jeudi 30 octobre 2014

Crispy Pork Belly with Celery Root Puree – Three Fats Beat as One

Thanks to social media, food bloggers, and celebrity chefs with too much time on their hands, pork belly was/is all the rage. It’s a common site on menus across the land, and you can’t channel surf past a food show without seeing it.

It also helps that people are no longer terrified to eat a little fat, and that’s what I’m banking on with this pork belly recipe. Yep, turns out sugar and the simple carbs do the real damage, so belly up to the bar. Sure, the fat content is a tad high, but it’s no different than that your average sausage link, and when paired with a tart, aromatic, root vegetable puree, it doesn’t feel heavy.

In fact, I use a touch of extra virgin olive oil to accent the meat and celery root. Celeriac is delicious, but fat free, and even though I added a little butter, the grassy, peppery oil lends a bracing richness. The same goes for the crispy-edged pork belly, and the dish provides an opportunity to enjoy three great fats doing three different things. I thought this was amazing.

I recommend getting your pork belly with the skin removed. It can get supper tough, and I prefer to work with it on it’s own (see Chicharrón). We still get plenty of crispy goodness, and I want nice, tender, succulent bites; not something that’s work to chew.

As I mentioned, I will show you the celery root recipe in the next video, so stay tuned for that. If you just can’t wait, I’m happy to report that this can be served with all your favorite pork chop sauces and sides, so feel free to jump the gun, or root in this case. I hope you give this great fall appetizer a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 appetizer-sized portions :
1  1/2 pound pork belly, skin removed
season generously with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika
- Wrap as show and roast for 6 hours at 200 F. (*Note: I said 5 1/2 in the video, but my pork was almost room temp, so I’m adding 30 minutes since most people will use chilled meat)
- Chill, cut into serving sized pieces and crisp up in reserved fat before serving

mercredi 29 octobre 2014

Next Up: Belly of Pork

Meringue Bones and Ghosts – Scary Easy

While I know no one is ever actually scared by the "spooky" Halloween treats you see posted this time year, I do know for a fact that many people are terrified to work with meringue. Hopefully, these bones and ghosts will help chase those demons away.

As long as your bowl is clean, and you don’t accidentally get any egg yolk in there, you should be fine. It may take a while, especially if you do it by hand, but if you keep whisking, eventually you should get a nice, glossy meringue that will hold a shape when piped.

Speaking of which, you can make this in any shape you want, in case you were thinking about trying to do a full skeleton (show off). Of course, different shapes may change the cooking time, but you’ll figure it out.  As long as your meringue feels firm and dry, you’re probably in good shape to let it cool in the oven.

By the way, I did these on a very humid day in San Francisco, and as they sat on the plate, they sort of stuck together a little bit.  They came apart fairly easily, but I wanted to ask our experienced bakers and candy makers if there’s a trick to prevent this kind of thing? Maybe some powdered sugar or cornstarch? Let me know if you have any ideas.

These are probably a little too time-consuming, delicate, and completely inappropriate to use for Halloween trick-or-treaters, but if you’re having a holiday themed party, these would be a hit. I hope you give these meringue bones and ghosts a try soon, and as always, enjoy!

Ingredients for  about 2 dozen small bones, or other shapes:
2 large egg whites, room temp (don’t get any yolk in it or it will not work!)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar or fresh lemon juice
a scant 1/2 cup sugar (that means almost, but not quite full), added a spoon at a time, once the egg whites start forming a very soft meringue
* bake at 225 F. for 1 hour, then turn off oven and let cool with door closed another hour

lundi 27 octobre 2014

Butt Seriously, Folks

The next video won’t be posted until Wednesday this week, as I’m taking a couple days off for a little medical procedure that men my age are recommended to get. Hair transplant? No, it’s much further down. 

That’s right, I’m going in for a colonoscopy, and as a minor YouTube celebrity, I feel it’s my duty to encourage all my fans and viewers over the age of 50 to do the same. I just skimmed the brochure, but apparently this simple test can save your life. 

