Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Easy Popiah

Now that i have made Fresh Popiah Skin, i can't wait to try tasting them.  Can't have a traditional Popiah Meal without the necessary ingredients and a good Popiah Meal require a long lists of fresh ingredients,  I found a huge round cabbage, a pack of snow peas, 2 carrots in the fridge.  There was pork loin in the freezer.  I have been noted to fill my freezer or freezers with food, so if we are to be snowed in for a month, we will not go hungry.  The rest of the ingredients i found in the pantry and i was eating Easy Popiah in a Jiffy.  Do not allow the lack of fresh ingredients hinder you to have a good popiah meal.  Look into your pantry, canned bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, etc are good ingredients, let your imagination run wild, it can even be the kitchen sink and it will taste good.  Make it a vegetarian meal, forget about the pork, and if you want it to be more nutritious, sliced egg omelette is a good ingredient and it brightens the vegetables and kick it up a knotch.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fresh Homemade Popiah Skin

Although Spring is gone and Summer is around the corner, the amount of rain that we have been getting made me feel that  Spring has not gone.  Spring is nature's way of saying that it is time to Party and eating fresh. How appropriate it will be to have a Popiah Party.  Popiah is a very popular dish in Malaysia and it is a wrap filled with fresh ingredients of Spring.  Spring vegetables take quite an enormous part in this Popiah Play/Party but the wrap - Popiah Skin take the center stage.  Without the Popiah Skin, there is no play or party. 

I did try making the popiah skin before and created a mess and the result was offered to the Culinary God.  I have not thought of making it again cos i have found the frozen store-bought Lumpia to be a very good substitute.  Making popiah skin has not crossed my mind for the longest ever until one day, when i was visiting my friend, Peng, in Colorado Springs,  i had a call from daughter, Sandra, that Lena was trying to contact me.  She buzzed several times on Skype and it must be important.  I logged on to Skype and got Lena.  She told me that she was making popiah skin and it did not turn out so well.  She wanted to brainstorm.  I told her that i will try to make some for her sake despite of my fear of the mess that i will be creating.  There will not be any discussions if you do not make it and share the experience, be it a failure or a success. 

Ok, let's get down to beat up some batter/dough.  The right consistency to make the dough would be with 100% hydration, that is why i don't know if i should refer it to be a batter or a dough.  It should be tacky so that the popiah skin will be as thin as possible and it has to be elastic too, otherwise it will tear when wrapped with all the fillings.  With 100% hydration, it will not be possible to knead, so, i just mixed it up and leave it to rest for 30 minutes, then come back and just fold the edges in.  Rest and fold for 3 more times and then leave the dough for 3 hours or more.  After the 3 hours rest, the dough was still not ready for smearing, it had to be beatened until very elastic.  I used the paddle in the Kitchenaid and beat until the dough clinged on to the paddle and made a funny flapping sound.  This dough will be shiny and elastic and you will be able to hold on to it in a ball.  Keep this ball as cold as possible and it will hold it's shape better.  So, when i am smearing, i will leave the batter/dough on a bowl, sitting on another bowl of ice water. 

Not only had the dough to be right, the type of utensil used to make the skin was important too.  A good frying pan which can maintain a low constant heat will be desirable.  I felt that a frying pan with higher sides will be a hindrance, so i used my Cuisinart Griddle.  Using this griddle was good as i could regulate the heat and there was no sides to hinder the smearing.  I used the lowest of the heat available which is 200f and it was just great to get the batter/dough to stick.  If the heat was any higher, the skin will not stick on to the griddle.  Using this griddle worked and i managed to make some decent popiah skins, the downside of this griddle was that the heating element was not very even and the center of the popiah skin took longer to cook.  I was impatient and tried to peel and since the center was not totally cooked, it got stucked and created a hole when i was peeling.  As long as i took my time, i did make a huge pile of popiah skins.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pani Popo

What caught my eye the first thing in the morning on Mother's Day was Pani Popo posted by King Arthur Blog.  It was Mother's Day and I thought this dish was named after me - POPO.  POPO in cantonese is the name given to you when you have grand children from your daughter, meaning the maternal grandmother.  The paternal grandmother in cantonese is MAH MAH - not mama who is mother.  The chinese have specific names to address everyone in the family.  If i mention that i am The POPO, asian friends need not asked further, they know that these children are my daughter's.

For a moment, i was proud that a bread is named after 'The POPO' and felt like a 'nut' when i found that it was Samoan Coconut bun.  The recipe was easy as i used my usual sweet bread recipe and all i needed was to mix the sauce together.  They turned out deliciously sweet and delectable and the Mothers who ate them loved them.(i made them for The Mothers who came for our Sunday Cooking on Mother's Day)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Coach Handbag Cake

The family has been invited to celebrate a birthday of our dearest friend and it is difficult to buy her a gift, so i decided to make her one.  Since i have had a go at making cakes with fondant, i have  to make a handbag cake.  The celebration is at a restaurant 25 miles away, then after dinner, we will have to adjourned to her house which is another 25 miles away.  Will the handbag cake stand the journey. standing up like most 3-D handbags?  I am not taking the chance. with all the rain that we had, the roads here are hole -ier and should be renamed - Church Road.  So, the handbag cake has to lie down. like as if it is packed in a box.  I am not trusting the flimsy cardboard box and has put the cake on to my cake carrier.  It would look so much more like the real Mccoy of a Coach Handbag instead of a cake, but well, it is a cake and accept all the imperfections along with it.  Happy Birthday Dearest Friend, B and in cantonese  - Leen Leen Yau Kum Yat,  Sui Sui Yau Kum Chwee,  Fook Yee Thoong Hoi,  Sau Pei Lam San. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pai Pau

Pai pau (排包- which literally translates to rows of bread), is a popular bread in Hong Kong. It is the basic asian bread dough which is shaped in rolls, arranged closely together and baked.  To eat them, one is to pull them apart and enjoy the incredible softness.  This bread is rich and super fluffy, full flavor from the eggs and cream..

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nasi Lemak

Without a doubt Nasi Lemak is possibly the greatest dish ever created by Malaysians.  It needs no introduction, nasi lemak is one of the most versatile meals that can be found everywhere in Malaysia,  be it in the heart of any Malaysian cities or in the remotest areas of the country. As Malaysians are becoming more affuent by the day, Nasi Lemak has evoled too, from the humble banana leaf packet which contained coconut rice, a spoonful of spicy sauce(sambal), 2 - 3 pieces of fried anchovies, 1 slice of cucumber and a tiny piece of egg omelette, to a plateful of coconut rice piled high with spicy sauce, fried chicken, rendang, peanuts, fried anchovies, eggs in all forms, cucumber, kangkung etc.  Instead of grabing a few ready packed banana leaf to go, one would have to choose and point to all delicious accompaniments and build your own Nasi Lemak. Not only have you build up a delicious plateful of goodness, you might have build up a helfty bill.  Nasi Lemak is so asoociated to Malaysians that it will be served during Potluck Parties when Malaysian are present.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No More Domed Cake

If you have been baking as much i did, you would understand how frustrating it must be when the cakes you baked come out of the oven domed and they needed to be levelled for layering. 

Levelling the cake is not as bad as cleaning up the crumbs that have fallen out, i hated picking up all the crumbs and would use the hand-held vacumn to suck them and it helped. 

I have been experimenting  and found 3 ways of how to bake the cake as level as possible and i would like to share the first one.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...