Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chocolate Coconut Oat Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Coconut Oat Cookie

This is a regular chocolate chip cookie, boosted with coconut and oats. Coconut and oats bring a nice flavor and texture. Plus these are healthy ingredients, so it makes the chocolate chip cookie healthier, or less unhealthier, depending on what you prefer to believe!

100ml softened butter (or half neutral oil and half butter)
¾ cup flour
1¼ cups rolled oats
½ cup sugar (use ¾ cup if you prefer it sweeter)
¾ cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup chocolate chips
1 medium sized egg
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

1.      Heat oven to 175°C / 350°F
2.      Cream butter and sugar until sugar has dissolved. 
3.      Add egg and vanilla and mix well. 
4.      In a separate bowl, mix flour, rolled oats, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the egg mixture
5.      Stir in chocolate chips
6.      Place tablespoons of dough on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
7.      Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

Chocolate Coconut Oat Cookie

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Asian Inspired Pulled Pork Recipe

Asian Inspired Pulled Pork

This is my second time pulling pork. The first recipe I tried was Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions. That was great, so is this Asian inspired recipe.

The recipe suggests using fish sauce. It may sound unusual but it worked. There was no fishy flavour or aroma. My only regret is not pulling more pork.
Adopted from

About 4-5 pound pork butt or pork shoulder
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 medium cloves garlic, minced
1- 15 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
¼ cup fish sauce (or substitute with soy sauce)
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ dried smoked chipotle chili (or substitute with teaspoon black pepper)

1.      Pre-heat oven to 160°C / 325°F
2.      Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions have softened.
3.      Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
4.      Brown the pork in a large frying pan (optional).
5.      Put the pork in a baking dish that is just large enough to hold it.
6.      Pour the sauce over the pork, cover and bake for about 3½-4 hours, or until the pork is tender and easily shreds with a fork.
7.      Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Add the sauce and mix.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Butterscotch (Caramelised) Banana Coconut Cake Recipe

Butterscotch Banana Coconut Cake

I like the banana coconut combination. Bananas and coconuts grow in the same climate, therefore they must go well together. This theory is questionable but it works, at least in this case.

The cake has a strong banana flavor, with a subtle coconut caramel flavour. What is different with this cake is that the sugar is first caramelised, and bananas cooked in the caramel. Its a slightly time consuming process but well worth it.

The cake is surprisingly light, airy and moist, just like a sponge cake. My recollection of banana cake is that it is generally dense, but not this one.

The cake is sweet but not overly sweet. You can reduce the amount of sugar by ½ cup and it would be slightly sweet. I liked it this way.

Adopted from my earlier recipe for Butterscotch Banana Cake

1¼ cups sugar
1¼ cups flour
½ cup desiccated coconut, preferably toasted
1 large banana, chopped into small pieces (should be about 1-1½ cups)
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup neutral oil
½ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.      Grease a 20cm square baking tin. Line base with baking paper.
2.      Add ¾ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat until the sugar turns dark red. Don't let it burn!
3.      Add the banana pieces, butter and vanilla and cook over low heat until the bananas break down into the caramel. Let the mixture cool completely
4.      Beat ½ cup sugar with eggs and oil until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns pale. Add the banana mixture, coconut and milk and beat well.
5.      Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture.
6.      Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake at 180°C / 355°F for about 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Swedish Meatballs Recipe

Swedish Meatballs

Having lived in Sweden for many years, this is my first attempt at making meatballs. I had thought of making it many times before but it never materialized. Being one of the national dishes, meatballs are readily available here, with varying quantities of meat. The cheaper ones are probably more like meat flavored meat balls, containing trace amounts of meat. And this is the major benefit of making your own balls, no unwanted ingredients. With homemade meatballs, you can also introduce other ingredients like shredded veges. In relatively small quantities it may be almost unnoticeable.
Adopted from Crumb

450 grams (1 pound) ground pork
450 grams (1 pound) ground beef
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
½ cup milk
1 large onion, finely minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoons ground allspice

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2½ cups low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup sour cream
Salt, to taste
Lingonberry, cranberry or redcurrant jelly (optional)

1.      Preheat oven to 205°C/400°F
2.      Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
3.      Mix breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl. Set aside for about 10-15 minutes to allow the bread to completely absorb the milk.
4.      In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon canola oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
5.      In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice. Add the soaked breadcrumbs and cooled onions. Mix until everything is well combined.
6.      Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out and roll the meat mixture into balls, transferring the shaped meatballs to the prepared baking sheet (meatballs should be fairly close together, but not touching).
7.      Lightly coat the meatballs with cooking spray or brush with canola oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centre is cooked through and tops are lightly browned.
8.     Prepare the Sauce:
9.      Return skillet to medium-high heat, and add butter. Once butter is melted and foamy, whisk in the flour until smooth paste forms and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the stock and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until sauce is thick and glossy, then remove from heat and whisk in sour cream.
10.  Add the cooked meatballs to the pan and stir until well coated with sauce.

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