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Sunday healthy dinner – scallop with green salad, asparagus and quinoa

I have this outstanding dish from last Sunday that I better get the writing done, as I’ve already got the new Sunday dinner dish that I need to write soon!

Last Sunday, I cooked this healthy dish with salad and quinoa based with a touch of scallop as high light. I went out for dinner on Friday with two friends that are both health conscious, we did talk about healthy diet during dinner, so I was thinking to have something healthy for Sunday dinner. Was thinking to cook something vegetarian or even vegan, but ended up with a seafood dish. 

You might not be able to see, but actually I’ve added other greens into the dish. Besides the green salad, I put asparagus and avocado as well. To start with, I put the quinoa in the rice cooker, and let it do its work, so that I can work on other things. Before cooking the scallops, I would like to get the asparagus ready first. Cut the asparagus into thick slices, pan fry them with butter and season them with salt and pepper when they are done. Let’s get the dressing ready before cooking the scallop. Heat up the pan and place some butter in, let it melt and cook a bit, then add in plain flour and keep stirring, then add in some freshly sqeezed grapefruit juice and cook until it’s thicken up, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the scallop, season them with some salt and pepper, then fry them with a hot pan in butter. Watch out the time as you do not want to overcook them. Get the plate ready with green salad, asparagus and avocado as a base, then season them with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Then add in some quinoa and place the scallops on top, final touch with the butter grapefruit dressing. 

It’s so refreshing and light!

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Sunday dinner – lemon & honey chicken drum sticks with greens 

It’s been three weeks that I haven’t had time to write my blog, was so busy with moving home. It’s never been easy with moving, packing, unpacking and we even have something that we need to build. We’ve moved to this new place for two weeks already, but there are still a lot of building work waiting for us to finish. One major part is my husband’s home studio, we just got some material ordered and hopefully to get that done soon. The other part is my private kitchen, basically is done but I just have to set it up nicely. Hopefully with that, it will be so much more easier for my food blog and for anything that I am going to cook, plus having guests to dine here. Can’t wait for getting everything done!

In order to make my Sunday a bit more easier, cooking something simple will be my target! Tonight, I am cooking this lemon and honey glazed chicken drum sticks, and served that with greens. It is a great dish to serve with rice or potatoes, you can have either one as your option, but I do prefer to have more greens.

The major ingredients of this dish is chicken drum sticks, you can also use the same cooking method for other part of the chicken. Besides that, we also need lemon, honey, garlic, ginger, rosemary, parsley, dark and light soy sauce. For the greens, I used three kinds of green, asparagus, green beans and zucchini. First of all, season the chicken drum sticks with some salt and pepper, and then get a pan ready and heat up with a touch of butter with some olive oil. Add in sliced garlic and sliced ginger when the pan is hot, then add all the chicken drum sticks in and fry them nicely until they start to turn brown. Then, add some dark and light soy sauce, some rosemary, slices of lemon and also squeeze some lemon juice in, cover the lid and let them cook for around 10 to 15 minutes. You can add some water if you feel the sauce is turning too dry, but try not to make it too watery. Add the honey few minutes before you think the drum sticks will be done, do not add the honey too early, otherwise the entire pan will become too sticky too early. When the chicken is done, add chopped parsley and mix them well, save a bit of parsley for the finish garnishing.

On the other hand, we need to get the greens ready, the best way is to start cooking the greens 5 minutes before you finish with the chicken. Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, then add in sliced garlic. Stir fry the green beans to start with, then add in asparagus and the chopped zucchini at last. Stir fry all greens until they are fully cooked and season them with some salt and pepper.

Serve the chicken drum sticks with some greens and garnish them with some chopped parsley.

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Simple and light dinner – baked salmon with asparagus

It’s Easter holiday, but we are very busy. We have to move, so I have to pack. My husband is also very busy on setting up his new studio, so I would like to cook something very simple and light for our last Easter night.

Tonight I would like to cook salmon, it’s very healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin B and D. I also got some asparagus to go with it, it is going to be a very simple and easy to manage dinner cooking.

