Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper--and "fish-fragrant" aubergines

I have a confession to make. I have lived in Hong Kong for seven months, and I have not yet come to love Cantonese food. I do enjoy Hong Kong as a place to live, and I am starting to feel comfortable here as we make friends, start to fit in at work, and become more settled. But the cuisine has been a more difficult matter.

The simple Cantonese dishes I really like: such as steamed prawns with garlic, or green vegetables lightly dressed with soy sauce. But quite a lot of the main dishes are too slimy for me. I have tried chicken feet, for example, for bragging rights, of course. After popping the foot into my mouth and eating off the sauce and cartilage, I spit out the bones like any Hong Konger. I ate a serving, but did I like them? No, much too strange to be eating those slimy and gristly bits by choice. Will this feeling of aversion ever change?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chelsea buns

Chelsea buns are a new idea for me--and a tasty one! Similar to cinnamon rolls, they enclose a buttery, sweet filling. Instead of cinnamon they are studded with dried fruit--I used raisins and dried figs. Chelsea buns were this month's Fresh From the Oven challenge, set by Wendy of Notes from the Quirky Kitchen. They sound scrumptious, don't they? My Chelsea buns, though, were a disaster.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

doughnuts--baked, not fried

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. I'm never one to voluntarily eat anything deep fried, though, so I tried out this baked doughnut recipe as my contribution to the challenge. And then served the delectable doughnuts as my birthday dessert.

Monday, October 25, 2010

please help! what is this Chinese condiment?

This random jar has been sitting in my fridge for several months now. I cautiously dip in and out of it occasionally. What is it? All that Chinese that I can't read! Can you please help me?

It's a slightly odd story of how I got this jar of mystery stuff. I didn't buy it at my local store as a try-me ingredient. Oh, no. It was destined for greater things than my refrigerator, this jar, but never made it there. The story goes like this.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

weekend links #8

food links:
--A new food blog to follow: Adventures in Local Food, by the Food Action Committee in Halifax, my home town. It's really just two lovely food lovers sharing ideas... check it out! Learn more about canning or read the recipe for Chocolate Sauerkraut Cupcakes--really!

recipe links:
--Now that is a clever ideas! Homemade "hot pockets" like we used to eat as teenagers (from The Vegetarian Family Table).
--I must try frozen banana yogurt. I keep seeing it everywhere. (This time it's on Sarah Wilson.)
--Pumpkin granola (from Two Peas and Their Pod). There are times when you find yourself with way too much cooked butternut squash. This is for that time.

off-topic links:
--Making your own facial scrubs from kitchen ingredients (from The Kitchn).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

bacon-fried greens

I have two main dinner strategies when time is tight and inspiration is waning:
1. The "all in one" strategy: Make a hearty salad-ish dish, warm or cold, with lots of veggies and maybe a bit of meat (for example, the peach and pumpkin salad or aubergine with black eyed beans).

2. The "side as main" strategy: Make a big amount of my current favourite side dish and make it into a meal by adding a piece of meat or fish on the side (for example, veggie pancakes or a warm black cabbage salad).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

peach oatmeal bread

Summer is winding down--actually I hear that in other parts of the world it is now autumn. ;-) Well, it is still warm and pleasant here, and the last peaches are in the shops. I made this peach and oatmeal loaf to celebrate the end of summer and took it with us when we went on a yacht trip with friends.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Paper Chef #57

Foodies in the US and Japan and many other parts of the world will be familiar with the "Iron Chef" cooking show. Great chefs are put up against one of the iron chefs in a rather over-the-top and dramatic cooking competition to see who can make the most spectacular food from a host of regular ingredients and one special ingredient - say octopus. There is a somewhat similar TV show in Britain called "Ready, Steady, Cook!" Paper Chef is based on a somewhat similar idea... and you're invited to take part!

Friday, October 1, 2010

eggs with potatoes and greens (oeufs vert-pre)

I like to learn new things--hence this blog, and also copious link lists of things to read, printouts of journal articles in my work bag, CDs with new languages on it, and stacks of books next to the couch. I guess it's good practice to learn something new each week. What will it be this week? Poaching eggs. The proper way.


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