Monday, June 13, 2011

. . . quote . . .

"Saints are sinners who kept on going"
Robert Louis Stevenson

"He conquers who endures"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

. . . victory tastes sweet . . .


this is exactly how i look right now...
after 6 months of dizzy and heavy studies

so this is how victory feels like
prayers and patience do pay off well

berkat La Illaha Illallah,
Muhammadur Rasullullah!
Syukur Alhamdulillah :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

. . . ecole francais TEST! . . .

test is today... T.T
praying for the best...
Dear Allah, i hope i can manage it well... amen!

. . . MOAR food . . .


Belutak was probably (surprisingly!) the easiest to make although i lacked one key item that is needed to ferment(?) the slices of meat; cow intestines. yeah, its more or less like a chorizo (without the red colors) or blood sausage (without the blood) and of course, no pork. although, to non-muslims, i think if you try this method, it'll be mostly the same except the fact that beef can be slightly chewy. but for the sake of my own faith, beef is by far the best for me.

slicing then chopping them into dices wasn't as easy i expected. its as difficult as mincing raw chicken or fish. but the challenge comes when you cut the tough tendons and fat, both of which i also include to make the Blutak tastier.

that was a given fact, being hard to prep/chop. what astounds me the most is the ingredients; just basically 2, salt and LOTS of garlic. mix em up and let it stand for a while to dry a bit. if you have, by any chance, be in possession of a cow's intestine, that would be awesome. because it is essential when it comes to drying the meat under the sun (or in my case, hang in the kitchen near the window. doesn't stink at all. what i did was wrapped clear kitchen cling film and shape it into a sausage. tied each end with a rubber band and just hung it on the wall. sound unhygienic but no maggots nor funky stuff goin' on in the meat. just check every so often so that flies don't come disco-ing around on it. i hung it for a whole day (during a perfect sunny day) and transferred it to the freezer to eat another day.

this was like... my 3rd try. got lazy putting it in cling film, but still works!

normally i would stir fry it. some people deep fry it. i once actually roasted it. either way, it tastes awesome. FYI, i added hot thai chilli peppers in the mixture (because i'm the boss!) and it tasted even more kick-ass awesome. just adjust the salt to your liking... and voila!

the second batch i made was a bit too salty but managed to skim it away by boiling it before frying (skims off a bit of fat as well)...

suivant... next in line...

chicken charsiu

i think i might be wrong or have modified it completely but i made it a few times, still tastes delicious ^^

what i meant about being wrong was that, as usual, pork was supposed to be the main meat ingredient. Charsiu or en anglais, barbecued meat or literally meaning "fork burn" (don't know why, so don't ask. i got it from Wiki... hehehe) is quite an experimental dish to me, since the first try wasn't that much successful in looks but taste-wise, it was delicious and satisfying. i was trying to get that steamed kinda look, with the skin still on (i love chicken skin! they are the best when deep fried and in steamed chicken rice!).

this was my first attempt... yeah, doesn't look appealing :-/
but the taste... super de-effing-licious!

the first try included ingredients as you would find in making chicken rice; soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil. not really charsiu ingredients but i was trying to get the hang of prepping its 'looks. as you can see from the picture, i pan fried/boiled it after marinating it for a few hours (i used the marinade as the sauce as well but you can make a new one if you are feeling hygenic... i didn't suffer any disease so it was okay).

the next few tries, after obtaining a bottled charsiu sauce/marinade, after deboning 2-3 chicken thighs (which i recommend as it is more flavorful and interesting), seasoned it with salt and pepper then rolled it into a log. i tied it with baking strings to keep the shape. the easiest but lengthy way was to roll it then wrap with cling film and freeze it for an hour before tying it with string. i used that way because tying it when its still soft was a bit to hard for me. after marinating overnight, i roasted it and kept basting it every 15-20 minutes until i have that nice crusty dark brown-red char on the outside. i also poured in water in the baking tray while the chicken was on the baking rack so it won't boil the chicken. it was merely to give it surroundings some sort of a humid atmosphere which i believe can maintain the juiciness inside the chicken while the outside it charred.

from what you can see from the previous Ramen recipe i made, there was also charsiu but i used meat and the prepping was as similar to the chicken except that i didn't have to roll it since you can purchase meat in a block form. i used a portion of rib meat so it was kind of chewy. next time i would probably boil it till it softens a bit before roasting and basting it with charsiu sauce.


Monday, June 6, 2011

. . . itchy fingers . . .


yes... the gamer is back again!!! ^^ basically back dated on games but hey, ain't nuthin' wrong, eyh?

spent hours playing on this shit... well, more of dying brutally rather than finishing. after leaving the PS3 for a while for the dust particles to collect, i finally picked up the joystick and started playing again. after downloading the movies, Dead Space: Downfall and Dead Space: Aftermath, i became intrigued with the story line. Dead Space has a remarkable resemblance or playability that i came upon when playing my all-time favorite (as well as a heart-stopper) game, Resident Evil. except that Dead Space is carried out in... space. DUH!

anyway, games like these heighten the happy child inside me but my so-called braveness isn't what it used to be. i tend to squeal and get shocked more often. i don't know whether games nowadays packs a punch in them or its just me being a scaredy cat... :P this shit always manages to scare the very soul outta me. my mouth puckers in sync with my anus just by the sheer anxiousness that i experience every time i move into a dark corner. i physically have to put on happy music just so that i won't be scared when i listen to its realistic sound effects and suspense music.

so, gonna get back to it. wish me luck! (rather, wish i don't die of shock...)

sigh... so true... so very true :(


Sunday, June 5, 2011

. . . the plumpy food activist . . .


