Category: Cooking

Pasta Sauce__David Wong

Sunday night dinner with the idiot cook and chief bottle washer 

Believing is your first mistake.

My recipes come mostly in proportions for different ingredients rather than exact measurements. The fact that most taste buds do not work the same way, it will be more flexible if we use proportions to come in with a likeable product. Besides it will be far less typing for me.  Continue reading

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夫妻肺片

徇眾要求,附上夫妻肺片故事與制作方法,以供同好。

相傳清末年間,四川成都皇城附近,乃少數民族聚居地,這些少數民族信奉回教,主食牛羊,以內臟為不潔,全部扔掉。

有一對夫婦,正苦沒事可做,在堆積的內臟中,撿獲白嫩的牛肚、淡紅的牛舌,放入鍋煮熟,再配以夫妻精心搭配的辣椒油、味精、上等醬油和鮮美見稱的麻辣,炮制出這後世傳誦的美食。

這個由棄廢內臟挑選出來的美食,開始時稱其為 [廢片],由夫婦合作而成,故前面冠以 [夫妻] 二字,成為 [夫妻廢片],而後隨著食客日益,廢片二字不雅,便改為成都人盡皆知的一道 [夫妻肺片]。

這度菜有牛舌、牛心、牛肚、牛頭皮、後來又加上牛肉,但始終就是沒有牛肺。所以食客在品嚐時,不要認為這 [肺片] 就是牛肺片,祇是因緣巧合,造成名不副實而已。

後更有饕客在品嚐後讚道 – 肺片非肺、味中有味、麻辣鮮香味長; 夫妻好合,滋味調和,天長地久情深。 美哉夫妻,快哉肺片。 Continue reading

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懶人食譜 – ’64 同學提供

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Lamb

Lamb Crusted

Lamb Crusted

Lamb is very delicate in texture. There are generally 2 types of lamb on the market. One originates from New Zealand and the other is from local farms. The one from New Zealand does not have as much a gamey taste as the ones from Ontario and the meat is more tender.

Unless you are bold enough to attempt roasting a whole lamb or a whole leg of lamb, it is still easier to stay with the already dressed rack of lamb. Lamb shoulder meat is not a bright choice when it comes to roasting. Lamb shoulder meat is more suitable for braising or making stew.

At present, you can pick up dressed New Zealand spring lamb in rack at T&T frozen or at your local Walmart. This product comes in handy. It is already dressed with rosemary and garlic, and all you have to do is thaw and bake and you can have your dinner ready within half an hour. Of course you can do modify the product and make it takes on a very different presentation.

Lamb encasing garlic with portabella mushroom

Lamb encasing garlic with portabella mushroom Watercress & grill shrimp, balsamic reduction

TO-NIGHTS MENU

FRENCH ONION SOUP
SALAD OF ARUGULA WITH PEAR WITH CITRUS MANGO DRESSING
DRY ROAST RACK OF LAMB WITH ROASTED POTATO.

Thaw rack of lamb in fridge overnight making sure they are completely thawed. Cut up potato, mixed with olive oil and seasoning. Place them on the bottom of a roasting pan. Cover pan with tin foil. Pre-heat oven 375, cook potato for 20 minutes. Check doneness of potatoes (you can test the potatoes by inserting a paring knife).

Put on broiler in the oven. Place rack of lamb over potatoes and cook for 10 minutes with foil covering. Remove foil and broil for another 5 to 10 minutes depending on your own liking. Let lamb stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Place potatoes on the middle of the plate and tripod the lamb ribs.

DELICIOSO

Light up the candles, uncork the wine, let the soft music dance around you and lift you through the clouds of enjoyment.

Till next time. Bon appétit!!

(I also left out the important part of making a sauce – but till next time)

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Canapé

Canapes are often served during cocktail hours to encourage guests to drink more. They are also referred as finger food. The Spanish have the outstanding snack termed tapas. They are all within the same category.

Crackers and small slices of bread or toast or puff pastry, cut in various shapes, serve as the base for savoury butters or pastes, often topped with a “canopy” of such savoury foods as meat cheese, fish, caviar, foie gras, purees or relish.

