Friday, August 31, 2012

One of my favourite sandwiches- sardine sandwiches. I pack these sandwiches up when I am planning a long walk outside. These ones were fried with onions and chilli and drizzled with lime juice. I cant find better sandwiches outside than these.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I love fried rice because its so versatile. I usually make it once a week for my breakfast- and usually as an attempt to finish leftovers in the fridge. I had leftover brown mushrooms and rice- so I fried it up with onions and prawns. I usually make it Thai style- which means I put in 1 tbs fish sauce, 1 tbs soya sauce, 1 tbs sugar, juice of a lemon wedge and a pinch of salt. Its the perfect balance of flavours- sweet and salty at the same time. I always have a large bag of frozen prawns- so its easy to just toss in a handful to my fried rice concoctions.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sesame seed cookies

A classic from my secondary school home economics textbook. You usually see this during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya celebrations.

Ingredients:
215 g white flour (with 1/2 tsp baking powder)
150 g butter
120 g sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbs sesame seeds
pieces of cut raisin (original recipe calls for glace cherries)

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add egg gradually until well combined. Add vanilla.
3. Fold in flour with metal spoon.
4. Shape in balls, roll in sesame seeds and top off with raisin. Use fork to flatten upon greased baking sheet.
5. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 mins in the middle shelf of the oven.

I love curry. Love, love, love. I usually have it with a side of stir fried green beans and basmati rice. Delicious.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Strawberry cupcakes

My baby turns two months today and I baked these divine cupcakes to mark the occasion. The recipe for the vanilla cupcakes come from my secondary school home economics textbook so its absolutely fail-proof. I got the strawberry icing recipe online- its a recipe for fresh strawberry buttercream frosting and so delicious paired up to the vanilla cupcake.

Ingredients:
150 g self-raising flour
150 g butter
120 g sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Cream butter and sugar in mixing machine. Add egg gradually until fully combined. Add vanilla.
2. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon.
3. Put into cupcake holders and bake at 200 degrees, middle shelf for 15 mins.

Icing:
5 fresh strawberries chopped
200 g butter
300g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1. Blend the frosting in a mixing machine. Spoon on top of cupcakes. You can garnish the tops with fresh strawberries if you have more at hand.

Sundried Tomato paste is such a healthy snack. I have replaced regular bagged chips with sundried tomato and crostinis. This one is made with pine nuts, basil leaves, sundried tomato, garlic and parmesan cheese.
Made my favourite fried vermicelli for breakfast this morning- this time I made the Malaysian bihun goreng instead of the usual Chinese style beehoon. Recipe in the archives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Delicious broth that simmered in the pot for hours.
Sambal sauce. How I love thee.
A close up picture of the delectable chicken with the chicken rice dish.

Hainanese chicken rice

Today I attempted Hainanese chicken rice- aromatic rice flavoured with stock and chicken fat, white chicken braised with sesame oil, a hot chilli sambal contrasted with kecap manis as condiments and a delicious chicken broth garnished with coriander.

Ingredients:
3 pieces of chicken
3 large pieces of chicken fat
5 cloves garlic
5 cm piece of ginger
1 onion
coriander leaves
1 tbs chinese rice wine
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs light soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rice

For the chilli sauce:
2 fresh red chillis
2 cloves garlic
1 cm piece of ginger
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs sugar

1. Heat up a pot of water and place chicken pieces in it. Simmer chicken with 1 onion halved, 2 garlic cloves and 2 cm piece of ginger chopped. Simmer for one hour. Add salt. Optional: you can also add a chicken stock cube for added flavour.
2. Mince the rest of the garlic and ginger. Heat up a frying pan and fry chicken fat gently with the garlic and ginger. When the fat has fully run out and the ginger and garlic are cooked, add the uncooked rice to the frying pan and cook gently for 2-3 mins. Transfer the rice with ginger, garlic and fat to the rice cooker with 3 cups of chicken stock from the simmering pot. Cook rice in rice cooker.
3. When rice is cooked, take the chicken out of the simmering water and plunge in cold water. Then slice up and toss with chinese rice wine, sesame oil and soya sauce. Garnish with coriander. Serve with the rice. The rest of the simmering stock can be used as soup on the side.

You can serve this with kecap manis from a bottle and chilli sauce.

