Wednesday, 17 February 2010

CHINESE RAVIOLI


In the English language, many terms are generic.  Take "Aunt" and "Uncle" for instance.  By Western definition my father's sister is my aunt.  So is my Mother's sister.  For us Chinese we are very particular when it comes to "kinship" terms.  For example:

My father's younger sister is my gu-gu (姑姑)
My father's elder sister is my gu-ma (姑妈)
My mother's younger sister is my a-yi(阿姨)
My mother's elder sister is my yi-ma (姨妈)

When the Chinese are required to translate the names of food into English, however, they decide to become generic.  For instance, 云吞  水饺 粽子  饺子  锅贴  are all known as “dumplings”.  It gets pretty confusing if you're a foreigner visiting a local food court for the first time.

Once upon a time, my Taiwanese friend, Joanne, taught me to make jiaozhi (饺子) Since then, Mom and I would make a batch every Chinese New Year. To me a 饺子 is really an oversized ravioli.

Traditionally we fill our dumplings with chives and minced pork. This year - horrors of horrors! - chives were completely sold out at the wet market which my mom frequents. I blame the influx of China expats. They must've bought up every last strand!  So we made do with pork + Chinese mushrooms + finely chopped water chestnuts. Delicious! - and great comfort food. I gobbled up seven in one seating.


Sunday, 7 February 2010

GRAND WEDDING

I had my first taste of Grand Wedding during our APAC Summit in St Regis Singapore.  After that I was curious to find out how the black tea - infused with the flavours exotic fruits - would turn out in a shortbread or a tea loaf.  This afternoon, I finally turned notion into action and made Grand Wedding Shortbread Cookies.


In the oven, the cookies were already emitting a lovely fragrance. I couldn't quite place it. Light, sweet and fruity - is it mangoes or promegranade? My mom, who had just stepped into the kitchen, took a whiff of the scented air, "我嗅到桃子香!" (I smell peaches!)

Grand Wedding Shortbread Cookies

225 grams butter
60 grams icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
260 grams all-purpose flour
4 x TWG Grand Wedding® teabags
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar just until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, tea leaves and salt.  Stir the flour mixture into the beaten butter until combined.

Form the dough into a log, about 4-cm in diameter.  Wrap with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven at 180 degrees C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unwrap the dough log and, using a very sharp knife, cut the chilled dough into slices no thicker than ½ cm. Place the slices on prepared baking sheets, spacing them well apart. 

Bake the cookies for 8 to10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway during baking, until the edges of the cookies are lightly brown. When the cookies are baked, rest them for a few minutes to firm up a bit, then transfer to wire racks. Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Enjoy!


HOMEMADE FISHCAKES

Every once in a while, mom makes fishcakes from scratch. Dad fries them.





Done, 22 fishcakes in all!

Read Homemade Fishcakes - the prequel .