January 31, 2010

Juice 3: W.H. Harrison

This is our version of a juice made with 9 types of vegetables that is packed with vitamins, iron, and fiber! The ingredients and flavor can be adjusted accordingly to your taste. Depending on the type of your juicer, some have both juicing and blending functions. Unfortunately, mine does only the juicing, so I blend some of the vegetables separately in the blender. Whatever works for you would be fine.
Ingredients: (makes approx. 8 1/2 cups)
Ingredients for juicer:
9-10 celery stalks, cut in chunks
12 carrots, unskinned and cut chunks
1 small beet, tops removed, scrub and cut in small pieces
Ingredients for blender:
8 tomatoes, cut in chunks
1/2 cup watercress, chopped
1/2 cup spinach, chopped
4 leaves lettuce, chopped
4 sprigs parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Washed and prepare vegetables. Juice and blend all the vegetables together to a fine and smooth texture.
2. Season to taste with a few grains of salt or perhaps a dash of horse radish.

January 30, 2010

Juice 2: G. Cleveland

Here's another version of my juice regime. I used the same ingredients as Juice J. Madison. This time I've added 2 pieces of red cabbage and I didn't blend in the yogurt and protein powder.

January 29, 2010

Juice 1: J. Madison

According to "The Food Pyramid" developed by the USDA, we should eat at least 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Here's my own simple and holistic method to this approach--Juicing! It's nourishing and tastes wonderful and refreshing. The ingredients are readily available in supermarkets and farmers market. You can start off with a combination of any of the following: celery; carrots; apples; tomatoes; oranges; pineapples, mangoes, watermelons, and any other fresh fruits and vegetables that you may find. Yogurt or ice-cream can be added to make a smoothie. You can be creative and let your tastebuds be the judge! I will try to create at least one juice recipe a day and name it after a U.S President.
Ingredients: (makes approx. 3 and 1/2 cups)
5 stalks celery, cleaned
2 medium apples, cored
4-5 carrots, scrubbed clean
1/4 cup of blueberries
3 Tbsp. plain yogurt
1 scoop Whey protein powder (optional)
1 tsp. freshly grind flax seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp. honey or Agave Nectar (optional)
  1. Cut fruits and vegetables into chunks. Put all the ingredients into machine to extract the juice. Drain and pour into a container. If you wish to add any of the following: yogurt; flax seeds, protein powder-- then pour the juice into a blender or whisk in the ingredients.
  2. Add the yogurt, protein powder and flax seeds and blend to mix. Serve immediately. Give it a stir if juice settles at the bottom. Note: I suggest using fresh produce and making in small bathes, its best consumed within 24 hours after preparation.

Chicken Essence Broth

My mother is a strong believer in homemade soup, and this is one of them. It is cooked by steaming or double boiling the chicken in a separate container to collect its essence or juice. The chicken essense is in its purest form with no water added. The essense from this broth is nutritious for one's health and especially beneficial for those pre- and/or post-operation/maternity. Whenever I am feeling letargic I cook this to boost my energy. As a matter of fact, it is good if you can have this soup at least once or twice a month. It may be a bit time consuming, and I think it is worth the effort! You can prepare them ahead of time in batches and freeze them. I recommend using organic free-range chicken!
2-3 lbs organic chicken (free-range)
8-10 quart pot
1 steaming stand (can be purchased in Chinese grocery stores)
1 deep dish
aluminium foil
1. Clean chicken, trim excess fat and pat dry. Place chicken in a deep clear bowl to collect the juice.
2. Put the steaming stand in the pot, then carefully put in the chicken. Fill with water in the pot to reach 1/4 way up the bowl, making sure not to get water into the bowl.
3.Tent the chicken with foil and cover with another larger pot as a lid. Turn heat on high and bring to a fast boil for about 15 minutes. Lower heat and cook for another hour. Check the water level in the pot, add more water if necessary. Cook for another 2 hours. Be careful as it is hot--use a pair of tongs!
4 The chicken is done when you see the meat is soft to touch and the broth in the bowl. It should come up halfway or more depending on the size of your chicken.
5. Turn off heat and let cool. Remove foil and chicken from the pot. Pour broth through a sieve to remove residue. To remove fat, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator or freezer to set the fat and remove it with a spoon. Drink it warm without any seasoning.
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January 28, 2010

