Friday, April 30, 2010
I made another batched of Sichuan version’s Pot-Sticker Dumplings With Chicken Stock recently. This time around, I also attempted to make the dumplings’ wrappers too. It worked out well as it was actually pretty easy to make wrappers. I must admit the dumplings do taste so much better. Try it yourself and let me know if you agree with me.
Recipe adapted from Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop
Pot-Sticker Dumplings With Chicken Stock-ji zhi guo tie
Peanut Oil or Lard
For the Pastry/Wrapper
250 g Plain Flour
¼ tsp Sea Salt
150 ml Water
For the Stuffing
A 20 g piece of fresh Ginger, unpeeled
1 Scallion, white part only
150 g Minced Pork
60 to 70 ml Cold Chicken Stock
1 ½ tsp Shaoxing Wine
¾ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp White Sugar
6 to 8 twists of Black Pepper Mill
1 ½ tsp Sesame Oil
4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Chinese Black Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Stalk Scallion, chopped
Crush the ginger and scallion with the flat side of a cleaver blade or a heavy object, and leave to soak for 5 to 10 minutes in 50 ml of cold water.
Make the stuffing: Place the pork in a bowl. Add the fragrant soaking water from the ginger and scallion, discarding the pieces, and mix well until it has been absorbed. Gradually pour in the chicken stock, mixing well to allow the pork to absorb it. You should end up with a loose, moist stuffing. Add all the seasonings and mix well.
Make the pastry: Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Bring the water to the boil, remove it from the heat to let is stop bubbling and then pour it on to the flour. Mix in quickly with the handle of a wooden spoon. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a work surface and knead to a smooth dough.
Make the wrappers: Working on a lightly floured surface, break the dough into two or three pieces. Roll each one out into a sausage about 2cm thick. Break off 15g pieces and flatten them with the palm of your hand. Roll the flattened pieces into circles about 6cm in diameter.
Place about a teaspoon of stuffing into the center of each dumpling skin. Fold the skin gently in half and, starting at one end, join the two sides together with a series of pinches/pleats. Place the finished dumpling on your work surface, pushing it slightly to give it a flat base.
Cook the dumplings: Heat a heavy, flat-bottomed frying-pan (or cast-iron pan) over a medium heat. Pour enough oil to coat the surface generously. When the oil is nice and hot, arrange all the dumplings in the pan on neat rows. Drizzle them with warm water-2 to 3 tablespoons for every 5 dumplings. Cover the pan with a lid and steam over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Then remove the lid to allow the steam to escape, drizzle the dumplings with a little oil (about ½ Tbsp for every 5 dumplings), replace the lid and fry for 2-3 minutes more, until their bottoms are toasty and golden brown. As the dumplings cook, move the pan around the hot plate to brown them evenly. To serve, remove them with a spatula and turn them upside down on to a serving plate, so you can see their golden bottoms. Serve immediately with dipping sauce, if desired.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
These Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti are so addictive. They are great for dunking in the coffee or just simply delicious on its own. My son commented the biscotti smells and taste like brownies, just crunchier. So he named it, The Crunchy Chocolate-Cherry Brownie instead! This is another great recipe adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours book by Dorie Greenspan.
Recipe adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours book by Dorie Greenspan
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Instant Espresso Powder
¾ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
¾ Stick (6 Tbsp) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/3 Chopped Dried Cherries
1 Cup Chopped Almonds, blanched or unblanched
4 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped, or ¾ Cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Sugar, for dusting
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until pale, about 2 minutes; the mixture may be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes; don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only until dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chopped cherries, nuts and chocolate, then turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead in any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into 12-inch-long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand, so that they are ½ to 1 inch high, about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular, then carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle each log with a little sugar.
