Sunday, October 28, 2012

Egg Custard in Squash

Sung Ka Ya Fugtong

This year, the hype for Halloween around the East coast is subdued by the coming of hurricane Sandy. This is going to be my first major storm to be experiencing. In my life time, somehow, I always miss all the storms happened in my path. When Irene hit last year, I was back in Thailand for grandma's funeral. So, this is it, and I don't know what to expect.

Well, what ever is going to happen, we are going to deal with it, and we've been prepared. I've stock up some cooked foods, and yes, desserts.

This is my Stormy Halloween dessert, the Egg Custard in Squash. It is a very common dessert in Thailand, where Kabocha squash are grown widely. They can be made into a yummy meal and delicious desserts.

Easy prep!

-1 one small kabocha squash, 1 1/2 lb. Clean and cut the top off as in the picture, scrape off all the seeds.
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup palm sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 3 fresh or frozen pandan leaves (if you can't find them, use 1 tsp. of vanilla extract)

Set up the steamer

1. Fill the steamer with water - enough water for steaming up to 1 hr.- put it to a full boil.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix eggs, coconut milk, palm sugar and salt together, add pandan leaves and use your hand to squeeze the pandan leaves as well as to mix all ingredients together at the same time to incorporate.

*If not using pandan leaves, just add the vanilla extract and mix all ingredients with a whisk until incorporate.*

3. Filter out the mixing, and pour into the prepared squash.
4. place the squash and the carved out lid in the steamer - steam them for 45 min. - don't you dare to peek, it might cause the squash to break when opening the steamer.
5. After 45 min. open the steamer and use a fork to test if the squash is cooked through, the fork should go inside the squash and come out with no force.

Let the squash cool down completely before cut and serve.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lard-Na Noodle

The word Lard Na in this dish means to top on, so basically it's the noodle topped with stew-like kind of sauce.

It's a great dish to serve the whole family without breaking too much sweat in the kitchen, and it's so versatile that you can use any kind of noodles you love with this sauce - it's sort of the same idea of making pasta.

I love to make the sauce in advance, mostly Friday night, and just heat it up the next Saturday and Sunday as our lunch or even dinner sometimes, so I don't have to spend most of my summer weekend in the kitchen and rather running around out side.

The authenticity of this noodle is the stir-fried noodle topped with pork and Chinese broccoli in a stew-like sauce, no other meats or vegetable will be added. I would say the pork is the creme de la creme of this noodle dish. To some Thai people, to judge what store has the best Lard-na noodle is mostly judged by how they make the pork. Pork should have taste succulent - almost melt in your mouth, and also has a taste of smoke or slightly burning smell when you taste the noodle, which means they know how to properly stir-fire the noodle to get the burning smell, but the noodle still isn't burned, which requires a personal technique and some experiences to come up with the perfect stir fired noodle and yummy Lard-Na sauce.

In my version of homemade Lard-Na noodle, I don't have a niche to get a perfect burning smell of  stir-fired noodle because of many reason such as finding the right broad rice noodle, the right wok, and the right heat - I have none of the above....but hey! pork has its call, at least.

- 1 cups of thinly sliced pork, or your meat of choice or tofu if you want to go veggie.
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. corn strach

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a bowl, cover it up and let them marinate in the fridge over night. If you choose to go with tofu, skip the marinate part.

The sauce
- Marinated pork
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
- Chinese broccoli, cut into small bite - as much as you like.
- 1/2 cup, canned bamboo shoots
- 1/2 cup, canned or fresh baby corns
- 2 tbsp. of fermented black soy bean
- 2 tbsp. of sugar
- 3 tbsp. of corn strach, mixed with 3 tbsp. of water
- 2 tbsp, saute oil

Making the sauce

1. In a sauce pan with saute oil, add garlic and marinated pork, saute until the pink disappear then add water.

2. leave it  to a  boil, and later lower the  heat to medium low, let it simmering for about 5 minute.
3. Add all vegetables and start seasoning with fermented soy bean, sugar and taste it. If you need more salty taste, add a pinch of salt.

Serving : Heat up the noodle, and top with the sauce. As always, you can still season your noodle at the table before eating, if you like, with vinegar, sugar and fish sauce or soy  sauce.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Brunch at ABC's Kitchen

After our last get together for brunch - two months ago - our lovely foodie friend, Grimm, suggested that we should do it again, next time at ABC's kitchen, and she made the reservation right after that.

I've heard about the ABC's kitchen a while ago, watched the first introduced to the public, the interview of Paulette Cole, ABC Home CEO & Creative Director, about the idea of starting the restaurant right inside the ABC home furnishing building- across from the ABC home carpets- , and I didn't pay much attention to it.

To me, the ABC is the place I love to go browsing around, enjoying looking at their home furnishing collections, and the place where we buy our carpet, and never bother to stop and check out the restaurant located down to the back of the home furnishing store.

