Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Chinese Connection

I have always loved Chinese Food ever since my grandparents treated us at the Rice Bowl on Brigade Road, Bangalore more than forty years ago. Although my mother frequently made noodles and fried rice at home, nothing quite matched the taste and smell of authentic Chinese cuisine. So when we shifted to Kuala Lumpur, which has a large Chinese population and numerous eating spots, I took the opportunity to master the art. And my family co-operated as well, patiently eating everything I put on the table. For Christmas and other special occasions it is always Chinese food, not only because it is so easy to make and requires minimum cooking time but because it is as delicious as it looks.

Fried Rice is one of my personal favourites because you can add anything to it and it tastes good.

Honey Chicken Wings is another simple, tasty recipe.

Chinese food is always accompanied with lots and lots of vegetables, so have included a recipe that goes well with any menu.

The dessert is Serita’s achievement and am so glad she can cook, ably assisted by Ranita. You can never have too much of these luscious tarts.
So eat on and enjoy the Christmas season.

The Recipe

2 cups left over rice; 1 cup mixed, stir fried vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, cauliflower, whatever); 1 omlette cut into strips; ½ cup shredded cooked chicken (optional); 1 tbsp minced ginger garlic; 2 spring onions cut really fine; oil for frying; large wok; 1 Maggi soup cube (salt not required if using soup cubes).
Heat oil in wok. Add the ginger garlic and stir fry a minute. Smash the soup cube and add to the wok. Lower flame and add the vegetables (I used only peas, since we were having mixed vegetables) and chicken and gently mix. Next, add the rice a little at a time and mix well. Add the spring onions and omlette strips and transfer to serving dish. Keep hot while you prepare the honey chicken wings.

Honey Chicken Wings

8 wings trimmed and drained. Marinade 15 minutes with salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp oyster sauce.
Grill at 450F or 260 C for five minutes each side.

Mixed Vegetables

3/4 kg mixed vegetables of your choice. I use whatever's in the refrigerator; 1/4 kg grilled potato wedges; 1 tsp garlic, minced; oil for seasoning; salt to taste; 1 tbsp almond flakes or nibs for garnishing (optional).
Blanch vegetables of your choice for 1 minute in boiling water with added salt to taste.. Pour cold water over them to retain crunchiness and drain completely. Parboil 2 large potatoes. Peel and cut into wedges. Sprinkle salt over them. Grill 5 minutes on high heat until golden brown.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in large wok. Stir fry garlic a minute. Add all the veggies and potatoes and toss gently for another minute. Garnish with almond nibs/flakes. Serve hot.

Lemon Cream Cheese Tartlets

50 tartlet cases (pre baked and available at any cake shop); 1/4 kg cream cheese at room temperature; 400 ml tin of condensed milk; ¼ cup cream; juice of 2 large lemons;1 tsp grated lemon zest; almonds for decoration.
Blend cream cheese, cream, condensed milk and lemon juice & zest in cake mixer until smooth and creamy. Pour into tart cases. Decorate with an almond each. Store in freezer until required. Can freeze the remainder in ice cream trays and use as and when required.

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