Meat overdose at Brotzeit’s

So you think you’ve had enough of meat? Nooooope. Not until you head to Brotzeit for their platters. The Brotzeit Platter, a platter that “represents the Best of Brotzeit” is a platter that is guaranteed to meatify (I believe there’s no such word, but it’s alright.) your 5 senses including your tummy as well.

In the photo, from left to right, you have a variety of sausages which include grilled pork sausages, spicy chicken, cheese, thüringer (the spiral sausage) and garlic pork, followed by a crispy roasted pork knuckle, ending with honey Bavarian pork ribs. This platter (S$98) also comes with three side dishes: potato salad, fries and lastly my favourite, sauerkraut.

The star of the platter is right smack in the middle: the pork knuckle. It is beautifully roasted with its crispy outer layer and a juicy interior. Cutting through the crispy skin is like music to my ears and it opens up into the tender meat. Dip it in some wholegrain mustard and indulge in savoury porky-ness. Some people might find the knuckle too oily because of all the fats. It is normal to fill “gelat” or feel uncomfortable with that amount of fats. That’s what the sauerkraut is for! It helps to cleanse your palate and allows you to continue eating (it works for me).

However, the pork ribs were just above average. It did not have the “WOW” factor i.e. falling off the bone, extremely tender. The seasoning was alright, but I felt that it did not penetrate the meat as how it should be. But the platter as a whole was pretty good! Take care to not drink too much beer at the start if not you WILL be full very quickly. I should have ordered the schnitzel instead of the ribs, but that is for another time!

Address:
126 East Coast Road,
Singapore 428809
(When you are walking out of 112 Katong, walk towards the main road. Brotzeit will be across the road on your right.)

Nearest MRT:
Dakota Station (CC8)
Follow signs for “Blk 99” and take buses 10/16/32. These buses will stop opposite 112 Katong. You can’t miss it!

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 4PM – 12AM
Sat: 10AM – 1AM
Sun: 10AM – 12AM

Penne Bolognese: In less than 30 minutes!

In less than 30 minutes? Pasta bolognese? Yes it’s possible! The most important step before cooking is to prepare all your ingredients – “Mise en place”, a French term – which means “everything in its place”. You won’t have to worry about not preparing your vegetables, or taking meat out of the fridge.

Yes, bolognese sauce can be done in less than 30 minutes. I would say it’s a little like Nigella Express. With the right ingredients and proper steps, you don’t have to slave over the stove for hours and hours. There are many variety of meat sauces but of course the authentic one comes straight from Italy. Italian chefs have shown the proper way and the original recipe for the bolognese sauce and I wouldn’t dare to offend them!

My recipe is catered for convenience and families that would want a quick but really delicious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 600 – 800g of minced beef
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large red onions (or yellow, whichever you prefer), finely chopped
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 – 3 pieces of anchovy fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bottle of Prego® Traditional Pasta Sauce
  • 1 can of tinned tomatoes, reuse to add one can of freshly boiled water
  • Pasta of your choice (I used penne here. Traditionally, tagliatelle is used.)
  1. An important point to take note of when cooking minced beef, a tip I learnt from great chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White, is to never put your mince in a cold pan. ALWAYS make sure your pan is really hot before adding your oil and adding the mince just before the oil starts to smoke. Also, try to use a deep-based pan for the mince.
  2. When you’ve done that, let the heat come back up and then start stirring the mince to break it up. Let all the water evaporate so that you can start searing/browning the meat.
  3. Once the meat is browned (take note of the crackling sound in the pan). Add the cumin powder, chilli powder and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and mix everything together.
  4. Add the finely chopped onions, crushed garlic, grated carrots, and continue mixing.
  5. Empty the bottle of tomato sauce as well as the tinned tomatoes, and also a can of freshly boiled water.
  6. After stirring for a couple of minutes, add the cherry tomatoes last. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. By now, you should already have a pot of salted boiling water to prep your pasta. The cooking time should be approximately 2-3 minutes less than the instructions on the packet (I will explain later).
  8. Drain the pasta when done, not before saving a cup of pasta water, and pour it into the bolognese sauce. Mix well!
  9. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, al dente or more than that, serve it from the pan or in a glass dish.
  10. Garnish with sprigs of coriander leaves/cilantro and julienned chilli.

[Notes]

A deep-based pan is important as you will be handling a substantial amount of liquid as well. For this recipe I used a wok as it IS deep and quite big as well. It is important to get it really hot as you don’t want to boil the meat. You want to caramelize the meat – gives it extra flavour.

Pasta choice is entirely up to you. I chose penne because the meat sauce can get trapped inside the holes thus making every bite a pleasure!

When cooking the pasta, you must know that there will be additional cooking time in the bolognese sauce. If the instructions on the packet says 11 minutes, and you cook it for that long, your pasta will be overcooked and might turn soggy. That is why you cook it 2-3 minutes less than the original so the pasta will be just nice when the dish is completed.

It is also not a crime to use pre-made sauces from the supermarket. They add so much flavour within a short time. However, to balance it out, I add a can of tinned tomatoes, some water, and occasionally a teaspoon of sugar to make it gentler on the palate.

In this recipe, I have added 2-3 pieces of finely chopped anchovies as it gives the dish a greater depth. People might hate anchovies, but after chopping them and simmering, they just melt away, leaving no trace. At. All.

Give this a try, and I would really, really appreciate any comments! Comments about the recipes, food, or even ways to improve my blog!

 

Chocolate truffles

It’s my very first attempt at making a dessert, especially one that I like: chocolate truffles!


I got this recipe from a part of Raymond Blanc’s Café Crème recipe, under the “ganache” section. Ganache is usually made by boiling cream and adding the chocolate of your choice to it, stirring until you get a smooth mixture!

