Jul 31, 2009

Night Before Cheddar Bacon French Bread Casserole

This dish is somewhat similar to Croque Monsieur, and I am simply in love with it! Its crispy cheesy top, soft and creamy interior and tasty bacon all make me drool! Again this dish is simple enough to prepare the night before, and it turns out great fresh from the oven! You may alter the cheese that you use (Gruyere and Swiss/Emmenthal would work perfect), and add things like herbs or vegetables and it will still be great!


8 thin slices of French bread
2 slices of bacon, diced
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
100 ml milk
1 Tbsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt


1. Lay four bread slices in a fitting greased baking dish. Sprinkle with bacon and top with half of the cheese. Arrange remaining bread slices over cheese mixture.

2. In a bowl beat together the eggs, milk, mustard, and salt. Carefully pour over bread mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

3. In the morning take bread out from refrigerator one hour prior to baking.

4. Preheat oven to 350F and bake casserole for 35-40 min. or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cover with foil in midway of baking to prevent over-browning.

Serve hot with fresh fruit!

Blueberry Lemon Cake

Very light in texture and rich in flavors, blueberry lemon cake is what I like to have once in a while especially in the spring/summer seasons, when I crave for something lemony and tasteful. This version of blueberry lemon cake has a crispy crunch topping, enriching this nice on its own treat!


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbsp each lemon juice and zest
1 1/4 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1 cup blueberries

Crumb topping
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp sugar


1. Grease an 7 or 8 inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add the lemon juice and zest and beat well.

3. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the egg mixture in three batches, alternating with milk and mix well after each addition.

4. Fold in the blueberries and pour batter into prepared pan.

5. Mix together all the crumb ingredients and sprinkle them over the batter evenly.

6. Bake cake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 min. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm!

Arroz Con Coco Y Camarones (Rice with Coconut and Shrimp)

This is one creative and tasteful dish from Columbia! I really enjoy reading Erica's blog -My Columbian Recipes and International Flavors and I've made her Rice with Coconut and Shrimp the other day which turns out marvelous! I will make time to try more of her recipes given I've made a successful one! The sweetness of the coconut mixed really nicely with the rice and shrimp, and the spices enhance each ingredient and not overpoweringly. I find a lot of Erica's information interesting, for example the unique fruits of Columbia and the creative and neat dishes by her! They look super appealing to me! Also, I have had pitahayas from Columbia and it is really really nice and tasty. I like to try plantains because there are so many wonderful recipes out there about this special fruit, sweet and savory!

Pitahaya from Columbia:

Jul 30, 2009

Weetabix Spicy Meatballs in Sweet Tomato Sauce

Beware....these baked meatballs can be delicious! You may want to have them accompanied by lots of fresh greens and whole wheat bread to mop up the sauce! Perhaps some cheese on the side would be even more tempting... When I make this dish I think about partying. What about you? My dad cannot hide from his liking for these little devils because they disappear quite fast, and my mom keeps murmuring that the sauce is really nice....!


2 Weetabix biscuits, crushed
500 g lean ground beef
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 can (156ml) tomato paste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
1 can (396ml) tomato sauce (I used fresh tomatoes)


1. In a large bowl thoroughly mix: Weetabix, ground beef, egg, half a can of tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste.

2. Shape into 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) in diameter meatballs and place in a single layer in a greased shallow baking pan. Bake at 375F for 25 min.

3. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients (including remaining half can of tomato paste) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 20 min.

4. Pour tomato sauce over meatballs and return to the oven for 5 to 10 min.

Serve with pasta and salad or as an appetizer!

Jul 29, 2009

Chick Pea and Dill Dip

Try this simple, healthy and refreshing dip for a hot summer day and you'll notice how it kills the heat off! It is rich in protein, dietary fibre, and flavors!

1/2 can Chick pea
1/4 tsp Japanese schimi powder (chili powder)
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp dill
1 tsp lemon juice

Just blend everything in blender or food processor and chill to serve cold with French bread slices, or vegetable sticks or anything you like!

