Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dragon Willow Stirfry and Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings

To be honest, washing leafy vegetables does scare me a little - am always paranoid about not cleaning them enough and would spend hours soaking and rinsing and soaking and rinsing.... my mom used to tease that if I cook leafy vegetables, the whole family would go hungry because not only would I spend ages washing them but I would also throw away a lot of "imperfect" leaves.

I saw this "dragon willow" veg at pasar malam the other day and I made a mental note to try it out some time because they looked like they have less dirt on them compared to most other leafy vegs. Didnt know it was called "dragon willow" until a visit to Jaya Jusco yesterday where stuffs are labeled unlike pasar malams.

I thought dried shrimps would go with it but checked with an elderly lady who was arranging the vegs then. I was told that garlic would do fine but if want extra kick, some belacan would do the trick. Now, the idea of belacan is great for me but I don't think it will go well with my other half. So, the solution was to stick to dried shrimps and garlic.

And she added that it's good to be eaten when having stomach upsets as it has soothing effects - this I have to study a little before believing. However, I had no luck when I tried to Google "dragon willow". The search produced results related to alchemy and magic and I didn't really have the patience to do further research. So, any info on this is most welcomed by a very ignorant-about-leafy-veg me.

I soaked the whole bunch and washed them well before breaking them into 1.5 inch lengths. I made sure that they were well-drained and separated the stems from the curly beard-like tendrils/shoots (I think).

Chopped up some garlic and soaked some dried shrimps before washing and draining water off the shrimps.Then, I proceeded to heat up some corn oil in the pan before frying the garlic and dried shrimp till fragrant. Added in the stems. Increased the heat and stirfry for a little while before finally adding the tendrils of the "dragon willow". Gave a few shakes of salt.

I liked the stems a lot - for some reason, the tendrils were very much crunchier than the stems even though it went into the pan not too long after the stems. Overall, delicious with steamed rice or porridge.

Summary of ingredients for "dragon willow" stirfry :
"dragon willow"
corn, canola or any cooking oil
dried shrimps

On a different subject, I also made some hot and spicy chicken wings just because it's weekend and we were craving wings.

The most important thing about making wings is to ensure that they are patted real dry... so that the skin won't be gooey when grilled. Mine weren't THAT dry cos I was in a hurry (as usual).

The wings were then rubbed with some olive oil and seasoned with chopped garlic, paprika, Tabasco sauce (darn, makes the chicken wet was supposed to be chilli flakes but I have been hunting for chilli flakes for months and the nearest I could lay my hands on was chilli powder which I do not like), dried oregano, freshly ground sea salt (more would be better) and black pepper. I left the seasoned chicken in a sealed container overnight. Give it a little shake or two.

BBQ them wings after. Or you can grill them in the oven (with a drip pan below to catch the fat - watching the fat dripped down made me less guilty about eating wings) at approx. 220 deg C for 25 to 30mins or until they are golden. Watch the wing tips though - they burn fast - seal with aluminium foil if needed.

Summary of ingredients for wings :
chicken wings
olive oil
Tabasco or chilli flakes
dried oregano
black pepper

Too bad I didn't make any dip (I like blue cheese dip, yum!!!)

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