Posts

Showing posts from December, 2009

What's On Your Favorites?

I often wonder what is on another's person's Favorites. It's highly personal for sure, but I am highly curious nonetheless. Much like taking a peek into someone's fridge. By the way, if you love to look at someone's fridge, click away here at Fridge Fetish.

Ok, so here goes my list on my Favorites:

~ Food-related ~
E*Recipe (wonderful pictures of Japanese food, if only I could understand everything on it!)

Cookthink (good place to give you idea on what to cook with ingredients on hand)

Food Blog Search (a search engine working on a database of food blogs)

Foodgawker (feast with your eyes!)

English Muffins from King Arthur Flour website (something that I had been meaning to try but not done so)

NPR: Kitchen Window (I learned much later that this is actually the website of a national radio station of sorts; interesting articles on varied topics)

Traditional Oven: Cooking Converter (this is a life saver!)

SoShiok.com (this is some sort of our local version of Dining Section; go…

Learning About Myself

Image
At this ripe old age of 31, I am still learning things about myself. Geez ...

I learnt that I ...
(i) have a bottomless stomach when it comes to creamy mashed potatoes;
(ii) can live on zucchinni to the exclusion of all other vegetables; and
(iii) am obessed about thinking what I can tuck into these little rice balls (おにぎり - onigiri).

I'm quite sure that there's something else that I don't know about myself yet. But then it wouldn't be fun if the whole story is unfolded in Chapter One (more like Chapter Thirty-One).

I made these balls last night with flaked pan-fried salmon. Season the fish lightly and pan fry. Then flake the fish before filling them in the rice balls. I had wanted to make a batch stuffed with preserved plum (梅干 - umeboshi), but I realised that I ran out of rice. Sigh ...

If you would like to try your hands on making these balls, go down to your nearest Daiso and pick up any mould that strike your fancy and read this page from Just Hungry on how to make them.

Roasted Chestnut Soup

Image
During my last trip from Tokyo, I bought lots of roasted chestnuts. They were wonderfully big, sweet and utterly delicious. Unfortunately due to luggage space constraint, I wasn't able to lug more back. (-.-)
When I flipped through The Minimalist Cooks Dinner, this soup caught my eyes but I filed it away since I doubt I would be able to get around to peeling the chestnuts. Tough job. But when they come peeled, that's a different story. I'll be eternally gratefully to those who peeled mine.
The recipe is absurdly short and easy to follow, that's what The Minimalist is all about. In under an hour, you have a soothing and satisfying soup.
And please splash the soup with some olive oil. If not for the visual effect (which mine has none), just for the sake of a silken smoothness of the slurp.

Pasta Salad with Feta Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Image
Do you buy things that appears only on your shopping list? Or there are always some extras that get thrown in as well? That's me. I usually end up with 12 items when my list clearly only has 10.

So when we got home this afternoon, I realised that I need to re-fuel. My growled loud enough to make my princess jump. A quick raid on the fridge yielded very promising ingredients: avocado, cooked chicken, cooked pasta, feta cheese and capers. The feta cheese and avocado had never appeared in my shopping list before. Ever.

Flipped the Bon Appetit Cookbook and found this recipe, which I managed to put my version together in 15 mins (excluding washing the blender).

This is my first time trying feta cheese and I found it dense (in a good sort of way), creamy and quite salty. The pasta salad was a tad too tangy (read: sourish) to satisfy a growling stomach, but I would imagine that it would be quite nice as a picnic bring-along.

Braised Sole Provencal

Image
As the saying goes, "Can't have the cake and eat it". I managed to save these but lost the ones on my beef daube.
If you haven't tried sole fish, do so the next time you see it on any menu or market. Just beware of those few fine bones, yeah?
This is a recipe from The Best of America Test Kitchen 2007 which actually calls for cod fish, but I just can't bring myself to buy those freeze-and-thaw pieces. Sole fish makes a good substitution in my opinion. The flesh is delicate and it taste light. Best of all, it doesn't cost a fortune to eat it. 2 fillets cost me only $6+ and this is supermarket pricing, mind you.
I did some research into what it meant by cooking Provencal style and it seems to me that it has something to do with the cooking style of Provence (France) which is typically characterised by the use of tomatoes, onions, garlic and fennel, amongst the list. If you want to know more, click here to find an article "Can you cooking Provence style?&quo…

Photo-less

Something's wrong with my SD card. My laptop kept prompting me to format the card before using. Arghh ... I haven't backed up my photos yet!

Moral of the story: (a) Don't be lazy to back up photos; and (b) Technology is never 100% reliable.

Anyway, I had made Beef Daube on Tuesday night and Braised Sole Fish Provencal last night. The photos are all jammed in that unrealible SD card. I'll have to find a way to retrive them!

(*-*)

Hot and Sour Soup

Image
Still remember when I talked about making your own stock? Well, I am still trying to find a all-purpose stock for both Chinese and Western cooking. *flip, flip, flip ... *

Hot soups are the best cure for rainy evenings. Stop raining already! My long-suffering plants are drowning! Well, that's a bit far from the truth, but they are really feeling the effects of too much water. Unfortunately, I don't make much soup around here. Not those nourish cantonese soups that my mom churn out daily. That is one area of cooking which I have not take a serious crack at.

This hot and sour soup recipe was taken from Cook's Illustrated. Their photos are always much better than mine, but I am not complaining. Not really. The time taken from making the stock to finishing took me about 2.5 hours. I don't know why it took me so long, maybe I fell asleep on my feet.

To make the soup child friendly, portion some out before adding the vinegar and chilli oil.

This soup comes close to those served …

Big, Beautiful Muffins

Image
I didn't call them that. It would be too audacious. Cook's Illustrated did. Or at least that was what they hope their subscribers would churn out from the oven by using the recipe.

If I were to name it, maybe I would call it Even-Cranky-Kid-Can-Do Muffin. But that would be too long, won't it? Well, that was how this recipe won my respect. Princess didn't want to go down for her usual 3-hour nap, so I was desperate to try anything to keep her out of trouble (read: biting remote controller, pretending sofas are Mount Everest, etc). I had forgetten how much we can both learn from each other when baking with Princess. I got to hear what she did during the cookery lessons in her school and she got to see how I handle the batter, which she tried to imitate.

The muffins are delicious. Nice wonder crumbs resulting from the use of yogurt. I didn't use plain yogurt but lemon-lime cheesecake yogurt instead. I just can't follow instructions! So the muffins came out with a wo…

Skillet Chicken and Rice with Peas and Scallions

Image
Mention chicken and rice in a same breathe anywhere in this sunny spot on earth, people will refer you to either the nearest Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice or Tian Tian Chicken Rice. Though I love a good roasted hainanese chicken rice as much as the next Singaporean, I wasn't prepared to deal with a whole chicken. Not on a weekday. Not by myself.

So instead, I tried out this recipe from America's Test Kitchen Favorites.


I think once a while I would turn into this healthy-conscious-freakish alter ego and will actually read the ingredient list of whatever that goes into the grocery basket. And yesterday was one of these days. I walked happily up the aisle well stocked with all sorts of canned and carton broth. When I was about to dunk a carton of my regular chicken broth into the basket, I just had to read the ingredient list. Shouldn't I be reading it when I first start buying it? Anyway ... I shelved the perfectly packaged carton of chicken broth and walked back to the mea…