Monday 26 December 2016

Christmas Eve to Boxing Day Essentials 家庭式圣诞嘉年华

I must apologise profusely for having gone MIA for many moons. My husband and I are staying with my parents temporarily (not so temporary actually...would be 1 year+ soon....). In this home, mom takes the call of what to buy and cook for our meals. I am taking a backseat for the time being, till our new place is ready in 2H 2017. 

Nonetheless, I still manage to whip up some great stuffs this Christmas. As I was multi-tasking various dishes and preparing within a tight time frame, I had not taken photographs on the work-in-progress. Just sharing here what I have cooked these few days....

Roasted Turkey Breast

Smoked Salmon, Arugula & Mixed Veg Salad

Pan Fried Rosemary & Mint Lamb Racks

Home-made Hawaiian Pizza

Home-made Pizza with Black Olives & Arugula

Baked Spaghetti Bird Nest with Egg

Baked Spaghetti Bird Nest with Egg - Runny Egg Yolk!

Easy Baked Potatoes

I am looking forward to cook more often and to share more recipes soon...Meanwhile, here's wishing one and all a blessed festive season :)

Sunday 24 April 2016

Cantonese Double Boil Egg Custard in Hua Diao Wine 广式花雕煲仔蛋

I am a big fan of steam egg or custard, especially when they are soft and silky like tofu. So far,  in my pursuit for the perfect egg custard, the Japanese Chawanmushi (Egg Custard) had always been the one that produced the softest and silkiest texture.  I was trying hard to attain similar result in my normal Chinese cooking style...always close...but to no avail. It was until I attempted this Cantonese Double Boil Egg Custard in Hua Diao 广式花雕煲仔蛋. I was enlightened. How easy! Who knows?....The double boil method could have helped?

Nevertheless, I was excited by the outcome of this Cantonese Double Boil Egg Custard in Hua Diao 广式花雕煲仔蛋 as my family members commended that the end product was akin to egg tofu.  Essentially, it was still the simplicity to prepare that won me over!

Recipe adapted from Le Creuset HK YouTube Video

Ingredients (enough for 4 pax with steamed rice and other dishes) :
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  • 4 eggs
  • 3 pcs of back bacon (cut to small bit size) 
  • 4 pcs of shiitake mushroom (thinly sliced)
  • 2 stalks of spring onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 stalks of coriander (finely chopped)
  • 500 cc warm water

Seasonings :

  • 3 tbsp Shaoxing Hua Diao wine 花雕酒 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil 
  • 1/2 tsp anchovies seasoning powder

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Method :

  • Crack 4 eggs into large bowl.
  • Pour 500 cc warm water into bowl.
  • Add seasonings.
  • Hand beat mixture till it turn pale yellow.
  • Sieve beaten egg mixture into a small pot (I used a 18 cm pot).
  • Spread sliced mushrooms evenly in small pot.
  • Spread bacon bits into egg mixture as well.
  • Arrange a bamboo mat at the base of a big pot (I used a 26 cm pot). 
  • Cover lid of small pot and place into big pot. Add water into big pot till 1/3 filled.
  • Cover lid of big pot. Turn on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes (if using induction cooker) or 25 to 30 minutes (if using ceramic cooker). Do note that the length of time is also subject to size and type of pots used. The bigger and thicker the pot, the longer time required for cooking.
  • Remove small pot from big pot when egg custard is cooked. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and spring onions. 
  • Serve whilst hot.

Try this Cantonese Double Boil Egg Custard in Hua Diao 广式花雕煲仔蛋 if you like tofu-like egg custard.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

One Pot Seafood Aglio Olio 蒜油海鲜意粉一锅煮

There seem to be a mega trend towards one pot cooking. I see more people cooking one pot pastas. Yes! Without pre-boiling the dry pastas and the results seem convincing (especially if I have fewer cookware to wash up after cooking)! I cooked Aglio Olio countless times using the traditional method by boiling pastas separately. Although my husband had been raving about the previous versions, somehow, I had a tinge that the dish had not been perfected. Simply, if I did not pay enough attention, the taste of ingredients would not integrate seamlessly with the pasta. Therefore, I was more than happy to try on this One Pot Seafood Aglio Olio 蒜油海鲜意粉一锅煮 when I finally caught hold of my new cast iron Dutch oven.

And the result - Amazing!

