Monday, 31 January 2005

Stel's Wings

Finally, I had the chance to try my friend Stel's chicken wings recipe. I've got the wings, ingredients (well most of it), and a little time to put it all together. Like most busy mums (also lazy is the word), what attracts me most to recipes are first - taste and second - ease of cooking. This certainly fits the bill since all you have to do is marinate it and then tip it all to a baking pan, stick in an oven and wait while inhaling the heady aroma it exudes.

First of all, I only have 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of chicken wings so I had to halve the recipe. I didn't have the Dijon mustard called for and only had whole grain mustard. No Knorr or Maggi seasoning either so I used Worcestershire (wus-tuh-shir) sauce. I reduced the oil and gone a little wimpy on the mustard - used only 3 Tbsp but after tasting it I think I could go all the way to 1/4 cup. Other than that everything is the same as in the original recipe. And it was super! Vedy vedy nice, indeed. To think that I only marinated it for 1 hour. Even our Brit friend Mark who was chatting with us in the kitchen was very impressed and demanded the recipe. So impressed were we while munching that I completely forgot to take pictures until there were only 4 pieces left! Thanks ever Stel for sharing this.


Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

1 kg chicken wings
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp Knorr/Maggi seasoning or Worcestershire sauce
  1. Cut and separate the chicken wings at the joint. Discard wing tips or use for chicken stock.
  2. Mix all ingredients well (except wings) in a bowl or container. Marinate chicken wings in this mixture for at least 3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Put the chicken wings and marinade in a wide non stick baking pan (or line it with foil). Make sure the pan is wide enough so that the wings are not crowding together. This is to be certain that the marinade and juices will dry out together with the cooking of the wings. Otherwise after 45 minutes you will have cooked wings but no gooey, rich, tasty glaze on it.
  4. Bake in oven for about 40-45 minutes while turning occassionally. Dish up and serve.

Thursday, 27 January 2005

China China

Last weekend we went to central London to drop off Dennis on his way home to the Midlands. No venture of ours to that area will be complete without having a meal in Chinatown.

A real favourite haunt to fill our craving for anything of Hong Kong chinese cuisine. We usually go to a dimsum house to have yum cha where waitresses wheel carts around laden with yummy morsels of food. This time everyone wants noodle soup (probably the wintry weather has something to do with this). We didn't have to go far, our target restaurant is right beside the Chinese arches.

China China has been in that corner of Gerrard St. for the longest time. It had several incarnations with the latest minimalist decor making it look more neat and tidy. Noodle soups are good here, we ordered beef and duck. The steamed choi sum with oyster sauce is not far behind together with the egg fried rice. But the only thing I care about here is their Crispy Baby Squid with Chilli and Garlic. A standard fare in most Chinese resto and takeaways, it usually comes as squid slices. Here it's whole small squids crispy fried with equally crispy garlic slices and chilli. They are great! Yum!

After lunch we waddled around to help our digestion. I noticed a cake/pastry shop just across where all manner of cakes, snacks, and delicacies are of the typical HK style. Prices though are London style meaning - expensive! But I just have to admire the cakes (also of HK variety). Icings are fresh whipped cream on sponge cakes and decorated with fresh fruits. Isn't it lovely?

Sunday, 23 January 2005

IMBB #11: Glutinous Rice Coconut Soup with Toasted Mung Beans

Ginataang Totong - that's what it should say in Tagalog. This is my entry to the food blogging world's 11th edition of 'Is My Blog Burning?'. Currently hosted by Cathy in My Little Kitchen. Theme for this one is beans - the musical food or should I say 'gassy' food.

I don't know why this is called 'Totong' in our area in Cavite, Phils. All I know is that it's a sweet comfort food heartily taken especially during the cold season. Eaten in between meals (usually sandwiched between lunch and dinner), I can't call it snack because it is obviously heavy. Let's just say it's in-between meals meal. ;)

Toasted mung beans in it is the one referred to as 'totong'. The nuttiness of the beans brought about by the toasting and the gentle breaking up of it is the main event here. It lends a crunch that contrasts with the softness of the rice and creaminess of the coconut milk. The closest I can compare this to is the rice pudding. Best served warm with a few tablespoons of coconut cream on top although some people prefer to eat it cold.


