Weekend Meal-Homemade Dumplings

homemade dumplings 1

homemade dumplings

I bought a pasta/noodle machine recently, which costed me a fortune. But I really like it. All you need to do is add flour (up to 500g), then it will tell you how much water it needs. Push the start button, pasta comes out from the other end after 3 minutes mixing. It is gorgeous!  The pasta came out the machine doesn’t stick together, which was my primary worry. It can make 7 different kind of pastas. So far we like the penne the most. Today I am trying the dumpling/ravioli wrapping. It came out as a long sheet and you can cut into squares or circles afterwards. Oh! I am in heaven!

Ingredients:

Pork mince (500 g), prawn (a dozen, coarsely chopped), egg (1), canola oil (1 tablespoons), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), ginger (about 1 tablespoon, minced), shallot (3), shiitake mushroom (4, coarsely chopped), cabbage (200g, coarsely chopped), Chinese cooking wine (1 table spoon), water (1/2 cup), soy sauce (1/2 tablespoon), salt and white pepper, dumpling wrappings (500 g).

What to do:

  1. Place pork mince and chopped prawn in a mixing bowl, add egg, canola oil, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine and soy sauce, mix in one direction (I do clockwise, this is to help mince stuck together).
  2. Place ginger, shallot and water in a blender, and blend to yield ginger & shallot water.
  3. Add 1/3 of the above ginger & shallot water into pork mince and mix clockwise, then do the same 2 more times until the ginger & shallot water used up. This step to make sure water is well combined with pork mince and won’t split. At this stage the pork mince should be very easy to stir as it absorbed all that moisture.
  4. Add chopped shiitake mushrooms and cabbage, and mix clockwise until well combined.
  5. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  6. Now you can start folding dumplings. Because they the square wrapping, start from folding it in half to have a rectangle shape then fold two of the bottom corner together to have the shape in the picture.
  7. In a large pot, boil dumplings in salted water.
  8. Serve with Chinese vinegar and chilli oil.

Smoky BBQ Wings

smoky BBQ wings

It was tasty and tender! The wings don’t take long to cook. Perfect for weekdays.

Ingredients:

chicken wings (1.5 kg), smoky paprika (1 tablespoon), hot paprika (1/2 teaspoon), cumin powder (1 tablespoon), black pepper (1 1/2 teaspoon), ginger powder (1 tablespoon), garlic (2 cloves, minced) salt (1 1/2 teaspoon) and smoky BBQ sauce.

What to do:

  1. Marinate chicken wings with smoky paprika, hot paprika, cumin powder, black pepper, ginger powder, minced garlic and salt for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven (fan forced) to 230 degrees Celsius.
  3. Bake the wings for 30 minutes or until just cooked.
  4. Drizzle smoky BBQ sauce all over and serve while hot.

Pork Roast

roast pork 1

roast pork

This is my first time trying to make a pork crackling. Thank god it was successful!

Ingredient:

Pork rack (1.5 kg), olive oil, sea salt, sage leaves (a handful)

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius.
  2. Score the pork rind at 2 cm intervals, then rub with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and lay some sage leaves on the meat.
  3. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 200 degrees Celsius, and cook for another 1 hour or until skin is crisp and pork is cook through.
  4. Serve with apple sauce or gravy.

Chicken and Mushroom Ramen

chicken-mushroom-ramen-soup-1

chicken-mushroom-ramen-soup-2

I am really happy with today’s photo. It is beautiful!

I made this chicken and baby shiitake mushroom broth to go with some fresh ramen. It is a ramen soup my parent love to cook. When I was child, every time mom was making a chicken soup like this, you could smell it far away. Heavenly! However, Chicken nowadays is not as fragrant as the old times. Every now and then, that delicious childhood memory triggered my cravings for mom’s chicken soup. I am always on the hunt of the good old chicken. I found this free range corn fed chicken, which has yellow skin and fat. I was a little excited. This looks like “the chicken”. Oh, yes! The soup did smell heavenly while it was cooking. It tasted heavenly, too!

