Gallery

Tonight dinner – mustard and honey spare ribs with potatoes and salad

My husband loves ribs, it’s been a while that I cook ribs for him, maybe it’s about time. This time I am thinking to cook the ribs with mustard and honey flavour. 

I’m going to cook a lot of ribs to make sure we have some leftover for Monday lunch as well, so I cooked 3 packs of ribs. Let’s work on the sauce, mix mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, with some olive oil, taste and adjust. Then, marinate the spare ribs with the sauce for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Place ribs in a large tray, then put also striped onion and some potatoes to mix them well together, and add some fresh oregano in the tray for flavour. Place the tray inside the oven under 210C and bake them for 75 minutes, flip them every 15 minutes to avoid burning. 

When the spare ribs are done, serve them with some salad and the potatoes. 

Gallery

It’s French tonight – Coq Au Vin

I am thinking to cook something French tonight, it’s because I am going to have this dinner party / house warming for our new home soon. These friends would like to have something Western, French or Italian. As I haven’t done many dishes that are really French, let’s search and give it a try. Talking about French cuisine, of course everyone would think of Julia Child, the American woman living in France. I found this dish Coq Au Vin, and there are lots of recipes inspired by Julia Child that you can find food blogger  and home cooks have been trying to make this dish and learned from Julia. It sounds delicious to me, why not give a try.

Coq Au Vin is about cooking chicken in red wine, I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. Really? Chicken with red wine? not white? Red wine for me is more for red meat, like beef. After cooking, the chicken will turned into dark colour, to me is not looking that good, but I guess as long as it tastes good should be fine. According to the recipe, Julia Child also cooked the pearl onion and mushroom as side dishes, and people said the pearl onions are really really good, so I am going to follow the side dishes, plus making some potatoes on top as well.

The key is the chicken, so you can use the whole chicken and chop it into pieces, or you can buy chicken pieces so you don’t need to worry on the chopping part and you can choose the part of chicken you like. I bought a whole chicken and chopped into 6 pieces, 2 chicken breast, 2 chicken thighs, and 2 chicken wings. I decided to get rid of the chicken skin, so the dish is less fat. First of all, cut the bacon into pieces and boil them into hot water to wash down the taste a bit. Or, you can just skip this step and jump right into the next step. Use a Dutch oven or skillet, and heat it up with some butter and olive oil. Place the bacon in and let them fry until they started to turn brown, remove them and let them set aside. Now, use the same oil to fry the chicken, season them with salt and black pepper, brown every single piece and make sure they are brown on both side. Then, add back the bacon, and cover it with lid and cook them for 10 minutes under low heat, turn the chicken once in-between. After 10 minutes, add a bit of cognac and light the dish with fire, let the flavour cook. Then, put the red wine and chicken broth in, make sure it covers the chicken. Now, you can add some minced garlic, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Bring it to boil, then cover the lid and let it simmer for around 30 minutes under low heat. Or, you can put it in the oven under low heat for the same time.

When the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the potatoes, onion and the mushroom.

For the potatoes, I cut them in big pieces. Heat up the pan with butter and a bit of olive oil, then add in the potatoes, season them with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano when they started to turn soft. Pour in some chicken stock and let it simmer with the lid on, they should be done after 20 minutes until all the chicken stock dry out. You can cook this even in advance and re-heat it when you serve it.

For the onion, it said the best is to get the pearl onions. I could only managed to find the small ones, but not exactly the pearl onions, it’s still fine. Heat up the pan with butter and a touch of olive oil, add the onions, and fry them around 10 minutes. Remember to roll them around, so you would not burn them. Lower the heat, then add red wine and some chicken stock, as well as some herbs, thyme, bay leaves and parsley. Cover the lid and let them simmer under low heat for 30 minutes, season them with salt and pepper to taste.

For the mushroom, you can cut into half or serve them in a whole. Heat up the pan with butter and a touch of olive oil, add the minced shallots and then brown the mushroom and let them cook for around 5 minutes or until they are done. Season them with salt and pepper to taste.

