Saturday, November 27, 2010

High Roast Turkey - The Final Destination

The final destination for the Turkey was The Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner.  As i have mentioned before that it will take me 80 minutes to finish roasting the prepared turkey and i was right.  The turkey came out of the oven 80 minutes  in perfection. 

The color was more than golden brown and the meat temperature was the correct temperature as recommended.  I am sorry that i forgot to take a picture of the bird when it came out of the oven as a friend came and i had to help her to make her dish for the potluck.  My friend, Meow, had wanted to mashed sweet potatoes as she confessed that that was what she could come with on her own but i told her that i will guide her to something more interesting  - Bacon Wraps.  While my friend's dish was broiling in the oven, i had to debone the turkey and time was not with me at that moment. With hands full of grease, using the camera was not possible - i will be banned for life from touching the camera if i had tried to use it.  Thank goodness that when i had done cutting up the turkey, the owner of the camera appeared, all dolled up pretty and i requested for help although the plating was not compleled.  So, at least now i have a picture of my roasted turkey.  ok, time to remove the Bacon Wraps  from the oven - crispy and unbelievablly fragrant.  I will post the recipe in my next posting.

I did not make any Sausage Dressing this year but instead i cooked rice. 

For how to cook the rice, it is  HERE Read More......

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Finale - The Day of Thanksgiving

Today is the day, Thanksgiving Day and to all who are celebrating with love ones - Have a Happy Thanksgiving Dinner and enjoy the warmful company especially the love ones who have travelled from afar to join your dinner table. HAPPY THANKSGIVING

The how to prepare the turkey for roasting isHERE Read More......

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Prep on Day 2

It's already day two since we started brining the turkey and time to think of preparing the gravy. With so many other dishes to get on the table, sometimes the turkey gravy can be a mealtime anxiety-inducer. Fear not!

We are preparing it today, Wednesday, ahead and guess what? No stress and there is plenty of time to prepare The Sausage Dressing, leaving the sides for tomorrow.

 Hey, don't forget me, the turkey that has been brined for 8 hours!!!. 

Sorry, i got carried away, I know you need to be trussed and then send you off for vacation to the cooler

Continue for recipe HERE
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and How to Brine the turkey

There are many ways to celebrate and express thanks at Thanksgiving. Even in difficult times, there are always things for which to be grateful and thankful. It was Grand-parents Day at my grand chlidren's school and my grandson Alexander's class sang Turkey Porky - oops Popo is always associating words to food, sorry!! it should be Turkey Pokey, and wrote a note to say what they were Thankful For.

Alexander wrote in his kindergarten writing which was pretty good for just being a few months in kindy - I am thankful for my mom, my dad, my sister and my popo. How sweet?

You will not believe it, i did not believe what i saw, when he came home from school yesterday- he was holding a huge turkey which he won, . This only happens in America, you can win a turkey - in school????


For How-to brine click HERE Read More......

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hakka Pestle Tea Rice/Ham Cha Farn/Looi Cha Farn

This dish is from the Chinese migratory Hakka dialect group and is several hundred years old. The Hakkas, especially this sub-group called Ho Poh , have a unique tradition regarding this dish as medicinal, a detox meal which is also reputed to boost metabolism and servet his supersalad, with 7 types of vegetables, on the seventh day of Chinese New Year just like the cantonese tradition of serving Yee Sang which most chinese are accustomed to.

Ham Cha Farn(salty tea), Looi Cha Farn(ground tea) or Thunder Rice, has a lot of variations. The tea used ,be it green or black signifies and determine the flavour and taste of the dish. It is sometimes kept simple by grinding the tea, add salt to taste and hot boiling water, to make a broth. However others may add roasted peanuts, sesame seeds or both together with the tea leaves and herbs like mint, basil, perilla and saw coriander, in the grinding process to make into an almost medicinal tea broth. This alters the flavour of the dish significantly. The taste however, is not for everyone. Some find it enervating and refreshing, others do not like the bitter or strong herbal notes.

The essential ingredients are Farn(Cooked Rice), which can be puffed rice (mee chang) or rice grains fried with garlic and a little oil, prior to cooking and three of the seven ingredients which will determine a good Ham Cha Farn/Looi Cha Farn are dried shrimps, choy poh(preserved radish) and firm tofu. These three are to be sauted and seasoned with sugar and white pepper..

