Chinese New Year is the time when you visit your friends and relatives, very often those you only see during this time of the year, and got “interrogated” by them =.=. Gift plays an important role in Chinese culture, so you never go empty-handed! If you pay attention to TV commercials enough, you may notice that many of the most popular gift items among Hong Kongers are, interestingly, not Chinese produces. Kjeldsens Cookies, Almond Roca, Sugus, Ferrero Rocher… just to name a few. Ferrero Rocher is particularly popular in Hong Kong for its golden package, a color Chinese people love for it symbolizes wealth. I’m not a superstitious person, but I do like their creamy, nutella-like centres!
And…. Surprise, surprise! They are equally nice when made into cookies!!
Ingredients (yield 12 pieces):
6 Ferrero Rochers (freeze them before baking)
1 cup (packed) all-purpose flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup butter (1 stick), softened
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place the Ferrero Rochers in the freezer until firm, about an hour. Remove from freezer and hit with a hammer in a zip-loc bag a few times until they’re broken into chunky pieces. Put back in the freezer until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the full egg, then the vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add flour mixture in three parts, stirring until just combined after each addition.
Stir in ½ the Ferrero Rocher pieces. Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Place the remaining Ferrero Rocher into the tops of the cookies, pressing them into the dough slightly.
Bake for around 10 minutes until edges are nicely browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Winter is here! Dark days of winter make me want to pull on my heaviest sweater and stay in bed all day. That’s where these simple, casserole recipes come in handy. Baked to perfection in a single pan – a hearty casserole always satisfies your hunger and warms you from the inside out.
4 bone-in chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 bowl sliced mushrooms
Creamy Parmesan Garlic Sauce:
¼ cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup bacon
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Season chicken with generous amount of salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sear chicken on both sides, for about 3-5 minutes each side, until golden all over. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Fry bacon in the remaining oil, add in mushroom and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, or until just beginning to soften. Transfer to the same plate as the chicken
To make the sauce, melt butter, add in garlic and cook until tender. Whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper and salt.
Put chicken and mushrooms back to the sauce, brush chicken with butter and sprinkle with extra salt and pepper, bake for 30-40 minutes.
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume.
Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.
Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume.
Remove from heat, whisk in salt paper and sriracha, taste and add more sriracha if desired for more heat.
Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
Caution: The following recipe is not for the faint of heart!!
Okay, just think of it as Chinese Bolognese meat sauce! Although pork belly is the cut where bacon originates, and is known to be heavy in fat, you’ll find that the Lu Ro, despite flaunting thick layers of fat, is surprisingly not as greasy as you might have imagined. In fact, since the pork is cooked under low heat for an extended amount of time, the amount of fat is somewhat mitigated.
Braising has always been one of my favorite ways to cook meat; it is the best sort of kitchen alchemy- transforming tough cuts of meat into something completely flavorful and tender, and you know what… braised meat tastes even better the next day!
1 lb skin-on pork belly, cut into 1/2” pieces
2 teaspoons oil
1 piece of medium size rock sugar
a couple of shallots, finely chopped
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/2” pieces
1/4 cup rice wine
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1 cups water
2 hardboiled eggs, peeled (optional)
For the spices (wrap everything in the spice packet):
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
2 slices fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 160 degree C.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over low heat, add in the sugar. Add the minced shallots when the sugar starts to melt. Turn up the heat to medium high and stir-fry the shallots for a minute.
Add the mushroom pieces and chopped pork belly; stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the blanched pork, rice wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add the spices (which should be wrapped in cloth), along with the peeled hardboiled eggs.
Transfer everything to the oven and cook for around 1½ hours.
Once the meat is fall-apart tender, remove the spice packet. Transfer Dutch oven to the stove, cook under medium high heat to thicken the sauce, stir occasionally, for about 5-minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Serve over steamed white rice!