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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lemon Mint Drink 薄荷柠檬饮



It was crazy hot in New Jersey the last two weeks that all I wanted was a glass of cold drink, and chill!!

The only good news is that the mint in my garden is growing so well, and it is great for making this chilly refreshing drink!

新泽西这几个星期开始变热了,院子里的薄荷长得很快。摘一把来做这个清凉好喝的薄荷柠檬水,突然闷热的午后就不再那么闷热啦!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

【扁豆焖面】French Bean Braised Noodles



A friend of mine lease a small piece of land from her husband's company as part of the company's social responsibility program. The land is only meant for activities that could enhance the environment. They then decided to plant some vegetables.

Last two months were interesting for most gardeners in NJ, my friend and I shared information and progress of our gardens and now we share our crops!


She and her husband are both from the northern part of China, thus the French bean they planted is also a northern Chinese species called flat French bean (扁豆).

It is known to be the best bean to make this typical North western Chinese dish -- Steamed noodle. Where the beans are first stir fried, and then boil to bring up steams with noodles lightly spread over the dish to cook, the steam from the gravy will steam cooked the noodle and later to season the noodle. This cooking method allows the noodles to stay in form and retain it's springy texture, a very easy and tasty one pot meal


我过去十几年住过好几个国家。每次刚在一个地方建立起朋友群,才开始要熟悉,就要离开了。渐渐地,对友情就抱着既来之,则安之的心态。

而我又是一个不爱讲电话,鲜少写信的人,不是一个很努力维持关系的人。所幸的是,这辈子,总有这个遇见好朋友的福气。

文学城私房小菜十多年了,认识了一群志同道合,高贵亲和的朋友。尤其是NJ吃喝团的团友,大家每个月聚聚,分享身边的事物,渐渐地成了好朋友。这是我来美国,最大的收获,也是让我觉得在美国最实在的地方。每次和家人说起跟朋友的聚餐,父母总觉得非常的安慰,知道我在这里并不孤单。

和小小太空猪MM相识于私房,第一次见面我们约了去港式早茶,只有开始的几秒钟尴尬和陌生,然后我们就很自然的聊开了。加上两家住的比较近,我们就开始交流很多做菜,拍照的心得,生活的体悟,人生的追求。

最近小猪家的大厨在公司那里领了块菜地,我们又开始交流种菜心得,然后渐渐演变成交换农产所得。这是小猪家第一批扁豆,和黄瓜,马上就拿来跟我分享,我也赶快拿了把剪刀,到后院把第一二根茄子和大黄辣椒剪了下来和猪MM交换。物轻,却是情意重。

小猪MM的扁豆,我拿来做了最爱吃的焖面,一边吃一边默默地希望,这一次,在美国,落地生根。也希望我和这里的朋友们,友谊长存。

Ingredients:
300-400 gm French Bean (Use the shop bought version if you can't find this Chinese Version)
3 Bunch of dried noodle (approximately 300 gm) Note: You can use fresh, uncooked noodle too.
4 Thick cut Bacon (Or thin sliced pork belly marinated with a little cooking wine and salt)
2 tbsp Minced Garlic
1 tbsp Minced Ginger
2-3 tbsp Chopped spring onion
2 green chilies(Optional)
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1 Star Anise
Salt to taste (Around 1/4 tsp)
A pinch of Pepper powder


材料:
300-400克扁豆
3 把干面条 (我用了杂粮面,有手擀面更好,如果用手擀面,请用和扁豆一样的重量。)
4 片 厚 Bacon (熏肉/培根)(代替五花肉切片加料酒和老抽腌腌的做法)
2 tbsp 蒜蓉
1 tbsp 姜蓉
2-3 tbsp 葱花
两根 青辣椒 (Optional)
2 tbsp 酱油
1 只八角
盐适量
胡椒粉少许



1. Clean and remove the rough string at the side of beans, break it into about 2 inches long, shorter if you prefer softer beans.

2. Mince ginger and garlic,slice chili length wise or cut it into slices, chop spring onion. Slice bacon into about 1 inch thick.


1.把扁豆清理干净,去筋用手掰成段。姜蒜分别剁成蓉,辣椒切片,葱切成葱花。培根切大块,大约一寸半。





3.Heat up a wok or a deep bottom cook ware, DO NOT add oil, cook bacon until fat/grease release, and push aside cooked bacon, remove some oil if you want it leaner.

4. Now add star anise, minced ginger, and half of minced garlic, half of chopped spring onion, stir fry until fragrance.

5. Add French bean, and stir until the colour changed, about 2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of water, the beans should all submerged into water, bring to boil, add soy sauce, salt to taste. Scoop out a big bowl of stock, approximately 1 cup worth, and leave aside.

Note: If fresh noodle is used, add only 2 cups of water for cooking.

