Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mushroom Ragout


Mushrooms Ragout is a great side dish. They can be served over mashed or baked potatoes, polenta and salad too. Here, I have served them with some baked potatoes. Do try the recipe, if you are into mushrooms :)




Mushroom Ragout

Ingredients

400 g White and Brown Button Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 Big Red Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Italian Flat Parsley, chopped
I Tbsp chopped Chives
Sea Salt To taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method

Heat the olive oil and cook the onions over a moderate heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Turn the heat on high and toss in the mushrooms. Cook until all the mushrooms have become browned and wilted, about 4 minutes.

Add the parsley, butter and balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and black pepper. To serve top with some chopped chives.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Beef Noodle


This is my simple version of Beef Noodle. The recipe is good for about 8 really hungry peoples! Ha Ha! Here, I have used some Chinese preserved vegetables for the beef mixture. Another name for the vegetable is "Mui Choy" or sometimes referred to as Hakka/Cantonese preserved vegetable. They are sold in most Asian grocers in small plastic packaging or if you're around chinatown, they are usually presented outside the stores in a big jar.

The preserved vegetables provide a good balance to the taste and texture of the beef mixture. And the stems of these vegetable also adds some crunchy texture to the noodle serving. Okay, do try this recipe, if you feel like having a bowl of dried Beef Noodle.


Beef Noodle

Ingredients

500 g Ground Beef
6 Tbsp Peanut Oil
5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
5 Shallots, sliced
120 g Preserved Vegetables, washed, soaked and drained
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
6 - 8 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp Sesame Paste
4 Stalks Scallion, chopped
Some Freshly Ground White Pepper
Sea Salt to taste

500 g Dried Rice Noodles, cooked and drained

Method

Heat the peanut oil on medium heat and cook the shallots until they are golden in color.

Add the preserved vegetable and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.

Turn the heat on high, mix in the ground beef and cook until the beef are no longer pink in color. Mix in the light and dark soy sauce and keep stirring until well combine. Season the beef mixture with some pepper and sea salt.

To serve, arrange some noodles in a bowl, add some beef mixture and top it with some chopped scallions. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blood Orange With Mâche Rosettes


This is a colorful, light and refreshing salad. The juicy Blood Oranges and the delicate nutty flavor of the Mâche Rosettes is a perfect combination! And because of that, they do not require much dressing. Just lightly drizzle some good quality Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the salad is ready.... Yummy;)


Blood Orange With Mâche Rosettes

Ingredients

4 California Grown Blood Orange, skinned and sliced (About 1/3 inch)
100 g Mâche Rosettes (or any small leaf lettuce)
200 g Medium Sized Grilled Prawns
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt to taste (Preferably Maldon brand - flaky crystals)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method

In a large serving plate, arrange the oranges in circle and add the Mâche Rosettes in the middle and top it with grilled shrimps.

Drizzle some Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Apple Bread With Sugar & Cinnamon Topping


I like baking with apples, especially using the Golden Delicious variety. As you know, the possibilities of baking with apples are plenty, eg. you can bake apple cakes, bread, pies, crumbles, tarts, etc. Well, being the novice baker, I chose to bake this simple apple bread for my children. It turned out smelling great and tasted wonderful. Do try the recipe. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros

Apple Bread With Sugar & Cinnamon Topping

Ingredients

150 g (5 1/2 oz) Sugar
150 g (5 1/2 oz) Butter, softened
2 Eggs
120 g (4 1/4 oz) Plain (All-Purpose Flour)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cardamon
400 g (14 oz/about 2) Apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
60 g (2 1/4 oz) Walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Topping
60 g (2 1/4 oz) Walnuts, finely chopped
60 g (2 1/4 oz) Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F/Gas 4). Butter and flour a 30 x 11 cm (12 x 4 inch) loaf tin. Beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat them in well. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cardamon and cinnamon in, and add a pinch of salt. Mix well. Add the apples, walnuts and vanilla and mix those through well. Scrape the mixture into the tin.

For the topping, mix together the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon and then scatter abundantly over the top of the batter. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is crusty brown and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean.

Cool slightly before turning out carefully. Do this over your serving plate so that you don't lose any topping. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature on its own, with whipped cream or with a simple vanilla ice cream.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Claypot Chicken Rice


During my recent three weeks trip to Kuala Lumpur, I bought quite a number of food magazines, one of which is called Flavours. On one of the issues, it featured about 10 recipes on Perak (a northern state in Malaysia) food by Debbie Teoh. She's an avid cook and home caterer for Malaysian cuisines, which also includes local cakes and cookies. She is also the author of a cookbook called Underwraps. Well, out of the 10 recipes featured, I liked 6 of them as they are easy to prepare and cook. So, I will be posting some of Debbie's recipes soon.

