Sunday, October 28, 2012

I have read all your comments

Dear friends and readers,

I apologize for not responding to your comments promptly the last two days. This is because I was tied up at the Nutriplus Baking Competition as one of the judges. I will be till the final on 31st October 2012. I have read all your comments and will reply to them after that. Thanks for dropping by and take time to leave your comments. It is always, greatly appreciated.

For those who are staying in Kuala Lumpur, do head over to 1 Utama to watch the competition and demos by pastry chefs. There will be three contestants competing everyday and the winner will go on to compete in the final on 31st October 2012. Kelly Siew was the winner for the first round.

From left: Kelly Siew, Treedson Tang and Aris Khoo

Here is the competition schedule. The competition starts at 12 noon everyday. I am in the panel of judges and I will be there everyday. If you are there, do come over and say hello so that I can meet you in person. 

The cookbook "Think Out of The Shell - Vol.II" will be on sale at the competition hall. You get two for the price of one.  How cool is that? Hurry, not many copies left to grab. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What an eye opening

Finally, Le Cordon Bleu courses are here in Malaysia. 

There is a network of educational institutions dedicated to providing the highest level of culinary and hospitality instruction through world class programs in gastronomy. Le Cordon Bleu is considered to be the guardian of French culinary technique through its culinary programs that continue to preserve and pass on the mastery and appreciation of the culinary arts that have been the cornerstone of French gastronomy for over 500 years.

Anyone who would like to pursue a degree in either pastry or cuisine with Le Cordon Bleu, you can now do it right here in Malaysia. Programmes offered are Certificate programmes, Diploma in cuisine and Diploma in patiserrie. If you are interested to find out more about all the courses, you might want to contact these two friendly and nice ladies to arrange a tour of the institute and meet the instructors. I believe after that, you will be convinced that this is the institute you would like to pursue your career as a chef. 

Here are the contacts:
Sherlyn Lee at +6012 366 1378 or Ming at +6012 2423522. Ming is the General Manager.

From left: Evelyn of Missyblurkit, Quay Po, 
and Ming, GM of Sunway Le Cordon Bleu

I was so happy to be invited to attend The Duo Chefs Cooking demo on Vol Au Vent A La Parisienne by the head Pastry Chef, Chef Tierry Lerallu

and the Technical Director and Cuisine Chef, Chef Frank Bruwier.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the Student Recruitment and Marketing Executive, Sherlyn Lee and guess what? We were given a goody bag and served with platters of delicious pastries prepared by Chef Tierry. What a warm welcome!

On the way to the cooking demo room, we were brief how classes were conducted and we were shown how the kitchen was set up in the classes. According to Sherlyn, each student will have their own station and kitchen tools and there will be no sharing.

Shortly after we arrived at the demo room, we were introduced to the two chefs. Chef Frank is a humorous guy and so is Chef Tierry. It is obvious that the both of them truly enjoys what they do. 

Chef Frank said that pastry and cuisine always work hand in hand, just like the dish, Vol Au Vent A La Parisienne.

The demo class was fun, interesting and easy to understand. Most of all was the unforgettable gastronomy experience. The dish was out of this world delicious.

Ready to see how the Vol Au Vent A La Parisienne take shape? There you go.

Chef Frank preparing the chicken mousse

Chef Tierry making the pastry

Chef Frank preparing the fillings for the pastry
Preparing the smoke duck and bacon

Preparing the butter glazed mushroom

It was interesting to see how Chef Frank clean up the mushrooms.
I tried doing that but all my mushrooms were broken! LOL!

Preparing the gravy

Assembling the dish

Drum roll!! - The final product

I will definitely try to replicate this dish, maybe a fusion version, then, I shall share the recipe with all of you.

Once again, I would like to thank Sherlyn and Ming of Sunway Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts for the invitation. A big hug to Eveyln Ang Loo of Missyblurkit and Kevin of Ah Tee Kitchen for taking the photos for me and with me. Kevin, it was so nice of you to come over to say hello. It was a pleasure to meet you in person.

Quay Po with Kevin of Ah Tee Kitchen

It has been a long time since I last seen my friend, Cheng Yi of Fat Boy Bakes, a famous blogger whom I am sure you all know. I am glad to meet him at this event and we managed to have a little chat over tea and pastry before the demo started. We missed taking a photo with him because he left immediately after the demo. By the way, if you guys want to buy some unique yummy cakes for special occasion, you might want to check out his bakes for sale at his website. My Quay Lo's favorite is his OOZY chocolate caramel cake with sea salt. Cheng Yi has inspired me to make the pavlova and now it is a dessert I make for my friends and family very often and they all love it.

You may click on the pic to get the recipe I used

Monday, October 22, 2012

Honey, I am home! Where is my dinner?

Tips for working couples

I came across this article in The Wall Street Journal titled “Putting the Honey Back in 'Honey, I'm Home'”.

If you and your partner are a working couple, I am sure you can relate to this article. I could, because yours truly has been there, and done that.

It is a drag to have to cook when you've just returned home after a hard day's work, isn’t it? If you are like me and do not think that char kway teow, KFC, or pizza are a good answer and do not want to  nag your partner into pulling his/her share of the work,  I have a suggestion. How about making a big batch of pulled pork during the weekends? Divide the pork into meal sized portions, and store in  properly sealed containers and put them in the freezer. Before you leave for work, just take one container out of the freezer and put it into the fridge. By the time you return from work, it is ready to warm up on the stove top and whip up a delicious meal. All you have to do is to mix the pulled pork with your favorite BBQ sauce and heat it on the stove to make pulled pork sandwiches.  If you wish to do a little more work, you can serve them with corn on the cob, fried or roasted potato wedges and coleslaw. You might even add some butter sauteed green capsicum to the pulled pork. That will make a perfect meal but if you are too tired, don't even bother. Eat the pork with some fresh tossed greens or some quick stir fried spinach will be fine too.

