Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eggs Cooked in Tomato Sauce and Liebster Award

This simple combination of runny eggs in a fresh herbed tomato sauce tastes fantastic when eaten with plenty of hot crusty bread (or in my case, I used garlic bread made out of Turkish pide). I added some diced ham that was leftover from Christmas lunch, just to make it a bit more substantial as I made this for our dinner. You can also use sausage meat (just remove the meat from the casings), chorizo, bacon or just leave them out entirely for a lighter meal. I used canned diced tomatoes for this dish, but you can use fresh tomatoes too if you like (just peel them before using). This dish is so incredibly versatile and easy to prepare, it's perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Red Velvet Birthday Cake

I have read so much about the ever so popular red velvet cake but never had the chance to try it before. So I decided to make one for little H's birthday, and even though it was my first attempt, I figured the risk of anything going wrong was pretty low considering that it was a pretty standard cake recipe.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crushed Cherry Tomato Pasta

Christmas is just over, although the "feasting" continues with all the leftovers from Sunday's Christmas lunch - pineapple-glazed ham, roast leg of lamb, roasted root vegetables and crispy roasted baby potatoes, not forgetting a pot of "ham stock" that G made by boiling the leftover ham bone. Everytime I think about what my next meal would be, it's ham, lamb and more ham. I figured it would be nice to supplement our Boxing Day lunch with something light and simple.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Marbled Coca-Cola Eggs

Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. It's the only time when G takes over the kitchen and prepares Christmas lunch, leaving me in charge of desserts. It's relatively stress-free for me, although I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that my maiden attempt at baking a red velvet cake tomorrow will be successful. For now, I decided to make some marbled Coke eggs, which are actually hard-boiled eggs which have been simmered and steeped in a Coke and soy "broth" for a few hours. The marbled effect is created by cracking the shell of the hard-boiled eggs all over before simmering them in Coke. The eggs would have absorbed a mildly sweet flavour with a hint of soy, depending on how long the eggs are left in the Coke. These can be served warm or at room temperature, and are great for picnics, parties or just a snack for the kids at home. And they look quite pretty too!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dwaeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Marinated Pork)

I am a huge fan of Korean cuisine and it's always fascinating to learn about the different ingredients and uses for them in preparing Korean dishes. The few essential Korean ingredients that I always stock in my pantry are dwenjang (fermented soy bean paste), gochujang (red pepper paste) and gochugaru (red pepper flakes/powder), and with these on hand, I am able to cook up quite a number of my favourite dishes. I have been eyeing this spicy grilled pork dish that was posted by Hyosun of Eating and Living for a few months now, and finally decided to try it out. I have full faith in her recipes as I have tried a few of them with much success, and I was certain this one was going to be another hit at the dinner table.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Avocado Slushie Recipe

Here's a real quick and easy recipe for an icy cold avocado slushie that is sweet, creamy and refreshing. It's also a great way to use up any leftover avocados and makes a healthy and nutricious treat for the kids too. I managed to convince little J that it's ice-cream and he absolutely loves it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken with Cashews and Szechuan Pepper

I would like to share with you my favourite tried-and-tested recipe for Kung Pao Chicken (gōng bǎo jī dīng) that is absolutely delicious. This classic Szechuan dish typically comprises marinated chicken cubes tossed in dried red chillies and szechuan peppercorns, along with some cashews or peanuts. Many versions exist for this highly popular dish, and after various attempts, I have finally come up with the perfect recipe that I am quite happy with. It has a nice balance of flavours from the soy, vinegar and brown sugar, and the aromatic szechuan peppers that is characterisic of kung pao chicken really bring out the true and authentic flavours of this dish.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mum's Spicy Sambal Omelette

Eggs and sambal. These are two of my favourite foods, and to combine them in one dish is just perfect for me. Sambal is basically a spicy sauce typically made using chillies and onions and is commonly used in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine. I grew up eating a lot of spicy food which my mum put on the table everyday, and this ranged from curries to a variety of sambal-based dishes. There is one particular dish that she used to make that I absolutely love, and that is fried omelette with sambal. It's such a simple dish of fried eggs, but when mixed with the spicy sambal and sliced onions, it's so delicious that I could just eat it on its own.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chicken and Chocolate

