Friday, January 28, 2011

Watercress and Pork Soup

Yesterday we had another "thunder snow" fall at almost 20 inch in Northeast..So far we had 5 snow fall this winter.Actually it's kind of tiring for us who needs to shovelling and cleaning,not to said it's superb cold!! So what is good for me to eat or drink during this cold weather beside hot Milo or coco? How about SOUP!! I bought a bundle of watercress or some people called it water spinach to make soup.These days you can get watercress in any Asian or Western market .This watercress soup is easy to make and delicious to consume,not to said it's nutritious and healthy for our body and mind!!








Ingredients:

1 bundle of watercress or water spinach,washes
5 liter water
1 cup red pitted dates,washed
1 candy dates
1 large piece pork in bone,about 2 lbs,cut into 4 pieces
salt to taste


Method:


1:Soak and wash watercress thoroughly,set aside.Prepare a medium large stock pot with water at high heat.
2:Wash pork in bone in warm water.When water in stock pot rolling boil,place pork in bone,red dates candy dates in before reduce the heat to medium.Boil for 30-45 minutes,use a ladle to remove minor grease on the surface of the soup before add in watercress into the stock..Simmer the soup for another 30 minutes before add in salt to taste.
3:Remove stock pot from heat,dish out and serve warm.




Note:
The best part of pork for making soup is " pork in bone"bcos it's have minimal grease.You can ask your butcher to get for you if you have no idea how it's look or what is pork in bone.





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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Steamed Silken Tofu with Chicken and Shrimp in Sake

Tofu is a healthy choice of food that is affordable and abundant. Tofu can now be found in your local supermarkets throughout the year and it's one of the most versatile foods.It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value , tofu is a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking.I understand these days alots of western try to add tofu into their diet.I always try to stock up couple of boxes silken tofu at home.One of the tofu dish that I likes is steamed tofu with chicken and shrimp. This steamed tofu dish is easy to prepared and required minimal seasoning and ingredients,not to said it's really taste delicious!










Ingredients:

1 box of medium size silken soft tofu,cut into 10 pieces

1 piece boneless chicken thigh, about 200 gm,diced
8-10 large shrimp,deveined and de-shelled,slices into 2
3 buttons white mushroom,washed and diced
handful cut scallion
handful diced carrot
1 large egg
1 tsp white pepper powder
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp sake or rice wine

*combined above ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well except soft tofu*

2 tbsp sesame oil
Method:

1:Prepare steamer with water at high heat.Combined all ingredients in a medium bowl,mix well,except tofu.Placed cut tofu on a large plate.Spoon 1-2 tsp chicken and shrimp mixture on top of each cut tofu.
2:When water is rolling boil,place the tofu in the steamer for 20-25 minutes or steam until cooked.Drizzle with sesame oil before remove steamed tofu from steamer.
3:Serve hot or warm immediately.








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Monday, January 24, 2011

Nian Gao wt Palm Sugar/ Steamed Glutinous Rice Cake / Kuih Bakul

As usual I can only afford to make short-cut method nian gao/kuih bakul which is steamed in shorter time and easy to make.But this time I added palm sugar with the regular white sugar to get cocnut flavor nian gao.I guarantee ,it's 100% nian gao,trust me,it's editable and presentable.Maybe it's not as favorable as the traditional one which they steamed for more than 10 hours..but beggar can't be choosy right?
The only problem I had is the surface of nian gao is not smooth after steamed look so wrinkle..Why? wondering what happened? check out my first posting HERE!!













Ingredients:

600 gm sugar

600 ml water

600 gm glutinous rice flour (sifted)

300 gm palm sugar

Method:

1: Dissolve 300 gm sugar in a dry pot over low heat till it caramelizes.( Do not stir)add 300 ml of water and mix well.

2: Add the remaining sugar,palm sugar into the mixture,stir constantly till the sugar dissolves.Set aside to cool completely. Prepare large pot or steamer with water for steaming at high heat.

3:Combine glutinous rice flour and the remaining water.Add caramel on glutinous rice flour mixture together in a large bowl to incorporate until smooth.Whisk the mixture if possible.If it's too dry add in extra 50 ml water.Sieve the mixture ,to remove lump and bubble build up.

