Jun 28, 2011

Miso Marinated Pork Chop Donburi

First is a ray of sharp, bright light,
Seconds after, a loud booming sound followed,
Now...what am I looking at? Gloomy cloud or just water vapor slowly dissipating from the middle of the hill up toward the sky??
Did that thunder and lightning do that!?

Well, let me just keep updating my blog while keeping an eye on the window,
This is serious.

*Or maybe I should just go set up my tripod and hope for an awesome lightning picture?
Nah, back to food.

Miso marinated pork chop donburi -

Ingredients (for two)?

Marinade -

2 tablespoons of white miso
1 tablespoon of red miso
1 tablespoon of mirin
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of chili sauce

Other -

2 large pork chops
5 eggs
2 tablespoons of Japanese soup base (light soy sauce will do too)
2 stalks of scallion
Some freshly ground black pepper
Some olive oil
Some toasted white sesame seeds
Some rice (I mixed some white rice with brown rice)


Let's marinate the pork chops the night before,
Simple whisk all the marinade ingredients together then add in the meat,
Thoroughly massage the meat with the marinade, seal with foil and transfer to the fridge,
You can also flip the pork chops half way throughout the marinating process to help the seasonings soak through the meat.

To "assemble" this dish,
Prepare rice for two and set aside,
The picture below, that amount of rice, is all for me!! -

As for the pork chops,
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit,
Drizzle some olive oil on a grill pan and turn to medium high heat,
Remove the meat from the marinade and transfer onto the grill,
You don't have to wait till the grill gets very hot to sear the chops; don't wanna see you with miso splashing all over the kitchen.

Sear both sides for about 3 minutes each, depending on the thickness of the pork chops,
Then transfer the meat onto a baking dish, into the oven for about 15 minutes, or till the edges started to burn a little,
Once done, remove from heat and let the pork chops sit for at least 3 minutes before slicing them.

To make the eggs, simply chop the scallion into small pieces,
Beat 5 eggs together with 2 tablespoons of soup base.

Have a small pan ready, drizzle some olive oil, toss in chopped scallions and cook till they get slightly burned,
Pour in the egg mixture and slowly stir it once a while, like when you're making semi-cooked scrambled eggs,
Turn off the heat when the eggs are still a wee bit runny,
If you don't like uncooked eggs, well, keep the heat on!

Pour the egg mixture onto the rice -

Then put the sliced pork chop onto the egg mixture -

Sprinkle some sesame seeds and add some freshly ground black pepper before serving.

Let me see....
Oh! That suspicious smoke is gone,
No more thunder and lighting, only the rain remains,
Wait, something is still rumbling...
It's from my stomach!

*I blame it to my blog*

Cindy's Rating: 8

Jun 17, 2011

Very Nutty Chocolate Cookies (No Butter Needed!)

Thanks to my friends who kept posting dessert pictures on Fabebook,
Now that my unstoppable cravings for sweet treats just keeps pouring in,
But what can I do?
I have no more butter left...
Is there something chocolaty that can be made without butter?

Luckily, I've got one here!
Very nutty chocolate cookies -

Ingredients (for about a dozen)?

1/4 cup of ground pistachio
1/4 cup of ground walnut
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa power
1 egg white
Some white chocolate and heavy whipping cream (optional)


These are the main ingredients of the day - pistachio and walnut -

Ground the nuts into very tiny pieces with a food processor,
Please note here, I mean tiny pieces, not fine powder, 
That way you can get more nutty bites from the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line the parchment paper on the baking sheet.

With a mixer, add in ground nuts, sugar, and cocoa power till fully blended,
Once done, slowly pour in the egg white while the mixing is still on low speed,
Mix till glossy, 
It won't take that long, definitely less than 1 minute -

Use a piping bag or just pour the mixture into a Ziploc and cut a 1~2 inch hole at the tip,
That's my temporary piping bag!

Pipe the mixture into about a dozen rectangular shapes, 
Into the oven for 5 to 10 minutes,
Consider 10 minutes extreme already, 
Remember, the longer you bake, the chewier the cookies will get!

The white part?
If you're greedy like me, 
You can melt the chocolate and cream with a double broiler,
Just dip the cooled cookies into the mixture and let it set before serving.

Now I have my own dessert pictures to post on Facebook!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Jun 12, 2011

Grilled Chicken Breast with Slow Cooked Veggies

This is one of these days,
Even though there's no one besides me,
I still don't wanna surrender to instant noodles or take-out food,
Instead, this quiet and peaceful time should be celebrated by a more dedicated comfort food,
Let me indulge a wee bit, spoil my long exhausted body and soul.