Bake the logs for about 25 minutes, or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will spread and crack – and that’s just fine. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, put it on a cooling rack and cool the logs for about 20 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
Working with one log at a time, using a long serrated knife, cut each log into slices between ½ and ¾ inch thick. Stand the slices up on the baking sheet-you’ll have an army of biscotti-and bake the cookies again, this time for just 10 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I would like to introduce you to another popular snack from Malaysia, Stuffed Tofu Puffs with Sweet and Spicy Sauce. They are usually sold in larger sized tofu puffs which are not available here in Vancouver. So, I am using the smaller ones which works just as well and they are easier to eat. As for the sauce, if you are a vegan then just omit the shrimp paste. The sauce will taste just as good. It will thicken once it cools down and if you find it’s too thick, then just add a few spoonful of hot water to dilute the sauce. Warm the sauce in the microwave, if needed. If you like tofu puffs, I would recommend that you try this easy and tasty snack!
Stuffed Tofu Puffs With Sweet And Spicy Sauce
2 Packets Tofu Puffs (90g x 2 or about 18 to 20 pcs)
250 g Beans Sprouts, blanched
1 Cucumber, peeled and shredded
1 Cup Roasted Peanuts, coarsely chopped
Sweet And Spicy Sauce
250 g Gula Melaka (Dark Palm Sugar)
250 ml Water
2 Red Chilies, seeded and finely chopped
5 Bird’s Eye Chilies, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp Roasted Shrimp Paste (Optional)
1 ½ Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
½ tsp Sea Salt
80 g Tamarind Paste, mixed with 400ml of Water, discard solids
In a medium saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer on gentle heat for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the sauce has thicken slightly. Let cool completely.
Prepare the tofu puffs, sliced the puffs almost all the way through. Grill the tofu puffs lightly on both sides. Then stuff the puffs with beans sprouts and cucumber, and then top with some sweet and spicy sauce with some chopped peanuts. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6
Monday, April 26, 2010
This is Pork Ribs In Ancho Chiles Adobo. Well actually, it’s a Mulato Chiles recipe; but, I had to substitute it with Ancho Chiles as I was unable to buy any Mulato Chiles in Vancouver. Anyway, I think most of you will know that Mulato and Ancho Chiles are just different types of dried Pablanos peppers. The latter is just a bit sweeter. The ribs turned out superb with the sweet, smoky, and earthy flavor adobo. There will be excess adobo after you baste the ribs. So, you can consider the suggestions given by the cookbook i.e. use the adobo for slathering over meats or as a salsa. I also find the adobo tasted great with some tortilla chips too.
Recipe adapted from Antojitos By Barbara Sibley & Margaritte Malfy With Mary Goodbody
Pork Ribs In Ancho Chiles Adobo-Costillitas Al Adobo De Chile Ancho
12 Mulato Chiles (or Ancho Chiles), seeded and membranes removed
1 Poblano Chile, seeded and membranes removed
½ Onion, chopped
2 Plum Tomatoes
¼ Cup Corn Oil
1 Cup Grated Piloncillo or firmly packed light brown sugar
½ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup Sherry Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Fresh or dried avocado leaves or bay leaves
3 lbs Baby Back Pork Ribs
2 Cups Mexican Beer, such as Tecate or Negra Modelo
6 Black Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
2 Sprigs Epazote or flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Dried Thyme, or 1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Thyme Leaves
½ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro Leaves
To make the adobo, in a small bowl, combine the mulato or ancho chilies with hot water to cover and let stand for about 20 minutes to soften. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the soaking water.
Transfer the chilies to a blender, add the poblano Chile and the ½ cup reserved water, and process until smooth. Add the onion and tomatoes and process until smooth and paste like.
In a sauté pan, heat the corn oil over medium heat. Add the chili paste and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until it is uniformly dark. Add the piconcillo or brown sugar, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, stir well, for about 1 minute, or until uniformly hot. Remove from the heat, transfer to a nonreactive bowl, add the avocado or bay leaves, stir gently, and let cool.
