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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Smothered Pork Chops!

What drew me to this recipe was the sauce really, i’m not much of a meat eater, so it really was the onion sauce that was divine. This recipe was taken from Food Wishes. Chef John has some really great recipes!

This is my take on it. Almost the same, just a wee different.


2 Pork Chops, butterflied into 4 – i got these from
1 1/2 – 2 Onions, sliced – i used more cause we love our onions
5 cloves Garlic, chopped – i like my garlic
A piece of the white part of a spring onion
1 rounded tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth – do not replace with water, i’ve tried.
1/4 cup buttermilk, or sour cream in smaller qty
A few whole peppercorns
Salt and Pepper


I am using our Le Creuset a lot these days, cause i like it loads.


So, in a pan, preferably non-stick or cast iron, or something along those lines, fry/sear/brown your pork chops in a little olive oil.

And sooner or later, your pot/pan should have those little brown bits stuck to the bottom – and that, is what we want!

So, when the pork chops are brown and maybe 80% cooked, you can take them off and onto a plate.

and now. onto the onion sauce.

After all the slicing and crying over the onions, dump them all into the same pot patterned with the little brown bits and a little oil.

Fry and fry and fry. We want the onions to caramelize and go really brown and soft – as brown and soft as you can get them.

When they’re nearly done, add the garlic in and let them fry for a little while.

Then, add in the flour and fry to cook off the taste of the flour.


Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. If you find the sauce too thick, add a splash of water – i found that i didn’t have to. At this point, i also added a few whole peppercorns (fish really liked it) and a white part of a spring onion, just to add a different onion flavour to the sauce.

When it boils, add in your pork chops and the juices that are on the plate into the sauce to warm up the chops. Add in also the buttermilk or sour cream. This slight acidity is to counter the sweetness of the onions.

Once they are cooked to your liking and heated up, serve!

I served it over freshly cooked basmati rice. I’m really loving basmati rice now. Although, when i cook it over the stove, there’s always rice stuck to the bottom, i’m not sure how much water to put if i’m using my rice cooker though.

I really liked this sauce and have used it over minute steaks as well. I think it would be awesome over mash potatoes, just add a little cornstarch to make it thicker and more peppercorns as well!

I hope you try it!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Beef Stew this time!

A while back, i ordered chuck steak from

that was meant for making my beef stew.

It was a free day and i went out to buy veggies and more meat because i decided that the amount of chuck steak might not be enough + hui had melissa over for dinner.

Out i went. (remember to bring my trolley next time)

I bought ox-tail. some carrots, onions etc.

Here goes, my version (still subjected to changes though)

It is actually, really difficult to take a good picture of beef stew.


1330gm beef – 680g chuck steak 650g oxtail
175g bacon – leave it whole
2 medium sized onions
2 carrots (hui requested for more)
6 large white button mushrooms
3 potatoes (fish didn’t like them)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 dried bay leaf
Dark Soy Sauce
for starters: (more will be added later, as per your discretion)
500ml red wine
500ml water


While chopping the ingredients, boil a pot of water.


When it comes to a boil, add in the diced chuck steak and oxtail (or whatever meat you’re using) and cook for 10-15 mins to get rid of any gamey-ness and excess fats.

Drain and leave aside.

In a cast iron pan, or a Le Creuset in my case (Fish bought one when i wasn’t around last year!) fry the bacon. I said to leave them whole because after the cooking process, it can be discarded, there was absolutely no flavour to them after all the stewing.

After the bacon, add in the onions, garlic and mushrooms.

Let them slowly cook and reduce in size.

Layer the beef on top of the mixture and add in half of the wine and water.

Add the chopped carrots on top then add the rest of the liquid. (Potatoes were not such a good idea. they almost disintegrated by the time the stewing was done)

Cover and simmer for 30 mins, then give it a stir to combine the veggies and stew till it’s time to eat. A good 2-3 hours would be great.

Within the 2-3 hours, we added more red wine and more water when it was needed, whenever it looked like it was drying out. so just add according to how your stew looks and tastes like.

When it’s done. it will be quite sweet because of all the red wine and carrots. so add a tablespoon or two of dark soy sauce to give it color and saltiness.


It really is very difficult to take a good picture.

