Thursday, September 28, 2006

Taiwanese Beef Noodles


Taiwanese Beef Noodles
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This was leftover braised beef made good in a great noodle soup. Rika just cooked some noodles, iceberg lettuce and green onions. She served them with chicken soup that was seasoned with soybean paste and topped with braised beef. It was a hearty meal!

Radish Cake


Serving Portions
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Rika wanted to eat this and she has been in search for a recipe. After looking through my cookbooks, she finally decided on this one and I became her assistant cook. This was the 1st Hong Kong style savoury radish cake we made. Happy to say that the taste and texture were comparable to those that we ate as fried radish cake served as an "dim sum" item in restaurants :)

More Images Of Radish Cake:
Radish Cake Radish Cake Radish Cake II

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Taiwanese Braised Beef


Taiwanese Braised Beef
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

There was this sudden craving for braised beef with spices. I was thinking of the Taiwanese braised beef that I sometimes ate at a foodcourt. But of late I had this intense wish to cook my own. Due to an eye irritation, I requested ER to surf the net for recipes instead.

Last night ER helped to surf the net and found two beef recipes. As I like the beef soup recipe better, I had adjusted it to braise the beef shank and beef flank. I used two different cuts of beef in this dish. The result was good and the beef was delicious. I am really delighted that my 1st braised beef was a success and gladly, I have typed out the recipe here. For those who enjoy braised beef, do try it :)

Oh yes, I used my homemade dried tangerine peel, which was sun dried. The process for making dried tangerine peels is really easy. Just hang the tangerine peels in a sunny, windy or at least airy place and let them dried thoroughly. Take care though, if they become moldy, discard.

Tips: I was using a sandwich-base pot that does not require me to use water when braising or stewing. If you are using a different type of pot, just add in enough of hot water to braise the beef.

Click here for the preparation directions: Recipe

Spicy Fish Steaks


Spicy Fish Steaks
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

A simple yummy fish steaks that will always receive remark such as “ hmm…nice~”

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tauhu Goreng


Tauhu Goreng
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

“Tauhu Goreng” is in Malay, which means fried bean curd. It is a common local dish available in hawker centres. A plate of “tauhu goreng” always comes with some blenched bean sprouts and freshly sliced strips of cucumber serves with a generous helping of peanut sauce.

What were missing in my plate were bean sprouts and cucumber because I was totally unprepared to make this dish this evening. Rika requested to have it served this way while I was frying the bean curds. For this, she went to the supermarket to get the blue ginger for making the peanut sauce. To my disappointment, both bean sprouts and cucumber were not available then.

Blue ginger is also known as "Lam Kiong" in Cantonese, or "Lengkuas" in Malay. I like to include fresh "lengkuas" as it gives a sweet aromatic and distinct spicy fragrance to peanut sauce. Anyway, I had prepared the sauce differently from the hawkers’ version.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Chicken Curry


Chicken Curry
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Bought a little too much of fresh food this morning. I have beef, chicken and vegetables. And yes besides the seasoned mackerel steaks and the petai or stink beans that I had bought yesterday!

Final decision to cook chicken curry was my last minute choice. Without coconut cream and lemon grass (serai), I went ahead to prepare for it while waiting for ER to pick up both items from the supermarket since he was already on the way home from work :) Yes, he had to buy each item from two different places when lemon grass was not available from NTUC Fairprice supermarket.

Shown here is my improvised curry. To get a much more pungent aroma and stronger spicy taste extra whole spices were added. I love this and my family always says it is inclined to Indian flavours. Today I used some dried chillies and only two small chilli padi were added to the "ground ingredients" as my family prefers a mildly hot curry.

Turmeric is another lovely spice I use often in cooking. It is a member of the ginger family and a significant ingredient in most commercially produced curry powders. Known as “kunyit” in Malay and “huang jiang” [黃薑] in Mandarin, the fresh root is an important spice in all my curries. Beside the wonderful yellow-orange colour, the addition of fresh root gives that extra aromatic and spicy fragrance to my dishes.

Recalling, the basic curry that my sisters and I used to cook was always a buffet item when my maternal home was entertaining guests. And when my children were kids, I trained them to eat curries that I cooked with just curry powder without the extra addition of chillies.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mexican Chicken Fajitas


Mexican Chicken Fajitas
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

We ate homemade fajitas for dinner today. Fajitas are a dish made up flour tortillas, which are filled with seasoned meat, chicken or fish and condiment such as salsa. It is said to be a Texas specialty that dates back to the late 1930's.

Fajita Variations

Excerpt:
The fajita has evolved into a variety of fillings beyond the humble classic skirt steak version.

Variations include:

Skirt Steak Classic Fajitas - Skirt steak is marinated in limejuice and seasons. The meat is then grilled over mesquite wood. The meat is cut into thin strips. The meat is placed in a warm flour tortilla and topped with salsa and served with lime wedges.

