s (•'.'•) welcome to karlsfoodie

Monday, February 18, 2008

Choy Keok aka 菜脚

Choy Keok is a fairly popular chinese dish back in the 80s. Or perhaps earlier. I wont know since I was still swimming somewhere hehe

I am too lazy to blog bout this actualy..but in case my blog collect dust.. or worse... turn RUSTY... I finaly pick up enough strength to blog bout this... NO regrets thou/

Anyway... ths dish name is direct translation from cantonese.
This dish is literaly a cheap dish... but taste heavenly...
Why cheap? Cos it uses all the left over food. Esp aft a banquet.
The roast chicken, duck, pork, mushroom, will be put together in a huge pot.. really HUGE one I have at home.

Add in assam skin and also dry chilli not forgetting the all most important 'gai choy' aka mustard leaves. cover with alot of water, and after 2 hours of 'stewing', the meat will be so soft that they will drop off from the bone.. season it with salt n sugar if desire...

In the olden days, I vividly rem some aunties will bring their tupperware box to the banquet... all for the sake of this dish.. its realy yummy I tell u.

Since I had some roast pic pieces and head left from CNy feasting.. ... I bet many ppl will throw the head away rite? but I froze it.. just for this dish.. but... look left look right.. I dont seem to have enough meat to make this dish at all... So mum resorted to going to the market and buy the left over roasted/braised duck head n neck from the uncle...

My 1st time cooking this dish... I thought the duck neck look super unappetising. I almost go YUCKS... thou I love this dish.. but...

Anyway... The process was 'tough' cos I needed a huge pot..and mum say I cannot use metal pot.. so i dug out the biggest clay pot i have.. yes.. I have a huge one... and I threw in evrythg including the pig head... with the ears, nose and mouth intact.. Threw in some bean curd stick... mushroom n anythg I can find in the fridge.. but I have 1 problem... the pot have no space for the 3kg of gai choy already... took me quite a bit of effort to squeeze them in, in 3 batches...

FINALY!!! Using Peony's tip on adding some tomato sauce.. (wanted to use her method of tomyum paste but mumg t the assam for me already), I added in some fiery chilli paste which my grandaunt gave us for CNY... Oh My.. the whole dish is soooo spicy n shiok.. giving me the tummyache the moment i think of it...

After 2 1/2 hours... I got this to go w a bowl of steamy white rice..

Yummy Choy Keok

Oh yes.. U gotto cook the gai choy till its limpey n yellow... then its nice..else it have a bitter taste... so..green veggie is a nono here... so is fish since they prob become fish soup after u r done with the dish.

This dish taste different each time u cook since its dependant on what U add into the pot... and thus.. dun be surprise that it alwasy taste different.

Like I said earlier.. ppl willrpob throw away the pig head instead of cooking... the meat was sooo smooth n good after I cook it.. in fact.. ermm.. even the ear went soft... the pic shows the ear.. can u spot the ear? LOL...

And hope the lucky people who got a portion of this dish from me likes it too.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The 9th Day of Hokkien Chinese New Year

On the 7th day of CNy which is today.. Its known as 人日。A day which is consider a birthday for all... and many will lou hei aka toss the yu sheng tonight.

Oh ya before I forget.. this is a boring post cos no pics... this is for my own journal purposes only.

However for the hokkien, apart from the lou hei.. its another busy day for us.
Tomorrow is a night for us to 拜天宫。 At least this is the word we been using since young. . Busy with all the preparation of 拜天宫。
Hock chew derived from the group of hokkien and thus.. we also follow this custom.. untill the recent few years, when ah mah grow too old n weak to do this and eventualy passed away.

I rem.. back then.. I will look forward to this day... where we will be busy lugging our tables down to the 1st storey from the 3rd... 2 huge red tables.. like temple style... grandma will come with the most important item.. a pair of bamboo. Alongside will be a roast pig (HUGE one), roast chicken, lor ark, crabs, fish, prawns, fruits n etc.. Not forgetting laods of inscense paper , candles, and joss stick for prayers...

There is a story behind this worshipping style and the below will tell u why is the bamboo important.

