Thursday, November 5, 2009

14 Who-Knew Uses for Your Microwave


1. Disinfecting and Deodorizing Sponges

Don't throw out the kitchen sponge that smells like last night's salmon. Soak it in water spiked with white vinegar or lemon juice, then heat it on high for 1 minute. (Use an oven mitt to remove it.) This will also disinfect any sponges you used to wipe up the juices from a raw chicken.

2. Cooking an Entire Dinner in Under 10 Minutes
Not just the TV variety. We mean braised salmon with green beans and mashed potatoes. Use the microwave for any recipe that calls for braising, poaching, or steaming. Just subtract about three-quarters of the cooking time. Remember to stir liquids often to redistribute the heat, and always take the food out a minute or two before it's completely done, since it will continue to cook.

3. Disinfecting Plastic Cutting Boards

Wash the board well, rub it with the cut side of a lemon, then heat for 1 minute.

4. Making Potatoes
While the microwave won't give you a baked potato with a crisp skin, it will cook the average russet in about 4 minutes. You can simultaneously cook as many as will fit. (The general rule for heating more food is to check for doneness every 30 seconds beyond the regular cooking time.) Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and cook for 2 minutes. Turn them over and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. For mashed potatoes, be sure to heat the milk in the microwave before adding it. (Cold milk makes for cold mashed potatoes.)

5. Softening Brown Sugar
Keep the sugar in its plastic packaging, add a few drops of water, and heat on medium for 10 to 20 seconds.

6. Decrystallizing Honey

Honey that has solidified can be brought back to liquid life by uncovering the jar and heating on medium power for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

7. Proofing Yeast Doughs
Yeast doughs that normally take an hour or more to rise at room temperature can be proofed in the microwave in about 15 minutes. Place the dough in a very large bowl and cover with plastic. Place an 8-ounce cup of water in the back of the microwave with the bowl of dough in the center, and set the power as low as possible (10 percent power). Heat for 3 minutes, then let the dough rest in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat for 3 minutes longer, then let rest for 6 minutes. The dough will double in bulk.

8. Heating up Health Aids
You use a microwave to reheat your coffee, so why not use it to heat and reheat gel packs for headaches? (Don't do this with a metal-wrapped pack.)

9. Warming Beauty Products

Warming up a hot-oil conditioning pack for your hair takes about 10 to 20 seconds and feels marvelous, as does briefly heating up a moisturizing facial mask. (Stir the mask and test the temperature with your finger before applying to your face.) And if hot wax hardens when you're only halfway up your calf, reheat it in the microwave. It's much less messy than using a double boiler.

10. Roasting Garlic
It takes 45 minutes to roast garlic in the oven but less than 8 in the microwave. Slice off the top of the head to reveal all the cloves. Place the head in a small, deep dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of good olive oil. Spoon 2 tablespoons of water into the bottom of the dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and cook at medium power for 7 to 7½ minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before unwrapping.

11. Partially Cooking Foods for the Grill
To cut the grilling time of vegetables, cook them partway in the microwave before putting them on the barbecue. Heat new potatoes for 2 minutes (prick them first), and bell peppers for 1 minute. And why wait until your next campfire to make s'mores? Put the marshmallows in the microwave for 30 seconds.

12. Getting More Juice From Citrus Fruits

A lemon or lime taken straight from the refrigerator is harder to juice than one left at room temperature or warmed slightly. To get the most juice, microwave citrus fruits for 20 seconds before squeezing.

13. Toasting Nuts, Bread Crumbs, and Coconut
The microwave toasts them in a quarter of the time it takes in a conventional oven. Spread them out on a plate and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Keep in mind that they will continue to toast for about a minute after removal.

14. Cooking Vegetables
Still waiting for that cauldron of water to boil for your corn? All vegetables can be steamed in the microwave without adding water. Place them in one layer (if possible) on a dish, cover tightly with plastic, and cook on high. The timing will vary, but check tender items, such as spinach, mushrooms, and snow peas, after 30 seconds, and crunchy ones, like carrots, after 4 minutes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kek Durian

Sebenarnya kek ni menggunakan sukatan kek butter biasa, cuma ditambah durian sahaja. Mudah tetapi hasilnya sedap juga! Kek tidak terlalu kering dan cukup lembut.

