Kitchen Workout

The first quarter of 2013 has flown by too quickly. As 2012 was an extravagant (and expensive) year of dining out, I decided to stay in more with The Angmoh this year and put the kitchen, and endless recipe books, to good use. I do not follow recipes strictly. The only time I measure out ingredients is when I’m baking, and even so, I do reduce the amount of stated sugar by at least 25%. All measurements in my savoury cooking, especially Chinese dishes, are estimated (or “aggarated”, in Singlish terms). These are a few of the dishes that I think have turned out pretty brilliantly.

1. Roasted tomato soup

  • Get a big bunch of ripe tomatoes and slice them in half.
  • Arrange them snugly onto a baking dish with their cut surfaces facing up and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and oregano.
  • Scatter several unpeeled cloves of garlic and douse everything with a good glug of olive oil. Roast it all up in the oven at 200degrees for 45-60min. Remove garlic skins and discard.
  • Puree it all up, add water, bring to a boil and simmer without a lid for at least 20min, until it reaches a nice thick consistency.
  • Serve up the soup with some cheesy garlic bread, or do yourself a favour and get some Brasserie Bread’s Caramelized Garlic Loaf.
  • (Sidenote: After roasting it up, mash the garlic into the tomatoes for a delicious sandwich spread or pasta sauce)

tomatoestomato soup

2. Beef short ribs in tomato sauce

I saw a picture of this from Winston’s Instagram feed and decided to cook it. It is simple and lasted me with 5 meals. I decided to tweak it by throwing in a couple bay leaves and 2 carrots cut in thick chunks.

beef ribs

3. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

Peanut butter. Chocolate. Repeat 10 times and add in the word ‘cookie’. This, in my honest, whole-hearted opinion, is one of THE best combinations. Ever. I chanced upon this fantastic recipe by Smitten Kitchen, baked a whole batch of it (I cut down white sugar by 1/3 cup, and omitted the sugar sprinkles), and distributed it before I could devour everything like the greedy monster I might be. I can’t speak highly enough of this recipe.

cookie doughpeanut butter choc chip cookie

4. Fig clafoutis

I chanced upon figs selling at $4.99/kg at South Melbourne Market one lucky Saturday. I grabbed a big bagful and baked up this beautiful beauty. No tweaking was done. It turned out very well, if I may.

fig clafoutis

5. Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut butter. Chocolate. Repeat 10 times and add in the word ‘cake’. Penny tweeted this recipe and I knew I had to make it. It’s a little tedious and will probably use up every measuring bowl/spoon/cup you own, but trust me, the cleaning up is worth it. I encountered a few problems: firstly, I baked it in a regular spring-form tin as I didn’t have a bundt pan. My cake turned out to have an undercooked center while the outside was perfect. Cooking it longer cooked the middle perfectly, but left the crusts slightly dry. I recommend baking this in the bundt pan that Penny mentioned. Next, I had trouble getting my peanut butter frosting to stay on the cake. It kept sliding off and pooling onto the sides. I think chilling the frosting and then spreading it onto a cooled ganache-d cake will make a huge difference.

PB cakePB slice

6. Pineapple tarts

Pineapple tarts are synonymous with a Singaporean or Malaysian Chinese New Year. Although laborious, they are quite delicious and extremely addictive! I make my pineapple jam from scratch: grating pineapple by hand, and cooking it over a low heat with some brown sugar, cinnamon and star anise. This year, I used Fakeboo’s pastry recipe but used 2 egg yolks. They are buttery, flaky and perfect.

pineapple tart

Home-cooking can be quite an enjoyable process. I find the prepping extremely therapeutic, especially if it involves knives. There’s something quite enjoyable about slicing, dicing, filleting, skinning, chopping, julienning, etc. With a vast endless supply of recipes to peruse, I’m pretty sure I’ll be updating the blog with a few more tried-and-true-yet-tweaked recipes.



Filed under Domestication, Korean, Recipes, Sweets

14 responses to “Kitchen Workout

  1. Hey, lady, sorry I haven’t dropped by earlier to your blog! You’ve certainly been making lots of delicious things. I’m especially drawn to the tomato soup, the fig tart (so many Australian bloggers making that the moment, it seems) and, of course, those fabulous pineapple tarts.

  2. I die with envy for those figs.

  3. I was thinking of baking a batch of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies this weekend! Too many photos of it on instagram which I can’t resist.
    Definitely will give the tomato soup a try. Look simple and nice + great for winter.

  4. Yahummmm! Need to do peanut butter and choc chip cookies again! I’ve found actually over the past year I’ve been baking a lot less than I used to, but I have been getting a tiny bit more creative at lunchtime. Bit by bit I will get my kitchen cred!

  5. Those cookies have certainly transformed me and all those around me into monsters! Oh.. hahaha aggragated.. hahahhahahaaAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahaha… I remember this conversation!

  6. I reduce the amount of sugar too whenever I’m baking as I find the recipe desserts are usually too sweet for me.

    I really need to try making those beef ribs. They look so delicious and it’s good that you were able to make several meals out of them 🙂

  7. Great job! Definitely need to chill the frosting a little, spread and then place it back in the fridge for a little while to set.

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