Le Quatre Quarts

The four quarter cake is the most simple of all cakes and almost every other cake is a variation on these ingredients and proportions. Quatre Quarts (ka-tre kar) is French for four quarters, i.e. a quarter kilo butter, a quarter kilo sugar, a quarter kilo flour and four eggs. I couldn’t figure out why fourContinue reading “Le Quatre Quarts”

Homemade Pork Lard

Why make your own lard? Because the commercially available one here in Malaysia is mostly terrible and expensive and you don’t get all that wonderful crackling with it either! Our prime objective is to make lard to cook with, but a very welcome by-product is obviously the just mentioned pork crackling. I like to leaveContinue reading “Homemade Pork Lard”

Pâté de Campagne – Rustic Pork Pâté

Pâté is the kind of thing you see in French butchers’ windows or served by slice in a Brasserie in Paris, so you naturally assume that making it is complicated, fraught with risk and really belongs in the domain of the experienced chef. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s easy to make andContinue reading “Pâté de Campagne – Rustic Pork Pâté”

A Happy New Year

Now that our revels are ended, I’m slowly growing tired of wishing “Happy New Year” to all and sundry all day long, desperately trying to remember whom I have wished and whom I haven’t and probably getting it wrong, wishing the same, by now exasperated person eight times, I am looking forward to the timeContinue reading “A Happy New Year”

Escargots de Bourgogne

It’s a bit of a weird tradition, but my mother used to serve either snails or frog’s legs in garlic butter for our New Year’s Eve starter. In hindsight, it’s probably a good idea to fill everyone up with lashings of butter before they start the serious drinking. It’s a tradition I am going toContinue reading “Escargots de Bourgogne”

Minestrone Soup

I’ve bemoaned the lack of interest in soup before, but I’ll say it again: A good soup is deeply gratifying to make, heartwarming to eat, soul supporting to digest and furthermore it is an excellent indicator of a cook’s abilities . In a soup, especially a clear one, there is no hiding. All your flaws,Continue reading “Minestrone Soup”

Baked Chicken with Black Olives

This is one of those dishes you can very quickly throw together if you have only an hour to cook. Even if you don’t have readymade tomato sauce, you can cheat and I’ll show you how. Just please don’t go out and buy tomato sauce in a jar. There simply isn’t a good one. SoContinue reading “Baked Chicken with Black Olives”