When I checked my mailbox one day, I saw this Mail from Japan Center that the subject is Japanese soft boiled marinated eggs, I instantly clicked to the link to check out. I read many versions that require piercing or poke a small onto the egg shell and have to use a tong to clamp the egg upright for 7 mins with the hand holding the tong. How tiring is that? Also impractical as you can maximum hold 2 eggs at a time. This method is way much easier, of course you have to be gentle in handling the eggs and watch the time and remove the shells with great care and attention, other than that it’s dead simple. Thank you Japan Center for sharing the secret tips, very much appreciated and I haven adapted slightly as follow.
Happy New Year to you all! I have been very quiet in the blogosphere. One excuse I have is because of busy lately in the Christmas and New Year Period. However, when I looked back it’s mainly because I have not opened my laptop as much as I did in the past. I use the iPad more often. Of course there is a WordPress app but it’s never as user friendly as using the computer in particular with the formatting, there is no way to make bullet points, I would need to draft from the app and then finalize online using the laptop.
I do have a few unfinished draft and here is one of them. I have been using my iPhone to take food photos instead of using SLR. I am now less picky than before. I have been thinking recently if I should stop blogging totally, because my aim of blogging is to keep the recipes I like and that I would definitely make again and again. I have discovered a few apps (e.g. Keep Recipes and Food Reporter) which serve the purpose but then I would store by recipes here and there but not in one place. I hope to get back to my blogging routine together this year and not distracted by other things. In 2013, my primary goals are more blogging and continue learning German.
Without further ado here is my avocado tuna cerviche, extremely to quick and easy to make, it’s a fusion of Mexican and Japanese cooking style, hope you will like it.
It’s nice to stock up some pumpkins at home, however, once cut opened, do you also have the same problem with me? That is to think of different dishes to finish them. I have made a batch of pumpkin, carrot and leek soup and still got some left, all of a sudden it came to my mind that my mom had a Chinese way of preparing pumpkin which is very easy to prepare and yet very delicious, particularly for those who do not like pumpkins very much. Thanks to the black bean sauce which does not taste too pumpkinny if you know what I mean. Bas enjoyed this dish a lot and I thought maybe I will cook one time for my in-laws to try when they visit us this Christmas, they don’t normally eat pumpkins, wonder if they are courageous to try, ha ha!
I had 6 weeks holiday in Hong Kong. Had so much good food that I have to slowly go back to my cooking mood. I had hardly cooked during these 6 weeks. I miss the hot and sunny weather there, coming back, the air temperature has already cooled down considerably and feel a bit chilly in the morning and evening.
I like one pan or one pot rice. Prepared Jambalaya for the first time and one of the important seasonings is Creole seasonings which I don’t have a stored bought version so I found in the internet and has created my own bottle which I have used some smoked paprika to give a little twist to the original version. It is also a great gift which I made enough to give to my friend.
Last week, after my German class, I went to Lily’s for lunch. Weather was so hot that I did not feel like to have curry with rice or Pad Thai which I normally would order. I wanted to have something like and wanted to try something new, so I saw Bo Luc Lac and gave a try. I was a little worried if I would like it but I took the courage and came out from my comfort zone. I have never tried Bo Luc Lac in Hong Kong or Asia so I cannot tell if this is a really good one. But it came out to be a very light and refreshing dish, the beef was very tender and was cooked just right at medium. I was so happy to know this dish and tempted to make something similar at home the following day.
I searched online and found that you should use watercress but I have never seen watercress here, so I used salad cress and baby spinach instead, and I used the garden herbs I have namely thyme, small leaves basil and oregano. Most recipes I saw used oyster sauce in the marinade but I skipped it as I got a piece of US entrecôte and with good quality beef, it’s not necessary to use too much or too strong seasonings.
This is a great summer salad, I was lighter after having this no carb salad 2 times. I felt so satisfied and did not feel hungry without any carbohydrate intake. I highly recommend this as a fitness salad and it is so easy and quick to prepare as the ingredients for the vinaigrette are stock at home at all time.
