Hamburger Soup

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors met again for more fun time cooking some wonderful recipes. For this week’s menu, Charlene prepared four recipes. The first recipe is Hamburger Soup, adapted from


The Hamburger Soup can be cooked on the stove top or in a slow cooker.  This soup freezes extremely well.  Simply ladle it into small plastic containers, label and freeze for up to 3 months.

Paul and Chris worked on this recipe.  Chris is no stranger to this recipe as she often makes this soup at home.


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 x 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cans beef consommé soup (or beef broth)
  • 4 carrots, chopped fine
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • parsley for garnishing
  • salt and pepper to taste



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Pork Jowl (Pork Cheek) Char Siu

Pork Jowl is the cheek cut off the face of a pig, hence it is also called Pork Cheek.  It is rich with plentiful amounts of fat with a few layers of meat. It is expensive because each head only yields a small amount of pork cheek. I saw the butcher trimmed off the pork jowl on the spot.  I bought the following pork cheek at a butcher at $8.80 per pound.


I marinated the pork jowl overnight with a lemon grass sauce which I bought from the butcher place too.  The Lemon Grass Sauce is good with chicken or pork.  I used it to marinate pork chop or boneless chicken leg which I pan fried them.   Nanzaro loves the pan fry boneless chicken leg marinated in lemon grass sauce.


Since the pork jowl is very thin, it’s takes very little time to pan fry them in medium heat.  You can use an indoor grill to grill them too.


Although the pork cheek is fatty, it has a springy texture.  The lightly charred and caramelized part is the best. (more…)

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Crispy Fried Chicken

This recipe is taken from an old recipe book titled Mrs. Lee’s Cookbook.  It’s a gift from a friend who bought this from a garage sales long time ago.  I made this only once in a blue moon just because Ben and the kids love fried chicken.  I do not like the oily smell that lingers in my apartment after deep frying.


On top of that, I think dumping the oil into the garbage is not very environmentally friendly.  I usually store away the cooled oil in a glass container and dispose it in the normal garbage bin.  Is there a better way to dispose off used oil?  I know that restaurants have special disposable bins for grease.


  • 1 chicken (about 2 1/2 lbs), cut into pieces & marinated & kneaded with the following:
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese wine or sherry
  • 6 tablespoons water

Sweet potato flour for coating before frying.  You may use cornflour but I find that sweet potato flour gives a more crispy texture.  Click on more for the instructions. (more…)

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Claypot Rice with Minced Pork and Salted Egg Yolk

My family likes claypot rice.  We always order claypot rice when we are in a Chinese restaurant or dim sum place like the following:


This is my take of Claypot Rice with Minced Pork and Salted Egg Yolk.  We had this in Hot Pot One and we found that the salted egg yolk’s taste and texture complements the minced pork very well.  It’s something different from the regular combination of minced pork with salted fish.


  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups long grain rice (I meant measuring cup for rice)
  • 3/4 to 1 lb minced pork
  • 2 salted egg yolk, cut into half
  • bak choy

Marinate for pork:

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • drizzle of sesame oil

Sauce for rice:

  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 drops of sesame oil



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Old Fashioned Beef Stew Recipe for Slow Cooker

For those of you of follow chowtimes, I’m sure you’ll know me well enough that I try not to use the oven in summer.  It’s hot enough already and we do not need the extra heat from the oven.  I made this Old Fashioned Beef Stew using the slow cooker.


I find that this beef stew is slightly on the tangy side.  We are not so fond of tangy meat but I’m ok with tangy dessert.  The next time I’m going to make this again, I will omit the lemon juice.  This is a very hearty meal.


The main reason I made this beef stew is I found a great deal for eye of round roast at Save-On-Foods.  This 2.6kg piece of meat only cost $11.42.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pounds lean stew beef
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth or bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I think I will omit this next time)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 carrots, cut in pieces
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup cold water blended with 3 tablespoons flour for thickening (I find it not necessary)



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Island Pork Tenderloin

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors celebrated the month of June with a theme of salad.  There are 5 salad recipes in this meeting.  In view of the number of salad we had, Charlene decided to cut short this original recipe of Island Pork Tenderloin Salad to just the tenderloin part only.

Sdyney and Lorna partnered up to make this dish.


This Island Pork Tenderloin is adapted from Gourmet.  It’s a main course and it serves 6 to 8.  Charlene loves this recipe and whenever there is a sales for tenderloin, she will make this Island Pork Tenderloin.  You can store the cooked tenderloin in the fridge for up to 5 days and it’s good with sandwiches or wraps.

