Sunday, 18 November 2012

mi rak korean restaurant @ rowe st., eastwood

Up until the other week, I'd always thought this place was called Eastwood Korean Restaurant; well that's what their sign says. It's only as you look closely on the words printed on the glass door that you'll make out the words 'Mi Rak' proceeding Korean Restaurant. And for someone that's been here a good number of times now, it does seem sort of silly and I didn't know what this place was called!

The boys enjoy their Korean Hite beer.

Chicken & Ginseng Soup. This one's just mildly flavoured by ginseng (which is to my liking) but the surprise in this not-very-big bowl is a whole baby chicken.

The standout at Mi Rak has to be their Seafood Pancake. Ordered time and time again, it is always crispy just like it should be. Although sometimes I think it should come with a little bit more chilli sauce on the side for dipping.

With the weather being a bit warmer, we opted for the Korean Cold Noodles (with chilli sauce) and Bossam (thinly sliced cuts of pork that you delectably wrap in greens and accompany with a chilli bean sauce). It's a lot of pork for even the four of us; ended up eating just about half amongst our other dishes.

Korean beef ribs when you don't feel like cooking it yourself at the table.

Dad was missing for dinner this particular night so we ordered him takeout as we were leaving. Dinner all up came to just a bit over a hundred dollars for the 5 of us (including dad) which isn't too bad. Missing from these photos is there selection of side dishes; there were 6 in total which they kindly filled up as we went through them. They even packed a whole box of side dishes with the takeaway that we we left with!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

drunken rice noodles

I discovered Gourmet Traveller magazine back in the latter half of my uni days and since then, I've been a solid follower with copies of the magazine living at my parent's home, where I live now and every month, there'll be a day you'll find the latest copy curled up into my handbag for some blissful reading on the train. I have to be honest here and very rarely have I actually cooked a recipe from the magazine; you can say it's one of those magazines which I look to for inspiration but the recipes have always either seemed to hard or too much work; but really it wasn't so bad when I went about to cook their Drunken rice noodles from the recent October issue.

Heat 40mL vegetable oil in a wok until smoking, add 2 sliced chicken thigh fillets and stir fry until cooked (about 3-4 minutes). Add 2 thinly sliced long red chillies, 4 cloves crushed garlic, and stir fry for another minute. Add 2 cups Thai basil, 1 kg fresh, wide flat rice noodles, 100mL fish sauce, 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce, 1 tbsp caster sugar, and 1.5 tsp ground black pepper. Toss until the basil wilts.

The boy used some pretty hot chillies so these noodles had my mouth on fire for the most part but hey, what we managed to cook doesn't look all too different from the pic in the magazine.

Guzzled the noodles down with my favourite sparkling water 'Antipodes'. I've kept the bottle in the hope of using it as a jug for some flowers (now I need to hint to the boy that I just need some flowers).

There's a few other recipes I've earmarked from the October Gourmet Traveller issue which I'm hoping to get around to this month. The Naxi pork ribs with chillies and cumin being one of them and hopefully I'll return to a bit more baking in November and try those Jammy Dodgers and a rather luscious looking lemon pound cake. Had a few crazy weeks back there so glad life has returned to something a little more manageable. Can't believe it's almost Christmas!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

the rose bakery's banana cake

If you're ever looking for a cookbook to buy, can I just say that any book published by Phaidon is bound to be a good one. You'll spot the Phaidon logo on the bottom left hand corner of the front cover (you can't miss it) and to date, The Rose Bakery's 'Breakfast Lunch Tea' is probably my favourite. Just love this collection of true, honest, easy to follow recipes and every photograph in the book just makes me want to lick the page! I guess it's just my type of cooking which is why I love it so much.

This recipe for banana cake requires some very ripe bananas. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. In a large bowl, beat together 150g unsalted butter and 180g caster sugar until light and creamy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Mix in 3 mashed bananas and 110mL mixture of milk and natural yoghurt. Add 1 tsp bicarb soda and 1/2 tsp salt with 350g sifted plain flour. Fold in 100g chopped walnuts.

Combine the mixture well and spoon into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Here's what the book looks like.

Remove the cake from the oven and let to cool before taking it out. The one thing I've learnt with banana bread/cake is to not to eat it straight away but let it sit in the fridge overnight; trust me, it completely changes the texture of the cake. For ages I wondered how to get banana bread to taste like the ones you buy outside at the shops and the trick is to simply stick it in the fridge.

Not a bad looking cake at all. Probably not as sweet or buttery as the banana cake you'll find at the shops but still a good cake at the end of the day.

I'm fast running out of banana cake/bread recipes to try so if you have any good ones, please do send my way. I seem to consistently have a stash of old ripened bananas in the freezer which I don't know what to do with. And yes, I do have a soft spot for banana bread and old ripened bananas are just perfect for it I think.