To heat up the oven to 210C, season the salmon with salt and black pepper. Place a batch of dill and rosemary underneath the salmon, and then place sliced of lemon on top of the salmon and top it with another batch of dill and rosemary. I did not put any oil, as salmon itself got some oil, and it’s totally fine to bake them without adding oil. Close it up with foil and place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, that’s it! When the salmon is almost done, start to cook the asparagus. Heat up the pan with a bit of butter, then pan fry the asparagus and season them with salt and black pepper. Serve the salmon with the asparagus, you can remove all the dill and rosemary, but keep the lemon on the salmon for decoration. Nice and light!

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Healthy Sunday dinner – vegetarian pasta

2017 seems not to be on my side, after getting laid off, I just got another piece of information that our landlord would like us to move out. Why everything have to come at the same time? Well, we always should look into the bright side, but sometimes it’s a bit too much and hard to stay positive all the time. I will try but it’s a bit tough these days.

I was busy with flat hunting this weekend and do not have much time to think about what to cook. So, I just come up with something very simple and healthy, in order to fit into our healthy theme lately. A vegetarian pasta – tri-colour fussili with asparagus and mushroom. 

The ingredients are very simple and of course based on vegetable, asparagus, mushroom and onion are the key ingredients and of course the tri-colour fussili. Bring a pot of hot water to boil and ready for the pasta. Heat up the pan with a touch of olive oil, then add sliced garlic and chopped onion in the pan, fry until the onion start to turn brown. Then, add the chopped red chilli pepper and mushroom, fry them and squeeze some lemon juice in. When the mushroom turned soft, add some white wine and cook a bit. Finally, add the chopped asparagus in, cook them a bit and then add a bit of salt. The sauce is basically ready and you can just add the pasta when they are done, don’t forget to add some chopped parsley. Mix the fussili pasta well together with the sauce, and serve them with some roasted pine nuts on top to add a touch of nutty texture.

I found this pasta particularly light and healthy! You can also use this as a salad, chill them and then mix with some salad to eat as a pasta salad.

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Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner – must have lucky food

It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve today, we called it 團年飯, and traditionally you should have the dinner with your entire family, in order to end the year altogether. It is important for Chinese to gather the entire family together for important event like this one, but I think it’s important for everyone, like Christmas Eve for Western, Thanksgiving dinner for American, and etc.

One thing funny about what we used to eat for CNY’s Eve dinner, we should have something means lucky to us. Meat somehow is a must, as that means you are rich enough to have meat. Fish is also one of the choice, as fish 魚 Yu, sounds like 餘 Yu, meaning extra. Of course we would like to have extra money! Shrimp 蝦 Ha, sounds like 哈 Ha, the sound of laughing, so shrimp is also a popular dish for CNY.

So, I’ve made a Western style year-end dinner for us, with shrimp and salmon (fish).

Garlic, Chili and Lemon Shrimp. Heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put minced garlic in, then put the lemon slices and chopped red chili pepper, fry a bit then put all shrimps with shell in the pan, cover with lid and cook until they all turned pinkish. Season the shrimps with salt, ground pripika and parsley flakes. 

Creamy Salmon Penne Pasta. Put one pot of water to boil, add a good amount of salt and cook the penne pasta according to the cooking time of the package. For the sauce, heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, put the minced garlic in, and then put the chopped asparagus and sliced mushroom. Fry them until they turn soft, add some lemon zest and squeeze in lemon juice, then pour in the cooking cream, let it simmer and then add some cheese. Could be a mix of Italian cheese, like parmesan, romano or pecorino cheese. Let it simmer a bit more, then season it with a bit of salt and ground pripika. Mix the sauce with the penne pasta, and serve it with a touch of black pepper.

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Cooking like a Michelin Star Chef? See how this new toy can help – Sous Vide slow cook circulator

I’ve been seeing this sous vide machine in the market for quite some time, and was thinking to get one. Anova launched this product since 2013, but back then I was not that aware of the benefit of slow cooking. These day here in Hong Kong, German Pool, this local brand is promoting their Sous Vide Pro. The price is really good and even including the vacuum machine and extra vacuum bags, plus the department store was running a promotion. So, I decided to get this one instead of the Anova one.