Chicken in Three Cups Sauce

This tasty Three Cup Sauce Chicken is a very popular and tasty Chinese dish, in memory of the last meal of the righteous senior minister Wen (文天祥) of late Sung Dynasty as some suggested. An old lady, who thought Minister Wen was dead, intended to go worship him bringing with her some chicken and wine. She then surprising found him alive in jail and so prepared his last meal with the limited ingredients with the jail officer who also greatly respected the virtuous minister. Three cup sauce refers to one (small) cup of oil, wine, and soy sauce each and along with other ingredients brings out the very nice and subtle flavor of the chicken. The dish has been passed on in China since the historic times!


1 lb. chicken pieces
2 Tbsp sesame oil
20 g ginger, cut into slices
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp red pepper, sliced
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp Rice wine
2 Tbsp rock sugar, crushed (can substitute sugar)
1 Tbsp Taiwanese basil (I used thyme)


1. In a large pot boil 3 cups of water and 1 tsp salt and cook chicken in water for 3 minutes. Drain the chicken pieces.

2. In a separate frying pan heat the sesame oil over medium high heat, add the ginger, garlic and red pepper and cook until the garlic is lightly browned.

3. Add the chicken pieces to the same pan and cook until almost done, about 8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to pan and stir fry until fragrant and sauce is mostly absorbed.

4. Serve hot with rice and vegetables.

Jul 26, 2009

Shirley's Birthday Cake -Mango and Strawberry Mousse Cake

July 26 is my sister Shirley's birthday, and this year I have decided to make her favorite cake, the strawberry mousse sponge cake, which is also perfect for summer, with the additional treat of big mangoes on top! Although there are many ways of making fruit mousse, this one is particularly easy and has a more pure taste of the fresh fruit in season, so it is becoming a family favorite.


Sponge Cake:
3 eggs, separated
6 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup cake flour
1 Tbsp warm milk
1 Tbsp melted butter

Strawberry Mousse Filling
1 cup strawberry puree (from blending fresh strawberries)
2 tsp. dissolved gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream

Mango Layer
1 1/2 cups mango cubes
1 Tbsp creme de pêche or apricot
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp hot water
1 tsp gelatin

1/2 cup whipping cream whipped with 1 Tbsp sugar


1. Line a 7 or 8 inch cake pan with parchment. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a small to medium bowl beat the egg yolks with 3 Tbsp. sugar until thick and light yellow, similar to mayonnaise. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with 3 Tbsp sugar until stiff and glossy, and not dry. Gently fold the egg yolks into the whites, keeping the air foam. Mix in the warm milk gently.

4. Sift the flour over the egg mixture in three additions, folding in lightly and thoroughly after each addition.

5. Take a little of the cake batter and mix it with the melted butter. Then add the butter mixture to the egg mixture and mix gently and thoroughly.

6. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake cake for 25-30 min. until cake is springy and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake in its pan upside down on wire rack.

7. Strawberry Mousse Filling: mix the strawberry puree, sugar and gelatin together and refrigerate until slightly firm. Whip the cream and fold into the cold strawberry puree lightly. Refrigerate until needed.

8. Mango topping: Mix the gelatin in the hot water and then add the creme de pêche and sugar.

9. Assembly: Cut cakes into 2 layers and spread bottom layer with strawberry mousse. Place the second cake layer on top and spread entire cake with whipped cream topping. Place mango cubes on top of the cake and brush mangoes with the topping mixture.

10. Refrigerate cake for a few hours and best served the day made!

In the evening our family went to Pizza Express for dinner, and I love their really fresh salads and pizzas! Pizza Express is having more and more outlets in Hong Kong. Currently there are seven of them I believe. We had a Peking Duck pizza and one with meatballs. All of them were delicious!

