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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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Having snacks as appetiser for our home party

Last night we have some friends coming over for dinner, they are my uni friends, 5 adults and 3 teenagers, totally 10 of us. Originally we are thinking to have dinner outside, but I don’t want to break my Sunday cooking routine. That’s how we ended up with eating at at our place, so they can also have a taste of my cooking.

In order not to drive myself crazy, I planned to cook something that I’ve been cooking before, except one new dish from me and my husband also helps to cook this chicken wings. So, we ended up with 6 dishes, 2-way chicken wings, chicken sous vide Thai salad, prawn & avocado on toast, Thai pork ribs, grilled potatoes, and jalepanos with bacon wrap. I’m glad that they love everything, and here is the highlight of the two new dishes.

2-Way Chicken Wings, my husband did 2 version of chicken wings because some like it hot and some cannot eat spicy. For the spicy version, mix the breadcrumbs, plain flour, sesame seeds, a bit of salt and a lot of ceyanne pepper in a bowl. Dip the chicken wings in the egg wash, then dip them in the mix until the entire chicken wing is fully covered with the breadcrumbs mix. For the non-spicy version, mix soy sauce and honey in a bowl, marinate the chicken wings in the sauce. Place all chicken wings in the baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil. Grill the wings under 180C for 30 to 40 minutes, then brush honey on the honey version and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Grill under 210C for 10 more minutes, and they will be ready for serving. 

Prawn and avocado on toast, I guess this should be good to replace prawn with tuna fish, crab meat or similar seafood as well. Cook the prawns on a pan with a bit of water, let them cool down. Cut the prawn in small cubes, place them in a bowl. Add cubed avocado, diced tomato, finely chopped spring onion, lemon juice, some mayonnaise and season it with ground paprika, salt and pepper. Mix everything well together, then serve them on a small toast. Add some ground paprika and parsley flakes as topping when you serve. 

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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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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.

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Cooking with Orange for Sunday Dinner

We’ve done a small party at home on Saturday night, and I was cooking for 8 of us. Nothing new, just trying to re-cook some dishes, as some of my friends would love to try my cooking. I was planning to cook two different salad as starter, but I ended up with making only one. Having the ingredients ready at home, it’s good to cook something that can go with this salad. Since the salad is with oranges as one of the key ingredient, I am thinking to cook something with orange as well. How about pork ribs with orange? I think taste wise should go very well together, so let’s do it!

First of all, season the pork ribs with salt and pepper, let them sit for a while. Put some butter in a hot pan, then fry the chopped onion until they turned brown. Place the pork ribs in the pan and fry each side of the ribs, then cut one entire garlic in half and let it sit on the pan. You can switch off the fire now and start preparing all ingredients for the grilling part, of course you also need to preheat your oven with 210C. Place ginger slices and orange slices in the pan, get them evenly distributed nicely in the pan. Then, put the sauce in, make sure the sauce is on every single rib. The sauce is a mix of light soy sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the pan in the oven and grill for 30-40 minutes under 210C, or until the pork ribs turn golden brown. You might need the turn the ribs in the middle of the way.

For the salad, it’s super easy! Just place arugula in a big salad bowl, then cut the fennel bulb into thin strips, and the orange in slices without skin. Mix them well and serve with the salad dressing with olive oil, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice.

The taste of the salad and the pork ribs go really well together, as they are both with orange flavour and the sauce for pork ribs vs the salad dressing are very similar. I’ve also tried the orange from the pork ribs, also taste very good with the ginger flavour with the rich taste from the marinated sauce.

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Healthy salad dinner – 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.

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Sunday dinner – salad is in the leading role

My husband told me the other day, we eat far less salad. That’s true, I eat a good amount of vegetable everyday, but more in a Chinese way. Those typical boiled, steamed or fried vegetables. But when I cook a Western dinner, I seldom consider a salad dish, maybe too focusing on the main dish, and forget about the side dish. So, for tonight I am thinking about a salad to start with, and see what to go best with the salad.

My husband always loves cucumber salad with sour sauce or dressing, I saw this potato salad with yogurt and dill sauce at one of the cooking show. Thinking to do the same kind of sauce with a cucumber salad. What is the best to go with this salad? Instead of salmon, let’s see what kind of fish I can get at the supermarket. Eventually, I’ve got the catfish fillet and a prawn for each of us, should be good enough to go with the salad.

Let’s get the salad prepared, so that I can get it chilled in the fringe for a while to keep it cooler before serving. I would like to have a little bit of potatoes in the salad, but not a lot, as I would like to keep the cucumber as the major ingredients. I started with cooking the potatoes into boiling water, part of it for the salad, part of it for our doggies for their usual Sunday dinner with salmon. When the potatoes are done, let them sit aside and reduce the heat. On the other hand, let’s get the rest of the salad prepared. Chop half of an onion in really thin slices, chop cucumber into thin slides, and some romaine lettuce. Put all of them into a big salad bowl, mix them well together and put the bowl into the fringe. You can add the potatoes back in when they are not hot any more.  Let the salad chill until it’s time to serve. You can also get the salad dressing ready, and chill it in the fringe as well. Open the Greek yogurt and pour them into a bowl, season with some salt and pepper, add white vinegar and then mix them well together. As I don’t like too sour, I prefer to add some honey so balance out the taste a bit. It’s up to you to add honey or not. The key of this source is dill, finely chop a handful of dill, and mix them with the sauce. Let the salad dressing sit in the fringe, you can decide to serve the salad with the dressing already add in, or serve it separately. I tend to serve it separately, because we do have a different preference on the amount of dressing that we like to add into our salad.

Time to prepare the fish and prawn. Add a bit of corn flour on the fish for both side in the beginning, to make sure we will keep it nicer together when frying them. Season both the fish and prawn with salt, pepper, ground coriander, paprika and parsley on both side. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the fish and prawn and add a bit of garlic and red chili for the flavour. Make sure one side is already done before flipping the fish, and watch out the prawn because the cooking time should be a lot faster than the fish. When one side of the prawn turned red, just flip it and remove them from the pan when both side turned red. After flipping the fish, add some chopped tomatoes and spring onion on top of the fish. Serve the fish when it’s done, together with the prawn as a seafood plate and have the salad on the side.