I was fortunate to live in a another country for a good period of time where I could immerse into the local culture and get to know the people living there. Two years ago, we got invited to a friend's house to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. We drove for about five hours from Boston to New Jersey in the cold morning. It was quite an interesting ride because it was a first for us to drive from state to state in the United States. :P The invitation to the Thanksgiving dinner was a game changer for us. It showed us traditions of a different culture and my hubby and I were delighted with the idea of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. We loved it so much that we decided we will have our own every year. Although we are not farmers, I believe 'harvest' is basically means everything we reap from what we sow. On this festival, we would like to invite our families over to spend sometime together and to enjoy what we had in New Jersey "Turducken". It is a roasted dish made from Turkey, duck, chicken and fillings. I had the real thing in the states but I think I needed courage to duplicate the same thing here so I opted for a simplified version, Turducken rolls.
2 pieces of Chicken Breast, thin fillets
3 pieces of Turkey Breast fillet
1 piece of Duck Breast, cut into 3 strips
2 pieces of Italian sausages
8 slices of Prosciutto/ Parma Ham
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
String to tie
Remove the meat from the sausage casing. Set aside in a bowl.
Pat dry the meat.
Lay a cellophane sheet on a chopping board.
Lay the turkey breast on the cellophane sheet. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
Lay the chicken fillet on top of the turkey fillet. The chicken should no bigger than 2/3 of the turkey. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
Next, place a strip of duck on top of the chicken fillet.
Lay some of the sausage meat on top of the duck. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roll the meat with the help of the cellophane sheet. Tighten it like a sweet wrapper. Let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
Repeat steps 3-8 for the rest of the meat.
Remove from fridge.
Remove the cellophane sheet from the meat. The shape of the roll should stay.
Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika.
Wrap the rolls with Prosciutto and carefully tie the roll using the string.
In a heated oven of 160 degree celsius, bake the rolls for about 30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the rolls) or juices run clear.
To me, Christmas is a season of giving and sharing. It is a time to connect with old friends and make new ones. It is also to welcome the new year with positivity, love and care. With this day and age, one way to make new friends is to participate in online communities where people of same interest share their passion and interest. I have been lurking in a few google+ foodcommunities and recently I got pretty excited over the Xmas Cookies exchange. I have participated in Cookies Swap with Boston Food Swap when I was on Boston a couple of years ago and I love it very much. I lament that why can't Singapore have something like that. I tried but it is not easy. If you are interested to start a food swap in Singapore with me, please please connect with me. As I was saying about the Xmas Cookies exchange on google+ community, I joined and got paired up with someone staying in Singapore too. I was happy to receive my cookies with my swap pal and I started cracking my brain to think of cookies that she would like. As you may have experienced that anxiety makes things worse, I witnessed 2 failed recipes. I wanted to make almond cloud cookies but somehow I think the almond paste I have gotten has different consistency or maybe the eggs I used were humongous. Also, I attempted the coffee kalua cookies and it was also a failure because I replaced the requested shortening to butter... and my piped cookies melted flat. That is me to blame despite knowing that the two has different melting points! Finally, I picked a butter cookie recipe and made some adjustments to it.
Recipe (About 25 pieces) Ingredients:
65g Unsalted Butter,softened
40g Brown Sugar
10g Caster Sugar
30g Whole egg, lightly beaten
170g All purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste
1/4 tsp Salt
80g Mixed nuts, chopped (e.g. Walnuts, almonds, pine nuts)
Using a electric mixer, cream the butter with sugar.
Add in egg and vanilla paste.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt together.
Add into the liquid mixer and mix well.
Remove the cookie dough from mixer.
Lay a piece of cellophane sheet on the table, place the dough on top. Shape the dough into rectangle block.
Wrap it with the sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.
After it is hardened, remove from plastic. Slice the dough into 0.8 cm thick slices.
In a preheated oven of 170 degree celsius, bake the cookies on a cookie sheet for 12 minutes.
Do you believe in blood type diet? I came upon this concept a few years again and I was intrigued that different blood type has specific dietary recommendations to promote better health. Dr. Peter D'Adamo defines Blood group O as hunter, Blood group A as cultivator, Blood group B as Nomad and Blood group AB as Enigma. Being a 'hunter', my recommended diet should contain high animal protein food such as seafood and red meat, and avoid dairy, gluten and legumes. I am so so happy to hear that because that is what I like and dislike.
Prawns have been my favourite food for the longest time. Knowing its high cholesterol content, it has made me reduce my intake. Good fresh prawns should come with firmly attached head and clear sparkling looking shells. If you do not have access to fresh prawns, frozen ones are fine too but thaw them according to the recommendations reflected on the packaging.
I came upon this recipe and made it for two consecutive days. I am so in love with the crispiness and sweetness of the prawns. You should give it a go. It is easy to make and easy to please your family. Recipe for 12 Prawns Ingredients A) Prawns preparations
12 Large prawns, shelled with tail attached and slit the back of the prawn to form a butterfly
2 tbsp of Wheat flour
1 tsp Salt
2 cups of Water
Prepare the prawns.
Mix salt with water and rinse the prawns in it.
Coat the prawns with flour. Set aside.
3/4 cup of Wheat Flour
1/4 cup of Tapioca Flour
1 tsp of Baking Powder
1/4 tsp of Salt
1/4 tsp of Sugar
Approx 1 Cup Iced Water
Cooking oil for frying
Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Add the iced water slowly until a batter is formed.
Coat the prawns with batter one at a time . Fry the prawns immediately in a saucepan of heated oil. Remove prawns when the batter turns golden brown. Drain with paper kitchen towels.
Tips for frying How do you know that your oil is heated enough for frying? What I normally do is that I use a wooden chopstick and if you see the bubbles form around the chopstick. If there are, it means you are ready. But also make sure your oil is not smoking hot!