Friday, April 18, 2014

Stir-Fry Long Beans with Roasted Pork in Black Pepper Sauce

This is one of those simple "everyday" dish, that is great with some Jasmine rice. Really easy, quick and delicious.

I made this dish a couple of weeks ago using frozen roasted pork. You may however used freshly bought roasted pork belly. Since mine was frozen, I thawed it overnight in the refrigerator, pan-fry the whole piece with a teaspoon of oil in a saucepan on both sides over low heat until the meat is heated thru and skin is crispy. Remove, drain, let cool and cut to thin slices.

Long beans which are cut into 2" sections, are first sauteed in a little oil until cooked but still crunchy, with some black marks appear in some pieces, about 4-5 minutes. They are removed to a plate and proceed with the cooking of the sauce, and toss everything together to combine together with the roasted pork.

The brand of black pepper sauce I used is Lee Kum Kee. Different brands may differ in terms of the spiciness and saltiness, adjust according to your taste.

A simple and tasty dish, great with rice.

Stir-Fry Long Beans with Roasted Pork In Black Pepper Sauce
(recipe by kitchen flavours)
300gm long beans (cut to 2" sections)
300gm roasted pork (cut to thin slices)
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 red chillies (discard seeds and sliced thinly)
2 tbsp cooking oil

The sauce : mix together in a bowl
2-1/2 tbsps black pepper sauce
1/2 tsp sugar, to taste
pinch of salt, to taste
1/4 cup water
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok. Stir-fry long beans over high heat for 4-5 minutes until cooked but still crunchy, some black spots may appear in some pieces. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil in wok. When oil is hot, add in the minced garlic and saute until light brown and fragrant. Pour in the sauce mixture, letting it come to a boil for a minute or two until sauce has reduced to about 3/4.
  3. Add in the long beans and chillies, stir for half a minute and lastly, add in the roasted pork slices. Stir for half a minute more and dish out to a serving plate. Serve hot with rice.

I'm sharing this post with :
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz. Helen's Country Cottage

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spaghetti Bolognese

It's "Potluck Week" at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). It's our third week of cooking with Nigel Slater. For Potluck Week, we have the option of cooking from any of our previous featured chefs recipes, but I've decided to use one of his recipes for this week's Potluck.

I've made "A Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese" a couple of weekends ago, for dinner, when the family requested for pasta. This recipe can be found from his book "The Kitchen Diaries", page 21, entered on January 17. 

What drawn me to his recipe is that he uses full-cream milk or cream for his Bolognese. And I was wondering the taste of cream in a Bolognese recipe, as the traditional recipe do not use any cream or milk. That led me to google for info on "Traditional Bolognese Recipe", and found an interesting article here.

I have made some minor changes to the ingredients, using what I have, which are really just minor changes. The changes I've made are, to replace the pancetta with bacon, ground pork instead of lamb or beef. The sauce is cooked as per the recipe instructions below and simmered for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, and checking the liquid level so that the sauce do not dry out. Then the milk or cream is poured in a bit at a time, and continue to cook for another 20 minutes.

My notes : Before I added in the cooking cream, I tasted a spoonful of the sauce, it tastes really nice. I then added in about a quarter of the cream, and tasted again, it is nice. Then another quarter of the cream goes in, tasted again, I like it better with lesser cream and better still with no cream! So I stopped at only 100ml of the cream. Overall, this is a very tasty bolognese, though to me, it is not "A Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese" as the name of the recipe. (My favourite is still Jamie Oliver's, which I have posted here). That being said, the family did enjoy this pasta meal, I would not mind cooking this again, and would probably omit the cream.

A Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese
(adapted from "The Kitchen Diaries", Nigel Slater)
50gm butter
70gm cubed pancetta
1 medium onion
2 fat cloves garlic
1 carrot
2 stalks celery
2 large flat mushrooms, about 100gm
2 bay leaves
400gm minced beef or lamb
200ml crushed tomatoes or passata
200ml red wine
200ml stock
1 nutmeg
200ml full cream milk or cream

To serve :
Spaghetti or tagliatelle for 4
grated Parmesan

Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan. I use a cast-iron one about 24cm in diameter - then stir in the pancetta and let it cook for five minutes or so, without colouring much. Meanwhile peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and stir them into the pancetta. Scrub and finely chop the carrot and celery and stir them in, too. Lastly, finely chop the mushrooms and add to the pan, then tuck in the bay leaves and leave to cook for ten minutes over a moderate heat, stirring frequently.
Turn up the heat and tip in the meat, breaking it up well with a fork.
Now leave to cook without stirring for a good three or four minutes then, as the meat on the bottom is starting to brown, stir again, breaking up the meat where necessary, and leave to colour.
Mix in the tomatoes, red wine, stock, a grating of nutmeg and some salt and black pepper, letting it come to the boil. Turn the heat down so that everything barely bubbles. There should be movement, but one that is gentle, not quite a simmer. Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave to putter away for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring from time to time and checking the liquid levels. You don't want it to be dry.
Pour in the milk or cream a bit at a time, stir and continue cooking for twenty minutes. Check the seasoning, then serve with the pasta and grated Parmesan.
Enough for 4.

