Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Air Fried Smoky Montreal Steak with Herb Butter

This is an awesome complete steak meal fully done with the air fryer! The mixed vegetable and mushrooms are seasoned with McCormick Perfect Pinch Seasoning and drizzle of olive oil. Whereas the slice of beef ribeye is seasoned with McCormick Smoky Montreal Steak seasoning which turned out very flavourful and topped with a huge chunk of homemade herb butter.....daebak!! 

Herb Butter (recipe as below)

Grilled Beef Ribeye : Drizzle 2 tsp olive oil on both sides of a slice of 200gm beef ribeye. Spread 2 tsp of McCormick Smoky Montreal Steak Seasoning all over. Set aside for 30 mins. Preheat air fryer at 200 deg cel for 5 mins. Place ribeye on a baking rack. Air Fry at 200 deg cel for 8-10 mins.  Flip once halfway through cooking. Remove and cover in a foil to rest for 5 mins before serving. 

Grilled Mixed Vegetables : Toss asparagus, cherry tomatos, corn cob, russet potato, portobello mushroom with a tbsp of olive. Sprinkle 1 tbsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Vegetable Seasoning and  1/2 tsp McCormick Himalayan Pink salt over the mixed vegetable and coat well. Air fry sweet corn/potato at 200 deg cel for 12 mins, asparagus/portobello/tomato/garlic at 200 deg cel for 6 mins

Herb Butter : 125gm unsalted butter, 1 heap tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic Pepper, 1 heap tsp Grill Mates Smoky Montreal Steak, 1 heap tbsp McCormick Italian Blend Grinder, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped spring onion

 Combine all herbs & spices with softened butter, stir well to incorporate

Place herb butter mixture over a piece of cling wrap. Roll up like a cylinder. Chill in fridge till solid. Slice and use accordingly. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Roasted Ratatouille & Sausage Strata

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 200gm white button mushroom
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • 4 garlic sausages, cut into bite sizes
  • 8 slices wholemeal bread, sliced into 4 squares
  • 250gm mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic Pepper
  • 2 tsp McCormick Italian Blend
  • 1/2 tsp McCormick Himalayan Salt 
Egg Custard
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200ml fresh milk
  • 200ml cooking cream
  • 1 tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Vegetable Seasoning
  • 1 tsp sugar
Baked mixed vegetables with herbs and olive oil

Layer bread, roasted vegetables and sausages into greased baking dish

 Pour in egg custard to soak into the bread mixture

Method (I divided the ingredients equally into two 7"x7" pan)
  1. Cut zucchini, mushroom, bell pepper and tomato into cubes. Toss the mixed vegetables with olive oil, garlic pepper, salt and herbs. Spread the mixture into a lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 15 mins until softened. Toss the mixture in the middle of baking.
  2. Combine the egg custard mixture and seasoning. Whisk well and set aside for use later.
  3. To assemble, place a layer of bread onto a well greased baking dish. Scoop half of the roasted mixed vegetable and sausages over the bread. Repeat the process by placing another layer of bread slices over the mixed vegetables. Lastly place the remaining roasted vegetables and sausages over the second layer of bread.
  4. Pour the custard mixture into the layered bread and vegetables. Press down firmly to ensure the bread is well soaked with the custard. Lastly top it with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  5. Wrap the baking dish with foil and allow it to sit in fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Remove the baking dish from the fridge and bring it to room temperature before baking. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 20 mins. Remove foil and continue to bake for 15-20 mins till cheese is golden brown and custard is well set. Serve warm.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Chilli & Pepper Grilled Squid

I rarely grilled/baked seafood in an oven especially squid/prawn which they easily turned hard and chewy if overcooked. But today I attempted this Chilli & Pepper Grilled Squid in the air fryer and it turned out so succulent and tender!! Hahaha serve one squid for one person but turned out not enough as they tasted so mouthwatering!