4: Pour batter into cups to 3/4 full.( Do not fill to the rim as the batter might overflow when steaming)

5:Place aluminium baking dish on a steamer when water has boiled.Steam over high heat for 30 minutes .Then reduce heat to medium and steam for another 30 minutes. Increase time for steaming if the container is bigger.

Yield 5 small 7 inch aluminium baking dish
ready for steaming
steamed in steamer
not really bad looking...eh?
did any one a better way to steam shortcut nian gao? please share...










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Friday, January 21, 2011

Shrimp and Tofu Soup

The weather at the east coast is getting crazier everyday!! Last week we just had snow storm and this morning we have another 4 inches of snow..This evening the weather forecaster said we are going to get another snow fall this coming Tuesday.Since the weather is freezing cold,I cooked some soup for myself at lunch..Nothing elaborated,just used shrimp flavor bouillon as the soup base ,chopped in some napa,add in head attached shrimp before toss in silky tofu..There you go...A welcome sight seeing a bowl of hot pipping soup mixed with steamed white rice served as lunch in a cold snowy day.It's really a nice comfort food for us who are dealing with freezing cold weather... Love the soft silkily tofu texture and shrimp in this soup..










Ingredients:
2 liters of water
2 cubes shrimp or chicken bouillon
6-8 leaves of Napa,washed and cut
15 head attached shrimp,trim and washed
1 box soft silkily tofu,cut 6-8 pieces
salt and ground white pepper powder to taste
handful cut scallion
Method:
1:Bring water to boil in a medium small size stock pot at high heat.Add in shrimp bouillon stock.When soup base bubbly boil,add in napa and clean shrimp.
2:Cook for another 10 minutes before add in cut tofu ,salt and pepper powder..Check the seasoning.Remove soup from heat.Dish out ,sprinkle with scallion before serve hot with rice..







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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pineapple Tarts/Cookies

Yes, I'm making pineapple tart from scratch..If I live in Asia I'm sure I won't make the filling myself..There are plenty of bakery store who just sell the yummy-delicious premium pineapple filling at reasonable price.Again if I live in Asia maybe I won't even bake any Chinese New Year cookies myself..I heard there are plenty of people go around sell Chinese New Years cookies for this festival.Even my mom bought her Chinese New Year cookies from the seller all over the place..It's certainly save time and energy..The price and quality of this cookies is quite reasonable and good! Few days ago I make the pineapple filling in advance check it out here!!
One of my favorite Malaysia baking blog is Mat Gebu..I always admire his baking skill plus his creativity.It's been awhile since I adapted his recipe .One of his recipe that I would love to try out is his pineapple tart DOUGH .Well,sorry if my translation of Malay to English is not really up to the right Malaysia vocabulary..But I will try my best to translate even thought it's been many many moons since I left school and Malaysia.Proven to be true,the pineapple dough is really buttery and have very soft texture..not to said the pineapple filling have the right texture and sweetness!!










Ingredients:

Dough adapted from Mat Gebu

400 gm all purpose flour

50 gm custard powder

230 gm unsalted butter,softened

2 eggs yolk

50 gm sugar powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg yolk + + tbsp water for brushing


For the filling:

check it HERE!!

Method:

1:Combine all purpose flour and custard powder in a medium bowl,sifted.Use mixer to beat butter and sugar powder at medium high speed until light and frosty.Add in yolk and vanilla essence,whisk until well mix.

2:Reduce speed to low ,slowly add in the flour mixture into the eggs mixture.Increase speed and beat until well combine.

3:Remove dough from the mixer,knead few times before use a clean wet cloth to cover to prevent it from drying.

4:Use your favourite pineapple tart mould to shape your tart..For me I use pineapple tart look like rolling pin with lines to shape the tarts.Cut the dough about 3 inch x 1 1/2 inch.Scoop 1 tsp filling to wrap with the dough.

5:Prepare silpat or parchment paper over baking sheet.Line up all the shape tarts in baking sheets about 1 inch apart each others..Brush yolk mixture over the tarts before place in oven

6:Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.Remove tarts from oven,let's it cool 3-5 minutes in the baking sheets before remove to wire rack to cool completely.Save tarts in air tight container.


Note:
I'm submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favorite CNY Cookie host by j3sskitch3n ..Happy Baking!!









