Last night at 9pm I baked an Almost Flourless Sinful Chocolate Cake. All of a sudden, I felt like making something with chocolate, I have restrainted myself from baking lately due to my detox mindset. However, last night my hands got “itchy” and with the Le Maison du Chocolat baking chocolate sitting idle at home for months, I decided to bake a sinful chocolate cake. Peter has been on the road a lot lately that I thought this will give him a nice treat. When I told him on the phone that I was baking a chocolate cake, I could feel he replied me with so much joy saying ” Lekker”!
This summer we have some wonderful yellow pear cherry tomatoes from our vegetable garden (thanks to Philly again for introducing this special tomato to me), the normal tomatoes do not harvest well this year due to too much rain but these cute yellow light bulb-shaped ones surprisingly came out very well. They have a wonderful sweetness taste and not not acidic at all. So how should I consume them? I have made a simple and damn easy caprese pasta inspired from Christina and Peter Sturken’s blog. Ideal for hot Summer days!!!
The original recipe called for raw tomatoes but I preferred to have the tomatoes briefly roasted as I like them slightly cooked.
I have been busy with Spring cleaning, never like cleaning but don’t know why I got into mood of tidying up things. There are days like this, I suppose. Our garden is now in good shape & the terrace is finished, many thanks to my in-laws and my hubby : ) Now we have to wait for the terrace furniture but unfortunately gotta wait until late June as the model we chose are selling too well. I guess the shop does not expect to have such good response in the current economic environment and did not dare to keep too many in the inventory.
And in the coming days, we have to start working and planning for our vegetable garden, really looking forward to having your own vegetables again, they really taste better and more special.
As for cooking, these two weeks I have been exploring in making ice cream without electric ice cream machine, after the big success with the Giandaja Chocolate flavor, I could not wait to explore other flavors. I made a green tea flavor for my friend Carmen, I made it without yolks since she is expecting a baby and it’s better to be on the safe side, and I found out that using sweet condensed milk is a great solution to avoid egg yolks and the ice cream came out as creamy.
I have been missing the Japanese ice cream, the most popular flavors are probably green tea and black sesame. I could get green tea in the Japanese restaurants here in Switzerland but no luck for the black sesame flavor so I attempted to make myself and it proved that it’s actually not that difficult. My version is probably more fibery as I grounded 90% of the toasted sesame seeds and the rest were keep ungrounded. So here is another long-lost taste I have rediscovered, and I can sit back and relax my favorite ice cream at home, even freshly made.
Make almost 3 cups (700ml)
- 1.5 cups (360ml) full cream
- 0.5 cup (120ml) semi skimmed milk
- 80 ml sweet condensed milk/ maple syrup
- 1 tsp castor sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 50g black sesame seeds
- 50g white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- The method is not much different to the Gianduja Chocolate flavor, except I have used 4 yolks instead of 3 this time and have used sweet condensed milk instead of castor sugar. You can refer to my other Gianduja chocolate ice cream for more information of my first ice cream making experience.
- Several hours ahead, place a stainless steel bowl in the freezer.
- Toast the sesame seeds on a pan, be careful not to burn them. Ground 90% of the seeds with a pestle & mortar. The rest keeps aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar & vanilla essence for a minute or so.
- In a large saucepan, pour in the milk, full cream and sweet condensed milk (maple syrup), heat it up without boiling. Stop when you can see hint of steam coming up. Keep stiring to avoid burning. Pour this mixture into the beaten eggs gradually. Mix with an electric blender at medium speed.
- When the cream and egg mixtures are mixed together, turn the mixture back to the saucepan and put the heat on again. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, you will see the custard mixture will get thicker very quickly, you can stop when the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon. Your ice cream mixture is now ready.
- Take the pre-frozen stainless steel bowl out from the freezer. Pour the ice cream mixture to the bowl, add in the all the toasted sesames, stir with the wooden spoon until mixed and put the bowl back to the freezer.
- Take the bowl from the freezer every 30-40 mins, stir with the wooden spoon. You will see the sides of the ice cream mixture begins to freeze, scrap them off to mix with the non-frozen mixture. The sesame seeds may sink to the bottom, stir until mixed again. Repeat until the ice cream mixture gets thick enough, close to the consistency of the ice cream. This will take 4-5 times.
