Friday, March 30, 2007

Salted Eggs

Tried this salted egg recipe found in Lily's blog here, and it came out pretty good. Usually made with duck eggs, this recipe uses the commonly found chicken eggs. The eggs were coated in alcohol, and covered heavily in table salt. After which they were placed in a ziplock bag in the fridge for 20 days. I was a bit 'gan-cheong', and tried the saltish eggs on the 16th day. While the egg white was saltish enough, the egg yolk was a little soft. Tried it again yesterday (after 22 days), and the eggs were tasty and much, much better than the overly salty commercial ones found at the asian market. Traditionally cooked like an hard-boil egg and served with chinese plain porridge as an accompliment, it can also be incorporated in other recipes. My aunt used to mix minced pork with the salted egg whites, sesame oil and soy sauce and steam it with the salted egg yolks on top. Tried to duplicate her recipe, and the kids liked the flavors of the pork in this dish.
Used 1 lb. of minced pork, sesame oil, cornstarch, soy sauce and 2 egg whites. Mixed it together and place the egg yolks on top. Steam for 10-15 mins, or until the pork is cooked thru. Pour a little hot chicken broth on top of it, and serve with rice and steamed peas.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Curried Lamb Chops

Saw this recipe in the new cookbook of Robin Miller from food network and had to try it.

1 tbs olive oil
1/2 c chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced (used 3)
2 tsp curry powder (used madras curry powder)
1 tsp cumin (omitted)

8 lamb loin chops, trimmed off fat

salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c reduced-sodium chicken broth

In a large skillet, heat oil and add shallots and garlic. Cook till softened. Add curry powder and cumin and cook til fragrant. Dish out and set aside.

Season both sides of chops with salt and pepper and place them in the hot pan. Cook till golden brown. Add broth and simmer till lamb is slightly pink on the inside, about 3 mins.

Served with rice, and steamed gai lan with garlic oil.

Cuttlefish Ball Snack

The asian version of calamari, this is a popular snack back in South-east Asia. Made this with Dodo brand cutterfish balls that come frozen at the asian market. Just thaw it, and fry it in a little oil. Simple and fast snack.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tofu Pesto

I love pesto, and this is an easy recipe to make. I steamed the tofu, and added a few ingredients to the orginal recipe from Wholefoods.
1 lb tofu
3 TB pine seeds
1 c fresh basil
1 c fresh spinach
1/2 c fresh cilantro
4 TB organic extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp mellow barley miso
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chilli paste (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add tofu and simmer 20 minutes. Roast nuts in a pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they just begin to brown. Chop basil and combine with oil, garlic and miso in a food processor until a paste is formed. Add tofu and seeds. Chill at least 30 minutes. Serve with pasta, whole grains, bread, or baquettes.

Recipe adapted from Wholefoods Market

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pineapple Fried Rice

Was browsing through my old magazines this past weekend, and came across this popular thai rice dish. I loved to order it at the thai restaurants in asia, and it was usually served inside a hollowed out pineapple. Made it with cubed corned beef and it was delicious. Used leftover white rice, small can of crushed pineapple, turmeric, onions, and garlic. Have also made it with shrimp, raisins and chicken breast before. A quick and easy lunch for the family.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Kway Teow Soup

Wanted to try something new on the kids, and had kway teow (flat white rice noodles) in the fridge. Substituted some of the ingredients based on what's available in the fridge and pantry. Used this recipe adapted from Saveur:

6 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Dodo fish balls
1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and split lengthwise
1/4 lb. fresh kway teow rice noodles
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat up stock in a pot. Add pork and simmer 20 minutes or till cooked. Remove pork and set aside. Keep stock hot.

Add shrimp to stock; cook over very low heat for 1 minute. Transfer shrimp to serving bowl. Slice pork thinly and add to serving bowl.
Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a wok or medium saucepan over high heat. Add noodles and cook until tender. Drain; add to serving bowl. Add scallions and cilantro, pour in stock, and stir gently. Season to taste with salt and serve garnished with fish balls.

Recipe adapted from Saveur.

