14pax Homecooked Dinner for my Primary School Classmates on 22Jan2016

the dishes

the dishes

had a 14pax homecooked dinner for my primary school classmates on 22.1.2016. ^^

as i was saying in another post –

we were not in contact for a long time.

recently another classmate came visiting from the states, so i joined a few of them at din tai fung @ gem after lunch on a saturday as i already had a lunch appointment that day.

one thing led to another & a group came to my place today for a 14pax homecooked dinner. ^^

the dishes

the dishes

weather was not so co-operative.

it was almost like thunderstorm at the time my guests were arriving.

this was the first time these friends came to my place.

a friend brought excellent cookies & pineapple tarts, so we had a good chat & munch on the cookies & spanish omelette before all arrived. 🙂

pumpkin tofu salad

#1 pumpkin tofu salad

i had a pumpkin tofu salad. taste was quite ok but presentation this evening was not so good.

spanish omelette

#2 spanish omelette

spanish omelette were also tasty. texture for 1 was slightly out & not firmed up enough.

teriyaki cod, char siew, miso belly pork

teriyaki cod, char siew, miso belly pork

the char siew was a taste i liked.

char siew

#3 char siew

colour & burnt part looked good too.

char siew

#3 char siew

but perhaps it was not the sweeter honeyed taste that some preferred. anyway it was mostly finished.

miso belly pork

#4 miso belly pork

many in the group didn’t take much belly pork so there was a bit more left.

overall i think i made a bit too much food, especially the pasta & risotto.

teriyaki cod

#5 teriyaki cod

most friends liked the teriyaki cod.

teriyaki cod

#5 teriyaki cod

the taste was good but i felt the cod was NOT the best. it was hard to tell as i bought from the same source, usually giant, sheng shiong or ntuc.

i felt that the cod itself was not so great this evening.

lemon chicken (son's recipe)

#6 lemon chicken (son’s recipe)

son made an excellent lemon chicken on christmas eve home dinner 2014 when he came back for christmas holidays.

so i whatsapped him for the recipe. 🙂

beer can lemon chicken (son's recipe)

#6 beer can lemon chicken (son’s recipe)

& i used the beer can method to give a more rounded roasting w/o using the rotisserie.

lemon chicken (son's recipe)

#6 lemon chicken (son’s recipe)

& it came out beautifully. a friend who used to sell chicken rice, commented she liked the chicken most. ^^

prawn linguine in pink sauce

#7 prawn linguine in pink sauce

the 2 pastas were very good at the time of cooking. very tasty, as good as it looked.

i did them well in advance, thinking of putting them in the oven at 40degC to keep warm.

prawn linguine in pink sauce

#7 prawn linguine in pink sauce

it was a few hours ahead of dinner. i decided to heat them up again.

i felt that the end result was not so good, not the very al dente pasta i liked.

cheese sausage pasta

#8 cheese sausage pasta

same thing with the cheese sausage pasta.

sausage pasta

#8 cheese sausage pasta

another thing was that i cooked just too much pasta.

cheese sausage pasta & prawn linguine in pink sauce

#8 & #9 cheese sausage pasta & prawn linguine in pink sauce

should have trusted my first instinct & not added more pasta.

seafood risotto

#10 seafood risotto

the seafood risotto was also far from my best.

a friend said she liked the risotto most because it had very intense flavours (i used a prawn heads/shell stock moderated with lots of vegetables).

still it was really a very far cry from my best seafood risotto, which should look & taste like this one above!

cut fruits

cut fruits

a friend pre-arranged to bring cut fruits.

excellent almond cookies, peanut cookies & pineapple tarts

excellent almond cookies, peanut cookies & pineapple tarts

another friend really bakes very well (& i suspect cooks very well too).

i really enjoyed his almond & peanut cookies & pineapple tarts.

pineapple tarts

pineapple tarts

the friend who brought the cut fruits also brought pineapple tarts. both were very good but i liked the first version.