To prepare the ribs, cut the racks into groups of 2 to 5 ribs, to make easier to fit them into a pot. In a large stockpot, combine the ribs, beer, peppercorns, bay leaves, epazote or flat leaf parsley, salt, thyme, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to a steady simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is partially cooked and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife tip. Remove the ribs from the pot and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the cooking liquid.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Transfer the ribs to a roasting pan and brush on both sides with some of the adobo. Roast, basting every 10 minutes with the adobo and pan juices, for about 1 hour, or until cooked through and tender.
Transfer to a platter, garnish with the cilantro, and serve immediately.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I like this Chocolate Almond Cake, a great recipe that I adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets cookbook. Just perfect as an afternoon snack or as a decadent dessert with a thin layer of chocolate glaze. It’s not too sweet, light, chocked full of almond flavor with a hint of orange flavored liqueur. Try it.
Recipe adapted from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan
Chocolate Almond Cake
¼ Cup (40 g) Potato Starch
¼ Cup (25 g) Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
4 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1 Cup (3 ½ oz; 100 g) Finely Ground Blanched Almonds
1 Cup (100 g) Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
2 tsp Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp (15 g) Sugar
1 Stick (4 oz; 115 g) Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Butter an 8 x 2-inch (20 x 5-cm) round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment or wax paper, and butter the paper; dust the entire pan with flour and tap out the excess.
Sift together the potato starch and cocoa and set aside. Leave 1 of the eggs whole and separate the remaining eggs.
Working in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the ground almonds, confectioners’ sugar, whole egg, and 3 egg yolks on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and light. Beat in the Cointreau and vanilla, and then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. If you don’t have two bowls for your mixer, transfer the batter to a larger mixing bowl.
Working in a clean, dry mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Sprinkle in the granulated sugar and continue to beat until the whites are firm and glossy. With a rubber spatula, stir one-quarter of the whites into the batter, and then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Very delicately, fold in the melted butter.
Scrape the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and slide the pan into the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding, and then cool to room temperature right side up.
*The Chocolate Glaze
1 Stick (4 oz; 115g) Unsalted Butter
5 oz (150 g) Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
Bring the butter to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the pan from the heat and clarify the butter by spooning off the top foam and pouring the clear yellow butter into a small bowl; discard the milky residue at the bottom of the pan. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over-not touching-simmering water, and then stir in the clarified butter.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Today, I’d like to share with you my recipe for Tuna Salad Sandwiches. Well, I usually try to avoid using canned meat or fish to prepare meals for my family. However, I made some exceptions for good quality canned tuna and sardines when it comes to sandwich fillings. I would ensure lots of diced fresh veggies are added to the flaked filling mixture to make it as healthy as possible. This version of my tuna salad sandwich recipe was concocted many years ago, back when I was a student living in NYC. Gosh, it’s been that long!! :-) Ever since, it’s been pretty popular with family and friends who have tasted it. So, I thought I would share it with you, if you like tuna salad sandwiches. Have a go at my easy recipe and tell me what you think! Enjoy.
Tuna Salad Sandwiches
1 Loaf of Slice Sandwich Bread
Green Leaf Lettuce, washed and dried
2 Can (142g/5 oz each) Solid White Tuna In Water, drained and flaked
½ of Small Red Onion, finely diced
1 Red Chili, finely chopped
½ of Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
½ of Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 Ripe Tomato, seeded and diced
1 Big Juicy Lemon, juiced or to taste
5 Tbsp Mayonnaise
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a large bowl, combine the tuna, onion, chili, peppers, tomato, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and season with salt and pepper. Let the tuna salad rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, lay a piece of green lettuce on the bread and spread some tuna salad over it. Top with another piece of bread. Serve immediately with some fries or chips.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I think one of the most common ingredient used to steam mussels or any fresh shellfish in the Indochina region is probably lemongrass. So, here I have an easy recipe for Steamed Mussels With Lemongrass, served with a Chili Lime Dipping Sauce. This recipe was adapted from the Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table cookbook. Try it.
