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Tag / mushroom

A couple weekends ago Haze and I spent a better part of our afternoon reorganising the kitchen, throwing out expired stuff, rearranging condiments, sauces, and figuring out where is the optimum places to put pots and pans.

After all the hard work, I had to test run the new and improved cooking environment, so I thought I’d try my hands on a homemade roast chicken.

This recipe is inspired by the version of roast chicken at Graze KL Hilton I tried last year.

the ingredients - chicken, root vegetables, thyme & rosemary
the ingredients – chicken, root vegetables, thyme & rosemary

The three basic ingredients are chicken, root vegetables, and herbs. You also need an oven, and I strongly recommend having a thermometer to check if the chicken’s cooked too.

Ingredients (for 2 pax):

  • half chicken, leave the skin on
  • potato, carrot, leek, mushroom (you can mix and match, chop to bite size)
  • garlic (cut off the top or bottom)
  • fresh thyme and rosemary
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • half a cup of olive oil
  • 2 cups of stock or broth (water is a viable option too, I used leftover soup)

cut vege, arrange chicken, simple
cut vege, arrange chicken, simple

preparation:

  • pre-heat oven to 175 Celcius
  • apply generous amount of salt and pepper on both sides of chicken
  • pour some olive oil baking pan (or in my case, an oven safe pan)
  • put herbs on both sides of chicken
  • arrange vegetable and garlic bulb around the chicken
  • pour the remaining olive oil on chicken and vegetable
  • pour 1 cup of stock/broth in the mix

internal temperature of 77 Celsius is just nice
internal temperature must be over 75 Celsius

baking/roasting instructions:

  • place the chicken in oven for a total of 50 minutes (70-80 minutes for whole chicken)
  • after 20 minutes, baste the chicken and vegetable with remaining broth at every 10 minute interval
  • chicken is done after 50 minutes, internal temperature of meat should exceed 75 Celsius
  • Carve the chicken and serve!

the result is a success, might try crispy skin style next time
the result is a success, might try crispy skin style next time

The result is a pretty delicious roast chicken that’s rather tender, there are also enough side dishes to make a complete meal as well. If you include leek in the mix, consider putting it under the chicken to prevent them being burnt.

Oh, the garlic turned out great, if you love garlic, consider putting more than one bulb.

Try it yourself at home, bon appétit! Click for more simple recipes from yours truly.

OK, here’s a chicken chop recipe that’s so simple and versatile even the most amateur of kitchen warriors would have no problem preparing it. Best of all, it’s far healthier than the deep fried variety you get at “western food” stalls, and easier on the wallet too.

homestyle chicken chop
get your friendly chicken seller to cut the thigh & drumsticks in one piece

A useful tip – go to your local wet market and get the chicken seller to prepare chicken chop cuts for you. They are professionals and can do it within seconds (takes me 10x as long), and you also get the leftover bones that you can use as soup stock.

So here are the ingredients I use, and there’s a great flexibility here.

  • two pieces of thigh + drumstick, cut in chicken chop style
  • 2 table spoon oyster sauce
  • 2 table spoon dark soya sauce
  • a pack of king oyster mushroom
  • 1-2 yellow onion
  • 1/4 cauliflower
  • pepper and some rosemary (optional)
Mushroom and cauliflower can be substituted with other items – carrot, leek, capsicum, and tomato are all great choices.

fry for a bit before putting everything in oven
fry for a bit before putting everything in oven

Cooking instructions:

  • marinate the chicken with dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, and pepper. Feel free to add some rosemary too. Let this sit for at least 15-20 minutes
  • heat up the grill pan, and pan fry the chicken with minimal usage of oil for 1-2 minutes on each side
  • place the mushroom and vegetable around the chicken and shove everything into the oven (start heating it at 175C during the pan fry process)
  • bake for 20 minutes, remove and sprinkle some salt on the vegetables
  • serve while hot

a bit of capsicum would have given the chicken chop better color, oh well
a bit of capsicum would have given the chicken chop better color, oh well

And there you go, a meal for two that is easy to prepare, rather healthy, and positively delicious! I make this about once every couple weeks, and each time with different side dishes (vegetables). You can actually do the same with pork as well, though I usually make namyu pork chop instead.

