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Archive for December, 2010

Standing Rib Roast

Standing Rib Roast

I first roasted a rib roast for this past Thanksgiving dinner and I overcooked the meat 😦 . Oven temperature and roasting time is very important dealing with this expensive cut of meat. With so many different cooking methods out there, it’s so hard to choose the best one. Finally I decided to follow the one from Costco– the one they printed on the package of their seasoned rib roast… and I was so happy this time the meat turned out just right! Everyone gave it a thumbs up!! Richard and I have decided it’ll be on our Thanksgiving menu from now on… 🙂

It’s not required but I aged the meat in the fridge for about 6 days. It is said that aged prime rib gives a buttery flavor to the meat. Although it’s time consuming due to long roasting hours, but the ingredients are very simple. Give it a try next time when you see a rib roast in your grocery stores. Oh, meat thermometer is a MUST for this. You can find this kitchen gadget in many stores.

Happy New Year and all the best for 2011!!!

Standing Rib Roast (serves 6-7 people)

Ingredients:

7.5 lbs bone-in rib roast (must use bone-in for much better flavor)
cooking oil

seasoning rub (mix well):
1 tbsp freshly ground black peppercorns
1 tbsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Place oven rack to lower half (so the roasting pan is positioned in the middle of the oven).
  2. Let the meat stand in room temperature for a few hours. Coat the meat with cooking oil, then rub the seasoning generously all over the meat.
  3. Place the meat on a roasting rack, bone side down, inside a roasting pan. Roast at 500°F for 20-25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200°F and continue roasting, about 20 minutes per pound (It took me 2 1/2 hours to roast 7.5 lb of meat at 20 min/lb).
  4. Remove the meat from the oven and check the meat using a meat thermometer to see if the roast  reaches desired internal temperature (see chart below). Let the meat rest by covering with 2 pieces of foil, for at least 20 minutes. The internal temperature will continue go up for 5° or so during resting (in my case, the thermometer read went from 135° to 140° during resting for medium cooked meat).
  5. Separate the roast from the bones. Carve the roast and serve with au jus (see below).

To make Au Jus: Remove excess fat from the roasting pan and deglaze with 1 can of chicken broth, cook au jus on the stove until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Age Rib Roast: Rinse rib roast then pat dry with paper towels. Wrap the meat with paper towels and place it in a shallow pan in the fridge for at least 3 days. The longer it ages the flavor gets better. Change the paper towels everyday. On roasting day, trim off any discolored and/or dry part of the meat before coating with oil.

Thermometer Chart:
120 degrees for Rare
130 degrees for Medium Rare
140 degrees for Medium
150 degrees for Well Done

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This a new cookie recipe that I tried out during the holiday cookie bake maniac. It is very crunchy, but if you prefer your cookies a bit on the chewy side then bake them for a shorter time (maybe 15 minutes?). I find the cookies are still a little too sweet, so I will cut down on the sugars next time.

Coconut Crunch for the holidays!

Coconut Crunch for the holidays!

Coconut Crunch (makes at least 5 dozens)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp dry milk powder
3 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup sugar– should cut down to 3/4 cup
1 cup packed brown sugar– should cut down to 3/4 cup
2 sticks (4 oz each) butter– softened
2 eggs

Method:

  1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and milk powder together. Stir in desiccated coconut and mix well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add in flour mixture slowly and mix well.
  4. take some dough and roll in your palm to a form a 1-inch diameter ball. Place the dough ball on the baking sheet, 2 inches apart (as cookies spread out flat during baking). Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Bake in preheated 300°F oven for 18 minutes, turning half way to brown cookies evenly if necessary. Let cookies cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • If the cookies are not baked enough they will have a chewy texture– simply return to the 300°F oven and bake for a few more minutes until cookies are browned and crunchy.

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Tiramisu

Tiramisu

First, my apology for no picture posted in this entry… yes and again, I was rushing out the door for the party and forgot to take a picture of the dessert! I will update the blog with a picture when I make it next time as there’s still some marcapone cheese left in my fridge.

*** 12/31/2010 update: I posted the picture and also included the recipe for a smaller 9×9 inch square glass pan. Check the recipe below.***

With Christmas around the corner there is always a party in someone’s house. This is one of the dishes I brought to the holiday gathering. I made it the night before so no last minute stress of preparing. If you are making this dessert, be sure to use traditional Italian lady fingers which are crispy, as opposed to American lady fingers which are more of a cake texture and break apart when you dip them into the coffee.

I found this recipe from FoodNetwork.com. Generally tiramisu uses 6-7 raw eggs (eggs and yolks combined) but this recipe only uses 4 eggs(eggs and yolks combined). I change the preparing method a little– whisking eggs in a double boiler on the stove so to cook the eggs a little. If you can find pasteurized eggs it will be best to use for making tiramisu. By the way, do you know that ‘tiramisu’ in Italian means ‘pick me up!“?

