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Shakshuka – Spicy all day breakfast 

My husband was having a gig last night, djing at one of the event, and he was out until this morning. Usually, what he loves to eat after a night like this, will be something meaty, but I would like to have something vegetarian. I think maybe it’s good to cook something like a all-day breakfast for him. 

This dish is called Shakshuka, it’s a spicy dish with eggs poached in tomato sauce and pepper. I am not sure if I can handle something that spicy for breakfast, but I guess should be fine for night time “breakfast”. This is a very easy dish, you can quickly get it done in half an hour.

Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, add diced onio, minced garlic and sliced mushroom into the pan. Season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and fry them until they turn brown and dry out. Add diced red bell pepper, chopped green pepper / jalapenos, and minced red chilli pepper. Stir fry them, and then add ground paprika, ground ceyanne pepper, ground cumin and cumin seeds. Now add chopped tomatoes in the pan, add a touch of water or chicken broth, let it simmer a bit until the sauce is thicken up. Create 4 little holes in the pan, then drop the egg into each little hole. Lower the heat and cover the lid, poach the eggs for 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander. Serve the dish with some sliced baguette or toast. 

It’s quite spicy, spicer than I thought. Maybe it’s good to have it in the morning, it definitely can wake you up!

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Steamed Crabs with Eggs and Garlic Sautéed Broccoli

I have never cook fresh crab in my entire life, I’ve only cooked hairy crabs in the past, but never manage to open and clean a fresh crab. The major reason is, I’ve never seen my grandma cooking crab, as I was learning how to cook by assisting her when I was a kid. I love crab, so do my husband, let’s try to cook it!

I am thinking to make this dish since long time, steamed crab with eggs. I’ve tried this in Chinese restaurant and I love it, always thinking to cook it one day! But one thing kind of bothering me is, if I have to kill the crab…. I am still not prepared to open the shell of a crab when it’s still alive. I’ve been straggling a bit at the wet market, and I decided to get those are already dead. That makes me feel a bit better, as I’m not the one killing them….

To keep the crabs in good condition, better leave them in the freezer until you want to clean and cook them. Open the shell of the crab and clean them up with toothbrush, make sure you get rid of the heart and the lung. Place the crabs in the middle of the dish, better use a flat dish in order to get the egg evenly distributed. Whisk 4 eggs, add chicken soup and some water into the eggs and whisk them together. Pour the egg mixture into the dish together with the crabs, and cover the dish with cling film which is going to prevent the water dripping in the dish. Now, steam it for 15 to 20 mins with high heat. When it’s done, pour in soy sauce and garnish with chopped spring onion. Heat up some oil and pour it evenly on the dish.

For the Garlic Sautéed Broccoli, start to cook it around 8 minutes before the crabs are done, so you have both dishes ready almost at the same time. Heat up the pan with some butter and a touch of olive oil, add minced garlic, then broccoli. Fry until the broccoli turn soft, can add a touch of water if they are getting brown too quick. When they are almost done, add minced chilli (optional), salt and a touch of sugar to bring out the flavour. 

You can serve these typically with rice. My husband loves the broccoli, as well as the crabs so much! Maybe he is too hungry, lol. Next time, I will try to do the fried crabs with peppercorn! 

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Healthy vegetarian Sunday dinner – potatoes and cucumber salad in yogurt dressing

Lately, we really prefer to eat less meat, and more vegetable and plant food. After watching A Plastic Ocean, What the Health, Cowspiracy, who else has the appetite for meat or even seafood? The world is really sick, everything seem polluted and everywhere is having problems. I am not saying that I am turning to a vegetarian now, but I think eating less meat is a good act. 

Let’s go for a very healthy Sunday dinner with a potatoes salad. My husband is a big fan of potatoes salad, because of where he is from, Germany! And I know he loves this salad, as always remind him of his mother, that’s how she used to do potatoes salad.

First of all, we have to cook the potatoes. There are few ways to do it. You can chopped them in cubes first, then boil them in water or steam them, until they are cooked. You can also boil or steam the entire pototes and roughly cut them into cubes after they are cooked. Make sure you season them with some salt, and then let them cool down or even chill them in the fridge. Depends on how would you like to eat your potatoes, if you would like them a bit warm, no need to chill them too much. 

To prepare the rest of the ingredients, get a big salad bowl ready, and place everything inside. Thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced onion, diced celery and two hard boiled eggs cut in cubes. Mix all ingredients well, together with the potatoes as well. For the dressing, mix Greek yogurt, mustard, salt, garlic powder, half lemon juice, fresh finely chopped dill or dry one, finely chopped spring onion and finely chopped parsley well, then pour the dressing into the the salad. Mix the dressing with the salad and serve it with garlic bread. 

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Korean spicy, sweet & sour chewy noodle – not as good as I expected

This Sunday night dinner, I am planning to cook something simple and easy again…… lol

I sound so lazy these days, right?! Well, the major reason was because, we were working hard on Saturday with a full day recording session. So, I was really looking forward to have a chilled Sunday. 

