Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Honey & Black Pepper Baked Ham


Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas!
You know what?  My family would never live through a Christmas without ham and this year I decided to make my own ham.

I learn to make this ham from a baking session with few friends from church.  We had a great fun baking ham together and we had baked about 15 hams on that day.  Every one of us got to bring home a ham. 

My hubby and children gave a thumb up after eating the ham and that inspired me to bake my own ham for this Christmas.

A baked ham isn’t ham without the glaze.  Look!  The ham looks so gorgeous after the glazing. 

One of our favourite ways to eat ham is to go with baked vegetables.  The baked veggies, especially the capsicums(bell peppers) and carrots , bring out the sweet flavour that goes beautifully with the ham.  

Not forgetting the mango sauce.  The pureed mangos and honey mustard blended with brown sugar and lemon juice make a delicious fruit-flavoured sauce to go along with the baked ham.
The best ham I ever had for this Christmas!  
I’m contributing this recipe to Cook and Celebrate Christmas 2014 and I hope you will like the recipe.

1 kg        Half cooked ham
400g       Coke Cole
1 can       Beer
2 tsp        Peppercorn
1 pce       Bay leaves
2 small   Onions

(1)Mix the ingredients together in a pot and boil it for ½ hour.  Do not discard the stock.  
(2)When ham is cooled, score ham.  Scoring the ham lets the glaze penetrate into the meat.

1 tbsp      Orange Marmalade
1 tsp        Honey mustard
1 clove    Garlic chopped
1 tbsp      Brown sugar
½ tsp       Black pepper
1 tsp        Worcester sauce
1 tbsp      Black pepper sauce
Mix all ingredients and rub onto the cooked & scored ham and cover with foil and bake for 10 mins at 180ºC.

HONEY GLAZE (2nd layer of glaze)
100g       Stock from boiling the ham.
40g         Honey
20g         Brown sugar
1 tbsp      Chopped onion
1 tsp        Black pepper
½ tbsp     Black pepper sauce

(1)Mix the ingredients.  Cook the ingredient until it is thick.
(2)Glaze the ham and put it back to oven and bake for 10mins.
(3)Remove from oven and glaze the balance sauce and bake for another 5 mins.

1 tbsp      Honey Mustard
1 tbsp      Black Pepper
1 tbsp      Chopped garlic
1 tbsp      Salt
3 tbsp      Olive oil
4 large    White onions, cut into large wedges
2 large    Potato, cut into wedges

(1)Mix the ingredient (except the olive oil) and toss the vegetables together in a baking dish.  Before putting it to the oven, drizzles olive oil over it.  
(2)Bake the vegetable until they are soft.

2 tbsp      Brown sugar
¾ cup      Pureed from 2 small mangoes
3 tbsp      Honey Mustard
1 tbsp      Lemon juice
½ tsp       Worcester sauce (optional)

(1)Mix the ingredient and heat it warm.
(2)Arrange the baked vegetable around the ham and served it with mango sauce.

I’m submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organised by Yen from Eat Your Heart Out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Juicy Barbecued Pork


Year end is the time where friends get together, and catching up with old friends is always a great joy.

Lately I’ve been talking, laughing and sharing life with some really great friends for over 3 decades.  We have the opportunity to catch up on what have been happening and reminiscing on the time we spent together in school, reliving old jokes, sharing our dreams and future.  Encouraging and support each other emotionally and we even get some really helpful advice from our chat too!

One of the things I always tell my friends after meeting with them is that we mustn’t leave it so long next time… I’m so glad that we invariably do it though.  It is tough finding the time in the middle of busy lives.  But often it only takes 1 person’s crazy plan to make occasion happened.

Yes.  This was why I’ve been quiet for a period of time since my last post.  I’m now back again and ready for Christmas recipe!!

How about Juicy Chinese Barbecued Pork, something different for this Christmas? J

Here’s another recipe for Char Siew which I have made recently.  The seasoning is good.  It is sweet and savoury finger licking.  This is the 1st time I’m using pork butt to make char siu.  The meat turned out to be bit dry but it is healthier choice of meat.  The belly is of course the most tastier.
The recipe is adapted from one of Christine Ho’s cookbook – Easy Recipes.
700g               Pork butt
4 tbsp              Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce
1 tbsp              Honey, or to taste

1 tbsp              Shaoxing wine
2 tsp                Freshly grated ginger juice 
1 tbsp              Light soy sauce


(1)Rinse and cut the pork into strips about 2” to 2.5” in width.  Marinate pork with the char siu sauce and seasonings.  Cover and chill in fridge.  For a better result, marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

(2)Preheat oven to 200˚C.  Remove the pork from the fridge and rest in room temperature for 10 minutes.  Transfer into a oven proof ceramic tray (I used non-stick baking pan for easy washing later) with all the marinate.  Cover with foil.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Remove the foil, lower the heat to 100ºC.  From now on, keep an eye on it.  Spoon the sauce over the pork every 10 minutes to keep moist.  Turn to the other side and continue baking.  Keep basting sauce over the port keep moist (This is the key to baking succulent and juicy BBQ pork).  When the sauce becomes less and thickens, brush the pork with honey and bake for 10 minutes (Do not brush any honey too early or the pork will be burnt easily.  Just apply when the pork is nearly done).  The pork will gradually turn red in colour.  When you are satisfied with the colour and the consistency of the gravy, it is done.