Tiramisu Recipeadapted from recipe from Steven Ullman (makes 1 glass tray of 9 x 13 x 2 inch)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
9 tbsp sugar
2 containers (226mg each) mascarpone cheese— see note below
1 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
10 tbsp golden rum
2 cups espresso or very strong brewed coffee (4 heap scoop for 2 cups water)
4 dozen Italian lady fingers
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

For a smaller 9×9 inch square glass pan:
Ingredients:
1 eggs
1 egg yolks
7 tbsp sugar–> 6 tbsp for eggs, 1 tbsp for whipping cream
1 containers (226mg each) mascarpone cheese– see note below
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
tiny pinch of salt
6 tbsp golden rum–> 1 tbsp for cream, 5 tbsp for coffee
1 1/2 cups espresso or very strong brewed coffee (4 heap scoops for 2 cups water)
2 dozens of Italian lady fingers
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

  1. Place 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks and 7 tbsp sugar in mixing bowl over a pot with some boiling water (be sure water does not contact with the mixing bowl). Use a electric hand mixer, mix until the mixture reaches body temperature (very slightly warm). Remove from the pot, continue mixing until mixture forms a good ribbon stage. Mix in mascarpone cheese.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream with 2 tbsp sugar and pinch of salt until hard peak forms.
  3. Add whipped cream and 2 tbsp rum to mascarpone cheese mixture, mix with hand mixer until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl combine coffee and 8 tbsp rum (see note below).
  5. One at a time, quickly dip lady fingers into coffee mixture and then place on the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass pan. Continue until the lady fingers fill the entire layer on the bottom. Using a spatula spread half of the mascarpone cream over lady fingers. Repeat the process (dipping + cream) to make second layer.
  6. Refrigerate 8-10 hours or overnight. Before serving dust the top generously with unsweetened cocoa powder (see note below). Serve cold.

Regina’s Note:

  • Mascarpone cheese: I couldn’t find plain mascarpone cheese so I use coffee flavor mascarpone cheese instead.
  • Coffee mixture: This dessert is not sweet at all. If you prefer a slightly sweeter version, add extra 1-2 tbsp sugar into the coffee mixture. Stir to dissolve.
  • Cocoa powder: Always dust cocoa powder before serving for better presentation, as the cream will moisten cocoa powder over time and make the top of tiramisu look wet.


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This is my 1st trial at Pain d’Epi (wheat stalk-shaped bread)– well the “wheat grains” look kinda funny but the bread was delicious. Because of all these cut edges, it is one of the most crusty bread out there. I made it to go with dinner and it was getting late, we couldn’t wait any longer for the bread to cool down completely– so we just broke apart each “grain” by hand when the bread was still quite warm. No worries about the damage of slicing a warm bread!

 

Pain d'Epi (Wheat Stalk Bread)

Pain d'Epi (Wheat Stalk Bread)

Pain d’Epi (Wheat Stalk-shaped bread) Recipe — original and full recipe from Artisan Breads in Five Minutes A Day (makes 1 loaf):

Ingredients:

1 portion (1 lb) of basic artisan bread stored dough

flour for dusting

Method:

  1. On baking day take out chilled dough, sprinkle some flour on top of the dough then use one hand to pull up some dough (about size of grapefruit) while use the other hand to cut the dough with a pair of kitchen scissors. With dough in you hand, gently pull stretch the surface of the dough and tuck in the bottom, giving it a quarter turn as you pull/stretch. Dust a little more flour to prevent dough sticks to you hand. This shaping process should not take more than 1 minute.
  2. Place the dough a floured surface and gently stretch it to a oval. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter fold– bring in one side and press it to the center. Bring in the other and press it to the center. Pinch to seal the edge.
  3. Gently stretch the dough into a long thin log. If the dough resists your stretching then let it rest for a moment to relax the gluten. Don’t fight with the dough. Place shaped dough on pizza peel lined with parchment paper, rest uncovered at room temperature for 1.5 hours.
  4. 20 minutes before baking, place pizza stone on the middle rack and a shadow pan at the bottom rack. Then preheat oven temperature to 450°F.
  5. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Start with one end, use a pair of kitchen scissors quickly cut the dough at 45° angle to near bottom (take care not to cut the dough all the way through) and tilt the cut portion on one side. Make the same cut and tilt it on the other side. Continue cutting and tilting dough on alternative side until you reach the other end of the “stalk”.
  6. Quickly and carefully slide the dough with parchment paper onto the pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of water into the shadow pan then quickly close the oven door.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes until the bread is golden and tap hollow at the bottom of bread (I always bake the bread on stone for 29 minutes, remove water pan, and  transfer the bread to the bottom rack and bake for 1 minute to crisp up the bottom crust). Remove bread  from oven and cool immediately on a rack. Cool completely before slicing.

 

Pain d'Epi (wheat stalk-shaped bread) before baking.

Pain d'Epi (wheat stalk-shaped bread) before baking.

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This is the dessert I made for Thanksgiving this year. I’d better post the recipe before I forget all about it.