Grilled Pork Fajita Salad - This simple summer recipe is from Bon Appetit and uses bottled citrus marinade to flavor grilled pork chops

Quick Pork Fajitas - A quick and easy recipe uses onions, bell peppers, pork tenderloin and fajita seasoning mix.

Chicken Fajitas - Chicken breasts are marinated then pan-fried with chillies, onions and bell peppers.

Shrimp Fajitas - Shrimp marinated in tequila, cumin, garlic and lime then sautéed with bell peppers and onions.

Vegetarian Fajitas - In this recipe the meat is replaced with onions, sweet peppers, corn and beans.

Bak Kut Teh


"Bak Kut Teh"
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

There are many brands of pre-prepared spices for cooking “bak kut teh”. However, today I was in the mood of trying my own version with herbs and spices. In the midst of cooking the soup, I found that certain flavours of the soup were missing. With affirmation from ER, other spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anise have to be added to balance the taste. Guess what? The soup turned out to be really smooth and hearty :)

There are variations of Hokkien and Teochew. The Teochew’s version is “bak kut teh” cooked with just garlic, pepper and light soy sauce, which my father-in-law cooked for us once. It was just as delicious.

Click here for the preparation directions: Recipe

Friday, September 22, 2006

Mexican Chicken Nachos


Mexican Chicken Nachos
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Dinner yesterday was unique. The menu was Mexican chicken nachos, pumpkin soup and apple crumble. Before Rika began preparations she asked me, “Are you OK with the food that I am going to cook?” I replied, “I will try to eat them.”

Mexican chicken nachos, which were tortilla chips baked with chicken, home made tomato salsa and cheese, were crisp and delicious. Hmm…having a glass of wine to go with it should be good~ The peeled pumpkin used today was more yellow than the usual orange and thus it was not so sweet. What was surprisingly yummy: the apple crumble - the baked apples went well with the buttery taste sweet topping, which I like instantly! Overall, Rika concluded that she would prefer the tomato salsa to be spiced up with more chillies and more apples should go into the apple crumble. I agreed with her.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cabbage Rolls


Cabbage Rolls
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

An improvise version of stuffed cabbage rolls from an old recipe with more goodies.

The Chinese parsley sauce dressing has given them a nice gloss. ER loved this! He ate four or five rolls at one go! And this dish was his subject of conversation at dinnertime :) He even remembered I had cooked this for him when he visited me in my hometown, KL.

The original recipe was requested from Danish Agricultural Marketing Board, Hong Kong, which I have kept since early 70's.

More Images Of Cabbage Rolls:
Cabbage Rolls Cabbage Rolls Stuffed Cabbage

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sambal Cabbage Topped With Silver Fish


This is my new way of cooking cabbage with sambal blachan with nods from ER when I asked him, “Would it be tasty?” A resounding, “yes” spurred me on and gladly, I have typed out the recipe here.

Click here for the preparation directions: Recipe

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Dang gui" Drumsticks


Dang gui Drumsticks
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

For those who love the taste and fragrance of angelica roots, this is simple and easy dish to cook :)

Click here for the cooking directions: Recipe

Aioli Chicken Burger & Fries


Aioli Chicken Burger & Fries
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Rika, being a fan of foreign cooks, I am not surprised she is more and more attracted and inclined in western cooking. She likes varieties. Once she said to me, “Mum, I can not have rice for every meal…” She is referring to the meals I cooked at home. Rice is our staple and she has been brought up with such diet of rice, porridge and rarely noodles. Hmm…I am a little shocked with her remark at first! But, considering my diet too has been changed over the last 5 years, that’s fine to have breads, noodles or anything nice besides rice for our meals.

The aioli chicken burger and fries she cooked for dinner on Sunday were pleasantly eye catching and delicious :) That’s what cooking should be, right? Just one hamburger for the each of us was filling! She made the mayonnaise, her 1st attempt, which was so delectable with chicken burger! At first I thought she had used the Japanese mayonnaise though. Oh well, she got herself an assistant cook this evening, her dad :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cheesy Doggies


Cheesy Doggies
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

This time round it is the conflicting individual preferences of tastes and flovours…while Rika has improvised the basic recipe to a richer concoction…I still prefer the basic cheesy ones, the fat bears she baked!

The Cheese Slicer

This cheese slicer/grater that ER bought from Holland has been around for more than 10 years...Rika was using it for the 1st time...She was stucked and could not proceed after grating the cheese...she had forgotten to pick up flour while we shopped at the supermarket earlier! Blur Queen, right? :) Anyway, her dad bought the flour for her after he finished work...

