Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Buttered Mushrooms with Onion and Herbs

Anyone dislikes mushrooms over here ? Ever since I started buying and using fresh mushrooms in my cooking when I was in the United States, I find it hard to resist fresh mushrooms while I was in Taiwan or now when I'm back in Singapore. Not as if I have not eaten fresh mushrooms before since birth in Singapore. It's just that my association with mushrooms when I was younger was either dried shitake mushrooms or canned button mushrooms. Dried shitake mushrooms are still good for flavoring broths and braising with chicken while canned mushrooms can really come in handy when putting up a dish such as Mui Fan or Braised Noodles or when you really do not have the time to wipe-clean the mushrooms and slice or cut them.

Fresh mushrooms are really what I love when I cook pasta and stir-frys.

Buttered Mushrooms with Onion and Herbs
some butter, olive oil, 1 red onion thinly sliced, fresh mushrooms(I used a mixture of white and brown), oregano, salt, freshly ground black pepper

1. Butter and oil saute pan
2. Add red onions and saute till soft, dash some salt
3. Add in mushrooms and saute till onions caramelize and mushrooms turn soft
4. Add in freshly ground black pepper and herbs

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to make shrimps and prawns curl

Remember those curly shrimps in my fried rice fit for the "emperor" ? I'll hand over the trick for these lovely curlies. Click for bigger picture!

When you slit the shrimps to de-vein, do not cut through to the other side so that you can keep one whole shrimp intact. Then, cut a little opening at the other side of the head-end so that the tail-end of the shrimp can be slipped in?! Errrr...did I sound confusing ? Woops...

Also read how I "fork" the scallions, for cutting onions to increase sweetness.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chicken Macaroni Soup - comfort when the world goes Holy Dow!

Holy Cow! If you have read the crisis and turmoil in the media (all kinds) everyday since last month, I bet you would not want to hear another Holy Dow in my blog. So how about...

Holy Macaroni,
This is one comfort food for me;
Carrots and celery do some trick,
There is no secret and hidden tip.

Look at the colors...or does the sound of chicken macaroni tempt you enough ? I totally enjoy homemade chicken macaroni. Whenever I cook this, I can see the smile on my other half. Though he has limited ability over Mandarin (Chinese language), I will still hear him say "Yes ...就是这个味 - this is THE TASTE!" ...then *silent*....except for the chomp chomp chomp I hear for the rest of the meal. We are easy people to know :D

Chicken macaroni soup
- Any chicken parts you prefer (except the head and buttocks!)
-3-5 stalks from a bunch of celery, washed and sliced
-0.75lbs baby carrot, washed and cut into halves
-dried mushrooms, soaked in water to clean; then chopped to pieces
- 1 small knob (3-4cm) of ginger, cut into half
-water (adjust accordingly)
-1 cup chicken broth(option: since you will be boiling chicken in water too - you will be cooking your own broth too)
-pinch of salt, to taste
-dash of pepper, to taste
-drops of sesame oil
-cilantro and red chili, sliced to garnish
- fried shallots for garnish if you have
-vegetables such as bok choy as side dish

1.Boil the chicken in water for ~15-30mins (depending on size of chicken used) with celery, carrots, ginger and mushrooms, till chicken is cooked through. Add salt to taste in the process
2.Remove boiled chicken from pot, to cool. When cooled, shred the chicken, set aside (the unused shredded chicken, keep in fridge or freezer for future use)
3.Throw the chicken rib/bones back into the pot of warm soup, dash in some white pepper, stir and mix well
4.Meanwhile, cook macaroni in boiling water according to package instructions, shd be about 10mins or less
5.When ready to serve, heat up the pot of soup and ladle flavorful soup of celery, carrots and mushrooms over the macaroni, top with shredded chicken
6.Garnish with cilantro and red chili

P.S. If you wish to have more vegetables, you can add any seasonable leafy greens (bok choy, you cai, chinese spinach) to the chicken macaroni soup as the side.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Egg and Shrimp Fried Rice with Emperor Vegetables

OK. NO rice cooker meals for now. I'm just doing what most people do with leftover rice (or I call it a "purposed" leftover) . I cooked twice the amount of rice in the rice cooker one day, consumed one half as-is with dishes such as Spicy Beef with Mushrooms, Three-Cup Chicken or Chinese Steamed Fish; and the other half - I kept it in the fridge for fried rice the next day. Yay, FRIED RICE in a pan...alas, and not FRIED RICE in a rice cooker.

