Archive | December, 2011

The Snacks Of Taiwan

28 Dec

The culinary culture of the Chinese people goes back a very long time; and while Chinese food can be enjoyed in every large city in the world today, true gourmets know that only in Taiwan is it possible to enjoy fine authentic cuisine from all the different regions of China.

In Taiwan, where it seems the people live to eat, it is said that there is a snack shop every three steps and a restaurant every five. These establishments serve all kinds of Chinese food, from the roast duck, smoked chicken, lamb hotpot, fish in wine sauce, beef with green peppers, and scallop and turnip balls of the north to the camphor-tea duck, salty fried chicken with spices, honey ham, stir-fried shrimp, dry-fried eggplant, and spicy bean curd of the south. As the island’s economy has developed rapidly in recent years, its culinary culture has expanded beyond the traditional Chinese foods to Chinese-style fast-food chains, thus bringing greater complexity than ever before to the art of Chinese dining.

Snack Of Taiwan

Pearl Milk Tea:
Also known as “boba milk tea,” pearl milk tea originates from Taichung and is made from a mixture of black tea, milk, and sago pearls. The combination of fragrant tea and chewy sago has made this beverage popular not only in Taiwan but in other countries as well. At many Chinatowns across the world, you can find this refreshing beverage.

Pearl Milk Tea

Shrimp Pork Soup:
With seas on all side, Taiwan enjoys a bounty of seafood that is served up in a wide variety of snack foods that have become ingrained in the culinary tradition of the island. Shrimp pork soup is one of these dishes that has become a night market mainstay. This dish is made mostly of shrimp potage flavored with stewed pork and a thickening dash of potato starch to add flavor and chewiness. Add a splash of black vinegar to complement the sweetness of the soup and make this tasty dish even more delicious. Shrimp Pork Soup

Oyster Omelet:
Sea-fresh oysters are an important ingredient in this popular snack, available at just about every night market in Taiwan. The oysters are coated in potato starch and tapioca. Eggs and leafy vegetables are added to the mixture, which is skillet fried over a high flame. A sweet and sour sauce further adds to the addictively delicious taste.Oyster Omelet
 
Meat Rice Tamales:
These tamales are made of glutinous rice, mushrooms, peanuts, egg yolks and pork all wrapped up in bamboo leaves, which impart their subtle flavor. Originally eaten only during the Dragon Boat Festival, this dish has become a year-round attraction at night markets throughout Taiwan. Meat Rice Tamales
 
Stinky Tofu:
With stinky tofu, the greater the smell, the tastier the results. And while many people are put off by the smell, those who take the plunge are usually won over by this distinctively yummy treat. Stinky tofu is made of large squares of fermented tofu fried in oil and then cut into four smaller pieces and served with a garnish of pickled cabbage. The combination of the crispy outside and soft inside is part of this dish’s charm. Stinky Tofu

Coffin Sandwich:
This Tainan specialty often turns heads for its very unusual name. The sandwich is a thick slice of bread with a hollow center filled with a mixture of chicken meat and liver, shrimp, carrots, potatoes, and milk. The filling is then covered with another piece of bread and cut into four pieces. Best when eaten hot.Veggie and Meat WrapCoffin Sandwich

Veggie and Meat Wrap:
These wraps are packed with goodies, including boiled cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced fried egg, barbecued pork, peanut powder and powdered sugar, all wrapped up in a thin spring roll skin and served warm. This delicious treat is one of the most popular snacks at night markets throughout Taiwan.Veggie and Meat Wrap

Oyster Vermicelli :
No night market worth the name is without this unassuming little treat. The quality of this dish is judged by the freshness of the oysters and chewiness of noodles. The dish is made with a type of red vermicelli that does not crumble easily. The noodles are served in a soup stock with fresh oysters and soy stewed large intestines and flavored with black vinegar, a special sauce, and a garnish of cilantro.Oyster Vermicelli

How To Cooking Snickerdoodle

24 Dec

Snickerdoodle

This delicious recipe for cake-like snickerdoodle cookies is from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook titled How To Be a Domestic Goddess. After trying multiple recipes, these are the best – soft, but with a good crumb. Nigella seems like such a wonderful and talented person – I even heard her on NPR a few weeks ago!

Snickerdoodle Recipe (from ‘How To Be a Domestic Goddess’)

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 baking sheets, lined with parchment or greased

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine the flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt, and set aside for a moment. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the 1/3 cup sugar until light in texture and pale in color, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Now stir in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth, coherent mixture. Spoon out the remaining sugar and the cinnamon onto a plate. Then, with your fingers, squeeze out pieces of the dough and roll between the palms of your hands into walnut sized balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on your prepared baking sheets.