To complement the tea and rice, a wide variety of carefully selected vegetables (including blanched long beans, cabbage, carrots, four-angled beans, chye sim, celery, are used. It should be noted that meat and fish is seldom added to this diah as the the main idea is to eat lots of vegetables, making this dish cheap, hearty , nutritious and a fibre-rich.

Continue for recipe HERE
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pan-fried Fish Fillet with Pace Picante Sauce

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received 2 bottles of Pace Picante sauce. They arrived just in time, making my cooking dinner easier as i was under the weather and did not feel like cooking an elaborate dinner, not that i cook elaborate everyday but at least it must be substantial.

I would usually serve pan-fried fish , fillets or whole fish with some maggi or soya sauce as this way it is more friendly for the younger ones in the household, but since i have Pace Picante Sauce, i decided to serve the adult's portion of the fish with some Pace Picate Sauce, smeared on top, straight from the bottle. It was a hit and thank you Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.

Continue HERE for recipe
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Pandan Flavored Ban Jian Kuih

According to Wikipedia - a QUEST is a journey towards a goal and my QUEST is to make the perfect ban jian kuih and the GOAL is that it should be chewy and honey-combed.

Many attempts and i am still 'in search of"???.

For recipe continue to read HERE

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Watermelon Salad

Does anyone know how to select a really juicy, sweet and flavorful watermelon? I am never really lucky although i follow all the best ways suggested like - to look at the color and quality of the flesh, which should be a deep color and absent from white streaks. If it features seeds, they should be deep in color. Oftentimes, however, we do not have this liberty when purchasing watermelon since it is more common to buy a whole, uncut fruit. When choosing a whole watermelon, look for one that is HEAVY for its size with a rind that is relatively smooth and that is neither overly shiny nor overly dull. In addition, one side of the melon should have an area that is distinct in color from the rest of the rind, displaying a yellowish or creamy tone. This is the underbelly, the place that was resting on the ground during ripening, and if the fruit does not have this marking, it may have been harvested prematurely, which will negatively affect its taste, texture and juiciness.

Although winter is coming upon us soon, watermelons can still be found in the markets but the season for watermelon is in the summer when they are sweet and of the best quality.No other fruit says summer like the subtly crunchy, thirst quenching watermelon. This post is way overdue and i posted it so that friends from down under and the tropics can enjoy this delicious, refreshing and easy to prepare salad.

For recipe click HERE
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Friday, November 05, 2010

Beef Stew

 A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables (such as carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers and tomatoes etc.), meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, wine, stock, and beer are also common. Seasoning and flavourings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature (simmered, not boiled), allowing flavors to mingle.Stewing is suitable for the least tender cuts of meat that become tender and juicy with the slow moist heat method. This makes it popular in low-cost cooking. Cuts having a certain amount of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue give moist, juicy stews, while lean meat may easily become dry.

Stews may be thickened by reduction or with flour, either by coating pieces of meat with flour before searing, or by using a roux or beurre manié, a dough consisting of equal parts of butter and flour. Thickeners like cornstarch or arrowroot may also be used.

Stews are similar to soups, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Generally, stews have less liquid than soups, are much thicker and require longer cooking over low heat. While soups are almost always served in a bowl, stews may be thick enough to be served on a plate with the gravy as a sauce over the solid ingredients."   This definition of STEW is from Wikipedia

Read about the History of STEW  fromWikipedia
and i find this list of STEWS from all over the world very interesting, perhaps planning to cook from this list if the ingredients are available and the method of cooking is possible.

List of STEWS

Baeckeoffe, a potato stew from Alsace

Barbacoa, a meat stew from Mexico

Bigos, a traditional stew in Polish cuisine

Birria, a goat stew from Mexico

Bo Kho, (Vietnamese: bò kho), a beef stew in rich seasonings, served with bread, noodle or plain rice from Vietnam

Bouillabaisse, a fish stew from Provence

Bourguignon, a French dish of beef stewed in red burgundy wine

Booyah, an American meat stew

Brunswick stew, from Virginia and the Carolinas

Burgoo, a Kentuckian stew

Caldeirada, a fish stew from Portugal

Carnitas, a pork meat stew from Michoacán, Mexico

Cassoulet, a French bean stew

Cawl, a Welsh stew, usually with lamb and leeks

Charquican, a Chilean dish

Chankonabe, a Japanese dish flavoured with soy sauce or miso. Chankonabe is traditionally eaten by sumo wrestlers.

