Monday, 28 February 2011

Steamed Chicken WIth Garlic and Pandan Leaves

Remember last week I have shared a post with you our Yuan Xiao Jie(元宵节) dinner and here is the second dish that we had apart from that “Stir-Fry Leek with Firm Beancurd”. I got the idea of this “Steamed Chicken With Garlic and Pandan Leaves” from my 3rd Aunt who cooked this during one of Chinese New Year gathering over at her place (her version HERE).

After chit chatting with her in the kitchen while she was preparing the food, I managed to note down some of the key ingredients and steps on making this dish. So here is how I managed to get my favourite dish done from her descriptions.

Depending on the number of people you have, you can choose different sizes of chicken range from small (800g) to big(1.8kg) but the cooking time will have to be adjusted accordingly too.

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 4)
1 Kampong Chicken, about 1kg
6 Slices of Ginger
4 Small Garlic Bulbs, lightly pound
1 Stalk of Spring Onion, cut into half
2 Bundles of Pandan Leaves

Seasonings:
Salt and Sesame Oil


Notes:
~ To further enhance the chicken with garlic fragrant, lightly pound the garlic bulbs before stuffing into the cavity.

~ You can also use the chicken broth collected from the plate use for steamed chicken to cook chicken rice or throw in some shredded cabbage leaves to make soup.

~ Remember, do not over cooked the chicken or else the meat will be tough.



According to the chicken stall owner,s either Kampong or Sakura Chicken will be great to use in any steaming recipes as their taste much sweeter and fragrant compare to the rest.

Method:
1. Clean, trim and rinse the chicken thoroughly, pat dry with kitchen paper towels.
2. Place chicken(breast side facing up) on deep steaming plate and rub ½ teaspoon of salt all over the chicken.
3. Stuff cavity with garlic bulbs, 3-4 ginger slices, 1 bundle of pandan leaves and half portion of spring onion and scatter the rest of the ingredients on the sides and bottom of the chicken..
4. Steam in a covered pot/wok over medium high heat for 10 minutes, flip the chicken over on another side and continue to steam for another 15 – 20 minutes. (Remember to take note of the water in the pot and add in more hot water if necessary to avoid it from evaporating)
5. To test if the chicken is cooked, insert a chopstick into the thigh area if the liquid run out clear, it is cooked.
6. Remove the chicken from pot to another plate(refer to Notes on chicken broth), quickly rub 1 teaspoon of sesame oil all over it and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting the chicken into bite size pieces and serve.

After resting the steamed chicken for about 5 minutes, I managed to cut it nicely into bite size portions and serve with some tomato wedges. This steamed chicken dish is infused with the aroma and fragrant from the Pandan Leaves and garlics that makes you crave for more. As for dipping sauce we prefer to have dark soya sauce with cut chilies instead of the usual Hainanese Chinese Rice Chilies.


Friday, 25 February 2011

Eggless Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream

I have never thought of one day I could also churn up my very own Homemade Ice-cream even without using an ice-cream maker. In the past even though I have read up some really yummy ice-cream recipes, but yet still not a single one has lift up my motivation as I always thought it is a must to have an ice-cream maker before I could achieve those commercial like ice-cream texture.

I am sure most of us would like to have something sweet for after meal dessert or some frozen dessert to quench thirst during hot summer afternoon. No matter which is your choice I am sure either the refreshing Orange Sorbet or creamy Chocolate Ice-Cream will make some good rewards.

If you look at most of the ice-cream recipes, they usually called for "egg yolks" which are something that I always try to avoid while making dessert for my kid. But "Jess's" version( HERE) of recipe is definitely a keeper as it does not require any egg yolks in the ingredients. And to our surprised the end result taste just as rich and good as commerical ice-cream.

