Wednesday 1 October 2008

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Since Strawberries are in season now and the supermarkets are also having sale on it. I decided to grab a few boxes of fresh strawberries to try making some Strawberry Jam. To my surprised they really turn out well and it taste fruit and fragrant and you can also control the sweetness of the jam. The different between these two is Jam is made from chunk or slices of fruit pieces. Preserves are made from whole fruit, or at least larger pieces.

Sunday 28 September 2008

Pan-fry Chicken With Strawberry Jam Sauce

I didn't realised that actually making Strawberry Jam is so fun and easy until I gave it a try over the weekend break. These homemade jam is so fresh and tasty from the fresh strawberry that is in season. You can read more on my making process of the jam at this link.

Other than serving these freshly made jam on the usual toast or pancake, I decided to try using it to make a dish. I marinate the boneless chicken thigh with some strawberry jam and orange segment to with it. Posted by Picasa

Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 Boneless Chicken Thighs
2 Tablespoons Of Strawberry Jam
1/2 Tablespoon Orange Juice
Salt and Pepper

1. Wash and trim the fat on the chicken thighs, pat dry and marinate it with all the ingredients and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or more.

2. Preheat a frying pan with some olive oil, drained the chicken thighs well then pan-fry it with skin side down for about 5 minutes(depend on the thickness and size) then turn over to cook the other side.

3. When both side are cooked through with slight brown in colour, remove and arranged on serving plate.

4. Prepare the sauce and drizzle it together with the fruits over at the side of the chicken.

5. Served with extra vegetables, salad or mashed potato.

Sauce Ingredients:
80ml Orange Juice
6 - 8 Orange Segments
2 Fresh Strawberries, cut into thick slices
1 Tablespoon Of Strawberry Jam

1. Place all the ingredients except the orange in a small saucepan then simmer till almost boil then add in the orange segments and stir till it begin to boil again.

Double-boiled Chinese Pear

It had being quiet sometime for me to post topic relating to soup since my last post on making Lotus Root, Pumpkin and Pearl Bean Soup in May 2008. Today's Soup will be Double-boiled Chinese Pear, it more for nourish of lungs and ease of dry cough. My dear son has being having bad cough for the past one week and after completing his medication he still doesn't seems to have much improvement and the cough is also getting worst. So rather than continue with the western medication, I decided to make him this remedial for cough using some of the Chinese herbs shown below.

Sweet & Bitter Almonds(南北杏), Apricot Seed
Warm. Influences the lung and large intestine channels. Stops cough and moistens the intestines. Commonly used to treat dry cough and constipation.

Chuanbei Mu(川贝母)
Cool. Influences the heart and lung channels. Dissolves phlegm and dissipates nodules. Commonly used to treat chronic cough with yellow or bloody phlegm that is difficult to expectorate.

Gou Qizi(枸杞子), Chinese Wolfberry
Neutral. Influences the liver, lung and kidney channels. Nourishes the essence, brightens the eyes, enriches Yin and moistens the lungs. Commonly used to treat anaemia, sore lower back, vision problems and long term cough.

Sha Shen(沙参)
Cool. Influences the lung and stomach channels. Stops cough, generates fluids and nourishes the skin. Commonly used to treat bloody cough, dry mouth and throat, and dry, itchy skin.

I have made this soup continuous for two days with two different methods. The 1st method will yield a more concentrated amount as I have put some of the ingredients within the pear shell and double-boiled it for it fullness effect. While 2nd method I just placed all the ingredients in a double-boiled and make a more dilute soup. Both me and my dear son prefer the 1st method as it is more sweet, fragrant and concentrated on it's content.Posted by Picasa

Ingredients: (serve 1)
1 Big Chinese Snow Pear,雪梨
1 Teaspoon of Chuanbei(川贝母) powder
1 Red Date(红枣), removed seed
1 Teaspoon Rock Sugar,冰糖
1 Teaspoon Sweet & Bitter Almond(南北杏)
5 - 8 Gou Qizi,枸杞子
About 80ml - 100ml Of Drinking Water

1. Wash the snow pear and cut a small portion off on top and use a spoon to scoop out the core and the flesh to make a pear cup.
2. Wash the herbs and put it into the pear cup together with the rock sugar and Chuanbei Powder.

