Thursday, May 31, 2007

Beer Beef Bolognese Parpadelle

Beer Beef Bolognese Parpadelle (serves 4)
-1pack parpadelle(8oz for 2 servings, 16oz for 4 servings)
-1tbsp olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-1tbsp pancetta, cubed
-1lb ground beef
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
-14oz of whole tomatoes from a 28oz can (keep the rest in the fridge in air tight container)
- few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- some dried oregano
- some red chili powder
- black pepper, to taste
-3/4 bottle of dark lager/ale, adjust accordingly to your alcohol threshold (Note: remaining lager/beer, drink it up. Just don't get drunk in the kitchen and make cooking blunders. There is no "If you Drink, don't Drive Cook" sign in the kitchen but that does not mean you can abuse the right,ya?)

1. Heat pan with some olive oil and fry the pancetta, then adding the onion, saute until the onion becomes transparent
2. Add ground minced beef, garlic, and worcestershire sauce, then fry until beef is lightly browned, and then add the lager and cooked until reduced by about half
3. Then add rest of the ingredients, mash the tomatoes in the pan, and allow sauce/gravy to simmer on low heat for 45mins

4. While gravy is simmering, start boiling water and cook the pasta according to instructions.
5. When pasta is cooked, add into the ragu sauce and mix well. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Green onions and minced ginger condiment

Green onions and minced ginger condiment (姜蓉)

How to: You would need lots of green onions(about 2-3 bunches) and ginger (2-3 tsps minced or freshly grated ginger). Mince or blend them finely in a food processor/blender. Add some olive oil to the green onions and ginger mixture. Store in air-tight container in the fridge.

This is a condiment you don't find in many Chinese restaurants (in the US, and even in Singapore) because it's neither preserved green chilli nor light soy sauce. This is some condiment you MIGHT find... if you are eating plain boiled/steamed chicken in some Chinese specialty/seafood restaurants eg. Jade Palace Seafood, Singapore, or a place like Soup Restaurant (三盅两件) that is famous for its Samsui Chicken.

I made another condiment here - Thai style. Looks almost similar (being greenish-looking) but they are entirely different in terms of flavor, and the heat.

My other WHB entries:
Baby spinach to make Pesto
Lily buds to make Nyonya Chap Chai - Mixed Vegetables Stew
Cilantro in Pork Omelette
Lemongrass in Stir Fry Tofu
Cilantro in Potato Patties

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Thai-style chili condiment - a homemade condiment or sauce from leftover green chili

Homemade chili sauce -Thai Style
- 6-9 serrano chili depending on your heat level, threshold
- 2-3 tsp crushed ginger
- 1-2tsp crushed garlic
- 3-4tsp cane sugar
- sprinkle of paprika
- 1-2tbsp lime juice
- dashes of fish sauce (I did not have this, but if you do, definitely give a dash)

How to: Rinse the chili and remove seeds if you want the chili sauce mild. Slice up the chili, and with the other ingredients (except the lime juice), mix/blend/puree in a small food processor. Add in the lime juice, then blend quickly for 3 secs. You could taste the sauce and if too spicy, add more sugar.

This condiment should go well with seafood that has not been heavily seasoned or flavored before and during the process of cooking eg. as a dip for the fish slices in a fish soup, or for steamed prawns etc.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Steamed halibut/cod fillets

Snow white halibut and the seven dwarfs (tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, red chili, cilantro, fried shallots, and the light sweet-savory gravy juices)

Steamed halibut/cod fillets (serve 2)
- one medium size halibut (can use cod fillets good)
-1 block silken/soft tofu, cut to thin square or rectangles
-1 pack buna shimeji mushrooms
-2 stalks spring onions, slice to small pieces; 1tbsp for seasoning, the remaining for garnish
-handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely
-2 red chili (remove seeds if you prefer mild spicy), sliced to small pieces
-fried shallots

Marinade/seasoning (for fish):
-2tsps cooking wine
-2tsp crushed ginger
-dashes of sesame oil
-1tsp dark soy sauce
-1tbsp of the chopped spring onions above

1. Mix the seasoning and smear them on the fish fillet before steaming
2.Follow this: Layer tofu on bottom of plate; top with mushrooms and some spring onions, place seasoned fish on top of tofu and mushrooms, and steam for abt 10-15mins (depending on thickness of fish)
Note: Steam the fish, with the plate covered over, with a saran wrap or a cover to prevent excess condensation of the steam on the fish. The fish dish will not dry out. On the contrary, you will be surprised to find hint of sweet-savory gravy juices being produced in the steaming process - moisture for the the gravy probably came from partially, the fish; and substantially, the tofu.

Snow white halibut and the seven dwarfs (tofu, mushrooms, spring onions, red chili, cilantro, fried shallots, and the light sweet-savory gravy juices)!

