3 Days of Non-stop Feasting @ Chinese New Year 2015 (19-21Feb2015)

as usual, had a very foodful chinese new year. it was just a spate of continuous eating, meals & snacks. no matter if i skipped meals, as there were continuous munching of snacks to fill the gaps, so weight watching was quite simply a lost cause.

my happy chinese new year blessings to all my friends here

CNY Eve

for CNY eve we had our reunion dinner at my elder brother’s place.

this year i made buddha-jump-over-the-wall(BJOTW), 1/2spicy duck 盐水鸭 & using the same marinade, a spicy belly pork.

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

the BJOTW was a poor man’s version. apart from a can of 6 pieces small abalones & good thick mushrooms, the other ingredients were cheap (limpets) and mostly unhealthy (pig trotter, pig ear, belly pork, pig head meat).

look was impressive (top photo), taste was pretty good. but i was not overly impressed with my own effort. there was too much food anyway & didn’t really need more unhealthy food – will skip this next CNY.

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

my sis brought the pencai 盆菜. flavours was very good, and the small abalones much better than what i had. this year pencai 盆菜very expensive everywhere. hers was a very much cheaper one only S$138 for 6pax.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

my wife made her usual hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财), and as usual very nice, though the ones she made later on Day2 was even better, tastier.

braised pig stomach

braised pig stomach

my s-i-l’s mom made the braised pig stomach (though nowadays the person actually making it was the helper). this a dish i always like.

char siew & roast pork

char siew & roast pork

my niece made very good char siew & roast pork. she made a small business of it, selling 20kg of the tasty dish over the internet.

my spicy duck 盐水鸭 was good too. it was a lighter version c/w my teochew braised duck. in fact this dish is served as appetiser in shanghai, nanjing, jiangnan locality.

spicy belly pork

spicy belly pork

i used the same spice to do the spicy belly pork. this was ok but not great. i did this again on Day2 & that was miles better!^^

mantis prawn

mantis prawn

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

my brother bought very large mantis prawns, 5 pieces for S$35. i did not take any. it wasn’t too great also but certainly looked nice. the chilli though was very good, better than most chilli crabs. 🙂

pomfret

pomfret

pomfret was usual. i did not try it either, just too much food.

tofu with leeks

tofu with leeks

tofu with leek, and broccoli

tofu with leek, and broccoli

i liked all the vege.

my brother tried eating out for 3 years for CNY eve. we went to joyden (previously called west coast seafood). food was quite good & not too expensive, however with say 13pax or more, it still came to >S$600. all of us cook, so it was so much more fun just to cook some dishes & bring over. i definitely preferred our own homecooked CNY eve dinner. ^^

CNY Day 1

breakfast spread

breakfast spread

again our family tradition, on CNY Day 1, we went over to my brother’s place for breakfast.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

many of the dishes were leftover from CNY eve dinner.

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

there were too much food on CNY eve, so we kept the prawns for Day1 breakfast, and added the rabbit fish知县鱼 (very sweet) & the salmon sashimi my wife bought (very good too!).

tofu & leeks

tofu & leeks

leftovers from last evening!

mushrooms & greens

mushrooms & greens

& some more vegetables. ^^

CNY Day 2

CNY Day2 is my wife’s tradition. she would invite her brothers & sister & their families (nephews & grand nephews & grand niece).

this year we took a family photo. & there are 26pax + our dog rusty. ^^

i made my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this time it was especially good – colour, texture, sweetness! everyone just loved this dish.^^

the miso pork was very good too. this the longest i put in the oven, 8hrs at 90degC/85degC.^^ the result was excellent. the miso marinade gave it excellent flavours & the slow low-temperature braise an excellent texture. i have learned that 90degC is the optimum temperature to convert collagen to tasty gelatine & texture, so this made the miso pork texture & bite really good!

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

i did the same for the flavoured pork 风味五花肉, and this was excellent too, with a different sichuan spice marinade.

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

we had the same tanhoon fungus.

chilli pork ribs

chilli pork ribs

& my helper’s chilli pork ribs.

deepfried chicken wings

deepfried chicken wings

some chicken wigs for the young ones.

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

for my niece & her husband who are vegetarians, i made a funghi linguine. also for my wife’s sister. it was really good. they all loved it, and there was a bit of leftovers for the nephews.

after that it was my tofu cheese cake & tiramisu, which disappeared in no time.

