Chinese-style Savoury Bread & Pudding

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Bought a new cook book 小小米桶的零油煙廚房:82道美味料理精彩上桌 recently and already eye-balled several recipes to try! I love the cook book as it is very well-presented with clear instructions and tantalising photo illustrations and most importantly, easy to cook =D

The very first recipe I attempted was this Chinese-style Savoury Bread and Pudding as I have all the ingredients and it makes a quick and easy lunch - just assemble, bake and serve!

Ingredients (for 4 pax, I adjusted the recipe accordingly for 1 pax)
  • 2 slices of white bread (I use wholemeal)
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 50gm shredded cheese (I use mozzarella)
  • Butter (Just a little for brushing baking dish. Actually I did not do it)
  • Dried pasley flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • 180ml fresh milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Optional: tomato, onion, sweet corn kernels, cooked shrimps/crab meat etc.
  • 4 baking dish
Steps
  1. Pre-heat oven set to 170 degree celsius.
  2. Cut the bread into 9 small pieces and ham (and any additional ingredients) into small pieces.
  3. Mix the eggs, fresh milk, salt and black pepper well, sieve and set aside.
  4. Butter the baking dish thoroughly; arrange bread, ham, shredded cheese (and any additional ingredients into the baking dish.
  5. Pour the egg mixture from (2) into the baking dish. Top with more shredded cheese.
  6. Bake at 170 degree celsius for 15 to 20 mins (until cheese turns golden brown).
  7. Garnish with some pasley flakes and ready to serve.

Looks appetising? I couldn't wait to dig in!
I baked the dish for only 15 mins and realised that the egg mixture was not set properly yet. So sent the dish into the oven for another 10 mins till the shredded cheese became golden brown.

This time it was much better. I love the combination of soft bread, crunchy corn kernels, custardy egg & milk, savoury ham and best of all, sticky gooey cheese. Yums!!

Since this recipe is so versatile and easy, I could whip it up anytime, especially when there is leftover bread and other ingredients. I think kids will love it too. Give it a try =D

Red Wine Braised Beef

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This is a recipe based on Channel 8's variety show, Easy Cooking 七步成食. Haha, have been watching these cooking variety shows, very auntie hor? But hey, I didn't even watch it 'live', only watch the shows on xinmsn video at night after baby sleeps (don't want to let baby watch too much TV so no choice).

The gist of this cooking show is as the title says, easy cooking recipes that can be completed within 7 steps.

Chose this particular recipe as it can be served as a one-pot dish to go along with rice.

Ingredients (for 2-3 pax)

  • 500g beef (I bought chunk tender)

  • 2 potatoes

  • 1/2 radish (if radish is big, or 1 if small size)

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 white onion
Marinate

  • Corn flour

  • 1/2 beef boullion cube

  • 2 tsp oyster sauce

  • Pinch of salt

  • Pinch of sugar
Frying/Seasoning

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

  • Ketchup (based on personal preference. I added about 4-5 tbsp as I like ketchup)

  • Red wine (based on personal preference)
Steps

  1. Cut the beef into bite size cubes and marinate with the ingredients stated above for at least 30 mins.

  2. Cut the vegetables into bite size chunks.

  3. Heat some oil in a deep pot, add minced garlic and fry till aromatic.

  4. Add beef and fry till colour changes.

  5. Add ketchup (according to personal preference), stir fry to coat all the beef, then add enough water to cover the meat. Cook in high heat for 5 minutes, then turn to low heat.

  6. Add the vegetables and more water enough to cover the vegetables. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or till vegetables become cooked/soft.

  7. Before serving, turn up heat to high, add red wine and boil for 5 minutes to let alcohol evaporate.
I love the flavours of this dish, especially the red wine which added depth to the taste. The root vegetables complemented the beef very well, especially the radish. Beef was a little tough though, probably should get a better cut next time. Anyways, a nice comfort dish for dinner :)

Stir Fry Veg with Roast Pork

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I LOVE roast pork!! Usually I would reserve some roast pork from my Roast Pork, Cabbage and Tofu Pot (dinner) to stir fry with veg (for my lunch). Yes, I don't mind having roast pork for 2 meals in a row. LOL.

Here's sharing some of the vegetables that I use to stir fry with roast pork. Method is very simple.

  1. Blanch the vegetables first.

  2. Heat frying pan/wok. Add roast pork and fry till pork is a little browned. *I didn't add oil since roast pork is quite oily already.