250 gm mentega
230 gm gula halus
4 telur
200 gm tepung gandum + 50 gm tepung naik sendiri (diayak bersama)
1/2 tsp esen vanilla
10 ulas durian (dilenyek)

1) Pukul mentega dan gula sehingga kembang.
2) Masukkan telur satu persatu ke dalam adunan tadi. Masukkan sedikit esen vanilla untuk menghilangkan bau hanyir telur.
3) Masukkan pula tepung yang telah diayak dan gaul rata.
4) Boleh letak sedikit susu segar jika adunan terlalu keras.
5) Durian: kupas lebih kurang 10 biji dan lenyekkan. Kemudian campurkan ke dalam adunan tadi.
6) Panaskan oven dalam 180C. Sementara itu, leserkan tin kek dengan sedikit mentega dan alas dasarnya dengan kertas minyak.
7) Masukkan adunan ke dalam tin kek. Penuhi setengah tin sahaja kerana kek akan naik.
8) Bakar selama 45 minit dan siap.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Roti Canai Banana/Pisang

Roti Canai is a popular must-have breakfast for Malaysians. If you go to any Mamak (Indian-Muslim) restaurants here, you can see a plethora of roti canai varieties, even Roti Canai KLCC! It's very easy to make on your own, but I'm going to add something else, banana!

Banana Roti Canai (Roti Canai Pisang)
5 cups plain flour
3 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 teaspoon sweetened condensed milk (optional)
Few bananas

Mix together water, salt, sugar and milk in a cup. Sieve flour into a large mixing bowl and make a hollow in the center and pour in the mixture. Mix them thoroughly with a wooden spatula before kneading into a soft dough.

Shape dough into small balls. Place them in a bowl and pour a bit of cooking oil on top to prevent the dough balls from sticking together. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave for 8 hours or overnight. You can leave it for 2-3 hours only but the longer you leave it, the more stretchy it is, hence the crispier it becomes.

Flatten each ball with a rolling pin and roll up dough as thin as possible. Or if you're feeling very Malaysian, use your hands to stretch the dough.

Take 1 small banana and slice it thinly and arrange them in the middle of the stretched dough. Pull sides of dough on top of the middle part to make a square shape roti canai. Heat a pan and cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Grease top of roti canai with a bit of butter and flip it to cook the other side. Serve with whipped cream.

And that's it. Here's a photo I took from Banana Pancake World to give a rough idea of how it's like. Enjoy eating!

Tips dari Chef Wan

Masa tengah mencari resipi2 dari Chef Wan untuk dicuba, terjumpa blog lama Chef Wan yang ada tips² penting untuk membersihkan perkakas yang kita selalu guna di dapur. Bahan² untuk membersih pun tak susah nak dapat, sempat saya cuba bersihkan microwave oven guna tips Chef Wan. Jadi!

(sumber: Tips Chef Wan)

Kitchen : Cleaning a Blender

Immediately after using, add a couple drops dish washing soap and fill halfway with hot water. Cover and turn on for a moment. Rinse.

Kitchen : Cleaning a microwave

Heat a bowl of water on high power for 5 to 10 minutes. Keep the oven closed for several more minutes to allow the steam to do its magic. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the bowl of water. Then wipe the walls of the oven ? almost effortlessly.

Kitchen : Cleaning Up Pie Spills

If the juice from fruit pies overflows while you´re baking, sprinkle some salt onto the spill. The juice will then burn to a crisp, making it easily removable.

Kitchen : Cleaning Wood Cutting Blocks

Once a week, clean, disinfect and deodorize wood cutting blocks. Rub them with baking soda, then spray on full strength White House Distilled White Vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse in clear water. It will bubble and froth as these two natural chemicals interact.