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

i especially liked the ice jelly with longans, palm fruits my wife’s sil made. she always bring that for our gatherings. very refreshing. i had several helpings.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: Fun-filling & Full-filling RI Buddies 8pax Dinner on 13Feb2014

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Very Fulfilling RI Buddies 8pax Homegourmet Dinner on 13Feb2014

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4hr sous vide crispy skin duck breast

the sous vide crispy duck breast was one the dishes i was ambivalent & uncertain about. first, it was troublesome to buy a whole duck, cut out 2 duck breasts, and then think what to do with the rest. i usually made a good lor arh (braised duck) from the remaining pieces but it was not healthy to keep eating duck with all the fat. second, while i was quite confident the sous vide meat would turn up well, i was not confident of doing the crispy skin w/o overcooking the duck & was not entirely convinced that the crispy skin was not just much ado about nothing (same ambivalence i had when practicing crackling belly pork). did the skin add much to the experience? i guess it did but whether the result was deserving the effort?

anyway for this evening, it turned out that the sous vide duck breast & the striploin pot-roast, a method i did for the first time on striploin, were quite excellent! 🙂

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menu planning – i was looking for a change of menu for my RI buddies dinner from the usual miso cod & pan-fried wagyu as main courses. i did a good gordon ramsay crispy salmon so i knew i would do ok with garoupa fillet.  it was not convenient to practice the gordon ramsay pepper sauce nor the pot roast but i felt quite comfortable to do it for the first time for my friends. 🙂 the poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall was also a new dish. i did it once & it was good. for the pasta, i thought to revisit my seafood pink sauce linguine (& i did a very good one recently) to replace my usual alio olio. 🙂

pan-grilled giant hokkaido scallops (some 2" diameter)

pan-grilled giant hokkaido scallops (some 2″ diameter)

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scallop. miso belly pork. pencil asparagus. grape tomato. carrot.

#1 got dinner started with a very good pan-seared giant hokkaido scallop & my usual 4hr miso belly pork. both were very good. this the first time i added cooked vegetables. the carrot sticks were done in the steam oven, very sweet & consistent. the pencil asparagus were pan-roasted after i did the scallops & miso belly pork.

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poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall

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poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall

#2  next was the poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall. the pig trotters was done overnight (about 7hrs) together with dried scallops & thick dried mushrooms & 2 chicken drumsticks (skin removed) for stock in a crockpot on low. the pig trotters were removed & put in the fridge to preserve the nice gelatinous texture. 🙂 the limpets & sea cucumbers were added just before serving, together with cut pieces of pig trotters. the soup was quite perfect at the time i was about to serve, but i was worried it was not enough for 8pax, so i added a bit of chicken stock. it was still good but i felt the flavour was not as intense, and actually there was enough soup w/o diluting it. it was kind of guesstimate thing as cooking for 8pax & practicing it once for a smaller serving did have some variations. 🙂

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4hr sous vide crispy skin duck breast

#3 the duck breast turned up supremely good! was brined in sugar & salt for 2 days & cooked at 60degC in the oven for 4hrs. the skin was then scored & i put on a pan at medium fire for 5mins to render out the fat to create a thin crispy skin. an important addition was orange sauce (see recipe here). i reduced this substantially to produce a thick caramelised nicely citrous sweet sauce. it went really well with the duck which was super tender. 🙂

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seafood linguine in pink sauce (creamy tomatoes)

#4 next was the seafood linguine in pink sauce. all my friends thought it was very tasty, but another & i still preferred the alio olio style which i did very well every time. 🙂

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pan-grilled garoupa fillet in gordon ramsay pepper sauce

#5 then came the 2 main courses. first up was the pan-grilled garoupa fillet with gordon ramsay pepper sauce. my hand-held food blender was evidently not the right tools to produce the very smooth blended sauce in gordon ramsay’s pepper sauce video (a real beauty). the garoupa were marinated well so flavour was ok. the texture of the garoupa fillet (frozen pack) was not great. of course it was too much to compare with my usual miso cod (also frozen pack).

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striploin pot roast in crockpot low to 125degF (52degC)

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vegetable ratatouille

#6 the striploin pot roast was a beauty. see the nice maillard reaction brown ring in the photo. it was nicely seared all round before placing in a crockpot on low with the vegetable ratatouille to reach 125degF (52degC) – about 1.5hrs, then in a 55degC oven for another 1 hr.  it was a very nice medium rare, & medium at the ends. i was very pleased with this first crockpot roast on a striploin. my first was a chuck pot roast. it was good but this was lots better! 🙂

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chocolate lava cake, toasted almond ice cream & “huat kueh”

#7 the last course was my chocolate lava cake. i had done very many good lava cakes. this time i did the exact same recipe & timing (3m 40s in a 210degC oven on broiler setting). somehow it was overdone & there were not much lava. will need to reduce to 3m 30s next time. sigh! i really need to work on another dessert recipe.

it was a really enjoyable & fulfilling experience for me (1 of my good friends described as full-filling haha!). i really feel good about this! 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Feeling Excited – Doing a 8pax Dinner for My RI Buddies This Evening!