  3. Add the vegetables and fry till they are cooked.

  4. If too dry, add a little water.

  5. If desired, add a little soy sauce. Usually I add very little seasoning as roast pork is salty and flavourful enough already.



So what other dishes can be prepared with roast pork? Let me know if you have any =D

Baked Salmon with mayo & cheese

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After the success with Baked Salmon & Pesto wrapped in foil, I found another interesting Baked Salmon recipe by Lydia of My Kitchen. And this one uses mayo and cheese... I like!!! Tweaked the recipe a little based on what I have in the kitchen and personal preference.
Ingredients (for 1 pax)

  • 200-300g salmon fillet, clean and pat dry with paper towel

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise (may be adjusted based on preference)

  • 1/2 tsp wasabi paste

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese (may be adjusted based on preference)

  • 1/2 small packet potato crisp, crushed (I used salt and vinegar flavour)

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly cracked Black Pepper

  • Sprinkle of dried herbs such as pasley or coriander leaves

  • Veggies such as cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, carrots (can also use brussel sprouts, corn kernels etc)
Steps


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degree C. Prepare a large piece of aluminium foil, big enough to hold the veggies & salmon and fold into a parcel.

  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together mayonnaise, wasabi paste, garlic and shredded cheese. Mix till combined.

  3. Arrange the veggies on the aluminium foil, area about the size of the salmon fillet. Season with some salt and pepper.

  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the salmon, then put the fillet on top of the veggies with the skin side down. *if salmon fillet is too thick, cut a few slits on the fillet.

  5. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on top of the salmon fillet, then sprinkle crushed crisps over it and gently press the crisps down into the mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle some dried herbs if desired.

  6. Fold the veggies and salmon into a parcel and place the parcel on a baking tray. For comprehensive steps on how to fold the parcel, refer to Nookcook's blog

  7. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

Oooh... look at the melted cheese with mayo. Delish! I love the creamy mayo with cheese. This is certainly one easy lunch deal for keeps. But definitely gonna make some adjustments. Did not mince the garlic enough so the taste was pretty pungent. Would either omit garlic or minced till very fine next time. Would also reduce amount of mayo but top up on even more cheese. The potato crisp was a bit soft and the taste was overshadowed by the mayo mixture; not sure if I would still add any next time. May bake the parcel 5 to 10 minutes longer as the fillet was just cooked and slightly pinkish in the centre (probably coz the fillet was quick thick and I forgot to slit the salmon).

Certainly glad that I have found alternative methods of cooking salmon, please share with me any quick, easy and tasty recipes if you have any =D

Baked salmon with pesto wrapped in foil

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Since I'm nursing my baby exclusively, eating healthily is very important and has become part of my lifestyle (although I crave for junk food and sinful stuff a lot of times, and do indulge once in a while). As far as possible, I try to include more fish in my diet. Besides steamed fish, I have been eating lots of salmon since it boasts of various health benefits. The supermarket near my place sells relatively fresh salmon fillets that are already de-boned so it's pretty convenient for me to just grab a slab when I hop over for grocery shopping.

Usually, I'll just sprinkle some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and pan-grill the salmon fillet but recently, I'm getting really sick of grilled salmon, as well as the fishy smell of my kitchen/frying pan whenever I prepare salmon. So I searched through the internet and different blogs for baked salmon recipes. Was glad to find quite a number of recipes that calls for baking salmon in foil, which is good coz I'm worried that the fishy smell might linger in my oven.

This particular recipe is from Noobcook, the ever trusty blog for quick and easy recipes :) She even has step-by-step photos on how to wrap the salmon parcel. Didn't feel like making my own pesto so grabbed a can when I happened to go to Marks & Spencer the other day.

For the veggies, I used asparagus, baby carrots and cherry tomatoes.

Just assemble, wrap and the baked salmon was ready in 30 mins (including baking time), easy peasy. Saves me a lot of time and no need to wash any dishes! Why didn't I think of baked salmon previously? Ok, I'm so searching the net for more baked salmon recipes. Meanwhile, hop over to Noobcook's blog for recipe. Bon appetit!

Simmered Chinese Cabbage (Hakusai to aburaage no nibitashi)

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After successfully tried the Simmered Chicken & Boiled Egg in Sweet Sour Sauce, this is another recipe I attempted from the Jap Home Cooking 2 Demo Class at Shermay's Cooking School.

2 steps involved. First, prepare the Dashi fish stock in advance. Then use the Dashi as base for the simmered cabbage. Quick and easy but apologies can't show the recipes here due to copyright of the chef and school. I guess most Jap home cooking book should have this recipe.

