congee

Faux Chicken Biryani


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It looks like biryani.
It tastes like biryani.
It smells like biryani.
Alas, it’s not biryani.
As usual when I cook for Bella and myself, a few days ago I cooked too much jasmin rice. The next day, my usual train of thought at first led me to either one of two leftover dishes – fried rice or congee. But I did not really feel like either one of those, so my next choice was this very easy to prepare “faux biryani”.
While a “real biryani is easy enough to prepare, this one was even easier and of course, with the pre-cooked rice at hand, this was the perfect way to utilize the rice and at the same time get a dish that is wonderful, flavorful and beautiful. Naturally, the texture of the rice was different from the real deal, (not inferior, just different), but nevertheless, the dish was a great success, fully enjoyed by Bella and myself 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Usually, one would steep the saffron in ghee, but because of the relatively high-fat content of the chicken skin which will render into the dish, I replaced the ghee with milk.
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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Faux Chicken Biryani

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Duck and noodles – what’s not to like about that ? 🙂
Since I prepare roast duck often, duck soup is naturally on the menu just as much. Even just a few bones, skin, scraps, innards and the neck from one duck, added to chicken or vegetable stock and seasoning, is enough to prep a rich, tasty soup. Any veggie, pasta, even rice thrown-in, and you’ll be rewarded with a tasty and economical meal. You can also strain the stock and use it to fix a great congee for breakfast, just add some scallions and fried shallots and voilà, another satisfying quickie. ( Meal, that is ! ) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  ROAST DUCK – PART ONE – “DUCK WITH DIRTY NOODLES”

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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Roast Duck – Part Two – “Duck Soup With Rice Sticks And Baby Bok Choy”

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

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This is one of these dishes which, at least in my humble opinion, actually benefits from the usage of smaller shrimp, compared to the larger shrimp we usually prefer for a great dish. While you can make a perfectly wonderful fried rice with large shrimp, the smaller ones can be used in abundance for the same price as a few large ones will cost. The mouth-feel is just better when the ratio of shrimp to rice is 50/50 🙂
In the past, when the only shrimp available to me were large ones, I actually cut them into smaller pieces to get that specific mouth-feel. (For a more impressive presentation, you can always put a few uncut  biggies on the top) 🙂
I enjoyed today’s fried rice as my breakfast, although it is an appropriate meal for any time of the day. I love rice for breakfast, usually in the form of congee with whatever is available, a tasty rice bowl (with whatever is available) or, as today, fried rice (with whatever is available) 🙂
“Whatever is available” can range from meats, seafood, fresh or pickled vegetables, eggs of any type, or – you guessed it – whatever else is in the fridge, freezer or cupboard 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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to serve, sprinkle with more scallion, add fried shallots and pickled mild chillies

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Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

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Preparation :
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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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English – Rice Porridge;  Japanese – Okayu;  Korean – Jukin;  Thai – Jok;  Tagalog – Lugao, Burmese – Hsan Pyok.
plain congee/law fu kee
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In  my own experience, there’s no food more simple and more comforting than a bowl of congee, which is basically just rice cooked with a lot of liquid until it forms a soft porridge.
Congee can be enjoyed any time of the day (or night 🙂 and there are as many recipes and methods for making congee as there are restaurants, homes, mothers and grandmothers to prepare them. However, the basics are just water and rice, cooked until thickened to the texture you prefer, anywhere from very liquid to quite thick.
In this basic form, congee has provided a full belly as well as help against minor ailments since ancient times.
Additional ingredients and condiments for congee are limited only to ones fantasy, taste and wallet. (Lobster anyone?)
For some of the more adventurous variations of congee click HERE
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

Spicy Sausage And Spinach Congee

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Shrimp And Lap Cheong Fried Rice

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Leftover rice –
soup, congee or fried rice ? – that was the question ! 🙂
Well, this time the decision came easy because I also had a few slices of cooked ham and a few small shrimp in my fridge, along with some peppers and fresh eggs. And besides, I’ll have a good fried rice anytime 🙂
This version is very simple and only takes a couple of minutes to prep and execute. Just make sure you use day-old rice – fresh cooked rice is too moist and will not result in good fried rice !
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Bon Appetit !   Live is Good !
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Shrimp And Lap Chea Fried Rice

Shrimp And Lap Cheong Fried Rice

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Shrimp And Lap Chea Fried Rice

Shrimp And Lap Cheong Fried Rice

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Chicken Liver Congee

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Usually,  I have  congee  for breakfast, but today I just wanted a big bowl of this culinary marvel for lunch.
It is one of the most satisfying dishes out there, as long as it is properly seasoned and has the ingredients you long for at the moment. As far as congee goes – anything goes 🙂
Even the texture has no right or wrong. As long as you like it – that’s the right texture. I like mine fairly thick, tasty, spicy and with lot’s of  “stuff” in it. I happened to have fresh chicken livers today, but you can use any protein you like, shrimps, scallops, chicken or whatever is handy. Maybe just vegetables? With egg or without? Many condiments or none?

Today I cooked my rice in a rich chicken stock, flavored with lots of grated ginger, garlic paste, kosher salt and ground chili pepper and a splash of fermented bean sauce. Once the porridge had the desired texture, I added medium-fried chicken livers,  Chinese black mushrooms,  cooked ham, corn, black beans, sesame oil, finely sliced chilies and scallions.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !


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Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee


Preparation:

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season with granulated garlic, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, five spice powder, add cornstarch, mix well

season with granulated garlic, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, five spice powder, add cornstarch, mix well

fry in peanut oil until medium, remove to absorbent paper

fry livers in peanut oil until medium, remove to absorbent paper

almost :-) ......

almost  ………

to porridge add livers, beans, corn, mushroom, chilies, scallions and sesame seed oil, check/adjust seasoning

to the porridge add livers, beans, corn, mushroom, chilies, scallions and sesame seed oil, check/adjust seasoning

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee

Chicken Liver Congee


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Congee With Smoked Pig’s Tails & Vegetables

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Rice Porridge.
First thing that comes to mind is probably baby food or hospital gruff. Most folk’s would never think of ordering it from a menu in a restaurant, much less wake up and crave it for breakfast, if they hadn’t tasted or at least seen it before.

Now, let’s try again :
Congee. Lúgaw. Chok. Xifan. Juk. Okayu.
OK, that’s better  🙂

Sounds more interesting and exotic? These are just a few names given to rice porridge around the world. If there is a country or region which traditionally eats rice, then there is some form of rice porridge eaten.

Congee can be enjoyed as breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner. Congee most often contains rice, but other grains can be used. Ideally it is made with strong, tasty stock that infuses great taste and debt into the dish. But from there on, let your fantasy run wild. Congee can be made with seafood, meat, vegetables or a combination thereof. Then there are the toppings. Pickled vegetables, fried shallots, sliced scallions, pulled mushroom stems, crisp fried garlic, dried shrimps, 100 year eggs, cilantro, etc, etc. If you like it, put it on.
Below is a version I made on sunday for breakfast. The texture is more like a filipino Lugaw, with the rice VERY soft but still keeping it’s shape. At first I was not so sure about the smoked pigstails. I was worried they might be too  overpowering. But not to worry. The taste was very rich with only a hint of smokiness. Another slightly unusual ingredient (served as condiment) was the freshly grated horseradish, although when you think of the japanese version Okayu, wasaby seems to be a fitting condiment. I prepare congee at home often, this version is definitely special and a great addition to my congee repertoire.
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All about   CONGEE
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Previous CONGEE posts :         1     2     3
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Ingredient’s :

Jasmin rice,
Smoked pig’s feet,
Corn on the cob,  cut into thick slices
Chinese unsmoked sausages,  thinly sliced
Bell peppers,  diced
Ginger,  grated
Garlic,  paste
Cilantro,  chopped
Scallions,  sliced
Salt,
Soy sauce,
Horseradish,  freshly grated
Sesame oil,
Chili oil,
Peanut oil,  to saute

Method :

Saute garlic and ginger in peanut oil until fragrant. Add water and pigstails. Simmer pigstails in unseasoned water for about an hour or until starting to become tender. Taste stock and if necessary season with salt and pepper. (Some smoked meats can be overly salted, so don’t season at first) Add rice and very slowly simmer for another hour or until the rice is close to the texture you desire. Now add the corn, diced peppers and sausages. Simmer for another fifteen minute. At this point, adjust texture and seasoning if necessary. If the congee is too thick for your liking, add some hot stock. If it is too thin, simmer longer or strain some of the liquid.
To serve, sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Drizzle with chili oil.
Serve with horseradish and soy sauce.  Acompanied by Oolong tea.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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” Breakfast Of Champions ” # 3


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” Congee With Spicy Sausage “
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I just love any type of congee,
be it with seafood, meat, vegetables or any combination thereof.
Although is is traditionally eaten for breakfast, I usually make
a big pot so I can snack on it a few times during the day.
Today I used spicy, non-smoked chinese sausage,
which is not only very spicy but also sweet.
If you dont like raw egg, use cooked egg or omit the egg altogether.
Good eat’n  🙂
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Basic Congee recipe
In a large pot, bring water or stock and rice to a boil.

When the rice is boiling, turn the heat down to a slow simmer.
Place cover the pot, allowing steam to escape
Simmer until the rice has the thick, creamy texture of porridge.
Add the salt, taste and other seasonings as desired.
Serve with garnishes such as crushed peanuts, scallions, fried onions, etc.
You can also make this a sweet dish by adding
rock candy, brown sugar, fresh and/ or dried fruits.

Bon Appetit !    Life is Good !
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” Arroz Caldo “

Tonight’s Pinoy Dinner : Arroz Caldo

Arroz Caldo (literally translated as warm rice) is a type of congee (or lugaw)
that in texture and apparence somehow resembles risotto. Though this dish
is of Chinese origin, the (new) name was actually given by the Spaniards
because of pronunciation issues.

Suggested condiments :
Safflower (wild saffron),toasted garlic, calamansi, scallions raw egg yolk,
hard boiled egg are added to enhance the  flavor, color, and aroma of the dish.

I just love that stuff ! Live is Good !






Breakfast Of Champions # 5 – Chicken Congee

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For a different texture / flavor, replace the chicken with any protein, such as crab meat, shrimps, fish, tofu, or vegetables, such as baby bok choy, asparagus, corn, etc.
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Bon Appetit ! Life is Good !
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