Well, who would have thought - chicken with chocolate? This version of the Mexican molé (pronounced "moh-lay") sounds bizarre, but combined with the chillies, spices and ground almonds, this dish turned out absolutely beautiful with a thick and luscious gravy that is fantastic with steamed white rice.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Patatas Bravas (Spicy Potatoes)

I love Spanish tapas, and one of my favourite tapas dishes is Patatas Bravas (wild potatoes), or spicy potatoes. It is apparently one of the most popular tapas dishes in Spain. The last time we had tapas was about two years ago, at El Bulli (the Sydney one, not the real one in Spain) where we ordered these tasty little potatoes. You can easily make some at home.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Steak and Onion Rice Bowl

If you love Japanese rice bowls like I do, try this steak and onion version which is simple, tasty and a great solution for weeknight dinners. The rice is flavoured with butter and parley, which is then topped with slices of grilled steak, caramelized onion rings and red peppers. This is finished off with a drizzle of tangy barbecue sauce, making this a perfectly delicious one-bowl meal. Yum yum!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese and Cranberries

The name "Monkey Bread" is new to me, although I'm sure if you live in the States, it's probably something you're familiar with already. If you're like me and wonder what this monkey business of a bread is about, well, it is apparently an American favourite that is also known by various other names like Bubble Bread because of the "bubbles" of dough. I first came across a recipe for this in the book "Bread" by Ingram and Shapter, and was intrigued by not only the quirky name but also its rustic appearance with little balls of dough moulded together to form a ring loaf.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Japchae (Korean Stir-fried Sweet Potato Noodles)

Christmas is coming soon and I forsee that we will be buying lots of goodies for the festive celebrations, which means that I have start clearing out my pantry (and fridge) to make space for these purchases. I bought these sweet potato starch noodles a while back with the intention of making Japchae, a rather popular dish served at Korean restaurants. Japchae is a dish of stir-fried glass noodles (called "dangmyeon"), containing vegetables like carrots, red peppers, onions and scallions, and is usually seasoned with soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweet Chilli Fried Chicken with French Beans

It wasn't until I came to Sydney that I was introduced to Thai sweet chilli sauce, which is widely used not only as a dipping sauce but for seasoning and various stir-fries. I hardly recall using or coming across sweet chilli sauce in Singapore or Malaysia, probably because we prefer our chillies to be hot rather than sweet. However, it does make a very delicious coating for deep-fried chicken. Of course, you could just dip the fried chicken in the sauce separately, but tossing everything together allows time for the sauce to absorb into the crunchy batter on the chicken. The french beans in the dish are also lovely with that sweet chilli sauce and adds a bit of texture to the dish.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cheesecake Flan

If there's any dessert that should be on the world's "must-try" list, cheesecake flan is one of them. It was through my friend Simran's blog, A Little Yumminess, that I first learnt about this famous dessert served at Cafe Habana in New York. It was the most decadent, rich, creamy and luscious thing I had ever had as far as I could remember. I would describe it as a creme caramel flavoured cheesecake, and it is one that should be enjoyed quietly, and not shared, if possible, with no distractions so as to appreciate each bite that coats the entire palette and leaves you feeling almost euphoric. No kidding.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

No-Bake Lime Cheesecake with Raspberry Jelly

My kids love to eat jelly, and sometimes I grab a few boxes if they happen to be on sale. I managed to find a couple of boxes stashed right at the back of the larder, and one of them was lime flavour. I love lime flavoured desserts, although the kids don't particularly like anything that's citrusy. So, I decided to make a simple no-bake cheesecake incorporating the lime jelly in the cheese, and top that with a layer of raspberry-flavoured jelly. As I happened to have a punnet of raspberries in the fridge, I "studded" the cheesecake with a few plump and juicy raspberries.

