Monthly Archives: August 2014

Pig trotters: cheap ingredients make atas foods

Pig trotter, butter beans and chorizo stew on a bed of lentils and a rocket top

So while we were at Paris, we returned to this small rustic cafe where the only way of ordering food for non French speaking folks like us is to point, draw or guess. Well I guess we guessed right when served steaming hot bowls of lentils with a chunk of ham. Yes, chunk. It’s as though the chef didn’t bother to cut/weigh the ham before cooking. Just as well. We (or mostly me) was famished from all the walking and carrying xiaoliang around.

The lunch was as extraordinarily filling and good. So who says French food 吃不饱 (not filling)??

Pig trotter
2 pig trotters, with meaty portions of the (front) legs attached. Cut lengthwise by butcher.
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
1 onion
1 corn
1 bulb garlic, cut into half
Some coriander stalks

Bring two pots of water to a boil. Put all the veggies in one and the pig trotters in another.
Let as much gunk to be released from the trotters as possible. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Remove trotters onto a tray. Discard the dirty water. Rinse trotters if necessary and transfer into the pot with veggies.
Bring to boil and allow to simmer slowly for about 3 hours.
Remove trotters into a large tray.
Strain the trotter stock into a large container, leave uncovered for an hour, cover, refrigerate and reserve for making ramen soup base (to be described at the end of the post).
Meanwhile remove all the bones from the trotters. Reserve the bones for the ramen soup base. Separate some large pieces of skin to make pork crackling. Tear the rest of the meat and skin into small chunks. We may use them immediately or keep in fridge to use for another day.

Oven baked pork crackling
Preheat oven 240degC. Place the big pieces of skin in a single layer on an oiled baking tray. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt. Bake in hot oven for 10 mins, turn down the temperature to 200degC and bake for another 30 minutes or till nicely blistered and crispy

Pig trotters with butter beans and chorizo
Trotter meat and skin (sans the large pieces) of the above preparation
1 can of butter beans
Half a chorizo, diced finely
A pinch of fennel or cumin seeds.
Parsley or coriander leaves
Combine everything except the leaves in a pot. Add salt and pepper. Add some water to loosen up. Bring to a boil. Simmer (covered) for 20 minutes for the flavours to marry. Add leaves and simmer for 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary.

Lentils (for2)
In a small saucepan, put half a cup of puy lentils, a small chunk of carrot, celery and onion and enough water to cover an inch over the lentils.
Bring to boil and simmer for 20 mins. Remove veggies. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.

Wash 2 handful of rocket leaves, spin dry and dress with olive oil and salt

In a dish with a little depth, spread a layer of lentils. Add a generous portion on top of the lentils. Top with a handful of rocket leaves and a few pieces of pork crackling.

Eat immediately as you must be hungry by then..

Ramen soup base
Pig trotter stock
Trotter bones
Chicken bones
To continue to make the ramen soup base, bring the pig trotter stock and trotter bones from the above preparation to a boil. Add chicken bones. Simmer for 3 hours.





This is a 2-stage recipe, best to start in the night, and bake on the following day.

375g bread flour
40g sugar
5g salt
7g instant yeast
60ml lukewarm water or milk
3 eggs
100 g unsalted butter cubed and softened

Mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water/milk in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook fixed on. Mix well. While mixing add eggs one at a time. Add butter cube by cube. Keep mixing (I used my kitchenaid at speed 2) for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth. Transfer into a medium bowl, cover with film and rest in fridge overnight.

Take the dough out of the fridge in the morning. Allow it to sit for half an hour at room temperature. Form 6-8 balls of dough. Either put the balls into a baking tin or free standing as is. Cover with a lightly damped cloth and proof for 3.5 hours.

Preheat the oven 200 degC. Once the dough goes into the oven, reduce temperature to 180degC. Bake for 20 mins. Reduce to 160degC and bake for another 10mins or so.

Paris. Get ready to drool.

Have we not posted anything about the paris trip in May? Gasp!


Laudaree breakfast is just WOW


Pierre hermes macaroons in spring colours


Home cooked snack (left overs from xiaoliang’s meals ingredients)


Simple breakfast after grocert shopping


Check out the glorious vegetables


Apples here come in crates. (I sound so amazed cos we have only seen apples in cardboard boxes). Xiaoliang got a free apple from the stall too!


See the glow?


Yummy nutella crepe and a asparagus cheese one. Complete with super yummy and super unbelievable priced cider.


A very rustic lunch of lentils and ham. With a huge blob of butter (butter in france is unlike any)