Thursday, February 26, 2009

Old School Rum Ball

Every now and again, I get a craving for rum balls which are quite hard to find in our local bakeries. I've been getting my fix from L.E. Cafe which still sells some really retro baked goods.

I searched online for recipes but haven't found anything yet. Please send me a link if you come across any.

These rum balls have a soft but firm ganache-like center. There are no wafers or nuts in the recipe although I did bite into a random raisin. The center is also lightly laced with rum while the outside is coated with a thin shell of chocolate. I've also seen versions where the outside is covered in chocolate rice.

I'm pretty sure this recipe is not baked. It definitely needs to be refrigerated to be best enjoyed. Until I can make my own, I'll just have to keep buying them when the craving strikes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Olive Rice

This is my go-to dish to prepare when entertaining for a large number. It is easy to prepare and a sure crowd-pleaser.

It is my mother's recipe and she always gets requests for the recipe when she serves it for meals. It is so good that a female dinner guest once told her that after her boyfriend tried this dish, he proclaimed that he would marry her if she could cook this delicious olive rice.

I obviously have not been serving this to the right people.....

The most important ingredient for this one-dish meal is the shredded olive preserved in oil. They usually come in small jars of about 250g and the ingredient list on the label should include olive, oil and salt.

When spooned out, the oil has a greenish hue. Sometimes, a couple of olive pits can be found so simply discard them.

If serving the olive rice as a one-dish meal, use the full portion of minced meat as in the recipe. If there are other dishes at the dinner table, halve the minced meat quantity.

Olive Rice
serves 6-8

3 cups uncooked rice
250g jar of preserved olive vegetable
250g minced pork or chicken
1 tbs minced garlic

Wash and cook the rice in a rice cooker. Drain the oil from the jar of shredded olive and set aside about 3 tablespoons. Heat the work with the oil and toss in the garlic when the oil is hot. Just as the garlic starts to brown, add in the shredded olive then the minced meat. Continue to stir-fry until the minced meat is just cooked. Add in the cooked rice and mix throughly, ensuring that every grain has taken on a little of the greenish hue from the oil. Turn off the heat and serve.

Serve with lots of coriander or wrap the rice in lettuce leaves for a balanced meal.

This is the first time I had to take note of quantities when I made this. When dinner guests asked for the recipe, I simply told them the ingredient list and when asked how much, I simply told them to mix it up until it looked like the combination on their plates.

So if you attempt this dish, don't be too sticky about getting the correct quantities - just stir fry and add enough cooked rice so it looks like this. It's yummy anyway!