Kakiage Don (Mixed Tempura on Rice)

Kakiage Don (drizzled with kabayaki sauce)
Kakiage is a type of tempura where a mixture of vegetables (often onions, carrot and burdock) are cut into thin strips and tossed together in a light tempura batter, then deep-fried to form a loose cluster of vegetable fritters. I haven't had kakiage in a long time and was thrilled when I saw that my friend Nami had posted a recipe for it on her website, Just One Cookbook.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mackerel Miso-ni (Poached Mackerel with Miso)

When I was browsing through a few Japanese cookbooks, I realised that the commonly used ingredients for seasoning are soy, mirin, sake, miso, rice vinegar and dashi. If you have these in your pantry, you can cook up quite a number of Japanese dishes, and I find them quite indispensable. I am no expert at Japanese cuisine, but reading all about the different cooking styles and preparation methods is an enjoyable learning experience for me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oyako-Don (Chicken & Egg with Rice)

This is a super quick and easy one-bowl meal to prepare for times when you have nothing but eggs and chicken in the fridge, or when you have three noisy kids at home who need lots of attention. Apart from the rice that needs a little more time to cook, the topping for the rice takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. It's such a versatile dish that you can add other vegetables or meat to it, or top the rice with tempura, tonkatsu or chicken katsu instead.

Crispy Eggplant with Black Beans and XO Sauce

I'm really excited to share this fantastic eggplant recipe with you today! This was inspired by my sister's favourite eggplant dish from one of the Hongkong-style restaurants in Sydney, and is absolutely delicious. One bite into that golden shell of crisp tempura-style batter reveals a soft and silky eggplant filling that is so light it simply melts in your mouth. Then, you get these bits of savoury black beans and the spiciness of the XO sauce that melds together in your mouth with the creamy eggplant. These are so addictive (and deceptively filling on the tummy as well, as I discovered many eggplants later).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cashew Semolina (Sugee) Cookies

Semolina cookies are better known as sugee biscuits in Malaysia and Singapore. They usually contain ghee (or clarified butter) and ground almonds, and they have a delicate and fine sandy texture that melts in your mouth. The recipe for these cashew semolina cookies comes from Alex Goh's Baking Code, a book that I bought during my last trip to Malaysia. I had a packet of semolina that I had just opened last week to make Galaktoboureko (a Greek baked custard dessert), and so I decided to use some of it to make these sugee cookies.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chicken Sautéed with Cheese and Milk, and Crispy Potatoes with Rosemary and Seasalt

Every few weeks, we will make a trip to the local library with the family, where the kids will entertain themselves at the children's section, and I will head to the shelves where all the cookbooks are. The collection of cookbooks is pretty small, and I usually end up borrowing the same ones again if I happen to like the recipes. One of them is Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros, which has an adorable photograph of a pair of red leather Mary Janes on the front cover. I like it that it has recipes with interesting-sounding names, and most of the recipes are simple and easy to follow, using only a handful of ingredients. There was a recipe for chicken sauteed with cheese and milk which has caught my eye a number of times, and I guess partly because the book usually opens up to that page when I'm flipping through it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Broccoli Beef Deluxe


Whenever I ask G what I should cook for dinner, his answer is usually "Anything. I leave it to you". I guess I'm fortunate to have a husband who eats anything and everything, which leaves me free to cook whatever I'm in the mood for, even when it's the result of a cooking disaster, he will not waste food as long as it's edible. If he had to name a dish for me to cook, it's always the standard two dishes - "Sweet and sour pork" or "Broccoli Beef". I reckon he feels a little nostalgic when it comes to these two as they were his favourite chinese takeouts during his college days.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Ubiquitous Sweet and Sour Pork