Recipe adapted from Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham
Steamed Mussels With Lemongrass-so hap xa
2 Cups Chicken Stock or Water
¼ tsp Sea Salt
3 Lemongrass Stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces and lightly bruised with the flat side of a knife
2 Shallots, sliced
1 Red Serrano Chili or other fresh chili, seeded and cut into matchstick strips
2 lbs Black Mussels, scrubbed cleaned and debearded
½ Cup Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce
Place the stock, salt, lemongrass and shallots in a medium pot and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the chili and mussels. Cover and cook until the mussels open, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a preheated large bowl and serve steaming hot, with the dipping sauce on the side.
Note: Chili Lime Dipping Sauce: Mix together, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 3 chopped Thai Bird's Eye chilies, 3 Tbsp Sugar, 3 Tbsp Fish Sauce, 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice with some pulp, and 3 Tbsp water
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This Salmon Ceviche With Mango Salsa is a great starter for any Mexican meal. It’s sweet, tangy, and a little spicy. The recipe called for fresh wild salmon. I had to substitute it with the best quality fresh farm raised salmon as I was unable to find any at my local grocers. It tasted great; but, I am sure using wild salmon will taste even better. Do serve the ceviche with some tortilla chips.
Recipe adapted from Antojitos By Barbara Sibley & Margarite Malfy With Mary Goodbody
Salmon Ceviche With Fresh Mango Salsa-Ceviche De Salmon Con Pico De Mango
1 lb Wild Salmon Fillets, skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (about 8 limes)
3 Tomatillos, husks removed and diced
1 Plum Tomato, diced
½ Cup Diced Vidalia Onion or Scallions (white part only)
1 Cup Coarsely Chopped, Peeled Mango, Papaya, or Peach or Nectarine (unpeeled)
1 Tbsp Ancho Chile Powder
1 Tbsp Honey
1 ½ tsp Sea Salt
2 Jalapeno Chilies
6 Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Put the salmon in a glass or other nonreactive dish and toss with ¾ cup of the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours. The fish should be opaque. Drain and discard the lime juice.
Transfer the salmon to a nonreactive bowl and add the remaining ¼ cup lime juice, the diced tomatillos, tomato, onion, mango, chili powder, honey, and salt. Stir gently to mix well.
If you prefer a mild salsa, trim off the stem end of the chilies and scrape out the membranes and seeds. For a spicy salsa, leave the membranes and seeds intact. Cut the chilies into thin rounds. Add to the bowl and stir gently.
Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours to allow the flavors to blend.
Serve the ceviche in chilled martini glass or goblets. Garnish each serving with a cilantro leaf. Serve the tortilla chips on the side.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I would like to express my appreciation to all my readers for participating in this giveaway! So, without further ado (drums roll, please!!), the lucky winner of seasaltwithfood’s CSN STORES’ ONLINE SHOPPING $60 CREDIT goes to entry No.23 (Barefoot AngieB). A big congratulations to you! Here is the screenshot of the draw from Random.org
Once again, thanks everyone for participating in this giveaway!
Once again, thanks everyone for participating in this giveaway!
Monday, April 19, 2010
Whenever tomatoes are in season, I will always try to make a few batches of fresh tomato sauce to go with some freshly cooked pasta. Simple, healthy, and yet delicious. I just love fresh homemade tomato pasta sauce, who doesn’t right? My favorite recipe is definitely from Wolfgang Puck’s cookbook. The fresh sauce is luscious and buttery, just perfect with any pasta of your choice. An easy weekend brunch treat perhaps? Enjoyed with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay? Happiness I think.. :-)
Recipe adapted from Live, Love, Eat: The Best of Wolfgang Puck
Angel Hair Pasta With Tomato Sauce
5 Cups My Favorite Tomato Sauce
1 lb Dried Angel Hair Pasta
½ Cup Julienne of Fresh Basil
½ Cup Fresh Basil, finely sliced
Fresh Flat Leaves Parsley
My Favorite Tomato Sauce
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Small Onions, peeled, trimmed, and minced
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
4 lbs Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 Cups Chicken Stock
12 to 16 Fresh Basil Leaves, washed and dried
12 Tbsp (1 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomato paste and then the tomatoes, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and then pour in the chicken stock. Simmer briskly until the sauce is thick, 20 to 30 minutes. For a finer consistency, pass the sauce through a wire-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan.
