“Thanks for your Support!”

Thank you for supporting the Chutney Chicks these past 2 years.

It is with a tearful farewell of our delivery services that we write this post.

Unfortunately due to rising costs and this unexpected economic recession, the Chicks have decided to disband. However, the passion for food and loads of other topics remain. We will continue to blog and reach out to our loyal readers and share our passion with food.

Hopefully, where we could not suceed as a business, we can provide a resource and tool for other restaurants and food based businesses to draw upon. In the course of starting and winding up this business, we went through a roller-coaster of emotions and learnt many things that we initially felt was a real drain on our spirits. However, after picking up the pieces of our tired broken hearts, we realised that people deserve to know just how difficult it is to run a business and yet still be chicks who love to enjoy our girly pursuits

Stay tuned!

The chicks are coming back full force! New and improved and most definitely, more interesting than ever!

THANKS FOR OUR FIRST WEEK!

Thanks to everyone for the amazing response! Our home delivery service seems to be quite a hit with the East side! We have also taken on board your suggestions and the chef has come to the following conclusions. Why make homogenous fake sounding pastas that everyone else is doing? We decided to get back to basics. 

When I studied in
Perth, I went from a 48kg chick to a 72kg honey and that only goes to show I ate really really well. No I didn’t stuff my face with really fatty foods…or I wopuld have been wallowing in loads of health problems by now. I just ate really fresh…really good food. Organic pumpkins, fresh mussels stewed in broth, blackberries plucked off a huge bushes just outside my house served with cream…these were things I had never really experienced in
Singapore. I loved food in Singapore….but I never understood why someone would eat prawns steamed with no sauce or herbs at all….i always felt seafood and sambla was a logical choice that anything else would have been completely unthought of. I never fully understood Italian food either….it was all just pastas and more pastas and I never caught it.
 

Till I went to this little restaurant called the Quadrant in Fremantle. It was hidden in a back street far from the main Freo street and very close to my favourite record shop. What made this restaurant different was that the whole interior was built like a ship galley. And of course, the most important bit was that all the cooking was done by an Italian MAMA. Like a real MAMA who wore a black dress and an apron and we would sit and chat with a glass of wine for ages…it was so strange, we hardly spoke the right language but that MAMA made the most exquisite pastas and chicken marsala….I know a lotta boys would be eating more pastas if this mama mia below was cooking!

  Imagine if your marinara was cooked by the ultimate mama mia! Sophia Loren

These were the things I loved about
Perth….especially Fremantle. I had my lunch at Mama’s Quadrant….walked around and had a gelato at this bonafide Italia shop that only Italians went to….walked around a bit more and went for dinner at Benny’s. I enjoyed that freshness…that amazing taste that was so light yet amazing. That’s what good food is all about isn’t it….light and tasty food that is fresh and just amazing…
 

So where am I going with this? Well based on this new revelation…The Chutney Chicks are going to make major changes to improve the taste and soul of our food! This week’s menu is about to change!!!!Chefs Blogs


Recipe Blogs -  Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Saucy affairs. ..the dibs on Lea and Perrins…

Ok so when I was young I often wondered….was there a Mr Worcestershire who made up this strange concoction which my flat-mate once deemed integral to her cooking? 

For all those who always wondered about Worcestershire sauce….here’s the scoop!

Hill, Evans and Co was founded by two
Worcester chemists in 1830 and for the next century was the biggest vinegar works of its kind in the world. At one time they were famous for having the world’s largest vat being 40 ft high and able to contain114821 gallons.

It also produced many types of British wine such as raisin, gooseberry, orange, cherry, cowslip, elderberry and ginger, as well as fortified wines such as port and sherry. They also produced Robert Waters original Quinine wine, which was sent to the colonies as quinine acted as a defence against malaria.

Hill, Evans and Co. went on expanding throughout the 20th century buying up large amounts of property throughout Lowesmoor and
St Martin’s Gate, increasing the site to six acres. The company ceased trading in 1965, however many of the buildings still remain part of the estate. Future redevelopment is currently being discussed for the site.

By the early 20th century the firm was producing two million gallons of malt vinegar per year which was sold all over the world. Lea and Perrins. Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce is perhaps the city’s most famous product. It was first produced in
Worcester by two chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins, and went on sale in 1837. It is still produced in the city today, although the origin of the recipe remains a mystery.

