Apr 30, 2011

Weekend Brunch Twist - Rotisserie Chicken, Strawberry, and Ricotta Croissant Sandwich

I'll be off to my road trip to Monterey, CA in a bit,
But before my weekend begins, let me show you this easy recipe that not only help in cleaning out leftover rotisserie chicken, but can also be done in less than 10 minutes!

*So you get more time enjoying the weekend free time strolling down the beach, climbing that little hill, or the best of all, sleeping in instead of figuring out what to cook for the family!

Rotisserie chicken, strawberry, and ricotta croissant sandwich -

Ingredients (for 2)?

2 plain croissants
4 large strawberries (and maybe a few more to munch on the side)
Some leftover rotisserie chicken
Some ricotta cheese
Some walnuts
Some honey


Strawberry is our key ingredient here -

Rinse the fruit and pat dry, cut into thin slices.

Cut the croissant in half so we can make a sandwich out of it,
For the rotisserie chicken, cut the leftover meat into smaller pieces so it'll fit perfectly on our croissant.
Ready to assemble?

Take the halved croissant,
Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese over and line the sliced strawberries on top -

Put the chicken pieces over the strawberry slices,
Sprinkle the walnuts (even better with toasted walnuts) and drizzle some quality honey -

Lastly, put the other half of the croissant over to make a sandwich,
Voila -

Here it goes your no hassle weekend brunch,
Off I go to Monterey!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Apr 25, 2011

Boiled Artichoke with Sea Salt and Clarified Butter

I have never cooked artichoke in my life,
Look at the shape of this thing, doesn't that intimidate you? You might get cuts just by handling it!

And how in the world do you prepare this spiny ball of vegetable?
Is it even reasonable to buy something that takes so much effort just for that tiny little bit of edible part in the center?

One more point, which might be the most important reason of all, artichokes can get quite expensive compared to other greens.
This little guy costs me $2. I can buy at least 10 sticks of carrot with that money.

But my little experimental heart just can't stop me from shuffling one artichoke into my grocery bag,
Tonight, this spiny monster shall be dissected and history shall be made.

Boiled artichoke with sea salt and clarified butter -


1 big artichoke
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Some sea salt
Some olive oil


Clean the artichoke thoroughly and wipe out the water,
Cut off the stem and the outer tougher part.

For the main artichoke section, cut about 1.5 inch off the top,
Trim the sharp leaf tips with scissor,
Once done, it should look something like this (pardon the semi-messy work here, it's only my first time battling with artichoke) -

Bring a deep pot of water to a boil,
Drizzle some olive oil and toss in few pinches of sea salt,
Transfer the artichoke and the stem into the pot, cover with lid and turn to medium heat,
Just let it simmer for about 40 to 50 minutes depending on the size of your green monster,
Mine is fairly big and it took about 47 minutes.

Once done, remove the artichoke from the pot and let it sit upside down for couple minutes in order to drain out the water in between the leaves.
Cut it in half and spoon out the fury part,
You don't wanna get choked over this throat poking little monsters.

As for the sauce,
Mustard mayonnaise was my first option but later found out there's no premade mayo at home, and I was definitely not in the mood whisking eggs like crazy just for that small bowl of homemade mayo,
What would be my next option then?
Clarified butter it is.

Simply melt the butter with low heat,
Turn off the heat once the butter is fully melted,
Scoop out the floating foam and let the butter cool down for about 5 minutes,
After that, pour the butter into your serving container, discard the bottom semi-solid bits and scoop out more foam if there's any.

Sprinkle some good quality sea salt all over the artichoke while it's still hot,
To eat this weird thing, just pull out the leaf, dip the end with some butter and scrape the edible part with your teeth,
The entire center area is also edible,
Not so sure where to start your first bite?
Trust me, once this veggie is in your mouth, you'll know which part is edible and which is not.

For the stem, peel off the darker green part on the outside and eat the lighter colored section only.

It's been a tough battle considering the time and effort put into this one tiny dish,
But I'm alright! There's not a single battle wound from messing with that monster's spiny scales,
Victory shall be mine!

Cindy's Rating: 6 (I can sense a better artichoke in the near future)

Apr 18, 2011

Luscious Oily Date with Ponzu and Garlic Steak

Who said oily food is bad for you?
On the other hand, I'm totally opt for submerging in luscious beefy fat and butter...well...maybe not every week, but at least once a month!

Here's my luscious oily date with ponzu and garlic steak -

Ingredients (for 2)?

