Monthly Archives: May 2012

Leek & Pork Stirfry

This post should have been written months ago during the Lunar New Year season. Reason being this dish is always on the table at the annual family reunion dinner. ‘Leek’ in Mandarin is suan, which sounds just like the equivalent of the word ‘count’. In essence, it’s an auspicious dish to consume during the festival celebrating luck and prosperity. That aside, leek and pork is a lovely combination.

  1. Cut up the vegetable to thin slices, diagonally. Separating them to loose strands gently.
  2. Do the same with a carrot, or pass it through the coarse side of a grater.
  3. Prepare the pork this way.
  4. In a hot skillet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, toss in minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
  5. Add in the vegetables and fry about with a small splash of water. Lower the heat.
  6. When the leek is almost completely softened, add in the pork.
  7. Turn up the heat and stirfry everything together by adding water in small quantities, frying till dry-ish each time.
  8. Adjust seasoning accordingly with light soy sauce.
  9. Serve with hot steamed rice.
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Shepherd’s Pockets

This is essentially a puff pastry tartlet of everything you put into a shepherd’s pie, without the hassle of cooking the filling first. Make a dumpling with cut squares of cold rolled out puff pastry and well-marinated meat. Brush it with an egg wash before baking in a preheated 200ªC oven. Place it on the top rack for 10 minutes or so until the pastry has puffed up, then place down on the lowest rack for another 10-15 minutes at 180ªC.

Another one to add to the list of this and that.


Braised Leeks and Noodles in Mussel Liquor

 Mussel liquor is golden.

  1. Prepare the mussels, cleaning them of barnacles and beards.
  2. Steam the shellfish with a little bit of water, in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Remove when the mussels as they open and discard those that don’t.
  3. Add chopped leeks and tomatoes to the pan and braise slowly.
  4. Season with light soy sauce and white pepper powder, to taste.
  5. Cook noodles in a separate pot and strain once done.
  6. When leeks are beautifully braised to soft tenderness, toss in the noodles and mix well.
  7. Serve with the mussels on the side.

Pasta Amatriciana

I was fortunate enough to be in Rome last month on holiday, or rather, on pilgrimage to the Vatican City and to the art of Michelangelo Buonarotti. But of course, in addition to all the sightseeing, I made time to have a taste of whatever dishes that might be unique to the region. Being in the land of pasta, Pasta Amatriciana is one of them. According to Wikipedia, ‘Amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale (dried pork cheek), pecorino cheese and tomato, well-known in Roman and Italian cuisine.’

So very basically, I gave it a go with bacon, red onions, tomatoes and Parmesan. Also, I had it with mushroom tortellini as opposed to the usual bucatini.

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  1. Set your pasta boiling away in a pot of salty water.
  2. With the help of a teaspoon of oil in a hot skillet, render the fat of the bacon out.
  3. Toss in the minced onions, and sweat it out till almost translucent.
  4. Add in the tomatoes, together with some passata. Or just add in some chopped tomatoes from a store-bought carton. Add volume to the sauce with pasta-cooking water, if necessary.
  5. Stir in a small handful of freshly grated Parmesan.
  6. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the sauce.
  7. Mix and serve with a grating of more Parmesan.

Chicken, Peas, Bacon

Chicken and bacon work together all the time.

  1. Prepare the chicken drumsticks by cleaning up the joint  and wrapping the bone with foil if you wanna be fancy. If not, skip this and poach your chicken in salty boiling water till the juices run clear when pierced at the thickest part.
  2. In a skillet with a little little knob of butter, toss in chopped smoked bacon once the foaming of the butter has subsided.
  3. When the bacon bits are just about browned, toss in minced onions, sweating them on low heat.
  4. Toss in the peas once the onions are just about translucent. Let it simmer and remove when done adding a just small amount of the poaching water if its running dry during cooking.
  5. The chicken should be about done. Let it rest once cooked through.
  6. Baste it in hot butter till golden.
  7. Serve with a potato mash or carbs of your preference. I had it with hot steamed basmati.