Now we can go back to the chicken, remove all chicken from the Dutch oven, raise the heat and then let the liquid boil until it goes down to around half of the original, should be around 2 cups. Now you can taste it and make some adjustment of the taste. Remove the liquid to another bowl, then heat up the Dutch oven again with some butter and some white plain flour, blend them and whip them with the wire whip, then add back the liquid in but use the sift to get the smooth liquid out of it. Let it cook and keep stirring until the sauce is thicken.

Serve the chicken with potatoes, mushroom and onions with sauce on top, garnish it with some chopped parsley. The onions taste really good, and the chicken of course so yummy~~~

Gallery

Sunday homemade dinner is back!!! Slow cooked beef brisket with salad and grilled corn

It’s been a while…… I was too busy after moving to this new home, we’ve spent few days to build some furnitures in the dining room as our second kitchen, because I need an oven to cook some of the dishes. There is no space in the kitchen to place the oven, so we have to create an area in the dining room for me to cook, we call it The Western Kitchen. Moreover, I always fancy to have a large fridge, with the space we have in the dining area, we can afford to put that. See the Western Kitchen vs the Chinese Kitchen.



That’s not the major reason to keep me busy, actually the big project was building the home music recording studio at the second bedroom with my husband. Our living room and dining room were literally filled with stuffs for the last 3 weeks. Full of building and construction materials, and we finally cleaned up the entire area when the studio was nearly done few days ago. Finally, I can go back to Sunday cooking, or more cooking!

Since I’ve got the oven running, I would like to cook something with the oven. I decided to do a slow cook dish, my husband likes beef brisket, so instead of the Chinese style, I would like to make the western style for him.

First of all, we need to get some good beef brisket, and I don’t want to get them at the wet market because they are always warm. I get some good organic one from New Zealand, around 2 pounds, which should be good enough to serve 4 people.

To cook the beef brisket, let’s get them clean and season them with salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Heat up a pan with some butter and olive oil, then fry all the brisket until they turn brown. On the other hand, heat up a dutch oven with some butter and olive oil, then put 2 chopped onions in it and fry until they start to cameralise. Then add all the beef brisket and one entire garlic cut in half, now add some red wine and zimmer for few minutes until the wine is absorbed by the beef. Then add 2 cups of beef broth, some Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, few bay leaves, bring it to boil then cover the lid and place the dutch oven into the oven and cook for 2.5 hours under 160C. If you found it with a lot of broth after 2.5 hours, you can cook with the stove and thicken the sauce a bit.

For the grilled corn, cut the whole corn in half, place them ina tray with foil or cooking paper. Season the corn with salt and paprika, then coat the corn with olive oil and add some butter on top. Place the corn in the oven under 210C for 20 minutes or until they are nicely cooked the way you like. Serve the beef brisket with some green salad and together with the grilled corn. I like to use the beef broth as salad dressing, but my husband like to use the Thai salad dressing for the salad. 

He loves the brisket 😉

Gallery

Sunday dinner – cod fish and chorizo in tomato sauce and mixed brown rice

It’s been few weeks that I was focusing on cooking healthy food, this is the first week after a while that I try to cook something different, not saying that I am cooking some unhealthy food….. lol….. I will try to stay with healthy, but not vegetarian or vegan for this week.

I am thinking to cook a fish dish, instead of always cooking salmon, maybe cod fish is an option for tonight. I am going to do a tomato sauce with chorizo, onion and celery, then to serve it with mixed long grain brown rice. Still sounds healthy, right?

So, heat up the pan with some butter, and then put the minced garlic and diced onion into it, fry them until they start to caramelise. Then, add the chopped red chili pepper, chopped celery and diced chorizo, fry them a bit, and then add the diced tomatoes with some tomato puree as well if you want to have a stronger taste. Add some water and bring it to boil, season it with salt, pepper and some pripika. On the other hand, also season the cod fish with salt and pepper, then add the cod fish in and cover the lid, let it simmer for around 10-15 minutes and remember to flip the fish over in the middle of the way.  On the other hand, you should have get your rice ready, I am using rice cooker, so it’s easy and quick.