Stuffed Red Peppers

My girlfriend reminded me that a red pepper has twice the amount of vitamin C than an orange. Made this for a quick meal. Had some nice red bell peppers, rice pilaf, fresh basil, shredded cheese and cooked and shredded chicken breasts in the fridge, and opened up a can of Muir tomatoe sauce.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Stove top Char Siew

I was looking for a new way to make char siew with the lean pork tenderloin that will result in a moist piece of meat and was fortunate enough to find this recipe at a fellow blogger's site. She has many wonderful recipes from my motherland, and I can't wait to try more of her recipes. Made this version of char siew (red roasted bbq pork usually found in asian markets), instead of the traditional way of baking it in the oven. It turned out tender, moist, and had a lovely glaze on top of it. Omitted the red coloring and oil in my haste, and it turned out fine. The kids enjoyed most of it! This recipe can be found here. Thanks Baking mom! Served it with black rice vermicelli, sauted diced red peppers and garnished with toasted sesame seeds. Here's a picture of the black rice noodles made in China that I found at the asian market.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Baked POS Chicken Fingers

The little ones wanted chicken fingers, and I made these in the oven for a 'healthier' recipe, and used parmesan, quick cooking oats, and Sesame Seeds for this kid-friendly recipe.

6 chicken breasts
Grated parmesan cheese
Quick-cooking oats
Toasted sesame seeds
Dried oregano
Mrs Dash seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set it aside. Slice the chicken into strips. In a shallow bowl combine the oats, parmesan, sesame seeds, oregano, Mrs. Dash, and pepper. Roll each chicken strips in the egg, then into the oat mixture. Roll the chicken 3 or 4 times in the coating until completely covered. Place onto baking sheet. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake about 25-30 minutes, or till golden browned. Serve with shells with cheese and steamed broccoli.

Strawberry and Banana Milkshake

Another beautiful, sunny day in this part of the state, and we spend the morning playing outside. Since I had some fresh strawberries in the fridge, it seemed like a great idea for strawberry milkshakes. Used 1 cup of beautiful fresh, ripe, hulled strawberries, 1 cup of whole milk, 1 cup of vanilla yogurt ice cream, and 1 ripe banana. Mix it in a blender and serve in a chilled tall glass with a large straw and a spoon. Kid friendly and mother approved! LOL! An early spring treat on a nice day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pineapple and Banana Fritters

Saw the recipe for kuih kodok (malay fried banana fritters) in a cookbook, and decided to make a pineapple/banana version of it. Since the bananas that I had were too ripe for my family's liking, and not ripe enough for banana bread, I decided to add some crushed pineapples in the recipe to moisten the batter, and made it as a fun snack for the kids. Ingredients included self-raising flour, sugar, and salt. Also used baking soda, so that the deep fried fritters would puff up nicely. Served plain, with icing sugar, or/and yogurt ice cream for a snack after playing at the park.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Was inspired by a fellow blogger's recipe for easy sweet and sour pot roast. Since I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand, I decided to make my variation of this dish today. Thanks K.

4 lb. chuck roast trimmed of fat
Mrs. Dash spice
vegetable oil
1 can Muir tomatoes, diced
1 can tomatoe paste
3 garlic, minced
1 med onion, chopped
1/4 c light soy sauce
1/4 c apple juice
grated ginger
fish sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rub roast with spice and brown well in a skillet. Transfer to crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients, close lid, and cook for 4-5 hours.

Soy Chicken

This is a simple lunch for the kids. Chicken drumsticks are cooked in a solution of dark and light soy sauce, black pepper, balsamic vinegar and water. Serve with rice and green veggies.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I meant to post this on St. Patrick's Day, so here it is then. Better late than never.

Came across this poem, and couldn't resist posting it here:

I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it's corned beef you're makin'
You're sadly mistaken,
That isn't what Irishmen ate.
If you ever go over the pond
You'll find it's of bacon they're fond,
All crispy and fried,
With some cabbage beside,
And a big scoop of praties beyond.
Your average Pat was a peasant
Who could not afford beef or pheasant.
On the end of his fork
Was a bit of salt pork,
As a change from potatoes 'twas pleasant.
This custom the Yanks have invented,
Is an error they've never repented,
But bacon's the stuff
That all Irishmen scoff,
With fried cabbage it is supplemented.
So please get it right this St. Paddy's.
Don't feed this old beef to your daddies.
It may be much flasher,
But a simple old rasher,
Is what you should eat with your tatties.
©Frances Shilliday

I remembered fondly the trips to Ireland some years back. The people were delightful with a wicked sense of humor, the countryside spectacular with their shades of green, and the drive from Dublin to Galway through many towns like Kilkenny, Limerick, Cork, (to name a few), and even an overnight stay and dinner at the famous Darina Allen's Ballymaloe House in the countryside. I thoroughly enjoyed the bed and breakfast places along the way, and the irish breakfast with rashers, eggs, potatoes, and black puddings. Oh, and the soda breads. Not to mention the Guinness plant in Dublin. It was one of my more memorable trips.

