Friday, December 31, 2010

Breakfast Pizza


Besides being a versatile wrap for sandwiches, Pita bread is also a great homemade-pizza crust. It makes a great light and thin crispy crust. Traditionally, consumed in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, now it’s easily accessible at any grocery store’s bread section! Here, I have used it as the crust for this quick Breakfast Pizza. Try it, nothing out of the ordinary; just use the usual favorite breakfast ingredients, such as bacon, eggs, roasted peppers, onions, sausages, etc.

Well, before I pop the champagne to welcome the New Year, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year! I hope year 2011 would bring more joy, happiness, health, and opportunities for all! Cheers!


Breakfast Pizza

Ingredients

2 Pita Breads (about 6 ½ to 7 inches)
Olive Oil
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
4 Large Eggs
A handful of Grape Tomatoes, halved
2 Stalk Scallions, chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Sea Salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 450˚F.

Brush the pita bread (the under side) with olive oil and spread some Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the entire surface.

Slide the pizza in the oven and bake for about 3 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven. Crack 2 eggs into each pizza; scatter the tomatoes, scallions and season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Bake the pizza in the oven for about 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.

Serves 2


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roasted White Wine Chicken with Prosciutto, Potatoes, and Onions


I made this Roasted White Wine Chicken with Prosciutto, Potatoes, and Onions over the recent holidays. I deliberately roasted the chicken and potatoes in the same baking tray. This method allowed the potatoes to absorb all the wonderful flavors from the prosciutto and chicken, which makes a huge difference to the overall taste of this hearty dinner for your family or friends. Try it.


Roasted White Wine Chicken with Prosciutto, Potatoes, and Onions

Ingredients

3 pcs (600 – 650g) Bone-In Chicken Breast
1 Bag (680g) Small Potatoes, halved
1 Bag (280g) Cipolline Onions, peeled
6 Slices of Prosciutto (Jambon Ham)
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
¾ Cup White Wine
Black Pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
Sea Salt

Method

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Combine the potatoes, onion, 4 Tbsp of olive oil, a couple sprigs of thyme and rosemary leaves in a roasting pan. Season the potato mixture with black pepper and sea salt.

Meanwhile, season the chicken with black pepper, sea salt, and rosemary leaves. Wrap each chicken breast with two pieces of prosciutto and place on top of the potato mixture. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and pour in the white wine.

Roast the chicken and potato mixture in the oven for about 40 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven; let rest a few minutes before serving.

Serves 4


Friday, December 24, 2010

Very Tangy Lemon Bars


These are Very Tangy Lemon Bars. They are delicious and ideal when served as dessert after a heavy meal. I made this for the Christmas party and they were a hit! The lemon bars are best eaten the day it’s made or by the following day. Well, I don’t think you will have any leftover problems with these.. ;-)

Anyway, I would like to wish a “Very Merry Christmas” to all Seasaltwithfood readers and have a wonderful holiday!


Recipe adapted from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich

Very Tangy Lemon Bars 2.0


Ingredients

For The Crust
7 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Sugar
¾ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Sea Salt
1-Cup (4.5 oz) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

For The Topping
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp (7.7875 oz) Granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 Large Eggs
1 ½ tsp Finely Grated lemon Zest
½ Cup Strained Fresh Lemon Juice
Powdered Sugar for dusting (optional)

Equipment: An 8 Inch Square metal baking pan, the bottom and all sides lined with foil.

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

To make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is fully baked, well browned at the edges, and golden brown in the center.

To make the topping: While the crust is baking, stir together the sugar and flour in a large bowl until well mixed. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the lemon zest and juice.

When the crust is ready, turn the oven down to 300˚F. Slide the rack with the pan out and pour the filling onto the hot crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until the topping barely jiggles in the center when the pan is tapped. Set on a rack to cool completely in the pan.

