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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!

 

 

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Making Swedish meatballs without breadcrumb

I watched a TV show the other day, it’s about working and travelling in Sweden. One of the famous dish in Sweden, I guess everyone would say meatball, as that’s what you can eat and get in Ikea even if you’ve never been to Sweden. In that show, the actress was learning how to make meatball from one of the local at home. The Swedish woman learned from her mother, and her mother learned from her grandma, a recipe that pass on from generation to generation. My husband was also watching the show, and when they talked about putting mashed potatoes into the minced meat, my husband said that is very traditional. I thought everyone is putting breadcrumb for meatball, but then my husband said can use both, either potatoes or breadcrumb. Then, he started to talk about the meatballs that him or his mother used to make back in Germany, sounds so nice, and yes maybe we should do meatballs dinner on the coming Sunday.

So, as planned, this Sunday dinner will be – Swedish Meatballs! After cooking the Sunday brunch, frisee aux Lardons with some cold cuts. I started to search for recipes, just would like to have some more background or reference of the Swedish Meatballs, even I kind of have an idea how to make them, by watching the show the other night and talking with my husband. It is still good to explore a bit more on different recipes before cooking. I’ve been reading about 10 to 20 recipes, but they are all using breadcrumb instead of potatoes. In order to make it a bit different than the others, I am trying to make this with potatoes.

The first thing to do is to cook all those potatoes, put all the potatoes into a big pot and cover them with water, boil them for around 20 to 30 mins. When you are cooking the potatoes, you can work on the onion, finely chop them with the food processor, and then fry them with some butter in the pan. Leave them to cool down for later use. When the potatoes are done, remove the skin, put them in a big bowl and smash them with masher. Before adding anything, put aside some mashed potatoes that you are going to use for the meatballs. For the rest, add butter, salt, pepper, plus the kind of spice that you want, could be dill and thyme for example, then keep mixing until it’s done. Now, we can start working with the meatballs, use a bowl that is big enough for mixing. Put minced pork and minced beef all in the bowl, the best is 50/50, but of course it’s up to you to make the kind of combination you like. Then, add those cooked onion, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, now here, I guess you can add anything that you like to make your meatball tasty, I guess it’s not a bad idea to add minced garlic and red chili, as I also add them later as a filling for some of the meatballs. Moreover, add 2 eggs, some heavy cream and the mashed potatoes, and now you can start mixing. My husband said I should not mix too match, and should not use cream or potatoes, as he prefers more texture than those recipes I read, that you should make the meatballs very smooth. Well, different preference, as long as they are tasty!

When the mixing of meat is done, now we can start to put them into shape! My husband requested to have a filling, so I put some Emmanuelle cheese cube, and some of them with minced garlic and red chili. Now, to fry them, you have to make sure to keep the ball shape, you can use two spoon to roll them around when the entire surface is not cooked yet. When all the meatballs are done, now we can start to cook the sauce. Place some butter in the saucepan, put some flour in, then pour in some chicken stock and season it with salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream and some black currant jam. Let it cook until it gets thicker, then put all the meatballs in and cook together. Serve the meatballs with mashed potatoes and some green beans and garnish them with some chopped parsley. A lot of recipes are talking about serving the meatballs with lingonberry jam, but I just could not find it here in Hong Kong, so I’ve used cranberry jam instead. I actually love those spicy meatballs, next time I guess I will put garlic and red chili for sure into the mixing. And actually they do taste better after one day, my husband loves to eat them cold with mustard as well.

 

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Sunday dinner – Salmon patties with vegetable tempura and mixed salad

Sunday as usual is the day for cooking. Starting off the day with my husband cooking for brunch, he made us crabmeat and egg on toast, which tasted very good. Why not stay with seafood for dinner! I always wanted to make this fish cake, so let’s do it today.

Thinking between salmon or tuna, I finally stick with salmon for tonight’s dinner. I bought two cans of good quality salmon, 150 grams for each can, should be good enough to make around 6-8 patties, of course depends on how big are the patties. Getting also the rest of the ingredients ready, mixed salad, potatoes, carrots, eggs, flours, parsley, cucumber or zucchini, then we can start cooking.

First of all, we should work on the potatoes and carrots for the patties. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the potatoes cubes and carrot cubes inside the pot, season with a pinch of salt. Boil them until they are done, separate them from water and let them cool down. Meanwhile, we can work on the other stuff, like chop the potatoes, carrot and cucumber or zucchini into strips, then place them in a large bowl and mix them together. Buy this Japanese tempura powder (deep fry), and mix them with water until you reach certain consistency. Some of them need to add egg and some do not, please see the package for instruction. When the cooked potatoes and carrots are finally cool down, smash them with the masher, then we can work on the salmon patties. Grab a large bowl for mixing or you can use a food processor to mix, but I do prefer to do it manually, as I do prefer a bit of texture instead of too refine. Place the salmon chucks inside the bowl, break them up by using a fork. Then, add the finely chopped parsley, and now add the mashed potatoes and carrots into the bowl, then add egg, flour, some lemon zest into the bowl, and season it with some black pepper. You really need to to see how much flour and how many eggs to add, and work out your optimum amount and portion. Make sure the patties are not too soft and too watery, make sure you add enough flour to have the right consistency. Mix them well and here you go to work on the patties, use your hand to make them nicely into a round patties around 1cm thick. Sit them on a tray with some flour for the time being, and now work on the vegetables.

Pour some tempura flour into the chopped vegetable mix, and mix them with the flour, let each single piece stick with that. Now, heat up the pan with a good amount of olive oil, grab a bunch of vegetable strips and further dip them into the tempura flour, then place them into the pan for deep fry, or pan fry could work. Fry them on both side until they turn golden brown or the way you like. Repeat this until you finish with all vegetable strips. Then, you can start to fry the salmon patties, try not to rush and keep turning them, otherwise you will mess them up by keep flipping. When everything is done, serve the salmon patties and the vegetable tempura with the salad. The dressing I did with some mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and white vinegar, this work for the entire dish, not just for the salad. I guess next time I will try to grill the patties in the oven and see what will be the difference, I found the patties a bit too soft and I will try to perfect them next time, but the taste was good, at least….

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Sunday – cooking day

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.