A good fish substitute is cod fillet. I like this dish so much that I tried it with Alaskan cod fillets and it worked just as well, if not better. Cod could be better(personal preference) because the flesh is not as firm as halibut and gives a softer-flakier texture.
(I did not take pictures of the steamed cod though since there are already halibut pictures to show, and both the fishes look exactly the same on photos!)

Pure white, snow white - even the gravy juice is crystal clear. Yep, I called it juice because it's the combination of juices from the mushrooms, tofu and fish.

Last picture - I gotta eat now before it turns cold!

*Terms and conditions:
(1) Delicious, only limited to halibut and cod fillets
(2) Halibut and cod fillets to be wild-caught
(3) Halibut and cod fillets to be frozen (once) at source
(4) Halibut and cod fillets to be Alaskan
(5) Halibut, preferable but not limited to Trident Seafood's Alaskan Halibut; Cod, preferable but not limited to Trader Joes's Alaskan Cod.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Egg masala - spicy egg and tomatoes

I also tried this recipe from Hooked on Heat, but omitted the mustard seeds (not on purpose) and kicked it up a notch using red chili, in addition to the green. The lycopene in tomatoes are raised up many levels if you cook your tomatoes longer whilst the heat during cooking also allows more desirable antioxidants in tomatoes to be made available to the body.

Masala is a term used in Indian cuisine to describe a mixture of many spices. Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in the Indian cuisine, whose literal meaning is "hot (or warm) spice". There are many variants: most traditional mixes use just cinnamon, roasted cumin, cloves, nutmeg and green cardamom seed or black cardamom pods. Many commercial mixtures may include more of other less expensive spices and may contain dried red chili peppers, dried garlic, ginger powder, sesame, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, bay leaves, cumin, and fennel. Garam masala can be used during cooking, but unlike many spices, it is often added at the end of cooking, so that the full aroma is not lost. Garam masala is not "hot" as compared to chilis, but is fairly pungent.

Frying the onion. Appeared yellowish after adding turmeric powder.

Simmering the tomatoes with onions - I used canned whole tomatoes

Do not judge a book by its cover - Do not be deceived by the innocent look of the tomatoes gravy, this is VERY VERY SPICY (Note: due to the green serrano chili I added)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cauliflower, cabbage and pea curry

Vegetable Curry - Cauliflower, Cabbage and Pea Curry (serves 4)
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
-2 tsps curry powder
-1 tsp ground turmeric
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1 small head of cabbage
-1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
-1 cup frozen peas
-1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
-~1cup coconut milk, adjust according, in ratio with broth or water
-~1cup broth

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook onion, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, chilli paste, and coriander together until onion is soft and the mixture is fragrant - about 2mins. Add the peas, and garbanzo beans and coconut milk and broth/stock.

2. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10mins. Add the cauliflower and cabbage and simmer further until sauce has reduced or cabbage and cauliflower soften, then season to taste.
3. Serve with cooked rice, or any Indian oven-baked breads such as naan

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tom Yum glass noodles

Tom Yum Glass Noodles (serves 2)
-4-5 oz bean thread glass noodles/mung bean vermicelli
-8-10 medium size prawns/shrimps
-1 block firm tofu
-1 pack enoki mushrooms
-1-2tbsp tom yum paste
-1 stalk lemongrass, use bottom part only, slightly "bruised" to release the flavor
-ground pork (option - I added some since I have leftovers)

1. Soak the glass noodles in warm water for ~15mins, till soften
2. Heat some oil in the pan, add lemongrass and fry till aromatic. Then add Tom Yum paste, tofu and fry for 2-3 mins (Note: I also added my leftover pork in this step)
3. Add some water(adjust according)
4. Add in prawns into the Tom Yum soup mixture, then add in glass noodles into the Tom Yum mixture and allow the entire Tom Yum mixture to come to simmer
6. Serve immediately, with some vegetables

This is my entry for Presto Pasta Night. Thanks, Ruth...for hosting such a great event.

Other posts:
Tom Yum or Tom Yam rice
Baked/grilled salmon kebab
Pan-fried fish with homemade pesto sauce
Linguine vongole
Teppanyaki style stir fry udon

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

BBQ or barbecued pork pastry, 叉烧酥

BBQ or barbecued pork pastry, 叉烧酥 (makes about 3-5)
-1/2 to 2/3 of a rectangular sheet of puff pastry -PepperRidge Farm. (Yes, I still have leftover puff pastry after making mini chicken pie, curry puffs, chicken strudel, and puff pastry mushroom soup. Indefinite supply of puff pastry? I bought 2 boxes at one go the other time, what were you thinking? )
-~1-1.5 cups barbecued pork, or char siew; cut into tiny cubes (I got store-bought ones from the "hot-food" station in the Asian supermarket). If you've got pulled pork, it should do.
-1tsp minced garlic
-1/2-1 cup chopped onions
-1tbsp oyster sauce
-pinches black pepper
-2tsp cane sugar
- water, amount adjust accordingly
- 1/2tsp cornflour
- some butter, for browning of the pastry crust

