Slow Cook Beef Short Rib


I cook a lot these days, I don’t know if part of the reason is because of this blog or not. But I love to cook, and Sunday is usually my cooking day. Cooking for brunch then dinner. In the past, I don’t like to look into the recipe so much. I just cook whatever I feel or learned in the past. Nowadays, I try to learn tricks or recipe with cooking show on TV or search for recipe online. But what I do is, I prefer to digest and feel the recipe before cooking, instead of reading line by line, or following exactly each single steps. I like to do my own version, to improvise. My husband is happy that what I cook is more versatile now, he said I only know one dish in the past, spciy tuna pasta. I think that’s not true, but anyway, should take it as a good comment 😉

So, I’ve put together the assorted bruschetta for breakfast. Cut the baguette into half, then put butter and garlic sauce. Feel free to put different things, I put slices of cucumber, and then chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then put some chopped ham. With a final touch of Parmesan cheese and dry parsley. Another one, I want to do with egg. Place some slices of tomato, and then put the raw egg in the middle of those slices, same thing season it with salt, pepper, dry parsley and Parmesan cheese. Put them in oven under 180C for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with some chopped spring onion to serve.

For dinner, I’m thinking to do a chicken dish, but then I ended up with cooking beef. Just because I found this Gordan Ramsay recipe and would like to do it! Slow cook beef short ribs, seems more yummy than chicken! It’s a bit hard to get the fresh beef short ribs, I just found them at this Meat Master shop and they sell all kinds of meat. This one is frozen, so it took me some time to defrost.

Season the beef short ribs with salt and pepper, then fry them with olive oil, make sure all sides are nicely fried. Cut a whole garlic into half and fry it together with the ribs, then put some tomato purée in the pan and cook a bit. Then pour one full bottle of red wine into the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes, until most of the wine are gone. Pour 1 litre of beef stock into the pan, bring it to boil, then wrap the pan with foil and place the pan into the oven. Cook for 3 hours under 170C.

Before serving the ribs, get the side dish ready. I am adding some spinach to this dish, as I feel is lack of vegetable. Heat the pan with butter, then put some finely chopped garlic, and then fry the spinach until they turn soft. Season them with salt and a touch of sugar, place them on the plate as side dish. Now, get the pancetta fried in a pan with olive oil, when they turn golden brown, add the brown button mushroom which cut in half. Fry them until they are done.

Get the pan of ribs out of the oven, place the ribs one by one in the plate. Use the sieve and pass the garlic through and pour the sauce through the sieve as well. If the sauce is too thin, need to cook it for a while and make it thicker. Pour some sauce on the ribs, then put the pancetta and mushroom on top, and garnish it with the finely chopped parsley. The longer you cook, softer the meat.

Grilled Lamb Kebab with Red Cabbage Salad

This new cooking show is one of my favourite, Jamie Oliver’s ” Save with Jamie”. I like the show, because they talk about how you save money by eating at home, as that’s what Jamie always emphasised in his previous cooking shows. He always encourage people to cook and eat at home instead of dining out. This new show, they also talk about the nutrition and calories level of the meal, which is good information to get about the dish. One more thing I love, is about food waste. How to make use of food that you always have problem with, those you almost need to throw away, but turned into something else that you can just save them instead.

Watched him cooking this the other day, and would like to cook this for my husband, because he likes lamb kebab. To shop for the ingredients, minced lamb, breadcrumbs, red cabbage, mixed greens, tortillas, Greek yogurt and some pistachios. First of all, to get the minced lamb done, season with salt and pepper, then mixed them well with some finely chopped onion and some breadcrumbs, and get them on the skewer or stick. Then get your red cabbage chopped into thin slices, place them in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Add some white vinegar into the bowl, then squeeze the red cabbage until they are all soft and well absorbed the vinegar. Finish them by adding a touch of sugar.

Now, let’s get the pistachios, cumin and fennel seeds into the mortar and crash them nicely and fine, put them aside and we will use them later for the lamb. Grill the lamb with a pan, when they are almost done, paint a layer of honey on top and then dive them into the pistachios to get that nice texture and coating as the final touch. Heat up the pan and fry the tortillas, serve them with the mixed greens and lamb with some Greek yogurt on top, and some red cabbage aside.