3. Place the pear cup into a double-boiled then top water to the rim of the pear cup. (do not put any water inside the double-boiler that contain the pear)
4. Double-boiled it for about 2 to 3 hours in a slow cooker and served warm or you can double-boiled it over a stove in a pot for about 30 - 45 minutes over low heat.

a) Chuanbei powder can get from most Chinese medical hall. Usually I will buy $5 and ask them to grind into powder. If for kid consume it can be divided into 4 serving amount, you can check with the person in the medical hall for more details.

Saturday 27 September 2008

Salmon With Passionfruit Sauce

Cooking with Passion fruit is never to come across my thought as I don't really have passion with this fruit. But after hearing good comments from my friend Tracy on this fruit, I decided to give it a try and at one go I have whipped up a main course and a dessert to pair with it. So today's Menu will be Salmon With Passion fruit Sauce served with Passion fruit Salad and PassionMisu(recipe) here for dessert.

The passion fruit is round to oval, yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit can be grown to eat or for its juice, which is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma. Fresh Passion Fruit is known to be high in vitamin A, Potassium and dietary fibre. Passion fruit juice is also a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

For this dish I used the passion fruit to make the serving sauce for the salmon and sweet potato as well as the passion fruit salad. I made use of the empty shell of the passion fruit as a serving plate for the salad to the overall dish more presentable. You can make use of any kind of vegetables or fruits that you can find in your fridge compartment. For my Passion fruit Salad the ingredients used are as follow:-

Salad Ingredients : (serves 2)
2 Tablespoons of Cucumber Cubes
2 Tablespoons of Apple Cubes
1 Tablespoons of Tomato Cubes
1 Tablespoon of Passion fruit Pulps
1 Tablespoon of Pomegranate

1. Cut all the items into similar shape and sizes then mixed them together and set aside in the fridge.
2. Scoop the salad into the reserved passion fruit shell.

a) You can use whatever fruits and vegetables that is in your fridge but try to choose those with mild favour to compromise with the passion fruit taste. Posted by Picasa

As for the main course, I used salmon fillet to accompany the fragrant of the passion fruit sauce and it really blend well with this combination. This salmon dish consists of 3 portion of preparing method for the fish, sauce and side dish. You can use any side dish you prefer, eg. fresh salad greens, mash potato, potato wedges or etc. For my case, I served it with pan-fry sweet potato slices.

Sauce Ingredients:
2 Medium Passion fruits
1/2 Teaspoon Butter
3 Shallots, sliced & roughly chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Cooking Wine

1. Halves the passion fruit, scrape flesh into strainer and push it through the stainer and get about 80 - 100ml of juice. Set aside.
2. After frying the salmon, use the kitchen paper towel to wipe the pan then add in the butter and saute the shallot till fragrant, about 1 minutes or less.
3. Add in cooking wine, passion fruit juice and honey then simmer on medium low heat till thickened, about 30 seconds then remove and set aside.

a) The use of honey is for seasoning purpose as in sweeten and enhance the favour of the passionfruit and it also act as a caramelised agent to thicken the sauce.

Main Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 Pieces of Salmon Fillet, about 200g each
Salt & Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon passion fruit juice
1/2 Tablespoon Cornflour
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Butter

1. Season the salmon with salt, pepper and passion fruit juice then coat it with some cornflour on both side then set aside for about 1 minute.
2. Heat up the pan with olive oil and butter then pan-fry the salmon, skin-side down for about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through. the timing will depending on the thickness of the fillet.
3. Removed the fillet and arranged on serving plate together with the side dish, salad and drizzle some passion fruit sauce on the fillet and served extra sauce on the side.