Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Scotch Eggs

Scotch egg is essentially an egg encapsulated in meat/sausages in the shape of a bigger egg. Scotch eggs are usually served in local pubs in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, when I was studying in the U.K, I did not get a chance to try it there. My usual order at the pub at the time was a curry and a pint. I should have been more attentive and thorough going through the menu. Haha.

It is unclear what is the actual origin story of the Scotch Egg. London department store, Fortnum & Mason claimed they invented it for rich couch travelers in 1738. There are also accounts that Scotch eggs evolved from an Indian dish, the Nargisi Kofta. Another theory mentioned that Scotch Eggs are essentially a “poor” man’s lunch as it is made from egg and leftover meats and easy to carry around.

Regardless it’s origin, Scotch Eggs has been around for a long time. And food that has been around for so long must be something good, so good that it was enjoyed and passed down over the past few centuries. What else does this picnic/pub food remind me about? It reminds me of breakfast, because it has egg, sausages and elements of bread in it.

It can be prepared by baking it in the oven or frying them in the fryer. Some prefer their egg to be hard-boiled in their Scotch Egg, but Joanna and I prefer our Scotch eggs still a little runny, like a soft boiled egg. Believe me, had spend a lot of time of this one, just to get the egg right. Had a number of failed attempt, so had to increase my protein on those days to ingest the eggs from failed attempts. Thankfully, we have a furkid at home to help me with some of my failed eggs. This dish is definitely fits in as a starter or picnic food during an outing with family or friends. It is truly, delicious food in one bite. 

Here is a breakdown of the recipe:

Ingredients (to make 3 Scotch Eggs)

5                                 Large Eggs
350g                           Minced pork
4 slices                        Streaky Bacon
1 handful                     Sage leaves
2 teaspoons                 BBQ Powder
2 tablespoons               Mixture of equal amount of bread and milk
1 teaspoon                   Paprika Powder
1 bowl                         Ice-cold water bath
To taste                       Salt and pepper
2cups                          Breadcrumbs
1 cup                           Flour

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Peranakan Food at Baba Low's 486

Malaysia is definitely culturally diverse . Our families are all influenced by the different traditions set by our ancestors. Depending on where our families were, I believe it is also safe to say that the environment we lived in helped shape our culture and traditions as well.

Food is one of the things that are greatly influenced by our traditions. Joanna grew up eating Peranakan food because both her grandparents had Baba and Nyonya influence. Joanna definitely loves Nyonya food. She loves them so much, every time we passed a Nyonya food place, she will stop for a moment to look at the menu.

So one day we had to head to Bangsar for some work-related matters. We had a bit of time before that, so I decided to look up for a place to eat around the area. Found this wonderful place online, Baba Low 486. We frequented that area a few times in the past couple of month but never realized that the restaurant was there. We have definitely heard of it before but never really realized it was so near the place we frequented.

The food was indeed amazing. Here are some pictures for you guys to check out:
Nyonya Laksa - RM 7.00. 
You can have your Nyonya Laksa with 2 different types of noodles. The Yellow Noddle (Mee), Rice Noodle (MeeHoon), or a mix of both (MeeHoon-Mee). I had the MeeHoon-Mee while Joanna had the MeeHoon Nyonya Laksa. Tasted great. Good level of spiciness, with some tofu puffs (taufu pok), cockles, halved eggs and fresh prawn. Not only it has a great curry flavour, the taste from the coconut milk is not overpowering and you have a hint of freshness from the Kaffir Lime Leaves. I guess you can say that it is what Malaysian Comfort Food taste like.

Otak-Otak - RM 7.00
Pai Tee - RM 5.50

The Otak-Otak tasted very different from the usual Johorian-style otak-otak. Its slightly dry, with a strong turmeric and coconut taste. The fish used to make the Otak was also very fresh. However, its not really suitable for younger kids as it has a lot of tiny bones. We need to be very careful during each bite to make sure we were not consuming any fish bones.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Fat Americano - Coffee with a "Twist"

Jo and I love coffee. The both of us growing up in Ipoh had exposed us to coffee at a very young age. I was not a fan of coffee growing up, but as I entered my teenage years, the love for coffee slowly grew.

Jo on the other hand, is a coffee junkie. I was told that, even at a very young age, Jo was never hindered by the bitter taste of coffee. Apparently, her parents tried to make her stop sucking on the pacifier once by putting a little coffee powder on the pacifier, but to their surprise, she loved it.

We are deeply blessed to be able to try different types of coffee each time we travel to a different country. The Blue Bottle Coffee from San Francisco and the Market Lane Coffee in Victoria Market, Melbourne still stands at the top of our list. Nevertheless, there are still tons of coffees we would love to try in the future.

A few months back while having coffee with some friends, the coffee bar offered our table a cup of chilled coffee, the Fat Americano, something they have been playing around or tinkering with. So what is a Fat Americano? A Fat Americano is like a regular Americano, but the water is replaced with soda, in this case, Coke, hence the "Fat" in front of the Americano.

Coffee with Coke, sounds like a bad idea? To my surprise the Fat Americano was actually quite good. The barista was kind enough to explain to us how they engineered that surprisingly interesting cup of coffee. Iced cold coke with a shot or two of espresso she said. So where is this coffee place you might ask? It is Butter and Beans, a rustic coffee place in Taman OUG. Do check them out, a great place for coffee, tea and to satisfy your cravings for desserts. Definitely a place worth dropping by especially on those lazy weekends where you just want to sit down and enjoy a good cuppa.

The Fat Americano has since became a constant craving for me, especially on a hot day (it's hot almost every day here in Malaysia, but some days, the humidity can really get to you). So one weekend, I decided to give the Fat Americano a try.

What do we need?
1 or 2 shots of espresso.
1 can of Coca Cola.
1 tall glass, filled with ice cubes.

Making the "espresso" at home
We do not have an espresso machine, but thanks to Jo, we do have a French coffee press in the kitchen. It is definitely not an true cup of espresso, but it is close enough to satisfy my craving for a Fat Americano.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Chickpea and Prawn Burger

When we were younger, McDonalds used to serve this vegetarian burger. I am not sure how many of you in Malaysia remember this but the burger was known as the “Vege” Burger. If I remember correctly, that burger was priced at RM 2.50 per burger. It was on the board from only a short period of time, between the year 2001-2003.

Needless to say, when they introduced that burger, it instantly became my favourite burger at McDonalds. As I was only in secondary school at the time, the price was also much more affordable as compared to the other burgers, my allowance allowed me to have this burger once every 2 months. The patty tasted a like a mix of potato and chickpea with a bit of spicy herbs, like cumin and coriander and a little bit of corn bits.

What do you know? When I met Joanna a few years later and we were talking about our childhood and the things we enjoyed having, this burger came into the discussion. Jo too remembered the burger as it was also her most loved burger at McDonalds at that time.

For many years, we have been talking about that burger and at times, wishing that McDonalds would bring it back some how, until one day, out of the blue, I told Joanna, why not we try making that burger at home. With our own twist. Just get some chickpeas and we can try it at home. Hence, I came out with this Chickpea and Prawn burger.

Please do note that, this patty that we are about to share is not the same as the Vege Burger at McDonalds many years back. In fact, it contains prawns, hence it is not a Vege burger at all. But it is a patty made from our experiences as kids, something nostalgic, fusing it together with something we also enjoy now as adults, prawns. Haha.

Here is a breakdown of the recipe:
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