A prettier pie than previously anticipated

Or is it a galette? I don’t know what the rules are for naming pies. It is in a pastry. Therefore, it is a pie. Feel free to elucidate if you know the pie-rules. Don’t report me to the pielice (get it, pie-lice/po-lice?) Let’s leave it on that terribly embarrassing note and proceed to the recipe, shall we?

This is a pretty flexible recipe. The only requirement is that the filling is dry and solid enough that it is able to stand by itself in the centre of the puff pastry and not leak out. And the smoked cheese really adds something. By adding something, I mean in the sense of fancy food bloggers “oh my goodness, it really adds a special something!!!” as opposed to the view that, of course, if you add cheese then you are adding ‘something’, i.e. cheese, to the pie.

I think this is one of the tastiest pies I’ve made so far, and it tasted awesome over the next 4 days as cold lunch. If you want to crisp up the pastry again, reheat it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes.

Soon to be pie See ugly folding - but it didn't fall apart! Isn't it pretty

Seafood Leek Smoked Cheese Galette 

1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg
2 handfuls of grated smoked cheese – I only had enough for 1 handful, so I used a second handful of cheddar
1 handfuls mixed seafood
2 small fillets of fish
3 large leeks
1 tablesp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablesp sugar
1-2 teasp black pepper
A pinch of salt
A dash of chilli flakes

1 egg + a splash of milk for the eggwash

Oven temperature: 180 degrees C

  1. Slice the leeks and fry over medium heat with a little oil until soft. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and continue to heat until the leeks caramelise slightly on the edges.
  2. Mix the egg, cheese, leek, salt, pepper, and chilli flakes – reserve a couple of tablespoons of cheese for later. Add the mixed seafood.
  3. Place the puff pastry on a sheet of baking paper, and scoop the pie filling into the centre of the sheet of pastry. Leave around 2 inch clearance on each side of the filling.
  4. Cut the fillets into strips, and place on top of the filling, skin up (if the fillets have skin).
  5. Fold up the edges of the puff pastry into a pie shape, starting with one corner and working around until all sides are folded up. Take a look at the picture above for an idea of how to fold it up.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the assembled pie. Rub a little eggwash (egg mixed with milk) on the exposed puff pastry.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes, until the pie is a nice golden colour.
Advertisements

Baked What’s-Left-In-The-Cupboard Rice

The story behind this is that I needed to use what was left behind in the cupboard, and it had to be something that went with the broccoli-feta thing. And I wanted rice, and you can’t really do Asian style rice with broccoli-feta. And I wanted something that would taste pretty nice, because I thought I was going to hate the broccoli-feta.

Ingredients check

This isn’t really a fair way to describe a happy accident. I don’t want you to think that I’d only made this because I wanted something that went with broccoli-feta. Actually, I made this because I needed something that would taste way more awesome than broccoli-feta to compensate for what I thought was going to be a veritable vegetable disaster.

It only marinated for about 15 minutes Partially cooking the seafood Starting the caramelisation process... Almost completely caramelised here Pre-baked rice Covered with cheese slices..grated would work too

That’s a pretty large set of shoes to fill, especially since this is a recipe which was entirely made up based on what was left in the cupboard. I’m happy to report that it did deliver.

Nice and crunchy on top

It’ll also be a pretty good one-pot meal if you add the vege directly into the rice. Don’t use broccoli though. Please? I suggest perhaps little cubes of eggplant. Soaked in salty water and dried. Then added into the rice.

As you can see it's a bit crumbly, not like the usual sticky baked rice

Baked Rice with Caramelised Onions and Spicy Seafood

Inspired by The Little Teochew. The method is mostly taken from there, but the ingredients used are pretty unrelated. You can pretty much put anything in here, depending on what you have in the cupboard. Not broccoli though.