 

Labels from the earliest bottles include the message: “..from the recipe of a nobleman of the county”. The story goes that this was Lord Sandys, a local aristocrat who had been Governor of Bengal. In 1835, Lord Sandys visited the shop of John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins asking for a recipe he had found in
India to be made up. Lea and Perrins made an extra jar for themselves, but found they did not like the concoction and stored it in the cellar. Some time later they retasted the preparation to discover it was delicious.

 

Although today the ingredients are listed the exact recipe has never been revealed and remains a closely guarded secret by a handful of Lea and Perrins employees. Worcestershire Sauce – The Rivals. Lea and Perrins has not been the only Worcestershire sauce to be made. Its early success encouraged other firms to copy the recipe in competition. In 1906, Lea and Perrins took legal action against a
Birmingham sauce manufacturer called Holbrooks, to try and restrict the use of the name “Worcestershire Sauce”. The court decided that the name could be used by anyone, but only Lea and Perrins had the right to call theirs ‘Original and Genuine.’ Sauces were particularly popular during the 19th and 20th centuries as they gave flavour to otherwise plain food and helped tenderise tough cuts of meat. They were also useful for disguising the flavour of foods that were past their best.

Cha Cha to the Cachacha!

Every now and then we need a spot of alcohol to keep our days sane and our nights aptly MAD. So here’s a little something I found called Caipirinha. It’s a lovely simple Brazilian cocktail that just tastes perfect on a hot humid night! It’s made with Cachaça which is the national spirit of
Brazil. History of Cachaça goes back to 400 year ago when plantation owners began serving the liquid to their slaves after noticing that the drive would increase vigor. It is commonly known that the spirit was first invented by Portuguese settlers in
Brazil. Over the years better distilled Cachaças were developed and soon people started to drink it on dinner tables in colonial

Brazil. Shortly after slavery was banned in 1888, the monarchy was ousted and progressive leaders declared
Brazil a modern Republic, national pride began to sugar throughout the country. By the 1920s, Cachaça had become a symbol of Brazilian identity, produced and consumed throughout the nation by diverse ethic and social groups.Caipirinhas and other tropical cocktails are usually made with un-aged Cachaça.

Caipirinha
(brandy cocktail named “little peasant girl”)
 Serves 11 lime, quartered
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces cachaca*
Ice cubes
Mash the lime quarters in a cocktail glass with a wooden pestle. Do not remove the pieces of crushed lime. Add the sugar and cachaca. Fill the glass with ice cubes and stir well. 

What’s happening Mister Brown? All about Wines

I have never confessed to be very much into wine but I no self respecting woman who has ever lived in
Perth can deny the wonderful pleasure of a bottle of Brown Brothers. It was like an instant mood lifter….a bottle of Brown Brothers just instantly sent me into heaven. In fact me and my flat mates used to hit the bottle shops fairly regularly for our Euro beers and a bottle of Brownies just to get the party started.

If you go to this site Brown Brother’s wines actually pair your wine and food up! How cute!

 

http://www.brownbrothers.com.au/yourplace/reciperesults.aspx?vintageid=929&ingredient=116

 

And to know that people haven’t caught on to it yet…hahaha NTUC is still selling Brown’s dessert wines at $19! Hahaha absolute steal I tell you!

 

Well maybe if you aren’t too sure about Brownies…here are a few of my favourites.

 2006 Moscato Grade: 8/10 Verdict: A Dinner staple hey.        

This current release is a light straw colour with some youthful green tinges showing. The nose is lifted with aromas of freshly crushed grapes, musk and melon characters. In the mouth the wine is alive with a vibrant and mouth filling sherbet flavour. A wine of universal appeal, the retained carbon dioxide gives a frizzante effect – the result a lively and fresh wine in the mouth. Serve well chilled and enjoy while young and fresh.

 2005
Orange Muscat & Flora
Grade: 11/10  Verdict: Absolute Brilliance!!!

Orange Muscat and Flora is a blend unique to Brown Brothers. Orange Muscat is the flavour powerhouse, bringing aromas of orange blossom to the nose and a fresh citrus hint to the palate. While the Flora contributes colour, texture and mouth-feel to the palate.The current release displays light golden hues with a lifted nose displaying aromas of orange zest, a hint of honey and some raisin character. The palate: soft and round displays, flavours of orange and undertones of musk with a crisp cleansing finish.

