Eggs Royale Recipe

Recently I published a recipe for Salmon Gravlax and promised I would follow this up with a recipe for Eggs Royale, so here it it. Normally for this dish one would use smoked salmon but I couldn’t resist using the salmon gravlax instead to give this classic dish a different taste.

I’ve also been really craving Hollandaise sauce for a really long time but with my pregnancy I couldn’t touch it. Now I finally have a healthy, happy and cute baby it’s time for me to have some of those forbidden foods for pregnant ladies, such as Hollandaise sauce, home made caesar salad dressing, rare steaks, swordfish, tuna, this kind of ocean fish etc etc. So here is my version of Hollandaise sauce and Eggs Royale.

For this blog post I also drew a step-by-step tutorial image for the hollandaise sauce. I’ve been thinking about illustrating some of my recipes for a long time and while the drawing does take up quite a lot of time, I’ve finally started it. It was fun to draw and I’m personally happy with the way everything has turned out. My illustrations could do with some refinement but this is something I will do more of in the future.

Also some updates about Amelia. Amelia is now 11 weeks and 5 days old. Just like everyone says, babies grow up so quick and when I look at her now and photos of her when she was just born, she looks completely different. Amelia is now also communicating with us a lot more. She will talk back (in baby talk of course) if we talk to her, she smiles all the time and she’s now laughing a lot. Whenever she talks to us we will talk back to her in the same language she uses and she absolutely loves it. Chris is also the master of belly raspberries which she absolutely loves.

There’s nothing happier in life than seeing your own baby happy.

So below the photo of the Eggs Royale and procedure image below, there are some new photos of Amelia. Being a parent is an extremely tiring job but as you can see she now has a really cute smile so every time I/we feel tired, frustrated, one little smile and everything is perfectly happy again. We’ve also had some really amazing weather here in Scotland recently (at least by Scottish standards) so we’ve been travelling around a little bit. In my next blog post I’ll share some of these photos.

eggs royale

 

Eggs Royale Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for Hollandaise Sauce

  • 1/2 shallot chop finely
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 200 g butter

Ingredients for Eggs Royale

  • 2 duck eggs
  • 2 slices salmon gravlax a few slices
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1 tbsp hollandaise sauce

Instructions

  1. Toast the English muffins and poach 2 duck eggs
  2. Put a few slices of Salmon Gravlax on top of the English muffin and place a poached duck egg on top of it
  3. Place one tablespoon of Hollandaise sauce on top of the poached egg. This dish is now ready to serve.

 

eggs royale procedure illustration

Salmon Gravlax Recipe

salmon gravlax recipe

Recently for both this blog and at home, I’ve been making a lot of Eastern dishes but now I really fancy eating something a little different. Also, there are so many really delicious and beautiful western dishes that I love to make, both professionally at work and at home, but haven’t had the opportunity to share. So, for this particular blog post, I decided to make salmon gravlax.

Salmon gravlax is a dish which originates from Norway during the Middle Ages. Fishermen used to salt the salmon then lightly ferment it by burying it in the sand. Gravlax’s literal translation is “grave”. Thanks to Wikipedia for this information and also inspiring me to draw a couple Vikings for this recipe.

Now this is probably going to sound really strange but even though I have made salmon gravlax many times professionally, I’ve never actually eaten it. I know this sounds really bizarre but probably because I’ve prepared it so many times I’ve kind of been put off it but my husband absolutely loves salmon gravlax so when I asked him if he fancies eating it, of course he said YES (with capital letters)!

I first learned how to make salon gravlax when I worked in a fine dining restaurant in Birmingham but after moving to Edinburgh I made it a few times while working in a hotel that I used to work in. Again I know it must sound strange that I haven’t tasted it before but as anyone who works as a chef knows, you barely even have time to have a glass of water or go to the toilet (this is one of the many reasons chef smoke – so they can have a cigarette break).

With this dish I combined two different recipes.

