Goodfood Recap #35

goodfood

We took a little break from the normal cooking so managed to order in 2 boxes this month for Goodfood. We’re definitely enjoying it while it lasts because if I remember correctly, we will be skip for the next month or so. This box has been some really interesting meals and to be honest, I saw most of them as being fairly successful.

Mushroom Dan Dan Noodles
with Yu Choy

Mushroom Dan Dan Noodles

The last Dan Dan Noodles weren’t awesome. I’m going to be honest that they weren’t but this one tastes fantastic. The two types of mushrooms used and the yu choy as the veggie base with the noodles and the sauce all turned out so great. I really enjoyed this noodle bowl a lot.

Skillet-Roasted Chicken Thighs
with Meyer Lemon, Zucchini & Olives over Zesty Quinoa

Skillet-roasted chicken thighs

We rarely cook with quinoa unless its for one of these boxes so its always refreshing to eat it. Its something that I have thought about incorporating more into our lives outside of these meal boxes. This meal was pretty good in general. Chicken thighs are always super tasty to eat but then my biggest issue with it was the olives and that is based on preference as I don’t like olives but my husband loved this because he loves them and loves everything else about it.

Coconut Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew
with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Coconut Chicken Stew

So..this meal was considered somewhat of a fail on my part. I’m not sure if I just didn’t follow the recipe properly or the recipe didn’t quite work with my appliances but this meal took about 3 times its estimated time. Usually for me, if there’s more cooking involved, it might take almost double the estimated time. It tastes pretty good and stews are always very comforting to eat. The idea of coconut milk base and then having carrots and sweet potatoes is really nice as well. It just was an incredibly long time to cook..oddly.

Pork Chops
with Homemade Maple-Bacon Jam, Sauteed Bok Choy over Spinach Rice

pork chops

Welcome the star of this box. This meal is amazing! For one, the maple bacon jam is awesome. Literally, the best thing I’ve made from these boxes. Then the pork chops turned out good and paired with the jam is delicious. I like the spice blend that was mixed with the rice and the spinach. Then there’s the bok choy which always was great. I love this meal so much.

That’s it for this recap!
It was a pretty solid batch of meals.
It should be a month or so before we get another one of these boxes.
Just because of selection and time conflicts. 

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Battle of Ingredients: New Year’s Eve Hot Pot

BATTLE OF INGREDIENTS

It seems we do about 6 Battles a year looking at things to land on our 12th session for NYE Hot Pot in our second year of Battle of Ingredients. We are definitely getting more organized, I can tell you that much. Most of the time, things don’t happen because we are busy with one thing or another with life. 2018 wrapped up in style with ourselves doing a New Year’s Eve Hot Pot session. There isn’t really much to talk about usually but here’s a little sharing on the stuff I put together and other vegetables and noodles we used.

Wines

Wines

We actually only got to drinking the J.P. Chenet Rose Sparkling Wine. It was a nice match for the meal. We mixed up some drinks for the rest of the evening with some people spiking their soda with tequila or Rum and Coke and myself, I had some Cranberry Ginger Ale spiked with Irish Whiskey or Apricot Brandy.

Hot Pot

Hot Pot

Our division of tasks for this battle of ingredients were Phoebe with the vegetables, fruits and other things necessary like noodles and she prepared a soup base (which we didn’t end up using because of technical difficulties she is still thinking about).

Hot Pot

She brought:

  • Bok Choy
  • Chinese Broccoli
  • Enoki Mushrooms
  • Udon Noodles
  • Konnyaku Noodles
  • Egg Tofu
  • Apples and Oranges

I took care of meats and dessert. I forgot to take a picture of everything so forgive the incomplete bits.

Dumplings Pork Balls

  • Pork Balls (Homemade with minced lean ground pork and garlic seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • Dumplings (Homemade with the same as the previous and store-bought wonton wrappers)
  • Sliced Chicken breast seasoned with sesame oil, salt and pepper
  • Store bought Frozen fondue beef slices
  • Fish Tofu (from my mom)

Pumpkin Cookies

As for dessert, I had some dough left from the previous potluck so made some more Pumpkin Cookies.

Also bought:

  • Marshmallows
  • Lindt Dark Chocolate
    • 70% Madagascar
    • Swiss Dark

For soup bases, we had a divided pot borrowed from my mom. One side was with water and all the flavoring was from the ingredients added in while the other part was diluted Chicken Broth.

The hot pot went really well. Phoebe and I did most of the cooking and allocated food to everyone around the table. There’s always the worry of not having enough food and it all worked out. We even had leftovers. Definitely something to consider for the winter months to do as it makes it a lot simpler and actually quite nice to explore what ingredients to use and soup bases to make and such. It is an idea that we can discuss further to change things up just like how we slot in BBQ during the summer.

Recap: Goodfood #22

A little bit behind schedule for last week’s Goodfood. We only made the final meal for yesterday’s lunch. Luckily, it was a box full of relatively quick meals, which always helps on busy weeks to be healthy and not have to carve out huge amounts of time to cooking.

Contrary to the last box, this one was all about new recipes and exploring some new foods. Its an adventure that we love. We are skipping the next two weeks of boxes so maybe I’ll whip up some fun meal to explore. There has been a few recipes I’ve been eyeing.

Let’s not go off on another tangent and take a look at what was on the last week’s menu!

Summer Shrimp Rolls
With Green Peas, Tarragon and Lemony Cabbage slaw

So…nice way to start this but we forgot to take pictures of the meal before eating it. It happens that we forget every once in a while.

Summer Shrimp Rolls are pretty good. They were pretty easy to do and the flavors are really distinctive. I liked it a decent amount. When I first looked at everything, I couldn’t imagine how it would work together but it actually does go well together. They had an overflown looking rolls so we put as much as we saw fit and I ate the rest on the side which worked well also.

Steaks with Roasted Tomato Chimichurri
& Spinach-Potato Salad

steaks chimichurri

I feel like the constant topic of these menus are changing it up to my own beliefs. I’m not claiming to be better or more knowledgeable than the Goodfood chefs. I followed everything here almost to a T, except for the spinach-potato salad. I served that separated because the roasted potatoes turned out so great that if I were to add the washed (meaning wet) spinach to it, it would just make it soggy and counteract the time it had in the oven and lose the texture and flavor. Its my opinion of it and I liked it. The cut of the beef was quite thick and since I’m not the usual steak cooker at home, I had to put it back on the stove after slicing it to give it a more done cut. We don’t like seared meats and more leaning on the well done or Medium done at the minimum. The roasted potatoes is great and the chimichurri spices are awesome!

BBQ Pork Tournedos
with Garlic Green Beans & Charred Scallion Rice

pork tournedos

The thick meat here also had a bit of problems for us. My husband took care of this meal. For him, it seemed to be fairly simple to do. I loved the charred scallion rice. I’m not much of a straight up strong scallion flavor person but the rice had this beautiful aroma that just made it taste super delicious. The garlic green beans are awesome. I think my husband added a little bit too much salt so its not the recipes fault. The salt and pepper seasoning is based on personal preference and our salt tolerance is pretty different since I eat fairly bland foods, according to other people. The tournedos were pretty good once we got the cooking done for it. I’ve never been a tournedo person. I would much rather just cook pork chops with a side of bacon, but then thats just me.

Fresh Dan Dan Noodles
with Ground Pork, Baby Bok Choy & Yu Choy

fresh dan dan noodles

There was a lot of hesitation for this one. My husband didn’t really want it. In the end, it didn’t matter because I ended up eating the two meals. A rarity with these boxes since usually I hit more menus that I can’t eat when they get here and changing it would just be a waste of time and ingredients. I hadn’t had dan dan noodles in a long while so I figured learning how to make it was cool, especially since its pretty simple to put together. It is a very efficient meals. I thought the bok choy and yu choy mixed together was great. The chinese five spices are always delicious and adding in that there was a good deal of sauce, even after reducing it, the noodles still had absorbed a bit of it and made everything taste really good.

Overall, it was a decent box.
We had a few tweaks here and there but it had alright dishes.

Restaurant: Kinton Ramen (Montreal, Canada)

I’m super behind on some restaurant stuff lately. A week or so ago, my friend and I had a change in plans and ended up going to Kinton Ramen for dinner. Japanese ramen noodle restaurants have had an a huge popularity in Montreal in the last few years. I’ve never been to this one before but its in downtown Montreal. We got really lucky and found a decent parking spot so let’s check it out!

Kinton Ramen

Combo Menu

Kinton ramen

There is another main menu which has some appetizers and a similar ramen choices sort of menu to customize however there is a slight price difference. We each took one of these combos.

Tea

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about these before but I had these types of teabags when I went to the Maritimes for vacation this summer. Its a pretty interesting way as it just overlaps the side of the cup. Its a cute idea. Back to the tea, it was a good green tea.

Appetizers

Kinton Ramen

The actual appetizer here is the fried chicken. My friend wanted to order this. I took a taste of one piece of it. Its very tasty. Crispy outside and tender on the inside, it was really good.

Meal

Kinton Ramen

Kinton Ramen

My friend took the little extra for his meal on the top. Its rice with some chicken and whatnot. It was alright. I didn’t end up taking it since I already had the chicken combo (where as he had the pork one). You get to customize what you put in including the type of noodles and the soup base. That is nice to have those choices. I chose the normal soup base with thin noodles along with seaweed, scallions and the egg came with the base meal already. There may have been other stuff I added but I can’t remember anymore. The day we went was starting to get a little cooler. Autumn weather is definitely hitting us earlier this year so it was nice to have some warm soup noodles. Everything was very delicious and done really well.

Overall…Kinton Ramen is definitely worth a visit. The food is great. The service is quick and friendly. Plus, its always a bonus to have the customization options for how you want in your noodles. Just beware that the options do add up in price. 😉

Battle of Ingredients #1: Carrots and Noodles

It is finally here!
A new segment with Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road!
Thanks so much for joining us!

Battle of Ingredients

INTRODUCTION – What is Battle of Ingredients?

Battle of Ingredients (name subject to future change maybe) is the brainchild of myself and Phoebe who really love to talk about tons of things but our families have somewhat become foodie buddies. We talk food a lot and go to restaurants even more but we each have our food restrictions and our habits and with this Battle of Ingredients, we have two goals.

One: we want to learn more about the Quebec foods through different seasons which will be a huge focus on how we pick our ingredients.
Two: To expand and explore new recipes and ways to cook as well as try out new ingredients.

However, we do also want to say that this is a battle of ingredients but we use the word ‘battle’ loosely because we aren’t actually battling each other. Our judges are family and close friends and they offer us suggestions on how to improve our recipes. Its more the challenge of figuring out a good way to incorporate the selected ingredients. There will be times, like the next one, where we will be working together to put together a meal with the next selected seasonal ingredients which will be announced at the end of this post.

Battle of Ingredients #1: Carrots & Noodles

The first challenge is a simple one. We wanted something that we could use readily, plus carrots are about the best looking vegetable available at our supermarkets now. The meat is free to our choosing and noodles is for a nice carbs base that everyone gets a good energy boost. Two noodle dishes are heavy so we served them in moderate portions.

PHOEBE’S MENU
Homey Osso Bucco with Udon

Osso Bucco

Homey Osso Bucco with Udon

I know Kim wanted to try osso bucco and it is freezing outside thanks to Canadian winter, so I decided to cook this dish as part of the cook-off. This is one of my mom’s thermal cooker recipes that I managed to replicate with some adaptations over the years.

Given I had to prepare more portions than usual, I had a hard time putting numbers on the quantities of ingredients.

  • Osso bucco
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Sweet onions (normal onions are okay, but I prefer sweet ones)
  • Bay leaves
  • Chicken stock (powder)
  • Water
  • Udon

Instructions:

1. Wash the osso bucco and put in the inner pot.
2. Wash and chop all the veggies to your desired size (please note if it is too little, veggies will disintegrate into the soup). Put in the inner pot on top of the meat (I usually cut carrots first because they are bulky when compared to celery and onions).
3. Wash the bay leaf and put into the inner pot (I always prefer 2-3 in my cooking).
4. Pour water into the inner pot and make sure it covers the meat and veggies.
5. Boil it until it starts bubbling and add chicken powder to taste (One thing that I noticed if you are cooking more portions than usual, you may need to reboil to ensure the osso bucco is thoroughly cooked).
6. Boil it a bit longer and put the inner pot into the vacuum insulated cooker.
7. Let it cook over night.

While my family usually eat this with rice, I prefer udon after doing a lot of testing in dorms. My mom used to vacuum seal some with veggies so I can enjoy it while doing my assignments. I remember trying rice vermicelli, egg noodles, pasta and udon. Rice vermicelli got soggy really quickly while egg noodles held themselves a little better. Pasta was okay, but udon stood out for remaining bouncy when it took me a little while to finish dinner.