To make this Korean noodle is not so difficult, you just have to make sure you can get one or two key ingredients at the Korean section of this versatile supermarket or Korean store. There are lots of Korean living in Hong Kong, it is not too difficult to get these ingredients, make sure you get the Korean hot pepper paste and this chewy noodle. If you cannot find chewy noodle, you can replaced by the kind of noodle that you like. 

I’m making the noodle with beef, so first of all, I marinated the beef strips with some Korean beef sauce and let it sit inside the fridge for half an hour. The first ingredient I have worked on is bean sprouts, clean them and boil them in hot water until they are cooked. Drain the water and let them sit aside and cool down for later use. Now, you can start to chop things up in thin strips, cabbage, cucumber and carrot. Then, you can get the fried egg ready as well, heat up the pan and fry one beat egg with a touch of warm water mixed in a pan. Season with a touch of salt and cut it in thin strips when it’s done. 

Let’s get the chewy noodles cooked in hot water until they are al dente, like the pasta. At the same time, you can quickly fry the beef strips in hot pan. When the noodles are ready, drain the water and quickly pour cold water with ice in the noodles, to stop them from cooking, so the noodle would not turn too soft. Now mix the noodles, bean sprouts, cabbage and carrot with the sauce that mixed with Korean hot pepper paste, apple vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic and some sesame seeds. Remember to taste and adjust the sauce before mixing it with the noodles. Mix until everything are nicely coated with the sauce.

Serve the noodle with cucumber, beef and eggs on top, garnish them with finley chopped spring onion and more sesame seeds. It is not as good as I expected, because it tastes good in the beginning, but it became too heavy in the middle already, it’s a bit hard to finish the entire bowl, as the taste is very strong between spicy and sour. Next time, I will try to cook the Korean cold noodle.

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The first dinner for the year of the rooster, let’s go for chicken! 

Happy Year of the Rooster!!!! It’s the first day of the lunar new year, let’s have some chicken for our first dinner.

I start it off with making us cocktail. Yes! Again related to cock, just to fit into the theme. I’ve made the Old Fashion, nice to start to night with a cocktail. Place 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into the glass, then add few dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of water, then crash the sugar with a wooden muddler. I like to add a touch of orange juice, and a slice of orange peel and orange. Then add around 2 oz of whiskey, place one big ice cube in the glass then fill up the rest of the glass with water. 

I actually didn’t plan to cook any appetiser, but the portion of the chicken cordon bleu turned out to be smaller than I expected. Moreover, I screwed up with one piece of the chicken, that’s why I have some chicken leftover, so why not have a bruschetta with some chicken and eggs? which fit perfectly to the theme! So, put butter on the slices of the baguette, then place them on the grill pan, put them aside when they are done on both side. Heat up the pan with butter, then fry the minced chicken, season it with some salt and pepper. Add one egg into the pan when the chicken is done, break up the egg and stir fry it when it’s done. Place the chicken and egg on top of the slices of baguette. Add some cheese on top and garnish it with a bit of spring onion or parley.

For the Chicken Cordon Bleu, get two big piece of chicken breast and slice them into two thin pieces. Add a touch of olive on the entire surface of the chicken breast, then place one piece in-between two pieces of cling film, use a meat mallet to bite the chicken breast until it becomes really thin and even, remember to use the flat side. Brush the chicken breast with dijon mustard, then lay a piece of sweet ham and a piece of Swiss cheese on top. Roll up the chicken breast and tighten it up with the cling wrap, place them in the fridge and let them sit there for 30 minutes. When they are ready, cover the chicken roll with plain flour, then soak it with egg wash and then finish it with breadcrumbs, breadcrumbs should be seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat up the pan with butter and some olive oil, fry all side of the chicken roll, and don’t forget the two ends. Sealed all side, and then place them in the oven and bake them under 180C for 20 minutes.

Let’s prepare the creamy sauce, heat up the pan with olive oil, add minced shaollot and garlic, fry them for 2 minutes, and then add a touch of flour. Add chicken stock, and a touch of white wine, let it simmer. Add cooking cream, bring it to boil, then let it simmer until it turns thicker. Season it with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley in the end. 

I’ve also prepared the potatoes and zucchini as side dishes. Steam the potatoes for 20 minutes, let them cool down. Heat up the pan with olive oil and butter, fry the potatoes and then add the zucchini. Season them with salt and pepper when they are done and garnish with some parsley.

Cut the chicken cordon bleu in half and serve them with the creamy sauc, with the vegetable on the side. 

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Japanese homemade dinner – sous vide miso pork tenderlion 

I don’t know how I ended up with cooking Japanese tonight, but I was all prepared with recipes in my head and planned to cook sous vide rack of lamb with greens as side dish. I went down for grocery shopping and I walked in this Japanese grocery store, I just could not help it and completely changed my mind and starting to re-generate new recipes in my head already.

So, I got edamame, clams, pork tenderlion from Kagoshima, and some udon. I also want to make this Japanese cheese cake since few weeks, maybe I should also get that done tonight as dessert. 

