Pork, Liver, Peppers and Onions

This is a dish that is especially for hubby.  Why?  Because he really likes liver, bell peppers, and onions!  The pork part is for me, because I don’t eat liver at all, bell peppers scarcely, and onions?  Only when they are “invisible” in the dish!!!

The dish is cooked in the the sequence of its name…

Saute thin slices of pork (usually kasim or shoulder part) until it is almost done.  The liver slices go next (sliced thicker than the pork).  Stirfry several seconds then add the bell pepper pieces.  Swirl the pieces in the pan then add the sliced onions.  It is important that the onion slices stay crisp, and the bell peppers not mushy.  Most important of all, the liver should not be overcooked.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Advertisements

Sauteéd Watercress with 2 Kinds of Eggs

Watercress is a leafy vegetable that I can find usually in a Chinese restaurant, specifically a hotpot restaurant, and I just love them!  It is rare that I can find them in the local market, but once in a while, they make an appearance in the specialty market and when I see them, I just grab them!

The thing with watercress is that it does not last long, so if I get them in the morning, I have to cook them within the day.  I used to just add them to pork bone soup but this time around I thought of stir-frying them with some salted eggs and century eggs – inspired by a dish hubby and I had recently.

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch watercress, about 300 to 400 grams, trimmed and cleaned
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, or according to taste
1 to 2 pieces century eggs, roughly chopped
1 to 2 pieces salted eggs, roughly chopped
dash of sesame oil

Saute the garlic in some oil (canola is what I use).  Toss in the watercress when the garlic becomes fragrant.  Season with salt (take it easy though since the salted eggs will add more saltiness).  Add the chopped eggs and stir fry until the watercress is cooked but still a bit crispy.  Garnish with a dash of sesame oil.  Serve hot.

Tofu and Mushrooms with XO Sauce

As I’ve said before, the secret to any good XO dish is the XO sauce!  If you have a good XO sauce (traditionally a scallop-based sauce, but other variants such as abalone has been available in the market), you can virtually mix and match any combination of ingredients!

Take this combination of tofu and mushrooms.  It is a standard in our kitchen since I always, always have mushrooms, and tofu is one of hubby’s and the kid’s favorites!

This is one of those recipes that really does not have specific measurements…

Always begin with a hot pan and the golden “trio” of garlic, ginger, and onion.  Saute until soft and fragrant.  Toss a heaping spoon of the XO sauce (use as little or as much as you like!) into the pass and stir fry until fragrant (trust me, the fragrance is divine!)  While optional, diced red bell peppers may also be added (it adds color as well as texture and flavor).

Throw in the mushrooms (use whichever ones you like – my personal favorites are shitake, enoki, and the Korean king oyster) and stir fry several minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.  De-glaze the pan with some rice wine and a splash of oyster sauce and sweet soya sauce.  Add a little water if you like a saucy dish.  Then add the sliced tofu (my favorite shape is the cube).  Adjust the seasonings according to personal taste.  Cook until the tofu is heated through and then thicken the dish with cornstarch slurry.  Garnish with sliced leeks.

It’s super delicious on top of steamed rice!

 

Scallops and Peppers

This is fast and easy dish, and it IS delicious!

Just how easy is it?  Well, it’s as simple as throwing sliced bell peppers (and some sliced onions) in the hot wok and then throwing in the scallops.  All that’s left is splashing in some rice wine, salt and pepper.  That’s it!

It is ready in… 15? 20? minutes!

Creamy Anchovy Vinaigrette

Ever since I learned how easy it was to make vinaigrette, I’d been experimenting with all sorts of combinations.

The basic elements of a vinaigrette are (1) the sour, (2) the salty, (3) the oily [olive oil], and at times, (4) the sweet, and/or (5) the creamy [if preferred].  Add spices as desired (seasonings like herbs, or flavor profiles like bacon, etc.)

For this salad – mixed greens, sliced tomatoes, feta and double-cream cheese, I decided to use up the leftover anchovies in the fridge.

In a shaker, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons calamansi juice, about a tablespoon of anchovies, mashed, a large pinch of sugar, and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise.  Shake, shake, shake then pour over the salad!

 

Bamboo Shoot-Salted Egg X.O.

Hubby and I were at the Chinese grocery store to buy soy sauce.  I chanced upon the lovely bamboo shoots that were displayed.  Not being able to resist, I picked up a 500g pack!

So what did we have for dinner???  Bamboo shoots!!!

My mother once told me that bamboo shoots should always be boiled is lightly salted water… even those that come from a can.  So that’s what I did – I boiled the bamboo shoots after slicing them into pieces.

My next problem was how to cook them.  Usually I stir-fry the shoots with some pork, shrimp. and mushrooms.  Except that I had not of those at the moment.  Upon searching the fridge, I discovered that I had… salted eggs!  And some spices, i.e. XO sauce and dried shallots.

So then I got out 2 pieces of salted eggs and removed the yolks.  The yolks were mashed, while the whites were cubed.

Heat some oil in a wok then put in the mashed yolks.  Cook the yolks until frothy, then add the whites.  Stir fry several seconds, then add a chopped up dried chili (I used dried Thai chili), about a tablespoon of dried shallots and a heaping teaspoon of XO sauce.  Mix around a bit then add the bamboo shoots.  Splash some water into the wok to prevent it from drying out.  Season with salt, to taste, if desired.  Cook a couple of minutes more.  Then it is done!

