And so we decided at the last minute yesterday to ask some friends to come over for iftar today at our place. Oh, I could never cook so much food in such short notice and with very little planning so we decided that it would be potluck - 'just bring whatever you're having for berbuka at home' because really, it was just an excuse for us to meet up with our close friends.
My menu was my Chicken Milano, those scrumptious Cinnamon Rolls which I baked just 30 minutes before the first guest arrival and some cream puffs, which was a first attempt for me. My friends' menus were more elaborate and traditional. They brought nasi putih, a delightful and delicious Pais Ikan Seabass, Mee Rebus, Popia, Roti Paratha, Kari Arab, Paceri Nenas, Chocolate Cake, Sweet and Sour Fish and Masak Lemak Kobis. As usual, I was huffing and puffing in the kitchen until the first guests have already arrived and their food already on my table and I had to rush upstairs to put on something more presentable not before almost all the guests have seen me with my worn and stained apron and slipping track bottoms and not to mentioned my not-so-gorgeous state of hair. Sigh.
Nevertheless, it was overall a success.
I told you that pasta recipe was good - all my guests complimented me for that one and all my other presentations except for the cinnamon rolls - which I baked in 2 batches - were gone by the time everyone decided to go home. Indeed, after all those compliments and happy smiles and full bellies, what housewife wouldn't be happy and satisfied?
I have included the Cream Puff recipe that I used for my first attempt at choux pastry - I think cream puffs are easy to make as long as you remember to poke a hole in each puff as soon as it is done and leave it in the oven for a few minutes with the oven door a little ajar - for the purpose of 'drying' the inside of the puffs. I piped the puff mixture onto the baking tray using a pastry bag and put the cream in by slitting the puff at the side with a knife and using a teaspoon to put the cream in. The result was more than acceptable, I think.
2 (196g) packages instant vanilla/white choclate pudding mix
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (or a little less)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
Mix together vanilla instant pudding mix, cream and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Poke a small hole in each and leave the oven door a little ajar for a few minutes before taking them out. Centers should be dry.
When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells.