Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scallop Noodles

This is seared sea scallops served with wheat noodles that's been tossed with spicy Sichuan sauce and blanched Hong Kong Kai Lan vegetables. If you prefer, you can always substitute with your favorite vegetables and add a fried egg. A simple and yet so satisfying noodles meal!

Scallop Noodles


12 to 15 Large Sea Scallops

350 g Dried Wheat Noodles
1 Bunch Hong Kong Kai Lan, blanched
Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped
2 Red Chilies, sliced (optional)
Peanut Oil

Spicy Sichuan Sauce

1 Tbsp Peanut Oil

1 tsp Sichuan Peppercorn

3 Cloves Garlic, chopped (about 1 Tbsp)

½ inch Ginger, finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp)

4 Stalks Scallions (Green Onions/Spring Onions) white part only, chopped (reserved the green part for sprinkling)

2 ½ Tbsp Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce

6 Tbsp Chili Oil with sediment

2 ½ Tbsp Sesame Paste


In a wok or saucepan over high heat, add peanut oil and mix in the peppercorns. Stir-fry until fragrant and add garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry for about 30 to 40 seconds. Reduce the heat to low, mix in the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, chili oil, and sesame paste and simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Prepare the scallops: Heat a cast-iron or non-stick pan. When the pan is hot add about 1 Tbsp or oil and sear the scallops in 2 to 3 batches. Turn scallops once, and remove from heat when scallops are just cooked, about 1 minute per side.

Cook the noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain the noodles and divide among 4 to 6 bowls, add the sauce (according to taste) and toss well. Top with scallops, vegetables, chopped scallions, coriander, red chilies, and serve immediately.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chocolate Tostada With Olive Oil and Flaky Sea Salt

Chocolate Tostada With Olive Oil and Flaky Sea Salt. That's what this is called. I know it's a mouthful of words! Anyway, do not fear as it's one of the easiest things to make and yet, it's such an indulgence! You should try to make this. Just lightly brush a baguette with extra-virgin olive oil, and broil or toasted. Then spread it with melted chocolate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. That's it! I think you will love it!

Recipe adapted from The New Spanish Table {pg 167}

Chocolate Tostada With Olive Oil and Flaky Sea Salt~ Tostada De Chocolate Con Aceite De Olivia


5 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, melted
1 (9 to 10 inches long) Baguette, cut in half lengthwise
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Flaky Sea Salt, such as Maldon


Preheat the broiler.

Brush the cut side of each baguette half very lightly with olive oil. Broil the bread until golden in color.

Spread the cut side of each baguette half with the melted chocolate, lightly drizzle with olive oil over the chocolate, and sprinkle it with flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fig Pizza

Try making this Fig Pizza as a tasty snack or dessert. It's very easy to make, just use store bought pizza dough with a combination of your favorite jam and freshly sliced figs. Can be served and enjoyed either warm or at room temperature. Try it!

Fig Pizza


1 Packet (310-320g) of Fresh Pizza Dough (available at Whole Foods Market), cut into the 2, or whole
4 to 5 Fresh Figs, sliced
4 to 5 Tbsp Raspberry, or any of your favorite Jam
Brown Sugar


Preheat oven to 450˚F.

In a small saucepan, heat raspberry jam with 1 ½ to 2 tsp of water until melted and spreadable.

Press down the dough on a lightly flour surface. Then pull and stretch the dough into desire size and shape.

Spread the jam onto the dough. Arrange fig slices on top of the jam and sprinkle some brown sugar over the figs.

Bake the pizza for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cheesesteak Sliders

You will need a lot of napkins and drinks for this fabulous Cheesesteak Sliders. This is the perfect meal to make when you are craving for something meaty and cheesy! The list of ingredients might look long; but, rest assured it's a very simple meal to prepare. Either get your butcher to slice the steak thinly at the store or if you prefer, you can do it yourself at home with a good sharp knife. Just remember to freeze the meat for about 30 minutes before slicing. I prepared some meat seasoning for this recipe, however, if you don't have all the spices, you can substitute with your favorite steak blend spice from the store.

Cheesesteak Sliders


2 lbs (+-890 g) Rib-Eye Steaks, thinly sliced (about 1/8 to ¼ inch thick)
Meat/Steak Seasoning
2 Red Bell Peppers, cut into strips
2 Green Red Peppers, cut into strips
2 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
Shredded Provolone, Cheddar, or Mozzarella Cheese
Olive Oil
12 Mini Burger Buns, toasted in a pan before serving

Meat/Steak Seasoning
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Paprika Powder
2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sea Salt


Season the beef slices with 2 tsp of the steak seasoning and let it marinate for about 20 to 30 minutes. Divide the meat into 4 portions.

Heat a large cast-iron or non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, peppers, onions, and sauté until the onions are softened, about 6 to 7 minutes, divide into 4 portions, and set aside. Reheat the pan; add 1 portion of the beef, cook, and shred the meat with a spatula. Mix in 1 portion of the pepper and onion mixture, some seasoning, mix well, and splash a bit of water if the mixture seems dry. Then top with shredded cheese and cover with a lid until the cheese are melted. Divide the beef mixture among the buns, press together and serve hot.

Makes 12 Cheesesteak Sliders

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mini Rosti Potatoes

Mini Rosti Potatoes are a great snack, either on it's own or filled with your favorite toppings. I like to fill this Swiss potato dish with soft-boiled eggs and serve it as a light brunch with salad. Coarsely grate the potatoes, season, shape into round patties (different sizes, if you like) and it's usually fried in either butter or oil. Here, I have used a muffin pan to easily shape equal sized patties and I opted to bake the potatoes instead. All you need to do is press the seasoned potatoes into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes. It's simply perfect!

Mini Rosti Potatoes


2 (550 g) Russet Potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated, squeezed excess water with kitchen towel
2 Tbsp Garlic Butter or Regular Butter, melted
¼ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Chopped Rosemary
1 to 2 Tbsp Olive for greasing

12 Cups Muffin Pan


Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Grease the muffin pan with olive oil.

Mix together the potatoes, melted butter, sea salt, and rosemary. Scoop 1 heap Tbsp (about ¼ Cup) of the potato mixture into the muffin pan, press with the back of a spoon, and bake for about 13 to 14 minutes. Then switch to the top-heating element or turn over the potato patties and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 12 Mini Rosti Potatoes

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pappardelle With Portobello, Cremini, And Red Peppers

This pasta dish is all about the mixture of fresh Portabello mushrooms, Cremini mushrooms, and red peppers. I like to cook the pasta to almost al dente and then, complete the process by cooking it together with the vegetables. Don't forget to grate in some Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan for a creamier texture.

Pappardelle With Portobello, Cremini, And Red Peppers


200 g Dried Pappardelle Pasta
3 Large (about 280 g) Portobello Mushrooms, cleaned and diced
6 Large (about 260 g) Cremini Mushrooms, cleaned and diced
2 Medium Red Bell Peppers, seeded and diced
2 to 3 Tbsp Olive Oil

5 Cloves Garlic, chopped (you can use less garlic)

½ tsp Chili Flakes

2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Italian Flat Parsley

A splash (2 Tbsp) of White Wine
About 1 Tbsp of Freshly Squeeze Lemon Juice

Sea Salt to taste

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 to 3 Tbsp of Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or more


In a heavy cast iron or large non-stick pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until you can smell the garlic and light golden in color (about 1 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook until they are almost soft. Then toss in the peppers and continue to cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. When the pasta has cooked ALMOST al dente, drain it in a colander.

Mix in the chili flakes and parsley and give the mixture a quick stir. Then add wine and scrape around the pan to deglaze, and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss the pasta into the mushroom mixture, stir well, adjust seasoning if needed and grate in some Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately with a little extra grated cheese and parley, if desired.

Serve 2

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chili Crabs

Like most people, I love the sweetness of Dungeness crabs. They are reasonable priced this time of the year. So, if you are into crabs, do try this Chili Crabs recipe. The chili sauce requires a little advance preparation, but, the end result is well worth the effort.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meatball Subs

These hearty Meatball Subs are an ideal fall and winter months lunch time fix! I added some soaked country bread in the meat mixture, together with lots of pepper, minced garlic, parsley, cumin, paprika, and sea salt. The beef meatballs were so tender, moist, and full of flavors. Then, I spread some garlic butter on the baguette, and toasted them until slightly crisp. Fill the toasted baguette with the meatballs and some of the tasty sauce. That's it. If you like, you may also top it with some Provolone cheese and bake it under the grill till the cheese melts. It's simply decadent!

Meatball Subs



¼ Piece (200 g) Crustless Country Bread, torn into chunks

1 Cup Water 

1 Kg Ground (Minced) Beef
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced

2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
½ tsp Ground Cumin

1 ½ tsp Ground Paprika
¾ tsp Sea Salt

About 4 Tbsp Olive Oil, for frying


4-5 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Large Red Onion, peeled and diced
2 tsp Sugar

1 ½ Kg (about 12) Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced (You may opt for tin tomatoes)
½ tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Flakes
4 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 ¼ Cups Beef Broth
A Bunch of Fresh Basil Leaves, torn
¼ Cup Red Wine
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Meatball Subs
6 (6 to 8 inches size) Baguette
Garlic Butter

Meatballs (You’ll need about ½ portion from the recipe)


For the meatballs, soak the bread in the water in a medium bowl, squishing it through your fingers so that it breaks up completely.

Put the ground beef in a large bowl with soften bread, garlic, parsley, cumin, paprika, sea salt, and generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything together thoroughly, kneading it with your hands as though it were bread dough. Form about 48 meatballs the size of a large cherry, rolling them between your palms, so they are compact. Keep the made ones on a plate while you finish rolling the rest.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches, making sure they are golden before you turn them. You should be able to shuffle them by holding the handle of the pan and giving a good flick with your wrist. If not, use tongs to turn them. Remove the meatballs and set aside.

Using the same pan, use about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the oil, and discard the excess oil. (If the pan is large enough to hold all the meatballs) Then add the garlic, onion, sugar, and sauté until fragrant and translucent. When you can smell the garlic mixture, add the tomatoes. Season with paprika, chili flakes, and give it a good stir. Mix in the tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine. Bring the tomato mixture to a boil, and let simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt, add the basil and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as you stir from time to time.

Add the meatballs into the tomato sauce, stir, and simmer uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, until the meatballs are soft and there is a fair amount of thickened sauce. Then stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

For the Meatball Subs
Cut the baguette in half lengthwise, and remove some of the bread from the inside to make a well for the meatballs. Spread with garlic butter, toast into the oven until lightly crisp. Spoon the meatballs and some of the tomato sauce into the baguette. Cool slightly, cut into servings, and enjoy :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stir-Fry Rice Vermicelli

Rice vermicelli is another versatile staple food that can be enjoyed in so many ways, one of which is to fry it. Whichever way it's cooked or fried, it absorbs all the flavors of the ingredients it's being cooked in and you will have a very simple and delicious meal. This is one of my favorite Stir-Fry Rice Vermicelli recipe. Only two main ingredients, namely, rice vermicelli and bean sprouts. A healthy and delicious vegetarian carbo fix that costs very little to make. This humble Malaysian styled fried vermicelli is fantastic as it is, however, you can also opt to serve with fried eggs or with some chicken curry to add some protein to your meal. Try it!

Stir-Fry Rice Vermicelli


1 Packet/454g/16oz/1 lb Rice Vermicelli, soak according to manufacture’s instructions and drain well

1 Packet/454g/16oz/1 lb Bean Sprouts, washed and drained
4 Tbsp Peanut or Vegetable Oil

3 Medium-Size Shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped

5 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Cups of Water

2-3 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce, preferably Dark Caramel

2 tsp Chicken Granules

Sea Salt to taste


In a large wok over medium heat, mix in the oil and cook the shallots and garlic until light golden in color.

 Add water, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and chicken granules. Turn the heat on high, bring it to a boil and toss in the rice vermicelli. Use a tong and spatula to mix the rice vermicelli into the sauce. When the sauce is almost dry, mix in the bean sprouts. Continue to stir-fry until all the ingredients are well mix and the bean sprouts are just cooked, and adjust the seasoning with sea salt. Serve warm.

Serves 6

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Banana Bread With Chocolate Chips

Here's my family's favorite Banana Bread. I'd like to share this quick and easy recipe with you this evening. The bread tastes so good as it also contains a small splash of rum and lots of melted chocolate chips in it. Yummy!

Banana Bread With Chocolate Chips


Dry Ingredients
1 ½ Cups (225 g) All-Purpose Flour
¾ tsp Baking Powder

¼ tsp Fine Sea Salt

½ tsp Baking Soda

Wet Ingredients
3 Ripe Bananas (about 635 g/yield 440 g)

½ Cup (80 g) Light Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup (75 g) Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Tbsp Dark Rum
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Large Eggs

3 Tbsp Plain Yogurt
½ Cup (100 g) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, melted


Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C. (Middle rack)

Butter an 8.5 x 5–inch loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, sea salt and baking soda.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Then mix in sugar, melted butter, rum, vanilla, egg, and yogurt with a rubber spatula. Lightly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combines. Pour in the melted chocolate, and fold into the banana mixture, about 5 gentle folds. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden brown and springs back when you press it in the middle. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then remove the bread from the pan. Let cool completely before serving.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yangzhou Fried Rice

Over the past months, I have been teaching my daughter to cook simple Chinese's meals. So far, I have taught her how to whip-up simple meals like fried rice or noodles, and a couple of her favorite stir-fry green vegetables. Last weekend, she made Yangzhou Fried Rice and it turned out fantastic! As a beginner, I taught her to focus on cooking for one. This way, she doesn't have to worry about messing too much with the ingredients and the heat/fire that's so important in Asian cooking. It worked for her as she found the whole process less intimidating and extremely easy. Do try whipping up this fantastic fried rice at home yourself. :-)

Yangzhou Fried Rice


2 Cups Cooked Cold Rice
1 ½ Tbsp Peanut Oil
5 to 6 Medium Prawns, peeled
1 Large Clove of Garlic, chopped
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1/3 Cup Frozen Peas, thawed and drained
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground White Pepper
1 Stalk Scallion, chopped


Heat 1 Tbsp of oil over medium to high heat on a frying pan and fry prawns until they are cook. Dish out and set aside.

Add in the remaining ½ Tbsp of oil and fry the chopped garlic until golden brown in color. Toss in the rice and stir frequently. Then mix in the egg and gently move it around, make sure the rice is coated with the eggs. Add the peas, prawns, stir well and mix soy sauce, white pepper, and adjust the seasoning with sea salt. Serve immediately with some chopped scallion.

Serve 1

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chinese-Style Chicken Curry

This is an excellent Chinese-Style chicken curry recipe. The curry is packed with aromatic flavoring from dried chilies, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, tumeric, and garlic. It's not too spicy and is perfect with just some steamed rice. Yummy comfort food.

Chinese-Style Chicken Curry


2 Pcs (about 420g) Chicken Breast (skinless), cut into chunks
2 to 3 Pcs (about 380 g) Chicken Drumsticks, cut into 3 pcs
6 Yellow Flesh Potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut into chunks
400 ml Coconut Milk, divided into 2 portion
3 Cups (750 ml) Water
Sea Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

Spice Paste
25 g Dried Chilies, cut into ½ inch in length and soaked in hot water, drained
6 (100 g) Fresh Red Chilies, seeded, chopped
12 to 15 (about 300 g) Shallots, peeled and chopped
20 g Ginger, peeled and chopped
2 Stalks Lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
8 g Fresh Turmeric, peeled and chopped
20 g Galangal, peeled and chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
6 Candlenuts
1 tsp Roasted Shrimp Paste (Belacan)


Season the chicken chunks with sea salt.

Grind the spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor.

In a large saucepan or wok over moderate heat, add the oil (about 4 to 5 Tbsp) and cook the spice paste until fragrant. Turn the heat on high and stir in the chicken chunks, stirring continuously until the chicken is well coated with the spices.

Mix in 200 ml of coconut milk with 3 cups of water. Bring the curry sauce to a boil and lower the heat and continue to simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes. Then add the potato chunks and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Mix in the balance (200 ml) coconut milk into the curry sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes and season with sea salt.

Serves 6 to 8