Posted by: Jennifer Tai | June 4, 2006

The best snack in the world!

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My friend Sharon made these one day and brought to our house for a tiny house party we had which was really to do our hair but the hairdresser never came, but you know what? It was a productive day 'coz we got to taste her delicious bacon stuffed eggs.

Here's a recipe I also found on the Net and adapted it with a spot of honey. Very guilty pleasure, absurdly easy to make. Best of all, kids love it (it's still nutritious for them I suppose, but maybe a little TOO nutritious for us grownups!).

Remember you can also sub the mayo and mustard with the 'lite' versions to make it less sinful!

Ingredients

  • Hard boiled eggs, six. After they are boiled hard, cut them into half, length-wise, separating the hardened yolks into a separate bowl
  • Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • Dijon mustard, 1 tsbp
  • Mayonaisse, 2 tbsps
  • Honey, 1 tbsp (optional – I find it enhances the taste)
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

Mix bacon, egg yolks, mustard, honey and mayo, mashing everything together into a paste. Stuff back into the egg halves and there you have it! Goes well with bread too for that lunch sandwich!

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Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 28, 2006

Asian Style ABC Stew

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This is a recipe adapted from my mom-in-law’s, really simple to make because you just throw everything in and mix! Great for the days you don’t want to do too many dishes. This dish is appropriate for kids too.

You can eat this on its own or with rice.

Ingredients (for chicken and marinate, serves four)

  • 3 X chicken breast meat, cubed. Make sure breast meat is fresh or else will be powdery. Using deboned, skinned thigh meat also can.
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet thick soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Maggi seasoning

Massage in the sauces and then marinate for one to two hours in bag.

For the stew

  • 1 X red pepper, sliced
  • 1 X green pepper, sliced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of celery, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 cups of water

You can add tomatoes and carrots if you like, it’s really what you like to put in. Three to four veggies is usually enough. Throw all the prepared veggies into a large bowl and toss.

Instructions

  • Heat some oil in med heat and brown garlic in a nice, deep skillet or pot
  • Throw in marinated chicken and cook until white
  • Throw in veggies and mix, cook for one to two minutes.
  • Pour sauces on top, finish with pepper, and then mix again, cooking for one minute.
  • Mix in water, cook until water boils.
  • Turn heat low and simmer for 20 minutes
Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 23, 2006

Asian-style Honey Baked Chicken

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I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and tried it out yesterday. Because of the ginger, the kids didn't really take to it, but it is abso delish for grownups who like a little sugar and spice! I used chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken as indicated in the original recipe and took out the green onions because I don't like 'em myself. So here's my adaptation:

(this recipe needs an oven)

Ingredients (feeds four)

  • 8 X chicken thighs or 4 X breasts, deboned, skinned
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Ginger root, grated, about 2 tsp
  • 1 onion, chopped fine

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ginger, onions and pepper
  • Marinate chicken and let sit in fridge for about an hour, minimum. Don't forget to turn the chicken if you're not marinating in a bag
  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Pam an appropriately sized baking dish and pour in chicken and marinate, making sure to coat the chicken nicely with the marinate. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn at half time.

This dish is great with rice or mash! If you don't things too sweet, reduce the honey to about 2 tbsp. Also, you can add carrots and broccoli in if you like, just remember to reduce the honey if you DO put carrots.

Enjoy!

Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 23, 2006

Best blog on er…Best Blog

Cooking Monster was nominated as one of the Best Blogs on, well, Bestblog!

Thanks guys! 🙂 Will try my best to keep this up. Not easy!

🙂

Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 22, 2006

Chinese-style Chicken and Potatoes in Oyster Sauce

Been a while since I logged my cooking. The Hubby has been travelling so between having to care for the kids all by my lonesome and making sure the house doesn't burn down, I've been busy, to say the least.

But here's a dish that helps because it's just so simple to cook and needs only a few ingredients that you would most likely have in your home. My mom used to make this for us when she ran out of time. Simple, quick yet delish!

Ingredients (feeds two)

  • Chicken thighs, cut into drumsticks and thighs, about two sets
  • Oyster sauce
  • Potatoes, two, cubed
  • White Pepper
  • Garlic, chopped finely
  • Cooking oil

Instructions

  • Brown about a tbsp of garlic in one tbsp of oil, and then throw in the chicken pieces
  • When they are half cooked, throw in the potatoes, and then pour in 3 to 4 tbsps of oyster sauce and a dash of white pepper. I love the Lee Kum Kee brand OS.
  • Mix and cook for about 4 minutes.
  • Pour in two cups of water for gravy, and simmer for 20 minutes until chicken and potatoes are well-cooked

This is a great dish to eat on its own or over white rice, for kids. My wobbler (have to mash the 'taters and chicken up a bit for her) and preschooler love it, so it makes for one simple, quick dish for the whole family on days you just want to take it easy!

Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 5, 2006

A clean way to marinate meat

I forgot where I got this tip from but it's definitely way more hygienic than dunking in your hand into the meat. I remember my mom used to hate marinating meat because she would have to get her hands and fingernails dirty. Now, with the wonderful invention of Ziplock baggies, you can throw the meat in there with the seasoning, close it and then 'massage' the marinate in from the outside, hence keeping your hands dry and clean.

And what more, it saves space in your fridge!

Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 4, 2006

Cooking rice in a microwave

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My mom taught me this trick, for times when you don't want to use the whole pot in the rice cooker to cook rice for just one or two persons.

Back home in Malaysia, the usual type of rice we buy is Southeast Asian, like Thai or Malaysian rice (vs the convenient kind you get here), which you can also totally cook using the microwave provided you get the timer and the water/rice portioning just right.

Using a microwaveable bowl, you put in water that's about a-third (1/3) of your third finger above the grains, and then nuke it for 10-11 minutes, and voila, you get perfect rice that's just enough for one person!

Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 3, 2006

Baking bacon, instead of frying

One thing I hate about frying bacon is that it splatters everywhere, so I found this tip at http://www.kitchenhintsandtips.com/baking_bacon.shtml that taught me how to bake bacon in my oven instead! It's quick, clean and just as yummy!

Ps. Check it regularly to make sure they don't burn. Even though I used the settings recommended, my bacon didn't cook to crisp, so I added another about 12 mins at 400F and it fried nicely.

Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 2, 2006

Balinese Spicy Soy Sauce Pork

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Found this delicious pork recipe online and adapted it. Was simply delicious. Not exactly diet food but it's great to cook up for friends when they come over! Warning: VERY spicy!

Ingredients

  • 3lbs pork shoulder, cubed. Marinate the pork in about 1tbsp of thick soy sauce for about 15 mins.
  • 10 Thai chillis
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of sliced ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 big onion (or 1 cup shallots, if you have them), chopped
  • 1 cube concentrated chicken stock or 1 tbsp chicken buillion
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp thick soy sauce (the kind that's not sweet). If you're using the Malaysian thick soy sauce, which is sweet, then just skip the sweet soy sauce ingredient and make it 4 tbsp of the stuff
  • 2 tbsp thin soy sauce

Method

  • Fry garlic and onions/shallots until slightly brown, med heat
  • Throw in pork and ginger and cook for about 2mins
  • Throw in the soy sauces and black pepper, mix until everything is covered and cook for about 2 mins
  • Add chicken stock and chillies, cook for 1 min
  • Add 1 cup of water, simmer over low heat for 30 mins until sauce is thick
  • Serve hot with steamed rice
Posted by: Jennifer Tai | May 2, 2006

Spicy Thai Chicken Rice

Back home where we used to live, there was an eatery nearby that served this particular dish that my husband used to just love. He could eat it everyday, even though it was really overpriced for the ingredients that went into making this simple dish. Luckily for him, and our food budget, I managed to reverse engineer the recipe and am able to make it right here in Seattle. It's a simple, quick dish to prepare and uses the simplest ingredients. Another great thing is that you've got your meat and veggies in one dish. Serve it with steamed white rice, and you're good to go! But be warned: this IS a spicy dish. You can adjust the chillis (or take it out altogether) and pepper accordingly. Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Two large chicken breasts, sliced to stir-fry portions
  • Wong ah bak, or as the Americans call it, Napa Cabbage. Half each leaf horizontally and then slice vertically for biteable rectangles. I usually throw away the core and leaves no bigger than my palm.

  • Thai fish sauce. There are lots of brands but the one we found here is the Squid Brand Fish Sauce. Use about 3-4 tbsps.

  • About 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped.
  • One tsp white pepper
  • 4-5 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • About 5-6 cilipadi, aka small Thai chillis, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 cup water

Method

  • In a LARGE wok or skillet that comes with a lid (anything smaller and the cabbage won't fit), brown garlic in oil, high heat
  • Toss in chicken and brown, turning heat to medium
  • Toss in Thai chillis and stirfry for about a minute
  • Toss in napa cabbage, and on top, combine oyster and fish sauces
  • Mix it all up carefully and when the cabbage leaves are nicely covered, put the lid on and let simmer at low heat for about 15 mins
  • Toss in white pepper, mix and simmer for 5 mins
  • Serve hot over steamed rice

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