Remember, the longer you’re around, the more traffic these videos get. So, if you’re my age and haven’t had one done yet, please contact your doctor and get it scheduled as soon as possible…and as always, enjoy!

dimanche 26 octobre 2014

I Love New York

The recently posted Beef on Weck served as a reminder of just how many great regional recipes come from Upstate and Western New York. Here are a few of my favorites that you may have missed. To see the full post and recipe, just click on the title, and away you go. Enjoy!

Chicken Riggies

The pride of Utica! Easy and delicious, this is Italian-American comfort food at it's finest.

Chicken Spiedies

This sandwich hails from Binghamton, and besides learning a great, new chicken recipe, you'll also learn what "zuzu" is.

Syracuse Salt Potatoes

Not only is this Syracuse salt potatoes recipe one of the most delicious ways to cook baby spuds, it’s also one of the most interesting.

Cornell Chicken

Despite being invented by an Ivy League professor, this simple grilled chicken recipe is nothing short of amazing.


samedi 25 octobre 2014

Quick and Easy Almond Puff Roll

Another easy quick bake using store bought puff pastry if you are a fan of almond.

Recipe from

2 frozen puff pastry , cut 8 pcs
(size about 4 x 4 inch)

Filling - Almond Spread
-125g Almond meal/ground
-1/2 tsp Almond essence
-42g Icing sugar
-1/2 tsp Vanilla powder/extract
-1 tbsp Lemon juice
-Egg white(20g)
-2 tbsp Fresh milk


  • Preheat oven to 200 degree C.
  • Combine Filling ingredients to make a thick paste. Dilute with milk to make almond spread.
  • Take one large thawed puff pastry, prick holes with a fork and cut into 4 equal sizes. Dust some flour if you find the puff pastry a little sticky.
  • Spread a generous almond spread over pastry with a palette knife but leave edges alone and brush some milk on pastry while rolling it up. Poke some holes with a fork and press to seal. Use a sharp knife to slit some lines on the surface.
  • Lastly brush the top with some milk and sprinkle some coarse sugar or almond flakes on it.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Tokyo Banana Cake

Another recipe for ripe bananas, this recipe taste close to the popular japan dessert which is very expensive to get as souvenirs in Japan.
Creamy banana custard with the soft sponge , it tastes even better when chilled.

The sponge cake recipe is also very soft good for making swissroll as well.
Video on the making of Tokyo banana cake

 Ingredients for Banana Custard

100g Banana
1 Egg
2-3 Tbsp Corn Starch
3Tbsp Granulated Sugar(I reduced to 2tbsp)
130ml Milk
A drop of Vanilla Extract

1. Mash the banana with fork and add in rest of the ingredient (Except vanilla Extract)
2. Sieve the mixture in a pot and warm it low fire, stir constantly till thicken and add
    vanilla extract.

3. Continue stirring till mixture thicken, let it cool and transfer to piping bag and let it
    chill in fridge
4. Cut the sponge cake into 4 and pipe 1 roll custard filling and wrap it up with cling
    wrap, tighten the 2 side to make it round.
5. Chill the cake

Ingredients for Sponge Cake(10"x 10" pan)
2 Eggs
50g (1.8oz.) of Superfine Sugar
35g (1.2oz.) of Cake Flour
20g (0.7oz.) of Milk

1. Line pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 180C
2. Beat eggs and sugar and place it over a pot of hot water to melt the mixture
3. Whisk the batter on high speed for 5 mins. till batter thicken and whish at low speed
    for 2mins.

4. Sift in cake flour and mix the batter by folding in the flour x 10time 
5. Add milk and fold together x 50 times or well mix
6. Fill batter in the line pan and drop the pan on table top to remove air bubbles
7. Bake in 180C for 11-12mins

Quick and Easy Crispy Flaky almond biscuit

This is an easy bake for a quick yummy snack using store bought puff pastry.
Used to buy it whenever I visit HK but didn't realised I can easy bake this at home,less expensive and eat as much as you want.