- Transfer the ice cream mixture to a plastic container and freezer for another 1-2 hour or until the ice cream is fully set.
- Scoop to a nice bowl and enjoy!
I was meant to finish posting this a few days ago but was distracted with other things in particular in doing the ground work for moving to my new domain. And today I have finally made it. Maybe you do not notice by my previous blog address has automatically directed you to my new blog home. I have changed the blog name slightly as Gourmet Traveller 88 and also if you see up there I have changed my tagline too. This is just the first stage of the moveover, there is still a lot to do behind the scene. A lot of hardwork but it is fun to be able to learn new things at the same time.
Last Wednesday was my hubby’s birthday, I wanted to make something special for him and coindentally I saw the 3 ingredients chosen by the previous month winner of the Royal Foodie Joust, 5 Star Foodie are: asparagus, lemongrass and almond. My hubby likes asparagus and almond. When I found that it is quite tricky to put these three ingredients together but it’s fun to be a little creative to come up with something new.
The day before Peter’s birthday, he was supposed to fly to UK but en route there was a serious car accident which made him missing the flight so I offered to cook his birthday dinner for him a little early. I came up with Baked fish filet with coriander, mint, lemongrass and almond crust and baked asparagus. The food tasted very nice but the picture was not satisfactory. So the following day I came up to a Plan B and he earned an extra Birthday lunch. We both found this risotto was very special with a tint of lemongrass taste but did not feeI heavy at all. I like the presentation of this dish more so here is my submission:
An Unordinary Asparagus Bacon Risotto
- 16 spears asparagus
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup Korean Sweet Rice
- 3/4 cup Arborio risotto
- 100g smoked bacon diced
- 2 sprigs coriander, finely chopped the leaves
- 5-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small glass of white wine (about 150
- 4 tbsp ground almond
- juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 50g unsalted butter
- 8 sticks of lemongrass (only the outer layers are used in the stock, the inner most tender stalks were used for the almond crust last night)
- 2 stalks from the mint
- 2 tsp chicken bouillion powder
- 800ml water
Step 1-5 can be prepared in a few hours before cooking:
- Soak the Korean Sweet rice in a bowl of hot water.
- Prepare the lemongrass stock by simmering the lemongrass stalks and mint stalks in a pan for an hour. When this is cooked, discard the stalks, use a sieve to transfer to another pan, if necessary. Dissolve the chicken boillion powder in the stock, bring to boil and then turn off the heat and set aside.
- Prepare the lemon butter by squeezing the lemon juice to a saucepan, pour 1/2 cup of the prepared stock into the pan, bring to boil and then at medium high heat, reduce the liquid to about half. Turn to low heat at this time and melt in the butter in two portions. Swirl or stir constantly until melt without burning the butter. Season with a little ground salt and pepper. Pour to a sauce pourer or small bowl and set aside.
- Trim the asparagus, cut the tips (about 6-7cm) and leave aside. Cut the rest of them into small pieces. (half of the asparagus stems was saved for making asparagus soup)
- Finely chop the coriander and mint leaves.
- Heat up a large pan, add in the smoked bacon dices (no need to use oil) and stir fry them until they are cooked. Transfer this to a bowl and set aside.
- Turn to medium heat, add in 1 tbsp of the lemon butter into the pan and a little olive oil into the pan. Add in the chopped garlic and then the asparagus tips and followed by the rest of the small pieces. Stir fry them for a few minutes until they are cooked and crunchy. Separate the tips and the small pieces into 2 bowls. Set aside.
- Clean and dry the pan, heat up again at medium high heat and add in 1 tbsp of lemon butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil, the reason why I mix with a little olive oil is because it makes the butter less easy to burn I find. Add in the onion, stir and let it sweat for 1 minute of so, then add in the Korean Sweet rice (discard the soaking water) and Arborio risotto. Stir to mix together with the onion. Stir for another minute or so at medium high heat.
- Pour in the white wine, turn to high heat let it boil or bubble for one and a half minute. Keep stiring.
- Add in the lemongrass stock bit by bit, keep stiring until the risotto becomes al dente. We like it a little bit more than al dente. Add in the chopped coriander and mint leaves in the end, stir to mix.