Stack the basil leaves, roll them up lengthwise, and cut across the roll very thinly sliced. Stir the basil into the sauce. Whisk in the butter piece by piece, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the manufacturer instructions, or until al dente.
At the same time, bring the tomato sauce almost to a boil, stir in the julienne basil and as soon as the paste is done, drain it and transfer immediately to the tomato sauce, stirring in the pasta. Cook the sauce and pasta together for 1 minute.
Divide the pasta into equal portions. Spoon the remaining sauce from the pan over the pasta and garnish with the basil and, or with flat leaf parsley.
Serves 4 to 6.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I had adapted this easy Wontons In Chili Oil Sauce recipe from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Sichuan Cookery book. You can choose to serve the wontons with the chili oil sauce, or add some chopped garlic into the sauce, or my favorite, with some chopped scallions. In my opinion, the wontons tastes good with any of the above combination.
Recipe adapted from Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop
Wontons In Chili Oil Sauce-Hong You Chao Shou
About 80 Wonton Wrappers (store-bought)
60 g Fresh Ginger, unpeeled
450 g Finely Minced Pork
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp Shaoxing Wine
2 tsp Sesame Oil
¾-1 tsp Sea Salt
6-8 Turns of a Black Pepper Mill
100 ml Cold Chicken Stock
Chili Oil Sauce
2 Tbsp Chili Oil (With or without the chili sediment)
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 ½ Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Chicken Stock
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped (optional)
2 Scallions, chopped (optional)
Crush the ginger with the flat side of a cleaver or a heavy object and leave it to soak for a few minutes in about 100ml of cold water.
Place the minced pork in a bowl and add the beaten egg, wine, ginger-soaking water (pieces discarded), sesame oil, salt and pepper. Mix well, using your hand to stir the stuffing briskly in one direction, then add the cold stock in several stages, making sure each batch has been fully absorbed by the meat before continue.
Lay the wonton skin flat on your hand. Place a tsp of filling in the center, and then flip the skin in half diagonally, pressing the two sides lightly together.
To cook the dumplings, give the boiling water a good stir, drop in 10 dumplings and stir once to prevent sticking. When the water has returned to the boil, throw in one coffee-cupful of cold water. Allow the water to return to the boil once more, and the dumplings should be cooked through (test one to make sure). Remove from the water with a slotted spoon, place in one of the prepared bowls, and serve.
Serves 6 to 8.
Friday, April 16, 2010
This is my recipe for the Sambal Sotong Kering or Dried Cuttlefish Sambal. These dried cuttlefish are usually available at any Asian or Chinese grocers. It has to be soaked in water for at least 24 to 36 hours before cooking. However, here, I had used presoaked cuttlefish that was conveniently available from a seafood store in Chinatown.
For those of you who are interested, here is my little tip on how to make a good sambal every time. Whenever you cook sambal, you must use sufficient or extra oil and cook with a low heat while still ensuring you can hear the sizzling sound. You will know it’s ready when the unmistakable spicy sambal smell fills your kitchen. It will turn deep red in color and the oil will separate from the sambal. At this stage, if there’s too much oil, you simply discard the excess oil before serving. Remember, always serve sambal warm or at a room temperature. That’s it, simple, right? :-)
Sambal Sotong Kering-Dried Cuttlefish Sambal
2 Large Presoaked Dried Cuttlefish, cut into 1 ½ to 2 inches segments
30 g Fried Anchovies
100 g Roasted Peanuts, coarsely chopped
6 Tbsp Sugar
30 g Tamarind Paste, soaked with 2 ½ Cup Water, discard solids
6 to 8 Tbsp Peanut Oil
35-40 g Dried Red Chilies, soaked in boiling water, drained and ground
150 g Shallots, peeled, chopped and ground
1 ½ tsp Roasted Shrimp Paste, ground
Cook the chili paste with the oil on moderate heat until fragrant.
