Tuesday, April 13, 2010

a quick update

Did I really let the week past by without posting anything? tsk. tsk. tsk.

In my defense, I was not slacking off completely. As you can see from the sidebar, my foodie world is expanding! In the past week or so, I have joined a few foodie sites/network. And I am so excited to share and learn from all these great cooks/chefs. It is going to be great. 
Anyway, I need to finish some work for school which I have been postponing but it reached a point where I could procrastinate no longer so I will post photos and recipes as soon as I finish my assignment. Real world sucks sometimes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

leche flan

I plan to post this last week but i thought it would not be right posting something so "sinful" during Holy Week. Okay, okay, I'm fibbing. The real reason why I was not able to post anything last week was more technical rather than religious. One, because we ran out of bandwidth. Unlike in the Philippines,where internet subscription is based on time here in Australia, it is based on bandwidth or data used. So if we downloaded heavily during the month, we struggle to have internet connection. And two, my computer was re-formatted because it was acting up. Anyway...

I think it's time to post another recipe for a sweet treat.

When I was a kid, I love going to family or neighbourhood parties because that is where I can have my hands on these babies. And it is always a big disappointment if the people throwing the party does not serve leche flan. I mean, what's the use of having a party if there is no leche flan? I can even remember this one time when my best friend and I have to box-out, like basketball players, this middle aged woman so we can have the last bit of the leche flan on the buffet table. I have long atoned that sin of leche flan gluttony.

This dessert just brings too many childhood memories that I can not not have it here in Australia. When I was new here, someone gave me some and I was too happy to get it. But alas, it did not taste right, so hugely disappointing. So what's a migrant girl to do? If I want one, I have to make it myself.

One thing about leche flan too is that everytime I make it I have to make the iconic Australian dessert, pavlova. It is almost serendipity, Filipino dessert meets Australian dessert.

Leche Flan


1 can (390 ml) condensed milk
1 can (375 ml) evaporated milk
8 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or lemon essence)

For the caramel (for llanera/ or leche flan mold):

2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon water

  1. Put the sugar and the water in the llanera. Heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil until sugar starts to caramelize. Tilt the mold to spread the caramel around the bottom.  Repeat for the other molds/llanera. This recipe makes about 3-4. (Be careful when working with hot boiling sugar. Use tongs to hold the mold.) Set aside.
  2. Mix the egg yolks, condensed milk,  evaporated milk and vanilla well by hand or by electric mixer.
  3. Gently pour this mixture on top of the caramel on the llanera. Fill the mold to about 1 or 1 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Cover the molds with aluminum foil.
  5. Steam for about 20 minutes. Check by inserting a knife, it is done when it comes out clean.
  6. Cool then refrigerate.
  7. To serve, run a thing knife around the llanera to loosen the leche flan. Place a plate or platter on top of the mold and quickly turn upside down. Slide the mold off and make sure to drizzle all the caramel sauce over the leche flan.

* Can also make the caramel by putting about 1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan. Boil until sugar caramelize and pour into the aluminum molds.
*Instead of vanilla essence, can put lemon rinds.


*leche flan molds can be found in Asian groceries. can also use any aluminum molds.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

greek prawn and fetta bake

We have been on a Mediterranean mode last week. I made arancini , we had a Mediterranean BBQ lunch which I wrote about in my last post and I made this prawn and fetta bake. Because what would a Mediterranean food craving be with out fetta, right?

I decided to make this because other than the fetta, we already have the ingredients in our pantry and/or fridge. And I have fresh oregano in our herb garden. I also wanted to try this recipe out because I have never made a rice dish with fetta. Fetta for me was always for salads and four-cheese pizza. (Doing a Homer Simpson now and going "Four-cheese pizza..."*drool*)

So yes, this is a rice dish. I am after all, an Asian who has to have rice as often as she can. Although now, I have it in any form I can and not just steamed or fried like in the good old days. And yes it is again from one of my favourite cookbook, the essectial rice cookbook.

I found that this was relatively easy to make, it was really delicious and the family gave it a thumbs up.  Although if you want to feed the family quickly this might not be the thing to make as it takes about 50 minutes to cook. Plus if you are like me who does not cut and chop as fast as the celebrity chefs it might take you a bit longer to prepare. But if you do have the time, this is a good one to make. And lastly don't be lazy like me, crumble the fetta well.

Greek Prawn and Fetta Bake
(the essential rice cookbook, murdoch books, 2005)

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, choppped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons chopped oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 cups (660g/ 1 lb 5 1/2 oz) risotto rice
2 x 400 g (13 oz) tins chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste (puree)
1/4 cup (35g/1 1/4 oz) currants
1 litre (32 fl oz) chicken stock
1 kg (2 lb) raw prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, tails intact
250 g (8 oz) fetta, crumbled

  1. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 200⁰ C (400⁰F/Gas 6). Lightly grease a 30 x 23 cm (12 x9 inch) ovenproof dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan, add the onion and cook over medium heat until softened not browned. Add the garlic, cumin and 1 tablespoon of the oregano. Pour in the vinegar, cook for a further minute, then add the rice, stirring to coat. Add the tomatoes, tomato past, currants and the stock and season. Bring to the boil  and pour into the ovenproof dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until rice is soft.
  3. Add the prawns, poking them in under the rice, then sprinkle with fetta and the remaining oregano, and bake for a further 10 minutes. Serve with a salad.