AFC GRILLED : Chef Sean Connolly

An evening of good food.

Lap Cheong Watermelon Bites

An asian take on watermelon bites!

Baked Fish with Kiwi in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Add a twist to sweet and sour fish!

Semperit Pandan Cookies

Cute cookies for the festive season!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Watermelon Bites With Lap Cheong


Watermelon ... Lap Cheong? Who would have thought! One of the best combinations, I dare say after helping myself to one after another.

I sat, waited with a grin as I watched my best friend's face light up with a bright smile. He was astonished at how yummy it tasted. At the same time, I was admonished for not making more. "Well, this was an experiment. How was I supposed to know!" I defended myself against the look of displeasure that was made in jest.

This is another Christmas creation as you will notice from the colours red and green. It all came about because of my current infatuation with the Lap Cheong. My mint plant has also made itself very at home on the balcony outside. It was spreading like weed. I thought I'd use the two away in a recipe.

Thus, Watermelon Bites With Lap Cheong was born. Juicy sweet watermelon, savoury Lap Cheong ; intense flavours that are balanced out with a burst of fresh mint. The mint was a nice touch. Really.

Watermelon Bites With Lap Cheong

Here's a little information about Lap Cheongs (Chinese sausage) in case you're wondering what it is. I'm using a variety that is typically found in Malaysian supermarkets. Wikipedia  describes it as:

Lap cheong (Cantonese) or là cháng (Mandarin) (臘腸/腊肠) is a dried, hard sausage usually made from pork and a high content of fat. It is normally smoked, sweetened, and seasoned with rose water, rice wine and soy sauce.

This is the recipe. Easy-peasy! 

Watermelon Bites With Lap Cheong (Toothpick Appetiser)

- Lap Cheong 
- Sweet ripe watermelon
- Fresh mint leaves
- Cooking oil

1) Use a melon baller to cut watermelon out into balls. Leave to chill in the refrigerator.
2) Soak the lap cheong in water for about 30 seconds. Peel the casing (outer layer) off. Cut into thin slices.
3) Pan-fry the lap cheong in cooking oil until slightly charred. Then, remove the lap cheong from the pan and place it on a strainer to drain excess oil .
4) To assemble. Press all the ingredients through a toothpick in this order : Charred lap cheong first. Next, the mint leaf and finally, the chilled watermelon ball.

1) Three ingredients - Watermelon, Mint, Lap Cheong.
2) Pan-frying the lap cheong.
3) Lightly charred lap cheong.

Arrange the Lap Cheong in this order.

Watermelon Bites With Lap Cheong ready to be served!

Yummy Watermelon Bites With Lap Cheong

Eat and be merry, for it is good!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fresh Mint Spice Cookies (Grown-up Cookies)

'Tis the season to be jolly. Merrily I went, to whip up a batch of cookies never seen before; in this household at least. I didn't have a particular recipe in mind. So I threw whatever ingredients I thought could work, into the dough, steadfastly staying away from the 'usual stuff'. This is a cookie for grown-ups, mind you. There are no chocolate chips, sprinkles or nonpareils here!

I had one goal, however. The colours red and green, both traditional colours of Christmas, had to be included. As my mint plant was in dire need of a trim, I used that for the green and since I had dried cranberries, why not for the red.

These are fresh out of the oven. I was so pleased with the results that I munched a couple even before it had the chance to properly cool.

Fresh Mint Spice Cookies

The cookie was delicious ; a pleasant, faint spicy aftertaste. A friend rated it an eight out of ten! My other half, of course, loved it! The line, 'sugar and spice, and everything nice' , comes to mind.

It's really easy to do, a matter of mixing all the ingredients together and voila! Still, I did it step-by-step, just to be sure I was combining everything properly.

Fresh Mint Spice Cookies

Adapted from .
Ingredients (18 cookies):

- 1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 110g butter (softened)
- ½ cup soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsp full cream milk
- ½ tsp chilli flakes (seedless)
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 30 fresh mint leaves (chopped)
- 2 tbsp craisins/dried cranberries, pomegranate juice infused (chopped)

1) Preheat oven to 170C. Line baking tray with baking paper.

2) In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar using a baking spoon or a whisk. Beat or stir vigorously until it is well incorporated.

3) Then, sift the flour and baking soda over. Add milk. Stir to combine. I resorted to lightly kneading it with my hand midway. It was just much faster.

4) Add chilli flakes, sesame seeds, ground nutmeg, mint leaves and craisins. Knead this into the dough, until just combined.

5) Use a rounded spoon. Place one tablespoon of dough onto the lined baking tray. Use a flat spoon to flatten the dough into a round shape (as pictured below); a little over 1.5inches in diameter for me.

6) Do a test bake (bake one cookie) to find out best baking time and temp for your oven. I baked these for about 8-10 minutes at 170C. It gave me a cookie that's just done; in between soft and crispy. Lower the temp and bake awhile longer if you want it crispier.

Note: The cookies were still good two weeks in an air-tight container.

1) Fresh mint, nutmeg, sesame seeds, cranberries, chilli flakes.
2) Combining the butter and sugar.
3) Adding flour, baking soda and milk.
4) The cookie dough.

1) Add sesame seeds, cranberries, fresh mint and nutmeg into the dough.
2) The completed cookie dough.
3) Spoon one tablespoon out.
4) Onto the baking tray it goes.

Use a spoon to flatten the dough.

Freshly baked and out of the oven!

Mmmm....fresh mint spice cookies!

The back of the cookie.

The texture in between.

This done, my next goal is to bake more of these to give away to friends and family for Christmas! Am I excited!


This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2015 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids .


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