I’m back. :-)
Lorna cooked up a storm in the South Arm Community Centre cooking class. We used to only make a dish or two during the classes. This time she made a record breaking four dishes. I like this because it gives me more materials to blog about! When we first started our blog, we always mulled over what we want to blog for the next day but today, we had almost one month worth of blog postings waiting to be posted. So, Ben had been insisting that we release more blog entries every day but no-can-do!
I digressed, the dishes prepared were:
- Banana Shrimp Cake
- Fried Fish Fillet with Guava and Fermented Soy Beans
- Arctic Surf Clams, and
- Yam with Cheese and Bacon Bits.
Just the names alone sounds so appetizing, doesn’t it? Well, it sounds good, it looks better and let me tell you, it tastes great!
We had a mini buffet after the cooking class. All the dishes were so absolutely yummy. I was so full that I had to skip my dinner that day.
The first dish is very simple and quick to make — it is called Yam with Cheese and Bacon Bits. Lorna told us that she makes this as breakfast for her family.
The whole yam is microwaved until it is soft and is then top with cheese and bacon bits. If you have more time, the yam can be baked in the oven until it caramelized and becomes very sweet.
I will post the recipes for the rest of the cooking Lorna demonstrated over the next few days. Lorna, thanks for sharing such great recipes. We surely learned a lot today.
Allie’s husband, Duke came over from Korea for a two weeks vacation this summer. As he always does, he brought over lots of goodies from Korea. Allie gave us some Korean seaweeds and snacks. Allie, Duke, thanks for the stuff. We always enjoyed getting this from you and learning more about the Korean culture first hand.
Korean seaweed is somewhat different from those Japanese types which are commonly found in the groceries stores here. This one is seasoned and more flavourful with a tinge of salt.
Last week, I made a simple lunch of Korean Sushi for Arkensen and Nanzaro. The boys can eat gobs and gobs of sushi. I cooked some Japanese short grain rice (sushi rice) according to the package instructions. I then seasoned the rice with some seasoned rice vinegar. Simple and fast.
I fried a few very thin omelette and cut them into small pieces. The seaweed came in large piece and I just cut them into two inches squares.
Allie had showed us how to eat with the Korean seaweed a few months ago. You put some rice on the seaweed and top it with the omelette or any other meat like Korean beef, etc and eat it just like that. Yup, you use your hands.
Zee made her sons some Indian Fries called Chana Na Bhajia. Chana is a kind of lentils flour. Na Bhajia means the shape of the food which is kind of oval or in a blob.
- 4 medium potatoes
- 4 tablespoons chana flour
- salt and chilli pepper to taste
- about 1 cup of cold water
Click on the link below for instructions.
Zee came to my kitchen to show me how to make a simplified version of samosas. I am going to call it Potato Puffs. We only use potatoes as filings but you can make it with other filings like chicken, beef, fish, etc.
The Potato Puffs is crispy on the outside and the potato filing is soft and of the right spiciness. My family loves it, especially Arkensen. He ate the most of it.
It’s kind of like the curry puffs we find in Malaysia. The difference is that the curry puff in Malaysia is deep fried while the Potato Puffs is oven baked which is more healthy.
- 1 box of puff pastry from the frozen section of the groceries stores where you find pie crust, etc
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 piece cinnamon stick
- 3 black cloves
- 6 whole peppers
- 2 white cardamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley and green chilie paste
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
- salt to taste
- chilie powder to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon crush tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 egg
Click on the link below for instructions.
Shao-Zi Noodles is the second dish which Julie showed us in last week’s cooking club meeting. Julie prepared the dough ahead for making the noodles. She told us she used 4 cups of flour with 1.5 cups of water and some salt (probably 1 teaspoon) to make the dough for the noodle.
The star of this dish is the meat sauce. Julie told us that the meat sauce can be made in big batch and store in the refrigerator for a few days. The noodle dish can be prepared easily using the prepared meat sauce.
- 1 lb Lean ground pork
- 1 lb spiced bean curd, diced in small pieces.
- sweet bean sauce
- soybean paste
- hot bean paste
- soy sauce
- corn starch
- for decoration, thinly sliced carrot, cucumber or celery
Click on the link below for the instructions.
Today’s Community Kitchen cooking class was led by Wonnie. Although Wonnie is a quiet and unassuming person but she led the class well today.
Wonnie made two dishes today. The first dish is Tofu pudding. I had featured the Tofu Pudding recipe in my blog sometime ago and so I would not describe Wonnie’s recipe. Click here for the tofu pudding recipe.
