Friday, November 6, 2009

Haiqing's general bread recipe

3 cups bread flour/unbleached all-purpose flour/wheat flour
1 ¼ ~ 1 ½ cups water/milk
1/4 cup canola/olive oil (or ½ ~ 1 bar unsalted butter – soft, at room temperature)
1 egg (optional)
2 tablespoons honey/ molasses (and/or 2 tablespoons sugar, white or brown)
1 teaspoon salt
1~3 teaspoons dry yeast
Dissolve the yeast in small amount of liquid for several minutes. The amount of the yeast can vary depend on the time one can afford for fermentation. For rise within 2-3 hours, use 3-2 teaspoons; for overnight rise, 1 (even ½) teaspoon is usually enough. Add remaining of the liquid (including water/milk, sugar/honey, oil/butter) to a total volume of 1 ¼ ~ 1 ½ cups. Mix the liquid with flour and salt with chopstick or spoon and let the dough rest for 10 minutes or so. Knead the dough for 20 ~ 30 minutes. This mixing/kneading can also be done by a mixer machine or a bread machine.
Place the dough in a container with a cover. Leave it sit at room temperature for overnight, or find some warm place for 2 hour (e.g. in the unheated oven or microwave with some hot/warm water). Usually long fermentation in low temperature with less yeast gives more flavor of the grains. When the volume doubles, the rise is done.
Roll the dough on flat surface to get rid of some big bubbles in the dough, knead/roll/shape it whatever shape one wants. Nuts, dry fruits, chocolate chips can also be mixed into the dough. Oil the container if you want to bake in a container. Make some cuts on the surface of the dough. Brush milk or egg wash (egg mixed with water) on the surface. Let it proof/sit for 20-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degree F, put the dough into the middle shelf of the oven together with a pan of boiling water at the bottom of the oven. You can also spray mist onto the dough surface in the oven to mimic stream for a nice crust on the bread. Set the oven temperature to 425 degree F. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the inside of the loaf reach above 190 degree F.
Let the loaf sit on a rack for at least an hour or so before cutting/serving. Avoid the temptation to cut it when it's still hot. It's not ready yet.

1. During mixing/kneading, amount of water and flour can be adjusted depend on the batch of flour, the environment humidity, and personal preference. Usually wetter is easier.
2. At any point before baking, the dough can be kept in refrigerator (for hours or days) if not be used right away. Warm it up to room temperature before next use.
3. Oven temperature can vary for different ovens and should be adjusted. What's important is the inside the temperature to reach 190-210 degree F.
4. Store the loaf at room temperature for 1-2 days or in freezer if longer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Grilled Shrimps


Snow Bean with Mushrooms

Stir Fried String Beans

Tofu Shrimp

Pho/Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

Beef/Lamb Okara

Corn Bread

1-2 tablespoons canola oil (heat and coat the skillet)
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups corn meal
½ cup sticky rice flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
1-1/4 cups organic chicken broth

400 degree F, about 20 min.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lamb Pilaf

I have been thinking about cooking rice pilaf after saw the recipe in Jill Norman's
Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference. After search in wikipedia about the meaning of "pilaf" and the link of Pakistani Lamb Pulao with picture illustration, I decided this is going to be our Xmas day lunch since we got the lamb and every ingredients. As always, the procedure is simplified to our families' taste and resource.

800 gr lamb
2 cups basmati rice
6 cups thinly slices onions
4 garlic cloves
1 piece ginger root
6 green cardamom pods
20 black peppercorns
1 bay leave
1 stick cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
ground turmeric
5 cloves
a pinch of cayenne pepper powder
2 cups water

Wash the rice a couple times and soak in water for 1-2 hours. Dry the meat with a paper towel and cut the meat in cubes. Season them with salt and pepper. Wrap in plastic foil and let the meat rest. Thinly slice onion and crush garlic. Grind peppercorns, cumin, coriander.

Heat oil (ghee) and add the large fragrant spices: cardamom, cinammon, cloves and the bay leave. Fry over high heat until the turn brownish. Add crushed garlic and then the onions and cook over medium heat until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add ground spices, mix, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the lamb and cook until colored on every side, mixing all the time. Add salt and turmeric and the rice, stir for a minute or two, add 2 cups of boiling water. Mix and cover, leave in very low heat for 40-45 minutes. The link calls for dutch oven which I don't have, so I use the method we used to cook rice before the age of rice-cooker. It turned out perfect.

Tomato Rasam (Moong Dall)

Idea of this soup came from reading Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness'
Indian Home Cooking.

Spice Mixture:
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 black peppercorns
3 cloves

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 cups of water
3/4 cup Moong Dall (yellow split pea)
1 topmato
5 okra (optional)
salt to taste

Tempering Oil:
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
4 fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional)

Boil lentil and water with turmeric and skim well, until the pea is soft (about 15 minutes). Meawhile grind the spice mixture and add to the soup. Add diced tomato (and okra). In a seperate pan, heat oil and mustard seeds (and curry leaves) over medium heat until the mustard seeds pop (use cover). Pour the tempering oil into the soup.

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Roasted Brussel Sprout with Balsamic Vinegar

Idea came from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, the balsamic vinegar glaze was originated from 28cooks.blogspot. This is kept very simple.

