Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Asian Pork Balls with Chilli Dipping Sauce

"Party Pleasers", theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). There are so many recipes of Diana Henry's that are so fitting for a party. I've selected  Asian Pork Balls with Chilli Dipping Sauce. I love meatballs, especially when they are fried and dipped in chilli sauce with some cucumbers to munch on! I could eat a plateful! So, if meatballs are served at a party, you will definitely find them on my plate!

Diana Henry's recipe comes with chili sauce for dipping, but I've only made the meatballs and not the chilli sauce, since I'm really trying to use up all the leftover sauces in my refrigerator, and I already have about a quarter jar of chili dipping sauce, which I really wanted to clear. But if you prefer to make your own, I've included the recipe for the chilli dipping sauce in the recipe below.


The pork balls are really easy to put together. All ingredients are combined ; minced pork, chopped bacon, chopped coriander, chopped spring onions, crushed garlic and ginger, chopped red chilli, lime juice and zest, seasoned with salt and pepper. Once everything are combined, I test-fried one pork ball, ate it to check on the seasoning, and I immediately knew that my family would love this! It is delicious!

According to the recipe, when the mixture are formed into balls, it is advisable to refrigerate them for at least an hour, to firm them up otherwise they tend to fall apart when fried right after. I did not do this, but I did refrigerate the mixture in a covered bowl for about an hour or so, and form the balls just before frying, which seems to work out fine.


These pork balls are delicious. Moist, very tasty and fragrant from the fresh herbs and lime. We had this with rice for our weeknight dinner, and there's a request for these again. Yums!

This would indeed be great for a party, that is, if ALL of it make it to the party table! :)


Asian Pork Balls with Chilli Dipping Sauce
Serves 6
For the Chilli Sauce :
6 large red chillies, 3 deseeded and roughly chopped
5cm (2in) root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
grated zest of 3 and juice of 2 limes
12 garlic cloves
1 large bunch of coriander, leaves only
300gm (10-1/2oz) caster sugar
50ml (2fl oz) Thai fish sauce
120ml (4fl oz) white wine vinegar

For the Pork Balls :
1 kg (2lb 4oz) minced pork
200gm (7oz) bacon, very finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2cm (3/4in) fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
grated zest of 1 and juice of 1/2 lime
3 spring onions, finely chopped
10gm (1/4 oz) coriander, finely chopped
salt and pepper
groundnut oil, for frying
  1. First make the chilli sauce. Put the chillies, ginger, lime zest and juice, garlic and coriander leaves into a food processor and puree into a coarse puree. Put the sugar into a thick-bottomed pan with 6 tbsp water and place on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat slowly and gradually boil until the syrup becomes a caramel colour. Stir in the paste, fish sauce and vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Mix everything for the pork balls (not the oil) together in a large bowl, combining all the ingredients with your hands to make sure they get well mixed. Season well. Pull off chunks and form into balls about the size of a walnut. It is better to chill these before cooking them, otherwise they tend to fall apart, so lay them on a baking sheet, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour or so.
  3. Heat about 1cm (1/2 in) oil in a frying pan and cook the pork balls in batches, colouring them all over. It takes about 4 minutes, but do check you are frying them long enough for the pork in the middle to be cooked
  4. Serve with the chilli sauce (or indeed a bought dipping sauce, such as Thai chilli or plum) and eat with plain boiled rice and stir-fried vegetables.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme for this week, "Party Pleasers"
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Savoury Biscotti : Bake-Along #72

I was searching for savoury biscotti recipes from the web, and to my surprise, found only a few recipes when I searched online. There are not many savoury biscotti recipes, and decided to try one from Giada de Laurentiis, which had some pretty good reviews. This is my second bake for our Bake-Along #72, Christmas Theme : Biscotti, which I'm baking together with Lena, Zoe and anyone who wishes to bake along with us.

A simple recipe, which uses Herbes de Provence and goat cheese which I've replaced with cream cheese as goat cheese is not easily available in my area. The dough was really easy to work with, a little sticky, but with lightly wet hands as advised by Giada, shaping the dough is a breeze.

As usual, after the logs are baked, let it cool a little, then slice to pieces, place the slices on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp.


The baked biscotti cooling off on the rack. I've baked them a little longer for crispier bite.


These are very good! The Herbes de Provence is really fragrant. But the next time, I would reduce the sugar slightly. Even though the recipe uses only 3 tablespoons, I can taste the  sweetness from the sugar, which rather surprised me, as I was expecting a salty biscotti.



We had the Savoury Biscotti with some canned mushroom soup.