the pineapple fillings were less “in the face” (some commented drier) but excellent pastry. i reasoned that i liked that better as it was more differentiated from commercial pineapple tarts & i liked the pastry bits more than the pineapple fillings.

it was a fun evening. think of it we knew each other for 50yrs+ since 1965 (from primary one)…for me it was from primary 2.

for the food, i was actually not so satisfied.

it was quite below my usual standard, and some dishes might not suit some friends. for my cooking philosophy, it is not important what dishes i cook, but it should be dishes that everybody enjoyed.

so in all my dinners, there were hardly leftover food. this evening some of my planning & food amounts were a bit out, but i will adjust in future dinners.

c.h.e.f andy

Beautiful Japanese Chashu (using the Miso Belly Pork Preparation)

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

did a very good chashu yesterday on 19.12.2015. ^^

used my new miso belly pork method, reduced 1 hr to 6hr at 90degC.

for the marinade, i used 1 tsp flat sugar, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp sake, 1 chilli padi, 1/2 red onions cut into 4, 2 tsp chopped garlic.

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

texture was perfect! very tender & retaining some bite. 🙂

the tender braising at lower temperature did the trick, & the gelatine released made the pork very flavourful.

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

to make it easier to cut, i still left it in the fridge overnight.

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

the belly pork cut quite prefectly. i put it back to the oven at 40degC to warm up for 1/2hr & longer..

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

looked good & tasted great.

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

quite ideal for japanese ramen, or a chashu don (on sushi rice).

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

chashu 6hrs in 90degC oven

it’s an easy dish to prepare. i am planning to do this together with miso belly pork for a larger group later, maybe start of 2016. shall see. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

ingredients :-

  • 300g belly pork (this a small serving, my small oven dish can easily take 600g)
  • 1 tsp flat sugar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 chilli padi
  • 1/2 red onions (or 2-3 shallots)
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic

Directions :-

  1. scald belly pork with boiling water to remove scum & cleaned with running water
  2. mixed sugar, mirin, sake, light soy sauce, chilli padi, red onions (or shallots) * chopped garlic in a large bowl
  3. place belly pork on the side in the small oven dish & add marinade. should come up to between 1/2 & 2/3
  4. place in 90degC over for 6 hrs. turn over pork at 3hrs.
  5. leave in fridge overnight. cut into slices & warm up 1/2hr- in a 40degC oven.

Recipe = Miso Belly Pork (7hrs 90degC)

#1 miso belly pork

7hrs 90degC miso belly pork

did a miso belly pork for a homecooked 8pax modern japanese course dinner recently on 5.12.2015. ^^

i intended it for a pork option for the steak don in case some friends may not take beef or take less beef.

8hrs 90degC miso belly pork

7hrs 90degC miso belly pork

i had done some good miso belly pork previously & served them at some home dinners.

those were fashioned after nobu miso cod & marinated for 3 days in a chiller.

8hrs 90degC miso belly pork

7hrs 90degC miso belly pork

for this new recipe, i decided to –

  • much reduce the marinade & time (so that i can serve on the same day)
  • lengthen the slow braised cooking time (i initially set for 10hrs but it was good at 7hrs..just the texture i wanted, tender but firm to the cut, not overly braised)
  • not broil or pan char (so the cooking process is simplified, in fact the simplest of preparation)
  • the aim is to produce a very tender, tasty chashu (japanese braised pork used for don or ramen)

i mixed together a much reduced amount of marinade – 1 tbsp flat miso, 1 tsp sugar, 1tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tbsp sake, 2 tbsp mirin, 2 tsp minced garlic. scalded the belly pork with boiling water to remove scum, and placed in a small oven-proof dish with cover & have the marinade up to 1/2 of 2/3level.

then i placed in a 90degC preheated oven for 7hrs, turning over at 4hrs.

miso belly pork3

7hrs 90degC miso belly pork

behold the beautiful miso belly pork – wonderful colour, superb texture & taste. jolly good! ^^

miso belly pork2

miso belly pork don

i served it with don, using a sushi rice.