We bought a bag of instant mash potatoes from our trip to Ikea, so we cooked it all and fish added a good amount of spring onions in it. And thus, formed our dinner!


pork chops coming up soon! with a delicious but really simple sauce!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

abcafe. kingsford.

Ooooo.. i just realized that i forgot to blog about ab cafe. one of our current favourite places for dessert.

It’s a short little walk from our home and it has a really warm feel to it – which i really like.

It has sofas, but we’ve never sat on them – always just tables and chairs.

the guy is always the same 2 guys. i should think they run the place. but it seems like at night (which is when we go), it’s always manned by the same guy.

They had waffles. which is what drawn us in the first place. but we’ve found many little gems since then.

Instead of waffles now, fish enjoys a good plate of pancakes with expresso ice-cream.

He loves it. that’s exactly what he eats every single time.

As for me, the guy recommended a panna cotta that is made in-house. and i love it. it’s not too sweet plus the tartness of the fruits are awesome.

one thing though. the second time i ate this. there were much less berries. still nice though. the syrup has a hint of red wine. i really like this.

Another time, when they ran out, he recommended a mixed berry cheesecake. it was heavenly. It was light. the biscuit bottom was delicious and the berries were perfect with it. About 1/3 into my cheesecake. i declared to fish. ‘my birthday cake' it has to be. it’s awesome, it’s so light, i could keep eating it all day long.

Shi hui has found a favourite drink (i don’t have a pic of it though). it’s green tea frappe. She loves it. it tastes great.

though. the second time we were there, it was nearly closing time, so i guess it was a little rush, but her drink wasn’t (i dunno what the word is – ah – blended) well. There were still ice cubes in it. She still did enjoy her drink though.

hmm… what else.

yup. the banana smoothie was good. fresh bananas. great tasting, nice thickness and richness and the sweetness was just right.

They serve a good range of ice cream flavours too – i don’t think they make it themselves. Fish likes the expresso with his pancakes. I actually quite like the … i think it’s vanilla with brownies.. or something like that. The black glutinous rice ice cream is not though, if you’ve ever ate the real thing, this is not going to satisfy. at all. the black sesame is not too bad.

well.. this is all i can think of at the moment.

we’re really busy with uni these days so we haven’t been there in a while. we walked there last sat but they were closed. we shall try again sometime soon!

yummy desserts!

Meat Delivery!

Well. Well. I had a meat delivery today. Yes. you will be surprised to find out that we basically get home delivery for everything. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not lazy (i think) or anything like that but sometimes, home delivery is great. and shopping online means i get to control the amount of money i spend, hopefully get a good deal and get it delivered!

We’ve stopped the fruits and veg delivery for now because it delivers way to much for us to consume in 2 weeks. This was around $60/mth and it is great value considering that previously, every time we went to the supermarket, we would run up a bill of $100+.

As for meat, i don’t eat much meat, but fish loves his meat. He doesn’t like the smell of the butcher and for me, the butcher is a little far away – i don’t mind if it was like something that i wanted to cook today and went out to buy it but otherwise.

So i found on the internet, it’s a butchery run by Gary who is really nice. I’ve ordered twice and my delivery day is a tuesday and for both times, i only confirmed my order through email after 12midnight and he still gets them all packed for me and delivered to my house.

What i like it that he’s a real butcher – you know those that you watch in shows where you can go in, have a chat, get your butcher to do things for you.. well, the supermarket can’t do that. so for that, i look for Gary. the best is, i can tell like i want 4 chicken thighs and i want them to be separated into 1 in one bag and 3 in another bag, and he does this happily and vacuum seals it for me. Then he sticks on the price tag with what meat it is, when it was sealed and how heavy is it. The previous time, i think i gave him a little more notice, so he froze the meat for me as well. Today, not so much time, so it didn’t come frozen – but not a problem.

I was watching Maangchi on youtube and came across a cut of beef called the LA Galbi. and i really wanted to try making that dish. so i sent an email to Gary with a picture and he said he could cut that for me. awesome!

So i ordered 1.5kg of LA cut.
6 chicken thighs – kaarage in the making!
3 minute steaks – all separately packaged
and beef mince.

I wanted to make hamburgers but the mince that he had on the website was an extra lean one. and i don’t like extra lean. i like fats.

so i asked him if he could mince up 600gm of chuck steak for me. nice amount of fat on this mince. i can imagine how they would taste at the end….

that was all i got today.

and tml. we are expecting another home delivery from another company for our eggs and milk. I was drawn to their milk since it has no permeate in it – i wanted to try and see if there was really a difference.

i’ll let you guys know tomorrow. with pictures i hope.


