Sunday, November 22, 2015

San Bei ji (Three Cup Chicken)

This is a popular dish in Taiwan. The 3 cups refer to the 3 elements that make up the sauce. Rice Wine, Soya Sauce and Sesame Oil. Combined with generous amounts of garlic and basil, the cooking process of this dish creates an appetising fragrance that permeates the whole home (well my little apartment anyway).
San Bei Ji
The result is a really tasty dish with punchy bold flavours that is nutty, savoury and slightly sweet at the same time.

A dish of Taiwanese origins, I believe that a cup refers to the Chinese Tea cup that is about 100ml or so. As opposed to to the metric cup of 250 ml.

Here are the ingredients, serves 2-4. Depending on how much other food you have at the meal.

500 grams Chicken Thighs - Roughly chopped up, about 1-2 inches size chunks.
1 Red Capsicum - Roughly cut up in to chunks.(Optional)
1 Cup Shitake Mushrooms - halved or quartered (Optional)
1 Quarter cup Shaoxing wine
3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, plus extra for seasoning.
10 cloves of garlic - Halved
1 inch piece of ginger - sliced
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1-2 Birds Eye Chillies - Roughly cut up.
White pepper
Small bunch of Thai Basil (Or Continental if you can't find Thai ones) - Leaves only.
Small bunch of Spring Onions

1. Season the chicken with some soy sauce and ground white pepper and set aside.

2. Heat a large wok or large suacepan over medium heat. Add in the sesame oil. When the oil is heated. Add in the all the garlic and ginger. Fry for about 2 minutes until fragrant.

3. Then add in the chicken, chillies, mushroom and capsicum. Spread the chicken around the pan or work. You want nice browning on the chicken pieces. Stir fry until the surface of the chicken pieces turn light brown. About 5-8 minutes.

4. At this point, add in the Shaoxing wine, both Soy Sauces and sugar. Stir Fry for about 3 minutes, mixing everything well.

5. Cover and lower the heat. Simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the chicken to cook through and absorb the sauces.

6. Remove the cover, toss in the basil and spring onions. Stir fry for about a minute.

Serve immediately.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne - Actually means Chilli with meat. Recipe variations are really wide. E.g. There are those who believe beans and tomatoes should not be included and there are those who differ from that point of view. The recipe changes from state to state in the US and Mexico.

Chilli Con Carne
I got inspired to try my hand at this dish after watching an episode Diners Drive-ins and Dives on Foodnetwork Channel. I brought this dish to two pot lucks and it was very well received at both. Its an awesome dish for a pot luck as it can be made the day or even days before. It will taste better after spending some night(s) in the fridge.

Makes about 8 servings

200 grams streaky bacon - Cut up into 1 cm slices
500 grams Minced Beef
2-3 sausages (spicy Italian kind preferred) - Diced up.
300 grams beef chuck - cut into 1 inch cubes. (Optional - I like the chunky pieces in my chilli)

1 Whole Large Onion - Diced
1 Red Capsicum - Diced.
5 Cloves Garlic - finely chopped or minced

2 tablespoons chilli powder (More for extra heat)
2 teaspoons paprika power
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt

50-70 grams Dark Chocolate (At least 60%)

1 can diced tomato
1 can tomato paste
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 cup beef stock - (Chicken stock is fine too)
1 can of Beer (Dark beer preferred if you have) - optional
2 cans Kidney beans or Pinto Beans or one of each

1 Bunch Corriander - Roughly Chopped
2-3 stalks of Spring Onions - sliced
1 cup - Shredded Cheddar.
Optional - For added heat, add some thinly sliced bird's eye chillies. (Chilli Padi)
Tip - If too spicy, add some more sugar.

1. Add the bacon into a large stockpot over high heat. Fry for about a minute. Add the diced onions and capsicum and fry for about 3 - 5 minutes (Until they soften and onions turn translucent) Add the garlic and saute for another 1 or 2 minutes.

2. Add the chuck and sear for about 4 minutes (If using) and then add the ground beef and sausage and sear, stirring gently, try not to break up the ground beef too much. Cook until the meat is nicely browned and cooked through should take 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the chilli powder, paprika, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, salt and cook until the spcies release their aroma, about 3-4 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree. Cook out the tomatoes and puree for about 4 minutes. Stir in the beer and stock. Use the liquid to de-glaze the pot, mopping up any brown bits sticking to your pot. Add the kidney and pinto beans(with all the juice from the cans, as the starch will help tighten up the chilli).

5. At this point, add the chocolate and tomato ketchup, mix well. Simmer for about 2 hours. Checking and stirring regularly, every 20 minutes or so on very low heat, just so the bottom does not burn. Or or use a slow cooker

Serve the chilli in bowls, garnished with Spring Onions and/or Corriander and Cheddar.
Great with Fries and Tortilla Chips! Enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cooking Steaks at home

Haven't been posting in a while. Sorry for the long hiatus. I did a few BBQs that involved steaks and I had some folks asking this question, "How to cook a good steak at home?". Since its way past due for a new post. I thought I'd post something about how I do my steaks at home.

