Friday, May 30, 2008

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Yes. One layer wasn't enough for me, i had to go for two. XD I came across a video for Chicago deep dish pizza a while ago and told myself that i have GOT TO make this. I don't think they have deep dish pizzas in Taiwan or Poland so the idea of a 2 layers fascinated me (o goodness, <-- listen to me, I'm such a fatty). The video made the pizza seem TOO easy to be true so i was pretty skeptical about the possibility of a successful home-made deep dish pizza. There were problems alright; I was having a hard time keeping my dough in place cuz it kept sliding down the pan, interfering my topping process. The uncontrollable dough + my notorious PMS (those who know me should know what i mean) drove me crazy and i gave up. I started piling everything on there, sloppily threw on the 2nd piece of dough, and tossed it into the oven. Whatever, I mean, if it really turned out that bad, I can always just eat the topping and throw out the bread. 45 minutes went by and the top of the pizza was golden brown and looked decent enough. But nahhh, my numerous past experiences of soggy pizza bottoms with non-pre-baked dough was enough to tell me not to put my hopes up for this one. I left the pizza sitting there for quite a while, not wanting to know what disasters hid inside...but when i finally did, what'd you know... I actually pulled it off! Ohhh, the joy...! Both layers of dough were properly baked with no sogginess, especially the bottom layer! Wah sai, i was surprised... this deep dish pizza was baked out of pure luck. Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
  • One 9" springform pan
  • Pizza dough (recipe here)
  • Toppings of your choice:
    Tomato sauce, sausage, salami, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, cheese...etc.


  1. Divide the pizza dough in a 55%-45% proportion.
  2. Roll the larger dough 4-5 inches larger than the springform pan.
  3. Generously grease the springform pan.
  4. Place the dough in, making sure it fits nicely, leaving a few inches at the edge.
  5. Layer the bottom half of the pizza with toppings of your choice.
  6. Roll the smaller dough out and place it on top of your toppings.
  7. The edges of both pizza doughs should overlap. Roll the overlapping edges towards the center, tucking in the edges.
  8. Add more pizza topping and bake at Gas 5 for 45 minutes.
  9. If the top is browning too quickly, cover it with foil for the last few minutes of cooking.

Visit the (<--click) website for the video.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chocolate Mocha Trifle

Ever since watching one of Nigella Lawson's trifle episodes on TV in Taiwan, I've been keeping my eye out for a trifle bowl so that i could make one of my own. Never found any in Taiwan and couldn't find any in Poland. I went to Ikea last month in search of one but the best thing i could find were these tall glasses that only sold in packages of 6. Of course i didn't buy them and was kind of bummed out cuz i really, really want to make it! I started to get a bit fussy and whine-y at JLo and there was nothing he could do about it either. Well a month went by and one day, out of the blue, i realized the cup that he has been using to keep his coins in was perfect for a trifle! Waha, he's had that cup ever since his first month in Poland (3 years ago)... and it took us both that long to realize his coin cup could be used for other purposes too. So there, that's was my little story on how i found a cup to make this eye-candy of a trifle. Don't hurt me for making you read this far XD...but please do take a look at the recipe:

Chocolate Mocha Trifle
derived from
  • Brownies (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 200 mL of whipping cream (30%)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 package of chocolate pudding.
  • 3 tablespoons of coffee granules
  • chopped almonds


  1. Add the sugar to the whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form.
  2. Combine pudding powder with the coffee granules and cook the pudding according to package directions.(Add pudding with milk and heat until it becomes thick. Some pudding packages may require you to add some sugar.)
  3. Allow the pudding to cool down and fold in about 1/3 of the whipped cream.
  4. Layer your trifle cup/bowl with brownies, pudding, chopped almonds, whipped cream.
  5. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used. End with whipped cream.
  6. Garnish with chopped almonds and chocolate shavings.
  7. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator before serving.

