2016 Update from Berrie’s Kitchen

 

Yes it’s a bit late for my first post of 2016…. but I’m excited to tell you all about our newest project and what we’ve been so busy with!

BITTERS & SWEETS OPENS IN CENTRAL, HONG KONG!

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Bitters & Sweets is Hong Kong’s newest destination for house-infused cocktails, nostalgic savory snacks and innovative desserts. We bring new experiences with our food and drinks by creating harmonious flavor profiles.

In an industry that is becoming more pretentious and impersonal, lacking in sincerity and service quality, Bitters & Sweets is a concept cocktail lounge that aims to provide guests with a comfortable, memorable and flavorful experience.

We are not a conventional shake-and-pour cocktail lounge.  Our signature cocktails feature home-made infusions, taking weeks or even months to prepare on site.  We train our mixologists to look at cocktails as a chef would look at food.   We encourage them to be more adventurous with different ingredients and combinations.  This experimental and rigorous approach creates unique flavor profiles only to be found at Bitters & Sweets.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be introducing you to all about our new lounge, our signature cocktails and desserts.

Please visit us! Bitters & Sweets is located on the first floor of Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington Street and is open Mondays to Wednesdays from 6:00pm to 1:00am, Thursdays to Saturdays from 6:00pm to 3:00am.

 

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Kelp Noodles Salad with chicken and cucumber

Here’s another great salad recipe for the summer!

We were introduced to Kelp Noodles at a friend’s gathering, and she actually made this dish for us. (All the credit goes to her for this recipe!) We love the refreshing, half crunchy, half chewy texture and its got incredible ability to soak up any sauce or dressing you put in it. It’s versatile enough to be put into soup/broth, stir fry or into salads. Not to mention it’s made of kelp which is mineral rich and SO good for you.  Oh and did I mention there’s only 6 calorie per serving? SIX!!!

The noodle is only made of three ingredients:Water, Kelp and Sodium Alginate (made from brown seaweed). I buy them in packets online but they’re quite often sold out, so it makes them even more of a treat when I do get my hands on them!

They come in little packets and all you have to do is give them a little rinse under some water, and you’re ready to cook it.

Here’s the recipe to the wonderful and nutritious salad, I hope you guys will like it as much as we do!

Ingredients:

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  • 1 pack Kelp Noodles
  • 2 cucumbers, julienned (long thin strips)
  • 2 chicken thighs (or breast)
  • Japanese Sesame Dressing
  • White Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Step 1) Poach the chicken in simmering water (low heat) for about 8-10 minutes, until cooked. Cut or shred into strips

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Step 2) Rinse the kelp noodles under running water, drain and put into a bowl with the cucumbers and chicken. Add 3 tbls of Sesame dressing, 1/2 tsp of sesame oil and 1 tsp of white vinegar. Toss and taste.

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At this point, taste the salad to see if you need more dressing, or acidity (vinegar) or more salt and pepper. Add in a little bit of a time and mix to taste.  You can also sliced up some red chili to add some heat to the salad. But that’s it, so simple and easy to do!

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Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/030367_kelp_noodles_weight_loss.html#ixzz3jzAx9rYD

Homemade Chicken McNuggets

Chicken Mcnuggets – a childhood staple slathered in BBQ, sweet and sour or hot mustard sauce; it’s bouncy, chewy texture, no longer representing the strands of tough, dry chicken meat, a mysterious kind of meat. It never once occurred to me as something you can make at home, this special treat was only to be enjoyed at the fast food joint where more and more press tells you how bad the food is for your health, what kind of chemicals and processed plastics they’re adding to the meat.

Until one day my college friend told me how simple it was to make. Just blend chicken thighs, batter it up and fry it! SERIOUSLY?

I couldn’t wait to try it at home and I’ve never looked back since. It’s so close to the real thing that I guarantee you you won’t miss it. Ever.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Corn starch

Equipment: 

  • Food processor
  • Bowls
  • Spoon or small ice cream scoop
  • Frying pan and spatula

Step 1) Cut chicken into large chunks to fit into food processor. Put in all spices and blend until everything is mixed into a paste. (like second picture)

 

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Step 2) Prepare your batter station in the following order: a) Meat mixture; b) corn starch; c) beaten eggs; d) flour.