Anyway, back to the claypot chicken rice. I cooked them in a rice cooker and instead of following all of the traditional cooking steps, I placed the chicken on top of the rice in the cooker and allowed it cook for about 20 minutes. Then I added the sausages and sauce. Continue to let the rice cook in the cooker for another 10 minutes. To serve, I added a few dash of sesame oil, dash of chinese cooking wine, and topped it off with some chopped scallions. I hope you will try this recipe. Do let me know how your version turns out..


Recipe adapted from Debbie Teoh.

Claypot Chicken Rice

Ingredients

500 g (2 pieces) Chicken Whole Leg

Marinade
1/4 tsp Dark Soya Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/4 tsp Ground White Pepper
1 Tbsp Ginger Juice
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tsp Cornflour
1/2 tsp Sea Salt

300 g Long Grain Rice
420 ml Water

Sauce (mixed together)
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Hot Water
1 tsp Sesame Oil

1/2 Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong), sliced
2 Pieces Salted Fish (optional)
Some Chopped Scallions for garnishing

Method

Cut the chicken into smaller pieces. Combine the marinade ingredients and allow the chicken to marinate in it for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Wash the rice in several changes of water and place into a claypot with 420 ml of water. Cook, covered, over medium heat, until the water is almost absorbed. Add the chicken with its marinade, the Chinese sausage and salted fish (if using), over the rice, and drizzle in about 2 Tbsp of the sauce. Lower the heat and cook, covered, until the rice and chicken are cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Flake the rice, cover the lid and cook for further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and top with chopped scallions. Serve immediately.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shrimp Sandwich


This is a simple and delicious Shrimp Sandwich. You can use lobster for this recipe and instead of white bread a nice crusty baguette would be good or I would say even better. You know what? I'm thinking of making the lobster sandwich for a picnic and pack a bottle of chilled white wine or maybe champagne?? I know, I know, the weather over here in Vancouver is still cold for a picnic, but it's good idea to plan ahead! :D

Recipe adapted from The Harry's Bar Cook Book By Arrigo Cipriani

Shrimp Sandwich

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs (675 g) Tiny Gamberetti or Large Shrimps, cooked
3/4 Cup (185 ml) Home-made Mayonnaise
12 Thin Slices Home-style Unsweetened White Bread, largest available slices
1/2 Head Romaine Lettuce, coarsely shredded
Sea Salt
Worcestershire Sauce

Method

Cool the cooked shrimps, then shell and devein them. If the shrimps are large, cut them in half lengthwise.

Assemble the sandwiches. Spread some mayonnaise generously over one side of each slice of bread. Mound half the lettuce on half the bread slices, leaving a 1-inch (2 1/2 cm) margin of bread. Mound the shrimp on top of the lettuce and season them with some salt and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce. Cover with the remaining lettuce, then another slice of bread. Press firmly on the edges to seal the sandwiches. Trim the crust if you wish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mayonnaise With Wasabi


I like home-made mayonnaise. They are easy to make and tasted so much better than store bought ones. Today, I'm using some Wasabi powder instead of mustard powder. I also used Yuzu Vinegar instead of White Wine Vinegar. The result was great, just what I wanted! Slightly pungent and with the hint of spiciness but "NOT" spicy at all.

Well, I made the mayonnaise for my tea-time sandwiches and of course as after school snacks for my kids. I will post the sandwich recipe in the next few days. So, do try to make some mayonnaise at home and you won't regret it!


Recipe adapted from The Harry's Bar Cook Book by Arrigo Cipriani


Mayonnaise With Wasabi


Ingredients

2 Large Egg Yolks or 1 Large Egg and 1 Egg Yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp Yuzu Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
3/4 tsp Pure Wasabi Powder or 1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
Sea salt to taste
Freshly Ground White Pepper
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) Olive Oil
Fresh Lemon Juice
Chicken Broth or Water as needed to thin the sauce

Method

To make mayonnaise by hand: Rinse a mixing bowl with hot water and dry it well. Place the 2 egg yolks, vinegar, wasabi, and a little salt and pepper in the bowl and beat the mixture with a whisk or an electric mixer at medium speed until very well blended. Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the oil drop by drop, beating constantly. Continuing to beat, add the rest of the oil in a thin stream, being careful to incorporate all the oil to form emulsion. When all the oil has been absorbed, season the mayonnaise to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Beat in a little broth or water if you wish to thin the mayonnaise.

