Saturday, March 31, 2012

31 Mar 12 (Sat) - Pig Kidney Mee Sua

Today's my dear little big sis birthday. Have been preparing for this day since one month ago. Last year I bought her flowers and baked her a birthday cake. This year I intend to buy her flowers again but cook longevity noodles for her. So googled for information on how to cook longevity noodles and found a few versions. Planned to adopt this version from the Noob Cook but couldn't remember whether my sis likes to eat mee sua. So casually asked her one day through sms and she replied she likes to eat mee sua especially the pig kidney mee sua. Hence, I decided to tweak the recipe to use pig kidney instead.

Didn't follow her on her weekly grocery shopping at Giant and spent the whole morning doing the preparation. Cut the cucumber and carrot into strips, soaked the pig kidney in salt water, cooked a hard-boiled egg and prepared the chicken stock as soup base. Messaged my sis on and off to get updates of her movements and locations so that I could estimate the time to cook the mee sua and the pig kidney. She replied that I was very long-winded today and I had to stop messaging her in case she suspects anything.

Finally she messaged saying that she was about to come back from grocery shopping and so I quickly cooked the mee sua and pig kidney. Arranged them in a bowl, poured in the soup base and topped with spring onion, carrot and cucumber strips as well as the hard-boiled egg.

Placed the bouquet of flowers beside the bowl of pig kidney mee sua and waited for her return. She smiled when she saw the things on the dining table but didn't seem surprise at all. Either she managed to hide her surprise very well or she knew I was up to something all along. Oh well... I do hope she likes what she saw.

Flowers and Pig Kidney Mee Sua
Close-up of the Pig Kidney Mee Sua

1 egg
1/2 pig kidney
1/2 chicken cube
1 bundle mee sua
1/2 soup bowl of water
spring onions, finely chopped
2" of a carrot, peeled and cut into strips
2" of a Japanese cucumber, peeled and cut into strips

1.  Rinse the pig kidney under running water
2.  Make light criss-cross cuts on the outer surface of the pig kidney then cut into 1cm strips
3.  Soak the pig kidney in salt water for 30 minutes
4.  Place egg in a pot of water and bring to boil
5.  Turn off the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes
6.  Remove the egg, place in a bowl of ice water, peel the egg and cut into halves
7.  Rinse the mee sua under running water to remove the starch
8.  Cook the mee sua in a pot of boiling water till soften while separate the strands using chopsticks
9.  Turn off the heat, place mee sua in a bowl of ice water to cool then transfer into a serving bowl
10.  Cook pig kidney in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes then arrange them on the cooked mee sua
11.  Dissolve the chicken cube in the 1/2 soup bowl of water and bring to boil to make chicken broth
12.  Pour the hot chicken broth over the mee sua and pig kidney
13.  Arrange the carrot strips, cucumber strips, hard-boiled egg on the mee sua and garnish with spring onions

Recipe submitted to Munch Ministry

Sunday, March 11, 2012

11 Mar 12 (Sun) - Icewine Ice Cream

The bottle of Inniskillin icewine in my fridge was almost two year old so thought I had better find some ways to make use of it since I know I wouldn't be able to finish it just by drinking. Found a recipe in the Inniskillin website and it was called Icewine Marinated Pork Medallions with Corn Crusted Onion Rings. The recipe only made used of 60ml of the icewine hence I needed another recipe to use up the rest. Recalled that I once found a sweet wine ice cream recipe and so decided to make that too. In total, the two recipes would use up 160ml of the icewine and I just needed to finish up the balance 40ml.

Thought I would be able to adapt the first recipe to be cooked using the Happycall Pan. I was way over my head and it turned out to be a failure. First of all, I used fresh chilli instead of the dried ones called for so the paste turned out to be watery and didn't cling to the pork. Second, the pork I used was thin slices and yet I left the pork to cook in the pan for 5 minutes each side. In the end, the result was tough and not much taste pork slices.