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6)
20g Dutch Process Cocoa Powder, sieved
90g Valrhona 70% Dark Chocolate
* 50g - 70g of Caster Sugar
1 Cup(200ml) Whipping Cream
125ml Fresh Milk
1 Tablespoon Kahlua / Tia Maria, optional


Note:
~ The amount of sugar added will depend on the type of chocolate used and your sweetness preference. (I used 50g for my 70% Dark Chocolate which can be purchased from either SunLik or Shermay Cooking School)

~ For creamy texture, you can replace whipping cream with thick cream.

~ To make chocolate sauce: Melt 30g Chocolate in microwave safe bowl on High Powder for 2 minutes with 30 second interval, stir the mixture between each interval to have a sauce like consistency.




Method:
1. In a medium saucepan combine cream, cocoa powder, sugar and whisk it over medium heat till combined and sugar melts.
2. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, stirring often, remove from heat and immediately whisk in chocolate until completely melted.
3. Next whisk in milk till mixture is glossy and well mixed before adding liquor if using.
4. Sieved the mixture through fine strainer into the loaf pan/tray, cool to room temperature.
5. Churn above mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions or alternatively, if you don't have an ice cream maker, freeze it for at least 2 hours or until firm.
6. Use a fork/spoon break out mixture and process it in blender (or whisk it using hand-held beater) for a few second till creamy. You might need to repeat the process at least twice if you prefer a smoother texture.
7. Return mixture to pan, freeze for another 3 hours or until firm. (I freeze it overnight)
8. Serve scoops of ice-cream with extra chocolate sauce and topping in cones or cups.


Are you ready for a scoop or two of this Homemade Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream.


Finally after a day of whisking, freezing and waiting..... here is our very first Homemade Chocolate Ice-cream. Each scoop is filled with rich and creamy texture that melts our heart with its semi-bittersweet chocolate taste.  And most importantly we get to choose the quality of ingredients used such as low fat milk/cream ad etc. So which is your choice? Cone or Cup?

For better presentation and finishing taste, you can drizzle some melt chocolate sauce(see notes above) together with your flavour chopped nuts or sprinkles topping on it. Enjoy!!! Have a great weekend everyone.





Eggless Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Orange Cinnamon Sorbet

It has being ages since my last post on Sorbet which was around May 2006 where Tracy shared with me her encounter on making "Mango Kaffir Lime Sorbet". (you can check out the recipe HERE) And from there I also modify a similar recipe to make some "Durian Sorbet" which my family loves.

To beat the recent heat craze and hot waves, let's take a step to prepare some really cold and refreshing dessert for the family to cool down the heat.........

But for this post I will be sharing the recipe on Orange Cinnamon Sorbet instead of Durian because now it is the peak season where you can get really huge and sweet oranges to make yummy dessert.

Some of us might tends to get confuse with Sorbet and Granita which somehow or rather look similar in a way. But if you notice carefully sorbet has a smoother texture and it is make with fresh fruit comparing to Granita, which has a coarser and crystalline texture that often makes from flavouring water and sugar.



Ingredients: (Serves 4)
300ml Freshly Squeeze Orange Juice, about 3 1/2 Oranges
30ml Water
2cm Cinnamon Stick
*30 - 50g Caster Sugar
*Shredded Rind of 1 Orange
1/2 Orange, sliced into Segments

Note:-
~ The amount of sugar use will depend on the taste of the fresh orange juice and individual preference.
~ You can refer to the read-up on "How to shred and grate orange rind" at this link HERE.



Method:
1. In a small saucepan bring sugar, 30ml of water, cinnamon stick and shredded orange rind to boil over medium heat.
2. When the mixture comes to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 3 - 5 minutes by stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
3. Next remove the pan away from heat and leave the mixture to cool to room temperature.
4. Before mixing the orange juice with the sugar syrup till combined, remove the cooked orange rind and reserved it as garnish together with 1 teaspoon of sugar syrup in a small container.
5. Pour the orange juice mixture into a loaf pan, freeze for 3 hours or until firm.
6. Working quickly, use a metal spoon to break up sorbet and blend it until changed in colour and smooth.
7. Return mixture to pan, freeze it for another 2 hours or till firm.
8. Serve scoops of sorbet with some fresh orange segments and reserved candied orange peels.