Recipe adapted from Ann Coo
Makes 20 biscuits of 1" x 2"

2 sheets of pampas puff pastry
1 egg for egg wash
Almond flakes and sugar

1. Thaw frozen pastry in fridge overnight.
2. Take pastry out from fridge 10 mins before use
3. Place one square sheet puff pastry on table top dust
    flour if dough too sticky

4. Half the square sheet and Cut 5 pieces(size per your
    preference) approx. 1" x 4".

5. Use fork to prick all over pastry and egg wash ,
    sprinkle with almond flakes and sugar

6. Pre-heat oven 180C, bake 20-25mins till brown    Cool biscuit and stored in air tight container 

mercredi 22 octobre 2014

Beef on Weck, Part 2: The Meat Within

As promised, this is how I do roast beef for "beef on weck." In episode one, we made the weck rolls, which are awesome, but become significantly more so when filled with freshly roasted beef and horseradish. And, don't even get me started on the au jus.

There are many cuts of beef used for this, including top round, rump roast, and brisket, but I like to use a nice thick top-sirloin roast. Instead of cooking it in the oven, I like to pan-roast this on the stovetop. There are many advantages to this approach. Since top sirloin roasts are only a couple inches thick, they cook relatively fast. They're also tender, flavorful, and because of their shape, very easy to slice thinly, which is one of the keys to this amazing sandwich.

As far as the au jus goes, it’s only going to be as good as the beef broth or stock you use, but I have a great tip regarding where to find the nice stuff. Most of your higher-end grocery store chains, which have in-house butchery departments, usually sell homemade stocks in the frozen food section.

It makes sense, since there are so many bones and meat scraps available. Not only are these products usually high-quality, they’re also pretty affordable, so check there before you use something out of a carton.

Anyway, thanks for your patience, and I really hope you try both recipes, and experience Buffalo’s best-kept, and most delicious secret. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 Beef on Weck sandwiches:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pound top-sirloin roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 or 3 teaspoons flour
2 1/2 cups good quality beef broth
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar, or to taste
4 kummelweck rolls
extra hot prepared horseradish, as needed
serve with chips or fries, and pickles

Spongy Banana Cake

Trying another banana cake recipe which bloggers been talking and baking.

It uses Oil instead of butter so in search of best banana cake, here's my experiment and verdict.  I supposed with the use of only oil instead of butter, it disburse a stronger banana aroma .

Recipe adapted from Wen's Delight
2.5-3 Eggs (Room temp - Approx 150g)
120g Sugar (Reduced, original-130g)
200g Banana (Ripe & cut into small pcs)
150g Top Flour (or plain flour/superlite flour/cake flour)
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
100g Corn oil (or any vegetable oil except olive oil, if prefer richer flavour replace with melted butter but it may cover the banana fragrant)
1/8 tsp Banana essense (optional)


Preheat oven to 160 degree C.
Grease & line a 8" round tin with paper.
1. Sieve flour, baking powder & soda together. Sieve twice & set aside.
2. Whisk eggs, sugar & banana at max. speed till stiff/ribbon stage.
3. Fold in flour & mix well. (Can use spatuala or hand to mix)
4. Add in oil & mix well till well mixed.
5. Bake for 40 - 45mins.

It's a nice light spongy and moist cake(chiffon texture) for those who prefer a lighter version without feeling too sinfully buttery.
I would prefer a firmer texture with butter in it.

You maybe interested :

Banana Cake(Rice Cooker)
Banana Cupcake

Pong Piang/Fragrant Pastry/马蹄酥 (Revised version)

My favourite snack and i know this as pong piah or  马蹄酥. 
Was told there's a difference between both Pastry but same filling. 
Pong piang have a softer crumply crust while 马蹄酥 have A crispy crust. 


Water Dough
88g  plain flour
88g bread flour
35g  castor sugar or icing sugar
60g  vegetable oil or shortening ( I  used shortening)
pinch of salt
90g cold water
1 tsp Maltose

Oil Dough
130g plain flour
80g vegetable oil or shortening or melted butter (I used Shortening)
30g corn flour

40g maltose
2 tbsp corn flour
5 tbsp cooked glutinous rice flour
100g brown sugar

65g cold water 
2 tbsp.  deep fried shallots, pound 
20 grams of cooking oil or shallot oil
1 tsp roasted black sesame seeds, pound
white sesame seeds for sprinkling on top of pastry

Egg wash (1 egg yolk + I tsp milk)


1. Mix oil dough ingredients together, if use shortening( rub in shortening) combine well till form a pliable
 dough, keep in fridge for later use.  Divide into 14 equal round portions, set aside.