Lift up the foil liner and transfer the bars to a cutting board. If the surface is covered with a thin layer of moist foam (not unusual), you can blot it gently to reveal the zest by laying a square paper towel on the surface and gently sweeping your fingers over it to absorb excess moisture. Remove the paper towel and repeat with a fresh piece if necessary. Use a long sharp knife to cut into 16 (2 inches) or 25 daintier bars. Sift powdered sugar over the bars just before serving, if desired.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Roast Beef Tenderloin


At a Christmas party recently, I really enjoyed the way my friend prepared her roast beef tenderloin, which was served with an array of sauce and bread. Guests sliced their own roast beef and enjoyed it with the sauce of their choice. I thought it was a nice way to served Roast Beef Tenderloin at parties or gatherings. Get your guests to feel more casual, relaxed, and more at ease.


Roast Beef Tenderloin

Ingredients

1 (2 ½ lbs) Beef Tenderloin, trimmed excess fat and silver skin
1 to 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Sea Salt
Fresh or Dried Chopped Rosemary

Method

Preheat oven to 450˚F.

Using kitchen string/twine and tie around the tenderloin with equal spacing between each truss. Note: You can ask your butcher to do this for you.

Pat dry the beef tenderloin with paper towels. Rub the tenderloin with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper, sea salt, and rosemary all over the meat.

Heat a large cast iron pan over high heat and sear the meat on all sides until brown in color.

Place the meat in a baking tray and roast for about 20 to 40 minutes or cooked to your liking. When the tenderloin is cooked, remove from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fried Eggs, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic, And Herbs Pasta


I love the simplicity and the flavors of this Fried Eggs, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic, And Herbs Pasta. Sounds like a mouthful, I know; but, rest assured it’s an effortless recipe from Dean And Deluca’s cookbook. This will definitely come in handy when you need to cook-up a pasta meal quickly that’s really delicious. The addition of fragrant fried eggs really makes this pasta’s distinctive and tasty flavors. Try it!


Recipe adapted from The Dean & Deluca Cookbook

Fried Eggs, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic, And Herbs Pasta

Ingredients


1 lb Bucatini or any long pasta

3 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Large Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
4 Large Eggs (preferably from free-range chicken)
Coarse or Maldon Sea Salt to taste
Crushed Hot Red Pepper Flakes to taste
½ Cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus additional as an accompaniment
¼ Cup Minced Fresh Parsley
1 Tbsp Minced Fresh Oregano or Sage

Method

While the pasta for this dish is cooking, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and cook, sunny-side up, basting with a spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes without turning, or until the eggs are just done (the yolks remain runny). Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle eggs with salt and red pepper flakes.

You must time this dish so that the pasta is ready as soon as the eggs are done. Place the pasta on a serving platter and toss with Parmigiano-Reggiano, additional red pepper flakes, and parsley. Pour the contents of the egg pan, including the oil, butter, and garlic, onto the pasta. Garnish pasta and eggs with oregano or sage and serve immediately. Pass the additional Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.

Serves 4



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dried Fruits And Nuts Loaf


If you love munching on healthy dried fruits and nuts mix, then you should try baking this scrumptious Dried Fruits and Nuts Loaf. I had baked the loaf with a mix of dried apricots, cherries, figs, and walnuts. Fret not, if any of my mix does not work for you, feel free to substitute or create your own mix using your choice of dried fruits and nuts. Thinly slice the loaf and enjoy it as an energy booster, snack, or serve with a cheese platter, as suggested by the author of this baking book.


Recipe adapted from Pure Dessert By Alice Medrich

Dried Fruits And Nuts Loaf (Cake)

Ingredients

¾ Cup (3.4 oz) All-Purpose Flour
¼ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Sea Salt
¾ Cup (5.25 oz) Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Dried Apricot, halved
1-Cup Dried Cherries
1 Cup Dried Figs, stem off and halved
3 Cups (12 oz) Walnut Halves
3 Large Eggs
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Equipment: A 9 by 5 inch 8 cup loaf pan or two 8 by 4 inch (4 cups) loaf pans, or mini loaf pan

Method

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300˚F. Spray loaf pans with vegetable oil spray or line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt to combine. Add the brown sugar, all the dried fruit, and the nuts and mix thoroughly with your fingers. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla extract until light. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon until all the fruits and nuts are coated with batter. Scrape into the prepared pan(s).

