Recipes from the Heart: Take Home Chef Cooks Down Under

If there’s one thing the people of Perth enjoys just as much as eating out, it’s eating in. With the state government going all out to promote local fresh produce, livestock and fisheries in the Buy West, Eat Best campaign, there is really no better time to enjoy a meal at home.

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By now, you’re probably wondering who is this new chick I’ve been featuring in the last few posts. Let me introduce you to Ads, or better known as ‘Kak (older sis)‘ to me. I’ve known Ads since my college days and we only see each other once a year these days since she’s made Perth her home. So, it was delightful spending my entire holiday with her. She has recently bought herself a cute little house with a very nice backyard and lawn. So much so, we insisted on having breakfast one bright sunny morning when she made us some Aussie Dampers, a typical Australian camp fire treat that’s like a cross between a scone and a bread.

Ads’ Bacon & Cheese Dampers Recipe
Some random amount self-raising flour (I’m guessing about 2 cups), 
a bit of milk (looked like 1 cup), 
1 egg, 
a handful of shredded cheddar, 
a handful of bacon bits (the more the merrier), 
a pinch of salt and pepper, 
talent and lots of love

Mix all of the above ingredients and let it sit for about an hour. Preheat oven to 160-Celsius. Roll dough into palm-sized balls and cut a cross on the top with a scissors. Bake for about 15 minutes or until it’s ready and golden. Now, enjoy it with lots of butter.

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In return for her generosity and opening her home up to us during our visit, McCutie and I decided to throw her a party and cook for a selected few of her friends too. I’ve always loved cooking while in Australia, I never break a sweat in the kitchen at all. And to be honest with you, I actually wanted to give Ads’ industrial-quality masterchef oven a spin. McCutie even got me a cute black masterchef hat for the momentous event. McCutie has also offered to make the dessert. The Lychee Cheesecake is a favourite dessert of ours but neither of us has ever make one before, and we have no recipe in hand. So, I suggested to try making it with a basic lemon cheesecake recipe and adding lychee into it. The result was a wonderfully refreshing piece of cake that’s worthy of an encore.

McCutie’s Chilled Lychee Cheesecake
350g Marie Biscuits
120g salted butter, melted
1 block Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 cans of lychee, peeled & mix in 2 tablespoons of caster sugar (save 3 tablespoons of syrup for gelatin)
Juice from 1 lemon
2 packets of gelatin, diluted with 3 tablespoons of heated lychee sugar syrup

Crush biscuit with a food processor or by hand until fine crumbs, pour in butter. Spread biscuit mixture around the base of the tin, making sure you get it right to the edges, then press it with your hands to pack it down. Place the tin in the fridge while you work with the filling.

Whisk cream cheese, milk, lemon juice and sugar together until smooth and stir in lychee bits. Mix in the gelatin right before you pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base. Pop the tin back into the fridge and let it set for a couple of hours before serving.

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Ads also leads an interesting life in Perth. She’s a graduate architect, a part-time Korean-celebrity stalker, an online forum phenomenon, a professional contest winner and an accomplished complaint letter writer. Oh yes, she’s also runs a chocolate truffle business from her home – but that’s worthy of another post by itself. And just when you think she cannot possibly add any more to her colourful schedule, she also volunteers at the dog shelter. This dog lover brought us to the refuge center one Saturday afternoon to show us around. She was totally at home with all the dogs there. Some were really beautiful and cute. Lord knows how many I would have adopted if I was living there. So happens that afternoon, the shelter had organized a special volunteers appreciation lunch with a real Aussie barbie. Lucky us, free lunch! After eating a couple of grilled sausages, I realized that there’s really no such thing as a free lunch. I had to “work” for it with my “professional” camera, photographing the shelter and the lunch. Well, guess that’s my bit of charity.

Monkey’s Asian-styled BBQ Pork Ribs
About 8 pork short ribs
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 clove garlic, bruised
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine or sherry
2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon oyster sauce. 
1 stick Cinnamon and 3 star anise

To marinade, combine all the ingredients in a large freezer bag. Add the ribs, seal the bag and shake it around. Allow to sit for at least 3-hours or overnight in the fridge. Remove ribs from bag and reserve the remainder marination to brush over ribs while cooking. Place ribs on a rack in a baking dish and bake at 180-celcius for about 20-minutes, the brush reserved marinade. Bake for a further 20-minutes or until well-browned and crisp.

22 Responses to Recipes from the Heart: Take Home Chef Cooks Down Under
  1. "Joe" who is constantly craving
    June 9, 2010 | 3:16 am

    wow you definitely have ah pa genes in you, next time you can throw the party!

