Saturday, 21 March 2009

Steamed Chicken

It's nearly bye-bye time for the Miele Steam Oven that I blogged about a few weeks ago. They're picking it up next week. During the three weeks that we had the privilege of trialling it, we cooked a varied number of dishes besides the fact that my kids used it a lot for re-heating food. They're actually sad that it's going soon.

One of the things I used it for is on embutido. Everyone knows that you have to steam them for 1 hour which is not a problem in this oven.

Steamed potatoes in Miele Steam Oven
I found it very useful in steaming a batch of potatoes for one evening that we need it for mashed potatoes.

steamed broccoli in Miele Steam Oven
Several times I steamed veggies in it like these broccoli. It was excellent, the broccoli retained its vibrant green colour while being cooked through and full of flavour.

steamed fish in Miele Steam Oven
The one we were wanting most to steam was a fresh sea bass. We got our wish when we visited the Bull Ring Indoor Market in Birmingham and came away with a good sized one to steam Chinese-style.

Steamed Chicken in Miele Steam Oven
I also managed to try new recipes like this steamed chicken that I adapted from my well thumbed Chinese Cuisine cookbook by Huang Su-Huei.



Steamed Chicken with Green Onion

1 kg  whole chicken of whole legs
1 Tbsp cooking wine
1 Tbsp salt
1 green onion - cut into 4 pieces
2 slices of ginger
1/2 cup shredded green onion
4 Tbsp shredded ginger
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
  1. Combine the cooking wine, salt, green onion (the one cut into 4 pieces), and the slices of ginger. Set aside.
  2. Combine the cornstarch and water in another bowl. Set aside.
  3. Wash the chicken and pat it dry.
  4. Rub both the outside and inside of the chicken with the salt mixture. Leave the mixture inside the chicken. Let stand for 1 hour.
  5. Place in a steamer breast-side up and steam over high heat for about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken and reserve the liquid.
  7. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and put in on a serving platter.
  8. Sprinkle the shredded onion, ginger, and ground black pepper on top.
  9. Heat 1/2 cup of the reserved steaming liquid up to a boil.
  10. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Let cook for a few seconds or until thick. Pour over the chicken.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Easy Crepes

Since we're talking about kitchen machines, I happily stumbled upon a long sought after machine/cooker. I first saw this 'automatic' crepes maker when I visited relatives in Toronto way back in 1994. Ate Eva, my SIL and popular cook among friends and relatives, was making crepes with this machine for use in lumpiang sariwa she's making. Ever since then I've been trying to bag one of those effort-saving crepe maker. And even Ate Eva was searching since her's conked out a few years ago. Seems like they don't sell them anymore in US and Canada and not at all here in UK. I've all given up until I saw this in my sister's kitchen in Geneva! It's branded as Trisa of Switzerland though there's no indication on the box on where it was actually made.

Crepes Machine
She and my BIL were generous enough to give it to me. They probably saw how desperate I was. :)


Crepes machine parts
It comes with all these accessories (see above). The manual was right it was very easy to use and because the hotplate's surface is teflon coated it's easy to clean as well.


Photobucket
All I have to do is heat up the hotplate then mix up a batter for crepes. Transfer it to the plastic batter pan. Then simply dunk the hotplate onto the batter pan, turn the hotplate up and let it cook. When one side is browned, lift it and cook the other side.

Here's a tip: the longer you hold the hotplate in the pan, the thicker the crepe will be. Now isn't that easier than the usual way of swirling the batter in a crepe pan which invariably takes time and practice to perfect. While with this machine you get right at your first go.


Crepes Machine
Our favourite filling is the finger-lickingly good Nutella, golden syrup, or just plain sugar. As you can see the batter was not mixed well. My kids couldn't wait to cook them and they're willing to eat blobby crepes just so they can try the crepe maker.


Crepes Machine
Just a couple of gripes, once you lifted the hotplate from the pan and turn it for browning there would almost always be one of two holes on the crepe. And then there's the size which is limited to the size of the hotplate. You can't make it any bigger.

Here's a basic crepe batter recipe from the accompanying manual:



Crepes

450 ml  whole milk
2 large eggs - beaten
50 g  butter - melted
pinch of salt
250 g  plain flour
  1. Mix milk, eggs, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add flour and melted butter.
  3. Beat until there are no more lumps and is well combined.
  4. Cook either in a crepes machine or by spreading about 1/4 cup at a time on a heated crepe pan.