2 large rib eye steak
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of ponzu soy sauce
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic
Some freshly ground black pepper
Some sea salt


This is actually a semi-repost from my previous ponzu steak recipe back in early 2009,
As time goes by, there's a slight change of my original recipe, and of course the picture quality got a wee bit better,
So here it is, an improvised version for my very first ponzu and garlic steak.

Keep the steak in room temperature at 10 minutes before cooking,
Sprinkle both sides with some salt and pepper -

I got these babies for less than $4 each, what a bargain -

Peel the garlic and finely dice them, set aside for later use.

Drizzle some olive oil and add 1 tablespoon of butter into a big pan,
I didn't have access with my regular steak grill so I had to use a non-stick pan instead,
Not a perfect choice for making the steak sauce after searing the meat,
But hey, at least I got a good size pan to work with.

Wait till the oil gets really hot, add in the steaks and let it sear for about 6 minutes each side,
Don't flip the meat till time's up, no peeking allowed.

Once done, transfer the steaks to the serving plates and let them rest for at least 5 minutes,
Meanwhile let's make our very oily but indeed lovely sauce.

In the same pan, turn down the heat for a little bit,
If you really don't feel like risking your chances of cardiac arrest, just pour out some oil first before making the sauce.

Add in the remaining butter and minced garlic,
Cook till the garlic fragrance comes out but not burning, add the ponzu, soy sauce, and some more black pepper,
Cook till the liquid is reduced by at least 1/3 then drizzle all over our chunky meat,
Meal is ready!

I even added rice and some veggies (to compensate my arteries outcry) on top of my gigantic steak,
Truly eating like a king!!!.....I mean queen!!!

Look at that fat, how can you resist it -

I heart cows, especially U.S. cows.

Cindy's Rating: 8

Apr 13, 2011

Easy Mini Hot Dog Bread Made with Frozen Pastry

Finally, here we have a real recipe post!

My mom has been feeding me way too well that I got no chance to cook anything,
Food overloaded, in a very happy way.
In order to return the favor, I made some easy pastry so she gets something to munch on as breakfast and afternoon snack.

Easy mini hot dog bread made with frozen pastry -

Ingredients (4)?

4 small pieces of frozen pastry
4 small hot dogs
1 egg
Some ketchup


Preheat the oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius,
Defrost the frozen pastry,
Beat one egg as our egg wash for later use.

Once the pastry has defrosted, fold in mini hot dogs just like the picture shown below -

You can add a small spoonful of ketchup depending on the taste of chosen hot dogs,
My mom doesn't like ketchup so there's none in the picture.
Brush the egg wash on top of each mini pastries.

Line the parchment paper on a medium sized baking sheet,
With mini pastry's seal side down, transfer them onto the baking sheet,
Into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes -

The mini pastry is ready when top turns slightly brown,
I also turn up the heat just a couple minutes before the snack is ready in order to intensify that semi-burned color.

It's a super easy snack to make,
My mom likes it a lot,
The only complaint is that the hot dog was too big for the pastry,
I guess the hot dogs tend to puff up a bit more compared to just simply searing the meat,
Put that into consideration while trying out this recipe yep?

Cindy's Rating: 6

Apr 7, 2011

Shifen Scenery Spot Pictures (Yes I know It's Unrelated to Food)

One benefit of living close to family is that I'll never have to worry about food,
Stewed pork, Indian curry, red bean soup; you name it, we have it,
Either my mom or my dad will have all the dishes ready in the kitchen for me to pick up as my next day meal.

There really is nothing to complain about parents over-feeding their child,
But per my case, that means less chance to cook and write up recipes for this blog!!

Since I still got leftover spicy hot pot and my dad's beef consommé in the fridge,
Why don't we consider this as a break from my scary cooking?
Let's look at some travel pictures from a scenery spot called "Shifen" from Taiwan.

Shifen is known for its waterfalls, but before reaching the water, you need to pass by this little town surrounded by railroads -

Surviving through the crack -

Grandma's homemade sticky pumpkin cake is really good (the orange thing). See! There's food picture involved after all -

Others selling traditional Taiwanese cakes -

Lantern store -

After the town, there's the bridge -

We're getting close -

Small fall first -

View of that smaller fall from the other side of the bridge -

Almost there! -

Shifen waterfall -

Side view -

This grass is living a good life here -

Saw this on the way back, chicken wing stuffed with sticky rice, glazed with teriyaki sauce -

This is the final product, pretty good!
Too bad I couldn't take a clearer picture, I wanted to eat the chicken wing badly so kind of careless about my picture quality....

Lastly, this is me after overloading tons of cookies and cakes during the trip...

I guess even without my parents' cooking, I still tend to overfeed myself...
( > _.< )"