Friday, 29 June 2007

Creme Brulle

Admittedly I can't do crème brulee :D, the hubby is extremely good at things like this when all I could do is to stare, admire and later on, enjoy :D
The recipe is from a Welsh restaurant. Since I didn't post the recipe on the last post and nobody requested it, I'm doing the same with this post. If recipe is requested then it'll be posted. Otherwise, enjoy what you cook in your kitchen and bye for now.

Monday, 25 June 2007

I think I'm turing Korean

Foods over the weekend.
1. Tried and tested GALBI from Wandering Chopsticks
Guaranteed to be soft, slightly sweet and juicy. Once you've tried it, I'm sure you'll get addicted to it :D Thanks Wandering Chopsticks for the recipe :D
2. HODDEOK from My Korean Kitchen

These Korean pancakes are lovely treats and the brown sugar, cinnamon and crushed walnuts go together beautifully. Surely will do it again in the near future.
Recipes will be posted tomorrow. Have a good day.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Long time no food

I haven't done much cooking recently due to my hectic work commitment and thus, I've been so lazy that instant noodles was the only thing I've had constantly for a whole week.
It's now the weekend and having just got back from my weekly shopping, I've decided to try out 2 recipes, one of which is GALBI from Wandering Chopsticks and the other one is HODDEOK from My korean kitchen.
I've never attempted to do galbi before so it'll be interesting to find out if marinating ribs in pear puree will make a significant difference. I made some hoddeok (sweet pancakes) last week for the hubby and they all disappeared before I could take any pictures so I guess I'll have to do another batch this weekend.
So for now, that's my meal planning for this weekend. Cooking is my passion even though I can't do elaborate food. But hey, how can one get better if one doesn't try?

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Cá kho tộ (fish braised in caramel sauce)

This is the first time I've tried a recipe which doesn't particularly state the amount of spices and seasoning. The recipe is from Ms Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van, the equivalence of Nigella Lawson of Britain :D.
-season fish (any type- I use cod, the best type is catfish)with salt+ pepper+ sugar and set aside
-heat up pan, add oil +1.5 tbsp sugar +fish sauce -> wailt till the fish sauce and sugar have dissolved and thickened, then add fish fillet + more fish sauce +sugar +1tbsp sesame oil
-add enough water to cover fish and cook on medium low heat for at least 30 minutes, then turn heat up to thicken sauce
- add spring onions + chopped chillies and more pepper
-serve with steamed rice
My maternal grandma (ba` ngoai) is the best cook when it comes to making ca kho to and other quintessential southern Vietnam dishes. :sigh: I miss her cooking so much...

Monday, 11 June 2007

Wonton soup

Somehow my wonton soup never tastes as good as my mum's. When I was small, I remember seeing my dad eating wonton with left-over rice and since I didn't have any egg noodles in the house today I decided to try wonton soup with rice. Yuk! It's truly horrible. I haven't got a clue how my dad seemed to enjoy it immensely. Maybe he was just very hungry. Thank God I only tried it with a bit of soup and thus managed to save the rest of the wonton soup :D
Wandering Chopsticks has a nice post on wontons which is worth a look if anyone is interested in making wontons.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Mango bread

I've got to be the first one who try out wandering chopsticks mango bread recipe.
The only thing I would do differently next time is to add more sugar (I only put over 100g sugar for 1 loaf this time and it was no where near sweet enough for my sweet tooth)
The hubby's not keen on mango so I'm taking the loaf over to a friend's tomorrow. Mmm. Special thanks to Wandering Chopsticks :D

Easy-peasy pasta salad - Nicoise style

I got the inspiration for this dish from a recipe for Salade Nicoise, which basically includes flaked tuna and boil eggs in the ingredients. However, as there was no tuna nor egg in the kitchen, I decided to make my own salad in the same style with different ingredients.
It's super duper easy and since it came from the novice cook's kitchen,it is fool-proof.
round lettuce
chopped crab/seafood sticks
black olives
chopped tomatoes
cubed hard cheese (I use Cheddar cheese)
cooked and drained pasta (75g for each person) -seasoned with salt and pepper
sliced cucumber
handful of fresh parsley
Vinegairette dressing, made from 2 part white wine vinegar + 1 part of olive oil + 1tbsp honey + pinch of mixed herbs
Coleslaw (you can't see it in the picture because I only remembered to add it after the picture was taken)

Wash the lettuce leaves and line them at the bottom of a bowl.
Top with the rest of the ingredients, mix well with vinegairette dressing and coleslaw.
EAT. (Yep, it's that easy)


Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Suon nuong xa - Pork chops grilled with lemongrass

Please ignore the colourful rice and the steamed mange tout. I was feeling a bit too adventurous at the time and only found out when I tasted it that sometimes things just don't go together. Admittedly this dish is much better served with white rice and lightly stir-fried veg e.g. pak choi saute with garlic.
The pork (1 chop) was marinated with:
1 stick of lemongrass -chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
salt + pepper
1 tsp chilli paste
1 spring onion - chopped

-Crush lemongrass and chopped spring onion into a rough paste using a pestle and mortar. Add fish sauce, sugar, chilli paste, salt and pepper and marinate the chop in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
-Either grill or shallow fry until done.
Here is a close up picture:

I don't know why but the pork turned out to be very tender and full of flavour. The fragrant smell of lemon grass is simply irresistible. I'm thinking of doing another batch for our BBQ this saturday.
A very similar recipe can be found at Playing with my food
To my surprise, I found out that lemongrass is actually a herb, which can be used not only in cooking but also in drinking. The oil extracted from lemon grass can also be used in treating athlete's foot and back pain. More wonderful information about lemon grass can be found here
This is also my entry for this week's Weekend herb Blogging , which is sponsored by Kalyn from Kalyn's kitchen and hosted this week by Ulrike from Kuchelatein .

Friday, 1 June 2007

Back to basic: Bacon and Mushroom Pasta

I feel like a student all over again. This is what I used to make at least 3 nights a week when I was a student. The plain and simple reason is because a) it is cheap and b) it is quick and most important of all, it is fool-proof.
Ingredients: (For 1)
75g pasta -cooked and drained
1-2 rashes of smoked bacon - chopped
1 onion- sliced thinly
5 button mushrooms - leave wholes or cut in halves
dry mixed herbs
grated Cheddar Cheese
Worcester 's sauce
chopped fresh parsley - reserve a few sprigs

1. Lightly fry the chopped bacon in a bit of olive oil until done. Set aside.
2. Heat a knob of butter +1tsp olive oil, stir in onion and mushrooms + 1tbsp water, season with salt + pepper + mixed herbs + chopped parsley, leave on medium heat for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in pasta and cooked bacon. Add a few splashes of Wostershire sauce.
4. Sprinkle grated Cheddar cheese, mix thoroughly.
5. Pour out on a plate, serve hot with a few sprigs of parsley for decoration.

So this is my entry for Presto Pasta Nights
. I know it's nothing fancy or elaborate but it is extremely handy if you're a student or if you are, like me, simply on a tight budget.