A couple of weeks ago, we had the privilege of being invited to Helen & Abby’s Christmas Supperclub.
This holiday season is a time to celebrate – and there’s no better way to make the season’s celebrations extra delicious than with some home cooked recipes from Helen & Abby’s Home Favourites cookbook. If you are a regular to any of the BIG Group’s restaurants or even Ben’s Independent Grocer, the cookbook will most certainly rings a bell.
Throughout the dinner, I got to know Helen & Abby better. Therein lies a story of how they knew each other since their primary school days in Ipoh Main Convent, and also how their shared passion for cooking has sparked off two successful food empires – Delicious Cafe and The Big Group. Ben, Abby and Helen was the founders of Delicious Cafe. I can still remember clear as day the first time I tasted scones in Delicious Cafe and it was so mind-blowing for me.
Hence, it was a star-strucked moment for me to meet Helen & Abby. They looked so comfortable and at ease cooking in the kitchen – where it all began.
Abby demonstrated to us how to debone a turkey. Then after all the deboning action; all that is left is the juicy meat stuffed with dressing that can be effortlessly cut into attractive slices.
I also like how Helen & Abby added a special holiday sparkle to their dining table with these gorgeous and elegant table setting.
Look! There’s also some personalised keepsakes for everyone! I’m loving these cute little ornaments for my Christmas tree.
The roasted potatoes with duck’s fat, garlic and rosemary was beyond delicious. KampungBoy asked me, “why so different from your roasted potatoes one?”. Hmmff…you shall see wonders when I try out those recipes from Helen & Abby’s cookbook.
The pickled baby beetroots is a wonderfully light and refreshing salad. The beetroot is tossed with bacon and onions; resulting in an earthy-sweet, salty and smoked flavours.
Roast Turkey & Gravy, Chestnut & Cranberry Stuffing, Bussels Sprouts, Glazed Carrots
“This one, you’ll need to learn and make it ASAP”, that was the “instruction” given to me by KampungBoy. Roger that! I really love this rice dish too! The unique flavour of the olives gives a twist to the, otherwise, boring fried rice dish. So delicious to be eaten on its own!
The brussels sprouts and grazed carrots make perfect holiday side dishes too!
I’m usually not a huge fan of turkey, but this one changed my mind. We learnt that for exceptionally moist and tender meat, brining is the way to go! Even the breast part was moist!
For thanks giving, it is an ritual for turkey to be deliciously paired with a stuffing of chestnuts and cranberry. It is a wonderful colourful, fruity and flavourful stuffing recipe.
The bird may take center stage for the first half of the meal, but these beautiful desserts will give a showstopping sweet ending. We had the Christmas Trifle, Minced Pies and Dundee Cake. The mince pies, especially, was so good! The crisp and flaky pastry is filled with a rich mincemeat packed with dried fruits and nuts.
It was an enjoyable night as we had a table filled with some hard-core foodies who take great enjoyment in eating and cooking.
I am so happy to be able to meet these bunch of people who loves to eat good food, wether it be from a chain or gourmet or home cooking. It was also nice to be reunited with two of my favorite old-time (but retired ;() food bloggers – Boolicious and A Whiff of Lemongrass. Joan, the chief editor of Malay Mail is such a fun and outgoing person.
Helen & Abby of course, take great pride in their cookings and food businesses. We talked about anything from the best butter cake from Ipoh, condense milk, an eccentric baker that we know of to great dai chow food in Singapore, a dedicated Nyonya chef and where to buy fern leafs (inside joke).
We have also found a cookbook that we will cherish. I love how most recipes do have a story behind them, and a well written tale adds so much to the flavour of the food. If you are interested to try your hands on cooking some classic Christmas meals, everything that we savored that night can be found inside the cookbook. There are also many others easy home made recipes (Asian or Western) with cooking tips given to make your life easier in the kitchen.
Helen & Abby Home Favourites is available for purchase in stores at MS. READ , The BIG Group, Books Kinokuniya Malaysia, MPH Bookstore and Times bookstores Malaysia nationwide; online at http://helenandabby.com/