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Archive for the ‘Home Cooking’ Category

Have you had Asian chickens before? When it comes to whole chickens, my family and I have always chosen Asian chickens. Here in British Columbia, you can find different types of specialty Asian chickens that are raised locally. Our go-to has been the Loong Kong Chicken 龍崗雞. They are free-run chicken, and they’re more yellow in appearance than your typical chicken. They remind me of the chickens I grew up eating in Hong Kong. We find the meat firmer yet tender, more flavourful, and skin bouncier, and definitely more suitable for preparing Asian style dishes.

Did you know?

No hormones or steroids are fed to BC chickens and all BC chickens are allowed to roam in the barns and are considered “free run”.

When it comes to enjoying fresh Loong Kong Chicken, my family simply steams it. By steaming it, you will also extract some chicken broth full of the chicken essence. Mama Lam takes it to the next level by making a sauce with the chicken broth, pour it back onto the steamed chicken so it absorbs all the flavours. Here is the recipe:

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Brussels sprouts are often considered an acquired taste. I for one really like brussels sprouts, and thankfully my family also loves brussels sprouts. Fried brussels sprouts had become a go-to dish that I order at restaurants. It’s easy to make them at home, too. The easiest way to prepare them at home is to roast them in the oven. They become tender, the exterior becomes crispy, and all you need is some simple seasoning.

Did you know brussels sprouts and kale, as well as cauliflower and broccoli and gai lan, come from the same wild cabbage family?

The other day I got some Chilean grapes. Their skin wasn’t too thick and the grapes had a lot of flavour, mostly sweet with just a hint of acidity and tannin. I was looking up savoury recipes to prepare grapes, and I came across a roasted grapes and brussels sprouts recipe. What a clever idea! I kept on reading a number of similar recipes and adapted to create the following, with an Asian twist by adding Chinese sausage.

Fun fact: Grapes are a rich, natural source of polyphenols, which protect the health and function of our cells. They are also a good source of vitamin K, copper, and many of the B vitamins.

Ingredients

  • 1lb Brussels sprouts, halved, or quartered if large
  • 1/2lb Seedless Grapes (I used Chilean black seedless table grapes)
  • 30g Chinese Sausage
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews
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I like stone fruits: peaches, plums, cherries and mangoes. What are stone fruits, you ask? Also called drupes, they are fruit that have a large stone, often mistaken as seed, inside. Think about what a peach looks like when you cut it open, or a plum, or even a cherry. What we usually call a pit is actually the stone, and the seed is inside the stone. I love the juicy flesh of stone fruits and they are so good, and so sweet, just on their own. However, I’m always curious about finding savoury ways to enjoy them. And now, I have one idea.

Did you know:
…plums are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as several antioxidants?
…there are only 46 calories in a 100g serving of plums?

Recently I got my hands on some Chilean pluots. Pluot is a hybrid fruit, part plum and part apricot. It’s nicknamed “Dinosaur Eggs” in Chinese because of its spotted skin. The fruit is in a beautiful red colour. I decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich with them. Now I don’t think plum and cheddar, the typical choice of cheese for grilled cheese, go together, so I’ve substituted it with brie. And to elevate it, I opted for sourdough for a chewy texture and some tang in flavours.

Fun fact: Chilean plum season is from mid-November until April, which is the opposite of local fruit season in BC.

The beauty of a grilled cheese is that you can build it in however way you want, so I’m only providing a guideline here in terms of ingredients.

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Just a week ago we celebrated Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Ox. And like every other CNY, it’s the perfect the opportunity for us to cook and eat a lot of good food and observe our cultural traditions.

This year, Mama Lam made a Poon Choi / Pancai / Big Bowl Feast / 盤菜. According to Mama Lam, the concept of this giant feast was originated from the late Song Dynasty when Emperor Bing fled to Hong Kong to escape the attack of Mongolians. The villagers in HK hosting the emperor pulled together everything they could find and cook, and due to the lack of serving vessels, they resorted to washing basins to be able to hold all the food. And this village tradition has been passed on and modified to the current form, typically being served for celebrations and special occasions.

How many layers do you think there are in this Poon Choi that Mama Lam made?

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This Christmas is nothing like before. There will be no big public events, no big company parties, and no big family gatherings. But hey, we can all still celebrate the holiday season with our core bubble.

Don’t feel like cooking this Christmas? Local restaurants and caterers are offering to-go options that you can celebrate Christmas safely at home, while still enjoying restaurant quality dishes. Here is my round-up. I will continue to update this list as restaurants continue to promote their offering.

Make sure to check the order details for each one to not miss out!

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