Bone's Mega Simpler @ Bone's American Diner Restaurant


Summer is not perfect without some proper barbecues. Supermarkets are  packed with great discounts for marinated meat, poultry and sausages. Adverts and pictures with tempting grilled meats printed on weekly grocery catalogues make me drool. I craved terribly for barbecue ribs and eventually dragged Phoebe  along for my barbecue quest.
 Bones, the American style restaurant
We opted for Bones, the American style restaurant. The initial plan was to order a full slap of ribs. However the Bone's Mega Simpler on the menu caught our eyes. The course comprises of 4 pieces of buffalo wings, 3 pieces of crispy tenders, 3 pieces of the original American spareribs, 5 pieces of onion rings, a bowl of crispy American sweet potatoes, hot sauce and aioli (oil and garlic sauce).

The portion is rather generous and is definitely suffice for small eaters like us to share a course. I would say for merely €13.50, this sampler set is definitely value for money given the fact you can sample the specialties here. There are variety top-ups and dips which you can opt for to go with the set which range between €1.50 to €8. 

The spareribs tasted good too. The ribs were juice and tender.
As a potatoes lovers, we topped a bowl of Bones's home style potato slices for merely €2. Unlike the regular fries, these home style potato slices were crisscut. I am a big fan of crisscut fries, so i found no reason to dislike it. However, the sweet potatoes fries wowed me. They were crispy and sweet in taste which I found they tasted lighter than the crisscut potatoes.

I was let down by the hot wings as I expected them to be fire-grilled instead of deep-fried.

Overall it was a good meal but the element of grill has been minimized. I ended up having more deep-fried stuffs than my original crave of barbecues. Perhaps another round of barbecue spareribs soon.


Homemade Korean Bibimbap

Korean mixed rice bowl
Gochuchang (Korean chili paste) is one of the top essential condiments in my little pantry. Gochuchang is a very versatile ingredient which I have been using for many of my recipes which include:-
1) Dakgalbi (Korean spicy stir fried chicken)
2) Korean pancake 
3) Gochuchang roasted chicken 
4) Kimchi fried rice
5) Bibimguksu (Korean spicy mixed noodles)
and many more.

Yes, I am using this magic ingredient for my all-time-favourite Korean dish, bibimbap also refer as Korean mixed rice bowl. I never get tired with bibimbap, in fact i can have it all day long. There are a lot of cutting and stir-frying tasks involved in preparing for a bowl of sumptuous bibimbap. However, it could be rewarding where you can have all the ingredients cooked and set aside for later use. Usually if I am making bibimbap at home, I will make a huge portion which could last me for breakfast,  lunch and dinner ... sometimes even supper.

Homemade Bibimbap

The typical bibimbaps served in the restaurants usually come with bulgogi, bean sprout, spinach, carrot, cucumber, mushroom, gosari and egg. Bibimbap is well enjoy with a bowl of steaming hot beansprout soup or seaweed soup. There is no restrictions to the ingredients for your homemade bibimbap. I usually make my side dishes based on what I have in my refrigerator and pantry. I even skip the soup by substituting it with a cup of warm Korean corn tea. Yum!

Here you go the recipe for Denise' homemade bibimbap.

Ingredients
Rice
Gochujang
seaweed
chicken pieces (ready-made salad chicken pieces)
eggs (fried egg - sunny side up)
button mushroom (sliced)
carrot (cut into matchsticks)
leeks
spinach (click here for
sigeumchi-namul recipe)
sesame seed
cooking oil
sugar, salt and pepper to taste
soy sauce

Steps
1. Heat up a tsp of cooking oil and stir fry the carrot. Season with some salt and pepper. Dish out and set aside.
2. Repeat the same process for leeks and spinach.
(Alternatively, you may make sigeumchi namul by check out the link above)
3. Saute the button mushroom with some soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Dish out and set aside.
4. Stir fry the chicken pieces or heat up in the oven (low heat) for 8-10 minutes.
5. Assemble all ingredients or topping on a bowl of steaming white rice (refer to the picture below)
6. Top the sunny-side-up egg in the middle of the bowl and place a scoop of gochujang at the side.
7. Sprinkle some seaweed and sesame seeds on top
8. Mix everything together and enjoy.

Korean mixed rice bowl

I prefer the sesame seeds to be sprinkled last on the 'mixture' so it will look more appealing. Regardless of the sequence, the bibimbap still tasted fantastic. The homemade bibimbap is hands down my best dish of the week. Thumbs up!!

Toast Waffle with Nutella and Banana


I do have a soft spot for wafflers and crispy crepes despite the fact I don't have a sweet tooth. This may be due to a waffle food-stand in the shopping mall just a stone throw away from where I stay back home. 

The ingredients for the waffle batter are simple, merely eggs, flour, water, sugar and milk. What made the difference is the golden ratio or ideal measurement of each ingredient. The waffles are freshly made upon order and customer could choose various toppings to go with the waffle such as chocolate spread, nutella, peanut butter, coconut jam (kaya) and various fruit jam. The great smile of the freshly baked waffle always attract many passer-by. Despite the long queue, waffle lovers still willing to wait patiently for a bite of warm and fluffy waffle. It is definitely worth the wait.