Ginataang Totong
(Glutinous Rice Coconut Soup with Toasted Mung Beans)

1/4 cup mongo (mung beans)
1 cup malagkit (glutinous rice)
1 x 400 gm can of coconut milk (less 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup sugar
water

Put the mung beans in a frying pan and toast over medium heat until it turns brown. Shake the pan from time to time. Make sure to keep your eye on it because it burns easily.






Cool the toasted beans a little. Pour into a mortar and press on the beans with the pestle with just enough pressure to break the grains and detach the skin. Transfer to a shallow plate and separate the skin from the beans by blowing very gently on it with a blow drier or electric fan. Traditionally we would have this on a bilao (woven container for winnowing) and do a tahip (ano bang english sa tahip?) - throwing the grains gently up the air with the bilao and letting a gentle breeze to take away the skin from the bean grains. We do this a lot with rice. Anyways, I didn't have any fan or blow-drier in the kitchen so I just blew on it. Don't worry it was only me and my husband who ate it.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and set aside. Pour the coconut milk into a pot and add enough water to make 5 cups all in all. Add the glutinous rice and toasted mung beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until rice is throughly cooked. Stir from time to time to keep scorching at the bottom.

Add sugar and mix. Cook for a couple more minutes. Taste and add more sugar if preferred. Serve hot or cold topped with about a tablespoon of the reserved coconut milk.


ginataang totong


Saturday, 22 January 2005

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme doughnuts has arrived in the UK! A box was bought in London Victoria by Dennis for us when he came for a visit recently. I was eager to try it since I have heard that people in US, Canada, and the Phils. were braving long queues just to get hold of one of these. Well, as I was munching it I thought "what's the fuss all about?". If my memory serves me right it tastes like Dunkin Donuts, doesn't it? Even the variety of flavours are much like what they have in DD. They don't even have my favourite one - what was it called? It's got a cake like dough, cinnamon flavour but shaped like a round donut with a hole. If you know what it is kindly leave a comment here. And please enlighten me on why Krispy Kreme is so coveted. I'm beginning to think it's all hype.

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

Boil, Boil, Toil, and Trouble


When feeling flu-ey, I need comfort food like lugaw (pospas) or something soupy as tinola and nilaga (stew in clear soup). Nilaga (literally means 'boiled') can be either pork or beef just as long as you use the boney parts with some meat bits in them. This is actually my stock recipe with potatoes and some greens. And since it is bland, I require a lemon and patis (fish sauce) dip to go with it. This is very easy to make just throw everything in the pot and let the meat cook until tender. Nice to have on a wintry flu-ey day when all you want to do is curl up beneath the duvet.


Nilagang Baka o Baboy
(Clear Soup Stew of Beef or Pork)

500 gm boney parts of beef or pork (ribs, tail, etc.)
6-7 cups chicken stock or water
2 tsp sea salt
1 medium onion - quartered
1 celery stalk - cut into 1.5 inches long
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1-2 carrots - peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick
2-3 potatoes - peeled and cut into 3/4 inch thick pieces
1/2 Chinese cabbage (or any cabbage) - cut into serving pieces
  1. Put the beef/pork, water, salt, onion, peppercorns, and celery in a stock pot and bring to boil.
  2. Skim off scum floating on top. Simmer for about 1 hour.
  3. Add in carrots and potatoes. Bring to boil and simmer again until meat is tender and/or potatoes are cooked.
  4. Add in cabbages and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with lemon juice and patis (fish sauce).

Sunday, 16 January 2005

Embutido

I likened this to the Filipino version of the meatloaf. Minced pork mixed with spices and other ingredients then steamed or baked. This is a do-ahead favourite of mine since it freezes well. The hard boiled egg and the chorizo are optional. I often do it without them and they're just as good. For the liver pâté, use the coarse grained type like country pâté, Ardennes, or Belgian. I use coarse because it's easier to mix in with the rest. The fine grained ones are usually too tightly packed and it's an ordeal trying to homogenously mix it in. Slicing the hard boiled egg was tricky for me at first. I found a quarter lengthwise too big and an eighth too small. So I cut it lengthwise in half first then cut each halves into thirds making the size just right.