  • 2 pork tenderloin (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Spice Rub:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco


P/S: the Dijon mustard is not supposed to be in the photo above.


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Star Anise Chicken

In the South Arm Community Kitchen, Jane Duo made a Chinese chicken dish.  She calls it special chicken but I think it’s more proper to call ti Star Anise Chicken.  We decided to make some Chinese food upon the request of Blanca and other non Chinese members.   They specifically requested to learn how to stir fry bok choy which I will cover later.


This Star Anise Chicken is another very homey Chinese chicken dish.  It is flavours with star anise, ginger, soy sauce and sugar.


  • A whole chicken, cut into pieces or just drumsticks or wings.
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inches ginger, sliced
  • 4 star anise
  • salt to taste
  • soy sauce
  • cooking wine
  • sesame oil


Jane pre-marinated the chicken with some soy sauce, cooking wine and sesame oil.


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Mini Empanadas

Christina and Stella were assigned to this recipe, Mini Empanadas. However, everyone lends their helping hands when it comes to forming the Mini Empanadas. This recipe is adapted from Southern Living.  It yields 36 tiny empanadas.


These little Latin-inspired Mini Empanadas are irresistible right out of the oven.  They’re are incredibly low in fat because they’re baked, not deep fried and yet they are crispy.  The raisins add a touch of sweetness to these empanadas.


  • 8 oz skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 4 pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • water
  • vegetable cooking spray, or oil
  • 1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 36 (3-inch) square wonton wrappers
  • salt to taste



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Easy Butter Chicken

I’m so behind my Community Kitchen posts due to the done time.

The South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors celebrated the Vasakhi in the month of April by making an Indian Feast. Vasakhi (or Vaisakhi) is an ancient harvest festival in Punjab. It also marks the beginning of a new solar year, and new harvest season.

Joyce and Sydney partnered again to make this Easy Butter Chicken.


Charlene prepared a menu of Indian feast which consist of Butter Chicken, Roti, Okra Sabzi and a Samosa style Potatoes and Peas side dish. It was a wonderful meal.


Stella decorated the dining table with the colours of the India flag. The setting adds festivities to the Vasakhi festival. Even the flowers are of the same colour, how thoughtful.


The South Arm Cooking Club for seniors also had another thing to celebrate on that day.  They had a few minutes of fame on TV as the senior’s kitchen was filmed and interviewed by the Shaw crews.  The seniors kitchen was featured on the Shaw program ”Express’ on the weekend of May 1.  Unfortunately, I could not get a copy of the program to show it here.

This recipe is adapted from and Tahera Rawji and it serves 6.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup plan yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayene pepper


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts, ground in a food processor (optional)


Here is an excerpt from ‘The Spice of Life’ on cumin shared by Stella:

Cumin is the seed of a small plant related to parsley but found in hot climates, especially North Africa, India and the Americas.  The seeds are boat-shaped and resemble caraway seeds, but are lighter in colour and have tiny bristles.  They should be roasted before being ground, but can then be used to spice up a whole range of dishes including curries, stews and rills.  Cumin is very commonly used in Mexican, Spanish, Indian or Middle Eastern cooking.  A word of warning, however, go easy on cumin as half a teaspoon is ample for a family of four.

Cumin has long been believed to help people suffering from disorders of the digestive tract including heartburn, nausea and diarrhea, probably due to its stimulating the production of pancreatic enzymes.  Cumin is also believed to have important anti-cancer properties, due to its ability to neutralize cancer-causing “free-radicals” and by enhancing the liver’s detoxification enzymes.


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Turkey Black Bean Chili

Minoo made a Turkey Black Bean Chili in the South Arm Community Kitchen. I had blogged about 3 other chili recipes here:


Chili is a very versatile dish. You can serve it on it’s own or serve it with bread, noodles or rice. It’s an almost complete meal by itself as it has protein from the meat and beans, and fiber and vitamins from all the vegetables in it.

You can double the recipe to freeze the leftovers in single portion containers or ziplock bags for days that you dont feel like cooking. Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on low heat on the stove.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (28oz/796ml) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (19oz/540ml) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small zucchini, cubed
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh coriander or parsley
  • sour cream and sliced jalapeno peppers (optional)


This recipe is adapted from Canadian Living.


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