When the cod fishes are ready, serve them with rice and garnish it with some parsley.

Gallery

Sunday dinner – chicken and avocado wrap


Tonight’s dinner definitely would love to stick with the theme of healthy, but would like to add meat into it. My husband was doing a lot of juicing and cut down the amount of meat by eating almost only plant based raw food. Tonight maybe good to go with chicken, but not beef, as we would really like to minimise having beef in our diet.

So I decided to cook something with chicken and avocado, they are a good mix in terms of pairing. Just thinking what should I make with the two, and I decided to make burittos with them. Instead of tortilla, I got this healthy oat wraps at the supermarket and they are super light which should be a better choice than tortilla.

To heat up the pan with a bit of olive oil, add minced garlic and diced onion into the pan, then add diced chicken into the pan when the onion started to turn brown. Stir fry everything until the chicken is done, set them aside and let them cool down a bit. Get the rest of the ingredients ready, halved the avocado, remove the stone and cut them in dices. I just found out the other day that you can keep the avocado with the seed in order to avoid it turning black. That’s a really good trick, instead of putting lemon juice in it, just simply let the seed stay with the avocado. 

Now, get the oat wraps out, you can use tortilla if you prefer to keep it original. Lay the chicken, diced avocado, diced mozzarella, a bit of sour cream and some chopped coriander carefully on the wrap. Then wrap it and roll it nicely, and place it on the grill pan to pan fry until it turned crispy. 

You can serve it just like that or with some salad, freshy and healthy!

Gallery

Healthy Sunday dinner – vegetarian pasta

2017 seems not to be on my side, after getting laid off, I just got another piece of information that our landlord would like us to move out. Why everything have to come at the same time? Well, we always should look into the bright side, but sometimes it’s a bit too much and hard to stay positive all the time. I will try but it’s a bit tough these days.

I was busy with flat hunting this weekend and do not have much time to think about what to cook. So, I just come up with something very simple and healthy, in order to fit into our healthy theme lately. A vegetarian pasta – tri-colour fussili with asparagus and mushroom. 

The ingredients are very simple and of course based on vegetable, asparagus, mushroom and onion are the key ingredients and of course the tri-colour fussili. Bring a pot of hot water to boil and ready for the pasta. Heat up the pan with a touch of olive oil, then add sliced garlic and chopped onion in the pan, fry until the onion start to turn brown. Then, add the chopped red chilli pepper and mushroom, fry them and squeeze some lemon juice in. When the mushroom turned soft, add some white wine and cook a bit. Finally, add the chopped asparagus in, cook them a bit and then add a bit of salt. The sauce is basically ready and you can just add the pasta when they are done, don’t forget to add some chopped parsley. Mix the fussili pasta well together with the sauce, and serve them with some roasted pine nuts on top to add a touch of nutty texture.

I found this pasta particularly light and healthy! You can also use this as a salad, chill them and then mix with some salad to eat as a pasta salad.

Gallery

Heathly Sunday dinner – brown rice with minced pork and aubergine

Tonight, I would like to cook something healthy! Well, that’s what I always try to do, cook healthy food! I am getting this idea from Jamie Oliver and change a bit to my version.

First of all, to cook the aubergine in hot water to make them soft. It is difficult to find aubergine with nice shape, they are all long and lean, which is hard to use the skin the bake later on. That’s why I decided to not keeping the skin. On the other hand, cook the brown rice and get them ready. 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Now, heat up the sauce pan with olive oil, then add the minced garlic, red chilli and onion. Fry them until they start to turn brown, then add the chopped mushroom, and the minced pork to fry everything until they are done. Add salt, ground cumin, oregano and fresh dill for seasoning. Now, mix the cooked brown rice and the aubergine into the sauce pan and stir them well. Taste it and adjust. 

Put the mix in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, get the tomato sauce done. Heat up the pan with olive oil and a bit of garlic, add one can of plum tomatoes in and then some brown sugar. Cook and stir them until they are done.

When the rice mix is done, serve them on a plate with the tomato sauce on top, some feta cheese and some fresh dill as garnish.