Jul 25, 2009

Cinnamon Buns

You may label these cinnamon swirl coffee ring as these cinnamon buns are so rich and tasty. They make perfect breakfast or afternoon snacks. Even without the cream cheese frosting, they are very delicious with their intense cinnamon flavor.


3 1/2 cups bread or AP Flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup currants

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Mix yeast with a little of the warm milk to dissolve.

2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add milk, eggs and yeast and beat in mixer for 2 min.

3. Add butter and beat until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 min. Cover and let rest for 30 min.

4. Roll dough out into 9 x 24 inch (23 cm x 60 cm) rectangle.

5. Combine all filling ingredients and spread over rolled out dough.

6. Roll into a long thing log and pinch seams. Cut dough into 12 equal portions. Cover loosely and let rest in warm place for 30-40 min.

7. Bake in preheated 375F oven for about 15 to 20 min. or until golden brown.

8. Beat all frosting ingredients together and drizzle over warm buns. Cool on rack or serve warm.

Jul 21, 2009

Fig and Bread Pudding

I had this bread pudding for breakfast and they were very nice right out of the oven... the smell was very awakening for the start of a weekend! I hope you guys also enjoy this comfy, healthy and delicious version of fig and bread pudding.


1 pkg (227g) dried figs
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
2 cups (2cm) firm white bread cubes (French bread is good)


1. Cover figs with water in saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat and let cool and cut figs into quarters.

2. Combine the egg, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. Blend in milk and butter. Stir in bread cubes and figs; let stand 5 min.

3. Divide mixture into 4 greased (6 oz/175ml) custard cups. Sprinkle with additional nutmeg if desired. Set cups in baking dish and add hot water to come halfway up sides of cups.

4. Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 min. or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm. Top with ice cream or fresh fruit if desired.


Baked Country Breakfast Cup

This slow baked eggy breakfast cup is a really delicious and comforting meal, and can be served at other times of the day too! Try homemade salsa and tortilla for an extra homey touch! Recipes for homemade salsa can be found in Rouxbe cooking school and for flour tortilla can be found in Epicurious.


6 flour tortilla
1 small red pepper, finely chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 fresh eggs
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp. salsa
6 tbsp. shredded Italian cheese


1. Lightly grease six individual baking dishes or deep muffin cups.

2. Press tortillas into each cup, folding to fit.

3. Mix red pepper and bacon and divide among baking cups.

4. Gently break one egg into each and sprinkle with seasonings.

5. Bake at 375F for 15 to 20 min. until whites are set and yolks are still soft.

6. Spoon salsa and cheese over top of eggs during last 5 min. of baking time, and cover loosely with foil during last 5 min. to prevent over-browning.

Bon appetite!

Jul 10, 2009

Wild Salmon Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette

I have just purchased a piece of wild salmon originated from Australia, from my local organic supermarket - Three Sixty. I have to admit that this is probably the best cooked salmon I have ever had! It is distinctive in a way that it tastes really pure and the texture is very fine and tender. It does not have a strong fish taste and it has a light fragrance of itself. I have heard that smoked wild salmon is even more difficult to get, so may be I will have to go out of Hong Kong or smoke a fillet by myself or with some friends.... On the other hand, this wild salmon reminds me of having sushi in a really edgy sushi bar at Hokkaido, Japan that features the best and freshest seafood from the seawater around Hokkaido and Japan. The seafood there was so awesome that I kept complementing throughout the entire meal and ranked it as the best sushi bar in my life up to now. I'll post any updates if this choice changes. The sushi shop website is http://masazushi.co.jp/, and below is a picture of the sushi shop. Lots of snow were there when I went there!

The Wild Salmon Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette is a recipe of the BC Grown vegetables, and it is light, well matched and fabulous!

