Seafood and Veggies Tempura

A Japanese dish consisting of battered and deep fried seafood and vegetables which is a family favourite aside from the famed sushi rolls.

Biko with a Twist

A Filipino sweet rice delicacy with an added twist -- leche flan on top instead of the usual caramel

Sweet and Sour Pork

A nice blend of sour and sweet to a marinated pork cubes will surely make you crave for more... a delish you can not say no!

Szechuan Beef Stir Fry

A no non-sense beef dish with 7 flavours present -- sour, pungent, hot, sweet, bitter, aromatic and salty

Turbo Roast Chicken in Soy, Lemon and Herbs

A recent favourite of my foodblog followers...the mixture of various herbs, lemon and soy makes this dish a great treat for no fuss cooks and eaters

Monday, February 4, 2013

Almond Biscotti

I was watching Karen Martini last week at Better Homes and Gardens TV and she was making this lovely almond biscotti that really looks soooo yummy and easy to make.  I told myself that I would try doing those biscottis in the next few days or so and I did!

They're crunchy, yummy and really easy to make and best of all the ingredients are not that difficult to get.

You can watch her making the biscotti at http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/tv-and-video/video/watch/6928a23d-f5b5-362b-9943-2ca42c16da21/cooking-with-karen-almond-biscotti/aulifestyle-better-homes-and-garden-cooking-with-karen/

A comment or two will be appreciated...

Pork Tonkatsu

My husband and I would always be on the look out for bento stalls whenever we go somewhere.  We've found this great bento stall in Myer's building at Brisbane CBD.  They sell the best tonkatsu so far in my opinion and of course according to mine and my husband's taste buds.  I have always wanted to cook this dish at home but I really don't know where to get the panko breadcrumbs!  Good thing we were able to bring in a kilo of this magic breadcrumbs from the Philippines.  Since it is a commercial product, it was allowed to be brought in to Australia.

The sound of the dish says it all.  It is a Japanese dish of course.  It originated in Japan in the 19th century and usually served as a single dish or as a sandwich filling.  Originally it is a beef dish but in 1889 in Tokyo, Japanese started using pork cutlets.  (wikipedia.org)

This dish is meat fillet dredged in flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs and deep fried and serve with tonkatsu sauce.  Tonkatsu sauce is so easy to make and if you have mayonnaise in your fridge, then off you go.

As I do not really follow a recipe en toto, I always end up doing my own.  You have the option to follow mine or adjust it to yourliking.

Pork Tonkatsu Ingredients
2 pcs pork cutlets
salt and pepper
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 c plain flou
panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying

Remove bones, skin and fat from the pork chops or cutlets.
Pound with a meat mallet until it gets thinner (to your liking)
Season with salt and pepper.
Dredge onto the flour.  Remove excess flour.
Dip into the beaten egg.
Dredge onto the breadcrumbs.
Deep fry.

Tonkatsu Sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp kikkoman soy sauce

Mix well with a fork.  Put on top of the tonkatsu.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Beef Stir Fry w/ Hokkien Noodles

One thing I love about stir fry recipes is the simplicity and quickness of cooking them. The richness of the flavor and great smell from the kitchen while cooking are enough to make someone drool.

A friend of ours gave us a big chunk of beef round so I told my hubby that maybe I should make some stir fry for dinner.  Usually an asian stir fry would ask for hoisin sauce but gee I didn't realize that I've ran out of it so I had to whip up some other ingredients to cook it. 

I really didn't use any measurement  in this stir fry recipe so I had to remember at least how much I put in...goodness!  Well anyway, just use the rule of tasting to suit your preference.

1/2 k beef round (cut into paper thin size)
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ginger powder
salt and pepper to taste
300 g Hokkien noodles
6 pcs bok choi (or pechay)
1 green or red capcicum (strips)
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 medium onions (wedges)
peanut oil

Mix soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, ginger, a bit of salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.
Heat up the peanut oil in a wok.  Sautee onions and garlic.
Add in the beef and stir.  Cook for  at least 2 minutes.
Put in the bok choi and capcicum. Stir for another 2 minutes.
Pour in the mixed sauce.  Stir.
Add in the noodles.  Stir for 2 minutes and then remove from wok.
Serve hot.

***Soak the noodles in a warm water while stir frying all the other ingredients.

A comment or two will be appreciated...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pinoy Pork Menudo

Normally I use beef in Menudo but this time I decided to use pork for a change.  I remember when we I was still in High School, Menudo is one of the best seller of the small canteen across the then Sun Theatre in Hagonoy.  It was operated by my classmate's cousin.  Both students from the boys' school and the girls' school would always go there for lunch or hang-out just before they go home in the afternoon after eating saba con yelo.

Well anyway, I've found out that this dish is a traditional Mexican soup made from beef tripe or twalya in Tagalog.  This dish has also served as a means for  social interaction where the members of the family or neighbors participate in preparing and cooking Menudo.  Since the Philippines has been under the rule of the Spanish conquistadores for such a long time thru the Spanish Viceroy in Mexico plus the fact that the Philippines participated then with the Galleon Trade which basically a trade between the two countries.  This could be the reason why the dish reached the Philippines. 

