Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ham Congee

Now you've probably never heard of Ham Congee before today and yes it does sound odd because it's not the traditional version like Century Egg or Chicken Congee. This ham congee is one I've grown up eating, usually after Christmas when the leg of ham we have served up for Christmas day doesn't all get eaten. So instead of throwing out the bone, Dad keeps it and boils it up with rice and Bob's your uncle - Ham Congee.

When I was in Woolies doing some grocery shopping there were some leftover leg hams at the deli counter being sold for really cheap. Around $2 each, with loads of meat still attached to them. They weren't going off or anything like that, just the leftover bone after carving slices off to sell. I knew straight away I'd make the ham congee, I wasn't willing to wait till after Christmas again (which is actually a bad time to have congee because it's summer and extremely hot and more the weather for cold cocktails....I digress). Ummm yeah so I figured I might as well attempt dads ham congee for the first time. After making 2 calls to determine how much rice I needed and how much water this is what I ended up with.....

Leftover ham leg bone (1.5-2kg)
1 1/2 cups rice
2 litres water
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Shallots/spring onions to garnish

The leg bone with meat still attached

1. Slice as much meat as you like off the bone and set aside

2. Add the bone to the pot with enough water to cover it.

3. Allow to boil for 5mins to bring up all the impurities
4. Strain the bone and pour out the water.

5. Place the bone, sliced meat, rice, water and oil in the pot

6. Leave it on a gentle simmer for around 2 hours.
I would check it every now and again and stir it once in a while just to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom or getting too thick. Add more water if you find it a little too thick.

Garnish with extra pieces of ham and shallots

Monday, October 3, 2011

Siu Mai Cake (FAIL)

To celebrate my brother's 36th birthday I made him a Siu Mai Cake. He loves yum cha and the choice would either have been Chicken Feet or Siu Mai, I decided on the Siu Mai. However it ended up being a FAIL.

The yellow fondant for the outter wrap got stuck and then it cracked....and cracked....and just kept cracking and splitting. Sigh....I had this image in my head, but sadly it didn't turn out how I hoped. Oh well, it's the thought that counts right???

Here's what Sui Mai would look like at Yum Cha (photo courtesy of Cokeworld Citizen)

Here's the assembly:

I made 2 vanilla cakes to give it the right height and proportion

Laying the rolled out yellow fondant down, then the first sponge goes on top

Covering it with buttercream
Then the next sponge on top (no photo)

I crushed some Arnotts Milk Coffee biscuits then mixed this into the buttercream to give it some "pork" pieces
Smothered the biscuit/buttercream mix over the top

And this step is where it all went downhill....
Bringing the fondant up and covering the sides
(and this was considered the good side)

Next was the balls of orange jelly for the fish roe
Ehh, it didn't quite work how I'd planned....but neither did the rest of the cake anyway

Ok, so plan B.
Grab one of those tubes of jelly and snip little pieces off.
Voila! Fish roe!

And there you have my sad attempt at a Siu Mai Cake