18 December 2008

Pork Sausages Broiled with Japanese Mayo

One of the things I've picked up after coming back from Japan...

....and thats to put Japanese egg mayo on top of everything !!

These are sausages I've got from the butcher that I first cooked on my grilled pan. With the oven switched onto the grill setting, I generously squeezed japanese 'baby brand' mayo over the cooked sausages, then placed it under the grill for about 2 minutes. Until the mayo has melted.
As you can see from the picture, I topped up some of the other pork sausages I had with some fresh mayo - just to see what it would taste like. I would probably just leave it to the broiled mayo only next time.

And it was good. Tasted very much like the japanese fatty pork on skewers with mayo you can get from Izakaya places in japan.

10 August 2008

40 Clove Chicken

There are many versions of this recipe around. The thing that makes this dish different and so yummy is the amount of garlic used... 40++ cloves of garlic!! The garlic turns out amazingly sweet. But still have some breath mints handy. :)

I'm not sure where I first saw this recipe anymore. But after seeing the pictures from Alice Q. Foodie made me want to cook it again. Here is my take on it...

40 Clove Garlic Chicken

  • 3 x Maryland chicken (Thighs and legs chopped - skin on)
  • 2-3 Heads of Garlic. (I'm lazy... and just leave it smashed and unpeeled)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoon Cognac (optional)
  • Handful of fresh herbs (I used Sage & Thyme)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/4 Cup of Thickening Cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter & 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat Oven to 180C. Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the butter with 1/2 of the olive oil in a Dutch Oven and brown the chicken, skin side down first.

Remove the chicken to a plate, and add garlic cloves to the pot. Saute on low heat until it turns golden brown. Add 1 Tbl sp of the Cognac, then add all the wine. Bring to boil and continue to stir, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Return chicken to the pot. Add herbs and tuck the Bay leaves in between the chicken pieces.

Cover and braise in the oven for about 45 minutes - until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken to a baking dish and put under the grill. Just long enough so that the skin on the chicken starts to go golden brown.

Squeeze out the garlic from the skins. Add remaining Cognac to the sauce. Bring to boil and add cream. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan then add flour. Once it has combined and starts to bubble, add this mixture to the sauce.

Spoon garlic sauce over the chicken and serve.

04 August 2008

Green Peppercorn Sauce

I stumbled across this recipe on green peppercorn sauce (with meatballs) while researching for a sauce to try with our steaks tonight. Green peppercorn sauce with steak is a classic combo. But somehow I had never actually tried it at home... We've always seemed to have gone with either the chimichurri, bernaise or mushroom sauce.

The recipe below does look like it calls for a lot of different ingredients. But I found that except for the sherry wine vinegar, I had pretty much everything already. A quick google search returned some suggestions for sherry wine vinegar substitutions. These were sweeten rice wine or red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar, with the preferred being the rice wine. I had some mirin (japanese sweet rice wine) available in my pantry, so I went for the rice wine option.

The sauce turned out great... the spice and tanginess of the peppercorn and mustard help balance what would have been a quite rich and creamy sauce. I definitely would be making this one again.. :)

Green Peppercorn Sauce
adapted from this recipe from Simply Recipes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar (I substituted with Mirin - sweet rice wine)
  • ½ cup Cognac
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 cup of beef stock (I used a beef stock cube dissolved in 1 cup of hot water)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons green peppercorns
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the mustard and sherry vinegar (in my case.. the mirin) and reduce to half, about 1 minute. Add the cognac and cook to burn off the alcohol, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red wine and reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the stock and reduce the mixture by half again, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, butter and crushed green peppercorns.
  6. Add salt to taste.

We had the sauce with steak and mash potatoes. :)

04 July 2008

Potato & Leek Soup

Last night, I found some leek (possibly about 1+ weeks old) and potatoes (god knows how long) left over in my fridge. I usually only find time to go grocery shopping once every fortnight. So my fridge tends to be stocked with rather old veggies most the time.

It was however, enough to make my fav Potato & Leek soup. Perfect for these freezing winter nights. Here is the recipe. . .

