Profile

theindolentcook

I'm originally from Malaysia and now reside in Melbourne, Australia. I love food and I'm open to all types of cuisine!

  • Website
  • Location: Australia
  • Favorite foods: Too many to list, and varies according to my mood.
  • Last bite on earth: A perfectly ripe and juicy mango.

Mango Habanero Barbecue Sauce

This looks seriously amazing!

Weekend Cook and Tell: $5 and Under

If you're not opposed to offal, they are usually very cheap. And yes that would be due to many people not being comfortable with them, but hey, that means budget meals for me!

I got a lamb's heart for 50 cents sometime ago - made a stir-fry and had it with rice. Definitely came in at way under $5.

Warning: Post contains offal photos that may not be for, um, the faint-hearted.

http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com/2012/01/lemon-pepper-soy-ginger-lamb-heart-stir.html

P.S. The flavour of lamb heart is really not too different to meat at all, and it is really nice and tender when cooked right.

Otherwise, vegetarian and/or pasta meals like this one can often be cooked up very cheaply, too, like this one I made very recently.

http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com/2012/04/spicy-eggplant-fettuccine-twist-on.html

I'll see if I can make more cheap meals this weekend to blog about...

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Considering Coconut Milk

Thanks for the round-up Caroline! :)

Weekend Cook and Tell: Considering Coconut Milk

Here are a couple of things I've made with coconut milk...

Coconut and cocoa pancakes... super-simple.

http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/vegan-coconut-chocolate-pancakes.html

And this sweet, savoury, spicy peanut dressing. Great to pour onto steamed or blanched vegetables, salads, or as a dipping sauce for meats.

http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/sweet-savoury-spicy-peanut-sauce.html

The Nasty Bits, Valentine's Day Edition: Heart

Great ideas. I did a stir-fry recently with heart, it was delicious.

baking powder vs baking soda when both will do

Thanks everyone for your replies. Certainly gives me something to think about, particularly as I like making up my own recipes.

I forgot to mention another reason I asked was because I recently made something with a bit of lemon juice in it. Normally I'd use baking soda since the batter has the acidic element, but I didn't have any and used baking powder instead, and it still turned out tasty, so I was wondering how differently it would have turned out if I did had baking soda instead...

Weekend Cook and Tell: Romantic Respites Revisited

My boyfriend has been away and won't be back in time for Valentine's day - and we're not big on occasions anyway - but I've made a humble, yet lovely two-ingredient no-cook peach vinegar as a little gift for him when he comes back. The ambrosial white peach is utilized here and it gives a sweet, sensual touch to the vinegar. He's one of the rare men who enjoys salad, so when he comes back we're going to whip up a gorgeous dressing with this.

http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/fresh-peach-vinegar-valentines-gift.html

Weekend Cook and Tell: Get Back to Your Roots

I've got a Chinese-style borscht that is popular in my home country. I learnt how to make it from my mum. It's so easy and it's seen me through many years now.

http://theindolentcook.blogspot.com/2011/06/chinese-borscht-abc-soup-luo-song-tang.html

Weekend Cook and Tell: Winter Greens

For our recent wintry season I made a fairly experimental orange butter brussels sprouts topped with a pecan crumble. It made a great side dish!

An entertaining website about cheeseburgers

A friend introduced me to this site ages ago and I love it! I should try making one of those burgers someday.

Need a catchy name for a food blog to register the domain

How about nuttycinnamon.com?

Weekend Cook and Tell: Honey Bear

I used honey in my recipe for easy slow braised pork spare ribs. They turned out really succulent!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Your Go-To Markets

I like my local market... it's a little pricey compared to some of the others, but I often find interesting or exotic or gourmet ingredients there that I love to try... such as these oka yams. There's another market I like, and while not really far away, it's more inconvenient for me to get to so don't go as often. I found some feijoas the last time I went.