Grilled Chicken with Salad

Special requested by my husband and his would like to start this salad for dinner diet, I don’t think that is difficult to try making different salad every night. With what I’ve cooked the night before, we have some romaine lettuce and cucumber leftover. Let’s come up with a different salad. Chicken maybe an easy and simple choice other than fish. So, I just got a pack of chicken fillet home, and we have all the rest of the ingredients at home.

To grill the chicken fillet, place them in a tray, season them with salt and pepper. I would like to make them with a stronger flavour this time, so I also put a bit of different herbs, ground cumin, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and some garlic. Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, and put them in the oven with 210C for around 35 mins, turn them over in the middle of the way.

For the salad, I am doing the exacted combination of the night before, thin slices of onion and cucumber, and romaine lettuce in chucks. But I am serving it with a different dressing tonight, instead of the greek yogurt dressing, I am doing a honey and mustard dressing which should go better with the flavour of the chicken. The dressing is simple, just a mix of mustard, honey, olive oil and vinegar. Serve the chicken together with the salad and few slices of toasted baguette.

Meatloaf Spaghetti


Why not having some comfort food for Sunday dinner, meatloaf spaghetti maybe one of the best idea! My husband likes meatloaf, we saw this on Jamie Oliver’s show, so let’s try it out.

Cut three carrots, slides them in quarter and place them in a pan with some olive oil, salt and thyme. Put that in oven under 200C for 10 minutes.

While cooking the carrots, let’s get the meatloaf prepared. You can use just minced beef or pork, but it’s good to mix the pork and beef somehow to get a better texture. Season the minced beef and pork with salt, pepper and oregano. Mixed them together, then add an egg, some feta cheese and some bread crumbs. Mix them well and put them in the middle of the pan with the carrots and place it in the oven for 25 minutes.

Let’s get the sauce done. In a hot pan with olive oil, put the red chilli without the seeds, get the flavour then remove the chilli. Fry some garlic, then add the onion, fry them until golden brown, then add the tomato purĂ©e and cook for 10 minutes, and season it with salt and a bit of oregano. Meantime, boil a pot of hot water and get the spaghetti ready. I like to use the number 3 here, the thicker one which go better with meat.

When the sauce is done, take out the pan from the oven, pour the sauce into the pan and sit together with the meatloaf. Put some more feta cheese and add some Parmesan cheese on the meatloaf, then add some rosemary and the fried chilli as well. Place the pan back to the oven, and cook for another few more minutes.

When the spaghetti is ready, serve it together with the sauce and the meatloaf. Perfect comfort food that you can have!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Chicken Soup for my sick Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I really wish everyone having a great day! To me, Valentine’s Day is a bit too commercialise, all the retailers are pushing to sell more for valentine’s gift. A dozen of roses costed HKD2,380, something like USD300, way too much!  If today is about love, we should just love our love, do something nice together and enjoy the time being together.

Unfortunately, my husband is sick today, still sick. He has been sick for few days already, and he is really craving for chicken soup, he said that’s what he used to have all the time when he was sick back in Germany. The one he was showing me, is actually an instant soup with pasta, I am just thinking how good can a can soup be? Why don’t I cook a real chicken soup? By the way, it will be impossible to find that German can soup here in Hong Kong.

I found it funny that how westerners see chicken soup compare to Chinese. For us, if we catch a flu, Chinese doctor will tell us not to have chicken, and chicken soup for sure is not good. But for westerners, chicken soup is something that you should have when you catch a flu or having fever, because chicken soup can help you to boost your immune system. I really don’t understand why Westerners and Chinese have such a big difference towards chicken, my husband said maybe because we do have a lot of problem with chicken, such as bird flu, I am not sure if that is the reason.

So, the chicken soup with pasta ended up so tasty and my husband loves it. Hope he will feel better tomorrow. The ingredients of the chicken soup are: first of all, of course the chicken! I was struggling with getting the whole chicken or just using chicken pieces, so I ended up with the whole chicken just because I found this Danish chicken at the supermarket. It will be difficult if I have to cook the soup with the local Chinese chicken, as they are all so skinny and boney. Vegetables are also important for this soup, onion, celery and carrot, as well as leek; spices are also important, as that help you to open up your nose, black pepper, red pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and allspice. You also need herbs: chopped rosemary and parsley, get some garlic, jalapeños and red chilli pepper as well.

