Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Corned Beef & Jalapeno Fried Rice

Corned Beef Jalapeno Fried Rice
I grew up eating canned corned beef.
Fried with eggs, fried and served with potatoes, instant noodles, or (of course) rice.
It's the perfect non-porky alternative to luncheon meat/spam (another unhealthy processed meat product I absolutely love ^_^').

In Hong Kong, not surprisingly, canned corned beef isn't as popular as its porky cousin, luncheon meat.
It does get served in local cafes in the form of sandwiches or sometimes as savoury crepe filling...but I hardly see it used any other way.

Since I had half a small can leftover corned beef from the savoury bread pudding, I decided to make...fried rice :)

Super quick and easy for weekday dinners.
Corned Beef Jalapeno Fried Rice
- half a small can of corned beef (or more)
- 2 chicken franks, sliced (if I had a full can of corned beef, I don't think I needed the chicken franks)
- 1 cup rice, cooked, refrigerated overnight (I used a mix of white and brown rice, the brown rice has wonderful chewy texture, perfect for making fried rice)
- half yellow/red bell pepper, diced (for sweetness and the color looks pretty)
- 10 pieces of jalapeno from a jar (I used El Paso brand), diced (adjust if you find it too hot or not hot enough)
- olive oil, butter, salt, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce

Brown corned beef and sliced chicken franks with a bit of olive oil, add diced bell pepper, add a bit of butter, add rice, season with salt, pepper, a dash of worcestershire sauce and mix well, add diced jalapeno only at the end, mix well, serve hot.

Quick, easy, savoury, with a touch of sweetness from the peppers and a bit of tang from the jalapeno.

Now SC knows that corned beef can be used elsewhere other than in between two slices of bread ^_*

Sunday, June 27, 2010

La Parole, A Gem in Tsing Yi

La Parole
We were so pleasantly surprised to find this little gem in Tsing Yi.
Fully prepare to dine in Spaghetti House, we were glad we changed our mind and went for this place instead. I didn't make a booking, so we didn't get a table by the window overlooking the waterfront, or one of those pretty little booth, which would be absolutely romantic for special occasions.

There were two kinds of set dinners, and as always, I ordered the one which offers more food ;)
La Parole
The meal started with grapefruit chicken salad. I wish there was more grapefruit, but the whole flavor combo was decent, the few slices of onion and the smokiness of the sauce gave the dish a nice touch.

La Parole
The bread basket was a little disappointing, the herbs were a little overpowering and the plain one was a little soft-and-soft. Some good ol' crusty bread would've been better.

La Parole
The beef goulash was decent, but for Hong Kong char-chan-teng-eating market, whose palate is used to strong flavors of lo sung tong (HK local cafe's version of red beef & veggie soup), the soup needs much stronger flavors.

La Parole
The wild mushroom cream soup was nice and creamy, it could use a little bit more seasoning and a tad stronger mushroom flavors. Not the best mushroom soup I've ever had, but again, decent.

La Parole
The pan fried Rougie AAA foie gras with red wine pear was absolutely fantastic! The flavors were absolutely lovely. The rich and creamy foie gras, beautifully cooked pear, rich sauce with a touch of sea salt which created the perfect balance.

La Parole
The grilled parma ham salmon with herb oil was again fantastic. I didn't get the parma ham part, but other than that, it was a nice dish. Perfectly cooked salmon, gentle flavors of the herb oil, tiny bits of chopped fresh tomatoes and the extra crunch from the chips. Gorgeous!

Now, the mains..
La Parole
The grilled American Angus prime rib eye with Egyptian sea salt. Looks absolutely beautiful...was it good?

La Parole
The meat was cooked correctly, a nice medium, flavorful, tasted fantastic with the grains of Egyptian sea salt. The bits of vegetables added the much needed refreshing touch for summer, but I wish there was some kind of sauce I could mop my fries with. Ahem ;)

La Parole
The asparagus, scallops triangoloni with truffle and porcini, it was love at first bite. Succulent scallops, beautifully cooked, with delicious stuffed triangoloni...bits of of asparagus, and creamy, delicious sauce. However, I felt that this dish is way too rich for summer. It gives you a nice kick-in-the-stomach richness, but you'd feel knocked out after a few bites. A lighter version for summer would be nice.

