Monday, 19 June 2017

le fromage

guess what? i hit another milestone in my culinary adventure!!! i manage to make cheese. horayyyyyyy. Ughh I'm so happy that I'm awed with myself.

okay so i made mapo tofu, seafood chowder, and been drinking gallons of milk and i don't have anything in mind on what to cook so why not i give it a go with my cheese project even though i don't have enough equipment as of yet. let's see what i lack is a cheese cloth, and cooking thermometer. they're handy if available but doesn't mean that i cant make it without them so JUST DO IT!!!!

firstly i buy moomoo more than the usual amount. usual amount for drinking and a part for cheese making project. since it is my first try i only use 1 bag of milk around 700 ml. heat up the milk and i added the lime juice using the lime from my backyard. don't remember whether i should add the lime juice before or after boiling so i just add it before boiling. fyi, any acidic thing can be used e.g lemon juice, vinegar, and there is also rennet, an enzyme from cow's stomach that can be used to make cheese without making the milk acidic but since rennet usage is not halal i cant use rennet. there's supposed to be a plant based rennet but just couldn't bother to get my hand on it as I'm pretty sure it is very hard to get it in a small place like mine.

so acid added, and heated it and i left it to cool down to see if the milk curdle after that but after 30 minutes to my disappointment, it stayed as milk. pssshhh i tried to heat it one more time and after 30 minutes of cooling down it was still the same. so i added a bit of vinegar during my third attempt to heat it up but it still remain the same. i was going to give up and just drink up the soured milk (lol) when i ask google what went wrong during the whole process and voila.... i didn't heat the milk enough. it didn't get to boiling level to curdle up. people said that you need to boil it as in have the dome thingy formed during the milk boiling... you know the blub blub thing foaming when it is boiled. so max the heat on the stove i did and within seconds the milk curdle up as it was boiling leaving clearer fluid bubbling. i was so overjoyed seeing that happening.

then i poured the milk through a cloth filter separating the curd from the fluid. I'm supposed to use cheese cloth but since i don't have any, the penapis teh worked fine and besides, the amount of cheese I was making is small anyway. so when cheese curdle it leaves behind fluid called whey. this byproduct of cheese making  contains all the protein in the milk where as cheese contains all the fat.
so don't throw it away down the drain. it will be a big waste. oh yeah after separating the curd from the fluid, i have the cheese!!!! this cheese is called paneer. its common ingredient in Indian cooking and also the mist basic form of cheese. i think westerners call it cottage cheese but I'm not really sure.

heating up the milk!!! blub blub blub

right when the milk boil it curdle straight away as i already added the acids earlier.
a sight of success.

and here's the paneer after separating it from the whey.

overall, success!!!! yeay. i tried to make the paneer into mozzarella by microwaving it but it didn't get to be mozzarella. maybe it was because i use too much acid. oh well, ill settle with paneer for now hueheuheuhue. the taste have slight lime-y taste and smell because i didn't bother to rinse the cheese with cold water after separating it from the whey. still good anyway. i just have to compress the cheese to make it into a block of paneer but think its fine like this. now my future aim for cheese making skill is to make it into high level where i can make certain cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, or parmesan. i know it is a very long way for me to be able to make parmesan on my own because of the steps needed to make it and the amount of time it takes to produce it.

also i need to figure out what to do with the whey every time i make cheese. maybe ill just gulp it down like protein shake. after all it is the same thing that those gym rats have been consuming.

Friday, 16 June 2017

finally!!! Mapo Tofu

so 2 days ago my mapo tofu plan was scratched out because of the assam pedas kari kepala salmon and i decided to make the chili oil but on the next day the opportunity come as there were only little left of the curry so i decided to go into the kitchen and cook before my parents start cooking anything.

so here are the ingredients that i used...

silken tofu 1 block
ginger 1 thumb size minced
garlic 5 cloves minced
leek 1 stalk minced leafy part separated
ground beef 400g
vegetable oil roughly 3 tbsp i guess
black bean 2 tbsp minced and pressed
doubanjiang(chili bean paste) 2.5 tbsp
chicken stock 1 litre
chili powder 2 tbsp roughly.. i just pour it to my heart content
chili oil that i made 2 tbsp
sesame oil 2 tsp roughly
sugar 2 tbsp
soy sauce a splash of it. maybe 1 tbsp

i didnt use: 
- sichuan peppercorn because i cant find it in the mall or i simply dont look for it hard enough. also my family cant really handle spicy food whats more to eat this numbing hot peppercorn. ill add this maybe some other time when im cooking for myself
- starch to thicken the dish simply because i forgot. 
- king oyster mushroom. i want to use this ingredient because it gives awesome texture when youre chewing just like during my seafood chowder. i didnt use it because i just forgot to buy it.