P.S. I have a lot of recipes and tips for working couples and am thinking about featuring these under a title of "Tips for working couples.

Pulled Pork Burger

Please click on the picture to get the recipe for pulled pork

How to prepare corn on the cob:

This is featured on the Asian Food Channel (Official) Facebook page 
on 25th October 2012

Hust the corn, pull off the silky threads. Drop the corn into a large pot filled with boiling salted water. Cover the pot and bring water to a boil again. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered. After about 5 minutes, serve with lots of butter and salt.

How to make coleslaw:

1 medium cabbage
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sour cream or buttermilk
1 cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Remove any wilted outer leaves from the cabbage. Quarter the cabbage, cut out its core, then shred them. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sour cream or buttermilk, sugar. Add the shredded cabbage and carrots. Mix well until the vegetables are uniformly coated with the dressing.

Season to taste with salt and white pepper. The sweetness and tartness can be adjusted to your taste with more sugar and vinegar. If you prefer more creamy dressing, add more sour cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour, up to four hours, before serving.

In a large stainless steel or glass bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sour cream or buttermilk, the optional mustard or horseradish, and the sugar and celery salt.

Add the shredded cabbage, carrots and onion. Mix well until the vegetables are uniformly coated with the dressing.

Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Adjust the flavoring with more vinegar if it's too sweet or more sugar if it's too tart. You can also adjust the creaminess with more sour cream or buttermilk if you like.

Refrigerate for at least an hour, up to four hours, before serving.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I want more

If you asked me what is my favorite kind of food, I would say Japanese is my number one favorite. So when Poesy Liang invited me to her brother’s Japanese Restaurant, Fukuharu, to taste the Japanese food there, I accepted the invitation without hesitation. Usually I am not keen to drive to down town but I would for good Japanese food.

Although the building does not look very impressive the environment looks serene. The interior was simple but clean and pleasant.

When the host, Poesy and rest of the guests arrived, we started our food tasting and the first dish was seafood korokke, croquette with scallop and prawn. It was delcious. 

Price: RM22.0 per serving

Next was, their award winning sushi, tamago mentai sushi. The moment I put the sushi in my mouth, I just involuntarily made a sound, “mmmmm” and then I heard echo of the same sound from the others. Do I have to elaborate how delicious the sushi was or you are already drooling looking at the photos? LOL! 

Price: RM15.00 per piece

I would gladly pay the price and one piece will not be enough. I want more. I did not have enough so I bought four pieces home.

Next on the list was the Chef’s sashimi selection with truffle oil and wasabi dressing. According to the head Chef, the fish served are different everyday because it depends what fish are available for the day and they are always fresh. I will let you judge for yourself on the freshness of the fish by looking at the photos. Can you tell?

A meal will not be complete without a salad isn’t it? We had salmon tataki salad consisted of flash-seared salmon with homemade Caesar salad dressings.

Price: RM28.00 per serving

Before we finished the salad, we were served a bowl of chawan mushi each.  I found the chawan mushi a little too watery for me but the flavor was good.

Price: RM12.00
The next dish was lamb moromisoyaki which is marinated lamb with moromiso. It looked awesome but I don’t take lamb so I did not get to taste it. The others tasted it and gave their two thumbs up.  I can’t help but to order a serving to take home for my Quay Lo to try. My Quay Lo agreed with the rest that the flavor was superb. This is the only dish that I  think was too pricey because they are very small pieces of lamb or maybe it is because I do not know how to appreciate lamb? LOL!

Price: RM35.00 per serving

We were then served two claypots of rice. They were Hotate Kamameshi or scallop claypot rice and Unagi Kamameshi or eel claypot rice. 

I liked the Unagi Kamameshi more because it was delicious and the addition of tamarind gave the rice a unique flavor.  I enjoyed it so much that I ordered a serving to take home to have for dinner with my Quay Lo. 

Price: RM35.00 per pot

The Hotate Kamameshi was too blend for me. I would put more seasoning to the scallops. 

Price: RM35.00 per pot

Our dessert was black sesame cheese cake with freshly brewed coffee.

Oh I almost forgot about the ice cream we had. We were served three different flavors. Mango, green tea and black sesame. The black sesame ice cream was awesome with a distinctive sesame flavor which I seldom get from black sesame ice cream I had in the past.

I would like to thank Poesy for introducing me to her brother’s restaurant and a wonderful "makan" (food tasting) experience. I will be back with my Quay Lo and will not hesitate to recommend Fukuharo to all our friends, who love Japanese food. 

For those who would like to find out more about Fukuharu read reviews of customers who had been there, you might want to go to GoMakan. This is a fairly new food directory portal. According to their executive officer, Shin Kajiwara, "It was set up with the aim of encouraging effective communication, to provide accurate information and to review customers input." 

There were many food directory portals that I have used before when I want to read customers' reviews of restaurants that I have not been and want to tryGoMakan had all the search features other similar portals had plus one. The comparison feature was what I like the most. I am able to make a comparison of four restaurants side by side. Do check it out and I think you will be using GoMakan as much as I do from now on to "cari makan" (look for food).