Children love chicken wings! Everyone loves chicken wings! And I love chicken wings! In fact, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love chicken wings! Wings are the preferred cut for many for a myriad of reasons. Easy to eat, moist and succulent, especially when they are deep fried. Oooh yes… hard to resist a good piece of good fried chicken wing and I guess this “pop culture” runs across many communities be it the Texas style or Buffalo Wings to the ayam goreng berempah as a good accompaniment to our local nasi lemak, not forgetting the korean chicken wings which are the current latest craze! But surely there must be a healthier way to get crispy chicken wings without the guilt from all the greasy and oil they have to go through to exude all that juicy goodness. And yes there is indeed! So here’s a rather quick and easy recipe for oven baked chicken wings to go together with a special spicy kumquat marmalade glaze. The perfect snack for entertaining guests in the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays!
Peranakan desserts and snacks are such a large and colourful collection of delectables that they warrant special attention on their own. Being a unique group with members from such different backgrounds and rich heritage, the sweet and savory treats which signify the Peranakan community are exemplary of this wonderful diversity. Look closely, and one would be able to identify easily the cultural elements from the origins of forebears where the Peranakan roots developed from. Just to name a few, we have Kueh Koo Merah and Popiah from the Chinese, Rempah Udang, Pulot Inti with Malay-Indonesian influences, Pang Susi and Kueh Blanda with Portuguese-Dutch origins and of course Roti Babi from the proximal colonial links, and these are only a teeny tip of the iceberg of the repertoire affectionately known as “Kueh Chuchi Mulot” to the babas and nyonyas.
Many of these kuehs apart from tasting really good, are symbolic with their cultural significance tightly woven into the customs and practices of the Peranakan tapestry of life in the yesteryears. Some are prepared specially for specific occasions, like kueh bakol for the Chinese New Year, and were enshrouded with much mysticism through a relay of “patangs” (taboos) which had to be observed to strict accordance for guaranteed success in their making. Some like kueh koo itam were made almost exclusively for ancestral worship and serving them during other joyous or celebratory events would only invite “koosmangat!” from the nyonyas with their overtly animated and dramatised “terpranjat” look, not forgetting a string of gossips that would soon follow and before long the extended family or even the whole community would know who “kentot“. Many of these kuehs, like kueh koo, kueh sarlat (gading galoh), kueh lapis beras (kueh genggang) are “colour coded”, so it mattered to many Peranakans “what” to serve “when”, to “whom” and in “which colour”. Like many of the earlier mentioned kuehs with specific “functions”, apom balek is no exception.
Gâteau de Voyage à l’ Huile d’ Olive et au Citron… what a mouthful of a name for such a simple cake. Loosely translated as an “Olive Oil and Lemon Travel Cake”, the term “Gâteau de Voyage” was popularised through the great French patissier Gaston Lenôtre back in the 1970s and has since become a “staple” in many French patisseries. most notably from Pierre Hermé, a prodigy of Lenôtre who created many flavours of “Gâteau de Voyage” based on his “signature” and “fetish” series. I am forever looking for a good “Gâteau de Voyage” recipe and thus when I chanced upon this one which uses olive oil in place of the standard butter, I knew I’d have to try it out!