Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stewed Sweet and Sour Vinegar Trotter

A dish that is a must for Chinese ladies during confinement after the birth of a child is the stewed sweet and sour vinegar pork trotters though the dish is also popular any other time. Here is yet another recipe from Amy Beh.

Stewed Sweet and Sour Vinegar Trotter
1 pig’s trotter, about 2kg, cleaned and chopped into big pieces
1 litre sweetened Chinese black vinegar
700ml Chinese black vinegar
800ml water
600g young ginger, crushed
2 tbsp sesame oil
100g rock sugar
100g palm sugar (gula Melaka)
10 black dates (hak choe)
½ tsp thick soy sauce, for colour

Blanch trotter in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and clean under running water to remove any scum. Drain.

Heat sesame oil in a heavy-based pot and fry ginger until fragrant. Pour in both vinegars and water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes before adding the trotter, both sugars and dates. Cover and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or until trotter is tender. Stir in thick soy sauce for colour and allow the trotter to soak in the sauce until the flavour has developed before serving.

Marmite Pork

Lately, meat cooked with Marmite or Vegemite has been popular. If you would like to give it a try, here is a recipe from Amy Beh.

Marmite Pork
600g belly pork, cut into 2cm x 4cm pieces

2 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tsp thick soy sauce
½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp tapioca flour

Marmite sauce – (combined)
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
A little thick soy sauce
2 tbsp Marmite yeast extract
1 tbsp maltose
1 tbsp honey
Dash of pepper
300ml water

1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water

Marinate pork with seasoning ingredients for several hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat enough oil in the wok and deep-fry marinated pork pieces until golden brown. Drain and set aside.

Heat a little oil in a wok and add combined Marmite sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmering boil, then add the pre-fried pork. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Thicken sauce with cornflour mixture.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Wouldn't it be nice when family and friends come to visit over Thanksgiving weekend, you have an extra dessert on hand that everyone will love (especially the kids!)? Here is a recipe for crustless pumpkin pie. Give it a try!

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
from Coming Home with Gooseberry Patch

4 eggs, beaten
15-oz. can pumpkin
12-oz. can evaporated milk
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. salt
18-1/2 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. butter, melted
Garnish: whipped topping, chopped walnuts,
cinnamon or nutmeg

Combine eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, spice and salt. Mix well and pour into an ungreased 13"x9" baking pan. Sprinkle cake mix and nuts over top. Drizzle with butter; do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Serve with whipped topping sprinkled with nuts and cinnamon or nutmeg. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 4 servings, 2 cookies each

8 whole-wheat, natural graham cracker squares, finely ground
1/4 cup organic raisins
1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
2 Tbsps plus 2 tsps honey
4 tsps unsweetened coconut flakes
Your kids will love helping you make these peanut-butter-graham treats; you’ll love that there’s no refined sugar.

Combine ground whole-wheat graham crackers, raisins, peanut butter and honey in a small bowl. Pat into 8 cookies and press lightly in coconut.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 313 calories; 13 g fat (2 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 284 mg sodium; 82 mg potassium.

3 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings

Recipe adapted from

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mutton Curry

Many of us love curry. You can have chicken curry, beef curry, seafood curry, even vegetarian curry. Here is a recipe for mutton curry from Faridah Begum of The Star.

Mutton Curry

300g mutton - shin, ribs or even meaty bones
5cm ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 onion - sliced lengthwise
2 sprigs curry leaves
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 stick of cinnamon
3 cardamoms
2 star anise
3 cloves
3 tablespoons meat curry powder
1 tablespoon kurma powder
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup water
2 potatoes €“ cut into desired sizes
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 red chillies €“ halved
Salt to taste
A few sprigs coriander leaves cut into 2cm lengths
A slice of lime


Cut the meat into bite pieces. Pound the ginger and garlic together until fine.

In a pot, heat up the cooking oil, then put in the onions, curry leaves and the pounded ginger and garlic along with the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamoms.