- Place the asparagus spears on the plate sides, when the risotto is ready, pour to the plates, place the bacon on top of the risotto and lastly sprinkle the ground almonds on top. This is used in place of the parmesan cheese we normally used.
Enjoy and vote for me in the Forum!
Onigiri, the Japanese rice balls, is very common to eat at lunch or as part of the bento (lunchbox), in the past I would occasionally buy a piece of onigiri from the Japanese supermarket and eat as a quick lunch.
I have bought this onigiri mold (Fig. 1) for some time and it’s really handy and clean. I had a lot of fun just making them this evening. There are many flavors you can make or create, I have chosen to have salted salmon with Umeboshi plum paste.
- 150g salmon fillet
- 1 cup Japanese rice
- 2 tbsp umeboshi plum paste (Fig. 2)
- 2 sachets of onigiri seasonings* (optional) see (Fig.2), you can find different flavors in the Japanese shop
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar**
- black & white sesame, grinded with sesame mill
- nori (seaweed), cut into long pieces
- spicy mayonnaise sauce for dipping: mix 2 tbsp of mayonnaise and 3/4 tbsp of Sriracha chili sauce together
- Make in advance the salted salmon fillet by sprinkle coarse sea salt on both sides of the fillet and leave for at least 30 mins***.
- When it’s time, rinse the salt off the salmon and pad dry with kitchen towel. Heat a little olive oil and pan-fry the salmon in a skillet until cooked. (Fig 3).
- Let the salmon to cool down and then break the fillet into very small pieces like flakes and set aside.
- Cook the rice in the rice cooker or in a saucepan.
- When the rice is cooked, open the lid and let it cool down for a few minutes and then add 1 tbsp of rice vinegar into the rice and mix.
- Transfer the rice to a big bowl when it is still warm, add in the onigiri powder and the flaked salmon and mix thoroughly.
- Wet the onigiri mold in water and then spoon a layer of the rice mixture into the mould, use the teaspoon to help to make the rice mixture fill up the bottom of the mold.
- Use another teaspoon and put a little plum paste onto the rice (Fig. 4) and then cover another layer of the rice mixture on top, now put the mold cover on top and insert some pressure to make the rice stick together.
- Grind some sesame on a plate, release the molded rice onto the plate and dust them with the sesame (Fig.5).
- Now the onigiri are ready, you can either serve them just like this (Fig. 6) or wrap a piece of seaweed each one , if desire(Fig. 7)
- Or if you like them warm, you can brush some olive oil on both sides, grill or panfry until lightly brown, serve immediately when hot (Fig. 8.)
- Dip some of the spicy mayo sauce, it’s awesome (Fig. 9) .
- Serve with a miso soup/ green tea & perhaps a glass of Choya Plum Wine.
*The onigiri seasonings is nice to have but not compulsory.
**Normally you don’t need rice vinegar in onigiri but I like the rice vinegar which make the rice a little more shiny, and a few drops won’t be overpowered.
***I like to prepare the salted salmon fillet in advance by seasoning it with salt and put in the freezer immediately after purchase without rinsing the fish, you can season one or more fillets in advance and use it anytime when you feel like it.
When I came across to Ben’s avocado corn muffins of What’s Cooking? It has triggered me to click the links in his post to find out more about a cookbook campaign initiated by a social network called BloggerAid. This meaningful food event is founded by three food bloggers: Ivy of Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality, Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen and Val of More than Burnt Toast. And without hesitation, I joined this Social Network immediately.
Currently this campaign is the biggest fundraiser of BloggerAid and the most ambitious project to date. This cookbook is scheduled to be sold in amazon.com by end of 2009 and the funds raised from the book will be directed to The World Food Program, a UN agency. There is a great deal of work involved in delivering this project and to make it a tremendous success, all of you are invited to contribute by submitting a recipe that you haven’t published on your blog (or anywhere else) you can send it to BloggerAid to be included in the book. To learn more about this project and how you can help, please visit the official annoucement on the BloggerAid social network.