Bake until the top is deep golden brown and the batter clinging to the fruit seems set, about 50 to 55 minutes for mini loaf pan, 1 hour for smaller loaves, 10 to 15 minutes longer for a large loaf. Tent the top loosely with foil if the cake appears to be browning too much. Cool completely in the pan(s) on a rack.

When completely cool, remove the cake (bar) from the pan(s). The cake (bar) keeps, wrapped airtight in foil or plastic wrap, for several weeks at room temperature or at least 3 months in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for at least 6 months.

To serve, cut into thin slices with a sharp heavy knife.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Saucepan Fudge Drops


These addictive Saucepan Fudge Drops cookies are chewy with crunchy edges and fudge-like in the centre. The cookies are super easy to make and tastes really good, however, they don't keep very well. They will soften and lose their crunchy exterior very quickly. So, plan to make small batches and enjoy them fresh on the same day they are made. :-)



Recipe adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich

Saucepan Fudge Drops

Ingredients

1 Cup (145g) All-Purpose Flour
¼ tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
½ Cup plus 1 Tbsp (40g) Unsweetened Dutch-Process or Natural Cocoa Powder
2/3 Cup (I used ½ Cup/100g) Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup (65g) Packed Light Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup (90g) Low Fat or Non-Fat Yogurt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 to 3 tsp Powdered Sugar for dusting

Method

Arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together thoroughly. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until it is melted and sizzling. Off the heat, stir in the cocoa until blended and smooth. Stir in the sugars until blended; the mixture will be stiff and sandy. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and fold and stir until it is entirely moistened and incorporated into the cocoa mixture-do not stir more than necessary.

Scoop level tablespoons of the dough 1 ½ inches apart onto the lined cookie sheets. Use a fine strainer to sift powdered sugar over the tops.

Bake until the cookies look dry and cracked on top but still feel a little soft when pressed, 9 to 11 minutes. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through the baking. Slide the cookies, on the paper, off the sheets and onto the racks to cool; or set the pans on the racks and let cool.

The cookies will keep for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container, although they soften and lose their crunchy exterior.

Makes about 32 cookies.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Creamy Butter Prawns


Creamy Butter Prawns is another great comfort food to tuck into during the current cold season here. The sauce is creamy, buttery, and a little spicy. It's made with whipping cream, butter, lots of curry leaves, Thai bird’s eye chilies, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt. As for the crustaceans, I used grilled River prawns here; but, you can easily substitute with crabs or lobsters. Do try the recipe and enjoy!

Creamy Butter Prawns

Ingredients


450 g (8 pcs) River Prawns, halved
2 Tbsp Peanut or Vegetable Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Creamy Butter Sauce
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
5 to 6 Sprigs Fresh Curry Leaves
5 to 6 Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies, chopped
2 Small Cloves Garlic, peeled, chopped
1 tsp All-Purpose Flour
1-Cup (250 ml) Whipping Cream
½ tsp Black Pepper
Sea Salt

Method

Season the prawns with sea salt, ground black pepper and peanut oil. Turn the grill on high and grill the prawns for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add chilies, garlic, curry leaves and fry the mixture until fragrant, about 1 ½ minutes. Add flour and stir until well combine.

Mix in the cream and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let is simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thicken. Season the sauce with black pepper and sea salt. Serve immediately with grilled prawns. (Optional: Prawns can be cook together with the sauce for about 2 minutes.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Golden Kamut Shortbread


I am glad I decided to have a go at baking Alice Medrich’s Golden Kamut Shortbread recipe recently. Not knowing what is Kamut flour, it immediately set me off to do some research which ended up at the local health food store. I learnt quickly that Kamut flour is made from an ancient grain which is more nutritious than regular wheat flour. It contains more protein, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and also a unique type of gluten that’s easier to digest for those who are sensitive to wheat. So, this is the end result, twice-baked Kamut Shortbread that has a light crunch, buttery texture, and a wonderful nutty flavor from the Kamut flour.



Golden Kamut Shortbread

Ingredients

12 Tbsp/6 oz/170g Unsalted Butter, melted and warm
5 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Sea Salt
¾ Cup/110g All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup/130 g Kamut Flour
Turbinado Sugar for sprinkling
Maldon Sea Salt/Flaky and Freshly Ground Black Pepper for sprinkling

Grease a 9” square or 9 ½” round tart pan with a removable bottom

Method

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with sugar, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Add the flours and mix until incorporated. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (Do not refrigerate)

Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300˚F.