When aromatic, add the curry powder, kurma powder and white pepper powder.

Add a little water and fry the concoction until oil surfaces.

Add the meat and mix it with the paste thoroughly.

When oil surfaces again, add the coconut milk and water and let the curry come to a boil. Lower the flame and let the curry simmer until the meat is tender.

Stir the curry to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. When the meat is tender, add the potatoes, cover the pot and let it simmer until the potatoes are soft.

Let the curry thicken a little before adding the tomatoes, chillies and coriander leaves. Turn off the fire and sprinkle the lime juice over the curry and mix well.

Let the curry stand for at least an hour for the flavour to develop before serving.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Choosing the Right Knife for the Job

Most of us, no matter how many kitchen knives we own, tend to use the same knife for various cutting jobs.

Here is an interesting article on knife tips - of what knife to use for what job. Learn the rationale that go into these tips:

1. A longer blade cuts more food in less time.

2. A shorter blade is ideal for in-the-hand prep work.

3. A wider blade is essential for on-the-board chopping.

4. A thinner blade excels at making thin slices.

5. A thicker blade stands up to heavy-duty chores.

6. A serrated edge is meant for any food with a firm exterior and a softer, fragile interior.

7. Don’t overlook your kitchen shears.

Read for details.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things to avoid when eating in restaurants

Have you heard of Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef from New York? I came across an interesting article he wrote on Things to avoid when eating in restaurants, such as he won't order fish on a Monday because he knows how old most seafood is on Monday - about four to five days old!

He also talks about brunch, well-done steaks, sushi, vegetarians as well as what to have for a home chef. A decent knife is important to have for the home chef's kitchen. Others include a slicer with various cut settings, and heavyweight pans.

The home chef to also have the same basic ingredients that restaurants use such as shallots, butter, roasted garlic, chiffonaded parsley, stock, demi-glace, and fresh herbs. He also shares how to make stock and a fish recipe.

He says, Good food is often simple food. Some of the best cuisine in the world - whole roasted fish, Tuscan-style, for instance - is a matter of three or four ingredients. Just make sure they're good ingredients, fresh ingredients, and then garnish them.

Example: here's a dish I used to serve at a highly-regarded two-star joint in New York. I got 32 bucks an order for it and could barely keep enough in stock, people liked it so much.

Take one fish - a red snapper, striped bass, or dorade - have your fish guy remove gills, guts and scales and wash in cold water. Rub inside and out with kosher salt and crushed black pepper. Jam a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon and a few sprigs of fresh herb - say, rosemary and thyme - into the cavity where the guts used to be. Place on a lightly oiled pan or foil and throw the fish into a very hot oven. Roast till crispy and cooked through. Drizzle a little basil oil over the plate - you know, the stuff you made with your blender and put in your new plastic squeeze bottle? - sprinkle with chiffonaded parsley, garnish with basil... See?

Read full article, Things to avoid when eating in restaurants

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Basic Knowledge about Wine

I once read that wine drinkers live longer than beer drinkers. Wine has so many health benefits that drinking a few glasses a week — particularly red, but white has benefits, too — will lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and even cancer.

Wine's magic ingredients come from the skin of the grape. Resveratrol protects the body's cells, keeping them young and strong. Saponins bind to bad cholesterol and usher it out of the body. And flavonoids interfere with the multiplication of cancer cells.

However, buying wine can be a daunting task for one who knows next to nothing about wine. Here is a guide from which will at least provide us with some basic knowledge about wine-buying and so forth.

Understanding wine is easy. It comes down to a few basic principles, which I've laid out here. So read on, drink up, and live long.

3 Moves Every Guy Must Master

1. Serving: Serve both red and white at room temperature. A chill can mask a wine's flaws and strengthen the astringent taste of the tannins. At room temperature, the wine's unique flavors — fruit, oak, whatever — are more obvious.