2. Mix all  water dough ingredient in a bowl , stir and combine well until forms a soft  dough. Cover up and let it rest for 30mins.  Divide into 14 equal round portions, set aside.

3. Mix all filling ingredients together, combine well  until it forms a soft wet dough. If dough is runny  to handle , add cooked glutinous rice flour and place it in fridge for an hour  for a firm set.  

4. Wrap one portion of oil dough in water dough, seal it and shape it round. Use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a rectangular shape as evenly and as thin as possible. Roll it up like a swiss roll.   
Turn the pastry vertical and  repeat roll into rectangular shape and roll into a swiss roll 2nd time.

5. Place the swiss roll vertical (with the circle pattern facing up) and use palm to flatten it into a round disc.

6. Place filling on top of the disc dough and seal the edges tighly and shape it round. Seal side at bottom.

7.Sprinkle white sesame seeds.
Bake in the pre-heated oven of 190 degree Celsius for 20-30mins.  check on
   the browning after 20 mins.


 Above illustration for Wife's pastry

Layering of the Pastry is the same as wife's biscuits and Char siew bun Pastry.

For clearer picture and video on the layering method, please refer to Carol Easy Life 

2nd attempt with a crispy crust
Verdict (2nd Attempt 2015)
Am very happy  with the crust this time round as I added maltose and uses bread flour for a crispy crust.
As for the filling, I have reduced the water but it dry up easily during baking so its advisable to have a soft runny filling before bake though it may be a challenge to wrap.
Verdict (1st Attempt in 2014)

Am very happy  with the filling texture and it tastes the same as those store bought and even after day 2, the filling still oozing out ..
As for the crust, I prefer to be a bit more crispy and read that this can be done by adding maltose to the water dough. I have  included egg wash as I found the pastry not as brown as those store bought.

Am glad that one of the blogger-Angela Seah tried it and love it too

        Happy National Nut Day!

        Yes, October 22nd is National Nut Day (thank you, Twitter), and while no one knows exactly why, it does give us an excuse to repost this deliciously addictive, spiced nut mix.

        With party season rapidly approaching, the timing is perfect for this easy to make snack. Follow this link for the full post and ingredients. Enjoy!

        mardi 21 octobre 2014

        Beef on Weck, Part 1: The Kummelweck Roll – You’ll Be Thirsty for More

        Welcome to the first of a two-part series on one of this country’s most delicious unknown sandwiches, the "Beef on Weck." This simple, but brilliant creation features thinly sliced, horseradish covered, roast beef, piled high on a freshly baked kummelweck.

        The roll's fragrant caraway seeds and coarse salt are a perfect accent, and when you add a steaming ramekin of fresh beef jus for dunking, you’ll understand why this is the pride of Western New York. Sorry, chicken wings.

        As legend has it, a pub owner in Buffalo, New York created the sandwich, hoping the salty rolls made by a local German baker would help increase drink sales. That sounds about right, and I do have it on very good authority that beef on weck works well with beer.

        So, even if you’re not into roast beef, I still recommend you give these great sandwich rolls a try soon. And, if you are into roast beef sandwiches, I invite you to stay tuned for what I believe is America’s finest example. Enjoy!

        Ingredients for 12 Kummelweck Rolls:
        1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
        1 cup warm water (105 F.)
        2 tbsp vegetable oil
        1 tbsp sugar
        1 1/2 tsp salt
        1 large egg white
        1 generous tsp honey
        *3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour total (use 1/2 cup with yeast and water to start recipe)

        * I mentioned a dough tip during the video, and that has to do with not adding all the flour at once. I like to add about 80% of the flour called for, and then continue adding small amounts as the dough kneads, until I have the perfect texture.  You want a soft, fairly sticky dough that pulls off the sides of the bowl clean.