Ingredients (enough for 4 pax) :

  • 400 gm of angel hair (or spaghetti)
  • 400 gm of mixed seafood (pre-marinate with a pinch of salt and sugar)
  • 1/2 cup of basil leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 pcs of chili padi (sliced) 
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2  mid-to-large sized onions  (finely chopped)
  • 16 pcs of cherry tomatoes (cut to halves)
  • 5-6 pcs of soft boiled anchovies (not the dried fried ones)(available at selected supermarkets)
  • 1 tsp grounded black pepper
  • 1.5 cup white wine
  • 1.5 cup hot water
  • 1/2 pc anchovies stock cube 
  • olive oil or cooking oil

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Tip : Use Angel Hair or a finer pasta for better result as it would be easier for the pasta to be cooked and absorb tastes than thicker pastas. 

Method :

  • Heat olive/cooking oil. Use medium heat.
  • Lightly stir fry half portion of finely chopped garlic and onions.
  • Add mixed seafood. 
  • Lightly stir fry till 80% cooked. By then, we should see seafood broth at the base of the pot.
  • Scoop up the mixed seafood and set aside. Leave the broth in the pot.
  • Add the other half portion of finely chopped onions and garlic.
  • Add anchovies and 1/2 pc of anchovies stock cube.
  • Toss in cherry tomatoes.
  • Add angel hair or spaghetti (No need to pre-boil pasta beforehand. I used spaghetti here but realized that angel hair would yield better texture and taste if I choose not to pre-boil the pasta first.). 
  • Add 1.5 cup of white wine and 1.5 cup of hot water.
  • Cover lid and allow it to simmer in low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes (depending on the type of pasta used). 
  • When time's due, we could see the pasta cooked and broth being cooked down. Rather, the broth, together with the natural freshness and tastes have been totally immersed in the pasta.
  • Fold in mixed seafood again.
  • Add grounded black pepper and chill padi.
  • Turn to low heat and let it simmer for further 3 minutes. 
  • Turn off heat after 3 minutes and allow the lid to remain covered for further 2 minutes.
  • Add finely chopped basil when time's due.
  • Add a few drops of olive oil and give all ingredients a quick and even toss in the pot before plating.

There are only 2 words I could use to describe this One Pot Seafood Aglio Olio 蒜油海鲜意粉一锅煮 ~ Deliciously Fresh!

Even my 70+ years old parents helped themselves with 2nd and 3rd servings.....need I say more?

Sunday 17 April 2016

Waterless Pork Sukiyaki Hotpot 日式无水猪肉寿喜烧

The weather has been scorching hot these few weeks. I was deprived of hot soupy food because of the torturing heat. Hot pot in air-conditioned room seemed a good idea. Between Korean and Japanese hotpot, I chose the latter as I bought some sukiyaki pork slices yesterday. However, I could not have it all authentic as I had to settle for some local greens (there's all I found at home).  I knew this Waterless Pork Sukiyaki Hotpot 日式无水猪肉寿喜烧 would surely satisfy my craving for a hot soupy meal. 

The fact that i could cook everything in one pot with ease; and in a short 30 minutes made Waterless Pork Sukiyaki Hotpot 日式无水猪肉寿喜烧 a healthy good choice for my family's beautiful Sunday.

Ingredients (enough for 4 pax) :

  • 1 tray of thinly sliced pork for sukiyaki 
  • 1 tray of tofu (cut to huge chunks)(available from markets/supermarkets)
  • 1 large yellow onion (cut to rings)(add 1 more onion if you prefer broth to have more natural sweetness)
  • 1 carrot (thinly sliced)
  • 2 packets of enokitake
  • 4 to 6 pcs of shiitake mushrooms
  • your preferred vegetables

Seasonings :

  • 3-4 tbsp teriyaki sauce (depending on pot size)
  • 6-7 tbsp mirin (depending on pot size)
  • 1 tsp sugar

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Method :

  • Lay fresh onion rings at the bottom of pot. Add more onions if you prefer broth to have more natural sweetness.

  • Add sliced carrots.
  • Add shitake mushrooms.
  • Layer with enokitake.
  • Add tofu.
  • Arrange your choice of vegetables.
  • Lay pork slices on top. No need to marinate pork beforehand.
  • Add seasoning. Combine 3-4 tbsp teriyaki sauce, 6-7 tbsp mirin, 1 tsp sugar to make seasoning. As much as I prefer a waterless version (where the broth would be sole water content extracted from the natural ingredients when boiled), we do need to be flexible at times. Add a little water at the base if pot size is large.
  • Cover lid and heat for 20 minutes. Use low-medium heat. Do not open lid during the 20 minutes. Turn off heat after 20 minutes and leave the lid on for further 5 to 10 minutes before lifting it open to serve.

Waterless Pork Sukiyaki Hotpot 日式无水猪肉寿喜烧 - a pot of natural goodness. Easy to prepare, yet full of nutrition.