Apple Pancake

There are a couple of cooking apples sitting on the kitchen table and I am getting hungry...so I came up with this simple and easy dish for breakfast. Taste great with a dollop of creme fraiche and your favorite syrup. Yummy!
2 cooking apples, cored and sliced thinly
1 Tbsp. butter, plus abit more for pan
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat or plain white flour
¾ cups milk
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1. In a bowl, mix flour, eggs, milk, cinnamon, baking soda for batter.
2. Heat pan with some butter, gently brown both sides. Drain and remove for later.
3. Reheat pan with some butter, pour about 1/2 cup of batter mixture in pan and lay the apple slices on top. Gently press the apple slices into the batter. Cook the pancake over medium flame. Turn over to cook the other sides. Serve with maple syrup, and powdered sugar.

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January 26, 2010

Chicken Pies: A celebration of Pies!

The weather today is cold and cloudy, and I don't feel like going out at all. Even Ruby, my hen stays in her coop to stay warm. It's started to rain again, and I just remembered that I've forgotten to thaw out the pastry crust to make chicken pie for dinner. The pie crust is still stiff and cracks when I tried to place it on a pie dish--so I've decided the heck with it! I have enough ramekin dishes to make pot pies---that's settle it! Btw, Ruby is not dinner tonight!
6-8 pieces skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized
2 cans Campbell's golden mushroom condensed soup
4 medium sized red potatoes, cut into bite-sized
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup peas
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 cup flour
1 box frozen pie crust, thawed
Deep bowls or ramekins
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. butter
1 egg, beaten
1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil, pre-cooked potatoes and carrots. Drain and set aside.
3. Pat meat dry with paper towels, season with some pepper and salt.
4. Melt butter in medium heat, fry onions unitl soft and transparent, add spices and cook until fragrant. Add in chicken meat, golden mushroom soup and mix well unitl meat is coated with the soup. Stir in the rest of the vegetables and mix well.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary. Remove from heat and mix in the flour to thicken mixture. Set aside to cool.
6. Pour chicken mixture into prepared ramekins. Roll and cut crust in rounds big enough to cover the ramekins. Place on top of chicken mixture and brush egg wash on top of crust. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Note: I would put a pan under the pies on the lower shelf to catch any drippings.

January 24, 2010

Chinese Hot Pot---Thanksgiving 2009

Last Thanksgiving I made a Chinese Hot Pot dinner (Chinese fondue or steamboat), perfect for the chilly weather. It is basically a one pot meal with a simmering pot of broth in the center of the dining table. Typically, it includes different varieties of thinly sliced meat, seafood, leafy green vegetables, and noodles on the side. Each individual is given a small wire mesh ladle to cook the food in the broth. The cooked food is served with a dipping sauce (soya or chilli sauce). Nowadays, most Asian supermarkets have pre-packaged meat for your convenience. Personally, I prefer to do all the cutting and slicing myself---the meat is fresher and it's much more economical.
1 medium-sized organic chicken
1 lb pork bones
½ lb beef, sliced thinly
½ lb prawns, shelled and deveined
½ lb scallops
1 small cuttlefish, scored and sliced thinly
1 cup mushrooms (shitake or cremini)
Spinach, baby bok choy, cilantro, lettuce
Noodles (dried or fresh)
½ cup freshly minced ginger
2 Tbsp. chopped spring onions
1-2 slices of ginger
Portable rangetop cooker (purchased at most Chinese grocery)
1. Debone and separate meat from chicken. Slice meat thinly. For stock, bring a pot of water to boil and add chicken carcass, meat bones, and ginger. Turn heat to simmer while preparing other ingredients.
2. Prepare the following: clean and slice rest of the meats thinly; trim, wash and drain mushroom and vegetables. If using dried noodles, follow cooking instructions on package.
3. Dipping Sauce: Put ginger and spring onions in a bowl. Heat oil in a small saucepan to a boil, turn off heat and pour oil over ginger mixture. Before of the hot oil as it will splatter. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir to mix and set aside for serving.
4. Set a portable cooking stove on the table with a pot deep enough for cooking. Strained stock and pour into pot and heat to a rolling boil. Add your choice of meat or vegetables to cook and serve with dipping sauce.

