Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango

Mango sticky rice is probably one of  , if not the most  popular Thai  dessert there is. Anybody who have been to Thailand or visited a good Thai restaurant must have tasted and fell in love with this simple yet sumptuous  treat.

What's not to love anyway? Light and  tasty rice, sweet and velvety mango, all drizzled  in this silky and slightly salty coconut cream sauce . Lastly,  that addictive crunchy mung bean is just well, a cherry on top. This is one of those very, very rare dishes that nobody seemed to hate. Even those who aren't much of the rice eater or for some reason, don't like mango, still end up giving this humbling dish,  a thumbs up.

I ate this dessert almost every day when I was in Bangkok last month and somehow missed it. Well, after reading this blog,  you must already know that nothing comes between me and my food melancholy. So I searched for recipes, look for the much needed ingredients and even hunt down authentic looking cooking apparatus ! Thanks Amazon! The only thing that's missing are Thai mangoes but hey, I guess I simply have to make do with what I could get my claw into.

So today, I finally make mango sticky rice and  It was just divine......


For the Sticky  Rice:
500 g glutinous rice
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 pandan leaves

Salty coconut sauce:
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. rice flour dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

1 tbsp. peeled split mung bean
Aaaaand as much mangoes as you can eat!

Let's get cooking! 

1. Prepare crunchy mung bean toppings. Wash yellow mung bean . Put in a sauce pan, fill sauce pan with  1 cup of water bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat , cover sauce pan and let mung bean simmer in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and spread on paper towel.

2. In a not stick pan or skillet, toast mung bean until crispy. Takes 8-10 minutes. Set aside. If you can not fine peeled mung beans in your place, toast some sesame seeds instead, it will be just as delicious.
4.  Wash and thoroughly rinse glutinous rice until water runs clear. This will help to get rid of the extra starch. Soak rice in water for at least 4 hours. I soaked mine overnight.
5. Drain rice well. Try not to overwork the rice at this point since the rice grains are quite brittle.
6. Steam rice for 25 minutes. I used this traditional bamboo steamer I bought from the internet. If you don't have a steamer , use the sieve ( picture number 5) . Just make sure to cover it well.

 7. When the rice is almost cooked, make coconut syrup. In a saucepot, put 2 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, salt and panda leaves. Bring to a gentle boil , cook until  sugar dissolves. Takes less than 5 minutes!

.8. Transfer hot steamed rice in a container/bowl . Pour just cooked coconut syrup.

9.  Mix carefully until no lumps are formed or until rice grains are soaked in the sweet syrup. put panda leave. The rice is wet and '' soupy'' at this stage but the rice will absorb the liquid soon enough. Cover  tightly and let it set for 30 minutes. The rice will be ready then.

10. For the sauce. Put 3/4 cup coconut milk in a sauce pan, add 1/2  teaspoon salt and 1 tsp. sugar. I fished  pandan leaves  out from the sticky rice and put it into the pan for some extra flavour.

11. Dissolve rice flour in 2 tbsp. of water. Add into the coconut milk. Stir.  Bring sauce to a boil, simmer gently until it thickens and until sugar and salt are dissolved. Do not overcook.

Peel and slice mangoes  . Now, for the fun bit, assemble the elements unto a plate!

Let your inner domestic goddess reign for 5 minutes. Empress your loved ones or guests by plating this dessert as beautiful as it deserves.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monte Christo , Baden Baden

This year's July was definitely not my month. I was on the surgeon's table once again , not for some much needed maintenance which will undoubtedly make me look better than ever, but for some life -saving repairs.
Thankfully,  surgery went off without a hitch.  However, the next two weeks were my least favourite days this year. I caught an infection, was in pain,  sleepless and what do you know, lost my appetite! I was so miserable that I did not even rejoice at my weight loss.

As per doctor's advice, I took my time recuperating. Nothing  strenuous in the next weeks, he says. I have a body to heal and a mind to calm, per se . So I was stuck at home, reminiscing good times and good places.  Often, I dreamed of our previous vacations, of warm rays of sunshine, tan, of friendly people and of delicious foods.

3 weeks post surgery, My wounds are finally started healing, my appetite's returning and my moods, well, testy. Being homebound did not fare me well.  It  made me restless . I miss being surrounded by people and miss being in the middle of all bustle  and hustle.  FF knew,  how happy disposition and fresh air could attribute to a patient's well being , so he decided to take me out to dinner.

He brought me to  Monte Christo  . 
Revered for its good food and  efficient service, this Spanish restaurant is smack in the middle of Baden Baden. 

The place  is compact, cozy and was buzzing with people just few minutes after it opened. I managed to whipped my camera and took few pictures of the colourful tiled walls, mismatch furniture and cactus adorned  restaurant before people started pouring. Soon after that,  empty seats were filled.  It was jam packed at 6 in the evening, so reservation is a must, esp. on weekends.

After weeks of being  on mostly soft diet and light meals, FF decided to throw me a little feast. Tapas is a perfect way of indulging in variety of foods and be ok with it. It's like a buffet brought to your table.

After a toast to recovery and good health, the food started coming. 

  Few olives and slices of bread are placed on each table, courtesy of the house.

Croquetas de jamón Ibérico

Iberico croquette, served with aioli. Crispy golden outside and creamy with the faint taste of smoked Spanish ham on the inside.

Morcilla negra con cebolla, balsámico y manzana
FF ordered black sausage sautéed in red wine sauce. Not really my favourite but he enjoyed it immensely .

Gambas al ajillo
Juicy,  succulent shrimp in lemony garlic sauce. The grease was so tasty, we ''mopped'' it all up with our bread.
Queso cabra horneado con miel
My favourite dish of the night. Baked goat cheese with honey, served with salad. The slightly salty but creamy cheese and the sweet honey is just a match made in heaven.