We just can't get enough of sweet and sour pork, can we? Those crispy golden balls of light and airy puffiness surrounding that delicious little pork nugget within, covered in thick and syrupy sweet and sour sauce. I am referring to the American-style battered sweet and sour pork, which are also available at some of the chinese-takeaway shops in Australia. Not so much in the higher end chinese restaurants though. Those usually serve the unbattered version of sweet and sour pork, where the pork is dusted with cornflour and deep-fried, forming a layer of golden crust around it. I like both versions, but this time, I decided to make the battered kind, which G used to love eating back in Berkeley. Yeah, sometimes I just turn to G and ask him what his stomach desires, especially when I've got too many ideas in my head and it's easier for someone to just tell me what to cook.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sweet and Sour Pork Rib Stew

I am sure most people would be able to name a few of their favourite homecooked meals, made by mum (or sometimes dad, too). Sometimes, I envy those who live close enough to their parents that they still get to enjoy these tasty meals. We don't have the luxury of being able to pop by at our folks' place for dinner as they live really far, far away, which is why sometimes, I have to turn to my mum for recipes in order to replicate dishes such as my favourite mee rebus. My FIL is also a whiz in the kitchen, with some of his "famous" dishes being pineapple-glazed ham, yam and pork rib noodles, and pumpkin prawn noodles. One of the dishes that G often crave for is this sweet and sour pork rib stew, which he calls "Sng Bak", meaning "sour pork" in Hokkien dialect. I have never had this stew before until I met G and was fortunate enough to be invited to his house for these sumptuous homecooked meals. It was the first time I ever had an Asian-style pork stew with sliced baguette, but I must say I enjoyed dipping the crusty buttered bread into the rich and tangy gravy, and eating it with the melt-in-your-mouth pork and creamy potatoes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Avocado Fettuccine

I usually spend Sunday nights thinking about what to cook for the rest of the week, or at least for the next few days. Sometimes, as I am going through in my head the ingredients I have in my fridge and pantry, I realise that I have "accumulated" ingredients over the past few days during my grocery shopping trips. This often happens when I'm browsing in the supermarket aisles, spot an item (or "items" usually) and feel inspired to make something with it. Or sometimes, they have these "buy 2 items at a special price" deals, although I really only need to use one. Just the other day, G bought these avocadoes as they were on special. I didn't realise until the next day that they were on the verge of being overripe. I figured the best way to use them up was to make this chicken and avocado pasta, which is one of our favourite kid-friendly go-to meals. Chicken and avocado always pair well together, and the light and creamy sauce in the pasta allows the rich and buttery taste of the avocadoes to shine through.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seafood Yakisoba (Japanese Fried Noodles)

I love the simplicity of Japanese cuisine and how easy it is to replicate some of the dishes that are commonly served at Japanese restaurants. Many of the recipes are often simple enough with a relatively short list of ingredients, and the dishes can be prepared in a short amount of time. Yakisoba, which is a Japanese fried noodle dish, usually contains cabbage, meat and other vegetables, and is topped with aonori, which are green seaweed flakes. The noodles are flavoured with yakisoba sauce, which is a thick and tangy version of Worchestershire sauce. I used to think that soba (buckwheat) noodles were used for this, but in fact, it uses wheat noodles, similar to ramen or chinese egg noodles. You can buy yakisoba noodles that come packed in individual serving sizes. They don't need to be boiled, but can be added directly into the pan and sitr-fried with the other ingredients. That makes it such an easy and fuss-free dish to cook.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sweet and Salty Beet Chips

I remember the first time my husband bought me a birthday present, and it was a cookbook! Even though we had only known each other for less than a year at the time, he knew I was only interested in cookbooks filled with pages and pages of beautiful photos. No flowers, no perfume, none of that girly stuff. That book was one on Spanish tapas, which is where I found a recipe for theses sweet and salty beet chips. Beetroot (or red beet) is thinly sliced on a mandolin, and then deep fried until it loses all its moisture and crisp up into these delicate and crinkly chips. They look a little like rose petals, don't they? Now, there's an idea for edible wedding confetti!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blood Orange Polenta Upside-down Cake


