Gado Gado,Vegetable Salad With Peanut Sauce

This Malaysian salad is one of my most favorite salads. You may serve it as an arranged salad, or tossed in a glass bowl as it is very colorful and attractive. There are two simple components to this dish , the peanut sauce ,which acts as the dressing  and the vegetables. I use the recipe by Vatch but feel that the vegetables should be blanched first and not left completely raw as he suggests.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani


Oil for Deep -frying

2 blocks of beancurd, about 2 inch square

4 oz beansprouts

4 oz longbeans, chopped into 1 inch lengths and blanched (optional)

4 oz cucumber , thinly sliced

4 oz white cabbage , blanched and thinly sliced then broken up into strands

 2 hard boiled eggs ( omit if vegan)


2 large dried red chillies, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves , finely chopped

5 small red shallots, finely chopped

1/2 tsp shrimp paste (omit if vegan) or 1 tsp soy sauce

2 tbs oil

3/4 pint coconut milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbs sugar

1 tsp tamarind water

4 tbs crushed peanuts


In a mortar pound together chillies , garlic and shallots to form a paste. Add shrimp paste or soy sauce and mix well.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan and stir in the paste. Add coconut milk and stir well. Add all the remaining ingredients together, stirring well. Cook briefly until the coconut milk comes to the boil. Remove at once from heat.


Heat the oil and deep fry Bean curd until golden. Remove , drain and set aside.

Arrange all vegetables in a salad bowl. Shell the eggs and quarter them (if using), then place them in the salad bowl . Thinly slice the beancurd and place the slices in the bowl.

Serve with the sauce , either seperately or poured over the salad.


Shirley’s Not -so -Sconey Scones

These moist , light , scones are really more like southern style biscuits. I love the addition of white chocolate chips and raspberries. It is a super addition to an elegant breakfast or high tea. It is important you use a low protein  self -rising flour like White Lily for a tender scone. You may choose to frost the scone once baked but that is optional.

Non stick cooking spray

2 cups  (9 oz) spooned and leveled self -rising flour

1/3 cup sugar (2.3 0z)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 cup buttermilk , or enough for dough to resemble cottage cheese.


1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tbs orange zest

1 1/2 cups (9 oz ) white chips

2 small flats  of fresh raspberries , as firm as as you can find (about 1 cup)

1 cup ( 4.4 oz ) plain all purpose flour , for shaping

3 tbs (1.5 oz ) unsalted butter , melted

Preheat oven to 425 *F and arrange a shelf slightly below the center of the oven,spray an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan with non stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl , stir together the flour , sugar and salt. Work the shortening in with your fingers , until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in the cream  , then some of the buttermilk and the vanilla. Continue stirring in buttermilk until  THE DOUGH RESEMBLES SLIGHTLY THICK COTTAGE CHEESE. It should have a wettexture like thick cottage cheese but not the least bit soupy.

Stir in the orange zest and white chocolate chips. Very carefully fold in the raspberries.

Spread the plain flour out on a plate. With a medium ice cream scoop or spoon , place 3 scoops of dough well apart in the flour. Sprinkloe flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn a dough ball in the flour to coat, pick it up and gently shape it into a round, shaking off the excess flour as you work. Place the scones in the prepared pan . Place each shaped scone SCRUNCHED UP AGAINST ITS NEIGHBOUR so that the scones rise up and do not spread out. Continue scooping and shaping until all the dough is used.

Place the pan in the oven on the arranged shelf. Bake until lightly browned , about 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with melted butter . Invert onto one plate , then back onto another. With a knife or spatula , cut quickly between scones to make them easy to remove. Drizzle with icing , if desired.


1 cup (4 oz ) confectioners’ sugar

1 to 2 tbs Heavy cream

1 tsp Vanilla

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup with a spout , stir together sugar , cream and vanilla. You want the consistency think because it will melt slightly when it hits the hot scone. Drizzle icing on solid to cover the top with drools that ru7n down the side.

Bourbon Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I found this recipe from the a book by renound Shirley Corriher. As a Chemist she gives great accuracy in her recipes. It is important that you roast the nuts for greater flavor enhancement . Also unless you want a thinner more “spread ” cookie please do not replace the shortening with butter. I have even made these using an egg replacer with great success due to the small egg amount.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

2 cups (7 oz ) pecans

1/2 cup plus 2 tbs (5 0z) unsalted butter , divided

1 tsp salt ,divided

1 cup (30z )old fashioned or quick cook oats

1/4 cup butter flavored shortening

1 cup packed light brown sugar (7.7 oz)

1 tbs pure vanilla extract

2 tbs Bourbon

2 tbs heavy cream

1 large egg

1 1/4 cups spooned and leveled bleached all -purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Non stick cooking spray, optional

Arrange shelf in center of oven and preheat to 350*F

Spread pecans on baking sheet and roast 10 minutes. While still hot , stir in 2 tbs butter and 1/4 tsp salt. When cool coarsely chop and set aside.

