Monday, November 29, 2010

Chicken & Corn in XO Sauce

Chicken & Corn in XO Sauce
Hong Kong is a place where most of us don't really have to buy stuff in bulk and keep them at home. In fact, most of us can't afford to buy in bulk. It's not the's the space! Everything's tiny mini mini here, I barely have enough space for my ass :D

However, I try to always keep a few things at home for some days where I don't have time am too lazy to shop. Instant noodles, some random frozen snacks, frozen chicken thigh fillet, assorted sauces and some random canned food. This was one of those days. I was even too lazy to get outta my pjs and dine out.

Just grab something out of the kitchen cupboard, the fridge, and put them together.
Chicken & Corn in XO Sauce
- 2 chicken thigh fillet, remove skin and excess fat, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 can of corn kernels, drain
- XO sauce (can be purchased from most Asian grocery stores)
- soy sauce, white pepper, corn starch, sugar, vegetable oil

Mix 2 heaping tsp corn starch, soy sauce, a touch of sugar and white pepper with the chicken chunks. Heat up a bit of vegetable oil in a frying pan, add chicken pieces, let them caramelize a bit, add corn kernels, add XO sauce, cook until you see a bit of brownage on the corn kernels too, serve with rice.

What do you keep in your pantry for lazy days?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sweet Treats - Cakes from Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon

Because it's Friday...
Because it's been a while since I'd been out during lunch hour...
Because I wanted something sweet after lunch...

This happened :D
Rose & Pistachio Cake from L'Atelier de Joel Robuchonh

This pistachio cake...

Rose & Pistachio Cake from L'Atelier de Joel Robuchonh
It's nutty and creamy, with a tinge of exotic tang. Yum.

And this rose cake...
Rose & Pistachio Cake from L'Atelier de Joel Robuchonh
It's super fragrant, light, and creamy.

It's the rosiest cake I've ever had.
Triple yums!
This one's totally worth the HK$40 price tag.

...and because I forgot to bring my good camera, these were just shot using iPhone4.
Apologies for posting sub par pictures :p

Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon
Shop 315, 3/F, The Landmark, 16 Des Voeux Road Central, Central

Hong Kong中環德輔道中12-16號置地廣場315號舖
Tel: +852 2166 9088

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chicken & Long Beans Stir Fry with Fermented Black Beans

Chicken and Long Beans Stir Fry with Fermented Black Beans
Ingredient love.
Say hello to Chinese fermented black beans. I don't know why I didn't use this ingredient more often. A bag of it sat quietly at the corner of my fridge, so close to being forgotten.

How could I?

A savory girl like me. I should be ashamed.

It's an amazing ingredient.
It's very savory.
It's perfect with garlic.
And chilli.
It gives humble old dishes, just like my chicken and long beans stir fry, the extra oomph.
Use sparingly though, a little of this ingredient goes a long way.

Chicken and Long Beans Stir Fry with Fermented Black Beans
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1-2 small red chilli, chopped, remove seeds to tame the heat if necessary
- a bunch of long beans, cut into about 5 cm long sections
- 2 chicken thigh fillet, remove skin, cut into bit sized chunks
- 1 tbsp fermented black beans
- olive oil, corn starch, sugar, fish sauce

"Marinate" chicken chunks with two heaping teaspoon of corn flour, a bit of oil, fish sauce and sugar. Saute garlic and chilli in hot oil, add chicken chunks, add the fermented black beans, cook until you get a bit of brownage, and the meat's cooked. Add long beans, cook until it softens a bit, adjust seasoning if necessary, cook until the long beans reach the level of softness you like, serve hot.

Perfect with lots and lots and lots of rice.

I introduced this ingredient to my helper and now she can't get enough of it ^_^'

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Deliciously Spicy Lunch at KK Kurry Kebabs - Kwai Chung

This is not a food picture.
Kurry Kebabs - Neighborhood Eatery
What is it doing here then?
It's here because it was the first time we had Marcus out to lunch, and he didn't cry a bit!
We didn't even have to hold him in our arms, he sat quietly in his stroller, and even smiled sweetly to the restaurant owner!
Aw! Allow us to have a proud new parents moment! ^_^

Now, onto lunch.
We're so glad we've stumbled upon this precious place. It's tucked away in a corner of a housing estate's small shopping complex up the hills in Kwai Chung. It's humbly decorated, but spacious and comfy. As we entered the place, we were welcomed by the scent of spices and the friendly greetings from the owners.

Kurry Kebabs - Neighborhood Eatery
We ordered mutton biryani and we requested spicy. The lady owner gave me an eye, but decided not to comment on my choice. When we tasted it, we understood what "the eye" mean. It's super spicy and I love love love it! Absolutely delicious. The combination of spices, the hearty mutton pieces, the sweetness of raisins, the refreshing touch of fresh ginger and tomatoes, and the was perfect for me. But if you can't handle heat, and yes this was hot, opt for mild or medium.

