Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #3 : Hot and Sour Cucumber Salad

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here


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Cookbook Countdown #3 : Recipe No. 8 - Hot and Sour Cucumber Salad
from my selected cookbook for this month, My China by Kylie Kwong


I harvested three cucumbers from my garden pot and made this Hot and Sour Cucumber Salad which is really nice. This is similar to a quick pickle. Sour, sweet, salty and crisp, with flavours from the garlic, ginger, spring onions and chillies. I mixed everything and keep covered in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before eating it. Great when eaten cold.



Simple, quick and easy.


Hot and Sour Cucumber Salad
(adapted from "My China", Kylie Kwong)
4 small cucumbers - about 875gm (1 lb 12oz) in total, peeled
1 large green chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
1 large red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely sliced

Dressing :
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5cm (2in) piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Cut cucumbers in half lengthways and then into 5mm (1/4 in) slices on the diagonal.
In a bowl, combine cucumber with chillies and spring onion.
To make the dressing, combine ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon dressing over salad, toss gently and serve.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Whole Wheat Bread

This is a lovely whole wheat bread. Recipe is from a bread machine cookbook, where all the ingredients are placed in the bread machine pan, and let the machine do all the work, and you would have one lovely baked bread to enjoy for your breakfast. As usual, I prefer to finish the baking in the oven. So I have used the bread machine to knead the dough, right up to the first rising, then I took out the dough, shape it and placed it in a greased loaf pan for the second rise, and then bake in the oven.



Bread turns out really nice, moist and soft.



Wholesome, healthy bread, perfect for breakfast, spread with butter and jam. And it freezes well too. I had four slices which I kept frozen, simply thaw it and toast until crispy, which I've enjoyed with some homemade tapenade.



Whole Wheat Bread
(adapted from "Biggest Book of Bread Machine Recipes", Better Homes and Gardens)
Makes 1-1/2 pound loaf
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons honey or sugar (I use honey)
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 teaspoon salt (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Select the loaf size. Add the ingredients to the machine according to the manufacturer's direction. If available, select the whole grain cycle, or select the basic white bread cycle.

Kitchen Flavours notes : To bake in the oven
I use the bread machine to knead the dough, selecting the "Wholewheat Dough" cycle. This cycle will knead the dough, with the first rising in the bread pan. When the cycle has completed, I remove the dough, pat it out on a lightly floured work surface to roughly about 8"x 10" rectangle. Dough will be slightly sticky, so flour your hands lightly. Roll it up tightly like a swiss roll and place in a 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" greased loaf pan. Cover loosely with greased cling wrap and let rise until almost double in size. Remove the cling wrap and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 minutes or until the bread is done. Remove bread from pan and let cool completely before slicing.


This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (March 2015 Event: Honey) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Joyce (joycescapade.com).


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mini Frittata with Leeks and Broccoli

"Goodbye Ellie", we are saying goodbye to Ellie Krieger, whose recipes we have cooked from, for the last six months. But like all the featured chefs at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), we will be seeing Ellie again in our potluck months. So to wish Ellie goodbye for now, and to thank you for all the delicious healthy recipes that she has shared, I've made one of her recipe from her latest cookbook "You Have It Made", which I have not yet own, (it's on my wishlist!), for our weekday lunch.


Originally, the recipe is called Mini Frittata with Leeks and Asparagus, but I have replaced the asparagus with broccoli instead. 


These are baked in muffin pans, be sure to grease your pans really well.  Leek, mushroom and broccoli are sauteed in a little oil until softened, about 5 minutes, then keep aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile mix the eggs and milk in a large bowl, then mix in the vegetables, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. (I fry about 1 tablespoon of the mixture to check on the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary). Divide evenly among the muffin pans, ( I got only 11). Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 375F.



These are delicious! Egg, cheese and veggies, what's not to like about these mini frittata! The great thing is, the leftovers can be kept covered in the refrigerator for 3 days. Simply reheat before serving.



We had the mini frittata for lunch with some green frisee and sliced tomatoes. Yum! And I had the leftovers again for breakfast the next day with a slice of toasted bread. Nice!

Mini Frittata with Leeks and Asparagus
(adapted from here, You Have It Made, Ellie Krieger)
Serves 6
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 bunch asparagus (1 lb), sliced on the bias into 1/2" pieces (2 cups) (I replaced with broccoli)
6 medium white button mushrooms, sliced (4oz)
7 large eggs
1/4 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leek, asparagus, and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 6 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl. Stir in the cooked vegetables, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  4. Distribute the mixture evenly into the muffin pan. Bake until set in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To Refrigerate and Reheat :
Allow to cool in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Then transfer the frittatas to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Frittatas may be served at room temperature or reheated. To reheat, place on a foil-lined baking tray and warm in a 350F oven, uncovered, for 5 to 8 minutes, or place in a microwave-safe plate, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave for 30 seconds for a single portion.


Freezing is not recommended.



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Here's some of our favourite recipes from Ellie that I've made over the last six months.











I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
Goodbye Ellie


We will be cooking from the recipes of our new selected featured chef for the next six months, Curtis Stone. If you would like to join us, please stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for more details.



Monday, March 28, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #3 : Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Black Beans, Chillies and Coriander

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here


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Cookbook Countdown #3 : Recipe No. 7 - Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Black Beans, Chillies and Coriander from my selected cookbook for this month, My China by Kylie Kwong


I cook noodles almost every week, as it is a quick and easy meal to prepare, and makes a very filling meal. There's a few noodle recipes in Kylie Kwong's "My China" cookbook, and I just got try at least one. I've chosen to cook Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Black Beans, Chillies and Coriander, all my favourite ingredients in a stir-fry!


Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Black Beans, Chillies and Coriander.

Get all the ingredients ready as this is a quick stir-fry noodle. I have used much, much, more of fresh coriander leaves and stems, even though the recipe uses only 1/3 cup. Knowing that the veggies will wilt in the hot stir-fry and 1/3 cup is really not enough, at least to me! I have used a large bunch of coriander, the more the better! 


A quick weekday lunch. Simple, tasty and fragrant from the coriander. This would make a lovely meal for vegetarians.


Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Black Beans, Chillies and Coriander
(adapted from "My China", Kylie Kwong)
500gm (1lb) fresh rice noodles sheets
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons salted black beans
1/3 cup finely shopped coriander (cilantro) roots and stems
2 large red chillies, finely chopped
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Cut noodle sheets into 1 cm (1/2 in) strips and carefully separate them.
Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add black beans, coriander and chilli and stir-fry for 1-1/2 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure the black beans do not burn. Toss in rice noodles and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes or until noodles are heated through. Serve immediately.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Quick Chili

It's March 2016 IHCC Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I'm sharing one more of Nigella Lawson's recipe this week. I made this Quick Chili a few weeks ago which we had with Rick Bayless's, Garlicky White Rice.




Just as it's name, this is a quick chili to make. It does not take long to cook, unlike the usual chili that is usually braised for 2 hours or more. This recipe is from Nigella's book, "Nigella Express", so that explains why this is cooked in an "express" way! It takes only about 40 minutes to cook, from start to finish. 



This dish uses store-bought jar of chunky vegetable pasta sauce and canned mixed spicy beans. I have replaced the minced beef with pork.



Smells good with the spices ; ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cardamom pods.


Served over Garlicky White Rice with a generous amount of chopped cilantro. It was delicious! This Quick Chili is perfect with the rice. A new favourite with my family. One that I would gladly cook again.


Quick Chili
(Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson, or here)
5 oz chorizo sausage (not the hard salami sort of sausage), halved lengthwise and
        cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 lb ground beef (I use ground pork)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cardamom pods, bruised
2 cups good-quality tomato and chunky vegetable sauce for pasta
1 14-oz can mixed spicy beans
1/4 cup sweet chile sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, optional, or if your canned beans are not spicy

  1. Put the sliced chorizo into a hot pan and cook over medium heat until the sausage crisps a little and gives up its orange-red oil.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden fork to help it brown.
  3. Stir in the spices and then add the tomato-vegetable pasta sauce, beans, and chile sauce. Also add the chile flakes if you need more heat.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes and eat with rice or just as it is. If you're not adding any rice, you might consider dolloping with a blob of sour cream and sprinkling some grated cheese and chopped cilantro. I can't think of any way of eating this that isn't good.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
March 2016 IHCC Potluck


and


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #3 : Lion's Head Meatball

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here


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Cookbook Countdown #3 : Recipe No. 6 - Lion's Head Meatball
from my selected cookbook for this month, My China by Kylie Kwong

This is the kind of dish that I would eat at Chinese restaurants, and would never have thought of making it at home. Now that I've tried Kylie Kwong's version, it really is simple and easy to make at home, the only thing is, to braise the dish at a low simmer for 2 hours.



Two large outer leaves of the napa cabbage are used to line the base of the claypot. I did not cut the leaves into strips as indicated in the recipe. The meatballs are prepared by combining all the meatball ingredients, divide into four equal portions, shape each one into a round ball, then roll in cornstarch to coat all sides. Fry for a few minutes on all sides until golden brown. Using a smaller inner leave of the napa cabbage, wrap each meatball, wrapping the leaves over itself to enclose the meatball. Place the wrapped meatballs in the cabbage-lined claypot. Add in Shao Hsing wine, soy sauce and chicken stock, bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.



After the slow braising of two hours, here's the Lion's Head Meatballs. The sauce has reduced to almost half.






Does this resemble a lion's head?  Mmmm.....maybe..



Resembles or not, this is delicious! After the long braising, the cabbage leaves are tender soft and the pork meatballs are very tasty from the wine and soy sauce. We had this with rice for dinner, and the tasty sauce when spooned over the rice and meatballs, delish! Everything was polished off and not a drop of the sauce remains! Yum!



Lion's Head Meatballs
(source from "My China", Kylie Kwong)
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
2 large outer leaves and 4 smaller inner leaves Chinese cabbage
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 cup Shao Hsing wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon light soy sauce

Meatballs :
500gm (1lb) fatty pork mince
5cm (2in) piece ginger, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar

To make the meatballs, place all ingredients in a large bowl and, using your hands, mix thoroughly, taking small handfuls and "slapping" them against side of bowl to tenderise meat.
Spread cornflour over a large plate. Divide meatball mixture into four equal portions, shaping each one into a rough round cake - a "lion's head". Carefully roll each meatball in cornflour to coat.
Cut each of the large cabbage leaves crossways into four strips, then use these to line the base of a claypot or flameproof casserole dish.
Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Reduce heat to medium-low, then carefully place two meatballs in wok and fry for 2 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to cabbage-lined claypot. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
Cover each meatball with one of the smaller cabbage leaves, wrapping the cabbage leaf around so that it resembles a lion's mane. Add Shao Hsing wine, stock and soy sauce to claypot, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for 2 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer lion's head meatballs to a serving platter, ladle over sauce and serve immediately.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Italian Traybake : Bake-Along #93

It's Bake-Along #93, and the selected theme by Lena is Baked/Roast Chicken. I've made one of Nigella Lawson's chicken traybake recipe today for dinner (talking about last minute!). I was planning on making this traybake more than a week ago, but I was down with fever for a few days. And it took me almost a whole week to recover, what with our current heat wave which we are experiencing right now, is not helping much at all. I wish I have a swimming pool at home where I can cool off the whole day! The family has been eating takeaways for almost a week, because the cook in the house is out of action! LOL! But it rained today! Yay! What a welcome relief!

According to Nigella, this traybake, "It is "Italian" - in it's flavourings - the rosemary and lemon that waft gorgeously through the house as you cook - and in deference to the Italian sausages I use in it." 
And she is right - about the delicious aroma! I popped the tray into the oven, (my daughter helped me watch over it while I went to fetch my son from school), and just as I reached home about an hour later, I can already smell the delicious lemony-rosemary aroma right at my front door! Made our tummies growl!




I've used 6 chicken thighs and two drumsticks, 4 Italian sausages and Russet potatoes which I've peeled and cut into quarters. Fresh rosemary from my garden pot, and zest of one lemon. Put everything in a shallow baking tray, season with salt and pepper, with a drizzling of olive oil. Bake at 220C for 50-60 minutes. I baked them at 200C (I was going out), and when I came back about an hour later, I increased the temperature to 220C, move the tray up a rack in the oven, and baked them for another 15 minutes to brown the chicken and the potatoes.



These are so delicious! The chicken thigh has crispy skin with moist tender meat. And the Italian sausages, well, what can I say about the sausages! Next time, I will add a couple more Italian sausages to the tray! As for the potatoes, Nigella has this to say "What I need to tell you most urgently though is that the potatoes chunks soak up the meaty, lemony juices as they cook. So set your mind not to expect crunchy roast potatoes, but rather soft-soused chunks, scorched crisp at the corners." There was quite an amount of the tasty juices in the tray, perfect to drizzle over the chicken thighs during serving. With this traybake, I am reminded once again, how much I love all of Nigella's roast/bake chicken recipes, at least the ones that I've tried!



Italian Traybake
(from "Nigellissima", by Nigella Lawson)
Serves 4-6
3 baking potatoes (approx 750gm total), unpeeled and cut into 2cm chunks
8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
8 Italian sausages (approx 750gm total)
small bunch (6 or 7 sprigs) fresh rosemary
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt
ground pepper
4x15ml tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 7.
Put the potatoes into a large, shallow baking tray and add the chicken thighs and sausages. If using 2 trays, divide everything between them (and also swap the trays over and turn them round halfway through cooking time).
Arrange about 4 sprigs of the rosemary among the chicken and sausages, then finely chop the needles of another 2 sprigs, to give you about 2 teaspoons of finely chopped needles, and sprinkle these onto the chicken pieces.
Zest the lemon over everything, and season with the salt and a good grinding of pepper. Drizzle with the oil and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the chicken skin and sausages are golden and the potato pieces are cooked through. It's fine to let all of this stand for up to 30 minutes once cooked, prior to serving.


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Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :


For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking Dried-Cherry Chocolate Muffins (Williams-Sonoma : Essential of Baking, pg 78, or here). Link your post to our linky which will open from 21st to 30th AprilEveryone is welcome to join us! Only current posts please.


Photobucket



A friendly reminder when linking to our linky :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BAKE OR THEME provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.



And since I'm cooking with Nigella Lawson's recipe, I'm also linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
March 2016 IHCC Potluck




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Arugula, Carrot Greens, Apple and Almond Salad with Honey-Lemon Dressing

This is a simple salad, and it is really nice and refreshing. I've made this a number of times, using different salad greens. The Honey-Lemon dressing is very simple, just a mixture of honey, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. 




Here, I have used baby arugula leaves, young tender leaves from my carrot plants, green apple and chopped toasted almonds. 



Simply mix the Honey-Lemon dressing and drizzle over the salad ingredients and enjoy! This is simple and refreshing. The Honey-Lemon dressing is especially good drizzled over bitter salad greens like frisee. My kids love this dressing and sometimes when we have roasted chicken for dinner, I would make a simple salad of just a mixed leafy greens and reds, with a bowl of the Honey-Lemon dressing at the side, and let them drizzle over their salad as much as they want. If you prefer a sweet dressing, simply add more honey, or for a more lemony dressing, reduce the honey and add more lemon juice.

If there's any Honey-Lemon dressing leftover, you can always add some water, cubes of ice and you would have a refreshing honey-lemon drink! Or you could add a tablespoon or two into your cup of plain tea, and you would have Honey-Lemon Tea! You may need to add more honey if you are making it into drinks. 


From my container garden : Baby Arugula Leaves and young tender leaves from my carrot plants.


Arugula, Carrot Greens, Apple and Almond Salad with Honey-Lemon Dressing
(by kitchen flavours)
a large handful of fresh baby arugula leaves
a few sprigs of young tender carrot leaves, use only the leaves
(or replace the augula and carrot leaves with a bunch of any salad greens)
1 medium green apple
some toasted almonds, chopped
juice of half a lemon
3 to 4 tablespoons honey, or to taste
pinch of salt

Prepare the honey-lemon dressing by mixing in a bowl, the lemon juice, honey and salt to taste. Stir till evenly combine.
Cut apple into quarters, remove the core, then sliced thinly. Put into a serving bowl and mix with the arugula and carrot leaves. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the honey-lemon dressing, mix to combine.  Scatter with the chopped toasted almond and drizzle more honey-lemon dressing. You may not need to use all of the honey-lemon dressing, if there's any extra, make it into a cold drink by adding some water and ice cubes, and enjoy it with your salad!




This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (March 2015 Event: Honey) organized by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Doreen (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Joyce (joycescapade.com).


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #3 : Dongpo Pork with Braised Potatoes

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here


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Cookbook Countdown #3 : Recipe No. 5 - Dongpo Pork with Braised Potatoes
from my selected cookbook for this month, My China by Kylie Kwong


This is for pork belly fans! If you are thinking of making this dish, do not skip the first step, on how to remove the impurities from the pork belly pieces. You would be surprised at the amount of scum that appears in the water. There's some sugar used in the recipe, but I have omitted that as I prefer salty dishes to sweet, it's all a matter of preference. And as for the potatoes, I've only added them in during the last 25-30 minutes of braising the pork belly, as I thought that if I braised the potatoes for 50 minutes, they will be mashed potatoes instead! 



Quite a delicious dish! Great with white rice. All you need is just some stir-fried green veggies, and perhaps a bowl of clear vegetable soup.


Dongpo Pork with Braised Potatoes
(My China, by Kylie Kwong or here)
Serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal
750gm (1lb 8oz) pork belly, cut into 1cm (1/2 in) cubes
5cm (2 in) piece ginger, cut into thin strips
4 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
4 tablespoons peanut oil
375gm (12 oz) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm (1/2 slices)
3 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine, extra
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar (omitted)
5 cups water

To remove any impurities from meat, place pork belly in a large pan or stockpot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain, discarding water. Rinse pork thoroughly under cold running water and drain well.
Combine pork with ginger and Shao Hsing wine in a bowl. Cover, place in refrigerator and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
Heat half the peanut oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the pork and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Remove pork with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Add remaining oil to wok with rest of pork and stir-fry for 4 minutes.
Return all pork to wok, along with potatoes, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. (I added the potatoes during the last 30 minutes of cooking). Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, covered, for 50 minutes or until pork is tender. Serve immediately. 



I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




Monday, March 14, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #3 : Omelette With Sweet And Sour Tomato Sauce

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here


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Cookbook Countdown #3 : Recipe No. 4 - Omelette with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce
from my selected cookbook for this month, My China by Kylie Kwong



This is just the type of "everyday dish" that is easy and simple to cook for any week day dinner as part of a meal with rice and other dishes. Eggs are made into omelettes and the sauce is cooked separately, then pour over the omelettes before serving. The omelette are cooked by folding the beaten eggs in the pan a number of times, resulting in a thicker than normal omelettes, so I have divided the beaten eggs into two and have made two omelettes.



A nice dish to eat with fully white rice. The only thing is, there's really not enough of  sauce, which you could tell from the list on the recipe. I have added a few tablespoons of water and more of the wine, vinegar and soy sauce, to taste. 



Omelette with Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce
(My China by Kylie Kwong, or here)
Serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 free-range eggs, lightly beaten

Sauce :
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
6 fine slices ginger, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon brown sugar
6 red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
6 yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely sliced
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
1 teaspoon shoyu
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

First, make the sauce. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add sugar and allow to caramelize for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and spring onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add Shao Hsing wine, shoyu and vinegar and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Stir through sesame oil and set sauce aside.
For the omelette, heat vegetable oil in a hot wok until the surface seems to shimmer slightly. Pour lightly beaten eggs into wok and leave to cook on base of wok for 30 seconds, without stirring. Using a spatula, fold omelette over onto itself and leave to cook for another 30 seconds. Fold over again and leave for 20 seconds or until almost set. Repeat once more before lifting omelette from wok onto a serving platter.
Meanwhile, gently reheat sauce, then spoon over omelette and serve immediately.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




Thursday, March 10, 2016

Stir-fried Pork with Gai Choy

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here


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Cookbook Countdown #3 : Recipe No. 3 - Stir-fried Pork with Gai Choy
from my selected cookbook for this month, My China by Kylie Kwong


Kai Choy harvest from my garden.


Kai Choy (heading mustard), has a slightly pungent and bitter taste. Either you like it or you don't. These veggies are from my garden pot. I was browsing thru Kylie Kwong's cookbook, when I saw a recipe uses Kai Choy, and I was all smiles, as I have a container of Kai Choy that are just right for harvest! I like Kai Choy the best when they are braised in a sour and spicy dish which we call "Shin Lat Choy". In this dish, Kai Choy is cut to big pieces, then cooked in a slow braise for 2-3 hours with roasted meat (usually roasted pork or duck), along with dried red chillies for spiciness and dried tamarind pieces for sourness. With this slow braising, the veggies would be all soft and tender, would have lost its bitterness, and would absorb the flavours of the roasted meat, chillies and tamarind. Salty, spicy and sour. Delish!  

Now let's get on to Kylie Kwong's recipe which is stir-fried with pieces of pork fillet.



I've used pork tenderloin fillet for this dish, sliced to thin pieces. If you have a copy of this book, you would notice that the photo in the book and my dish as pictured above are totally different in colour! LOL! From the book, the dish is a much darker colour while mine is very pale in comparison. I don't know why! The only thing I did not use is the brown sugar, and it is just a mere 1/2 teaspoon! Recipe uses 1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar but I've used the regular white rice vinegar, which I'm sure would not make such a vast difference in colour, with only 1 teaspoon. Maybe there's some black soy sauce in there, but somehow it was missing in the list of ingredients? I could have added the black soy sauce for extra colour but decided to leave it as it is.

This dish is nice if you do not mind bitter vegetables, as Kai Choy is a little bitter. Luckily for me, both my hubby and son do not mind eating this dish as they like bitter veggies. Except for my daughter who does not like anything bitter, she would not eat the Kai Choy after tasted one piece! Three out of four is not bad at all! I'm planning to grow more of these veggies. 


Stir-fried Pork with Gai Choy
(source from "My China" by Kylie Kwong)
1/2 bunch gai choy (mustard greens) - about 150gm (5oz)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
600gm (1 lb 4oz) pork neck fillet, cut into 5mm (1/4 in) slices
1 tablespoon peanut oil, extra
5cm (2in) piece ginger, cut into thin strips
2 garlic  cloves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
pinch ground white pepper

Trim 5cm (2 in) from stem ends of gai choy. Wash leaves thoroughly, drain well and slice finely.
Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the pork and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Remove pork from wok with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Add extra oil to wok with remaining pork and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Return all pork to wok, along with ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Toss in gai choy and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except pepper and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until pork is just tender. Serve immeditely, sprinkled with pepper.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Garlicky White Rice

"March's Monthly Featured Chef : Rick Bayless", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC).  Rick Bayless was one of the featured chefs at IHCC back in 2012, and the last recipe of his which I've tried was in 2013. Wow, it has been that long!  

I was planning on making chili, and was browsing thru Rick Bayless's website for a simple recipe that would go with the chili. Found his simple and easy Garlicky White Rice, which sounds good with the magic word "garlicky!"! LOL! We love garlic, and any dish which has "garlicky" in it, is a winner in our books! Chili served over garlicky white rice, sounds good to me!


