Monday, March 28, 2011

Banana Muffin - The Creaming Method

It's been a long time since my last baking. I got ripe bananas that I couldn't finish up, so I used it to bake some banana muffins. My earlier banana muffin baking was using muffin method. This time, I decided to try the creaming method. Overall, the result is pretty impressive. This is my own recipe that is modified from the banana cake.

Banana Muffin
Yields for 10 muffins

3 eggs
200gm plain flour
2tsp of baking powder
120gm fine sugar
120gm salted butter
220gm of bananas, mashed
1tsp vanilla essence
3tbsp evaporated milk

1. Preheat oven at 180C.
2. Get ready the paper cups.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg one at a time, and continue to beat until well combine. Add vanilla essence and milk to mix well.
5. Sieve in flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients. Fold it in the wet ingredients until just well combine.
6. Fold the mashed banana into the batter.
7. Transfer the batter into the paper cups.
8. Bake the cake under 180C for 40 minutes or until brown.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Poached Egg In Mint Leaves Soup

This recipe is modified from my mom's "egg drop mint leaves soup". With a small spice garden at home, mint leaves come in handy these days. Hence, I got the idea to cook this soup when I attempted to make poached egg the other day. The soup is so refreshing. :)

Poached Egg In Mint Leaves Soup
Serves 2

2 poached eggs
600ml of chicken stock
a handful of mint leaves
salt to taste
half tsp of garlic oil

1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
2. Add salt to taste and garlic oil.
3. Add a poached egg in each bowl.
4. Pour the chicken stock to each bowl.
5. Garnish each serving with mint leaves. Serve hot.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Radish and Pork Belly 萝卜烧肉

I learned this dish from a Taiwan cooking show. What caught my attention is the simple ingredients and easy cooking method. I made a twist to garnish the dish with home grown spring onion, instead of leek, since I don't have it on hand.

Verdict? Yes. The radish is very delicious, and the pork belly turned out to be soft and flavorful. I even keep some for the next day bento to work.

Radish and Pork Belly 萝卜烧肉

300gm of pork belly
1 radish, peeled and cut into pieces (use cut and tear method)
3 slices of ginger
1 stalk of spring onion, cut into long strips
2 tbsp of cooking oil
400ml of water

1 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tsp of dark soy sauce

Light soy sauce to taste
1 tsp of sugar
dash of white pepper powder

1. Marinate the pork belly with a tbsp of light soy sauce and dark soy sauce each. Leave for 10 minutes.
2. Heat up oil in the wok. Fry the ginger till fragrant. Brown the pork belly.
3. Add radish, a tbsp of light soy sauce, white pepper powder to mix.
4. Pour in water and cover the lid. Leave it simmers under medium heat for about 20 minutes.
5. Finally add light soy sauce to taste (if required) and a tsp of sugar. Continue to cook till you hear the sizzling sound. Garnish with spring onion. Serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Poached Egg

Poached egg is in my "to-do" list since long ago. I've been seeing a lot of successful stories in making nice poached egg. Last week, I hands on to make 2 poached eggs. The first one didn't turn out beautiful, but the result of second trial seems acceptable. The moment I saw the egg yolk oozing out, I couldn't describe how happy I was. That's why I said cooking is kind of therapeutic to me.

Poached Egg

2 eggs
800ml of water
1 tbsp of white vinegar
a bowl of ice water

1. Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add a tbsp of white vinegar.
2. Crack an egg into a bowl. Stir the boiling water with a spoon in clockwise. Gently pour the egg into the center of simmering water.
3. Let the egg cook for 2 to 3 minutes depending on how runny you prefer your egg yolk to be.
4. Remove the egg with strainer and transfer the egg to the ice water. This is to stop the cooking.
5. Return the egg to boiling water and serve hot with toast. Continue the steps for the remaining egg.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dried Scallop and Chicken Congee

I found dried mini scallops on sale when I did my weekly grocery shopping. Suddenly, this congee popped up in my mind. I couldn't stop the idea, so I brought back a bottle of dried mini scallops to accomplish my goal. :P

Dried Scallop and Chicken Congee
Serves 2

2/3 cup of rice, rinsed with water
6 cups of chicken stock
20 pieces of mini dried scallops, soaked and drained
salt to taste