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doing a 8pax dinner for my RI buddies this evening – feeling excited! 🙂

for me, cooking is about planning & making it happen, and the process is quite fun.

i don’t have to start cooking until 1.30pm.

the soup for poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall was done overnight. so i just need to add back the individual servings of pig trotters, limpets, sea cucumbers & mushrooms when serving the soup.

the miso belly pork & crispy skin sous vide duck breast will be in the oven at 60degC for 4hrs. during the 4hrs, i will prepare the chocolate lava cake (takes <1/2hr) and 4 sauces- orange sauce for the duck, gordon ramsay pepper sauce for the garoupa fillet, pink sauce (creamy tomato) for the seafood linguine & vegetable ratatouille for the striploin pot roast. each takes say 15 – 30minutes.

at 5.30pm, i will start my striploin pot roast (700g) with ratatouille in the crockpot on low & should get to 125degF (52degC) in 1 hr, & i can place it in a covered oven dish in a 55degC oven for another 1.5hrs, probably serves it at 8pm.

when the friends are here at 7pm, i will do the pan-charring for the scallops & then miso belly pork (which were marinated in miso for 3 days & “sous vide” at 60degC for 4hrs in the oven, & then pan-roast the pencil asparagus.

after that i will serve the soup, and then do the cold pan method to try to get the crispy skin “sous vide” duck breast (brined for 2 days & also 4hrs at 60degC in oven). as i told my friends the medium rare duck breast is ok, but i unsure of the crispy skin (both texture & taste) & will probably not do this dish much in future if it doesn’t work well (just like the crackling pork belly – not worth doing if cannot get it right).

the seafood linguine in pink sauce is straight forward just tossing, with both pasta & the prawns & squid already prepared.

for the garoupa fillet, i had a good marinade (2days) so it should be quite nice pan-grilled. i am doing the gordon ramsay pepper sauce for first time today, but the video sure looks really exciting. 🙂

for the striploin pot roast, i have done this before on chuck pot roast (a cheaper cut) but this the first time i am trying it on striploin. never really know how it will turn out especially i am varying the temperature a bit to make rare instead of medium rare, but that’s the fun & challenge of the unknown. 🙂

my chocolate lava cake is quite standard fare, so should be ok though occasionally the lava part still doesn’t work out well as the timing is too short & any slight variation in oven temperature & timing will affect the result.

looking forward to a fun evening. we are going to share our secondary school photo albums too…haha. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

(Poor Man’s) Buddha Jump Over The Wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

my daughter’s friend’s father is a chef. he made a shorthand version of buddha jump over the wall using simple ingredients & my daughter brought home last week. it was very good & my wife & i enjoyed very much. 🙂

my wife is leaving for UK tomorrow & my daughter’s friend came for dinner, so i thought i would try recreating the dish. 🙂

(P.S. subsequently i served this dish for my RI friends on 5.5.2014 & for my brother & sister birthday on 14.6.2014 and it was a really excellent dish that everyone liked).

the ingredients that were used were dried scallops, pig trotters, chicken, mushroom & small abalones. so i went to sheng shiong last evening & bought 1 chicken, a whole pig trotter. i did not want to waste good abalones (not sure how the soup would turn up) & there was not enough time for me to prepare dried abalones i had at home (takes couple days to slow braise in brown sauce) so i bought a can of cheap limpets for S$9.30.

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

i added boiling water to some dried mushrooms & 2 dried scallops & soaked for several hours to soften. i used about 2/3 of the pig trotters & added the remaining boiling water to remove the scums, after which i cleaned thoroughly in slow running cold water.

i cleaned & used 1/2 chicken & quartered it. then i placed the 2 chicken quarters & pig trotters (4 large pieces) in a crockpot & added the dried scallops, mushrooms & also the water they were soaked in , throwing away the residue. i open the can of limpets & tried a piece. the brined solution tasted quite good so i emptied the whole can into the crockpot, and added 1 teaspoon of salt. i added some water to about 80% full.

i then turned on the crockpot to low & left overnight till next morning (about 7hrs). next morning i removed the pig trotters (& chicken) & limpets so they were not over-boiled. this was very important for the pig trotters to keep the tasty & still bouncy slightly gelatinous texture. no difference for the chicken though, 7hrs even at low was too long.

i kept the crockpot at high for another 4hrs to get the most flavour from the dried scallops & to reduce the soup a little for more intense flavours. then i let it cooled down & placed in the fridge.

when it was time to serve, i took out the soup & removed the layer of oil. i then boiled the soup & added back the pig trotters & chicken & limpets & then served. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken quarters
  • 400g pig trotters
  • 6 to 10 pieces of small abalones (dried & braised or canned or a cheap substitute like limpets)
  • 2 dried scallops
  • 6 to 10 pieces dried mushrooms

Directions:

  1. add boiling water to some dried mushrooms & 2 dried scallops & soak for several hours to soften. add the remaining boiling water to pig trotters to remove scums, then clean thoroughly in slow running cold water. clean & cut out 2 chicken quarters. place the 2 chicken quarters & pig trotters (4 large pieces) in a crockpot & add the dried scallops, mushrooms & also the water they were soaked in, throwing away the residue. add some water & 1 teaspoon of salt. open a can of small abalones (or limpets) & empty contents into the crockpot.
  2. turn on crockpot to low & leave overnight till next morning (about 7hrs). next morning remove the pig trotters (& chicken) & limpets so they are not over-boiled. keep the crockpot at high for another 4hrs to get the most flavour from the dried scallops & to reduce the soup a little for more intense flavours (this to taste). let the soup cool down & place in the fridge.
  3. when it is time to serve, take out the soup & removed the layer of oil. boil the soup & add back the pig trotters & chicken & limpets & then serve.