Yippee! I'm going home.. in ONE WEEK's time! My 6 months stint in Malaysia is coming to an end. I would not say that it flashed by, I missed home so much. However, it's been relatively quick. Work has been time-consuming, colleagues have become friends, weekends were filled with gym sessions, baking classes and grocery shopping. Pavilion, KLCC, Midvalley are my favourite haunts. I've visited more cafes these 6 months than combined in the prior 6 years. (this is probably an overstatement but I've not yet had to repeat any cafes here so far. Such is the width of cafe outlets here). My favourite - Plan B!
Other than monthly trips back to SG, I've squeezed in a Pangkor Laut beach holiday, a vacation trip to Taiwan, day trip to Melaka and 2 visits to Klang so far. My grand plans of Penang, Cameron Highlands, Langkawi, Sabah and Genting remain as future plans, albeit from SG but gladly so.
Since I spend alot of time trawling the aisles of Jusco, Cold Storage and Carrefour, it also means the fridge and pantry are well-stocked and with 1 week left, my cooking/baking frenzy began. It started with a red bean longan sweet soup with peanut tang yuan last week. Last night, I used all my whole wheat flour, half a slab of butter, a tub of yoghurt and made a small dent in the seasalt box. Today, I defrosted all the chicken and fish, opened a stewed whole-tomato can, drained out a can of chickpeas, blanched half a bag of frozen spinach, boiled a big carrot, roasted a huge sweet potato and chopped up 12 cloves of garlic and 2 big onions. Here's the resulting mish mash of food - vaguely disguised as a Chicken Chickpea Pie!
Pie Pastry Recipe: (Makes about 8 individual pies)
150g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
250g whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon fine-grained sugar
1 egg yolk
Pinch of fine sea salt (or flakes)
1 teaspoon of herbs (your preference)
100g non-flavored yoghurt
In a big wide bowl, mix all above except yoghurt, and rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs. (A food processor can also be used to do this) Add yoghurt and mix in to form a dough. Do not over-work the dough.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 min. I tend to make this 1 night before.
The filling for the pie can basically be anything you like. Since I was clearing out my fridge, the mixture is pretty random. I've used a mushroom cream base previously which pairs even better with the pie crust.
The tomato filling I used here:
One big fat sweet potato until tender but not mushy - around 30 minutes at 200C
Garlic and Onion in hot oil until fragrant
Add cubed chicken and sauteed with pinch of salt and black pepper (I added chilli flakes too)
Remove from heat when chicken is just cooked
Boil in a pot:
1 can of chickpeas in water
1 can of stewed tomatoes (for mushroom cream base, replace canned tomatoes with 1 can of mushroom soup and add lots of slivered fresh mushrooms)
Add boiled carrot cubes and stir-fried chicken
Thicken the sauce with a teaspoon of cornflour, dissolved with a bit of water
Simmer and add additional condiments to taste (I added a generous dose of a very spicy chilli sauce)
Lightly brush pie moulds with melted butter
Roll dough thinly, cut and line pie moulds
Add filling and sweet potato cubes
Cut circles of dough and cover top of filling. Pinch the seams together to seal.
Cut a cross onto top of pie crust for steam to be released. Brush with egg wash.
Bake at 180C for 30 minutes - Rotate the pie trays halfway through baking.
Note: I had alot more filling left, probably enough to fill another 6-8 tarts. So, double the dough recipe or halve the quantity in the filling.