It has been a (relatively) long time since I last baked a cake. Baking is one of those things that you need to be in the right mood for. It's not just a matter of following the recipe, but you also need to put in a lot of love into what you're baking. And no distractions! I've been holding on to this recipe for a while now. I actually bought some blood oranges a few weeks ago with the intention of making a blood orange chocolate tart, but I just didn't have any craving for a dark rich chocolate dessert. And then, the recipe for this polenta cake came along, and I finally made it today. What a slice of heaven! The cake is tender and moist, and the polenta gives it just a slight grittiness that complements the chewy but juicy candied blood orange slices. The oranges lose most of their tartness in the caramelization process and takes on a bittersweet tang, without being cloyingly sweet. This cake is absolutely fabulous either eaten on its own, or served with creme fraiche or whipped cream.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Easy Japanese Modanyaki

Mini Modanyaki with Okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, bonito and aonori flakes

Modanyaki refers to "modern-yaki", or in other words, modern okonomiyaki. It's like okonomiyaki (a Japanese savoury pancake, or otherwise known as the Japanese-pizza), except that it has noodles as one of the fillings. So, if I'm not wrong, okonomi-yaki literally means "as you like it - fried". That means you can't really go wrong with okonomiyaki as long as you have the basic cabbage and pancake batter, and the rest is really as you like it! Then, add some thin egg noodles (I used yakisoba noodles) in between and you have the upgraded modern version. And since we're on the topic of okonomiyaki, there are basically two ways of preparing them. One is to mix all the ingredients into the batter before frying them, which is the Kansai or Osaka style. The other is the Hiroshima style where the ingredients are layered one at a time. Check out this modanyaki video to see what I mean.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Claypot Eggplant with Pork and Pineapple Gravy

Eggplant (or brinjal/aubergine) is one of my favourite vegetables, often in the form of tempura, in curries, or with a sweet spicy soy, and sometimes braised with minced pork and salted fish. This time, I cooked it in a claypot with minced pork and pineapples, and some chilli oil. The eggplant is simmered in the sweet and savoury gravy for a few minutes until they are just tender. Any longer than that and it will turn to mush. The texture of the eggplant is soft and silky, tender yet firm enough to hold its shape, and the minced pork is packed with the tasty flavours from the gravy. Served with a big bowl of steamed jasmine rice, this dish is all you need for a satisfying meal.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Doenjang Jjigae (Again!) with Clams

I cooked Doenjang Jjigae again, for the second time in two days. If you are not familiar with this dish, it is a Korean stew made with soy bean paste, and contains vegetables, meat and other ingredients. This time, I used the proper Korean soup pot,  ttukbaegi, which I just bought this morning, so that I could enjoy another delicious serving of this wonderful stew! This time though, I opted to use clams instead of pork. Fresh clams are pretty hard to come by in Australia (or Sydney at least), so I bought prepacked frozen baby clam meat instead, which worked really well in this dish. The clams don't take long to cook, so I added them into the stew during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Both the clam and pork versions are yummy. However, I do enjoy the texture and taste of the clams in this dish, and it's also quicker to prepare compared to using pork, which has to be sliced first (unless you use frozen pre-sliced pork).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Japanese Chicken Karaage / Tatsuta-age

We used to order chicken karaage (Japanese seasoned fried chicken) quite often whenever we dine at Japanese restaurants, where we would usually compare which ones made the best karaage. There are many versions to these succulent and crispy deep-fried chicken "nuggets". Some have a thin smooth layer of coating, some are more crumb-like, and some have hardly any coating at all, but they are delicious in their own ways. A lot of it also depends on the marinade used for the chicken. I can't say what the perfect karaage should taste like, but the ones I've made here are are really tasty. It has a nice balance of flavours with a perfect layer of coating that is deliciously crunchy.

Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soy Bean Paste Stew)

Last night, I just made the most delicious stew for dinner! Doenjang Jjigae is a traditional Korean stew made with soy bean paste (doenjang) and contains ingredients such as tofu, meat, seafood, mushrooms and vegetables. Both G and I agreed that it tasted really authentic. And since this will probably feature regularly on our dinner menu, I will purchase one of those Korean soup pots called ttukbaegi, which is a black glazed earthenware pot used to cook Korean stews in.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Maple Cinnamon Pear Tarte Tatin with Fudge Sauce

If you have a look at my pantry, you'll find that it's practically bursting with all sorts of food - junk food, canned food, packets of dried noodles, instant noodles, pasta of every shape and size, grains, lots of snacks and juice poppers for school recess... G reckons that we're well stocked in the event of any food rationing. Oh yes, not to mention the refrigerator which is also full of bottles and jars of sauces, amongst other things (like the many blocks of butter that I stock when they go on sale). G has been pushing me to start using these things that are "clogging up" our pantry, but I told him that if I did use them up, I would probably just go buy more, just in case I needed them again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fujian Fried Rice with Gravy

I know, I know. You 're thinking, fried rice? Even a six-year old can make fried rice, so why post a recipe for it? Well, there are many versions of fried rice if you think about it, not only the kind you get in chinese restaurants. There's Thai fried rice, pineapple fried rice, nasi goreng (Indonesian), Yangzhou fried rice, salted fish fried rice, Indian-style fried rice with anchovies, Japanese omu rice - the list goes on. Here, I am sharing with you a recipe for Fujian fried rice, which is essentially fried rice served with an oyster sauce gravy. The gravy is thick and gooey, which allows it to perfectly coat each grain of rice with a layer of tasty savoury goodness. You've got to love rice with gravy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen Noodle Salad)

Hiyashi Chuka is a Japanese cold noodle salad usually served in summer. Cold ramen noodles come with a colourful assortment of toppings, drizzled with a slightly tangy sesame-soy-vinegar dressing. I first tried this dish two years ago at a Japanese restaurant when it was on the special summer menu. It was a scorchingly hot day and the refreshing taste from the cold noodles provided some cool respite from the summer heat.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stripey Hot Fudge Milkshake

Hot Chocolate Fudge, Vanilla Ice-cream, Milk, Oreos and Crunchy Sprinkles

Ever since I read my friend Simran's post on A Little Yumminess: Hot Fudge Sauce a few months ago, I stocked my pantry with a few cans of condensed milk and a couple of bags of chocolate buttons and chocolate chips, just in case I had a sudden urge to make fudge sauce (or anything to satisfy unforeseen chronic attacks of chocolate cravings). Well, the weather has been exceptionally hot these few days, even though we're just in the middle of spring. This gave me the perfect excuse to whip up some hot fudge sauce for making the most chocolatey milkshake ever, with the kids in mind, of course.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beef Bibim Guksu / Bibim Naengmyeon (Mixed Cold Noodles)

I'm surprised at how quickly I have almost finished my little tub of gochujang (which is Korean red pepper paste), considering that I just started my foray into cooking Korean cuisine a few months ago. So far, I have used it in making Yangnyeom Tongdak (fried chicken), Korean-style Slaw and a dipping sauce for Buchujeon (garlic chive pancake). This time, I'm using it to prepare a cold noodle dish called Bibim Guksu (meaning mixed Korean noodles), or alternatively, Bibim Naengmyeon which literally means "mixed cold noodles".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crumbed Pork Schnitzel with Creamed Cabbage and Potato Rosti

Crumbed Pork Schnitzel with Creamed Cabbage and Potato Rosti
We have been watching a lot of "Take Home Chef" on TV recently, mainly because all our favourite dramas or TV series were on break in the US and we needed something to occupy us after we tuck the children into bed every night. If you don't already know, "Take Home Chef" is hosted by Curtis Stone and is filmed in the US, where he picks up the ladies at the supermarket and cooks a gourmet dinner for them and their partners (usually). There was this episode where he made creamed cabbage, and it just sounded so delicious I had to try making it. (By the way, I just watched the episode where he made the best (self-proclaimed) apple tart in the world, so I will be trying that out soon).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

