Friday, May 25, 2012

Chicken Teriyaki with Rice

Nowadays I dont make breakfast. I make lunch items for breakfast and a second lunch item for lunch. Such is an appetite of a pregnant woman is about to pop in two weeks. So this teriyaki was my breakfast this morning. Its a simple way to cook up left-over fillets of meat- it can be beef, pork or chicken. Serve with hot rice.

Ingredients:
200 g chicken fillet (or pork/beef)
2 tbs light soya sauce
1 tbs dark soya sauce
1 tbs grated ginger
1 tbs mirin (or you can substitute with apple cider vinegar)
1 tbs honey
1 tsp dark syrup (my trick to get the meat to caramelize, you can also substitute with brown sugar)
salt and pepper
1 tbs chopped spring onions

1. Cut up the chicken fillet into thin chops.
2. Mix up the rest of the ingredients as marinade (except for spring onions). Keep meat in the marinade. I marinaded by meat for 1.5 days in the fridge before cooking it. The longer you marinade, the more flavoursome the meat becomes. I think 1.5 days was the max I could go before I cooked it.
3. Heat up grill pan and fry your slivers of meat until it browns up and glazes beautifully.
4. Remove meat to platter, and then pour in rest of marinade into pan to make a simple thick sauce. At this point, you can lightly cook your spring onions in the sauce. I have the sauce on the rice in the picture, but its located behind the chops so you cant see it so clearly.
5. For a true Japanese experience, place rice in the bowl with chops and sauce and eat with chopsticks.

This made a very hearty breakfast for me this morning. I think I will add a fried egg to it next time round :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

So easy and perfect for afternoon tea.

Ingredients:
Bread (toasted and cut in triangles)
Cream cheese
Smoked Salmon (with dill)

1. Lather cream cheese on hot bread.
2. Place smoked salmon on top.

 Bon Appetit

Monday, May 14, 2012

Slow-cooked black sauce pork

Back to my mother's black sauce pork recipe- which I have to say has been a life saver throughout this last trimester of pregnancy. The large amount of ginger used in the dish for the braising of the pork really helps with the heartburn I have been experiencing.

So what I have discovered is that the black sauce pork yields a bigger broth in the slow cooker than the stove top without compromising on taste. If what you are looking for is pork cooked with a thick glassy rich sauce- then stick with the stove top. If what you want is a more broth-like consistency to the dish- the slow-cooker is what you should use. My husband finds that there isnt enough sauce on the stove top version for his rice (he likes his rice to be swimming in broth)- though personally I prefer the thickened sauce of the stove top version.

So here is the slow cooker version of the dish:

Ingredients:
1 head garlic finely chopped
1 large piece of ginger sliced thinly
250 g pork cut in cubes
1 red chilli finely sliced
1 sprig of scallions chopped
6 tbs dark soya sauce
3 tbs light soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp shaoxing wine
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbs kecap manis
salt and pepper for seasoning


1. Heat oil in pot and fry garlic and ginger till browned and fragrant. Add to slow cooker.
2. Add pork and the rest of the ingredients.
3. Slow cook on high for 4 hours if you want your dish to be done soon- otherwise medium or low for 8 hours. Add scallions only at the end of the cooking process.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Spaghetti Puttanesca

This spaghetti is simple to make and very delicious. Originally known in Italian as 'whore's style spaghetti'. The combination of olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and chilli flakes in this dish give it rich intense flavours- salty and fiery at the same time. It is my favourite tomato-based pasta.

Ingredients:
800 g chopped tomato (in 2 cans)
12 anchovy fillets (the ones that come packed in oil)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbs capers
8 black olives sliced in half or quarters
sprinkle of pepperoncino (Italian chilli powder)- optional (I happened to have a bottle I bought from Italy)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in pot and fry garlic until softened and fragrant.
2. Add anchovy fillets and cook until the fillets break up slightly.
3. Add chopped tomato and cook until sauce-like. Add chilli flakes.
4. Add capers and black olives and season with pepperoncino, salt and pepper.
5. Serve with spaghetti. You can garnish with basil leaves or Italian parsley.

Spiced Basmati Rice

This is a spiced basmati rice that Neha served with her saag. It was very aromatic and made the perfect accompaniment to her dish.

Ingredients:
1 cup rice (soaked in water)
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
5 whole peppercorns
1 red onion (sliced)
1 tomato chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
pinch of salt

1. Heat oil and fry bay leaves, peppercorns and cloves.
2. Then add the onion and reduce heat to low. Cook until onion is well-browned and softened.
3. Add chopped tomato and cook
4. When tomato is half cooked, add the rice (drained) with a pinch of salt and frozen peas.
5. Cook the rice slightly before adding water- add 1/2 cups of water gradually until the rice is fully cooked.