January 22, 2010

Baked Kabocha Pumpkin Salad

Kabocha, a member of the pumpkin family is commonly called Japanese Pumpkin or "katakana." It is a green pumpkin with a thick-skin and ranges about 6-12 inches in diameter. A Japanese lady once told me that they comes in orange too--I am yet to see one. Inside the hard skin, is a semi-firm flesh that is rich and sweet in flavor. It is rich in beta carotena, iron, vitamin C and potassium, calcium, folic acid and vitamin B. It is great baked, grilled or even wonderful for dessert. You can be creative by adding toasted pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts, and even leftovers chicken breast. Here's my version of it for a salad.
1 medium sized Kabocha Squash
Salad mix greens
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds and place the outer skin face down on the baking tray. Bake for about 30-45 minutes or more--depending on the size. Remove to cool and cut in serving size, removing the rind.
2, Place olive oil, honey, cider, lemon juice in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the rest of the ingredients to your taste.
3, Assemble salad greens and pumpkin on plate. Drizzled dressing on top.


Fried Yam Dumplings with Vegetables/Suin Poon Tzi

This is a traditional Hakka dish that is almost long forgotton. The famous place that served this dish is in Petaling Jaya Old Town in Malaysia....it was so long ago. It is made from taro/yam, tapioca starch to form into a smooth dough. The dough is then rolled and shape into marble-sized balls to resemble the beads on the abacus, thus the Chinese name "Suin Poon Txi". I stumbled upon this recipe at mykitchensnippets.com and thought I'll give it a try. I've made some adjustments to some of the ingredients. Tips: Handling taro can sometimes make your skin itch, simply rub with a mixture of baking soda and salt in water. It works for me!
Ingredients: Dough
(Adapted from mykitchensnippets.com)
450 grms. taro/yam
170 grms. tapioco starch
salt and pepper to taste
Chinese Steamer
Ingredients for Stir Fry:
2-3 shallots, sliced thinly
2-3 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 chicken breast-sliced thinly (you can use minced pork or shrimp)
1 carrot, peel and cut into small cubes
4-5 Chinese dried mushrooms, pre-soaked and sliced thinly
2-3 pieces dried wood ears or black fungus, pre-soaked and sliced thinly
1 small bunch of spring onions for granishing
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2½ Tbsp. dark soy sauce
¼ cup chicken stock or water
salt and pepper to taste
Method for Dough:
1. Cleaned, peeled and sliced taro thinly. Fill steamer with water and bring to boil. Put taro in a deep dish and steam until soft.
2. Remove and mashed it while it it hot--be careful!
3. In a separate bowl add starch and salt, and the taro paste. Mix well and when it cools down slightly, knead it to form a smooth dough without lumps. (Add a little water if dough is too dry or more starch if it is too soft)Pinch a piece of dough, the size of a marble and roll into a ball and gently press in the center to resemble a dimple. Do the same with the rest of the dough. Note: I made extra and store them between layers of freezer paper)
4. Bring a pot of water to fast boil. Drop in the beads with a slotted spoon and once it floats, let it cook for a another 30 seconds. Remove the dumplings and set aside to prepare the other ingredients.
Method for Stir Fry Ingredients:
1. Heat frying pan. Add oil and stir-fry shallots and garlic until fragrant and lightly brown.
2. Stir in meat, carrots, mushroom and black fungus. Continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes until meat changes color and cooked.
3. Add in the taro dumplings, seasonings and stock. Give it a good stir to mix and season to taste.
4. Remove and sprinkle with spring onions. Serve warm.