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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crispy Honeycomb Cookies wt Sesame Seeds(Kuih Ros or Kuih Goyang)

Who don't like Honeycomb cookies? I loves Honeycomb cookies or in Malay it's called as Kuih Goyang or Kuih Ros.During Chinese New Year or Hari Raya celebration,Kuih Ros is a must cookies to present as goodies for guests when they are visiting. I recalled when I was back during Chinese New Year in Malaysia 2 years ago ,I was so sick from eating kuih ros,kuih kapit and fried fish cracker non-stop.I had to get 2 shots from doctor to relieved my fever and sore throat..For years living in States I didn't have chance to enjoy this type of cookies until full extend.Of course,when I saw all the delicious cookies in the tins or in the tray on the table,I can't resist not eating until sick!! Thinking back I was really silly!! It's look like I was just release from a jail house! lol! Well,I think the key from eating all this kind of yummy delicious cookies during festival is moderate.
Of course ,honeycombs cookies is available in Malaysia restaurant in NYC but it's extremely expensive!! You don't want to know how much it's.If I tell you the price,you must said "only 10 pieces "!! or with that price I can get a big and tall tin/can of honeycombs cookies in Malaysia!! Or eat until you get sick!!"
This is my 2nd second year making honeycomb cookies myself.Last year was my 1st: look Here!!.My mom bought me 2 honeycomb mould before I left Malaysia after CNY..She choose the best honeycomb mould for me..I was blessed with both easy released mould bcos when both moulds coated with dough once was dipped into the hot oil with a little shake ,the cookies was released out beautifully without problem..There are many honeycomb cookies recipe out there but as usual I used my mom recipe..I prefer to use rice flour than all purpose flour as many people do..But this time I mixed half of my dough with sesame seeds..The sesame seeds infused gave the cookies some nutty flavor which is interesting ..With or without sesame seeds this recipe is still a keeper!!









Ingredients:


250 gm rice flour

200 gm corn flour

7 large eggs

500 gm sugar

1 can of coconut milk (400 gm)

1 cup sesame seeds

2 liter or more oil for frying




METHOD:


1.Combine eggs and sugar in a mixer.Sift corn flour and rice flour,set aside in a bowl .Whisk sugar and eggs at medium high speed until dissolves and fluffy light.Add in coconut milk.

2. Slowly pour in flour mixture into the eggs mixture by reduce the speed.Whisk all ingredients until well combined or to obtain a consistent batter. If there is some lump,use sieve. Pour batter into 2 different bowl or container.One small for constant dipping the hot mould into the flour mixture.Another one for sesame seeds.

3. Heat oil in a wok or deep fryer at 350 F.(Do not use non stick pot) Preheat moulds in the hot oil for 5-10 minutes. When the oil is hot enough, dip mould into batter,do not cover batter to the top. Make sure batter coats only the bottom and sides of mould.

4. Hold coated mould in hot oil. (Do not let go the mould to sit on the bottom of fryer while the batter is still attached on the mould)Keep shaking the mould to release honeycomb cookies from moulds. If needed, use chopsticks to help . Fry the cookies until lightly golden brown on both side.

5. Place the empty mould back into the hot oil.Use the next mould that been sitting in the hot oil to dip into the batter.(Do not use the just release mould to dip into the batter again.The batter won't stick onto the mould bcos it's not hot enough)

6:Each time before dipping the mould into the batter or pour the batter into the small bowl use a spatula to stir the batter first to get a consist or well balance batter.Use a long sieve to remove the excess crumb from oil if it's dark or overcrowded the fryer.It's also prevent the floating crumbs to stick to the cookies. For sesame seeds,pour sesame seeds into the second half batter.Keep stirring the batter before dip the mould in the batter.

7:Prepare clean paper towel on 2 large tray.Place cookies on it to absorb the excess oil.Leave cookies to cool completely before store in air-tight container.


all prepared ingredients

eggs and sugar in mixer

heating up the mould in the hot oil
the batter is really to use.
freshly fried honeycomb cookies on a tray


Note:

I'm submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favorite CNY Cookies host by
j3sskitch3n ..Happy Baking and Happy Chinese New Year!!











