Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Day Corned Beef Dinner

Happy St Patrick's Day to all who is celebrating.  We celebrated with our friends who is of irish decent with a corned beef, potatoes and cabbage dinner.  How else?  this is how this chinese lady celebrate any festival or events, no fuss no muss, just eat.  This chinese lady nearly did not get dinner ready in time,  i had misread the cooking instructions on the bag of corned beef,  i saw 1 hour and did not read the rest, so, i thought i just cook the slab of corned beef one and a half hour before dinner.  But, before i started cooking, i re-read and oh my, it is 1 hour for every pound of corned beef and i have 3 pounds!!!!.  So, think fast,  ok, out came the pressure cooker, my saviour,  put in 1/2 inch of water, put a saucer to raise the corned beef and pressurized the meat for 20 minutes.  The corned beef is fork tender now,  into the oven it went sitting on a bed of potatoes.  There is a chinese or rather cantonese saying, - chor yau chor cheok meaning a wrong turned for the better - I saved a couple of hours of electricity.

To go with the corned beef dinner, i made Irish Soda Bread which was good with a  large dab of butter and i will post this recipe asap.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tofu Fah II/Douhua 豆花

If you are asian you should be familiar with soya bean products.  Products made from soya beans are a staple or a must have in any asian pantry.  Recipes using these products are limitless.  I don't think i need to introduce these products and i am sure all you readers already know what they are.   I am a soya bean fan and my brothers have mentioned that i will and can survive if i am to be put in tofu land.  Soybeans are considered to be a source of complete protein.  A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body's inability to synthesize them.  

I have tried  making tofu fah/douhua using the way of pouring the hot soya bean milk into a tall pot which has diluted gypsum powder mixed with water at the bottom(this is called 'chong kau' in cantonese) but, at that time i made a very very large batch of soya bean milk and it was scary for me, as it was a  huge large pot of hot boiling soya bean milk!!!!!  So, i tried another process by just stirring in the diluted gypsum into the hot boiling milk, the recipe is here HERE.  I went through the comments in this post and found so many unsuccessful attempts by my readers and would like to comment further as to what might have caused it.  Most of the time,  the result is like scrambled eggs.  First caution is - the boiling has to ceased and the heat from the stove turned off before adding in the diluted gypsum and when you are  stirring the hot soya bean milk, do it in a front and back motion and then bring the wooden spoon or wooden spatula to the middle of the pot and hold it there.  This will stop the motion of the soya bean milk , cos vigorously movement will break up the protein which the gysum has just coagulated it.  So, do not stir round and round when the gypsum solution is added, just move front and back and stop at the center of pot, hold the spatula/wooden spoon at this position until the movement stops.

What i am about to share is a recipe using less beans with the same amount of water and instead of using cornstarch/potato starch, i have used RICE FLOUR.  The method will the pouring method and this time is not so intimidating  as it is a smaller portion and can be managed in any home environment.

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