Wild Salmon Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette


Olive Oil .............................................1/4 cup
White Wine Vinegar...........................2 Tbsp
1 Small Shallot, finely diced
Dijon Mustard.....................................1 tsp
Minced Tarragon, Thyme, Chives......1 Tbsp each
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


4 Salmon Steaks (2lb, 1-inch thick)
Olive oil............................................2 Tbsp
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mixed Lettuce.................................8 cups
Red Potatoes or New Potatoes, ......1 lb
cooked and cut into cubes
Green Beans....................................1/2lb
Cherry Tomatoes............................16
Hard Cooked Eggs..........................2


1. In blender or by hand, mix the dressing ingredients well and set aside.

2. Brush the salmon with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat for eight to ten minutes, turning salmon once, until fish flakes easily.

3. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, potatoes, beans and tomatoes. Pour in dressing and toss to combine.

4. Divide evenly among four large salad plates. Garnish with sliced eggs and top with salmon lightly.

Makes 4 filling servings.

Jul 9, 2009

Crunch Top Fruit Salad with Creamy Dressing

Summer is my favorite season and I am almost always happy when it comes! Tis the season for swimming, salad, icy desserts and just a longer bright day everyday. Although the extra heat generated sometimes can make one get tired easier, it is also this heat which is so fascinating that it makes me feel energetic! I remember that when I had a pet, a really lovely Dutch rabbit, she liked to lay under the sun, stretched out her arms and legs, and she looked totally comfortable and relaxed! She ate a lot, did not like to be held, and so sweet that I liked her very much! I'll post her picture later on my blog!

Back to food, this morning I have made a fruit salad for breakfast, and it tasted very nice and refreshing that I can't wait to share it on here. It's really simple and quick to make, I've learned to make it in high school home econ., and you almost always have these ingredients on hand so it makes a convenient and delicious treat any time of the day!

Crunchy Top Fruit Salad



Quick oats or Oatmeal ...............1/2 cup
Butter or Margarine...................20ml
Brown Sugar...............................1/4 cup
Cinnamon...................................1 tsp.


Plain Yogurt (or Sour cream)......1/2 cup
Sugar............................................1 Tbsp.
Orange Juice (optional)...............1 Tbsp.

Fresh Fruit (Most types of fruit will be fine):

e.g. 1 apple, 1 orange, 1 banana, 1 kiwi, 1/4 melon, with 20 ml of lemon juice


1/2 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cup of strawberries, 1 cup of mango

*In the picture there are wild blueberries, pitahaya, and mangoes. Yummmm!


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Mix together topping ingredients and spread them over evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about eight minutes till golden and crunchy. (Oatmeal is faster to cook than Quick Whole Oats!)

2. Chop fruits into bite size equal pieces, mix lightly and well, and place in serving bowls.

3. In a medium bowl, mix dressing ingredients together. Divide evenly over fruit salad.

4. Sprinkle topping over fruit and serve fresh!

A bientôt!

Jul 7, 2009

Whole Wheat Sourdough with milk and honey

I love bread, especially the sourdough kinds. Their flavors are tasty, sophisticated, subtle, changing, and long lasting. There are literally trillions of varieties of sourdough bread, and each of us can devise our own formula from experience to suit our tastes. The kinds of flour for sourdough bread can range from all sorts of wheat: soft, hard, whole, red, white, to semolina, spelt, potato, rye, and just anything you can imagine. Each time i feed my little starter, i feel like feeding my baby, keeping it alive, in the hope that it will turn into another brilliant offspring. And the process of breadmaking? Exciting, observative and precision aiming, sometimes tiring, sometimes anxious about whether it's going the right way. It is mostly happy to see when the dough rises, pissed if it deflates as you turn it over onto a baking sheet after long hours of fermentation, (thinking about what to do if it does), and exciting to cut through the bread's very crispy crust to its pillowy crumb. Siting more, it is interesting to find out how different combinations of ingredients and the different mixing/folding/shaping methods in different environments arrive at the bread's designated taste/texture. Like in many areas, practice makes perfect in sourdough bread making. The tasting process is marvelous of course, the taste is almost different every time! Therefore, I like baking sourdough bread and appreciates all who shares in this field. The Fresh Loaf has a recipe for a simple whole wheat sourdough with buttermilk and honey Sandwich bread w/ slight sweetness, not so sour, and soft. I've altered it a bit as followed, and this bread is good with jam, honey, butter, or many sandwich fillings. (Try lobster, mayo and lettuce! ;p)