(By the way, i just realized, if i were talking to you about this – this would be almost exactly what i would say. oh god. my dad would say that i’m naggy. i think i agree. i should go now. bye)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dim Sum – at the Fish Market!

I love dim sum! who doesn’t? even my dear fish who doesn’t like seafood likes dim sum. It’s like the only time ever that he eats prawns. haha.

This going to be a picture heavy post. One of the best places to have dim sum in sydney in at the Fish Market. It was so crowded the day we went, a sunday afternoon but we managed to get a good seat with loads of natural lighting so i think the pictures look good. We went with fish’s parents since they were around for his graduation.

First up!

Steamed dumplings. If i’m not wrong, it was with chinese chives and prawns, together with the chilli sauce, it was awesome!

Chee cheong fan – with char siew and prawns (the plate at the back). It was good. I think i don’t have to mention my reaction to each dish. cause it was all good!

Up close with the prawns. very fresh and delicious!

More prawns!

More prawns! Har Gow!

Shi Hui’s favourite. Chicken feet!

Fish’s favourite. Beef balls!

Siew Mai. very nice. we have seconds and thirds.. i think.

Deep fried something. It had to be good.

Deep fried prawn sushi.

Egg tarts. slightly oily though.

Takoyaki! Nice nice!

Peking Duck! We each had a plate. It was good. the meat was tender and there was no gameness. very very nice.

Radish puff. not something i like. so, meh.

Fish liked this. It was mango with cream.

Eggplant, prawn paste and tofu in a black bean sauce. yum yum.

Porridge. not the best. but we found a good one just down the road from our house. and to think we’ve never eaten there in 3 years!

and to end the great day, fish and his parents went for a beer while me and hui went for Chatime! Milk tea with grass jelly. my favourite.

After eating, we went for a walk to the Sydney Opera House. but before that, we bought a vacuum cleaner. Here’s fish:


Have a good one! :)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Yay! New house!

So, we had to move. we got the notice just as semester started. it was frantic looking for a house.

there were silent requirements that had to be met. some requirements people won’t understand why we are insistent on, but by a stroke of luck, we managed to get one, that wasn’t too bad.

a little messy. hehe.

what i love is that we have flyscreens on all the windows. the kitchen’s a little small – but workable. and there are no carpets. i like.

It’s a landed property – right in the front of the road, so we get a small door at the pavement, then a few flight of stairs and then the main door with the balcony. and i couldn’t be happier.

Some mornings, i just sit on the sofa, with a cup of tea and biscuits, open the balcony door and just let the fresh air circulate. very nice.

Taken from the stairs. The main door is on the right side.

Yes, if you noticed, we have 2 fridges, basically 2 of everything. cause we used to live separately and when we moved in together, we had double of almost everything.

On the left side, where you can’t see, is the laundry room and a toilet. There is also a flight of stairs leading down to where we call the ‘dungeon’. haha. it basically is the basement garage, where we have our own secured parking garage.

A closer look of the kitchen. The oven is great. never been used before. There are a lot of cupboards in that small kitchen, which is ironic since there is little to none elsewhere, where we really need it.

But for now.

I love our new house. i’m almost glad we have to move. our rooms are smaller, but we can live with that.

oh. and we don’t have to wake up when there are deliveries. we agreed with the postman that he can just leave our parcels at the door. awesome. since the post office is now a 20 mins walk away – my speed. I just sit a bus there now. lol. only had to go there once, so hopefully. no more!

i’m just happy i have to nice cozy home to come home to with fish and shi hui. :)

Love ya all!

Friday, April 08, 2011

My Internet’s back!

Hello everyone!

Many many things have happened since the last post. and i have been kept busy and happy. :)

I’ve got much to share and loads of pictures to let you guys see. I’m just going through them all now and editing them. and boy! does my eyes hurt. well. it’s late. but there’s a good amount of food and some of my new home (which i love by the way).

I’m rather busy with assignments this week, but i’ll be back on track soon enough and upload all those pictures and document all the wonderful happenings.

I hope you have been well and i pray that you have been as happy as i have been.

Loads of love! :)