When Grimm suggested that the ABC's kitchen should be the next our get-together, I agreed. So we will get the taste of chef Jean-Georges and enjoy all the unique light fixtures and the table wears at the same time.

Turkey sandwich and fried

 Smoked salmon topped over crispy mashed potato.

We didn't go with the full course, which would have been too much food for us judging from the portion they serve. As always, we ordered different plates, and we got to taste a bit of each other, we love them all. They are tasty, and it's worth to come back for other plates I have my eyes on - like crispy shrimp salad I saw from the table next to our table.

 ABC's Sundae

At the end, we washed it down with the famous ABC's Sundae, which made my generous sweet tooth stays sweet for the next whole month.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Easy Chicken Stew-y Over Rice

Kao Rard Na Gai

It was a cloudy Sunday that we didn't feel like going out, just wanted to make it an easy at home kind of day, and that also mean making an easy food for the whole day as well.

So I decided to go with what we call a single dish ( Ar-Han-Jarn-Deaw)  in Thailand, when everything is put together in one plate or bowl, including rice, and are served in one single dish,  instead of an a la cart style, which is a common table for Thai dining.

Kao Rard Na Gai is a kid friendly kind of food -as well as for the grown-up like my hubby- the taste is light and comforting, and the important thing is it's so easy to make - nothing's complicated at all

Light shopping
- 1 nice size chicken breast, cut into small pieces.
- 1 cup bamboo shoot in a can, leave out the juice.
- 1/2 can of baby corn, cut into a bite size.
- mushroom, as much as you love them.
- a handful or more of green onion, cut into 1inch long.
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed.

- 2 tbsp. saute oil
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce ( if you prefer soy sauce, add sugar and a bit of salt for more round taste)
- chicken stock, as much as just to cover all the ingredients.
- a pinch of ground pepper.
- 1/4 cup corn starch mixed with water, make it a bit watery batter.

10 Minutes Done!

1. In a hot pan with saute oil, add garlic and saute until fragrant then add chicken, saute until all the pink meat have gone.

2. Add bamboo shoots, baby corns and chicken stock just to cover the ingredients. Let it reaches a full boil.

3. Add mushroom and start seasoning with oyster sauce (or soy sauce, sugar, salt). Turn the heat to medium, let it simmer for 3 minutes.

4. In goes, corn starch mixed (stir it up, if the starch is separated from the water)  little by little pour the batter into the pot as well as keep stirring so that the starch doesn't get into  lumpy. The sauce should have a stew-like consistency, you can add more corn starch mixed with water if the sauce's still too watery.

5. Taste it!...and adjust the taste if you like, and then add green onion, ground pepper, stir them together. Turn off the heat.

6. Serve it over steamed rice, and that's how we call a single dish..

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Toys, Tamagoyaki Pan and Tempura Flyer Pan

I love eating egg rolls and tempura. Today I went to a Japanese grocery tempting to buy a magazine, I ended up came home with these two pans instead. Can't wait to get my hands on them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Sweet Valen-Pie

Let's make everyday a Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

First, The Maca-Wrong, then later My First French Macarons.

Then, the Maca-Wrong

I've never paid much attention to these pretty pastel color French cookies before, it's never been in my baking desire, I don't know why, even though I've seen them everywhere around NYC, until one day I happened to read the ingredients of the Macarons, and thought, "Is that IT?...only three major ingredients - almond powder, egg white and powdered sugar?.....Well!, that sounds easY!

Without any much thought, and know-how, I went on making them with those 1-2-3 steps basic how-to, and Bamm! I got the Maca-wrong instead of French Macarons.

Now that, the Macarons

Those Maca-Wrong sent me back to sitting in front of the computer with the little voice in my head "Who are you, Macarons??" I started spending times searching and reading more about making the Macarons including all of those the Facts and the Myths about making them along the way, and gave it a try one more time.

By searching, I found BraveTart the oh-so-inspired pastry blog run by Stella and friends. Stella' s blog fills with many yummy and beautiful pictures of Macarons she made, in that, there is the interesting article she wrote, about the Macarons Myths that made me go back to the kitchen, and whipped my first French Macrons, three days later after my first Maca-Wrong. 

As you can see, they turned out not too bad compares to the first Maca-Wrong, well, actually, it might not be that " professionally-perfect ", but, at least I now know what I did wrong at the first time.

I'll be making them again soon because I'm now hooked by them already.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lotus Roots Soup With Baby Pork Ribs

Noom mentioned that he missed the caramelized lotus roots his mom used to make as a summer dessert when he was young, they are super delicious eating with ice cream.

Lucky Noom!, there are a lot of lotus roots coming out on the vegetable stalls in Chinatown during this time, but, since the weather outside isn't 80F, instead of caramelized lotus roots with ice cream, let's have a warm delicious soup with sweet fragrant of Chinese herbs and tender baby pork ribs better.

