Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lisa - New Year Resolution

For the coming new year 2010. I will focus on health first from eating to working out. crossing my fingers!!
As you can see I started little early. For lunch today I had a salad from Guy and Gallard -Lemon Chicken with Romaine Lettuce , Tomato, Broccoli tossed with Red Wine Shallot Vinegar.
Em and I agree on starting  by having less carbs. I will have to be more careful with the portions and it's going to be tough! That means easy on the pasta and rice!!
Will keep you posted on my new mission.....anyone care to join and share tips?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Chinese Christmas Eve

I was in cooking bliss today. Went to Whole Foods (which was crazy!) at noon and got all the meat and last minute things. Came home, ate some ramen and went to work. It went smoothly and everything turned out delicious. I timed everything well and the food was all warm when served. Everyone was happy including Molly who LOVED the almond jello! Here are some recipes (portions are for 8 people!) and pics from the night. I am snacking on leftovers as I am posting...mmmm! (See previous post for complete menu)

I started the chicken first since it takes the longest and is okay served room temperature. I served it with ginger scallion sauce which is usually for white poached chicken but I love it with soy sauce chicken too.

Em's Soy Sauce Chicken
1 4LB chicken
7 cups soy
2 cups cooking wine
2 cups broth
3 strips of fresh orange rind
1 lb rock sugar
cloth and string bag with a few cracked cardamon pods, tsp anise seeds, 3 star anise, 2 tsp cloves, 1 cinnamon stick crushed
  • bring all ingredients but chicken to boil in pot and stir until sugar is dissolved
  • put in chicken and bring to simmer
  • simmer on low covered for 20 mins
  • turn chicken and simmer for another 20 mins
  • turn chicken, remove from heat and sit for 20 mins
  • take chicken out and let sit for half hour
  • cut and serve

Ketchup Shrimp

2 lbs shrimp with shell on, cut on backside and de-veined
4 tbls ketchup
2 tbls oyster sauce
1 tsp white pepper
dash sesame oil
scallions big pieces
  • heat oil in wok and fry shrimp on both sides so its crispy but not cooked all the way, work in 2 batches
  • add scallions, I used the whole bunch and stir fry for a few minutes
  • combine the sauces and add
  • saute for another few minutes and serve immediately

Pork spare ribs, tofu and mushroom stew
1 small rack baby back ribs cut into bite size pieces
3 strips tofu foo jook
8 mushrooms
ginger (few slices)
garlic 2 cloves
1 square fu yu
1 tbls black beans soaked
dark soy and splash cooking wine for marinade
soy sauce to taste
  • soak foo jook and mushroom for an hour, cut into bite size pieces
  • marinade ribs in dark soy and wine for hour
  • brown ribs, remove from pot
  • brown ginger and garlic, mix in fu yu and black beans saute for a couple mins
  • put ribs back in and stir together for a few mins, let everything get very hot
  • pour in 2 cups water and bring to boil
  • simmer on low for 1 hour
  • mix a tsp of corn starch into a little cold water and make a slurry
  • put slurry into stew and stir well
  • bring back to boil and serve
Mok kwa (hairy gourd) with XO sauce
2 medium mok kwa peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic rough chop
1 tbls XO sauce
2 tbls oyster sauce
  • heat oil in wok and add garlic
  • add mok kwa and saute
  • reduce heat to med and saute until tender
  • add XO sauce (I used LKK), oyster and salt to taste
  • saute until sauce thickens and serve
I also served steamed halibut filets with black bean sauce, sauteed chinese broccoli and almond jello for dessert. I was a happy host!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rice Ball Soup - Tong Yuen

While some are celebrating their winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah , we welcome the Chinese Winter Solstice ( mom calls it the Chinese Christmas). This holiday is also called Dong Chi, welcoming the winter, this year it is Dec.22 to Jan.5.
I love this holiday when families get together to make Tong Yuen which symbolize unity and prosperity. Remembering my childhood, my mom will be the one to prep the rice flour and start rolling them into rolls so that we can start rolling pieces into bite size balls. We somehow always end up with all different sizes which was fine with me(I probably was the one not following...oops!) There was flour everywhere and on everyone. So fun!
For Winter Solstice the tradition is to make rice balls in a in a sweet or savory broth. As you can see we had the savory one last night and it was simply delicious and comforting. Ahh.......

-Rice Ball - Rice flour mix with hot boiled water until right texture , slowly add the water and knead for few minutes until it does not stick to your hands, roll into rolls and divide with knife into bite size pieces and begin to roll into balls. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the rice balls one by one. They are cooked once they float to the top. Set aside the cooked rice balls in a bowl of water to prevent sticking.

Savory Rice Ball Soup
-Broth - Bring a pot of water to a boil and add chicken ,chinese sausage , mushroom and celery leaves
Let it simmer for an hour and then add the rice balls, fish , and turnip as they are delicate . Simmer for 1/2 hour to 45 mins.
When done stir gently and serve into a bowl topped off with a healthy amount of shopped cilantro. Have it with a side dish of soy sauce mixed with white pepper.

Sweet Rice Ball Soup
-Heat a pot of water and add knobs of ginger and cane/rock sugar, simmer to a nice golden color. Make it as sweet as you like, remove the ginger and add the rice balls bring back to a boil and done!
You can also add sweet potato.