Okay, i'm not really that active in making food but apparently these past few weeks have been really productive in terms of making food from scratch... i don't actually know how it started. but the key recipe that ignited my food quest was probably from a simple dish Ramen, basically noodles in hot broth. i'm not talking about packet ramen either. thats a given simple instant food that normal growing up kids (and also grown-ups) eat in times of dire circumstances. for me, its a fast way of saving money and also curbing my hunger from buying meals around these parts (yeah, food in Swiss can really burn a hole in your wallet if you're not careful).

Price could also be a reason that greatly impacted a burning passion in me to come up with awesome recipes. well, to me that is. i don't dare yet to widely promote my ridiculous creations. but i must say, at most of the times i make them, i was greatly impressed on what i can do (FYI, i got none to praise me but myself... its my way of pushing myself to my own limits... hehehe). i had some good comments before... such as my stuffed chicken rolls. i could list out various reasons but frankly its just me filling in my time during the weekends.

lets start at the beginning, Ramen. i've always had cravings for it every single time i feast on instant noodles. oh yeah, its not a sad sight nor thought that i eat instant noodles, apparently i eat them once a week at most. but usually it comes in handy when i'm short of cash. personally, when i am lazy to cook, hehe...

curiosity is an awesome state of mind, it can lead to victory or your doom. so far, it hasn't failed me yet. its like an addictive drug which fuels my mind, body and soul. its a push to my bodily movements (sounds kinky... hmmm...). the kitchen has become my permanent hangout place, with the toilet and bedroom being the 2nd best and the living room the last. i'd sit there for hours, even a full day trying to look for recipes and concocting my own.

the ramen broth, in my opinion, plays a very important part. i always consider ramen comes with broth or noodles soaked in soup. so far that i know and tasted so far are; miso based, soy based and meat (beef and chicken) based. after i've covered the basics, i realized that more can be made, soup wise. that'll come later. i wish i could do my own noodles. so far i've tried it once but it was neither a win nor a failure. to me, its sort of like making a cake, you know, with all the measurements and exact quantities. i never liked that, i am what some professionals would say, rustic. but i say, plain reckless. dump in first, then taste later. so far, my recklessness has done well for myself. i managed to virtually taste it in my head rather than on my tongue (again, sounds kinky... hmmm...).

i used the simplest broth at first, miso and soy based, both can be purchased at your nearby supermarket (except for miso, in Swiss, i can only get it at Japanese/Korean/Chinese shops). miso by itself, kind of stinks like 2-day old sweaty feet in old sneakers. in this case, pungent. but i got the hang of it n it smells really tasty. its just something that you'll get used to when u venture into Asian, especially Japanese/Korean/Chinese food. but the funkiest one on the top of my list is the smell (and taste) of fermented bean curd. phew, not for the faint-hearted. unbelievably salty and smelly but in small doses, it is quite nice. an acquired taste so to speak.

Ramen broth starts off with making a base soup, includes boiling a seaweed called Konbu (sold hard and dry but becomes slippery and jello-y after boiled) and a few pieces of dried anchovies in water. what you get is a steaming hot salty sea-smelling base soup. chuck anchovies and konbu into the garbage since you won't need it. i tried to slice and add the konbu to the ramen broth but it wasn't that tasty to me. so from there, u can add the miso or soy sauce. you can of course go more simply by buying a powder called Dashi. some sort of soup bouillon, just as similar to normal soup powder in instant noodles. i use it often since its easier and pre-salted.

after a while, my brain starts ticking and had that urge to do even more... so in comes Youtube. watching endless clips or food, concentrating mostly on ramen broth. you should at least try to look for 'Tonkotsu Ramen'. this aroused my palettes and brain particles to a higher level. i was so fascinated on the creaminess of the broth. but i was blocked by one factor that was the main ingredient used in that particular recipe; pork fat, pork meat and pork bones... although looks tempting, but as a Muslim it didn't lead me to do the unthinkable. in fact, gave me a variety of options. Beef/chicken meat and bones. i started with a few then as months passed by, using a small pan first, then i used a soup pan. after having successful attempts making beef and chicken soups, i modified the ingredients and amounts to make a thick broth. what looks simple is actually time consuming. from thereon, i never looked at a ramen dish the same way and respected those of master the art of making Ramen from scratch. simple daily Asian ingredients; onions, garlic and ginger (carrots and celery can also be used to heighten the taste). pop in the chicken bones (and the meat if you want to... i used at least one chicken thigh with the drumstick attached... i'd debone it too if i was feeling chef-y) as well as the beef bones with the meat as well (i used the ribs because they were the cheapest i could buy... any parts with the bone and meat will do well)... boil at high heat for the first hour and low for the rest. then, its all patience all the way. i didn't count the hours but i think it felt like 10 hrs in total. the meat literally fell off the bone and the chicken bones was so soft, i could easily squeeze the juices with my bare hands.

get the juices through a sift and squeeze every goodness out of it and voila... a creamy, thick and awesome broth. i added some soy sauce to adjust the taste. pop in the noodles and you're good to glut over it. a fair warning, not to be consumed regularly. you will understand when you try it. once or twice a month is fine.i became quite picky with the noodles. i can't seem to get it right. i mean the choices. in the ramen clips, the noodles look so tasty. its most probably hand made. the ones i got from the shops are just fine. but up until now, i am still searching for the right one. its entirely up to you, i'm not satisfied yet so basically i'm still looking for the correct noodles.

oh the result...

the first attempt... broth was light and thin

the recent win :) thick and creamy!

more to come soon...