miso belly pork

miso belly pork don

it was excellent!

miso belly pork4

miso belly pork don

such a simple 1 step preparation basically. 🙂

#7 kakuni (japanese braised belly pork) don with miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly+miso belly pork don

beef don+miso salmon belly+miso belly pork2

steak don+miso salmon belly+miso belly pork

for the modern japanese course dinner, i served the miso belly pork as an additional option to steak don & miso salmon belly.

c.h.e.f andy

Recipe = Oven Grilled Miso Salmon Belly

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

so far, my miso recipe included nobu miso cod & miso belly pork. in that recipe, the miso used was quite substantial to infuse the flavour into the meat. i feel the miso cod texture is a bit firmer than the normal texture, and for miso belly pork, it works well also  for thicker & whole piece of meat.

the cured salmon that we always had in bento in japan felt different. so i was thinking of other marinade recipe options.

anyway i created my own marinade recipe & it turned out really super! 🙂

my friends loved it when i cooked this for the first time for 11pax lunch on 15.10.2014. and it was the same for my family for the 6pax family dinner on 24.10.2014.

i have yet to try this on belly pork but i think it would work just as well on sliced belly pork then pan-fried. that’s something i am planning to try next:-)

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly

miso salmon belly

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

for the marinade, i just mixed in a large bowl 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp chopped garlic, 2 tsp chopped ginger & 1 tsp miso.

then i added the salmon (belly) to the bowl & marinated really well, thoroughly. then i used cellophane to press down on the salmon in the bowl to press it against the marinade & sealed the meat from air. the i used another cellophane sheet to cover the entire bowl. i left it in the chiller for 3 days for the flavours to infuse the meat.

when cooking, i brought it to room temperature then placed on a rack over a lined oven tray in a pre-heated 250deC oven for 10minutes. the first time i just placed on the lined tray & there was too much oil. the second time i used the rack to drain the oil. it was nicely grilled but sticked to the rack. the next time i will try lining the rack then poking holes to allow oil to drain. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 500g salmon belly
  • 1tsp miso
  • 1tbsp mirin
  • 1tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp flat light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp flat sugar
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp minced/chopped ginger

Directions:

  1. prepare marinade – in a large bowl mix 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp sake, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp chopped garlic, 2 tsp chopped ginger & 1 tsp miso.
  2. add salmon (belly) to the bowl & marinate really well, thoroughly. use cellophane to press down on the salmon in the bowl to press it against the marinade & seal the meat from air. use another cellophane sheet to cover the entire bowl. leave in the chiller for 3 days for the flavours to infuse the meat.
  3. cooking – take out from chiller for 1 hour to get to room temperature. line a grilling rack with aluminium foil & poke holes in the foil to drain excess oil. place over a lined oven tray in a pre-heated 250deC oven for 10minutes. serve.

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

Char Siu

super nice char siu

super nice char siu

made super nice char siu last evening! 🙂

was doing a 5-course dinner for 8pax, and evolved & tried out a new recipe for my miso belly pork, which turned out excellent. had a small leftover cut of belly pork, no point returning to the freezer so might as well cook it. had been trying out marco pierre white crackling belly pork recipe & other chinese roast pork recipes which were ok taste-wise but abject failures when it came to the crackling skin.. so decided instead to duplicate the miso belly pork recipe on char siu. 🙂

melt-in-the-mouth tender

melt-in-the-mouth tender

char siu - so happy!

char siu – so happy!

char siu - so happy!

char siu – so happy!

i added boiling water to the excess belly cut & cleaned it thoroughly in slow running cold water. i then prepared the char siu sauce mix, covered the belly pork in char siu marinade in an oven dish & placed it in the chiller for 2days.