La Parole
Say hello to the perfect summer dessert. Strawberry panna cotta with sorbet. Everything's refreshing and citrusy, served with bits of sweetness here and there to create balance. A glorious ending.

La Parole
I know that this is not a perfect summer drink, but we couldn't help ordering the Leonidas hot chocolate when it's offered with the set. Generous serving, deliciously chocolatey.

How much did the set cost?
HK$258 per person (+10% service charge), very good deal!
We left feeling absolutely satisfied, ready to empty our wallet in the mall :)
If you happen to be in the area, it's worth trying. Don't forget to make a reservation, it was a full house!

La Parole
Shop G02A, G/F, Maritime Square
33 Tsing King Road,
Tsing Yi
Tel: +852 2436 4099

Friday, June 25, 2010

Amazing Yakitori at Yakitoritei (燒鳥亭), Tin Hau

If you're in Hong Kong, and you haven't tried Yakitoritei, a charming and cozy yakitori (Japanese BBQ) joint in Tin Hau/Happy Valley...
Seriously. Go!

I could've summarized my so-called "review" with just one word, delicious.
But let me show you what kind of mad MAD meal we had.
It started with our server asking "foie gras, anyone?" and almost all of us raised our hand, and it only went downhill from there ;)

We started with...
Cod roe salad, super fresh, perfect for the hot and sticky weather that day...and the ginkgo nuts yakitori, very very interesting...nutty with a touch of bitterness. We were hungry for more!

Now...the seafood...
Succulent scallops grilled to perfection, super succulent sword fish and eel with deliciously crispy skin. Nothing but yum!

On to something rich...
The foie gras, super rich, mega creamy and tasty! Juicy and tender duck breast with sweet onions. Quack quack!

Moving on to the chicken group...
Grilled chicken with crab roe was really interesting. Perfectly grilled chicken meat with creamy sauce and little pops of sea freshness. Gotta give them a try. The grilled chicken with mustard sauce was super delish too...and we were pleasantly surprised by the grilled chicken gizzards. They look dry and miserable, but they were wonderfully crunchy and tasty!

The grilled quail eggs made you forget any cholesterol fears, the grilled sausages on chicken bone were as tasty as they looked, and we love the bacon wrapped asparagus.

Before we knew it...
...we've gathered quite a lot of skewers...and we're not even half way yet!

Now, some more meaty goodness...
Japanese grilled pork with herbs, juicy, tender, delicious! Lamb lovers, you gotta order their lamb chops, absolutely divine!...and the grilled thick cut ox tongue is not to be missed! All delicious!

We didn't go meat-crazy all the way, we remembered to order some veggies and mushrooms, and here are some highlights...
Spinach with bonito, a refreshing touch to a super rich meal. Grilled zucchini with cheese, sweet and crunchy with mild cheesy topping, yum!...and hello, carb...sweet, tender and smoky sweet potatoes.

Now...my absolute favorite...
The beef! Grilled with butter, with Japanese BBQ sauce or with good plain ol' salt and pepper. Juicy, absolutely tender, extremely delicious, it's...hello, meat heaven!

Almost everything was super mega delicious...except for these few items, which we didn't exactly adore...
Grilled bacon wrapped salmon, the bacon part was good, but the salmon was pretty dry. The chicken wings stuffed with foie gras and cheese, they tasted nothing like what the name promised. It tasted like a regular chicken wings stuffed with minced meat...we'll skip this next time. The grilled clams were...beachy. We like our beach sandy, but not our shellfish, so...nono.

Now...with all those skewers...the boys couldn't help but do this...
What were they asking?
a. Will I win betting on FIFA World Cup this year?
b. Who will have to eat all the remaining corn and sweet potatoes? (They were delish, but we ordered wayy too much!)
c. Who's cuter, V or SC?
d. Who pays for this meal?