Regarding to my submission, the first thing that crossed into my mind when think of world famine are those kids who are suffering from hunger but we are so fortunate to enjoy all kinds of food everyday, thinking of what to cook each day and which restaurant we want to try. A lot of time we have forgotten those who are still finding ways to solve the fundamental issue of filling up their stomachs, they won’t even have time or dare to think of if the food they take have to be delicious.
Therefore I was thinking along the line to come up with something that is simple, nutritious, easily accessible, tasty and filling. It was not an easy decision as each person can only submit one recipe, so after long consideration here it is:
Chinese Potato Pancake with a twist
This is actually a dish my mom used to prepare for us from time to time when I was a kid, my brother and I loved it. In Hong Kong, my mom serves this with rice as one of the main dishes for dinner. This dish actually would be gone in minutes. I have altered my mom’s version with a Swiss touch, being now in Switzerland. Believe me, I ate this before I learnt about the Swiss Rösti or hash brown or the Kartoffelpuffer (German version of potato pancake) and this version uses comparatively much less oil to pan-fry, hence healthier. I am pretty sure you will give your thumb up too once you have tried!
Lastly, hope to see you joining us in BloggerAid, the submission deadline has been extened to 31 March, 2009 !
I still have a pumpkin bought from a farmers’ market earlier on in late Autumn keeping in the garage, I have not checked for a long time and thought it has turned bad and luckily it is still in very good condition. Instead of making pumpkin soup again, I wanted to try something different. I used half of it and made two different dishes in the last two days: cameralized roast pumpkin risotto TRIO with grilled prawns and ricotta ravioli with pumpkin sauce (coming in the next post).
Thanks to the wonderful recipes by Aum Shanti of A Life (Time) of Cooking, her rustic way of cameralized roast pumpkin is unbelievably easy to make. It was so easy to scrape out the seeds and take out the pumpkin flesh, I also find this method, you will waste the pumpkin flesh even less than removing the skin prior by knife. I added some cumin seeds, some bay leaves from Tuscany given by my friend Carmen and my second last head of violet garlic from Sarlat, France.
When I took the baking tray out of the oven, the fragrant was so powerful, inviting and tempting. It was really irresistible that I had to try a piece immediately. So here it is, you can prepare the cameralized beforehand in early afternoon, set aside at room temperature when it is time to prepare dinner.
As for the risotto itself I was wondering if I could make a little tweak. Risotto is actually the name of the finished dish, not the rice itself. So I looked into my cupboard and thought of mixing with other types of rice. I picked the rice that would give a creamy or gooey texture and have come up with this risotto TRIO : 1/3 arborio rice; 1/3 barley & 1/3 Korean brown sweet rice (the one used for ginseng chicken). I had another rationale behind, that was to make the risotto less heavy and high in fibre.
The outcome was indeed delicious, I did not feel too full after dinner and still have room for dessert as I have used 50% pumpkin and 50% rice. And the grilled prawns were just perfect matched to the pumpkin risotto. To grill the prawns, I simply deveined and grilled them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I am not going to write out the whole recipe here again. Please click the above links to try out, am sure you will not regret it. This is surely a culinary dish I will keep in my list for my guests in the future. It’s just so healthy and tasty at the same time!
One little note, I noticed that some people will opt out the white wine in cooking the risotto, I would not do that unless you are against of alcohol whatsoever as this is what making it an Italian risotto but not a Chinese risotto.
PS. I have made a TAKE 2 last Sunday for my friends on request and this time I think I could even better control the time and it turned out even better, also, my first time to try to use SLR to take my food photos.
as seen in foodgawker #14400, 26.01.09
It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve today and the tradition is to have family reunion dinner together, it is one of the most important dinner in a year. Another one is on the Winter Solstice which is as important. For more Chinese New Year customs, please click here. Chicken is one of the dishes that cannot be missed in the dinner and in the old days, it is very important to have a whole fresh chicken (not frozen ones) freshly bought directly from the food market with the feet and head kept. Whole chicken symbolizes completeness. You can also cook a whole fish or whole prawns to symbolize completeness as well. However, with the recent outbreaks of avian flu, Hong Kong has banned selling of Live Poultry to combat this devastating disease. This is a very bad news to the Chinese as chicken is a very important dish in the New Year, also we have always believed that these fresh chicken taste much better than those centrally slaughtered.