Extracted from http://www.pulau-pangkor

During the Chinese Ming Dynasty, the Hokkien (they still live in south east China (in the area of Xiamen) lost a war. They had to flee their villages. Depending on what you read the attackers were foreign troops or Han Chinese. However, the most persistent story is that the invaders were from closer by: the Cantonese.

The Hokkiens fled and hid in the sugarcane fields. The Cantonese soldiers tried to find them for days but failed. After some time the Cantonese warriors grew tired of searching the fields and returned to their own areas.

The Hokkiens returned to what was left of their houses but they themselves had been spared. The day they came out of the sugarcane fields was, as they realised, the 9th day of the Chinese New Year. Grateful they had been spared they offered gifts to the Yu Huang, the Supreme Ruler of Heaven for their salvation.
As their homes were destroyed, they had little to offer. All that they had was sugarcane stalks which they offered. The tradition held on until modern days. Some say the tradition is the strongest in Penang.


yes the bamboo save our ancestor lives.. and thus it is used as offering to 玉皇.
By the stroke of 12 midnight.. we will bring out all the joss paper n sugar to burn... I still rem.. we have to reserve the parking lot right in front of our house so tat we have spce to burn those offering(now u knwo hw much offerings are there?)
And with many hokkien family around.. the whole street have about 9 or 10 family doing similar prayers. By 12.. smoke fills up the whole street.

not forgetting an interesting sight... before 12.. there will always be this couple who come bk w a tick tock thgy.. and some other muscial instrument.. they will sing in hokkien and in return grandma will give them a red packet as a token.
Sadly..such sight is no more for us to see.. otherwise I think its gonna to be somethg really interesting.. esp to the kids

Mayb I should beg dear to go out w mi tomolo after dinner n see if I can snap a pic of this.. No promise thou.. sicne the whole gang of us are gg to to have a mass celebration for V day... yes.. whole gang of couple.. Keep a look out for the next entry.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

CNY Cupcake

While I promised myself no baking till the end of the week.. I cant help it when my hand get 'itchy' I cant sit still... despite I am busy with other stuff... I thought I want to bake something for the next 3 gathering cum house visit... And Im sorely missing the cherry chocolate cake(yes im allergic to chocolate but I love this cake after my pralet)

Knowing I have got 1 more can of cherry in the cupboard... I bake these cuppies just 1 hour before I go out last evening... Naively think.. the amount of cupcake can last me for 3 gathering...

Who knows... Well... ermm the response to the cuppy were so good.. It prob only lasted us 1 session with 2 extra for myself to indulge in...
I did some butter cream and pipe cherry blossom design on it.. they were gone before I can snap any photo.. too pretty hehe...

Then using my 财源广进 mould for the 2nd time.. I managed to make them as cupcake topple.
The 1st time I used them was last year when I was conducting some chocolate moulding class for a company. I have to do justice to the mould.. Cant neglect them alrite since I got them 2 years ago.

CNY cupcake

The chocolate pieces wewre brittle.. prob bcoe they were a bit dry aft melting and I added more oil to it.. or perhaps its just me who lost touch with my chocolate moulding skill.

Thanking G again for sharing her precious closely guarded recipe.
Finaly this round the cuppy are not as sweet as previous(the bikini cuppies), I reduce the sugar to near half. I am happy with the softness and springyness.

Just for my own reference, I used this can cherry as recommended instead of PH ones as it seem to b said that PH cherrys is nothg but starch..

I MUST go n stock up these cherries again(thats how i always burnt a hole in my pocket since they r pretty ex). I knw I must make them again next week =)

New Year Lunch

Durign the 1st 2 to 3 days of CNY, most food stalls are closed. Those that are open, will have exorbitant price.. like $4 per bowl of noodles or etc.. even the drinks are 30cent xtra per can. The set vegetarian meal we had on the 1st day of CNY was no cheaper...

And thus most of the time we opt to eat in..

Today, lunch was simple yellow noodles with HockChew fishball.

While Granny was still alive, our reunion dinner will always be steamboat, and we will have alot of Hock chew fish ball to go with.. Reason being... we r Hockchew..
While its call fish ball... actualy there are meat filling within it.. thats what makes it special.
Those days there isnt frozen HC fishball. Instead its made/bought fresh from the market. I remember few years bk the old lady was still selling these at the wet market in town.. I guess she dont sell these anymore...

I decided to include this in the CNY lunch since its a good reminder fof my own dialect group.