Best Way to "Publish" A Cookbook

You could consider blurb.com - I just found out tonight that a fellow food blogger used it to make their cookbook. It's Australian but they ship overseas.

Granita - the correct/ideal texture?

Thanks jimmyg! I was curious to know if one was more "traditional" than the other - in that case it looks like different regions have their own traditions so both are acceptable then.

Granita - the correct/ideal texture?

Ajmill - exactly, it varies, but that is my point - you can make it any way you like, but what is the original way? There is a difference between what someone prefers and what it should be according to the purists.

Thanks KarmaFreeCooking and BitchinFixins, that's what I think too. Perhaps the ones that looked like sorbets and slushies were due to the granita melting while photographs were taken, or perhaps it was done the "cheat" way using a blender instead of the traditional scraping way.

How do you keep track of your food?

I don't really do it. I just buy small quantities and try to work through them when I notice my storage space is dwindling. ;) There is a little wastage occasionally but within reason.

My boyfriend is much worse. The other day we threw out frozen meat from TWO YEARS AGO. That looked bad, man.

Yolk or Whites?

I'm definitely a yolk person. For a quick easy way to get rid of, oops I mean use up your egg whites, if you don't want to do any elaborate baking, I guess you can keep it simple and do an egg white omelet. Throw in lots of good flavoursome ingredients to jazz it up.

Holy Crap that looks good!

I'm still not as good as I would like to be, but here are a few tips.

I use a decent camera (it's just a point-and-shoot but it's a good one) and get reasonably acquainted to the available manual functions (like shutter speed, aperture, ISO). I also try to take photos during the day in natural light whenever possible. And I experiment and take several photos of the same dish in different ways. Lastly I'll use a photo editing software to crop and brighten and add contrast if I think they make it look better.

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Dinners in Under 10 Minutes

Thanks for the swift correction. :)

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Dinners in Under 10 Minutes

Hey Caroline, the photograph in the article is tagged incorrectly - that's actually the smoked salmon pasta from my blog! But otherwise, nice round-up! :)

frozen goat cheese "ice cream?"

That sounds like an awesome combination! Do it!! I'm even tempted to steal that idea off you. ;)

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Soda Fountain

Now that's got me into the mood for a refreshing soda, despite the wintry weather down here!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Dinners in Under 10 Minutes

I recently made a smoked salmon pasta salad with grapefruit yoghurt, coriander and toasted almonds. Just boil the pasta, and while you're waiting, prep the rest of the ingredients. Once the pasta is done, mix everything together. Quick and easy! Not quite sure if it would fall under 10 minutes - that might be cutting it a bit fine as the penne probably needs about that long to get al dente. But you could definitely make it under 15 minutes I'd say!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Picnic Provisions

I recently made a sweet, savoury, spicy peanut sauce which at a thinner consistency is great as salad dressing, and when thickened makes a delicious dip... very picnic-friendly!

baking powder vs baking soda when both will do

I know that baking powder is the more versatile of the two and baking soda is used only when you have something with an acidic quality in the ingredients.

However, let's say I have this recipe that has the acidic component. What would the difference be if I made one batch with baking soda only, and another batch with baking powder only? And sometimes I see recipes asking for both baking powder AND baking soda. Does that provide a particular effect?

Have you noticed much difference when used in a cooking/baking situation where both may technically and acceptably be used?

Thanks in advance for your insights. :)

Granita - the correct/ideal texture?

This is something I've been wondering for awhile. To me, granita should look like icy little chunks. The tiny icy chunks are distinctly separated and when you eat it you can really feel the crunch.

However, I've seen granita recipes with photographs that suggest something else - I've seen granita photos where they look more like a scoop of sorbet, or some that look more like a slushy drink.

So I'm well confused. What is real traditional granita supposed to be like?

Comment moderation?

