Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

It’s been a long time that I wanted to try some of the recipes with wine from my collection but due to religious reasons, I can’t do it. Actually I never tried drinking wine since the day I was born so I have no real idea of what I’m missing to taste by not using wine when cooking. Then few days ago I came up an idea of searching online what’s the best wine substitute for cooking, I wondered why I never thought of that thing before, then I was glad since I found loads of suggestions from various websites.

To summarize, wine contributes 4 things in every cooking taste which are:
1. alcohol
2. acidity
3. fruitiness
4. depth

The number 1 is the reason why I don’t want to include wine in my cooking so I think I should forget that thing. For the acidity, lemon juice is the best substitute, another alternatives are vinegar and any citrus juice. For its fruitiness, the best substitute that I found is apple juice and since the fruit flavor contributes sweetness to the wine sugar is also one of the good alternatives. For its depth, almost all chefs suggested stock, for example beef stock as a substitute for red wine and chicken stock for white wine, fish sauce and a few dash of light soy sauce are also good alternative for this as long as it is appropriate for the dish that you’re going to cook.

To sum it up, we can substitute wine with any citrus or acidic fruit juice with stock and light soy sauce.

Actually wine is a flavorful liquid, so, substitute with another equally flavorful liquid, keeping an eye on the properties you wish to emphasize: bright, sweet, salty, herbal, acidic, etc. So this means that you can make your own, try to experiment and trust your instinct. It will do a great wonder, trust me.

The picture above is the shrimp scampi that I cooked yesterday, the recipe calls for a white wine but I substituted it with mixture of fresh lemon juice, sugar and stock. Check the recipe here.

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Today I learned that if we eat more fish we would all be healthier. According to a study fish was the best source of Omega 3 and Vitamin B12 and was low in saturated fats and an excellent source of protein and iodine. It was also discovered that it can increase our life’s expectancy and can keep us stay younger than our real age. The latter sounds interesting! Fish is our favorite viand at home, we only ate meat 2-4 times a week so expect that we look younger than our real age…haha, lol 😀 . Anyway, below is one of my favorite fish recipe to cook at home, I wanna share it to you guys so that you will stay healthy and look younger also 😀 It’s very simple and easy to make. Try it 🙂

Ingredients:
300 g fish fillets, sliced into serving portions
2 pcs. boiled corn on the cob, cut quarterly (horizontal)
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
3 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
Cooking spray

Marinade:
¼ cup Italian style dressing
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:
1. Mix together all the marinade. Marinate fish fillets for at least 1 hour. Drain and pat dry. Reserve marinade.
2. Spray the non-stick frying pan with cooking spray, heat then pan grill the fillets until brown, turn over and grill the other side. Continue grilling until done. Transfer to a dish with the corns on its side and set aside.
3. In the same pan, pour the olive oil put over a medium heat, sauté onions until transparent. Add the reserve marinade, fish sauce, sugar and bell pepper. Let boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.
4. Pour the mixture over the fish fillets and corn. Serve.

Yang Chow Fried Rice

                                      

Do you eat fried rice? Me, I always love yang chow fried rice and it is one of our favorite at home.  It is a Chinese Fried rice variations, basically,  aside from the rice, ingredients like shrimps, egg, meat, various vegetables are usually added singly or a combination of those list. Above is the picture of the one I cooked at home. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:
4 cups cold cooked rice
2/3 cup shrimps, cut into small slices, about 1 cm
2/3 cup chicken barbeque, sliced into small cubes
1/2 cup ground beef
1 hotdog, sliced into small cubes
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup frozen green peas,thawed
1/3 tsp. black pepper powder
3 tbsp. cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste
 

Directions:
1. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and some of the chopped green onions.
2. Heat half of the oil in a wok, stir fry the garlic, then hotdog cubes, ground beef, shrimps and green peas for 1 minute, stir in the chicken cubes, add dark and light soy sauce and stir for another 1 minute. Sprinkle black pepper powder to the mixture. Remove from wok and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining oil and lightly scramble the beaten eggs. Add the cooked rice and stir to make sure that each grain of rice is separated, then season with salt and pepper.
4. Stir in remaining green onions with the cooked shrimp and meat mixture. Blend well, remove from heat and serve.

For more fried rice recipes, check this link.

I always love cooking and making experiements with the foods I found in our kitchen.  Since I am in an arab country right now, I always aim of cooking all the arabic dishes that I want to eat.  And since some of the ingredients of these dishes are not suitable in my taste, I always make a way to cook it in my own style and personal taste.   I also noticed that the Chicken Biryani (Pinoy Style) which I posted here few months ago ranked 3rd in this blog’s top posts for the month of April.  Few days ago, I tried to experiment arabic dish again called Majboos.  It is an arabic dish which is consist of long grain rice and chicken or meat. The meat or chicken were boiled before frying, then the rice is being cooked with the meat or chicken’s  broth.  This is also different from Biryani since in Majboos the rice is cooked separately from the chicken  or meat while in Biryani, they are being cooked together.  In chicken majboos, whole chicken is also used, while in biryani, the chicken are being sliced into serving portions.   Majboos is usually served with Dakkous, it is an arabic dipping sauce made of tomato sauce. 

Like the chicken biryani that I posted here before, the chicken majboos that I cooked few days ago was also done according to my very Filipino taste, no strong spices has been added, I also made my own version of Dakkous with soy sauce and fish sauce as well!  😀

 

Ingredients:
3 cups basmati rice (long grain rice)
1 kg whole chiken
2 onions, sliced thinly
2/3 cup mixed vegetables (carrots and green peas)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. salt
2 cups cooking oil

For Dakkous:
1 small onion, minced
2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. coking oil
 

Directions:
1. Put enough water in a pot to cover the whole chicken, about 1 liter.  Bring to a boil, add the whole chicken, salt and half of the sliced onions. Cook for 15 minutes or until done.

2. Wash the rice, then soak in water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and keep the broth aside.

4. Reheat the chicken broth, add the soaked rice into it, cook until the rice grains are almost tender, adjust the water label if necessary. When the water is reduced, sprinkle turmeric powder on top of the rice, cover the pot, reduce the heat to very low and cook for 20-30 minutes.  (Stir the rice after 15 minutes to mix the yellow and white rice)

5. Heat oil in a deep frying pan, fry the whole chicken until golden brown. Set aside.

6. In another pan, heat 1 tbsp. from the used oil, fry the remaining onions until brown, set. aside. In the same pan, stir fry the mixed vegetables for 2 minutes.  Take out from the pan and mix it with the browned onions.  Add the mixture on top of the rice.

7. Stir the rice gently to mix with the other ingredients, transfer to a platter and place the fried whole chicken on top of rice.

For Dakkous:
1. Heat oil in a sauce pan, saute onion and tomatoes until very tender.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
3. Transfer to a small bowl and serve it as a dipping sauce for the fried chicken.