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Get the dinner ready quick enough to have a chill evening – garlic and honey shrimp with vegetables and mixed brown rice

I was feeling kind of tired from the week, working too hard on our own project! Would love to cook something quick enough for me to have the maximum time of the evening to chill! How about putting together a dish without even going for grocery shopping? That sounds great, right? My husband was surprise that I don’t need to go for grocery shopping and he was wondering what am I going to cook for the night? Or am I taking a break from cooking this Sunday?

What am I going to do for the night is, shrimp with broccoli and cucumber, served with mixed brown rice. For the shrimps, we’ve got some frozen shrimps in the freezer, which is good enough for this dish. Have the shrimps defrost and marinate them with honey, soy sauce, minced garlic, ginger and a touch of red chilli. Leave them in the fridge for at least 15 to 30 minutes, meanwhile you can work on other things.

Get the mixed brown rice ready, I am cooking with the long grain rice, which is more healthy. I’m using rice cooker, just put the rice with double amount of water in it and that’s it! You can also use a pot to cook, you just need to really watch it without burning it.

For the broccoli and cucumber, steam the broccoli until they are slightly soft. Then fry  the broccoli and cubed cucumber with some butter and olive oil, season them with a touch of salt and pepper. Set them aside for later use.

Now, let’s get the shrimps ready. Heat up the skillet pan with some butter and a touch of olive oil, place the shrimps in the pan but make sure you don’t put the sauce into the pan. We need to keep the pan kind of dry in order to brown the shrimps nicely. Make sure you brown them both side without over cooking them. Add chopped spring onion and remove them from the pan when they are done. Now, cook the remining of the sauce in the pan, add a touch of flour to thicken it if it is too watery.  

Serve the shrimps with the vegetables and mixed brown rice, and pour the honey and garlic sauce on top. Garnish the dish with some chopped parsley or coriander.

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Fresh vegetarian dish for Summer – tri-colour vegetable pasta in pesto sauce

Tonight I really want to cook something light and vegetarian. Well, actually I have tried to eat less meat and would love to go for more vegetable dishes, not saying that I am turning into a vegetarian or even vegan, but I don’t mind to do that one day. No matter I am going to be a vegetarian or not, for sure I think I would love to cut down the amount of meat that I am going to consume. Maybe it’s good to have meat once or twice a week, the rest of the time is just vegetarian. Therefore, instead of Green Monday, I should do Meat Monday ūüėČ

Today I decided to cook a pasta dish, and I am thinking to make again our own pesto. I did it in the past, but it is really good if we just stop buying those ready made from the bottle and just doing our own ones. More fresh and healthy for sure! Well, definitely taste much better!!! To make our own pesto, you need a lot of green herbs, you can come up with your own combination, as long as you love the taste. If you would like to follow my version, here you go! I was using basil, two kind of parsley, the continental one and the curly one, coriander and garlic, I love spicy, so I would like to add red chilies, and I also love to add some parmesan cheese.  You can omit the chili and cheese if you prefer not spicy, but I think the cheese touch is great. Then, add around 100ml olive oil and season with some salt and pepper, and some fresh squeezed lemon juice. That touch is more like a chimicurrri sauce, but I love the touch of acidity to keep it really fresh! Place everything in a food processor and blend everything together. Now you have your own pesto ready, you can store them in the fridge for a week if you could not finish it in one go.

For the pasta, this time I bought something organic, from this Italian brand Tarall’Oro. It is Torchietti, but you can also cook with fussili or penne. Cook the pasta with the cooking time according to the package, on the other hand, get the vegetable ready. Heat up the pan with olive oil, and then put the sliced garlic and chopped onion into the pan. Saut√© them until they start to turn soft, then add the chopped zucchini and yellow pepper into the pan, fry them until they turn brown. Place the halved cherry tomatoes into the pan one minute before the dish is done, fry quickly with the tomatoes, season with salt and switch off the fire I also love to add more chili but this is totally optional. You can choose other vegetable, but I think it is very nice to have three bright colours in the dish, and these three ingredients go well together.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water with the strainer and mix them well into the vegetables. Then add few tablespoons of pesto sauce into the pasta and keep mixing until you feel it’s enough. You can serve the pasta with some extra shredded cheese, and a touch more pesto. Garnish it with some parsley or basil.

I think this is really yummy and fresh for Summer time!