on the day of cooking, i brought the char siu out of the fridge & placed it in the oven set at 60degC for 4 hours (i was lazy to bring the pork to room temperature for 1 hour outside the fridge as it was a long 4hr low-temperature cooking & one could adjust the timing by 15mins to compensate for the lower starting chiller temperature). after 2 hours, i turned over the belly pork & placed it back in the oven. at 4 hours i removed the belly pork & placed it on a rack over a aluminium foil lined oven tray. i preheat the oven to 250degC while putting the char siu sauce in the oven dish to the microwave oven for 10mins to reduce the sauce. i then brushed the thicken sauce on both sides of the belly pork & returned it to the preheated oven at the top rack & turned to broiler function for 10mins, then turned over & repeated for 5 mins.

the result was a super nice char siu, very tasty & melt-in-the-mouth tender. 🙂

N.B. i did the miso belly pork pan-charred instead of oven broiled & it came out excellent, so will try pan-charred on char siu next time. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • belly pork (300g)

for the char siu sauce

  • 2 tbsp lee kum kee char siu sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red colouring (can skip this or add more ketchup for colouring)
  • 3/4 cup shaoxing wine

Directions:

  1. clean & marinade – add boiling water to remove scums & clean thoroughly in slow running cold water. combine the char siu sauce mix together & stir to dissolve the sugar. cover the belly pork in char siu marinade in an oven dish & place in the chiller for 2days.
  2. cook –  bring the char siu to room temperature (1/2 hour) & place it in the oven set at 60degC for 4 hours. after 2 hours, turn over the belly pork & place it back in the oven. at 4 hours remove the belly pork & place it on a rack over a aluminium foil lined oven tray. preheat the oven to 250degC while putting the char siu sauce in the oven dish to the microwave oven for 10mins to reduce the sauce. brush the thickened sauce on both sides of the belly pork & return it to the preheated oven at the top rack & turn to broiler function for 10mins, then turn over & repeat for 5 mins. the result was a super nice char siu, very tasty & melt-in-the-mouth tender.

Relaxed Fine Dining at Friend’s House on 20Nov2013

slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) salad with fish sauce

slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) salad with fish sauce

a friend’s wife did a wonderful 6-course homegourmet dinner at their lovely home for a few of us last year, so my wife & i were really looking forward to the invitation to their home last evening on 20.11.2013. 🙂

their house sits on difficult terrain but is very well designed with good layout, quality finishes & furnishing. we had a relaxed pre-dinner wine chat (barolo red not that i knew what it was) at the sitting area before moving to dining, which had pool & water feature on 2 sides & LED downlights. 🙂

it was a very relaxed dinner, good food nicely paced, conversation, sharing & chill. 🙂

the first course was a delightful slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) with cabbage & tomatoes. the slight saltiness brought out the flavours of the tender beef (chuck is not an easy cut to make tender). i thought of “chimcharlo” but it was just fish sauce (which i use for my dry wok garlic prawns also with great results of a very “pang” dish). 🙂 the treatment to create a tender meat out of chuck is similar to my chuck pot roast.

cream of mushrooms with chicken dumplings

cream of mushrooms with chicken dumplings

the cream of mushroom was smooth with intended mushroom bits & not too creamy (health reasons?), and had the added treat of  tasty chicken dumplings.

slow-roast oven pork ribs (5hr at 100degC) with pasta

slow-roast oven pork ribs (5hr at 100degC) with pasta

next was a very tasty tomato sauce pasta dish with fork tender pork ribs (5hrs at 100degC). i tried number of times & my only decent dish was a pork rib arabiatta (spicy tomatoes) but had yet to do such tender ribs. will probably try again soon.

crackling belly pork with fresh apple compote

crackling belly pork with fresh apple compote

next was a crackling belly of pork with a lovely fresh apple compote, the slight sour sweet matched & enhanced the flavour of the tender belly pork. i had tried couple times gordon ramsay’s pressed belly of pork & loin of pork recipe. it was very difficult to get right (& i still didn’t & gave up trying, so i gravitated to my own miso belly pork recipe, and before that my japanese chashu recipe). my friend was talking about the touch & go situation with the crackling skin, this time a little less successful than what they had last. well, i am not fussy or specially enamoured with crackling skin (bonus if have) & that’s why i did not pursue the GR pressed pork belly & in fact my miso belly pork is done sans skin. 🙂

cake & strawberry mousse

cake & strawberry mousse

the cake with a sweet jam & the strawberry mousse was wonderful curtain closing to an excellent homegourmet dinner, the slight sour strawberry balancing the sweet cake. 🙂

these dinners are really fun for me, food, company, conversation, sharing of knowledge, views & perspectives. i will be doing one soon. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Chuck Pot Roast

chuck pot roast

chuck pot roast

had a piece of chuck tender in the freezer for couple months. about 600g+ and cost S$8+ for giant.