In my growing up years, there was not a time when I did not see Menudo in a dining table in any Filipino celebration.  The Filipinos thru the years though has modified this dish to suit their palate and their pockets so to speak.

1/2 k pork cubes
1/4 k beef liver
1 juice of lemon
1/4 c vinegar
1/3 c soy sauce
2 pcs bay leaves
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 capcicum, diced
1/2 c chickpeas
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 medium carrots, cubed
1 tsp paprika
1 reno liver spread
4  tomatoes, chopped (very small)
1/2 c raisins
3 hotdogs, sliced diagonally
1/2 c tomato sauce
1 beef cube
salt and pepper to taste

Marinate pork with soy sauce, vinegar and lemon juice for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, fry the potatoes and carrots just until a bit brown.  Set aside.
Sear the pork.  Set aside.
Sautee onions, garlic and tomatoes.  Wait until the tomatoes get really cooked.
Put in the pork.  Stir.
Add in the veggies. Stir.
Pour in a cup of water.  Boil.
Add everything onto the wok.  Simmer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yummy Churros

I remember eating churros in Miriam College Grade School on one school fair.  The churros were put in paper cups and drizzled with  chocolate dip.  They're quite yummy but a bit pricey though. 

Churros are long pastry dough that are deep fried.  Two countries claim for this pastry's origin -  Spain and Portugal.  One story said that originally the Portuguese got this dough recipe from China but did not actually learned the Chinese's art of pulling the dough so instead they started using a star - shaped nozzle.  For the rest of the story you can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churro.
One interesting note too, during that time, it was considered a big crime if a Chinese shares knowledge with foreigners.

Anyway, I tried making churros this time after watching Nigella Lawson's interview at Sunday Night at 7.  I remember that I saw her making churros once before in her show.  I tried to remember how she made them and hopefully I did justice.  According to my taste testers -- hubby and kids, I reall did well and the churros were quite yummy.

I just found it a bit difficult though piping out the pastry dough so next time I would probably try the Chinese way of pulling the dough our make a pretzel shape churros.

1/2 c self raising flour
1/2 c plain flour
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c boiling water

sugar - cinnamon mixture (1/3 c caster sugar + 2 tbsp cinnamon powder) -- set aside

sunflower oil - for frying

chocolate dip sauce

Sift the two flours together in a flour. 
Add the salt.
Make a well and pour in the water and oil.
Mix with a fork until the dough is free from lumps.
Set aside for at least 5-10 minutes.
Place the dough in a piping bag w/ a star nozzle.
Pipe out the dough and cut with scissors according the lenght you like and deep fry in a pot half-filled with boiling oil.
Roll the churros ontot he cinnamon sugar mixture.
Dip in a hot chocolate dip sauce.

A comment or two will be appreciated...

Easy to Make Chocolate Dip

300 g chocolate chips
1 c heavy cream

Melt the chocolates together with the cream in a double boiler.

A comment or two will be appreciated...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Baked Macaroni Experiment

Baked macaroni is just so lovely!  It's my husband's first taste of it and he certainly loved it so I might have to bake this again sometime. 

A little bit of trivia --- I didn't know that there's a legend that Marco Polo found this macaroni in China and brought it to Europe!  but then again, it's just a legend...if you want to read more about it and some macaroni info, you can go to this http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/id/50/

500 g elbow macaroni (cooked according to package instruction)
1 c grated cheese
1 tin tomato sauce
1 tin whole tomatoes w/ sauce
1/2 k lean minced beef
6 pcs hotdogs, sliced diagonally
100 g bacon pieces
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sweet basil
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp sugar
1 large onions, minced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 red capcicum, chopped
1 carron, cut into little cubes
1 1/2 c beef broth
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee onions, garlic and capcicum.
Add in the minced beef.  Just before it gets cooked add in the hotdogs and bacon.
Add in carrots.
Put in the seasonings and herbs.  Stir well.
Pour in the tomato sauces and the beef broth.
Simmer until thick.

Pour into the pasta (large baking dish) and mix well.
Top w/ bechamel sauce and grated cheese.
Cover the dish w/ foil.
Bake in a 200C preheated oven for 1 hour or until the top turns a little brown.  (Remove foil just 10 minutes before the baking time is over)

A comment or two will be appreciated...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Easy Bechamel Sauce

I thought making bechamel sauce would be a big job but it was not as difficult as I thought it would be.  Most recipes don't usually ask you to add salt and pepper but I'd rather add these things so that the sauce would have more flavour in it.

Bechamel is actually white sauce and it is said to be the mother of all sauces in French Cuisine and is used in Italian recipes.  It was named after "marquis de Bechamel"  who was a financier and held the title of chief steward to Louix XIV(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9chamel_sauce). 

4 c fresh milk
1/3 c plain flour
40 g butter
1/2 c grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan)
a pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Mix milk and plain flour in a bowl.
Melt butter in a non stick pot.
Put the fire on low.
Pour the milk-flour mixture onto the pot.
Continue mixing.
Add salt and pepper.
Remove from fire when it is thick.
Mix in nutmeg and cheese.
Pour on top of your pasta.
A comment or two will be appreciated...