Add the cuttlefish, peanuts, tamarind juice, sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Then mix in the fried anchovies and continue to simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes until the cuttlefish turns soft.
Season the mixture with additional sugar or salt if necessary. Serve at room temperature.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Nasi Lemak is probably the most popular dish in Malaysia. Traditionally, it’s served as a quick hearty breakfast meal; but, these days it’s available everywhere, round the clock at many restaurants and hawker centers! Nasi Lemak or Coconut infused rice is usually served with a spicy sambal, sliced cucumber, deep-fried anchovies, fried peanuts, and eggs, either hard-boiled or fried. A popular side dish is Sambal Sotong Kering or Dried Cuttlefish Sambal. There are many versions of Nasi Lemak available in multi racial Malaysia. So, this is my version of Nasi Lemak, served with a Dried Anchovies Sambal recipe and a Dried Cuttlefish Sambal recipe, which I will post next.
Nasi Lemak With Dried Anchovies Sambal (Sambal Ikan Bilis)
Dried Anchovies Sambal – Sambal Ikan Bilis
Hard-boiled Eggs, halved
Dried Cuttlefish Sambal With Peanuts
400 g (2 Cups) Long Grain Rice, washed and drained
3 Pandan/Screwpine Leaves, washed and knotted
1 Shallots, peeled and thickly sliced
1 tsp Sea Salt
400 ml Coconut Milk (preferably 100% coconut milk)
200 ml Water
Place all the ingredients in a rice cooker and cook according to the manufacturer instructions. When the rice is cook, fluff up the rice with a fork and keep the rice warm in the rice cooker.
Dried Anchovies Sambal
50 g Deep Fried Anchovies
1 Large (210 g) Red Onion, quartered and sliced thinly
60 to 70 g Light Brown Sugar
15 g Tamarind Paste mixed with 1 Cup of Water, discard the solids
1 ½ tsp Sea Salt
½ Cup Cooking Oil
100 g Shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 Big Yellow Onion, chopped
40 g Dried Red Chilies, soaked in boiling water and drained
1 tsp Roasted Shrimp Paste (Belacan)
Blend the spice paste and cook on a moderate heat with the oil. Stir frequently until fragrant and the oil has separated from the sambal.
Add the red onion and give a quick stir. Then mix in the tamarind juice, sugar and cook the sambal mixture for about 20 to 25 minutes. Mix in the fried anchovies and cook for another 15 minutes. Season with additional sugar or salt if necessary.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Last Saturday, I was invited to attend the 8 Great Traditions of Chinese Cuisines (8GTCC) dinner which was organized by Chowtimes. Hunan Cuisine was the first cuisine of the 8GTCC, and it was held at Alvin Garden in Burnaby. It was a fantastic dinner and we all enjoyed it very much. So today, I am posting a recipe for Potato Slivers With Vinegar. This is one of the appetizers served at the restaurant and I would like to share it with you. The potatoes are light, crisp, a little tangy, and with a hint of spiciness from the red chilies. I will attempt to make a couple more of the dishes served that night and will share with you in the near future.
Anyway, if you are in Vancouver, perhaps you might want to explore and learn about some of the traditional Chinese cuisines outside China. Check out Chowtimes for more details. I hear they are going to organized a second cuisine dinner very soon.
Recipe adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop
Potato Slivers With Vinegar-cu liu tu dou si
2 Large Potatoes (about 1 lb)
1 or 2 Fresh Red Chilies or ¼ Red Bell Pepper
3 Scallions, Green Parts Only
3 Tbsp Clear/White Rice Vinegar
3 Tbsp Peanut Oil
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes, and cut them into the thinnest possible slices, then cut the slices into very fine slivers. Soak the finished slivers in lightly salted water as you work. Cut the chili and scallion greens into very fine slivers; set aside.
When the water has boiled, add the drained potatoes and blanch just until the water returns to a boil; drain and set aside.