1. Thaw the puff pastry according to package instructions
2. Meanwhile, heat some oil in frying pan low-medium heat, add all ingredients , except the cornflour and water, lightly fry for ~3-4mins. If mixture to dry, add some water. Let simmer for ~3mins.
3. Add in the cornflour to thicken the pork mixture. The final "product" or intended filling will look like this -

4. Let the pork mixture cool and at this time, prepare the puff pastry for "action" - sprinkle some flour on a flat surface, roll out and flatten the pastry sheets and cut into rectangular sections (about 10x3 cm)
5.Add the pork filling, wrap them into shape of a rectangular roll, remember to seal the edges
6. Bake 395F for 20-25mins. Butter the top of the pastry before baking, for the golden crust.

Warmly baked BBQ pork pastry

Friday, May 11, 2007

Stir fry rice rolls, chee cheong fun

Stir fry rice rolls, chee cheong fun (serves 2)
-1 pack ready-made rice rolls, chee cheong fun (already cooked but cold), cut them to bite size
-2tsp dried shrimps, pre-soaked in water
-2tsp dried anchovies, pre-soaked in water
-2tsp preserved turnips (菜脯, aka chai por , in hokkien)- you see it most commonly used in egg with preserved turnips- 菜脯蛋)
-some dark soy sauce (option)
-4 stalks spring onions, cut into 0.5cm lengths for frying and garnish
-1tbsp fried shallots
-1-2 eggs, whisked

1. Heat oil in frying pan and fry the dried shrimps, anchovies and preserved turnips till aromatic and slightly crisp
2.Add in rice rolls and half the quantity of spring onions, fry and mix well, about 3-5mins
3.Add in whisked egg, then fry and mix well with the rice rolls, about 2mins

4. Garnish with remaining spring onions and fried shallots, and serve warm, as breakfast or lunch. Some preserved green chili will be the best condiment. Yummy!

Related noodles posts:
Teppanyaki style stir fry udon
Wat dan hor - rice noodles with seafood and egg gravy sauce
Beef kway teow - fried rice noodles with beef

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Mango Slushy

Mango slushy, mango drink/dessert (serve 2)
How to: Blend/puree half the quantity of mangoes slices, and keep the rest in slices. Mix the crushed ice with the mango puree, add in remaining mango slices, and drop in few slices of sweet pomelo/grapefruit. Serve icy-cold in cocktail glass or a dessert bowl.

My ARF/5-a-day entry for Sweet Nicks.

How I cut a mango:

How I peel a pomelo/grapefruit:

Other posts:
Strawberries and kiwis edible flowers
Strawberries coated in deep dark, with chocolate stacks
Snow fungus, ginkgo and barley dessert

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage

This is my entry for Presto Pasta Night.

Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage (serve 2)
-1/2lb pasta, cooked according to instructions (I used rotini)
-~4 cooked italian chicken sausages, cubed
-handfuls of baby spinach
-2cups marinara sauce, adjust amount accordingly while cooking
-red chilli pepper flakes, to taste
-black pepper, to taste

1.Heat some olive oil in frying pan and saute the sausages, about 3mins to warm them up since they are already cooked

2.Add the marinara sauce, and stir well
3.Add baby spinach, and mix well

4. As soon as mixture starts to simmer, add in the cooked pasta and mix well. Do not overcook the spinach

5. Serve immediately with sprinkle of parmigiano-reggiano

Other posts:
Lemon linguine
Teppanyaki style stir-fry udon
Linguine vongole
Beef and mushroom bolognese
Pasta ala Bak Chor Mee

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Szechuan hot and sour soup

Chinese /Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup (serves 3-4)
-1/4-1/3 lbs ground pork (option: use shredded pork)
-1 pack silken tofu
-1 small can of bamboo shoots
-6-8 pieces of shitake mushrooms, stems removed, wipe caps with damp paper towel, julienned
-1 small pack of enoki mushrooms, bottom 2-3cm cut and removed
-handful of black fungus, julienned

-2-3tbsp of hot bean paste -辣豆瓣酱
-1 egg, whisked
-2tsp cornflour, mixed with 2-3tbsp warm water
-2cups chicken broth
-black vinegar, to taste
-spring onions, for garnish

Seasoning for pork:
-1tsp cornflour
-1tbsp cooking wine
-pinch of pepper, and salt

Before adding the hot bean paste, you would not know Szechuan hot sour soup is brewing

That' more like it, after adding the hot bean paste

1. Mix pork seasoning with pork
2. Boil in a soup pot - the chicken broth, mix with 1-2 cup water (adjust accordingly)
3. When boiling, add in black fungus, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, pork and tofu, cook for 5-6mins
4. Add in hot bean paste, stir lightly, cook further 2-3mins; then add in cornflour+water to thicken the soup
5. After soup thickens, lower the heat, add in egg and black vinegar, then turn off heat
6. Garnish with spring onions and serve
Note: The color does not tell you it's spicy. It's mild spicy. Add some chili oil for the extra heat and oomph!