Being abroad, this year, I tried to make a roast chicken in the Chinese way. The result was very satisfying, the meat was very tender, see the method below. This recipe was adapted from a Chinese cookbook I bought recently in Hong Kong from a home style cooking restaurant located in Central, Hong Kong called Snake Fen (蛇王芬) which has documented the valuable recipes of Paulina’s dad the founder of the restaurant. I was intrigued when reading the touching story behind of how this restaurant was started in the 40′s by the family and the passion and belief they have, with these two important elements, Snake Fen is able to sustain its business until today. I was lucky enough that that day I got a chance to have a little chat with the successor, Paulina and had made a new friend. If I haven’t talked to her I would have missed such a great cookbook.
- 1 Medium sized chicken (approx 1kg)
- Half handful “Golden Needles” (literally Chinese Translation of 金針), and day lilies in English; Fleurs de Lys Sechees in French
- Half handful Black fungus (雲耳)
- 1 tbsp Chicken bouillon powder
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 cube Red Bean Curd (南乳)
Sugary Vinegar water (this will help making the chicken skin more crispy):
- 80ml Honey
- 250ml water
- 60ml White vinegar
- Prepare the sugary vinegar water by boiling the above together and set aside.
- Hydrate the Fleurs de Lys Sechees & Black fungus with hot water.
- In a bowl, mix the above seasonings together and then add in the hydrated Fleurs de Lys Sechees & Black fungus and then stuff into the chicken.
- Seal/ close the cavity with long bamboo sticks.
- Boil 1 litre of hot water, and pour into a big deep pan, place the chicken into the boiling hot water for about 20 seconds, this will help to make the chicken meat more tender and smooth when cooked.
- Take the chicken out and pour the sugary/ vinegar water onto the chicken for 2-3 times. This will help the chicken skin more crispy.
- Place the chicken onto a baking tray and let it air dry for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 190 C for 15 mins. and then place the baking tray and bake for 45mins to 1 hour. Turn the chicken to the other side and let it bake for another 20 mins.
- Take the chicken out of the oven when cooked and empty the Fleurs de Lys Sechees & Black fungus into a plate and pour the sauce into a small bowl.
- Add a cube of red bean curd into the sauce and stir until fully dissolve, heat in the microwave for 1 min and use it as a dipping sauce for the chicken.
I have searched in the internet to see if it was better to truss the chicken and I found out that with trussing, you may require extra cooking time which may make the chicken meat taste drier and tougher. Personally I think trussing is probably more useful if you are using a rotisserie oven.
Wish you all a Healthy, Prosperous and Happy Year of the Ox!!!
Snake Fen Restaurant
G/F, 30 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong
Snake soup (蛇羹)
Glutinous Rice with Chinese sausages (臘味糯米飯)
Paulina and me
as seen in foodgawker #13278, 13.01.09
Pajeon is a traditional Korean pancake which is served as appetizer. It is a savory pancake which eats with a soy sauce & rice vinegar dipping sauce.
Tonight I have made the Korean Pancakes for the first time using a pack of Korean Pancake mix I bought recently in Zurich. It turned out great! I made a vegetable version without any seafood as I had been out the whole day and have to make something relatively simple but nice for dinner. Secondly, I wanted to try out to make sure I can make it successfully for the first time. I have been thinking if I should blog this as I did not make these pancakes completely from scratch, but they turned out so delicious that I thought good things should spread out more.
Meanwhile, I may have made a mistake by adding 2 eggs to the mix but they still turned out no problem, probably because the water I added was adjusted with a few tbsp more, I think as long as I can get the right consistency, it should be fine.
Normally when I visit the Korean restaurants, I actually do not fancy Pajeon too much as there are many other dishes for me to try and I need to save my stomach for my other favorite dishes. But tonight, I made this as a main dish, I could really enjoy Pajeon more properly. My hubby and I were both amazed how this vegetable dish could taste so fantastic that we didn’t feel we miss the meat tonight and he said we must repeat this again and try other variations.