Heat the wok over a high flame until smoke rises, then add the oil and swirl around. Add the potatoes and chili slivers and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the vinegar and salt to taste and continue to stir-fry for a short time until the potatoes are cooked, but still a little crunchy.
Add the scallion slivers, toss a few times until you can smell their fragrance, and then serve.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thai style Steamed Fish With Garlic, Lime, and Chilies is one of my favorite ways to steam fresh fish. This is a “must order” dish for me when I dine at any of my favorite Thai food restaurants that has it in their menu. The fish is usually served whole; but, here I have opted to use Barramundi fillets instead. This is a quick dish to prepare, it will take less than 20 minutes from prep, cook, to serve! Just make sure you have some steamed rice to go with it. Enjoy.
Steamed Fish With Garlic, Lime, and Chilies
2 Barramundi Fillets (230-250 g)
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp Freshly Squeeze Lime Juice
5 to 8 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies, chopped
¼ Cup Chicken Stock or Water
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp Sugar
Scallions, for garnish
Coriander, for garnish
Lime Slices, for garnish
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, lime juice, chilies, stock or water, fish sauce, and sugar.
Arrange the fish in an oven or stovetop proof plate and pour the garlic mixture over the fish.
Steam the fish on high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is fully cook.
Serve the fish immediately with the garnishes.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Today, I am posting an easy and yet elegant dessert recipe called Strawberry Millefeuille. It’s a traditional dessert made by layering puff pastry with fresh whipped cream and you can fill it with your favorite fruits. Making the fresh whipped cream for this dessert is so much easier if you use a portable hand mixer. Well, if you do not have one in your kitchen, the kind folks at CSN Stores have generously agreed to giveaway a $60 online store credit which you can use to purchase one from them. They have a wide selection of products on their websites, it ranges from kitchen tools, baby toys, gadgets, office desks, to even barstools!
ONLY ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE SELECTED TO WIN THE $60 CSN STORES’ ONLINE SHOPPING CREDIT.
The lucky winner will be chosen at random via Random.org generator and an announcement will be made on April 20th 2010.
Each reader is allowed to post up to a maximum of 3 entries for this giveaway. It is very simple, just participate by responding to the following:
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Registration for this giveaway will commence on April 9th 2010 and will end on April 18th 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. Open to all U.S./Canada residents, 18 and older only.
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Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm
1 Sheet Puff Pastry (1/2 package), thawed according to package instructions and unfolded
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ Cups Thinly Sliced Strawberries
Juice of ½ Lemon
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry sheet to ¼ inch thickness. Cut in half lengthwise. Transfer the 2 rectangles to a rimmed baking sheet. Prick them evenly all over with a fork and brush with the beaten egg. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.
In another bowl, using a whisk, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Using a serrated knife, slice 1 rectangle horizontally to create 2 layers. Use the uncut rectangle as the base. Top with half of the whipped cream and 1/3 of the strawberries. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to create 2 more layers, finishing with just strawberries. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I like to indulge my family occasionally with a fancy weekend brunch at home. So, a couple of weeks back, I made these delicious Maine Lobster Rolls. I picked out 4 large lobsters to obtain about 4 cups of lobster meat, following the recipe. The mixture of fresh herbs with the lobster meat, especially tarragon, really brought out the flavor of the lobster. The rolls are garnished with celery and pickled red onions. Hah, my mouth is starting to water now whilst I am describing the taste of these lobster rolls. :-) I am thinking of making it again now. Anyway, the buns for the lobster rolls needs to be buttered and brown in a frying pan first. (The pictures shown without butter and browning.)
Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” cookbook.