Process the oats in a food processor with steel blade for about 10 seconds.

With a mixer ,in a bowl , beat remaining 1/2 cup butter (4 oz) butter , shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla,, Burbon and cream . Add the egg and beat just to blend.

In a mixing bowl , stir together the flour , baking soda and 3/4 tsp salt, cinnamon , nutmeg . On the lowest speed , add flour mixture into butter mixture in several portions . Stir in the oats and pecan by hand.

Cover a baking sheet with Release foil or parchment sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Drop by heaping tablespoons or cookie scoop on to baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned on the edges. Allow to cool 2 minutes  then remove to a cooling rack.

Deep fried spiced Tofu

I am always looking for new ways to serve Tofu. This is a perfect way to serve as a finger food or appetizer or as a mean dish I saute some haricot vert with red peppers and add the fried tofu , its best topped with peanut , chilli or soy sauce, the tofu soaks up the flavors.

1/2 lb block firm tofu

1/2 cup rice flour

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cardamon

1 clove garlic , crushed

1/2 cup water

oil, for deep frying

Drain Tofu , cut into 1 inch slices.

Combine rice flour , coriander , cardamon and garlic in a bowl. Add water , stir until smooth.

Heat oil in a pan . Dip tofu slices into spice mixture, coat thickly.

Lower slices into heated oil , three at a time , cook on medium heat for 1 minute on each side or until crisp and golden brown, drain on absorbant paper. Repeat.

Serve alone or with stir fried vegetables , along side ,Peanut sauce , chilli sauce or soy sauce

Nasi Goreng

This Indonesian style fried rice is a staple in our home , especially when I am looking for a one dish meal. It is great as a meal as it combines both vegetables , seafood and poultry. As with all fried rice recipes you will need to cook the rice well ahead of time , place it in a tray and cool so as to prevent stickiness.

Serves 4

1/2 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 lb chicken thigh filets , sliced into thin strips

2 eggs, beaten until blended

3 tbs peanut oil

1 large carrot , cut into fine julienne strips

1 clove garlic , crushed

1 tsp Sambal oelek

1 tbs dark soy sauce

4 cups cooked rice (from 1 1/2 cups raw rice)

4 spring onions , sliced on diagonal

Cilantro for garnish

Heat 1 tbs of oil in a frying pan, pour in eggs , cook over low heat until eggs have set, lift out. When omlette is cold , roll it up , slice thinly.

Heat remaining oil in frying pan ,add shrimp , chicken , carrot and garlic, stir fry until browned.

Add sambal oelek , soy sauce, rice and spring onions, stir fry until heated through. Serve garnished with omlette strips and cilantro.

For an authentic , festive look garnish with curls of spring onions and red pepper.

Frozen Baci

As you can tell I love Baci chocolates. I cannot imagine what could be more delicious than sipping on a chocolate hazelnut flavored milkshake, topped with Baci chocolates.

Serves 2

Chocolatier magazine

1/2 cup vanilla

2 tbs Hazelnut Liqueur (such as Frangelico or Capella)

1 tsp unsweetened nonalkalized cocoa powder

Perugina Baci chocolates

Place all ingredients into the jar of a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into 2 glasses and serve with Perugina Baci chocolates.

White Heat

I am always on the look out for new , creative  and stylish drinks to serve at different times of the day. This drink ,served hot is aptly called White Heat , it is a heavenly  white version of the classic cocoa version laced with Kahula and Burbon. I love to serve this with a cloud of whipped cream often as a finish to a great meal , sitting next to the fire place.

Chocolatier Magazine

Serves 2

1 1/2 oz white chocolate ,coarsely chopped

1 cup milk

2 tbs coffee liqueur , such as Kahlua

1 tbs Burbon

Sweetened whipped cream , for garnish

Chocolate coffee beans , for garnish

Put chocolate in a medium bowl . In a small saucepan , heat milk until scalding. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the coffee liqueur and burbon. Pour mixture into 2 coffee mugs and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate coffee beans, if desired.