Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Seafood red curry

I am showcasing a simple Thai curry recipe here that you can make in just under 15 minutes. This is comfort food at its best during the cold season. I have included some European vegetables in this dish to show how versatile it can be.

2 heaped tbs of red curry paste (you can use homemade curry paste that you will find in my archive or the packeted version sold in the Asian shop)
5 stalks asparagus chopped in pieces
1 carrot- chopped
1 sprig coriander chopped
1/2 pkt of prawns
3 tbs wild mushrooms
1/2 can coconut milk
1/2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sugar

1. Heat oil and gently fry the curry paste. Add 1 cup of water.
2. Add vegetables and prawns.
3. Simmer for 10 mins and season with sugar, fish sauce and pinch of salt. Add coconut milk.
4. Serve hot with rice.

Panna Cotta with Cherries

I love the taste of panna cotta- its so light and creamy. I placed my homegrown cherries on it and it was delicious!

2 cups heavy cream
50 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2.5 tsp powdered gelatin
3 tbs cold water

1. Heat cream and sugar in a saucepan. Add vanilla sugar.
2. In the meantime, sprinkle powdered gelatin in the cold water and let it stand for five minutes.
3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the gelatin mixture and stir thoroughly.
4. Pour into prepared cups. This recipe can be divided into four cups.
5. Keep it in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
6. Garnish with cherries and mint leaf.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Glass Noodle Soup

I had some extra glass noodles in a tupperware in the fridge and made myself a Chinese style noodle soup for lunch. Glass noodles are also popularly used in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. I love the texture of the noodles- its light and airy but suprisingly hearty at the same time.

50 g cooked glass noodle
3 tbs prawns
2 asparagus (chopped)
1 sprig coriander (chopped)
1 sprig spring onion (chopped)
25 g pork (finely sliced)
2 tbs wild mushroom (sliced)
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs chopped onion
1 slice ginger
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp light soya sauce
salt and pepper to season
1/2 red chilli finely sliced

1. Heat 1 tbs oil in a saucepan and cook onion, garlic and ginger until softened. Take care to make sure it doesnt get browned.
2. Add water to saucepan- (about 1/4) full and add the vegetables and meat, reserving the coriander and spring onion leaves.
3. When meat is cooked, add the seasonings and stir gently. Reduce to a simmer. Add the leaves.
4. Mix 1 tsp cornflour in water and add to thicken the soup slightly. (optional: you can break an egg into the noodle soup at this point)
5. Pour the soup over the prepared noodles in a deep glass dish. Serve.

Cornish Pasty- Asian Style

I made some giant pasties on Sunday morning for breakfast- but I put Asian fillings instead of the traditional beef and potatoes of the British style. Actually, we have in Singapore something called 'curry puffs' which has these fillings in mini- cornish style pasties. I didnt have the patience to make these mini puffs and opted to make two giant pasties instead.

Ingredients for pastry (shortcrust pastry)
200 g flour sieved
1/2 tsp salt
100 g cold butter (cut into small squares with a knife)
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbs cold water

1. Rub in butter into flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add baking powder and salt.
2. Stir in cold water and knead dough with hands. Use immediately or keep it cool in the refrigerator.

My fillings- Masala potatoes (please see in earlier archive)
Sardine- Mix 2 cans of sardines with 1 sliced red onion and 1 sliced red chilli)

1. Divide the dough in half. Shape it into balls and roll out as a big circle. Put filling in the middle. (1 filling per pasty). Wet the edges of the pastry and fold it in half. Crimp the ends, or use a fork and press it together. Glaze with the yolk of an egg.
2. Bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sundried Tomato Pesto

This has a more tangy flavour and you can add it to pasta and pizza sauces to get a stronger and more flavourful taste of tomato.
1 packet sundried tomatoes
150 parmesan cheese
50 g pines nuts
2 pips garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp rock salt
Bunch of basil leaves
1. Blend in a food processor.

Black Olive Pesto

A lovely finger food to spread on freshly cut-up baguettes. Smells heavenly too.

1 small jar pitted black olives
1/4 pack of sundried tomato
1 clove garlic
2 tbs olive oil
150 g parmesan cheese
3 tbs pine nuts
bunch of basil leaves

1. Blend the following ingredients in a mixer and serve with bread.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thai Glass Noodle Salad

This is a cool and refreshing noodle salad. Especially popular in the north of Thailand.

1/2 packet glass noodles
1 bunch coriander chopped
1 bunch mint leaves chopped
1 bunch spring onion chopped
1/2 red onion finely sliced
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 green lime - juice
4 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sugar
pinch of salt
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1 green chilli finely sliced- remove seeds

1. Boil water in a saucepan. Remove from heat and soak noodles. When noodles are softened, put in a colander to drain hot water away and wash with cold water. Use scissors to cut noodles so its easier to handle.
2. Mix in a salad bowl with the other ingredients.
3. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Scrambled eggs with Salmon

This is a decadent breakfast and yet so simple to make.

1 egg
1 tbs chopped smoked salmon
1 tbs grated cheese
pinch of salt

1. Mix the above ingredients in bowl.
2. Heat oil and pour mixture on the frying pan.
3. Allow it to cook at the bottom first before scrambling it so you get a nice mix of cooked and soft egg. This lets the cheese melt properly into the egg too.
4. Serve with bread.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cream of Tomato Soup

I just love the taste of fresh tomato soup. Pair with a freshly baked baguette and you are good to go!

8 tomatoes quartered
2 carrots sliced
1 white onion sliced
4 pips garlic sliced
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs philadelphia cream cheese or just regular cream
salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in pot and gently fry onion, garlic and carrots until soft and translucent. Add one cup of water.
2. Add tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes have softened.
3. Blend in food processor- I like to just blitz mine lightly so I still get some chunkiness of tomato and carrot in the soup.
4. Add the soup back to the pot and season. Mix in the cream cheese. (this is my own version, I find the cream cheese adds a lot of flavour to the soup. You can also add regular cream).
5. Serve with crusty bread.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Raita (Indian yogurt salad)

Raita is a good accompaniment to spicy food because it is cooling.

3 tbs yogurt (whisk until thickened)
1/2 cucumber (remove seeds and slice into cubes)
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt and pepper

1. Mix the above ingredients together. Serve.

Masala Potatoes

Masala potatoes are a great addition to any Indian dish- it can be eaten with chapatis and raita, be a side dish in an Indian platter or act as a filling to Indian samosas.

4 large potatoes, boiled and quartered
1/2 cup peas
1 white onion- chopped
1 thumbsized piece of ginger- minced
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilli chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs ghee

1. Heat ghee and fry cumin and coriander seeds lightly. Add onion and minced ginger and fry until lightly golden. Add green chilli.
2. Add potatoes and peas and mix well. Add spices and 1/2 cup water if the mixture gets too dry, allow to simmer.
3. Mix potatoes with spatula so that they become lightly crushed. Add salt. You can add coriander leaves as well if you have them around the house. Serve.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Salmon Tartines

I was served this dish in Paris - smoked salmon on buttered baguettes that had been lightly toasted. I couldnt believe how simple and yet delicious the dish tasted. A book I read on French food shared the basic principles of the cuisine- fresh, quality ingredients made simply so you can enjoy its flavours in its best form. So, I went out to the bakery and bought bread they had made that morning, used my ecological butter to butter the bread and bought scandinavian salmon that had been smoked the old fashioned way. It tasted absolutely divine. I topped this off with snippets of parsley from a plant in my kitchen.

1/2 baguette
ecological butter
good quality salmon

1. Bake sliced baguettes in oven until crisp on the outside and soft inside.
2. Butter the bread and placed smoked salmon on top.
3. Sprinkle with parsley or any other herb you may have in your kitchen. I reckon dill would have gone beautifully with the salmon.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Lamb Masala

This is similar to chicken masala- in this case we use lamb and potatoes. I buy my lamb from the butcher from Bazaar Vest and he provides very tender cuts of meat which is perfect for this dish.

200 g lamb sliced in cubes
2 potatoes (quartered)
1 red chilli sliced
1 onion sliced
5 pips garlic minced
1 thumbsized piece of ginger minced
1/2 can coconut milk
2 sprigs of coriander chopped
1 heaped tbs garam masala powder (or curry powder)
1/2 tbs tumeric powder
1/4 tbs chili powder
2 tbs ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tomato (quartered)

1. Heat ghee on pot and fry onions, garlic, cumin and ginger until fragrant and lightly browned.
2. Add lamb and cook until skin becomes slightly translucent on the outside. You can add a bit of water if the lamb starts to stick to the pan.
3. Add the spice powders and fry until fragrant.
4. Add 1/2 cup water and add potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are cooked. Then add tomato.
5. When tomato softens, add coriander and coconut milk.
6. Serve with basmati rice (I like to add a garnish of cucumber with tomato sauce on top, a childhood habit).