Hock Chew Fishball Noodles

The fresh fishballs are alwasy laided with loads of minced meat within, and when u bite thru them the yummy juice will oozed out..(think xiao long pau)
Unfortunately, the frozen one does not have much juice as I expected..

HC Fishball

While Dear is no Hockchew.. he thoroughly enjoyed these since the early days during our courtship.. I still rem we will go to the old airport market to patronise this stall that sells fantastic Hockchew fishball noodles.

Looks like its time for me to go bk to the market for a bowl of this =)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Reunion Feast

By request of my family, this year I am required to do the dinner again... esp so since last yr when I order the Poon Choy from a supposedly very popular shop and it turns out to be a flop.
My sisters n mum protested when I mention i MIGHT cater again. and thus.. I need to cook almost everything myself this year.

With 1 more daughter married off.. this means my parents gotto accomodate the timing once more since it means my sis will be having her round 1 at home before she join us.

Whie I am very keen on cookin everythg by myself.. I guess on some food.. we just want to go the short cut way...

For instance, the Yu Sheng

Fa Cai Yu Sheng

Bought this set of of yusheng at Fissler the other day with Audrey. Minus the fish and the chredded vegies of cos... We got the normal type of sashimi instead of the super thin slice since most of us are Salmon Sashimi Lover. In fact what u see in the pic was onli 1/5 of the org amount of fish we added into the dish... its really YUMMY!
Also I added some gold n silver leaves on the yu sheng... so as to symbolised 蹁地黄金.
I heart Yu Sheng!!!

Then I tot of making some "GOLD leaves" appetiser... more like erm... as finger food. Sandwich fish & sotong paste with whole scallop and prawns, then deep fry.
Wanted it to look like god bar!!

heres how it looks like before frying.

Golden SeaFood Bar

Not posting the picture of the cook ones since the pic were badly taken due to my shaky hands and also rushing for time to serve the food warm.

Next, Yam ring.
Its dear an dmy favourite.. N I tot my monkey sisters will love them too... I tot of cooking 2 yam ring.. but seeing the amount of food.. makes me have 2nd thoughts.

Yam Ring

Since I gotto fry the yam ring..that was why I tot of frying the Golden Seafood Bar.. Must fully utilised the oil n deep fryer rite??
And thus.. sicne Im frying the yam.. Might as well fry the bee hoon for decor as well.. (ya I want to get rid of the bee hoon in my pantry !!hehe)

This round the yam ring was fried to almost perfection... its still soft n nice unlike the previous time it turn out pretty hard.

And whats a feast w/o shark fin?

When e went grocery shoppign at the Marine food stuff supplier last week, Dear pointed to the huge pack of shark fins.. Seeing the fins in nice cresent shape form.. I decided to grab 2 pack at $90 for the dinner.

After much steaming, and boilin of stock.. adding crabmeat, chicken into the stock.. My sharkfin is born!

Yummy Shark Fin

Yea if u notice... the gold leaf made its way into the soup again!!!
I guess thats what many ppl will love esp for us all who are businessman/woman..
And instead of the regular vinegar which is often used in restaurant.. we just love to have cognac or XO in the shark fin instead.. taste so good!!!

Mum was suggesting to buy roast chicken or the day.. But I tot the kids like us will prob be more excited with something else.. I decided on a suckling pig.

We ordered 1 from the mart and lug it home to roast... U see.. its frozen and I was tryign to see if its edible by pinching some b4 I roast it.. and my!! Its chewey rubbery and ermm oily!
Also the pig is too big fo rmy oven. if I stick the whole pig into the oven.. Either the head or the tail will be sticking out of the oven making it impossible to close the oven door..

End up i gotto chop off the head.. roast the body to perfection.. then roast the head seperately... NO qualms bout it.. since aft which I slick them up really thinly and arrange all on top of some fried keropok(yes I make use of the deep fryer again!) with my longish plate together w the head n tail..

Roast Suckling Pig

Luckily I roast it.. imagine how much oil was forced out of the pig while I was grilling it.. Of cos the eventualy result was fantastic.. light n crispy.. the crackling sound when u bite in is... hmmmmmm

Still I am greedy .. I wanted a chicken.. not roast... Remembering how much my family like drunkrad chicken fr crystal jade.. I thought thats the best dish to make since it can be made well ina dvance.. means lesser work for mi to do on the actualy day.