There are many ways to serve it: as cold cuts; lightly pan fried whole then sliced; or sliced then lightly pan fry the pieces. The usual dip accompanying this is ketchup, sweet chilli sauce, or any sweet and sour sauce. Enjoy!


Embutido

1 kg minced pork
1 cup chopped vienna sausage or Spam or hotdogs
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 x 85 g  nbsp;liver spread or 1/4 cup coarse pork liver pâté
1/2 cup raisins - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 eggs
2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
3 - 4 Tbsp flour
2 chorizos - quartered lengthwise (optional)
2 hard boiled eggs - cut into 6 lengthwise (optional)
  1. Beat eggs; add salt and pepper, making sure the salt is mostly dissolved in the eggs.
  2. Add in all the other ingredients except chorizos and hard boiled eggs; mix well.
  3. Take a piece of aluminum foil about 10 - 12 inches in length. Lay it on a flat surface and put about 1 cup of the mixture on it. Form the mixture into a long narrow rectangle shape and put the fillings of chorizos and the hard boiled egg along the length in the middle. Enclose the fillings with the outer edges of the pork mixture, shaping it into a log making sure that the chorizos and the hard boiled eggs are in the middle. Roll the log like a jelly roll all the while wrapping it in the foil. Pinch and twist the ends to secure.
  4. Arrange in a steamer and steam for 1 hour.
  5. Remove foil and serve while warm or as cold cuts. Can also be served by pan frying lightly then slicing or slicing first then pan frying lightly. Serve with ketchup or sweet and sour sauce.
Note: The chorizo and hardboiled egg in the middle is entirely optional.

Thursday, 13 January 2005

Ma Po Tofu


My husband and his mom loves tokwa (tofu). I have learned to like it, too, when I married into the family. Learning new ways of preparing the stuff was one of the tasks I gave myself and this is one is required since it's hubby's favourite. I used to do another version without the black beans. But this is definitely better. Thanks to a recipe in a cookbook (The Food of China) given by a dear friend from Boston. It is a treasure trove of traditional Chinese recipes. Thank you again dear amiga!

This is one of those dishes that taste better than it looks. It called for dried soy beans but I don't have them so I just doubled the black beans. I used pork instead of beef and it's fine. I also don't have the Sichuan peppercorn but it's already spicy enough so I don't think the absence made much difference. Try this it's really tasty. Great served with steaming white rice.



Ma Po Tofu
(Spicy Beancurd with Minced Meat)

500 g beancurd (tofu)
3 Tbsp oil
125 g minced beef or pork
2 Tbsp dried salted black beans
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp chilli paste
2-3 spring onions - finely sliced
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
salt to taste
2 tsp cornflour - blended with 1 Tbsp water
1 tsp powdered Sichuan peppercorns or sansho (optional)
  1. Dice beancurd into 2cm (3/4 in) squares.
  2. Heat oil and stif fry beef and black beans for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add ginger, garlic, chilli paste and half of the spring onions. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add stock and beancurd. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Season with soy sauce and salt, then thicken with cornflour mixture.
  6. Sprinkle with Sichuan peppercorns and spring onion, serve.

Monday, 10 January 2005

Mash Nosh

It was left over day, time to polish off all food left over from previous days or else banish them to the rubbish bins. I have a surplus of potatoes that were showing signs of sprouting. Mashing them would be the best option - I thought, besides J2 & J3 absolutely adores mashed potatoes.

Until now, I have never tried mashing potatoes with an electric mixer. It has always been with a potato ricer or a hand masher. But I got Delia Smith's How to Cook Book One where she extolled the virtues of this, waxing lyrical on how it made the mash potatoes so smooth. I've always been gullible so off I went to try her formula. And indeed it was true! It's the first time I've made mash that was this creamy and smooth. She also insisted that the potatoes be steamed and not boiled because the water made it less creamy. The kind of potatoes you use is essential also. As a rule the big, fat, floury, easy to break up ones good for baking (jacket potato) is fine for mashing as well. Varities recommended are King Edward, Desiree, or Valor. Here is my adaptation of her recipe: (J2 pay attention!)


Mashed Potatoes

1 kg potatoes
60 gm butter
4 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp single cream
sea salt and pepper to taste


Peel and quarter potatoes. Steam for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Tip the cooked potatoes in a bowl. Add in butter, milk, cream, sea salt (about 1-2 tsp) and pepper.





Beat with an electric mixer with low speed at first to break up the potatoes. Then turning the speed higher to mix it to a creamy, fluffy mash.

Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.






Lovely mash served with left over Braised Beef Brisket and steamed vegetables.

Saturday, 8 January 2005

Full English Breakfast


'Heavy, man' is what I said the first time I saw it. Similar in heaviness to the Pinoy breakfast of tosilog (tocino, sinangag, and itlog) it fills you up bigtime and guaranteed to curb your lunchtime appetite. Unless of course your job is very physical as in farming or fishing or hauling heavy things on your back then this should be normal for you. Served in every cafe up and down the country and like the tocilog served any time of the day, thus the "all day breakfast" in the menu. It is also what you will encounter in bed & breakfast establishments here. No puny croissants or painted boiled eggs for brekkie, you're given this huge loaded plate every morning until you cry 'Enough!' which is probably why B&B rates here are high. ;)

The full english breakfast consists of (but not limited to): eggs (fried or poached), sausages, bacon, haggis (sometimes), toasted bread, grilled tomatoes, fried or grilled mushrooms, hash browns (optional), and of course baked beans. We (actually just my husband since I can't finish one) indulge in this very occasionally at home since it's not so heart and cholesterol friendly. We'll try to keep the acquaintance distant.

I know you all know how to fry but the following is more for my kids in case they forget how to fry eggs. :)


English Breakfast
  1. Preheat oven grill to medium.
  2. Slice tomatoes in half crosswise. Grill sausage, bacon, and tomatoes. Cook sausage in the grill about 8-10 minutes; bacon and tomatoes until browned. Turning all of them from time to time.
  3. Slice mushrooms and fry in a pan with a knob of butter. Cook until limp.
  4. Open can of Heinz's Baked Beans and heat in a saucepan or microwave until heated through.
  5. Pan fry or deep fry hash browns until cooked (see instructions on the bag).
  6. Toast 2 slices of bread in toaster. Slice diagonally before serving.
  7. Fry or poach 2 eggs.
  8. Put all the above in a big plate and serve.

*To fry eggs with the yolk intact: (usual way)
  1. Heat up about 2 Tablespoon oil in a pan (preferably non stick).
  2. Break an egg onto the pan. (Optional) Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the egg.
  3. Cook egg while continually spooning some of the hot oil on the yolk. If you want it 'sunny side up' then don't spoon any oil on it just let it cook for about a minute.
  4. Dish up and serve.

* To fry eggs with the yolk intact: (healthy way)
  1. Heat up 1/2 tsp olive oil in a pan (preferably non stick).
  2. When the oil is quite hot, break an egg onto the pan. (Optional) Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the egg.
  3. Immediately cover the pan. Let cook for about 30 seconds - 1 minute. The steam rising up from the cooking egg is enough to cook its top when it is covered.
  4. Remove cover, dish up and serve.

Thursday, 6 January 2005

Praised Braised Wings


I wanted to make Stel's chicken wings but found out at the last minute that we ran out of mustard. Darn! So I have to scramble among my cookbooks and see what I can do to a dozen chicken wings with the available ingredients that I have. This one is from Deh Ta Hsiung's Chinese Cookery Secrets and besides the yellow bean sauce, all the other ingredients are common in most households. Lovely salty-sweet flavour that goes well with plain rice or just munched on as an appetiser or snack. Next time I'll try to bake it to cut down on oil.


Braised Chicken Wings

12 chicken wings (about 1 kg)
2 tsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine

1/2 pint seasoned oil
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 Tbsp chopped spring onions
2 Tbsp yellow bean sauce
150 ml stock or water
1 Tbsp honey

  1. Cut wings at the joints and discard tips (or use in chicken stock). Marinate wings in soy sauces, rice wine, and brown sugar for at least 1 hour. Deep fry for 4 minutes.
  2. Saute in 1 tsp oil - green onion, ginger and yellow bean sauce for 30-40 secs. Add the chicken and marinade, cook briefly (about 1 minute).
  3. Add stock and simmer for 8-10 mins. under cover. Remove cover turn heat high, reduce sauce until sticky. Just before turning off heat, add honey and blend well. Serve.