Chop everything and get ready, I also remove the skin of the chicken, because I think it’s better. Make sure you have a pot is big enough, because with everything in will take up lots of space. Heat up the pot with olive oil, fry the onion, celery and carrot until they start to sweat, cut the whole chicken into four big pieces and place them in the pot. Put all the herbs and spices in the pot, except parsley and leek. Pour water inside the pot that covering all ingredients and let it boil, then switch to low heat and let it boil for 90 minutes. After one and a half hour, take out the chicken, and you need to debone the chicken. It will be super easy because the meat will become so tender and so easy to remove. The only thing is too hot! You can use two forks to get that done easily. At the same time, you can boil a pot of hot water and boil the shell pasta and get it ready. Place all chicken meat back into the soup, and put the leek and parsley. I guess now you can switch off the stove. About the pasta, you can do it in two ways, either you pour everything in the soup, but they will grow and become bigger and bigger later on; or you can leave them aside, only mix them with the soup when you eat them, so they don’t soak up all the soup. Serve the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice to add some freshness and vitamin C as well.

I am happy that my husband already feel a lot better after having the soup! Happy Valentine’s Day 😉

Fun girlie trip with fun thing to do – Cooking class at Blue Elephant

It is hard to organise a trip with your girl friends BFF many years after school, as each of us is having our own agenda. Some married, some with kids, some busy with work, some  living in other countries, and etc. But the 4 of us somehow still managed to go for our second girlie trip last year, and to make it more fun, we tried to line up with fun thing to do. Four of us ended up with an agreement to go for a cooking class, our destination is Phuket in Thailand, and we found this nice place called Blue Elephant, it is a well known restaurant, and they also do cooking class.

a corner inside the Blue Elephant

 

 

Arrived to this beautiful building, and actually the entire building with old Chinese-colonial style is the Blue Elephant Restaurant, with a huge lawn and very old trees. I heard that it was a government building, and the owner bought the whole building and keep the look for the restaurant, it is nicely decorated and I love the style! The restaurant itself is quite well-known, with brunches all over the world in different countries, for example London, Paris, Brussels, Dubai, and etc.

The first thing we need to do is a tour to the wet market nearby, not really doing shopping, but in order to understand the ingredients of Thai food or how do they look like, the best place to go is the market. It’s actually quite interesting to go around the market, and having someone can speak with the locals with you is great. I’ve learned different kind of vegetables and herbs that are originated in Thailand. It was definitely a nice experience.

wet market in Phuket, Thailand. Those yellow chicken are marinated with turmeric.

So, let’s start cooking! Basically, they prepared all ingredients for you, you just need to cook. Our class is to learn 4 dishes, the first one is Keang Ka-Ree Koong Subparod (Yellow Curry with Prawns and Pineapple). The most important thing to learn is how to make the curry paste, everything is about grinding with the mortar. So, you need to work out your muscle in order to grind the curry paste. Basically, the red curry paste is the base, and to make the yellow curry paste is using the red curry paste to add yellow curry powder and turmeric powder. The ingredients are garlic, coriander root, yellow curry powder, turmeric powder, red curry paste, vegetable oil, coconut milk, prawns, pineapple in thinly sliced, cherry tomato cut in half, sweet pepper and onion. This dish is not difficult, most of the work is about making the red curry paste.

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Yellow Curry with Prawns and Pineapple, mine one is number 2 😉

The second dish is Hor Mok Poo Tod (Fried Crab Soufflé), for this one you need to whisk a lot, another way to build muscle. For this dish, we have to mix the ingredients in a big bowl, first to mix the paste, egg yolk and coconut milk, then have to mix the minced chicken, minced prawn, steamed crab meat, kaffir lime leaf, sweet basil leaves, then add fish sauce and sugar. Place the mixture into crab shells or containers, and steam that for 15 minutes. Dip with beaten egg, then coat with breadcrumbs, and deep fry.