I know that this is not the traditional irish meal for St. Patrick's Day, but I love corned beef and cabbage anyway, and made it instead of a Guinesss Stew. It also brought back memories of cravings for corned beef during my second trimester, and it got to the point when I had rebens for breakfast at a New York deli in town. But that's another story... But maybe that's where the irish yankees got the idea for corned beef and cabbage? I'm kidding, of course, but it sure is a tasty treat!

The corned beef came with a packet of spices, and I added extra garlic and bay leaves to the pot. Used a pressure cooker, and it was ready in 40 mins. Used red cabbage instead as a personal preference. Served with boiled finger potatoes.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Arizona Grapefruits

Went out of town for a short trip to visit my wonderful in-laws, and to spend a long weekend for MIL's birthday. The kids had a fun visit with grandpa and grandma, and we got to do christmas, birthdays and they even received early easter bunnies on this trip! However, I left my camera behind, and all I took of this trip was these wonderful grapefruits that MIL gave us from uncle Bill, aunt Kathy, uncle Bob and aunt Linda backyards. It was the first time the kids met Cher, uncle Bill and aunt Kathy, and everyone had a great time. Unfortunately we missed aunt Linda on this trip. The kids also got to meet Paul and Connie, and Paul and Maggie this time, and we had the grand tour of the different Arizona homes. We had a great visit, and a calm, scenic, and fast return trip as the kids were ready to be home in the end.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Yam Fried Rice

I have not had this for a long time, and had read about it recently. So I decided to try making it. There are various version of this, and some had minced meat as part of the ingredients. I added oyster sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce to the original recipe. It was delicious and the purple yams lend a sweet texture to the rice. The shallot oil gave the rice added fragrance and the the mini dried shrimps provided a depth of saltiness. Beware that the kitchen/house will smell of dried shrimp even with the exhaust fan working! :) Next time I'll do the hae bee (dried shrimp) part on the deck!

1 part purple yam, peeled and cubed
1 part white jasmine rice
1/2 part dried shrimp
vegetable cooking oil
shallots sliced
homemade chicken broth
oyster sauce
sesame oil
mushroom flavored soy sauce
salt and pepper

Wash and rinse rice till water runs clear. Drain in a sieve and set aside. In a hot non-stick pot, add cooking oil and deep fry yams till mostly cooked, about 5-10 mins. Remove yams and drain on paper towel. In the same oil, put in shallots and deep fry to brown. Watch carefully as it will burn easily. Remove and drain. Remove all but 1/4 of the oil, and set aside. Add the unwashed dried shrimp and cook for 5-10 mins. Add more oil if neccessary. Add rice to the pot and saute for 5 mins. Add homemade chicken broth, oyster sauce and sesame oil to the pot and stir. Return yam to the pot and cover with lid. Simmer for 10-20 mins or until cooked. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fried shallots and serve hot.

Note: If you want to have the crispy burnt rice at the bottom, continue cooking with rice in the non-stick pot longer.

Recipe adapted from KC.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The first time I had coq-au-vin was at a little restaurant in Paris that was across from the Hard-Rock cafe, and I had been enjoying it since. Been making this dish every so often, and had tried various recipes. Just found this recipe, and I used chicken thighs and drumsticks for this dish instead of the chicken breasts that was called for below. This is a tasty recipe, orginally from a cooking magazine.

Fairly easy to make, and the brandy was a nice addition to the dish. Just be careful as the flame may get a little out of control. I substituted the fresh tomatoes for 1/2 c. of organic diced tomatoes, added carrots, and increased the garlic quantity. Almost all of the alcohol were cooked off the dish when the sauce was reduced by half, but the flavor remained and it was wonderful with some warm, crusty french bread.