Was kind of disheartening after seeing the failure. Next, I went on to do the ice cream. That didn't turn out so bad and I served it with the balance of the canned peaches I had in the fridge.

                      Inniskillin Icewine
 Bulla Pure Cream

Icewine Ice Cream

105ml icewine
200ml pure cream
2 rounded tbsp castor sugar

1.  Pour icewine and sugar into a bowl and whisk together
2.  Gradually whisk in the cream until it starts to thicken
3.  Pour the mixture into a container of your choice and freeze until firm

The ice cream can also be made using other sweet wine.

Recipe submitted to Munch Ministry

Saturday, March 10, 2012

10 Mar 12 (Sat) - Poached Pear with White Fungus in Osmanthus Syrup and Buttermilk Cereal Chicken Wings

Still crazy about Happycall Pan and so planned the dishes since mid-week. As I was also going to visit a friend, LL, with another friend, TS, hence made dessert to bring along. LL has very weak stomach and so I had to be very careful with the dessert selection. Finally recalled the poached pear recipe that I used to make for my parents. However, ST requested not to add Korean ginseng powder and so I substituted it with Osmanthus flowers instead.

From this...
... to this.

Ingredients (Serves 4):
1 bowl of pre-soaked white fungus
1 yellow-skinned Chinese pear
1.5 tsp osmanthus flowers*
10 seedless red dates
1 tsp rice wine
1/2 cup sugar
250ml water

1.  Peel the pear and rinse it in water and lemon juice to prevent browning
2.  Cut the pear into quarters, remove the core and set aside
3.  Put water, sugar and osmanthus flowers in a pot and heat till sugar dissolves
4.  Add in red dates, white fungus and rice wine and bring to a boil
5.  Place the cut pear into the pot and simmer on low heat
6.  Turn off the heat when fruit feels tender when prodded with a fork
6.  Serve warm or chill**

*  Remove any small stalks and rinse the osmanthus flowers using a strainer
** Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight

Done with dessert and I went on to do the buttermilk cereal chicken, a recipe I found in Cuisine Paradise and also found in Munch Ministry. As I didn't want to buy a whole pack of buttermilk, I decided to make my own. Didn't want to get a big pack of plain flour, I ran out of cornflour and so had to use self-rising flour instead. The result? Oh well... The winglets weren't as nice as those featured in the Cuisine Paradise website coz the skins dropped off from a couple of the winglets.

Buttermilk Cereal Chicken

6 mid-joint chicken wings
1.5 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/4 cup self-rising flour
Salt and pepper
Cooking oil

1.  Crush cornflakes into crumbs using hand
2.  Add in salt and pepper and stir till well combined
3.  Place self-rising flour and buttermilk in separate shallow dishes
4.  Coat chicken winglets one at a time with flour then buttermilk then cornflake crumbs
5.  Lightly oil Happycall Pan and preheat on low heat for 30 secs
6.  Place winglets in the pan, lock and cook for 5 mins before flipping over and cook for another 5 mins
7.  Repeat a few times for a total of 20 mins or untill golden and cooked through
8.  Turn off the heat and arrange on a plate to serve with chili sauce and mayonnaise

* 1/2 tbsp lemon juice with 7.5 tbsp milk and let it stand for 15 minutes

Recipe for Poached Pear with White Fungus in Osmanthus Syrup submitted to Munch Ministry

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

6 Mar 12 (Tue) - Rosti (Happycall Version #1)

Happycall cooking adventure continued for the fourth day straight. Before I dived into it, I got to announce that my yogurt ice cream failed. It was frozen rock solid and I couldn't eat it till I thawed it for about 10 minutes. Oh well... Maybe it needed some cream after all.

Anyway, back to cooking. Used my rosti recipe and thought perhaps I wouldn't need to put oil if I used the Happycall Pan for the frying. How wrong I was. I waited and waited for the underside to turn brown and crisp but it didn't happen. The potatoes got cooked but remained soft. I guess that's why the advertisement claims that the pan can retain the food moisture and blah blah blah.

