Saturday, October 31, 2009

Apple Crumble

Apples are in season now, nicely priced and a great variety available to choose from here in Vancouver. I like the Ambrosia variety from British Columbia, it has just the right crisp and sweetness. I admit I do get carried away sometimes and add shredded apples into my salad and oatmeal too. :-) In any case, I am posting a simple Apple Crumble recipe today. This is one of my all time favorites. So, do try this recipe.

Apple Crumble
(Printable Recipe)


3 Large (4 cups) Ambrosia Apples (or any variety), peeled, cored and diced
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Ground Almond
¼ Cup Sugar
A pinch of Sea Salt
1 Stick or ½ Cup Chilled Unsalted Butter, diced


Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

In a mixing bowl, combine apples, cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice and mix well. Transfer the apple mixtures into a 5 cups shallow baking dish or into a few smaller baking dish.

In a clean mixing bowl, combine the flour, almond, sugar, and sea salt and mix well. Add the chilled butter and rub into the flour mixtures until resembles coarse breadcrumbs or process the mixture in a food processor.

Sprinkle the flour mixtures on top of the apples. Bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown in color.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bread And Butter Pickles

I was watching Tyler Florence's cooking show on TV a couple of weeks ago. He shared a recipe for Bread and Butter pickles, which was so easy to make that I had to try out the recipe at home. I made a small batch and had the pickles after 2 days in the brine. It tasted really good, I like the freshness and the crunchiness of the pickles. Try it.

Bread And Butter Pickles
(Printable Recipe)


6 Pickling Cucumbers, wash
1 Cup White Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Pickling Spice
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1 Red Chili, halved (Optional)


Slice the cucumber into ¼-inch thick rounds and place in a prepared jar together with the chili, if using.

In a large pot over moderate heat, add vinegar, sugar, water, pickling spice, turmeric and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil and carefully pour into the jar of cucumbers. Seal the lid and allow cooling to a room temperature. Refrigerate overnight and can be serve the next day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

River Prawns With Sweet And Sour Chili Sauce

Today, I am posting a River Prawns recipe using the sauce from my Sweet And Sour Chili Crabs. As some of you may know, that sweet and sour chili crab is probably the most popular crab dish in Malaysia and Singapore. So, do you know the key ingredients needed to make that fantastic sweet, sour, and spicy sauce? Well, it's the good old bottled tomato ketchup and chili sauce condiment you have in your kitchen, believe it or not.

If you can’t get hold of river prawns, then, you can consider using spot prawns instead. These two variety of prawns have a similar texture, the flesh is tender and juicier. Whichever type of prawns you opt to use, make sure you toast some bread or have some steamed rice to mop-up that delicious sauce. Enjoy!

River Prawns With Sweet And Sour Chili Sauce
(Printable Recipe)


1 lb River Prawns (8/12 per lb), washed and pat dry
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 inch Ginger, chopped
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
8 Thai Birds-eye Chilies, finely chopped
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
Peanut oil for deep-frying

2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
8 Tbsp Ketchup
3 Tbsp "Maggi" brand Chili Sauce 
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Corn flour
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 1/2 cup Water


In a large wok over high heat, add enough oil and pan fry the prawns. Then set aside.

Remove the oil from the wok and reserve about 2 Tbsp. Turn the heat on medium and add the ginger, garlic, yellow onion and chilies. Cook the mixture until fragrant.

Then mix in the prepared sauce and bring it to a boil.

Add the prawns and stir briefly. Then add the beaten eggs and stir until all the eggs are cook and well combined. Serve immediately!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spiced Mini Hasselback Potatoes

Here is the mini hasselback potatoes recipe. The spices used for the potatoes were inspired from my previous post, the Dry Potatoes With Ginger and Garlic. I am using the Fingerling potato variety for this recipe. They are small, buttery, and is just the perfect compliment for my finger sandwiches. Using a clever suggestion from one of my readers, Marcus, I used a wooden spoon to facilitate cutting the potatoes to an even depth. It certainly made the cutting process easier, thanks Marcus.

Spiced Mini Hasselback Potatoes
(Printable Recipe)


1 Bag (800 g) Fingerling Potato, washed
½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Sea Salt
3 Tbsp Peanut Oil


Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Place the potato on a wooden spoon, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato and cut all the way until the knife touches the spoon,
at about 3 to 4 mm intervals.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, sea salt and oil. Toss in the potatoes and marinate for about 20 minutes.

Arrange the potatoes in a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes turn slightly crispy on the outside and the flesh is soft.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tandoori Chicken Sandwich

I’m going to share with you a lovely finger sandwich that I made over the weekend. It’s Tandoori Chicken Sandwich with mango salsa and spiced mini Hasselback Potatoes as a side dish. I am posting the Tandoori chicken recipe today. The salsa recipe is available here. Just make sure all the ingredients are diced smaller. The mini hasselback potatoes recipe will be on my next post.

Tandoori Chicken Sandwich
(Printable Recipe)


Tandoori Chicken
12 to 16 French Rolls
1 Mango Salsa recipe
Spiced Mini Hasselback Potatoes
1 Packet (100g) Organic Sprouts

Tandoori Chicken Recipe
4 Pcs (about 780g) Chicken Breast, boneless and skin on
1 Cup Plain Yogurt

3 Tbsp Freshly Squeeze Lemon Juice
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Minced Ginger
1 tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 Tbsp Canola Oil


Spread the chicken pieces out and with skin side down, make a few slit on each breast. 

Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, garam masala, ginger, sea salt, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Mix the mixture well and season with extra sea salt or lemon juice, if necessary.

Marinate the chicken for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Take the chicken pieces out of the bowl, shaking off as much of the marinade as possible. In a large oven safe skillet, heat the oil on high heat. Sear the chicken pieces with skin side down until they are nicely brown. Turn the chicken pieces over and continue to sear for about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer the skillet into the oven. Continue to cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cook. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.

To make the sandwich: Slice the chicken into smaller pieces. Fill the rolls with a few slices of chicken, some mango salsa and top with organic sprouts. Serve immediately with mini hasselback potatoes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Curry Coconut Prawns

Have you noticed the subtle appearance changes on my blog? What do you think of the new template and the layout? I would like to get your feedback. As for me, I personally like the new clean and organized layout. Well, for those who are interested to know, this template is the work of Ellie from Rainy Day Templates.

Anyway, I had fried some Curry Coconut Prawns a couple of days ago. They were scrumptious, lightly spicy, crunchy on the outside, and succulent inside. Make sure you have plenty of napkins, lots of beers ;) and some good friends around to enjoy these fantastic prawns. I think they are certainly a great bar/pub grub.

Curry Coconut Prawns
(Printable Recipe)


1 lb (454 g) Peeled White Prawns (Preferably size 35/45 per lb), tail intact

3 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten

1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 Japanese Breadcrumbs (Panko)

1 ½ Cup Desiccated Coconut
3 ½ Tbsp Curry Powder

½ to 1 tsp Chili Powder

1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Lime Wedges (Optional)

A small handful of Fresh Curry Leaves (Optional), deep-fried
Oil for deep-frying


Clean the prawns, drain and pat dry.

In a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, desiccated coconut, curry powder, chili powder and sea salt. Mix until well combined.

To fry the prawns: Toss the shrimps into the flour and shake off the excess flour. Then dip the shrimp in the egg and then into the breadcrumbs mixture, making sure to cover the entire prawns.

Fry the prawns in batches on medium heat until golden brown in color. To serve, top the prawns with some curry leaves and some lime wedges on the side, if desired.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lime Soup With Chicken

This Lime Soup With Chicken is healthy and very refreshing. If possible, consider using organic or free-range chicken to make the broth. Whole organic or free-range chicken is definitely more expensive; but, you can try to purchase just the carcasses for the broth, cheaper this way. So, do try making the soup and enjoy the rest of the week.

Lime Soup With Chicken
(Printable Recipe)


2 (about 370 g) Chicken Breast, skinless and boneless
8 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Lime, juiced
Sea Salt to taste

For the garnish
½ Cup Diced Tomatoes
½ Cup Diced Onion
½ Cup Diced Red Pepper or Yellow Bell Pepper
¼ Cup Diced Cucumber
2 Jalapeno Chilies, finely chopped
4 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro


In a medium saucepan, place the chicken breast with enough water to cover. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer the chicken for about 15 to 20 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it cool, and shred.

To make the lime soup with chicken: Bring the chicken broth to a boil and season with sea salt if necessary. Place the diced tomatoes, onion, peppers, cucumber, chilies into each a bowls. Ladle the chicken broth into the prepared bowls and season with lime juice and top with some chopped cilantro. Serves 6.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chocolate Souffle Cakes

I had a chocolate craving over the weekend. So, I decided to bake a Chocolate Soufflé Cake from my latest cookbook addition, BAKING, by James Peterson. All the recipes seems doable and includes step-by-step picture guides for even the novice baker, like me, to succeed. I will attempt to bake more going forward using the recipes from this cookbook. Obviously, I will share my thoughts about the book with you as well, my valued readers!

Recipe adapted from BAKING by James Peterson

Chocolate Souffle Cakes

(Printable Recipe)


Room-temperature butter and unsweetened cocoa powder for coating thew ramekins
1/2 Cup Butter
8oz Bittersweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 Eggs, at room temperature
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp Flour
Confectioner's Sugar for sprinkling


Brush six 5- or 6-ounce ramekins with butter and coat with cocoa powder.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a whisk or silicone spatula until smooth and melted. Remove from the heat.

Beat the eggs and sugar on high speed with a stand mixer for about 5 minutes or until the ribbon stage: when the beater is lifted, the mixture falls in a wide band onto the surface, forming a figure of eight that stays for 5 seconds before dissolving.

Pour the egg mixture over the chocolate mixture and fold with a rubber spatula while sifting the flour over the mixture. Alternate between adding flour-about one-fourth at a time-and folding until the flour is no longer visible.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared ramekins and smooth the tops. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Bake the souffle cakes for 17 to 20 minutes, until risen almost by half.

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve. If you want to unmold the souffle cakes, run a knife around the inside edge of the ramekins. Turn the souffle cakes over onto plates, lift off the ramekins, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve warm.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Boiled Peanuts

Has anyone ever tried boiling fresh peanuts (aka groundnuts) at home? I recently bought a couple of bags of fresh peanuts and boiled them with some sea salt, star anise, and turmeric. Boiled peanuts are a great healthy snack. I like having the peanuts while they are still slightly warm and they can be very addictive once you get started!

Boiled Peanuts
(Printable Recipe)


1 lb Fresh Peanuts
3 Star Anise
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
3 – 4 Tbsp Sea Salt


In a large pot, place all the ingredients and enough water to cover the peanuts. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer the peanuts for about 4 hours and season the peanuts with sea salt, if necessary. Continue to cook for another hour or until the peanuts are soft. Serve warm or at a room temperature.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pasta Salad With Roasted Vegetables

My local produce store had some fresh colorful baby peppers, zucchini, and squash that caught my attention. They looked so cute that I had to pick some up. Back at home, I decided to roast the vegetables with some olive oil and tossed them into a bowl of cooked mini pinwheel pasta. Seasoned with some lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. VoilĂ , a simple and wonderful pasta salad created! :)

Pasta Salad With Roasted Vegetables
(Printable Recipe)


1 Box (1 lb) Dried Pasta

400 g Sweet Baby/Mini Bell Peppers, seeded and halved
1 Pack (112 g) Baby/Mini Zucchini, cut into ¾ inch pieces
1 Pack (112 g) Baby/Mini Yellow Squash, halved

4 Cloves Garlic, whole
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Basil

1/2 Lemon (about 1 1/2 Tbsp) juice

Sea Salt To Taste

Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Preheat the oven to 400˚F. In a large roasting pan, combine peppers, zucchini, squash, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes.

