Asian Chicken Burger

A quick update on what has been happening in the whole three month of the no activity here.

I went to the hospital. I gave birth. And yes it was long and painful. He came out all wrinkly and puffy. But we are thankful that everything that’s supposed to be there is, well, there. I did the 30 day Chinese confinement period as requested (or forced) by my mother. I had 30 kg of fresh ginger, prepared into drinks, soup and stir-fries. I survived.

The baby is three month old this week.We are slowly falling into a new routine with the small and loud addition to the family. I am now also finding a bit of free time hanging out in the kitchen, between screaming and diapering.

I turned on the oven and took the scale out for the first time yesterday and it was liberating.

You know when everything with spring onion and garlic is considered “Asian”? I made my version of Asian inspired burger, with chopped spring onion, garlic, ground chicken and Japanese mayo and spicy bottled sambal. It is easy, quick and satisfying.

It is quick when you don’t make the bun and mince the chicken by hand. Which I did both myself. It was a therapy for me.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

The last week of waiting, hopefully, for the little person to arrive. It has been a very rewarding 9 months. I particularly enjoy the shopping bit. I ended up buying a lot of the wrong things and (hopefully) much more of the right ones. I got carried away and spent too much on things that will only ┬ábe used for a couple of months or so. So future mothers, please read up before heading to those cute stores. The other things that I enjoy as much are the pampering bit. And I later realized that pregnant woman could actually get away with a lot of things (that girls normally wouldn’t, except if you are as gorgeous as Miranda Kerr or as famous as the Kardashians). Free upgrade on flights and hotel rooms are the ones I would miss the most.

Nevertheless I can’t wait to feed him these Chocolate Chip Cookies from the famous David Leite’s recipe. I know it has been around for years and many great bloggers have featured it, but one more wouldn’t hurt. It is really that good. It puts all other recipes to shame. It is as easy as it is forgivable. It does come up to be slightly sweet, I usually reduce the amount of chocolate in my batch. And I couldn’t find Varlhorna feves, which I suspect would be just perfect sweetness of chocolate. But what else is new, right. You could find any freshest vegetables and spices you could think of. When you need something fancy or imported ingredients for baking, you would need to fly at least 1 hour to get them. I use combination of bittersweet Hershey’s chocolate chip and dark chocolate squares. They are finger-licking good.

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Tahu telur, literally tofu and egg omelette, is one of those fresh one-dish-salad-turned-into-a-meal we love. Originally from Java, it is served in households as simple and easy dish that is filling and cheap to make. It is amazing how a lot of dishes we enjoy come with peanut sauce. But I am not complaining. Peanut sauce just goes with everything, don’t you think? It is best served with fresh vegetables, by the way. As most other peanut sauce in Indonesian cuisine, the ingredients are deep-fried or roasted first before using, so it refrigerates rather well. Do adjust the amount of chilies. We take our sauces super spicy.

Here I arranged sliced cucumber and chopped lettuces on a serving plate, omelette goes on top and last that goes on the plate is beansprouts. The bean sprouts can be raw or blanched. The sauce is prepared separately, first the brown spicy base sauce and ground peanuts are added into the sauce last minute of serving. The peanuts would get soggy if mixed too early into sauce before serving.

Some tofu of firmer variety. These are to be cut into smaller cubed, about 2 cm.

I was using 5 eggs for this, lightly whisked.

Ingredients for the sauce is red chilies, bird’s eye chilies (optional), garlic, shrimp paste, palm sugar (or gula melaka) and salt. Chilies and garlic are to be roasted or deep-fried for 3 minutes in a little bit of oil in advance.

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Cinnamon Buns

So I have a great news. We are expecting our first bundle of joy. In two months’ time. Thank you so much for all the support during these idle months. I hope to pick up more energy to cook and blog in the coming months before the joy arrives.

I love the smell of cinnamon in baked goods. Cinnamon is in abundance in our area, they are sold by the bundles in the shape of gigantic sticks, up to about 40cm in length. We grate our cinnamon sticks manually then shift the powder with metal strainer before storing. I know, I am baffled at the fact that we do things the hard way. We make ground cinnamon as we use them. We rarely keep them for more than a week. Our baked goods are so good with the fresh cinnamon. The one thing that I keep on going back on making is cinnamon buns. I am a great fan of Cinnabon, but after they closed down the only shop they had here, I was feeling kinda lost. When I started making my own, I was found.

I am also a great, great fan of Peter Reinhart’s bread making book. It is the first bread baking book I have ever bought, more than 5 years ago. I love the book. The Bread Maker’s Apprentice is a great book for, well, bread maker’s apprentice. Everything is explained in detail and absolutely no guesswork. Of all the bread recipes in the book, this particular recipe is the one I love the most.

Combine butter, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl. Cream these ingredients on medium speed with an electric mixer, using paddle attachment, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs and lemon zest and continue mixing until smooth, about 1 minute.

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Indonesian fried rice is just like any other dishes in Indonesian cooking. Everybody has their own version. However, all the main ingredients are there. Shallots, chili, shrimp paste, kecap manis. Of course, rice and other condiments such as emping crackers, chicken bits, spring onions, fried eggs, sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Some fancy hotel version has satay and peanut sauce and fried chicken. It is common dish that’s easy to dress up by using fancier table ware and adding more condiments.

The main points are the type or rice used, which is medium grain and cold rice, the colder the better. Heavy bottomed wok is preferred, normal saucepan won’t give you the

For simple version, here is what I do with mine.

Spices to be ground are chilies, shallots, garlic and toasted shrimp paste.

Work on them in a mortar and pestle until reasonably fine.

Chop spring onion and chinese celery finely.

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