Saturday, 16 January 2010

A Glimpse @ Marina Bay Sands

Today we take our 2nd visit to the Marina Barrage from our way back from lunch in town. Since Grandma has not being to the Barrage before, we decided to make a trip over there so that she can take a look as the place as well as enjoying the beautiful scenery there. During our 1st visit last year, we didn't managed to get to this Water Park area where the kids and adults will be enjoying themselves with the cooling water......

Today's weather is much more better than the our revious trip. Although sun was shining bright and scotching, but thank God it is still a very windy day where you can see a lot of people flying all sort of kites at the roof top area. One that caught our attention is a "BIG BLUE SHARK"....but too big even though I zoom in to take the shot still can't take a close look of it.... Posted by Picasa

From the roof top of the Barrage viewing deck area, you can take a better look at the almost completed "Marina Bay Sands - 滨海湾金沙综合娱乐城". This three cascading 55 storey hotel towers topped by an extraordinary sky park, ‘floating’ crystal pavilions, a lotus-inspired Museum, retail stores featuring cutting-edge labels and international luxury brands, trendy Celebrity Chef restaurants, endless of entertainment at the theaters and a Las Vegas-style casino is located along the Marina Bay waterfront. The expected completion date is roughly in the 2nd Quarter of 2010.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Steam Salmon Fillet With Herbs

Here is another Chinese New Year auspicious dish from Cuisine Paradise Kitchen. Despite of the Cod Fish that I always used, Salmon is another type of fish that is always on my shopping list. And since now is near to the Chinese New Year festive season, I think having something which is "BRIGHT" and "RED" will be a great presentation to impress our guests during Chinese New Year gathering...... So let me share with you my 2nd Chinese New Year "Fish" dish which I called it "鸿运当头" due to the colour of the salmon slices and herbs like red dates and wolfberries.

The idea of steaming salmon with Chinese Herbs came into my mind because I wanted to prepare something different using the salmon fillet that I bought. Instead of the usual pan-fry, bake with herbs or poaching.... I think maybe I can in-cooperate some Chinese Herbs to it and turn the Salmon into a Auspicious Chinese New Year dish.......... There are a few types of Salmon available in the supermarket or Japanese seafood stall, but usually those that we get from the local supermarket are the Norwegian Salmon which is sold in pre-packed of different parts of the salmon fillet from head to tail. No matter how you like to consume your salmon in a way from RAW to grill or poach, I am sure every different methods will brings up another level of taste in the salmon.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 Pieces of Boneless Salmon Fillet, abt 400g
10g Shredded Ginger
1 Stall of Spring Onion, cut into long section
4 Red Dates, soften and cut into halves
1/2 Teaspoon of Wolfberries
2 Slices of Dang Gui, break into smaller portion
Drizzle of Sesame Oil, optional

1. Rinse the Salmon fillet, pat dry and cut into slices and set aside.
2. Place some spring onion on a steaming plate, top with some Dang Gui slices and arrange the salmon slices on top of it.
3. Scatter the red dates and wolfberries evenly on the salmon slices then get ready a pot of boiling water for steaming.
4. While waiting for the water to boil, pre-heat a small frying pan with about 1 tablespoon of oil, sauté the shredded ginger till fragrant and golden brown, removed and set aside for garnish.
5. When the pot of water boils, place some saute ginger on top of the salmon slices, drizzle some ginger oil and scatter some extra chopped spring onion and steam it over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes depend on the thickness of the salmon slices.
6. Before severing, top with the remaining saute ginger and oil and try to scoop a few teaspoons of the fish gravy(after steaming the fish, there will be some water/sauce appears below the fish) over the fish in order to make it look more glossy and presentable.

~ This dish is best to serve warm, just right after steaming or else the texture of the salmon slices will be tough and not smooth.

