my beef bourguignon

Finally, thanks to all who have joined us in this "Cook Like Delia Smith" bloghop. Happy that the recipes I tried from her website/cookbooks all worked well. In May, join us again as we cook like "Nigella Lawson" - click here for more details



Irish Colcannon Potatoes
Recipe by Baby Sumo, with adaptations from Delia Smith
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients
650g Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
200g cabbage, very finely sliced or shredded
10 spring onions, trimmed and very finely sliced
4-5 tbsp of milk
60-65g salted butter, plus extra for topping
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Boil the potatoes in salted water on medium heat for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. To tell whether they are ready, pierce them with a skewer in the thickest part; the potato should not be hard in the centre.

2. Melt 25g butter in a large frying pan and saute the cabbage for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly and cooked until it is tender and translucent.Add 3/4 of the chopped spring onions and continue to cook for another minute.

3. Drain the potatoes and then using a potato press, mash to a fine consistency. Add the nutmeg,milk and remaining butter. Using a wooden spoon, mix well and then taste, and adjust seasoning as required. Stir in the cooked cabbage and serve garnished with the remaining spring onions, with or without extra melted butter.

*You can let your children help mash the potatoes as well as mix them with the wooden spoon.



I placed the extra butter on top of the warm mashed potatoes, and allowed it to melt with the heat from the potatoes 


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I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Delia Smith" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Delia Smith websites or cookbooks and blog hop with us for the whole month of March 2013.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in March 2013 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Mich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Recipe: Boeuf Bourguignon (Delia Smith)

Beef bourguignon (boeuf à la Bourguignonne) is a classic traditional French recipe which originated from the Burgundy region in France. This is why it is also sometimes called beef Burgundy and traditionally, it is made using Burgundy wine. The beef is braised for many hours (in this recipe for a total of 3 hours) with garlic, onions and herbs as well as bacon, shallots (pearl onions) and mushrooms added towards the end of cooking.

Beef Burguignon, served like a steak

The slow cooking makes the gelatinous connective tissue meat melt-in-the-mouth


For this stew, I have used my favorite braising cut - the Black Angus oyster blade. The meat is first browned in hot oil  to lock the juices in and give the stew a richer flavour. The slow cooking also makes the meat melt-in-the-mouth, especially the gelatinous connective tissue that runs through it. Although the recipe is quite time consuming, very little time has to be spent in the kitchen for this stew. Instead of cutting the meat into small pieces, I decided to leave some in large chunks as it looks more elegant when served, almost like eating a steak! The sauce is rich and very flavorful and I really liked the addition of shallots as it has a lovely sweetness.


A hearty stew


I made quite a large portion, which was enough for 2 meals (or 6-7 pax in total). I found that the flavour improved overnight. The traditional way of serving beef burguignon is with potatoes boulangere, however I couldn't make both simultaneously in the same oven so I opted to serve it with colcannon potatoes instead. We really enjoyed this stew, and I wouldn't mind making this again although it takes quite a bit of time.

Very rich, flavorful sauce

Beef bourguignon served with Irish colcannon potatoes



Boeuf Bourguignon 
Recipe adapted from Delia Smith
Preparation time: 30 minues
Cooking time: 3 hours
Serves 6-7

Ingredients
1kg braising steak cut into 2 inch (5 cm) squares
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
450ml red Burgundy or other red wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
350g shallots, whole
150g smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon, cut into cubes
150g mushrooms, sliced (I used a mixof grey oyster mushrooms, porcini and shitake)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper


1. You can either cut the braising steak into large chunks (5cmx 5cm) or leave it whole (like a 2" steak).

2. Preheat oven to 140°C.

3. In a casserole or pan, heat  2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat and sear the beef, a few pieces at a time, to a rich, dark brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned meat to a plate.

4. Add the sliced onion to the casserole and cook for 3 minutes, until softened. Return the meat to the casserole or pan and sprinkle in the flour, stirring round to soak up all the juices. Then gradually pour in the
Burgundy, again stirring all the time. Add the chopped garlic, herbs and seasoning, put the lid on and cook very gently on top of the stove on a very low heat or transfer to the oven – either way it will take 2 hours.