Don't worry about whether this sorbet is being strongly infused with cinnamon taste. I can guarantee you that it’s only a very mild fragrant that act as a finishing touch to balance the citrus taste. But by all means if you just want a pure orange sorbet you can always omit the cinnamon stick.


ATTENTION!!! 
More Heat Cooler Coming Up!


For ice-cream lovers do look out for this space on the next upcoming recipe which I will  feature the "Eggless Homemade Dark Chocolate Ice Cream". If you are interested, do stay tune!!!!!




Orange Cinnamon Sorbet on FoodistaOrange Cinnamon Sorbet

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

New Hobby @ Lower Peirce Reservoir

Last weekend we have a great time catching up with our new hobby at the Lower Peirce Reservoir together with some of the families there. Despite of the cloudy weather and passing-shower when we arrived, we still have a great warm-up session observing others and put it to practise on how to find, lure and catch our very first pet Yabby.

"Lower Peirce Reservoir - 贝雅士蓄水池下段" is one of the oldest reservoirs in Singapore. It is located near the MacRitchie Reservoir and the Upper Peirce Reservoir which is near Upper Thomson Road.

During most weekends or public holiday, the park will be filled with family with kids or love ones to set up picnics as well as to enjoy the scenery or walking trails through the rainforest for some exciting encounters with the amazing wildlife. Last weekend was our 2nd vist to this park and we saw most of the families are enjoying their family time catching little shrimps, crabs or fish with the kids.

As we did not get to spend more time like the rest of those families who enjoys this new prawning hobby due to the passing by shower on Saturday evening, we decided to go back again on Sunday. This round we managed to get very close encounter with those park monkey who are over friendly that they even snatched away our prawning baits.

This is a very interesting hobby that requires "Patience", "Time" and "Co-ordination Skills" where you use just simple bait like "Bread" to attract these little smart Yabby.

On the 1st day we only managed to caught one Yabby as we are still very new with the tactic to handle and lure these yabbies compare to the rest of the expert there. But on Sunday, as we are more prepared we managed to caught 3 and my boy really enjoys every moment of this new hobby. And before going home, we also spotted two huge Yabby which is around palm size with big claws but too bad we are not skillful enough to catch it.

Beautiful sunset that you might not have a chance to see often during your daily busy working days so perhaps sometime life will be more meaningful if you can spare some time, stop your pace, lift up your head and enjoy those beautiful sunset that is created by God.

Since we have a total of four yabbies now, we decided to buy a big container and stone shelter for these new pets. I guess sometime it's good to have some easy to handle pet for the kids to take up self responsibility on keeping these cute buddies.

Other than those yabbies above  we also have another cute little pet hamster known as "Milo" which is given to us by our neighbour. She is a very gentle and intelligence pet that is always amused us with her cute acts.

For more photos on our New Hobby @ Lower Peirce Reservoir, you can refer to the link HERE at Cuisine Paradise Facebook Page.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

BK Fish'n Crisp Burger

Recently Burger King has launch a NEW BK Fish’n Crisp burger under their BK A4DABLES menu. This succulent fish fillet is covered with melted American cheese, tangy tartar sauce and cradled between a toasted sesame bun that leaves every bite full of satisfaction.

Each set of the BK A4DABLES meal, priced from $4.95 which includes Burger with medium drink and fries. Below are the 5 BK A4DABLES meals:-

1. *New* BK FISH’N CRISP MEAL - S$4.95

2. SPICY BK CHICK’N CRISP MEAL - S$4.95

3. WHOPPER JR® MEAL - S$5.25

4. BK SINGLES MUSHROOM SWISS MEAL - S$5.25

5. BK SINGLES BBQ TURKEY BACON MEAL - S$5.25


To pamper yourself for an addition side-order, you can try these black peppery spiced chicken drumlets which infused with a hint of aromatic basil for a spicy fragrance to excite your smell and taste.

