Sunday, 10 July 2016

SHL Recipe: Bentong ginger & turmeric marinated salmon trout fillet with left-over mash potatoes balls

This is a simple and quick to do dish, especially when my toddler says he is hungry and wants to eat.
I tend to keep marinated items in my fridge ready-to-cook for such "emergencies".    The potato balls are quick and easy to make and a good way to use left-over mash potatoes.  I use our farm-produced Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrates in many ways and this is an easy way to add nutritional value to a meal allowing you to focus on taste and not be burdened with thinking about how healthy it is.

Fillet of salmon trout approximately 300g
2 tablespoon of Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrate
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil.
Salt to season.

Marinate the salmon fillet in the ginger&turmeric concentrate with a pinch of salt for at least 30 minutes.  This can be prepared ahead of time, ready-to-cook at a moment's notice.
Heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon coconut oil on medium-high heat.
Place the salmon fillet skin-side down.  To get a crispy skin, do not touch the side on the skillet until you see it "loosen" from the skillet.  It is then ready to be turned over to cook on the other side.    When it has "loosened" from the skillet, it is done.

Potato balls.
Left-over mash potatoes or freshly made mash potatoes.
1 organic free-range organic egg ( or whatever egg you have on hand)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Mix the egg into the mashed potatoes.
Heat skillet with the coconut oil.
Drop small scoops of potato mixture and allow it to brown before turning it over.

Thought behind the meal
Something that is quick and easy to do yet nutritious.
The salmon trout provides for lots of good fatty acids as well as minerals.
Cooking in organic coconut oil lends a nice, rich taste to the salmon while at the same time providing those great health benefits.
A binding agent was needed in order to create the mash potato balls and this was achieved with the addition of the egg, further adding nutrition.  Apart from the nutrition, the golden yellow egg yolk provides a nice color to the potato balls.

The beauty of temulawak

 I got so many queries on this plant after I posted the picture of its beautiful flower so I hope this short article may help answer most of the questions.

The temulawak (curcuma zanthorrhiza) or known as Javanese ginger is a "cousin" of the turmeric (curcuma long) hence the similar shaped flowers.  Whilst the turmeric flower is of the same shape and is light green in color with yellow inner "buds", the temulawak has a striking purple/pink flower with yellow inner buds.   The flower is long lasting, from the initial flower to final bloom taking lasting over 1 month.  The initial flower is pink with purple tips which turns into a lighter pink as it progresses through the blooming stage.

Being similar to turmeric, it has rhizomes from which it can be propagated.  Although it is in the ginger family, the rhizomes are closer in appearance to the turmeric than ginger.

As with many rhizome-based plants, soil drainage is important to prevent the rhizomes from rotting due to water-logged soil.  The soil composition should contain some sand as well as lots of organic matter.  It doesn't do well in heavy clay soil.

To differentiate the rhizomes from others of the same family, the inner rhizome is off-white in color and has a texture similar to the ginger but less fibrous.  IT has a brown rim around the edges.  The rhizomes form a similar cluster to the turmeric rhizomes.

The rhizomes is used mainly in traditional therapy for treatment of certain illness as well as in skin care.  It can also be used as a spice.  It has a smell that is like a cross between ginger and turmeric.  In traditional therapy, it has been used for overcoming kidney diseases, heartburn, lowering cholesterol and other types of illness.  Being of the curcuma family, it has the similar benefits as turmeric.

This plant is easy to care for and can be grown either in a polybag or container, or in the ground.  If it is grown in a polybag, water when the soil has dried.  It doesn't need much fertiliser but a soil with phosphorous and calcium will encourage it to flower.  It grows in full sun or semi-shade.

The leaves are more similar to turmeric with a single leave per stalk from the main "stem" with the difference being a reddish-brown strip in the middle.  It can grown to about 1m tall.  As the plant grows, the rhizomes will multiply creating a cluster.  The rhizome can be harvested when needed without affecting the overall health of the plant.  You do not need to pull out the whole plant for harvesting.

This plant makes a lovely addition to your home garden providing beauty and benefits.  Since it is easy to grow and maintain, you might want to consider planting this even if you are a beginner gardener.  Happy planting.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

SHL Recipe: Bentong ginger and Turmeric Marinated Chicken Pops

Our Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrate is not only consumed as a drink but makes a great marinate for chicken.  The chicken can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated ready-for-use.  It is also child-friendly which is important for me as I like to prepare good food for my 3-year old and one that he will enjoy eating without me having to coax him.

2 slices of chicken breast
50 ml of Bentong ginger and turmeric concentrate
Pinch of sea salt (regular salt is also ok)
1 tablespoon of corn starch
2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil ( can use any oil. you like)

Mix ginger-turmeric, salt and chicken and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.
Cut chicken breast into pieces toss it in the corn starch.
Fry until brown.

Thought behind the ingredients:
Chicken breast for the lean meat and quick to cook.  It is cut into smaller pieces so children can eat by themselves.
The ginger-turmeric for its digestion, antioxidant, acid neutralising properties.  By incorporating this, I hope to provide some benefits as well as preventive measures in the dish.
Sea salt as opposed to regular salt for all the additional minerals.
Organic coconut oil for the benefits from this oil which is also trans-fat free.  It also adds a degree of richness to the chicken pops.  With its medium chain fatty acids (MFCAs), the fats are easily converted into energy and not stored as fats - something important for my high-energy toddler.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

SHL Banana Cake Recipe

This is the recipe I use to make my banana cake or cupcakes with pisang embun wangi.  This variety of banana lends an added touch of fragrance apart from tasting great in a banana cake.  The recipe is simple and it takes about 1 hour to prepare the cake and another 15-30 minutes for the icing.

2 cups of brown sugar
2 cups of all purpose flower
1/2 block of butter (1 block 227gm)
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I prefer freshly grated)
2 eggs
8 pisang eibun wangi (you can use other bananas if you want like rastali, tapas, emas or lemak manis)

Method for making the cake:
Peel and mash the bananas.
Cream the brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer (you can use your own muscle power though it takes longer and you get more tired ).
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and mix at medium speed till the mixture is fluffy or meringue-like.
Mix the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, cinnamon and bicarbonate soda into the mixture.
Add the flour about half a cup at a time and fold it in.
Bake at 190 Celsius for about 30-35 minutes.  The cake is done when you insert a skewer or toothpick and it comes out clean.  For cupcakes, it takes about 20 minutes to bake.

Cool the cake.

Ingredients for cream cheese icing:
1 cup of icing sugar
60g (1/4 block) of cream cheese (I like Philadelphia cream cheese)
60g (1/4 block) of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Method for cream cheese icing:
Soften the cream cheese and butter.  Using an electric mixer at medium speed, mix the butter , vanilla extract and cream cheese and add in the icing sugar a bit at a time (or you will have it flying all over you).
It is done when it has a light texture.
Spread over your cake and lightly dust with freshly grated cinnamon.  You can further decorate your cake with fruit slices like strawberries.