Me thinks I've caught the 'cooking blues'
Haven't cooked a meal this week and it's already Tuesday.. ok.. maybe just Tuesday. But haven't felt like cooking lately. Lately, being from last week. Come to think of it, I think I only cooked twice last week.
My aunt (dad's sister) is here from KL and since she arrived the two cousins (her two daugthers living in Melbourne) have been bugging me to shout yum cha! My mum is not really into yum cha so she suggested that we have a big seafood banquet thing at home instead. Her argument was that instead of giving the restaurants a big packet for bad service, we should host ourselves and have an even bigger banquet for half the price! So as a result, we had dinner at my parent's on Sunday and my parents cooked the mains, I brought dessert, the cousins brought the wine and my aunt and grandma brought their appetites!
In my parent's typical style, they made an absolutely huge and faboulous 'Chinese Malaysian Seafood Feast'. I say Chinese Malaysian because I think the cooking style is fairly different to your regular HK/China Chinese cooking. There is a lot of spice influence in Malay cooking that gets translated into Chinese cooking in Malaysia. I think they call this 'Nyonya' style cooking. It's not to say that my parents cooked it Nyonya style, but the influence was there in some of the dishes.
Deep Fried Curried Cuttlefish, Rockling in XO sauce, Crab meat w/ mustard greens and garlic ginger sauce, Stir Fried Scallops with Ginger and Spring Onions, Lobak (meat pieces with water chesnut and spring onions wrapped in tofu skin), Fried Prawns in loads of spice (have no idea what was in it, my dad's new fried prawn dish) and a Roast Duck (Ok this was really out of place but another typical dish in our family gatherings)
Unfortunately, no photos.. everyone devoured everything before I got a chance to take a photo because they were all starving. However, I do have a photo of my takeaway lunch for yesterday hehe..
For dessert, I made a Lemon Tart and some White Chocolate Pistachios cup cakes with white chocolate ganache (which I will post next time with my Green Tea version).
Long have I searched for a Lemon Tart recipe that is similar to the Laurent or Brown's Lemon tart, one with a custardy filling instead of the thick cheese cake like texture of some. At last, I have found it! The latest recipe is one I copied from a magazine at a restaurant while I was waiting for my meal. I think it was Elle from back in 1999! If I recall it was a recipe used by some famous chef in some famous hotel somewhere hahah.. But it's definitely awesome!
I elected to use a Jamie Oliver shortcrust pastry base instead of the one in this recipe because I love the richer taste of the base. (plus even if I over cooked it, it still tastes good and crispy! hehe)
I had some problems with the baking the tart though :( Alv's ever untrustworthy oven turned off on me again. The recipe specifies a baking time of 50mins at 160degrees. I think the oven turned off on me half way through the cooking time as when I went back after 50mins the custard was still quite wobbly. Then I thought of baking it again at a higher temperature but covering the tart so as not to further burn it, but then because the curd hadn't cooked completely, the foil that touched the surface ruined the curd because parts of the curd stuck to the foil. :'( In the end I baked it for another 15mins at 160degrees and left it in the oven to cool.
The tart is best baked the day before and refrigerated overnight before consumed.
I must say it's the best lemon tart I've had since the Laurent's or Brown's hehe. Smooth, sweet yet lemony with a melt-in-your mouth lemon custard filling and sweet crust was absolutely delicious!! Best one I've made so far, and I've made quite a few this year. Luckily I saved a piece for Jules (my colleague whom I always share my treats with and vice versa) because my dad took the rest.
Too bad the filling kinda melted a bit. I forgot to refridgerate it when I got to mum's and as you can see from the photo, the curd was kinda melting a bit. I'm saving my white chocolate cupcake post to go with the other cup cake. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities to blog now that Alv has replaced the old wireless router. : )
*Source: Elle Magazine, 1999
*Elle Magazine version
250g Plain Flour
Combine Butter and Sugar, Mix Well. Add Egg and Mix well. Add plain flour and combine until the mixture forms into a ball. Shape into a disk and refrigerate for 30mins. After 30mins, roll out pastry onto a 28cm tin. Bake blind for 10mins at 200degrees (preheated). Remove baking beans after 10mins and bake for another 10mins before letting it cool. Reduce oven to 160degrees
*Jamie O's version
#Makes 2 x 30cm/12 inch tart moulds
200g icing sugar
medium pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
4 tbsp cold milk/water
Cream butter, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse in the flour and egg yolks until mixture combines and appear like coarse breadcrumbs. Add cold water/milk. Gently work dough together to form a ball of dough. Lightly flour and push, pat and squeeze dough into shape. (you want to get the dough into shape with the minimal amount of kneading to retain the short and flaky texture)^
Roll pastry into a large log (or two), wrap it in clingwrap and let it rest in the refridgerator for at least 1hr. Jamie's method for lining mould is to thinly slice slivers of pastry lengthways around 5mm and place the slivers in and around the mould and around the bottom of the tart (like a jigsaw puzzle) and then pushing and leveling the sides together. Once the tart is lined, place the tart in the freezer for about an hour before baking it in the oven at 180 deg C for 15mins. (or you can bake it blind)
^Over working the dough will cause your dough to be elastic, making the pastry chewy and shrink when you bake it in the oven
6 Egg yolks
250ml lemon juice
250ml thickened cream
Whisk Egg Yolks and Sugar until pale and creamy. Add in Lemon Juice and Cream and mix well. Pour lemon filling onto tart pastry and return to oven for 50mins. Cool and refrigerate overnight before serving.
ps. Sorry about the poor instructions, I was trying to copy everything before the food arrived.