To view what everyone is bringing for this week's Potluck, please visit IHCC.

and I'm linking this post with :

 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cinnamon Bread Stick with Chocolate Sauce

These cinnamon bread sticks are so easy  to make. The dough needs only one rising, and you can enjoy these in less than two hours. Make it in the early afternoon, and by tea-time, you'll have these Cinnamons Sticks to enjoy with a cup of warm tea.

The risen dough is rolled out and divided into four equal sections. Brush the top with some oil, (I used canola), and scatter with half the mixture of demerara sugar and cinnamon, pressing the mixture down lightly. Then place the dough onto a baking sheet with the cinnamon-sugar mixture facing down. Repeat with the top, brushing with oil and scatter with the balance half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Using a dough scraper, divide each piece into 3 pieces, totalling 12 pieces. You may need to adjust the positions of the pieces on the baking tray, spacing them a little. Bake in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, (mine took about 18 minutes), until golden.

Transfer the baked Cinnamon Sticks to a wire rack to cool slightly.

There's a chocolate sauce in the recipe, but I have opted an easy way out of using some leftover chocolate syrup instead... I was lazy and I do not like to melt chocolate, I hate to do the cleaning up!

which is not a good idea... it did not have that "umph"! My daughter was rather silent when she ate this.... So I took out THE chocolate sauce....

Good old Nutella to the rescue! What a difference it made! The breadstick are yummy with Nutella!

Back into the fridge the chocolate syrup went! We ate the rest of the bread sticks with Nutella. These bread sticks are best eaten while still warm, while they are soft. They get a little stale when they have cooled down. If you are making these, either make the chocolate sauce, or use Nutella instead!

Cinnamon Bread Sticks With Chocolate Sauce
(adapted from the independent, Bill Granger)
300gm/10oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp light-flavoured oil, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the chocolate sauce :
150gm/5oz plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
4 tbsp double cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Put the flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a bowl, stir to combine. Make a well in the center, then pour in 200ml/7fl oz of tepid water and stir to form a soft dough.
Tip out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and set aside for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6 and lightly grease an oven tray. Combine the demerara sugar and cinnamon. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and stretch it out to about 20cm x 20cm.
Brush it with oil then scatter with half the sugar-and-cinnamon mix, pushing the mixture down lightly, then place the dough sugared-side down on the prepared oven tray.
Brush with oil and top with the remaining sugar-and-cinnamon mix and cut into 12 lengths. Separate the sticks slightly and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until cooked through and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack.
For the chocolate sauce, put all the ingredients in a small pan over a very low heat. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Stir in a pinch of salt. Serve the warm bread sticks with the chocolate sauce on the side.


I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, All-Stars Anniversary Party, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsMich of Piece of Cake and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.
(click on any of the hostess blog for further info and to link your posts)

All-Stars Anniversary Party featured chefs :  Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Curtis Stone, Ree Drummond, Bill Granger, Masterchefs, Martha Stewart, Delia Smith, Donna Hay


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cranberry Mulberry Orange Sorbet

Our weather is much cooler with rain almost everyday, and the days are not as hot and humid, like we had for the past few months. Even with the cooler weather, it did not stop us from craving for cold desserts. I made this Cranberry Mulberry Orange Sorbet and we had this at 10pm a couple of nights ago when it was raining cats and dogs, with thunder and lightning for company! 

This sorbet has a vibrant deep beautiful colour of red, from both the cranberries and mulberries.

The original recipe uses 1-1/2 cups of cranberries, without any mulberries, but I do not have enough of cranberries in my freezer, so I used a mixture of cranberries and mulberries.

I have about 3/4 cup of frozen cranberries, made up the balance of 3/4 cup, with freshly picked mulberries from my kind neighbour's tree. (I have the green light to pick the berries anytime I want, since they do not eat the berries themselves, lucky me!)