Dip the biscotti in the hot soup, or if you prefer....


.... simply break them into chunks and soak them in the hot soup. Either way, yummy!

Think of all the different herbs that can be used, the next time I would love to try with dried oregano or dried parsley or even dried rosemay, and reduce the sugar for a savoury taste. Would be lovely with any hot soups (tomato soup would be good!) or stews! Perfect to dip into any leftover Christmas stews or soups!


Savoury Biscotti
(source from : foodnetwork.com , Giada de Laurentiss)
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (I used a pinch of salt, as the butter was salted)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature (I replaced with cream cheese)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten, at room temperature

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, herbes de Provence, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and goat cheese together until smooth. Beat in the sugar and eggs. In batches, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. With damp hands, form the dough into a 13-inch-long, 3-1/2-inch-wide loaf. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Transfer the loaf to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.


********************************

Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking "Theme : Mille Feuille (Napoleon)". Please do join us, bake any Mille Feuille recipe, also known as Napoleon, and link your post to our linky which will start on 8th till 17h January. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


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A friendly reminder when linking to our blog hop :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BAKE OR THEME provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.


************************
 I'm linking this post to :
Cook & Celebrate Christmas 2014 hosted by Bake For Happy KidsEat Your Heart Out and Domestic Goddess Wannabe.



To join our blog hop, click on the link to get the codes :
get the InLinkz code


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chocolate Cappuccino Biscotti : Bake-Along #72

It's time for our bake #72 at Bake-Along, and our theme is "Christmas Theme : Biscotti". Even though biscotti can be baked anytime of the year, it is best shared during Christmas, and a box of homemade crispy biscotti makes a lovely gift for this festive season.

Do join us ; Lena, Zoe and myself, bake any biscotti recipe and link your post in the linky below.

My first biscotti post for this theme, Chocolate Cappuccino Biscotti. I have made several other biscotti and will post them soon.


Biscotti are traditional Italian cookie, perfect for dunking in coffee, espresso or even milk, if you prefer! These cookies are baked twice,  very crispy, and can keep for weeks in an air-tight container. Should they become softened, they can be toasted in the oven until crispy.

To make biscotti, firstly, make the dough by using the required ingredients, shape them into long, slightly flattened logs, bake for about 20 minutes until slightly brown and set. Cool for about 15 minutes, and cut into 1/2 inch slices at a diagonal. Place the sliced pieces on a baking sheet, and bake as per instructions in the recipe, until light brown and crisp. 


This Chocolate Cappuccino Biscotti is so crispy, delicious and perfect with a cup of hot coffee. The recipe uses instant espresso coffee powder and coffee liqueur, which I've used Kahlua. It smells incredibly good while these are baking. I did reduce the sugar by half and it was still a little sweet for me, but lovely when dipped in strong black coffee. I like my biscotti to be really crispy, so I have baked them a little longer than the recipe calls for, until they were really brown all around the edges. When my last piece was gone a few days later, I was wishing there was more for my morning cuppa! Yum!


** my changes listed in blue
Chocolate Cappuccino Biscotti
(adapted from "Bake Something Great", Jill Snider)
  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
  • Cookie sheet, greased or lined with parchment paper
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (omitted, use salted butter)
2 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened (125gm)
1 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
2 tbsp coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
3 squares (1oz/28gm each) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (100gm choc chips)

Glaze
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp turbinado sugar (demerara sugar)

  1. On a sheet of waxed paper or in a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, espresso powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add liqueur. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until dough becomes too stiff for the mixer, then finish mixing with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in chopped chocolate. Using your hands, knead to form a smooth dough.
  3. Divide dough into halves. Shape each into a roll 12 inches (30cm) long. Place about 4 inches (10cm) apart on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten rolls to 2 inches (5cm) wide, leaving top slightly rounded.
  4. Glaze : Brush top of rolls with beaten egg. Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over top. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until set and lightly browned around edges. Cool for 15 minutes on sheet, then trransfer to a cutting board. Cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) slices. Stand upright on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool for 5 minutes on sheet, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

**************************

Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking "Theme : Mille Feuille (Napoleon)". Please do join us, bake any Mille Feuille recipe, also known as Napoleon, and link your post to our linky which will start on 8th till 17h January. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


Photobucket

A friendly reminder when linking to our blog hop :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BAKE OR THEME provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.


************************
 I'm linking this post to :
Cook & Celebrate Christmas 2014 hosted by Bake For Happy KidsEat Your Heart Out and Domestic Goddess Wannabe.



To join our blog hop, click on the link to get the codes :
get the InLinkz code

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