Price:- S$1.95 (2pcs), S$3.90 (4pcs); or
Top-up extra S$1.00 to to any Value Meals to receive FREE 2 pieces of Black Pepper Basil Drumlets.
Limited Time Promotion until 31st March 2011.




WIN! 10x BK WHOPPER Meals(worth S$72.50) Each


In conjunction with the BK A4DABLES menu, if you have eaten any “overpriced” meals lately you can simply email a photograph, receipt and description of the overpriced meals to bka4dables@burgerking.com.sg.

Burger King will pick out FIVE (5) best contributors featured from 17 Feb – 21 Mar 2011 to win 10x BK WHOPPER® Meals (worth $72.50) each. For more details you can check out their facebook site @ http://www.facebook.com/BurgerKingSingapore


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Stir-Fry Leek with Firm Beancurd

Time flies fast as February is coming to an end in about less than 10 days time. And the last day of the 15 Days of Lunar Chinese New Year (CNY) has just past on the 17th February where everyone grab the last opportunity to enjoy the CNY feast and atmosphere. For our family I just prepared two simple home cooked dishes that my dad used to cook during CNY.

First I cook this “Stir-Fry Leek with Firm Beancurd” which is one of our family dishes that my dad often prepared during CNY where he will stock up a lot LEEKS either to stir-fry with white spotted rabbitfish(recipe HERE) or beancurd. Below is the recipe of our quick and easy way of eating Leek during Chinese New Year.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
3 Stalks of Leeks
1 - 2 Pieces of Firm Beancurd
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Red Chili, optional, cut into thin slices
1/2 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
50ml Hot Water

Method:
1. Rinse and remove any soil that trapped in between the green leaves of the leek, pat dry and sliced the leek diagonally into sections and set aside. (refer to the photo above)
2. Heat up frying pan with 1/2 tablespoon of oil to pan-fry the beancurd till slightly golden brown on each side. Remove, cool and cut into bite-sized portions.
3. Using the same frying pan, saute garlic till fragrant before adding in leek, chili slices. Continue to fry for another 1 minute until leek leaves are cooked, stir in oyster sauce and give it a quick stir.
4. Add in beancurd and hot water, mix well and simmer the mixture on low heat for about 3 - 4 minutes till the leek turn soft and beancurd absorb the flavour from the sauce.
5. Dish up and serve with steamed rice.


If prefer something more meaty for this dish perhaps you could add in some minced meat, roasted pork belly, preserved pork(腊肉) or even firm fish slices instead of beancurd. This leek can also be used for making soup broth together with potato and carrot which will produce a great stock for cooking noodles or etc.

Will share more about the 2nd dish of "Steamed Chicken with Pandan Leaves and Garlic" on the next post. Stay tune and have a great weekend.



Friday, 18 February 2011

2011 McDonald's Miniatures

Every year around Chinese New Year time, McDonald will come out with all kinds of special New Year collection such as Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, Doraemon Lucky Charms and etc. And this year they have McDonald's Miniatures that comes with cute little food miniatures such as Fillet-O-Fish, Mc Cafe, Apple Pie, Big Mac, French Fries, Double Quarter Pounder starting on weekly basis from 13 January 2011 until while stocks last.

My boy loves McDonald's Happy Meal Nuggets and McChicken since toddler and when he spot the 1st week collection of "Double Quarter Pounder and French Fries" he was so thrilled about it. So from that week, every Thursday he would request McDonald meal for dinner in order to purchase the collection for that week.

You can purchase these miniatures at either S$2.50 per miniature or S$25.00 per box set with any purchase such as sides or drink which not necessarily to be the value meal.
[Array of Burgers]: Left(Big Mac), Fillet O Fish and Double Quarter Pounder.