In the end, I had to add some oil and not lock the pan for it to fry and brown. Instead of the usual method of flipping the rosti, I tried to flip the pan to cook the other side but again it was a mess. The rosti went to the side of the pan and got folded. Had to rearrange the potatoes and add more oil to fry.

After cooking two rosti, I decided to use all of the remaining potatoes to cover the whole pan to make an ultra-big rectangular rosti. Hehe... The conclusion? The flipping worked! However, it still didn't make a difference if I use the normal non-stick pan or the Happycall pan to cook rosti coz both need oil.

After I was done with the rosti, I cooked two sausages to go with them. Separated the food into two portions and packed them into containers to bring to work as lunch tomorrow and share with another colleague. While washing up, a thought struck me. Perhaps I could add some oil together with the salt and pepper to the grated potatoes before the actual frying on Happycall Pan without adding extra oil. Hrm... I should try that the next time.

Should I continue with my adventure tomorrow? Guess I better take a break so that I can continue with bigger cooking ideas over the weekend.

Boiled and skinned potatoes left overnight

Rosti with Sausages

Grated and seasoned


Monday, March 5, 2012

5 Mar 12 (Mon) - Pancakes

Ever since I cooked two dishes using the Happycall Pan over the weekend, I never stopped thinking about the next dish to cook. I have so many ideas that I want to put into actions yet I have to be patient and wait till the following weekend. So in the meantime, I have to make do with simple ones that can be done in a short time after work and I decided to make pancakes today and rosti tomorrow.

Made the peaches & cream yogurt yesterday using the Easiyo premix and the yogurt maker and thought maybe I could try using that to make into ice cream too. So it was making ice cream, pancakes and boiling the potatoes for tomorrow's rosti. Cooked, washed and cleaned for three hours before I was finally done for the night.

The pancakes were nice and soft. Tasted good with honey and butter. Basically you can eat them with anything you like. As for the ice cream, I can only taste it tomorrow when it sets.

When it starts to bubble, flip it over.

And you get this.

Nice, soft pancakes.

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter - melted using microwave

1.  Mix all the ingredients together till well combined
2.  Preheat Happycall pan for 2 mins on low heat
3.  Pour 3 tablespoon of the batter into the pan
4.  Once the bubbles on the top start to break, flip the pancake over and let it cook for another 1-2 mins*
5.  Repeat till the batter is finished
6.  Serve warm with honey and butter**

*   Do not press the pancake, otherwise it will not be fluffy
**  Can be served with anything from maple syrup to whipped cream to fruit jams

Sunday, March 4, 2012

4 Mar 12 (Sun) - Coca-cola Chicken Wings

The Happycall Pan adventure continued today and the dish I cooked was coca-cola chicken wings, a recipe from a Munch Ministry member. Of course I also did other creative stuff such as cooking the rice using the water from boiling the purple carrot and baking my usual vanilla cupcake recipe using the Happycall Pan.

The results? The coca-cola chicken wings were yummy especially when drizzled with some lemon juice. The rice was dyed a deep purple color but was a bit too soft coz I overestimated the amount of water used. As for the cakes, they were not very successful though the top portions were still edible.

I think there are a few factors that contributed to the failure:
>  I didn't mix the ingredients using an electic mixer hence maybe not enough air incorporated
>  I didn't use any moulds during the baking hence some of the mixture flowed out of the paper cases
>  I overestimated the time for baking hence the burnt bottom

From this...

... to this.