Yield 6-7 pancakes
- 300g Korean Pancake Mix
- 400g cold water
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinches of white pepper
- 1 clove freshly minced garlic (I think the garlic made a difference especially for a all vegetable pancake)
- 1 50g chinese chives – cut into 5cm pieces and only use the green parts
- 1 carrot – grated
- 1 zucchini -grated
- 3 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar (I used the Japanese ones which is used for sushi)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp chopped green onion (optional)
- Korean Chili Sauce (Optional)
- Prepare the vegetables as described above.
- Prepare the batter in a large mixing bowl by whisking the above ingredients until you get everything dissolved and a thick consistency mixture.
- Heat up a non-stick pan at medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the pan.
- Instead of mixing all fillings into the batter, use a separate medium sized bowl, pour 2 spoonfuls of batter into the bowl and then add handful of carrots, zucchini and chives into the batter and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the pan, shake gently to get the pancake flattened out evenly on the pan.
- Let it cook for about 3-4 mins and then flip to the other side and cook for another 3-4 mins. The cooked pancakes should be a bit crispy on the outside. (if you have 2 pans, you can panfry 2 pancakes simultaneously)
- Turn the pancake to a big plate and cut into pieces with a pizza cutter.
- Serve immediately with the dipping sauce. You can prepare one spicy and one non-spicy dipping sauce for kids.
I have found the following versions which I may try out in the future:
Mapo tofu is a popular Chinese dish which is said to be originated from the Szechuan province. It is a combination of tofu (bean curd) and minced meat, usually pork or beef, in a spicy chili- and bean-based sauce, typically a thin, oily, and bright red suspension. Somehow, the cantonese has adapted the mapo tofu in our own way which the spiceness is well accepted by most people.
I find that it’s not only a popular Chinese dish but also very popular among the Japanese as I found a quick version of the Mapo Tofu sauce made by the Japanese which is great in my opinion and especially when you don’t have time to prepare it from scratch. However, I have finished all these convenient packs and I have made this delicious dish from scratch last night. I always have a pack of tofu in the fridge and some minced pork in the freezer so it’s pretty handy if I crave for this spicy dish. It was said that it is easy to made mapo tofu but to stir fry the bean curd and mince pork at the same time without breaking the pieces of tofu can be quite tricky. There are many types of softness of tofu, try to choose the medium softness one that is not the softness or hardest.
Ingredients (see picture below):
- 1 Smooth silky Tofu
- 150g minced pork
- 2 tbsp chopped chinese dried mushroom (hydrated)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped Preserved Chinese Radish (炸菜)(see notes and picture below)
- 1 tbsp Chinese Red Chili sauce (Dou ban jiang 豆瓣醬)
- 1 tbsp Yellow bean sauce (麵豉)
- 1/2 tbsp Chinese Rice Cooking Wine
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 shallots sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped spring onion (white and green parts separated)
- 3 tbsp water
Marinade for the minced pork:
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp chicken bouillion powder
- Pinches of white pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
- Discard the water in the tofu pack, cut into small cubes and set aside
- Marinate the minced pork with the ingredients described above
- Prepare the seasoning by mixing the above in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat up the wok, add some cooking oil, when it is hot enough, add in the ginger, garlic, shallots, white part of the spring onion preserved cabbage, stir briskly and then add in the minced pork. Stir fry to mix everything together, then add in the chili sauce and yellow bean sauce and lastly the chinese cooking wine, keep stir frying in the meantime.
- Slowly add in the water and the prepared seasoning, turn the heat to medium and bring to boil.
- Add in the tofu cubes, gently stir to mix into the sauce and let it boil for about 2-3 mins at medium heat. Use medium high heat to evaporate the liquid if you feel there is too much liquid.
- Dissolve 1 tbsp orn flour with a little cold water and add into the sauce to thicken it. Gently stir to mix.
- This is now ready. Serve immediately on a deep plate and garnish by sprinkle the chopped spring onion (green parts) on top.
- Best to enjoy with steamed jasmine rice.
- Since the Chili sauce already contents chili, in theory, it is not necessary to add more chili but if you think this is not spicy enough for you, you can add dried chili or chili oil to adjust the spiciness.
