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Sunday, September 13, 2009

fig, walnut and goat cheese salad

a favourite way to break fast. Sweet and light enough to ease intake into an empty stomach and yet filling enough to hold the body for an hour to complete the rest of the Ramadhan rituals before taking the main course.

Figs has always been a favourite. Late summer treat that filled the house with honey like fragrance, red and luscious and perfect accompaniment to the locally produced goat cheese. The walnut is the new harvest for the year, acquired from the health shop - a bit of a revelation since I thought only Darjeeling has first flush - fresh nutty and creamy totally different from the ones you get from the supermarket!
The salad is topped with some alfalfa sprout and more garden green sprout and orange vinaigrette.





Fig, walnut and goat cheese salad
100g goat cheese
2 ripe figs
3-5 walnuts
alfalfa and garden sprouts

for vinaigrette
orange juice
honey
toasted walnut oil
garlic
salt and black pepper

Method:
1. Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients together and whisk to create an emulsion. Place int he fridge until ready to use.
2. Cut the figs, toast the walnut and arrange everything on your favourite plate with the goat cheese int he middle.
3. Just before serving, whisk the vinaigrette thoroughly and pour on the salad. It might look a bit thin but it will be perfect for the creamy and rich goat cheese!
4. Serve with baguette.


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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

ayam panggang

Although Ramadhan is generally a month where most tend to indulge in the dishes and delicacies one don't usually make, on this year, it is remarkably hot and humid. So hot in fact most of the time, I tend to make simple dishes that should take care of itself and deliver a fabulous result with minimum fuss.
This ayam panggang is one of them. All you have to do really is make the rempah to marinate the chicken in and then arrange them in a baking tray and leave it to roast in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. I like to use whole chicken thighs though you can of course use a whole chicken. Tear some lettuce, cut some tomatoes and cucumbers, arrange them prettily in a platter. Then when the chicken is cool enough, cut them into half and arrange them on the simple salad.

You can make a little gravy using the leftover rempah to pour over the chicken later. But I made some Sambal Tomato instead. I just love the texture and flavour around this dish. The cucumber lettuce lend crunch and sweetness to the spicy and piquant chicken and the tomato add a little zest and pillowy texture. It is perfect served with piping hot white rice, of if you prefer with another simple vegetable dish on the side!


Ayam Panggang
Ingredients:
4 pieces of whole chicken thighs
4cm ginger
2 onions
5 garlic
3cm fresh turmeric
5 red chilies
2 lemon grass
3 cm galangal (laos)
100ml coconut cream
salt and pepper
banana leaves - totally optional but would be lovely to roast them on


Method
1. Wash and clean chicken pieces and dry thoroughly.
2. combine all the other ingredients besides coconut cream and banana leaves in a blender and whiz to make a thick paste. It doesn't have to be very smooth. Add a little water if needed.
3. Add in the coconut cream to the chili paste. Mix thoroughly.
4. Massage half the paste onto the chicken and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C.
6. Arrange the banana leaves on a roasting tray. Place the chicken pieces on the banana leave.
7. Roast on the skin for about 30 minutes.
8. Take the chicken out of the oven and flip the pieces over and pour over the rest of the marinade onto the chicken pieces and roast for another 15-30 minutes.
9. Leave the chicken to rest. Tear some lettuce and cut some tomatoes and cucumber. Arrange the vegetable on a platter and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Serve immediately with piping hot white rice.
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