Kitchen : Cleaning Your Can Opener

The best way to clean your can opener blade is to use an old toothbrush loaded with anti-bacterial dish soap and scrub vigorously. Your can opener blade should be cleaned frequently to prevent bacteria.

Kitchen : Cleaning Your Oven

To remove grease from inside your oven, put a small pan of ammonia in the oven in the evening, and then close the oven door. In the morning, remove the pan of ammonia. The grease inside the oven will wipe off very easily.

Kitchen : Cleanup Greasy Dishes

To cut grease and odor on dishes, add a tablespoon of vinegar to your hot soapy water.

Kitchen : Cup Cleaner

Make a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Rub lightly over stains and they will disappear.

Kitchen : Darkened Aluminum Pans

You can clean darkened aluminum pans easily by pouring in two teaspoons cream of tartar mixed in a quart of water. Place on stovetop and boil for 10 minutes.

Kitchen : Drain Cleaner

To unclog a drain, mix a cup of salt with a cup of baking soda. Pour the dry solution into the drain, and then add a pot of boiling water.

Kitchen : Egg On The Floor

If you drop an egg on the floor, cover it with salt and leave it alone for a couple of minutes. When you come back, you´ll be able to easily clean the mess with a paper towel.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Almond London

Biskut wajib Aidilfitri sejak dari 90-an lagi. Tak tahu lah dari mana asal namanya yang unik tu. Hasil Google jumpa blog Teratak Chetam. Banyak variasi resipi dalam blog ni. Saya ambil yang paling ringkas dan masukkan di sini ya. Selamat mencuba!

A must have biscuits during Eidul-fitri since the 90's. I have no idea the origins of the unique name. Google returns Teratak Chetam blog for the recipe. You can find a lot of variations there. One of the simplest I copied and pasted below. Give it a try!

ALMOND LONDON (kredit dari blog Chetam)
Amy Beh, Sumber : Kuali, The Star

125 g mentega
75 g gula icing
1 kuning telur

Ayak Bersama:
225 g tepung gandum
1/2 tsp tepung beras

300 g badam (dipanggang)
450 g coklat masakan (dicairkan)
Badam cincang (dipanggang)
Mangkuk kertas

Pukul butter dan gula hingga kembang. Masukkan kuning telur. Pukul lagi. Masukkan bahan kering yang sudah di ayak. Adun sehingga menjadi doh yang boleh dibentuk.

Ambil sedikit doh, saiz sebesar guli, balut badam dan bentukkan menjadi sebiji bola.

Letakkan doh dalam loyang yang bergris. Bakar dalam oven yang telah dipanaskan terlebih dahulu pada suhu 175C selama 20-25 minitatau sehingga masak dan keemasan. Sejukkan apabila sudah masak.

Letakkan cookies ke dalam mangkuk kertas dan tuang coklat yang dicairkan di atasnya. Hiaskan dengan badam yang dicincang.

125 g butter
75 g icing sugar
1 egg (yolk only)

Sift together:
225 g plain/wheat flour
1/2 tsp rice flour

300 g almonds (baked)
450 g cooking chocolate (melted)
Chopped almonds (baked) for decoration
Small paper cups

Beat well butter and icing sugar. Add egg yolk to the batter and beat well. Add sifted flours and knead well to form a dough.

Take a bit of dough, about the size of a marble and form little disc, place the almond on top and wrap it tightly with the dough.

Carefully arranged them on a well greased tray. Bake in a 175C pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool down for a couple of minutes.

Next, put them in the paper cups and pour melted cooking chocolate on top. Lastly, garnish with the chopped almonds on top and you're done.

Biskut Zarina

Biskut mengandungi Nestum.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kek Kukus Buah

Kek kukus ini dikukus selama 6 jam untuk mengekalkan kelembapan kek dan membuatkannya lebih sedap. Akan dijual mengikut ukuran diameter.

This cake is cooked by steaming for 6 hours to retain the moisture and that's what makes it delicious.