Happy cooking and do check out other recipes.

Ben’s is one of the latest restaurants to open on the 6th floor of Pavilion KL, replacing the ill fated Carat Club, as I suppose, the owner probably discovered that diamonds and food doesn’t necessarily go well together.

If you’ve just spent 2 month’s salary on a piece of carbon, chances are your appetite might not be very good.

Ben's at Pavilion, 6th floor
Ben’s at Pavilion, 6th floor

Ben’s is another restaurant under the BIG group, which also owns T Forty Two, Plan B, and such. Their website is at thebiggroup.co, yes a URL with .co and not .com.

Ben’s interior has it’s design cue from Delicious, there’s sofa and tea table both indoor and outdoor,  smallish dining tables and comfortable chairs. The outdoor area overlooks Jalan Bukit Bintang, giving it a nice city ambiance but without the exhaust fumes from cars on street level.

Spaghetti Pomodoro
Spaghetti Pomodoro with chunks of Pecorino Romano cheese

The menu at Ben’s is almost too extensive, you’ll most likely find yourself spending at least 5-10 minutes going through the listing of dishes on your first visit. I did the same, and finally settled on Spaghetti Pomodoro. A pretty simple pasta dish that turned out to be a delight, I love the chunks of Pecorino Romano cheese on it, and everything was just in the right balance – sauce, pasta, everything.

beef lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, portobello mushroom burger
beef lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, portobello mushroom burger

On the very next day, I went to Ben’s again, this time with Winnie & Horng.

Our orders took some 20 minutes to prepare, a pretty long wait for weekday lunch, but luckily it was worth it. The beef lasagna ordered by Horng was superb, packed with ample amount of cheese, beef, and cooked to perfection. You could cut it with just your spoon. The pickest eater gave his approval.

Winnie had spaghetti carbonara that did not disappoint. I’m not a big fan of cream based spaghetti but this one was pretty good when I had a bite. Of course, the chunks of romano cheese helps. :D

wagyu beef pie
wagyu beef pie

I opted for the portobello mushroom burger. I first had this type of burger back in the States, and so far only very few places has this on the menu.

Instead of one huge mushroom, the burger had 2 slightly smaller one instead, sandwiched by 2 pieces of sourdough, cheese, and some greens. It was pretty good, but would be better with one giant mushroom and probably less healthy choices of bread instead, then again I’m nitpicking.

On another separate visit (this time on Saturday), Haze ordered the Wagyu beef pie for lunch. She love the beef, but thought the pastry was slightly too thick.

KY, Haze, Horng, Winnie
KY, Haze, Horng, Winnie

Main dishes at Ben’s are priced from just below RM 20 to RM 30 and up, with majority in the RM 20+ range.

Customer service is exemplary, case in point: Winnie found a single strand of eyelash on her pasta after eating 70% of the dish and informed the captain. The captain was very apologetic and offered her a dessert (we had the velvet cake, was good!), and on top of that, took the dish off the bill. We postulate that the eyelash probably belong to Winnie herself to begin with.

Now if only they can shorten the time it takes to serve those delicious dishes, this would be a perfect mid-range lunch option.

Video taken on 24th July, 2013 during a separate visit:

map to Pavilion KL

Address:

Ben’s (Another Bright Idea by BIG),
Level 6, Pavilion KL
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.148872, 101.713368

One of my favorite dishes out of mom’s kitchen is undoubtedly the tau eu bak, or braised pork belly with soya sauce. While I’m not sure of it’s origin, this dish seems to be quite common among Hokkien/Nyonya people from Penang, Melaka, and even Singapore.

the finished product - tau eu bak (braised pork belly with soya sauce)
the finished product – tau eu bak (braised pork belly with soya sauce)

Before having a proper kitchen, I usually get my fix for tau eu bak at Champs, Centrepoint (and they do cook up a fine dish). However, it is RM 20+ a pop and I thought wouldn’t it be nice to give it a try ourselves.

