Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pan Roasted Deboned Chicken Stuffed with Sausage and Cranberries

I was known for my knife skills when I was in culinary school. My teacher, Chef de Herbs (he really liked his herb.. *wink, wink) even wanted to hire me as his butcher for his restaurant. One of my favorites was deboning a whole chicken. It's pretty fascinating to see the finish results. You cut out the carcass and bones while keeping the skin and meat intacted. Adam is also amazed at how well I handle a knife. I think he should be scared...

3 to 4 pound chicken ( deboned)-
1 pound of your favorite sausage, casing removed
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
2 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
2/3 of dried bread crumbs
2/3 grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 cup of oil
1/2 white wine
1 tablespon of butter
Trussing needle and thread

1-Combine sausage, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, cranberries and grated cheese in a bowl. Knead with hands until well blended.
2-Place deboned chicken skin side down. Fill legs with mixture. Take the rest of the stuffing and shape it into the center of the chicken. Bring the bird's skin around to cover the stuffing completely. Overlapping the skin by 1 inch. Mold the stuffing under the skin with hands to restore the chicken to its's original shape ( as best as you can)
3- Using the trussing needle and string sew up the chicken, starting from the neck down to the tail.
4- Heat an enameled cast-iron pot( size that can contain the bird snugly) with oil and butter. Sear the chicken well starting with the stitched side down first. Brown the bird well all over. Handle the bird gently! Add wine, salt and pepper and cook at a very slow simmer with lid slightly askew. About 1.5 hour ( depending on the size of the bird.. 20 mins per pound). Turn chicken occasionally while it cooks. Add a little water or wine if it becomes dry.
5-Transfer chicken to a carving board and let it rest.
6- Use the remaining juices in the pot as sauce by spooning off some fat, adding a couple of tablespoon of water and reduce a little.

This is beautiful. I hope you'll enjoy this as much as I did :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Brunch-King Crab Corn Salad

I wanted to make something yummy this morning for Adam. Also to show off my creative abilities with leftovers. My sisters can also attest to the fact that I do not let anything go to waste. It kills me to throw food away! So I conjured up the following:

An over easy egg over a toasted english muffin topped with king crab corn salad drizzled with truffle oil!
King Crab Corn Salad
2 very big king crab legs -or whatever you didn't finish from the night before :)
4 cups of corn
1/4 cup of toasted chopped walnuts
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 whole jalepeno pepper minced
extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine all the above.

Over easy eggs:
2 large organic eggs- make sure the pan is hot enough to get it perfect

English muffin:
1 whole grain muffin -toast it well so it can hold up all the goodies

Drizzle some truffle oil on top. Voila!

Don't forget the champagne!

This recipe entered the  “30 BEST RECIPES OF 2010″contest hosted by:





Monday, March 15, 2010

Toddler lunch idea - rice balls

It has been so fun watching Molly eat and enjoy food. Now that she's a toddler in full swing, she definitely has more to say about what she wants to eat. To my surprise she said "mmmmm wice" when I asked her if she liked her lunch today! She ate everything that you see above in her lunch box. I try to get all food groups into her meals, as much as possible. This was a good one with protein, fruit, veggie and grain. You already know about my challenges with getting her to eat veggies. I was sooooo excited when I discovered she likes seaweed paper. She eats it like potato chips. If you have a child in daycare, you'll know how hard it can get to come up with fresh ideas that are nutritious for your little one. Believe me, I've relied on the old stand-by PB&J way too many times! I hope you find this helpful and I hope your baby is as good of an eater as mine is!

Molly's Rice Balls

japanese short grain sticky rice (1 cup uncooked)

seasoned rice vinegar (2 tablespoons)

cooked chicken cut into tiny pieces (just shy of a cup)

seaweed sprinkles (tiny shreds sold at Japanese mkt) 2 tablespoons

furikake (I used a few shakes of a veggie mix, make sure no MSG!)

Cook rice, mix in vinegar, mix in rest of ingedients, form balls with damp hands

I made hers the morning after when the mix was cold and the balls were easier to form. The rice was room temperature by the time she ate them. Next time I'm going to try adding some broccoli puree. Let's see if she likes that!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brain Food #1 | Fish

Ok let’s talk about …..ummm what was it again??...... oh right BRAIN FOOD!
Isn’t it annoying when you just can‘t seem to remember certain things such as a person’s name, if you fed your dog, took your vitamin or even showered??
Maybe we can help by giving the brain a boost!
For my daily morning mental exercise I enjoy working the crossword puzzle and yes blogging…but here we will talk about the ways to nourish the mind with food.

Today’s food:

Protein, an important component in the making of neurotransmitters, is essential to improve mental performance. Aside from being an excellent source of high quality protein, fish are packed with essential oils, such as Omega-3, which protect the brain and supports its development and functioning. Deep sea fish have the highest amounts of fatty acids, and they include salmon, sea bass, halibut, mackerel, and sardines - Dr. Maoshing Ni                       You can find more on his website:

Who doesn’t like fatty food especially when it’s good for you.
Let’s get brainy! Here I have cooked a Sea Bass which is packed with tons of fatty acids.
I prefer having fish whole, that way you do not lose the wonderful flavor.
At my favorite seafood market, picked out the freshest fish.