Recipe by D. Baker

1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. canola oil
1/2 cup diced bacon
2 bone-in chicken breasts and 2 legs (2 to 2-1/2 lb. total), trimmed of excess fat
1/3 cup brandy
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups homemade chicken stock
3 cups trimmed, quartered button mushrooms
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the beurre manié:
3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. Add the bacon and sauté until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the chicken to the hot pan and brown on all sides. Pour off the fat from the pan into a heatproof container and reserve.

Pour the brandy over the chicken in the pan. The brandy should flame; if it doesn’t, hold a lit match over the pan. When the flames die out, scrape up the browned bits and add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, tomato, wine, stock, and bacon. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the chicken feels firm and its juices run clear when pierced, about 30 min. Remove the chicken from the pan, reserving the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the reserved bacon fat. Sauté the mushrooms until lightly browned, about 10 min. Set aside.

Make the beurre manié—With a fork or in a food processor, cream the butter. Add the flour to make a smooth paste. Set aside.

Bring the liquid in the pan to a simmer and skim the surface. Continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Whisk in the beurre manié 1 Tbs. at a time until the liquid is the consistency of light cream (you may not need all the beurre manié). Add the mushrooms and simmer for 5 min. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. To serve, ladle the sauce over the chicken.
Recipe from fine cooking

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ground Turkey in Sweet and Spicy Sambal Sauce

Made this variation of an earlier recipe here over the weekend, and it turned out beautifully sweet and spicy. The aroma of the lemongrass and freshly torned kaffir lime leaves seemed to shine through brightly with with the sweetness of the kicap manis and the spiciness of the rempah of garlic, ginger, shallots, onions, bird-eye chilies and dried chilies. An outstanding dish from PG at IK.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Last day of Lunar New Year

Today is the 15th day of the chinese lunar new year, and a day for tang yuan for most people. H wanted to go out for dinner, so we had sushi and had tang yuan for dessert.
Little helpers making tang yuan...


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Fish Story

Caution!!! This is not food related, and this is not IKAN BILLIS!!!LOL!

Was online with B. this morning and discussing my other hobby. Yes! I have fish babies! I managed to separate the big-bellied mommy fish into a breeding tank last night, and she had babies this morning. Removed mom from the tank so that she doesn't eat her babies. My girlfriend S. said this is good luck for CNY. LOL! The above is a picture of the little live swordtail fish babies! What am I gonna do with all these fishes now! Can you count how many baby fishes are there?

Longan Tea

A sweet and delicious favorite for cold winter months.

A handful of dried longans
1 preserved persimmon (soaked in hot water for 5 mins, and rinsed)
A handful of dried red dates
1 piece of rock sugar
1 thin slice of ginger
3-4 cups of water

Add all the ingredients to a pot. I usually double the recipe and use the crockpot. Bring to boil and simmer for 1-2 hours. Stir the tea.
Pour tea into cup and allow to cool slightly before drinking.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Made this for H for dinner last night. It's pork tenderloin stuffed with spinach, red peppers, ricotta cheese and seasonings. Served with his potatoes of choice, hash brown.

Creamed Corn Soup

Make this often, and sometimes I add ground turkey or crab meat in for added nutrition and texture. One of my kids' favorite soup.

3 c homemade chicken stock
1/4 c sweet yellow onion, cubed
1 can cream style corn
1 can sweet corn
salt and pepper

Bring chicken stock to boil. Add in onions and corn. Bring to another boil. Add in cornstarch mixture. Cook till thickened and add salt and pepper to taste

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tau Yew Bak/Pork in soy sauce

Had some pork tenderloin in the fridge, and made this simple dish for the kids. It's a home recipe that my girlfriend in Singapore used to make and I estimated the quantity of the ingredients. Usually cookied with tofu and hard-boiled eggs in the soy sauce mixture, and I did everything in the slow-cooker. 5 hours later and it's ready. It's a little salty, so I'll probably decrease the soy sauce. But great with rice, and the kids loved it.

1/4 c. thick, dark soy sauce
2 c. water
1 whole garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp five-spice powder
Soya sauce
White pepper
Black pepper
1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into quarters
eggs (optional)
firm tofu (optional)

Place everything into slow-cooker, and cook for 3-4 hours on high. Add whole eggs about 30mins to 1 hour before serving.
Serve with rice.