More Images Of Cheesy Cookies That Rika Made:
Cheesy Hearts Cheesy Hearts Cheesy Cookies Cheesy Cookies Fat Bears Fat Bears

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fish Maw And White Fungus Soup


I am surprised that Rika had asked for this double-boiled soup :) She used to dislike white fungus and she doesn't eat fish maw!

This soup has the influence of a neighbour who told me to add fish maw and wolfberries for better flavour. When both the fish maw and white fungus, which should be put into the soup at the same time, have softened and the soup is ready for serving.

Since this morning, our Internet provider was carrying out maintenance work in our area. Work was scheduled from 0900 AM to 1800 PM. I am really glad the service was up before 1700PM when I turned on the broadband network! Since then I have been enjoying the service while double boiling the soup~ and of course uploading my photos and updating this blog~

Click here for the preparation directions: Recipe

White Fungus

After the white fungus has been softened in water, the hard parts at the bases were removed and cut into smaller florets.

At this point, this could be used for cooking a dessert. Just boil them in enough of water till a little soft, sweeten with rock sugar and serve this in individual bowls with fruit cocktails. Chill this dessert before serving if you like.


The Process...[Click on all images to enlarge]:
White Fungus Fish Maw Fish Maw And White Fungus Soup Fish Maw And White Fungus Soup Fish Maw And White Fungus Soup Fish Maw And White Fungus Soup

Other versions of Double-Boiled Soup from my kitchen:
Double-Boiled Abalone Chicken Soup Double-Boiled Herbal Soup KeiChi Soup
From left to right: Double-boiled abalone soup, Double-boiled herbal soup and "KeiChi" Soup.

Pan Fried Spicy Prawns


Pan Fried Spicy Prawns
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

It is another dish that tucked away at the back of my mind not until I browsed my notebooks. I have not cooked this for at least three years!

Other Prawns Dishes From My Kitchen [Click on the photos to enlarge]:
Pan Fried Spicy Prawns Seafood Curry
From left to right: Pan Fried Spicy Prawns, Assam Prawns, Sambal Prawns and Curry Prawns And Squids

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Herbal Eggs With DOM


Herbal Eggs With DOM
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

Our own concoction: Chinese herbs like "Dong Kui", "kei chi", "yok chok" and dried "longan" flesh are used to flavour the eggs. And I had used DOM in this dish.

DOM is a health tonic liqueur made by infusing brandy with herbs and plants and exotic spices. While my mother had only used it in herbal soup, which she double-boiled to improve the general health of her children, especially the girls, today, I added it to herbal eggs for the extra flavour. Dom believed to have curative benefits is also a good tonic wine for the new mothers after childbirth.

Interested to read more about this health tonic liqueur? A drink called Singapore Sling is featured here~ Log on to: DOM

Other Egg Dishes From My Kitchen [Click on the photos to enlarge]:
Stewed Spareribs And Envelopes With Mushrooms Egg Dumplings
From left to right: Stewed Spareribs And "Lu Dan", Envelopes With Mushrooms and Egg Dumplings.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hakka "Mei Cai Rou"


Hakka "Mei Cai Rou"
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

When we had enough of rich food or when our appetites are poor, it is really nice to eat Hakka “Mei cai rou” to tune our stomachs. Whether to eat this with plain rice of porridge it is just as appetizing~

By the way, there are two types of “mei cai”, one of them is sweet and the other is salty. Both need to be soaked in water before use.

Green Radish Soup In A Pot


Green Radish Soup In A Pot
Originally uploaded by Food Trails.

It was my Taiwanese friend who introduced green radish to me. Since then just love to use it in this soup, this root vegetable is seasonal. This soup goes well with rice vermicelli too. Rika had served this once to her classmates who did project at our home.

Recipe:
Green Radish Soup

Ingredients:
600 gm spareribs, bite-size pieces
600 gm carrots, bite-size pieces [or less]
800 gm green radish, bite-size pieces
1.7 litres of boiling water [or add enough of water just to cover all the ingredients in the pot]

Seasonings: crushed white peppercorns, ground white pepper, salt and aji-no-moto

Method:
1. Add in crushed peppercorns and spareribs to the boiling water and bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to just simmering for half an hour. Skim the broth for a clear soup.
2. Add in green radish and carrots, bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for another 30 minutes till the root vegetables are tender.
3. Season to taste.

Other Root Vegetable Soups From My Kitchen:
Hakka Lotus Root Soup Sparerib Mushroom Soup Spareribs And Radish Soup
From left to right: Hakka Lotus Root Soup, Sparerib Carrot Mushroom Soup and Sparerib Radish Soup.
JenzHomeKitchen Welcome to my food blog, happy browsing and enjoy!

Glad to say, due to the long period of exposure to wholesome home cooking, inherited some of my mother's skills and coupled with further enhancement of adapting to established recipes, I am delighted to be able to concoct some recipes that I named: My version, which is bundled under "assortment of recipes" in this homepage :)



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