Bake the shortbread for 40 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar, sea salt, and black pepper. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the shortbread from the pan. Using a thin sharp knife cut the shortbread into squares, rectangle, or wedges. Place the sliced shortbreads slightly apart on a parchment-line baking sheet, and put into the oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Shortbread will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grilled Fish In Banana Leaves


This is one of my favorite fish dish, a simply delicious Grilled Fish In Banana Leaves recipe. It’s recommended that you use fresh Tilapia fillets and spice it up with the aromatic flavors of shallots, garlic, ginger, garam masala, chili powder, curry leaves, diced tomatoes, and lime juice. Wrap all the ingredients using some banana leaves and grill in a lightly oiled frying pan. The fish tastes really good, spicy, moist, and with a lovely aroma from the banana leaf. Yummy!


Grilled Fish In Banana Leaves

Ingredients


2 (350 g) Pcs Fish Fillets (Tilapia), skinless
4 to 5 Tbsp Peanut or Canola Oil
4 Large Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Clove Garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
About 1 tsp Chopped Fresh Ginger
2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
5 Roma (Plum) Tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 ½ to 2 tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Ground Turmeric
Juice of ½ a Lime
Sea Salt

2 Large Rectangle Banana Leaves
Oil for pan-frying/grilling
Kitchen Strings (optional)
Lime Wedges
Coriander Leaves

Method

Cook the shallots, garlic, ginger, and curry leaves with the peanut oil on moderate heat until aromatic.

Mix in the chopped tomatoes, sauté and add garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, lime juice and season with sea salt. Lower the heat and simmer the spice mixture for about 10 minutes. Divide the spice mixture into 2 portions.

Grease the banana leaf and place some spice mixture in the centre. Place the fish over the spice mixture and top with rest of the spice mixture.

Wrap the fish in the banana leaf and secured with kitchen strings if necessary.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add about 2 Tbsp of oil and place the wrap fish and grill for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Serve immediately with lime wedges, coriander and steamed rice, if desired.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How To Poach Eggs


I will share my method of making Poached Eggs in this post. I know there are so many ways to make simple beautiful poach eggs. I’ll admit I have tried many of the common methods before and have ended up with a lot of wasted eggs. So, I find this method easiest and it works for me every time without fail! It may not be the best looking poached eggs around; but, it works and is certainly good enough for me. Check out the video and please let me know what you think.




How to Poach Eggs

Ingredients

4 Eggs, at room temperature
Water
A big pinch of Sea Salt

A 9 to 10 inch Pan

Method

Fill about 1 inch water and a big pinch of sea salt in the pan and bring it to a boil.

Turn off the heat. Crack one egg at a time into the water and make sure they are side by side. Closed the lid and allow the eggs to set to the desired consistency. I like my egg yolk runny, so, 3 minutes would be perfect.

Using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove one egg at a time and shake off any excess water. Serve the eggs warm.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lemongrass And Ginger Drink


It’s widely known that Lemongrass and Ginger Drink is an effective remedy for coughs, flu, nausea, indigestion, stomach cramping, etc. I am not sure if it really heals all that’s been claimed, however, I do know that having a couple of cups of the drink did soothe my stomach when I wasn’t feeling well recently. Whatever the case, I love the taste of this drink which is typically served hot; but, it can also be served as a refreshing iced drink on a hot sweltering day. Try making some and serve it hot during the current cold season, it will help to keep to your body warm! :)


Lemongrass And Ginger Drink

Ingredients


4 Stalks Fresh Lemongrass, trimmed and bruised (smashed)
1 inch Fresh Ginger, peeled and bruised (smashed)
1000 ml Water
3 Pandan (Screwpine) Leaves, washed and knotted
80 g Yellow Rock Sugar

Method

Combine the lemongrass, ginger, Pandan leaves, and water in a medium pot. Bring it to a boil, lower to heat to simmer. Cover with lid and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Add rock sugar and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.



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