16 oz brussel sprouts
4 tbsp olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425. Sprinkle some vinegar and oil over brussel sprouts, season with salt and pepper and spread out on a greased cookie sheet. Roaste 25-30 minutes until tender. Then, saute the brussel sprouts in remaining olive oil over medium-high heat, add balsamic vinegar and cook another 3 minutes.
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Tofu Okra Soup

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Tofu with Squid

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sliced Pork Tenderloin with Squash

Beef Potato Stew

Finger Potatoes

Tom Ka Chicken

Follow package direction and add some purple pearl onion, scallion (according to the package picture) together with the mushroom.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Caviar with Egg Pancake

After a night in Russian restaurant and a can of salmon roe from Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, this is what I can bring home.

Roasted Chopped Ribs

Similar with BBQ Ribs, but with chopped ribs. Cover the roast pan with aluminum foil when baking.
A friend told me about this after trying BBQ Ribs in my blog. It tastes great.

Sautéed Bean Sprout

Honey Raisin Bread

Recipe from Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Cookbook (Golden Raisin Bread) with modification:
1 cup water
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups bread flour
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ quick active dry yeast
½ cup raisin

Select 1 1/2 -pound, light, whole wheat cycle. Done in 3 hour 40 minutes. (Sunbeam 5891).

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Brown Sugar-Raisin Bread

Recipe from Williams Sonoma with modification:
1. Used 2 1/2 cup of wholewheat flour in the total of 6 1/2 cup flour.
2. 1 teaspoon salt instead of 1 tablespoon salt.
3. Used all dark raisin.
4. Make the dough stretch much longer than the recommended 12 inches to get a pretty swirl.

5. Put a flat pan of hot water when baking if you like a more moist bread.

Below is a copy-paste version of the original recipe in case the link no longer works:

1 Tbs. active dry yeast
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup dark raisins

For the filling:
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar mixed with 4 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 1⁄2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 3/4 cup water, the milk, butter, the remaining granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and 1⁄2 cup of the flour and beat for 1 minute. Add the raisins, then beat in the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased deep bowl and turn to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and roll or pat each half into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Lightly sprinkle each rectangle with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool completely.
Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series,Bread,by Beth Hensperger (Simon & Schuster, 2002 ).

Lima Bean with Baby Bella (香菇豆瓣)

1. One pack of frozen lima bean (peeled).
2. Baby bella, and/or any mushroom (fresh and/or dried), sliced.
Stir fry the beans for ~3 minutes, add mushroom, stir another ~3 minutes, add broth/water and salt, cook for ~10 minutes more.

Pepper and Salt Pork Loin (椒盐里脊)

Recipe comes from 孔娘子厨房 (椒盐里脊) with modification:
1. Slowly heat/stir pepper (花椒) with salt until the aroma comes out.
2. Paste pepper-salt mixture onto the pork loin. Frig 3-5 days.
3. Steam for 30 minutes after the water is boiling.
4. Let sit for one hour or overnight.
5. Cut and serve.

(Save the steamed juice for cooking, it's very yummy.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stir fried Vegetables

Stir frying is a simple way to prepare tasteful vegetables. I like to simmer a little more to get the taste into the food. But the timing varies depend on different types. E.g., for cauliflowers, I like to bypass the precook process (by boiling), then simmer a little longer (about 10minutes) after initial stir fry; For green vegetables, it helps to keep the process brief (2-3 minutes) and leave the cover open to preserve the color.

Homemade Natto

The health benefit of Natto is tremendous (prevention of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, aging and intestinal disease caused by pathogens-- see Consider the cost of the little package available in the store, it's really worthwhile to make it yourself. The original process is detailed in I made a simplified version:

Wash and immerse the soybean (about 3 cups) in water overnight, steam in pressure cooker for one hour. Mix with one package of Natto available in a large bakery pan, cover with aluminum foil and leave it in the oven (room temperature). In weather like end of August, the fermentation process is done in two days. Make sure everything is clean, esp. oil free.

Multigrained Porridge

Wild rice (1/3), package of mixed grain (oatmeal, brown rice, millet, wheat, red bean) (1/3), glutinous rice (1/3), washed. Add water (8-10 time of the grain in volume), cook in pressure cooker 30-40 minutes. Serve hot, plain or with some brown sugar or maple syrup or honey or soy sauce depend on ones taste.

Jellyfish Salad

Wash and immerse shredded jellyfish (bought in package with lots of salt) in water for one day (change the water a couple of times during the period) until the salt taste is completely gone. Quickly rinse it with boiling water. Peel and shred turnip, add salt, let sit for 30-40 minutes and get rid of the liquid. Combine the jellyfish and turnip, add salt, seasoning, shredded scallion, adjust amount until you like it. Add sesame oil. Store in frig before serving.

Monday, August 27, 2007

BBQ Ribs

This BBQ rib is our all time favorite. The first time I made it was for a get together at Thanksgiving time. The dish did not even make to the table -- people finished it right after I cut the pieces. I got the recipe from some Chinese website, but can't find the link anymore. Here's my version briefly:

Wash the pork (rib) and pat dry, rub on evenly a mixture of brown sugar/chili pepper powder/salt (about a ratio of 7:2:1). Store the pork in fridge for 4 hours ~ overnight (sometime I store it in freezer at this point). Wrap with aluminum foil all around . Pour in a liquid mix of soy sauce, cooking wine, honey/maple syrup with crashed garlic. Make sure the aluminum foil is folded at the top before the thing goes to oven. Bake at 375 F for 1.5 hour.

Paprika or cayenne pepper or any other hot/mild powder can be used depending each person's taste. "Whether hot or not, it always taste good", as my husband commented once. The key is to wrap well when baking -- the moisture is sealed within, making it tender and juicy.