Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cheese Biscuits - Red Lobster Style

Soft moist cheese biscuit
I missed Red Lobster biscuits. Those warm fluffy cheesy biscuits. Once in a while, my craving for these biscuits will take over my mind, making me forget the bad Red Lobster's service, the horrible long line, and really bad lobsters. 

Like a zombie, I will be sitting in a Red Lobster restaurant, waiting for the wait staff to bring me those biscuits to satisfy my craving. I would eat so much biscuits that by the time my dinner arrived, I am too full. Maybe that's why I never find the entrees memorable. In fact, all I could remember is never to order lobster from my local Red Lobster restaurant. ;p

Cheesy, buttery, salty
A month ago, I came across a recipe for these cheese biscuits and decided to make some for my family. They turned out good, not quite the same as Red Lobster but close enough. 

Today, I decided to try the recipe again with a tab more butter and they turn out beautiful. Soft, fluffy, buttery and moist - better than Red Lobster. Another great experiment. =)
Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits


(Makes about 10 ~ 12 biscuits)

2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp butter
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley

1. Place Bisquick mix, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese in a large bowl. Mix with spatula until combined.

2. Place 1/4 cup butter in a microwavable bowl and cover with cling wrap. Microwave for 20 seconds or until butter fully melted.

3. Mix butter with milk.

4. Make a hole in the middle of the cheese mix. Pour in milk. Mix until dough forms.

5. Gather dough into a ball. Use hands and punch dough vigorously for 30 seconds.

6. Gather dough into a ball. Grab dough with hands and throw the dough back into the bowl. Repeat for 30 seconds.

7. Repeat step 5 and 6 until dough appears smooth. (About 5 times)

8. Place parchment paper on baking tray. Coat parchment paper with 1/2 tsp butter.

9. Using spoon or ice-cream scoop, drop 1 1/2 tbsp of batter onto tray. Repeat until all batter is used.

10. Bake in a pre-heat oven at 450 F for 12 ~ 15 minutes or until golden brown.

11. Mix 1/4 cup of melted butter with garlic powder and dried parsley to create garlic butter.

12. Brush the surface of the biscuit with garlic butter once they are removed from oven.

13. Leave on rack to cool. Served warm.


Tips & Tricks

1. You can coat your hands with some oil when handling the dough to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.

2. When throwing it back and fro in bowl, throw it hard. It will help the dough to form.

3. Do not use hands to form nice round balls for baking. Dropping batter to tray will help create the rough surface of the biscuit.

4. The garlic butter must be applied to biscuit immediately after they are removed from oven.


My Baking Pantry

Bisquick, Parsley Flakes, Garlic Powder
This was my shopping bag for today. I got all these from Safeway. Commonly found ingredients in various supermarket in USA. Although I remember the parsley flakes and garlic powder are cheaper at Target. Oh well, no time to go Target today.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Red Bean Steamed Rice Cake (砵仔糕) - Hong Kong Style

Ever watch TVB drama or Hong Kong movies? Often you would hear the lead actress requesting for Put Chai Ko (砵仔糕). I had been watching these shows since young and never had a chance to try it. It's not a treat commonly found in Singapore. 

On my first holiday to Hong Kong, I came across a shop selling these. I was excited. I quickly bought one and was sadly disappointed. It's was hard, thick and bland. So it's no surprise that I didn't bother trying them when I moved to Hong Kong.

Then, one day, my husband came home with a Put Chai Ko. He said it's the best in Hong Kong. I was skeptical but on seeing his excitment, I gave it a try. It was soft, tender and sweet. Now I finally understand why this is such a well loved treat in Hong Kong.

Red beans topping
We haven't had this treat since moving to the States. With some left-over of rice flour, I decided to make this at home. Another easy home-made treat. =)

Normally made with small bowls


25g Red beans (Soaked overnight)
100g Rice flour
30g Wheat starch
20g Water chestnut starch
25g Glutinous rice flour
100g brown sugar slab
2 cups water

1. Cooked red beans till tender. About an hour.

2. Sift rice flour, wheat starch, water chestnut starch and glutinous rice flour together. Set aside.

3. Bring one cup water to boil. Add in sugar until melted completely. Leave to cool.

4. Once sugar water cool completely, pour into flour mix. Whisk till smooth.

5. Bring remaining cup of water to boil. Add into flour batter. Whisk till smooth.

6. Put bowls into steamer and heat for 15 minutes.

7. Pour batter into bowls until 1/2 full. Add 1 tsp of red bean to each bowl on top of batter.

8. Cook for 20 minutes under high heat.

9. Cool till warm. Use the back of parring knife to loosen the cake from the bowl.


Tips & Tricks

1. Use a whisk during the whisk process. Do not use fork, spoon or spatula to stir the mixture. It will cause lumps to form. A whisk will help break out the lumps during the mixing process.