 2006 Dolcetto & Syrah  Grade: 8/10  

Verdict: It’s great with a steak and makes an especially good Sauce reduction!

 

This wine is vibrant magenta in colour and the nose has fresh, lifted aromas of ripe raspberries and red liquorice along with pastel and jubes – just like Grandma’s lolly jar. The palate boasts flavours of ripe summer berries and the natural grape sweetness is balanced by the frizzante mouth feel which provides a refreshing and vibrant finish.

 So the next time you see a Brown brother’s bottle lying around being unappreciated….do take notice. Your tongue will forever be grateful!

Partaking of your pannacotta

Ok I don’t know if any of you have actually lived in
Perth but there is this lovely little jap restaurant in the suburb of Applecross called Oshinoya? Nono I think it was Ohnamiya. Yes….that seems to ring with my consciousness better. So we used to go down to this little Jap restaurant which has pretty good teriyaki chicken sets and sashimi. But this little quaint restaurant that probably only sat about 20 people comfortably had one amazing little dessert.

The Green Tea Pannacotta.

Now if you are like the 1998 me and only see a good chocolate dessert as having any orgasmic merit at all, then the idea of bitter green tea mixed with a weird sounding pannacotta that sounds like a Tamil cussword is not so appealing. I was just like that….an unbeliever. I felt nothing good can come out of yet another failed green tea dessert. Green tea ice cream is so rabak it hurts….green tea fillings are just too bitter for my taste. And how about pannacotta? Its all fine in Jamie Oliver’s show…besides I’m not watching what he’s cooking but How he’s cookin. Ladies, you understand what I mean. Jamie’s got to be one of the sexiest BritBoi’s around. And he’s got a bit of spunk in ‘im too.

I digress. So this green tea pannacotta was just so light and delicate. Creamy…and the green tea was this high grade powdered macha. And it was topped off with a macha sauce that was just so rich I felt like crying. Literally. I actually craved for this dessert so much in
Perth that I would force people to drive me down to Applecross just for that green tea pannacotta.

 

 So far I’ve only found this horrible pic of a green tea pannacotta. But i assure you the applecross pannacotta looks and feels more like this…

( sans berries and thick jam)

 

Based on my tastebuds and rough estimations, I’ve managed to get the Chutney Chicks to start working on this new version of the Green Tea Pannacotta. I think it holds a close second to the applecross pannacotta. Oh the pain of missing food that you can only find in another country!!!

If you need a little more food pornography, check out

http://www.nordljus.co.uk/en/green-tea-and-vanilla-panna-cotta-with-chocolate-sauce

Lengkuas vs. Serai, the Blues and Voodoo

    VS.  

So I was flipping through mum’s old Female Cookbooks…you know those amazing 70′s and 80′s cookbooks that teach you how to do astirfry on a charcoal stove! Those strange books that use weird ingredients such as ovalette and pisang raja.

I mean…who makes goreng pisang from scratch or peranakan prawn sandwiches? I feel sadly longing for those days when your Eurasian or Pernakan neighbour would be making some strange kuih and the smell would go wafting up into your house and you kaypohly saunter near her gate hoping that she will give you some to taste test. Then you discover her stupid son has just come home from school and polished the whole batch off in the time it takes for one Thundercats programme.

 I digress.

So as I’m flipping through this book, there are these conflicting uses of serai and lengkuas in there. I mean I’ve studied Malay intensively but when do we ever know when to ditch the lengkuas and go for serai instead? what’s the difference? So in the interest of sorting this out for once and for all…Here goes!

MAIN DIFFERENCES! So what in Malay is lengkuas and Cantonese lam keong is better known in the English world as as blue ginger, is a rhizome with culinary and medicinal uses, best known in the west today for its appearance in Southeast Asia cuisine but also common in recipes from medieval Europe. It resembles ginger in appearance and taste but has this soapy, earthy aroma and a pine-like flavor with a faint hint of citrus. It is available as a powder from vendors of Oriental spices and also available in whole, cut or powdered from vendors of herbs. A mixture of galangal and lime juice is used as a tonic in parts of
Southeast Asia. It is said to have the effect of an aphrodisiac, and act as a stimulant.
 