 

Hor Mok Poo Tod (Fried Crab Soufflé)

The teacher said that this Phad Ka-praow Nua (Stir-fried beef with holy basil) is one of the most popular, cheap and cheerful dish in Thailand. Basically is to fry the sliced beef with holy basil, with the garlic and chili paste, kaffir lime leaf, green peppercorn, sliced of red and yellow chilies, chicken stock, young baby corns and long bean. Season it with light soya sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and sweet dark soya sauce.

Phad Ka-praow Nua (Stir-fried beef with holy basil)

 

The last dish is the Yam Som O (Pomelo Salad), always love to eat this one, let’s see how to make it. The salad ingredients are pomelo, cooked prawns, chicken, ground dried shrimps, roasted peanuts and desiccated coconut. Mixed the ingredients together and add the dressing, chilli paste, tamarind juice, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice mixed well together. Garnish it with deep fried shallot, deep fried dried red chili and boiled quail’s eggs.

Yam Som O (Pomelo Salad)

 

 

Some Thai ingredients that I learned and it’s quite new to me, holy basic leaves, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, tamarind, coriander root (don’t know you can cook with the root). Each of us got a certificate and some gifts home, few ingredients to bring with us, such as fish sauce, curry paste and kaffir lime leaves. We also got to sit down and have lunch together and enjoyed what we cooked.

 

 

 

Sticky Pork Ribs with Mashed Potatoes and String Beans

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I really feel to have pork ribs tonight, I don’t know why, but really craving for pork ribs. Weather is super cold today, 4C is really cold in a place like Hong Kong. It’s good to have something grill and maybe with mashed potatoes as well. Let’s go for grocery shopping!

So, go and get everything I need for this dish, olive oil and butter, just run out of them. Ginger, garlic, potatoes and string beans, for the rest of the ingredients, I have them at home. The most important thing is pork ribs, I don’t know what happened, but 2 stores both sold out of pork ribs. Maybe because weather is too cold, everyone prefer to stay home for dinner, and also think of cooking pork ribs? Luckily, I got them in another super market, but they are not the kind of pork ribs I am looking for, they are too small and lean. I am looking for the big piece, with a bit of fat mixed with lean meat. But it’s still OK, better than nothing.

First of all, boil a pot of hot water and put the potatoes into the pot and boil them. The trick is, to slightly cut a cross mark on the potato skin, so you will get the skin out easier when you peel them. On the other hand, get the pork ribs prepared and season them with salt and pepper. Use a tray or pan to cook the pork rib which can transfer that directly to the oven later on. Heat the tray or pan with olive oil, fry the pork ribs on both sides until they turned golden brown. Put the chopped onion, ginger slides and garlic into the tray, fry them a bit. Then, put dry pepper flakes, some pink peppercorns, and some star anise in it. Now, it’s time to put a good amount of honey, followed by soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and some rice wine. Give a good stir, and then finally add some pork bone broth. Here I would like to use pork bone broth than chicken broth, as I think the taste should go better together since this is a pork dish. Place the tray or pan into the oven and grill it under 180C for 25 to 30 minutes, and then flip the ribs and grill for another 25 to 30 minutes.

While waiting for the ribs to grill, we can work on the mashed potatoes. By this time, the potatoes should be ready, if you are not sure, use a chopstick or something like that to see if you can get it all the way down to the entire potato easily. If you can, that means it’s done. If not, or even if you can but seems hard, that means you need to boil it longer. Peel all the potato skin, and place the potatoes into a large bowl. Cut them into small pieces, or you can use one of those potato mashing tool. I only use a fork to do it, which is simple and easy, as long as your potatoes are fully cooked, then should not be a problem. Cut few slides of butter into the potatoes, and season them with some salt and pepper, and I like to add some ground paprika as well. Then you can start to smash them and mix them, until they look like a good mashed potatoes. Actually, this is my own way to make the mashed potatoes, as there are many other ways, with milk or with cream. But I kind of like it without, just find the right type of potatoes and they will do the work even without adding cream or milk, I just feel adding butter is good enough. Now we need to prepare the string beans, heat the pan with butter, then fry the string beans and season them with salt and pepper until they are done.

When the pork ribs are done, take them out and fry them when all the juice becomes really thick. If it is already thick enough when you take them out from the oven, no need to do so. Serve the pork ribs together with a bit of mashed potatoes and string beans. Enjoy~~~

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