8 pieces mid-joint chicken wings
200ml regular coke
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
lemon juice

1.  Marinate the chicken wings with olive oil, light soya sauce and dark soya sauce for 15 mins or longer
2.  Preheat Happycall pan for 1 min on low heat then brown the chicken wings on both sides
3.  Add coca-cola and leftover marinade sauce into the pan
4.  Cover but do not lock the pan and let it simmer for 25mins on low heat or until the sauce is reduced to a thick and sticky syrup
5.  Turn the chicken wings occasionally so that both sides are well coated with the sauce
6.  Turn off the heat, arrange the chicken wings on a plate, drizzle with some lemon sauce and serve

Saturday, March 3, 2012

3 Mar 12 (Sat) - Grilled Teriyaki Cod Fish with Vegetables and Pan-fried Korean Rice Cakes

Heard so much about Happycall Pan (HCP), saw it on TV and saw my BIL's sister using it that I finally bought mine recently. On TV, it was distributed by Lejel Home Shopping at $108. However, I was told that I could get it for about $63 from Gmarket.

A video on how to prepare and clean Happycall Pan by mamabliss

More information about Happycall Pan by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise

The pan was delivered to my house last week and then I started searching for recipes using the pan. Found loads of them and finally decided to try something simple over this weekend - Grilled Teriyaki Saba by Ellena of Cuisine Paradise. Went marketing last Thursday, could't find the saba fish that was called for in the recipe, hence settled on using cod fish steak instead. Bought a pack of Thai thick asparagus and a single purple carrot. Yes, purple carrot. You heard me.

Cod Fish Steal, Asparagus, Purple Carrot, Garlic
and Shallow
           Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce

As I had some frozen mini Korean rice cakes left, so decided to pan-fried them instead of cooking the usual rice and angel hair. Marinated the fish, minced the garlic, sliced the shallot as well as the purple carrot then cut the Korean rice cakes to bite size. Then cut off the dried ends of the asparagus before peeling off the skin from the bottom half of each asparagus using a peeler.

After that, started cooking and it was a breeze using the HCP to cook the fish and the Korean rice cakes. Arranged the fish, vegetables and Korean rice cakes on a plate. Took some photos before tasting. The fish was juicy and soft while the Korean rice cakes was slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Yummilicious! The Korean rice cakes looked cute too in its pretty purple color. Talk about Western-Korean fusion and creativity eh?

Marinated Cod Fish Steak

Water from boiling Asparagus and Purple Carrot

The final product

Cooked Cod Fish Steak

Dyed Korean Rice Cakes

A close-up

Ingredients (Serves 1):
1 piece cod fish steak
3 stalks asparagus - cut and peeled
1/2 purple carrot - sliced
1 clove shallot - sliced
1 clove garlic - minced
8 pieces Korean rice cakes - thawed and cut half
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil

1.  Rinse and pat dry the cod fish steak with kitchen paper towel
2.  Marinate it with some salt and black pepper then set aside for 5 mins
3.  Put the asparagus and carrot in a pot of water and boil on medium-low heat for about 5 mins*
4.  Turn off the heat and arrange the vegetables on a plate
5.  Put the Korean rice cakes in the same pot of hot water to soak for 3-4mins**
5.  Preheat Happycall pan for 2 mins on low heat then put in the cod fish steak
6.  Cover and lock the pan to cook for 3 mins
7.  Flip over and cook for another 3-4 mins***
6.  Flip the pan over again, open and drizzle the teriyaki sauce over cod fish steak and let it cook for 10-20 secs
7.  Turn off the heat and set the cod fish steak on the plate with the vegetables
8.  Pour the remaining teriyaki sauce from the pan onto the cod fish steak and wipe the pan clean with a kitchen paper towel
9.  Saute the garlic and shallot with some olive oil in the Happycall pan on low heat for 1 min
10.  Drain the Korean rice cakes and add them into the pan
11.  Cover and lock the the pan to cook for 3-4 mins on medium-low heat and shake the pan every now and then
12.  Turn off the heat and arrange the Korean rice cakes on the plate with the fish and vegetables

*   The water would be boiling and turned purple due to the purple carrot
**  This is to soften and dye the Korean rice cakes to purple color
*** Open the pan and check that the cod fish steak is in the centre of the pan

Recipe submitted to Munch Ministry