Monday, March 19, 2007

Pot au Feu au poulet ( healthy version)

Pot au Feu au Poulet Recipe:

1 whole chicken(about 1.2 kg, with all or most skin removed)
3 stalk leeks, only the white part
3 stalk of celery
2 carrots
equal amount of turnip as carrot
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 medium onion
1 clove pricked in just 1 onion
salt, pepper
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Peel carrots and turnip. Cut all veggies(carrots, turnips, celeri and leeks) into large chunks.

Put the chicken in a pot filled with 3 litres of water and bring it to a boil. Skim the floating white foam before you add all the chopped vegetables, onions and garlic in the pot.

Place bayleaf, thyme, parsley and black peppercorn in a cheesecloth bag and seal the bag.

Add the herb bag to the soup.

Simmer the soup for another 90 mins. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the herb bag from the soup.

Served the soup hot with a small portion of Dijon Mustard to dip the chicken and veggies. This is how we eat Pot au Feu the French way!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Coquille St Jacque

Coquille St Jacque
Originally uploaded by icecat_seoul.
I found some really nice looking scallops in Lotte Mart last Tuesday. I bought only 2 of them since they were pretty expensive. 1.5 USD each. The shells were the size of my palm but the scallops themselves were of the size of cherry tomatoes, seen in this picture.

The job
Prepping the scallops were not easy. I had to slide a knife inside the shell and scrape the scallops and pry open the shell. Holding the scallop meat with my fingers, I removed all the yucky looking black stomach. Then I had to remove all the white membrane carefully without breaking the orange coral attached to the scallop meat.
Since I was going to use just 2 shells, I got them scrubbed and rinsed.

Cooking the scallops was a breeze. I covered the interior of shells with a layer of boiled spinach. Then I placed a prepped scallop on each shell, followed by some salt and pepper seasoning. Next I covered the scallop with sauce bearnaise, sprinked a layer of grated emmental cheese and another layer of breadcrumbs.
The Coquilles St Jacques were then put into the oven for 30 mins at 200 degree celsius.

Et voila!
The result was 2 beautiful crusted scallop shells and slightly overcooked scallops. So cooking time needs to be cut down to 20 mins at 180 degree celsius. Maybe I will add some mushrooms next time.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Best Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup in Seoul

The Korean name for Ginseng Chicken Soup is Samgyetang.
The best ginseng soup is found at Exit 2 of Gyeungbokgung station, take a left after GS( about 3-5 mins walk). The name of the restaurant is Tosokchon.

There is no english menu available but it's not a big problem for foreigners. Everyone goes there for Samgyetang. So just point at the soup stone pot at the next table. Make sure it's a white chicken because they have Black Chicken Ginseng soup too!

A ginseng chicken soup costs around 11,000 won. The chicken is stuffed with rice, chestnut, ginseng and jujube. The soup is rather bland, so you would have to add your own salt at the table.

The restaurant also provides a few side dishes - kim chee, pickled radish, raw garlic and chilli paste - and small metal bucket at the side of the table. I didn't know what the bucket was for until the kind waitress explained to us to discard the chicken bones in it.

Also, everyone at the table gets a small cup of cold ginseng wine for free too!

Bo Lo Bao aka Pineapple Bun

A typical afternoon snack in Hong Kong to go with milk tea or coffee. It is a sweet bread with crusty top, usually served with a slice of butter.

When I was back in Singapore for Chinese New Year, I realized lots of HongKong style cafes have spruced up all over the island. I actually went to one cafe for some quick lunch. The name of the restaurant is WanChai.

What I ordered was a Bo Lo Bao and a Hong Kong milk tea. Rather delightful.