(3)Remove from the oven and let the pork rest for 10 minutes.  When it cools down a bit, slice and serves with the gravy.

I’m also submitting this to this post to Cook-Your-Book #19 hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavour.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Grilled chicken with Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette (Bobby Flay)

This is a Lovely Gift by a Lovely Friend from Melbourne.
Just before I went for my Penang trip, I had the pleasure to meet up with 2 bloggers (Zoe and Diana) whom I have known through blogging over a year.  The meeting was so fun. We had a great time chatting and laughing, and the sharing we had was so inspiring.  

There’s something wonderful about meeting someone in real life that you’ve already known online.  It’s just like an instant friend.  Do you agree with me? J

Ok now.  Look at this dish!  
Did it make you salivate?

I love this chicken recipe from Bobby Flay.  The ingredients used for marinate is so simple but it has tons of flavour that would sure delight you.


(For 4 servings)

Grilled Chicken
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, about 6 ounces each
4 bone-inch chicken thights
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola Oil

Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette
1 tbsp              Canola Oil
½ pound         Applewood smoked slab bacon, cut into lardon
¼ cup              Red wine vinegar
1 heap tbsp    Dijon Mustard     
1 tsp                Clover Honey      
2 tbsp              Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
                        Parsley leaves, for garnish


Grilled Chicken
Season the chicken well on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30mins before grilling and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.  Brush the chicken with canola oil.  Place the thighs/breasts on the grill.  Grill pan skin side down and cook slowly, until the skin is crisp and renders fat and pulls away from the grates easily, about 6 minutes. 

Turn over and continue cooking until bottom of the breast is golden brown and thighs/breasts are just cooked through.  Remove to a plate and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.  

Bacon Mustard Vinaigrette
Heat the canola oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the bacon and slowly cook until the bacon is golden brown and crisp and the fat has rendered.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

Heat the rendered fat in the sauté pan over low heat.  Whisk in the vinegar, mustard and honey and cook for 30 seconds, to warm through.

Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add the bacon to the pan.  Serve a breast and thigh on each plate and lightly spoon the sauce over, garnish with parsley leaves.

I’m submitting this post to Cook-Like-A-Star, which is organised by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Grace from Life Can Be Simple.

For November and it’s also the last even for 2014, we’re cooking and baking recipes from Bobby Flay

I’m also submitting this to this post to Cook-Your-Book #18 hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavour.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Spicy Sweet Chicken Wings

I made this few weeks ago but haven’t got the time to post it on my blog.  This is a simple and fast dish to prepare.  It’s definitely a keeper.  I cook this whenever I run out of idea what to cook.
The Tabasco sauce really adds a kick and makes a big difference to the taste.

I’m glad I have tried out this dish.



8 to 10 organic or free range chicken wings (I used the mid-wing)
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp freshly grated black pepper


3 tbsp ketchup (tomato sauce)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Water, to adjust

(1)Rinse chicken wings and pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle garlic salt and pepper evenly.  Set aside for 15 minutes.

(2)Heat oil in a frying pan.  Place wings on pan in single layer and cook on both sides in batches over high-medium heat until brown.  The wings will release some oil.  Drain and discard the excess oil.

(3)Toss back the wings.  Add seasonings, stir to combine and reduce heat to low.  Continue to cook, covered, add more water, if necessary, until the wings are cooked through.  Serve hot.

This recipe is adapted from Christine Ho – Easy Recipes, A Selection of Simple Classic.  I’m contributing it to Cook-Your-Book #17 organised by Joyce, Kitchen Flavours.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Stewed Pork Ribs in Orange Juice 橙汁肉排


Look at this flavourful and juicy pork ribs.  They were so simply irresistible.  The juice is so tasty and unique and I had extra rice than normal just because it was so delicious and it goes so well with rice.
My family will never have enough of pork ribs.  This is my 1st attempt using fruits for cooking and it was so well received.
The meat is little hard.  The juice supposed to tenderise the meat.  I should have simmered it longer.  It was not as tender as I would have liked.  But it was already good enough for us to enjoy.
I cooked this last week but I was too busy that I missed the link for September Cook-Your-Book.  So I decided to post it for Cook-Your-Book #17 and here you go the recipe adapted by Christine Ho, one of her cook book –Easy Recipes – A Selection of Simple Classics


700g pork spare ribs
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp white cooking wine

1 cup       freshly squeezed orange juice1 2
1 cup       chicken stock
2 tbsp      light soy sauce
2 tbsp      raw sugar3
½ tsp       orange zest (only the orange part)

(1)Rinse the pork ribs and wipe dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

(2)Use a clay pot or a large saucepan.  Pour in the sauce and bring it to boil over medium heat.

(3)While heating sauce, brown pork ribs on a frying pan until both sides are lightly golden.  Push pork ribs to sides of pan, add a bit more of oil and sauté grated ginger and garlic until fragrant.  Add the wine.  Quickly stir to combine all ingredients.  Transfer to the boiling sauce and cover with a lid.  Cook until it boils again.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the sauce has reduced to about 1/5 and the pork is softened and caramelized4.  Serve hot with steam rice.

1The key secret ingredient of this dish is the orange juice.  Choose sweet navel oranges to make this dish tasty and delicious.  Taste the oranges, and make sure they are sweet before you use them to cook this dish.

2Better to sift orange juice after freshly squeezed.

3Use raw sugar (brown sugar) as it gives cane sugar flavour.

4Cook the sauce until the orange juice penetrates into the pork and helps soften the meat.

I’m submitting this for Cook-Your-Books #17.  
Cook-Your-Books is organised and hosted
by Joyce of Kitchen Flavour.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Apple Turnover


This is my last post for Little Thumbs Up before we proceed to the next theme.

I’m happy with this flaky crispy buttery crust.  The only word I could describe how I feel and that is “Accomplishing”

Yes.  I have wanted to bake Apple Turnover for a long time when I chanced upon Zoe’s post on Apple Turnover.   I’m glad that I had finally done it. 

 The most challenging part of making this flaky dough was folding the dough repeatedly for few times.  I even lost count of the number of folds I did.  I had difficulty rolling the dough into a rectangular shape, as the weather was hot; the butter in between the dough started to soften and caused the whole rolling process in the mess.   

Nevertheless, it was a really good experience.  I never expected that I could do this flaky crispy buttery crust from scratch.
I missed taking pictures while making the apple fillings.  The apple fillings itself tasted yummy.   Yes!  I managed to get Granny Smith Green Apple.  I also used baby apple puree because Zoe said it is 100% apple at least! LOL!


(Using half the recipe, I have made four equal size of apple turnovers)
-1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped coarse
-3/4 cup sugar (reduced to 50g for half recipe)
-1 tbsp lemon juice
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/2 recipe Puff Pastry Dough, divided into two 8-ounce pieces
-1/2 cup applesauce 
-1 tsp ground cinnamon 


(1)Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F or 180°C fan forced. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

(2)Pulse apples, 1/2 cup sugar (I missed out sugar! LOL!), lemon juice, and salt together in food processor until largest pieces of apples are no larger than 1/2 inch, about 6 pulses (To avoid over-processing, I chopped the apples briefly to specified size). Let mixture sit for 5 min, then transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over bowl and let apples drain, reserving juice, until needed.
(3)Toss drained apples and applesauce together in separate bowl.

Puff Pastry Dough 
Makes about 2 pounds

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tbsp sugar 
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-2 tsp lemon juice
-1 cup water, chilled

Butter Square 
-24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
-2 tbsp all-purpose flour


(1)For the dough: Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 secs. With food processor running, add lemon juice, followed by 3/4 cup water, in slow steady stream. Add remaining 1/4 cup water as needed, 1 tbsp at a time, until dough comes together and no flour) bits remain. 

(2)Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 6-inch square. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hr.

(3)For the butter square: Lay butter sticks side by side on sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle flour over butter and cover with second sheet of parchment. Gently pound butter with rolling pin until butter is softened and flour is fully incorporated, then roll it into 8-inch square. Wrap butter square in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hr.

(4)Roll chilled dough into 11-inch square on lightly floured counter. Place chilled butter square diagonally in center of dough. Fold corners of dough up over butter square so that corners meet in middle and pinch dough seams to seal.

(5)Using rolling pin, gently tap dough, starting from center and working outward, until square becomes larger and butter begins to soften. Gently roll dough into 14-inch square, dusting with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Fold dough into thirds like business letter, then fold rectangle in thirds to form square. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest in refrigerator for 2 hrs.

(6)Repeat the rolling and folding step twice and let dough rest in refrigerator for 2 more hrs before using.

(7)Place 2 tbsp apple filling in center of each piece of dough. Brush edges of dough with reserved juice, then fold 1 corner of square diagonally over filling.  Crimp edges of dough with fork to seal. Lay turnovers on prepared baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 15 min. Assembled turnovers can be frozen for 1 hour, then transferred to zipper-lock bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Let frozen turnovers sit at room temperature for 20 min, then bake as directed. (I didn't freeze mine at all and bake them immediately after shaping) 

(8)Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar (I missed out sugar again! )  and cinnamon in bowl. Brush turnovers with more reserved juice and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake turnovers until well browned, 20 to 26 min, rotating baking sheets. Immediately transfer turnovers to wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I’m submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up which is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY.  

For September, the theme is Apple and it is hosted by Kit from i-lost in Austen