5. Just before the 2 hours is up,  fry the shallots and bacon with 1 tbsp oil for 2 minutes to colour them lightly. Add to the casserole, together with the mushrooms, then put the lid on and cook for a further hour. Serve with the French accompaniment of potatoes boulangères and green salad , or tiny new potatoes and ratatouille or mashed potatoes like I did.









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I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Delia Smith" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Delia Smith websites or cookbooks and blog hop with us for the whole month of March 2013.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in March 2013 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Mich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:

If you enjoyed reading my posts, LIKE me on Facebook! Thanks ;)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Treat Recipe: Cute Easter Bunny Biscuits

Baking is a fun activity to do with your kids during the school holidays. Since Easter falls on this Sunday (31 March), I thought we could kill two birds with one stone - baking Easter bunny biscuits. I went to the baking supply shop and found this "Miffy" cookie cutter. Isn't it adorable? Miffy also happens to be the first soft toy that we got Baby C when she was born. 

Have a Happy Easter, filled with love and sunshine :)

I was inspired to bake Easter Bunny biscuits after seeing it on Good Food Channel's Pinterest. Kids were very excited when I told them about our afternoon activity, they couldn't wait to get started especially Baby C. I had prepared the dough beforehand and kept it chilled in the fridge, so we got started as soon as they were both up from their afternoon nap.

Baby C was enthusiastic, and was a great help - after watching me do it one time, she managed to roll the dough and cut the bunny shapes without any help. Mummy sure was impressed. She even went over to her little brother and gave him a hand with his biscuits. :)



Many many many cute Easter bunnies :)


Hubby bought some creme eggs and mini eggs for us back from UK, just in time for Easter :)

 Enjoying their biscuits

The bunnies look like they're so happy,  as though they are dancing ;)

These Easter Bunny Biscuits are perfect for gifting to your friends too... who wouldn't love a piece of this cuteness?

So dear readers, are you planning to bake anything special for Easter? I will be making more Easter treats in the coming days, stay tuned! :)


Easter Bunny Biscuits
Recipe by Baby Sumo, inspired by Good Food Channel
Preparation time: 25 minutes (longer if you're making this with kids)
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes
Makes approx. 30

Ingredients
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
½ tsp vanilla extract


1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy then gradually stir in the egg until well combined. Add vanilla extract and mix well.

2. Sift the baking powder, salt and flour into the bowl and then mix until you get a smooth dough.Wrap the dough with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Grease and line three baking trays with baking parchment or alternatively, grease the baking tray with butter.

4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 8mm (my kids wanted fatter bunnies). Cut into shapes using a bunny shaped cutter, then transfer to the baking sheets, leaving some space in between for expansion.



5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until pale golden. Allow to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers once cooled.




If you enjoyed reading my posts, LIKE me on Facebook! Thanks ;)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Recipe: Spiced apple and apricot turnovers

Though I have been cooking a lot this month, I realise that I have not been baking much and since it is the school holidays in Malaysia this week, I decided to make something nice for the kids as a treat. My friends hosting the "Bake-Along" this month has chosen turnovers as their theme, something new to me but I am very keen to try it. 

Turnovers are pastries filled with savoury or sweet fillings, and then folded over and sealed. I chose to use frozen puff pastry and the filling of choice is spiced apples with dried apricots. The filling is first cooked over a medium heat so that the apples are soft but still has a bite to them. I like cinnamon, so I used this spice in my filling, however you can also use nutmeg, or cloves or mixed spice. My kids love dried apricots too, so I sliced and threw a few of those in to the mix. I only used 1 teaspoon of sugar in the filling, so it is pretty healthy in that aspect (if you don't count the butter in the pastry :P). 

Spiced apple and apricot turnovers


Since I used frozen puff pastry, this is relatively easy to make, I took about 30 minutes in total to make these turnovers for our evening snack. The puff pastry I used is Kawan brand which is quite good - flaky and buttery enough. I like the spiced apple and apricot filling, though I wish I could stuff more of the filling inside the pastry! In future, I would like to try adding some homemade pineapple jam to the filling for a moister filling.


