Monday, December 21, 2009

Sweet P's Saucy Delight: Linguine with Spicy Sausage in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Now that exams are over, I am free to frolic in the kitchen. Since we were snowed in for the weekend, I rummaged around the kitchen and came up with a pack of linguine, spicy sausage & tomato sauce. Pasta it is! With a combination of fresh bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and a hint of cheese, this pasta will spice up your taste buds on a cold winter's night and it takes less than 30 min to make!

Ingredients: (Feeds 3-4)
1 pack whole wheat linguine ( or whatever suits your tastes!)
Hot spicy ground sausage
8 fresh baby portobella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1 tomato, sliced
half a yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 6 oz. tomato pasta
1 8 oz. tomato paste
1/4 cup of chicken stock (or water)
salt and black pepper
1 tsp all purpose Italian seasoning
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp vinegar (white)

1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and add garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the onions and vinegar. Stir the onions.
2. Once the onions start to turn translucent, add the ground sausage and break it up with your spatula. Cook until brown.
3. Add the rest of your vegetables in and turn heat down to medium.
4. When vegetables start to soften, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and chicken stock.  Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste.
5. Cook sauce until thickened. Add flour if it becomes too watery.
6. Once the sauce is cooked, sprinkle some cheese on top and mix it in.
7. Serve over your favorite pasta, cooked al-dente.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baked Pork Chops with Fried Rice (焗豬扒飯)

Finally done with the Respiratory module before Xmas and it's FREEDOM!!!! I am now almost halfway done with med school!! I was all ready to spend Christmas back in Singapore with my parents until the blizzard hit yesterday. Of course, being in the South did not bode well for traveling since nobody can deal with the snow and ice. All flights are canceled and I won't be able to fly out till Tuesday =(


Meanwhile, if you're looking for a cozy meal in this chilly weather, try this delicious Baked Pork Chops over Fried Rice recipe from Hong Kong. It was one of my favorite meals to order as a child at any HK Cafes ( 茶餐厅)and since there are no good Chinese food in the area, my kitchen has become my #1 Chinese Restaurant in Richmond. :) My favorite part of this dish is the melted mozzarella spread over finely baked loin chops and tomato sauce.

4 pieces of pork loin/pork chops (flattened with the back of your knife, makes it softer)
1/2 yellow onion
1 bell pepper
1 tomato, sliced coarsely
6-7 fresh mushrooms (sliced)
2 cups of rice (leftover rice even better)
2 eggs, beaten
2 garlic cloves, diced
mozzarella cheese + any cheese you like ( I used some colby and monterey cheese as well)

Marinade for Pork Chops:
3 tbsp of light soy sauce
2 tbsp of shaoxing wine (chinese cooking wine)
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
dash of white pepper
dash of sesame oil

5 tbsp tomato paste ( you can also use tomato sauce
3/4 C of chicken stock
salt and sugar to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Rinse and wipe dry pork chops. Use the back of a chopper to tenderize them. Mix well with marinade and leave for 30 minutes. Put pork chops in a frying pan over high heat until both sides are brown. Set aside.
  3. Add oil in frying pan,  toss in white rice, stir well. Sprinkle salt and pepper and a dash of soy sauce. Cook for about 3 minutes, then make a hole in the middle and pour in the beaten eggs. When the eggs are almost cooked, stir the rice and eggs around. It's like making scrambled eggs in rice! Arrange on an oven proof ceramic plate.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to sauté onion & minced garlic. Toss in mushrooms and leave them to cook until dry. Add green peppers, tomatoes, add a dash of cooking wine & liberally sprinkle salt.  Add tomato paste, chicken broth gradually. Adjust consistency of sauce accordingly with flour and add salt and sugar to taste. Toss in pork chops. Place sauce mixture over fried rice. Sprinkle cheese generously on top.
  5. Bake in the oven at 400F for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese turns golden.
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lucky Me! Quick and Easy Breakfast Omelet

Alright. I admit it. I didn't make this. I'm just lucky enough to have this ready for me on those rare days I sleep in...ahem... ;P

Best Quick and Easy Breakfast Omelet 
  • Fresh ingredients: diced tomatoes and bell peppers
  • Lots of cheese! Mexican 4 Cheeses, grated is one of my favorites
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • Bacon 
Add some oil in the pan and turn the stove up to medium/medium high heat.
When the pan is hot, add the bacon, tomatoes, bell peppers in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes until bacon is sizzling. Spread the ingredients evenly over the pan.
Add the eggs and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for about 2 min.
Swirl the pan around so that the uncooked, liquid eggs can cook evenly. 
Add cheese! (more the better)
When the cheese is starting to melt, you are ready to assemble! 
Using a spatula, flip 1/3 of the omelet towards the middle. Lift under the omelet and flip it again. Triple folds make the omelet look prettier :)

Pour yourself a glass of milk for an extra dose of Calcium* and dig in!