Yakitori offers set dinners for about HK$290 per person, but since we were so crazy and almost ordered everything on the menu, we ended up spending about HK$460 per person, without even ordering a single drop of alcohol :D
But believe me, it was worth it.

Remember to make a reservation, the place is rather small and is always packed. We saw a small group of walk in patrons who had to come back three times before they got a seat ^_^

Oh, not that you care, but in case you wanna know, this is what I wore that night :D

Yakitoritei (燒鳥亭)
G/F Tsing Fung Building
10 Tsing Fung Street
Tin Hau
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2566 9982

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Baked Durian in Whole Wheat Filo Pastry

Baked Durian in Filo Pastry
Durian season is still here...and whenever I went grocery shopping, I see ripe, soft, golden yellow, super fragrant durian packages screaming out my name.

If it's up to me, I'd buy a pack every single time.
But my ever so helpful SC would remind me that durian = sugar = fattening ^_^'...thus should be avoided whenever possible.

Amazingly, yesterday he suggested me to buy a HK$20 pack of gorgeous durian...after I said that I'd use the whole wheat filo pastry sheets I got last week (on sale, HK$60 reduced to HK$5!!! Three-sixty Landmark, Central) to bake some durian dessert. Honestly, I had no idea how to use filo pastry...let alone bake an elaborate dessert with it...but I'd say whatever I needed to say to score me a pack of heaven ;)

So, how did I do it finally?
Baked Durian in Filo Pastry
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Lightly grease a baking dish, lay
a couple layers of filo pastry sheets, brushing in between with peanut oil (you can use butter if you want more oomph), tuck them in as you would do pastry base for a pie. Then simply add durian flesh to fill the pastry "bowl" and top it with a thin layer of caster sugar to get the "bruleed" effect. Don't forget to brush the top layer of filo pastry with some oil/butter to make it gloriously golden.

Bake for about 25 minutes in the middle rack, and move it to the top rack, bake for a few more minutes until you get the bruleed effect. You can blow torch the top if you want, but gas-and-flame combo scares me :D

Easy peasy, eh?
...and what will you get?
Baked Durian in Filo Pastry
Sweet, creamy, fragrant, soft and rich durian flesh with crispy pastry skin.

Baked Durian in Filo Pastry
Durian is one of those things that taste fantastic hot or cold.
I understand that some of you find durian disgusting, you can replace durian with bananas, chocolates, peaches, etc etc etc. The sky is your ocean (or something ^_^)

Now if you'd excuse me...I am still burping durian now (a good 22 hours later).
Clearly, it is not an ideal date dessert, especially if your date hates durian ;)

PS. SC reminded me to post a picture of whole wheat filo pastry sheets that I used ^_^ so there you go.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Super Simple Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Chunks

I've made a promise to cook at home more often instead of just parking my lazy ass by SC's mom dining table, stuffing myself with her delicious treats every day. Call me silly, but if I continued doing so, I am sure that I'll totally forget how to cook and this blog might have to either close down or transferred to SC's mom.

So, on Monday, I told SC about the plan, he was excited, although a bit unhappy about having to wait for 30-45 minutes for dinner instead of going home to a whole table of fully cooked meal ready to be devoured. Too bad!

Every day after work, he'd ask me what I planned to cook...and he'd give a very generous amount of
criticism "helpful suggestions" on every dish that I've planned. Including this one. I love sweet and ripe fresh pineapple chunks in savoury dishes. Pineapple gives a dish an exotic touch...and turns it...summery!

So, I told SC that I wanted to cook grilled chicken with pineapple chunks.
His helpful comments:
- Why would you cook chicken with pineapple?
- Pineapple is always cooked with pork (and by pork, he meant
beef. The dish his mom always makes for him)
- I should remember to use corn starch (SC thinks that corn starch is
the essence of Chinese cooking ^_^')

My response?
Since you're such an expert, how about you do the cooking tonight?