[Week 2] By the 2nd week we are able to assemble our own set of value meal with drink(Mc Cafe), burger(Double Quarter Pounder)  and fries.

[Week 3] Finally we got hold of the "Apple Pie" launched on the 3rd week to complete our set meal with side dessert. But too bad there isn't any miniature on either Sundae or McFlurry which will be great.

After 3 weeks of eating and waiting for the miniatures to be on shelf, here are our complete set of "McDonald's Miniatures". Have you completed yours too? If not maybe you still stand a chance to grab hold of some left over stock at your nearest McDonald outlets.


Thursday, 17 February 2011

[Monthly Gathering] CNY Steamboat Feast

Last Saturday we settled our usual monthly food gathering at Susan's house where we have a Steamboat feast since it still falls between the 15th days of Chinese Lunar New Year. Each and everyone of us was very excited and we all go with an empty stomach in order to enjoy all those delicious food that Susan had prepared for us.

[Chef At Work] Susan is very thoughtful that she purposely bought some fresh crabs for her husband to cook his signature "Chili Crabs" because she knows that most of us in the group loves crab.This dish is indeed very delicious and it makes us ladies all envy Susan who has a good husband that can cooks so well for the family.

Other than Chili Crab, Susan also asks her domestic helper to fry some "Bee Hoon" and cook Rice just in case we have "huge" appetite.

[Chicken Curry] This is what I hint Susan to prepare as we all love this delicious curry chicken since the last time we had it during our Christmas Potluck Party(read more HERE) over at my place.

[YuSheng(鱼生)] This is a must have appetiser before any Chinese New Year meal as it represent "good luck" for the new year where everyone toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks together by saying various "auspicious wishes". Here we have a medium yusheng from Sakae Sushi..........

[Steamboat Ingredients] Look at all these fresh seafood, marinated meat, fish and all sort of fishcakes, Abalone, Scallop, vegetables and etc.......

Everyone enjoys the companies of chatting, cooking and BBQ of those steamboat ingredients. Susan also specially prepares a pot of herbal chicken soup to act as the soup broth for our steamboat.

[Dessert 1] Susan's mum prepares her special Bobo Cha Cha which we all loves it. And this is my very 1st time seeing Pumpkin and Tapioca as one of the ingredients compare to the usual "Sweet Potato and Yam".

[Dessert 2] One of our friends, Rae also bought some homemade ice-cream which is specially made by her Aunt. As you can see from the photo the creamy texture of the “Durian” flavour ice-cream which is fragrant and full of durian bits is definitely something that you won’t want to miss out.

[Dessert 2] From top:- Durian, Milo and Rum and Raisin. If you would like to find out more about these homemade ice-cream, you can refer to their website HERE (http://www.jessdesserts.sg)

[Dessert 3] Extra Filling Extra Tall, Durian Cream Puffs from Durian King which Susan bought from North Point, basement. Everyone was shock to see those puffs with so much durian fillings in it.

[Dessert 4] Last dessert is what the kids are eagerly waiting for..... Yes!!!! It is "Chocolate Fondue" where Susan used 55% Valrhona Dark Chocolate to accompany the nature sweetness of the fruits.

[Celebration] On that day we also celebrates Susan's daughters birthday which is just a day before Valentine's Day. Since Chinese New Year, Birthday and Valentine's Day are all in connection, I decide to settle for these two lovely heart shaped cakes from "Four Leaves" for a little extra surprise for the girls..

Here we are, a lovely group photo that captures the wonderful moments where everyone puts on a "HAPPY SMILE". Happy New Year!!!!!!! Thanks everyone (Maureen, RaeKaiDerrickYan CaiLobsterpaintsAlvin、and Amanda) who attends and makes this gathering happen and also Susan and her family for their warm hospitality.

Look forward for our next foodies outing soon........ :)


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