Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #5 : Sauteed Chayote

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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Cookbook Countdown #5 : Recipe No. 5 - Sauteed Chayote with Pork
from my selected cookbook for this month, Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn


Chayote squash

Have you tried Chayote squash before? Chayote squash is similar to the fuzzy melon in taste, but it is more sweet and firm in texture. Makes a delicious stir-fry savoury dish, great as part of a meal to eat with rice. According to Bobby Chinn, they use this veggie as a base for grilled fish served at his restaurant. The beef can be replaced with prawns or crabs. I have cooked this with prawns and again, with pork. Both are delicious. You would only need two Chayote squash, medium to large sized ones, to cook a large plateful. 




I have sliced the Chayote squash to thin julienne pieces and have cooked them a little longer. They have a firm texture. After cooking for about 10 minutes or so,  they would be tender but with a little crisp bite. Really quite delicious! 


Sauteed Chayote with Beef
(adapted from "Wild, Wild East" by Bobby Chinn)
Serves 4
Marinade
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 lb (200gm) beef, thinly sliced (I replaced with pork)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb (600gm) chayote squash, peeled and cut into slices about 1-in thick (I sliced to thin julienne pieces)
1/2 tsp fish sauce
3 scallions, cut into 1-in pieces

In a mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients with the beef (pork) and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Heat half of the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until slightly golden. Add the marinated meat and stir-fry rapidly to ensure the meat cooks evenly. When the meat is lightly cooked but still rare, transfer it to a warm bowl. 
In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and add the chayote and fish sauce. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. (I stir-fry the pork slices for a few minutes until fully cooked, then add the chayote and seasoning. Pour in about 1/4 cup water, cover the wok and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, did not add the scallions. Serve hot or at room temperature with rice).
Add the scallions, toss well, then add the meat back and cook for about a minute or until the scallions are slightly wilted.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 


Friday, May 27, 2016

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is "May Potluck". Sometimes potluck week can be the most challenging, at least for me.  Why, you may be wondering! Because fickle-minded me can't decide which IHCC's featured chefs' recipes that I want to make, I have so many on my list!

For this week's Potluck theme, my kids sort of took care of that for me, no need to change my mind many times. They requested for Ellie Krieger's, Chocolate Chunk Cookies, which I have made before when Ellie Krieger was the featured chef at IHCC a couple of months ago. I did not post about it, as I did not have a chance to take any photos, the cookies were all gone by the next day. 



Cookies with chocolate chunks on the left and with coffee choc chips on the right.

So these cookies are back by popular demand! Really super easy to put together. And they are a little healthier than most cookies. It has whole-wheat flour, with a small amount of butter (only 3 tablespoons!), and a little canola oil (2 tablespoons). You do not even need the stand mixer to mix the dough. I made two batches. The first batch, I've used dark chocolate chopped to chunks. And the second batch I've made with coffee chips. The only changes I've made, was to reduce both the sugars to half, even healthier, we do not need all that extra sugar! I baked them for 3-4 minutes longer than the recipe states, as we love  crispier cookies. 



These cookies are lightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy in the centre. 
As Ellie says "Eaten them while they are still warm for their full gooey, melted impact".  They make the perfect snack with a glass of cold milk. I like having the one with coffee chips with a mug of hot coffee. 


Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(adapted from "Comfort Food Fix", Ellie Krieger)
Makes about 20 cookies
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (loosely packed 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (1/8 cup)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70% cocoa solids), chopped into chunks

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Stir in the vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Gently fold in the chocolate.
Scoop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 1-1/2 inches between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake until the cookies are just set, about 12 minutes. Transfer the cookies on parchment to a rack and allow to cool. The cookies will crisp as they cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight container, where they will keep for up to 4 days.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs, theme for this week,
May Potluck





Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cookbook Countdown #5 : Bananas In Coconut Milk

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 


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Cookbook Countdown #5 : Recipe No. 4 - Bananas In Coconut Milk
from my selected cookbook for this month, Wild, Wild East by Bobby Chinn



I have seen this dessert on the menu of one Vietnamese restaurant a few weeks ago, but unfortunately they do not serve this dessert on that day. Found the recipe in Wild, Wild, West and gave it a go. This is similar to our local Bubur Cha-Cha which uses taro and sweet potatoes. I have not tried with bananas before, which is indeed a very nice change.

When using bananas, be sure to slice them thick, as they gets soft and mushy rather quickly during the simmering. I have used more coconut milk and water. This dessert is served with some garnishing which I have omitted. I was lazy to toast the sesame seeds and we do not like peanuts. Did not have shredded coconut either. So we had it plain as it is, which is quite delicious!



This dessert may be served either warm or cold with crushed ice. We prefer it warm. And when it is at room temperature, it sets a little thicker. A tablespoon or two of hot water may be stirred into the bowl before serving.  Very nice dessert, a good one to enjoy with the family on weekends.



Bananas In Coconut Milk
(adapted from "Wild, Wild East" by Bobby Chinn)
Serves 6
8 tbsp very small tapioca pearls
1 cup (240ml) coconut milk (I use 2 cups)
1-1/4 cups (225gm) sugar (or to taste)
4 large bananas
crushed ice to serve (optional)
4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp toasted chopped peanuts
4 tbsp shredded coconut
a pinch of salt (my addition)

Place the tapioca pearls in a bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for about 20 minutes until they are slightly translucent. Drain under cold running water and reserve.
In a pot over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and 1 cup (240ml) water (I use 1-1/2 cups water). Bring to a simmer, but do not allow it to boil. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Peel the bananas and cut them into 2-in (5-cm) chunks. Add to the coconut mixture with the tapioca pearls. Simmer the mixture for another 10 minutes or until the tapioca pearls are perfectly cooked. Remove from the heat.
Serve hot in individual bowls, or chill and serve in a glass with crushed ice. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, and shredded coconut.


I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by 




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