So what do I think? Interesting! It has a really unique mild herb and spice flavour with a little bit of a citrus taste. I have to say I like it very much and Chris gave me the big thumbs up. I liked it so much I used some of this salmon gravlax to make eggs royale (I’ve been absolutely crazy lusting after hollandaise sauce for nearly a year but couldn’t eat it because of the raw eggs which is obviously bad for unborn babies).

So I hope you enjoy my salmon gravlax recipe. It’s great to try a new dish and tick off one of the many hundreds of dishes out there that I want to try.

As there a really large number of preparation photos with this post, I haven’t included any new pictures of my daughter or any updates about her (she’s doing fine btw, she’s absolutely awesome) but in a few days I’ll post my recipe for eggs royale along with an update about her and some new photos.

salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax
salmon gravlax

 

 

Salmon Gravlax Recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 450 g fresh salmon with skin on
  • 1 bunch fresh dill chopped
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp peppercorn toasted and crushed
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander or fennel seed
  • 2 tbsp vodka

Instructions

  1. Rinse salmon under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen napkins.
  2. Mix the sea salt, sugar, crashed peppercorn and ground coriander in a bowl evenly.
  3. Mix vodka and lemon juice together
  4. Lay couple sheets of cling film on a tray as procedure photo shown. Put salmon on the middle of tray.
  5. Pour vodka and lemon juice on salmon.
  6. Sprinkle lemon zest on the salmon first then sprinkle step 2 seasalt and spice mixture evenly on the salmon.
  7. Sprinkle chopped dill on the salmon and wrap salmon nice and tight with the cling film.
  8. Try to find something heavy put on top of salmon. I used 2 wooden boards on both side of salmon and wrap really tight to give it a bit of pressure to help it totally marinade.
  9. Leave it in the fridge for 3 days and take it out. Wash away the seasalt and herb. Slice very(!) thin to serve (you’ll need a really sharp knife for this)

 

Oriental Pork Chop

It has now been six weeks since I became a “mum”. Every day my little girl grows healthier but also happier. She occasionally has a little colic, especially at night, but apart from that she is healthy and happy. She’s also growing in size and strength. When she was born she was immediately too long for newborn baby clothes but 0-3 months clothes were a little big. Now she’s six weeks, seven this Saturday, she has to wear 3-6 months clothes but she’s not a fat baby at all.

Whenever she holds my finger, I can really feel her growing strength and while I love being a mother, my sincere advice is to try to take as much rest as you can whenever you can, even if it’s just a nap for an hour or two. If your partner gives you a chance, sleep for 12 hours if you can and really don’t feel any guilt if you do manage to sleep that long.

Just before I gave birth I had a really big college project to complete, which really tired me out, then literally a couple days after the project had been completed I started having contractions which lasted 3 days, so I had absolutely no rest! In the first two weeks we (meaning me, Chris could sleep through a war!) found it was completely impossible to sleep for more than 2-3 hours. Now several weeks along we’re able to sleep for up to 4 hours without any distraction but only because we’ve made some big changes in our lifestyle. We basically now follow a routine which goes as follows.

8am:           Baby wakes for feed. Feed baby, change nappy, baby goes back to sleep for 2 hours.

10am:         Feed baby again and check nappy. Change her into day clothes. Clean her face etc

Afternoon: This is the most important. Take her out! The longer you take her outside, whether it’s to the supermarket, to the park or even a walk around the block, the more tired she will be and the better you will sleep at night. Typically we will take her to the shops then take her to the Botanical Gardens/seaside or wherever, every day. Also note, even if your baby sleeps while you are out, she will still become tired from all of the sounds, sights and smells.

8.30pm:            Give her a bath. Babies are incredibly cute but they’re extremely dirty. They pee a lot, have giant poos, they dribble, they puke milk sometimes. They’re dirty! A bath also hopes the wee one relax and feel sleepy. Feed her, change her nappy, swaddle her as normal then she will sleep. Takes about an hour to put her to sleep at this time.

1-3am:          Amelia wakes up for a feed and change of nappy somewhere between 1 and 3am. Usually she will wake for about 30 minutes, maybe a little longer.