*It is ideal to build up your storage of calcium as early as you can when you are young (preferably before age 25). Calcium stores help prevent osteoporosis and fractures in the future. Milk, cheese and even juices fortified with Calcium are a great way to get your daily dose.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What's for Dinner Tonight? Chicken Piccata!

I admit it. I'm a fan of dark meat. White meat just doesn't cut it. Yes, I know it's healthier for you and all ( and I should know better, I'm a medical student), but white chicken breast meat always seems bland and dry to me. However, there is ONE recipe that can and have changed my impression on white meat, and that is (wait for it..)

Chicken Piccata!

Chicken Piccata is one of the most delicious Italian dishes out there and it is also one of the easiest to prepare. Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals are amazing but I can make this dish in less than 20! If you are a fan of lemons, then you are in for a real treat. Even if you're not, try it out. I promise it won't disappoint.

Chicken Piccata Recipe (adapted from Food Network Everyday Italian) 
Feeds 2-3
4 pieces of boneless chicken breast, butterflied and cut in half( chicken thighs work too. yum. dark meat.)
2 lemons, juiced.
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper for seasoning chicken
1 cup of chicken stock
4 tbsp of butter
6 tbsp of olive oil

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 6 tablespoons olive oil. Chop the garlic and add it in.
When butter, oil and garlic start to sizzle, add chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Serve over your favorite pasta (al dente)


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trader Joe's X'mas Haul!

It's snowing outside (not really, but I wish it was), my X'mas holiday tunes are blasting 24/7, and all iI want to do is snuggle up under my blankets with two of my favorite Christmas warm fuzzies -  hot sipping chocolate and a slab of peppermint bark.

I'm a self-proclaimed mint chocolate junkie. For the longest time, Mintchipchip was my online persona =P. Anyways, I used to drink hot cocoa straight from those powder packets you can find at any regular supermarket, but it always seem to lack that strong, bittersweet flavor you find in dark chocolate. No matter how many marshmarllows you put in them, it just does not cut it.  So when my friend recommended Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate, I had to try it.

" a chocolate experience meant to be sipped and savored...a European taste and you may feel like you've been whisked away to a sidewalk bistro in Rome or Barcelona".

I personally haven't been to either Rome or Barcelona, but if the men there were as velvety and smooth as this delicious mug of hot chocolate, I'll buy a ticket there any day.

As for the peppermint bark, the quality at Trader Joe's is comparable to the $20 box you can find at Williams Sonoma and it's a deal for only $4.99!

Sprinkle a lil chopped peppermint bark in the hot chocolate and tada! Peppermint cocoa and double your pleasure... and if you're a mint fanatic like me, pour a hint of peppermint liquor and head to bed for some sweet dreams....

 What are some of your favorite Trader Joe's items???

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Wrap a Day keeps the Doctor Away

I love to eat but I also want to stay healthy and sexy. Right, ladies? :P

Tortilla Wraps are a healthy lunch alternative to greasy burgers and sandwiches and they are so easy to make. I made this Crispy Chicken Wrap from some leftover Chicken Parmesan I made the night before. Add some fresh ripe avacadoes, tomato, cheese and ranch dressing for a lil bit of flair, roll it up, and you've got the perfect lunch in less than 10 min!

Side note: I just discovered a Trader Joe's in Richmond and I AM SO EXCITED! Got a pack of spinach tortilla wraps for 2.99, not to mention a whole bunch of other snacks, but that's for another entry!  
Traders Joe <3 <3 <3!

Recipe for Sweet P's Crispy Chicken Wrap:
2 Chicken Parmesan (or any chicken breaded and fried), cut into strips
romaine lettuce, shredded
half a tomato, strips
Monterey and Colby cheese, shredded
half Avacado, strips
Buttermilk Ranch dressing (I used Krafts)
Spinach tortilla (or any corn tortilla will do)

Lay the tortilla down, spread some dressing on, assemble ingredients, rolllll n Enjoy!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Medical Students cook, SO CAN YOU!

Hi guys,

Thanks for visiting my new blog dedicated to my everyday cooking and baking. Life as a med student is hectic but cooking is my passion and my main stress reliever!

A lil a bout me:
24 yr old, Cantonese girl originally from HK. I've also lived in Singapore for 9 years, Arizona, Cali and North Carolina!  My dad loves to cook and I got his genes!

Favorite cake recipe: fluffy chiffon cakes
Most well received quick dessert: swirly cheesecake cupcakes!
My favorite foods: sushi and all things Chinese
Hardest recipe so far: making xiao long bao (chinese soupy dumplings)

Cooking motto:

cooking is both a science and an art. If you don't follow the directions, you won't get anywhere but if you don't input some creativity, it's just another plain ol' recipe.

If you like any of the foods I've cooked before and have any questions, feel free to ask me!

Meanwhile, enjoy and don't drool :P

I'll update asap with my daily repertoire!