There you go! Two delicious options. I prefer the savory and 2 of the cookngs loves the sweet version. Please comment if I have missed something or your version of the Tong Yuen Soup!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Eve menu

It has been too busy to cook. BUT! I am looking forward to Christmas Eve as I am hosting dinner at our home for John's family. I can't wait because I am making chinese food!

Here's the menu:
soy sauce chicken
spare rib/tofu sheets/mushroom stew
ketchup shrimp
steamed fish with black bean sauce
sauteed chinese broccoli
mok kwa with XO sauce
almond tofu with lychees and strawberries

What do you think? I'll post pics and recipes this weekend!

Saturday Lunch - Congee Village

Lately with the Holidays and moving, I have not had time to post as much as i like to. But as soon as my new kitchen is set up and ready, I will be back with more serious cooking.
For now I am grateful for the yummy restaurants in my neighborhood.
Here sharing what we had for a lunch the past Saturday at Congee Village on Allen St. I wonder if their other location on Bowery is as good as Allen's or better... Has anyone been to both? let me know?

Stir fry Frog Legs with Mushroom and Golden Chives
for those who never tried frog legs...
they do taste like chicken just more on the tender side!

Rice Noodle Rolls with Pork Liver and Spring onion Casserole
the rice noodle gave this savory dish a fresh light touch*
I like to add a dash of red vinegar on the liver,goes really well together.

and what do you think this dish is?

Thai Style Phoenix Claw
De boned pickled Chicken Feet

These three dishes goes well with bowl of congee or rice.
Have you tried any of these dishes?

Click here to view their Impressive Massive Menu

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quick Stir Fry - Beef Cubes Eggplant & Chinese Greens

Who doesn't like a nice quickie meal especially when you're tired from work.
Here is a dish with easy prepping and all you need is a pan or a wok.
For a good stir fry try to use a wok, that way it maintains the heat with the ingredients.

Ingredient: A
beef - cut into cubes
eggplant - slice into 2"
chinese greens - slice in half

Sauce: B
Lee Kum Kee-Black Bean Sauce
fish sauce

Marinade for Beef Cubes: C
soy sauce
rice wine
sesame oil

1. Marinate beef cubes with "C "for 10 mins.
2. In a bowl mix together "B". You can add water or broth to thin the paste (black beans are fermented and are very strong in flavor , so be careful with amount you can always add more when tasting)
3. Heat wok with oil, oil must be hot , add the beef cubes - work them around the wok to give it a quick browning. Remove and put aside.
4. Add the vegetables and cook until done then add "B" on the inner side of the wok ( i like the sauce to thin out so it can distribute evenly)
5. Add the beef cubes back to the wok and give it another quick stir with the rest of the ingredients. Done!

Here is a savory dish with tender beef cubes, crunchy greens and eggplant that just melts in your mouth mmmm
This was very good with a bowl of rice and chili garlic sauce.
Let's Sic Faan!
Anyone want to share their quickies?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

Did the best chef win? I think the most creative chef won. Brian should have taken the prize if judging solely on food. His food was amazing and solid. What happened to Kevin? He totally did a Jen C and lost his game to nerves. I can't believe his pork belly was mediocre!!! Like, that's his signature meat! He was also the most unlucky with his sous chef draws....OMG Preeti??? I would just lock her in a closet and do it all myself which he kind of did do it all himself. Sigh, we all still love him and I'm sure he'll win fan favorite. So the least favorite contestant won and to give due credit, he did seem like he wanted it most. He was always focused and consistent throughout the show. He's still a putz tho!
Here are some complaints because blogging would be no fun without yammering a little:
  • Why would the show invite the mothers to only let them taste the first course?
  • They totally did not show enough interaction with the sous chefs.
  • Who the hell invited Sam Nazarian? I was embarassed for him. He's so not Top Chef worthy. You could tell the other diners thought so too by the looks they were giving.
  • Besides Drew, all the dining guests sucked.
Sigh...another season done. What city are they doing next?? When is Top Chef Masters???

Friday, December 4, 2009

Top Chef thoughts

Ok I'm late but really, I don't have too much to say this week. I always wonder why they do a two part finale. The lead up episode always leaves me feeling a little flat. Why don't they just do regular episodes until they have the final 3. Why do they have the final 4 just to get rid of one person and then have the real finale? Strange. Anyhow, it was sad to see my favorite go but it was really time for Jen's departure. She just lacks the ability to perform under pressure which is so strange because she's the same person who ran the entire show when they all cooked for the armed forces. Everything else was really no surprise; the food, the comments, the sibling rivalry.
Michael Chiarello was surprisingly gracious. Did he get a lot of slack for being such a jerk on Masters? Did he just turn it on for the competition and is really a nice guy? He seems like a nice guy in his shows. Hey, someone please give Gail some more foie gras and turnip to go with her soup!! Jeeze! I though Padma was the hungry one! Like my comrads at PPYKAG, I also do not like Padma's bangs. The baby bump is awesome but the bangs, not so much.
These are my thoughts. One more thing... It's going down next week!!

The Sexy Shun Santoku 7" Gift!

So I ordered chinese for lunch few days ago and got this fortune.
Like the way the way it sounds so I held onto it and guess what came in the post today!
A very surprising gift indeed!!

Look! It's a Shun Santoku 7" Hollow Ground knife.
look how sexy.....

A big thank you to my sister Emily!!!!
Please excuse me....Santoku and I have business to tend to..
whoosh .........