Make Your Own Ingredients

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Dynamite Seasoning (Flavor God Copycat Recipe)

Faizal loves a particular spice mix from Flavor God called Dynamite Seasoning. He usually sprinkles generous amounts of it onto chicken wings, then air-fries them. Unfortunately, it seems like this product has been discontinued and no longer available anywhere. So for quite a while, he left the last precious few teaspoons of it untouched, preserving it for the memories.

After we got married, one day when I was wondering what to make for dinner, Faizal suggested I try out the seasoning, and see if I could replicate it. “What an intriguing challenge,” I thought. I made the wings using whatever little that was left of the seasoning, the way he did before. Admittedly, I really skimped on the seasoning. I didn’t have the heart to finish it all off. Perhaps because the chicken was slightly underseasoned, Faizal said they tasted a bit different from what he remembered. Nonetheless, the wings gave me a good picture of what I should aim for.

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Italian Sausage: Homemade and Halal

In my earlier days of cooking I focused on one chef in particular – Emeril Lagasse. His recipes often called for Italian, Spanish chorizo or Andouille sausages, and oftentimes I could only obtain Italian sausages at more upmarket grocers like Village Grocer or B.I.G. Even then, there was only one type available, and I couldn’t differentiate between the sweet or hot varieties the recipes called for. Fast forward many years later, when looking at the basic sausage sauce recipe from one of my pizza cookbooks, I decided to make my own Italian sausages.

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Make Your Own: Chicken and Duck Andouille Sausage

I’ve made quite a few recipes by Emeril Lagasse which called for andouille sausages. I have never seen halal andouille in any of the upmarket grocers or deli stores in KL, and even when an ad for a non-halal deli pops up in my feed (need to do better, Facebook -_-) I rarely see andouille in their product list. So I usually would substitute with other sausages, such as chorizo (hard to find), Italian or any other smoked sausage.

At one point I wanted to try making my own andouille sausages. I’ve looked up a possible recipe from Emeril. Rudy even got me a gorgeous Zwilling Twin Smoker set. I was pretty new to cooking at the time, and was still very wary about taking liberties and modifying recipes, so my inability to find a substitute for file powder called for in the recipe basically ground the project to a halt. Almost seven years later, having more cooking experience and exposure to recipes from so many more chefs and home cooks, I finally got around to making my own andouille, based on this really inspiring recipe by Hank Shaw.

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Homemade Mexican Chicken Chorizo Sausage

Been wanting to make my own sausages for ages. The recipes I like to try out, usually from Emeril Lagasse, often call for different kinds of sausages, (Spanish or Portuguese) chorizo, andouille, or Italian (both hot and sweet). Sweet Italian sausages are still relatively easier to find, but not so much for the rest. In fact, I’ve never seen halal andouille anywhere. Add to that my new-ish resolution to take better control of what goes into the food I feed my family, so I finally got around it today.

This is a recipe for Mexican chorizo, based on the recipe from Honest Cooking. It’s usually not stuffed into casings, but I really wanted to start building my sausage-making skills, so I decided to stuff ’em anyway.

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Make Your Own: Fish Stock

When I order fish and seafood from @faharseafood I usually ask for the grouper to be filleted, and the fillets will be delivered along with the head and bones. After a few rounds of orders, I accumulated quite a few sets of these, and I felt that it would’ve been such a waste to just throw them away. So I decided to do what I usually do when given a bunch of bones from any animal: make stock.

This recipe based by the one from Hank Shaw interestingly uses typically East Asian ingredients like konbu and dried mushrooms, to infuse a huge load of umami into the stock. I subbed the white wine with rice vinegar diluted with white grape juice, and I feel that this makes the stock less fishy yet packed with flavor.

Will be making quite a few dishes to use up the stock in the next few weeks.

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Make Your Own: Vegetable Stock

Wanted to make Swedish Meatballs, which called for vegetable stock for making that awesome brown sauce. One could probably buy a box from upmarket grocers like Village Grocer or B.I.G., but it costs close to 10 ringgit for a half-litre box of basically veggie scraps simmered in water. Looking through the ingredients list and seeing stuff like sugar, glucose, and a bunch of chemicals I can’t even recall, I figured I’d make it myself using stuff pulled from my fridge.

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Make Your Own: Yellow Noodles (Mi Kuning)

Been craving noodles. I generally love soupy noodle dishes and noodles in general, but I never really liked store-bought yellow noodles, or mi gemuk as I liked to call them. I find them to have a very unpleasant aftertaste, and some are so full of boric acid and lord knows what other additives, I really just don’t feel motivated to put any of that in my tummy.

Still, I really wanted some curry noodles, so Kak’mbang suggested we make our own. Found an archived article from Sinar Harian with a decent looking recipe, so I used it as a base.

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For Your Spice Rack: Grillkrydda

I wanted to make some Swedish Meatballs for the family, which called for this Swedish grill spice mix. This recipe makes a small batch, slightly over two tablespoons, with the inclusion of rosemary suitable for chicken dishes. Omit the rosemary if you’d like your spice mix to be more generic.

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Pressure Cooker Apple Cider

I’ve been meaning to make apple cider doughnuts, and I already added a box of apple juice in my Tesco cart the other day. Then after a few trips to the doctor’s by different members of the household, I realized I needed to take even more control over what ingredients I use, of what I serve to my loved ones.

We had a whole bunch of apples in the fridge, and I had some extra time on my hands, so I ended up making my own batch of apple cider. The straining process takes a bit of effort, but with my handy pressure cooker, I at least saved quite a bit of cooking time.

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Make Your Own: Basic Pizza Sauce

Many years ago I picked up a book called 500 Pizzas and Flatbreads, and I started making my own pizzas at home. Back then I didn’t have a breadmaker or a proper mixer or any of the nice kitchen gear I have today, and I kneaded everything by hand.

The recipes in the book are great, usually different varieties of toppings and styles using the same basic dough and sauce recipes. This here is their basic pizza sauce recipe, which I have kicked up and improved upon over the years.

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