Espaldilla de cordero estofada
Braised lamb shoulder, hearty and very filling. I could eat this with rice.

Relleno de mozarella y jamón Ibérico
Mini cordon bleu stuffed with mozzarella cheese and Spanish ham. Tasted as dry as it looks. 

A generous heaping of sardine. 
Mozzarella de búfala con guindillas asadas y pesto de rúcola
Mozzarella cheese in pesto vinaigrette.  Wonderful this summer.

Crema Catalana

Monte Christo make really good Creme Catalana. It was creamy, vanilley, not overly sweet nor eggy. I loved this dessert!

Tarta de Santiago

With tummies full and mood lighter than 2% Greet Yogurt, we went home but promised ourselves  to come back.

Di. bis Sa. 18.00 – 01.00 Uhr
So. & Mo. Ruhetag
Monte Christo – Bar de Tapas
Eichstraße 3 + 5
76530 Baden-Baden
Kontakt+49 7221 / 393434

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore or the Hunter's chicken stew is a classic Italian dish. 
Hearty and filling, I bet it made many family,  Italian or not,  quite happy.

There are many versions of this dish, some use capsicum, some mushroom , all cooked and lathered in tomato sauce. I found this particular recipe from an old Italian Recipe book at home. The use of anchovies fillet made it intriguing since I never use any fish as flavouring to my meat dishes. But then again, everything is possible in the kitchen so  I decided to give this version a try.  My oh my! It was fabulous! FF and I were eating it 2 days in a row and it tasted even better the next day!


1 whole chicken about 1 -1-5 kg, cut into serving pieces
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
8 cloves of garlic
2 lemons
1/3 cup Olive oil
1  tbsp. anchovies in oil chopped
2 tbsp. capers
75 g black olives
2 tbsp. tomato paste
300 ml water
4 bay leaves
1 can /400 g tomato sauce
300 ml white wine
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of chopped parsley

 1. Using a mortal and pestle, pound together 4 cloves of garlic, whole peppercorn,  1 tsp. coarse salt, rind of 1 lemon,  juice of 1 lemon , 1 sprig of rosemary and 3 tbsp. olive oil. This will be your marinade.
 2. Wash the chicken thoroughly. Pat dry and cut into serving pieces.  Dump marinade into the chicken pieces and toss until each piece is well coated in aromatic marinade.
 3. Transfer marinated chicken pieces in a close container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I put mine in the fridge overnight.
 3.  Transfer chicken pieces into a dry bowl, shaking off as much marinade as much as possible.

 4. Put the rest of the olive oil in a pan and heat under medium high. Brown chicken on all sides and transfer into a clean bowl.
 5. Into the same pan, sauté 4 cloves of minced garlic until aromatic. Add chopped anchovies. Stir in tomato sauce.

6. Dissolve 2 tbsp. of  tomato paste in 300 ml of water. Add into the pan, bring to a boil. The rest of the recipe simply entails putting the rest of the ingredients into the pot.

7. Put the chicken pieces back into the pan. Add the olives, 1 sprig of rosemary,  bay leaves and white wine. Cover pan and cook chicken for 20-25 minutes . The stew will become oily from the chicken fat so spoon out excess oil.

8. Add in  the capers cook for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, squeeze 1 lemon juice over the dish, give it a good stir . I personally like the zesty kick of the  lemon but you can omit it if you don't like the lemony tang in your cacciatore.

Transfer into your serving bowl. Garnish with chopped parsley  and serve with your favourite pasta!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mini Prawn scotch egg

I saw.... I drolled... I searched for its name.

 Scotch egg, it is called. Usually cooked using sausage meat and chicken egg. 

  Another recipe online using prawn inspired me, so I gave it a try. A nice finger food, amuse bouse, appetiser  or bit- sized snack, 


500 g prawn, washed ,shelled and deveined
2 cloves of garlic
1 shallot
1 chilli , optional
1 small piece of ginger, peeled
2 stalks of spring onion, finely chopped
a handful of cilantro, chopped
100 g water chestnut
2 tbsp. cornflour
sesame oil, fish sauce, 1 tbsp. sugar salt & pepper

1/2  cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
oil for frying 

Cookings instructions:

 Put garlic, shallots , ginger, chilli in a mortar and pound away. You can use food processor instead. I like to use my wobbly arms today . Ground until aromatics turn into a homogenous paste. Take paste  out and set aside.

Pound shrimp/prawn in batches. 

 Add spice  paste into the prawn pate . Add finely chopped spring onion. Mix until well combined.

Finely dice water chestnut. 

Add into the prawn paste.

Add  chopped cilantro, season with sesame oil, fish sauce, sugar , salt and pepper. 

Into the prawn goes the corn starch. Mix! Mix! Mix!

Cook quails egg for 2 and half minutes. Carefully peel. Toss in flour.

Take about 1 tbsp. of prawn mixture.

Put quails egg in the middle an carefully wrap egg with prawn paste, adding more mixture if necessary. 

Gently roll prawn ball in flour.

Dip in egg.

Finally, in breadcrumbs. Tip:  Add 3 tbsp. desiccated coconut into the breadcrumbs for extra texture and flavour.

Pop in the fridge , uncovered. Could be made a day before .

Heat oil in the pan, fry until golden brown for 3-4 minutes. Serve with your favourite dip or salsa.

For bigger scotch eggs using chicken egg. Boil chicken egg for 6 minutes. Fry scotch egg for about 5-6 minutes. It makes delicious breakfast or brunch. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...