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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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Simple and light dinner – baked salmon with asparagus

It’s Easter holiday, but we are very busy. We have to move, so I have to pack. My husband is also very busy on setting up his new studio, so I would like to cook something very simple and light for our last Easter night.

Tonight I would like to cook salmon, it’s very healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin B and D. I also got some asparagus to go with it, it is going to be a very simple and easy to manage dinner cooking.

To heat up the oven to 210C, season the salmon with salt and black pepper. Place a batch of dill and rosemary underneath the salmon, and then place sliced of lemon on top of the salmon and top it with another batch of dill and rosemary. I did not put any oil, as salmon itself got some oil, and it’s totally fine to bake them without adding oil. Close it up with foil and place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, that’s it! When the salmon is almost done, start to cook the asparagus. Heat up the pan with a bit of butter, then pan fry the asparagus and season them with salt and black pepper. Serve the salmon with the asparagus, you can remove all the dill and rosemary, but keep the lemon on the salmon for decoration. Nice and light!

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Cooking like a Michelin Star Chef? See how this new toy can help – Sous Vide slow cook circulator

I’ve been seeing this sous vide machine in the market for quite some time, and was thinking to get one. Anova launched this product since 2013, but back then I was not that aware of the benefit of slow cooking. These day here in Hong Kong, German Pool, this local brand is promoting their Sous Vide Pro. The price is really good and even including the vacuum machine and extra vacuum bags, plus the department store was running a promotion. So, I decided to get this one instead of the Anova one.

German Pool Sous Vide

To keep the food moist and juicy, full of it’s natural flavour and nutrition, it totally makes sense to cook with this method. It requires certain technique to cook a piece of steak at the right temperature and time, but it will be hard to go wrong with this sous vide machine. You just need to follow the guide, to set the right time and right temperature, to season the steak then place it inside of the vacuum bag, and dip it into the water and just let it cook. You would not have problem if the steak is too rare or too cooked, the steak will be so moist and not chewy. I was referencing the provided recipe to do this steak, following it to make the sauce and I’ve also cooked some asparagus and potato chips on the side.

To cook the steak medium, temperature set as 58C and cook for 2 hours. If you set at 59C for 2 hours, the steak will be well done, just wondering the difference of 1C is huge! So, watch out and make sure you set it right. Once the steak start cooking, you are free to do other things, it is very convenient and you don’t have to worry if the water will spill over or if it will be overcooked. You really do not need to worry about anything! To make the sauce or any side dishes, you just have to calculate the time that you need, and then start cooking by  counting down the time. I’ve planned to cook some potato chips in the oven, and pan fry some asparagus. The sauce is with red onion, mushroom, red wine, beef stock and touch of rosemary. When the steak is done with the sous vide cooking, remove them from the plastic bag and sear them quickly with a hot pan and some butter. Then serve it with the side dish and the gravy on top. You can see the steak is medium cook and it is so tender, soft and juicy.

So, I could not hold myself, I cook another sous vide dish the following night. Well, actually I’ve done two in a night, some chicken for lunch on the following day to go with salad, as I bring my lunch to work, and a fish dish for dinner. I was trying to follow the recipe provided to make the same sauce, and I’ve add some salad and fried zucchini to make a dinner dish. The sauce is made by garlic, onion, yellow pepper and chicken stock. To sous vide cooking the cod fish is kind of quick, I mean quicker than cooking meat. It takes only 18 minutes, instead of 2 hours! But I feel the result is more significant on meat than on fish, as I feel the cod tastes more like a steam one. Anyway, still taste good and tender! I have to say, the chicken tastes really really nice!!! The chicken salad I’ve made for lunch was really soft, tender and juicy, I really love it!!!!

The day after, I did a sous vide pork chop for dinner. The pork chop is also very nice! So, the sous vide cooking seems working very well and show great result for meat especially. It is tough to cook meat, as it requires a good technique to have a good result for the level of tenderness and juiciness. With this cooking method, you just can’t go wrong! Everyone can cook just like a Star Chef, but of course you need to have a good sense on how to season it and how to put together the rest of the dish.

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Sunday dinner snack night

Instead of having one big full meal, it’s good to have snacks to fill up your stomach on Sunday night. Checking out the page of Tasty on Facebook, and found a lot of snacks that I would like to try. I was thinking to make five of them, but I ended up with making only three, already feel full. Maybe I will try to make to other two tomorrow.

https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/?hc_ref=SEARCH

1. Jalapenos with cream cheese and bacon

This one is definitely worth to make it, as it is so easy but tasty! Jalapenos + cream cheese + bacon = in oven 220C for 15 minutes, that’s it!!! So Yummy!

2. Potato chips

They showed how to do potato wedges, but I ended up to make potato chips, and I’ve also improvised a bit. Cut potato in to strips or wedges, season them with olive oil, salt, ground paprika, rosemary and thyme. In oven 200C around 25 minutes, then add parmesan cheese and pepper, then grill 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Chicken nuggets with salad

They called it chicken popcorn, I feel a bit weird with the name as it sounds like chickenpox. I rather called it mini chicken nuggets. Cut chicken breast into cubes, and dip them into egg white, then fill the surface with breadcrumbs. They used Ritz crackers, but I think breadcrumbs will do the same job. I just add some salt because Ritz crackers are already salty, but not for breadcrumbs. Place them nicely on a bake tray in the oven under 220C for 12 to 15 minutes. Melt some butter, add chili powder and some lime juice, put it back in the oven and grill it for another 5 minutes.

 

I’ve also trying to make other snacks the day after, and I’ve done this avocado with prosciutto wrap, also very simple. Cut the avocado into wedges, wrap each piece with prosciutto, and then pan fry them. Serve them with some Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese and a touch of lime juice.

 

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Sunday dinner – Mea7loaf Spaghetti

  
Why not having some comfort food for Sunday dinner, meatloaf spaghetti maybe one of the best idea! My husband likes meatloaf, we saw this on Jamie Oliver’s show, so let’s try it out.

Cut three carrots, slides them in quarter and place them in a pan with some olive oil, salt and thyme. Put that in oven under 200C for 10 minutes. 

While cooking the carrots, let’s get the meatloaf prepared. You can use just minced beef or pork, but it’s good to mix the pork and beef somehow to get a better texture. Season the minced beef and pork with salt, pepper and oregano. Mixed them together, then add an egg, some feta cheese and some bread crumbs. Mix them well and put them in the middle of the pan with the carrots and place it in the oven for 25 minutes. 

Let’s get the sauce done. In a hot pan with olive oil, put the red chilli without the seeds, get the flavour then remove the chilli. Fry some garlic, then add the onion, fry them until golden brown, then add the tomato purée and cook for 10 minutes, and season it with salt and a bit of oregano. Meantime, boil a pot of hot water and get the spaghetti ready. I like to use the number 3 here, the thicker one which go better with meat.

When the sauce is done, take out the pan from the oven, pour the sauce into the pan and sit together with the meatloaf. Put some more feta cheese and add some Parmesan cheese on the meatloaf, then add some rosemary and the fried chilli as well. Place the pan back to the oven, and cook for another few more minutes. 

When the spaghetti is ready, serve it together with the sauce and the meatloaf. Perfect comfort food that you can have!