Potato & Leek Soup

  • 4 large potatos (peeled, sliced thinly)
  • 1 leek (washed, white and light green parts sliced thinly - discard the rest)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 piece of bacon (sliced & chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (smashed and chopped finely)
  • 2 Cups of Chicken Stock (just enough to cover the potatoes)
  • 1/2 Cup of Thickening Cream
  • Fresh Herbs (Optional - But I had some chives leftover)
  • Butter & Olive Oil
  • Cayenne Pepper (for seasoning)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. In a soup pot, melt butter in olive oil over medium heat. Add Garlic, Bacon, Onions then Leeks. Sauté until onions are soft and starting to brown. Be careful not to over cook the leeks.
  2. Add the potatoes and pour in enough stock to cover the potatoes. Add water if necessary. Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes become transparent and soft. Use a potato masher to break up the potatoes slices.
  3. Remove half the contents of the pot to a blender and process until desired consistency. Reduce to low heat.
  4. Add the processed contents back into the pot and mix together. Add Cream and stir.
  5. Stir in Chives and add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Serve soup and season with some cayenne pepper.

Enjoy ~ !

02 July 2008

Chimichurri Sauce

I first tasted this sauce at an Argentinian steak house in North Sydney. After the steak house closed and relocated (and their prices rose from $32 to $47 for a piece of steak), we've been trying to replicate this at home ... to some success ...with a bit of guidance from some recipes we found online. :)
Chimichurri Sauce
  • 1 cup packed of fresh flat-leaf parsley (leaves only)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh coriander
  • 6 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Place the parsley, coriander, garlic, paprika, oregano, food processor. Pulse until combined. Put the sauce in a non-reactive container (glass or plastic container). Using a spoon to mix in vinegar and olive oil. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Chimichurri will last for up to 1 month, refrigerated. Make sure there is enough olive oil to evenly cover the herb mixture. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

P prefers my chilli version. Which is just by adding a couple of sliced up fresh chillies with seeds removed into the food processor with the rest of the herbs.

I've mostly used the sauce to be served with steak or used in green salads - to give it a bit of a 'kick'... :)

14 June 2008

Soy Milk & Miso Hot Pot

We love our hot pots (or steamboats). Fish and Century old egg with coriander soup base. Satay hot pot... Ma-lak (super chilli hot) or even just plain chicken stock with some tomatoes and potatoes thrown in. Its probably one of the easiest things to prepare when you know you have a group of people that is going to come raid your apartment in the next hour. Which in my case, was exactly just that.

Soy Milk & Miso Hotpot
First tasted in Osaka, Japan - Recipe put together by Astrogirl

Soup Base

  • 2 tablespoons Miso paste
  • 1 piece of kombu
  • 300 ml of unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 L of water
  • 2 tablespoon of dashi stock granules
  • 2 tablespoon of Mirin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • Soya sauce to taste (if required)
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 chinese white cabbage (sliced 5cm pieces)
  • 2 green spring onion (in 5 cm pieces)
  • 6 re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms (stems discarded, halved - optional)

Bring water and kombu to boil in large pot, add dashi and mirin. Then add mushrooms, onion, white cabbage and white parts of spring onion. Boil until cabbage has soften. Add in Miso paste, sugar and salt. Add in the soy milk right before serving and bring the soup back to a simmer. Serve the hot pot on top of a portable gas stove or in a shabu-shabu pot.

Other Ingredients to throw in:
  • Defrosted cuttlefish \ pork \ fish balls
  • Thinly sliced beef, fish or pork
  • Shelled Prawns or any type of oyster, shellfish or molluscs
  • Tofu
  • crab stick
  • fresh corn
  • fresh mushrooms & Enoki mushrooms
  • Fresh Fish paste (added in separate spoonsfuls)
  • Vegetables (e.g. sliced carrot, coriander, spring onion, chinese radish or any other greens)

Taste the soup base and season with some soy sauce is required. It should taste a bit on the saltier side. Choose any combination from the 'Other Ingredients' list. For this hotpot, I added in some of the defrosted balls, crab stick, tofu and fish paste. Once it starts to boil add in all of the soy milk. And then turn the heat down. If you keep it boiling for too long, the soy milk will start to split.

Things to add at the end of the hotpot:

  • Cooked plain white rice
  • Mochi (glutinous rice cake)
  • Egg
  • Noodles (eg. instant, egg noodles, udon).

Nearing the end of the hotpot, when the soup base has absorbed the essence of all of the additional ingredients that was boiled in it... (Don't let this soup go to waste !)

You can poach an egg in the soup or spoon out some soup into a bowl and have it just like that. Or keep the soup bowling and add some rice or noodles into it. The 'japanese' way would be to have it with Mochi.


