Braised Chicken Wings with Chestnuts / 栗子鸡

I braised some chicken wings with chestnuts for dinner couple nights back and my honey bear was extremely delighted! He loves chicken wings so any dish that features chicken wings as THE main ingredient makes him happy. Braised chicken (wings) with chestnuts is a popular Chinese/Cantonese dish which is often cooked at home, and especially over the autumn period. Deepfrying and stir-frying all the time can get a little boring, so today i tried out another cooking style, braising.

Pan-Fried Cheong Fun (Rice Rolls)

Mid-week breakfast for the honey bear and myself: pan fried cheong fun (rice rolls) with xo sauce & peanut sauce.

Onigiri: Mini Japanese Rice Balls

After watching Ochi's onigiri video couple days back, I decided to attempt to make some myself! I grocery shopped at the Asian grocer's and bought 4 packets of furikake (rice seasoning). I can't read japanese, so i can only guess what they are from the pictures & from a couple of chinese characters that are printed on the packets. So i think i bought: plum rice seasoning, salmon rice seasoning (?) (i think it tastes abit salmony, but i cant be sure. Ochi, is it salmon? haha, u can be my co-contributor to this post), vegetable rice seasoning, & bonito flakes rice seasoning (?) (Ochi, did i get it right? ^.^ Correct me if i'm wrong, & i'll edit the post later!) Anyways they all tasted good, i liked the plum rice seasoning, because it's a bit sourish (appetite whetting) & it looks pretty with the purplish bits:)

Da-dang! That's my masterpiece, mini onigiri (aka mini japanese rice balls). As i was mentioning to Ochi previously over at her blog, my honey bear likes smaller-portioned food/dishes; he loses most of his appetite when food is huge (e.g. when meat slices are huge & thick or when stems of vege are not chopped into half), so i always have to beautify my dishes abit, making them look pretty, and of course, everything has to be smaller-portioned! So instead of making the usual huge triangular onigiri, i made mini-sized onigiri; i think they look very pretty^_^ It takes a much longer time than the usual sized ones, n my legs ached from standing too long in front of the kitchen table, rolling, wetting my hands, rolling, wetting my hands, etc. But i'm glad they turned out fine & that my honey bear likes them:) When my honey bear's happy, i'm happier *_^

(p.s. I served these mini onigiri with HK-style curry fish balls. Weird combination i know, but my honey bear was craving for curry fish balls at the same time, so i decided to cook that too. My bf makes the weirdest suggestions sometimes!)

Decided to embed Ochi's onigiri video, for those who want to try making some onigiri! Her instructions are clear and the steps are easy, purrrrrrrfect! Good Luck with your onigiri making, i certainly did have fun:)

♥ Steak & Pan-Seared Asparagus

Pan seared porterhouse steak for monday's dinner, served together with pan seared asparagus and halved cherry tomatoes, and then topped off with some garlic BBQ sauce! Simple, easy, & hassle-free. Just have to get the timing right! 

Pandan Chicken!

I'm lagging behind in my updates yet AGAIN. No surprise there anymore, since its way too often that i'm slacking and not diligently updating. Many a time i'd start a few lines, upload a couple of pictures, then run off to cook/get something or get distracted by something else/someone. So there's actually heaps of unfinished drafts in my "Edit Posts" section! *Guilty* So anyways, today's update is a dish which i cooked last friday for lunch: Oven Baked Pandan Chicken!

blood is boiling!!!!

At 2:06am, i am:

  • watching the Liverpool v Tottenham match;
  • getting my blood boiled;
  • getting EXTREMELY agitated;
  • swearing endlessly at the TV;
  • wondering why the referee is so FUCKING biased; and
  • hoping the referee will go to hell.

♥ Sambal Petai with Ikan Bilis & Scallops stir-fry

Have you heard of Petai (Bitter Beans)? Sambal Petai with Prawns stir-fry is a popular dish back home in Singapore and i reckon most Singaporeans have either heard of/know/tried this dish. I was told before by my mum that petai (bitter beans) is good for health because it rids our kidney of 'rubbish' and is especially beneficial for individuals who like to eat foods that border on the salty side (yes, that'd be ME). Petai helps to prevent depression and helps to overcome premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It can also help to lower your blood pressure! Other benefits of petai (bitter beans) can be found here. Whenever I feel slightly homesick or miss food back home, I'd go hunting for products that are marked "Product of Singapore" with the hope of locating that homely flavour in the dish. Silly me i know ^_^  Usually, sambal petai is stir-fried with ikan bilis and/or prawns. My version includes ikan bilis and scallops:)

♥ Fettuccine with Fresh Tomatoes & Capers Sauce

I've been doing a good deal of asian stir-fries and decided to attempt something different! I was grocery shopping with my honey at the supermarket and was flipping through the pages of an Italian cookbook on sale and decided on 1 of its many recipes, Pappardelle with Fresh Tomato Sauce. Instead of using pappardelle pasta, I used fettucine. I'm more of a linguine lover, but figured that fettuccine resembled more like pappardelle pasta, so decided on fettuccine instead:) I'm gonna share this recipe and some of my snapshots with you now...

