Tuesday, December 16, 2008

5 Dishes, 5 Roses, and an Early Christmas

UWAGA: very long entry.

With that being said, here comes a mega-update with enough recipes to last for the rest of the year. So consider this the last 2008 update as I will be gone for the next few weeks for Christmas break, yayyyy. So to what do I owe this extreme pleasure of laboring 4 hours on a Saturday night? You've guessed it: Christmas dinner! Last year JLo and I spent Christmas eve roaming the streets Madrid looking for an underground Chinese restaurant recommended by my aunt. This year, we'll probably be end up in a long cue outside a kebab store in some hidden corner of Istanbul. I'm not saying that it's gonna suck, but who wouldn't want to spend Christmas at home and enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal followed by long movies and an endless supply of Christmas cookies? Mmmhmm, that's when i decided to surprise JLo with a Christmas dinner that I have been preparing in my mind for the past few days:
  1. Roast Chicken
  2. Potatoes Au Gratin
  3. Caesar Salad
  4. Salmon risotto
  5. Simple corn sautee

Yea i know, these 5 dishes sounds simple enough but let me tell you, the preparation was freakin' hard work especially when you're doing it alone! To think that I thought I'd have some time in the middle to whip up some cookies or dessert AND pick out a nice romantic movie, HA! Yea, right. I'm just glad there was actually food on the table. So even though my dinner didn't turn out exactly as planned, at least I still got to spend some quality, fattening, weight-gaining time with JLo while watching the 2008 Victoria Secret's Fashion Show. Mmmhmm, great combination, i tell you. So enough with the blabber, here are 3 recipes of my Christmas dinner (salmon risotto and corn sautee aren't special enough to share) :
P.S Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Caesar Salad
from allrecipes.com

  • 6 cloves garlic
    (3 cloves for the salad dressing, 3 cloves for the croutons)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups day-old bread, cubed
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

  1. Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining 3 cloves into quarters, and add to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown, then remove garlic from pan. Add bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Remove bread cubes from oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes.

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

from foodwishes (youtube), about.com
  • - 1 whole chicken
  • - 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • - 1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature
  • - 3 teaspoons of dried thyme, divided
  • - 1 lemon, zested and sliced
  • - salt and pepper


  1. COMPOUND BUTTER= Combine the butter, garlic, 2 teaspoons thyme, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and mash until completely mixed [picture 1].
  2. Rinse the chicken and remove any giblets from the cavity. Cut off the chicken neck if they haven't done so.
  3. Position the turkey so that the cavity is facing you and you are working forward towards the neck. Using a long, thin flexible rubber or silicon spatula, slowly slide the tool between the skin and the flesh of the breasts on both side of the breastbone [picture 2].
  4. The skin is fairly tough and won't tear if you go slowly and carefully. You can pretty much separate the skin all the way from the cavity, where you started, to the front of the breast, and down toward the wing joint. Do this on both side of the breast, but leave the skin attached along the center of breastbone itself.
  5. Then simply divide the butter mixture in half and stuff it under the skin on both sides and massage it down toward the front of the bird. Spread as evenly as possible, but don't worry about getting it perfect, as it will melt and spread out as the chicken roasts [picture 3, 4].
  6. Season the chicken cavity with 1 teaspoon of thyme, salt, and pepper. Then stuff it with the sliced lemon [picture 5].
  7. Truss the chicken by using kitchen twine to tie up the legs (or you can just criss-cross and stuff the legs into the cavity to close it). Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird [picture 6].
  8. Place the chicken on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, 1 teaspoon of thyme, and season with salt and pepper [picture 7].
  9. Bake for 60 minutes and check for doneness by inserting a thermometer into the thigh meat; it should read 75 C (165 F). Cover the breasts with a piece of foil if it's getting too brown towards the end of the cooking time [picture 8].

Potatoes Au Gratin
from harvesteating.com

  • 2 lbs thinly sliced potatoes
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of onions, chopped
  • 2 cups infused milk and cream
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs

  1. Using a Mandoline, slice the potatoes as thin as you can. If you don't have a Mandoline, just slice it as think as possible with a normal knife.
  2. Put the sliced potatoes in water if you're not ready to make this, keeps it from oxidizing.
  3. Layer in the order of potatoes (dried), cheese, onions, milk mixture, salt and pepper. Repeat until your heavy bottomed baking dish is full.
  4. Top with remaining cheese and seasoned bread crumbs.
  5. Bake at 375F until bubbly and starting to brown.

