March 15th, 2010

Curry Laksa

Sorry, no pics, but this recipe was in yesterday's paper. It was excellent! There's an 'ideal' picture behind the link.

100g peeled baby shallots
8 garlic cloves
25g peeled ginger, sliced
15g lemongrass (soft white stem only), sliced
2 tsp ground coriander
3 large dried red chillies
2 tbsp sambal oelek (or other savoury chilli paste)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
50g fresh coriander
1¼ litres vegetable stock
3 branches laksa leaves (aka kesum leaves), or curry leaves, or both
2 tsp curry powder
1½ tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
400ml coconut milk
100g rice vermicelli noodles
300g bean sprouts
150g french beans, trimmed and halved
250g fried tofu puffs (optional)
4 limes, halved

Put the first seven ingredients in a small food processor bowl. Add half the oil, and the roots and stems of the fresh coriander, and process to a semi-smooth paste.

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and fry the spice paste on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring all the time – you want to cook it slowly without burning. Add the stock, laksa branches, curry powder, salt, sugar and coconut milk, simmer gently for 30 minutes, then taste and add more salt if necessary.

Once the broth is done, steep the rice noodles in boiling water for three minutes and drain. Throw the bean sprouts into a pan of boiling water, drain at once and refresh. Cook the beans in boiling water for three minutes, drain and refresh.

Just before serving, remove and discard the laksa branches (the leaves can stay in the soup). Add the beans, noodles and half the sprouts, ladle into large bowls and top with the remaining sprouts, tofu puffs and shredded coriander leaves. Squeeze lime juice on top and throw one half of squeezed lime into each bowl

Recipe Fail!?

So Pepperridge Farms used to make this amazing amazing thing that was a puff pastry circular pastry thing stuffed with broccoli and cheese sauce that I used to love in my pre-gan days. I'm in love with Daiya cheese and have found it makes my favorite fake cheese sauce. So I thought omg! this + broccoli + puff pastry = AMAZING RECREATION FROM MY CHILDHOOD!

Only it didn't work like that. I made little tarts, I made my cheese sauce, I steamed some broccoli and I added all of that together, baked at 350 for roughly about 20 minutes faux cheese sauce disappeared! All that's left inside is steamed broccoli.
Does anyone have any idea what the heck happened? And how I could try again? It seemed so simple! It doesn't even taste like it soaked it up and the ones where I put a lot in there just seemed to have leaked out the sides, no matter how tightly I sealed them.

They taste alright but bland on their own so I dipped them in the leftover cheese sauce and its better but not the amazingness I dreamed of. Help!

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Data & Spot

nailing down that irish cream flavor

I'd like to make stout-whiskey-Irish cream cupcakes (based on the car bomb cocktail, apologies if that term offends). Got the chocolate stout cake recipe, got me a bottle of Jameson, and now I'm a bit stuck as to how to formulate the Irish cream frosting. (Well, the frosting itself won't be hard, just a buttercream, but the *flavor* is eluding me.)

Homemade Bailey's recipes include creamy stuff (obvs), sweet stuff (brown sugar?), whiskey, almond and coffee flavors. Some descriptions mention buttery/toffee and chocolate notes as well. Most of this I can work with but I want to approximate the real flavor as closely as possible. Irish cream syrup is easy to find but IMHO unremarkable, and for now I'd prefer not to buy any of the vegan flavorings sold online.

Could whip up a batch of veg Bailey's (without the coconut milk every veg recipe seems to mention) and just use a bit of that in the frosting, but I also swear I've seen a recipe for Irish cream frosting that used whiskey, etc in lieu of the liqueur itself. Can't track it down, though. (Is it in VCTOTW?) I know what Irish cream tastes like, but I don't know what it tastes like! Suggestions?

(EDIT: Just for future reference, since we are past Silk Nog season - I bet the nog, with that sorta eggy rich flavor, would make a great base for homemade Bailey's.)
poet lisa

Moroccan filo pie

This is another recipe from the good old Guardian. It is from their 'kitchen click-along' series, where you are meant to make the recipe live at the same time as the chef posts it. That's way too high pressure for me, I just followed the recipe another time! The recipe was pretty much vegan already. Check out the Guardian link for more photos etc. I have pinched a couple of theirs because my camera isn't charged.

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Note: I used a lot less marg and salt than the recipe.
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