Grilled chicken breast with slow cooked veggies -

Ingredients (for 2 large portions):

Marinade and chicken -
2 large chicken breasts
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

Vegetable stew -
3 medium sized tomatoes
2 zucchini
6 garlic cloves
1/2 medium onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 small bundle/1 tablespoon of parsley
2 teaspoons of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
1/2 cup of dry white wine
Some sea salt
Some freshly ground black pepper

Optional -
Grill Asparagus
Some fresh parsley (garnish)


Rub the chicken with all the marinade ingredients and let it sit in the fridge overnight -

Prep work for the vegetable stew,
Peel and dice the onion into small cubes,
Peel and finely chop the garlic,
Peel and chop the zucchini into small bite sizes,
Chop the tomatoes into small cubes,
Finely chop the parsley.

Have a big pot ready,
Drizzle some olive oil, add in chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of butter,
Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and red chili flakes,
Give it a quick stir and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add in garlic, cook for a little bit just till the aroma comes out,
Add the zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes, then toss in chopped tomatoes,
Sprinkle more salt to help bringing out the liquid from the tomatoes,
Cook for about 3 more minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons of tomato paste and 1/2 cup of dry white wine,
Stir the mixture and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or till all the liquid reduced by half,
Mix in freshly chopped parsley right before serving.

As for the chicken,
Take it out from the fridge about 15 minutes before grilling,
Heat up the grill pan and sear both sides for 6 minutes each,
If the center is still uncooked after searing both sides, just transfer the chicken into the oven for 10 to 20 minutes, using medium heat.

Once the chicken is done,
Transfer onto a plate and scoop stewed veggies on top,
Garnish with fresh parsley -

As for the grilled asparagus on the bottom,
Well, consider me a greedy person.

*To make grilled asparagus,
Simply spread the asparagus evenly on a baking dish,
Drizzle some olive oil, salt, and pepper,
Bake in medium high heat till the vegetable turns slightly crunchy on the edges.

Food makes me happy, hope it does the same to you.

Cindy's Rating: 8

Jun 4, 2011

Beef Curry with a Big Help from Japanese Curry Cubes

You must know I'm a big curry fan if you've been following my blog for quite some time,
Let it be yellow curry, red curry, green curry, even rainbow curry,
Whatever the color is, as long as the word "curry" presents, I love it!

Among all the instant curry products, S&B brand holds an irreplaceable position deep in my hears (yes, it's THAT serious),
This link shows the flavor I usually use,
However, they recently came up with another more upgraded version -

Unfortunately, it comes with "upgraded" price tag too,
Well, good instant curry cubes can go a long way,
Won't hurt spending a few bucks more trying out new things, maybe it'll be my next favorite kitchen staple.

Beef curry with S&B Dinner Curry cubes -

Ingredients (4 to 5 portion)?

1 medium onion
1 large carrot
(the very fat kind, if you can't find it, just use more skinny carrots as substitute)
1 large potato
5 S&B Dinner Curry cubes (more than half box)
5 1/2 cups of hot water
Some olive oil
Some sea salt
Some freshly ground black pepper


Chop the beef into large bite sizes,
Bring a pot of water to a boil, toss in the beef chunks and cook for a few minutes,
This will help in drawing all that dirty brown bits out from the meat,
Once done, drain well and set aside.

Peel and cut the onion into smaller cubes,
Thoroughly rinse the carrot and potato, peel them and cut into small cubes too -

Steam the carrot and potato for about 15 minutes, or till soften a wee bit,
You can definitely skip this step,
It's just that I prefer eating fork tender veggies while enjoying curry.
Again, once done, set aside for later use.

Prepare a big deep pan, or use a big stove pot like me,
Turn to medium or medium high heat depending on your choice of kitchenware,
Drizzle some olive oil, add in chopped onions, sprinkle some salt and pepper,
Cook till the onion turns slightly caramelized on the edges, add in remaining vegetables,
Give it a quick stir and cook for couple more minutes.

Add the beef chunks and mix well,
Cook for another minute or two, pour in about 5 to 6 cups of hot water and add the small curry cubes,
Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to let it simmer,
Remember to stir constantly in the beginning to help the cubes slowly blend in with the ingredients -

Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes after the cubes are fully mixed in.

You can adjust the thickness and flavor by using different amount of hot water and curry cubes,
Preferably serve with rice, but spaghetti or udon works well also!

Once someone asked me what's your comfort food,
After giving it a deep thought,
Maybe curry can take that title and be my honored comfort food champion.

Cindy's Rating: 8