I miss waffle so much until I actually started to surf for waffles recipe. During my recent shopping for a waffle maker, I accidentally discovered the ready made toast waffle from the cookies section. I bought a packet to try. Little did I know, the waffles tasted super good than they look. They have very similar texture to the waffle I am familiar with - moist, soft and fluffy with strong castella cake flavour. 


This is the packaging of the toast waffles. It comes with 6 pieces of rectangular size waffles, weighing in at 250g. It cost a bit over a Euro. The waffles may not look appealing from the humble packaging but they tasted very good. You may warm the waffle in the oven for 3minutes or you may also eat it on its own. They taste both equally good.

The ready-made toast waffle is indeed a perfect option for waffle lover who has no time to make their own waffle at home. They can be a quick fix as the everyday breakfast or even desserts when you anticipate guests coming over. Just warm up the waffles in the oven and top it up with 2 scoops of ice-cream and drizzle of chocolate sauce. For a healthier version, waffle top with mixed berries or your favourite fruits with a drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of powder sugar.

Toast waffler

I had tried a variety of toppings or spreads on the waffler, but the best has to be Banana with Nutella. It combine to form the "Perfect Trinity" - waffle, banana and nutella.



Cantonese Style Braised Udon with Ham


Gloomy weekend hit again despite the fact that we are still in summer. Ms.Sun refused to come out to play instead Mr. Rain did. It rained since the morning and temperature dropped till 14 degrees. Welcome to the summer in northern Europe.

I was craving for something soupy and warm. A bowl of clear udon soup would be too simple to ease my misery for the gloomy depression, hence Phoebe suggested a pot of steaming Cantonese style hot braised udon with thick egg gravy. It sounded great ... but I did have limited ingredients in the fridge. The essential fish balls or vegetable balls  were "temporary out of stock" from my pantry as I have not replenish the stock for quite sometimes. Same old excuse - I am too busy!!

Phoebe the  creative chef came to the rescue. The 'chef' made used of the ingredients available in the pantry to put up a super delicious braised udon. The secret ingredient which made the dish scored is non other the ham. Yes, you heard it right, the cold-cut ham slices which we usually eat with bread for breakfast. The saltiness of the ham added the magic touch to the overall dish where the udon and gravy were packed with the soothing smokiness taste. You may keep the sodium usage to minimum as the saltiness from the ham is just about right.

Ingredients
2 packets of udon 

30g of ham (cut into strips)
2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 beaten eggs
Chinese cabbage (cut into bite size)

Carrot (sliced)
Scallion as garnishing

Sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups of water
2 tbsp corn starch

1/2 tbsp white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Steps
1. Cook the udon in hot water for 2 min. Drain and run the udon under cold water to remove the excess starch.
2. Heat up some cooking oil in the pan,
stir fry the minced garlic till aroma.
3. Add in the Chinese cabbage, carrots, ham, sauce and bring to boil.
4. Add in the udon and simmer until the udon soaked up the broth.

5. Add in the beaten egg.

Sprinkle some scallion on top of the udon and serve. Not a complex dish but a dish with great flavours. Try out the recipe and you may like it.

Delicious Egg Puff Recipe


The best way to spend rainy weekend is to conduct some "food experiments" at home. Yeah, that was what I did last Sunday. I did two simple types of pastries with the ready made pastry sheets I bought from the supermarket. Showcase in this post is the easy egg puff recipe. If you like eggs as well as puff pastry (like me), you will surely like these egg puffs. They taste really good so make sure you make a few extras.

Ingredients
140g frozen pastry sheet, 4 eggs, half onion (sliced), 1 medium size red capsicum (cut into 4cm long stripes), garlic powder, 1 egg yolk (beaten), salt and pepper, some olive oil.


Steps
1. Defrost the pastry sheet by following the instructions on the label.
2. Cut the pastry sheet into 10x5cm size - any square or rectangular shape you prefer.
3. About 1cm from the edge of the cut pastry sheet, slightly make a fine line using the back of the knife. Don't cut the edge. The purpose for this step is to create the frame for the filling later.Store in the fridge for 30 minutes to fix the shape.
4. Lay the onion and capsicum on the baking tray. Drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle some garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven under 175c heat for 20 minutes.
6. Remove the pastry sheet from the fridge and assemble the filling. Make sure no filling at the outer edges.
7. Brush the edges with egg yolk and pop into the preheated oven to bake for 10 minutes (175c heat). The edge should rise and puff up after 10 minutes. You should see the 'frame' created.
8. Crack an egg into the 'frame' for each individual pastry sheet and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
9. Sprinkle some pepper and salt on top of the egg and serve the egg puff while warm. YUM!! 


I have made the pesto pastry rolls as well on the same day but they turned out  a bit ugly. Reason being, the greedy me had indeed sprinkled way too much cheese on top. They oozed from the roll and turned the pastry soggy. Perhaps I should make another batch next time.

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