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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pineapple Tart Filling (Step to Step)


Chinese New Year is around the corner.It's time we start making CNY's cookies and cake,right? Well,living outside Chinese community or other then Asia countries we Chinese have plenty of disadvantage in term of celebration .First of all, all the school system in US and A or federal or state or city level doesn't recognize Chinese New Year is a public holiday.Secondly,if we don't live in Chinese speaking community like Chinatown ,we don't feel like Chinese New Year at all even it's Chinese New Year!! You may wonder why,right? For example,my neighbourhood are predominately white or etc but none Chinese at all!! Some of them don't even know when or how Chinese celebrate their new year..Yea..that sad,right? The worst part is this year Chinese New Year fall on weekday,that mean my Mishu have to go to school.If not we can go to Chinatown in NYC to celebrate by watching lion dance,eating meaningful Chinese dinner and shopping for CNY goodies!
As usual I don't make lots of Chinese New Year cookies for myself..The reason why I make CNY's cookies is for me to bring as gift when visiting friends before or during Chinese New Year.I think friends will appreciated my own hand make cookies then the ready make from supermarket shelf,right? Anyway,yesterday I started work on my 1st Chinese New Year goodies or cookies.That is Pineapple Tart filling!! This is my 3 times making Pineapple Tart for CNY. Here is the 1st and 2nd time post !!Below are the step to step photos...Let me post all the pictures to explain the simple process bcos picture speak thousand words,right?
bought 2 fresh medium size ripe pineapple to make the filling..too bad I can't find a bigger size pineapple .If you can't find fresh pineapple or refuse to cut this bitchy fruit,Canned pineapple is OK..








Then removed the stump both end top and bottom,follow by the spiky skin.Make sure all the green are removed.Cut each pineapple into 4 sections before remove all the brown "eyes"..If you don't understand ,please refer to my video below





my video instruction is slightly different from what I wrote here bcos this video is an old vid, anyway cut the fruit into 4 sections first for easy cutting..enjoy and have fun!

then cut the core,discard
this fresh pineapple is so sweet!! wish I bought extra to eat as it's!!
cut the clean pineapple into chunk for easy blend in food processor

Blend or pulse all the pineapple chunk until fine,then pour into medium large stock pot to cook .Add in sugar.

Use medium heat to simmer for 1 hour until thick and googy..Then add in 2 drops of pineapple essence before shut off the heat.Let's cool completely before pack into a container.My recipe is really simple and easy..I opt out to add in star anise or cinnamon stick.


Ingredients:

2 medium size ripe pineapple

2 cups granulated sugar *if you use rough sugar maybe you can reduce the amount*
2 drop of pineapple essence

Note:

Pineapple tart filling must make days before shaping the tart or dough.
*If the filling is too watery,microwave for 5 minutes or so.You can see the color change to deep yellowish.
















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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spicy Taucu(Ground Bean Paste)wt Chinese Eggplant and Shrimp


Few days before Christmas I was food shopping in Queens .Actually I want to visit one of my favorite Malaysia grocery store in Elmhurst,Queens .This store have larger variety of Malaysia goodies and ingredients.Beside that the price is much better compare with other grocery store in the city.It's been awhile since I visited this grocery store and mostly all my Malaysian goodies and ingredients in my pantry almost gone.So I take this opportunity to stock up my pantry.One of the item that I been looking for a while ,guess what?? It's fermented ground bean paste (Taucu)!! ..I'm glad the store do carry the bean paste that I like.Sometimes if the stock sold off we have to wait for the next shipment.Sometimes the shipment took weeks or maybe months to arrive here.Why so long,you might wonder,right? It's because the shipment is really travel across few ocean before reach States..Well,you must wondering why this bean paste is so special,right? Actually I can't really explain it...Maybe I'm so use to eat this kind of flavor bean paste then others bean paste flavor which is not up to my expectation.Mostly the bean paste sold here is made in China. I recalled my mom like to use this kind of bean paste to cook "young tau fu"(stuffed fish paste) or steamed fish.But today I use it to cook with eggplant and shrimp..The taste and flavor is Priceless!!