The cranberries, mulberries, orange zest, sugar and water are boiled for a minute or two. Remove saucepan from heat, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, squeeze some orange juice, about 1-1/2 cups

At the end of 30 minutes, process the cranberries-mulberries mixture in a blender and strain over a sieve into a measuring jug or large bowl. Discard the skins or residue collected in the strainer.

Pour the orange juice into the berries liquid, and stir to combine.

Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of Grand Marnier (optional).

Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate in the fridge until really cold, preferably overnight.

The next day, churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Sorbet is not really thick, but it has an icy-crystal texture. Scoop into a container and freeze.

After overnight in the freezer.
Beautiful vibrant colour from the berries! 
Really refreshing and yummy! Especially good, after a meal at dinnertime. It is so refreshing and berrylicious!

If you do not have an ice cream maker, make this into granita instead. Either sorbet or granita, these are wonderfully berry-refreshing!

Cranberry-Orange Sorbet
(adapted from "The Perfect Scoop" David Lebovitz)
Makes about 1 quart (1 liter)
1-1/2 cups (180gm) cranberries, fresh or frozen (I use 3/4 cup cranberries and 3/4 cup mulberries)
1 cup (250ml) water
3/4 cup (150gm) sugar
grated zest of 1 orange
1-1/2 cups (375ml) freshly squeezed orange juice (from 5 or 6 oranges)
1 to 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier or Cointreau (optional)

Heat the cranberries, (mulberries), water, sugar and zest in a medium, non-reactive saucepan until the liquid begins to boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
Pass the cranberries and their liquid through a food mill fitted with a fine disk, or puree them in a blender or food processor and then press the puree through a sieve to remove any large bits of cranberry skin. Stir in the orange juice and the liqueur, if using.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Ann of Anncoo Journal . 



 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg

Friday, April 11, 2014

Linguine with Tuna, Chilli and Capers

This simple pasta dish is easy to prepare and does not take up much time in preparing it. I was busy with my gardening and lost track of the time, and realized that the kids would be back from school in a little more than an hour, and have not made any lunch yet. So I quickly glanced through Delia Smith's website and came across this pasta dish, which is quick and simple to make.

I have all the ingredients required except for the main ingredient, that is canned sardines in olive oil. But I do have a can of tuna in olive oil so that was what I used.

Firstly, get the water for the pasta boiling, add some salt, and cook the pasta until al dente. While waiting for the water to boil, snip some basil leaves from the garden, grab that can of tuna and chopped tomatoes, some capers from the jar, chopped up one red chilli and garlic, and get ready to cook. Heat some oil in a saucepan, saute the chopped garlic and chilli, add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the basil, season with salt and black pepper. When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and add the sauce to the pasta and toss till evenly coated. Add some pasta water if it appears dry. Serve with torn basils sprinkled over.

If you have a can of tuna and canned chopped tomatoes in your pantry, then you are good to go! Easy, quick, simple and kids like it!

Linguine with Sardines, Chilli and Capers
(adapted from
8 oz (225 gm) dried linguine
1 x 120gm tin of sardines in olive oil, well drained and the fish flaked into bite-sized pieces
(I replaced with flaked tuna in olive oil)
1 tablespoon sardine oil, reserved from the tin for frying
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and patted dry
1 clove garlic, chopped
7 oz (200 gm) tinned Italian chopped tomatoes, well drained, or 4 medium, ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced (I used 400gm canned chopped tomatoes)
a few fresh basil leaves, roughly torn, to garnish
salt and freshly milled black pepper

First of all you need to cook the pasta. Always use a large cooking pot and make sure you have at least 4 pints (2.25 litres) of water for every 8 oz (225 gm) of pasta and 1 level tablespoon of salt. Bring the water up to a good fierce boil before the pasta goes in and cook it for 8-12 minutes without a lid, until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of sardine oil in a small frying pan, fry the garlic and chilli for about 4 minutes, until softened, then add the tomatoes, sardines and capers, and gently heat them through, stirring occasionally. Taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper.

When the pasta is ready, drain it into a colander, then quickly return it to the saucepan. Add the sauce, toss it around thoroughly for 30 seconds or so, then serve in hot pasta bowls with the torn basil sprinkled over.


I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, All-Stars Anniversary Party, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsMich of Piece of Cake and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.
(click on any of the hostess blog for further info and to link your posts)

All-Stars Anniversary Party featured chefs :  Ina Garten, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Curtis Stone, Ree Drummond, Bill Granger, Masterchefs, Martha Stewart, Delia Smith, Donna Hay


Related Posts with Thumbnails