Friday, February 28, 2014

Sandwich 101: Beef sandwich with Greek yoghurt recipe

Of lately, I have been getting into a routine where I dedicate my late Sunday afternoons to prepping lunch for the sister. With time constraints and a possibly fussy eater on hand, I have succumbed to preparing sandwiches but realized shortly after that these lunch items can get repetitive and the point where it loses it's magic. Do not want that happening and hence, am currently trying to prepare a different type of sandwich each week to jazz things up a little.

First up would be this Greek inspired sandwich treat.

100g steak, preferably a good one for pan frying
4 tbsps of Greek yoghurt
12g of beetroot slices
12g of cucumber slices
Salt and pepper to taste as well as to season the beef
Your favourite type of bread (this is not the time for raisin toast yet!)

Pan fry the beef on both sides to your liking. I liked mine medium-rare and cooked it for about 3 minutes on each side before letting it rest for a good 15 minutes. Slice it up and place on a slice of bread. Top it up with the yoghurt (a healthy alternative to mayonnaise) and your beetroot and cucumber slices.

Easy done and I found it very fulfilling. Took me less than 5 minutes to assemble it :) Thumbs up for this quickie!

Let me know how your went about if you have tried this recipe out!:)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hong Kee Chinese Restaurant

Been a while since I last visited this place and am glad I did! I miss their delicious and affordably priced dishes and not to forget, the friendly shop owner!:) And of course, I do have a few favourites in mind..

Chinese vegetables in garlic oil ~ a classic and goes down well regardless of whether you are a vegan or a fussy eater:)

Roast pork ~ look at the crackling on the pork pieces. Meat was still succulent and the crackling was too divine to resist. I have had this several times before and admittedly, it had been consistent throughout my dining experience here.

Roast duck ~ a finger licking dish but be warned that ducks do have more tiny bones compared to chicken so be prepared to get your hands dirty and be cautious especially if you have children with you. Well marinated and drenched in a light soy sauce accompanied by a plum dipping sauce. Thumbs up on a job well done, Hong Kee!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Okonomiyaki recipe

So...apparently half a cabbage at Foodland costs 99cents and it is a mighty big cabbage too. The cheapskate did not hesitate and grabbed one for myself without even realizing what am I going to do with it. I wanted to use it for days when I feel like having soup buuuuut....I changed my mind. Again.

Decided to make some okonomiyaki, a famous Japanese snack that utilizes a whole heap of cabbage and best part is you can add any type of topping, be it seafood or meat, to your okonomiyaki!!

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cornflour
375ml water
1/2 dashi stock powder (dissolved in the 375ml water)
2 eggs
25g tenkasu (basically leftover bits of fried tempura batter. If none, can easily be replaced by cooking a few small droplets of the batter in cooking oil).
Otafuku and kewpie mayonnaise
Dried bonito flakes

1. Dissolve dashi stock granules in the water.
2. Combine the plan flour and cornflour together before slowly incorporating the water mixture.
3. Slowly add in the eggs and mixture to achieve an evenly distributed mixture.
4. Refridgerate for 30 minutes
5. Meanwhile, chop about a quarter of cabbage (about 250g?) into thin stripes.
6. Add the cabbage to the batter mix. If the mixture looks overcrowded, do not add anymore cabbage.
7. Add the tenkasu pieces and heat a pan with cooking oil.
8. Drop your batter in and press the batter slightly to ensure even distribution. You can poke a few holes in the pancake to help it cook faster.
9. Once cooked, dish out and top with a generous dash of otafuku sauce, drizzle on some mayonnaise and top with the bonito flakes.
10. Best consumed warmed!:)

Bon appetit!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pho Han

It must have been more than a year since I last visited this place (mainly due to the travelling distance) but I have been too deprived from Vietnamese food for way too long, I reckon. This place is a bit far out of the way, especially if you are driving up from Adelaide CBD but nonetheless, you will be eventually fed at a reasonable price:)

Three bean sweet ~ I have this at just about every Vietnamese restaurant due to my obsession with beans. This one tasted just as good as the other ones that I have tried; very refreshing with a subtle hint of sweetness to it. I  challenge you to attempt mixing this without making a big mess! ;)

Knowing me and my poor menu memory, all I can offer you guys is a description of this dish. It is a crab soup noodle dish that has a few pieces of beef thrown in for added texture. The soup is very viscous and piping hot so be careful not to burn your tongue. Took me a while to down this but gotta admit, the slices of beef went well with the sweetish sour chilli dipping sauce. Not much crab pieces in it so do not expect to get a whole crab swimming in it!

