Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dongpo Pork 東坡肉 Dongpo Pork 東坡肉

I have to admit - I got the inspiration to make this dish because of an advertisement I heard on Yes 933FM on MERadio (an iphone application which allows me to listen to Singapore radio stations). I googled and this recipe from 'Eating China' seems to most authentic (in terms of number of steps and details), but it also put me off a bit because of the number of steps! I finally tried it, and I was happy with the results, but it is definitely not something you want to put on a busy schedule. How does it taste? Surprisingly like the Maling brand of canned braised pork, but of course better!

500g pork belly
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon tea leaves
2 stalks spring onions
4 cm of fresh, young ginger, peeled and sliced lengthways into matchstick widths
200g broccoli, cut into small florets Dongpo Pork 東坡肉

Sauce Ingredients
1 cup water
5 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
5 slices old ginger
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow wine (e.g. Shaoxing wine)
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
For thickening the sauce (add towards the end): 1 teaspoon corn flour, 1 tablespoon water, stirred well before use Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  1. You may want to tie the pork like a present with a piece of string as some recipes might advise you too, the reason being that when you blanch the pork, they will expand and might lose it's shape. I did not and went ahead to blanch the pork in a pot of boiling water. Discard the water.
  2. Put pork back in pot and cover with water again. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  3. Heat a wok and add sauce ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Add pork and cook each surface for a few minutes over a medium heat. Remove pork and drain well. Pour remaining sauce into a small saucepan and set aside. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉 Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  4. Clean and drain wok. Heat vegetable oil to a medium heat. Fry pork on all sides until it is well browned, making sure skin side is a little crispy. Be careful that the oil might splash at this stage. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  5. Steep tea leaves in hot water for a couple of minutes, remove and set aside. Place pork in pot of water again–topping up water if necessary. Add tea leaves and simmer for 30 minutes. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  6. Place scallion stalks on bottom of a steamer. Transfer pork to steamer. Steam for 2 hours, turning pork after 1 hour. Replenish the water in the steamer during this period, topping up with hot water if necessary. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉
  7. Add broccoli to steamer for final 5 minutes of cooking time.
  8. Remove pork to a serving dish and arrange broccoli around it. Reheat sauce in saucepan, adding and stirring in thickener. Pour over pork and serve. Dongpo Pork 東坡肉

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Creamy Pork and Vegetable Stew with Spicy Roasted Potato Wedges

Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges

This dish is inspired by my mother-in-grace, as we are always invited to their place for dinner so the family just gets together and 'umgås' (spend time together). It's a pretty simple dish and I've paired with with spicy potato wedges which is one of Johan's favorite side dish.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
1 pork fillet (about 4-500g)
3-4 slices bacon
1/2 zucchini
1 paprika
1 large carrot
150 ml Cooking/heavy cream, enough to coat the pork and vegetables
100 ml White wine
2-3 tablespoons light soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown thickening powder/ thickening agent (corn flour/potato flour etc)
Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges

  1. Slice up the bacon into 3cm sections and lay them on a hot and deep frying pan to get them crispy.
  2. Slice up the pork fillets into thick medallions and brown them in the same pan with the bacon.

    Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges
  3. Add in the sliced carrots and paprika and mix well.

    Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges
  4. Add in the sliced zucchini last, mix well and pour in the white wine.

    Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges
  5. Cook off the white wine a little and turn down the heat to medium- low while you add the cream, salt and pepper to taste.

    Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges
  6. Let it stew for about 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the pork medallions are cooked through. Add the soy sauce and the thickening agent, in my case, they have this brown thickening flour you can just add to thicken the sauce until it is more gravy like.

    Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges

    Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges

  7. Serve with spicy roasted potato wedges (marinate potato wedges with salt, pepper, smoked paprika powder and olive oil and arrange them on a baking tray individually. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes, then turn up the temperature to 250°C for another 10 minutes so they become crispy on the outside.)
Creamy Pork and Vegetable stew with spicy roasted potatoes wedges

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sour Plum Honey Lime Drink

Sour Plum Honey Lime Drink

This is one of those drinks I will get at Singapore Food Court dessert stores, even before I was preggy. To me, the combination of the sweet, sour and saltiness just seals the deal for me. When I came back to Sweden, the first few weeks were still pretty warm and it was a perfect thirst quencher for me.