I was nervous at first that hubby would not like it, since it is an “invented” dish but he said it was very good!

(smile, smile)

In Someone Else’s Kitchen, 3 of 4

Mixed Mushrooms, Watercress, and Pine Nuts was the vegetable dish for the night.

The original recipe had cashews instead of pine nuts.  But I knew our host had a history of gout and I knew that nuts were on the no-eat list due to its effect of heightening uric acid so I substituted pine nuts.

Except that (I didn’t know) mushrooms were high in uric acid too.  Sigh…

About 500 grams mixed fresh mushrooms (shitake, button, and oyster)
about 300 grams fresh watercress
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
crushed garlic
soy sauce

Clean the mushrooms, cut into more manageable pieces if needed.  Toss in about a tablespoon of soy sauce; marinate for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile crush about 10 cloves of garlic in a mortar with a pestle.  (The beauty of someone else’s kitchen is that I get to use stuff I don’t have in my kitchen.  And learn something new!  Like how pounding garlic in a mortar with a pestle is so much more satisfying that a knife and a chopping board!)

Then, trim the watercress of tough stems and ends.  Rinse and pat dry.

Heat some oil in a pan.  Sauté the crushed garlic until soft and fragrant.  Add the mushrooms; stir fry several seconds.  Add the watercress and a splash of soy sauce (add as desired but be mindful not to make the dish too salty).

Cook until the vegetables are soft but still crunchy.  There will be a lot of liquid.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the watercress and mushrooms to a serving dish (my watercress shrunk and got hidden under all the mushrooms), then scatter pine nuts over the top.

(Our gracious host enjoyed this dish the most, he said.  Even with my faux pas, and his rising levels of uric acid.)

 

 

 

Scallops and Mushrooms on Yellow and Red Peppers

This dish is a hubby-wifey compromise.  Hubby loves bell peppers and I love scallops and mushrooms.  The bonus is that it cooks up in a few minutes!

300 grams shelled Chinese scallops

1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large red bell pepper

200 grams white Shimenji mushrooms

1 large thumb-sized ginger, smashed and chopped (skin off)
sea salt
oyster sauce
shao xing wine

Clean the Chinese scallops with some sea salt and rinse; drain fully.  Marinate in 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce.  (personally I use the lower limit and adjust later.  this is because various brands have slight nuances in saltiness etc.)

Clean and dry the bell peppers.  Remove the top and seeds, then slice into squarish or diamond-shaped pieces.  (meanwhile, start heating the wok with about 1 tablespoon of peanut oil (or canola oil).

Cut the ends of the mushrooms; rinse and dry them.

When the wok and oil is (very) hot, put in the bell peppers and stir fry a few seconds.  Sprinkle in a large pinch of sea salt.  Stir the peppers around, and remove from the pan using a slotted spoon to a serving dish.

In the same pan, sauté half the ginger then add the mushrooms.  Add 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce and stir fry several seconds.  After a couple of minutes add the rest of the ginger and the Chinese scallops.  Splash some shao xing wine (about 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon/s) and stir fry until the scallops are just about done (about a minute or two, depending on the size of the scallops, bigger ones take a bit longer to cook).  Adjust seasonings as desired.  Do not overcook the scallops otherwise they will be tough.

Using a slotted spoon, place the scallops and mushrooms over the bell peppers.

Reduce the liquid in the wok to about half (as preferred) then pour over the dish.  Serve immediately.

 

Tomiyao with Garlic

My first taste of this vegetable was in a famous (local) Chinese restaurant. I found it really tasty – they tasted a bit like bean sprouts but more delicious (my opinion!). I asked the waiter what kind of vegetable it was. He said it was a different kind of bean sprouts. Hmmm…. (felt skeptical and unbelieving since bean sprouts are bean sprouts… might be more logical if they were some kind of sprouts…)

Anyway, I tried to find some at various markets but there was none to be found… until recently! I found several packs in the supermarket nearby! And I asked the “promodiser” what they were. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were actually pea sprouts (or pea shoots) because I do not like peas at all.

They’re easy to cook too!

200 grams of tomiyao, rinsed and dried
8 to 10 cloves of garlic, smashed
salt, to taste

Saute the garlic in some oil, taking care not to burn the garlic. Throw in the tomiyao and some salt (season to taste). Stir fry until just done, to keep the crunch of the shoots. Serve immediately.

That’s it!!!

 

Breakfast Frittata

I grew up on eggs for breakfast.  All throughout my childhood, I remember the breakfast staple – 1/2 cup of Sanka coffee, 1 soft boiled egg, pandesal or sinangag (garlic fried rice), and sometimes, sausages or hotdogs.  To this day, it is extremely rare that my breakfast (or that of hubby’s) skips the egg.  For my sweetie, however, I make an extra effort to gussy up the eggs.

The fastest and easiest way to make eggs fancy is to make a frittata.  If we happen to have leftovers, I simply use them as the filling.  Otherwise, the combination of onions, potatoes, peppers, and of course, cheese (!) do quite well!

2 xl eggs
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium potato, cubed
1 green bell pepper, julienned
120 grams cubed cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

As always, start by sautéing the onion and peppers in a 6-1/2-inch cast iron pan.  Add the cubed potatoes and stir fry a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together until thoroughly combined.  Pour into sautéed vegetables.  Stir lightly.  When the sides are set, scatter the cubed cheese on top then transfer the skillet to a preheated 350*F oven.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the center is cooked through.

Enjoy!