Meat, Western

Beef Cheeks Burger

My first time ever cooking beef cheeks! I had seen this at the premium butcher and decided to try it. Beef cheeks takes an extremely long time to cook, but when it’s done, it’s so soft and gelatinous. Well, not that gelatinous, but definitely it doesn’t have the firm meaty texture of regular cuts of beef.

I decided to just cook them simply. My supermarket ran out of non-alcoholic red wine so what I did was to first sear the beef cheek, and then in my cast iron enamel pot, simmer it with a whole bottle of passata, chicken stock, lots of rosemary sprigs, garlic, a dash of Maggi seasoning (or Worcestershire sauce), salt. Because this took almost three hours to cook! The resulting sauce was soooooo sweet! But like I swore to my mom who had come to visit that night, I did not add any sugar! The sweetness really came from the hours of simmering, rendering the tomato passata sweet naturally.

The next day, I turned the beef cheeks into a burger. It was the bomb! Soft buttered toasted buns, alfalfa sprouts, baby spinach leaves, beef cheeks and slather some of its sauce over.

I doubt I’ll be making this again not because it’s not delicious, but nobody in the family liked the soft gelatinous texture of beef cheeks. Oh, well. At least I enjoyed my cheeks!

Chinese, Sides, Singapore, Snack

Chicken and Crabstick Wontons

I think I’ve perfected in making wontons, my way. The kind where the family cannot stop eating and where everything will be gone in seconds!

I’ve learnt that the secret is really to make the filling moist and flavourful. In the supermarket, they’re selling these small ready cut crab sticks. Yes, I know it’s processed but they add so much flavour and softness contrast to the dense minced chicken. For the chicken, I used tender fillet cute and just blend them. But I think my secret ingredient that the family likes without knowing what it is – carrots! Not traditional Chinese, I know but it adds natural sweetness to the filling.

Seasoning: soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, cornstarch.

Method: Deep fry is the only way to go, baby! There is no way you can get crispy juicy wontons by air frying them…

Mix minced or blended chicken tenders, small cubes of crab sticks (use fresh prawns is ok too, I’ve done it before), shredded carrots and then season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper and a tiny teaspoon of cornflour/cornstarch. I don’t add salt but if you want more flavour, you should add. For us, since we eat wontons with a mix of chilli sauce and Indonesian kecap manis, I see no need for salt.
Use good quality square wontons.
Deep fry and enjoy hot! Warm is also ok. But seriously, who can wait.

Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Butter Cake

Growing up, this was the only type of cake that I would get regularly. It’s very Singaporean or Malaysian to have butter cake as a snack or tea during small scale functions.

This butter cake recipe I got makes for a wonderful soft cake! The next time I make this, I’m going to mix some butter with Dutch butter. Find out more when I experiment with Dutch butter soon!

The recipe is so simple but made even more simple if you use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. The original recipe is here and it’s the best one online.

Ingredients:

250g butter, softened (I used salted)

200g caster sugar

5 eggs

240 g cake flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

50 ml milk

Beat the butter and sugar till pale, creamy and fluffy. Then gradually the eggs, one by one. Add vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients in two batches. And then the milk.

Pour into lines well greased pans and bake at 160 Celcius for about an hour.

Look at how creamy the cake batter is!
Cool it on a rack. Next time, I’m going to use a square pan.
Beautiful soft butter cake for tea time. Simple pleasures.
Bread and Batter, Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Anna Olson’s Anything Muffin

This has got to be the healthiest recipe for muffins I’ve ever used. However, when she said ‘anything’ she meant dried fruits, as in ANY dried fruits. My kids wanted chocolate chips instead so the healthy level just went down a few notches.

But really, this recipe is good but I couldn’t follow it completely. 1. She said not to use Greek yogurt but that’s all I had so I did. Turned out fine. Her recipe called for 124g of yogurt but my tub is 140 and you know, waste not! She said she only semi milk with 1 to 2 per cent fat. I couldn’t open a new packet just for this so I used what I had in the fridge, full fat. There’s no sugar except maple syrup, calling for half a cup. But my bottle could only give out to 1/4 cup so I added another 1/4 cup of honey. I used chopped walnuts and chocolate chips for the ‘anything’ filling.

Wait. Did I just make unhealthy muffins using her healthy recipe? 😱

No matter. The kids loved it and now there’s only 5 left of it for today.

Before the oven
I saw these cute sticks at Daiso and bought a pack
Healthy unhealthy muffins. Yums!
Desserts

Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf

I’m so glad to be back! I was so worried the past few days, wondering what went wrong with my site but it’s now all been resolved.

So I’m glad to post this banana chocolate chip loaf from Natasha’s Kitchen – click here for her site.

I must say for this recipe I didn’t change a single thing but to help those who don’t weigh butter by cups, 1/2 a cup of butter is 118grams. Yes, I weighed 118g of unsalted butter for this.

Prepare ingredients in advance for easy mixing. I used the paddle attachment of my mixer for this.
Spread neatly in a lined loaf pan
Bake in a 180 degree Celcius oven till brown and Center is cooked through.
Cut and enjoy. This is a good recipe because it’s not sweet. My family doesn’t have such a sweet tooth so this recipe is just nice.

Recipe

1. 118g (1/2 cup) butter

2. 23/ cup caster sugar

3. 2 eggs

4. 3 ripe mashed bananas

5. 1 tsp vanilla

Cream all this together. The butter and sugar first , followed by the eggs and the the rest.

6. 1.5 cups plain flour

7. 1 tsp baking powder

8. 1/2 tsp salt

Combine dry ingredients 6-8 together and then as the mixer is still on Low, gradually add the dry mixture in.

9. 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Fold in the chocolate chips and then pour the batter into the lined baking lor pan.