Monday, November 7, 2011

Macau Series (1) - Caldo Verde & Corned Beef Baquette

I am taking some time off - yes, the infamous gap year.  Whether I will actually be able to stay unemployed for the entire year is questionable - since I am a workaholic (sad but true) and when money runs out, money runs out... and no pay, no play... T_T  So far it's been 2 weeks and I have none not much other than sleeping like pandas and cleaning like Cinderella, with occasional socializing with old friends, which includes eating at holes in the wall and well-known restaurants alike :)


Ambitious plans are in the line up but plans don't always go as planned... so I won't divulge into them until they actually happens... but for those of you still reading this neglected blog, I will be doing a series of the good eats and maybe even some travel blogging this upcoming year...

So first off, I am in Macau!  Speaking of food in Macau, I have to mention Caldo Verde & Corned Beef Baquette.  It's what I crave every time I am in town.  Nevertheless, as Macau become more and more tourist-friendly (I am not saying it's a bad thing... although I do miss the old Macau dearly...), finding quality food at an affordable price become increasingly difficult...  so as usual, I had to DIY...

Caldo Verde

Found the recipe here, here, and everywhere - how come I never thought to look it up and make it in the US is still a mystery to me...  the ingredients are so basic...

As usual, I followed the general directions but I deviate from it every now and then.  Instead of using the kale called for by the recipe, I used the leaves from a Chinese cabbage (my aunt gave me some organic home grown Chinese cabbage that I am just dying to eat).  It's the same thing.  You can pretty much use any green leaf vegetable.  Next, I boiled the potatoes with skin and all in water for about 45 minutes instead of peeling them, which would cook faster.  As you can also tell from the picture, I also used a generous amount of potatoes and chouriço (you can also use linguiça).  Because the ingredients are so simple, the quality does matter for this soup!  And adding olive oil really takes this soup to another level... so don't count calories on this one!

chouriço!

imported olive oil
 Corned Beef Baquette
The corned beef baquette no longer taste the same at my favorite place... I used to eat this before dinner - and yes I still ate dinner afterward - when I was in HS...

After trying the bun at a few more places and ended up being disappointed... I had but no choice other than to make my own... 
After some serious Googling, I found this and this... (I am surprised there are not many recipe out there)  In my mind, the combination of the two would probably yield closest to what I want my corned beef to taste like...

Ingredients:
  • 1 can corned beef, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • salt, pepper, and curry powder to taste
  • 6 mini baquettes
    Directions:
    1. Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) on medium heat. Add the garlic onion and cook a few minutes, until translucent.  Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper and curry powder to taste.
    2. Mix in the chopped corned beef after you can smell the aroma of the spices.  Spread out evenly over the pan. Increase the heat to high or medium high and press down on the mixture with a metal spatula.
    3. Do not stir the corned beef, but let them brown. If you hear them sizzling, this is good. Use a metal spatula to peak underneath and see if they are browning. If nicely browned, use the spatula to flip sections over in the pan so that they brown on the other side. Press down again with the spatula.  Less is more here when it comes to oil.
    4. (optional) Remove from heat, stir in chopped parsley.
      You can make in bulk and store it in the fridge up to 3 days.  Reheat in microwave to serve.

      my favorite brand

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