Whole Wheat Sourdough with milk and honey


Whole Wheat Flour.......................................2 cups
Bread or All Purpose Flour............................1 1/2 cups
Sourdough starter (about 60% hydration)......200g
Milk(or buttermilk)...................................... 150ml
Honey.................................................... 1 1/2 Tbsp
Butter or Margarine......................................15g
Sea Salt.........................................................10g


1. Place both flour and sea salt in the bowl of stand mixer and mix thoroughly.

2. Add milk, water, starter and honey to the same bowl and turn mixer on low speed to mix for 3 minutes.

3. Add the butter to the bowl and knead on machine at medium speed for about 8 minutes. Rest dough for 8 minutes and knead again for 8 minutes. The dough should be elastic and pull away from the bowl when done mixing.

4. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and do a stretch and fold and shape the dough into sandwich loaves like this. (video at the bottom)

5. Place the dough, covered with plastic film or clean wet cloth and let rise for 4 to 5 hours till almost double in size. Preheat oven to 350F. If you like a crispy crust, place some hot water in the oven in a small heatproof container to generate steam.

6. Bake in preheated oven for about 55 min. or until bread sounds hollow when tapped (bread is very hot!)

7. Cool bread on wire rack and let cool for a while if you can wait before slicing.

** Notice that usually making bread involves two fermentations, the first in bulk and then shaping followed by the second rise. However, the above method is faster and the bread still taste soft and good with a less sour and less springy characteristic. You may also proceed with the twice fermentation method as in the original recipe.

Jul 6, 2009

Chocolate Pancakes

New, fresh chocolate pancakes with raspberry compote were my breakfast. I was like one happy girl. It was my first time making and eating chocolate pancakes, inspired by Laura in her blog post. It was so nice of her to share, and I could not really wait to post my results here. I altered Laura's recipe a bit, because I ran out of baking powder. Keeping everything the same, I separated the egg whites from the yolks, added the yolks to the wet ingredients, and whipped up the whites with half of the sugar till stiff and folded them into the batter to create a light texture. Everything went well and the aroma of the chocolate batter filled the kitchen. The pancakes tasted good, and and they're quite healthy and filling for breakfast! I could become addicted to these great new pancakes... given I had eaten the plain ones for twenty plus years.... Next time, i can give them a twist, add some candied orange zest and cointreau, or strawberries, vanilla ice cream...cherries... apricot jam, foie gras and butter.. mixed fruit and fresh cream... coffee flavored syrup with praline dust...mango and mint... watermelon compote.. dried fruits and mascarpone cheese...more dark chocolate... so many good possibilities!

Jul 5, 2009

My Dreamy Cheesy Summer Pasta

Today is another rainy Sunday. It has been a few weekends that Hong Kong is pouring heavy rain and it makes all beach plans delay... :( So, after a big feast yesterday till this morning, I have decided to make a light dinner. The recipe is adapted from the blog of Meal Planning 101, and since I am running out of parmigiano reggiano cheese, I substitute some ham flavored cream cheese to the sauce, and I also use lemon juice mixed with skim milk instead of sour cream called for in the original recipe. The pasta sauce was a bit curdled and runny at first, so I added an egg yolk to thicken and enrich it! As you can see, there is a rather cute pink color of the sauce at the end, and this is because the kind of vegetable that I use is called "red yeen choi" and it has a beet root color in its leaves and so the sauce becomes pinkish! The color plus the nice lemon scent and the cheesy taste makes this dish really dreamy and happy to consume! Also, the green beans are at their peak during the summer time, so crisp and sweet! Although this is an improvisation of the original recipe, I really like it!

