Monday, May 28, 2007

Shao Xing/ Rice Wine Chicken.

Shao Xing Chicken.

i like how sometimes i psyche myself up bad to cook a particular dish, but see it take a completely different course half-way through the cooking process? yeah, i'm weird like that. anyway, i was going to prepare the usual honey-glazed chicken schtick, but when i got all the ingredients together, i decided to try something completely new instead.

Shao Xing (more often referred to as Chinese Rice/ Cooking Wine) Chicken is a dish i used to indulge in whenever i had the opportunity to visit Cantonese restaurants in singapore. i've never really gotten down to its true recipe--mostly because my family doesn't cook it, but from what i can tell, it's a lot about drowning your chicken in rice wine. drowning dead birds in alcohol, can't be that hard!

so this is NOT the authentic recipe, but it's nice enough to enjoy with my bowl of rice.

2 pieces, chicken drumstick & thigh (i.e. 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs)
2 inch, ginger (finely sliced/ diced)
2-3 cloves, garlic (bruised and minced)
3 sprigs, spring onion (finely sliced)
1.5 cup, chinese rice/ cooking wine (dark variety)
1 tbsp, salt
1 tbsp, ground white pepper
1 tbsp, light soy sauce (which i find optional, but only because i'm weird)
1 tbsp, sesame oil


Step 1: Marinating the Chicken.
combine all the ingredients into a bowl, and just massage the marinade into the chicken for about 5-10 minutes, before sealing the bowl up with some wrap, and leaving that to marinate for at least 3 hours (i like overnight because the marinade really gets into the meat).

Step 2: Double-Boil.
when ready, just transfer that bowl onto a steaming rack in a nice big pot. fill that with water until the water reaches about the centre of the bowl. put the lid on, switch your medium-flame on and let everything boil for at least half an hour; stop depending on how cooked you like your chicken. a full hour more or less guarantees well-cooked meat.

Shao Xing Chicken: Double Boiling.

Removing & Adding Oil.
the fat from the chicken probably melted to give you a layer of oil on top of the gravy. if you're not a fat of that, which makes no difference to the taste for the dish, then slowly remove that layer of oil. after that, add the sesame oil in.

Shao Xing Chicken: Cooked.

i know; the irony!

Final Serve.
simple dish, but pretty delightful results i thought. served well with some rice as a main, side or entree!

Shao Xing Chicken: Final Serve.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Simple Slow-Roast Kangeroo Fillet.

Simple Roast Kangeroo Fillet.

my good friend, affectionately known as Cazzie Cumface--i'm Fiona Fisting to her, made the most splendid roast lambshank last friday. apparently, she was inspired by the slow-roast rosemary chicken i cooked for her one night, so she took part of the recipe for a ride.

what i was most enamoured with were the vegetable sides she had added to the roast. in her attempt, she simply cut some sweet potatoes, pumpkin and brown onions, and left them on the side of the roast. the vegetables not only added flavour to the gravy, but also soaked up the juices pretty well.

for last night's dinner, i decided to give this simple slow-roast recipe a test.

the food.
3-4 pieces, kangeroo fillet (substitutable with any red meat)
6, baby carrots (washed and chopped into halves)
2, spanish/ red onions (you SHOULD use brown ones!!!)
2, green apples (granny smiths)
4, roma tomatoes

the marinade
2-3 sprigs, rosemary (just the leaves)
1 lime (juiced)
1 lemon (juiced)
2 tbsp, sherry
1 tsp, salt
1 tsp, ground black pepper

potatoes (recommend desirees; skinned if you don't like it)


Step 1: Marinating.
throw all the marinade ingredients together. i like to have my rosemary thrown into the grinder so that they end up nice and fine. add the meat to the marinade, and let set for at least 3 hours (i prefer overnight marinate).

Step 2: Roasting.
in a nice big roasting pan, lay your meat in. around or beside it, lay the rest of the food (i.e. carrots, apples, onions, etc). cover it with a lid or with some foil, and set your fan-oven to 160-170degreeC. when the oven's ready, put the pan in.