Now, the second dish that Wonnie made was Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice.
The Kimchee and Pork Fried Rice is very appetizing with a mild tanginess and spiciness from the kimchee. We all enjoyed it very much.
- 4 cups cooked rice, preferably overnight rice
- 100g kimchee, shredded
- 100g minced pork
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- dried seaweed shreds
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon oil
Vannessa, the leader of the South Arm Community Centre cooking club, shared with us two recipes this week. Vannessa is originally from Hong Kong. She shared with us Hong Kong Style Fried Rice and a Bake Salmon recipe.
This is the recipe for the Hong Kong Style Fried Rice. Fried rice originates from China and is made typically from cold leftover rice and leftover ingredients. Most regions in China has their own way in making fried rice with the most well known from Fujian and Yanhzhou.
- 3 cups of rice, cooked and left overnight in the refrigerator
- 5 eggs
- a can of pineapple, cut into bite size pieces
- 1/2 cup of green peas, blanched in boiling water
- 1/2 lb BBQ pork, cut into bite size pieces
- Soy sauce and salt to taste
Click on the link below for Cooking Instructions.
Ben started biking to work again having been driving to work for the past three months. He did not say it but I think he’s doing it because of the price of gas these days. Gosh! It is $1.16 per litre today. To think that just a couple of months ago, anything over $1 were considered outrageous.
Anyway, knowing that he would want to carbo-load with his biking and all, I thought I make good old meatball spaghetti. Arkensen and Nanzaro loves that too. I like to add lots of chopped onions and garlic and with liberal sprinkle of Parmesan.
I learned to make spaghetti only when we got to Canada and did it my way. So, I am not very sure if this is the “normal” way spaghetti was made. Let me know if I am doing differently from the way you make it — I would most certainly want to learn from you.
Oh yeah, I like to use Mrs Dash for seasoning. It’s much more healthier using Mrs Dash compared to salt. If you have never tried it, you should check it out. It goes so well with so many types of dishes that you’ll be amazed. Here are the ingredients:
- Frozen Meatballs: I had that box in my fridge for 3 months now. Good to use that today and free up some space in the ice box. I only used half the box … still …
- Mrs Dash for seasoning
- Pasta Sauce
- Spaghettini: I used spaghettini instead of spaghetti; I like the thinner version in spaghettini,
- Parmesan Cheese
In this week’s cooking club at Gilmore Park Church, we had Minoo to sharing with us two recipes. Minoo is the coordinator for the entire Richmond’s Community Kitchens. There are six community kitchens in all Richmond. She is also the group leader for 4 cooking clubs.
By the way, I’m attending 2 cooking clubs, i.e. the South Arm Community Centre cooking club and the Gilmore Park Church cooking club. I look forward going to the club meetings every week — I get learn cooking techniques and best of all made some good friends.
Here is the first recipe, the Persian Rice with green bean.
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 300-500g ground beef
- 2 cups green beans, cut, 1 cm
- 1/2 teaspoons saffron
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 5 1/2oz can of tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
Since everyone at home like Vietnamese Noodle so much, I thought I should try to make it at home. Last month, I went scouring for the ingredients to make the beef broth and found them in a Vietnamese grocery store along Kingsway (near Main). The Beef Flavoured Pho Soup Base costs $8.99 and is used to make 20 bowls of soup!
The soup base had been sitting in the shelf for a long time because according to the cooking instructions, it takes over 2 hrs to make. Along with that, I was mulling over how is the family going to finish off 20 bowls of Pho soup. Anyway, I finally gotten down to making it over the long Easter weekend. I must say it was more successful than I anticipated. The soup was better than any we have tasted in Vietnamese Restaurants … well, according to everyone in my family anyway. We have chunkier meat which we felt tastes better than the thin sliced beef we were served in restaurants.
You know what is the bad thing about this? We have been eating this for three consecutive meals (yesterday’s lunch and dinner and today’s lunch!) and we have quite a bit left! :-) I am certainly going to make it again but I will think of how I am going to give away some to friends.
Here are some interesting facts about Pho on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pho
- 3 – 4 lbs of beef flank (or brisket)
- 1 lb beef tendon — since I could not buy them, I got the marinated/cooked ones from T&T
- 1 bulb onion
- 2 piecese of ginger
I also bought 1/2 lb of beef tripe since Norm and Marc likes them. I also bought 1/2 lb of beef balls.
Please note, you need to have a 2 gallon pot to make the Pho soup.