In a large pot, bring about 5 L of water to a boil and add 1 Tbsp of salt. Add the pasta and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until tender but firm, 6 to 8 minutes or according to the manufacturer directions. Drain and set aside in a large salad bowl.

Remove the roasted garlic, peel the skin off and chop finely. Toss all the vegetables into the pasta, including the oil, garlic, basil and season well with lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper. Serve warm or at a room temperature.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Green Curry Chicken

I made some Green Curry Chicken today. Together with some warm steamed rice, it's just the right fix for the cooler weather here in Vancouver these days. I used an authentic ready-made green curry paste imported from Thailand by my Asian grocer in Chinatown. Yummy!

Green Curry Chicken
(Printable Recipe)


2 Pcs Chicken Breast (about 400g) Boneless and Skinless

3 Tbsp Green Curry Paste

3 Fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves, torn
1 Can (400 ml) Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Palm Sugar
200 g Small Eggplants, trimmed
1 Red Chilies, sliced
A handful of Thai Basil Leaves
2 Tbsp Of Peanut Oil or Corn Oil


Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil on a moderate heat and cook the green curry paste until fragrant.

Then add in the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce and palm sugar and bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer.

Add the eggplants and cook for another 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Toss in the chilies and basil leaves and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Home-Style Bean Curd With Black Bean Sauce

This Home-Style Bean Curd with Black Bean Sauce is another simple and easy to prepare Chinese comfort food. The best way to enjoy it, serve with some warm steamed rice. Extremely satisfying! The ingredients for this dish are easily obtainable at most local grocers here in Vancouver. Try it!

Home-Style Bean Curd With Black Bean Sauce

(Printable Recipe)


1 Packet/Block (350 g) Firm Bean Curd/Tofu, drained, cut into ¾ or 1 inch cubed
½ Red Bell Pepper, diced
½ Green Bell Pepper, diced
½ Medium Yellow Onion, diced
2 to 3 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp Black Bean Sauce
2 Scallions, chopped

3 Tbsp Peanut or Corn Oil

3/4 Cup Vegetable Stock or Water
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Shaoxing Wine
3/4 tsp Corn Flour


Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. Fry the bean curd in batches until light golden in color. Drain the bean curd on paper towels and set aside.

Pour off the oil and reserve 1 Tbsp. Heat the oil on low heat. Cook the garlic until they are fragrant and golden in color.

Then turn the heat on high. Toss in the chilies, peppers and onions. Give it a quick stir, mix in the bean curd and add in the sauce. Bring it to a quick boil and season with sea salt if necessary. Serve immediately.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Roasted Potato Stacks

These Roasted Potato Stacks looks beautiful, don’t they? This is one of my family’s favorites, in addition to the Hasselback Potatoes. These Potato Stacks can either be a great side dish or enjoyed as a snack. I used a mixed variety of small potatoes, finely sliced using a Japanese Mandoline. Of course, you can carefully slice the potatoes thinly using a sharp knife; but, using a mandoline makes it effortless and so much faster. So, consider giving the recipe a try and to all my Canadian readers, a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday to all! Enjoy!

Roasted Potato Stacks
(Printable Recipe)


24 (1 kg) Small Mixed Color Potatoes, scrubbed 

¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Chopped Rosemary
1 ½ Tbsp Lemon Juice, or to taste
Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Regular-Size Muffin Pan


Preheat the oven to 220˚C (425˚F).

Lightly oil the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan.

(Peel the purple color potatoes, if using.) Otherwise, slice all the potatoes thinly with a Mandoline or a sharp knife. Wash the potatoes, drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Stack the potatoes and lay them sideway in a muffin pan and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy on the outside and the flesh is soft.

Transfer the muffin pan to racks to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before carefully removing the potatoes. Serve warm.