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Archive for November, 2013

I got a bag of organic dried sliced plantain bananas from Costco just to give it a try, but found out they are quite chewy and dense. Great... now I’m stuck with a big bag of chewy dried bananas! What can I do with it? What can I do with it??… I know! Banana chocolate scones! It’s quick and easy to make, and a new flavor for the family.:-)

Results: Even I added 1 tbsp of rum to soften the bananas, I could’t taste any alcohol at all after baking. I didn’t want the taste of bananas take over the overall taste of the scones, so I just coarsely chopped. As a result, there are bites of the scones that comes with the sweet fragrance of banana, but no bananas in those bites at all… interesting!

Banana Chocolate Scones

Banana Chocolate Scones

Banana Chocolate Scones (makes 12 small scones)

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnut– chopped
1/2 cup bitter-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried banana slices– chopped, and soak in 1 tbsp golden rum for at least 1 hour– see note below
2 eggs
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Rub in butter until the mixture resembles of coarse crumbs. Add walnut, chocolate chip and chopped dried banana. Toss to mix well.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract and milk (or cream) in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp to reserve for glaze. Pour the egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture. Use a spatula gently stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently 4-6 times, then divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6 inch circle, then cut into 6 small wedges, for a total of 12 wedges.
  4. Place scones on a lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and chill in freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Brush scones with reserved egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is baked through and golden brown on the edge. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

  • Dried banana slices: The banana I used are dried sliced plantain banana that I got from Costco. They are a bit sticky, chewy and a bit dense in texture, so I added 1 tbsp of rum to soften up a little (and rum makes it more flavorful, you can’t taste the alcohol at all after baking). you can substitute rum with water.

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Yes, century eggs! The egg white part looks like clear brown jelly sometimes with needle marks like snowflakes, and it tastes like harden jelly, a bit rubbery with a very mild flavor. The  greyish yolk, however, carries a pungent smell and more flavorful. Sometimes the yolk is a bit soft in the center, as you slice through the gooey yolk will stick to the knife. For preserved eggs, I like salted eggs better than century eggs. However, one time when I tried this cold appetizer at a Hunan restaurant and I fell in love with it. It is quite easy to make. The combination of roasted peppers (sweet and spicy) and century eggs blends pretty well; a great side dish to go with just a bowl of steam rice. If you can take spicy foods and century eggs, try it out.

Roasted Peppers with Century Eggs 燒椒皮蛋

Roasted Peppers with Century Eggs 燒椒皮蛋

Roasted Peppers with Century Eggs 燒椒皮蛋 Recipe

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers
6 fresh jalapeno peppers
2 century eggs

seasoning:
1 tbsp black rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp peppercorn oil 花椒油

Method:

  1. Cut bell peppers in half, remove stems and seeds. Drizzle with little oil and roast in the oven at 375°F for about 30 minutes. Cool then peel off the skin. Cut into strips.
  2. Fire roast jalapeno peppers directly on top of flame until the skin turn black completely. I always put jalapeno peppers on a skewer, and roast them directly on the flame on my gas stove top. At first the skin will make little crackling sound then it will start blacken, but hardly any smoke.  When the peppers are blackened, remove from flame and cover them with a paper towel for a couple of minutes. Use the paper towel to rub off the blackened skin and remove the seeds. Cut into strips.
  3. For century eggs, remove the shells and cut into thin wedges.
  4. Put bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, century eggs and seasoning a bowl. Toss gently to mix the flavor well. Serve immediately. Do not mix in seasoning if serving the dish later as it will becomes watery.

Regina’s Note:

  • Only mix in seasoning a few minutes before serving or the dish will get watery the longer it sits in the seasoning sauce.

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Geez… I think I’m in a muffin land lately can you tell?! It all started with a day with zero breakfast food for the family, so I decided to make rum and raisin muffins AND blueberry muffins on the same day– and this just happened few days ago. And now I’m making rum raisin muffins again (perfecting recipe) and strawberry muffins!

There are several ways to make muffins, but I like this method that I’m using– which uses melted butter and the folding technique (vs. other method that calls for creaming butter and beating eggs and mix in flour). I find this method works pretty fast, and makes fluffier muffins.

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins

Strawberry Muffins (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
10 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– melted
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 eggs– room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shopped fresh strawberries

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line muffin molds with muffin cup liners.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a big bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine whipping, eggs, vanilla extract. Whisk to blend well.
  4. Add cream mixture and melted butter to flour mixture. Gently FOLD the batter with a spatula. FOLD in strawberries.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin molds. Bake at preheated 400F oven for 20-22 minutes, until muffin tops springs back when gently pressed.
  6. Remove muffins from molds immediately. Transfer to cooling rack. Let muffins cool slightly before serving. Best if served warm.

Regina’s Note:

  • Other berries (raspberry, blueberry) can also be used for this recipe.

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