So today’s my mom’s birthday. She refused to go out because she’s tired and it’s a Saturday, hence I had to cancel the restaurant reservation I’ve made earlier. Cue mild panic attack because what then are we going to have for lunch given my lacking culinary skills?! Instead of lavishly spending on high tea buffets, I figured the best gift I could present to le queen is to be a useful daughter by taking over the kitchen for the day because food cooked with much effort & love is always priceless, non?
Without further frippery, here’s the recipe for my Spaghetti Bolognice (c’mon, 10 points for this punny attempt?), adapted from a random recipe I found on the internets.
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 packet of minced meat
3/4 bottle of tomato ketchup
4 tbsp of blended chilli (doses depends on one’s spicy level preference)
A handful of baby tomatoes
1 green capsicum, diced
A pinch of salt
A sprinkle of Oregano leaves
1. Heat oil on a saucepan. Sauté the garlic and onions till they look transparent and shiny.
2. Add minced meat. Toss ingredients continually.
3. Squeeze out the huge blob of ketchup and the chilli. Add the capsicum and tomatoes while at it. Mix well over medium heat, until you approximately know that hey it looks and smells right about cooked.
4. Lower the heat, sprinkle Oregano and a pinch of salt. Mix for a bit.
5. VOILA! Douse a spatula-full over your spaghetti/linguine, and your lunch is fixed. You’re welcome.
MADELEINES AU CITRON
Here’s Madeleines au Citron (Lemon-Glazed Madeleines) – a glorious dessert adapted from the recipe found in David Lebovitz’s Sweet Life of Paris (I made it into a cake, instead of placing them into moulds, because I do not have one). I substituted the lemon glaze with hot chocolate, and instead of lemon zest in the madeleines, I used lemon juice.
9 tbsp (135 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the mold.
3 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
Rounded 1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (175 g) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Juice from 1 lemon
1. To make the madeleines, brush the indentations of the madeleine mould with melted butter.
2. In the bowl of standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes, until frothy and thickened.
3. Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it.)
4. Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate it. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the overn to 210 degrees celcius.
7. Plop everything into a nice baking tray.
8. Bake for a good 8 minutes or until the cakes feel springy and just set.
9. BON APPETIT!
LE CHOCOLAT CHAUD
And here’s Le Chocolat Chaud (Hot Chocolate), an impeccable hot chocolate drink, also from the same book (merci beaucoup Monsieur Lebovitz, for making Parisian hot chocolat so accessible). Consistency was a little too thick for my liking, so I made it into a dip for the madeleine instead. I love that it isn’t too sweet! Lebovitz advised to use top-notch chocolate, for the quality of the chocolate does make a difference. I used Hershey’s.
2 cups (500 ml) whole or low-fat milk
5 ounces (140g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
Pinch of coarse salt
1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, chocolate, and salt. Heat until it begins to boil. (It will probably boil up quite a bit at first, so keep an eye on it).
2. Lower the heat to the barest simmer and cook the mixture, whisking frequently for 3 minutes.
Serving: Le chocolat chaud can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Rewarm over low heat in a saucepan or microwave oven.
Sorry ma I’m no cooking connoisseur, these Italian & French basics are all the culinary skills I could muster. Give me another year to learn & take up the challenge to masak Malay dishes okay?
Till the next episode of Humairah Treads the Path Towards Domestic Goddesshood.