Sunday, October 27, 2013

005 - Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I honestly believe GCS had magical power. Make it right, and even you'll be able to mend a broken heart. So follow these steps and stole your lovers/crush's heart through their tummy. Guaranteed.

All you need are these 3 ingredient:

1. White Bread
2. Melting Cheese
3. Butter/Margarine.

If you're on a diet, fuck off, this recipe is not for you. There's no way a whole wheat bread would be able to substitute the fluffiness and crunchiness of white bread. FORGET ABOUT IT.

For the cheese. Pick whatever you want. The sky is your limit. But if you had to choose, I'd say go for a sharp cheddar. Cheap Kraft would do fine, but I love Bega slice cheese. It tasted subtle but with a hint of sharpness.

Butter. Go for French Butter. Elle Vierre or Anchor would do fine.But if you're part of that vegetarian crowd, margarine worked just fine.

Ready? Here we go!

1. Heat the pan, Non Stick or Not, any kind would do fine. Medium Heat.

2. Spread the room temperature butter onto the bread, ONLY on the outside. Leave the insides plain, because that is where you put your own preferred seasonings.

3. Now this is where you can go crazy. I like to put a bit of yellow mustard, ketchup, sometimes even sriracha to add a taste. But purist go plain! If you're done with the seasoning, put your cheese sandwiched between the 2 bread.

4. Toast the muthafuckin' bread over the pan. Watch in awe as the butter helps cook and crisp the outside of the bun. And at this stage, you can move it around for a bit, but not too much or you won't get that nice brown crusts.

5. Now here's a nice hack to ensure the cheese melt quickly. Put a lid on top. This will create steam that help to pulverize the cheese. But be aware, use this technique accordingly, use it too much and you'll end up with a soggy mess. And you're not gonna be happy.

6. After about 2-3 minutes, or until you reached the desired doneness, flip it to the otherside and cook it for another 2 minutes.

7. Once you see the cheese has melted, the crust are golden and crispy, pull it out. BECAUSE IT IS FUCKING FINISHED.




You can thank me later. Now go grab your lazy ass to the kitchen!



004 - Cheese Bacon!

Raised on a Moslem family, never have I eaten bacon in my life. Well, not until 2 or 3 years ago (curiosity got the best of me!), when bacon became the first pork I ever tried.

I remembered vividly how I imagine the bacon would taste like: savory, salty, with hints of smokiness and sweetness, But, noooooo. I didn't like the taste because it's way too salty for my liking (let’s just hope this happens only on the bacon that I tasted), but I absolutely loved the texture! The bacon was perfectly cooked, around 12-13 cm in length, beautifully browned, and incredibly crispy! That crispiness is beyond anything I ever ate in my whole life!

So I was stumbling upon YouTube one day, and one of my favorite cooking channel, BrothersGreenEats uploaded a tutorial on how to make a bacon, out of cheese. Check it out here:

I thought, "THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!". As it turns out, it's not, and it's still one of the simplest and best tasting bacon alternative around. The basic recipe is very, very simple, even a 3 year old can do it. Here's my take on the recipe this duo came up.
Here's everything you need:

1. Cheese (it has to be melting cheese. Think Cheddar, Mozzarella, Jack, Colby, Mexican, or Emmental)

2. Smoked Paprika Powder

3. Onion Powder

Ready? Here we Go!!

1. Heat your pan, Medium-High heat (Gas mark 6-7 on an electric cook top), be careful not to over heat it, we want it just heated enough to melt and crisp the cheese, not burn it

2. While the pan is heating, grate your cheese. Any kind of grater will do, but I find grater with large hole worked best for my liking.

3. Mixed the grated cheese with Paprika and Onion powder in a bowl.

4. Once the pan is hot, put your cheese in, and shape it into 'bacon' strips.

5. Watch in horror as the cheese melt. Be careful not to move them around! I know it's tempting to move them around, but trust me, it's better to leave it be for around 1-1,5 minutes!