Maine Lobster Rolls
1-½ lbs (about 4 cups) Cooked Lobster
3 to 4 Tbsp Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Minced Red Onion
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Peeled Celery
2 tsp Finely Chopped Tarragon
2 tsp Finely Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
2 tsp Finely Chopped Chives
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
6 New England-Style (top-slit, if available) Hot Dog Buns
4 Tbsp (2 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Celery Stalk
1 Head Butter Lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, dried, and torn into pieces
Pickled Red Onions
2 Large Red Onions (about 1 ¼ lb each)
½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
Make the pickled red onions: Cut off the top and bottom of each onion and cut lengthwise in half. Remove and discard the outer layer. Cut a V-shaped wedge from the bottom of each half to remove the roots and the very centerpieces of onion. Put the onions cut side down on a cutting board and slice lengthwise into 1/8 inch-thick slices, following the natural lines on the outside of the onion; cutting with the lines, or grain, rather than across them will help the onions soften more quickly in the pickling liquid. Pack the onions into a 1-quart canning jar; reserve and slices that don’t fit.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pout the hot vinegar mixture over the onions. Once the onions begin to wilt, you can add any remaining onion slices to the jar, gently pushing them down into the liquid to submerge them. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 1 month.
Put the lobster meat in a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, and stir gently to coat. Add the onion, celery, tarragon, parsley, chives, salt, and pepper to taste and stir gently to mix. Squeeze the lime over the salad and fold in the juice. Cover and refrigerate.
If using top-slit buns, brush butter on both outer sides of each bun. If using unsliced buns, slit them open from the top, trim each long side to create a flat surface and brush with melted butter. If using regular hot dog buns, open the buns and brush with melted butter. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Just before serving, put the rolls in the pan and brown the buttered sides.
To serve, peel the strings from the celery with a vegetable peeler. Using a Japanese mandoline or other vegetable slicer, or a sharp knife, slice the celery lengthwise into thin ribbons. Line each bun with a couple of small lettuce. Mound the lobster salad in the buns and garnish with the celery and pickled red onions.
Serves 6 to 8
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Try making this simple recipe that I had adapted from Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” cookbook, Scallion Potato Cakes. The potato cakes are crispy on the outside after being pan fried; but, remains light and tasty on the inside. If you like scallions, do slice one or two more stalks and mix into the potato mixture. This will give the potato cakes a little more pungent fragrance and also makes them taste real good too. I made this as one of my side dish for lunch earlier this week. Fantastic!
Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s “ad hoc at home” cookbook.
Scallion Potato Cakes
3 lbs Large Russet Potatoes
½ Cup Cornstarch
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Preheat the oven to 200˚F. Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
Cut away the ends of the scallions on a severe diagonal and discard, and then cut the dark greens into very thin slices. (Reserve the remaining scallions for another use.) Set aside.
Set up a food processor with a coarse shredding blade. Peel the potatoes and shred them. Immediately transfer them to large bowl of cold water and swirl and rinse the potatoes. Lift them from the water and dry in a salad spinner. Transfer to another large bowl. Spoon the cornstarch around the sides of the bowl and toss the potatoes with it (adding the cornstarch this way will help to coat the potatoes evenly). Do not let the potatoes sit for too long, or they will release their starch and the centers of the potatoes can become sticky.
Heat some oil in a 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Turn down the heat to medium. Add 1/6 of the potatoes, gently spreading them into an 8 to 9-inch circle. Keep the potato cake light and airy; do not press down on the potatoes. Season the mixture with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Reserve ¼ cup of the scallion greens for garnish, and sprinkle 1/3 of the remaining scallion greens over the potatoes. Carefully spread another 1/6 of the potatoes on top; again, do not press down on them. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, to brown the bottom. You should hear the potatoes sizzling in the oil; if the potatoes get quiet and are not sizzling, or the pan looks dry, add a bit more oil. Turn the pancake over to brown the second side. The pancakes are somewhat fragile and can be difficult to flip with a spatula; if you don’t feel comfortable turning them, invert the pancake onto the back of a baking sheet, held tilted over a second baking sheet, as some oil may seep out, then return the pan to the heat and slide the potato cake into the pan browned side up. Cook until the second side is browned and crisp, then transfer to the rack and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining 2 pancakes.
Cut each pancake into 4 wedges, stack on a platter, and garnish with the reserved scallion greens.