Archive | April, 2013

Chicken Salad Rolls

29 Apr
Freshly made salad rolls with chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

Freshly made salad rolls with chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

Salad rolls are traditionally served cool and hence ideal for summer time. They are also light, refreshing and healthy.

  • rice paper, about 15 sheets
  • (rice) vermicelli noodles, boiled as instructed and then thoroughly rinsed with cold water, drain well
  • 1lb ground chicken*
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • a few tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tbsps honey
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • one small onion, finely chopped
  • one carrot, cut into match sticks
  • cucumber (same amount as carrots), cut into match sticks
  • juice of half a lime
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • a few fresh basil leaves

*Instead of chicken, try grilled shrimp or thinly sliced bbq beef or pork. For a vegetarian style salad roll, visit Frugal Feeding.

Rice paper.

Rice paper.

1. In a bowl, combine carrots, cucumber and lime juice. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. Allow mixture to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cucumbers and carrots with lime juice and sea salt.

Cucumbers and carrots with lime juice and sea salt.

2. In a wok on high heat, add in oil, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are soft, then add in chicken.

3. Use a wooden spoon to break up the ground chicken as much as possible. If chicken appears dry, add a splash of water.

4. When the chicken is almost done, season with honey, ground pepper and soy.

5. Choose a shallow dish with sides that is  large enough to fit the rice paper. (A pie plate works nicely.)

6. Fill dish halfway with hot water.  TIP: have a kettle of just boiled water ready on the side and once the water in the dish begins to cool, top up with more kettle water.

7. Gently place one rice paper sheet into water. The rice paper will soften in a few seconds. Once this is achieved, remove from the water and onto a plate or cutting board.

Rice paper with vermicelli noodles.

Rice paper with vermicelli noodles.

Rice paper with vermicelli, chicken, carrots and cucumbers.

Rice paper with vermicelli, chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

8. Add a small handful of vermicelli noodles, a scoop of the ground chicken and a few of the marinated carrots and cucumber. Place the filling a little off center.

9. Tear a few pieces of basil leave and add to the filling.

Rolling the rice rolls.

Rolling the rice rolls.

10. Begin by rolling the portion of the rice paper nearest the filling. Roll about halfway and then fold the sides inward towards the center. Finish rolling. The rice paper is naturally sticky so it will seal itself.

11.  The first salad roll is finished. Repeat steps 7 to 9 to make the remaining rolls.

12. Chill salad rolls in the fridge before serving. Store in an airtight contain so that the rice paper does not dry out.

Assembling the salad rolls is very simple but a little time consuming. This task may be fun for kids.

Homemade Ketchup

22 Apr
Homemade ketchup stored in a pickling jar.

Homemade ketchup stored in a pickling jar.

The following recipe makes approximately 1.5 cups of ketchup.

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar (add another tablespoon of sugar if you prefer sweeter ketchup)
Ketchup mixture simmering in a sauce pan.

Ketchup mixture simmering in a sauce pan.

1. Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan.

2. Place sauce pan on burner and combine well.

3. Allow the mixure to begin boiling.

4. Once mixture is boiling, turn down heat so that the sauce is simmering.

5. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Stir often.

6. Remove from burner and allow ketchup to completely cool before storing in a air tight container. Refrigerate.

Roasted potato wedges with homemade ketchup.

Roasted potato wedges with homemade ketchup.

Dim Sum

15 Apr
Steamed rice rolls with bbq pork and soy sauce.

Steamed rice rolls with bbq pork and soy sauce.

Dim sum is synonymous with a unique and popular style of eating in Chinese culture. It is traditionally served at lunch time (and sometimes only on weekends as it can be a long meal).  Servers arrive at tables with trolleys filled with steaming dishes. Patrons choose which dishes they would like to sample.

Deep fried taro dumplings.

Deep fried taro dumplings.

For example, dishes include steamed meat and vegetable dumplings, sticky rice in lotus leaves, spring rolls, deep fried wontons, stuffed eggplants, rice rolls, bbq pork buns, marinated chicken feet, black bean spareribs, etc. As lunch service nears to an end, mini desserts begin to appear on trolleys as well.

Fried vegetable rolls.

Fried vegetable rolls.

Each trolley dish contains only a few bite-size pieces.  The concept of dim sum allows patrons to indulge in a variety of small dishes over a long lunch. Dim sum is usually served with hot tea and it’s often a good idea to bring a large group so more items can be sampled. Prices of each dish range between $3 to $6 depending on the quantity and ingredients.

Congee.

Congee.

Sundae Cereal

2 Apr

Cereal with yogurt, honey, dried cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon.

Cereal with yogurt, honey, dried cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon.


My apologies for not posting last week. I have been rather busy and eating mostly simple quick items like cereal, frozen pizzas and canned soup.  But this morning I decided to put in a little effort with my cereal bowl and created a “sundae cereal”.

  • a bowl of cereal (I used Nature’s Path Organic Kamut Krsip.)
  • two big dollops of plain yogurt (I prefer Balkan style yogurt.)
  • a handful of dried cranberries
  • a handful of walnuts
  • 2 to 3 tbsps honey
  • pinch of cinnamon

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1. Mix the walnuts and cranberries with the cereal.

2. Drizzle honey on top.

3. Place yogurt on top.

4. Sprinkle cinnamon.

5. Garnish with a few more cranberries and/or honey.