J&A's Pseudo-Christmas Dinner 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sausage & Pepper Calzone

I'm on a roll!! Updating the next day? Yea, i must be really bored. After the 4 pharmacology quizzes i had on Monday and Tuesday (that's right, 4 in 2 days), i immersed myself into a night of brainless Animal Crossing on NDS (which currently ranks #1 in my guilty pleasure list). I don't know if it was my burning heater or what, but i had a hard time sleeping last night. My conscience then woke me up before my alarm this morning, urging me to go to General Surgery. So I took the god-forsaken A bus to M1 only to find out only 2 other people showed up. SIGHHH... second time this happened! But ah well, at least i unexpectedly won over a scrub-in surgery from Patrica in a game of rock-paper-scissors, wahahaha. So i came home at noon with the entire day ahead of me and with absolutely NOTHING to do (or nothing i wanted to do). Aiii... so after a few hours of 混-ing around, I decided I'd sublimate my apathy/pms into some rigorous dough kneading which turned out to be quite therapeutic and gratifying. Mmhmm, i'm talking about the Calzone pictured above, isn't it lovely! Oozing globs of mozzarella points the way to my <3 heart <3.

Sausage & Pepper Calzone
from Keith Snow (youtube)
  • Prepared pizza dough (see recipe here)
  • Green peppers, chopped
  • Red onions, chopped
  • Button mushrooms, sliced
  • Meat medley (sausages, ham, salami, chicken, ground meat... etc)
  • Basil & Oregano (to taste)
  • Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

  1. Pizza dough instructions can be found here, click me! Separate the dough into 6 balls and let it rise for 1 hour [picture 1].
  2. While dough is rising, prepare all the ingredients and set aside [picture 2].
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-heat. Stir in onions, green peppers and mushrooms, saute for 2 minutes [picture 3].
  4. Stir in the sausages or anything uncooked (ham and salami can be left out). Season with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper [picture 4]. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Roll the dough out into an oval shape, and spoon the prepared filling (and any other topping) onto the dough. (place the mozzarella slices on top last) [pictures 5, 6].
  6. Fold the dough in half and seal the edges [picture 7].
  7. Place the calzones in a baking sheet and use a knife to make 3 slits on the calzone (helps steam escape). Brush the top with egg wash [picture 8].
  8. Bake at 190 degrees C for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Serve hot with Marinara sauce (recipe here).

Sausage & Pepper Calzone
served with Marinara Sauce

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

JLo's Hybrid 油飯 (Fried Glutinous Rice)

I haven't updated in a while and there's a good explanation for that. I've been extreeeeemly busy spending 8-11 hours at the hospital everyday for the past few weeks. Though i still get some time for myself after school, cooking would be the last thing on my mind. I rather sit in front of my computer for 3 hours munching on stale bread than to leave my toasty room for a 15 step excursion to the kitchen. Mmmhmm... a 2 hour minimum (or more) of 混-ing is required to keep me sane. Sigh... COME, CHRISTMAS, COME! May Santa grant me a blow torch this year to set my schedule aflame. Sheeeesh. So anyways, after a month, I'm finally updating on JLo's 油飯. I was gonna make him write this entry instead but then I thought, 算了... I think I'll pass on having my boyfriend write about his Ex's mom, cuz that's where this recipe came from.... AWK-WARD. wa.ha.ha... 好吃就好, 好吃就好了嘛! I'm just glad he cooked for me :) and made something other than chicken and rice...

JLo's 油飯 Fried Glutinous Rice
  • 2 steamer cups glutinous rice (long grain)
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
  • 1/2 cup fried shallots
  • 1 hand full dried shrimps, soaked.
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice wine [or as needed]
  • 1 cup Cha-Shao
  • 2-3 tablespoons [or as needed] Lee Kum Kee's seasoned soy sauce for seafood (蒸魚醬油)
  • 1-2 tablespoons XO sauce (optional)
  • 1.5 steamer cups water

  1. Soak the glutinous rice in water for 2 hours. Drain well and set aside. [picture 1]
  2. Heat a wok or frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil.
  3. When the oil is hot, add in the mushrooms, shrimps, and dried shallots. Stir-fry until fragrant, adding rice wine when it gets too dry. [picture 2]
  4. Next, add the Cha-Shao, XO sauce, and soy sauce. Continue to stir-fry, adding rice wine if it gets too dry. [picture 3]
  5. Add in the glutinous rice and stir-fry briefly until the rice is coated in a light brown color, adding more soy sauce if needed. [picture 4, 5]
  6. Scoop everything into your steamer pot and add 1.5 steamer cups of water.
  7. Pour 2 steamer cups of water in the outer layer of your steamer. Cover and steam. [picture 6]
  8. If your rice is undercooked, don't worry! Just add more water to the rice and continue steaming.