Steamed edamame is easy, just get them steam and then put salt as seasoning. That’s it! Could it be more simple? And that already making you feel like at the Japanese Restaurant.

Sake steamed clam, boil 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sake. Add clams into the pan when it’s boiling, cover the lit and cook until the clams are open. Add a bit of salt and some butter into the pan, and mix them well. Add some chopped leek for garnish.

For the sous vide pork tenderlion, of course it takes more time and procedure to cook. Mix 3 to 4 teaspoon of miso paste into some sake, add some grated ginger and brown sugar into it and make them well together. Use the mix and put them all over the pork tenderlion, and then place it in the vacuum bag. Cook with the sous vide machine with 61C for 2 hours, if your tenderlion is thick, the temperature has to adjust to 62C. When the pork is done, remove it from the hot bath and set it aside. 

To cook the udon, have to work on the broth first. Boil the chicken broth and add carrot slices into the broth, and then add mushroom or any other ingredients that you like. When all the ingredients are cooked, now it’s time to put the miso paste. I like a very strong miso taste, so I put more miso paste into the soup. Bring a bit of broth and dilute the miso paste in a bowl, then add everything into the pot. Now, can add the udon, cook until they are done. Serve the udon soup with pork tenderlion, some fried tofu and chopped leek. If you like spicy, can add some red pepper flakes.

Dessert is the Japanese cheese cake, the one that is so easy to make with 3 ingredients only, 120g white chocolate, 120g cream cheese and 3 eggs. This recipe is so popular on Internet and everyone is cooking this. It is so simple and I think everyone can do it, you can also give it a try!

I really love the miso flavour and my husband is also very happy, and he said the miso tastes so different than what he used to have at the Japanese Restaurant, which is usually very fishy.

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Trying to make traditional Sunday German Dinner to make my hubby feels like home – Rouladen with Kartoffeklöße

It’s Sunday again! My routine to cook Sunday dinner, but I just made a big dinner the night before for friends’ gathering, thinking what to cook again…… My husband was trying to help, and he was suggesting to make this Rouladen, which I have no clue what is he talking about. So he found me some online recipe on youtube, so I can watch and learn how to make it. He was also craving for this German potato dumplings, which usually serve with the Rouladen. I also have no idea how to make, but let’s learn it on youtube.

After checking out few videos about the Rouladen and the Kartoffeklöße, I think it’s not too difficult to make it, let’s try it out! Rouladen is a dish that the German used to do as a Sunday family dinner dish, and I guess most of the mother know how to do it. It is beef roll with something inside, the part of beef should be the thin slice of the round part and I can already see that as a problem to get that part of the beef in thin slice. There are few meat places here in the neighbourhood, let’s try to see if I can find this specific part of the beef. After running around to few stores, I could not find the beef that I was looking for, as I expected. The best that I could get was the sirloin thin slices, which is a bit small for this dish, and fat in-between is also not helping and make rolling the beef a bit difficult. Anyway, I ended up with doubling two slices to make one piece, it is not perfect but still fine.

To make the Rouladen, lay the slice of beef out flat and season them with salt and pepper. Don’t over seasoning them, as the other ingredients are also with flavour. Then put a thin layer of mustard on the beef, the best would be German mustard to make it more authentic. Now start to put all the ingredients on it, one piece of bacon, strips of onion and  a slice of pickled cucumber, then roll them up and use a toothpick to close it. After you get all the rolling done, searing them in a hot pan to seal in the juice. To be honest, the beef I got is so thin and I think this is not really necessary for my thin slice sirloin. When the beef are all brown, remove them from the pan. Now we start to work on the stock, fry some garlic, onion, carrot and celery in the pan, when they turn brown, put some tomato puree in, and then add some red wine, let it simmer for few minutes. Add a good amount of beef stock and bring it to boil, then place all Rouladen into the stock, and they should be around 2/3 covering with stock. Place the pan inside the oven under 175C to cook for 1 to 1.5 hours. You can also just boil it with a lower heat as an option.

For the Kartoffeklöße, potato dumplings, first of all, to cook the peeled potatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes until they all turned soft and smash them into mashed potatoes. Add two eggs, flour, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper, and mix them well with the mashed potatoes, add more flour until it is not sticky any more. Separate them and make them into ball shape, and boil them in hot water for around 15 to 20 minutes.

Traditionally, this dish is served with red cabbage, and a lot of sauce. To make the sauce, remove the Rouladen from the pan, and bring the stock to boil until it thicken up. If you think there is not enough sauce, maybe you can add more beef stock . Press the sauce through the sieve to get even the taste from the vegetable. This is my first trial and it is tough to cook something that I’ve never had, as you just cannot imagine how exactly that should taste. My husband told me the Rouladen actually taste very good, but I guess it will be better if I can find the right part of meat to wrap. On the other hand, he said the Kartoffeklöße taste good but totally not the German kind. I need to eat an authentic one to see how to make them right next time, room to improve!