SC's response?
Pretended that he didn't hear me :P
Typical! :D

How here's my super simple dish...

(serves two)
- 1/2 fresh, ripe pineapple, peel skin off, remove core, cut into chunks (if fresh pineapple isn't available, you can use canned pineapple)
- 2 boneless chicken leg fillet (for grilling I like them with skin on), trim excess fat off
- seasoning for chicken: salt, pepper, olive oil
- for the pineapple: sugar (or you can use golden syrup), a bit of hot water, salt, fish sauce, a bit of corn starch dissolved in water (optional)|

Season chicken with salt, pepper, add a bit of olive oil, grill skin down on a hot pan (I used non stick, so I didn't need so much oil) to brown the skin. Once the skin's brown, lower the heat and flip the chicken, cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. If you wish, you can let the chicken finish grilling in the oven. Set grilled chicken aside (I cut mine to a bite sized chunks, you can serve them whole).

Get rid of excess fat from the pan, add pineapple chunks, let them caramelize a little (I was too impatient to wait for that), add sugar, salt, hot water and a touch of fish sauce to season. If you don't want the sauce to reduce much and you want it thickened, use corn starch & water mixture. The corn starch mixture will also help the sauce to "hang on" to the meat (this is a lesson learnt from SC ^_^).

Garnish with freshly chopped chillies, crispy shallot and coriander to make the dish even better. SC doesn't like them at this moment (he's having a weird moment), so I didn't use any ^_^'

Next time, let's let SC do the cooking, shall we? ;)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Corned Beef & Cheese Savoury Bread Pudding

promised, here's the savoury bread pudding...for all the salty gals and boys out there.
Ridiculously easy to make and absolutely delicious, it's worth all the calorie splurge :D

- 2 slices wheat bread, buttered generously, rip into chunks
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- half a small tin of corned beef (you can also use sliced franks, chopped bacon, etc etc)
- mixed dry herbs (rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme), nutmeg, black pepper, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, a dash of paprika, a bit of grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Mix the beaten eggs, milk, corned beef (crushed with fork to allow it to distribute evenly), most of the grated cheese (leave some for the top), and seasonings in a bowl. Add slices of buttered bread, submerge them in the creamy and eggy mixture, and pour into a lightly greased baking tin and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake in the middle shelf for about 40-50 minutes or until it springs back when touched, and if you want the top to turn really golden brown, transfer to top shelf and continue baking for a few minutes.

Let's see...creamy, cheesy, meaty and eggy bottom...

...with golden delicious topping.

Good morning!

If this slice of heaven and a cup of good coffee/tea don't put a smile on your face...I dunno what will ^_^

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sticky Rice Dumpling & Teriyaki Braised Pork Ribs

Remember good ol' sticky rice dumplings? The Tuen Ng festival is over...but we still have some of this from SC's mama. We could have sticky rice dumplings for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a few days straight ^_^

For breakfast...or lunch...or snack...I like to have my sticky rice dumplings with...

a bit of soy sauce and Indonesian ABC chilli sauce.

If you noticed, SC's mama loves her sticky rice dumplings with lots of beans and not much meat filling.
Thus, for dinner, I can't just have sticky rice dumplings this way...I need something more substantial.
So I decided to have them with Teriyaki Braised Pork Ribs and Vegetable & Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce.

My best attempt of trying to have a "balanced meal" ^_^

Teriyaki Braised Pork Ribs

- 1 lb pork ribs
- 1 clove shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 2 cm ginger, crushed
- Teriyaki Sauce (I used Kikkoman), rice wine, hot water, olive oil, sugar

Saute ginger, garlic and shallot in a bit of olive oil, add ribs, add teriyaki sauce, rice wine, a bit of sugar and hot water (just until it barely covers the meat), and pressure cook for 25 minutes. If you don't use a pressure cooker, bring to boil and simmer until the meat is falling-off-the-bone tender.

