Monday, February 27, 2006

The Best Sunday Breakfast Treat!

I must have dreamt of pancakes on Saturday night while in la-la land and woke up Sunday morning craving it!!

Still in my Pjs, i stumbled into my kitchen, stuck my head into the fridge and pulled out the ingredients. What can i say, when a girl's got an inch, she has to scratch it! I was further inspired when i was online again with E's great idea for a banana and vanilla pancake. Strangely enough, i have 2 vanilla pods left and 1 last banana from the bunch!

In less than 5 minutes, i put together my batter and started heating up my pan! All it needed was 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 vanilla pad seeds and 1 banana diced. That made 5 scrumptious pancakes which i soaked in loads of honey!!!

That made my Sunday........sitting in front of the TV and chowing them down piece by piece and watching Dodgeball on HBO! (while trying not to choke on my pancake) Absolutely fabulous!

Raffles Wine, Food & Arts 2006

I have had an awesome opportunity this month to be one of the guests attending the annual Raffles Hotel Food, Wine & Arts event held yearly at the most distinguished hotel in Singapore.

Its an event where the hotel invited michelin star chefs to display their superb culinary skills to fellow foodies in Singapore and embark on a week long of feasting!

On the very last day, they hosted "Brunch with the Stars" that started from 11am and didnt end till about 3.30pm! I must say there was so much food that Sunday that i well & truly over-ate and hit the couch soon after at a friend's place and took a cat-nap straight after!

Decadent delights at the Brunch:

Scrambled Egg with Smoked Salmon & Caviar

Quail Egg with Broccoli Sauce & Black Truffle

Scrambled Egg in a shell, Duck and Hazelnut Marmalade, Black Winter Truffle and French Potato Cloud

Confit of Egg with Root Vegetable Puree, Truffle Sauce & Bread Crumbs

Egg Truffle Sabayon with Truffle Emulsion & Brioche

Pan-Fried Wagyu Beef Tenderloin, Crispy Creamy Cepes Mushroom, Zucchini Mousse, Truffle Jus


Duck Duck!

The start of this year has been a very busy but productive one for wise! My time in the kitchen is getting so rare that i jump at the first opportunity and reason for me to get busy in the kitchen!

A group of us decided that since we are not doing anything special with a signinifcant other on Valentine's Day that we should all get together and cook up a storm! I decided on trying out a recipe kindly contributed by E who created his own version of a Duck A L'Orange, he loved it and needed some supporters for his recipe and he picked me.

Valentine's day happened to be a work-day for all of us and as usual, i rushed out of work like a headless chicken, calling up the supermarket to check if they have a 2kg duck for me to pick up. After a couple of tries, finally the Cold Storage at Jalan Jelita had one.....the last one for me! Since beggars cant be choosers, i sped down as fast as i can, went to the counter only to realise that its a 1.8kg duck which has to be good enough for 7 guests at D's.

I was worried but we had another major concern that evening, we were running late to preparing dinner. It was 7.30pm and we were still in the supermarket picking up ingredients!!! My duck was to take about 2 hours to cook so i was seriously under pressure! By the time D & I finished cooking, dinner started at 10.30pm!! Shocking timing to eat but we had so much fun preparing at the sametime, sipping wine and getting tipsy before dinner even started!

(pic to follow.....)
Orange Stuffed Roasted Duckling with Poached Stonefruit

Prep time: 20-25 mins Cooking time: Approx. 2 hours

1 duckling, approx 2 kg, cleaned, excess fat and giblets discarded
2 whole oranges, peeled
6-8 assorted stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, etc) quartered and stones removed
120-150g butter, cut into slivers
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp five spice salt and pepper mix
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 shot of cointreau, orange liquer or cherry liquer

Garnish (optional):
Toasted almond flakes


Preheat oven to 200ºc
Toss stone fruit with shot of liqueur
Bring water to boil and add cup of white sugar, bring down to simmer
(You may add some of the orange peel for flavour, but be sure to remove it before adding the fruit)
Dust stone fruit with 1 tbsp of cinnamon and poach in syrup. Pour poached fruit and syrup in a non stick baking tray, place roasting rack on top of fruit
Rub 5 spice, salt and pepper mix onto duckling, including cavity area
Stuff Oranges, dusted with remaining cinnamon powder into cavity (for extra luxury, you might think of soaking those oranges in brandy or cointreau before doing so)
Separate skin and distribute butter slivers evenly across the bird
Baste honey and brown sugar mixture on heat-exposed side of duck
Place on roasting rack and put into oven
(note: rule of thumb is 1hr/kilo of duck)
Halfway through roasting time, turn over duck and baste with honey and sugar mixture
At the end of roasting, remove duck and roasting rack, cover with foil to rest (note: while resting, the duck may leak juices, if the juices aren’t bloody, it’s cooked.
Skim excess oil from stewed stone fruit (note: this can be conserved to make duck confi later! but please note that it'll probably be 70% butter)
Stir in any excess basting mix into poached stone fruit
Carve duck to portions and serve with poached fruit, add sultanas and toasted almonds as garnish.