  • 4 medium squid, approx 550gm
  • 4 slices lemon, sliced into half 
  • a pack of mesclun salad 
  • chopped spring onion
  • toasted white sesame seeds
  • 2 stalk spring onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp red chilli pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp Grill Mates Chilli & Pepper BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tsp McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp McCormick Himalayan Pink Salt

  1. Clean the squid by removing the head,innards and cartilage. Cut the tentacles, discarding the eyes section. Rinse the squid tube thoroughly and drain well.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine marinade ingredients and mix well. Add in squids and its tentacles and coat evenly with the marinade. Spoon some of the marinate into the squid tube as well. Cling wrap and chill in fridge for about 30 mins.
  3. Before cooking, bring the marinated squids to room temperature. Preheat air fryer at 230 deg cel for 5 mins. Line the baking pan and place sliced lemons over. Drain the squids from the marinade and place over the sliced lemon. Spray some cooking oil evenly over the squids.
  4. Set air fryer at 230 deg cel for 8 mins. Grill for 3 mins. Glaze with reserved marinade and continue to grill for 1 min. 
  5. Turn the squid over, spray some cooking oil over and grill for 3 mins. After 3 mins, glaze with remaining marinate and finish the grilling for another 1 min. Rest for 5 mins. Garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Air Fried Sio Bak & Char Siew

Thanks to Mister I've got the chance to play with my new toy Roman Halogen Air Fryer! I'm happy with my first attempt air frying crispy roasted pork belly and barbecue pork which both turned out crisp succulent and juicy. Usually I will use my convection oven for roasting which is rather oily and smelly after used. Surprisingly with this air frying method, though there will still be some oil splattering, the cleaning is so much easier and no strong porky smell lingering in the kitchen and the equipment itself! Do take note the the heat element of this Roman Air Fryer may be different with other brands of air fryer, so the cooking temperature and duration I've attempted is for my own reference. Happy Air Frying!! 

Air Fried Crispy Roast Pork
  • 1 kg pork belly, skin on
  • 2 tsp distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt (to be rub on skin only)
Combine the following seasoning for meat area
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp hua tiao jiu
  1. Rinse pork belly and blanch briefly in boiling water. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Place belly skin side down and sprinkle the mixed seasoning over and rub them in.
  2. Turn the pork belly over, prick the skin evenly all over. Brush skin with vinegar and rub 1/2 tbsp sea salt evenly all over the skin. Chill the whole pork belly in fridge for at least 24 hours without covering.
  3. Bring the pork belly to room temperature. Preheat air fryer at 180deg cel for 5 mins. Line the base of air fryer with foil and place the wire rack over. Place the pork belly, skin side up, on the wire rack. Air fry at 180 deg cel for 30 mins. After 30 mins, prick the skin once more to ensure even crackling. Increase temperature to 200 deg cel and continue to air fry for 25-30 mins until the skin is blistering and golden brown. 
  4. Remove roasted pork belly from air fryer and cool it down completely before slicing.

Air Fried Char Siew
  • 600gm pork shoulder butt, cut into stripes
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese wine
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar

  1. Rinse and pat dry pork. Combine all seasoning and mix well with pork. Cover and chill overnight. 
  2. Bring marinated pork to room temperature. Preheat air fryer at 200 deg cel for 5 mins. Line the base of air fryer with foil and place a wire rack over. Drain the pork and reserve the marinated liquid. Place the pork over wire rack. Air fry at 200 deg for 10 mins. 
  3. Flip the pork over and continue to air fry at 160 deg cel for 25 mins until nicely browned.
  4. Remove char siew from air fryer and cool down before slicing.
  5. Strain the reserved marination and bring to boil. Serve the gravy with sliced char siew.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lemon Blueberry Cake with Frosty Whip

Time flies and my elder boy has turned 11th yesterday!! As usual I've baked a simple birthday cake for him everytime of this year! Lousy with decorating so I make use of edible cake image for the cake with minimal piping/decoration. ^0^ 

I thought I've used a lot of whipped cream for the layering, but it did not turn out otherwise. Anyway is a nice cake to enjoy...moist and tender crumbs packed with juicy blueberries and lemony flavour. 