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Step 3) Spoon and roll one scoop of meat mixture into a bite size ball, gently dust in the corn starch. Drench into the beaten eggs, then roll in the flour, make sure the entire ball is lightly covered in flour, but don’t press too hard otherwise your batter will be too thick. Place the ball on a plate and gently flatten to form a nugget. Repeat until all mixture is used.

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Step 4) Heat a pan and coat in oil for pan frying, medium heat. Prepare a plate with kitchen towels to place your cooked nuggets and to soak up the extra oil. Once the oil is hot, cook the nuggets on both sides until golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side.

Tip: You can choose to deep fry it by putting in more oil. Be careful that the oil can get too hot if constantly being heated, so move the pan away from the heat source or turn on/off the stove when you see fit. The best temperature to fry the chicken is around 350 degrees Farenheit.

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Feel free to cut open one of them to ensure that it’s cooked through, especially when serving young children.

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Serve with a side of salad and dipping sauce (we make our own siracha mayo or wasabi mayo dipping sauce), it’s a fun and delicious meal that your kids are bound to love!

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Homemade Dragon Boat Festival Dumplings (台山粽子)

I know, it’s days after Dragon Boat Festival…. but hey, I’m about 360 days early here teaching y’all how to make dumplings for the coming year! =) One of my favorite memories with my grandma was watching her make dumplings (粽子). Our ancestors came from Kaiping City, one of the Five counties of Guangdong.  It is the ancestral homeland of many overseas Chinese, when many of the men emigrated to the United States and worked as laborers during the Gold Rush. As a result, the region became a melting pot of ideas and trends brought back by overseas Chinese, such as the Diaolou, which are multi-story towers built to protect each family from bandits. You can easily identify the architectural influences between the east and the west from these towers. Since 2007 they’ve been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it’s an amazing place to visit! The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates Qu Yuan, a poet who committed suicide into the Miluo River. The local people who admired him made dumplings with sticky rice and would have dragon boat races so to scare off the fishes as well as to eat the sticky rice dumplings instead of feed off his body. That was the origin of these dumplings. Every region has their own special way of filling and wrapping their dumplings. In this article I’ll tell you how dumplings in my hometown is made. Ingredients: 

  • Bamboo Leaves (Washed, boiled and soaked in water 3-5 days prior to wrapping)
  • Glutinous Rice (Washed then add some oil and salt)
  • Pork Loin (Cut into large strips, marinate in salt 1-2 days prior)
  • Peanuts (Soaked in water, boil to remove skin)
  • Salted Egg Yolks, halved
  • Dried Shrimp (Soaked in water 1 day prior, then drain)
  • Other ingredients you may include: Chinese Preserved Sausages, Mushrooms, Pork Fat.

IMG_2318 To wrap: This takes a little bit of practise… and I’ll try to explain it the best I can here. I hope the photos will help reinforce each step. Step 1-4) Place two leaves one on top of the other, twist and fold in the middle so you get a cone. In the cone you’ll put rice and a little of each of your fillings. IMG_2322IMG_2323 IMG_2325IMG_2328 Step 5-6) Finish off with a little bit more rice, just enough to cover most of your fillings. With your left hand, hold the cone firmly and with the right, fold over the leaves so it covers all the fillings. Use your left thumb to ensure the leaves are folded over from the left as well. IMG_2330 IMG_2331 Step 7-9) Turn the dumpling 90 degrees so the bottom edge is standing straight up on your left palm. With the right hand, fold over the ends of the leaves. Secure and tie with strings. IMG_2333 IMG_2334 IMG_2336 IMG_2359 It’s a great family bonding activity! I actually made it with my dad on father’s day! IMG_2363 Boil in a large pot for one and a half hours. Drain and it’s ready to eat! IMG_2374 IMG_2373 You can refrigerate them for up to 5 days, or you can freeze them and they’ll keep for months! Boil until they’re heated through before consuming. Thanks, hope you like the zongzi from our hometown. Please comment! She cooked.