6. Add the remaining chopped spring onion and minced garlic into stock, stir well.

7. Turn heat to medium now, and loosely spread noodle over the beans, cover with lid, and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, use a fork or chopstick to lightly loosen up the noodle, spread half of the stock over the top of noodle, as evenly as possible. Cover with lid and cook for another 5 minutes again. Repeat the same process for the remaining stock, and cook for another 5 minutes or until all liquid almost dried out.

8. At the end, add some pepper powder, and turn beans and noodle with help of chopstick and spatula, till well mix, turn off the heat and cover with lid, let the noodle sit for another 5 minutes before serving.

9.You could blend together 4-5 cloves of garlic, add some Chinese dark vinegar and soy sauce as a dipping sauce to this noodle.


2. 先热锅,不下油,把培根煸炒出油,然后把培根推开一边,掏出一点油不用。然后把八角,姜蓉和一半的蒜蓉,一半的葱花倒入煸炒香。加入扁豆和辣椒,炒至变色。

3. 倒入两杯半的水没过扁豆,煮滚,加入酱油和盐调味。用汤勺掏出一大碗的汤汁,备用。

注:如果用的是手擀面,水酌量减少,大约两杯就好了。

4. 把剩下的蒜蓉和葱花倒入刚刚盛起的汤汁里拌匀。中火保持锅里的汤汁中滚,把干面条分散,铺在扁豆上,加盖煮大约5分钟,打开,把已经有点软的面条用筷子弄散,把刚刚盛起的汤汁一半浇在面条上,再加盖焖煮5分钟。再重复一样的动作,把剩余的汤汁浇上,再加盖焖煮至汤汁减少。

5. 最后打开盖,撒点胡椒粉增加香气,把面条和扁豆拌匀,熄火,加盖虚焖5分钟。


好吃的扁豆焖面!谢谢小猪MM和她们家大厨!






欢迎到我的新浪博客玩 -- 
扁豆焖面





Monday, July 25, 2011

Roasted Baby Potatoes with spices




The first batch of Potato I put in my garden are flowering now,its about time to check out some baby potatoes to make this really delicious dish.

There is no comparison to fresh potato from your own garden, really!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goan Fish Curry




Goa is the smallest state located in south west of India. Its culture is  a mix of east and west due to the Portuguese ruling in 1500s. The eastern influence is not just in the culture, also the cooking.


Seafood is the main cooking ingredients there, as well as major source of protein.


As I grew up eating seafood, Goan dishes was one of the very first Indian dishes that I liked, and still do!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ma-Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)




I love a bowl of Ma Po To Fu over hot steamy rice, a good plate of Ma-po tofu is usually very spicy (as in chilli heat) and has a strong characteristic of "Mala", the numbing sensation came from Sichuan Pepper (花椒) used in preparing this dish.

The combination of these two spices are so addicting that I always have a box of Sichuan Style minced meat ready in the fridge, so that I could always cook this dish in under 20 minutes!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cucumber Mint Lassi 黄瓜薄荷酸奶昔


It's mid summer and it's also harvest time for cucumber. It is fascinating how nature has it, the coolest produce's harvest time is also the hottest of the seasons!

When the temperature outside reaches 90-ish these days, I decided to go out to my garden, pluck a cucumber and a handful of mint leaves. Chill them a little in the fridge. And blend them into this cooling and ever so refreshing Cucumber Mint Lassi, and I thank nature for what it provides!

盛夏,院子里的黄瓜进入盛产季节。大自然真是奇妙,天气最热的时候长出来的瓜果却是最降温的好东西。

九十几度的午后,院子里摘来新鲜的黄瓜,一小把薄荷叶,洗净冷藏一会儿,做成这个清凉养胃的黄瓜酸奶昔,喝下,很舒服喔!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Glutinous Rice Wine Ginger Chicken【姜酒鸡】



This is a traditional confinement dish for the Fujianese/Hakka clan of Chinese. We the southerner add glutinous rice wine in all our confinement foods. It is believed to be good for the mother and help to recover from childbirth.


Though it is mainly meant for confinement, my mum will sometimes make this dish for our meals.


It's been quite sometime since I had this dish and since I have a couple of bottles of Red Yeast Rice Wine I made in the pantry, I made this dish for lunch to share with a friend, both of us enjoyed it very much.


马来西亚的闽南和客家人坐月子一般都要吃糯米酿制的酒。姜酒鸡,姜酒面线,姜酒猪肝,姜酒猪腰,姜酒瘦肉,姜酒蛋,是月子里天天都得吃的。所以一般家里有待产的孕妇都会准备几十瓶的红麴米酒/黄酒。


我从小就特别爱吃姜酒鸡,就连我妈生我弟坐月子时我都会去向妈妈讨鸡腿吃!


我不久前做了两次红麴米酒,就一直想着要做姜酒鸡,昨天一不小心就吃撑了。

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homemade Fish ball Amaranth Soup




Its summer time and my Amaranth at the back yard is growing so well, I have been thinking of a bowl of fish ball Amaranth soup since the day I sow the seeds!

I waste no time to make this soup with the Fish and Turkey Fish paste I saved up from making Stuff Chilli the other day.

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