The cabbage was soft and tasted slightly sweet and saltish with hint of the dashi, goes well with rice. Hubby quite likes it so I guess this will be a keeper since dashi stock could be prepared in advance and frozen for use anytime.

Mini Veggie Frittata

Ever since I saw the Mini Vegetable Frittata by The Little Teochew, I've been thinking about Frittata Frittata!! Actually I have no idea what it is and how it tastes like! But the ones she baked certainly looked yummy and screamed comfort food :d~~~~ So, I gonna give it a try to satisfy my cravings and curiosity.

I halved her recipe since it was a trial and most probably I'll be the only one eating it (don't think hubby will fancy this). Followed most part of the recipe, using white onion, sweet potato, frozen mixed vegetables, shredded cheese (those mixed type for pizzas) and even went specially to Cold Storage to get crème fraîche as suggested, and of course eggs (a relatively large number considering the proportion of ingredients).



The Frittata turned out to be yummy, rich and savoury. Couldn't wait for them to cool down before woofing down 2! The sweet potatoes were a little chunky, could have been smaller pieces, but I was facing a screaming and impatient baby while cutting the sweet potatoes, so well...

Searched the internet for more info on Frittata and based on Wikipedia - Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette or quiche, either simple or enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. It may be flavored with herbs. Wow, I didn't know all these. Hmmm... next time can explore other flavours and options. Meanwhile, enjoying my Frittata =D

Steamed chicken wings with salted egg

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As mentioned in the previous post, I learnt another chicken wing recipe from the Channel U's cooking variety show, 我要当食神 . Was attracted to this particular recipe as I was curious how the taste of chicken wings with salted egg would turn out.


Instructions given were pretty sketchy so I used mostly guesstimation, feel free to explore with seasonings and ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 pieces of chicken wings

  • 2 salted eggs (I used only 1 and found the taste not strong enough, 2 or even 3 should be better)

  • 1 knob of ginger

  • 1 to 2 stalk of pasley/chives
Steps

  1. Cut the chicken wings into small pieces (I halved the winglet as well as the drumlet). Arrange the chicken pieces onto a plate big enough for single layer.

  2. Chop and mince the ginger. Chop the pasley/chives.

  3. Crack the salted eggs into a bowl and place the minced ginger and chopped pasley on top for a while to let the flavours infuse.

  4. Pour mixture from 3 onto the chicken pieces.

  5. Add a bit of water, enough to cover 1/4 to 1/2 of the chicken.

  6. Steam for 10 minutes.
*No other seasoning used as the flavouring comes from the salted egg and ginger/pasley.

The taste of the chicken wing and broth is quite light and aromatic with the infusion of the ginger, pasley and salted egg. I quite enjoyed the dish but hubby was just ok with it. Guess he didn't like the minced ginger and especially the pasley and chives. Would I cook it again? Probably, but may try without the ginger and pasley (for the sake of hubby) to see how it goes.

Deep fried chicken wings

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I love deep fried chicken wings (and all deep fried stuff :p) but rarely prepare this dish at home as deep frying is oily, messy and yes unhealthy. But I have this recipe on hand and itching to try it.

Sometime ago, Channel U was airing this cooking variety show, 我要当食神 Wonder Chef where participants were invited to submit recipes based on themes and selected ones would contest during each episode. One of the episode was on chicken wings and I was attracted to this recipe as seasonings used were really simple, yet the taste was good (as acclaimed by the judges, one of whom a professional chef). There's another recipe, Steamed chicken wings with salted egg and garlic which I have also attempted and will blog about it another time.

Ingredients
  • 5 pcs chicken wings (I separated into winglets and drumlets for ease of frying, 10 pcs in total)
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Hua Diao Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Dash of white pepper
  • Dash of sesame oil
  • Salt
Steps
  1. Rub the chicken wings with salt and leave on for 10 mins, then rinse and pat dry with kitchen towel.
  2. Marinate the wings with oyster sauce, soy sauce, Hua Diao Cooking Wine, white pepper, sugar and sesame oil for at least 30 mins (the taste will even be better if longer).
  3. Before frying, coat with some corn flour.
  4. Deep fry until golden brown. Serve immediately.
The wings were really good, well marinated with the seasonings and very crispy. Most important very easy. I'm sure every household has her version of deep fried chicken wings given it's a party favourite. You are welcome to share your recipe :)