January 16, 2010

Salmon Sandwich with Mustard Caper Dressing

We dropped by Fry's Electronics on our way back from Palo Alto, as we were interested in buying a Mac computer. We waited for over 45 minutes for an associate to serve us. By the time he came over we realized they ran out of the new ones, except for one from the open stock... He offered us a 5% discount and a 15-day warranty, should we decide to return it for a refund, a 15% stocking fee will be deducted from our cost. What a lousy deal--not to mention the box was in a bad shape. We left the store without buying the computer. Since it was almost time for dinner, we've decided to go home to make dinner instead. On the way home, I've came up with this recipe. Not bad for a hungry me.
1 lb salmon, skinned
1 red pepper, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped artichoke (canned)
2 potatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. cayenne
Sandwich buns (I used Oroweat's Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins)
Salad greens
salt and pepper to taste
Lemon Mustard Sauce:
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. chopped capers
¼ tsp. olive oil
1. Peel potatoes, boil and mash them. Set aside for later.
2. Fill a saucepan with water, bring to a boil and cook the fish for 5 minutes. Remove and flaked fish with a fork finely, making sure to remove any bones.
3. Place the fish, mashed potatoes, artichokes, and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well by hand, adjust the mixture, if it is crumbly, add another egg or more bread crumbs if it is too sticky.
4. Gently form the mixture into cakes. Heat skillet with a little oil and fry cakes over medium heat. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk the ingredients for the lemon mustard sauce. To assemble: Brush buns with mustard sauce, arrange some salad greens on bun and serve salmon cake on top. Drizzle some sauce on top if you like.

January 7, 2010

Pot Roast

Pot Roast is one of my favorite dish to make--especially if I want something simple with little preparation. I called this my one-pot-meal!
3 lbs Chuck Roast or Rump Roast
2 bay leaves
1 onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. Worstershire sauce
2½ cups Homemade Beef Broth or 2 cans beef broth
3 of each carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas (skinned and cut into bite sized chunks)
4 red potatoes, quartered
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1. Wash beef and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and coat lightly with flour.
2. Heat some oil in heavy pot add onions, bay leaves and brown beef on both sides. Add stock to cover meat and let it come to a fast boil. Turn heat low to simmer for an hour or two, making sure the meat do not stick to the pot and the meat is tender. Baste meat with the juice to prevent from drying.
3. Add root vegetables at the last cooking hour and simmer to cook. Mix cornstarch with a little water and pour over mixture to thicken gravy. Remove meat and vegetables on a platter and serve with horse radish if preferred.

January 5, 2010

Steamed Spiced Duck

A dear friend of mine shared this recipe with me. It's perfect for an appetizer or a "cold platter" in Chinese.
1 duck (3-4 lbs)
3 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Szechuan peppercorns
2 star anise
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 slices ginger root, sliced thinly
2 stalks spring onion, sliced thinly
2 pieces of Chinese bacon
1½ cups Chinese cooking wine
Steamer (can be purchased in Chinese grocery store)
1 cheese cloth bag(big enough for duck)
Plum sauce
1. Clean duck, remove giblets and neck. Poke holes in duck meat. Wipe dry and leave aside. In a clean pan without oil, fry salt, peppercorns, star anise, ginger root and spring onions till fragrant. Grind or pound mixture finely.
2. Rub this spiced mixture inside and outside of duck thoroughly. Place duck in a pan and cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight.
3. Remove plastic wrap from duck, rinse duck in cold water to remove seasoning spices. Drip dry, place duck in the cheescloth and secure tightly.
4. Place duck a deep dish, add half of the cooking wine to duck. Put water in the bottom layer of steamer and bring to boil, then place duck in the top tray, cover and steam for an hour.
5. Remove the duck, pour any juice to a bowl for later use. Replace the duck to the dish and add remaining wine, with bacon slices on the top of duck. Return duck to the steamer. Check to see if water is needed in the bottom tray. If water is low, add warm water. Steam duck for another hour.
6. Remove bacon and cheesecloth from duck when cool, and refrigerate duck an hour or two before serving. To serve, debone duck and slice meat thinly and serve with plum sauce. Separate excess oil from juice, heat slightly and serve over duck if desired. For added color, serve with pickled seaweeds.
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