Tempura Fish

After what seems to be long hiatus, my blog is back! And I will try my best to update it regularly! Today's offering is yet another version of fish and chips. I know it is not very healthy (fried fish and fried potatoes!) but every once in a while, I give in. It is fish, after all. Think of all the omega-3 fatty acids that we're gonna take in! Kidding aside, the real reason of this dish was that hubby was on a "tempura kick" and he wanted everything dipped in it!

As the title suggested, there was nothing really fancy about this dish. Just fish in tempura batter. I tried fish with cornmeal, parmesan, mushroom, etc - so why not with Tempura? I love how tempura keeps food light and very crunchy!

What you need:

3 haddock fillets, cut in small pieces
Old Bay seasoning
Tempura mix
Canola Oil, for cooking

What to do:

Season both sides of fish pieces with Old Bay seasoning. Set aside.

Fish seasoned with Old Bay

In a frying pan, heat about 1/4 cup of oil (more or less, depending on the depth of your pan) over medium heat. 

Make tempura batter according to package instructions. Make sure you put the batter bowl over ice to help keep it cool. It will make for a crispier texture.

Dip fish pieces into the tempura batter, making sure the whole surface is covered. Transfer fish to hot oil and fry until golden brown. Place on paper towels or newspaper to drain oil. Serve with french fries and malted vinegar. Enjoy!

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Not a fan of Old Bay seasoning? Just use salt and pepper.
2. Do not overfry! The fish would be chewy.
3. Use your leftover fish in fish tacos! Yummy!
4. If you are left with more batter than fish, use it with veggies! I recommend red peppers! 
5. When making the batter, do not over mix! It will activate gluten and will make the batter chewy. Not good! :-(

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Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno

This is my take on 4Rivers' delicious appetizer that hubby loves (and craves EVERYDAY!). It was so easy to make - only took me a few minutes to make them. And even a shorter time to eat them all up.

Since there were just 3 of us, I just used about 6 pieces of jalapenos. I should have known better and bought a lot. We will definitely make more of these in the future!

What you need:

6 pieces Jalapeno peppers
1/2 block (4 oz) of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 pieces of bacon

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

Wash the jalapenos and cut them in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, remove the seeds from the jalapenos carefully. Set aside.

Combine the softened cream cheese and the cheddar cheese. Make sure the cheddar is distributed evenly.

Slice the bacon strips in half (you only need about half a strip for each jalapeno). Set aside. Scoop about half a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the jalapeno. Gently press so you fill in the nooks and crannies! Wrap the jalapeno by rolling a bacon strip around it. Continue doing this process until you use up all your ingredients.

Place the wrapped jalapenos on a metal rack and bake for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Want more heat? Don't remove all the seeds of the jalapeno.
2. Be careful - those seeds are hot! Always wear protective covering (like gloves) and avoid touching your face after handling seeds!
3. If you want more bacon, use a single strip for each half of jalapeno. Just add a bit more cooking time so the bacon would cook through.
4. When buying fresh jalapenos for this recipe, choose the bigger ones so you get more of the filling! However, you can still get the small ones for those one-bite jalapenos! ;-) 


Our First Eggs!

Find the golf ball!
One of our pullets is finally a mom hen!

I saw these two eggs which were sandwiching the golf ball, and I gave out a little squeal of delight. It really was egg-citing. Hahaha.

For those of you wondering why there are golf balls in the nesting boxes, it is to train them to lay eggs in that spot. We were also hoping that it would stimulate them to start laying early, and I guess it did work. Buff Orpingtons are supposed to lay around 20 weeks, but one of our girls laid at 17 weeks. 

Look how small they seem in hubby's hand!

Surprisingly, the first egg was not jelly-like (as some "first" eggs are due to the lack of calcium in the pullets' diet). I think it is because they get a bit of sand every time they peck from the ground.

I am eagerly waiting for the other pullets to lay! Time to line up my egg recipes! 

P.S. Did you know that unwashed chicken eggs will stay fresh for up to a month without refrigeration? It is because of a natural substance called the "bloom" which coats the egg shells and prevents bacteria from getting into these shells. Market-sold eggs typically have been washed and their blooms removed, hence you need to refrigerate it.

So yes, those two little eggs in the picture have not been washed and are sitting in our kitchen counter waiting to be eaten. ;-)


Blue-Billed Ducks

I was amazed when I saw these beautiful ducks. One can't help but notice their bright blue beaks. 

They are blue-billed ducks, a native of Australia. But these particular ones actually call "Sea World" home. 

According to this Australian website, the males have the blue bills which is most evident during breeding season. Ah, so even in the animal world, males have to look their best to attract the females. 

Aren't they cute?

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