Jul 3, 2009

Independence Day

Born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada when I was twelve, Independence Day of U.S. has never been a public holiday to me. However, I really like the States as a country and she so often gives me lots of inspirations. So when asked to post some recipes for the Independence Day, I have decided to stay at home and make a big feast for my family! It is also rainy in Hong Kong today.. it is nicer to stay in than to be outdoor when it can pour buckets of rain onto your within seconds!

First, I made a big breakfast for myself since others are still sleeping in till lunch or out to the banks for some unknown reasons in the morning. I had slow baked pork ribs with homemade bbq sauce (from the night before...obviously...), soft scrambled eggs, pan seared tomatoes and... beancurd "sausages"! Yum.... and I finished the whole thing! The recipe for this slow baked pork ribs is easy and delicious, and you can work on other things while they're cooking =)

Slow baked pork ribs in homemade BBQ sauce:

2 lb. baby pork ribs
1/4 onions

Salt................................ 1/2 tsp.
Cayenne Pepper.............1/4 tsp.
Black pepper..................1/4 tsp.
Rice Vinegar (or any kind that you like... red/white wine, balsamic, cider, fruit etc)......30ml

Basting Sauce:
Ketchup............1/4 cup
OK sauce...........20 ml
ginger brown sugar ( or ginger + brown sugar)............50g
balsamic vinegar............. 15ml
soy sauce.........................5ml


1. Mix the seasoning with the ribs and onions, let marinade for 1 hour in the refridgerator.
2. Preheat oven to 350F, mix the basting sauce ingredients. Place the ribs on baking tray and bake for 1.5 to 2 hrs depending on your liking. In between every 30 min interval, bast the ribs generously with basting sauce.
3. Let cool for five minutes and serve hot!

Lunch Menu for July 4th:

Nobu style saute scallop with Jalapeno Salsa

Nobu style crispy skin Poussin with spicy lemon sauce

X.O. sauce fried rice

Lemon, Blueberry and Pineapple light cheesecake in chocolate tart shell

**The Nobu styles recipes are adopted from the books Nobu Now and Nobu West

Nobu style saute scallop with Jalapeno Salsa

A very refreshing starter or even a main course, the scallops is saute so that the outside is golden brown and the inside is medium rare.


4 large scallops
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
5 Brussel Sprouts
2 tsp clarified butter

Jalapeno Salsa:
red onions..........1/2 tsp.
minced garlic......1/2 tsp.
rice vinegar ........1 tsp.
sugar...................1 tsp.
Jalapeno peppers... 10g
olive oil ...............2 tsp
salt.......................1/4 tsp
pepper.................1/4 tsp


1. Make the jalapeno salsa by mixing all the salsa ingredients.

2. Add salt to the scallops. Then, add a tbsp. oil to a medium pan. Pan fried the scallops on both sides until browned on the outside, about 1 min. on each side.

3. At the same time, in another skillet, add a tbsp. olive oil and saute the brussel sprouts for a few minutes and add salt to taste, then add the clarified butter and mix well. The vegetables should still be crunchy.

4. Divide the brussel sprouts into four serving plates and place a scallop on top. Spoon over some jalapeno salsa and serve fresh.

Nobu style crispy skin Poussin with spicy lemon sauce

1 whole Poussin (baby chicken)
1/4 head of pointed (summer cabbage, finely shredded)
olive oil, for brushing
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head of Belgian endive, split in half lengthwise
3 cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp. spicy lemon dressing
1/4 lemon

Spicy lemon dressing:
61/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce (similar to chili sauce)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
scant 2/3 cup grapeseed oil


1. Heat the oven to 400F.

2. Place the poussin, breast side down, on a chopping board and cut through the skin down to the bone in the middle of its back. Making small cuts, remove the meat away from each side of the carcass. Cut the wing and leg joints at the knuckle and separate from the carcass, then remove the wishbone and continue cutting away the breasts from the breastbone to leave the carcass completely separate from the breasts and legs. Bone out the thigh bones from the legs, keeping the leg and breast meat still attached together in one whole piece.

