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Sunday dinner – creamy leek and pancetta fettuccine

Last week was again a busy week, we did some renovation work at our studio, so I rather looked for a very chilled Sunday. Cooking something easy and maybe even repeating an old recipe would do the job.

I found this old recipe two years ago on my facebook memory, before I have my blog. I think it’s good to redo this, as my husband loves creamy pasta, this one must be his favourite once again! My old version was cooking this with falafel, I would live to do the same, but I could not manage to find falafel in the supermarket. I decided to give it up and go for fettuccine instead, which is also a good choice for creamy sauce.

To cook the sauce, heat up the sauce pan with some olive oil. Add garlic cloves and pancetta in the pan, fry them until the pancetta turn brown. Add some butter, then add chopped leek in the pan and fry them together with the pancetta, until they turn soft. Add cooking cream in the pan with fresh oregano, touch of thyme and ground paprika, lower the heat and let it simmer until the sauce turn thick. Taste the sauce and season it with salt, add shredded parmesan cheese in the end. Switch off the heat and stir well.

When the fettuccine is cooked, add them in the sauce and stir well. If you feel it’s too dry, add some hot pasta water in. 

It’s creamy, and it’s really yummy~~~

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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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Happy Valen7ine’s Day everyone! Chicken soup for my sick Valentine.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I really wish everyone having a great day! To me, Valentine’s Day is a bit too commercialise, all the retailers are pushing to sell more for valentine’s gift. A dozen of roses costed HKD2,380, something like USD300, way too much!  If today is about love, we should just love our love, do something nice together and enjoy the time being together.

Unfortunately, my husband is sick today, still sick. He has been sick for few days already, and he is really craving for chicken soup, he said that’s what he used to have all the time when he was sick back in Germany. The one he was showing me, is actually an instant soup with pasta, I am just thinking how good can a can soup be? Why don’t I cook a real chicken soup? By the way, it will be impossible to find that German can soup here in Hong Kong.

I found it funny that how westerners see chicken soup compare to Chinese. For us, if we catch a flu, Chinese doctor will tell us not to have chicken, and chicken soup for sure is not good. But for westerners, chicken soup is something that you should have when you catch a flu or having fever, because chicken soup can help you to boost your immune system. I really don’t understand why Westerners and Chinese have such a big difference towards chicken, my husband said maybe because we do have a lot of problem with chicken, such as bird flu, I am not sure if that is the reason.

So, the chicken soup with pasta ended up so tasty and my husband loves it. Hope he will feel better tomorrow. The ingredients of the chicken soup are: first of all, of course the chicken! I was struggling with getting the whole chicken or just using chicken pieces, so I ended up with the whole chicken just because I found this Danish chicken at the supermarket. It will be difficult if I have to cook the soup with the local Chinese chicken, as they are all so skinny and boney. Vegetables are also important for this soup, onion, celery and carrot, as well as leek; spices are also important, as that help you to open up your nose, black pepper, red pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and allspice. You also need herbs: chopped rosemary and parsley, get some garlic, jalapeños and red chilli pepper as well.

Chop everything and get ready, I also remove the skin of the chicken, because I think it’s better. Make sure you have a pot is big enough, because with everything in will take up lots of space. Heat up the pot with olive oil, fry the onion, celery and carrot until they start to sweat, cut the whole chicken into four big pieces and place them in the pot. Put all the herbs and spices in the pot, except parsley and leek. Pour water inside the pot that covering all ingredients and let it boil, then switch to low heat and let it boil for 90 minutes. After one and a half hour, take out the chicken, and you need to debone the chicken. It will be super easy because the meat will become so tender and so easy to remove. The only thing is too hot! You can use two forks to get that done easily. At the same time, you can boil a pot of hot water and boil the shell pasta and get it ready. Place all chicken meat back into the soup, and put the leek and parsley. I guess now you can switch off the stove. About the pasta, you can do it in two ways, either you pour everything in the soup, but they will grow and become bigger and bigger later on; or you can leave them aside, only mix them with the soup when you eat them, so they don’t soak up all the soup. Serve the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice to add some freshness and vitamin C as well.

I am happy that my husband already feel a lot better after having the soup! Happy Valentine’s Day 😉