The Teriyaki Glaze
- Teriyaki sauce
- Rice wine
- Sugar
- braising liquid
- corn starch dissolved in water
Mix everything, bring to boil and keep tasting it until you achieve your preferred balance of sweet and savoury, thicken with corn starch mixture. It should be more on the sweet side. Drizzle over the ribs.
Yum! Sticky sticky!

Vegetables and mushrooms in oyster sauce

You don't need a recipe for this :)
It's basically shredded Chinese lettuce and sliced shiitake mushrooms stir fried with a bit of ginger and oyster sauce.

This weekend's breakfast and lunch menu = you know it! Sticky rice dumplings! Hmm, maybe with bacon and scrambled eggs ^_^

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Easy Bread Pudding with Dark Choco Chips

One night...I just felt a really really strong urge.... to bake.
Something sweet and sticky...but most importantly something easy.
You see, I don't handle failures very well, especially close to midnight ^_*

On another note, you know that sometimes couples have differences.
Ahem. Nothing principal, just...reconciliable differences.
Such as...different air conditioning temperature, love/hatred towards durian, and stuff like that.
Speaking of differences and bread puddings...SC and I are different.

I like my bread pudding pale and soft...like this...

...and he likes his like this...

Golden brown, sweet and crunchy top, with soft and fluffy bottom.
How did we handle it? I cut a big chunk off the right corner when it was still pale, and dump the rest back into the oven to achieve SC's preferred state of bread-pudding-ness. It worked pretty well, we both got what we wanted :)

Now, how easy exactly is this bread pudding?

(adapted from allrecipes.com)
- 2 slices of bread
- salted butter/margarine
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup sugar
- a dash of vanilla

- a dash of cinnamon
- a couple handfuls of dark chocolate chips (optional, you can use raisins)
- maple syrup for glazing (optional)
- chocolate syrup and condensed milk to serve with (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Slather bread slices with butter, super generously ^_^ and tear down into pieces (doesn't have to be very small). In a mixing bowl, mix beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and milk, whisk (or use a mixer) until well combined. Add bread pieces into the batter and let the bread soak all those eggy creamy goodness. Grease a baking pan, pour batter with bread, add dark chocolate chips here and there, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until it springs back when touched. If you want the golden brown, ultra crispy finish like SC, slather maple syrup on the surface, crank up the oven to 200C, place bread pudding on top shelf and bake until golden but not severely burnt. Serve with ice cream, chocolate syrup, condensed milk or devour as is. It is good enough. No. It's beyond!

I am sooo gonna make a savoury version soon ^_^
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hong Kong Style Burger from Si Sun Fast Food (時新快餐店) Hung Hom

What does it mean by Hong Kong style burger?

It means...
- Generic burger sweet buns you can buy from supermarket, probably from Garden bread
- You can hardly tell if the patty is beef or pork or anything else?
- Salad sauce = Miracle Whip + Sugar + Water
It also means bloody DELICIOUS!

I order the above tower-of-sin (double cheeseburger + fried egg), it's yummy to the max! I didn't care that I could not tell if it was beef or pork.

This was the double pork cheese burger...equally delicious, tasted pretty much the same as mine minus the fried egg...

Some of us ordered fish burgers...and since it's so small, I didn't have the heart to ask for a bite to try ^_^

If you thought that the tower-of-sin I've ordered could fill me up...
Think again!

I've also requested to order a serving of Hong Kong style deep fried chicken leg and a pile of Hong Kong style fries, and since we had to share the fried chicken...

The ever so elegant Jason Bonvivant meticulously dissected the chicken using fork and knife ^_^

I was waiting for him to do a bad job at cleaning the chicken meat off the bones, as I planned to gnaw what remained on the bones ^_^'

...and because we were food bloggers...

...we were obnoxious and did not care if others were waiting impatiently to eat the food, sowry! ;)

Wanna see what did we wear? Check it out here.

In case you're in town, give it a try.
Go early as the place gets so damn packed at lunch time.

Si Sun Fast Food

G/F, 1A Whampoa Street, Hung Hom
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2362 1279