Cooking steak at home is not hard nor is it every complicated. It does take some practice however. Getting to know your Most of the work is done while choosing the steak. Choosing the right cut at the butcher's. A cut that is right for you and suits your preferences.

Typical Prime Cuts used for steaks are:
T-bone or Porterhouse
Skirt (Recently Gaining popularity)

General Rule of thumb, the more the muscle is used the stronger the flavour of the meat/cut.

After choosing the right cut, now you start to prepare the steak. There are different schools of thought  (eg Salt aging, cooking from frozen etc...) but I will not cover them all here. I will just cover the method I use the most.

1. Let the meat reach room temperature if you have the luxury of time. Should take about 30mins to an hour outside the fridge.

2. When ready to cook, pat the beef really dry with a paper towel. Then season both sides assertively with salt and pepper.

3. Next heat some cooking oil in heavy based saute pan or frying pan over high heat. Get it really hot. Then add in the beef. Lay the beef the a direction that is away from you, to prevent hot oil splattering on yourself. Immediately after the beef goes in, lower the heat to medium or medium high,

4. To get it medium rare, typically takes about 2-3 minutes per side. If you like a good sear, avoid flipping your beef back and forth. When on the second side, I typically like to finish of with a knob of butter, a few garlic cloves (lightly bruised with skin on)and some thyme. Baste the steak with the melted butter during the cooking.

5. Remove from the pan and let the beef rest for half the cooking time before serving.

For great sides to go with your steak, check out my recipes for:
Creamed Spinach
Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Hope this will help you create a great steak dinner at home.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Caramelized Onion Purée

Onion Purée, some would say it goes great with a lot of different foods and I will not disagree with that. Personally though, I love it with well seared beef or pork chops.

Seared Beef with Onion Purée
Caramelizing the onions bring out a sweet nutty flavour from the onions. This is a sweet and savoury side that I really like. Its really simple to make, but does take a little time to get done.

Here is what you'll need to serve 4.
2-3 large yellow onions - Thinly sliced or diced.
1/2 cup of beef stock
1/2 teaspoon mustard
2-3 tablespoons butter.

1. In a medium large saucepan or deep-sided sauté plan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Then add in all the sliced onions. Stir well to incorporate the butter with all the onions. Stir frequently to help the onions brown at relatively the same rate and to prevent burning. Might be difficult in the beginning due to the quantity and size of your pan. The onions will shrink alot as they cook. Do this until the onions soften and get to a nice golden brown. Should take about 10-15 mins.

2. At this point add the beef stock a little bit at a time. Cook until all the liquids have greatly reduced. This step also serves to de-glaze the pan, incorporating the browned goodness from the base or sides of the plan. Continue stirring frequently until the onions reach a nice brown colour. Probably another 3-5 minutes or so.

3. Turn off the heat and put all the onions in the food processor and blend till smooth. Remove and place in a large bowl.

4. Add the mustard and remaining butter, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Can be served warm or cold.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Spicy Baked Eggs

The wife loves baked eggs in a tomato based sauce. So I decided to make this for breakfast one day. We both love little spicy kick in our food sometimes, (Actually its most of the time for me) so this is my spicy rendition of a great brunch dish. The trick is timing the bake, so as not to overcook the eggs.
Spicy Baked Eggs with sausage and garnished with basil
Here's what you'll need to serve 2.
4 Eggs - Cracked into 2 bowls. 2 eggs in each bowl.
1 400gm can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato puree.
1 small / medium yellow onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced/diced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (Optional)
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 Red Capsicum - diced
2 sausages - cut into thick slices (I used spicy pork ones, but you can use your own preferred sausages)
Parmesan Cheese
handful Fresh Basil - sliced (For Garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Pre-heat your oven to grill/broil.

2. In a oven-safe frying pan, heat some oil over medium heat. When the oil is heated, fry the sausage chunks until they achieve nice browning on the surfaces. Remove sausages from the pan and set them aside, leaving the oil behind.

3. Next fry the diced capsicum in the pan for about a 2-3 minutes. Next add the onions, garlic, chilli flakes and smoked paprika. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, until the onions soften and the chillies give off their aroma. Then add the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for about 5-10 minutes (cooking out the tartness from the tomatoes), stirring often. Taste as you go, adding salt and pepper as you like. Turn off the heat once you get the consistency and depth of flavor that you want. (I like my tomatoes really cooked out, so I sometimes cook them out a little longer)

3. Make a couple of little wells in the sauce with a spoon or ladle and pour the eggs in. Place the whole pan in the oven and grill for 6-10 minutes. (Depending on how runny you like your eggs).

4. Remove from the oven, garnish generously with basil and grated Parmesan. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil if you like. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Hope you'll enjoy this coz we did :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...