Egg and Shrimp Fried Rice with Basella Alba (Emperor Vegetable)
Basella Alba, shrimps, eggs, red chili, ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, leftover cold rice

Fry the Basella Alba
1. In lightly oiled pan, fry ginger and red chili, then add in the vegetable, add ~1tsp oyster sauce
2. When vegetable is cooked to tender (yet not overcooked to limpy), set aside.

Fry the other ingredients and rice
3. In the same pan, add in some oil, then add in eggs to scramble it. Before the eggs are cooked, add in shrimps and rice and fry the rice (make sure mixed well with eggs and shrimps) at medium heat (Note: at low heat, the rice tends to stick to the pan).
4. Add in soy sauce, and pepper to taste

5. When fried rice is ready, you can add in the vegetables (and mix well). Note: Make sure you don't add all the gravy of the vegetables in there. Add in some gravy but not all. The rice will just absorb some moisture and flavor of the vegetable, yet not turn wet and soggy

Want some ?

More about Basella Alba, read more here.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lemongrass Steamed Fish with Ginger, Cilantro and Green Onions

How I wish Singapore could educate consumers about seafood around the Asia region since some of Singapore's fish imports come from neighboring Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

With good qualify fresh seafood, I go for minimal cooking. Lightly grilled, simply baked or easily steamed. And I usually don't deep fry a fresh fish unless it is called for.

Lemongrass Steamed Red Snapper
snapper fillet rubbed with salt and pepper and drizzle of cooking wine and soy sauce; and these herbs - lemongrass, cilranto, green onion, ginger, red chili; and silken tofu cubes (optional)

With the lightly seasoned fish, place in steamer with the herbs and tofu and steam about 8 mins.

You could also try one of these Fish recipes:
Steamed Toman(snakehead) fillet with Ginger and Green Onions
Steamed Cod Fish Rolls
Pan Fried Snapper in Soy Sauce and Ginger
Tandoori Tilapia
Steamed Halibut with Tofu, Shallots and Cilantro

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Shrimps and eggs - an idea gets sensational here!

I don't deal with flour but that does not mean I cannot buy cute cookie cutters :)

I am going to work on a tasty time-saver side-dish - it's for that you can have more time for other preparations (eg. cooking THE jaw-dropping, drool-worthy main dish, shopping for gifts, wrapping gifts etc.) for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I assure you, your guests will still be dropping their jaws, and drooling much when they see this! Surprise them!

If one picture tells it all, you know how easy it can be. And if one picture tells it all, you know how delectable it can be.

Shrimp with Egg/"I-HEART-Shrimp" recipe
Ingredients: Medium/large shrimp dabbed dry, seasoned with pepper, sliced to half (but not completely separated, tip of shrimp intact - refer to pictures), eggs, cilantro, soy sauce/salt and pepper for the egg, black pepper

1. Whisk the eggs with some soy sauce/salt and pepper
2. In a oiled large area flat pan, place the shrimps around the pan, making sure they are not too close one another. When one side of shrimp is lightly browned(hear sizzles), flip the shrimps over to cook the other side
3. Pour the whisked eggs gently around the pan so that it fills the empty spaces within the shrimps
4. Add cilantro leaf near each shrimp on the egg. Give a gentle press (using flat turnover ladle) over the entire egg with shrimp and cilantro
5. Cut out each egg (with shrimp + cilantro) using a cookie cutter and serve.
Option: I enjoyed mine with mango salsa. It goes really well! You could just have coarsely ground black pepper sprinkled on it if you really want it easier.

Similar idea from the spinach omelette "cookie" - remember ?

Other shrimp-worthy sides and snacks:
Shrimp Toasts, Shrimp Squares
Bread Crusted Shrimp Rolls
Nori/Seaweed Shrimps

This side dish goes well with mango salsa. My recipe for mango-kiwi salsa here.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Spicy Sambal Chili Eggs for World Egg Day

These Sambal Chili Eggs are spicilicious - definitely good with steamed rice or up the stakes... ...with... ... how about Nasi Lemak ?

Spicy Chili Eggs/Sambal Chili Eggs
Eggs - to be hard-boiled; 1-2 medium onions, sambal chili (I used bottled sambal chili - in California, they are available in Asian supermarkets such as Ranch 99); sugar

In a lightly oiled pan, fry the sambal chili to exude aroma. Add in onions and saute till onions are caramelized. Add in some sugar if mixture is too salty. Top the sambal chili onions over the eggs.


Check out Teczcape - An Escape to Food for more!

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