Bake for about 15 minutes, by which time they should be turning golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to rest on the baking sheets for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

 

How To Make Mango Avocado Arugula Salad

20 Dec

mango-avocado-arugula-saladI love the colors in this salad; the mix of arugula, mango, avocado, red onions, cilantro, and red chili peppers make it look fun. I’ve always enjoyed salads and am fortunate that my kids also love salads, especially the younger one, on those days that he decides to be a picky eater he will still eat his salad and ask for more, for some odd reason he really likes the onions and can’t get enough of them, then he goes for the avocado, next the mango and finally the arugula. I used a red chili pepper for this salad to give it spice and color, but you can also use a milder pepper if you find chili peppers too hot, though once you remove the seeds and membranes they lose a lot of the heat, I debated using some crushed garlic instead, but I feel like I’ve been adding garlic to everything (seriously sometimes I feel like I can’t cook unless I use garlic, cumin or cilantro) so I’m taking a garlic break just for this salad. I like to use a little bit of creativity to keep salads interesting, a salad should be more than just a bowl of greens, I mean greens are good, but there are so many other additional ingredients and flavors that can be added to really make a salad stand out and have its own character.

mango-avocado-arugula-saladIngredients:

6 cups arugula leaves

1 mango, peeled and cut into long slices

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

½ red onion, sliced

1 tbs lime juice

Spicy orange vinaigrette

1 tbs champagne vinegar

4 tbs orange juice, about ½ orange

2 tbs lime juice, about ½ lime

4 tbs olive oil

½ tsp cumin

2 tbs finely chopped cilantro

1 red chili or hot pepper, sliced

Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a jar, close it tight and shake until the ingredients are well mixed.

Soak the onion slices in warm water with a dash of salt and 1 tbs lime juice for about 10 minutes.

Rinse and drain the onions slices.

Toss the arugula leaves with half of the vinaigrette.

Add the avocado slices, mango slices and onion slices to the arugula mix, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top.

Serve immediately.

How About Stewed Conch ?

15 Dec

The word Bahamas is attributed to the Spanish “baja mar,” or under the sea. Accordingly, seafood was a prominent factor in this meal. Amazing we got through eleven meals before cooking fresh treats from the ocean. And by all accounts, the seafood that defines Bahamian cuisine is the conch — pronounced conk. To find this and other ingredients such as sour orange, I biked up to south Williamsburg and to the inimitable Food Bazaar. Aside from bird peppers and fresh guava, I found everything I needed, and even then I found acceptable substitutes in scotch bonnet peppers and frozen guava paste. I don’t think I managed to get as much meat as I should have, the one pound of crawfish yielded at most two ounces of crawfish tails, and given that the recipe calls for two tails, I’m pretty sure that the crawfish they get in the Bahamas are much bigger. Anyway, it was tasty and tangy and spicy and a great start into the meal.

For a country so small, what a doozy it turned out to be. As it turns out, Brussels is nothing like Nassau, and ingredients that are commonplace in the latter are well nigh impossible to find in the former. After much careful substitution, reading and strategising, I bring you my unique twist on a classic Bahamian dish: deep-fried conch. Queen conch is classified, in many parts of the Caribbean, as an endangered species. You’re not allowed to catch it anywhere in the United States, and its export is prohibited in the Cayman islands and quite a few other places. This is probably one of the reasons that I was unable to find conch anywhere in Brussels, much to my disappointment. On the other hand, I did manage to find whelks, a fellow marine gastropod (that’s sea snail to you and me). Whelks used to be fairly commonly eaten in the UK, Belgium, and France, although they’ve fallen out of favour in recent decades.

I’d certainly never eaten them, and wouldn’t have thought to give them a try otherwise. Having heard how similar they are to conch (although apparently slightly fishier, tougher and less sweet), I felt compelled to make turn Bahamian cracked conch into cracked whelk instead. The batter is light, crispy and flavourful. But whelks are definitely an acquired taste – it smells really strongly of fish, and tastes briny. It is also quite chewy, so you really need to pound it with that mallet. It actually tastes like a fishier version of deep-fried oysters, which can be very good indeed. If I had to make it again, I think I’d make it with calamari or another slightly subtler seafood. A conch can live up to 25 years ,different from human,others animal love conch also like stingrays ,but the question is many people ask how to get a conch out of its shell? All u need is a hatchet to put a hole at the top of the shell,an u take a knife insets it in the hole,an u push the conch out,an then u see the beauty of the conch,nice an tender meat,an one amazing fact is that a conch don’t have no bone,its all muscle an a delicacy food.