It is simple to build these tasty treats.
You need a base (where you can shower your mix food ingredients).
You need a spread (where your food ingredients can adhere to the base).
You need your food ingredients to sit comfortably on the spread.
Finally, you need garnish on top of the food.

Traditionally, canapés are built on stale white bread (though other foods may be used as a base), cut in thin slices and then shaped with a cutter or knife. Shapes might include circles, rings, squares, strips or triangles. These pieces of bread are then prepared by deep frying, sautéeing, or toasting. The foods are sometimes highly processed and decoratively applied (i.e. piped) to the base with a pastry bag. Decorative garnishes are then applied.

The next time during a party, give yourself a lot of courage to try this form of serving snacks. You can also go to the extent of preparing the ingredients and allow the guests to test their own imagination.

Bruschetta with nutty bread as basePuff pastry with salami, cream cheese mix & cheese curl
A combination of samosa, smoked salmon on baguette

Mini chicken skewer, vegetarian mini spring roll

Food should be fun. We used to say, “people eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouths”

If nothing else, it can help you get rid of the left-overs easy.

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A nourishing hot meal

In our floating life of dashes and cold dishes we need to eat hearty meals for good health and peace of mind. This was our favourite food when the kids were hungry and the family budget lean.

–        Have the rice cooked

–        Marinate half a pound of minced beef with a dash of wine, generous light soy sauce, and a sprinkle of flour ( ten minutes, longer if you have time)

–        Open one can of cream of mushroom soup

–        Put a spoonful of olive oil on a hot pan, stir the meat over after one minute, put in the soup and stir a bit. Fill the empty can with two-third full of hot water and add to the food. Stir and cover pan. Cook for one minute, put in half a bowl of green peas. Cook for one minute, add salt and stir even. It is done.

–        To serve, just put appropriate amount of cooked rice on a plate, add the cooked beef with thick sauce and you have a hearty warm meal

–        The time of cooking varies dependent on how rare you like your beef. Chopped onion can be used, fried before putting in beef. Pepper can be used for individual preference. You can also add an egg or two just before serving to boost up the nourishment and flavour.

All together this meal could be cooked in half an hour. It could be done in ten minutes if you have the rice cooked beforehand. However things are, please try it, and I know you will do it again and again.

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Roast Beef revisited by President W’s Choice

 

WHERE’S THE BEEF

This was an ingenious advertising promotion invented by Wendy’s back in 84.

The words were catchy. Wendy did not receive too much success in such a campaign whereas beef became an alerting reminder.

Of course we are not talking about commercials. We came to re-examine the mechanics of making roast beef.

The choice of meat should be prime rib. The word prime has evolved to a generic term for a class of beef. What we should be looking for is prime GRADE beef.

The general observation should prevail. We should be looking for beef that is fresh, nice colour, with whitish layer of fat and with bones. The marbling in the meat is also important. Flavour does not derive from the meat but from the bones, and the fat that caps the beef. It is like BBQ pork, 100% lean tenderloin would produce a dry end product. When you visit your friendly butcher, the preference should go from the first rib down. You let him know the number of people you want to serve and he would prepare the roast for you. Depending on the appetite of your guests, it is pretty safe to estimate a ¾ pound of meat per person.

There are 2 camps of thought on cooking a roast.

Low temperature cooking is popular for the past few years. The method depends on preheating up the oven to the highest temperature. Then put the roast in to be cooked. After a certain time, (this gets a bit tricky, some say 10 minutes/pound, and some say more minutes/pound), the oven is shut off. The remaining heat would cook the meat through. When the oven is cool down, the roast is done.

Some people go to the extent of taking the meat out of the oven after a certain time and they claim the meat is also cooked.

The other method is using high heat 400 to sear the outside of the roast first. After 20 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 325. Estimate 15 minutes per pound and you will have a lovely roast.

Personally I prefer the sear and cook method. It makes more sense. Get a meat thermometer too. The hand held job that goes for $6 at kitchen plus. Beef should be medium rare when it reaches the temperature of 140. This degree of doneness is of general acceptance.

If you are of the all in one nature, you can certainly put all your preferred root vegetables under the roast. Everything will be done at the same time.

French bread, unsalted butter, some side canapé, together with your favourite bottle of wine, light the candles, soft music, put a bouquet along the side of the plate for the lady and you will have a romantic evening.

Who knows, you might have a new addition in the family by next year.

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President David’s Choice –A Steak Well Cooked

There are ways to ensure a steak is cooked well.

Steaks need to be marinated before they are cooked.

It does not matter what kind of marinade you choose. The main idea is to use the marinade to loosen the tissue of the piece of meat. The most commonly used ingredient is oil. You can use salad oil, olive oil, peanut oil or any kind of oil you desire. If you have a meat tenderizer (the device looks like a brush with retractable needles). You can break down the tissue by perforation. Then rub the oil on your steak with your garlic, pepper, chilli pepper, crushed basil, oregano, onion powder, soya sauce, tobacco, frank’s hot sauce, Worchestershire sauce and other exotic spices you can image. One word of caution, do not add salt at this stage. Salt will draw the moisture out of the steak resulting dryness. When it is done, let the marinade work for at least an hour.

Your grill has to be hot enough that you cannot put your hand over it for more than 5 to 10 seconds. By all means pre-heat your grill. If you are using a BBQ, watch out for the ash white color on the grill.

Familiarize the softness of the steak to the touch. Generally speaking, the doneness of the meat is in direct proportion to its softness to the touch. When the meat is well done, they are stiffer. If you close your thumb and your index finger of your left hand, you will see a bulge. Then you can use your right hand index finger to feel the degree of softness of that bulge by touching around it. Identify this softness. This degree of this softness can be compared with the doneness of the steak on your grill.

Patience will yield a great product. Once your steak hits the grill, let it sit there untouched for at least 1 or 2 minutes. Do not move the steak all over the grill hoping they will cook faster. You should move the steak 4 times during the whole cooking process. You place the steak on the grill, you turn the steak 90 degrees to get the cross hatch mark, then you flip the steak onto the reverse side and then cross hatch again.

During all these times, the steak should remain relatively stationary. You determine the doneness of the steak through finger touch. For a medium rare steak, it should take 4 minutes on each side the most. There is no identical cook equipment in the world. You need to test and find out the best timing for yourself.

Have a little brush and a container of soft butter standing by. Brush the steak with some clarified butter before serving. During this time, you can add your steak spices on top of the steak before you call it finished. The steak spice should have salt in it and that would give your steak all the flavour it desires.

“A steak is a definite tool to carve through a man’s heart.
A mean steak grants you the throne to a submissive male.
Ladies, work your magic.” … DW

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President David’s Choice — Steak

 

Most people are confused about the kind of steak they purchase. The above diagram would serve as a guide line to demystify some of the names of steaks.

As a general rule, the muscle that got more exercise would be tougher in texture. The front of the animal would get more exercise than the hind side of the animal and consequently the meat from the front of the steer will be tougher.

Chuck steaks are sometimes called clouds. The fore limbs of the steer perform most of the supporting work and they receive a lot more exercise. The meat texture will be a lot tighter. Intensity and fat bring out more flavour. Meat like this should be cooked slow and with steam or water moisture. Braising is a perfect way. Briskets are mainly smoked and they produce wonderful corn beef.

What we should be concentrated on should be the meat from the sirloin section. It is easy to remember sur = after. So sirloin is the part after the loin. From this section we get the T-bones, Porterhouse steaks. Tenderloin is a straight piece of meat that does not contain much marble (fatty tissue) and you have to pay attention when you are cooking them. Thus you would have bacon wrapped tenderloin to allow fat from the bacon to compensate the dryness.

Personally I believe people have the absolute right to decide their taste. There are people who love blade steak and sirloin tips for they love the bite of meat. Other would not be satisfied unless the steak is fork tender. So, do not listen to any food critic or follow the food show host to the T. There is no definite recipe. The French did it the best. All the ingredients in a recipe are general guide-lines. They should be modified to your own liking.

To be continued, “A Steak Well Cooked”

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攻鼻辣菜 Cantonese pungent pickled mustard

To spice up the recipe, add a few whole chili peppers to steep with the vinegar-syrup-mustard mixture.  Serve with sesame seeds.

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