Friday, June 28, 2013

A tale of Jamie Oliver food processor & Laksa

Since I started serious cooking I've been a very adventurous home cook, I like to try out new recipes from different cultures, taste how different their food is different from our local delicacies; the texture, taste, fragrance.  Its a wonder how one type of food can be cooked in so many different ways, each with its unique taste.

The DinoFamily's mortar
However, there are some dishes that I really really like to try my hands on but was put off by the hours of hard work needed.

Some needed to gather ingredients that takes time to gather and the others requires me to spend at least an hour squatting over the mortar pounding away.  Though the idea of having a fit fab arms without fluttery butterfly arms, this mama's old back & shoulder will definitely protest fiercely for days after that.

So when I was presented with the food processor co-designed with Jamie Oliver I was squealing like a school girl eager to try it out but there are just too many recipe that I wanted to do.  Finally, after weeks of contemplating (ya, I kept it in the box for that long) I decided to make laksa spice paste as laksa is one of my favourite local food.  I managed to find a real simple laksa spice paste recipe and set out to gather the ingredients.

The ingredients for the spice paste

Part 1
Ingredients for Spice paste
* 3 long stalks of lemon grass, tender hearts minced
* 4 red chilli with stem & seeds removed (if you like spice, keep some of the seeds or you can use chilli padi for more spice)
* 4 slices galangal (or fresh ginger)
* 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
* 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
* 3 shallots, peeled and chopped
* 3 large cloves garlic
* 4 tablespoons peanut oil
* 1/4 cup fresh laksa leaves, chopped
* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 cup tamarind or assam paste

The first time I turned the knob to work the food processor, I got such a shock that I immediately turn it off!  The sound was foreign to me but the image I see in the bowl was too amazing that I couldn't believe my eyes!  Ok, look... this is from a home cook who has NEVER use a food processor before so pardon the ignorance.  The second time I turned the knob I let it run for a few seconds each time, mesmerized by sound and beautiful image while my ingredients are being chopped up into tiny pieces in seconds.

The food processor in action!

Method to make Spice Paste
1. Put lemongrass, red chillies, galangal, ginger, shrimp paste, shallots, garlic and peanut oil to a blender or food processor.
2. Pulse until well combined.
3. Blend in the laksa leaves, turmeric, sugar and tamarind, pulse until it has made a paste. 

My laksa spice paste

Part 2
Ingredients for Broth
* 2 tablespoons peanut oil
* Spice paste from recipe above
* 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* 1/4 cup sweet Thai basil, chopped
* 1/4 cup fish sauce
* 200ml coconut milk, shake can before opening

Oh my! Look at the broth!

Methods for Broth
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Stir spice paste into oil and heat for a few minutes or until fragrance.  Add chicken stock and bring it to a boil.  Turn down the heat to low and add in basil and fish sauce, let it simmer gently.
2. In another pot cook the noodles in boiling water until tender.
3. When the noodles are ready to be served, stir the coconut milk into the hot broth.
4. Place noodles in a large bowl with chicken or shrimp and pour broth around noodles.

The final touches
* Some vermicelli noodles, yellow noodles, thin or thick rice noodles.
* Some cooked cubed chicken, cooked shrimp, tau pok, cockles, fishcakes, beansprouts  or any thing that you fancy in your laksa.
* Garnishes of your choice.

Ta-dah~ Laksa - DinoFamily version~ I can't help it if I am feeling proud with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Laksa - DinoFamily version

I adore my latest favourite kitchen gadget, the Philips | Jamie Oliver food processor which is sturdy as an oak tree and cuts like ninja in lightning speed!  On top of that it's suction feet are easy to release so if I need to move it there is no need for me to wrestle with it or use my fingernails to pry it loose from the kitchen table top.  Best of all it chops, slices, shreds, grinds, purees, juice, beats cake batter and egg whites, kneads bread dough, and grinds meats and vegetables easily!

Marilyn Monroe says "Give a girl the right shoes & she can conquer the world.", I say give me the Philips | Jamie Oliver food processor and I can conquer the gourmet world, just like Jamie Oliver!

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Keep life simple with the PHILIPS | Jamie Oliver range which includes a food processor (S$268), handblender (S$128) and blender (S$108). Available at leading electronics and departmental stores.

Disclaimer : I received a Jamie Oliver food processor from Philips for purposes of this review, all opinions are 100% based on my experience as a first time user of food processor.  All photos in this review are taken by me painstakingly so they belongs to me. *I know my laksa photos looks delicious but donch you dare steal it!*
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This linky is for anything that is FOOD related. It could be a restaurant you visited recently, meals you cook with your family or for your family or recipes you wish to share with every one.

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  1. I love laksa! Always crave for it when I was overseas! Yours look really authentic and yummy, great job! =)

  2. Ahem, did you by any chance make extra paste and froze it? :p It is a lot of work to make any paste from scratch! And OMG, there's cockles too!!!!