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!


It is nice to hear from you!