♥ General Tso's Chicken

For lunch on Friday, I decided to attempt to cook "General Tso's Chicken", a Chinese dish that is very popular in Chinese restaurants in America & Canada. The chicken is first deep-fried and then coated with a sweet and spicy sticky sauce, a good accompaniment to a bowl of fragrant steamed white rice!

♥ cookies that'll make u smile

For afternoon tea on Thurs, i baked us some butter cookies with mini m&m choc!

♥ Congee does not have to be boring!

Congee does not necessarily have to be your usual boring congee options such as fish congee, lean meat & century egg congee, small boat congee/Ting Zai Congee (艇仔粥), lean meat & peanut congee, and all the other more commonplace congee options. Today i cooked congee with the following ingredients: canned pacific clams, chicken fillet chunks, and shredded chinese cabbage. My honey really loved this congee very much; in fact, he finished this entire pot of congee by himself yesterday (I'm not really a congee lover, so i mainly cook congee because i know it's my dear's favourite and i want him to love me more! Hehe, you know of the saying, "the way to a man's heart is through his tummy", dont you?! So anyways, major evil plan in progress! As for myself, i made myself some olive fried rice.)

♥ Stir Fry: Chicken, Salted Fish, & Bok Choy!

Our mid-week dinner ~ a simple Asian stir fry of chicken, salted fish, and bok choy. I realized most of my stir fries had pork fillet as their main ingredient, so i decided to feature chicken fillet as the star ingredient for this  stir fry this time round. In Chinese cooking, the pairing of salted fish with chicken is no surprise, somehow the flavours of both complement each other really well, with the salted fish adding flavour to the rather plain tasting and rough textured chicken fillet (usually not as tender and soft as pork fillet) and making the sometimes unappetizing chicken breast fillet tastier and more appealing to your palate. Salted fish isnt exactly a healthy ingredient because it's packed to its brims with salt; hence in part to transform this dish into a healthier meal, and in part to beautify the dish a little, i decided to throw in the stems of a large bunch of bok choy (i used the leaves of the bok choy in my previous dish, fish soup!).

Some simple steps/instructions:

1. Chop up chicken fillet pieces into medium-sized chunks (cube-like). Marinate with a little peanut oil, a few drops of sesame oil, some sprinkling of salt and sugar, some cracked black pepper and a few dashes of maggi sauce. (Note: Marinate for at least half hour/overnight)

2. Whilst the chicken is being marinated, chop up bok choy stems slant-wise/diagonally, so that it has some shape (makes the dish look less boring). Rinse well under running water and then place in vegetable drainer and drain the water from the vegetables. Set aside.

3. Cut up salted fish slices into small pieces. Set aside.

4. Flatten 1 garlic clove and then cut the clove into half. Set aside.

5. Heat peanut oil in wok (Note: I love to use peanut oil because it makes the dish more fragrant and leaves a faint peanutbuttery taste in the food). Throw in the garlic and saute for a minute or two/before the garlic is burnt. 

6. Throw in salted fish and fry with the garlic until salted fish turns slightly white/crispy. 

7. Add in the bok choy stems and give it a good stir-fry at high heat.

8. When the bok choy stems are 85% cooked, add in the chicken chunks and give it a good mix/stir-fry, still at high heat. Continue to stir/mix until chicken is 90% cooked through. Add in few teaspoons of water, a teaspoon at a time, and with the addition of each teaspoon of water, remember to give it a good stir again. Refrain from allowing too much water to accumulate; too much water will make the dish alittle too watery. I like my dishes without too much gravy/water.

9. When cooking is completed, dish out onto plate and serve with rice!

♥ Not Your Ordinary Fish Soup

Our mid-week lunch: A huge bowl of nutritious soup each! 

♥ Late Autumn Snapshots

Tuesday, 3 May 2011:
Capturing the beauty of late Autumn here in Melbourne!