May 15 – National Chocolate Chip Day!

Have you had some chocolate chips yet? I made my fave choc chip cookies and even bought chocolate milk to celebrate!

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Tip of the day : drop your cookie rounds into extra small balls so you can make mini chocolate chip cookies. Having one or two mini ones will cure your cookie cravings and you won’t feel too guilty afterwards!

She cooked. (again). I swear he will be cooking soon…. =)

Berrie’s Baking Tip : Adjust cake molds to fit different size cupcake liners!

Have you ever bought cupcake liners that don’t fit your cupcake mold?

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I recently had a big order to make cupcakes for a wedding. The bride wanted gold liners so I went ahead to my normal baking supply store to get them, only to come home to find that it did not fit into my standard size cupcake tray, nor my mini cupcake tray!

As I was panicking and trying desperately to search online for new muffin tins without any luck, my genius BFF gave me this suggestion, and I thought I’d share this with everyone to save fellow bakers from the stress and sweat!

The idea is to get some of these individual baking cups (used to make pudding or panna cottas). They tend to be rather deep, so the problem is if you stick your cupcake liner in and fill in with cake batter, the liner will fall deep inside and rather difficult to take out. Not to mention that for me, the bottom diameter was also too small for the cake liner.

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The solution: Fill the tins half full with rice. You use rice or small beans when blind baking a pie, why not use it to lift up your cupcake liners so they can sit perfectly on top and have it fit the upper rim exactly?

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You can also slightly adjust the size by filling the tins more or less of rice.

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(Was testing the recipe so didn’t get to fill the liners to the top.) Obviously if the cake liners are too large or too small, this method will not work. But definitely try it if you are facing the same problem with your muffin tins and liners! If you have other suggestions, please share them with me too!

She cooked.

Cake Painting Afternoon Tea inspired by Peter Mcdonald

Painting and desserts? YES, right up my alley!

It’s Art Month in Hong Kong and you can feel the increase in cultural and art awareness in the air. Right next to Art Basel (March 15-17th, 2015) at the Hong Kong Convention Centre, the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong has invited Japanese/British artist Peter Mcdonald to collaborate with Executive Pastry Chef David White to create an afternoon tea inspired by the artist.

<strong>CAKE PAINTING AFTERNOON TEA by artist Peter McDonald</strong>

Tea started 3:30pm and it was at that time Chef David White transformed us into Peter Mcdonald’s world of Paintings…..

Everywhere you looked were elements from the whimsical artpieces, such as the odd geometric shapes, the exaggerated cartoonish head shapes, the bright colors and 2D textures.

The highlight of the tea were the blank ‘canvases’ placed around the buffet. I loved the attention to detail here: cheesecake covered with a layer of marzipan, folded in the orders just like a mounted canvas, not to mention the little ‘nails’ on the trims which took the whole thing over the edge with cuteness. Three color paints were offered – lime, orange and strawberry jam, though the only downside was that only the red was visible on the canvas, an unfortunate error though we understand their efforts was to make it as edible and natural as possible, so no artificial coloring was added.

So not to take up the whole canvas, here is my little masterpiece =)

Besides satisfying your sweet tooth, trays of bite sized savoury treats were also available.

Afternoon tea is not complete without scones. Here they offer an array of whimsical scones shaped in squares, triangles, rectangles and circles!

You’ll also get your own tray of goodies where you can decorate and demolish at your table! Cake pops, victorian sponge, cookies and a mini cheesecake canvas. It was all too pleasing to the eyes, nose and mouth!

I’m always in awe of Grand Hyatt’s teams’ attention to detail, and this afternoon tea was no different. Although Peter Mcdonald was only present at Tea until 15th, this promotion will go on until March 31st, so book now! Priced at $329 + 10% per person on weekends and $298 + 10% per person on weekdays, with unlimited visits to the ice cream station.   Make sure you have a light lunch before you go, you’ll want to try everything!

Peter Mcdonald’s work is also on display around the hotel year round, so you can take a look whenever you’re there! For more information on the artist, click here.