JLo's Hybrid 油飯 (Fried Glutinous Rice)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever since school started, i cant seem to remember the last time where i could relax and have any afternoons to myself without any exams or quizzes lurking behind my back. But with psych out of way and pharm quizzes on a halt, these few days of chill was more than i could wish for :) However, next week we'll be starting disaster medicine and spending the entire day (8am - 5pm) in a hospital, that's 40 (bus-ride) minutes away from home, in the (predicted) snow..... it's gonna S-U-C-K, big time. So with only a weekend left before hell begins, i baked a big batch of cookies so that i could live my weekend to its fullest by eat my stress away. Oh gosh, just thinking about my next 2 weeks is getting me all antsy and super freakin' FAHNNNN........*chomps on a cookie*.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

from allrecipes.com
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C (325 F).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs on at a time, then stir in vanilla.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture until just blended.
  5. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cheesecake Brownies #2

Last weekend was quite a crappy one. We had the psychiatry NBME on Saturday so that meant that i pulled many all-nighters which turned out to be a waste of time cuz IT WAS SO HARD!!! UGHHH, No way I am ever becoming a Psychiatrist. So anyways, after a 13 hour sleep, i got up and had the worst chocolate craving that I've had in months, cheesecake brownies were the only things i could think of. Learning from my mistakes last time, I made a few changes with the original recipe and the brownies came out to be much more successful than before. The new recipe and pictures have been updated at the original entry:


They've just become my monthly best friend. Yay for chocolate :D

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

叉燒/ Cha Shao/ Cha Siu

Today's the last day of our 4-day weekend and since JLo has been wanting to show off his fried glutinous rice, we decided that today would be the day (to be updated later). He calls this his Canto-Taiwanese "hybrid" 油飯 since the main ingredient was Cantonese Cha-Shao. So being the great girlfriend that i am, i got up at noon and started making the Cha-Shao that i've marinated overnight-- sacrificing my precious study time, sigh! So if you've ever been to Taiwan or hong kong, you've must've passed by tons of 燒臘 (siu mei) stores where they hang up their perfectly cut and roasted meat outside their shop. I've always thought that they had some crazy, complicated way of producing such beautifully glazed Cha-shao so I was quite doubtful of the online recipes that I've found. I mean, if it was so easy to make, then why are there so many 便當 stores in Taiwan, right? So I popped the meat in the oven, basted it every 15 minutes, made a simple glaze, cut it up... and vuala! A plate of perfectly roasted, crimson lined Cha-Shao... just like that! Not disappointing at all for such a simple recipe.

叉燒/ Cha Shao/ Cha Siu

from yahoo answers-TW
  • 600g pork, cut into a 2'' strips
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (i used bean sauce 豆瓣醬 instead)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup honey or maltose (i didn't have either so i melted sugar in a little bit of water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cube red pickled tofu (紅豆腐乳)
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • red food coloring (optional)

  • Honey and water (mixed in a 3:1 ratio) (once again melted sugar in a little bit of water)

  1. Use a fork and poke the pork all over, set aside [picture 2].
  2. Make the marinade by mixing the rest of the ingredients together (except the honey water) until well blended [picture 1].
  3. Marinade the pork overnight [picture3].
  4. The next day, lay the pork on a greased rack and spread foil on the bottom for easier cleaning [picture 4].
  5. Bake 30 minutes on each side (1 hour total) at gas mark 5 (190ºC, 375ºF), basting every 10 - 15 minutes with remaining marinade [picture 5].
  6. The pork should have an internal temperature of 65°C (or 160°F) when done [picture 6].
  7. Make the glaze by mixing honey and water in a 3:1 ratio, respectively.
  8. Glaze the pork on each side and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes [picture 7].
  9. Let the pork cool down [picture 8] and cut into thin slices.
- Cut the pork into smaller strips for prettier outcome (1.5 - 2 inches).
- Even though the Cha-Shao in my pictures came out red, the color got darker as i left it out longer... no idea why.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Kimchi & Kaktugi

Here's the update of the Kimchi i made a few weeks ago. Making it was easier than i've imagined but the entire process was sooo time consuming. I took me hours to prepare and i had to wait 3 days just to have a taste of it. Not to mention the kimchi stench i had in my room while fermenting and the perpetual smell that has overtaken my fridge (baking soda and lemon wedges were of no help at all). But all in all, it was quite worth it. They last forever and the the longer you keep it, the better it tastes. I used up half of the pepper flakes that i brought back from taiwan, but thankfully I stocked up a years' worth of it from our trip to Berlin. There's still a bit of kimchi left in my fridge but once that's gone, i'm definately making it again. Can't wait to try out all the other stuff you can make from kimchi. Dont you just love Korean food? I can totally live on it :D