I forgot to snap a nice pic of it anyway and my sis snap the pic of the chicken in the midst of the dinner.. Loooks funny thou..

Drunkard Chix

Now..with the pig, sharkfin etc on the table.. what else is lacking?ABALONE of cos!

As usual.. Abalone is mostly pair with veggies. Thus got 2 can of abalone for the day... but I really think we will be over fed... so I made a smart decision on just using 1 can... the other.. save it for porridge nxt round!!

Jade Abalone..

Ya brocolli is easiest to cook.. if not spinach.. since I cant find any Spinach I make do with brocolli
Just add soem thickening on the sauce.. and the dish is done!!!

And oh yes the last dish was fry noodles with leek. Leek is commonly used for CNYdishes since in chinese we call it 蒜 which sounded like 算.. meanign u got loads(of money) to count.. Thus its th ebest dish to make.. No pic yet again cos I was really busy.. Din want my BIL to wait too long b4 we start dinner.

And why do I say this is the last dish? Where is dessert??

I originaly wanted to do orh nee.. somethign which i know if I dont do my ear will never get peace.. cos mysis will nag nag nag.. since she had refused outside orh nee... However, I really cannot find yam despite I went to many markets n marts... too bad.. next week mayb *wink*.. U shld have seen hwo she ransack my kitchen for orh nee.. tinking I lied bout having no orh nee! hahahaa.. maybe nxt week during our annual lo hei I shall make some then...

mean while

恭喜發財 to all!!!!

Im off for a good day ahead.. perhaps mahjong marathon hehe

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bye Bye Piggy

Today is the last day of the Piggy year.. While we bid the Piggy Farewell.. We welcome the Rat..

Heres something which I thought is suitable for today's post...

The tail end of Piggy...

Cooking dinner now... Be back soon =)

Wishing all my readers a Happy Lunar New Year.
May the New Year be properous and fruitful for all..
For good Health, Good Career, and for the ones who bakes.. may your cake rise high high LOLz

HUAT ahhh .... *giggles*

Sunday, February 03, 2008

CNY Goodies Part 3: Dragon Cookies

The toher day i had cookies exchange w my dear friend KH.. Actualy it wasnt really any kind of exchg.. i wanted to give her my cookies only.. cos I did not managed to give her any for Xmas.. but she is nice enough to make mi some dragoon cookies knowing I haven got the time to do so..

Dragon Cookies

Nice... with melt in the mouth feel.. I am tempted to do them now.. but.. I know I must not stray LOL... cos I need to do many other things. I need to do the last round of baking for my family.. then reunion dinner cooking...

I can feel those aching bones n muscles now... I think I did suffer that badly when I was doing SOC back then.. but ok .. I enjoyed it =)


Ok this is by request.. HK want to see this...and so Im posting it for her.

My latest acquisiton...

Kitty Bento Box

While I know I prob cant let Mickey use this box since he is a boi... (he shall use the Doraemon one) But I thought of a way to use this box asap already.. when I go to the 'safari' nxt trip, I will bring food along w this hahahaha YAY....

Im lemming to buy the Melody one thou but it was a bit scratch so I did not buy... just exactly what else they have manz!!!!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pralet Rush

In the midst of all the CNy goodies prep... my oven is working apprx 6 hours a day in full swing... churning out about 300 to 400 tarts each day. and I had some last min order for pralet as well... It almost killed me.. cos Im really exhausted now

Just the other day i got an over seas call from the States. M wanted to order a cake for her friend, June. Its not the 1st time for overseas order thou.. on avg every 2 mth I get 1 overseas order.. Anyway pralet was decided... and here goes

I use sugar paste for the Happy Birthday (somethign which I hardly used hehe)

And.. I also got an order for a 3 yr old Birthday.
Bob The Builder was requested... I def wun do a cream cake w that theme since it prob take sup too much of my time.. Icing image is the option =)

Despite the cake is double the org portion the size is relatively small since the cake is actualy v flat in the 1st place.. and thus that explains that its onli 11inch big.

for both cake. the alcohol were excluded... that makes the pralet not as fantastic(I think lor).. I hope they love it...