Friday, August 8, 2014

What to do with Flat (No Longer Gassy/Carbonated) Coca-Cola?

Remember my last post promising a solution for flat undrinkable Coca-Cola?

Well...... there are a few solutions:
1) Use it as an ingredient for baking/cooking.  A ton of recipes here.
2) Recarbonate the flat soda and drink it?! Yes, really. YOU CAN RECARBONATE IT!!! ( You can even make your own soda.  I'll share a post about it soon.)  Meantime, read this to find out how.
3) Recarbonate the flat soda and use as a science aid............ for the infamous Coke-Mentos experiment!

And that my friends is exactly what I did with the leftover flat Coca-Cola - the infamous Coke-Mentos experiment!

First of all, I added some flat Tesco Choice Sarsi (it was only RM 0.40 so how can I not buy it?).  Then I added about 1/4 tsp of yeast into the bottle and left it to 'ferment' for 2 days.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sweet Cola BBQ Sauce

I have always wanted to try a recipe using Coco-Cola as an ingredient. I never did cause I always felt that using Coco-Cola as an ingredient is rather expensive. This time though, I managed to buy a bottle of Coco-Cola on discount.  But, instead of enjoying it straightaway, I kept it for a big party gathering.  Unfortunately, no parties took place and the Coco-Cola went flat.  So......ha, ha, I was *forced* to do a Coco-Cola recipe now instead of flushing it down the drain! (Flat soft drinks are undrinkable to me!)

I chose to do a BBQ sauce. I saw many different ones on the internet but I finally chose this one by The Neelys. It sounded the best.

When we first tasted it, we thought it tasted awful! There was such a strong smell and taste of vinegar. But, after I added about 1/3 cup of brown sugar, it was much better!  The balance of sweet and sour was just nice.  
Food Network Neely's BBQ Sauce
Sweet Cola BBQ Sauce

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jim Lahey's No Knead Pizza Dough

I have used Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread Dough recipe for almost a year now. I'll do a blog posting about it soon. This post however, is about his PIZZA DOUGH.

I decided to try this recipe cause I love no-knead doughs!!! I have always been kneading doughs by hand but after hurting my wrist, it's been painful to knead doughs. Sob! Sob! I don't have a stand mixer to do my dough kneading for me too!

The only 'problem' with no knead doughs is the long rising time, often 12-18 hours. The difference between this pizza dough and most no knead doughs is that this dough is extremely dry. I could hardly fully moisten the flour mixture with the water.

I started mixing this recipe the night before. The pizza dough at about 11pm;
Jim Lahey's No Knead Pizza Dough Start

Monday, July 7, 2014

Coconut and Coriander Fish Baked in Banana Leaves

I chose to cook this recipe from Spice Kitchen because of its description; A favourite from western India and a must at a Parsee wedding. This delicious recipe is one of the most popular dishes on the Spice Kitchen menu. It is especially loved by those who do not like their fish in a curry. You can serve it with steamed basmati or other long-grain rice or a leafy green salad.

Doesn't it sound interesting and different from our normal Indian food?

The cast of ingredients:
Ingredients for Coconut and Coriander Fish

The recipe calls for ginger and garlic paste. I prefer to blend my ginger and garlic fresh instead of pre grinding and storing it until needed.

After blending everything together:
Paste of Ingredients for Coconut and Coriander Fish

I didn't manage to take photos of the fish before it was put in the oven.  This is the fish after it has been baked:
Coconut and Coriander Fish Baked in Banana Leaves

The fish has a distinctive Indian flavour (which I think comes from the cumin powder). But the coconut and coriander paste makes the dish rather unique and interesting. It's not like any of the Indian dishes that I have tried before (both Southern and Northern Indian dishes).

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Alisa's Marbled Pound Cake

I am always on the lookout for good butter cake recipes.  I do like chiffon/sponge cakes but some days, you just need a slice of calorie high, hip increasing, rich butter cake!

When I saw the pictures of this cake, I knew that I had to make it immediately!  What more that this is a marble cake, so yippee, a chocolate craving filled at the same time.

I had never used sour cream to bake cakes before.  I wondered how it would influence the taste of the cake.  Well, now's a good time to experiment.

As it was baking, the whole house smelled so wonderful!  It was a struggle to wait for it to bake AND to cool down completely.

This cake did not disappoint at all.  It was everything a good pound cake should be.  Rich, buttery and full of flavour.  The chocolate component of the cake was excellent.  It had a very deep chocolatey taste.  My son and I LOVED the chocolate parts and would save it for last.

Slice of Alisa's Marbled Pound Cake
The cake was moist.  The crumb was tight.  The flavour unbeatable!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

AFF Vietnam #3 - Caramelized Chicken With Ginger

I wanted to post about a dish that is distinctively Vietnamese. What is more Vietnamese than a caramelized savoury dish. According to Andrea Nguyen (a renowned Vietnamese cookbook author), caramel sauce (nuoc mau, pronounced "nook mao") is one of the cornerstones of Vietnamese cooking. It's primarily used in kho dishes to simmer savory foods such as whole fish, pork, shrimp, chicken, eggs and tofu -- homey foods that are the soul of Vietnamese cooking. The color and flavor of caramel sauce are transformative, making food not only look beautifully amber but also delectable.

I made this dish in early 2012.  I decided to remake it and post the recipe in time for AFF IndoChina.

Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken With Ginger

This recipe is super simple.  4 steps actually;
  1. Make caramel sauce
  2. Brown ginger and chicken
  3. Toss ginger and chicken into caramel sauce and simmer until cooked
  4. Serve and eat (3 steps only if you remove this last step!)
When I was in Hanoi, Vietnam, I ate many caramelized dishes. They had a lot more ingredients in them. But somehow, this simple dish with only ginger to flavour it, tastes just as good!

Friday, June 27, 2014

AFF Vietnam #2 - Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot)

I wanted to make this tofu recipe from my Vietnamese Food and Cooking book; Spicy Tofu with Lemongrass, Basil and Peanuts. I had already bought the tofu and lemongrass. I even dug out the peanuts from the pantry. But when I went to water my plants this morning, I realised that my basil plant has shrivelled in this past few days heat!!! I didn't want to risk killing my basil plant completely by removing “one bunch of fresh basil” as required for this dish.

I quickly asked my best friend; Mr. Google for a suitable Vietnamese Tofu Dish. There were many but I finally settled on this dish; Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot).

Vietnamese Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot)