Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mexican Style Fried Rice

My apologies for posting sporadically - I have been snowed under recently with work. My posting will be pathetic like this for a wee while so please bear with me.

1 stick Chorizo, cubed
1 Frankfurter, cubed
1/2 cooked chicken meat (leftover roast or BBQ will be ideal), cubed
3 cups cooked rice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup mixed frozen carrots, corn and peas
A bit of coriander leaves to garnish
oil for frying
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Sri Racha chilli sauce (optional)

Seasoning Mix: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (optional) and  a sprinkle of white sugar - mix all this in a jar, you might not need all of it, just test the food as you cook.

We start with egg crepe - add a bit of salt and pepper in beaten eggs. In a wok on medium high heat, wipe with a little bit of oil and add the egg mixture, swirl the wok around so that the egg covers the surface. When the edge starts to come away, roll gentle with spatula from one end to another. Remove from heat and rest until cool enough to handle, slice thinly and set aside.

In the same wok, add more oil and fry onion and garlic until fragrant. Add meat and fry further until heated through, then add vegetables (it helps if you warm the veges in microwave first). Fry for a few minutes. Add rice, sauces and seasoning mix. Break lumps of rice gently as you turn the mixture. Add a bit more oil if needed. Add sliced egg crepe, reserve some for garnish. Serve warm. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Creamy Corn & Chicken Pie

1 can Cream Style Corn (try to use one with lower sugar & salt contents)
400 gr. Chicken tights, skinless, boneless, cubed
2 cups Greens (I used Spinach & Kale), chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Salt & Pepper
50 gr. Grated Cheddar
2 sheets Ready Rolled Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Oil for frying

Season chicken with salt & pepper and brown in a pan on medium high heat - set aside.

In the same pan. add a little bit more oil and fry onion briefly, add spinach and kale and fry further for a minute or two. Remove from heat.

Mix fried vegetable, chicken and a cream style corn together - leave to cool completely.

Grease pie tin (I use 20 cm round spring form tin) and line the bottom with baking paper. Place the the first sheet of pastry in the bottom of the tin and work to the side about 3-4 cm high. Cut the excess and patch carefully, fill with chicken and corn mixture and cover with the second pastry sheet. Crimp the edge tightly and prick with fork in 3-4 places. Brush with egg. Chill the pie for at least 15 minutes.

Baked in pre-heated oven (200 degrees C) for 45 minutes - cover with a piece of foil if top of the pie gets too brown after half an hour. Rest the pie for 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hobie's Diary: Copy Cat

Hobie has settled in nicely into her new family aka us including Bonnie. We are glad the animals get along well. Hobie adores Bonnie, if cats can feel such thing, that is. The kitty wants to be with Bonnie, not all the time of course but often enough that Bonnie gets grumpy with her, especially in bed. Do they speak the same language? I don't know - but I think they communicate with each other somehow. The cat learns from the dog and oftentimes copies what the dog does around the house.

Our neighbours' cats sometimes stray into our backyard. Yesterday there was one big gray fluffy cat from two doors away sitting on the grass looking into our kitchen - Hobie was behind the glass door and looked a bit disturbed. Bonnie saw the big cat and ran out to chase him away. Hobie now looks up to Bonnie even more - she's her heroine, she chases the intruder
I'm sure Hobie likes us as well but I have a feeling she likes Bonnie more than anyone else (apart from herself, of course). But the relationships among us are good.

I read the paper today about the senior doctor asking the Asian interns whether they eat dogs. Being Asian, this particular culinary subject has been suggested to me a few times over decades I have been in this country. don't eat them but I admit I snort our dog and cat very often especially on their yummy tummies, less so when they are a bit smelly.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Karaage Chicken

Karaage Chicken was one of the dishes we loved when we were at the Sheraton in Samoa. I have made this several times at home. Last time a couple of weeks ago I used potato flour instead of corn flour and it was more crispy. If possible, do use potato flour in this recipe. Corn flour will be ok-ish but not as good.

400 grams Chicken Tights, chopped to bite size
3 tablespoons Japanese Soy Sauce (I prefer Kikkoman)
1 tablespoon Sake
1 tablespoon Mirin
Sea Salt
1 clove of Garlic, finely chopped
1 slice of Root Ginger, finely chopped
3-4 tablespoons Potato Flour for dredging
1 tablespoon Chopped Spring Onion, only green bits
Oil for deep frying

In a jug, mix soy sauce, sake, garlic and ginger together then pour the mixture over the chicken, marinate for a few hours.

Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat, when the oil is hot, dredge the chicken pieces in potato flour and deep fry in batches. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and spring onion before serving with rice and stir fried vegetables.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hobie's Diary: First Step to the Outside World

Hobie is growing steadily and her face is more rounded. The vet was right when she said that we would have to give the cat a grown-up version of flea treatment next time round.

Last week we let her venture outside for the first time - the first day Bob carried her onto the deck but she was not that happy and just ran back inside the house when he put her down. The next day, we all went out to the deck and just left the door open - sure enough, the cat followed. However, she stayed close to the door. She seemed more relaxed if Bonnie was also around outside.

Since then whenever the weather is good enough we leave the door open wide enough so Hobie could go out and come back in as she wished (the dog/cat flap will be a bit too complicated to drive at the mo). She's got more and more confidence each day. However, I have to say that she is quite a homey cat and doesn't want to stay outside on her own for too long. We have been tapping her food bowl with spoon at every mealtime so she associates the noise with food and so far Bob had to use this trick only once when he accidentally shut the door on her thinking she's inside. Sure enough, when she heard the tapping noise she emerged from under the deck and ran back in. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
1 cup Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
100 grams Butter, softened
1/2 cup Milk
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Coffee (I used Espresso freshly brewed from the machine)
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
A pinch of salt

Pre heat the oven at 160  degrees C

Grease ring pan and set aside.

Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at medium high speed until well combined and pale in colour. Transfer the mixture into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Rest the cake in the pan for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to the wire rack to cool down completely.

You can have the cake with chocolate ganache or with whipped cream and golden syrup or fruit sauce. The un-iced cake can freeze well.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fargo: The Movie

If you are a fan of neo-noir comedy films or series like Breaking Bad you will like Fargo (both movie & TV Series). This film is nearly 20 years old and if you are watching or thinking of watching the series - it's best to also watch the film to get the background and links between the stories in the movie and the series. 

Although the title is Fargo - a lot of things did not happen there. It is written, edited, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It earned a couple Academy Awards, one of them Best Leading Actress for Frances McDormand (she's married to Joel Coen), It's basically a murder story that was supposed to be simple but not simple. One mistake (due to incompetency and sheer madness) leads to another and another. It's hilarious and a quite sad at the same time. And Steve Buscemi was so young! Despite the fact it's about murders, the cinematography is beautiful.

The TV series of the same name pays a lot of homage to the original film - but is set 10 years later and the first season was screened last year in the US with the Coen brothers as Executive Producers. Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton acted superbly, especially Thornton. I'm not a fan of his but in the series he's just wonderful. Bob Odenkirk is also good and so different from the role of slick criminal lawyer he played in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. It's still a murder story but a different one with more characters, more murderers (criminal minded and not) and of course, more dead bodies.