1/4 chicken breast, skinned, cooked in chicken stock, hand-pulled
chopped spring onion
fried garlic
sesame oil
white pepper powder

1. Add rice and chicken stock to rice cooker, and select the program to cook porridge. (I used micro-computer rice cooker).
2. Add dried scallops in the middle of cooking.
3. When the porridge is done, add salt to taste. Let the porridge keep warm in the rice cooker for a while.
4. Serve the porridge in bowl and garnish with hand-pulled chicken, spring onion,fried garlic, sesame oil and white pepper powder.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Basic Fried Rice

Fried rice is a good choice when it comes to lunch box. And, there's no worries on the ingredients, as I can use little bit of this and that. The outcome can be still be seductive. Like always, I like to add egg and prawns to my fried rice. I had some fresh leftover leek in the fridge, so I added in  little bit of that too. Just seasoned it with light soy sauce, and I'm done with my bento of the day.

Basic Fried Rice
Serves 1

1 bowl of cooled rice
8 small prawns, shelled, vein removed and cut into pieces
1 egg
1 chicken sausage, diagonally sliced
Leek, sliced (just the green portion)
Cooking oil
Light soy sauce to taste

1. Heat up the wok with some oil, scramble the eggs and set aside the wok.
2. With the balance oil, saute garlic till fragrant. Add prawn and sausage to stir-fry till fragrant.
3. Add rice and stir-fry with all the ingredients including the scrambled egg. Add light soy sauce to taste. Continue to fry for few minutes until the rice is evenly coated with seasoning. Off the fire. Add leeks to mix well. Dish out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Corn and Carrot Soup

The hot weather makes me feel very uncomfortable. The good thing is, during the day I spend my most of my time in free air-conditioned environment. Otherwise, it'll drive me crazy. The weather is so hot that I can't cool down at night even when the air-condition is on. Just imagine...

Because of the hot weather, I lost appetite. The only dish I think of is soup. I need nourishing clear soup to heal my body. So, I boiled this soup for lunch on Saturday. It's sweet and it boosted my body with plenty of  antioxidants. 

Corn and Carrot Soup
1 pearl corn, chopped into 1" length
1 carrot, peeled and cut into pieces
300gm pork ribs, chopped into pieces
spring onion, chopped (for garnishing)
1.25liter of hot boiling water
salt to taste

1. Blanch the pork ribs in boiling water to remove scum.
2. Put everything in the slow cooker, except salt. Leave the soup boiling for 2 hours.
3. Add light soy sauce to taste and garnish with chopped spring onion.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Potato, Mushroom and Chicken Stew

After a month of ordering vegetarian rice for lunch during working days, I feel bored. I need something more flavorful to cheer up my taste buds. So, I took a break from the set lunch catering. Instead of dine out for hawker food, I made up my mind to bring my own bento to work. Let's see how determine I am. 

I find it difficult to wake up early in the morning to prepare my bento. So, I prepare some dishes the night before, heat it up the next morning. Then, I prepare steamed rice and some blanched vegetables. I pack up all the above in a multi-layer thermo pot, and my bento is ready. 

That's not a scrumptious meal, but I'm proud of my lunch box. The blanched Holland peas remained crunchy. The potato, mushroom and free range chicken taste as good as the night before. I'm satisfied with this dish alone with rice.

Potato, Mushroom and Chicken Stew
Serves 4-5

1 free range/ organic chicken, skinned and chopped into pieces
2 potatoes (avoid the starchy type), peeled and cut into pieces
3 dried mushroom, dehydrated, drained and cut into thick strips
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 slices of ginger
3 tbsp of cooking oil
600ml of water

1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tsp of dark soy sauce
light soy sauce to taste
1/2 tsp of sugar

Holland pea, blanched
Carrot strips, blanched

1. Half-boil the potato in a pot of hot boiling water. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok. Saute garlic, ginger mushroom till fragrant. Add chicken to fry for 3 minutes.
3. Then add potato to mix. Pour in water. Leave the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes with the lid cover.
4. Stir in seasonings. Leave it simmers till sauce thickening.
5. Dish out, garnished with blanched vegetables and serve hot with rice.


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