Friday, 29 April 2011

PEANUT BUTTER OREO CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES


The whole of Britain is all agog. Today, Prince William weds Catherine Middleton. This is the beginning of a new chapter in royal history. As the throngs of loyal subjects lining the streets unfurl their union jack banners and crane their necks to get a glimpse of their new princess, I will be comfortably sitting on the sofa watching the festivities up close on TV. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

BUN CHA: VIETNAMESE GRILLED PORK PATTIES AND NOODLE SALAD


It was scorching hot the past few days and we were taking advantage of being able to cook on the barbecue. It can, however, be too hot to eat hot food. Here's a compromise: aromatic, zesty, spiced grilled pork patties on cold rice noodle salad. 

This is my take on the Vietnamese bun cha, the next most popular dish in Hanoi after pho. I used lean minced pork for the patties but added peanut butter to the mixture to give it an added richness and nutty taste. The seasonings include brown sugar which makes the patties develop a caramelized glaze when grilled.

Friday, 22 April 2011

ALMOND CREAM PUFFS




It is Easter time and this is my 100th post. Time flies. I always wonder what people would like to see in my blog. To tell you the truth, after 100 posts, I still don't know. The recipes that I hesitate to post prove to be the popular ones. Still, in all, I am really grateful to all the readers, followers and supporters of this blog. May you never tire of reading my posts.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

QUAIL EGGS AND MIXED VEGETABLES ON POTATO NEST


When I was growing up this was one of the few vegetable dishes I knew and liked.  I found it fun to pop the green peas in my mouth one at a time. 

This was one of the classic dishes in Chinese restaurants. It wasn't served in a potato nest but in a footed dish, the standard serving dish in Chinese restaurants then. People simply called it Green Peas. 



When I came to London, I was disappointed that this dish wasn't in the restaurant menu. They, in fact, haven't heard of this dish at all. Luckily, my mother used to cook it at home, so I have learned to prepare it myself.

There's only a few ingredients in this dish and the ingredients are variable. You can omit or replace some. I've used a mixture of carrots, green peas and water chestnuts but you can also use turnips or cut up baby corn.



Ingredients for the potato nests:


4 potatoes, shredded
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. corn flour
oil for frying


Mix all the ingredients together, except for the cooking oil. 


Heat the cooking oil in a wok. 

Dip a medium sized metal sieve into the hot oil. Take out of the oil and add a quarter of the potatoes and pat along the sides to form a bowl shape. 

Fry on medium heat, turning the sieve around and spooning fat on the potatoes if not completely submerged in oil. Fry until crisp. 

Push the bottom of the sieve to pop out the potato nest. 


Repeat with rest of the potatoes. Set aside.


Ingredients for the vegetables:


1/4 c. whole cashew nuts
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 1/4 c. frozen green peas
1 c. diced carrots, parboiled
1 small can of water chestnuts, each piece quartered
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsps. light soy sauce
1/2 c. cooked frozen small prawns
1/4 c. stock or water
1 tsp. corn flour
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
12 quail eggs, cooked


Method:


Heat up 2 tbsps. of cooking oil in a wok. Stir fry the cashew on low heat just until it turns golden. Take out of the wok and set aside. 


On high heat, in the same pan and using the same oil, sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Add the green peas, carrots and water chestnuts and stir fry for 2 minutes. 

Add the prawns, oyster and light soy sauce and stir. Disperse the corn flour in the stock or water and add to the vegetables while stirring. When the sauce has thickened, the dish is cooked. 


Add the cashews and sesame oil. Give it a quick stir before turning the heat off. Divide into four and serve each portion on a potato nest. Top with 3 quail eggs each.





All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011. 

Please support Adora's Box by making your Amazon.com and mymemories.com (use the code STMMMS55174) purchases from this site. Click on their respective banners to proceed to their websites. It will not cost you a single cent more but will help sustain this blog. Thank you.

You might also like

Courgette Fritters with Ginger Soy Dip
Bamboo Shoot Lumpia in Chive Wrapper
Vietnamese Style Pancake and Lettuce Wraps

Thanks for dropping by. It would be nice if we could meet up on FACEBOOK or TWITTER

Saturday, 16 April 2011

LECHE FLAN CHEESE CAKE


Leche flan (creme caramel) always evoke memories of town fiestas. Although the ingredients are just eggs, milk and sugar, it is always part of the array of special fiesta fare. I don't really know if you can make just one leche flan as the recipe always makes at least two. Thinking about it brings a flashback of kitchen memories: stacks of flaneras (flan molds) being lined with caramel syrup in readiness for the egg custard, steamers billowing steam clouds ready to be loaded with the uncooked flans, and the best pressed glass platters being prepared to serve the flans. As a child, I always wanted to be in the hub of the preparations. I loved watching people cook. I loved being handed little morsels to taste. What I loved most was to sneak out a prepared flanera, crack the caramel at the bottom and eat the shards. What joy!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

MEDITERRANEAN STYLE BARBECUE CHICKEN


The days, thankfully, are once again sunny. It's time to dust the trusty barbecue and wake it from its hibernation. It's been dormant for long enough. 

My husband and I just love cooking in the barbie and miss it so much in the winter months. Our barbecue is strategically located next to our kitchen. I mean, really next to our kitchen. It is a gas fired barbie with lava rocks. It lights up instantly and heats up in a few minutes. The lava rocks give the food cooked on it a delicious chargrilled flavour. Even if still a bit cold, we can fire it up, put something on it, then seek refuge in the kitchen and watch through the window. We are such barbie fanatics.

Friday, 8 April 2011

CRABS WITH COCONUT MILK AND SPINACH




I usually go to the market after my school run on Fridays. It is a no frills market done in the local car park on Friday mornings. It is not the one of the beautiful markets we see in travel shows, far from it. It is basic but provides a lot of the ingredients I need in one stop. The best thing I like about it is the fresh produce and the wide variety of fresh fish. We like eating fish but can't depend on the supermarkets for supplies. They are just not fresh enough. 


Today, the fishmonger had fresh crabs...live and kicking. All female! He actually couldn't tell the difference. I had to teach him how. In case some are wondering, the ones with rounded flaps on their bellies are female and thus have crab roes (my favourite part of the crab). The ones with pointy flaps are of course male. They were all alive and I had to rush them home and cook them quickly to capture their peak of freshness. They were good...really good. I stewed them simply in coconut milk, added some aromatics such as lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. I also added some spinach so I that I won't need to cook a separate vegetable dish. Rice completed the happy picture. 




Ingredients:


3 medium crabs
1 c. crab stock (from the liquid used for parboiling the crabs)
1 can coconut cream (400 mls.)
1 2"x2" knob of ginger, sliced thinly
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemon grass stalk, cut in half and smashed
1 tbsp. bagoong , shrimp paste or anchovy paste
1 tbsp. of fish sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 green finger chilli
2 bunches of spring onions, cut into 2" lengths
a bunch of spinach


Method:


Put the crabs in the fridge while you preparing the ingredients to put them to sleep. 


Boil some water in a wok or pot and add the crabs. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Take the crabs out of the liquid. Save 1 c. of the stock and discard the rest. Chop the crab into two pieces each and set aside. 


Put the stock and coconut cream together in the pot or wok. Add the ginger, lime leaves, lemon grass and chilli (cut a slit in the middle, lengthwise if you want the sauce to be spicy). Season with the bagoong (or shrimp or anchovy paste), fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crab pieces and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the spring onions and spinach and simmer for another 2 minutes. The dish is now ready to enjoy.


You might also like
 Crabs with Spring Onions and Ginger
Steamed Sea Bass
Baked Spicy Prawns 
Adora's Box has exclusive rights to all the recipes and photos in this blog.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

PALABOK MEE



Pancit palabok is a very popular Filipino rice noodle dish which has a prawn gravy and a variety of toppings such as pork, prawns, chicharon (crispy pork rinds) and fried tofu among other things. Because of the myriad ingredients, people choose to eat this in restaurants or buy in shops specially devoted to selling only this noodle dish. It is so delicious and I just love it. 


One of my favourite Malaysian dishes is a prawn noodle soup dish called prawn mee. It has a very rich prawn stock with egg noodles (mee), king prawns and greens. I decided to infuse some of the aspects of this Malaysian dish into the pancit palabok. I used a rich prawn stock cooked Malay style as a soup base for the egg noodles. I added the signature sprinkles which are the essence of the palabok. Crushed chicharon slightly thicken the soup and chicharon chunks sop up the broth. The characteristics of the two dishes are still identifiable but have combined and blended well in one bowlful of comforting goodness. 


This recipe serves 4.


Ingredients:


4 c. of fresh egg noodles
500 gms. shell on prawns
6 c. water
3 tbsps. fish sauce
4 belly pork rashers
4 pieces of fried tofu, cut into pieces
6 smoked bacon rashers, cut into lardons
1 pack of chicharon, crush half and chop half
spinach leaves
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 c. spring onion rings, green parts only
1/4 c. of parsley, chopped
1 poached or soft boiled egg per person
cooking oil
lemon wedges and chilli slices to serve


Method:


Shell the prawns. Set the prawn meat aside and use the shells and heads to make the prawn stock. 


Heat up 3 tbsps. of oil in a pot or wok. Fry the garlic until light golden brown. Skim the garlic off and set aside. 


Fry the prawn shells in the same oil until toasted and the oil turns orange in colour. Add the water and the fish sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 minutes until you have a rich prawn stock. Pass through a strainer. Use a spoon to press all the juices out of the shells. Set aside. 


Boil the pork rashers until tender. Set aside to cool. Add the pork broth to the prawn stock. Fry the pork on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool, then fry again in very hot fat until the skin is blistered. Chop into pieces. 


Cut the bacon into lardons and fry until crisp. Blanch the noodles and the spinach leaves separately. 


To assemble:


The recipe makes 4 servings. For each serving, put one cup of egg noodles in a bowl or deep dish. Add 1 1/2 c. pork and prawn broth mixture (bring back to a boil before using). Sprinkle with the crushed chicharon, fried garlic, spring onions and parsley. Top with the tofu, pork pieces, chicharon chunks, bacon, a few spinach leaves, and some prawn meat. Serve with a poached egg, lemon wedges, chilli slices and extra fish sauce.


The toppings.



You might also like

Fried Ho Fan with Pork and Prawns
Mixed Noodle Stir Fry with Crispy Pork
Catalan Fideua
Adora's Box has exclusive rights to all the recipes and photos in this blog.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

ADOBO RICE


Adobo is the legendary Filipino dish that is as much Filipino as the people themselves. We Filipinos eat it at least once a week. As time wears on, the popularity doesn't waver but does quite the opposite. On bread, wraps, salads, they are equally good. There will be more new ways to eat adobo in the future, I'm sure.



The much beloved quintessential Filipino dish, adobo, is again given a rehash here. There could probably be a thousand and one ways to do it but I choose to do it the way I like to eat it. 



I am quite conservative with cooking and eating adobo. I like it, the old fashioned way: on top of rice, of course. But I also like sprinkles on it: parsley and spring onions for freshness, chicharon (crispy pork rinds) for crunch and  a different level of porkiness, fried garlic and chiu chow chilli oil for that definite and exciting kick. Served with tomato salsa and fried egg, I couldn't ask for more. This is not your old adobo with rice. All the components combine into one cohesive tasty rice dish. Do give it a try.




Ingredients for ADOBO:

1 kg. of skinless pork shoulder meat, trim off fat and cut into 2"x2" cubes
3 clove of garlic, crushed
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. water


cooked rice for serving with the adobo

Method:

Put all the ingredients, except for the water and sugar, in a heavy pan or pot with lid. Mix well and leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil and simmer on low heat for an hour or until the meat is fork tender. Take the meat out of the sauce. 


In a dry , clean pan caramelize the brown sugar. Add the meat and stir until the meat is browned and glazed with the sugar. Add the sauce and simmer on medium heat until the sauce is reduced. 


Sprinkles:


chicharon (crispy pork rinds), diced
chopped parsley
chopped spring onions (green parts only)
fried garlic
chiu chow chilli oil or chilli oil with prawns


Salsa:


Mix diced tomatoes, chopped shallots and thinly sliced radish together. season with salt sugar and a dash of vinegar.


TO ASSEMBLE:


Fill a small bowl with cooked rice, press firmly then unmold on a plate. Slice the adobo meat into small chunks and place on top of the rice. Drizzle sauce over it. Sprinkle with a little bit each of the parsley, spring onions, fried garlic and chicharon. Serve with one fried egg per serving, some of the salsa and a dollop of the chilli oil.

All rights reserved ©Adora's Box Copyright 2011. 

Please support Adora's Box by making your Amazon.com and mymemories.com (use the code STMMMS55174) purchases from this site. Click on their respective banners to proceed to their websites. It will not cost you a single cent more but will help sustain this blog. Thank you.

You might also like

                                   Tamarind Chicken Adobo with Coconut Milk
Crispy Adobo with Chinese Mushrooms and Chives
Crispy Pork Binagoongan
                                            Tamarind Fish and Coconut Rice

Thanks for dropping by. It would be nice if we could meet up on FACEBOOK or TWITTER