,

I've made half a recipe since I'm making it for my family of four. Medium grain rice is used. Heat some oil in an ovenproof pot, saute the chopped onions and rice together for 5-7 minutes, until the rice turn milky-white, the chopped garlic is then added, stir to combine. I have added one bay leaf. Pour in the hot stock or water, (I've used chicken stock), with a tablespoon of lime juice. Cover and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 

Instructions in the recipe says to spread the cooked rice on a baking sheet to cool them, and heat up when needed by covering the baking sheet with foil and reheat in the oven to warm the rice. I have however omitted this step (I was pretty lazy!). 15 minutes after the rice has cooked, I gently fluff the rice with a pair of chopsticks, and then transfer the rice into the rice cooker pot,  press the keep warm function. It will stay warm for hours.



The rice is really nice, but I would prefer if there are more garlic, as I can taste and smell the onions more than the garlic. The next time, I would use a small onion, as I have used a medium sized one for this. And for a more garlic flavour, I was thinking of  some chopped garlic, fried till golden and crispy, then mix them in with the cooked rice, that would be heavenly garlicky fragrant! But overall, this is a lovely rice dish, my family likes it (there's no leftovers!), and it goes really well with the delicious chili, one of Nigella's recipe. Will be sharing the chili recipe in our coming potluck week. 


Garlicky White Rice
(source from rickbayless.com)
6cups chicken broth or water
Salt
1/3cup vegetable oil
4 1/2cups medium-grain white rice
1large white onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3tablespoons fresh lime juice
Generous ½ cup chopped parsley


Heat the broth or water in a small saucepan until steaming; stir in 2 ¼ teaspoons of salt if using unsalted broth, 1 ½ teaspoons if using salted broth. Cover and keep warm.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.In a large (6-quart), heavy Dutch oven or saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium. Add the rice and onion and stir almost continuously for a minute or so. Continue to fry the rice and onion, stirring occasionally, until the rice has turned milky-white, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic.
Add the lime juice to the simmering broth and immediately add the broth to the rice. Scrape any stray kernels from the sides of the pot, cover and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven, and gently spread the rice out on a rimmed baking sheet. Cooling the rice completely will ensure that it doesn’t overcook. When it’s time to serve to your guests, cover the baking sheet with foil and reheat in a 325 degree oven until the rice is warm. Scoop the rice into a shallow serving dish, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve immediately.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
March's Monthly Featured Chef : Rick Bayless



Sunday, March 6, 2016

Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Black Beans and Ginger

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here


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Cookbook Countdown #3 : Recipe No. 2 - Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Black Beans and Ginger
from my selected cookbook for this month, My China by Kylie Kwong



We love pumpkin. I would usually stir-fried it with garlic and sometimes I would add in dried prawns as well. It is one of my daughter's favourite dish. When I saw this pumpkin recipe in Kylie Kwong's book, I just got to give it a try. Her recipe uses black beans, Shao Hsing wine and ginger, with some rice vinegar. 

This is a simple dish to cook. I have however cooked it longer than indicated in the recipe, as we love our pumpkin to be very soft and almost mushy! As for the seasoning, I have added a little more of the sugar and light soy sauce, according to taste. And some extra tablespoons of water, just so it will not dry out as I have simmered it for an extra few minutes.



This is quite a nice dish to eat as part of a dinner meal with a bowl of rice and some other dishes.



Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Black Beans and Ginger
(My China by Kylie Kwong)
Serves 4-6 as part of a shared meal
500 gm (1 lb) pumpkin, peeled, quartered and de-seeded
2 tablespoons peanut oil
5 cm (2 in) piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salted black beans
1/4 cup Shao Hsing wine
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Cut pumpkin into slices about 7 cm (2-3/4 in) long and 5 mm (1/4 in) thick. Heat peanut oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly, then add pumpkin and ginger and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until pumpkin is lightly browned.
Add black beans and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add Shao Hsing wine and sugar and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour in water and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Serve immediately.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 


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