3. Season the inside of the bird and the shredded cabbage with salt and pepper. Place the cabbage in the middle of the bird and wrap the sides of the bird around the cabbage so they overlap. Place on a baking tray, then brush lightly with olive oil and season.

4. Cut the Belgian endive into quarters lengthwise and brush them and the whole cherry tomatoes with olive oil; season.

5. Cook the poussin in the oven for 15 min., then add the cherry tomatoes and Belgian endive to the baking tray and roast for 10 min. longer.

6. Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients together except the oil until the salt dissolve. then add in the oil and mix well.

7. Place the poussin on a suitable serving dish and garnish with the Belgian endive and cherry tomatoes. Spoon the lemon-flavoured dressing over and garnish with lemon wedges.

8. Serve hot!

X.O. sauce fried rice

A simple yet delicious fried rice!


2 broccoli stalks
2 egg white
1 cup of cooked Japanese or long grain rice
1 tbsp. X.O. sauce (from Asian markets, usually contains dried shrimp and scallops, chili etc)


1. Dice only the stalk parts of the broccoli into 5mm cube. Beat the egg white slightly.

2. Separate the rice to prevent them sticking together too much.

3. In a medium high heated wok or large non stick pan, heat 2 tsp. of oil and swirl throughout the entire pan. and add the broccoli. Stir fry for about 2 min till cooked. Place into a bowl and set aside.

4. Add 1 tbsp. of oil to the same pan and swirl, and add the egg whites and stir fry until just cooked. Place into a bowl.

5. Finally, turn on high heat, add a tbsp. of oil to the same pan and add the X.O. sauce. Stir for 30 seconds and add the rice and stir fry until well mixed. Add the broccoli and egg whites and stir fry for another minute and place into serving bowls. Serve hot.

Lemon, Blueberry and Pineapple light cheesecake in chocolate tart shell

The cheesecake wasn't successful because I mistakenly put fresh pineapple into the cake... Pineapple can't be mixed with cheese because it will destroy their protein and produce a weird taste. Therefore, next time, I will omit the pineapple and just make a light lemon and blueberry cheesecake! If you really want pineapple cheesecake, you may instead add the pineapple flavored jelly powder mixed with hot water to make this cheesecake!


1 pkg (250 g) regular cream cheese, softened (I used Organic Valley)
1/3 cup sugar
Zest and Juice of 1 small lemon
1 egg
1/3 cup skim milk
2 tbsp Pineapple jelly powder mixed in 2 tbsp hot water
1/4 cup blueberries, cut into halves


1. Follow David Lebovitz method for making the butter tart base except substituting 1/4 cup of cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the flour in the original recipe. Bake the tart shell for 15 min. Cool on a wire rack.

2. Beat the soften cream cheese and sugar until well mixed. Add the lemon zest and juice and mix well. Add the egg and mix well, then add the milk and mix well again. (If adding pineapple jelly, add them at this point). Fold in the blueberries lightly.

3. Pour filling into tart shell and bake in oven for 1 hour until set. Cool on wire rack and refrigerate for 8 hrs or till firm to serve!

I'll be posting the rest of the recipes tomorrow... happy Independence Day!

And then...

Thanks to Foodbuzz having a Flavor of the month topic of summer fruits, in which I saw the recipe of a raspberry pound cake by Jonna that was attracted to me a lot! I made the lovely cake for Afternoon Tea on the 4th, served with a cup of wild strawberry green tea and a string of churro which is all so yummy and comforting. The raspberry pound cake recipe can be found here, and it is so rich in flavor and yet so light in texture with scents of raspberry and lemon that I both like a lot. I didn't make the icing as I like the simple butter taste of the cake and later I served it with some macerated cherry liquors from the dessert for dinner and it was delicious!

