Friday, November 23, 2012

Beef Fettucini with Red Bean Sauce

If you roam in search of delicious Western food, you would find out that almost all Western-oriented restaurants and cafes in Medan have Italian food in their menus. surely has been well-accepted by many people due to its flavour and unique characteristics. Talking about Italian food, the thing that I could never resist is CHEESE! To me, it is a worldly indulgence, haha... A lot of Italian cuisines contain cheese and cream as the ingredients. The rich flavor indeed is the reason why Italian foods, like Pizza, Risotto, etc. become so popular. 

Don't forget about Pasta! Oh, it is my favorite! As you know, there are many types of pasta available now. If I go to Pizza Hut restaurant, usually I prefer either Fettucini or Lasagna as the side dish. There's commonly a thick layer of cheese on top of the pasta, yummy! Now instant dried pasta is very commonplace, sold in supermarkets so everyone can make delicious pasta with his/her own recipe.

My mother likes to do cooking experiments at home so of course she has her own special recipe collection. On one Sunday morning, she cooked Fettucini and made special sauce for it. Afterwards, she served it without adding any grated cheese on top. The photo below is the look of the delicious pasta.

I found out that there were some soft red beans (Kidney beans) in the sauce. Red/Kidney bean is usually used in Asian dishes but that day my mother deliberately included it in the Pasta sauce. Unlike the usual rich creamy one, this pasta sauce was thick but refreshing since a lot of tomatoes were used as the sauce base. To enrich it, beef chunks were included. As the result, the taste of this unique pasta was awesome! 

Al dente! :) 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cha Sio Rice

A classmate once 'declaimed' about the importance of being a vegetarian to the class. To her, maybe a vegetarian is like a hero who helps save the world from catastrophe. I was quite interested at that time but I think no one can stop me when it comes to eating MEAT. I'm truly a meat-lover! But I just don't know why I'm still a skinny girl no matter how much I eat. This is also why I can't be influenced by the theory that overstates the benefits of being a vegetarian, hahahaha...

In cooking Chinese food, which my mother commonly cooks, there is a wide range of meat processing methods. Pork is the favorite item used in Chinese cooking. It can be roasted, boiled, fried, and many more. There are indeed many delicious food made of pork, such as Cha Sio and Sio Bak

I used to think Cha Sio (a name derived from local Hokkian dialect, means fork-barbeque) and Sio Bak (also from Hokkian dialect, means roasted meat) were the same. Certainly they're completely different.

Sio Bak is made of brined pork belly. It is roasted till the rind/skin turns brown and crisp. Yummy! Absolutely a perfect 'companion' for rice! You can refer to this blog to know more about Sio Bak.

What about Cha Sio? Unlike Sio Bak, this Canton-originated cuisine uses pork loin to produce better texture of Cha Sio, even though pork belly is sometimes included. The color is reddish brown, tastes a little sweeter than Sio Bak but less crispier. Ooohh, I love both of them!

In order to make a fine Sio Bak, particular techniques and instrument are actually required. That's why famous Sio Bak is quite costly in Medan (around IDR 150.000 - 300.000/kg). Cha Sio making is quite easier. Luckily my mother knows how to make it.

All you need to do is to clean the pork loin and marinate it with soy sauce, sugar, arrack (Chinese liquor), and crushed salted soy beans (tauco) for 1 until 2 hours. Then just heat the pan/wok with a little vegetable oil and cook it with the pan/wok covered. Don't forget to open and turn the loin every two or three minutes until it is dry and done. Afterwards, slice it and serve with rice or buns!

Happy cooking! ^^

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wolfberry and Raisin?!!

It’s been a while since the last post! Things were quite tough back then but we still have to move on, right? Haha...I’m so pleased to continue posting about delicious food on this blog so hope you’ll like it! By the way, now I have my own DSLR camera to capture beautiful food photos! Yihaa! It’s NIKON and I’m gonna learn taking better photos with it.

Amid my busy daily activities, I am lucky to have a little time doing my hobbies. I also have a great mother who always provides her family nutritious meals everyday. Sometimes she likes to do some experiments too. A few days ago she made steamed buns (again) but with special filling.  She scattered some dried fruits, such as wolfberries and raisins, on the rolled dough. Wolfberry is fine but raisin...! Oh no, not for me!

My mom said they were good for health. I know wolfberry, or goji berry, can help prevent vision-related diseases, which means it is good for eyes. While raisins...hmm, I myself prefer fresh grapes to the dried ones but since my mom loves it, I tried to accept it. Well, this was how the buns looked like, came out freshly from the steamer! 

Surprisingly, the taste was not as bad as I thought. Quite delicious! Maybe the sourness of the raisins was slightly covered by the sweetness of the bun and wolfberries. Suitable for breakfast and snack time, indeed!