Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easy BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs Recipe

In a true Hong Kong C9 manner, nothing excites me more than things going ON SALE!
So, you can imagine the happiness and joy when I saw packs of baby back pork ribs at HK$56.90 each in frozen meat section of Wellcome supermarket (Wellcome doesn't pay me to say this).

Now what do I do with this baby? 
Oh! The boots and down feather jackets are out in the streets of Hong Kong?
Time to get the oven going then.
BBQ baby back pork ribs, baby!
Smoky, sweet, sticky, savory, tender & juicy finger licking ribs - very easy to make too!
(best if to be made the day before serving)
1 rack of baby back ribs - peel thin layer of silver/white skin off the back.

The day before - Dry rub
2 cloves garlic
2 shallot
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
white pepper
Mash garlic and shallot into a paste.
Rub ribs well and let it marinate overnight in the fridge.

The day you're serving, preheat oven to 175C. 
Place ribs onto casserole with wire rack (lots of fat will render), cover with foil.
Grill for 1 - 1.5 hours (until tender).

HP Sauce
Add each ingredient bit by bit & mix until you achieve balance between sweet, tangy and savory.
Yes, you may complain about how this "recipe" has no quantity and ratio.
#Sorrynotsorry #ooooops

Crank up the oven to 250C. Slather sauce onto ribs, broil on top rack of the oven - or charcoal grill if you're having BBQ outside - (back first and then front) until beautifully caramelized.
Slather more sauce on them ribs, and serve.

Don't use utensils, get ready to lick fingers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Culinary Jewelry Dinner - Damiani’s 90th Anniversary Celebration, Tosca, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Hong Kong

Fine food and fine jewelry! Oh, hello... come to mama! 
I was really intrigued when I heard about this Culinary Jewelry Dinner inspired by Damiani's 90th Anniversary Celebration. Food inspired by some serious bling? How would that go? Let's give it a go!

The bread. I absolutely adore the squid ink one. Hot from the oven, crusty outside, fluffy inside & really tasty!

Cured salmon with beluga and snail caviar, porcini mushroom and creamed risotto. How pretty is this dish! Inspired by black and white diamonds. I could see where the inspiration's from, it's a treat for my eyes and my taste buds. Love it. 

The dish was paired with this lovely Pinot Grigio. Look at its copper tinge. Gorgeous and delicious!

Next, we had squid ink fettucelle pasta with scallops, lobster, zucchini and tomato. This gorgeous plate is inspired by a black ribbon necklace. Love the sauce and the seafood! I just wish the pasta was a bit more firm.

For the next course, some of us chose the crispy monkfish served with chickpeas cream sauce and fried sage. I didn't try it (I wish I stole a bite off my neighbor's plate. Regrets....), but it certainly looked gorgeous.

This is my weakness. I always have to go for rich, meaty dish, so I went for the stewed oxtail served on potato with foie gras, with balsamic mushroom sauce.

The dish looked gorgeous. It's very luxurious and decadent. Just like the earrings it was inspired by.

The meat dish was paired with this lovely Barolo. I don't drink much, I only think that when the wine tasted good with the food, then it's a good pairing. They were great together :)

On to dessert! Pain d'epice parfait with chocolate ring hazelnuts and five spices sauce. Looks very impressive, especially looking at the bracelet that was the inspiration. When we had this, I think most of us think of Christmas gingerbread cookies :)

All of us went "oohhh" and "aahhhh" when this petit four plate arrived. Jewels on fluffy cloud! 
What's not to love? 

We enjoyed eating (and taking photos of) the fluffy cotton candy, and I especially love the chocolates.

Look at these gorgeous chocolate "pendants"

Absolutely gorgeous, and they're delicious too :)

I had a great time appreciating how modern Italian fine dining could be when inspired by fine jewelry. Thanks for having me, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong!

Damiani's 90th Anniversary Limited Edition Collection menu by Chef Pino Lavarra will be available at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong's Tosca  until 30 November 2014.

102/F Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2263 2270

Also, check out what Gary of Joie de Vivre think about this dinner.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Thanks to Harold, who sent us a picture of a double chocolate banana bread one day,
I could not get double chocolate banana bread out of my mind.

Double chocolate banana bread.

Double chocolate banana bread.

I tried other things, I went to 7-11 and bought dreyers triple chocolate ice cream.

Double chocolate banana bread.

I ate a packet of Indomie,

Double chocolate banana bread.

I watched endless cute kittens and cute Kpop idols on youtube...

Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread.Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread.Double chocolate banana bread.Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread.

This must be how it feels like being in Stephen King's movies.
Luckily, this obsession is easy to solve.

I just had to google recipes for double chocolate banana bread and make the first one I encounter.
It's Smitten Kitchen's Double Chocolate Banana Bread.

My slight adaptation:
I reduced the sugar from 3/4 to 1/2 and I used the sugar I have at home (caster sugar).
I tried to follow the baking time 'til the end but my toothpick came out clean after only about 30 minutes of baking - so I had to take it out way earlier than 55-65 minutes. I recommend frequent testing after 30 minutes.

- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter pan. Mash bananas, Whisk in melter butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla. Mix baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa (I didn't sift as instructed by original recipe - sorry, too lazy) in another mixing bowl. Mix wet and dry ingredients until just combined (actually OB helped me mixing the batter, so I am sure it was overmixed), add chocolate chips. Pour into pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack.

