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Category Archives: Dinner

My Favorites: Scallops

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Last night we celebrated my mother and grandmother in-law’s birthdays.  Eating with my mother in-law is always a real treat as my father in-law is a HUGE seafood lover.  I happen to enjoy it as well and can appreciate that every meal must have some seafood component.

The entire meal was fantastic.  We went to our favorite neighborhood haunt 張記 Cheung Kei which you can read more about here.  One of my new favorite things about this restaurant is that they will let you bring in your own food and they will cook it for you.  We do this mostly with fish that my father in-law catches but this time it was my brother in-law who brought the goodies.  He brought 2 fish which were smooth and delicious but the star of the evening was the scallops.

My favorite way to have scallops is steamed in their shells with garlic, some rice noodles, and a dusting of cilantro.  YUMMY!

Any other preparation of scallop that I MUST try?

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Dinner, food, My Favorites, Photography

 

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Beef Stew for 2 (and a half)

With the cold at its pinnacle here in Hong Kong I’ve began my gauntlet of winter foods. Hopefully I can satisfy a years worth of cravings into a month….maybe two if we’re lucky. Beef stew is one of the healthier options on my cold weather favorites list and as it’s the start of a new year I figured I would start with that with everyone’s resolutions still intact. This recipe was made with my one year old in mind so ingredients are all cut into bite size pieces BEFORE cooking as to reduce cooking time as well as fussy time at the table. If your kid is anything like mine, once he sees the food he needs it in his stomach immediately, you’ll appreciate this. Otherwise I’d suggest having chunkier beef & veggies and doubling the oven time to get a fuller flavor.

Beef Stew

10oz Beef Butt (Rump) cut into 1/4in cubes
1 medium onion cut into 1/4in cubes
1/2 pack baby carrots cut into 1/4in cubes
2 baby red bliss potatoes cut into 1/4in cubes
10 cherry tomatoes quartered
1 clove garlic sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
Vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and flour as needed

1. Pour yourself a glass of wine and take a sip.  You should always cook with wine you’re willing to drink and cooking should be fun so let’s loosen up a bit!

2. Heat the oil in an oven safe pot. Place the beef cubes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Toss the seasoned beef in as little flour as it takes to just dust the beef.

3. Add the beef to the hot oil and cook until nicely browned.

4. Remove the beef and toss in the onions.  As the onions release their water make sure to use it to loosen up the beefy goodness stuck to the pan before it burns on the bottom.

5. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are just soft. 

6. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf.  Stir just until combined.

7. Deglaze the pan with the red wine.

8. Add everything else to the pot and bring to a simmer.

9. Once simmering cover the pot and pop it into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  Check it at 30 minutes.  If dry add just enough beef stock to loosen it up but not too wet!

Enjoy!

I like to let it cool, pop it in the fridge overnight and heat it back up on the stove SLOWLY for dinner the next day.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Baby, Dinner, food, Recipe

 

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Christmas 2013

The only good thing about working Christmas day and coming home after dinner is all cleaned up is being able to skip straight to sandwiches! Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the individual components that complete a Christmas dinner. I just feel like when they are all laid out on the table that I have to take certain proportions of each dish and enjoy them all separately. This is fine and dandy but what I really like about Christmas dinner is everything. So when I have the opportunity to cram as much as I can of everything between 2 slices of bread I’m a super happy camper. Paired with the last glass of a fancy bottle of wine and it’s instantly Christmas in my mouth!

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2012 in Dinner, What I'm eating, Wine

 

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ANA Oysters and Grill

If you ever find yourself walking around Causeway Bay without a reservation and it’s getting close to meal time, it’s a pretty good idea to just jump into the nearest restaurant before they’re all full for the next several hours.  This past Wednesday little Ms. Cupcake and I were doing just that while birthday shopping for Jr and it occurs to us we’re both starving and places are filling up fast.  We turn the corner onto Lockhart Rd and are both drawn to 2 separate signs across the street.  Oddly enough both were for the same restaurant.  The place looks completely deserted from the outside which would normally make us pass the place  up but for whatever reason we decided to take a chance on this one and jumped into the elevator.

We were quite happy we did and yet a little sad at the same time since we were shopping neither of is had our cameras so we’ll just have to make due with phone photos.

If you know Ms. Cupcake or myself at all then you know there are 2 things we rarely pass up at a restaurant, oysters and tasting menus.  Not only did we have the place to ourselves…I guess everyone else thought it was closed too…which ment exceptional service but we were quickly greeted with a platter of our favorite bi-valves.

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Pacific, Irish rock, Kumumoto, and Namibia.  I was particularly impressed with Namibia.  I’ve never knowingly had an African oyster before and this was a real treat.  They served the oysters with a typical vinegar, and cocktail sauce but then threw me another exciting curve with a Thai style sauce consisting of lime, sugar, fish sauce, and a little mint which complimented the oysters perfectly.  I’ll have to look onto replicating this sauce later.

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The first dish on the tasting menu was a steamed foie gras mousse with white truffle oil and caviar served with a lemon and mint sorbet.  The mousse was a fantastic combination of creamyness and mouth bursting flavor. The first bite of the sorbet was a perfect palate cleansing experience but every bite after becoming more and more overwhelmingly sour that you are glad the portion is so small.

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Next up we indulged a little further with some cherrystone clams before our next tasting course.