Ingredients:
4 Chinese or Japanese Eggplants,washed and cut 2 inch
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp ground bean paste(taucu)
12 large shrimp,shelled and deviened
200 gm minced meat (chicken,pork or beef)
1 or 2 tbsp sambal paste or *chili paste is available in any Asian store*(depend on your spiciness)
1 small carrot,peeled and sliced
1 stalk scallion,washed and cut
sugar and salt to taste
1 cup oil


Method:
1:Heat oil in a large wok or frying pot at high heat.When the oil reach 350-375 F,toss in cut eggplants into the hot oil for 1 minute.Use spider sieve to remove cooked eggplant from the oil into a pot of cold water to wash away the excess grease.I forget what's the name for this kind of cooking process but mostly all the Chinese restaurant use this method to cook meat and vegetables for stir-fry.That is why you can see the vegetables or meat still retain the freshness ,crunchiness and softy texture..
2:Heat large skillet or wok with 1-2 tbsp oil and garlic at medium high heat.Stir-fry garlic for 30 seconds,add in minced meat , sambal or chili paste and bean paste(taucu)
3:Saute for 5 minutes before toss in shrimp.Cook shrimp for 30 second before toss in cooked eggplant and carrot.Add salt and sugar to taste,mix well.
4:Stir-fry all the ingredients for another 5-10 minutes.Check the seasoning before toss in scallion and dish out , serve warm with steamed white rice.



Note:
This is not an Advertorial post!!I show the photo of bean paste to avoid any confusion of other bean paste.









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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pan Mee (Flat Broad Egg Noodles in Soup)

Pan Mee literally translate to English as "Board Noodles".As I remember when I was young and lived at home my mom loves to cook her hand pull "pan mee or in Mandarin as "bian mein" ..Beside my mom best made pan mee at home,I also like to visit a Pan mee stall near Chow Kit market..I recalled whenever I visit Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman during my high school year after tuition session ,I must have a bowl of hot pipping pan mee before heading home..These days I heard there is another version of Pan mee:Spicy dry or kwan loh pan mee..I promise myself one of this day I must make this spicy pan mee but before that I must try the dry version of pan mee at restaurant first in order to know why it's so special and popular about this version of pan mee.
These few weeks our weather is freezing cold ,a bowl of pipping hot pan mee is welcome anytime,right?Last week since I have mood for pan mee,I tried to make the fresh dough and soup base from scratch..It's doesn't take too long to make a pot of yummy-delicious pan mee provided all the necessary ingredients is ready and prepared.. Just thinking about it now,make me want to eat another bowl of this pan mee!!












Ingredients:
Dough:
500 gm all purpose flour
2 large eggs
150 ml water,plus extra id necessary
a pinch of salt
some corn starch for dusting

Topping:
500 gm minced meat,
2 tbsp minced garlic
10 shitake mushroom,soaked and sliced thin
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vege oil

1 lb fried clean anchovies,head removed
some fried shallot*optional*

Soup Base:
100 gm fresh anchovies,washed
5 liter water
2 anchovies cubes*Knorr*
4 pieces chicken tender + 2 tbsp corn flour + 2 tbsp water
salt and ground white pepper powder to taste
1 lb baby green mustard ,washed and cut

Method:Noodles
1:Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl,sifted .Add in water and eggs,mix and knead into a stiff dough.Cover with wet cloth or paper towel,let it rest for 30 minutes.2:After resting,dust your table top or kitchen counter with some starch flour,roll dough into thin sheet and cut into 0.5 cm broad strips or use paste maker to roll and cut the dough to your desire shape.3:Prepare a large pot(4 liter) of water with 2 drops of oil at high heat.When water rolling boil,add in cut noodles.Use a long chop stick to stir the noodles from sticking to each others.When noodles cooked which is floated,remove with large spider sieve and set aside.
Soup Base or Stock :
1:Prepare 5 liter water with fresh washed anchovies at medium high heat.Boil or simmer for 30 minutes or 45 minutes before discard anchovies from the soup.Add in anchovies cubes and chicken tender mixture.Simmer for another 10 minutes before add in salt and ground pepper powder to taste.Reduce heat to low.
Topping:
1:Prepare skillet at medium heat with oil and garlic.Fry garlic until fragrant,add in mushroom and minced meat.Stir-fry for another 5 minutes before add in soy sauce and sugar.Keep stirring for another 5 minutes before dish out and set aside.
Final Step:
1:Increase soup base heat to high heat,when soup is rolling boil add in mustard green and noodles.*For me I just add 1/2 portion of cooked noodles and greens,leave out the rest for next or other day to consume*.
2:Bring it to boil before dish out into individual bowls.Top the hot pipping noodles soup with minced meat mixture,fried anchovies and fried shallot.Serve with sambal or cut chili with fish sauce and lime.

pan mee dough










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About the Author:



Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917atyahoodotcom. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.