Ingredient (one 8" x 8" layer cake)
  • 250gm salted butter
  • 200gm fine sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300gm cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 250ml homemade buttermilk
  • 125ml fresh lemon juice
  • 300gm frozen blueberries (coat with 2 tbsp plain flour to prevent sinking)
Frosting : 100gm frosty whip powder with 50gm chilled water & 50gm lemon juice

  1. Sift cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. 
  2. Using electric whisk, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add in lemon zest and beat to combine.
  3. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat till mixture is white and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Using low speed beat in flour, alternate with buttermilk and lemon juice, until just combined. Do not beat on high speed. Use a spatula and fold in blueberries. 
  5. Spread the cake batter into two 8" square shallow pan.* Bake in preheated oven at 160deg cel for 30-35mins, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Rest the cake in pan for 10mins. Remove cake and transfer to a wire rack to cool down completely before frosting. 
* I halved the recipe and bake the cake one by one as my oven is small. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Chinese Roasted Chicken 烧鸡

If you are bored with the usual westernised baked chicken, try this Chinese roasted chicken for a change! The flavour is so inviting while roasting and I could not wait to savour it! Even my kids could not get enough of it. 

I've marinated the chicken for 2 days! Prior to baking, leave the chicken in room temperature and air dry for at least 3-4 hours.

After baking for 30 mins @ 200 deg cel and 35 mins @ 130 deg cel. Love the perfect golden brown skin!

  • 1 medium chicken, approx. 1 kg
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 thumb size ginger, sliced
  • 2 stalk green onion, cut into sections
  • 1 tbsp Chinese wine
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  1. Clean the chicken and pat dry thoroughly. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Stuff half of the garlic, ginger and spring onion into the cavity of the chicken.
  2. Place the chicken in a ziplog bag. Pour in the marinade and some into the chicken cavity. Seal the bag firmly. Rub the bag gently to ensure the chicken is evenly coated with the sauce. Keep in fridge overnight. Turn the bag a few times in between marination time.
  3. On day of roasting, take out the chicken. Discard the liquid and spices. Truss the legs place on a wire rack, breast side up, and air dry until the skin becomes tightened and dry. (I on the the fan and air dry for 3 hours).
  4. Place the chicken on the low rack and bake in preheated oven at 200 deg cel for 30 mins. Lower temperature to 130 deg cel and bake for another 30 mins. 
  5. Cool down for 15 mins before before serving.
recipe ref :

Dark Savoury Sauce for Noodle
  • 1/2 pc non msg chicken stock cube
  • 350ml water
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1  tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
Bring water to boil. Dissolve the stock cube. Stir in remaining seasoning and bring to a simmer for 1 min. Set aside till use.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Old School Buttercream Cake Slices

Back to basic baking....simple old school sponge cake! Thanks to my friend for sharing her recipe. She used to blog too but a pity she had ceased to do so. She's a really talented home baker/cook and I learnt a lot from her too! I really love this sponge cake which is moist and tender, goes very well with the silky swiss meringue buttercream. Being too ambitious I've baked three flavours sponge cake, plain, chocolate and strawberry. They are so so pretty after decorating! 

3 flavours basic sponge cake...plain, chocolate and strawberry

Ingredient (9" shallow square pan)
  • 60gm cake flour
  • 1.5 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp double action baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks*
  • 2 tbsp +1 tsp milk 
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp corn oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste*
*Note : For chocolate sponge, reduce cake flour to 50gm and add cocoa powder 10gm. For strawberry sponge, omit vanilla paste and replaced with 1/2 tsp strawberry emulco. Use large size eggs.