(click to enlarge)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Beef Wellington

According to the trusty Wikipedia:
"Beef Wellington is a preparation of beef tenderloin coated with pâté (often pâté de foie gras) and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked."
Believe it or not, Hell's kitchen is what introduced me to Wellingtons... I have never seen or heard of them before that. That show really popularized that dish (you'll know what i mean if you watch the show)... cuz Gordon Ramsay's ALWAYS yelling about it. For the first few seasons, 90% of the time, there were always problems with the wellingtons... and the way Ramsay deals with those problems... really makes an impression on you ;) Anyways, JLo and I always wondered why those chefs kept screwing up... were wellingtons really that hard?! Well after finally making them myself, the answer to our question is: NO. They're are NOT hard to make. But they are, however, hard to perfect. Our wellington tasted good... but the problem was the pastry, ARGH! It didn't rise in the bottom, got all soggy, and broke apart when i tried to remove it from the pan... still need to find a solution for that. But yea, my pastry problem didn't lower spirits... cuz i thoroughly, whole-heartedly, 100%-edly enjoyed my food, thank goodness I'm not a perfectionist!

Gordon Ramsay rocks my socks.
Beef Wellington
from Gordon Ramsay
  • 400g Beef fillet
  • 400g Flat mushrooms
  • 4 slice Parma ham
  • English mustard for brushing meat
  • 200g puff pastry
  • 1 egg for brushing pastry


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200c.
  2. Heat some oil in a large pan and quickly fry the seasoned beef all over until it’s brown. Remove and allow to cool.
  3. The point of this is simply to sear the beef and seal all those juices in, you don’t want to cook the meat at this stage. Allow to cool and brush generously with the mustard.
  4. Roughly chop the mushrooms and blend in a food processor to form a puree. Scrape the mixture into a hot, dry pan and allow the water to evaporate. When sufficiently dry (the mixture should be sticking together easily), set aside and cool.
  5. Roll out a generous length of cling film, lay out the four slices of Parma ham, each one slightly overlapping the last. With a pallet knife spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the ham.
  6. Place the beef fillet in the middle and keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edge, neatly roll the parma ham and mushrooms over the beef into a tight barrel shape.
  7. Twist the ends to secure the clingfilm. Refrigerate for 10 -15 minutes, this allows the Wellington to set and helps keep the shape.
  8. Roll out the pastry quite thinly to a size which will cover your beef. Unwrap the meat from the cling film. Egg wash the edge of the pastry and place the beef in the middle. Roll up the pastry, cut any excess off the ends and fold neatly to the ‘underside’. Turnover and egg wash over the top. Chill again to let the pastry cool, approximately 5 minutes. Egg wash again before baking at 200c for 35 - 40 minutes. Rest 8 -10 minutes before slicing

Basic Steps:

NOTE: i used button mushrooms, normal ham, and normal mustard.

Beef Wellington

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

The picture on the left is my 3rd (and finally successful) attempt at making mouse cakes. For the sake of writing whatever to filling up a (what would have been) blank page, here's a brief history of my previous unfortunate failures:

Failure #1: Peach Mousse Cake
Yes okay, structural-wise, there was nothing wrong with it. But it tasted like nothing but pure sugar... I don't know why I even bother calling it a Peach cake. And now that I think of it, what was I thinking giving my roommate a slice?! She must've thought I was purposely trying to put her into a diabetic coma (hyperglycemic). Sorry, my bad... :P
Failure #2: Coffee Mousse Cake (picture 2)
This mousse cake currently ranks as my Number One culinary disaster. I actually re-made the cake twice. And to make things even worse... this was actually JLo's 24th birthday cake. HAHAHAHA. I know, I know... I deserve a bad-girlfriend-slap. But hey, at least i tried decorating it into a Subaru sign (his favorite) and making it coffee-flavored (his other favorite)! The cake was basically raw dough and the mousse was basically... a layer of crap.

Now back to my 3rd attempt: Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake. My my, just when i was about to give up on anything having to do with mousse, God showed me kindness XD. It's true what they say--with low expectations, comes great satisfaction. This has become JLo's favorite non-coffee dessert (which is a rare thing). I am also happy to say that mousse cakes have officially become my favorite type of dessert.

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake
makes one small 5.5'' cake
  • 1 layer of chocolate cake/brownies.
  • 300g fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons fine sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate powder
  • 2 teaspoons un-flavored gelatin
  • 150 mL milk
  • 1.5 cup whipping cream (30%)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Prepare the layer of cake/brownie and place it in your cake mold.
  2. Slice 1/2 of the strawberries in half, arranging them around your mold (touching, side-by-side, pointed ends up, with cut sides against the side of the mold).
  3. Place the remaining half of strawberries in the center. Set aside [picture 1].
  4. In a bowl, mix together sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, and chocolate powder.
  5. In another small saucepan, add gelatin and milk. Heat until gelatin is dissolved.
  6. Pour the milk mixture into the chocolate mixture and mix well. (Place the bowl in cold water bath while mixing, the mixture should start to thicken as the temperature cools down) [picture 2].
  7. In a seperate bowl, whip the cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar until stiff peaks form [picture 3].
  8. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until blended thoroughly [picture 4].
  9. When done, pour it into your mold until it covers the strawberries.
  10. Refrigerate until set (4 hours).
  11. Decorate and serve!

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sausage/Ham Buns

So my freedom and 閒-ness is coming to an end as most of my finals and hospital trainings are coming up. But who knows, I might just keep on updating/baking to get away from it all. Ahh crap... I don't want to go back to the school routine, i have adapted too well and made myself too comfortable to this unproductive month... It's gonna be hard fixing my chaotic biological clock. And even harder to shift back to the studying mode. Gahhh.... 1 more month of suffering... then 3 months of fun. I'll just have to suck it up.

Enough with the complaining, I'm here to post the recipe for the sausage buns that i made 2 weeks ago. These buns were quite the challenge. It took me 2 tries to make a some-what fluffier/softer bread...but it still didn't quite get there >:( Whatevers. I blame it on the crappy Eskulap (dorm) oven. Kneading it was also distressing... makes me want to buy a bread machine. Argh, how do tw bakeries keep their bread so soft?? I'm gonna find out this summer... But anyways, I figured out a super efficient, fool-proof way to raise dough though... If you have a empty cabinet/ big drawer, just put your dough in there along with a cup of hot boiling water (you'll have to re-heat the water once or twice). Quicker, better rising guaranteed!

Sausage/Ham Buns
should make 5 big buns
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 sausages/hot dogs (or 5-6 slices of ham)
  • bunch of chopped spring onions
  • egg yolk for brushing
  1. Combine milk + sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved, then let it cool until it becomes warm (not too hot or else you'll kill the yeast).
  2. Put flour, yeast, salt in a big bowl and mix until blended.
  3. Add the milk, egg, and butter into the flour mixture and mix until it forms a rough ball.
  4. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 10-15 minutes).
  5. Place the dough in a air-tight container (or cover with plastic wrap) and let it rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  6. When the dough has risen, take it out and separate it into 5 even balls.
  7. Roll out the dough enough to wrap your sausage (or slightly bigger than your slice of ham).
  8. For Sausage: wrap your sausage up with the dough and use a knife to cut 5 small pieces (do not cut through). Twist the 5 pieces around to form a flower.
  9. For Ham: cut the dough into 5 separate pieces and place them together forming a flower.
  10. Let the dough rise again in an air-tight environment (about 1 hour).
  11. Before putting it into the oven, brush the top with egg yolk and sprinkle spring onions and salt.
  12. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bread is done or golden brown.

NOTE: If your bread turns out hard, steam it for a few minutes before serving!

Basic Steps:

Sausage/ Ham Buns

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Napoleon (the dessert)

Puff pastry is definitely a must for people who are too lazy to bake but still want to impress. Even though using puff pastry is almost like...cheating, you still get so much more satisfaction in your outcome than, let's say, baking from a cake mix. Puff pastry can just fancy up whatever you were trying to make and take it to another level. Take 酥皮濃湯 for example, a normal bowl of soup would cost you, what, 25 NT? But just by adding that piece of pastry (which probably costs <5 NT), they'd make you pay 60?? Pshhh! That didn't fool my mom. Which is why ever since high school, she'd always keep some puff pastry in the freezer so we wouldn't go waste our money when eating out. Anyhoo, I bought a box of puff pastry a while ago to make Sausage Rolls. They were so easy to make and hassle-free that 我已經吃到不想再吃了. So ever since last December (uh-oh), I've had half a box of pastry sheets sitting there. I don't know if these things have a strict expiry date so i think it was best to get rid of them and 順便 make space in my already-crowded freezer. Soo, in conclusion, the outcome of my boredom + procrastination (pathology test tomorrow) were... Napoleons! (still don't know why they're called that... hmm, french dessert = french pride = Napoleon? nie wiem.)

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg


  1. Thaw the puff pastry sheets until no longer frozen.
  2. Poke holes on the puff pastry and place it on a baking pan/sheet.
  3. Place another baking pan/sheet on top of the pastry and bake for 15 minutes (Gas mark 6), or until golden brown. Remove pastry and let it cool.
  4. Make the pastry cream by placing the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Combine the egg and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in color. Add in the flour and mix well.
  6. When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat.
  7. Very slowly half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
  8. When egg mixture is evenly mixed, pour it all back into the saucepan over medium heat.
  9. Using a spatula or a whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats.
  10. Let it boil and keep stirring until it becomes thick.
  11. Evenly spread the cream over the puff pastry and stack it together.
  12. To decorate, use either icing or powdered sugar.
  13. Trim off the edges for better presentation.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu

As you might have known, my favorite online recipe source is My favorite thing about it is that all the recipes are from normal people who have already tried it on their own. They rate the recipe, give comments, post up pictures, and even suggest some changes you can make. If you have no idea what to make, they also have an "Ingredient Search" where you can search for recipes based on what you have in your fridge. If you still don't know what you want, it also shows you their Top 20 highest-rated dishes in each category of food. And if the Top 20 dishes STILL doesn't tickle your fancy, you can always check out "Newest Photos" section and see if anything catches your eye. So there, with such a resourceful website, one should have no reason not to know what to cook.
So recently, i started browsing the site again and decided to try to make their 2nd highest-rated chicken recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu. That recipe was given 5/5 stars with 1,127 reviews... If you don't believe what i say, seeing that 1,127 people had nice things to say about it should be able to convince you. The chicken cordon bleu turned out nice and appetizing... but I'm not a big fan of it just because i don't really like chicken breasts. It's still worth the effort though :)

Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 6 slices cheese
  • 6 slices ham
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 - 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick.
  2. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges.
  3. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks.
  4. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
  5. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides.
  6. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  7. Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter.
  8. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet.
    (it's okay if there's still some wine/juices left in there)
  9. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

- I used 3 chicken breasts and thinly sliced them into 6.
- I used Olive oil instead of butter.
- I used 12% cream instead of heavy whipping cream.
- I also added different spices (parsley, oregano, basil) to the cream.

Some things you'll need:

Ham - Cheese - Chicken breasts
Toothpicks - Cream - White wine

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes

I have one thing to be thankful for in POZ-- cheap potatoes. As i might've mentioned in my previous posts, I'm a potato freak... and if i could be less weight-conscious, potatoes will definitely be my staple food (yes, i will give up rice... Whether its mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, french fries, potato chips, potato skins, potato salads... you name it, I'll love it. When i was small, every time my mom made curry, i would save the potatoes for last, put them in my mouth, mash it up, spit it out, repeat until i have enough to mix, and make mashed potatoes. hahahaha, that's a story my mom would never let me forget. Now at the age of 21, i still do that......but with a spoon, of course. I don't know why i like potatoes so much... maybe it's because it's so soft i almost don't need to use my teeth, or maybe because it goes so well with cheese (another love of my life). UGHH, why can't my favorites food be veggie sticks and greens?! Sigh... but i might as well use my fairly-good, 21-year-old metabolism to its fullest... it'll be a different story past 25. So those who love potatoes, you won't wanna miss these baked potatoes!

Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes
original recipe from with changes
  • 4 large baking potatoes (i used 5 small ones)
  • 8 slices bacon or small handful of bacon bits
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk (or as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, sliced, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Wash and steam potatoes in 大同 rice cooker with 1.5 cups of water.
  3. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  5. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins.
  7. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and half the green onions. Mix until well blended and creamy.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins.
  9. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
  10. Bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Salmon Pasta

I think almost everyone in Eskulap can unanimously agree that Donatello has the best Salmon Pasta in POZ. Not only is their pasta good, almost everything in there is worth a try. But maybe it's the fact that its located so close to the dorms, or the fact that its food delivery is so convenient... Donatello is almost never our 1st choice restaurant to dine in. Since i almost never go there anymore, i started missing their salmon pasta. I tried making it once in March but that didn't really turn out well- it was still salmon pasta, but just not quite right. So throughout the last month I've been keeping an eye on the veggie and fish section in PP cuz they rarely sell salmon and fresh spinach at the same time! (Or maybe they do, just that every time i go it's always sold out) Well, I gave up waiting on Saturday and decided make it without the spinach-- i mean, the salmon's the star of the show after all. I've googled and searched for many Salmon recipes trying to find one that fits most closely to Donatello's... it took me a while to finally mix and match a few and come up with my own. It's not exactly like Donatello's (not as good, of course... and ingredients might be different), but it's still Salmon Pasta... and satisfactory for something home-made. Here it goes:

Salmon Pasta
NOTE: I didn't use the exact amount as below, just guesstimate or use as needed.
  • 3 small or 2 big pieces of salmon
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine, or as needed
  • 1-2 cups of 12% or 18% cream, or as needed
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato concentrate/ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Fresh spinach (optional)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fettuccine pasta


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add fettuccine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Boil, steam, or pan fry the salmon until cooked.
  4. Break the cooked salmon into small pieces, set aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the garlic and onion.
  6. Add in the salmon pieces, spinach, and a bit white wine and let cook for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the cream, tomato concentrate, flour, spinach (optional), and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for 3 minutes.
    (If it gets too dry, add in more cream or white wine).
  9. When the sauce is ready, add in the pasta and toss until coated.
    (Or you can just pour the sauce over the pasta).
Things you'll need:

Salmon pieces -- Fresh spinach -- Onions -- Fettuccine pasta

Parmesan Cheese -- Tomato concentrate -- Cream -- White wine

with onions

with spinach
Salmon Pasta

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

If you ask me what my favorite cuisines are, i would have to say 1) Korean 2)Mexican (of course excluding Taiwanese/Chinese food which are unconquerable). I almost never make anything Korean cuz it just feels like all their dishes are harder to make and ingredients are harder to find...especially in Poland. But when it comes to Mexican food, its a whole different story; no matter how hard you try to screw it up, it always turns out great. As long as you have the right ingredients, things rarely go wrong.

The Mexican dish that I most often make would probably be the Mexican Chicken Casserole that I've learned from my Home Economics/Food Management class in High school. That recipe is definitely a keeper. My parents, who never has one nice thing to say about western food, would actually ask me when i have time to make it for them... If my parents have nice things to say about that casserole, then believe me, you would too. But enough about that, I'll leave it for another post. I just thought I'd mention it cuz these enchiladas are quite similar to the Mexican chicken casserole. Only difference would probably be the sour cream and the enchilada part. The only downside is that it's quite time-consuming. Especially if you decide to make your own salsa and tortillas... which is what i did. Hahaha, 自找麻煩.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
derived from & some other site that i forgot

  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of salsa
  • 1 cup of cheese
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cup of salsa
  • 1/2 cup of yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped spring onions
  • 1/2 cup of cheese


  1. Combine chicken, onion, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and cumin.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon chicken mixture on all 8 tortillas.
  4. Wrap tortillas and place them in a large baking pan.
  5. Combine salsa, yogurt, sour cream, and spring onions in another bowl. Season.
  6. Pour sauce over tortillas and top with cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
Things You'll Need:

Tortillas, Salsa, Sour Cream
(don't know if that is sour cream in polish, but sure tastes like it!)

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas