Sour Cream Biscuit

The Richmond Community Kitchen resumed this week for the fall 2006 session. The Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen had it’s first meeting on Wednesday.

Jean who is the leader of the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen has the honour to be the first to share her recipes. She shared her Sour Cream Biscuit and Apple Cabbage Coleslaw with us.

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The Sour Cream Biscuit is a very simple and quick recipe to prepare. All the ingredients are easily available in our pantry or refrigerator. It took less than 30 minutes from start to end to make it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup raisins (if desired)

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Empire Seafood Restaurant

The Gilmore Church Community Kitchen decided to have a break on the last session of this season before the break for summer holiday. Instead of the regular cooking class, the group went for dim sum at Empire Seafood Restaurant.

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Empire Seafood Restaurant is located next to London Drugs on No. 3 Rd and Westminster Highway. This restaurant offers 20% discount if you place your order before 11:00 am. There are daily specials on discounted price. The restaurant has a menu of 82 items and the price ranges from $2.45 on daily specials to $7.85 per dish. I must say that it is not cheap.

Here are some of the dishes we ordered.

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This is Empire’s specialty dish; baked BBQ pork buns. Regular price is $3.95 but it’s on special today @ $2.45.

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Shao-Zi Noodles

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.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb Lean ground pork
  • 1 lb spiced bean curd, diced in small pieces.
  • sweet bean sauce
  • soybean paste
  • hot bean paste
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • sugar
  • corn starch
  • for decoration, thinly sliced carrot, cucumber or celery

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Pearl Yam Ball

Last week’s cooking class was led by Juile Han. She is another experienced cook and she always shares her Taiwanese recipes in the South Arm Community cooking class.

Juile showed us two dishes, A noodle dish and a snack dish. Here is the snack dish which is called Pearl Yam Balls. I remembered a similar roadside snack which we had in Malaysia that is made from yam and deep fried. I love it and I missed it since I came to Vancouver. Those we found in Malaysia is larger and had more yam in it. Nevertheless, Juile’s version is as good and I’m glad she showed us how to make it.

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Since Ben is having the camera with him while he was in Atlanta last week, I had to borrow another digital camera from my good friend, Rachel. Some of the shots did not turn out right because I’m not familiar with the new camera. Anyway, I’ll try my best to illustrate the process with the photos I had.

Ingredients

  • 1 1b yam
  • 1 packet of glutinous rice flour (about 1 lb)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (depending how sweet you want it)
  • sesame seeds, peanuts and honey for topping.

Click on the following link for the instructions.

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Richmond Community Summer Open House

The Richmond Community Based Programs with includes Community Kitchens, Success by Six and Nobody’s Perfect Programs held a Summer Open House on the 15th June, 2006. There are 2 open houses in a year, once in winter and another in summer.

The guest of honour was the mayor of Richmond, Malcolm Brodie. All the leaders of the community kitchens and volunteers who made this happen were presented with flowers as an appreciation. A big applause for Minoo who is the coordinator of the Richmond Community Kitchens.

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From left: Lancy, Minoo, Julie, Vanessa, Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Tanni.

The high light of the open house is the potluck. Each family brought their favourite dish. There were two long tables setup for the buffet and the tables were full of delicious food.

Here are some of the dishes:

Beef Samosas with some chilli dipping sauce.

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Swiss rolls, I believed this is from Andrea of South Arm Community Kitchen.

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Smoke Salmon appetizer.

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For more pictures, click the link below.

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Pumpkin Tempura

Tempura refers to Japanese classic deep fried batter dipped seafood or vegetables. Common vegetables used are bell peppers, sweet potato, okra, carrot, eggplant, potato, lotus root, cucumber, mushroom, bamboo shoot, zucchini, etc.

Cora made pumpkin tempura in this week’s cooking class. She got some mini pumpkins which is very sweet, almost like sweet potato.

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The pumpkin tempura was awesome and they just disappeared as fast as they came out from the wok.

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Ingredients

  • 1 mini pumpkin, cut into thin slices
  • Tempura mix
  • ice cold water

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Click link below for cooking instructions.

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Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy)

Cora’s second dish is Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy). Sesame balls can be found in many Chinese bakeries. Chinese believe if you eat sesame balls, your fortunes will expand like the dough expands when it fries.

I like Zeen Duy a lot and remember the days in Malaysia where I always stop and buy some when I see it. In Malaysia, they are usually sold at roadside stores. The ones in Malaysia were huge — like 3 inches in diameter. I miss those stuff a lot. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I have tasted sesame seed balls in Canada, although they are served in some dim sum restaurants.

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The Sesame Ball is very light and is practically filled with air on the insides. This is a plain sesame ball but it is also common to have a little bit of fillings of stuff like red bean paste. Anyhow, the plain ones is just as nice because the main flavor of sesame seed is in the crunchiness of the fried sesame seed.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of glutinous rice flour (227g)
  • 2 slabs of brown sugar (peen tong)
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of hot water
  • White sesame seeds for coating
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of sake (Japanese wine); optional

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Sweet and Sour Pork

This week’s cooking club at Gilmore Park Church featured 3 dishes which require deep frying. Cora shared with us Sweet and Sour Pork, Sesame Ball (Zeen Duy) and Pumpkin Tempura.

Cora is a very experienced cook. She demonstrated great skills in the kitchen. I remember she has more than once rescued disasters during our cooking sessions. Cora also loves to share as she always bring dessert for everyone at the cooking club meeting.

I don’t usually like to do deep frying at home. Deep frying, chinese style, makes the entire home smells with an oily odor which sticks for a long time before it clears. Other than that, it’s also a waste of oil because you could only recycle it that certain number of times.

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Anyway, here is Cora’s first dish: Sweet and Sour Pork. Isn’t it pretty? I like the big colorful peppers which makes the dish soooooo inviting.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork butt, cut into cubes, trimming excess fats
  • 3 bell peppers (different colors), cut into diamond shape.
  • 1 can pineapple ring (cut into quarters)

For marination

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • white pepper

For batter

  • 12 tablespoons self rising flour or
  • 12 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons glutinous rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • water

For sauce

  • pineapple juice
  • ketchup
  • white vinegar
  • sugar
  • water

I’m afraid that some of the ingredients do not have the exact amount as Cora cooks by feel and not direct from a recipe. What can I say … she’s an experienced cook.

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Jude’s Date, Nut, Chocolate Chip Cake

This is Minoo’s second recipe which is Jude’s Date, Nut and Chocolate Chip Cake. This is a cake filled with lots of goodies like honey, date, walnut and chocolate chip. This is quite a dense cake and it’s preferably bake in a shallow pan to prevent overbrowning of the edges while the inside is not fully cooked.

I have no idea why this is called Jude’s Cake. I tried googling it but came up with nothing on it at all. Anyone of you out there know why this is called Jude’s Cake? For all I know, Jude might just be someone Minoo knows.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped, pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (whole wheat or half unbleached white)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 to 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Click on the link below for cooking instructions …

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Curried Red Lentil Soup

We were invited to Minoo’s Cooking Class in Caring Place yesterday. Minoo whipped up two dishes, Curried Red Lentil Soup and Jude’s Date, Nut and Chocolate Chip Cake.

Here is the recipe for the first dish, Curried Red Lentil Soup. Lentil is a good substitution for protein for vegetarian eater. Lentil is cheap compare to meat and it’s also high in fiber. It is very filling and yet light to our wallet.

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A bowl of creamy Curried Red Lentil Soup is great on a cold winter day.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red lentils (or any lentil of your preference)
  • 2 quarts water (8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (more, if you like it spicier)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
  • herb salt or salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream or yogurt for garnishing

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