        For the topping:
        1 large egg white beaten with 2 tsp water
        coarse grain sea salt
        caraway seed

        - Bake at 425 F. for 18-20 minutes

        lundi 20 octobre 2014

        Braised Tin Fish Recipe

        Tin fish (canned pilchards in tomato sauce) was one of the most loved foods in our home - be it Amma’s braised tin fish, tin fish chutney, tin fish with peas and potatoes, her tin fish samoosas and not forgetting those tin fish sandwiches for school lunches. I received a box of home goodies from my sister last Christmas and have been saving the can of tin fish for a special occasion. I can’t

        dimanche 19 octobre 2014

        Next Up: Beef on a Weck Week!

        Honey Glazed Pork -Char Siew叉烧 (using Rice Cooker)

        Another ingenious use of rice cooker to prepare succulent char siew 叉烧.
        The char siew was cooked in rice cooker using the normal rice cooking function, then pop into the oven to give it a charred finish,.
        After cooking the pork, there will be left over gravy that can be used to top on rice or char siew.

        475g -520gcollar pork
        2.5 tbsp Hoisin sauce
        2 tbsp oyster sauce
        1 tbsp sesame oil 
        2 tbsp rice wine
        1 tsp dark soya sauce 
        1 tbsp raw sugar
        1 tbsp dark brown sugar
        1.5 tbsp honey
        1 clove garlic, crushed with skin on
        100ml water
        1.  Cut the meat into 4x3cm cross-section. Rinse and drain.
             The meat will shrink after cooking, so cut the meat in thicker pieces.

        2. Add all the marinades to the pork in a mixing bowl and massage the meat with the
            marinades for about 1 to 2min.
        3. Cover the meat and let it marinade for at least an hour.

        4. Place the marinated pork and gravy into rice cooker and set to "Cook".

        5. Stir the ingredients after 30 minutes into cooking.
        6.Remove the cooked meat and place it in oven at 200C for 10-20mins depening on how
           charred you want. To turn the pork in between for even roast.

        7. Pour water to the remaining gravy in the rice cooker, ues the gravy to top on rice or
            char siew.

        8. Cut the Char Siew into thin slices for rice/noodle.

        Cost(proportion) for reference:
        Shoulder Pork (Wu hua Rou)   - $8.5(522g)
        Hoisin sauce ( bottle $3.95/6)- $0.65
        Oyster sauce (1 bottle $7.15) - $0.50
        Sugar/brown sugar ($5.95)     - S$0.40
        Honey $4.5(500g)                   - S$0.20
        Chinese Rice wine($4.5)         - S$0.30
        Sesame oil($4.5)                    - S$0.30
        Total cost= S$ 10.85

        Sheng Siong selling ready one at $2.85 for 220g

        Burfee Recipe

        Burfee (Burfi) is a fudge like milk sweet. It is by far the most decadent of Diwali treats. Lush, milky and fragrant, it is a treat best enjoyed shared – not just in the spirit of Deepavali but to avoid overindulgence! Burfi can be made by boiling a milk powder and sugar mixture or can be uncooked. Like fudge, the process of making burfee may seem simple but can be tricky.

        If you’ve tried

        vendredi 17 octobre 2014

        Bay Scallop Chowder – Looks Good?

        Every once in a while I make a dish that no matter how great it tastes, I just can’t get past how it looks, and that was the case with this very easy, incredibly delicious scallop chowder. 

        The main culprit was the caramelization from the bacon and onions, which provided great flavor, but the hue they imparted, along with the pale green celery, and yellow potatoes, made things kind of dingy.

        I could have browned the scallops first, and gone even further to the dark side, but scallops this small and sweet need to be eaten as soon as they’re cooked, and by the time we reheated them in the soup, they’d be hard, dry, and disappointing.

        Maybe it’s just me. I hope that’s the case here, otherwise we’re going to need to brainstorm some kind of make-over, because this bowl of chowder is too good not to make. If you do make it, and want a thicker, more traditional chowder base, simply mash some of your potatoes into the mixture.