Lotus roots are consumed in most Asian countries with different ways of cooking in their own regions. This time I slow cooked them with some Chinese herbs with the names I couldn't pronounce, really, I only know them by the shapes and smells.

These good and weird looking roots have good health benefits, containing much iron, vitamins B & C. and lots of fiber content that help relieves constipation. In Thailand we also made them into dessert and a cool drink to cool down the body temperature.

- 1 lb. baby pork ribs
- 2 lotus roots
- Shiitake mushroom
- 2 cilantro roots
- Mixed Chinese herbs

- 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar

The set of Chinese herbs I use for the soup.

Just two pieces of each and a handful of Goji berries goes along way. They give a very sweet smell, and your body will love them.

1. Marinate the pork ribs with oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar for 15 minutes.
2. Clean all lotus roots, peel the skin off, cut into 1/4" thick, and rinse one more time.
3. Put baby pork ribs, lotus roots, Chinese herbs, cilantro roots into a pot, covered with water, bring to a full boil.
4. Reduce the heat to low, add shiitake mushroom, and let it simmer for 1 hr. - keep skimming out the oil foam floating on the surface.
5. Taste the soup,  if desired, season it with a bit of soy sauce, check the ribs, they should be tender - almost melt in your mouth.
6 Turn of the heat and enjoy, to this point your house will be filled with a light sweet smell, just like what you get from lotus flower.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Steamed Pompano Fish With Soy Sauce

Pla Nueng See-Ew

Recently I only cook one time a day, which is normally dinner, and then the leftover will be reheated for lunch the next day. So, most of my foods haven't met the natural light for me to have fun  photographing them anymore.

This delicious steamed Pompano with soy sauce, fresh ginger and shredded scallion was also our dinner, and was taken in a kitchen light, it might not produce a salivated pictures, but it's a great fish dish I so want to share, so let's go along with the fake light for a while.

It is such a light and good dish for dinner with easy preparation and takes about 20 minute steaming - depends on size of the fish, but, most of the time 20 minutes will do just fine.


- one good size fresh Pompano fish, cleaned.
- 8 spring onion, cut off the green part and save them for other cooking use, use a knife or folk to shred the white part spring onion
- 1 cup, julienne fresh ginger.
- 1/4 julienne red chilli for some colors (I didn't have them this time, so I left out.)

Sauce ingredients
- 1 cup stock
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. Mirin wine
- 1 tbsp. white pepper powder

Preheat a steamer, have it ready to steam the fish.
1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together, set aside.
2. Put half of the ginger and scallion on the plate as the base then put the fish on top.
3. Pour all the mixing sauce on to the fish, topped with the rest of the ginger and scallion, and send them to a steamer.
4. Steam for 20 minutes, use a fork to check if the fish cooked through. Turn off the heat. Serve.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thai Little Egg Cake

Kanom Kai

Once we have been bombarded with the luxuries for the extended period of times we tend to crave for the simpleness as an antidote. Just like making this our childhood tiny yummy "cake" Thai call ka-noom-kai ( ka-nom=dessert, kai=eggs) to offset the "In The Moment" sumptuous desserts found around here in NYC, and that, my husband asked for kanoom kai instead of cupcakes lately.

I don't know if these Thai dessert could be fit into Western cake category....there is no butter or any shortening nor baking soda in the batch, just tiny air bubble beaten into the eggs that do the rising.

Originally, they are not oven-baked, which is how most Thai desserts are made, I believe these dessert is one of the Portuguese influence, since there are eggs in it, again, traditionally Thai desserts don't have eggs as recipes. That's why some people also call them Kanom Farang, which is what we call the people who comes from the West since the colonial times.

How they are made is to slowly bake them in a preheat brass mold set over an open fire charcoal stove with low heat until they start to rise and are golden crisp giving a texture of cookie-crisp at the outside and cakely soft at the inside.

Since I have to baked them in the oven, the end result wasn't that perfect as the authentic way of making them, but it's good enough to tame our craving for things from our home country.

Make 48 pieces mini muffin size.

- 1 1/2 Cake flour
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- butter for the pan

1. Preheat the oven at 350F, butter 2 mini muffin pans, set a side.
2. In electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggs until fluffy.
3. Gradually add sugar, and continue beating until the batter turns white at the soft peak.
4. Turn the speed to low, add flour ( divide it to tree times adding) mix the flour just to incorporate, do not over beat it. Turn the machine off.
5 Spoon the batter to the mold, 1/4 inch to the rim of the mold.
6. Bake for 12 minutes or more, use the toothpick to test if they are done.
7. Unmold. These egg cakes are more delicious when eat right away after bringing out of the oven.
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