This is actually the dish that prompted us buy pastle and mortar and made the sambal belacan.

the ingredients for a bowl of proper tau eu bak
the ingredients for a bowl of proper tau eu bak

Surprisingly, tau eu bak isn’t really hard to cook at all. Everything you need can easily be obtained at any wet market (or properly stocked grocery store) for less than RM20, and the resulting bowl of goodness can feed 3-4 people.

The ingredients:

  • 10 cloves of garlic, don’t need to peel
  • a couple cinnamon sticks
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon of rock sugar
  • a teaspoon of 5 spice powder
  • 3 table spoon of dark soya sauce
  • 4-6 dried mushroom
  • 5-600 grams of pork belly
  • 2-3 eggs

mushroom, pork, dark soya sauce, the essentials
mushroom, pork, dark soya sauce, the essentials

The steps:

  • soak dried mushroom with warm water till soft, remove stems
  • pan fried pork belly in medium heat till slightly brown, oil is not needed
  • add dark soya sauce on each side and fry a bit more
  • add about 2 cups of water, and throw in all the spices and mushroom
  • keep cooking until the sauce becomes thicken, this takes another 20 minutes or so
  • taste the sauce and add more sugar/dark soya sauce, or even salt to taste
  • add hard (or 80% boiled egg) in the last couple minutes
  • cut pork belly into bite size just before serving

To prepare the eggs

  • bring the water to boil with eggs in it, and keep on boiling for 2 minutes
  • stop the heat and leave eggs in hot water for 7 minutes to get 80% hard, or 10 minutes if you want it all the way 100%

Johnny & Haze, Johnny really liked the dish, despite his facial expression here
Johnny & Haze, Johnny really liked the dish, despite his facial expression here

There it is, pretty straight forward recipe isn’t it? It was lucky that Johnny joined us for dinner that night as the dish was really too much for just two of us. We had it with plenty of sambal belacan, was a pretty fine dinner, I think mom would be proud :D

Ever since we got the kitchen renovated, it’s been more and more cooking adventures, and as such, this blog will start to share some recipes I gather/invent/randomly made up.

The Salmon Steak is a very simple and healthy *gasp* dish that I learnt during my stay in the States many eons ago.

ingredients for salmon steak dinner
ingredients for salmon steak dinner

First, the ingredients, assuming for two person:

  • 2 pieces of salmon steak (Norwegian if you’re rich, Alaskan also if you’re rich, I got mine from Cold Storage for about RM 10 each)
  • salt and pepper
  • a clove of garlic, a carrot, fresh shiitake mushroom, french beans

cooking salmon steak
steamed vegetable, sauteed mushroom, and pan fried salmon steak

Steps:

  • marinate both sides of salmon steak with generous amount of salt and pepper, leave for 20-30 minutes
  • cut carrot & french beans, then steam them till soft (you might want to steam the carrot first, and longer)
  • on the frying pan, first fried some sliced garlic till golden brown, then remove them
  • with the same oil, now sauté the mushroom (cut in half), then remove them
  • the frying pan can now be used to fried the salmon steak, in medium heat, for 5 minutes a side
  • by this time, your vegetable should be ready too, serve everything at once, sprinkle some salt on the steamed vegetable

salmon steak with carrots, mushroom, and french beans
salmon steak with carrots, mushroom, and french beans

So there you go, salmon steak with mushroom, carrot, and french beans. If you want to be healthier, consider baking the salmon instead, but I’d probably advice to add a small slice of butter on top if you do that.

Everything here costs about RM 30 for two, not exactly very cheap, but boy it is good!

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Get the deal before Feb 6th, 2011, and redeem between 8 February 2011 – 31 March 2011. Check out MAD deal now!

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