Wednesday, December 29, 2010

English Gourd and Carrot Soup

English gourd or chayote can be found at very reasonable price in hypermarket. I bought one less than MYR1. Besides using it for stir-frying, it's a good ingredients for soup boiling. Both cooking methods are  great with the natural sweetness of English gourd.

English Gourd and Carrot Soup

1 English gourd, cored and cut into cubes
1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite-sized
8 red dates, pitted
250gm of pork ribs
1 liter water

Light soy sauce or salt to taste

1. Blanch the pork ribs in boiling water, drain and set aside.
2. Add English gourd, carrot, pork ribs and red dates into the inner pot of slow cooker. 
3. Bring 1 liter water to a boil. Pour it over the ingredients.
4.Simmer under high heat for 2 hours, and turn to low heat for the last few hours.
5. Add seasonings and serve hot. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cream of Mushroom

This is a shortcut of preparing the cream of mushroom using Campbell's instant soup with some fresh white button mushrooms. I was worried that preparing mushroom soup from scratch was time consuming, so I came up with this idea, a blend of both instant soup and fresh mushrooms :)

Cream of Mushroom
Serves 2

5 fresh white button mushrooms, chopped
2 packet of Campbell's instant cream of mushroom
1tbsp of olive oil
400ml of boiling water

1. Heat up oil in a pan. Sauté mushroom for few minutes.
2. Pour the instant soup mixture in a bowl. Add the sautéed mushroom.
3. Add boiling water and stir.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Friends, what did you have for your Christmas eve dinner? Although both my family and hubby's family are not Christian, hubby and I took this opportunity to cook some special food at home. We had a merry and romantic Christmas celebration this year. We celebrated our wedding anniversary and Christmas together. Does it sound double happiness?

Instead of roasted chicken or turkey on the Christmas eve, I made up my mind to prepare Chicken Cordon Bleu with sauté vegetables, mashed potato, and creamy mushroom soup. We enjoyed our shopping to pick up the ingredients. The feeling was just so warm and happy. What's more joyful was the scrumptious home cooked meal for this special occasion. We had a peaceful Christmas eve dinner. :)

I'm trying very hard to dig from my memory something special regarding my previous Christmas celebration. Sadly, I couldn't recall a memorable Christmas. Perhaps, this year marked a memorable one. I'm sharing this dish with Sweet Spot's What's Your Favorite Christmas Dish Giveaway hosted by Swee San.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 chicken breast
2 slices ham
2 slices Cheddar cheese
3 tbsp flour
dashes of black pepper powder
dashes of paprika powder
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp salted butter at room temp
cooking oil

1. Debone and remove skin from the chicken breast. Cut the chicken breast into half. Pound the chicken meat.
2. Brush the top side of chicken breast with butter. Sprinkle paprika powder and black pepper powder on top of it. Place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on each piece of breast. Roll up and secure ends with toothpicks.
3. Coat each chicken roll thoroughly with flour. Dip rolls into egg, then roll on bread crumbs.
4. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
5. Heat some oil in a wok. Shallow fry the chicken rolls until golden yellow.
6. Transfer it to baking pan. Remove the toothpicks. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Cupcake

I made these chocolate cupcakes with reference to ncrazykitchen, but it was not as fluffy as her version. Her recipe measurement is by spoon and bowl. Perhaps if I have the right measurement for the milk, I would be able to have better cupcakes. Anyway, these chocolate cupcakes are suitable for the Christmas theme, which is 2 days away from now. Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Glutinous Rice Balls For Winter Solstice

Sharing a bowl of glutinous rice balls and wishing you Happy Winter Solstice! 冬至快乐!
Did you have your bowl of festival dessert already?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Okra with Sambal

During working days, I just allow myself less than 30 minutes to prepare simple dinner. Okra with sambal is a vegetable dish that suits my hectic life. To reduce the cooking time, I prepared the sambal belacan before hand and stored in a air-tight container in the fridge. So, I can serve the sambal with boiled okra or with white cabbage later on. This is another simple way to savor a vegetable dish.

Okra with Sambal

12 Okra, get the head and tail discarded and cut into half
1 tbsp of garlic oil

Sambal :
5 red chili
4 bird's eye chili
1.5cm cube of balacan
3 calamansi
3 Kaffir lime leaves (choose the young leaves) - optional
1 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of light soy sauce

The Sambal
1. Toast the belacan in oven preheated at 200deg C for 10 minutes. Leave it cooled and mash it with a spoon.
2. Blend the chillies, belacan and Kaffir lime leaves till paste form.
3. Sieve in the calamansi juice.
4. Season it with light soy sauce and sugar.

The Okra
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a tbsp of garlic oil. Blanch the okra in boing water for several minutes. Drain and dish out on a plate. Top the okra with sambal. Serve hot.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Money Bag Wonton

This is what I learned from my eldest sister. She used to cook this dish whenever we are invited to have dinner at her place. According to her, this Money Bag Wonton is a famous dish in a local Chinese restaurant.
In fact, the original size is bigger, and the filling consist of some other secret ingredients. Well, for my home made version, it’s been simplified in terms of ingredients and method. No more deep-frying is required as the job is taken over by oven. Sounds healthier right? The only thing is that the crispiness through the baking process won’t last long. So, it’s recommended to serve hot.