Kimchi & Kaktugi

  • 1 chinese cabbage
  • 1 medium-sized radish
  • salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (or less, depending on your taste)
  • 1 - 1.5 cups hot pepper flakes (according to your taste)
  • a bunch of spring onions (chopped and sliced)

    NOTE #1: if you're only making kimchi, this porridge recipe is enough for 2 Chinese cabbages.
    NOTE #2: add the fish sauce and hot pepper flakes according to taste! Everyone has different preferences ;)


  1. Cut the cabbages in half, and then slit each half through the core. [picture 1, 2]
  2. Soak each piece of cabbage in cold water. Drain and generously sprinkle with salt (the stem should get more salt than leaf part), set it aside for 2 hours. [picture 3]
  3. Skin the radish and cut them into 1 inch cube shapes, generously sprinkle with salt and also set aside for 2 hours. [picture 4]
  4. 2 hours later, turn the pieces of cabbage and radish over so they get salted evenly.
  5. Another 2 hours later, the cabbage and radish should look softer than before, and it should have shrunk. (The total salting process will take 4 hours)
  6. Rinse the salted cabbage and radish with cold water 3 times.

    Porridge Paste:
  7. Using a food processor, blend the garlic, ginger, and onion into a paste. [picture 5]
  8. Combine the glutinous rice powder and water and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  9. When you see some bubbles, pour in the sugar and stir for another minute. Let cool. [picture 6]
  10. When the porridge has cooled down, add in the fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, garlic/ginger/onion paste, and spring onions. Mix well and your Kimchi paste is done. [picture 7]
  11. Spread the Kimchi paste onto each leaf of the cabbage. [picture 8]
  12. Mix the leftover paste with your radish cubes (kaktugi).
  13. Put it into an air- tight sealed plastic container or glass jar.
  14. You can eat it fresh right after making it or wait until it’s fermented.
    [To Ferment: leave the sealed Kimchi container at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. Refriderate after it has reached desired sour taste]



Monday, November 03, 2008

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)

I had quite an eventful weekend this week, JLo and I took a weekend trip to Berlin! Yep, it was a spur of the moment idea, really. And it only took 3 hours to get back to sweet civilization :) This was like, our 4th-5th time there we skipped all the sight-seeing and went straight for the fooood! We had the usual beef noodles, sushi buffet, burger king, dunkin' donuts...etc. But what made this trip worthwhile was Villa Rodizio!! Ahhhh, nothing beats some good old Brazilian barbecue... sigh. I can't wait to go back for our 3rd time! Hmm, what else... we were also lucky enough to see the Lamborghini Reventón which, according to JLo, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience since there are only 20 of them in the world? Yea... hmm, that was pretty cool i guess..hahaha. Anyways, i don't want to bore anyone much further so back to today's topic-- Kimchi Chigae! I decided to use up half of the Kimchi i made a few weeks ago (will update soon) for Kimchi Chigae. I got the recipe from maangchi.com. Maangchi is this really cute Korean lady that became a youtube celebrity from her food videos. You should check out her website some time... I also made a few of her Korean side dishes for dinner tonight and they were fantabulous. Below is a picture of our attempt of a complete Korean dinner... but damn those ikea plastic containers, 超級扣分.

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)
from maangchi.com
  • 500g pork, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups of chopped kimchi, chopped (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper paste
  • 1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, soaked (optional)
  • 1 stalk green onions, sliced
  • 1 package soft tofu
  • sesame oil
  • water


  1. In a pot or skillet, saute the pork and onions for 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the chopped kimchi and its juice.
  3. Then add in hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, mushrooms (optional), sugar, and green onions.
  4. Pour enough water to cover all ingredients.
  5. Close the lid and let it boil for 10 minutes. Turn down the medium heat and let it simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add in the tofu and boil for another 5 minutes more.
  7. Add some sesame oil and chopped spring onions right before serving.