  • 3 egg white*
  • 60gm fine sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Sift cake flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. Whisk egg yolks until creamy and light. Add in milk, oil and vanilla paste. Whisk well. 
  3. Add in flour mixture and whisk till mixture is smooth.
  4. Using a electric whisk, beat egg white and cream of tartar till foamy. Beat in sugar, in three additions, gradually till firm peak forms. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into egg yolk batter. Mix well.
  5. Pour the mixture into the balanced meringue and fold gently till well combined. Pour the mixture into a lined 9" pan and spread out evenly. Tap the pan lightly to remove excess air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven at 160 deg cel for 25-30 mins. Remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
  6. To assemble the cake : Trim the cake edges. Slice the cake into half and sandwiched with buttercream. Frost the surface with buttercream and chill in fridge for 30 mins for ease of slicing. Cut into slices (about 5-6 depending the size you preferred) and decorate as desired with piping gel, sprinkles, melted chocolate and buttercream.
For 4 eggs recipe :
  • 80gm cake four
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp double action baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, separate
  • 50ml rice bran oil
  • 1/2 tsp ovalett (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 70gm fine sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Recipe modified from Nasi Lemak Lover
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 100gm egg whites
  • 135gm sugar
  • 227gm salted butter, soft but still cold, cut into small cubes
  • 45gm melted dark chocolate (*omit chocolate if making plain one)

  1. Lightly whisk egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl, place over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Whisk mixture till sugar is fully dissolved and temperature reaches 70 deg.
  3. Remove from heat. Using a electric whisk, beat the meringue on high speed till stiff peak formed, thick and glossy.
  4. At this point, the mixing bowl should be cool to the touch but still slightly warm at the bottom.
  5. Place the bowl of meringue on top of a large bowl filled with some ice cubes and water.
  6. Beat and add in butter cube one by one, ensuring that each addition is well incorporated before adding the next one. 
  7. Mixture will looks curdle at one point, continue to beat till mixture is creamy and satiny.  Beat in melted chocolate till well combined. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Baked Nonya Otak Otak

The last attempt of making this Otak Otak was six years ago! I decided to make this again (to tweak the recipe slightly and upgrade the pictures 😜) to share with some of my friends for our small gathering. I'm really blessed with friends whom don't complain with my cooking hahaha....

Its a really easy peasy recipe to follow....just blend everything in a food processor! Except the fish chunks of course. ^0^ If you find that the fish chunks used is too much, you can replace with fresh prawns or squids! A really versatile recipe which you can adjust to your liking. 

Before & After Baking

  • 500gm Spanish mackerel, deboned and scrap out flesh, cut into chunks
  • 500gm fish paste 
  • 2 tbsp ginger juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 kaffir leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 100ml Ayam brand pure coconut cream
  • 100gm coconut cream powder 
  • 1 packet banana leaves (* I managed to cut 18 pcs from a pack of banana leaves, balanced paste I  wrap into individual small disposable container and freeze it)
Rempah Mixture
  • 4 candlenuts
  • 3 tbsp chilli powder (can increase to 4-5 tbsp if you prefer spicier)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced finely
  • 1 thumb size galangal, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 shallots
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 15gm belachan , toasted
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice bran oil

  1. Marinate the fish chunks with ginger juice and salt for at least 30 mins. 
  2. In a food processor, blend candlenuts, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, galangal, belacan together with 100ml of thick coconut milk.
  3. Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, rice flour, pepper, sugar, oil and the coconut cream powder and blend till mixture is really smooth. 
  4. Lightly beat the egg and pour into the mixture and blend till just combined.
  5. Transfer the egg mixture into a deep dish. Add fish paste and chopped kaffir leaves and mix well. Finally add the fish chunks and combine well. Cling wrap the dish and chill in fridge overnight. 
  6. Trim banana leaves into 20cm x 25cm sizes. Blanch in hot water till soften. Wipe dry before use. Spread about 2 tbsp of otak otak paste in the centre of the banana leaf. Fold in the edge to cover the paste. Use bamboo toothpicks to secure both ends. Repeat until all otak oak paste is used up. 
  7. Bake the otak oak in preheated oven at 200 deg cel for 15 mins until the leaves are browned and otak otak cooked through. 
  8. Alternatively for freezing of paste : Scoop appropriate amount of otak otak paste onto a  disposable container lined with food grade plastic wrap, wrap up properly and place in freezer till used. Do not thaw the otak otak. Steam or bake directly from freezer. 
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