November 27, 2009

Crab Quiche

This dish brings back sweet memories, as John made this on our first date! Here's a revised version of the recipe from one of his favorite Sunset cookbook, "Cooking For Two".
9 ounces crab meat (canned or freshly steamed)
6 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
5 tbsp. sliced onions
5 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
3 eggs
10 ounces cream
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
A 10 inch Quiche pan
9 1/2 ounces flour
8 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 egg yolk
1. Buttery pastry shell:Preheat oven to 350° F. In a bowl, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles fine crumbs. With a fork, lightly stir in the egg yolk. Work dough into a ball with hands. Using your fingers, evenly press dough over bottom and up sides of quiche pan. Dough tears easily, but does not toughen with handling-pinch tears together to rejoin. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, remove and set aside to cool.
2. Sprinkle Swiss cheese evenly over bottom of shell. In a small bowl, combine crab, onions, Parmesan cheese, parsley. Spoon over Swiss cheese. Beat eggs with cream and pour over crab mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and cayenne. Bake on the lowest rack for 45 minutes or until custard appears firm when dish is gently shaken. Cool and cut in wedges to serve.
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Jerusalem Artichoke with Chicken

Last week I harvested a basketful of Helianthus tuberosus, Jerusalem artichoke, aka sunchoke, sunroots--which is related to the sunflower. They bear pretty yellow flowers and their tubers, which resembles ginger root. It is crunchy with a slightly nutty taste. Someone told me that it is also used as a Chinese herb to treat heatiness and cleanse the system. Here's a simple dish using produce from the garden.
1 small chicken, cleaned and cut in bite-sized pieces
2 tsp. sesame seed paste
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. tapioca starch, dissolved with a little water
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. ginger slices
4-5 Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed clean and sliced
1. Season meat with salt and pepper. In a bowl mix the sesame seed paste and oyster sauce.
2. Fry ginger in some oil till fragrant but not brown. Add chicken to pan and fry for 5 minutes, add in the sauce and fry till meat has absorbed most of the juices. Add the Jerusalam artichokes, toss to mix and lastly add the tapioca starch, add some warm water if sauce starts to thicken. Season to taste. Serve with rice.

November 7, 2009

Black Chicken and Silver Carp Soup

The Chinese believes that most food items contain properties that affect bodily functions. As a matter of fact, each Chinese herb are supposed to have different effects on the body and helps promote good health. If you visit a Chinese medicinal hall, you will find thousand of different herbs in various shapes and forms. Here's a soup recipe from a dear friend--It rejuvenate and helps blood circulation.
1 black silkie chicken, skin removed, cut in quarters
1 silver carp, scales and guts removed
6 pieces codonopsis root (党参 dang shen)
6 pieces solomon's seal (玉竹 yu zhu)
20 dried red dates (红枣 hong zao)
muslin bag
salt to taste
1. Put ingredients into a large muslin bag, securing the ends. Fill an 8-quart pot with water halfway and put in bag and bring water to boil.
2. Remove scum on the surface and simmer for about 2-3 hrs. Season soup to taste.

November 6, 2009

Prawns in Fragrant Spicy Sauce/Udang Wangi Berempah

Years ago, I've submitted this recipe to a nursery in exchange for some kaffir lime leaves. Since then whenever they have surplus leaves, they would send me some in the mail. Now I have a bush of my own and it has given me a few fruits and plenty of leaves. I love the citrus lemon-lime smell in this dish. Masak Udang Wangi Berempah literally means "fragrant spicy prawns" in Malay.
1½ lbs. prawns
1 large onion, chopped
8-10 dried chilies, pre-soaked, seed removed
4-6 pcs. kaffir lime leaves
2-3 pcs turmeric root or 1 tsp turmeric powder
3 buah keras, or 2 tablsp. chopped cashew nuts
1 inch ginger
4 pips garlic
3 stalks lemon grass, cut in chunks
¼ cup oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1. Blend or pound the spice ingredients until fine.
2. Slit the prawns on top, remove the black vein and leave shells intact. Wash well to remove any slim and season with a dash of salt. Set aside.
3. Heat oil and fry the spice past until fragrant over medium low heat until mixture is fragrant and moisture has evaporated, and there is a thin layer of red film of oil on top of mixture. This will take abit longer if your paste is processed through a blender.
4. Add half of the coconut milk and mix in with the chilli paste. Turn heat up to high and add in the prawns to cook. Add the rest of the milk and sugar, then the lemon juice. Season to taste with salt.
5. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped fresh young kaffir leaves on top. Serve with rice.
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