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)
with korean side dishes and bulgogi

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Steamed Pearl Balls

A few weeks ago, the two packages that I sent out this summer from Taiwan finally arrived, yippeeee! It's been so long since I've sent them that I almost forgot about all the goodies I've packed up inside-- from snacks, condiments to noodles and rice! Yes, that's right, rice! Glutinous rice to be exact. I can't believe they don't sell glutinous rice here... these polaks are seriously missing out. So before i splurge all the rice on JLo's famous 油飯 (glutinous oil rice) that he keeps bragging about, i decided to make my favorite dim sum that I totally forgot to eat this time in TW, 珍珠丸 (Pearl Balls)! I never knew these things were so easy to make until I found a short and simple cooking video for it on ytower. If you exclude the rice-soaking step, the entire process only took 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to steam... it doesn't get any easier than that ;) !

Steamed Pearl Balls
from ytower.com

  • 250g ground pork
  • 200g shrimp (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, depending on your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons spring onions, minced
  • 3/4 cup glutinous rice (a.k.a sweet rice, sticky rice)
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Soak the glutinous rice in water for at least 2 hours or over night.
  2. In a big bowl, combine the ground pork and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, toss it around.
  3. Add in the shrimp pieces (optional) and continue tossing.
  4. Mix in the sugar, potato starch, white pepper, spring onions, and sesame oil.
  5. Continue kneading and tossing until it's well mixed and elastic. Set aside.
  6. Drain the glutinous rice and add a pinch of salt and a dash of sesame oil, mix well.
  7. Shape the pork into little balls and roll them and cover them with glutinous rice.
  8. Place the meat balls 1/2-inch apart on a greased plate. Steam for 15-20 minutes.

Steamed Pearl Balls

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fish n' Chips

Here comes another acne-popping entry-- Fish n' Chips!Rodeo Drive at Stary Browar serves suuuuper yummy Fish n' Chips, but due to my 阿嬤心態, I've refused to order this since their 5zl price increase. Hahaha, but seriously, if you think about it, that's like a 60NT increase... 不整個就是黑店嗎?? But 好啦, i still go there pretty often cuz the food is still pretty good XD. So with their Fish n' Chips out of the picture, the only thing left to do was to... make my own! 2 huge panga fillets cut into 8 pieces (6.50 zl) + 5 potatoes (2.00 zl) + oil for frying (5.00 zl) + 1 bottle of beer (2.5 zl) = 16 freakin' zlotys + enough food to feed 3-4 people. BEAT THAT, 24.95zl Rodeo Drive! Muahahaha (ok, the grandma thing might be going a little bit overboard). I got the recipe off of: http://ifoods.tv/fish/Fish-and-Chips/87/ which also includes a great cooking video clip with super detailed instructions. If you're thinking about trying this sometime, you must watch the video. The fish and fries came out golden and crisp, and it only took me one try! The only tricky part would be maintaining the right temperature and thankfully, I had a cooking thermometer to help me out w/ that. I'll be making this again once my face clears up... arghhh, love and hate... love and hate... hahaha.

Fish n' Chips
from ifoods.tv
  • 4 x 180g Fish Fillets (Panga)
  • 5 Big Potatoes
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt
  • Paper Towels
    Tartare Sauce:
  • 1 Pickle
  • 2 tbsp Capers (i left it out)
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Parsley (i left it out)
  • 1 Medium Red Onion
  • 1 Juiced Lemon
  • 250g Mayonnaise
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 120g All Purpose Flour
  • 30g Corn Flour (any type of starch)
  • 250ml Beer


  1. Chop the ends off the pickle and cut a fine dice into a large bowl to start the sauce.
  2. Add some chopped parsley, fresh capers, lemon juice and a whole chopped red onion to the bowl.
  3. Add the mayonnaise and bring the whole mixture together using a spatula. Cover the sauce and place in the fridge until later.
  4. Peel and wash the potatoes before cutting uniform sized chips, it is essential that they are as uniform as possible as this will affect their cooking time. Place the chips in a bowl of water to avoid discoloration.
  5. To make the batter place the egg whites into a large bowl and whisk them until they get to soft peak stage.
  6. In a separate bowl combine the flour, corn flour and bring together into a smooth paste using the beer.
  7. Fold the contents of the 2 bowls together. Make sure to gently fold the egg whites into the flour/beer mixture as you don’t want to lose the fluffy texture.
  8. Bring the oil to 140C/280F and blanch the strained chips for 4 minutes until they are soft before removing them from the oil and drying on a paper towel.
  9. With the temperature at the same level repeat the process with the fish. Dust it lightly in flour ensuring to shake of any excess before dipping into the batter and again shaking any excess batter before placing in the oil. Blanch for 2 minutes before straining on to the same towel as the chips.
  10. Turn the oil up to 180C/360F and wait for it to heat up before adding the fish and chips back into the hot oil. Cook them both until golden brown (The fish may cook quicker than the chips here).
  11. Using a slotted spoon remove them to a fresh plate with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Season both the fish and chips and serve immediately with a generous dollop of the tartar sauce.

Fish n' Chips
with tartare sauce

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Chicken and cider stew with mashed potatoes and apples

School has started for about 3 weeks now and it has never been so busy-- 8'am classes all around the city with endless seminar quizzes and course final exams. That's one of the reasons why i haven't been cooking much... the 2nd reason is because our kitchen has been occupied EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT
by kitchen-hogging newbies from different floors who don't seem to have anything else to do (like, studying for example??) but arrange cooking fests and dinner gatherings... leaving me no other choice but to either go all the way down to the 2nd floor or settle for 大同 steamer dinners. I mean, sure, the kitchen is a public area for anyone to use... but do you REALLY have to hog it up for another 2 hours to fool around and eat? The last time I checked, Kitchen does NOT equal Dining room. Kitchen counters does NOT equal Dining table. Especially when we're living in the dorms, 用完 清理乾淨 就快走. 拿回自己房間吃, 方便自己也方便別人. If it was a weekly class dinner/lunch gathering then by all means, go ahead. But seriously, EVERY DAY? Sigh, if people are really too ignorant to think for others, then its time to put them in our shoes. UGHHH.... common sense, people, it's all just common sense. There's new crap to deal with every year... and Yes, I complain. so bite me.

With that off my chest, here's something JLo and I whipped up during our 1st cooking session of the school year... "Chicken and cider stew with mashed potatoes and apples" (oh gosh, name's a bit too long). I got it off the new "Fast Food" cookbook JLo gave me this summer and I've already made a mess with it w/ my tag marks :) Since I don't like chicken breasts, i thought the chicken was so-so. But to my surprise, the combo of potatoes and apples was fantabulous! I've never really liked the savory+sweet type of food (Hawaiian pizza, sweet and sour pork/chicken, 梅子綠茶...etc), but these mashed potatoes were something else :D Hopefully the kitchen'll clear out soon so that I can put this cookbook into good use.

Chicken and cider stew with mashed potatoes and apples
from my Fast Food recipe book
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
  • 1.5 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups apple cider (or apple juice but it won't be as flavorful/tangy)
  • 2 lbs. potatoes, cubed
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 pieces
  • 2/3 cup cream


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons o thyme.
  2. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes. Remove.
  4. Add the shallots and the remaining thyme to the saucepan and saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the cider, then bring to a boil, scraping off any sediment from the bottom.
  6. Return the chicken to the saucepan and cover.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced. (check occasionally to see if water needs to be added)
  8. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and apples or 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  9. Drain and mash them together.
  10. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the cream and the remaining butter, then season well.
  11. Stir the remaining cream into the chicken stew and cook for another 2-4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  12. Serve with mashed potatoes, apples, and a crisp green salad.

Chicken and cider stew
with mashed potatoes and apples

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wow, after a 3 month hiatus, finally an entry!

I haven't updated this blog in foreverrrr, 害我一時之間不知道要寫什麼... 雖然說在台灣, 這個什麼都有的地方, 因該可以做更多東西...可是這三個月就讓我一混就混過去了. My summer is coming to an end as i'm heading back to POZ in 3 days... sighhh... back to the simple life where cooking becomes the only hobby i can have. 真不知道是該高興還是該哭....sighhhh. So anyways, a few days ago on the student government website, someone posted a link for a online test to see which medical specialization fits you most. Somehow the PTSG website is down so i can't go back and look for the link. But take a look at my top ten!

Tsk tsk tsk.... Dermatology... really?!?!
Even though it's the hottest specialization right now, it's also the hardest to get into. Dang it...
to get into something that suits me....... as if being a doctor isnt bad enough, P(*%()*%)(@*%. I got the same points for Radiation Oncology... but that's kind of out of the question since my parents are pretty paranoid about radiation and stuff. But who knows... ahhhhh i just want to specialize in something safe with a set schedule... is that too much to ask?! anyways, here's the rest of the bottom 17... Ha, i guess this test has some accuracy to it, cuz I have no interest, whatsoever, in anything below #21.