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Razor clam with roasted garlic, vermouth, and saffron sauce.  Fantastic sauce but the clam was a bit overcooked.

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Next up a house smoked Japanese pork belly and prawns.  Absolutely delicious.  The pork wad tender and not overly smoked while the prawns were perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor.

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Our fish course was an Australian seabass with crispy skin and tender flesh.

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For our main we had M7 Waygu rump.  I didn’t read “rump roast” when looking at the menu so was initially disappointed until I took a second glance and was instantly impressed how juicy and tender they served their rumps…hahaha food puns.

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The other nice thing about the beef was the assortment of condiments that came with it.  4 different house seasoned sea salts and 2 different mustards made every bite just as exciting as the first.

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Last and absolutely least was the duo of gelato for dessert.  The white chocolate strawberry was ok but too large and then they paired it with the super sour lemon-mint sorbet again…why?

I hope to go back again to sample some of their al a carte items…and of course some more oysters!

 

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Baby Gastronomy

Yea, it’s been awhile since I posted….so…I’ve been…busy?

Let me begin by stating that the picture you see to the left here is a play on a caprice salad.  What I actually did was make mozzarella from scratch, then create a delicious gazpacho and make it into “grape tomato” shapes.  Then added the fresh baby basil and a balsamic reduction.  The end product….simply delicious.

Enough with my childish attempts to create molecular gastronomic pieces of art.  The following is a great way to give a child of around 6 months a healthy meal all made from scratch!

Ingredients:

150gms Carrot (Peeled)
150gms Zucchini
150gms Salmon

Diced all the ingredients:

:

Steam for 15min:

On a quick side note…I HIGHLY recommend purchasing an all in one steamer/food processor if you’re interested in making baby food.  My life wouldn’t be complete without my son….my son wouldn’t eat without my Advent food steamer/processor.  Now, I don’t know if it is the best one out there, but I am in love with it!  (This is not a paid advertisement…simply a chef turned father preaching his opinion.  But if any supplier would like a few nice words said about them let me know 😉 )

Serve and enjoy!

This is not Junior’s first encounter with salmon or carrot…but it was the first time to add the zucchini which I think he loved all the more.  Horray!!! My son is a healthy eater…so far…

 

Keep on eatin’….at all ages 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Dinner, food, Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Unexpected Feasts

Ever had your day all planned out only to have cash thrown at you and be told you need to make dinner a littler more special tonight?  Well, there is a lot more context that belongs in this story but it’s funnier without it so I’m going to stretch the truth with you knowledge (That’s not lying is it?) and tell you that’s exactly what happened to me.  At 11:30am.  Guests will start arriving at 4pm.

So wait, shop, cook, and have a meal ready in 4 1/2 hours….AND make it special!?!?  I have to admit, I panicked for about 15 minutes until I decided to grab little miss cupcake, head to the store and hope for the best of luck.

The following is what happens if you put me on the spot:

We’ve collected a few mini bottles of vodka and had been meaning to do a side by side comparison tasting for weeks now so I decided it would be a perfect time to bring these out.Of course you can’t just taste a bunch of vodka without anything to eat so our first course was a cheese and charcuterie platter:

The platter consisted of sweet chorizo, parma ham, crottin de chavignol, aged gouda, goose liver pate with sauternes, water crackers, and baked goats cheese stuffed figs wrapped with parma ham (not pictured).

Next up was the “salad” course with salmon 3 ways. (ceviche, pan fried, & smoked)

The mixed greens were tossed in a bit of the ceviche liquid.  The smoked salmon was wrapped around avocado slices and asparagus spears.

Next we had the red course.

Marinated, pan-fried lamb chop.  Oven roasted cherry tomatoes. Seared beef cubes stuffed with roasted garlic and toasted pine nuts topped with homemade demi-glace

Last but not least was a veggie course.Asparagus spears sauteed in butter and black garlic, topped with lumpfish roe.

Of course cupcake pitched in and made us two wonderful desserts.Strawberry & basil parfait.

Follow by the piece de resistace…A sponge cake layered with fresh strawberries and strawberry basil cream.  YUM!!

So after the 20 minutes of panic dinner turned out to be just fine.  In fact, it was pretty good if I do say so myself….and of course I do say so myself.

 

**FYI** Happy pound cake day!

 

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Happy Birthday!

It’s been a great day of celebrating my aging family today.  My brother-in-law just so happens to share a birthday with my mom.  This morning I spent about an hour and a half talking to mommy on one of the greatest inventions ever, Skype.

If you have an internet connection (obviously you do as you’re reading this post) and don’t have a Skype account then your really missing out on an amazing opportunity.  It’s especially wonderful as I live on opposite sides of the globe from my mother.

After making my mom’s day complete by entertaining het with her grandson it was go time.  My brother-in-law requested a cooking lesson for his birthday present this year, opting to make his own birthday cake.

As the cake went in the oven I ran out the door to pick up lunch.  A beautiful 24″ pepperoni pizza.  The rest of the afternoon was spent decorating the cake.

Dinner was wonderful with my mother-in-law cooking each of us a pidgeon, spinach with crab sauce, and fish 2 ways.  All was washed down with some Barefoot Shiraz and followed by a mini fireworks show.

Even though it’s not my birthday, I still can’t help but feel like I’m the one that received all the gifts today.  From skype, to huge pizzas, to black forest cake…it sure was a great day.

Happy Birthday!

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(and happy pistachio day for those of you keeping track)

 

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