Kurry Kebabs - Neighborhood Eatery
We also ordered beef korma and butter naan. The portion of the beef korma's kinda small, but it tastes heavenly! Slightly sweet, creamy and nutty! The butter naan disappointed us though. It's not light, fluffy, nor's flat, greasy and chewy. I'd order something else next time.

Kurry Kebabs - Neighborhood Eatery
I love the scent and flavor of fresh mint, and this sweet mint lassi's perfect! Sweet, rich, creamy, and refreshing at the same time. A perfect companion for the super spicy lunch.

Allow some time to take a long nap due to the food coma :)

KK Kurry Kebabs
Shop 107, Block E, Cho Yiu Chuen Shopping Centre
Kwai Chung
Tel: +852 3580 0717

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baking Failure - Coffee Chocolate Chip Cake

Coffee Choco Chip Cake
Looks good.
Tastes bad.

Just another baking failure.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Burger King Cheesy Fries - My Weird Snacking Habit

Have you tried this bag-o-snack?
Burger King Cheesy Fries
Is it good?

Let's get back to that later.

I just wanna let you know that I have a weird snacking habit (so what else is new?).

This is how I like eating my snack-in-a-bag while watching TV, surfing net, etc.
Burger King Cheesy Fries
That's right!

With a pair of chopsticks!

Burger King Cheesy Fries

- I don't like getting my hands dirty (I change channel every minute & I multitask a lot online)- I don't have to dip more than half of my lower arm into a big bag of chips
- Instead of licking savory goodness off my fingers, I can just lick 'em off the chopsticks
Burger King Cheesy Fries
Now, on to the chips...

I love salty cheesy things.
It takes a lot of salt for me to stamp something as "too salty".
Burger King Cheesy Fries
This is one of those things ^_*

Anyone out there as weird as me? Tell me I'm not alone...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beef & Pumpkin Soupy Stew

Simple Beef and Pumpkin Soupy Stew
I need to learn how to recognise more Chinese characters!
All I can read recognize guess are Chinese characters of food that I hate (including papaya) or absolutely love (various meat, dishes, including char siew ^_^)

Why the sudden dedication to learn more Chinese characters?

I went to the supermarket and grabbed a pack of beef for stir frying. The meat was beautifully marbled, fresh and costs quite a lot. I took it anyway. A few steps later, I saw a pack that's a lot cheaper. The meat looked fresh and marbled...and in such a package, I couldn't recognize which part of beef the meat was based on sight. Anyway, I bought it and planned to do a simple stir fry.

I went home and happily started prepping my cheap beef.
It looked suspicious, not the kind of beef I normally use for stir fry, there were lots of fatty chunks and tendons, which I tried to get rid of. I had difficulties slicing the beef, but tried my best anyway.

Luckily, SC's mom came over and saw my struggle. She checked the package and turned out...I've bought a bad pack of beef brisket. What an idiot (me)! Stir frying it would be a disaster. We would end up chewing on something as rubbery as the soles of raggedy old boots! So I changed my plan and did an easy stew.

- 1 lb of beef brisket (get a better one than mine, know your cuts of meat, or read labels ^_^')
- half a small pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into large chunks
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 clove shallot, cut into a few chunks
- 1 cm ginger, crushed
- cooking oil, hot water, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

Saute garlic and shallot in a bit of oil, add beef brisket, add hot water (a little of a lot, depending how much "soup" you want from the stew, I like this version more soupy, just like Indonesian sop or soto), bring to boil and simmer until tender (I pressure cooked it for 25 minutes). Once the beef chunks are tender, add pumpkin chunks, cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender, or until completely dissolved in hot water, it's up to you. Season with salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.

I couldn't believe how delightfully savory it was! I'll be looking for more el-cheapo beef brisket on sale to make more soupy stew next time.

PS. I've learnt how to recognize "beef brisket" in Chinese. Heheheh

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chewy Double Chocolate Persimmon Cake

Chewy Chocolate Chip Persimmon Cake
I was suddenly in the mood for baking.
I think even my oven misses the sweet scent of sugar, cinnamon and chocolate.

Plus, I received three beautiful and super ripe persimmons from SC's mom, perfect for my baking itch!

Plus, baking means I'd have a valid excuse reason to force SC to get off his XBOX and interact (i.e. take over the milk and diaper duty) with Marcus for a bit.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Persimmon Cake
- 1 cup of persimmon pulp (remove the green top, cut into 4 section and press again a strainer, use the strained "juice")
- 1 cup flour
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil + 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 5 heaping tbsp chocolate powder
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 2 big handful of dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F/180C, mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, make a well, add persimmon pulp, vegetable oil and butter, mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips, grease a loaf pan, pour cake batter, bake until a skewer stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Sweet, moist, chewy and chocolatey...
Chewy Chocolate Chip Persimmon Cake
...and it makes my flat smell less like baby poo (sorry for ruining your appetite again hehe)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Impromptu Post - Soto Ayam Lunch

Just to let you know...
Soto Ayam Lunch
...what I had for lunch today ^_^

Soto ayam. Made using Indofood instant spice pack ^_*

What was your lunch?

