Friday, June 25, 2010

Garlic and herb loin of pork

I've been making this recipe for many years and it never fails to impress. It is a Lydia recipe from her American Italian cookbook but I can't remember the last time I looked at the recipe, it is so easy! I use whatever herbs look fresh at the market usually a combination of a few of the following: rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley. I made this for father's day and served it with pasta with tomato, basil and ricotta and roasted asparagus on the side. We had salad and burrata for starters!

For 6 people I use a 3.5 lb loin of pork roast. Cut with a sawing action starting at the eye and "butterfly" it until it is all about the same thickness. It is a cut while unrolling kind of action. Then I buzz garlic (4 cloves), olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs (handful of each) in the processor or blender until it is a paste and spread it onto the meat.

Then roll the pork back up and tie with butcher string.

Put the roast into a dutch oven or other sturdy pot. It is best if the roast fits snugly. This pot was way too big for the roast but it was unusually long this time. Fill the pot with water until it almost immerses the roast. Add a few cloves of garlic and whatever herbs you've used for the paste, generous salt &pepper.

Bring to boil and simmer covered for about 2 hours. At 1:45 in you should start checking the water level. The idea is to simmer until the water evaporates and then add olive oil to crisp up the outside of roast. Keep turning and browning the roast at a med flame until all of it is crispy. If you're getting close to the 2 hour mark and there is still a lot of water start spooning some out. The roast should be completely cooked and ready to rest by 2.5 hours. Otherwise it'll start drying out and will not be as tender.
Rest for 30 mins, slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Roast Cornish Hen with Garlic Lemon Rosemary Butter

Cornish Hens are one of my favorite things to roast.

It's not that I don't like regular chicken, it's just that I find with a smaller bird the sauce and flavors distribute more evenly and with a shorter cooking time. Sometimes you will see they are labeled "Game Hens".
Don't let the name fool you, they are just young chickens and not gamy at all.
This birdie looks pretty big in the photo but only 2.5 lbs.

Shall we start!

Roast Cornish Hen
1 Cornish hen - 2.5 llb
compund butter ( rosemary )
lemon - 1
garlic - 1
rosemary - few stalks
onion -1
salt + pepper

1. Clean bird, pat dry - dryer the crispier, season inside and out with salt + pepper (can let it sit in the fridge to dry more while you prep).
2. Bring the butter to room temperature
- add minced garlic ( half of head) into the butter use the rest for stuffing. Cut lemon in half.
3. Rub the bird with lemon and then use your hands to butter inside and out, gently under the skin.
- stuff with the lemon halves, rest of the loosened garlic cloves and some rosemary inside.
4. On a roasting pan or foil - I do not have a roasting rack so I layer the base with big slices of onion. This way it does not stick- extra flavor for the bird and sauce.

5. Roast the bird in a oven of 350' degrees for 1 hr 15 mins.
Covered loosely with foil for the first 45 mins then
uncover for the rest of 30 mins
( to check if it is cooked, place a tiny cut at the upper thigh - done if the juice is clear)
can you see my 4 slits.....

Came out delicious juicy and perfect for two.

broil for a few minutes

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Memorial Day BBQ...

, nSo it was memorial day and of course we needed to do a bbq to bring in the summer.
We were blessed with a gorgeous day and wonderful people.

Of course we had a big menu and was so excited to go shopping and prepare the food. This gave us a peek of what it would be like if we started a catering company. We had a party of around 25 people and started the night before. The menu was: Glazed bbq wings, mini burgers, corn salad, and orzo salad.
We started out with marinating the wings the night before and here are the ingredients:soy sauce, sweet soy, honey, sriracha, rice wine, sesame oil, and garlic. Mixed it all up in the wings an
d stick it in the fridge overnight.
The next day we started out around 1pm to prepare the rest of the food. My sister, Annie was a little nervous on the time, wondering
if we were able to prepare and have the food ready by 6pm
for 25 people.

But the Ng team were
determined to make it happen and rolled up our sleeves and got down and dirty. First we prepare the mini burgers. We mixed beef and pork with onions, portabella mushrooms and a few dry spices. Then we took the wings out of the fridge and roasted them in the oven. Next we worked on the salads. The corn salad is our signature dish and I feel like we may have posted about it before but I included a picture of it anyway. I created the orzo salad as another veggie option for our fellow vegetarians. It consist of orzo, olives, pim
ento peppers, walnuts, parsley, and balsamic vinegar. Most of the ingredients are raw so it's a good dish for people who are into raw foods.
After the salads were done, we grilled the mini burgers and wings and it all turned out to be a beautiful spread!

So in the end we finished on time.....even with a little extra time to make ourselves pretty for our guests ;0)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Steamed Chicken with Bitter Melon and Jujube

Our family loves Bitter Melon with Chicken stir fried with black bean garlic sauce.
I decided to do something different this time, I've added jujube ( red dates) and steamed instead of stir fry.

1 lb - chicken drums + wings
1- bitter melon
Handful - jujube -red dates
soy sauce
black bean sauce ( LKK )
cooking rice wine
white pepper
* mix marinade together, taste to your liking then add to chicken

Put all ingredients together, mix well.
Marinate for an 1-2 hours or overnight.

When ready, steam for 30-40 minutes.
Steaming was a very good idea. All the flavors came together really well.
 Can you see the delicious sauce!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ginger and Egg Fried Rice

Have any leftover rice in the fridge?

Here is a very simple way to bring it back to life.
This is one of my favorites with the nice fluffy eggs and heat from the ginger.
Let's fry some rice!

leftover rice ( it's best to use day old rice to avoid mushy texture result)

soy sauce
white pepper
fish sauce

Oil a well heated wok, add ginger and scallion for a few second to flavor the oil then add the rice and toss well, breaking the clumps of rice at the same time.

Move rice to the side of wok and add the eggs, let it cook while stirring it slowly.

When eggs are half way cook, toss with rice.
Add the seasonings and toss all evenly.

Tasty and simple.
It is light enough to pair with another dish or as is with some garlic chili.