Pork is so tasty here in Malaysia compared to the US. I don’t know what it is but there is just more flavor to the pork meat here. It is unabashedly porky and isn’t dry like what I have found in the US, where I always have to brine the pork for it to taste like anything at all. Maybe it is also because the pork we get here at the market is really fresh and mostly locally raised. Whatever the reason, it’s just delicious.
The interesting thing about buying pork in Malaysia is that if you go to the wet market, you will find all the pork vendors in a separate part of the market away from the rest of the other meat vendors. Pork is non-halal for Muslims so whenever you want to buy pork, you need to buy it from a special section. The same happens if you go to a grocery store—they have a special section for all the non-halal items including some imported desserts and foods that may contain lard, gelatin and other pork parts.
The other day, I was at the grocery store in the non-halal section and found some pork belly on sale at a 25% discount. Though it was a thin slice, it had beautiful layers of meat and fat and was just calling my name. I decided that I had to buy it and figure out something to cook later on. (more…)
Dutch Apple Bread
Several Thanksgivings ago, a friend, Andrew, made this fabulous Dutch Apple Bread and shared it at a church dinner. It was so simple looking but on that cold evening, with the bread still warm from the oven, it was a total hit. The bread was moist, hearty and infused with apple flavor. It was comfort dessert at its best.
I ate a slice and it stayed in my memory for days. I love homey cakes and quick breads without the frills of adornment especially when the flavors satisfy every craving I have. And it’s not just the flavor, it’s the texture and the simplicity of good ingredients that make it so memorable for me.
So I talked to Andrew about the bread (it is really more like a cake) and in our conversation he mentioned that he had gotten this recipe from a cookbook called “More With Less” by Doris Janzen Longacre. Our conversation left me intrigued about the cookbook and even though I had asked him to email the recipe to me, I had to look the cookbook up in my local library. Lo and behold, they actually had a copy and I ended up getting the book before he had sent me the recipe!
Banana Cream Pie
I love, love, love pies! There’s something about crust filled with yummy things that just appeal to me (to the cost of my hips). When I first came to the US, I was amazed by the variety of pies and I just couldn’t get enough of them.
I discovered banana cream pie when an acquaintance who attended the Hawaii Writing Project with me brought them one day to share. They were so delightful that I had to get the recipe. She generously shared it with me.
My forum friend Vi shared this recipe with me a long time ago. She calls it a fruit pastry but to me it’s a coffee cake which is topped with fruit. It’s simply lovely at tea time or anytime at all actually! Just beware, it is a very addictive cake and after one slice, it’s really hard to resist going back for a second and third…