- Chinese Preserved Radish is available in cans or directly from some chinese groceries if you have a China Town near you or if you live in Asia. Otherwise I think most of you will buy the canned ones. Before use, you need to soak the amount you require in water for about 30 mins and then wash and discard the water, this step is important as the radish is too salty to use directly, after this you can chop and use as required. Do not soak the ones you are not going to use, as they can be kept in a bowl, in the fridge for later use. Other use of the preserved radish including steaming with sliced pork or beef. You can also use a few big pieces to prepare a noodle soup base.
- Optional ingredients you can also use: 1 tbsp chopped chinese mushrooms, 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
- Remember to use medium heat and not high heat. When adding corn flour liquid to thicken the sauce, you can use medium high heat.
Ingredients for Mapo Tofu
Canned Preserved Chinese Radish, click here for another recipe using this ingredient.
Mapo Tofu and Stir fried broccoli with garlic
When I woke up this morning, I see everything was covered white outside. It was said that it may still be snowing for the next couple of days. Luckily my car has just got in time changed to winter tires today.
And I have stocked up yesterday from the supermarket so I can stay peacefully at home baking more cookies and amaretti. I am flying to UK tomorrow and will take them with me to give out to my friends.
Also I was experimenting the best baking time and temperature for my oven. And this afternoon, I think I have got the hang the best temperature for my chewy chocolate cookies, of course it’s a matter of personal taste. The best was to eat them when they are still a bit warm. Last time I said I have used 170ºC but with a few more attempts, I can’t agree more with Mrs. Field that it is better at 150ºC. So I have amended in my recipe from 170ºC to 150ºC. Although 170ºC is already chewy but 150ºC does make the cookie even more chewy. There is no need to worry that they are still rather soft when out of the oven. They look so good when the chocolate are somewhat melted and looks a bit shining. Not only I like eating the cookies, I enjoy taking photos for my cookies, I created a new term for myself ‘food modelling’…..
Mozzarella seems to be very popular in Switzerland, there are many different types here from normal ones to buffalo mozzarella. We have also got them in different sizes, I saw these mini ones called mozzarelline and mozzarella perles (pearls). They are perfect for salads or snacks in apéro.
However, I wanted to make something different rather than a salad, so I came up this idea and have made Mozzarelline allo Zafferano: mini mozzarella cheese with a batter flavored with saffron, a specialty from Abrusso, South of Italy. Saffron is a seasoning that always appears in the Abruzzi menu. Abruzzo is Italy’s principal source of saffron, with the majority of it grown for export.
I have had fried mozzarella cheese in restaurants but they are usually in rectangular shaped like fish fingers. I personally preferred this round versions, they are much more adorable to me. Believe it or not, they were all gone in less than five minutes on the table!!!
Mozzarella allo Zafferano, as seen in#8574 foodgawker, 05.11.08
- 2 packs of mozzarelline (150g per pack)
- batter mix: 120g flour with about 180g of lightly salted cold water
- filaments of saffron or a sachet of saffron powder
- sea salt
- bread crumbs (German: paniermehl)
- Cooking oil for frying
- Choices of dipping sauce: honey, aceto balsamico or ketchup
- Empty the mozzarelline from the packets, drain to discard the liquid and blot dry with kitchen paper and set aside.
- Using a pestle and mortar to make the saffron filaments into a fine powder.
- To make the batter, place the flour into a mixing bowl and slowly add the lightly salted water, mix thoroughly to get a thick liquid paste, add water until the appropriate consistency is achieved.
- Add the saffron powder to the batter and mix thoroughly, you will now get a nice yellow batter.
- Put the bread crumbs in a separate bowl.
- Pour the cooking oil in a frying pan so it is deep enough to cover the mozzarelline and heat it up.
- When the frying oil is hot enough, dip the mozzarelline in the batter and then roll them in the bread crumbs until it’s all covered.
- Fry the mozzarelline in the hot oil. You can do this in batches with 4-5 pieces each time.
- As mozzarelline is cheese, it will get soften very quickly, so in a count of up to 5, they should be ready, so quickly take them out of the oil and lay them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve immediately when hot with the dipping sauces and fresh cherry tomatoes.
If you interested to see how mozzarella perles look like, here is one for you. I simple made a salad by tossing them with cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and mixed green, add some olive oil, aceto balsamico, salt & black pepper.
Mozzarella perles, tomatoes and basil salad