2. Decanting: Let wine breathe for 2 to 3 hours. Aeration speeds up the oxidation process that takes years to occur in a sealed bottle. This smooths out the taste and brings out complex flavors and aromas.

3. Tasting: First, give it a sniff, which primes your palate. Take a sip and let the wine hit every part of your mouth. You'll taste several flavors at once. The wine will evolve as you eat, as certain foods bring out different flavors.

How to Navigate a Wine Store

Treat it like a barbershop. Stay loyal to one store, and befriend a clerk who knows about the wines you like. Once he or she understands your tastes, your options will become endless. Here are a few other dos and don'ts.

Don't... Buy the label

There's a saying in the wine industry: "Put critters on the label, sell cases." Labels are designed by marketing companies who know how to trick you into buying juice that doesn't pack the thunder. Playful labels and cartoons are major warning signs. Be wary of red or yellow labels, which are designed to stand out.

Do... Double-check the ratings card

Often, wine shops post ratings for the wrong year. How much can the quality of wine vary from year to year? A ton. Most 2000 California cabernets are just average wines, for example, but the 2001 vintage is exceptional.

Don't... Choose from a display near the counter

Chances are, they're trying to unload wines that didn't sell as well as expected or are aging quickly. Either way, these won't be among the best bottles in the store.

Do... Pick up four new wines for every one of your old favorites

This is the key to expanding your palate — and be sure to keep good notes.

Watch a Slideshow: The Perfect Case of Wine


Burger Recipe

All of us have our own recipe for making burgers. Here is one more from MSN to add to your recipe book. Burgers are great to serve for holiday gatherings and other summer cookouts. Buttered corn-on-the-cob goes well with them.


1 clove garlic, minced, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoon catsup
1 tablespoon steak sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cooking oil
2 - 3 dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 hamburger buns
4 American cheese slices (optional)
4 lettuce leaves (optional)
4 tomato slices (optional)
4 red onion slices (optional)
4 pickle slices (optional)
1 teaspoon vinegar


1. For sauce, in a small saucepan combine garlic or onion, catsup, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, cooking oil, vinegar, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl combine ground beef, salt, and pepper; mix well. Shape meat mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.

3. To Cook by Indirect Grill Method: In a covered grill arrange preheated coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Place meat on the grill rack over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 20 to 24 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted in side of burger registers 160 degrees F, turning once halfway through grilling time and brushing frequently with sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling.

4. To Cook by Direct Grill Method: Grill meat on the grill rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until no pink remains, turning once halfway through grilling time and brushing frequently with sauce.

5. To serve, split and toast the buns on the grill. Serve patties in buns with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickle, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare sauce; cover and chill up to 24 hours. Prepare and shape burgers. Cover with plastic wrap and chill up to 2 hours before grilling.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Food Photography

If you are reading this, chances are you are also a blogger and if you are a blogger, chances are you are also into photographer or at least a blogger with a camera to take pictures for your blog. Based on the above assumptions, I found something interesting that might grab you. It's some videos (courtesy of the DPS site) on food photography with some useful tips we could use. Here they are:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Children's Party Food

Been having too many children parties lately and have run out of ideas for food?

Have no worries. Here is a site with lots of party food ideas, from Penguin Tuna sandwiches to Dogs in Blanket to Tortilla Pinwheels, Mini Pizza Bites and lots of others that your party guests would find both filling and delicious.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Curried Lentil Soup

On a cold day, what's more welcome than a bowl of soup? Here is a simple recipe for a lentil soup, curried for added oomph!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Savour Malay Cuisine

Many people, even tourists, enjoy Malay food. If you are one, head on down to Hotel Maya for some authentic Malay food. Customers dining at the Maya Brasserie can enjoy a variety of Malay dishes from the buffet line or from the a la carte menu. The promotion, which started on March 10, is only available for dinner.

One of the dishes offered is grilled red snapper with yellow acar for those who prefer a healthy meal. It is a combination of nyonya, Pahang and Perak recipe and there is no oil used in the dish. Yet it is full of flavour.

Another dish that is highly recommended by the chef is the pucuk keledek masak lemak udang. Pucuk keledek is sweet potato shoots which taste somewhat like kangkung.

There is Beryani Lamb Shank, which goes well with normal rice as well.

There is also a variety of ulam, sambal and traditional Malay desserts at the buffet spread to choose from.

The Maya Brasserie,
Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur,
138 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2711 8866 ext 258.
Business Hours: 6.30pm - 10pm daily (dinner).

Source: The Star

Roast lamb back on the menu at Kenny Rogers

Those of you who enjoyed the Roast Lamb at Kenny Rogers Roasters would be happy to note that the juicy, succulent Roast Lamb is back on their menu - by popular demand.

Marinated in special herbs and spices to aromatic and tender perfection, then richly spread with Kenny’s flavoursome Black Pepper Sauce, Kenny’s Roast Lamb is simply irresistible.

The meal, Kenny’s Roast Lamb comes with three side dishes and Kenny’s fabulous homemade muffin at RM19.90. The promotion is available till April 30 only.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


When it comes to cupcakes, they are no longer just for kids or for birthdays. They have become everybody's food and for any occasion. MSN shares some of the best and boldest cupcakes found in the US.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Fruit Crumble

If you like fruit crumble, here's a recipe for you to make your very own fruit crumble.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

RM1 for a bowl of koay teow soup

PENANG: Penang hawker food has always been famous for its taste, but the corners of the island are slowly becoming famous for something else.

With rising prices of petrol and other everyday goods, Fatty Loh’s Chicken Rice has managed to keep the price of their koay teow soup down to RM1. More..The Star

Friday, January 11, 2008

Food Tips

Bet you didn't know about these useful food tips:

'TIP #1"
Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last." -Francois Minot
TIP #2
If it has a mother or came from a mother, it's protein.
TIP #3
Do not thaw meat, poultry and fish products on the counter or in the sink without cold water, as bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature.
TIP #4
The average American eats over 80 pounds of chicken each year. Cluck, cluck ...
TIP #5
The average U.S. household spent about $975 per person on eating food outside the home in 2004.
TIP #6
Make your home a safe haven
Fill your home with healthy, low-fat, quick and easy food options. A bowl of fresh fruit on the counter, for example, can make it easy to have a healthy snack. Be MINDFUL with your eating. Remember ... EVERY bite counts!
TIP #7
Make a plan
If you don't plan out what you're going to eat, the world will have a plan for you. Map out the first day of your week to get a strong start. You can then build on your success and feel good about your choices the rest of the week. If you don't have a plan or goal, you'll hit it every time.
TIP #8
Figure Out 'What's Eating You'All too often overeating is triggered by stress, boredom, loneliness, anger, depression and other emotions. Learning to deal with emotions without food is a significant skill that will greatly serve long-term weight control. One of the ways to figure out what's eating you, is to journal. Making the mindful connection with food will help you lose weight, but more importantly, keep it off!
Source: JourneyLite

Rotisserie Chicken Avocado and Tomato Salad

Rotisserie Chicken Avocado and Tomato Salad
Serving Size: 6
2 cups chicken, pulled from cooked rotisserie chicken
½ cup Avocado, diced medium
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced medium
1 small red onion, sliced into thin rings
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons canola oil
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
2 cups Bibb lettuce, torn
Gently toss ingredients together and serve on a bed of fresh Bibb lettuce.Nutritional
Information per Serving:
Calories 178
Fat 12 grams (62.4% calories from fat)
Protein 11 grams
Carbohydrate 6 grams
Dietary Fiber 1 gram
Cholesterol 52 mg
Sodium 46 mg
Exchanges: 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.
Source: JourneyLite