Dinner for the 4th:

Grilled assorted vegetables

Pan seared cod fillets with lemon, green olives and butter dressing

Roast sirloin steaks with balsamic cherry red wine sauce

Cherry and Apple Strudels with Peach Sorbet

You can tell that it's been a really busy cooking day for me, as all these dishes and desserts require great details and attention! The payoff is more than worthy, because it is such an indulgence when it comes to nice food...

Grilled Assorted Vegetables


1/4 of Japanese pumpkin, skinned and seeded
2 purple sweet potatoes or yams
1 aubergine or egg plant, sliced
1 broccoli, cut into medium sized pieces
1 tomatoes, cut into wedges
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400F and place some foil on a large baking sheet.

2. Cut the pumpkin and yams into 3cm cubes and lay them in single layer on the baking sheet. drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and place them into the oven to roast for 40- 60 min. until they are tender.

3. After 35 minutes of the roasting time, place the rest of the vegetables on top of pumpkin and yams and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over. Season with sea salt and pepper and return to the oven for the rest of time.

4. For the last five minutes of the roasting time, turn the oven temperature to 500 and grill the vegetables till they're lightly crisp on the outside and still soft on the inside! Give them a nice mix, and serve warm/hot with the fish and steaks. Enjoy!

Pan seared cod fillets with lemon, green olives and butter dressing


4 cod fillets, skinned and boned
salt & pepper to taste
Small handful of fresh or dried Dill

Lemon olive butter dressing:
Butter..........20 g
Lemon juice.......2 Tbsp
Green olives (sliced).......3 Tbsp
Garlic (minced)...............1 Tbsp
Shallots (finely chopped)..1Tbsp


1. Clean and pat dry the cod fillets and season lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a pan over medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the fillets and cook each side of the fillet for about 4 minutes or until cooked and lightly browned. Place on serving plates and keep warm.

3. Make the dressing by using a low heat to melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the the rest of the ingredients to the butter and simmer for one minute. Turn off the heat and spoon over fillets, sprinkle fresh dill and serve immediately.

Roast sirloin steaks with balsamic cherry red wine sauce


2 Sirloin Steaks
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Olive oil

Balsamic Cherry Red Wine Sauce:

Cherries.......1/2 cup
Balsamic vinegar..............30ml
Red Wine.........................1/4 cup
Flour................................1 Tbsp
Shallots............................5 g
Beef Stock........................1/4 cup
Cayenne pepper...............1/4 tsp.
Cumin.............................1/4 tsp.
Salt & and black pepper to taste
Butter.............................1 tsp.


1. Preheat oven to 350F. In an oven proof skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the steaks, sprinkle the salt and pepper and sear each side of the steaks for one minute. Immediately place the skillet into the hot oven and let roast to your liking. When the steaks are done place them on a warmed plate and rest. Meanwhile make the sauce.

2. In a medium sauce pan heat the cherries, vinegar, red wine, sugar, and flour over medium high heat and stir often. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes and add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens.

3. Take the juices from the sirloin steaks after they have rested for 5 minutes and add them to the red wine sauce. Continue to cook for one minute before adding the butter and stir well. Remove from heat and serve with the steaks.

Apple and Currant/ Almond Cherry Vienna style Strudels

These strudels are really tasty, flaky, and actually not difficult at all to make at home and they look like the sophisticated desserts that we eat outside! The different liquors in these Viennese desserts gave them a nice fragrance and extra depth flavour. You can find the recipes at Le Petrin, a really nice French blog dedicated to great desserts and baked goods, and I think you will love them as much as I did! I had the apple strudel with peach sorbet at night, and saved the second half of the dough for the next morning to have freshly baked cherry strudel for breakfast! Yeah! a bon appetit Independence Day!