Braised Honey Pork Ribs

My family likes juicy tear apart pork ribs. However, I know to achieve such texture, long baking or stewing is required. With time on hand during one of the public holidays, I decided to do a braised honey pork ribs. 

I modified the recipe a bit. The result was well received. The first time I made, the taste was less intense. However, the second time was even better. The taste was more flavourful and the flesh came out easily from the bones. That was exactly what I had wanted to achieve. The recipe is easy to make and the dish was really tasty. My son requested for it often thereafter.
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Recipe for Braised Honey Pork Ribs, adapted from Christine.

Ingredients:
1 kg Pork ribs
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 tsp grated Ginger root
4 cloves minced Garlic

Sauce:
3 tbsp Light soy sauce
2 tbsp Maggi sauce
3 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp Kacap Manis
1 tbsp Fish sauce
2 Orange zest
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Sesame oil
2 cups Water
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Method:

1. Cut the pork ribs into pieces. Blanch in boiling water to remove blood and any impurities, for about 3 minutes. Drain well. Wipe dry with kitchen papers. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Cook the ribs over high-medium heat until lightly brown. Push ribs to the sides of the pan. 
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3. Add some oil. Saute the ginger and garlic until aromatic. Stir to combine with the ribs well. Transfer into a cast iron (Le Creuset) pot.
4. Pour sauce over the ribs. Place a piece of baking paper on top and cover with a pot lib. Bring it to a boil. 
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5. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 1.5 hours, or until the ribs are softened, sauce reduced to 1/5 and thickened. Along the way of cooking, occasionally stir the ribs to get them heated evenly. 
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6. Serve hot with sauce.


Gluten-free Garlic Flatbread

I have been preparing breakfast at home and bring it to work daily for the past year. In order to moderate my weight and geared towards healthy eating, I try to avoid bread and gluten food for breakfast. Therefore, I will search for gluten-free baking goods and other foods to be taken for breakfast.

I wanted to prepare hummus for breakfast, but do not want to have carrot or celery sticks with it. So I found this gluten-free flatbread. It was easy to make and taste good with my homemade hummus. I will try again with other gluten-free flours to see if it can hold up. Otherwise, this is great as appetizer or snacks.


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Recipe for Gluten-free Garlic Flatbread, modified from Bigger Bolder Baking.

Ingredients:
115g Almond flour, fine
115g Tapioca starch
350g Coconut full fat milk/cream
1/4 tsp Rock salt, fine
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Some chopped cilantro

Coconut oil for frying

Method:
1. In a large bowl combine the almond flour, tapioca starch, salt, garlic and cilantro.

2. Add in the coconut milk and whisk to combine until you have a smooth thick batter. 
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3. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium heat. Add in the coconut oil and brush it around the pan.
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4. Once the pan is at an even, moderate heat, spoon 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, allowing the batter to spread out, it should be roughly an 4-inch circle (although you can make the flatbread large or smaller if desired).
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5. Cook the flatbread on the first side until tiny bubbles begin to form around the outside. Flip the flatbread and allow to cook on the other side for about until golden and brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a rack. Repeat this process until all of the batter is used. I made about seven 4-inch size quite thick flatbreads.

6. Serve the flatbread while warm and crisp. I had mine with homemade hummus.

7. Cover and store leftover flatbread in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Microwave or heat up before using.
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Thick and Fluffy Pancakes

An intensive search on the web brought me to this recipe. The result was as claimed - thick and fluffy pancakes. I was impressed by it and truly loved how thick and fluffy the pancakes turned out to be. Normal recipes I tried can't give that thick pancakes.
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Recipe for Thick and Fluffy Pancakes, adapted from InspiredTaste.

Ingredients:
195g Plain flour
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Fine Sea salt
295g Milk
1 large egg
60g Unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Method:

1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and the salt in a medium bowl.
2. Warm milk in the microwave or on top of stove until lukewarm, not hot.
3. Whisk milk, egg, melted butter, and the vanilla extract until combined. (By warming the milk slightly, the melted butter mixes into the milk instead of turning into small lumps).
4. Heat a large skillet/pan over medium heat. 
5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour milk mixture into the well and use a fork to stir until you no longer see clumps of flour. It is okay if the batter has small lumps – it is important not to over-mix the batter. (The batter will be on the thicker side)
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6. Lightly brush skillet with melted butter. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto skillet. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle.
7. When edges look dry, and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top surfaces of the pancake, turn over. This takes about 2 minutes. Once flipped, cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle. 
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8. Serve immediately with warm syrup, butter, and fruits of your choice.
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Japanese Braised Daikon

When I was at Finest one afternoon, I couldn't help but to notice a nice daikons in the basket. It wasn't from Japan, it was from our neighbour. I proceed to purchase it, having in mind to braise it over the weekend.

So I found this recipe and made it. It was refreshing. The taste gets stronger and better overnight in the fridge. I took it over many days as condiments for my breakfast.
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Recipe for Japanese Braised Daikon, adapted from Tabesuki.

Ingredients:
1 large Daikon radish (about 350-400g)
1 1/2cups Dashi
2 tbsp Sugar
4 tbsp Soy sauce
3 tbsp Mirin
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Method:

1. Peel, top, and tail the daikon, and slice into rounds, about 3/4 inches thick.
2. Arrange the daikon neatly in a large pot, and add the dashi, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. Bring rapidly to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer.
3. Cook for about 30-45 minutes, until a knife inserted passes through without resistance. Serve immediately with some of the braising liquid, or leave to steep.
4. Refrigerate if not using within a couple of hours. Can keep for over 2 weeks.

I had my daikon with homemade chicken broth and kale as breakfast.
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Apple Cider Drink

A trip to the States made me fell in love with Apple Cider drink. I discovered that the Americans like to have warm Apple Cider during Autumn season. When I was in Pike Marketplace during one of the Falls, I came upon a stall at the street selling Apple Cider. Since I had it before (in Singapore once), I decided to have a go at it again as I like Apple cinnamon combination. That one sip of th warm Apple Cider in the cold Autumn made me so happy! It was the nicest hot drink I ever had! It was so unforgettable!

Since then, whenever I am in US, I will look for homemade Apple Cider drink. And I usually like it hot. However, when I'm back home, Apple Cider is nowhere to be found. It is not readily available. And so, I decided to make it myself. The first attempt was made with ground cinnamon, and lemon slices. The oomph impact was not there. My second attempt was with much success with cinnamon stick and oranges. The richness and thickness of the apples was really nice. Nothing beats a homemade apple cider!

Recipe for Apple Cider, adapted from Sally Baking Addiction.
(Makes approx 3 litres)

Ingredients:

4 medium Oranges, zest the skin separately
11 medium Apples (I use royal gala)
1 Cinnamon stick
6 pcs Cloves

Method:
1. Wash the apples, cut into quarters, and place in the pot. Zest the orange, and add the zest to the pot. Slice the orange and add in. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves. Add enough water to cover the fruit.


2. Turn on high heat and let it boil. Once boiled, turn to low heat and simmer for 30mins. 
3. The fruit will be very soft. Use a potato masher to mash the fruit and release its liquids. Allow the cider to cook on low for 15 mins more.

4. Let it cool down till desire temp. Very slowly strain the chunky liquid though a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher/bowl. You can discard the solids. Serve the cider warm. 

5. Leftover cider keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. Warm up before serving-- or drink it cold.
6. Make ahead tip: Cider can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

Note: 
1. As I like natural sweetness, I did not add any more sugar. You may add sugar to your likeness.
2. If you want to simmer longer or keep the fruits in, remove the orange pith to avoid getting the cider to become bitter.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

Since my quest for no carbo breakfast, I have been planning and preparing my breakfast myself. Many times, I baked my food the day before, kept some in the freezer and request my helper to heat it up for my breakfast for the next few days.

One of the reason I have decided to go carbo free breakfast (on weekdays usually) was due to a talk I attended when I was at Amity Wellness. Since that time, I have try to prepare carbo-less breakfast when I go to work. There are of course cheat days and exception days. But it will revert back to carb-less days once I go back to my routine.

Not having carbos in my breakfast means I have to be creative in what I eat. I'm always on the quest to search for recipes which are easy and can be frozen. This recipe - Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast is healthy and easy to prepare. I took this with kale in the morning.

Recipe for Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast, adapted from That Low Carb Life.
(Makes 2 large chicken breast)

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Smoked paprika
1 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion flakes
80g Cream cheese, softened
¼ cup grated Parmesan (I omitted this)
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Cup chopped fresh Spinach
1 tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Chilli powder 
¼ tsp Sea salt
¼ tsp Ground pepper

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 170C. 
2. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and drizzle with olive. 
3. Add the paprika, salt, garlic powder, and onion flakes to a small bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of the chicken.
4. Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast. Set chicken aside.
5. Add cream cheese, mustard, spinach, garlic, chilli powder, salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
6. Spoon the spinach mixture into each chicken breast evenly.
7. Place the chicken breasts in a baking tray. 

8. Bake, uncovered, for 22-25 mins or until chicken is cooked through.
9. Serve with salad.