 

 

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Addicted to sous vide cooking – salmon and carrot with salad

I don’t have to cook this weekend, as my husband is taking care of the Sunday night dinner. I asked him to cook us the real Chilli con Carne, as he said the one I cooked the other time was not that authentic. He still trying to find the best proportion of the ingredients, as he thought he’d put too much cumin into it. I will wait for his best recipe to share on my blog, and for the time being I would like to take care of writing this long lost Sunday night cooking, sous vide with salmon and carrot, before I totally forget what have I done.

For the salmon, season with salt, black pepper and some ground parsley. Put them in the vacuum bag, seal and cook under 56C in the hot bath for 40 minutes.

For the carrots, melt the butter and then add honey and ground cinnamon for seasoning. Dip the carrots into the mix and put them in the vacuum, seal and cook under 85C in the hot bath for 30 minutes.

Prepare the green salad as the base, mix with cherry tomatoes and some thin slices of cucumber. Season the salad with some salt and pepper and some balsamic vinegar. Sear the skin side of the salmon, and serve together with the carrots on top of the salad.

 

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Japanese homemade dinner Рsous 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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Healthy weekend – trying super food and making enzyme fruit juice


This weekend is definitely a very health conscious weekend. I always want to try to make this enzyme fruit juice, but I heard that is a tough job to make, but my friend is willing to teach us finally. Friday night, we went out for a drink and this friend was giving us a lecture on how to make it and which area we need to watch out. She is not an expert, but she was making this for few times, when her husband was fighting for cancer. I am amazed by what this drink can do with our body, so I really want to try. I don’t mind to buy, but seems like it’s hard to buy and the one you buy is not really guarantee that is truely authentic. So, why not trying to learn and make my own one!

It’s funny, a friend also brought another friend with her, she is a nutritionist and she is running her own business with super food. Of course the night turned into a very health conscious night, and all we talked about was healthy diet.

On Saturday, I tried to go around and get all 10 kinds of fruit, other ingredients and the utensils to see if I can make the enzyme on Sunday. To get all the fruits could be difficult, so let’s start searching and see.

What I need are:

Pineapple x 1, Green Papaya x 1, Dragon friut (red one is better) x 2, Guava x 2, Red apple x 2, Pear x 2, Red tomato x 2, beetroot x 2, Kiwi x 3, dark grapes must be with seed (all seedless grapes are genetic modified) x 60 pcs.
Pure honey x 1 kg, dark cane sugar x 1.5 kg, good water (like spring water or filtered water) around 5 litre.

New chopping board (either wood or plastic), ceramic knief, few plastic buckles for fruits washing, long wooden spoon for stiring, big glass jar 14 litre with plastic buckle and towel, cling flim, thick elastic bands x 6, new scrub-sponge, fruit scrubber, plastic funnel and plastic strainer.

For fruits, better to choose the unripe ones, which is better for making enzyme. The greener and the harder, the better! Of course, anything organic is also good, and I would not choose anything that are from China, try to look for better quality. For kitchen utensils, should not use anything in stainless steel or metal, as try to avoid any kind of chemical reaction.

I was trying hard to get everything around home, but it is hard to get grapes with seeds, as all I can found are all seedless! For beetroot, it’s impossible to get it here in Happy Valley as well, so I decided to make a trip to Causeway Bay, I think I can get those missing ingredients in Citysuper! Before heading to Citysuper!, I tried to take a look at the wet market, and I bought the green papaya there. But all the grapes I asked for are without seeds. Found some grapes in Citysuper!, but not sure if they are with seeds or not, so I decided to eat one and find out. Grab one pack, hide somewhere and try one out… Yeah! with seeds!!!! It’s so difficult to find grapes with seeds nowadays! I also found beetroot there! I am so happy I can finished my shopping, but overall took me 3 to 4 hours to get everything.


So today is Sunday, I will be working on my enzyme fruit juice after getting all ingredients that I need! Let’s start the day healthily, have this super green powder that my friend gave me on Friday night, should help to alkalise and detox my body! She is having her brand and this super food diet by Super Food Lab seems very powerful! I am thinking to get this super green and super red powder to have this everyday.


Let’s start making the enzyme, to get all the fruit washed is my first task! Before that, I have to get all the utensils washed and rinsed with hot filtered water. I have two to three containers with filtered water filled, and I’m ready for washing all fruits. I also have to make sure I washed my hands with hot filtered water, I hope I get all procedure right and not screwing up the juice! All the fruits need to be brushed and scrubbed to clean, and get rid of all kinds of chemical. Make sure to wash the fruit with good water, not just the tap water. When you are done with washing, place them on kitchen towel and let them dry. The toughest one is to clean the 60 grapes, either cut the stem with ceramic scissors or pick by hand, but you must keep that little piece of stem on, as you don’t want any water get inside of the grape. You can also use warm water to wash the grapes, as that should help on getting rid of the chemical.