Combination broken rice ~ Another one of my must have Vietnamese dishes. This one did not fail to meet the good standards set out by the other restaurants. Crispy roast pork, pork crackling and right balance of acidity in the sauce. Delicious!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Roti Boy aka Mexican Bun recipe

I am never a fan of summer in Adelaide as it's usually a scorching hot experience that makes me wish I had the luxury of frequenting coffee shops just for their air conditioning (and probably lounge there until they shut!). As I was doomed to be at home on a few days, I've decided to turn it into a positive experience by acquainting myself with the good ol' yeast.

I have tried baking bread in winter previously but the cold weather does not really give the yeast much warmth to initiate the process so I have succumbed to baking tarts in the winter. Not that it's a bad thing, really.

Been meaning to attempt making Roti Boy aka Mexican bun which is a popular snack in Malaysia. Coffee scent and fluffy bread ticked! I used this recipe from Rasa Malaysia and am glad that it worked I just need to do some minor tweaking the next time I bake it (only because I made a few bloopers along the way! oops!).

500g bread flour
80g caster sugar
9g salt
20g milk powder
10g dry yeast
60g butter
280ml water
1 large egg
100g butter (filling)

1. Combine yeast in the lukewarm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes until foam appears.
2. Mix bread flour, caster sugar, salt and milk powder together. Pour in yeast mixture, the egg and let the mixer do the job (I am that lazy haha).
3. Once mixture appears to have a shiny, elastic appearance, add the butter (in small chunks). Keep kneading with the machine until it appears to be well combined (not greasy but instead, elastic). This might take about 4 minutes on top of the 10 minutes spent for step 2.
3. Cover dough with a cloth and allow to proof for a good 45 minutes
4. Knock back dough and divide into 25g portions. Place a small cube of butter in the middle of the each individual dough. Allow to proof for an extra 30 minutes

Coffee topping:
200g butter
160g icing
3 eggs
2 tbsp coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp water
200g plain flour

5. Cream butter and icing together before adding eggs and coffee mix. Add plain flour. Pipe onto buns before baking at 180C for 15 minutes (depending on your oven temperature).

Verdict: my topping was a slight runny, probably because there was not much body in it in the first place. Might redo this again but perhaps use 1 egg less and maybe swapping the plain flour for self raising flour (my topping was kinda drooping lol).

Aside from that, was pretty impressed at a first time effort and will definitely reattempt this again:)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

St. Louis House of Fine Ice Cream and Dessert

I am usually pretty good with visiting newly opened dessert cafes but this one must have been one of the most delayed visits in my books be it because of the wrong time and mood. After months of procrastination, I am here, ready to order a waffle to end the night on a high note.

The interior decor feels very posh and for a moment, I felt under dressed. That feeling did not last long as I was more keen on quickly scanning the menu!

So....we ordered a cup of ice cream at the counter and placed an order for a plate of waffles and iced chocolate. We got the ice cream instantly which we happily ate at our table...waited for what felt like 15 minutes for our waffle to arrive at our table and wondered if it was missing. Had to ask the staff about it and they brought it out to us..

Blue cheese and pear ice cream ~ St. Louis does stand out from the crowd with their unique ice cream flavours which are made pretty darn well. We loved this one, not overly pungent from the blue cheese and packed a good mouthful of sweetness from the pear. Job well done, guys!

Iced chocolate~ arrived a bit late at our table and sadly, I did not get to taste it because somebody drank all of it:(

Waffle with chocolate chunks and St. Louis chocolate ice cream ~ I felt that it may have been left in the waffle machine for a bit too long that it had dried out a bit. Was not exactly cheap and I was disappointed. Nevertheless, I am willing to give it another go next time I am nearby. On the flipside, ice cream was yumz!

St. Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Burger Addiction

Having visited quite a few burger joints over the past year (refer to side link labelled burger), I am increasingly curious as to when will this phase mellow down, just like the number of dessert cafes mushrooming around Adelaide. There is not one burger cafe that I cringe at nor is there one that I feel is superior to the rest. Each of them have their own unique flair in terms of taste and flavour combination.

I have always wanted to try this place since I heard about it late last year but due to time restrictions, this was not possible. However, now that I have more time on hand (and a food sidekick), it made all the difference. First up, it is located in Rundle Place's food court, right near the escalator. Can be pretty busy during lunch hours but rest be assured that food will still be served within 5-10 minutes.Beef burgers costs $10 whilst chicken, pork and vegetarian costs about $9. Throw in a serve or fries or a canned drink if you like.

The brother ordered their Rhapsody, blue cheese with pecan beef burger. which was very yummy. He was very pleased with this unique flavour combo, quoting that you do get what it says on the menu, unlike some places. Lettuce pieces and tomatoes were fresh and not soggy at all. Bun was nicely toasted:)

Irresistible bliss beef burger ~ sauteed mushrooms, swiss cheese, garlic aioli..a classic flavour mixture which complements the beef taste very well. Oozing cheese gets my approval.

Shotgun wedding beef burger ~ chitpotle peppers, whiskey BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, chitpotle aioli.. I tend to lean towards spicy food and of lately, have been exploring this notoriously spicy chitpotle term. Not overly spicy but still has a nice kick to it and having those slices of tomato in it just cools everything down.

One thing the brother and I both agree on would be their rosemary shoestring chips which are seasoned to our liking and still crunchy despite being the last item we touch (burgers first!). Do give this a go if you are in the area and are looking for a quick bite!:)

Burger Addiction on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 14, 2014

Corner Store Cafe

Tucked away in a corner of an eastern suburb lies a little cafe that is only known to a small handful of people I know. After dropping by for brunch, I quickly realized that this place accommodates the suburb's locals who prefer to spend quality time here be it with family, friends or by themselves.

Staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The menu is pretty simple in terms of options but it does house a few of the popular breakfast items such as muesli, eggs benedict, focaccia etc. Diners can choose to sit indoors or outdoors but seeing that it was a refreshing cool morning, we decided to sit outdoors!

Big brekkie ~ can't fault this simple breakfast done well. Freshly toasted bread, light scrambled eggs and seared mushrooms. Yummy!

Eggs benedict ~ Yet again, cannot fault this classic favourite of mine. The hollandaise sauce just slides off so picturesque-ishly from the poached eggs onto the toasted bread. This is probably one of the reasons I love taking (and eating) breakfast pictures.

  Corner Store Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chocolate @ No.5 Hahndorf

I think it is cruel to walk away from a suburb that I hardly visit without popping by the suburb's most infectious dessert cafe. Yep, after having a big meal at Hahndorf Inn, the gang and I were game enough to drop by N5 because we looooove chocolate and we need our fix:)

I have also been searching high and low for a good waffle shop in Adelaide. So all the more reasons to make a stop!

Macarons ~ I was amazed at how yummy they were. Not dry, very flavourful and chilled, just the way I like it. Very very finger licking good and definitely worth a try if you love them as much as I do.

Hot chocolate ~ call us crazy for ordering this on a hot day but how could we possibly say no? Thank goodness for air conditioning though:)

Iced chocolate ~ oh okok we ordered the iced version as well! Lots of chocolate bits in it and was so refreshing, especially on a hot day!

Waffles with maple syrup ~ I was in heaven at this stage. I could taste the difference between a factory made waffle mix and a made from scratch version in an instance. The waffle was so fluffy, butter and still warm when it arrived at our table. Drizzling it with maple syrup and topping it with a small bit of vanilla ice cream drove my taste buds into a coma. One of the best waffles I have tasted in Adelaide, hands down. I can still taste it despite having this weeks ago. MUST TRY.

On a separate note, they do have a nice selection of chocolates to choose from, some of which have won awards before. So if you're in a bit of rush for time, I would suggest picking up a bag/box of chocolates:)