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe (makes one 9×9 glass pan)

Ingredients:
4-5 large golden delicious apples
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp sugar
dashes of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp golden rum– optional

for Topping:
1/2 cup oat– likely toasted and cool
1/2 cup chopped almonds– likely toasted and cool
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter– cut into cubes

Method:

  1. Core and peel the apples then cut into big chunks. Place in a big bowl and drizzle lemon juice, mix well. Let it marinate for a while to soak the lemon juice. Add in flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and rum. Toss to coat well. Transfer to a 9-inch square glass pan.
  2. Prepare topping: In a different bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add in cold butter cubes and use both hands quickly rub butter into flour mixture until loose crumbs forms. Sprinkle topping evenly on top of the nectarine, bake at preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Use a fork to loose up the topping so the inner part is brown nicely, every 10 minutes until topping is all nicely brown inside out (by this point the juice from the nectarine should be thicken). Cool on the rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm, or cold with ice cream.

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There were some blueberries left from making blueberry pancakes this past weekend, so I decided to make some blueberry muffins. I was about to start, then I saw half of an apple sitting on the counter (leftover from making caramel apple pork chop), and I thought why not toss in apples to make the muffin more moist. My recipe is based on this recipe from Rasa Malaysia, but I add in apples and also change the mixing method by folding whipped egg white into egg yolk mixture.

The verdict: The muffins are not as dense and sweet like store bought ones, and they are moist too. I’d like my muffins even more fluffier, so until I find a fluffier muffin recipe, I’m sticking to this one… 🙂

Blueberry Apple Muffins

Blueberry Apple Muffins

Blueberry Apple Muffins (makes 10 muffins)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg– separated yolk and egg white– see note below
3/4 cup milk, plus more– see note below
1/2 cup blueberries– rinsed
1/2 cup diced apples

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a muffin pan with 10 paper muffin cups or grease with cooking spray. Fill the 2 empty cups halfway with water.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Stir in 3 tbsp of sugar. In another bowl, hand whisk egg yolk, milk and melted butter until blended well. Pour the yolk mixture over the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (do not overmix– the batter will be slightly lumpy).
  3. Use a electric hand mixer, beat egg white until fluffy. Add in 1 tbsp sugar gradually and continue beating until soft peak appears as for meringue. Gently fold in whipped egg white into the batter until just blended (my batter was a bit thick so I added in about 2-4 tbsp of milk– see note below).
  4. Add the blueberries and diced apples to bowl, stir them in just enough to combine.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffins cups. Bake the muffins until golden, for about 20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on the rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • Egg– I used only 1 egg  yolk, so my batter (before adding whipped egg white) was quite thick. The whipped egg white doesn’t have enough volume to lighten up the batter. Next time I should try using 2 eggs yolks and 2 egg whites.
  • Milk– before adding the fruits the batter still looks a bit thick, so I added some milk to lighten it up a bit, about 2-4 tbsp by vision 🙂

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It’s COLD out there… what a perfect time to have a bowl of Soto Ayam to warm up my body and soul. For readers who are not familiar with Soto Ayam, it is a yellowish (comes from turmeric powder) chicken noodle soup that made popular in Malaysia and Indonesia, each with a slightly different version.

 

Chicken Noodle Soup 'Soto Ayam'

Chicken Noodle Soup 'Soto Ayam'

Chicken Noodle Soup ‘Soto Ayam’ Recipe

Ingredients:

Blend to paste:
1 medium yellow onion– cut into chunks— see note below
4 shallots— see note below
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 inch ginger

2 stalks lemon grass (used only white part)– cut into 3-inch long
2 cardamon
1 star anise
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
10 chicken drumsticks
2 cans chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tsp ground white pepper
salt to taste

Condiments:
cooked rice noodles (江西濑粉 or 米粉), or yellow noodles (油面), or cubed compressed rice ‘ketupat’
hard boiled eggs– halved or quartered
bean sprouts– blanched
lime wedges
sweet hot pepper sauce (finely chopped some red hot peppers and garlic, mix well with kecap manis (Indonesian dark sweet sauce) and a little soy sauce)

Garnish:
fried shallots
chopped green onion & cilantro

Method:

  1. Adding some water, blend onion, shallots, garlic and coriander into paste.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep pot on high heat, fry lemon grass, cardamon and star anise until aromatic. Add in paste, turmeric powder, cumin, and fry until the liquid almost dries out and aromatic. Add in drumsticks and stir until the meat is cooked on the surface.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium heat and simmer until chicken is cooked.
  4. Remove chicken and set aside to cool slightly. Remove chicken skins and bones, and hand shred the meat. Set aside.
  5. Strain the soup base. Return soup to heat, add white pepper and salt to taste.
  6. To serve, place some noodles/ketupat in a bowl, top with shredded chicken, hard boiled eggs, bean sprouts and lime wedges. Scoop in some soup broth, and garnish with fried shallots and green onion/cilantro. Serve with sweet hot pepper sauce. Enjoy!

Regina’s Note:

  • This is the first time I cooked Soto Ayam. I used a little too much onion as my soup has a onion taste. I later compared several Soto Ayam recipes and found that either shallots or onion is used, but not both.

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