When you are done with all the cleaning and washing, place all the fruits nicely on the kitchen towel and cover them with kitchen towel as well. To speed up the drying process, can switch on the dehumidifier to help.


One problem that I am dealing with, it’s one of the guava starts to get ripen at one point, as I could not see that part which is hidden under the packaging. I tried to get another pack, which turned out to be the same for the other two! It is bad, as the fruit is getting all soft and wet, and it will not get dry at all! Luckily one of them is better, so I can just use that one among the three ripen ones. So, it is very important to get the unriped fruits, especially after such cleaning and washing.

I thought these 2 blackies will be nosy about what I do, but obviously they prefered to chill instead.

 

After few hours of drying the fruits, it’s time to cut them and place them into the jar! Of course, please make sure the jar is washed and also rinsed it with hot filtered water. My friend suggested me to place the jar into a bucket and with a towel to protect it, as we need to turn the bottle around everyday afterwards, it’s better to get it well protected. First of all, put the sugar and honey in the jar, then add 1/3 of water and stir them nicely, let the sugar and honey melt and sit nicely in the jar.

Better to start chopping the biggest fruit, pineapple, everything should keep the skin, but you can cut off a bit of the skin of the pineapple, especially the spiky parts. Place the pineapple slices at the bottom of the jar. For the rest, it’s up to you about the order. Just cut all the fruits in slices, and place them in the jar layer by layer. For the green papaya, have to remove all the seeds, otherwise the drink will turn bitter. ¬†For the grapes, you need to remove the stem and slightly cut open the skin, and keep the seed for the grapes. After cutting and putting all the fruits into the jar nicely, fill up the jar with good water to covering all fruits.


You are almost done, hang in there! The last step is the closing, get the cling film and get the size that can cover the mouth of the jar, put around 16 layers and place them on the mouth of the jar. Leave enough space for the fermentation later on, then close it by putting 5 to 6 elastic bands at the mouth. I also use tape and plastic straps to add on top and make sure it is tight enough.


After 3 hours of washing and 2 hours of cutting, finally done! Let’s see if my first attempt going to be successful… I will update this on my blog everyday.

After the third day,the enzyme fruit juice was already popping up! This is a very good sign, as the fermentation must be in progress! Each day, I have to turn it 30 rounds, in order to let the bubbling works. As the weather is kind of hot here in Hong Kong, the fermentation process could be faster. Hope this could be done in one more week!

Day 3 already start to pop up

 

I was told by my friend, it only takes around 5 weeks¬†in Summer time¬†to get this enzyme fruit juice done. It is still around 28C to 32C here in Hong Kong from August to October, so we expected that will be done in 4 to 5 weeks. I don’t why it takes so long for my jar, it just keep bubbling, meaning still working on the fermentation, so we have to wait until the day there is no more bubbling go on inside the jar. After 10 weeks, finally the bubbling stopped! I just can’t wait to open the bottle and see the result of my first jar of enzyme fruit juice. I’ve prepared 10 empty red wine bottles for the storage of the juice, at the same time, we need to also get a sieve, a funnel and a ladle ready. Avoid to use metal utensil, and stay with plastic or silicone, as¬†enzyme can¬†catalyse a reaction by the¬†use¬†of¬†metals.¬†In order to have the juice evenly distributed, we have to pour the juice in all bottles one by one. Therefore, we should not finish one full bottle then go for the next one, we have¬†do it by rounds in sequence from bottle number 1 to 10. You really have to empty your fridge in order to get enough space for the storage of all these bottles. Do not store them horizontal like how we do with bottle of wine or water, as they might be still active and have a chance to spill. Put them vertically inside the fridge and do not close the cap tightly, leave some space in case it has to breath. Try to finish them in 1.5 months by drinking around 100ml per day. Heard that this formula of enzyme juice can really cure cancer, it’s not that I am having one right now, but it is always good to detox and¬†remove radiation from our body. As most of us keep absorbing a lot of radiation everyday, from computer, mobile phone, TV, microwave, and etc.

The next day, I started with my second jar of enzyme fruit juice! To reuse some of the fermented fruits into the new jar should help to speed up the fermentation, hope the second jar could be done quicker. Let’s keep it rolling and running!

After 10 weeks, this is finally done!!! It takes longer than I thought.