German Pool Sous Vide

To keep the food moist and juicy, full of it’s natural flavour and nutrition, it totally makes sense to cook with this method. It requires certain technique to cook a piece of steak at the right temperature and time, but it will be hard to go wrong with this sous vide machine. You just need to follow the guide, to set the right time and right temperature, to season the steak then place it inside of the vacuum bag, and dip it into the water and just let it cook. You would not have problem if the steak is too rare or too cooked, the steak will be so moist and not chewy. I was referencing the provided recipe to do this steak, following it to make the sauce and I’ve also cooked some asparagus and potato chips on the side.

To cook the steak medium, temperature set as 58C and cook for 2 hours. If you set at 59C for 2 hours, the steak will be well done, just wondering the difference of 1C is huge! So, watch out and make sure you set it right. Once the steak start cooking, you are free to do other things, it is very convenient and you don’t have to worry if the water will spill over or if it will be overcooked. You really do not need to worry about anything! To make the sauce or any side dishes, you just have to calculate the time that you need, and then start cooking by  counting down the time. I’ve planned to cook some potato chips in the oven, and pan fry some asparagus. The sauce is with red onion, mushroom, red wine, beef stock and touch of rosemary. When the steak is done with the sous vide cooking, remove them from the plastic bag and sear them quickly with a hot pan and some butter. Then serve it with the side dish and the gravy on top. You can see the steak is medium cook and it is so tender, soft and juicy.

So, I could not hold myself, I cook another sous vide dish the following night. Well, actually I’ve done two in a night, some chicken for lunch on the following day to go with salad, as I bring my lunch to work, and a fish dish for dinner. I was trying to follow the recipe provided to make the same sauce, and I’ve add some salad and fried zucchini to make a dinner dish. The sauce is made by garlic, onion, yellow pepper and chicken stock. To sous vide cooking the cod fish is kind of quick, I mean quicker than cooking meat. It takes only 18 minutes, instead of 2 hours! But I feel the result is more significant on meat than on fish, as I feel the cod tastes more like a steam one. Anyway, still taste good and tender! I have to say, the chicken tastes really really nice!!! The chicken salad I’ve made for lunch was really soft, tender and juicy, I really love it!!!!

The day after, I did a sous vide pork chop for dinner. The pork chop is also very nice! So, the sous vide cooking seems working very well and show great result for meat especially. It is tough to cook meat, as it requires a good technique to have a good result for the level of tenderness and juiciness. With this cooking method, you just can’t go wrong! Everyone can cook just like a Star Chef, but of course you need to have a good sense on how to season it and how to put together the rest of the dish.

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Sunday simple dinner – Chicken and Asparagus Penne

I was planning to cook this simple pasta on Saturday night, and was thinking to cook something more complicated on Sunday night. But then, I ended up with something else on Saturday night, so I have to save the ingredients for Sunday dinner. Not bad, so I get more time to do other things, like shower my two dogs.

What we need for this dish is chicken fillet, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, garlic, red chili if you prefer spicy, parsley and penne pasta. I do prefer to get the bigger version of asparagus, but I could not find it and I have to go for the smaller / thinner version.

Boil a pot of hot water for cooking the pasta, get a sauce pan ready on the other hand by heating it up with some olive oil. Start it off with the mined garlic, and then add the asparagus, cook them for a while until they started to turn soft. Add the chicken into the pan, let them fry a bit to get the surface cooked first. Then, stir fry them and add red chili, season them with salt, pepper, rosemary and ground paprika. Cook until the chicken is done, add the cherry tomatoes and more olive oil for the pasta later on.

When the penne pasta is done, drain the water and mix the pasta into the sauce pan. Add parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, then mix everything well together. You can serve the pasta with some more parmesan cheese and parsley on top as garnish and extra flavour.