7.30am:            Usually just a really quick feed, nappy change and after a quick cuddle she’ll pass out almost immediately afterwards

10am:            Starts all over again

So, seriously if you’re a mother to be who is reading my blog at moment, turn off your computer now and take a nap or have a good sleep. Book a massage for yourself, because you will need all your energy for giving birth and look after baby!

One other piece of advice I have is don’t be too harsh on yourself when it comes to breastfeeding, especially if you’re a first time mum. In the first couple of days, I followed the strict rule of “you’re not allow to feed your baby with a bottle and you can only feed your baby breast milk or formula, but not both!”. But just like many new mums, at first (and still now to an extent) I simply was unable to provide enough breast milk (I found this out after two days when I hand expressed my breasts and found very little milk coming out), so for the first two days at home Amelia was practically starving. Because of this Amelia basically latched onto my breast for two days which gave me really sore cracked nipples and meant neither of us could get any rest at all.

After two days at home, one of our favourite midwives, Nelly, came round (Nelly is awesome) and she advised it’s ok to give babies both breast milk and formula. This was the perfect news so Chris ran over to the supermarket and bought a big tub of SMA Gold, came home and made up a bottle and Amelia drank the whole lot (about 50ml if I remember correctly). Since then, Amelia has been an absolute sweet little angel and she is a really happy baby. So now, what I do is express milk every 3-4 hours and then give Amelia the breast milk first and then top up her, so to speak, with formula. This ensures she gets all of the nutrients from the breast milk but also ensures she doesn’t starve. I’m still unable to provide Amelia with enough breast milk to last her a day but I can now easily provide enough for 2-3 big feeds per day.

Another thing I’ve found is green papaya with pork ribs soup really helps me to produce breast milk. Remember I mentioned in a previous post this dish gives you big breasts? Well, it also helps to produce a LOT of breast milk. I can’t guarantee this will work for everyone, but for me it really does.

So this is how my motherhood journey is going so far. Amelia will be four weeks old this coming Saturday but so far the experience has had it’s challenges but I absolutely love being a mother. I hope my little experiences will help other mums.

Back to food! The recipe today is oriental pork chop. When I started this blog, one of the very first recipes I did was oriental pork chop. At that time we were learning about food photography as well and the resulting photos were (in Chris’s words) horrendous! So I decided to remake it. As before, this recipe is really easy to make (perfect for a new mum!) and it’s also really delicious. I’ve also shared a couple new photos of Amelia as well.

oriental pork chop

 

Oriental Pork Chop

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for Oriental Pork Chop

  • 4 pork chops

Seasonings for Oriental Pork Chop

  • 2 spring onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp potato starch

Instructions

  1. Use meat hammer to beat the pork chop and make the pork chop bigger and more tender.
  2. Marinade pork chops with all the seasonings for 1 hour at less and massage the pork chops with seasonings for around 30 seconds. This procedure can help the pork chops marinade better and tastier.
  3. Heat up 3 cups of oil in a wok or deep frying pan to 150c around medium gas power and fry the pork chops to medium well done. Place it onto a plate aside.
  4. Heat up the oil by full gas power to 180c degree and fry the pork chops until well done, then it’s ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

You can also put ½ teaspoon baking soda to make the pork chop texture more tender.

 

New Year Pork Fried Rice

I’m now 38 weeks pregnant and both my mother and grandmother arrived in Edinburgh this last Wednesday. It’s a huge relief for me as they’ve both come to Edinburgh partly to do some sight seeing (they’ve never been to Europe before) but most importantly to give me support during and after I give birth to Millie.

In my culture, one’s mother or mother-in-law will cook lots of Chinese medicine and some dishes that we believe can enrich one self and are good for helping women recover from giving birth. We call this tradition [做月子] (in Pingyin: Zuo Yue Zi). Yue Zi means “month of time” which starts from the time you give birth.