6. Once you see there are no more cheese solid in sight, FLIP IT! And prepare to hear that majestic sizzling sound! And let it sizzle for another 30-45 seconds

7. Don't worry if the bacon looked limp, it'll harden once you let it rest!

8. After it's crisp to your liking, pull it out and let it rest over kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.

9. Go nuts.

These cheese bacon tasted absolutely divine! I like to make a BLT sandwich out of it, add a dash of Sriracha and watch as I helplessly indulged in pure bliss.

Don't blame me if you're addicted to this.



P.S: BrothersGreenEats is a great source for cooking DIY. Subscribe to their channel now!

003 - My Essential Ingredient

I honestly believe that seasonings are one of the major attractors for me to start learning to cook. As a kid growing up, I always collect things. Lego, Gundam, Plane Model, Video Games, ANYTHING! That’s before I eventually stumble into the kitchen and got fascinated over the colorful jar of spices and seasonings. 

There are tons of seasonings from around the world. Take a stroll down the ‘cooking ingredient’ alley of your nearest supermarket and see for yourself. Even the smallest supermarket will include (at least) essential ingredient for Indonesian food. 

If you want to seek (and spend) more, pay a visit to the supermarket that supplies imported spices and seasonings.  Be amazed from wide variety of salt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, rosemary, even to the most expensive spice on earth, Saffron (Google it, that thing is expensive as fuck).

Here in my kitchen, I always have these lying around somewhere. If you’re only starting to cook, these seasonings and spice will cover most of your cooking need. Sure enough, all these ingredient can make your dishes shine bright after its finish (no, don’t add ‘Like a Diamond’ after it, I hate that song). I’m gonna divide this post into 2 sections; the seasonings and the spice.


      1. Salt

Salt is a necessity. It’s the icing on the cake. Without it, your kitchen is useless. No, seriously. It adds flavor, it adds depth, it adds a dimension to a dish, and that’s just some of the things it can do. Even the most delicate chocolate chip cookie will not be good without a touch of salt!

Salt comes in many shapes and sizes. I loved coarse sea salt in particular. It has deeper flavor than regular table salt, and it cooks well too! You’ll see what I mean when you cook your own steak with coarse sea salt. In the end, experiment with different kinds of salt. All will yield unique result to your dish nonetheless.

These 3 are the ones i have in my kitchen now. Iodized salt is mainly used for baking (thanks to its fine texture), while the 2 are used in various savory food.

                                        (L-R) Garlic Salt, Iodized Salt, Coarse Sea Salt

2. Pepper

Pepper is Salt’s best friend. Invest in a good peppermill, and always use fresh peppercorns. NEVER, EVER, like, FOR ETERNITY, investing in pre-grounded pepper. Pre-grinding the paper makes the pepper loses its taste and aroma significantly!

In Indonesia, the usual peppercorns you found are black and white. The black peppercorn has a sharper taste with a kick, while the white peppercorns are more subtle and delicate. If you managed to find red or green peppercorns, BUY IT. When you do, mixed it together with the black and white peppercorns inside the mill, and watch in awe as the colorful pepper gave taste and distinct looks to your dish!

                        (L-R) Fresh Black Peppercorns, Freshly Grind Black Peppercorns)


A staple in Asian cooking and a great way to create Umami taste. It is also a vital part in making desserts. Sugar comes in many shapes and sizes. There’s rock sugar, sugar cubes, granulated sugar, icing sugar,brown sugar, and the limitation is only as far as your imagination could go.  It’s always a good idea to keep white and brown sugar at home. 

                                               (L-R) Granulated Sugar, Light Brown Sugar

4. Smoked Paprika Powder

This thing is dynamite. It’s made from ripe Paprika, dried, and then ground into powdered consistency. I loved putting this in any savory dish I made. Here’s a tip: always shake your Jar every so often to ensure there are no lumps in the bottom.

