Friday, December 26, 2014

Dumpling wrappers

I got 2 different wrappers today, wrappers for panfrying and wrappers for wontons.  

Wrappers for pan frying are different.  The edges are supposed to be thinner on the outside and thicker on the inside so that once the dumpling is made, the thickness of the wrapper is uniform.  The wrapper is also thicker as  it needs to be panfried and too thin a wrapper would make it break easily.

Wonton wrappers are much thinner as they are intended to be cooked in water.  But this time, I cut and shaped them oval, just like the dumpling wrappers and wrapped them for frying.  

Both tasted great, but I think wonton wrappers made the dumplings more delicate and the skin was crispier.  For a richer dumpling with more meat, I think dumpling wrappers would be better.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Freeze cook

What happened to defrosting food before cooking?  Who would want to cook frozen food?  Actually, it makes lots of sense. Water is retained much better, keeping the food a lot more moist and locked in the  meat. I got some very nice capeline fish and instead of defrosting them, I put them straight on the grill.  It may take a bit longer to cook, but when they are done, the meat is a lot more moist and not dry.  When frying fish, the skin has to be dry and crispy before it's flipped, otherwise, the skin sticks to the pan.  But the water is also drawn out from the meat.  So by cooking frozen, the temperature of the meat doesnt climb too quickly, leaving the meat a lot more moist than if cooked at room temperature.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hairy crab roe

It's been so busy that I haven't been able to treat myself to anything homemade and extravagant.  I finally had time to try this out.  Hairy crabs are in season now and they are usually just steamed and devoured whole.  

I've always wanted to take the roe out and experiment with it.  I got a few crabs, quickly killed them and then took the roe out.  For the body, there were simply satueed and tossed with some chillies, corriander, garlic and seasoning.

The roe was interesting to work with.  I made a seafood food risotto and when the risotto was finished, the raw roe was incorporated into the risotto.  The second dish using raw roe was fried rice.  The roe was put in last after the rice was fried and tossed until cooked. The third was simply a plain congee with roe added and cooked till done.

Taste.....  Both the seafood risotto and the congee were great.  It was very light and the roe came out very delicately.  As for the fried rice, there was colour but, the taste of the roe disappeared.  In short, no wonder everyone just eats these crabs in the whole.  That's the best way!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Peeling shallots

We use quite a bit of shallots at the restaurant.  But it's not to the extent that we need a commercial peeler.  I don't like the peeled shallots our vegetable supplier has as they were soaked in water and flavours are lost.  I found something interesting on the internet that helped the peeling process.  

I took 2 metal containers and put some shallots into it.  Then the two containers are shook vigoursly for about 30 seconds.  Some of the shallots and completely peeled but for some, some of the skin is still stuck.  But the skin could be easily peeled off.  This simple process is saving us lots of time and tears.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese and Slow Cooked salmon sandwich.
Sometimes it doesnt take an oven or panini grill to make a grill cheese. Just the brains of an 8 year old. Leeanne found a way to make a perfect grilled cheese with a simple fry pan from her children's cook books. I added the sous vide salmon. All you need is to make a sandwich and butter the OUTSIDE of the bread. Then use a non stick fry pan and heat gently for a few minutes, flip and cook the other side and Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fresh tomatoes

I saw some very nice fresh tomatoes at the market today.  With such heat, I felt like making a fresh bloody mary and perhaps my slow juicer would do the job.  I put the tomatoes through the juicer and it was not what I expected.  Instead a thick tomato puree came out and so I changed my drink to a cold tomato soup.  Extremely refreshing for this weather.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Late meals

Working late doesnt mean you have to have leftovers,  instant noodles or takeaways.  All you need is a small rice cooker and fresh food.  It only took 15 minutes to make this.

Making Breakfast

To help kids eat healthily doesn't require a book. It does require some fun.  Leeanne wanted to make breakfast today and so her first task was to write out what she wants in her oatmeal.  Then she helped cut up all the vegetables, including the onions.  It doesnt matter if they cry a bit, as they will learn that once its cooked, they turn sweet.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Roast rack of lamb

I was able to get hold of a very nice piece of welsh rack of lamb the other day.  I decided to marinate it simply with some garlic, shallots, parsley, sea salt and olive oil.  I wanted to infuse the flavours quickly and so sealed the meat in a ziplock ba, ensuring all the air was pushed out of the bag.

The rack was seared and popped into a hot oven 180 C for 30 minutes.  It came out perfectly, medium done and the flavours were very delicately infused in the meat.  It the simple process of creating  a vacuum with a ziplock bag that enabled this.