Four-times-the-coconut doughnut

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Having consumed all manner of the edible parts of a coconut probably since I was a baby, coconut surely flows through my veins. So when I saw the picture for Top Pot Triple Coconut Donuts at Saveur, I had to make it. But an addict never has enough coconut, so mine has four types. Instead of the melted butter of the original recipe, I used coconut oil. It's also used to shape the doughnuts before frying. I didn't use the oil for deep frying though. That would have been over the top even for me.

Asian-style braised beef with orange and yam

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I made this dish months ago. It was for an article on how to use up Mandarin oranges left over from Chinese New Year ~ which was in January. Since I had the picture, recipe and a blog that hadn't been updated in a while, I thought why not plonk this in.

Asian-style Braised Beef With Orange
Serves 5-6
2 medium oranges
15 cloves
450g braising steak, cut into 3cm cubes
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp black vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (optional)
1 tsp whole Szechuan peppercorns, ground
1 1/2 tbsp tomato purée
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into wedges
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole star anise
1 beef stock cube
300g yam (taro)
Cooking oil
Celery leaves (daun sup), finely chopped

Wash the oranges well. Dry them and stud with the cloves.
Dab the beef cubes with paper towels to dry them. Dredge them in the flour.
In a bowl, combine the vinegar, soya sauce, rice wine (if using), ground peppercorns and tomato purée.
Heat two tablespoons of cooking oil in a large heavy pot. Fry the beef cubes so they are brown all over. Do this in batches and do not crowd the pan. Remove beef from the pan and set aside.
Drain most of the oil from the same pan and add the garlic and onions. Sauté briefly, then add the combined sauce, cinnamon and star anise. Let it come to a boil and return meat to the pot; add just enough water to cover the cubes.
Stir in the stock cube and drop in the two clove-studded oranges. Cover the pot, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened, 60 to 90 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pot now and then so there’s no sticking.
Meanwhile, peel the yam and cut into 1cm-thick wedges.
Scoop out the oranges into a large sieve placed over the pan. With the back of a wooden spoon, press them to extract the juice. Discard the mashed oranges. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning.
Add the yam to the pot, cover and cook until tender, another 10 to 15 minutes.
Sprinkle beef with celery leaves and serve with steamed rice.

Pide: Rockin' boat-shaped bread

Friday, June 13, 2014

This dough contains vinegar. The smell is strong but only through the kneading and proofing process. Once the dough is baked, the smell dissipates. It's a tip I got from a Dan Lepard recipe for bagels. The dough is more pliable, but it can also be a little sticky. There's very little handling though so I don't add any extra flour. The bread is cooked in a hot pan on the stove and then grilled/broiled in the oven so the top browns. Little pockets of air form in the crust, which is lovely. This bread is based on a Turkish pide, which should be long and narrow ~ they should resemble a sampan or canoe. Mine is more like a Vietnamese round fishing boat.

In Turkey, they use uncooked but spiced minced meat as the filling. I've used cooked ingredients ~ caramelised onion, which Ivy gave me, grilled discs of zucchini and eggpkant, and grated emmental cheese. But just about anything works if it's good. Nothing with too much sauce or gravy though ~ a dry chicken curry would be quite nice.

To make the Pide dough, combine in a bowl: 2 cups bread flour, 1/2 tsp instant yeast, a large pinch of sugar, a large pinch of salt, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon neutral flavoured oil, and 3/4 cup water. Stir until the mixture clumps together, adding extra water if it is too dry. Form into a rough ball, cover the bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.

Knead the dough using the fold and stretch method (a 10-second knead three times every 10 minutes) until smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl again and leave until well-proofed and springy. Divide into three or four fairly equal portions. Form into balls. At this stage, the dough balls can be individually sealed in lightly oiled plastic bags and refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Assembly and cooking
Turn on the oven grill. Heat a heavy-based oven-proof pan on the stove over high heat. Add a little oil to the pan.
Flatten out a ball of dough into an oblong shape. Place cooked filling in the centre and cheese along the outside edge. Roll the edges in over the cheese and form into an oval with high sides and tapered ends. If desired, spoon a little beaten egg over the filling.
Carefully place the pide into the hot pan. Turn the heat down and cook the bottom until brown and the dough puffs up, about 1 minute. Transfer the pan to oven and cook until the cheese has melted and the edges of the bread are golden and done, 8-12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Eat while the crust is crisp.