Chicken stew, whole chicken and seasonings

Chicken paprikash, chicken stew with paprika

Chili con carne, Mexican meat and bean stew

Chili sin carne, a meatless American adaptation of the Mexican dish

Chilorio, a pork stew from Sinaloa, Mexico

Cincinnati chili, chili developed by Greek immigrants in the Cincinnati area

Cholent, a slow-cooked Jewish dish eaten on the Shabbat

Cochinita pibil, an orange color pork stew from Yucatán, Mexico

Cotriade, a fish stew from Brittany

Cocido, a traditional Spanish stew. In Portugal, it is called cozido

Cream stew, a yoshoku Japanese white stew

Daube, a French stew made with cubed beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbs.

Dinuguan, pork blood stew from the Philippines.

Fabada Asturiana, a Spanish bean and meat stew

Feijoada, Brazilian or Portuguese bean stew.

Főzelék, a thick Hungarian vegetable dish.

Gaisburger Marsch, a German dish of stewed beef served with Spätzle and potatoes

Gheimeh, an Iranian stew with cubed lamb and yellow split peas

Ghormeh Sabzi, an Iranian stew with green herbs, dried limes, beans and meat.

Goulash, a Hungarian meat stew with paprika

Gumbo, a Louisiana creole dish

Hasenpfeffer, a sour, marinated rabbit stew from Germany

Haleem, an Pakistani lentil/mutton stew.

Hayashi rice, a Japanese dish of beef, onions and mushrooms in red wine and demi-glace sauce, served with rice

Irish stew, made with lamb or mutton, potato, onion and parsley

Ishtu, a curry in Kerala, India made from chicken or mutton, potato, and coconut milk.[2]

Istrian Stew or yota, or jota, a dish popular in Croatian and Slovenian Istra and NE Italy

Jjigae, a diverse range of Korean stews.

Kare-kare, stewed beef or oxtail and vegetables in peanut sauce from the Philippines.

Karelian hot pot, from the region of Karelia in eastern Finland.

Khash, a stew from Armenia and Georgia.

Khoresht, a variety of Persian stews, often prepared with saffron.

Kokkinisto, a Greek stew with red meat, in a tomato passata with shallots, cinnamon and other spices.

Lancashire Hotpot, an English stew

Locro, a South American stew (mainly in the Andes region)

Mechado, a Philippine-style beef stew

Nihari, a Pakistani beef stew made overnight and served for breakfast.

Nikujaga, a Japanese beef and potato stew

Olla podrida, a Spanish red bean stew

Pasticada, a Croatian stew from the region of Dalmatia

Peperonata, an Italian stew made with peppers

Pescado Blanco, a white fish stew from Patzcuaro Michoacán Mexico

Pörkölt, a Hungarian meat stew resembling goulash, flavoured with paprika

Potjiekos, a South African stew

Pot au feu, a simple French stew

Puchero, a South American and Spanish stew

Ragout, a highly seasoned French stew

Ratatouille, a French vegetable stew

Sancocho, a stew from the Caribbean

The Stew, a stew from the La Tour du Pin

Semur, a typical Javanese stew with beef or chicken, potatoes, carrots, various spices and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).from Indonesia.

Stoofvlees, a Belgian beef stew with beer, mustard and laurel

Tagine, a Moroccan stew, named after the conical pot in which it is traditionally cooked and/or served in.

Tharid, a traditional Arab stew of bread in broth

Waterzooi, a Belgian stew
Continue for recipe HERE
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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Lo Sam Chung Yoke/Red Cooked Belly Pork

I have many a time been told that 'lo soi' means 'old water' but am not able to argue that it is not so, you know why? if you can't read or write chinese, i don't stand a chance in this debate.

Tell me if i am wrong, to me - 'lo' means to steep it with meat/eggs/tofu in this very savoury and aromatic liquid, which is called 'The Mother/Master Sauce'. This way of cooking is also considered to be a kind of "red-cooking" method. I like to refer this sauce as 'The Mother Sauce' rather than 'The Master Sauce' - cos????? I would like to credit all Mothers who will be the one, diligently cooking in any home kitchen from dawn to dusk

Recipe can be found HERE

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