To make mayonnaise in a food processor or blender: Put 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, the vinegar, the mustard, a little salt, and a few grinds of pepper in the bowl of the processor fitted with the steel blade and blend well. With processor running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream. When the mayonnaise is emulsified and all the oil has been absorbed, scrape it into a bowl and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. beat in a little broth or water if you wish to thin the mayonnaise.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stir-Fry Water Spinach With Chili And Sichuan Pepper


I like Water Spinach (aka Kangkung). I like to cook them with Sambal or just a simple stir-fry with garlic and oyster sauce. I thought since I'm into Sichuan cooking now; why not try the vegetables recipe from my latest collection of cookbooks. I have two actually! The other book is an Indonesian cookbook, which I will feature some of the recipe very soon. So, watch out for it!

Recipe adapted from Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop

Stir-Fry Water Spinach With Chili And Sichuan Pepper

Ingredients

300 g Fresh Water Spinach
A small handful of Sichuanese Dried Chilies
3 Tbsp Peanut Oil
1/2 tsp Whole Sichuan Pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp Sea Salt to taste
1 tsp Sesame Oil

Method

Wash the water spinach thoroughly, discarding any wilted leaves and coarser stalks. Tear or cut into 10cm sections. Snip the chilies in half or into 2 cm sections, discarding the seeds as much as possible.

Heat the oil in a wok until hot but not smoking. Add the chilies and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry for 10 - 20 seconds until the oil smells spicy and the chilies are just beginning to turn a darker red - take care not to burn them. Add in all the spinach and stir-fry for about 3 minutes until the leaves have wilted and the stems are tender and juicy, season with salt. Finally, remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve immediately.



Monday, March 23, 2009

Steamed Tapioca With Sugar And Coconut


I bought a couple of Tapioca tubers yesterday. I have not had them for a long time. Tapioca itself is pretty tasteless and starchy too. However, they are delicious with some sugar and grated coconut. Make sure you soak them with cold water for about 20 minutes and drain well before putting them in a steamer. Well, why not try steaming some tapioca?

Steamed Tapioca (Cassava) With Sugar And Coconut

Ingredients

2 Fresh Tapioca, cut into 3 inches in length
6 Tbsp Grated Coconut
3 Tbsp White Sugar
A pinch of Sea Salt

Method

Steam the tapioca on high heat for about 20 minutes or until they are fully cooked.

Mix the coconut with a pinch of salt and steam for about 2 minutes and cool completely.

To serve, arrange the tapioca in a small plate and top with some sugar and follow with the coconut. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chicken With Chilies


Hey! I'm back and finally my kitchen is open again! Well, after my wonderful vacation and "TOO MUCH" of dining out, all of us really needed some home-cooked food! Ha! Ha!

This recipe requires about 50 grams of dried chilies! Don't be alarmed! It might seem a bit too much but they were just about right. They were fragrant, spicy and tasty!


Recipe adapted from Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop

Chicken With Chilies - la zi ji

Ingredients

2 Chicken Breasts (about 350 g)

Marinade
2 tsp Shaoxing Wine
1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

40-50 g Sichuanese Dried Chilies
Peanut Oil for Deep-Frying
2 Cloves Garlic, sliced and equivalent amount of fresh Ginger, sliced
1 Tbsp Whole Sichuan Peppercorn
2 Scallions, white parts only, cut each into 3 sections
Sea Salt to taste
A pinch of Sugar
2 tsp Sesame Oil

Method

Cut the chicken into 2cm cubes and put them into a small bowl. Add the marinade ingredients and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes if possible.

Snip the chilies in half with a pair of scissors and discard as many seeds as possible.

Heat oil for deep-frying to a very high temperature. Add the chicken and fry for 4 - 5 minutes until the chicken pieces are cooked through, golden brown and a little crispy on the outside. Drain well and set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a wok over moderate flame. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until they are fragrant and just taking color. Then add all the chilies and the Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry for 10 - 20 seconds until the oil is spicy and fragrant, taking great care not to burn the chilies (remove the wok from the stove for a few seconds if the oil seems too hot). Add the chicken and spring onions and season with salt and a good pinch of sugar. Stir well so that the chicken is coated with the fragrant oil. Finally, remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ole Ole Bali

Okay, before I elaborate further on this restaurant, I think I ought to tell you why we ate at this rustic and charming outlet. I was supposed to do my last minute shopping and I even canceled my lunch appointment with two best friends Anna and Susan.

So, on that morning while I was about to do drive out to finish up my errands, Susan called me and asked if I could have lunch with them that very afternoon instead and that she will drive me around to finish up my errands! I'm not sure whether it would be a good idea because I'm a person who does not like to trouble people. However, due to the time constraint and the fact that I really wanted to meet Susan and Anna again before I headed back to Vancouver, I agreed with Susan.