Click to enlarge

okay, off I go to check out the new Kaohsiung Orange Line KMRT, yayyy! I'm excited. 住了高雄3個月發現.... 到了綠色縣市, 真的有差 :D 高雄是個好地方! (可是逛街要去台中 :P)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Feta Couscous Salad

So after spending a week and a half observing sick kids, i have officially crossed out Pediatrics from my list of potential specializations. Hmm... actually, Pediatrics isnt permenantly ruled out, but for now it is. Don't get me wrong, i LOVE kids. But even though I'd be trying to make them feel better, i still think i would kill myself if i had to inflict pain on them every single day. Argh, i just can't stand babies cry! The occasional wail for attention is okay... I'm talking about the screaming and kicking, big fat tear drops, ceaseless sobbing type of cry. Breaks.My.Heart. And to think that I would be feared and hated by kids of all ages just beats the purpose of being a pediatric. I don't know why they say dentists are more prone to comit suicide when pediatrics have it 10x worse than them! Waaha, but that's just my screwed up point of view so we'll see... i still have 2 more years of pediatrics to go before I make my final decision. So anyway, here's the recipe for a couscous salad that I made for my 15 minute hospital lunch breaks. I've always thought couscous was some type of rice but it's actually pasta formed into little grains (Wiki it). This is the first time I ever cooked couscous and I'm starting to really like it! It only takes 5 minutes to prepare-- all you have to do is pour hot water into it and let it steam! Take another 10 to chop up your veggies and toss it around and there you have your instant healthy fast food.

Feta Couscous Salad
derived from allrecipes.com and videos.about.com

  • 1-1/4 cups couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced [soak it in water so they won't be so overpowering]
  • 2-3 stalks spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  1. Place the couscous in a big pot and drizzle with the olive oil. [picture 2]
  2. Use a fork to coat the couscous with oil (couscous should resemble wet sand). [picture 3]
  3. Boil the chicken stock and pour it into the pot of couscous. [picture 4, 5]
  4. Cover the pot with a lid (or foil) immediately to let it steam and cook by itself. [picture 6]
  5. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and use a fork to fluff up the couscous. Let it cool. [picture 7]
  6. Add the cucumbers, red bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, spring onions, feta cheese, and vinegar to the couscous and mix well. [picture 7]
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.

NOTE: i spiced up my couscous with shredded pork knuckles from the previous entry.

Feta Couscous Salad

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

German Pork Knuckles

About a week ago while i was going through my daily dose of recipes, i came across this page: 李家咖哩小舖. It was a German pork knuckle recipe by a Taiwanese blogger so I had a few doubts on the authenticity of the dish. I went online and googled for a German one but none of the recipes I found looked convincing, so I went ahead and made the asianized German pork knuckle since it sounded so easy to make; just brine-->boil--> and bake! But like I said, i had some doubts on the recipe so instead of following the instructions, i decided to put in around 3 tablespoons of salt when it only called for less than half of that. MmmHmm, i chugged down at least one liter of water with my meal. Wahaha... Osmosis, powerful thing I tell you. I couldn't finish it so with my 廢物利用 skills, i shredded it up and it instantly became Ham! I threw it into my couscous salad (shall update later) the next day and that's how my pork knuckle-ham found a new home :) But even though i screwed up the knuckles, I must admit 李家咖哩小舖 had a good recipe... so don't let me bring you down and check out that website!

German Pork Knuckles
  • 1 pork knuckle (pork hocks, not the hooves)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • thyme (optional)
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup red wine (i used vodka)
  • 4 slices of ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the knuckles) into a container and mix well.
  2. Place the washed pork knuckles in your container and marinate/brine for 7 days (refrigerate, flipping the knuckles once everyday). [picture 1]
    - if 1/2 cup of wine isn't enough, just add enough water to cover half of the knuckles.
  3. After 7 days, boil the knuckles (along with the marinade) in water and simmer for 45 minutes (remove the dirty foam as it boils). [picture 2, 3]
  4. Refrigerate the boiled knuckles for another day. [picture 4]
  5. Bake at gas mark 5 (190ºC, 375ºF) for one hour or until it's nice and crispy.

German Pork Knuckles
with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Some time last month i got super lazy and decided to make something that could last me a week. The first thing that came to my mind was Chili (a.k.a chili con carne). Like my Mexican casserole, i got the recipe from Food Management class in high school. We never made it in class so i tried it out at home and my mom loved it! Ever since then, Chili became my first choice week-long food cuz you can derive and make so many other dishes from that one pot of Chili. The good thing about it is: you can substitute the meat with ground pork, ground beef, ground chicken, sausages, or even leave it meatless. I like the original ground beef best but this time i used ground turkey since PP was out of beef. Anyhoo, all you have to do is chuck everything in a big pot and let it simmer for a few hours, sound easy enough? I had my chili in 4 different ways: with rice, with macaroni, chili fries, and with chips. So for like, 4 days, all i had was this and I'm still not sick of it :D Wahahaha.