Ingredients:

Corn fed free range chicken (half, about 1.5 kg), baby shiitake mushroom (200 g), water, fresh ginger (100 g), spring onion (2), white pepper corn (1 tablespoon), sichuan pepper corn (1 tablespoon), dried chilli (4), bay leaf (3) and salt.

What to do:

  1. Place chicken and cold water (enough to cover the meat) in a pot, and bring to boil. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then transfer the meat into a clay pot, then tip the water into the sink.
  2. Top up the clay pot with some fresh boiling water (enough to cover the meat). Bring it to boil and the turn the heat down to low, let it simmer. Add baby shiitake mushroom, fresh ginger, white pepper corn, sichuan pepper corn, dried chilli, bay leaf. Season with salt to taste and simmer until the meat is falling off the bone. (Note: use a metal mesh spice container to hold pepper corns and sichuan pepper corns together, so it is not everywhere in the broth)
  3. When soup is down, cook some fresh ramen according to its packet instruction. Serve with the above chicken broth.

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

I am always looking for new ways to cook seafoods. Bouillabaisse is a French seafood soup recipe which is great to dip some bread in.

Ingredients:

Prawns (a dozen), baby calamari (half dozen), pot-ready mussels (a dozen), olive oil (1 teaspoon), 1 small fennel bulb (thinly sliced), leek (1, dhopped), celery (2 sticks) garlic (1, minced), chilli flasks (1/2 teaspoon), fresh thyme (2 sprigs), dry white wine (1/2 cup), chicken stock (1 cup), diced tomato (1 can, 400g), fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan saucepan over medium heat. Add fennel , leek, celery and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, chilli flasks, thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to the boil.
  2. Add stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. add mussels and simmer, cover for 5 minutesor until mussels have opened (discard any that do no open). Using a slotted spoon, remove mussels and transfer to a bowl. Add baby calamari and prawns to the pan and simmer until cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with toasted French bread.

Stir-Fry of Mixed Mushrooms

mixed mushrooms 1

mixed mushrooms 2

Last time we went out for Chinese, I ordered a mixed mushroom as a vegetarian dish. It was lovely! You can really tell the subtle difference of each kind of mushroom, and yet they all work together perfectly. Simple but delicious. My kind of recipe! I have got to try it at home. The outcome was just like the one I had at the restaurant. It is not hard, everyone can do it.

Ingredients:

oyster mushroom (60 g, break into small pieces), king oyster mushroom (60 g, sliced), shitaki mushroom (60 g, sliced), fresh enoki mushroom (60 g, break into small pieces), straw mushroom (60g, halved), dried fungus (10, soak in hot water 30 minutes before cooking), bok choy (6, sliced), garlic(2 cloves, sliced), ginger (same size as 2 cloves of garlic, sliced), spring onion (2, sliced and save the green part for garnish), dried chilli (1, sliced), canola oil (1 tablespoon), sesame oil (1 tablespoon), corn flour (1/2 tablespoon), water (1 and 1/2 tablespoon), salt, pepper.

What to do:

  1. Pre-soak dried fungus in hot water 30 minutes before cooking. Once it is expanded and became soft, break it into small pieces by hand.
  2. Slice garlic, ginger and spring onion. Save green part of spring onion for garnish. Seed and slice dried chilly. Break oyster mushroom and enoki mushroom into smaller pieces by hand. Slice shitaki, king oyster and straw mushrooms.
  3. In a wok, heat canola and sesame oil at low heat. Add sliced garlic, ginger, spring onion and dried chilli, cook until fragrant. Add the mixed mushrooms, cook untill soften. Then add bok choy and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the corn flour water (mix 1/2 table corn flour and 1 1/2 tablespoon water together), cook until the corn flour water thicken.
  5. Garnish with green onion, and serve as a side.