The cooling process was very hard for me as SC and OB's grabby hands could not stay away from the cake. Warning: very very chocolatey.
WE LOVE IT, and I can finally stop obsessing with DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD... well, until my next craving, or whenever Harold posted another picture of double chocolata banana bread :)

Please check out the original recipe here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

SC's Birthday Dinner at the Principal, Hong Kong

SC's birthday is our annual splurge.
(Wow, that's in August!!! That's one hell of a blogpostcrastination, you lazy bum!
Please excuse me. I rant to myself a lot here)
And this one's worth every penny. Thank you for the recommendation, e_ting!
Naturally, I don't remember what these are, but I remember that we love almost everything, including the concrete sofa in front of the restaurant.
No need to thank me for this non-review. 
I really should not call myself a blogger.

We had quite an expedition that night. The birthday boy was really pleased. Phew!

Another thing that I love: I didn't have to make a phone call for booking (I HATE voice calls with a passion). Click here to book online.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Grilled Pork Neck Dish That I Bring To All Potluck Parties

I don't know how to call this dish... I used to call it sate (or satay - I am not a big fan of this word, Indonesians say SATE!) grilled pork neck because I make it how I make sate, but nobody's convinced because there is no skewering involved, there is no peanut sauce and the end product doesn't look anywhere within 100m radius of sate. So, I see how sate or satay might not be a great name for it :)

So let's just call this the Grilled Pork Neck Dish That Rita Brings To All Potluck Parties. BecauseI really brought this dish to almost every potluck party I attended. People love it (or at least they pretend to), and even if people don't love it - I have no issues finishing it myself. Hehehheh. 

It's very easy to make. Idiot-proof level.
I can't think of easy ways to ruin this dish... except maybe if you're bringing this dish to a party naked, and it is not a nudist party. That will ruin the dish. Sorry - I tend to go off topic like that.

Now, to make this dish.
- Pork neck meat (I usually buy frozen ones from Kai Bo. You can buy fresh if you want), or you can substitute this with thigh chicken fillet with skin on.
(Quantity recommendation: if this is one of the many dishes of a potluck party, 1 big slice of pork neck meat that's available in Kai Bo frozen food shop should be ok for 4 people. If you're treating this as one of the main dishes, then 1 slice serves 2. If you're serving this to a crazy greedy pork-lover, allow 1 per person)

- Shallot, thinly sliced (1/2 shallot per 1 slice pork neck)
- Kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
- Soy sauce 
(Ratio of soy sauce : sweet soy sauce = 1 : 3)
- ground nutmeg, ground coriander seeds, cumin

Dipping sauce
- Kecap manis
- Fish sauce (just a dash)
- Lime juice (or lemon juice)  
- Lime wedges or lemon wedges
- A bit of ground nutmeg
- Thinly sliced shallot (just a bit - you can set aside some when slicing shallot for the marinade)
- Chopped fresh chillies (preferably the green birds eye chilli - cabe rawit ftw! or omit if you can't handle the heat)
Mix well & serve in small bowls with the lime or lemon wedges 

How to do
(Ideally prepare the night before serving)
Defrost meat if you bought frozen. Pat dry, po ke the meat all over with fork (or meat poke...r?). Place meat in container, add marinade, massage the marinate all over the meat and refrigerate overnight (or a couple hours).

Preheat oven to 250C, grill meat until the surface gets nicely caramelized. You can baste with the marinade or make more of the dipping sauce for basting. This normally takes about 40 minutes in my oven.
Charcoal grilling would be awesome too.
When done, slice diagonally and thinly, squeeze lime juice all over it and serve with dipping sauce.

And wait for the crowd to ask you for the recipe ;) 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dinner at Kee Club - Delish Red Prawn Linguine

SC and I had a nice dinner date at Kee Club (thanks for inviting us, Kee Club!), and the dinner started with this dish.
Very simple, fresh. Classic Italian flavors.
And we had a chance to taste this rare olive oil, Chef Roland Schuller personally brought the bottle to most tables to taste. A nice personal touch!
I had the night's special as starter - the langoustine! Fresh, nicely cooked, well seasoned. I enjoyed it.
SC had the fresh quail. Served with ham, zucchini flower, ricotta and melon soup. The quail's nicely cooked. Personally, I'd prefer the dish to have not as many elements, to let the quail shine :)

Our favorite dish of the night. Kee Club's famous linguine with red prawn. We love it!
Perfectly cooked pasta, fresh red prawn, tasty sauce.
SC could not hold back and went rather barbaric during dinner. Hehehe. We'll definitely go back for this dish again.
I had the veal milanese as my main. the meat's nice and tender but the portion is way too big for me.

SC had the Pluma Iberico. The meat's nicely cooked and I enjoyed the creamy and smooth mash.
For dessert, I had the apple tart with vanilla ice cream.
SC had the chocolate fondant with mango sorbet.
And this is the ending to our meal :)
Thanks again for dinner, Kee Club.

Kee Club is an exclusive member's club. 
To dine there, there are a few ways: be a member, or get a member to help you with booking, or book through 5-star hotel concierge (Four Seasons, Mandarin, Shangri-La, the Peninsula, Upper House), and American Express Black Centurion Cardholders can access Kee through the concierge. 
Wanna to try applying for a membership? Click here.