  2. Sean
    June 9, 2010 | 3:51 am

    awwww, the puppies look adorable. i'd like to kiss one too! :D

  3. chiselstone
    June 9, 2010 | 5:01 am

    Mmm… McC's CLCC looks sooo perfect! He's got you totally trumped :D

    When do I get a slice?

  4. CUMI & CIKI
    June 9, 2010 | 5:59 am

    wa.. very good wor.. u got master chef's hat all, and mcCutie can bake cheesecake all.. damn jealous all:P

    I knew you could cook but this is just too much!

  5. J
    June 9, 2010 | 6:26 am

    PUPPY! Schooo cute! :)

    And you look so cool in your chef hat+apron posing with the pot.

  6. thule a.k.a leo
    June 9, 2010 | 8:01 am

    yeah… next time if you are throwing a party.. don't forget to invite this guy from Kuala Lipis ok?? Can't wait to taste all your dishes :P

  7. discount cookware
    June 9, 2010 | 8:01 am

    Very nice blog specially the comic acts in the picture the dog is also looking cute and the the food is looking delicious. Keep on updating these kind of blogs.

  8. gfad
    June 9, 2010 | 10:32 am

    Wah.. you is really undeniably your ahpa's ahboy!!

    Can I take you home to cook for me as well?

  9. Adelene
    June 9, 2010 | 11:08 am

    Aiyo, it's Daniel HEnney lah, berapa kali nak kata? Hahahaha. Btw, thanks for the nice write up. Love the description of my 'accomplishments'. What a horrible mug shot of me though. What if Daniel Henney sees it??!! lol!

  10. J2Kfm
    June 9, 2010 | 11:20 am

    First time hearing those scones-bread cross over. Glad you presented yourself well, with some homemade 'char siew' … haha.

  11. minchow
    June 9, 2010 | 12:32 pm

    A Daniel Henney stalker who bakes dampers with bacon??? Your Kak is my new IDOL!

  12. qwazymonkey
    June 9, 2010 | 1:57 pm

    Joe: Throw my own party? Don't think I can just yet. Still lots to learn as I'm no where near Ah Pa

    Sean: Did I hear you say "cute"? That's such an odd word coming from you!

    Chiselstone: U gotta as McC lah that one :) LOL

    C&C: I like the hat too!

    J: So who's cuter? Puppy or me?

    Discount Cookware: Thanks for dropping by. Will try to do more recipe posts in the future.

    Thule: Must first get a place!

    GFAD: To Aboo Darbeee u mean? A meal for a holiday, why not? LOL

    Kak: I can't tell my a and e apart. Well don't worry, he won't see your horrible mugshot cos this post wont show up on google since I tersalah eja his name.

    J2KFM: They're pretty awesome. U should try making it too cos it's super easy.

    Minchow: Haha, u gotta queue in line. She's got a large fan base herself (re: online forum phenomenon)

  13. thenomadGourmand
    June 9, 2010 | 4:30 pm

    super!
    all tht food and thks fr sharing recipes too..not tht I'm anywhr likely to do anything w them ;p

    mayb i'll try the dampers..maybe..

    Missing Perth alrei huh? The weather..the carefree moments.. *evil*

  14. UnkaLeong
    June 10, 2010 | 3:28 am

    w00t!w00t! The cake would make Ah Pa proud ;) Eh comelah baptise my kitchen I turn on A/c. Promise you won't break into sweat oso. Hahahah…

  15. J
    June 10, 2010 | 3:34 am

    Different lah….

    Puppy looks cute.
    You look "yao yeng"/ handsome/ cool!

  16. Lyrical Lemongrass
    June 11, 2010 | 2:58 am

    chis. everyone's a baker. (trying to imagine sean kissing a dog)

  17. Adelene
    June 11, 2010 | 6:07 pm

    Aiyo must start exercising d lah. I put on weight since you guys came! Oppa coming in Aug/Sep..tak boleh, mesti slimkan badan.
    I wanna copy this link to his fb pun malu….macam syok sendiri only, hahaha

  18. babe_kl
    June 15, 2010 | 2:26 am

    i wanna bring home the chef too! :p

    btw how much is the can of evaporated milk in weight?

  19. faizal
    June 15, 2010 | 9:15 am

    awesome lah ^_^ love this blog

    when you back to malaysia? theres lots of good eating opportunities now thru http://www.mydeal.com.my. worth a look lah :)

  20. Life for Beginners
    June 15, 2010 | 3:40 pm

    Such culinary splendour! Well done, both of you!

    And.

    Ahem, so when can Devil & I invite you and McCutie to our kitchen, er, home again next? ;)

  21. PureGlutton
    June 16, 2010 | 1:16 am

    Wow, what a feast! Everything looked so delish :-)

  22. fufu
    June 23, 2010 | 2:32 pm

    i love cheesecake but never heard of lychee cheesecake!!!! cool!