Chilli Sauce:
1. Blitz all the ingredients together in a small blender. Serve as condiment in a little chinese condiment bowl on the side.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Paula's Chicken Tikka Masala

I posted Thomas' chicken tikka masala recipe a week ago- this is my version of the dish. I have taken his recipe and tweaked it a bit here and there to produce chicken tikka masala the way I like it- a more creamy texture rather than tomato based, a bit more spice and a richer, more intense flavour.

Ingredients:

For the chicken marinade:
1 thumb sized ginger grated
1 cup yoghurt
2 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic grated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red paprika
4-6 chicken pieces with bone

1. Marinade the chicken overnight.
2. Broil in the oven the next day until slightly charred on the top.

For the sauce:
1 tbs ghee
1 onion chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
1 inch ginger grated
1 red chilli chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 cup tomato sauce (I used my favourite pomodoro sauce from the glass jar)
1.5 tsp tomato paste
1 cup cream
1/4 cup coriander leaves

1. Melt ghee and fry onions, garlic and ginger
2. Add cumin, chilli powder, garam masala and salt
3. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste and cream
4. Simmer until sauce thickens
5. Add the cooked chicken pieces and top off with coriander.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spaghetti with Prawns

I have discovered how wonderful canned anchovies and good Italian tomato sauce can be. It enhances the flavour of this spaghetti dish tenfold. This was made with tiger prawns and small Greenlandic prawns. It was Absolutely Delicious.

Ingredients:
20 tiger prawns
100g small Greenlandic prawns
1/2 jar of Italian pomodoro sauce (that comes in a glass jar)
3 cloves garlic
2 dried chillis
4 anchovy fillets
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper

1. Heat olive oil and fry garlic until softened. Add the dried chilli and anchovy fillets.
2. When anchovy fillet is softened and flakes, add the prawns and do a quick stir fry. Add a few tbs of tomato sauce if the oil has started sputtering.
3. Finish off with the rest of the sauce and wine and season.
4. Serve with spaghetti.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Burger Istimewa (Ramly style)

I was having hunger pangs late last night and was fantasizing about a Ramly burger- the kind you can get at street bazaars at night. Then I decided to make it myself- and by a stroke of luck, managed to use ingredients in the patty mix that actually made it taste like an authentic Ramly burger. This one is 'istimewa' (special) because of the fried egg.

Ingredients:
100g minced beef
1 tbs kecap manis
1 tsp Maggi liquid seasoning
salt and pepper

1. Mix up the beef patty. Shape and fry on hot pan.

In the same frying pan, fry up the egg. You can also toast the bread on the frying pan or in a seperate toaster.

Arrange the burger with the patty, egg and a large dollop of mayonnaise and chilli sauce.

And there you go- a midnight burger, Asian style.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mediterranean Fish Soup

This dish was so good, that I had immediately started blogging about it, seconds after finishing my meal. I have found the secret to a good fish soup- and that my friends, is anchovy fillets. The tiny ones you can get in a jar, preserved in oil. I added four of these to my stock base to flavour to the soup and it produced the most excellent result. I want to fill my kitchen cabinets with jars of anchovy fillets. That, and good Italian pomodoro sauce, the kind that comes in glass jars.

Ingredients:
4 anchovy fillets
3 pieces of white fish
1 white onion sliced
4 cloves garlic sliced
3 tomatoes quartered
3 stalks celery chopped
3 carrots chopped
3 tbs lemon juice (and 1/2 tsp of grated lemon rind)
1/2 cup white wine
4 tbs Italian pomodoro sauce (that comes in glass jar)
4 sprigs parsley
glugs of olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Heat olive oil and gently cook onions and garlic until lightly softened.
2. Add celery and carrots and cook until softened.
3. Add tomatoes and cook until the juice begin running out. Then add the anchovy fillets, lemon rind and juice. Cook until vegetables are fully softened and add 1 cup water and the pomodoro sauce.
3. When water is simmering, add fish and cook until done. Add wine, season and garnish with parsley.
4. Finish off the soup with a final splash of olive oil.
5.  Serve with crusty bread.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Malaysian Mee Siam

I have been posting pictures and recipes of Mee Siam with gravy which is a popular version in Singapore. I decided today to make the Malaysian version of the dish which is dry and without gravy. This would make a good breakfast item with a side of hard boiled egg and lime wedge. Its spicy, sour and tangy flavours are reminiscent of the Mee Siam with gravy. I would add some fried tiger prawns on top as well, for a more dressed up version of this dish.