That is pretty much it for my recipe. Hope you enjoy it! 😊

KIM’S MENU
Chicken Rice Noodles with Carrots and Cucumbers

Chicken Rice Noodles

Chicken Rice Noodles with Carrots and Cucumbers

Unlike Phoebe, my recipe is somewhat of a combination of a few things I like making. I did end up forgetting something in this one and our judges definitely did realize even if I don’t honestly mind that much.  Here are the ingredients I used:

  • Rice Noodles
  • Nantes Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chicken Thighs
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Green onions
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil

How to make it:

1. In a bowl, mix together sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic. Set aside.
2. Prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken lengthwise and mix with the marinade above.
3. Boil water in a saucer. When it starts to boil, put in the rice noodles to cook. Place in for few minutes. Remove and put in strainer. Rinse with cold water. Rest strainer on a bowl to let water drain.
4. Peel the carrots and cucumbers and chop them lengthwise (or however you like them that makes it easier to cook). Mince the garlic and chop the ginger.
5. Heat up the wok on medium-high heat. Put in some oil (sesame, olive, whichever you use; I used avocado oil) and let it heat up.
6. Put in some garlic and ginger into the wok. Afterwards, add the carrots and cucumbers. Let them cook through and remove on plate.
7. If you need, add a little bit of oil to the wok and cook the scrambled eggs.
8. Next, cook the chicken with marinade as sauce.
9. Once its cooked through, add back the eggs, carrots and cucumbers. Let it cook a little more and add the noodles to heat everything back up.
10. Remove from heat and put in plate.

COMMENTS FROM FRIENDS (AKA TASTERS)

Phoebe’s Osso Bucco was cooked thoroughly and enough time. The only comment was on the choice of using the Udon noodles and that dials down to a personal preference.

Kim’s Chicken Rice Noodles was cooked well however it was on the more bland side. Something that Kim suspected out of her eating habits and the fact that she forgot to use broth. The suggestion was to use chicken broth to add some natural flavor instead of using salt and it would help infuse the meal overall.

This concludes our first BATTLE OF INGREDIENTS!
Hope you enjoyed it!

The next battle will be held next month as a collaborated full course meal featuring MAPLE SYRUP!
Right in time for cabane a sucre season!

Hong Kong Restaurant: Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao

Last time I went to Hong Kong, I had praised this restaurant called C-Jade for its Teochew style food located in New Town Plaza. You can read about it HERE.

Unfortunately, it had closed some time during the 1.5 years I was away.  Luckily, in the vicinity there was another one in the same chain but this time specializing in noodles and Soup-filled dumplings. Its called Crystal Jade and located right across from The Spaghetti House.  This was the one where the previous evening we had been waiting on at the same time but didn’t get a seat quick enough. This time, we managed to get a seat relatively quickly.

Here’s what we had to share with each other:

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Vegetable & Meat Buns

Crystal Jade Restaurant

5 Grains Fried Rice with Shrimp and Scrambled Eggs

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Chicken Pot

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Shanghai Ramen

 

Crystal Jade is pretty good at what it does.  Everything tasted really good.  My favorite in this meal has to go to the 5 grain fried rice.  I’m a huge fan of fried rice but not 5 grains however this one was spot-on tasty.  Healthy and delicious? Count me in any time 😉 I’m definitely going to try to replicate this one in my spare time one of these days!

A few days later, I met up with my soon-to-be-wed cousin and her mom (another aunt), along with my mom for lunch also at Crystal Jade.  The menu doesn’t vary very much between lunch and dinner but with another group, we also got to try something new.  My cousin chose for us.  My aunt was on her vegetarian day of the month so we had to adjust a few dishes to suit her diet that day.

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Noodles

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Dumplings with Chili Oil on the side

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Taro Pastry

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Soup-filled Dumplings

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Beancurd rolls

Vegetarian Dumplings

Vegetarian Dumplings

Crystal Jade Restaurant

Fried Pumpkin Pastries

For this lunch, the noodles which I can’t remember exactly what was in it was really good.  The soup-filled dumplings were splendid and the best of all was the beancurd rolls.  They were so delicious.  The fried pumpkin and taro had a very good taste but I’ve never been a huge fan of these sort of dishes.

From what I know, Crystal Jade is a chain that specializes on different types of Chinese cuisine.  I enjoyed this one more than the Teochew style or maybe its just my memory fading from the previous experience.  Plus, I love Shanghai cuisine a lot.  This place is really awesome.  The service is decent and its very accessible in New Town Plaza in Shatin.

I had some great foodie memories here 🙂

Have you ever tasted Shanghai cuisine? Are you a fan of dumplings and/or vegetarian food?