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Showing posts from April, 2006

New cookbooks!! (Part 2)

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After an anxious wait of 6 days, my last batch of cookbooks arrived yesterday morning. Thank you Amazon for getting my orders in in such short time! It was really nice to come into office and see a package sitting on my desk, and this was made even better when I know that what's sitting in the box! Geez... I am getting delirious here.

Chicken With Black Fungus In Wine Sauce

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Inspired by Ruth from My Little Cyberspot, I adapted her recipe and made this for dinner last night. It was absolutely wonderful. Nice warm food for a rainy evening. My version was done with shredded ginger instead of garlic and I was a little more liberal with my Chinese cooking wine. Reminds me of confinement food. =)

Chow Fan (Fried Rice)

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With few ingredients left in the fridge, hubby whipped up this quick and filling dish for our lunch. Fried rice is so accomodating, so the odds and ends of any ingredients can be dumped in. It is almost always good when accompanied with a good helping with chinese sausages (lap cheong) and scrambled eggs.

Drunken Prawns

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What is the best way to enjoy lots of fresh prawns? No thank you, we didn't feel up to it to make tempura prawns, so we decided to opt for the fuss free drunken prawns. Saw this recipe in this magazine entitled Kitchen Culture Food and Travel. This monthly magazine contains quite a few easy to make local dishes. I am not sure if it is available at all bookstores, but I bought my copies at KKH 7-Eleven.

Our drunken prawns turned out more like eating prawn noodle soup (hae mee) minus the noodles then plus wine. Haha... even though it was just mild cooking wine, we both konked out after dinner. =)

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Drunken Prawns (adapted from Kitchen Culture Food and Travel magazine)
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400g medium prawns
1tbsp shredded ginger
1 tbsp wolfberries
1 cup white wine or Chinese cooking wine
1 cup chicken stock or water
salt and sugar to taste

1. Heat stock and wine in saucepan and add the shredded ginger. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer for at least …

New cookbooks!! (Part 1)

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As a major cookbook addict, I tend to go on cookbook buying spree from time to time. With a very indulgent hubby, this can be a very bad thing for his credit card bill. Oh well, I will try my very best to keep such sprees minimal. =P

I am certainly very amazed how Amazon got my orders in in just a week. Ok, they split my shipment of 7 books into two, and got me my first shipment of 5 books. But that's still way faster than the last time, which took more than 2 weeks. Guess everything in this world today is about stream-lining the processes.

Can't wait for my next shipment! But in the meanwhile, I will have these new books to keep me distracted.

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

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The first time when I came across this word couscous in Keith Floyd's tv programme, I thought to myself it must be some sort of vegetable. Just like how aubergine is actually eggplant and how courgette is actually zucchini. It's really confusing at times. But the only time when I really got to know what couscous was, when a friend from Haiwaii told me she made some couscous and she graciously unravelled my couscous puzzle.

Couscous (noun): a food, originally from North Africa, consisting of crushed wheat, which is often served with meat or vegetables.

-- definition from Cambridge Advance Learner's Dictionary

In my simple term, I would describe the taste of couscous as light and fluffy crushed rice grains. It is really simple to prepare. I use the word prepare instead of cook, cos there really isn't any cooking involved. Just pour hot boiling water over the dried couscous and let it hydrate itself for 5 minutes and it's ready. Maybe this is the African's version of…

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownie

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When I saw the recipe of this brownie, what comes to mind is this slab of thick, cakey, dark coloured, handsome square of brownie which screams of chocolate in each and every bite. I knew I was sold. Nevermind it was already 11.35pm. Nevermind the fact that Monday is looming dangerously close. Nevermind that I woke up at 4.30 a.m. that morning. I need a slab of that chocolatey brownie!

I took the recipe from Baking Illustrated by the same people who write for Cook's Illustrated. The book is one of the best investments I have made. Maybe I am just a cookbook twit, but it sure makes a interesting read when I need a cooking-session fix but haven't the time/effort to do the actual stuff. The thing about cookbooks from US (which accounts for 95% of my library collection!) is that their measurement comes in cups, tablespoons, Fahrenheit and what-nots! It can be so frustrating as I need to do the conversions. So I ended up with Baking Illustrated on one hand and Martha Stewart's B…

Everyday Favourites - Sayur Loday

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Looking for a quick way to add lot of much needed fiber into our diet, we were thinking along the lines of salads, minestrone soup, spring rolls, etc. Just as we were pondering, my mum dropped by my place with Mee Rebus and Mee Hoon Soto from Bedok's Istemewa. This two Malay dishes is always welcome in our place. Hubby lapped up the Mee Rebus and me the other. After licking our bowls clean, I was struck by an epiphany: Nasi Lontong (compressed rice steamed in banana leaf) with Sayur Loday!