Anyway, after running my errands together with Susan we headed to the Sunway Pyramid to meet Anna. Then we were debating what to have for lunch. After looking at the directory of the shopping mall, we decided to try out a Middle Eastern restaurant. Guess what? After 15 minutes of searching for the outlet, we found out that they were closed! Sigh!!! Then, we saw Ole Ole Bali. The restaurant deco looks very Balinese and we thought why not? Can't be that bad, right?

Well, turns out, the food was good and the atmosphere was great too! You know, above all, for me I must say it's the company that makes everything beautifully! I'm going to miss Susan and Anna a lot. We've been great friends for many years now and I guess for the time being we will have to keep in touch with each other through the Internet again. (Thank god for the Brilliant INTERNET!)

Lemongrass Mojito - So refreshing!


Squid Salad - Yummy!


Ole Ole Trio - The star dish (Grilled Chicken, Seafood Lemongrass and Deep Fried Squid)


Nasi Kambing Bumbu - A lamb dish with vegetables.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kedai Kopi Dan Makanan Meng Hoe

This is another example of no-frills restaurant that I would like to share with you. We loved their deep-fried fish cake very much. Of course their fried noodles too. This is not exactly the healthiest food ever! Lots of oil and pork fats too! I suppose it's okay if you have them once in awhile and make sure to drink plenty of Chinese tea or a glass of red wine might work too!

Well, I don't have the exact address for this eatery. They are located along Jalan Ipoh and the landmark is that they are next to Alfo Lighting Shop! I don't think that they are very hard to find, I mean if you know the area well. They are open during lunch hours and until very late at night. So, if you're game for these kinds of food and around the vicinity, why not give them a try? Enjoy:)


Deep-Fried Fish Cake - Delicious!


Stir-Fry Rice Cake Noodles - Yummy!


Hokkien Lor Mee - My husband's favorite! (Delicious with Chinese Black vinegar)


Stir-Fry Baby Sweet Potato Leaves - Fresh and Crunchy!


Steamed Clams - Yummy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Phoa Hoa Restaurant

I cannot believe it! After having all the local food for about 2 weeks, my son and I actually crave for PHO! As most of you may know, in Vancouver there are plenty of Vietnamese Restaurants and we will have our dose of Pho at least once a month. Btw, the only person that dislikes Pho in my family is my daughter but she doesn't mind some of the Vietnamese dishes though. So, we decided to have our fix of Pho on the day that she was at her friend's place. We went to Phoa Hoa restaurant. They are located at The Curve shopping mall in Mutiara Damansara. Obviously we had the Pho and it was very refreshing and so satisfying! I had ordered two extra dishes to share and they were marvelous too!


Bun Ga Nuong - Grilled Chicken served with thin vermicelli noodles and vegetables


Sugarcane Prawn (I have a great recipe over here)


Pho Tai - Noodle soup with Eye Round Steak

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baba 486 Low's

If you are looking for a simple home-cooked Nyonya food then you should try Baba 486 Low's. It's a small eatery located at 7 Lorong Kurau, Lucky Garden, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. The food is good and value for money too. Okay, here are some of the items that we ordered.

Cendol


Nyonya Laksa


Asam Fish


Mee Siam



Top Hats.....try my recipe over here.


Stuffed Bean Curd


Nasi Lemak With Chicken Rendang

Monday, March 16, 2009

Heong Kee Seafood Restaurant

Most of you may already know this, most of the outstanding food in Malaysia are typically found in simple no-frills restaurants and hawker centres. My visit to Malaysia will obviously not be complete without visiting some of these food outlets. One such outlet is Heong Kee Seafood Restaurant, located at 33 Jalan Sj 1, Taman Selayang Jaya, Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur. The home cooked food does not have much on the presentation side, but, the food is just fantastic! The steamed clams is a must order, I bet you will crave for more after tasting it (if you like clams like I do). Anyway, here are some of the other dishes which we ordered.

Steamed Clams


Curry Prawns



Prawns And Squid Sambal



Stir-Fry Hong Kong Choy Sum


Braised Tofu With Minced Pork

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Long Beach Seafood Restaurant

A visit to Singapore for me, would not be complete without visiting the famous Long Beach Seafood Restaurant. They have a few branches throughout the island now, we went to their main branch at 1018 East Coast Parkway, Singapore. As usual the food was delicious, however, we were surprised to learn they have recently renovated the restaurant and guess what? Prices on the menu were revised to match the new deco! LOL!


Crispy Duck





Black Pepper Crab



Fried Rice With Silver Fish



Stir-Fry Baby Kailan

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