During this month the mother/mother-in-law will cook loads of food for the daughter who has given birth to help them recover. They will also help with cleaning one’s home and everything else that needs to be done. This isn’t an excuse for the new mother’s husband to take it easy / go down the pub (or whatever he does) but any additional support is good).

Today’s recipe contains one of my favourite foods on the planet; New Year Pork. In Taipei there is a shop that opens for just one month every year and they only cured pork. New Year Pork is the Taiwanese/Chinese equivalent of Pancetta and one of our traditional ways of preparing New Year Pork is to steam cook it with rice. This allows the juices that come out of the pork to be soaked up by the rice, making everything super delicious.

The other way I like to cook New Year Pork is as an ingredient for fried rice. This is my recipe for New Year Pork Fried Rice, which incidentally Chris said is the tastiest fried rice he’s ever eaten, which I hope you like.

For me to explain the taste of Chinese/Taiwanese New Year Pork is quite difficult as it’s something I’ve literally forever but Chris described it as “much stronger than bacon/pancetta/parma etc. New Year Pork has a really strong smoked flavour and in the case of the sausages some of them are really spicy”. As a note about the sausages below there are three kinds of sausages. One is just a pork sausage with a strong Chinese alcohol flavour. Another sausage is really hot and spicy (makes your nose run!) while the last kind is a pork and tofu sausage.

new year pork fried rice
chinese new year pork
chinese new year pork
chinese new year pork

 

 

New Year Pork Fried Rice

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 small bows rice use cold or leftover rice
  • 1 bowl peas
  • 3 small carrots finely diced
  • 2 spring onions chop finely
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 g new year pork cut into small dices

Seasonings

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 pinch white pepper powder

Instructions

  1. Boil a pot of water to cook the carrots and peas separately (due to the carrots taking longer to cook). Refresh each in cold water after they have cooked.
  2. Beat the eggs with one teaspoon of soy sauce and half a teaspoon of sugar. Heat up the wok with a little bit of oil to first of all scramble the eggs. Leave the eggs aside for later.
  3. Heat up a little bit of oil in a wok and add the New Year Pork to fry it for 3-5 minutes, or until the pork is cooked. Add the rice into the wok and stir fry both evenly until cooked. Make sure as with all fried rice dishes there are no lumps in the rice.
  4. Add the eggs, spring onions, garlic and the vegetables into the fried rice and stir fry evenly until cooked. Add the seasonings, mix evenly and taste the fried rice. Note I didn’t use a lot of soy sauce or salt as the New Year Pork can have a really strong taste which can sometimes be quite salty.
  5. Note: If you can’t find New Year Pork in your local Chinese supermarket (only a Chinese supermarket will sell this) you can use as alternative; pancetta or bacon lardons. They won’t be as strong but has the same principle.

 

Thai Chicken Salad

As of this past Saturday I’m now 36 weeks pregnant. I really do think I’m one of the luckiest pregnant women in the world as you may have heard a lot of pregnant women have unusual cravings during pregnancy. Amongst the strange cravings I’ve heard pregnant women have include wood and coal.

But so far my cravings have been really good. This pregnancy has to an extent put me off red meat but I absolutely love fresh fruit, vegetables and sour dressings. The only unusual craving I’ve had is ice cubes which I absolutely love! My husband has been laughing at me as I’m not normally a cold drink kind of person but with great fortune Edinburgh as of early February is one of the warmest places in the UK and we haven’t snow yet.

One of my other cravings right now is sour food so I made this Thai Chicken Salad. I got inspiration for this salad from a holiday I had in Thailand a few years ago and I absolutely love Thai food. Also since going on maternity leave I’ve been cooking every day and cooking everything from Italian to Chinese to Scottish food, but not Thai.