Spaghetti Meatballs

meatball pasta

meatball pasta 2

Original plan was to buy some mince and make a bolognese pasta. Then I saw these lovely Italian meatballs. I immediately changed my mind and wanted to make something different this weekend. Believe or not, this is my first time making a meatball pasta. This recipe is from my cookbook The Family Kitchen Italian. I have to say I love the sauce. It is packed with lots of flavour. Of course the original recipe included ingredients to make meatballs from scratch. Given I have bought some ready to go ones, I will only share exactly how I made this pasta.

Ingredients: (serves 5-6)

Spaghetti (500 g), Italian meatballs (500 g), brown onion (1, diced), Italian whole tomato (2 cans), basil (half bunch), garlic (2 cloves, minced), fresh red chilli (half, finely chopped), caramelised balsamic vinegar (2 tablespoons), olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water onto boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, into a frying pan heat generous amount of olive oil over medium heat, brown all the meatballs, set aside.
  3. In another frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped brown onion, garlic and chilli, and fry until fragrant. Then add canned tomato, basil, caramelised balsamic vinegar and the meatball, let the sauce simmer until the meat balls are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan.

Paella

Paella 1

Paella 2

Paella 3

Paella 4

Finally, it is the weekend. I was in Sydney pretty much the whole week. My work seems to get busier and busier. I am feeling burnt out. This weekend no work, just relax and do some cooking. It is good to recharge with some sleep and yummy food.

Ingredients:

Short grain rice (2 cups), Chorizo (2, about 200 g, sliced), prawns cutlets (a dozen), baby octopus (a dozen), chicken drumsticks (half dozen), Spanish onion (1), red capsicum (1, chopped), garlic (4 cloves, minced), canned whole tomato (1 can), smoky paprika (2 tablespoon), saffron (2 pinches), fresh coriander (1/4 cup, chopped), water (4 cups), olive oil (1/4 cup).

What to do:

  1. Marinate the Saffron 1 / 2 cup of water.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown the chicken drumsticks and slices of Chorizo, and then add Spanish onion, red capsicum and garlic. Saute until the veggies starts to caramelise.
  3. Add rice and smoky paprika, and fry for a minute.
  4. Add canned tomato and cook for 1-2 minute.
  5. Add water and saffron with the water (you may adjust the amount of water to make sure everything is submerged), bring to simmer.
  6. Reduce heat, cook until chicken is cooked. Add seafood, cover with a lid and cook until seafood is cooked but tender (about 2-3 minutes).
  7. Serve with chopped fresh coriander.

Gourmet Lemon Chicken Wings

gourmet lemon chicken wings

Lemon and thyme is now my favourite flavour combination. It goes very well with chicken. Ian named today’s recipe as gourmet lemon chicken wings. After a long break I find it is hard to get back on track. I think it is time to bring gourmet food back on our dinner table and my blog.

Ingredients: chicken wings (20 pieces), lemon (1), fresh thyme (8 sprigs), fresh rosemary (2 sprigs), white pepper and sea salt, baby potatoes (10, cut into wedges), cherry tomatoes (8, half).

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
  2. Rub sea salt and white pepper all over the chicken wings.
  3. Arrange potatoes wedges, cherry tomatoes, chicken wings in a baking dish.
  4. Place some fresh thyme, rosemary and sliced lemon on the top.
  5. Place it in the oven and roast until potatoes and chicken wings are cooked  with a crispy skin.

Tuna Pasta

Tuna Pasta

Ingredients:

pasta (250 g), celery (100 g, chopped), green capsicum (1, sliced), spanish onion (1, sliced), olives (1/2 cup), sundried tomato (1/2 cup), canned tuna (1 can, 100g), canned tomato (1 can, 250 g), coriander (1/4 cup, chopped), canola oil (2 tablespoons).

What to do:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water onto boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, into a frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat, caramelise green capsicum and spanish onion individually, set aside.
  3. In the same pan, use the rest of canola oil cook celery for 3 minutes. Add canned tomato, olives, sundried tomato and canned tuna, and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Then add cooked pasta and caramelised capsicum, onion and chopped coriander, toss to combine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve while warm.