        A roux can also be used to tighten things up, but since scallops are so rich, I prefer the lighter texture seen herein. So whether you figure out a way to pretty this up or not, I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

        Ingredients for 4 portions of Bay Scallop Chowder:
        2 tsp olive oil
        2 slices bacon
        1/2 yellow onion, diced
        1 rib celery, diced
        2 cloves garlic, minced
        1 (8-oz) bottle clam juice
        1 cup low sodium chicken broth
        1 red Frenso chili, fine dice
        1/2 cup cream
        1 cup cubed Yukon gold potatoes
        freshly ground black pepper
        pinch of cayenne
        salt to taste
        1 tsp fresh lemon zest
        1 pound bay scallops
        1 tbsp fresh tarragon

        mercredi 15 octobre 2014

        Dutch Babies – Almost as Easy to Make as Real Babies!

        I had my first "Dutch Baby" in Chicago a few years ago, and have wanted to do a video on them ever since. I’ve always been fascinated by how many different breakfast foods you can create using just milk, eggs, and flour; and this is one of the more interesting examples. Especially considering the unusual, and borderline disturbing name.

        Sometimes called “German pancakes,” these have very little to do with Germany, and nothing to do with the Dutch. Apparently they were invented by German immigrants who were referred to as “Dutch;” a corruption of the word “deutsch.” So, save your emails saying they don’t have these in Germany or the Netherlands. We know.  

        As I mentioned briefly in the video, I like to use a little less batter than many recipes call for. I think this provides the best crispy-to-custardy ratio. I topped mine with butter, lemon, and powdered sugar, but any and all traditional pancake toppings will work wonderfully. I hope you give these beautiful ‘babies” a try soon. Enjoy!

        Ingredients for 4 small or 2 large portions:
        3 large room temperature eggs
        2/3 cup room temperature milk
        packed 1/2 cup flour (really pack the measuring cup firmly with flour)
        1/4 tsp vanilla extract
        1/4 tsp salt
        3 tbsp clarified butter
        - Bake at 425 F. 20-25 min
        * garnish with melted butter, fresh lemon juice (Meyer if you can find it), and powdered sugar.

        lundi 13 octobre 2014

        Chicken Tikka Masala – God Save the Curry

        I probably get more requests for Indian food than any other ethnic cuisine, so I was very excited to be posting this chicken tikka masala; until I found out it’s actually a British recipe. It was the same feeling I had when I found out that pizza wasn’t invented in New York. 

        So technically, I still owe you an authentic Indian recipe, but in the meantime I think this will do nicely. While this is a stripped-down version, where we’ve cut out several time-consuming steps, it was still incredibly delicious, and very Indian curry-like. 

        As I mention in the video, this is usually done with heavy cream, but I like to use coconut milk instead. It’s probably a little better for you, but above and beyond that, the subtle sweetness it provides works beautifully with the spices in the dish.

        By the way, you can substitute chicken breast here, but since we’re not doing the traditional yogurt marinade first, I believe thighs work much better in this version. Usually chicken breasts are marinated in yogurt first, and then cooked in a tandoor oven, before being added to the sauce. It is a great way to do it, but even without that step, I thought this was excellent. So, I hope you give this American version of a British version of an Indian curry a try soon. Enjoy!

        Ingredients for 4 portions of Chicken Tikka Masala:
        1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
        1 tablespoon vegetable oil
        2 teaspoons kosher salt
        1 teaspoons ground turmeric
        2 teaspoons garam masala
        2 teaspoons ground cumin
        1 teaspoon ground coriander
        1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
        1/2 teaspoon black pepper
        1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
        1 teaspoon smoked paprika
        2 or 3 tablespoons clarified butter
        1 onion, chopped
        1/4 cup tomato paste
        4 garlic cloves, finely grated
        1 rounded tbsp finely grated peeled ginger
        1 cup crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
        1 can (13.5-oz) coconut milk, or about 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
        1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth, or as needed (use to adjust sauce consistency to you liking)
        1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
        2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
        salt to taste
        4 cups steamed rice