3 sour plums
1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
2 tablespoons lime juice
Hot water and ice

Sour Plum Honey Lime Drink

  1. Boil some water, and place the sour plums in the cup you will be using. Pour the hot water over (about 2-3cm) and let the sour plums steep for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the honey until it dissolves and add in the lime juice. Adjust to taste accordingly (if you like it more sourish/sweet etc) and add in the ice.
  3. Add in some cold water to make a full cup and enjoy!

    Sour Plum Honey Lime Drink

Friday, September 9, 2011

Janssons Frestelse - Jansson's temptation

Janssons frestelse

I forgot to take a picture of this when it was all nice and golden brown, so you'd have to rely on your imagination (or google images) for the final result! I first encounter this when we went to a relative's house during Easter for a meal and this is a must-have Swedish tradition. There's a story written about it in Wikipedia if you are interested. I made this for a kinda-crayfish party for my friends last weekend so thought I should share this. Just take note, the anchovies, are not really the kind Jamie Oliver would use but it's pickled in sort of a solution I will liken to those pickled herrings with onions you might find at Ikea, sort of sweet smelling with still that saltiness component. If you can't get that, use the regular anchovies but go easy on the salt ok?

5-6 medium potatoes, peeled
1 can of Swedish anchovies
300ml cream
1 large yellow onion
salt and pepper to taste
bread crumbs for topping

Janssons frestelse

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Using a food processor, grate the potatoes coarsely and slice the onions finely. This won't take more than 3 minutes in total, unless you are doing it by hand.

    Janssons frestelse
  2. Mix the potatoes and onions in a large bowl, and spread half of it as a layer at the bottom of the greased baking tray.

    Janssons frestelse

    Janssons frestelse
  3. Arrange the anchovies evenly over the first layer, than spread the remaining potato/onion mix over.

    Janssons frestelse

    Jansson's temptation
  4. Add half the cream over the mixture. Add some salt and pepper to taste then scatter the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes first then pour the rest of the cream and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

    Janssons frestelse

    Janssons frestelse
  5. Serve with some meatballs or some other kinds of meat/fish if you like.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chocolate Pound Cake

 Chocolate Pound Cake

I've just realized how scarce my posting were for the last few months and I promised I will get better at it. The truth is, being back in Singapore had made me lazy and I've been whipping up same old stuff as before, and the other reason is (now that it's out in the open), we are expecting a lil one end January next year :) This probably means all the postings I will be doing up will be things related to any cravings and this is the very first one after I came back from Singapore. And the darn thing about cravings is that, you never yearn for it until you are in a place that you can't get it - Sara Lee Chocolate Pound Cake! (And no, they don't have it in Sweden). I'm not a real fan of chocolate but this cold pound cake is just so dense and chocolatey, in the way I like that when I couldn't really find any recipe for it, I turn to my favorite baking site, Joy of Baking for it. However, although it was nice, it's still not as good as Sara Lee, so if any of you out there has one similar to Sara Lee, send me the recipe!

25 g unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
100 g sifted plain flour plus 25g corn starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
175 g granulated white sugar
185 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 177 degrees C. Butter a loaf pan or a round cake pan (I loaned mine to my brother-in-law at that point of time). Line the bottom of the pan with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the cocoa powder into the boiling water until smooth. Let cool to room temperature and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. 
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. 
  4. Add the butter and half of the chocolate/egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about one minute to aerate and develop the cake's structure.

    Singlish Swenglish Chocolate Pound Cake
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake's structure.

    Singlish Swenglish Chocolate Pound Cake
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with a piece of lightly buttered aluminum foil after about 25 minutes to prevent overbrowning.

    Singlish Swenglish Chocolate Pound Cake
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan, re-invert, and cool completely on a lightly buttered wire rack. Decorate with some chocolate shavings if desire.

    Chocolate Pound Cake