French Onion Soup

I can't remember the last time I had french onion soup, but it was a really long time ago. It's not easy to find french onion soup in just any restaurant, especially here in Sydney. I found a recipe for it in Rick Stein's French Odyssey, and it's basically caramelized onions simmered in beef stock with some herbs, served with a thick slice of crusty bread with melted Gruyere over the top.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shredded Pork with Spicy Bean Paste

This dish was inspired by Narcissus brand "Pork Mince with Bean Paste", which is actually one of the tinned food that I used to eat in my "younger days". It comes in a small can, but because it is rather salty, it was usually enough to serve as a supplement to our lunch. The tasty bits of pork and mushroom in the fragrant bean paste sauce goes really well with a hot bowl of rice porridge (congee). Such simple pleasures!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Creamy Lemon Butter Spaghettini with Chicken Scallopini

Here is one of our family favourite pasta dishes that is made with a creamy lemon-butter sauce, bacon, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mushrooms and served with a simple chicken scallopini. The thyme plant in our garden is starting to come back to life again (I really need to remember to water the plants!), and I managed to pick out a few sprigs for this recipe. All the other ingredients are pretty basic, and what I would normally have in my fridge or pantry (except for the cherry tomatoes which I happened to pick up on sale).

Cranberry White Chocolate and Meringue Cookies

I have been craving for some Momofuku Blueberry and Cream cookies lately, and I haven't made them again since the first time I had a go at Christina Tosi's recipe. I really loved the taste and texture of these cookies, which are crunchy on the outside with a soft chewy centre. I decided to use the same recipe and substitute the blueberries and milk crumbs with cranberries, white chocolate and crushed meringue. I also added some lemon zest and lemon essence for a little zing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gyudon (Beef Bowl)

Here is another simple one-bowl meal that is quick and easy to prepare. Thinly sliced beef with onions are simmered in a sweet and salty soy-based sauce and poured over a bowl of freshly cooked rice, served with a side of steamed vegetables. A kid-friendly recipe that takes the pain out of feeding fussy little eaters!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fudgy Brownie Cones

Brownies are supposedly one of the easiest things to make as the ingredients just need to be stirred together in a bowl, then poured into a lined pan and popped into the oven to bake. Well, I do bake quite often, but somehow, brownies have eluded me all this time. I think I might have baked a batch or two of them before, quite a long time ago, but they just aren't something I'd make often, mostly because I always feel guilty after eating them, non-stop. Addictive little things.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tuna and Eel Sushi Feast

A selection of Temari Sushi

I enjoy spending time surfing the web for recipes and reading other food blogs, drooling at all the gorgeous photos that look like they came straight out of a magazine. A lot of the time, I get inspired and start printing out recipes, which I would add on to my growing pile of "to-cook-or-bake" recipe print-outs. I haven't gotten around to trying all of them yet, but there are some which are simple and relatively easy that you don't have to think twice about whether or not to make it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Got Leftover Rice? Make Khao Tom!

Khao Tom is a popular rice soup dish that is usually served for breakfast in Thailand, which I recall seeing on "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" a long time ago. It's like rice porridge, cooked with pork or chicken, seasoned with fish sauce and served with egg and sliced bird's eye chillies. I remember back in college, I used to see my flatmate microwaving leftover rice with some hot water to make a bowl of porridge, which I thought was a good idea.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ikan Masak Kicap (Fish in Soy Sauce)


This is a simple Malaysian-style dish of deep-fried mackerel in a sweet and spicy soy-based gravy that is delicious served with steamed white rice.

Egg Noodles with Pork and Mushroom Sauce (Kon Loh Mee)

One of my favourite home-cooked dishes that mum used to make is Kon Loh Mee. It's a dry (as opposed to soupy) noodle dish which she serves with minced pork and mushroom sauce. As usual, whenever most of us ask our mums how to cook a dish, it's always "agak-agak" (estimated) when it comes to measurements of the ingredients. So, my dish is also based on "agarration", although I managed to get it to turn out the way I liked it. Most importantly, the kids loved the noodles, and even little J who usually only grazes on cheese, snacks and yoghurt, happily slurped up mouthfuls of it.