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Archive for the 'vegetables' Category

我也太久太久没更新网页了。是的是的,真是抱歉!!!

前三个月事情太多了,最近也在忙搬家,所来话长。

今天,我就说说我在六月份的 Basil Magazine 写的一篇关于以 En Papillote 烹煮方法, 做一道好吃有营养意大利面。 传统的 En Papillote 用烘烤纸把食物包起来,后放入烤箱烤煮/烤熟。我用相同的道理把蔬菜包起来清蒸。一来,蔬菜不在烈火中烹煮,营养不会轻易流失; 二来,水分也被保留。

这样烹煮蔬菜意大利面真的很容易,有好吃。你不妨试一试。

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The Magic of Parchment-Cooking (En Papillote) – by HL Tay

The popular technique of “En Papillote” that means “in parchment” in French, refers to a method of cooking in which the food is “sealed” in a carefully folded parcel or pouch, and then baked in the oven.

A sealed parcel of food

A sealed parcel of food

There is something alluring about parchment-cooking. The parcel that seals and holds in moisture (moisture may be from the food itself or from added moisture sources such as water, wine, or stock), that gently steams the food; and food not being directly exposed to heat within the sealed parcel. With such delicate form of cooking, the food almost always turns out perfect.  Being considered a delicate form of cooking, en papillote is perhaps suited to cook fish (salmon, trout, snapper, cod fish to name a few); and whether whole or fillet, the cooked fish turns out so succulent and moist.
The good news is: parchment-cooking can be adapted to steaming – working in beautifully as an alternative to baking; and you don’t even have to think of what oven temperature to set. Simply set your steamer to work, watch the time and let magic happens.
Now, the better news: parchment-steaming is also absolutely perfect for cooking (steaming) vegetables. From leafy greens to tender bell peppers, peas, to firmer squash (e.g. zucchini, pumpkin) and root vegetables (e.g. sweet potatoes) – the vegetables turn out tender, not overdone/overcooked; flavors light, fresh and refreshing.
Customize your veggie packet

Customize your veggie packet

With parchment-cooking, seasonings are often also kept minimal to preserve the delicate in cooking. The choice of herbs and spices (garlic, ginger, shallots, parsley, cilantro, basil, thyme, red chili flakes, turmeric power, extra virgin olive oil etc.) depend on the particular recipe.  If you are not a vegetarian, a complete entrée of salmon en papillote with thin asparagus spears and carrots ribbons can be prepared within minutes; and if you are a vegetarian, be delighted how you can easily create your own veggie packet that makes a worthy meal.

With firmer vegetables: (1) Thinly slice (julienne) bell peppers and zucchini, place them on the parchment paper; (2) Add thinly sliced garlic and finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley over the veggies; (3) Drizzle extra virgin olive oil; (4) Toss them gently to combine; (5) Fold and seal the packet; (6) Steam for about 8 minutes; (7) Allow it to rest for 1 minute before unwrapping; (8) Pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste for your own preference
You have already heard the better news.  So, will it be even better if a meal of Pasta Aglio e Olio (with a bonus of healthy nutritious vegetables) can be prepared in less than 15 minutes?
Before folding and sealing the packet (before step #5 above), add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the packet, sprinkle some red chili flakes over the veggies, then seal and steam the packet, as described above. When the veggies are cooked, toss them into cooked pasta (Note: Angel hair is suggested because the thin strands carry the light garlic-olive oil dressing really well), and voila! A healthful veggie version of pasta Aglio e Olio! And this was prepared and cooked without the use of a pan, or more strictly, without frying/sautéing in a pan.

Veggies Pasta Aglio e Oilo

Veggies Pasta Aglio e Oilo

You can also use leafy greens: (1) Prepare handfuls of organic baby arugula on the parchment paper; (2) Add thinly sliced garlic over the arugula with drizzle of extra virgin olive oil; (3) Fold and seal the packet; (4) Steam for about 3 minutes; and serve them alongside gently poached/steamed fish, or jazz up a typically “veggie-less” Pasta Vongole.
Fuss-free, healthy, nutritious and delicious – what’s not to love?

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Note: The complete article first appeared in Basil Magazine, June 2011 Issue

很多人觉得豆腐没味道。要煮出香味扑鼻,味道可口的豆腐一点也不难。

不如先从蒸豆腐开始,也可称它 “咸豆花”。

把嫩豆腐放入碗冲,加点无糖豆浆/豆奶;再把磨菇,切碎番茄,紫菜摆在豆腐上。蒸锅准备好,把豆腐放入蒸锅,蒸约八到十分钟。蒸完后,滴点麻油,撒上芫荽,白胡椒调味。

又是一道懒人健康营养餐,这点子还不错吧!

Related post: Savory Tofu Pudding

在去年十月份的 Basil Magazine 以烹饪材料 – 苦瓜/凉瓜 (bitter melon, bittergourd) 作为题材,借机会把这在美国较稀有的材料,介绍给更多的人。还好在华人居多的加州,要找到苦瓜/凉瓜不难,所以也自创了一个烤凉瓜食谱。

凉瓜也可拿来烤!

我是爱苦瓜/凉瓜之人,你呢?

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Bitter Melon, What a Melon! by Hui Leng Tay

We often see balanced diet in the light of different food groups or nutrition – carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals; or in the light of the ingredients themselves – vegetables, fruits, beans, dairy, meat, and seafood.

It is not often we see or hear them in the light of flavors and taste. The Six Tastes of Life (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent) is in fact an Ayurvedic way of understanding a simple balanced diet, developed long before the food group pyramid or daily nutritional requirements table.

Photo 1_ Bitter melon

It is not hard to resist sweet, sour, salty food. Pungent? Think of onions, ginger, garlic, and chili – nothing too adventurous. How about…bitter? Among some of them such as rhubarb, spinach, arugula, Romaine lettuce; bitter melon might be the ultimate. It is an acquired taste. LOVE. OR. HATE.

Bitter melon is also known as bitter gourd and considered the most bitter of fruits. It is not a rare, hard-to-find ingredient anymore. In the US, they can be found in selected Whole Foods Market and even in the farmer’s markets.

In Asian cuisines, this fruit is often treated like a vegetable for culinary uses. It can be stir-fried, braised, fried and cooked in soups. Have you also heard that a natural and holistic home remedy to control diabetes is to drink bitter melon juice?

There is a neat trick to reduce the bitterness of bitter melon during food. Fill up a deep bowl with water and salt the water. Soak the sliced bitter melon in the salted water for about 10 minutes. This is a widely used kitchen tip used by many Asian cooks. The longer the bitter melon is soaked, the less bitter it will be, yielding a less bitter dish.

Remember! Give yourself 12 attempts on food you do not like – adults or kids alike. Hide it in other foods, cook it differently. Hopefully, this easy and tasty bitter melon vegetarian recipe is a good way to open up a variety of bitter melon dishes.

Discover this unique taste of life!
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Note: The complete article first appeared in Basil Magazine, October 2011


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