Money Bag Wonton

1 packet of wonton skin
3 screw pine leaves, cut into thin strips about 10cm long
1 stalk of spring onion, get the green portion chopped
vegetable oil
banana leaf, cleaned and dried
a small bowl of water (to seal the wonton skin)

100 grams lean pork, minced
110 grams medium-sized prawn, shelled, deveined and minced
2 dried shiitake mushroom, soaked, stalk removed and chopped
2 shallots, peeled and chopped

Marinades for the filling:
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
½ teaspoon of oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of glutinous rice wine
1 teaspoon of corn flour
Dashes of pepper

1.Marinate the filling for 30 minutes.
2.Line a baking tray with banana leaf.
3.Preheat oven at 200 degree Celsius.
4.Put a piece of wonton skin on a clean chop board. Add ½ teaspoon of filling to the center of wonton skin. Top the filling with chopped onion. Wrap up the wonton and tie it up with a pre-cut screw pine strip. Rest it on the baking tray.
5.Repeat step 3 until the filling is used up.
6.Brush the wonton with vegetable oil. Bake for 20 minutes under 200 degree Celsius.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lotus Root & Peanut Soup

This bowl of Lotus Root & Peanut Soup means a lot to me. It was cooked, dished out and photo shot by hubby. He even send over this photo to me while I'm at work. Can you imagine how precious is it? He knows nothing about cooking except soup boiling. That's what I trained him. So far, he did it pretty well. To my surprise, he prove his talent in food presentation. Can you see it from this photo?

For the recipe, please refer here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweet Potato Leaves Stir-Fry

My parents in law's domestic helper plucked some sweet potato leaves for us to bring home. Instead of stir-fry it with sambal, I change another way to cook it. I just stir-fry the sweet potato leaves with garlic, chili and fermented bean. This is another way to savor this precious home grown vegetables.

Sweet Potato Leaves Stir-Fry

2 red chilies, seeded and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp of fermented beans
cooking oil

Light soy sauce to taste

1. Rinse the sweet potato leaves with water. Separate the leaf and stalk. Peel off the skin from the stalk. Cut the stalk into 5cm length.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Saute garlic, chilli and fermented bean till fragrant. Add sweet potatos leaves and stalk. Stir fry till evenly coated with oil. Pour in some water and bring to simmering.
3. Add light soy sauce to taste. Dish out and serve hot with rice.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Home Grown Vegetables

My parents in law's new domestic helper started her job back in May 2010. Since then, I'm seeing a major make over to the back yard. She plants quite a number of species there. She started with tomato plants. However, it was not a successful start. The plants were damaged by 2 rabbits from a neighbor. The rabbits hopped in from the front gate and enjoyed a nice meal munching on the tomato plants. :P

After the incident, she change her strategy to plant bird's eye chilli, screw pine and lemongrass. Then, new species were added by growing sweet potato leaf, sweet leaf (Pucuk Manis), spring onion, Kaffir lime leaf, pineapple, banana tree and papaya tree. 

The following are the snap shots of her hard work. 

Kaffir lime leaves

Sweet potato leave

Bird's eye chilli

Sweet leaf aka pucuk manis

Spring onion

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bali Hai Seafood Market

Bali Hai Seafood Market
90,90A,90B,90C,90D, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang.
Tel: 04-2288272

Bali Hai Seafood Market is a place located along the Gurney Drive Penang. They serve dim sum for breakfast and seafood for dinner. A few hut shelters were set-up at the side. It's was so enjoyable to have our dim sum breakfast in one of the shelter. What made me happy was the delicious dim sum that hubby chose from the dim sum array. All suits my taste buds. Both of us left the restaurant with satisfying tummies.

My favorite crispy prawn roll served with Mayonnaise. A fried dim sum that I used to like these recent years.

Guo-Tie or Pot Stickers served with ginger in black vinegar. These are the well-done guo-tie. It's in  my to-do list now. 

Prawn dumpling or Har Gao. The prawns are fresh and juicy.

Braised chicken feet with spices. I seldom take chicken feet when dine out. So, most of it went to his stomach. :)

Minced pork and crab stick in seaweed.

Pork dumpling or Siew Mai. It tastes average.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Assam Curry Prawns

Prawn is actually a good source of Protein that has lower calories compared to other meat. Its Cholesterol content is also much more lower than crab and squid. Just get the head discarded and veins removed in order to savor prawn in a healthier way.

My mum's assam curry prawn is the dish that makes me mouth-watering whenever I think about it. How can one resist to have such an appetizing spicy tamarind curry? That's why I got my mum verbally pass on her recipe to me. The assam curry prawns is cooked through the similar steps as assam curry fish. I truely enjoyed my weekend lunch savoring the fresh, juicy and tender jumbo prawns. Viola!

Assam Curry Prawns
Serves 5

500 grams jumbo prawns
fresh curry paste
3 stalk of lemongrass, get the white portion bruised
1 ginger bud, quartered
5 Kaffir lime leaves
1 tomato, diced
1 Japanese cucumber, cut into bite-sized
1 onion, peeled and diced
cooking oil
50ml water

light soy sauce to taste
brown sugar to taste
a ping pong-sized of tamarind pulp with 200ml of water (mix and strain the juice)

1. Heat up the wok with enough oil. Stir fry the onion, Kaffir lime leave, lemongrass, ginger bud and curry paste for few minutes until fragrant.
2. Sieve in the tamarind juice and 50ml of water. Bring to a boil. Add prawns, stir and cover the lid for a while. 
3. Add tomato and cucumber. Stir well. Add seasonings to taste. Cook until the prawns curled up. Serve hot with rice.


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