serves 12
  • 1 kilogram ground beef, cooked (or any type of meat)
    (leave the meat out for a vegetarian chili)
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 3 cups kidney beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups water
  1. Add all ingredients into a big pot and let it simmer for 2-3 hours.
  2. Garnish with grated cheese and onions.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Strawberry Mousse Cake and Strawberry Charlotte

So last week my roommate and I had to run some errands downtown... our freakin residence card is being delayed due to the annual "techincal" problem of theirs. Sighhh, it's ridiculous how inefficient Poland can be some times. There was only one lady that was attending the window/stand at the immigration office and I was already getting pretty annoyed waiting in line... then to find out that their problem wont be fixed until AUGUST is just )*(#&%)(*@%&)(#@*%&)(@#&. ARGHHH, I do not want to pay another 3,000 NT for a freakin unnecessary visa. Even though i could just use my Brazilian passport, i still don't want to worry about the 90 days limit. Its not even our fault anyway, at least reimburse us with free visa. Sheeeshhh... Well, after wasting our time at the office, we went to the far ING bank and passed through a strawberry stand. The strawberries looked so fresh and smelled so sweet that you could smell it 2 feet away, no kidding. So on our way back we couldn't resist but to stop by and get ourselves a bag of strawberries each. As if the freshness and prettiness wasn't a good enough reason to get them, then 4.00 zl for 1 kg must be 了吧!! Yep... looking at my past strawberry entries, 4.00 zl for 1 kg by far the cheapest. I could've gotten 2 kgs but I already had 500g of strawberries at home. So yep, that gave me 1.5 kgs of strawberries to work with XD.
After blending 1/3 up for yogurt-shakes, I decided to use some for a Strawberry Mousse Cake. But for some reason i just kept on screwing up and ended up wasting 1 liter of milk, 7 eggs, and tons of whipping cream, sugar, and other ingredients. Sighhh... i was pretty pissed off but hey, if you don't make mistakes, then how can you learn from them, right? So the next day i gave it another go and reduced the size to a small 5.5'' cake. Sigh, 真的是 with low expectations comes great satisfaction... it turned out 10x better than I expected! I divided it into 8 pieces-- gave one to little A, one for myself, and JLo ate the rest... in one sitting ;) Wahahahaa, that felt pretty good. Anyways, here's the recipe!

Sponge Cake
from ytower.com
makes a 8.5'' cake (I halved recipe to make a small 5.5'' cake)

  • 290 mL (1 and 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 35 mL milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 35 mL vegetable oil


  1. Prepare ingredients: [pictures 1, 2]
    - add sugar and salt together.
    - add milk, oil, and vanilla together.
    - sift the flour.
  2. Add the sugar+salt into the eggs and blend with an electric mixer immediately. [picture 3]
  3. Blend until the egg mixture becomes foamy and tripled in size (around 5 minutes).
  4. Add in the flour and mix well. [picture 4]
  5. Pour some of the mixture into the milk+oil and stir until well blended. [picture 5]
  6. Pour it back into the original cake mixture and use your spatula to fold until well blended. [picture 6]
  7. Pour into a cake mold and bake for 35 minutes at 180 C (Gas 4). [picture 7]
Strawberry Mousse Cake
makes a small 5.5'' cake
  • 2 layers of sponge cake (cut off 1 cm around the edges)
  • 200g fresh strawberries
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 mL milk
  • 2.5 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 150g fresh strawberries sliced in half.

  1. Blend and puree 200g of fresh strawberries. [picture 1]
  2. In a saucepan, mix the sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. [picture 2]
  3. Pour the strawberry puree (around 150 mL) into the egg mixture. Mix well. [picture 3]
  4. In another saucepan, add the gelatin and milk and heat until gelatin has dissolved. Pour it into the strawberry mixture and continue heating until everything comes together. [picture 4]
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and place the saucepan in cold water until it reaches room temperature.
  6. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Pour it into the strawberry mixture. [picture 5]
  7. Fold until blended thoroughly. [picture 6]
  8. Place the 1st layer of sponge cake in the center of the mold and arrange sliced strawberries on top. Pour in the mousse until strawberries are covered. [picture 7]
  9. Place the 2nd layer of sponge cake in the center and cover it with more mousse. [picture 8, 9]
  10. Refrigerate until set (4 hours). Decorate and serve.

Strawberry Mousse Cake

For Strawberry Charlotte:
  1. Dip the bottom of the ladyfingers in raspberry or strawberry syrup.
  2. Line up the ladyfingers side by side along your springform pan.
  3. Fill up the inside as directed with the Strawberry Mousse Cake recipe above.

Strawberry Charlotte