1 cup rice – uncooked / raw. Equivalent to 2 cups cooked.
100g mixed seafood
1 red onion
A handful of raisins
A handful of cashewnuts – roasted, preferably unsalted. I used some from a snack packet.
1/2 a lime’s worth of juice – for the seafood marinade
1 tablesp of chilli flakes or less – for the seafood marinade
2-3 tablesp balsamic vinegar
1/2 – 1 teasp sugar – to caramelise the onions
1/4 cup water – optional, I didn’t add it because I like my rice less clumpy
Enough hard cheese to cover a baking dish – any cheese is alright really, I used cheddar but you can probably us mozeralla or something else

Oven temperature: approx 220 degrees C. Or you can use the grill setting.

  1. Cook your rice according to the instructions. Or better, use old rice.
  2. Sort out your seafood:
    1. Marinate the seafood in the lime juice and chilli. Add a pinch of salt. A Tabasco sauce marinade would probably work too (= soak it in some Tabasco sauce).
    2. Fry the seafood until partially cooked. You just want to make sure it’s fully cooked by the time you eat it later, basically. If you want you can skip this step but you’ll need to leave it in the oven longer. That would probably work.
  3. Sort out your balsamic sauce:
    1. Chop the onions, and brown over low heat with a tablespoon of olive oil.
    2. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir occasionally, leaving it to caramelise. It’s done when the edges of the onion are a bit blackened, and it tastes good. Sweet yet tart.
  4. Mix the raisins, and cashewnuts into the rice.
  5. Put the rice into the pan with the balsamic sauce, and fry it for a bit. Then put it in the ovenproof dish. Add the water at this point and mix in. The water isn’t really necessary (I didn’t add it), but if you want it to clump together more then you should.
  6. Smooth out the rice and poke the seafood bits into it at various intervals.
  7. Cover the top with hard cheese. We used cheddar, and added a bit of grated parmasan and almond dukkah for good measure. Only because we had a little leftover. You don’t need to do that.
  8. Bake / grill until the cheese melts. Keep it in a little longer for a more crusty finish. If you haven’t cooked the seafood, you should probably leave it in the oven for a good 20 minutes.

Exercises in Bribery and Rojak Pasembur

It’s said that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Let’s just say that someone scored a double hot chocolate and macaroon afternoon tea for this little kitchen adventure. There is really nothing better than food for bribery, apologies, persuasion, and blackmail. Also, it was pretty good – and I don’t even like rojak pasembur (shock! horror!).

If you’re in Malaysia there’s probably no point making this, because you can just take a stroll down to your rojak-man to get one that tastes 5 times better. But for the overseas-and-deprived lot, I hope it makes your day a little spicier 🙂

Rojak Pasembur

Basic sauce recipe adapted from Kuali.com. To be truly authentic you should make the fritters too… I’ll save that for another day, it seems like a lot of work!

Sauce
400g sweet potatoes
3 cups water
1/2 an onion (preferably red)
5-8 dry chillies
3-4 handfuls of peanuts
4 tablesp kicap manis
2cm knob of asam jawa / tamarind, squeezed into 3 tablesp warm water
Sugar and salt to taste

  1. Boil sweet potato until soft. (I boiled the normal potatoes with the sweet potato to save time)
  2. Blend onion and garlic in a chopper until roughly chopped. Stir fry in a wok until fragrant.
  3. Blend sweet potato, then add the sweet potato and water to the wok. Stir and bring to a low boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Add asam jawa liquid and stir well. Simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Dry fry peanuts and pulse in a chopper for about 10 seconds.
  6. Add peanuts and kicap manis. Taste, and add more kicap manis if necessary.
  7. Add sugar and salt to taste (I only needed a pinch of salt, no sugar).

Component Tasty Parts
1 cucumber, grated
2 handfuls, of beansprouts, washed and rinsed with boiling water through a sieve, before being rinsed with cold water
3 small potatoes, boiled and sliced
1 block of pressed tofu, sliced and fried (preferably taukwa)
1 handful, chopped coriander (optional)
2 handfuls, mixed seafood (preferably squid and prawn), fried in batter – I used a box of batter mix, and added a dash of white pepper, curry powder, and chilli powder

  1. To serve, separate out each of the finished components onto separate small bowls / places. Each person can choose what they like, before adding the sauce. Enjoy!