i had a few attempts at slow roast previously which were not that great. revisited some internet recipes and found a few crockpot recipes including this one=melt in your mouth chuck roast & decided to try it.

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chuck pot roast

chuck pot roast

as chuck could be quite tough despite slow-cooking & i decided not to use bicarbonate tenderiser this time, i tried red wine vinegar + dijorn mustard instead. not exactly sure if it worked much, but anyway i only did for about 3hrs. will try overnight or 24hrs next time.

i added 1 tablespoon wine vinegar & 1 tablespoon dijorn mustard to the 600g+ chuck tender (after cleaning & removing some fat & surface connective tissues) & marinated in a ziplog bag, pressing out the air before sealing.

before cooking, i brought to room temperature, seasoned with sea salt & coarse black pepper & then charred on all sides over 2 tablespoon butter in a non-stick frypan over high heat. this produced the brown ring & maillard reaction which made the roast flavourful. i then placed the chuck roast in a crockpot.

to make the vegetable ratatouille sauce, i fryed 2 chopped shallots, 3 cloves minced garlic in 2 tablespoon olive oil in the frypan over medium heat, & added 1 yellow onion diced, 1 large carrot diced,1 large potato diced, 1 stalk of leek diced (didn’t have tomatoes) & added the sauce mix & cooked for 10mins on medium low heat, adding water where required.

i then emptied the content into the crockpot. it should cover fully the chuck roast. i stuck in a meat thermometer set to 145degF (for medium rare) to the middle, thickest part of the roast & covered & turned crockpot to low. for the 600g+ roast, it took only 1hr 15mins before the meat thermometer alarm alerted.

now i understood why the crockpot recipe. like slow oven roast, it is often necessary to keep the meat moist to retain the juices and avoid drying out. so for my miso belly pork, i had it covered by miso marinade while slow-cooking at 90degC in the oven before broiling to create the seared surface. here i browned the meat first then placed the roast in a bath of vegetable ratatouille for an excellent tasty sauce, and that helped produce a tender, moist chuck roast.

my daughter & i carved & ate about 1/2 the roast with ratatouille sauce the first evening &. over 2 days, i carved & ate the other 1/2 with my daughter w/o the sauce, just adding some sea salt on both sides. even eating for the 3rd time after 2 days in a tin foil in the fridge, the meat was moist, tender & tasty. it would certainly do well also as a roast beef salad or roast beef sandwich. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Ingredients:

  • 600g+ chuck tender
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 1 stalk celery or leek sliced
  • 1 large tomato cut to 8 slices

Sauce Mix

  • 1 tbsp worchester sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn flour

Directions:

  1. prepare & tenderise meat – cleaning & remove fat & surface connective tissues. add 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar & 1 tablespoon dijorn mustard to chuck tender  & marinated in a ziplog bag, pressing out the air before sealing.
  2. cook vegetable ratatouille sauce – fry 2 chopped shallots, 3 cloves minced garlic in 2 tablespoon olive oil in the frypan over medium heat. add 1 yellow onion diced, 1 large carrot diced,1 large potato diced, 1 stalk of leek diced. add the sauce mix & cook for 10mins on medium low heat, adding water where required. set aside.
  3. cook the pot roast –  bring meat to room temperature, season with sea salt & coarse black pepper, charred on all sides over 2 tablespoon butter in a non-stick frypan over high heat. this produces the brown ring & maillard reaction which makes the roast flavourful. place the chuck roast in a crockpot.  empty the frypan content (vegetable ratatouille sauce) into the crockpot, and cover the chuck roast fully. stick a meat thermometer set to 145degF (for medium rare) to the middle, thickest part of the roast, cover & turn crockpot to low. for the 600g+ roast, it should take only 1hr 15mins before the meat thermometer alarm.

