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Malaysian Cooking News, Issue #003 -- Apple Pie revisited, types of Rice and a book review.
October 05, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya!

It has been ages since I send out Malaysian Cooking News. I would like to thank you for subscribing.

In a nutshell, here is what you can find in this issue:

o Why used dried stuff when you can get them fresh?

o Book review: Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential"

o Religious festivals in Penang

o Types of rice. Think you know this staple food? Think again.

Why used dried stuff when you can get them fresh?

I seldom buy apples that I do not like to eat. However, one day I bought a bag from TESCO which was supposed to be cheap. It turned that those apples were not ripe and would not be, ever. Even my daughter, who's a fruit monster, refused to eat them.

I hate to waste foodstuff. So, the obvious thing to do is to make some apple pie. I have not made apple pies for ages. Ever since I was in Manchester some 15 years ago.

So those apples were peeled and cubed. Into the sauce pan they went, with a cup of white sugar and some cinnamon powder. The recipe called for nutmeg powder too. No, I did not have any nutmeg powder in my house but I did have a packet of very nice candied nutmeg. This nutmeg is my favorite snack. They smell and taste much much better than imported bottled nutmeg powder which would cost, ounce for ounce, about half the price of gold.

Hey, Penang is a premier nutmeg producer. Why should we buy nutmeg from overseas, which is inferior, not to mention with *almost* no taste?

The apple pie filling turned out to be very nice. The pastry too was flaky and delicious.

I have some apple pie filling left. This concoction is stored in the fridge and it is excellent for pancakes and oatmeal too.

I am glad those apples did not go to waste.

For the recipe of the apple pie, go to this page,

Substitute nutmeg powder with a sprinkle of candied nutmeg. Remember, the filling tastes much better after a few days when the ingredients fuse together nicely.

Book review: Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential"

I love reading, therefore, I love books. I would like to tell you that over the last few weeks I came across Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential". It was hilarious, it was inspiring, it was humbling. It is a must read!

I know he has his own TV series. I only managed to catch it once a couple of years back when he showed how to cook steak outdoors. What I remember most was he used almost a bottle of red just to cook two pieces of steak. Hmm...

Compared to Jamie Oliver, this guy is like a Mafia Don. However, I do love his stories. It showed that being a cook is not as glamorous as it purported can be. You would have scars to proof it.

It was frank, and managed to touch hearts.

Highly recommended. Find it at the bookstore near you or order online.

By the way, I have a list of four books which made into my all-time favorites. Here they are:

Religious Festivals

Ramadhan and Hari raya just passed. Tonnes of good food passed through our digestive systems. It is also the season for the Chinese to get married to celebrate autumn. It is the end of the Hungry Ghost festival that heralds lantern and also mooncake celebrations.

End of October, Deepavali will come around again.

Be sure to catch all the excitement when you visit Little India in Penang.

I have yet to write a full report about Little India, but there is a sneak peak of what is to come by learning about Penang's Street festival which I wrote two months ago. It was held to celebrate Penang being recognized as one of UNESCO's heritage cities.

Types of Rice

I have not added any new content for the Pickles and Spices World because I was busy writing for my heritage site. However, here is the thick, fat description about types of rice that I just put up.

Hope you will gain some knowledge from here.

Till next time. Enjoy your meals.

Best wishes,
Pickles and Spices World
A Unique Outlook from a Malaysian Cook.

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