Saturday, April 27, 2013

Thai Roast Duck Salad


So, I googled "game meat" and according to Wikipedia, "Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport". I never knew that duck was considered game until someone told me that it is not commonly served or eaten in the United States for that very reason. Well, it makes sense now that I recall seeing duck hunting on TV (specifically the old Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck - rings a bell?). Maybe because I've grown up eating a lot of Chinese roast duck (and Peking duck during special occasions), and so I can't say that it tastes gamey at all. Or maybe duck just tastes best when it's roasted until the fat has rendered and the skin's gone all thin and crispy. The only thing I don't like about duck is that it's really boney and fatty. If you buy half a roast duck, you'd end up with half of it being bones and fat. The meat and skin however is very tasty. If you've watched the "roast duck seller" chop up a roast duck before, you might notice how he tips out the juices from the cavity and reserves them, probably to make the duck sauce or gravy. It's so good over steamed white rice.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wining and Thai-ning

 Wine matching with Thai cuisine
Almost everyone we've ever invited over for lunch would have tried Mr G's Hainanese chicken rice, at least once. Mr G being Mr TFWL, but I'll save on the keystrokes. In fact, we serve it so often that people have come to expect it from Mr and Mrs G's House of Chicken Rice. Okay, so there are a couple of reasons why it has become a staple on our "menu". Firstly, everyone eats chicken (unless you're vegetarian of course, which means you'd best be eating rice with cucumbers) and I think the neutral flavours agree with the general palate. I can't think of anyone who doesn't like chicken rice. Secondly, it's pretty much a one dish meal served with rice, and perhaps accompanied by a side dish of stir-fried vegetables, which makes preparation a breeze. Coincidentally (ahem...), it also suits my personal agenda, as it means that Mr G does all the cooking while I sit back and relax. No, of course not. There are still appetizers and dessert to think about. But this post is not about chicken rice.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Strawberry Vanilla Cream Cake

The thing about kids' birthday cakes is that, it's not what's on the inside that counts, but what's on the outside. Always judge a cake by its icing. Well, the icing is always the first thing to go whenever I present cupcakes to my kids anyway, whilst the cake is left behind, still stuck to its cupcake liner. Remember that episode from Seinfeld where Elaine had that idea about selling muffin tops? Now, wouldn't that be a fabulous idea for cupcakes too? *wink*

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Baked Kale Chips

There's been all this hype over kale chips, and how they taste like potato chips, except that they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. I finally bought some kale from the supermarket last Sunday and was pretty excited to make these. It's really easy. Roughly tear up the kale into pieces, and then wash and dry them thoroughly. Lay them out on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch salt. Be careful not to put too much oil or salt, because the kale will shrink to a quarter of its size and you don't want to end up with oily salty kale chips (now how did I know that?). Bake them in the oven at 180C (350F) for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. They will be turn translucent and crispy, and they really taste almost like potato chips! And totally guilt-free!

PS: These make a good substitute for crispy seaweed, the Japanese or Korean type that comes in individual packs and taste so umami with flakes of MSG all over. I reckon these kale chips would be great as a topping for noodle soups, or even crumbled over some pasta.