Sometimes I think I should just change the name of this blog to “Around the World with Poultry”…so many countries, so much chicken.
But everything has been great so far, including this dish. Wow. Really, really good. Like serve-this-at-a-dinner-party-and-everyone-will-love-you good. It’s easy, but tastes complicated. The best kind of cooking, right?
I offer the measurements of spices as just a guideline; you could use a lot less, especially in the sauce, and still end up with an excellent dish. To balance out the richness of the coconut, I served it with an arugula salad dressed with a little bit of sesame oil and sea salt.
Also no meal in Macau would be complete without chilled Vinho Verde, which we drink all of the time anyway…and so should you.
This dinner’s presentation left much to be desired, but vacation started the next day. I’m not Wonder Woman.
There are so many layers to this historic city; hundreds of years of (mostly) laid-back Portuguese oversight mingling with influences from other Portuguese colonies in Africa, Malaysia, India and Brazil, mixed in with the majority Chinese population = a unique blend of cultural and culinary diversity.
Not a whole bunch of English-language books out there about it though, except travel guides. So, I picked one of them…and I do believe it was one of the most pleasant travel guides I’ve ever read. So nice…let’s go and get some egg tarts…
Macau has been a haven for casino gambling (and other assorted vices) for a very long time, but since the handover back to China in 1999, it’s become known as “The Las Vegas of Asia”. Make of that what you will. The author does acknowledge the impact of the gaming industry and the fact that most visitors are just popping over from Hong Kong on the ferry for a few hours of Blackjack, but that’s not what this book is about.
Part very enjoyable history lesson, this is a guide book to walking the three islands that make up Macau. All of the routes sound so pleasant and interesting, and the author has such a friendly and descriptive style; I could almost smell the incense in the temples and see the tiled streets. One caveat: it was published in 2007, and with the rate of casino construction, large-scale bridge-building and land reclamation, some of the itineraries laid out in the book might not even exist anymore. Do a little extra research before heading out…
(Makes 10 tarts for sure – I squeezed twelve out of this recipe, but they were on the small side)
I went full-on Slacker for this dessert, as you will see when you read the recipe. I was leaving for a week-long beach vacation the next day, and my brain had already shifted to island-level motivation. They did not end up looking very authentic, but let me emphasize the far more important point: they were AWESOME. There are plenty of more labor-intensive recipes out there – like this one. I’ll be trying all sorts of variations…
Adapted from a recipe at Rasa Malaysia, which is a fantastic blog that you should check out immediately after you are done here.
1/3 cup of sugar (you can use a bit less if you’d like your tarts a little less sweet)
1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup of milk
3 drops of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400F. Butter and flour the muffin pan. (I use a baking spray)
Cut pie crust into 10 rounds. (I only had a biscuit cutter on hand so my rounds were smaller, and fluted. Not traditional at all, in any way. Also, you should have a rolling pin on hand, just in case you need to roll the remaining pie crust out to get your last couple of pieces.)
Use a hand, or stand, mixer to blend the last four ingredients together. Beat on a higher speed for about 3 minutes. (The original recipe says to strain the filling – I did not). Set aside.
Fit the pie crust rounds into muffin pans by pressing firmly on bottom and side (do not over stretch). Fill the pie crust dough with the egg mixture (about 80% full).
Bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until the filling gets to be a dark golden brown. Most recipes call for a bit of broiling too for a caramelized top crust, but like I’ve said…I went lazy.