How to tell if the fish is FRESH or NOT, by checking 3 things.

1. Body should be firm to touch NOT soft and soggy
2. Eyes – clear NOT cloudy
3. Check under the gills – should be reddish NOT brown ( you can have them show you)

The fishmonger will de-scaled and clean out the inners of the fish. At home I did the final steps of cleaning by snipping the fins and rinsing the fish inside and out with cold water. Pat Dry.
**If you find some scales on the skin, take a small knife and just run it on an angle against the scales and it would pop right out.**
Will post pictures of the steps soon.
Simple Chinese Steamed Whole Sea Bass

• Sea Bass
• Scallion & Cilantro – cut into slivers ( handful)
• Ginger – slice in sticks
• Oil
• Toasted Sesame Oil
• Light Soy Sauce
• Rice Wine
• salt

1. Season the fish inside and out with salt. Fill cavity with some scallion and ginger. Place fish on a dish.
*Make sure the dish fit into your steamer; here I used a bamboo steamer.
**You can also use a pot or a wok; you will need a steaming rack or a tuna can opened both sides to hold the dish, make sure water does not touch the dish.

2. Fill Wok or Pot with water, bring to a boil. Place dish in the center and cover and steam over gentle heat medium – high. Do not steam over HIGH heat that will dry out the fish.
For this small fish I steamed it for 5 minutes. To check if the fish is done, a trick I learned from Mama Ng. use a chop stick and poke the center of the body near the head. If it goes thru smoothly it’s done! Or you can just use a fork by lifting the fillet off the bone …if you don’t mind ruining your presentation.
Remove from steamer. Tool : Plate Grabber / Tongs/Oven Mitt * Be Careful*
Drain all liquid away. Drizzle some soy sauce on the fish

3. In a small pan , heat oil and sesame oil until you start to see the oil smoke. Add the scallion/ ginger/ soy sauce and a dash of wine into the pan. Sauce is ready when the scallion starts to wilt and brown. Pour directly over fish and sprinkle a handful of cilantro. Done!

When you get the hang of it, it’s quite simple. As you can see I enjoyed my simple dinner with nice bowl of hot Bitter Melon Soup * Click For Previous Post/Recipe* this one added dried oysters and tomatoes.

Will be back with more Brain Food.

*Isn’t it funny that how we never forget to eat!*
Cheers to our Mental Health!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chinese New Year Celebration Feast

Chinese New Year
Mama Ng's Menu

Lucky Soup - Pork, bean sheet, black eye peas, dried oysters and fat choi ( moss )
not sure where it comes from but its supposed to be lucky.

Braised Mushroom and Oyster

Quick Stir fry Snow peas with Bean noodles.

Poached Chicken served with Oyster Sauce and Hot Mustard

Poached Salted Pork Belly

Steamed Talapia with Ginger, Scallion and Soy Sauce

there is more.......

Annie and I made a Savory Tong Yuen Soup.

Ingredient A - Daikon - Roast Pork (Char Siu) - Chinese wine pork sausage (Lap Churn )- Scallion/Cilantro including stems
all chopped to bite size

Glutinous Rice Flour 2lbs

1. Put flour into bowl and when adding water make sure you make a well in the center,that way the flour does not puff out of the bowl. Work the flour with small amount of water , knead until right texture.
2. Roll into rolls and divide them into individual pieces. Start rolling into balls
( Annie is a professional! rolling 2 at once...i tried but no luck off)
4. Put the balls into a pot of simmering water, they will float once done, then transfer into another pot of room temperature water.

* Mama Ng had made the stock the night before with chicken and pork bones*

Add Ingredients A except for the Roast Pork / Small portion of the scallion/cilantro into the stock and bring to boil let simmer for 20 minutes then add the rice balls, simmer for another 20 minutes.

Serve into bowl, add the freshly chopped scallion/cilantro and Roast Pork.
Soy sauce and white pepper on the side for dipping, you can also added some into the soup directly.

It was almost perfect .....
we forgot 2 most important ingredients, Shitake Mushroom and Celery Leaves!
which gives the broth it's deep flavors.

So here we shared our celebration for the Year 2010 with this wonderful feast.
Posted a bit late but hey......Gong Hay Fat Choi everyone!

Tribute To a Dear Friend - Frank Duba

This is a special post to honor the passing of a friend and fellow foodie, Frank. Frank loved our tong yuen (rice flour balls) recipe and was intrigued with the idea of
"chinese matzoh balls." Original Post
We invite all our friends and visitors to pay tribute by contributing ideas of how you would use tong yuen in your own recipes or how you would incorporate it into a different style of cuisine, for example "tong yuen matzoh ball soup". Please leave all ideas in comments.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

excuse me..can you speak english?

I don't know how many times I've come across non-asians who like to order in vietnamese. They just automatically assume I'm vietnamese and want to impress their date. Most of the time they are with someone asian who of course always orders in english. I'm like "I'm sorry, what would you like?" The fracking menu is in english, please order in english!