so yeah there are several chinese ingredients needed that required me to look for it at several places which is the reason why i never get to make mapo tofu before this. found the doubanjiang at mydin few days ago and that was the impetus to lets make mapo tofu haha. i cant find fermented black bean so i just used the black bean from canned fried dace with black bean. still good though haha. im supposed to use spring onion but the one sold at the market doesnt look fresh at all so i decided to use leek instead. leek always taste better than spring onion anyway even raw. too bad leeks sold in malaysia are small. the girth is half of the leeks i use in ireland. so disappointed. size matters guys. lol this sounds so wrong. im into straight leek btw to those thinking i like the bent one right now. oh yeah the amount of ground beef im using is way more than im supposed to simply because ive stocked up on beef so why not hehehe. also the amount of tofu i used is so small compared to the rest of the ingredients that im supposed to use 2 or 3 blocks of tofu. oh welli know were eating it with rice so thats why i dont bother to add more tofu

the cooking is pretty much straight forward and easy once you prepared every ingredient in the required state. here's the video of the mapo tofu i learnt from. he also provided the recipe to details, so should be good to those interested in making one

heres the finished product used the leafy part of the leeks to garnish and add more during the chowtime. so the result was a huge success. it has the mapo tofu taste. its salty thanks to the doubanjiang and blackbean. spicy but very mild that my family can enjoy it too. so yeayyyy. so good finished whole big bowl in a day and the curry was left untouched. 

so what can be improved for this cooking is the usage of frozen beef. my dad said the frozen beef doesnt give any flavours. i should get fresh beef and mince it myself or use fresh daging tetel as it produce more oil and flavours. also sichuan peppercorn should be added next time. need that damn spicy taste but addicting. oh yeah the tofu can be bought fresh from the wet market instead of the packed one from the mall as the fresh one still has the bean smell and it tastes better

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

new condiment

yeap another post about food because thats what ive been actively doing lately.

i decided to make mapo tofu  as i stumbled upon doubanjiang (bean chilli paste) in market after a long time searching for it. after psyching myself up to cook it i went to the kitchen only to find a big pot of assam pedas kari kepala ikan salmon ready to be served. huh. im not gonna contest my dish with this dish. so scratch the plan and ill cook it sometimes later. anyway, i find it a good timing to make mapo tofu right now because ramly minced beef is on promotion at Mydin. RM15/KG for beef is a very good deal. normal price for beef should be around RM29/KG. go get your meat folks.

anyway, here i was in the kitchen with no mapo tofu to make, I decided to make hot chilli oil as it is one of the ingredients needed to make mapo's really easy to make. all i need are

dried chilli pepper blended to flakes/powder (i have this in abundant since i use it as condiment)
oil (also abundant because who doesnt have oil in the kitchen?)
salt (pshhh i can get this from my tears)
peanut (optional)
black pepper (also optional but i use it just to give some heat to the body)
sesame oil (again optional)

so yeah only 3 ingredients needed to make it actually and theyre too easy to find here in Malaysia.
ratio of oil to the chilli powder is 4 to 1. every cup of chilli powder i use ill add 4 cup of oil and for my first try i used half cup of chilli and 2 cups of oil. the other ingredients... 1/2 tsp of salt, a genggam of peanut and 1.5 tsp of grounded black pepper (well i just put them according to my liking)

so what i did is heat the oil in pan, wait until i see tiny smoke to come out, put the flame out and pour in all the mixed dry ingredients and stir. voila done. i just wait for the oil to cool down before pouring into a container and add a splash of sesame oil for the fragrance and i can enjoy it with any dish.

here's the video of where i learn about this thing.

my own hot chilli oil
yeay so new condiment to be used while eating. i tested it with bubur lambuk that i got and it is good. it has the roasted peanut smell while giving hot tingling feel on your lips and tongue from the chilli and at the same time making your body a bit heaty thanks to the blackpepper. i wish i have the sichuan peppercorn to make it numbing hot. oh well, this is good enough for now. another ingredient secured for mapo tofu!!!

also i might make lasagna or pasta dishes any of these days with the stocked minced beef i bought. the problem is tomato is a bit expensive right now and it is widely used in pasta dishes. damn it. i thought it is supposed to be cheap right now because it is a summer fruit. Malaysia is always summer what... another thing to be home grown...tomato