Neha's Saag

A good friend of mine from India, Neha came to my home to make me this delicious saag which was a recipe passed down from her own mother. This is one of those golden recipes passed through families which makes it a precious keeper :-)

Ingredients:
1 pinch hing powder (also known as asofetida powder)
1 tbs chopped ginger
1 finely sliced green chilli
1 onion finely sliced
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
2 tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup soaked channa dhall
1 small chopped potato
3 large bunches of spinach leaves cleaned and chopped
1 small carrot sliced finely
3 cloves garlic chopped
pinch of salt

1. In a pressure cooker pot, heat oil and fry the hing powder until fragrant. Add chopped ginger.
2. Then add the chilli and onion and cook until softened.
3. Add the seasonings along with tomatoes, soaked channa dhall, potato, carrot and spinach. Cook until vegetables are softened.
4. Then screw on the lid of the pressure cooker and cook until the whistle of the pressure cook blows five times.
5. Remove from heat and allow to cook before opening. This is important- otherwise the hot contents of the food will scald your face.

In a separate frying pan, cook chopped garlic until browned. Add garlic and oil into the saag mix when the pot is cooled and the lid is opened.
Serve with chapati or spiced basmati rice.

Tiramisu

A lovely concoction of mascorpone cheese, sponge fingers, coffee and cocoa. I made mine an alcohol-free version. I also used pasteurised egg whites and yolks instead of fresh eggs for added safety. Serves 4 in the individual dessert cups.

Ingredients:

For the mascorpone cream filling:
2 pasteurised egg yolks
250 g mascorpone cheese
7 tbs sugar
2 pasteurised egg whites
pinch of salt

1. Start up the mixer and blend the egg whites with a pinch of salt and 4 tbs sugar until stiff.
2. Remove the egg white mixture and blend the cheese with egg yolks and rest of the sugar.
3. Fold in the stiff egg whites.

For the sponge fingers:- you can buy these from an Italian speciality shop
Make a strong coffee with 1 tbs coffee and a cup of water. Cool slightly and dip in the sponge fingers until softened.

To assemble the tiramisu- put a tbs of mascorpone cream filling in each dessert cup, add soaked sponge fingers, add another tbs of mascorpone cream filling and a tsp of cocoa powder, followed by another round of soaked sponge fingers and mascorpone cream filling and finally topping off with cocoa powder.

Sundried Tomato Paste

I love snacking, and now during the pregnancy, I have to think about 'healthy snacks' I can enjoy. This has been a top favourite- sundried tomato paste eaten with crunchy Italian breadsticks. It can also be served as a starter for an Italian inspired meal.

Ingredients:
1/2 jar of sundried tomatoes (around 3 heaped tbs minus the oil)
40 g parmesan cheese cut in chunks
A handful of fresh basil leaves
3 black olives
1 clove garlic
6 tbs olive oil
2 tbs pine nuts

1. Whizz the ingredients in a small blender.
2. Serve with breadsticks.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Fried Vermicelli

Fried vermicelli, or fried bee hoon as it is commonly known back in Singapore remains my most favourite breakfast. I make it at least once a month- and usually a large batch which gets me through at least 4 days. I have the recipe in the archives- for me, I usually make it with prawns, garlic, chilli and chye sim (chinese leafy vegetables). The pork version is also very delicious- (with thinly sliced pork instead of prawns, some people add both shrimp and pork/or other meats- I suppose you can call it the 'surf and turf 'special of fried vermicelli). Its good with an addition of beansprouts as well.

The seasonings that go into chinese fried vermicelli is sesame oil, dark and light soya sauce, a bit of kecap manis if you like- and I like to put in a splash of shao xing wine and chilli oil as well.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Tempura fish burger with homemade tartare sauce

There is no burger as delicious as a burger made from scratch with fresh fish, homemade dressing and hand-cut potato chips. It was a real treat. Beats a Mcdonalds fillet o' fish anytime.

Ingredients:

For the tempura battered fish:
2 pieces of pangasius fillet- cut in chunks that can fit a burger bun
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Mix up the batter with a fork.
2. Coat the fish fillet with the batter and immediately fry in hot oil.

For the tartare sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 red onion diced finely
15 capers
6 cornichons or gherkins diced finely

1. Mix up the ingredients for the sauce

To construct the burger:
1. Toast a burger bun, add the fish fresh from the frying pan, a dollop of homemade tartare sauce and fresh salad.
2. Serve with homemade chips.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Minced Meat Noodles

I came across some proper noodles at the Asian shop and decided to make a Singaporean favourite: Minced meat noodles. This dish- I rustled up in barely 15 minutes because I was so hungry (What is with the hunger pangs during the final month of pregnancy?)- so I didnt make it exactly like the popular 'bak chor mee' in Singapore- but I probably will do a second round sometime soon.