Last week, I finally got the grip and took out my pasta machine which had been untouched for a while. Made a batch of fresh pasta and then I thought let’s experiment and make some ramen, it has been a long time in my to cook list. And for the first time, it came out beautifully, I feel it’s even easier than making Italian pasta. If you let the ramen dough rest in the fridge overnight, it makes it easier to roll out. The rolled out ramen freezes well. You don’t even need to sprinkle flour, simply wrap them up in portions with cling film, keep in a plastic box and put in the freezer, done. I am so excited that I am now keeping the pasta machine clamping on the wooden table as I foresee myself to make more ramen in the common weeks. I am trying to control myself not to freeze too many portions as they are best when cooked freshly rolled. One quicker way I found is to prepare a few dough in advance and keep in freezer, in this way, whenever I crave for ramen, I have the dough standing by. Thanks very much to Marc @No Recipes for sharing his homemade ramen noodle recipe. I have got to crack on a batch of ramen broth.
A few weeks ago, my friend Monica came over to my place with her baby Simon for lunch but the main purpose was to let Simon and Marc to play together. With kids at home, of course I could not spend too much time in the kitchen. Monica initially said to me that she could eat before she came to me because she is meat free on Friday, I said to her no problem I can figure something out.
So with the Kabocha squash left in the fridge, I made the same Ottlenghi Roasted pumpkin wedges as in my previous post, the night before to save time and let them rested at room temperature covered until the next day. I was very happy that one dish could turn into a beautiful and delicious veggie pasta. I have read that it’s pretty common to use breadcrumbs in pasta which is known as peasant pasta in the old days. By adding pumpkin, this takes the peasant pasta to another level.
Mango pudding is a very common and popular dessert in Chinese restaurants but not all of them taste good. I have learnt years ago using mango jelly powder but the outcome is not so good all the time, there are 2 layers of color when set.
Thanks to Donna for sharing her recipe to me. It was really unbelievably quick and easy to make. It is very different to most of the other Chinese style mango pudding recipes which usually call for Mango jelly powder and evaporated milk. Her version uses Mango Pulp. I bought a can (750ml) from the Indian grocery store, I only need half of the can for the mango pudding, the remaining would be best to prepare mango lassi to go with some curry tomorrow. If I am in Asia, I would use fresh Mangoes from Thailand or Philippines to make the pulp, personally I think I would still prefer evaporated milk.
Marc has just turned to 1 year old. He is now showing huge interest of our food but sometimes not all food is suitable for him yet. So I have to try to cook something that is toddlers-friendly but also tasty for the rest of the family.
Searching what ingredients I had at home, I fansied to make cottage pie for him. However, the traditional cottage pie is too heavy and dark brown most of the time, and lack of vegetables. I stumbled the recipe by Annabel Karmel, and her mini cottage pie sounds healthy and easy to prepare. I like the idea of using mini ramekins so I can freeze some of them. I used the medium ramekins for adults and the smallest ramekins for Marc. The following recipe made 3 medium and 2 small portions.
Adapted from Annabel Karmel
- 400g small potatoes, boiled, peeled
- 100g carrots, boiled, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 100g zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 150g minced beef or pork
- 300 ml Tomato puree (without pepsins)
- 150ml beef stock (I like Knorr stock pot)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- handful Fresh thyme
- 1/2 tbsp dried provencal herbs
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- a knob of butter
- about 150ml milk
- Prepare the above ingredients as mentioned above.
- In a pan, heat some oil and add in the garlic, cook for a few minutes and then add in the onion, keep stirring for a few minutes until translucent. Then add in the minced meat and followed by carrots and zucchini. Stir until the meat is cooked.
- Pour in the tomato puree and beef stock, worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring the sauce to boil and let it simmer for about 40 mins or until the sauce is reduced and thickened. In the meantime, prepare the mash potatoes by adding a knob of butter and milk, mash with a potato masher until it is creamy, add more if necessary (I used a bit more to make the mash not so dry, easier for Baby Marc to swallow).
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- When the sauce is ready, divide it to the ramekins, fill up to two-thirds, then layer the mash potatoes on top.
- Put the ramekins in the middle rack of the oven for about 20 mins.
- Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top and put under the grill for 5 mins until the cheese melts and turns to golden yellow.
- Serve immediately but for toddlers let it cool down before feeding.
I used the thyme in our garden but the plant is already in its 3rd year therefore, the branches are thick. To save time, instead of picking the the leaves, I washed them thoroughly, dip the branches and let them cooking for 5 minutes so the thyme aroma could be infused into the sauce.
Even though I cannot understand Dutch, when I visit the foreign countries supermarkets, i would not miss a chance to browse through the free copies of their recipe magazines.
Here in Holland, I was browsing the Summer Hits Issue from Albert Heijn, their QUICK Sangria caught my attention instantly, because of the word ‘Quick’ and the use of lemon soda. It makes me thinking of a lot of people teasing the Mainland Chinese mixing Cola or other soft drinks into expensive French wines which is a total waste and do not know how to appreciate a bottle of nice wine. I agree totally that it’s a waste to do this but on the other hand, they are the first ones to put soda or soft drinks into red wine, but for Sangria, people would use a top notch bottle of red wine but also not the cheap cheap carton wine. Anyway, while we are in the Bungalow park, we have some friends coming for dinner the other night and we have taken several bottles from Switzerland. At the same time, I came across a pitcher which only cost EUR 2. So I adapted the Albert Heijn recipe to the following, the taste was very good and it’s proven that it is possible to make Sangria this fast. The original recipe even says you only need to infuse for 15mins which I find a bit too short and have extended to 30 mins.
- Juice of 2 orange
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, peeled, deseeded, cut into cubes
- 2 peaches (fresh or canned with fruit juice), peeled, pitted and cut into small cubes
- 1 can of pineapple or use fresh ones if you can get hold of
- 750ml Spanish tempranillo wine
- 500ml soda water
- 350ml Fanta Lemon (carbonated lemon soda)
- 100ml orange liquor (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
- Ice cubes for serving
- In a wine pitcher or a large punch bowl, combine all ingredients except the soda water and lemon soda. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 mins or longer, so the fruits can infuse into the wine.
- Just before serving, mix in the soda water and lemon soda so make the Sangria staying slightly fizzy.
- Ladle into wine glasses with ice cubes. It’s important to serve the sangria ice cold. If chilled enough, you can skip the ice cubes.
In Switzerland, it is very easy to buy mozzarella, in all sizes. These mini mozzarella (mozzarelline) is perfect to serve as a snack with an aperitif. I have a lot of basil leaves at home and wonder how I can use them, by chance I saw these lovely different colors cherry tomatoes in round and oval shape. Would be a pity if I don’t buy some. The other day I had the same snack at an apéro, but they did not taste very well. Too simple, they just put the whole cherry tomato and peppered mini mozzarelline together as a skewer. Therefore with that in mind, I improved my version by giving an extra effort by cutting the tomatoes into halves and seasoned with a little fleur de sel and pepper and drizzled some extra virgin olive oil and aceto balsamic glaze as a finishing touch. It immediately made a total difference.
One of my neighbours always has some marinated or non-marinated olives at home, because their daughters love them so much. I have always want to make myself some as the way she told me sounds very simple. So I bought 2 packs of olives to give a try. I thought this will be a perfect low carb snack as I am trying to get into shape.
Tonight after putting Marc into bed, I was supposed to sit down and learn some German but my hands got itchy after 20 mins. My hands got a bit itchy as I have not spent much time in the kitchen today except preparing solids for Marc. Due to my diet, I had boiled spinach and poached salmon. As a food lover, how boring is that!!! So I went to click click click on my laptop to search a recipe I like, and I found this article from Wine and Food Travel
which I like best, it makes it so easy to prepare that I can remember this formula and repeat with some variation in the future.
I particularly like the basic formula it describes: whole olives, olive oil, citrus, and herbs. Combine, marinate, serve. And that the amount of olive oil required is half of that of the citrus you use. However, it did not mention garlic which I find this cannot be missed. I have skipped salt and pepper as I have used red pepper flakes and the olives are brined so no more salt is needed I think. So here is my version, I have used orange juice to to make it less sour.