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.