This recipe probably isn’t that authentic but it’s really delicious, fresh, sour and really healthy, absolutely perfect for my pregnancy.

thai chicken salad

 

Thai Chicken Salad

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 handful Salad leaves I used a mixed salad bag from my local supermarket
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handful roast cashew nuts or peanuts, chop roughly
  • 2 spring onions chop finely
  • 1 lemon grass chop finely
  • 1 tsp galangal fresh and chopped finely
  • 1 red chili chop finely
  • 15 mint leaves chop finely

Ingredients for chicken thigh fillets marinade

  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seed oil or olive oil

Ingredients for coconut and lime dresssing

  • 2 lime leaves
  • 240 ml coconut cream
  • 1.5 fresh limes only use juice
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Procedure for coconut and lime dressing **

  1. Put all the ingredients except the lime juice into a small sauce pan. Boil at first then simmer for 15~20 minutes. Stir often to prevent the ingredients burning at the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add lime juice and bring it to boil again. Use a sift to pass the dressing and leave the dressing to cool down.

Thai Chicken Salad Procedures

  1. Marinade chicken thigh fillets for 30 minutes.
  2. Use a griddle to char grill the chicken and leave it aside to cool down a little bit. Cut the chicken into strips and mix with spring onion, lemon grass, galangal, mint and chilli.
  3. Place salad leaves and tomato on a plate and place the chicken on top. Sprinkle cashew nuts and dressing on top and it’s ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

** I will make dressing first then start the other preparation works.

 

Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake Chinese New Year Dessert

Following on from my previous blog post this is another dish that I made specially for Chinese New Year. This dish is called Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake.

Rice cake has always been one of my favourite desserts to eat during Chinese New Year festivities. I remember when I was a child I always chased after my mother asking her to prepare it for me.

In Taiwan, there are two really popular flavours of sweet rice cakes. One is red bean and the other is brown sugar. I remember this recipe for Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake from when I was young so I decided to give it bit of a personal twist and give it a go. Personally I really like it, I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

I have some big deadlines coming up with my college class so I didn’t have time to prepare any other kinds of rice cakes, but once these deadlines have passed I’m aiming to prepare some different flavour rice cakes, including the aforementioned brown sugar rice cake which is also really delicious.

Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake Chinese New Year Dessert
Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake Chinese New Year Dessert

This is how the mixture should look once it has set and cooled down in the tins.

Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake Chinese New Year Dessert

This recipe makes approximately 4 to 5 tins of rice cake mixture.

 

Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake Chinese New Year Dessert

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 4 tins worth

Ingredients

Ingredients for Sweet Red Bean

  • 400 g red beans soak in water for a couple hours
  • 400 g brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients for Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake

  • 450 g glutinous rice flour
  • 450 g sweet red beans
  • 420 ml coconut milk
  • 350 g brown sugar

Instructions

Procedure for Sweet Red Bean

  1. Drain the red beans and put into a saucepan. Add 750ml of water into the sauce pan and boil it first. Once it has reached boiling point reduce the heat and simmer for around 1 hour until the red beans are soft enough that you can squash them with your fingers. Please note you must keep stirring the red beans to prevent them from burning. Add more water to the saucepan if necessary.
  2. Mix sugar and salt with the red beans while they are still hot and leave aside for a few hours.

Procedure for Red Bean and Coconut Rice Cake

  1. Boil coconut milk and add brown sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and leave it to cool down.
  2. Mix glutinous rice flour with coconut milk from step 1 and make sure there are no lumps in the mixture.
  3. Mix sweet red bean mixture into step 2 evenly.
  4. Brush a layer of oil into tin into some tin foil trays (I used 6x4x2 inch tin foil boxes from my local Chinese supermarket. These tins are exactly the same kind you get at Chinese takeaways) and pour the mixture into it.
  5. Use a steamer to steam the rice cakes. If like myself you’re using a metal steamer, use a clean towel to effectively tie down the lid. This prevents water dripping from the lid onto the rice cake which can affect the final result. Once the water under the steamer has started to boil, leave the rice cakes to steam for 30 minutes.
  6. After the rice cakes have been steamed allow them to completely cool down before attempting to remove them from the tins (otherwise they’ll stick). Cut your rice cake into 3cm cubes and fold them into either spring roll pastries or wonton pastries. Deep fry them until the pastries have turned a golden brown colour. Your oil temperature should be approximately 180 degrees celsius.