2. Heating the bowls before adding the batter will prevent the red beans from sinking to the bottom.


My Asian Kitchen

Water Chestnut Starch

Water chestnut starch is flour made from water chestnut. You can find these in the flour section in Asia supermarket. A box of chestnut cost about $2.50.

Brown sugar slab

A packet brown sugar slab can be found near the flour section in Asia supermarket. A pack of brown sugar cost about $2.

For a picture of Rice Flour - see Chwee Kueh recipe.

For a picture of Glutinous Flour - See Snowskin Mooncake recipe.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Half boiled Ramen Eggs (糖心滷蛋)

Ramen Eggs
I have a friend who loves half boiled ramen eggs. She frequents her favourite ramen shop for these. These days, it is rare to find ramen shops that still serve half boiled ramen eggs due to health regulations. Most of the time, you get hard boiled eggs with your bowl of ramen. 

Half-boiled Eggs
That chewy white with the soft wet yolk that almost melts with your ramen soup. Hmmm... perfect combination. As part of my ramen "making" series, I made these eggs earlier to pair with my instant noodles. Bits and pieces... I hope I would eventually get to making the actual ramen. ;p

In any case, these eggs are good enough to hold one captive on its own! Simply good on its own. I love eggs... :)



3 Large Eggs (Room temperature)
3 Cups Water
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Soy sauce
1 Cup Water
3 Tbsp Mirin
3 Tbsp Sugar

1. Bring 3 cups water and salt to a boil.

2. Use a spoon or ladle, gently transfer eggs into the water. Make sure eggs are sitting in a single layer.

3. Cook eggs for 6 ~ 8 minutes on middle heat. Cook time varies with the heat and pot use.

4. Immediately soak eggs in cold water to prevent further cooking.

5. Mix soy sauce, 1 cup water, mirin and sugar. Whisk until sugar is incorporated. Set aside.

6. Soak a piece of paper coffee filter or cheesecloth in the soy sauce mixture.

6. Gently peel the eggs. Place eggs in a bowl in which they fit snugly in a single layer.

7. Pour soy sauce mixture over the eggs.

8. Place the soaked coffee filter or cheesecloth over the eggs. 

9. Soak eggs for at least two hours at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator.



Tips & Tricks

1. The cooking time varies with the number of eggs, temperature of your raw eggs, your saucepan and stove heat. Experiment with the cooking time - starting at the 6 minutes and giving 30 seconds forward. Time starts when all eggs are added. When I use a larger pot and it took me 8 minutes to get the eggs to half boiled stage vs. for a smaller pot, it took me 6 minutes.

2. You can use an egg timer to help with the cooking. If you use the egg timer, transfer eggs to cold water once the indicator reached the 3/4 mark between soft and medium. The internal heat of the eggs will continue to cook the eggs as they cool in the cold water.

3. For softer whites, do not soak the eggs in soy sauce for more than 2 hours. The longer the eggs are soaked, the firmer the whites.

4. Be gentle while peeling the eggs. They are very fragile as the insides are still watery and soft.

5. If eggs are undercooked after peeling, you can return them to a pot of boiling water and cook further for about 3 minutes.

6. Use room temperature eggs. Eggs fresh out of fridge will crack once they hit the boiling water due to the sudden change in temperature.



My Japanese Kitchen

For a picture of Mirin, please refer to my Chasu recipe.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Perfect Egg Timer

Egg Timer

After several unsuccessful attempts to make half-boiled eggs. I decided to get the egg timer. 

The first time that I used this, the eggs turned out over-cooked with some strange chemical smell. Very disappointing. I wanted to return it but my husband insisted on keeping it as it was too much trouble to return a $5 item online. 

It was sitting in the drawer for weeks, before I decided to give it another try. This time, the eggs turn out slightly undercooked but that weird smell no longer exist.

The third time, it works like a charm. Learning from my prior failures, I removed the eggs once the egg timer reaches the 3/4 mark between soft and medium. They turn out perfect and beautiful. There is no weird smell. 

I guess this was this was a keeper after all. 

If you are getting one, cook the gadget once in salt water to get rid of the chemical smell. Clean it completely after that and let it cool before using it again. Due to the difference in temperature between the egg and the timer, it best to experiment a few tries for the perfect time to cook the eggs. You can buy the timer online on Amazon for US$5.