The recipe I used is 300g of semi-sweet chocolate chips (an alternative means of chocolate), and 300ml of double cream. I used chocolate chips as the chocolate bars were slightly pricey for me. But the best chocolate to use would have to be at least 60% dark or more. This is definitely worth a try as you can always add liqueur to the mixture as you see fit.

Comments are always welcome!

 

[Edit]

This recipe, in my opinion, is quite flexible. I’ve added Bailey’s Liqueur into my chocolate mix before I chill it and tastes pretty good too! If you’re extremely adventurous, I would recommend infusing the cream with rosemary (for a start) and then removing the herb before adding chocolate in!

Doenjang jjigae (된장찌개)

 

 

I decided to make doenjang-jjigae (Soy Bean Paste Stew) after a week of thinking. I don’t hate it! It’s just because I have never tried it before. I’ve ordered Kimchi-jjigae, Yukgaejang and Budae-jjigae, but not doenjang-jjigae.

And as usual, the recipe is from Maangchi: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/doenjang-jjigae

The minor changes I made: Instead of making anchovy and kelp stock as written in her recipe, I used pork ribs in place of that. I believe using chicken stock will be fine as well.

It is, I wouldn’t say similar, something like Miso Soup. Doenjang-jjigae is not as salty as Miso, considering that I used 5-6 tablespoons of soy bean paste in this stew. And the longer you boil the stew, the more intense the flavour!

Give it a try!

Kimchi Chigae

I was looking back at some of my recipes and I realized that this one deserves a better photo than the previous one! So here’s an update on my version of kimchi chigae a.k.a. kimchi stew, adapted from Maangchi.

Kimchi Stew is a warm, spicy and a bubbling pot of kimchi goodness. It comes with a great combination of meat and vegetables so you can guarantee that it’s pretty healthy, although I wouldn’t recommend it eating everyday! It is absolutely normal to perspire profusely while eating this dish because that’s how it is!

IMG_1540
As mentioned earlier, the recipe is an adaptation from Maangchi’s recipe and it is not at all difficult to follow.

*Just a word of caution, the ingredients might be a deviation from the ‘proper’ kimchi stew.

Ingredients:

  • 500-600g of pork belly
  • 4-5 stalks of spring onions
  • 2 medium-sized onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 heap tablespoons of kimchi
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of hot pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 2 tablespoons, or more, hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 packet of enoki mushrooms

How?

  • Prepare and clean the ingredients beforehand, that includes the stock.
  • For my version of kimchi stew, I used a hotpot as it maintains the temperature.
  • Arrange the ingredients in the hotpot in ANY way you like – plus points if you make it look photogenic.
  • Pour the stock in and let it bubble away slowly.

Maangchi’s recipe calls for an anchovy stock to be made but I used a pork-based one, which is also very easy to make. It’s just 500g of pork ribs into a pot of boiling water and let it boil on high heat for about 10-15 minute before bringing it down to a simmer.

Like what Marco Pierre White said, “Cooking is a philosophy..” So do not be dictated by what the recipe says. If you want to make it spicier, add more red pepper powder. Cooking this dish in a hotpot makes it easier for everyone to share and it sort of becomes like a steamboat-style kimchi stew!

Porky goodness

The original plan was to prepare bo-ssam, or usually translated as boiled pork wraps. It’s a traditional Korean recipe, with boiled pork, hot red spicy oyster radish, and subtly flavored fermented shrimp wrapped in a crispy pickled cabbage leaf (Maangchi). So, it’s essentially a pouch of spicy, sour, salty, porky and kimchi goodness! However, due to the lack of time, I settled with just making the boiled pork! The recipe is taken from http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/bo-ssam and it is very easy to follow as well!

A few things that I left out:

Doenjang (Korean fermented soy bean paste) – Because there was no more stock at the Korean supermarket! 😭

– In place of Doenjang, I added some soy sauce instead.

Hazelnut coffee powder

– I added instant coffee (I used Nescafé, but any instant coffee would be okay I think.)

So give it a try! I guarantee that it’ll be a good experience!

Roast Chicken

 Christmas was an awesome dinner made by a few of us – aspiring young chefs in the making! No I kid. We just love cooking!

Anyway I’ll put up the recipe for my version of stuffed roast chicken that you see here.

Many many thanks to http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/tools/roast-timer for saving my life. It’s a rough guide to how long you should cook your meat, be it beef, lamb, chicken, pork or turkey.

The chicken I used here can be bought from Sainsburys (Large chicken) and it’s about 2kg (~4.4lbs)

  1. You start off by letting the chicken come to room temperature so that you don’t put a cold chicken into the oven. There’s always a danger of your chicken being undercooked in the middle if you put a cold chicken in.
  2. Once it is at room temperature, pour some olive oil and massage the chicken. Ensure the WHOLE chicken is covered with a light coating of olive oil (you do not need to empty the whole bottle).
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper and rub it all over the chicken.
  4. Put it into a large roasting tray (preferably a deep one) and add some water until it covers the bottom of the tray. You add herbs if you want but that’s optional.
  5. For a 2kg bird, 200C/fan 180c/gas 6 for first 20 mins. Then 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for next 1 hour 20 mins – taken from the website mentioned earlier. I tweaked the two temperatures by going slightly higher than stated.
  6. Baste the bird every 10-15 minutes to prevent it from drying out.
  7. When nearing the end, make sure the juices that run out are clear and not bloody or anything other than clear.
  8. Let the bird rest for about 5-10 minutes, but if you want to serve it hot just bring it straight to the table.

Stuffing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrpR1qH3NN4

I used the recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Stuffed Roast Chicken with Chorizo and Beans!

The beans I used are the same as the recipe’s – cannellini beans

You can use chorizo, pancetta or you can experiment with anything else!