Here is a nice 15 minute recipe for those of you who have got your hands on good noodles and want to make a simple minced meat noodle for your lunch. It was very delicious.

Ingredients:
1 heaped tbs minced pork
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp light soya sauce

1. Heat oil and fry minced pork and garlic together with the soya sauce. (The bak chor mee recipe will have you cooking lard (pork belly fat) until crunchy and using the lard for the pork and garlic.

For the base:

Take a bowl and fill the base with:
1/2 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp sambal oelek
1/2 tsp black vinegar (chinkiang brand)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp sweet black sauce (ABC brand)

1. The boil a pot of water, set aside- dip noodles into the pot of water for 1 minute only until slightly softened (this is very important, you want to keep it al-dente), drain and put in the bowl with seasonings.
2. I took some chye sim (you can use any leafy vegetables of your choice, spinach will do as well) and dunked it in the hot water as well, and then drained and placed in the same bowl.
3. Throw in a tbs of fried onion (these can be bought in a packet) if you dont have time to make it on your own. They sell them in supermarkets to garnish Danish hotdogs.
4. Then pour in the minced pork and garlic fry up.
5. Give the noodles a good toss and eat with a serving of cut red chilli and light soya sauce on the side. (or if you are brave, just toss the whole lot in ;))


The difference between this and the 'bak chor mee' is that there is a generous serving of stewed shiitake mushrooms on the side as well, along with pork slices, fishballs and fishcake in the 'bak chor mee'. The base recipe stays pretty much the same.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Prata with Omelette

Very easy to rustle up for breakfast- especially if you have frozen pratas in your fridge. You can buy these pratas from Bazaar Vest

Ingredients:
1 frozen prata
1 egg

1. Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan and fry the frozen prata. You can fry the prata directly as frozen, there is no need to thaw it.
2. When prata is cooked, remove and crack and egg on the pan to make a omelette. I like mine with a runny yolk.

And there you have it- prata with omelette, cooked up in less than 15 minutes and an absolutely hearty breakfast.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Passionfruit Puree

Passionfruit has a wonderfully strong flavour that wakes up the senses of the mouth. However the seeds sometimes get too big and crunchy and the taste can be too sharp and tart. I found a way to make a 'puree' out of passionfruit which balances out the flavours and I blended the seeds so it has a more enjoyable light crunch to it. I got inspired to make this after a Colombian friend served me vanilla ice-cream with passionfruit puree on it- it was incredibly delicious. You can use passionfruit puree on sundaes or to eat with fruits- last night I had them with strawberries. You can also use it to 'dress up' a dessert- like how the Master chefs do it with starting with a dash of the puree and loading it up with other things- cakes, wafers, brulees, etc.

Ingredients:
3 passionfruits
1 tsp condensed milk

1. Cut the passionfruit in half and scoop out the flesh. I sieved the flesh and blended the seeds in a small blender- but you can place the flesh and seeds in a blender and do the same.
2. Blend a small spoon of the condensed milk to counter the strong tart flavour of the passionfruit. It also lends a creamy texture to your puree.
3. Serve with your dessert of choice.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Homemade Caesar Salad

There is nothing quite like making dressing from scratch, frying up your own croutons and tossing it up with shavings of quality parmesan cheese and lettuce.

Ingredients for dressing:
2 pieces of anchovies (you can buy anchovies packed in olive oil in a jar)
1 pasteurised egg yolk
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
75 ml olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice from half a lemon
1 clove garlic pressed
salt and pepper
1 tbs Hellman's mayonnaise

1. Mix up the ingredients above in a small blender until it has a smooth consistency.

Croutons:
1 piece of bread sliced into squares
olive oil

1. Dip bread in olive oil and fry on dry pan.

To make the salad:
1. Toss Romaine lettuce with shavings of parmesan cheese, homemade croutons and dressing. Serve.

Mee Siam for breakfast

An aerial shot of this most delectable dish. Its pretty good for breakfast too :-)

A bit of background on this dish- 'Mee Siam' actually means 'Siamese noodles' and was a dish inspired from Thailand. It has become a Nyonya speciality in Singapore- and also prepared by the Chinese, Indians and Malays. In Malaysia, they tend to serve the dish dry without the gravy- this gravy version is more popular in Singapore. I have made my broth very light and sourish here which follows more of a Malay style- some stalls also make it quite heavy with coconut milk and more reddish with the addition of sweet sambal.