5. Onion + Garlic Powder

These two powders are one of the things I always use to ‘hack’ onion/garlic flavor to my dish when I’m limited on time. These can be used for Beef, Chicken and Fish. But be aware, use both sparingly; the taste is much more potent than the fresh counterpart!

                                           (L-R) Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

Spice and Herbs.

Before we go on, there are 2 types of spices and herbs in the market; Fresh and Dried. The rule of thumb is dried herbs will smell and taste more potent than its fresh counterparts. Here is the list of S&H I’d like to keep at my kitchen.

(Clockwise From Top Left) Parsley, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Basil, Dill

1. Dried Parsley

Dried Parsley is pretty much tasteless.But, Parsley always worked wonder as a garnish to give a dish a distinctive look. It's my favorite garnish in the kitchen!

2. Dried Thyme

A strong smelling herb, worked wonder if paired with poultry dishes; such as roast chicken. Also a great addition to any brine solution. What's brine? i'll cover that in another post :)

3. Dried Bay Leafs

A very well known 'magic key' in unlocking perfect savory dish. Bay leafs are also available fresh, and they both worked well in dishes. But here's a rule of thumb; dried variant lasts significantly longer in your kitchen.

4. Dried Dill

Only available in the import section of the supermarket. Best used for egg and fish dishes.

5. Dried Basil

Mainly used for Italian dish. Worked extremely well in Pizza!

                                                                       (L-R) Shallots - Garlic

6. Shallots

I have never seen so much shallots used in dishes other than Indonesian. Practically, almost every Indonesian dish benefits from the sweet and tangy taste of the shallots. Can be used as a whole (for pickle), sliced (for garnish or filling for eggs) or even mashed (as part of the base sauce)

7. Garlic

When eaten raw, beware, they taste sharp. Almost wasabi-like i might say. Always look for the firm, unbruised ones when buying. Dump them as soon as they felt soft and squishy.

Everything sounded good so far right? Look no further, let's jump to the recipe right after this post!



002 - Getting Started

“You ain’t a good cook unless you know your way around the kitchen”

I remember that statement vividly. My Mom said that to me. It's a mantra that i've been holding all along. And in a while, you will know why you should too.

To give you a brief history on how I got to cooking, here's the 2 sentence summary:

Teriyaki Chicken,
6th Grade.

Yes, as early as 2000, I’ve already made a mess in the kitchen (sorry, Mom). Cooking is a learning process, and at a time, you WILL fail eventually (don't worry, just keep on going)

My common mistake back then was not preparing every ingredient beforehand (also known as 'prepping'), and that proved to be a fatal each, and every time. But if you have the ingredient prepped and ready for the pan, you’re basically 50% done. (Don’t believe the numbers, I made that up). 

Once you prepped your ingredients, don’t forget to make friends with your tools! Knives, Cutting board, Tongs, Spatula, and tons other you can see over at the nearest kitchen supplies store, all had its purposes! Learn about them!

Next up, you gotta know your ingredient. The taste, the texture, the cooking method for it, the shelf life, and so on. Up until today, i'm still on a constant learning curves of understanding each and every ingredients in this great wide world. 

Okay, so now with all those things I’ve said, can you imagine yourself in your kitchen? 



001 - Introduction

Hey World!

The name is Gilang, I’m 25. I’m a citizen of the world, currently residing in Jakarta, Indonesia.

I love food and I love cooking.

I am going to share recipes that I have loved to cook and eat my whole life. 

Some of these recipes are my humble recreation of an already famous one, some are original (Hey, we all gotta start somewhere right?)

Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Michael Smith are my favorite chef.

And if you’re wondering, no, I never partake in any formal cooking lesson. Well, that is, if you count YouTube lesson as 'formal'. LOL

Anyway, prep your stove, heat your pan and grab your spatula, cause you’re in for a rough ride!