Finally, this is the end product of my "Steam Salmon Fillet with Herbs - 鸿运当头" which I hope those who consume this will have great Prosperity and luck in the coming year. If you are going to try out this dish, do let me know your feedback irregardless of good/bad :) Till then I will leave you with the two Chinese New Year Fish Dish that I have shared with you..... Will update more if I have any new ideas to share...... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Assorted Pineapple Tarts

Time when by so fast as it's another starting of the year again. In about a month's time, everyone will be celebrating Chinese New Year and now it is the time to prepare and take note of those festive bakes/dishes. In my family, without failed for the past 8 years, even during my end of confinement period, I still make the effort to prepare and bake our family all times favourite - Pineapple Tarts. And this is also a time whereby my dear son is looking forward to..... as he has being helping me with the rolling of jam, and mould the tarts for the past 4 years.... :)

Pineapple tarts are usually consumed during the Chinese New Year season and it's typical shapes include flat, open tart topped with pineapple jam under a lattice of pastry or rolls filled with jam that are open at the ends and jam-filled spheres. The pineapple jam is usually cooked under low heat in order to caramelize the grated fresh pineapple that has been mixed with sugar and spices like cinnamon, star anise and cloves. From the photo, you can see the metal star shape plunger which they used to cut-out a tiny star from the pastry to top on top of the open tart. But too bad, I have misplaced mine and had only managed to find it after I have finished making these tarts :(

According to the Chinese Lunar Calender, there are 12 different animals signs which is rotating each year. And in 2010, it happens to be the year of the "TIGER". And since it is a Tiger year, I decided to make something different and special. So without much hesitate, I look-up for my baking mould and come out with this "Tigger" head print to represent the Tiger year goodies...... My dear son was very excited about this new design of our family Pineapple Tart and he actually forbidden anyone to eat it.

This set of kiddy pineapple tarts is totally belong to my dear son. He did all the rolling, mould and coating himself before I put it in the oven for him. I guess, no matter what is your age group like, you won't want to reject these cute Hello Kitty, Pooh and Tomica tarts :) Posted by Picasa

With Chinese New Year around the corner, me and my family wish everyone of you a HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR and may this year brings prosper, health and good career to everyone of you. If you are interested in the "Melt In Your Mouth Pineapple Tart" recipe, you can click HERE for more detail.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Double-Boil Luo Han Guo With Pork Muscle Soup

Saw another version of this soup ..... 罗汉果瘦肉汤 on Channel 8, Wednesday TV variety show known as "3-Plus-1 II - 3菜1汤II". I think it's about 2 months ago, I saw one of the participating term preparing a soup using "Luo Han Guo - 罗汉果" and lean pork. I remember vividly that I had prepared a soup using Luo han Guo as one of the ingredients in a few years back.

"Luo Han Guo -
罗汉果" is a dried fruits that are ellipse or round, with a yellow-brownish or green-brownish colour, and is covered by fine hairs. The fruit has a hard but thin shell. When breaks open, you can see partially dried, soft substance which contains the juice and large quantity of seeds. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for colds, coughs, sore throats, gastrointestinal disorder, as well as a blood purifier. And in Asian country, this fruit is usually used to boil herbal tea or soup.

Before making this soup, I am actually kind of worry about its' taste as Luo Han Guo is mostly sweet is natural when used to boil herbal tea. But I was surprised with the result of the soup when it is ready to be consume......... I guess the key ingredient lays on the "Dried Tangerine Peel" which makes the soup taste great rather than "sweet".

Ingredients: (serves 4)
500g Pork Muscle
1 Large Luo Han Guo
1 Piece of Dried Tangerine Peel, 6 x 6 cm
6 Red Dates
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries
1 Litre of Water

1. Wash and trim the pork muscle, blanched it boiling water for about 3 minutes, removed and rinse well.
2. Soaked the dried tangerine peel in water for about 1 minute till soften, use a small teaspoon to scrape off the white pith on the inner skins as that will cause bitterness to the soup.
3. Break the Luo Han Guo into half, rinse and set aside.
4. Bring the pot of 1 litre of water to boil, add in all the ingredients except the wolfberries, bring to boil again and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the soup mixture to a slow cooker and cook on AUTO heat for about 2 hours or so, add in the wolfberries in the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
6. Serve warm with rice or you can drink before meal.

~ You can cook the soup over low heat for about 45 minutes on the stove if you don't have any slow cooker.

This is indeed a great soup for the warm weather recently as well as a keeper for coming Chinese New Year where the kids and adults will be busying munching their favourite goodies. This soup will helps to smooth their throat and prevent cough too..... So why not give this a try if you are comfortable with the taste of Luo Han Guo herbal tea.Posted by Picasa