Step 3: Deciding When to Remove.
now, here's the tricky part. in general, i've devised my own inch theory on slow-roasting. for every inch of meat, we leave it to roast for 1.5 hours. so the thinner it is, the less time you want it in the oven otherwise it will get a bit overcooked.

the vegetables, however, have to remain in there for at least 3 hours.

Final Serve.
when the vegetables are just about done (5 mins before the 3-hour mark), just pop the meat back into the oven to warm it. then you can have everything ready for serving.

be sure to serve the food with a generous supply of gravy. remember also that the gravy may be used for further roasting of other vegetables. just pop more vegetables in the gravy, and let them roast for the same duration.

Simple Roast Kangeroo Fillet: Empty Pan.

i really recommend adding some carbo staple like potato for the roast. because i forgot, i'm going to serve mine with some bread.

Simple Roast Kangeroo Fillet: Final Serve.

spanish onions turned out really weird; please use brown onions!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

updates, or lackthereof.

L. and i are busy applying to various new schools to further our studies. she's hoping to get into a good film school in london, and i'm hoping to get into law school in either sydney or melbourne.

other than that, school has been a factor for our blog being such a non-event, but we thank everyone who continues to visit. there're some recipes that i've been meaning to post but haven't had the time; watch out for them this month.


our heartfelt gratitude to new linkages:

Anne Jovi
we were hoping you'd reveal exactly how you managed the paper-mâché issue. also, i have similar disdain towards jamie oliver's cooking for the same reasons you cited; glad to know i'm not alone in the world!

The Secret Foodie
really nice to see a fellow student on the hunt for good food! we're keeping an eye on your not-so-secret adventures for recommendations.

Where's The Beef?
where is the beef, indeed! gosh, okay, i was always no fan of not eating meat, but i'm really intrigued by the array of vegan food that looks soooo delicious! mmmmMMMmmmMMMM....

Stir-Fried Beef Salad.

Stir-Fried Beef Salad.

it's strange how i find myself cooking at the best of times and at the worst of times. when i'm happy i cook to please; when i'm depressed, however, i cook to relieve my mind of the looming unhappiness. from my experience, i can vouch that the old adage applies: love is an important ingredient for good food. clearly, i'm not meant to be a full-time chef.

today's recipe, sadly, stems from the sad side of life :(

anyway, enough of my bs. this recipe is a rehash of my housemate, linzi's. much credit goes to her then.

500g of sliced beef (they sell in Asian Grocers for steamboats)
4-5 potatoes, skinned & diced (Desiree)
6-7 baby carrots, skinned & diced
2-3 onions, skinned and diced/ sliced (brown)
3-4 cloves, garlic (bruised and minced)
5tsp chinese rice wine
3tsp cooking oil (olive in my case)
3tsp honey
2tsp crushed basil leaves
2tsp chilli flakes
2tsp five spice powder

Stir-Fried Beef Salad: Main Ingredients.


Step 1: FRY! FRY!! FRY!!!.
before you start, start your oven to about 220degreee Cel.

heat your pot/ wok over a medium flame. when it's hot enough, fry the garlic and onion till brown. add the beef strips in, and before it cooks fully, add the condiments (i.e. wine, honey, basil leaves, chill flakes and five spice powder). stir-fry a little more, then add the vegetables.

fry everything till the vegetables are more or less cooked, remove from fire and transfer to an oven-safe ware.

Stir-Fried Beef Salad: Post-Stirfry.

the oven should be ready by now. cover the food with some foil and set the salad into the oven for about twenty to twenty-five minutes.

Stir-Fried Beef Salad: Into the Oven.

remove from oven, leave the foil on for at least ten minutes to trap some steam, before serving.

Final Serve.
good with some mash, rice or any other form of carbo. or eaten alone really.

Stir-Fried Beef Salad: Final Serve.