Sunday, February 19, 2017

Newbie Kitchen: A first-timer's attempt at "BBQ" Beef Brisket!

Welcome to our second episode of Newbie Kitchen! In this series of videos we tackle a recipe or dish which we've never cooked before, purely with guidance from the almighty Internet! Today, we're trying out a rather ambitious and time-consuming cook: "BBQ" Beef Brisket!

We put "BBQ" in parentheses because we live in an apartment, so actual smoking/bbq'ing isn't an option; Let's see if sous vide works just as well!


Step 1 - Brine:
→ 1.6kg Beef Brisket (we could only find Australian grass-fed beef)
→ 90g Salt
→ 60g Brown Sugar
→ 45g Liquid Smoke

Mix all ingredients & refrigerate. Apparently if you have an injector/syringe, injecting the meat with the solution brings down the brine time to about 48 hours. We didn't inject and brined for 6 days instead.

Step 2 - Fake Smoke Ring:
→ 5g Curing Salt / Prague Powder #1

Dissolve in a small amount of brine before mixing back into the container. This step is purely for cosmetics (to make the brisket look like it was BBQ'ed) and is therefore optional.

Step 3 - Glaze & Sous Vide:
→ 80g Molasses
→ 40g Liquid Smoke
→ 20g Soy Sauce

Use a pastry brush to glaze the Brisket before Sous Vide'ing at 68°C for 24hours. Note: we had quite a bit of leftover glaze so you could probably halve the ingredients.

Step 4 - Rub:
→ 50g Salt
→ 67g Brown Sugar
→ 35g Black Pepper
→ 15g Smoked Paprika
→ 15g Mustard Powder
→ 10g Onion Powder
→ 5g Garlic powder

Use a pastry brush to glaze the Brisket before liberally sprinkling on the rub. Note: we had a significant amount of leftover rub so you could probably reduce the ingredients to a third.

Step 5 - Bake:

We finished the Brisket in a 125°C oven for almost 3 hours to bake on the bark (crust).

Finished Product & Verdict:

First Time Attempt BBQ Brisket

This Brisket was amazing! Savory and mega-juicy, with a superb bark; We dare say it's a lot better than the majority of commercial (i.e. sold in restaurants) Briskets that we've tried! The bark might perhaps do with less sugar and more black pepper though, but other than that we're absolutely delighted with the result & can't wait to try it again!

If you enjoyed the video, and/or you'd like to share more tips & tricks, we'd absolutely love to hear from you: Leave us your comments below!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Newbie Kitchen: A first-timer's attempt at Traditional Fettuccine Carbonara!

Welcome to our inaugural episode of Newbie Kitchen! In this series of videos we'll tackle a recipe or dish which we've never cooked before, purely with guidance from the almighty Internet! Today, we're trying out two different takes on the traditional way of making Carbonara - i.e. without any dairy. Let's see whether two total newbies can nail it on the first try!


List of Ingredients (for 1 portion):
→ 50-60g Guanciale (cured Italian pork jowl)
→ 30-40g Pecorino Romano (Italian sheep's milk cheese)
→ 60-70g Pasta (we used Fettuccine in this video)
→ 1-2 Egg Yolks
→ Black Pepper
→ Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Tips & Tricks for the Newbie Cook:

#1: You don't need Olive Oil - it depends how much oil your Guanciale (or Pancetta or Bacon) renders out into the pan.

First Time Attempt Traditional Carbonara

#2: Know your pasta! We didn't know how long to cook this pasta so we just winged it (wang it?); it turned out slightly undercooked.

First Time Attempt Traditional Carbonara

#3: Heat is not your friend (when blending in the egg yolks). Take your pan off the heat otherwise you risk scrambling the egg yolks instead.

First Time Attempt Traditional Carbonara

Finished Product & Verdict:

First Time Attempt Traditional Carbonara

It was pretty damn good! Although we're not exactly too sure how much of that success was down to dumb beginners' luck. Will have to find out later on when we try cooking this dish again with our leftover pork jowl and sheep's cheese, though.

If you enjoyed the video, and/or you'd like to share more tips & tricks, we'd absolutely love to hear from you: Leave us your comment below!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

$20 Good Eats: Uncle Leong Signature (Waterway Point, Punggol)

How much must a meal be priced at to be called "affordable?"

Singapore's food possibly has the hugest price range in the world: We've got s$2 Chicken Rice all the way up to s$530 dinners. We think what is most interesting for the most of us, though, is trying to find a sweet spot somewhere in between - good food that won't break the bank. So for 2017 we're going to look for ho chiak places at (or maybe slightly over) $20 - the price range which, to us, is considered affordable.

Without further ado, our first entry for our $20 Good Eats series is from Uncle Leong Signature in Waterway Point (Punggol)!

Uncle Leong Signature Crab Meat Fried RiceUncle Leong Signature Seafood Fried Rice

With our budget of $20 in mind we skipped past the crab and abalone pages on the menu, and ordered a duo of carbs: Crab Meat and Seafood Fried Rice. Flavour-wise the fried rice was pretty good, with a decent amount of crab meat / seafood, but distinctly lacking in wok hei.

Uncle Leong Signature Minced Meat Tofu

The Minced Meat Tofu was up next: Minced pork, mushrooms, and zha chai (Szechuan preserved vegetable) steamed on a bed of beancurd. Interestingly enough the soy sauce-based gravy tasted a lot like the (also soy sauce based) gravy typically used in steaming fish.

Uncle Leong Signature Chinese Spinach with Eggs

For our daily helping of vegetables we chose the Chinese Spinach with Eggs, flavoured nicely with ikan bilis (anchovies). What we didn't appreciate so much was that no effort was made to combine/mix the spinach - cooked separately and heaped in a lump in the middle/bottom of the dish - with the eggs and gravy.

Uncle Leong Signature Lemon Chicken

Finally, we round out our dinner with a protein: Lemon Chicken. The still-moist-and-juicy chicken was deep-fried well with a crispy crust, but the lemon sauce was just so-so lah (was perhaps a bit too sweet).

We can't quite recall the exact per-dish prices, but we do know that the total bill for four stomachs (of average appetite) was pretty much exactly s$80. The food's solid, if unspectacular, and took a somewhat pedestrian 35 minutes to arrive. Nevertheless felt that it was pretty good value for money for a nice variety of food in air-conditioned comfort.

Uncle Leong Signature is on the B2 level of Waterway Point, Punggol (connected to the MRT station), and is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Lunch set meals are available for 4pax onwards; Dinner set meals from 6pax onwards. Reservations not accepted; Non-halal.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

BBQ Gathering: Meat Compilation (with different varieties of flavors)

Since we've shifted into our own home where we can book BBQ pit. It's time for us to compile our list of exploration and share them with our readers.

Lamb Chops
Preparation: Cut off lamb into individual Lamb Chops.
Season: Salt, Black Pepper
We bought both from Culina

Japanese Wagyu Yakiniku A4 - Toriyama Gunma
Preparation: Sliced approx 5mm x 40mm size.
Season: Salt
Iberico Pork Secreto
Preparation: Sliced approx 5mm x 40mm size.
Season: Salt
We bought both from Huber's Butchery

Chicken Mid-Wings
We ordered from http://www.cmyfood.com/
Chicken Sausages
We ordered from http://www.cmyfood.com/


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