I didn't care for commerical Nasi Lontong nor am I going to prepare that from scratch, we decided to forgo that for another time. Sayur Loday is really an easy dish to prepare except for the grinding of the paste and chilli paste. While grinding, I thought to myself that maybe I ought to grind lots of different types of paste at one go and freeze it for later use. Wonder if the paste will lose its potency after freezing?

Tokyo Ramen

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Tokyo is a place that I have always wanted to visit. Hubby and I nearly booked ourselves on a trip in 2004, but somehow our busy schedules didn't permit. Then our little one came along, Tokyo is now on our KIV list.

I am always a big fan of anything Japanese, especially their products. I am a big fan of their kitchen appliances (tempura pan), utensils (KAI knife), and hubby, well, his Japan-made Camry. I believe that their products are so much superior than most sourced from all over the world. I love shopping at Takashimaya and Isetan for Jap stuff, even it meant window shopping is good enough for me.

Although I can't say that I am good at cooking Japanese food, I would go as far as saying that we are quite discerning when eating Japanese food. We don't eat sashimi anywhere, but in a few places. Tonkatsu only from one place. Shabu-shabu, yakitori, yakiniku, etc., all from specific places.

Hubby has eaten plenty of Jap food, cos he dined often with his clients. Amongst the no…

Everyday Favourites - Satay

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Where were you in those days of the Satay Club? I could still remember the smoke rising up from rows of grills tended by sweat drenched Malay men frantically fanning away. Sinking your teeth into those glossy plump satay still hot from the grill served with wedges of cucmbers, red onions and ketupat (compressed rice) under the starry starry night, ahah ....it was such a bliss. As they always, say: "Nothing last forever." Gone was the Satay Club, and its members were scattered all over Singapore. Some went into obscurity, some died a natural death and some, well, could never relive those hay days however hard they try.

Satay was something that I grew up with. It was one of my weekend foods. Every Sunday morning, my family will drive all the way down to a coffeeshop in Geylang just to satisfy our satay/mee rebus/mutarbak cravings. It was a very old and traditional coffeeshop (think: a big wide wooden framed mirror hanging on one of the walls, marble top tables with legs matchin…

Mahogany Glazed Pork

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Did I mentioned that I bought this book Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger? Well, that was some time ago and I had only until recently rememebered its existence. Cos I have too many cookbooks lying around my study. =P I think it would be a nightmare for me to count them but who says anything about counting them? To think that I am on the verge of ordering some more from Amazon! *shudder* Another 6 more to be exact. *wink*

Ok, back to this slow cooker dish. Actually the picture doesn't do much justice to the food, but since I am not about to go into photography (even the basics) please bear with me. No, this is not a char siew dish, or anything like it. The dish is simple enough to put together. Just get yourself 1.5kg of really good spare ribs (actually my trusty butcher told me to its better to get pork collar; more meat with same flavour), and then mix soy sauce and 1/2 cup of marmalade (yes 1/2 a cup, and no, it's not THAT sweet and that's what…

Gung Bo Chicken

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This is another favourite which we always like to order when eating at zi-char (lower end chinese restaurant). Hubby has been eyeing this dish since we got the book Spicy Sichuan Cooking (Periplus Mini Cookbooks).

It is really easy to make, but as I didn't have the Sichuan peppercorn and used the grounded version instead, my dish tasted somewhat mild. Well, until I can lay my hands on those elusive peppercorns, I will have to be contented with this. =/

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Gung Bo Chicken - Spicy Sichuan Cooking (Periplus Mini Cookbooks)
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450g chicken meat, cubed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
10 dried red chillis, cut in thirds
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
6 slices ginger
3 spring onions, cut in 4-cum lengths

Marinade:
1 tbso wine
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tsp water

Sauce:
3 tbsp sweet thick soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp wine
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cornflour dissolved in 60ml water

Chow Har (Stir Fried Prawns)

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Going marketing without a menu or shopping list can be quite traumatising in two ways. Firstly, you have to wander up and down the rows of stalls thinking of what to buy. Of course, this can be easily solved if you should decide to buy whatever is fresh. Easy enough. Secondly, after you have cleaned and packed everything in the fridge, you have to rack you brains on what are you going to do with all the food sitting in the fridge!

Unable to find something to do with the prawns without missing one or two essential ingredients, this dish was born. It required minimal fresh ingredients (only prawns and spring onions) and the rest are sourced from the pantry. Really easy to make once you have cleaned up and trimmed the prawns.