Saturday, August 2, 2014

Refreshed and Recharged: Baked Pork Chops with Piquant Sauce

Things got the better of me. I remembered reading an article some time ago about the struggles of women in their thirties. At that age, demands from family, career, health and social life are overwhelming. To add on, there is that need to create self identity and life purpose. Well, I admit I was torn and did not know how to manage. 

I must say it is through the people around me who showed me that I have stopped doing what I love most. That is to share my passion of food with others. Though I was still cooking and messing around in the kitchen, I haven't been trying out new recipes and sharing my experience with others. To refresh my food journey, I took a step back and asked myself what does food means to me and what am I advocating. Tough questions. Today, I think I know where I am heading to. 

As food technologies get more advanced, we do not realise that we are eating food that our body are not designed to break down. Because processed food is cheap and easy to prepare, we access them easily without any idea what goes into them. I think it is time that we be more informed of what we eat, stop consuming processed food and appreciate the goodness of real food. There is so much nutrients from fresh foods which we deserve. 

I hope I can share with you cooking real food with easy-to-follow and tested recipes. In this blog, I invite you to join me.  

Here's a simple recipe to start. If you have 30 minutes to prepare a quick, healthy dinner to impress your friends or family, here's the answer. You may ask for a lean cut of Pork chops from your butcher. What I like about this recipe is that the sauce is simple to make and goes very well with the pork chops. In addition, it keeps the kitchen clean. 

Baked Pork Chops with Piquant Sauce 
Ingredients

  • 4 Pork Chops, about 250g each 
  • 5 sprigs of Thyme 
  • 3 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • Sea salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Sauce

  • 1 large Yellow Onion, peel and diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 Red Chili, seeded and diced
  • 200g Cremini Mushrooms,  thinly sliced
  • 1 can (398g) Chopped Tomatoes
  • Sea salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Caster Sugar
  • Olive Oil

























Steps:

  1. Heat the oven (fan assisted) to 210 degree Celsius. 
  2. Lined the pork chops on a lightly oiled a baking tray. 
  3. Sprinkle thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper over the pork chops. 
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.  
  5. While baking the pork chops, prepare the sauce. 
  6. In a heated pan, add 3 tbsp of olive oil. Add in onions, red peppers, chili and mushrooms. Stir over high heat for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add in tomatoes and 1/3 cup of water. 
  8. Add in seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes at low heat. 
  9. The sauce would have thickened. Adjust seasoning to your preference. 
  10. Remove pork chops from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. 
  11. You may add the pan juices to the sauce and simmer for another 3 minutes. 
  12. Plate the pork chops with sauce to serve. 






This recipe is adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food. This book is given by my hubby as our anniversary gift while we were in the states recently. The pictures taken here are also taken by him. Thank you!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rethinking...

After blogging in this space for some years, I am reflecting on my role here. I think there is a bigger calling to narrow a more specific area I would like to advocate. 

Over time, I am more conscious on my food options. I am still exploring and thinking about how I can share my passion with you.  

Love to hear from you and I will update you soon. :) 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Turducken Rolls for Thanksgiving

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. 







Ingredients
  • 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
  • Paprika
  • Cooking oil
  • String to tie 




Steps:
  1. Remove the meat from the sausage casing. Set aside in a bowl. 
  2. Pat dry the meat. 
  3. Lay a cellophane sheet on a chopping board. 
  4. Lay the turkey breast on the cellophane sheet. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. 
  5. 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. 
  6. Next, place a strip of duck on top of the chicken fillet. 
  7. Lay some of the sausage meat on top of the duck. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  8. 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. 
  9. Repeat steps 3-8 for the rest of the meat. 
  10. Remove from fridge. 
  11. Remove the cellophane sheet from the meat. The shape of the roll should stay. 
  12. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika. 
  13. Wrap the rolls with Prosciutto and carefully tie the roll using the string. 
  14. 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. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Cookies Swap: Brown Sugar Mixed Nuts Cookies

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+ food communities 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)
Steps: 

  1. Using a electric mixer, cream the butter with sugar.
  2. Add in egg and vanilla paste. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt together. 
  4. Add into the liquid mixer and mix well. 
  5. Remove the cookie dough from mixer.
  6. Lay a piece of cellophane sheet on the table, place the dough on top. Shape the dough into rectangle block. 
  7. Wrap it with the sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  8. After it is hardened, remove from plastic. Slice the dough into 0.8 cm thick slices. 
  9. In a preheated oven of 170 degree celsius, bake the cookies on a cookie sheet for 12 minutes.