Serai or lemongrass has more to do with grass and less with lemons. It is a tall perennial grass. Common names include lemon grass, lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass or fever grass amongst many others.It has a citrous flavour and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. The stalk itself is too hard to be eaten, except for the soft inner part. However, it can be finely sliced and added to recipes. It may also be bruised and added whole as this releases the aromatic oils from the juice sacs in the stalk.   SO WHAT’S THE TASTE DIFFERENCE? Ok so now you know. Lengkuas = Root. Serai = Grass. But both of them are sort of citrusy so how do I know just how much and where to add these 2 old school roots and grasses?Like other members of the ginger family used in Thai cooking, Lengkuas’ pungent spiciness freshens the taste of seafood. For salads, slice the root as thinly as possible, then stack several slices at a time and cut into very fine slivers; for soups, thin slices are simmered to flavor the broth. Galangal is also an essential ingredient in Peranakan cooking and is chopped and pounded to a paste with the other usual suspects of rempahs. If I start talking about rempah’s this might go un till tomorrow. Well anyway, Lengkuas adds a heat and depth that normal ginger doesn’t. Now you understand where the heat in Tom Yum Gung comes from…its not just from those chilli padis baby!Speaking of Tom Yam soup, scientists are now studying
Thailand’s favorite soup: Tom Yum Kung, which contains all of these herbs and spices, with lemongrass as the key player. So if Lengkuas adds the heat in Tom Yam soup, then what does Serai do? Well it adds a citrusy kick that more subtle than just popping a lime zest would do. Personally I feel a stalk of serai in my prawn sambal really elevates the taste of my sambal and of course, you need to boil it up nice and long to infuse the taste into your rending. In fact, I’ve seen a few smarty pants use serai stalks as skewers to BBQ Satay and Sotong and it really adds that special hint of flavour. A friend used to slice up the tender inside stalk of the serai and mix it up with plum sauce, fish sauce, sweet chilli and lime juice as a great basting sauce. Oh and
it is often used as a tea in African countries (e.g. Togo) but I think its too damn strong as a tea.ANYTHING INTERESTING ABOUT LENGKUAS AND SERAI?

 

Blues musicians sing about Lengkuas all the time. “Ya old son of gun Lengkuas” they would yelp. Erm actually Lengkuas was believed to be some crazy cool African root that could make you higher than Snoop Dogg on a Grammy’s night! Lengkuas was known as John the Conqueroo, also known as High John the Conqueroo, John the Conqueror, or John the Conquer root, to which magical powers are ascribed in American folklore, especially among the hoodoo tradition of folk magic among African Americans. The root, in turn, is named after a folk hero called High John the Conqueror. The root and its magical uses are mentioned in a number of blues lyrics. Regardless of which name is used, in all of these contexts “conqueror” is invariably pronounced “conker”. Now who is this John the Conqueror?John the Conqueror was supposed to be an African prince who was sold as a slave in the
Americas. Despite his enslavement, his spirit was never broken and he survived in folklore as a sort of a trickster figure, because of the tricks he played to evade his masters. In one traditional John the Conqueror story , John falls in love with the Devil‘s daughter. The Devil sets John a number of impossible tasks: he must clear sixty acres (25 ha) of land in half a day, and then sow and reap the sixty acres with corn in the other half a day. The Devil’s daughter furnishes John with a magical axe and plow that get these impossible tasks done, but warns John that her father the Devil means to kill him even if he performs them. John and the Devil’s daughter steal the Devil’s own horses; the Devil pursues them, but they escape his clutches by shape-shifting.
Now what’s all this got to do with Lengkuas and its magical powers?  Well Lengkuas is a strong laxative if taken internally. It is not used for this purpose in folk magic; it is instead used as one of the parts of a mojo bag. It is typically used in sexual spells of various sorts and it is also considered lucky for gambling. It is likely that the root acquired its sexual magical reputation because, when dried, it resembles the testicles of a dark-skinned man. OK SO I AM REALLY NOT SEEING THE BLUES CONNECTION!Ok to cut the crap, 1954, Muddy Waters recorded a very popular version of Willie Dixon‘s “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” song with an additional verse mentioning John the Conquer root:I got a black cat bone, I got a mojo too,
I got a John the Conquer root, I’m gonna mess with you,
I’m gonna make you girls lead me by my hand,
Then the world will know the hoochie coochie man.
SO WHAT ABOUT SERAI?Serai unfortunately is not so exciting. Its also known as citronella and used as some sort of mosquito repellent. Head down to Bunnings and you’ll see loads of it in big containers.