  • Dried shiitake mushrooms are available at nearly every asian grocery store. To re-hydrate them, rinse them under water to get rid of any dirt, then place them in a bowl of warm water with a smaller saucer on top to keep them under water. Best to keep overnight.
  • Enoki Mushrooms needs to have the bottom brown parts (roots) trimmed and washed thoroughly.
  • If you are preparing prawns for the hotpot, a good way to make sure they retain the 'fresh texture' and wont suffer any 'over-boiling', is to put the shelled prawns into a bowl of cold water with about 1-2 teaspoons of salt for about 30 mins. Pour out the water when ready.
  • Raw meat like pork or beef is easier to slice if you leave it in the freezer for about 1 hr or so.
  • The white powder substance on the Kombu is where most of the flavour is. Don't be tempted to wash it off.

18 May 2008

Banana Muffins

I spent most of last night cleaning out my fridge, and judging by some of the 'expired goods' I had found.. its something I haven't done in a while. Amongst some of the items I found that were possibly still in the 'usable goods' department, I found 4 rather brown bananas. Super ripe bananas makes super yummy banana bread...banana cake or muffins. I went with the muffins option this time.
Did I say that the bananas were super ripe ??

Banana Muffins
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.au
  • 3-4 Large bananas, mashed (I use 4 because I had 4 left in my fridge)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar (original recipe calls for brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup soften butter (about 100g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Combine and whisk flour with baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl blend butter with the sugar until it goes a light creamy colour, add in egg then mashed bananas and vanilla.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry flour bowl. Be careful not to over stir.

Spoon the mixture into a buttered muffin tray. About 3/4 full. Bake for about 15-20 mins, until it starts to brown. Makes 6 large muffins.

  • Cut the butter into small cubes so to soften it faster.
  • I added about a couple of splashes of milk (about 1/4 cup) into the mixture at the end. The original recipe doesn't call for it, but I added it because my mixture was looked a bit gluggy and dry.

28 April 2008

Oysters Kilpatrick & Mornay

These are definitely one of my favorites to cook up when I have Oysters available, and have already gobbled down too many raw ones.

For Oysters Kilpatrick:
  • 4 Pieces of Bacon (sliced and chopped up finely)
  • 1 Tbl sp of Butter
  • 6 Tbl sp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbl sp of HP Sauce
  • 1 Tbl sp of Tabasco Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Melt butter in saucepan, add in Worcestershire, HP & Tabasco sauce. Once sauces are combined add salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle bacon over oyster and spoon sauce over the bacon. Place under hot grill, and leave until bacon starts going crisp. Usually about 3-4 minutes.

For Oysters Mornay:
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Tbl sp of Butter
  • 2 Tbl sp of plain flour
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp French Mustard
  • 1/2 Cup of grated tasty cheese
  • Cayenne Pepper
Make a roux by melting butter in a saucepan then slowly adding flour, then milk until a white sauce forms. Add mustard then cheese, salt & pepper to taste. Add cheese sauce to oysters, sprinkle with Cayenne pepper and extra cheese. Place under hot grill for about 3-4 min, until cheese topping starts to brown slighly.

24 March 2008

Baked Spicy Meatballs

I never really used to be a fan of meatballs. To me, they just tasted like a lump of mince meat that lacked any flavor. When I saw an episode of Jamie Oliver's cooking show (forgotten which one it was), about a baked meatball dish that calls for some spices and herbs, I decided to give it a try. This meatball recipe is now P's favorite dish. So much in fact, that he actually participates in the preparation process (for a change)...

Baked Spicy Meatballs
Recipe originally adapted from one of Jamie Oliver's cooking shows

Spice Mix
Warm the Spices slightly in a pan until fragrant, then grind together:

  • 1 stalk of rosemary leaves (chopped finely)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
Marinate and mix together with spice mix:

  • 500g of quality minced beef
  • 1 brown onion (finely blended in a food processor)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely blended in a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • handful of breadcrumbs (add more if mixture is too moist)
  • Grounded spice mix

Mix all ingredients together. You do have to use your hands here.

Have a shallow bowl of water ready and form the meatballs while dipping your fingers into the water every couple of meatballs. The water makes it easier to form the meatballs without bits and pieces sticking to your hands. Once the the meatballs are formed, brown them in a heated pan with a dash of olive oil, until they are browned all over, then set a side in a baking dish.

Tomato Sauce
  • teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2x cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves (torn)
  • couple of dashes of tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (or more to taste)

In a saucepan, heat oil then add in garlic. Once the garlic starts to cook, pour in the canned tomatoes. Let simmer on medium-high heat until the tomatoes break down. Once the tomatoes break down, add basil leaves, tabasco sauce and sugar to taste. Stir and let simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat off.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C, top meatballs with the tomato sauce then cover with parmesan cheese.

Put baking dish into oven for about 20 mins, or until the cheese has turned golden brown. Serve with some spaghetti.

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