Friday, July 30, 2010

Caesar Salad with Bacon crisp & croutons

The romaine lettuce has been in my fridge for the past 5 days. I deduce that I have to make it for dinner tonight, otherwise its final destination will be the garbage bin instead of mine and hubby's stomach. I've tried all sorts of caesar dressing brand before but Lady's Choice remains as my favorite. One thing about my way of caesar salad is that bacon is definitely an inevitable ingredient. The salad will not taste nice without the bacon crisp which I prefer to fry it to crisp or near crisp. As for the croutons, I usually opt for Pepperidge Farm brand which comes in several different variants and bigger cut. My favorite variant will be either the garlic or the italian herbs. While washing the romaine lettuce, I heated the pan up to fry the bacon which hardly needs any attending. By the time bacon was done, so was the washing. The remaining part was easy : pour in the dressing, throw in the bacon, stir them evenly on the lettuce and lastly, top it up with croutons. Dinner's ready.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Choy kan soup with wolfberry and red dates

I have recently burnt a huge hole in my pocket by purchasing this 6 tier stainless steel steamer pot. Actually, I have been on the hunt for a cheap steamer pot but as usual, when the final transaction came through, I found myself taking home the most expensive pot of all. Needless to say, hubby was flabbergasted with this expenditure but at least, money was spent on kitchen utensils solely for health benefits and not on my cosmetics or apparels. The day I took home the pot, I started steaming my dinner that nite which consisted of a soup, rice, fish and vege. Did 4 dish (if you include rice) with just one pot and one stove. Amazingly easy and superbly clean. The lowest pot was used for boiling Choy Kan soup. Now.. don't ask me what choy kan is named in English. I personally have not seen this 'thing' before but it is actually a kind of dried vege. Anyway, soup was cooked with 4 strands of the choy kan, some wolfberries, some red dates and garnish with chinese parsley and spring onion. Soup will definitely taste more flavorful if I have boiled it with some chicken meat or chicken bones to it. I have attached picture of my pot but it's only 3 tier here. I can't wait for my mom to see and use it.

Steamed Ladyfingers topped with fried shallots

Here's another dish I cooked last week, the day my pot made its first 'debut'. It's steamed Lady's finger sprinkled with some fried shallots. Of course prior to steaming it, I had to deliberately cut the onions and fry it over slow fire. I reckon if I were to keep steaming vegetables for my dinner in the forthcoming days, my vege is gonna taste the same : with just soy sauce and fried shallots. Eating healthy certainly comes with a price, a price that most people are reluctant to pay at this moment, but will gladly pay when their health deteriorates. I for one, usually opt for tasty food with abundance of salt, sugar and chili. I am slowly training myself to choose healthier foodstuff over my all time favorite fried foodies. It's hard to change overnight but I'm making a change today. Hubby will just gobble anything I make for him so he didn't have much say on my healthy regime.

Steamed Pomfret with Mushroom slice

This is the last dish I steamed using the pot. In case you can't view it properly because of the over garnishing of chinese parsley, it's actually a pomfret we bought in Kuala Selangor. The base was filled with lots of slice ginger and a few stalks of spring onion. There were none other additional ingredients which I could think of to throw in except slices of mushrom and that was exactly what I did. The seasoning is just some soy sauce and a wee bit of shallot oil. Fish was done in less than 15 mins. Perfect.

Crunchy 4 Season Beans with Dried Shrimp

On the way back from Genting the other day, we deliberately drove towards Bukit Tinggi route to have dinner. This place happen to be pretty much of a kampung place and there were several stalls selling pure honey and fresh vegetables. I went over there to check out the fruits but I bought honey instead. It was a good thing that my eyes roved over and saw this vege which in Mandarin, we call it Shi Ji Tou. I have not the slightest notion what it is called in English but direct translation would be Four Seasons Beans (genuis, eh?). Mom fried it for me before but I just ate and never bother much. Thanks to my sis in law who taught me the simplest way to fry it with dried shrimps and cilipadi. It tasted yummy. The freshness of the vege contributed a part . ... I guess....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rice Wine Ginger Chicken

I had originally wanted to cook chinese sesame chicken, a recipe I saw from TV together with my mom late last year. Again, I had to call my mom in Sydney to refresh my memory on this recipe. It was supposed my 1st attempt afterall. With full confidence, I bought half a free range chicken and bentong ginger early one morning before I went to office. The following day, I rushed home from office and eagerly started the fire on the stove. Mom said I had to pour a lot of Shao Xing wine. Of course I heeded. Wouldn't dream going against her advice lest the dish may fail. As it turned out, the dish tasted more of a rice wine chicken instead of sesame chicken because I emptied half a bottle of the wine in it. I guess I should have anticipated this. The wine soup tasted great nonetheless. It's just that hubby had a spoonful of it, look at me blankly in the face and asked "I thought you wanna cook a sesame chicken?"
I'm more than willing to share the simple recipe here :
Ingredients :
1/2 free range chicken (kampung chicken), chop chunks and marinated with sesame oil and soy sauce
1 big chunk of ginger, slice thinly
1 - 2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 bottle of Shao Xing wine (chinese rice wine) - adjust to your taste
Method :
1. Heat oil, fry ginger till fragrant
2. Add in chicken, stirfry till cook
3. Add in Shao Xing wine, cover and let it simmer
4. Add in sugar and salt. Continue to simmer over slow fire for next 15 to 20 min. Serve.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Twilight Book 3 : Eclipse

I'm getting really excited and rubbing my hands in anticipation of the forthcoming Twilight's 3rd installation , Eclipse, which will premier in Malaysia theaters on 8th July. I know the teens are supposed to get over excited about this upcoming movie purely because of hearthrob Rob Pattisson and the solid body of Taylor Lautner. As for me, I didn't start noticing Twilight range of books until I watched the movie itself which was the 1st big mistake I've comitted. No sooner had I finished the movie, I hurriedly browsed through Amazon and to my horror, I realized Stephanie Meyer wrote another 3 sequels after her first book. That spells doom to me because once I start on a book and if the book has got sequels, I must by hook or crook, finish the entirely series and only then will I obtain peace. Ever since I've read Flowers in the Attic by V.C Andrews during my secondary school days, I've made a vow to never, never, ever touch another book which has sequels (by the way, this book has 5 sequels).
Anyway, as soon as I was done with the Twilight movie, I bought the remaning 3 Twilight Saga books and I didn't rest until I've finished the whole saga. Phew.. what a relief for me because if you had actually seen the books, you will know how horribly thick they are. I must say I am not exactly a great fan of Stephanie Meyer's style of writing. In fact, I was actually struggling with New Moon. Storyline was boring and had no gist and style of writing was draggy and whiny and slow. But I picked up pace with Eclipse and finally Breaking Dawn was the biggest break. I shall not be a spoiler here but I'm sure most of you know that Bella will be a vampire eventually. The question is when and how. In Eclipse, more sparks will fly off between Bella and Edward but the mongrel Jacob proves to be a thorn in Edward's flesh. The plot thickens when both of them need to form an alliance against ..... Ok, I shall not squeal anymore on the story but you can be sure that I've already made plans on when to watch it. For Twilight fans, enjoy the movie. For non Twilight fans, well... just ignore us.