Mushroom & Celery in Black Pepper Sauce - Cute Ingredient

Mushroom & Celery in Black Pepper Sauce
Do you buy ingredients because of...their nutritional value? their natural flavors? they're on sale?...or because you haven't tried them before?

Yes, yes, yes, yes...but you know you also buy certain ingredients because...they cute.

At least I know I do :D

Look at these Korean mushrooms!
They're not on sale.
They're rather expensive.
I know they're gonna be delicious, but so are other mushrooms.
I know they're somewhat healthy, but so are cheaper mushrooms.
But...I haven't tried them before!
Mushroom & Celery in Black Pepper Sauce
...and most importantly, look at how cute they are!
Chubby white stems with tiny little mushroom heads...adorable!
Plus, the lady who gave away the free sample melted my heart.
I have a weakness for free supermarket samples.
But, don't we all?

So, I bought a bag and made this.
Mushroom & Celery in Black Pepper Sauce
- 1 bag of mushrooms (you can certainly use other cute mushrooms)
- 2/3 bunch of celery, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 clove of shallot, thinly sliced
- dark soy, light soy, sugar, black pepper, corn starch, olive oil

Saute garlic and shallot in hot olive oil, add mushrooms, cook until they're super fragrant and a bit browned. Add celery chunks, season with dark soy, light soy, sugar, lots of black pepper, and thicken sauce with corn starch dissolved in a bit of water.

Perfect for a side dish or vegetarian dinner.
Mushroom & Celery in Black Pepper Sauce
I kinda ruined their cuteness, didn't I?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shrimp Paste Fried Rice - This Ruined My Diet & Indo Food Styling

I should really be on diet...
Shrimp Paste Fried Rice
...trying to lose baby weight and all...

But what a carb-loving girl to do when faced by a huge plate of delicious shrimp paste fried rice? It's carb-tastic! There was a huge wok of this fried rice, and if I went all the way, I think I could really finish the whole wok myself.

But I know I shouldn't, so I just ate half a wok ^_^'

If you grew up in Indonesia, you gotta remember the typical Indonesian food styling, especially for fried rice, which is "to arrange everything in circular order". I asked my helper to put the fried rice onto a plate and I told her that I was gonna take pictures of it.

She went all out.

See? Even the chicken frank pieces and chillies are arranged into circles. makes me miss home.
Shrimp Paste Fried Rice
- 3 cups of rice, ideally left in the fridge overnight (you can obviously make less, we're just greedy)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cloves of shallot, sliced thinly
- red and green chillies, chopped (adjust according to your heat tolerance)
- 3 chicken franks, sliced (you can replace this with any meat or seafood or skip it altogether)
- 3 eggs, beaten, fried and sliced (or you can mix the eggs into the fried rice instead of cooking them separately)
- shrimp paste (I used Lee Kum Kee), fish sauce, sugar, white pepper, oil

Saute garlic, shallot and chillies in hot oil until fragrant, add chicken franks, add shrimp paste (use sparingly, add bit by bit as it is a bit salty), add rice, season with a bit of fish sauce, a bit of sugar and white pepper, mix well, add sliced fried eggs, serve hot.

I wonder if pumping more milk could compensate this carb-madness afternoon?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

This was one of those rare occasions when SC and I can take a little break from taking care of our little one...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010
SC and I went to check out Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival 2010.
Despite being ridden with new parent's guilt, we had a lot of fun (I am blaming the alcohol ^_^)

The view from the venue? Breath taking!
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

There was wine...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Lots of wine.
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Wine, wine, wine.
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

...and more wine.
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

When there's wine, ideally, there's food!
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

The hairy crab meat and roe on toast?
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010
Not loving the yellow wine it's paired with tho...

There's more food...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

...some free food...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Some sweets...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Some cooking...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Michelin starred chefs in action ;)
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Wine lessons...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010
We could all use a little learning.

There are cool people...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

..enjoying the moment...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Wacky wackos...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

The classic...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

More wackiness...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Cool bartending show...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010
...don't we all wanna be able to juggle a few bottles?

Even the little ones had fun, despite not being alcohol intoxicated :D
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

The young...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

The not-too-young...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Everybody had fun.
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010

Getting all liquored up, sandwiched between two hotnesses...
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010
Does the day get any better than that?

Yeah. I got to check out Michelin Chef Pascal Nibaudeau's cooking class.
Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2010
He's kinda hot ;)