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February 2019

Viewing posts from February , 2019

Weekend Cooking: Sausage Meatballs with Gravy

This was a recipe I made a long, long time ago for Hari Raya celebrations, and at the point of time I haven’t started blogging my culinary exploits just yet. The recipe is from Emeril’s Potluck, and as you probably can imagine, this makes a potluck-sized batch.

Aside from the Essence which you may want to invest some time in (really worth the effort), the ingredients for this recipe are fairly easy to find. The Italian Seasoning and various types of canned tomatoes are available even in hypermarts like Tesco, and you can find the fresh sausages at the more upmarket grocers such as Village Grocer or B.I.G. What I found slightly more challenging is finding canned tomato sauce, but this can be substituted by pureeing canned stewed tomatoes.

I also splurged a bit on San Marzano canned whole peeled tomatoes; these are Italy’s best tomatoes, grown on volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius. Look for the words “Pomodoro S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino” on the can, which is supposed to indicate that these San Marzanos are the real deal. If the can doesn’t have any English on it, look for the words, “pomodori pelati interi” which means whole peeled tomatoes. San Marzanos are known for their sweetness and low acidity, which makes them perfect for making tomato soups and sauces. And my oh my, the investment really paid off.

The San Marzanos gave the sauce such a rich flavor and sweetness, I didn’t have to do much else to make the dish taste good. It was as if I made completely different recipe from the one last time, just by switching this one ingredient. So worth it!

Bring this to a potluck, San Marzanos and all, and I assure you it will be a hit at any gathering. Enjoy!

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Make Your Own: Italian Seasoning

We sometimes need Italian Seasoning for our pastas and such, so if you don’t happen to have any on hand, you can always make a batch of your own using herbs and spices you might already have in your pantry.

This recipe is based on Emeril’s Italian Essence recipe, and used when making Sausage Meatballs with Gravy. As with any spice mix containing onion or garlic powder, which does not keep well at room temperature in this hot, humid Malaysian weather, I always keep this spice mix in the freezer. This should keep it from masuk angin and clumping up.

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Steak and Mushroom Pie

When I first started cooking I basically had one go-to chef for most recipes I wanted to try – Emeril Lagasse. In the beginning I focused more on so-called Western dishes – pies, pasta, and casseroles – and one of my earliest attempts on pies was this steak and mushroom pie.

Last time I followed the recipe to a T (non-alcoholic ingredient substitutes aside), but this time, with more experience I’ve given it my own spin and also used my Philips electric pressure cooker to ensure the meat is tender and succulent.

Be sure to use a deep dish pie pan for this, as there is a lot of filling. The crust is wonderfully crispy, and its buttery aroma will fill your kitchen as the pie bakes in the oven. The tender beef and crispy beef breakfast strips is super hearty, perfect when paired with crusty country bread. Enjoy!

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Pastry top

I use this buttery crust for my Steak and Mushroom Pie. One recipe is enough to top one 9-inch round pie. Be patient when rolling it out; at about 1/8-inch thickness there is definitely enough dough for your pie. I recommend rolling the dough out onto a very well dusted, thin, flexible cutting board. You can then flip the board over and gently peel the dough off onto your pie.

The most rewarding moment will be when you hear the beautiful crunch of the freshly baked crust, as you cut into it. Yum!

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