I've been trying to post on Weekend Cook and Tell - however, the comment doesn't show up immediately the way it usually does, and there's a message telling me something along the lines of having to wait for approval from the blog author. Is there some new policy I'm not aware of or is it just a glitch?

sugar syrup - boiling vs dissolving

Is there much difference in making a very light sugar syrup (more like sugar water than syrup, really) using the following two different methods:

1. boiling sugar and water together briefly (not long enough for it to concentrate or thicken)
and
2. dissolving sugar in room temperature water.

I've been looking at a drink recipe online and the first method seems more common for that drink. However, the second method is more convenient for me as I don't have to wait for it to cool down before using it, so I'm leaning towards that - I'm just wondering if it would compromise the taste in any way.

Thanks in advance for your insights! :)

How many photos are too many for a food blog?

This is an issue that I occasionally wonder about as a fairly new food blogger. What do you think?

Personally, when I'm browsing other food blogs, I love looking at gorgeous food photographs, but sometimes there are just too many and I just find myself scrolling down and skimming through them, regardless of how great they look.

Then there are times when there is one lonely picture and I just yearn for a little more. I know it's a subjective thing and it also depends on the complexity of the recipe itself, but where would you draw the line between just enough and too many?

bison grass vodka - thoughts/advice?

I'm planning to get this for someone (who I know likes it), but I've never had it before myself. Where I am there are two brands available, Zubrowka and Wisent. Has anyone tried both and which do you like better? Any other thoughts on bison grass vodka would be much welcomed, too. Thanks in advance. :D

My basil plants are looking a bit sad.

I recently procured rosemary, mint and (Vietnamese/Thai) basil plants and placed them by a window at my apartment that gets generous sunlight. I only got them last week and have been watering them maybe once every couple of days. Now the rosemary and mint seem to be doing fine, but the basil is starting to droop already! I've been treating them all the same... what can I do?

Thank you everyone. :)

Cooking fruit for ice cream recipes

I've noticed that in some fruit ice cream recipes, fresh fruit is pureed and added as is, whilst for some others, the fruit is simmered before blending and adding.

I'm generally more inclined to use the fruit as is for that fresh flavour and also to better retain the nutrients, but I can see the simmering step may have its purpose in concentrating and sweetening the flavour. What do you do? How should one identify the specific instances where using fresh is better and other cases where using cooked fruit is better?

Thanks everyone. :)

Adding salt to enhance flavours in non-savoury foods

So I've always heard that adding a pinch of salt brings out the flavours of foods, and works great even in sweet foods. Just wondering - can you really taste the difference in, say, desserts? Has anyone, for example, made a dessert both with and without salt (either by accident or intentional experimentation) and found that it was tastier with salt?

Thanks for your insights!

Edible DIY: Candied Jalapeños

What works equally well as a cocktail garnish, sandwich condiment, cupcake topper, and guacamole ingredient? Answer: these candied jalapeños. They only take about 30 minutes to prepare, and will last for at least a month in the fridge. More

8 Cities and the Dishes They're NOT Known For (But Should Be)

New York is a legendary pizza town. New Orleans has some serious sandwich credibility (po' boys and muffulettas). Check and check. But when searching for the best bites all over the country this year, we found some surprises—mind-blowingly tasty foods thriving in regions we didn't really expect at first. Breakfast pastries in Salt Lake City, hot dogs in Tuscon, and more. More

Cheese and Beer Go Together Better

After five and half years of teaching cheese and beverage pairing classes I've come to a startling conclusion: beer and cheese go together better than wine and cheese. That said, you can't just pair any cheese with any beer and expect bliss. Here's a primer on pairing cheese with lagers, ales, IPAs, and saisons. More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Feel-Bad Food

For last week's Weekend Cook and Tell challenge we wanted to know what you all like to cook and eat when you're feeling a bit rough around the edges. In a challenge we dubbed Feel Bad Food, we asked for your best recipes for when you're sick, hungover, or just a little blue. Here's a look at some of our responses that are such to detox, hydrate, comfort, and reenergize. More