The pastry puffed up rather nicely

Kids enjoyed this very much



Spiced apple and apricot turnovers
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Makes 8

Ingredients
For the filling
3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes (approx 400g)
4 dried apricots, sliced
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp water

8. no frozen 10x10cm square puff pastry, defrosted

For the egg wash
1 egg
1 tbsp milk

1. Start by making the filling. Place the apples, apricots, soft brown sugar, ground cinnamon and water into a small medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the apples are soft and fluffy. (There should still be a bite to the apples). Allow to cool slightly.




2. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F, fan assisted).

3. Place the defrosted puff pastry on a plate, then spoon the apple filling onto the pastry, leaving about 2cm space around the edge.

4. To make the egg wash, lightly beat the egg with milk. Using a brush, brush the edges with egg wash then fold to form a triangle. Gently press the edges with a fork to seal. Brush the top with more egg wash.


Brush edges with egg wash


Use a fork to seal edges


5. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.





I am submitting this to the Bake Along hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids. Here are the other "Turnover" recipes:



Recipe: Meatballs with Spaghetti and Fresh Tomato Sauce (Delia Smith)

Spaghetti and meatballs... a classic combination which is a favourite with children. In the United States, meatballs are commonly served with spaghetti as spaghetti and meatballs, a dish in Italian American cuisine, assimilated from the Italian immigrants from southern Italy in the early 19th century. According to Delia,  the main criteria for any meatball is that it should have a kind of melt-in-the-mouth lightness and not be heavy and bouncy.



I made the meatballs using minced pork, but you can also use minced beef or a mixture of both. I omitted the bacon on this occasion, since I didn't have time to go to the supermarket further away to get some (because sadly not all supermarkets here stock them). I have never added Parmesan cheese to any homemade meatballs before, but I really liked it - makes it so flavorful. The ingredients are mixed together, and then chilled for 30 minutes before being shaped into balls. You can get your children to help shape the meatballs - I assure you they will love it as it's like playing with PlayDoh!

Colorful meatball ingredients

The spaghetti is tossed in the homemade classic fresh tomato sauce, topped with a few meatballs, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes. Appetizing and delicious!

Both my children loved this pasta dish, just take a look at their precious faces, slurping up the delicious spaghetti. :)


Slurpppp!




Spaghetti with Meatballs and Fresh Tomato Sauce
Recipe adapted from Delia Smith
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Serves 4 (Makes 24-30 meatballs)

Ingredients
For the meatballs
225g minced pork (or beef)
1 tsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
95g mortadella or unsmoked bacon, finely chopped (I omitted)
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
75g white breadcrumbs without crusts, soaked in 2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
A pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly milled black pepper


To cook and serve:
400g spaghetti
1 quantity Classic Fresh Tomato Sauce (click here for recipe)
1-2 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil, for frying
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
A few fresh basil leaves, torn
8 cherry tomatoes, halved


1. To make the meatballs, place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well using hands (wear disposable gloves if you like). Take walnut-sized pieces of the mixture and shape them into rounds – you should end up with 24-30 meatballs. Put them on a tray, cover with cling film and chill for about 30 minutes to firm up.




2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat and arrange half the meatballs in the pan. Cook them until they are crispy and golden brown all over, this will take about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, remove to a plate. Add 1 more tbsp oil, and cook the remaining meatballs.



3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet instructions and gently warm the tomato sauce. Then drain the pasta. Return it to the pan and toss with some olive oil first, before tossing in the tomato sauce. Mix well and then pile it on to plates. Top with the meatballs, sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan and finish with a few basil leaves and some fresh cherry tomatoes.




Just a few more days left before the end of this month's bloghop, "Cook Like Delia Smith". I still quite a few recipes to post, so bear with me the next few days.


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I am submitting this to the "Cook Like Delia Smith" bloghop which I am co-hosting with Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Mich of Piece of Cake. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from any Delia Smith websites or cookbooks and blog hop with us for the whole month of March 2013.

Your post must be a current post i.e. posted in March 2013 - please do not link older posts.Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Mich of Piece of Cake and Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out.

You can get the HTML code here: get the InLinkz code (Click on the link, copy and paste the HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML mode when you paste in the code)

Happy cooking! Do check out the other bloggers recipe below:

I am also submitting this to my friend mui mui's Little Thumbs Up "Tomato" event.

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