Ingredients:
(For the 'rempah' spice paste)
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
100 g dried prawns
3 tbs taucheo
6 dried chillies (soaked beforehand)
2 tbs tamarind juice

Seasoning Mix:
2 tbs tomato sauce
2 tbs sugar
Juice of half a lime
1 tsp salt

Other Ingredients:
200 g bee hoon (soak in hot water, drain and set aside for use later)
chinese chives sliced finely
1 lime
2 hard boiled eggs

1. Heat oil and fry the rempah until fragrant.
2. Add the noodles and stir fry under high heat. Add the seasonings and chives.
3. Fry until the noodles are fully coated with rempah and seasonings and have turned dry.
4. Serve with a lime wedge and hard boiled egg.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Thomas' Chicken Tikka Masala

I put a picture of my husband's attempt at chicken tikka masala on facebook and had a number of friends asking me for the recipe. So here it is. I was very impressed by his effort- it was rich in flavour and extremely hearty. Thomas likes recipes that calls for a large number of spices- he says it makes him feel like an alchemist in the kitchen. This is good served with basmati rice, homemade naan and raita.

Ingredients
(Chicken Marinade)

1 cup yoghurt
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbs minced ginger
2 tsp salt
4 -6 pieces of chicken with bone

1. Marinade chicken in the above ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour. If you have time, its better to marinade the chicken overnight. Prick the chicken with a fork so that the sauce can seep in better.
2. After chicken is marinaded, grill in a hot oven. If you have access to an open fire with charcoal, that would be even better.

(Sauce)
1 tbs ghee (can be substituted with butter)
1 clove garlic minced
1 red chilli chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
1 can of tomato puree
1 cup cream
1/4 cup coriander leaves

1. Melt ghee and lightly fry garlic and chilli.
2. Add the cumin, chilli powder and salt
3. Add the canned tomato and cream.
4. Simmer until sauce thickens.
5. Add the end, add the grilled pieces of chicken into the sauce and serve.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Sausages and Eggs

The simplest lunch option if you arent in the mood for cooking. I found gourmet chicken sausages in Netto- these ones came from a farmhouse and were flavoured with lemon and parsley.

Ingredients:
Sausages
Bread
Eggs

1. The trick is to cook all three simultaneously in a frying pan- I put in the sausages first and started them cooking, buttered my bread in the meantime and then placed them on the other side of the pan and finally finished off with an egg on the third side. It took only ten minutes to make this lunch.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Pappardelle with Butchers Sauce

I just got back from Italy recently- which always leads me back into the kitchen trying to re-create some delicious Italian dishes. I made this with speciality pappardelle pasta I bought from Abruzzo.

Ingredients:
200 g pappardelle pasta (or spaghetti will do)
1 onion finely minced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
2 carrots chopped finely
2 celery stalks chopped finely
6 tomatoes
1 tbs tomato paste
100g minced beef
100g mince lamb
1/2 cup red wine
6 fresh basil leaves
50g pecorino cheese grated

1. Heat oil and fry onion, garlic, carrots and celery
2. Meanwhile, pour hot water on the tomatoes, then plunged them in cold water and remove the skin.
3. Add the meat after veggies are cooked and fry.
4. Add tomatoes and mash up until it becomes a tomato sauce
5. Add the wine and season with salt and pepper.
6. Serve the sauce with pasta cooked al dente. Garnish with grated pecorino cheese.

Chicken Mushroom Stirfry

This was one of the first dishes I learnt to make when I was sixteen. I made it often for my brother who absolutely loved the dish. After a long time, I made it again recently. The secret to its flavour lies in marinading the chicken for at least two hours before the actual stir frying.

Ingredients:
200 g chicken cubed (Marinade with 2 tbs oyster sauce, 1 tsp light soya sauce, 1 tsp dark soya sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, salt and ground white pepper for at least two hours)
2 carrots finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
1 can button mushrooms
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tbs dark soya sauce
salt and pepper

1. Heat oil and fry onions until softened.
2. Add marinaded chicken and stir fry under high heat.
3. Add the carrots and cook for 5 mins before adding the mushrooms.
4. Add seasonings.
5. Continue stir frying under high heat until carrots are cooked but still slightly crunchy to the bite.
6. Serve with white rice.