Second 55ers Homecooked 11-course Dinner Buffet on 7Nov2013

See privacy & perspectives.

this the second RI 55ers homecooked dinner before 2013 runs out. the first RI 55ers dinner was on 5.5.2013. 🙂

27pax attended. 2 had to leave earlier, so did not manage to get in the group photo (though we could have had the cake & photo done earlier).

one friend brought a very nice cake for the 3 november birthday boys & the 55ers, wonderful chocolate & a nice biscuit base with contrasting texture. it was an excellent cake. that reminded me that another friend’s sister made excellent cakes (incredible camera cake & cupcakes during his 30yr wedding anniversary dinner last year! btw that dinner was better organised than most young couples’ weddings). we should order from mongstirs next time.

let the party begin – makan time! 🙂

thai prawn tanhoon appetizer

thai prawn tanhoon appetizer

beer can chicken

beer can chicken

teochew briased duck

teochew briased duck

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braised egg, tau kua, tau pok

braised egg, tau kua, tau pok

we had 11 dishes.

#1 the thai tanhoon by my domestic helper was good as always – tasty, spicy, tangy, just the right amount of chilli padi, lime & shallots.

#2 the teochew braised duck was 1 of my best (it was also very good the last 55ers dinner on 5.5.2013 though i did struggle a bit couple other times including cutting my fingers for the 1st & only time preparing meals). it was very “pang” ie flavourful & meat was tender & not “june” ie tough.

#3 the “pang” braising sauce was put to full use with the braised egg, tau kua, tau pok.

#4 the beer can chicken was i guess ok, tasty, but nothing special. the chicken was brined in sugar & little salt for 24hrs, rubbed with oyster sauce, & with herbs & garlic slices pushed under the skin. & roasted for 40mins “standing” on a 100plus can. this way of roasting enable all round browning (almost la!) w/o need to turn over the chicken.

miso belly pork

miso belly pork

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nonya curry chicken

nonya curry chicken

steamed black bean pork ribs

steamed black bean pork ribs

chilli sotong

chilli sotong

steamed red garoupa HK style

steamed red garoupa HK style

blanched HK kailan with shitake

blanched HK kailan with shitake

high heat dry wok garlic prawns

high heat dry wok garlic prawns

#5 the miso belly pork was inspired by a lunch at jason atherton’s pollen @ gardens by the bay. i was doing a good nobu miso cod & decided to use the same 3-day marinade recipe, and the char siew method (oven slow low temp cooking immersed in miso marinade so retaining the juices  & no drying out + high temp broiling). the meat was moist (as seen in the photos, just like the duck & chicken were moist) & tender & the miso flavour was excellent.

#6 nonya curry chicken was my consistently good dish, made w/o curry powder directly using a self-blended spice mix recipe, and of course unhealthy coconut milk, and so very fragrant in smell & taste. i love this curry.

the other dishes (plus #1 thai tanhoon) were ably done by my domestic helper.

#7 chilli sotong was excellent – a craving inducing dish.

#8 the steamed pork ribs looked so wonderful in the photo & was tasty with tender bite.

# 9 steamed red garoupa HK style was always good, & at 20% restaurant prices.

#10 blanched HK kailan was a good accompaniment after all the meat dishes. 🙂

#11 the last was my dry wok garlic prawns. wok needed to be dry & on open high heat to get charred flavour (so cannot cover as condensation would result in steaming the prawns). fish sauce is the chief ingredient to create the flavour & wok hae under high heat. prawns de-veined but not shelled so would bake in shell & not overcook & also not salty with reduced contact with fish sauce. 🙂

all fun moments come to a close. so this post is for memories, till the next get-together. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy