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.
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),
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.
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.
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.