Goes really well with steamed rice

Another plate of minced pork fried with french beans, Szechuan style-干煸四季豆 , will make it my meal!

Other posts:
Bittergourd soup
Doubled boiled soup
Tofu soup

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Yam rice, Taro rice

Yam/Taro Rice (serve 4)
-2.5 cups rice, washed
-1 piece of medium-sized peeled and cooked yam/taro, diced
-1tbsp dried shrimps, soaked for 5mins, chopped to small pieces
-300gpork belly, seasoned (can be an option)
-salt & pepper to taste
-fried shallots

Marinade/seasoning (for pork); similar to pork belly
-1tsp dark soya sauce
-1/2 tsp oyster sauce
-1tsp cane sugar
-1/2 tsp tomato ketchup
-1/2 tsp white peppercorns
-1 pinch five spice powder (if no five-spice, some all-spice will do)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1tsp chinese cooking wine
-1tsp crushed garlic
(leave marinated pork in fridge for 1hr)

Note: If you want to omit the meat, you could. Just increase the quantity of dried shrimps - add half or one, more tbsp dried shrimps - from 1tbsp to ~2tbsps, to increase the aroma and flavor; and seasoned with pinches of five-spice powder(or allspice) and 1tsp dark soy sauce while frying the yam/dried shrimps mixture.

1. Cooked rice as per normal in rice cooker
2. Heat some oil in a saucepan
3. Saute dried shrimps until fragrant
4. Add in pork and fry for 8-10mins (if not adding meat, skip this and go to 5.)
5. Toss in yam to fry for about 3-5mins
6. Add in a bit of water, salt and pepper to taste and let yam simmer about 5min. Set aside (if meat not added, season with five-spice powder and soy sauce)
7. When rice is cooked, add in yam mixture, fried shallots and mix it thoroughly
8. Garnish with spring onions/cilantro & more fried shallots before serving

Other posts:
Nasi Lemak
Tom Yum or Tom Yam rice
Cabbage fried rice
Japanese curry rice - tonkatsu curry don
Braised chicken rice

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Pan-fried hallibut and mango salsa

Ate the mango as a fruit, biting the yellow cubes of flesh off the skin. So sweet...this mango is.

Homemade Mango Salsa (serves 2-3)
Mango, cut into small cubes; kiwis, cut into small pieces; some water chestnuts, cut into small cubes; handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely; some sliced almonds and lime juice.

1. Easy- Just mix all the ingredients and set aside in fridge.
2. The mango salsa looks like this:

For the mango salsa, I've used it to top over halibut fillets.
Other than salmon, halibut is another nutrient-dense fish (a very good source of high quality protein, and rich in significant amounts of nutrients including the minerals selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium).

Known as the "steak" of seafood, halibut is naturally lean, has a delicately sweet flavor (definitely no muddy taste even in frozen form), has snow white flesh and a firm texture. It really pairs well with the light and zesty tangy mango salsa.

Pan-fried/Sauteed Halibut with Mango Salsa (serves 2-3)
Ingredients: 2 halibut fillets, some salt and pepper, and mango salsa prepared earlier
1. With the thawed halibut fillets, dab dry and season with some salt and pepper
2. Heat some olive oil in saute pan at low-medium heat
3. Pan-fry one side of the halibut for about 5-6mins (Note: DO NOT turn the fillet while sauteing one side)
4. After 5-6mins, turn the fillet over and pan-fry for another 4-5mins
5. While pan-frying the other side, spoon the mango salsa on the already cooked top-side
6. Use a aluminum foil to cover top-side of fillet that is topped over with salsa, while pan-frying the other side.
Note: The salsa - which is basically a fruit medley need not be cooked. Covering with the foil circulates the heat of frying within the fillets while frying and warms the mango salsa simultaneously, so that the entire dish - fish and salsa, is served warm.
7. Serve immediately

Another nice summer dish, do you think so ?

Other posts:
Baked/grilled salmon kebab
Pan-fried fish with homemade pesto sauce
Linguine vongole

Look at that snow white flesh of halibut and the colorful salsa - what a contrast of colors.

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