Sunday, May 27, 2012
For a quick starter, try these simple Clams With Roasted Tomatoes baked in a paper bag. Serve the clams with some crusty bread and let your guests open the yummy parcels themselves.
Clams With Roasted Tomatoes
About 700g Manila Clams
4 Tbsp of Parsley, Chili, Garlic, And Lemon Flavored Butter, divided (Click here for the recipe)
1 Pack/250 g of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, divided (Click here for the recipe)
4 Tbsp White Wine, divided
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Use 2 large pieces of parchment papers for each serving. Place the papers on a large bowl. Divide the clams into 2 equal portions. Top the clams with flavored butter, tomatoes, white wine, and season with sea salt and black pepper. Wrap the paper up and tie it with kitchen strings.
Place the bags on a baking tray and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until the clams are cooked. To serve, cut the kitchen strings, open the paper bag, drizzle some olive oil and garnish with basil and lemon wedges. Serve immediately with some crusty bread.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Insalata Caprese is a rustic Italian salad made with fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and tomatoes. For this recipe, I'd added some slow-roasted tomatoes and seasoned lightly with some lemon juice. A very refreshing salad and it's a perfect starter to any main meal.
Refreshing Insalata Caprese
1 Tub(200g/36 pcs) Mini Bocconcini Cheese (semi-soft)
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (255 g) click here for the recipe
A Handful Basil Leaves, whole
1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Juice, to taste (optional)
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Toss all the ingredients together, adjust seasoning with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Have you tried slow roasting tomatoes? The slow roasting process brings out the tomatoes' natural sweetness and tastes amazing. Goes great with most salads and complements many meals very well. I will share two simple recipes that uses these lovely tomatoes over the next two posts.
2 Packs (9oz/255 g X 2) Small Campari or Cherry Tomatoes, halved
2 to 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, smashed
2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme (optional)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Preheat the oven to 250˚F.
Toss all the ingredients together and place on a large baking tray in a single layer. Roast the tomatoes for about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Let cool and store in an airtight jar.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
This is my version of a crispy roast pork belly. It has the perfect crispy crackling and it's really easy to make. First, get a good piece of organic pork belly. Have your butcher score the skin, but, not go all the way through so that you get a better crackling. Then, do a salt-rub onto the meat, either use your favorite salt-rub recipe or you can try mine. My salt-rub consists of coarse salt, chili flakes, caraway seeds, and lots of black peppers. Allow the meat to absorb all the wonderful flavors of the salt-rub by leaving it in the fridge overnight. Before roasting it the next day, do rub some oil and remainder salt-rub onto the skin. Roast the pork in moderate temperature to ensure it's cooked thoroughly and crank the heat high when it's almost done to get the crackling really crispy. That's all to it! Enjoy!
Crispy Roast Pork Belly
1 Pc (about 1.3 kg) Organic Boneless Pork Belly, skin scored (ask your butcher to do this)
Olive Oil (about 2 Tbsp)
2 Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 Rib Of Celery, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp Coarse Salt
1 Tbsp Chili Flakes
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Caraway Seeds
Roasting Tin, lined with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning)
In a small bowl, combine the salt rub ingredients.
Rub the flesh side of the pork with some salt-rub, cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the pork, skin side up for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Rub some olive oil all over the skin and the remainder salt-rub.
Scatter the onion and celery in the prepared roasting tin, place the pork belly on top, skin side up, and roast for about 1 hour 20 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 500˚F and roast for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the crackling is crispy. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
This nostalgic Kuih Lapis/Nine Layer Kuih is popular in Malaysia and Singapore. There are only a few ingredients required to create this wonderful kuih for snacks. Make sure you set a timer for the steaming process, wipe the pot cover dry after every layer is done and be careful not to let the hot steam burn your hands. Enjoy the kuih layer by layer...
Kuih Lapis/Nine Layer Kuih
160 g Castor Sugar
600 ml Water
3 Pandan Leaves, washed & knotted
200 g Rice Flour
6 Tbsp (60 g) Tapioca Flour
1 Can/400 ml Coconut Milk
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
Red Food Coloring
20 cm Round or Square Baking pan/tin, lightly greased
Steamer filled with boiling water
Bring the sugar, water, and Pandan leaves to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and discard the pandan leaves.
In a large bowl, mix the rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut milk, sea salt and the sugar syrup. Stir until well blended and let the mixture rest for an hour. Strain the mixture and divide into 2 portions. Set aside one portion uncolored and about 4 to 5 small drops of red coloring to the other portions.
Place the greased pan in a steamer over high heat. Start with the colored mixture, pour ½ cup into the pan, set the timer for 6 minutes, and wipe the pot cover after every layer is done. (Stir the batter every time before pouring the next layer.) Continue with the uncolored layer and keep alternating the color layer, add a few extra drops of red coloring for the 9th layer, stir well and pour it over the steamed layer and steam for about 10 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool completely, about 5 hours, then cut the kuih into desire shapes and sizes.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Try serving this healthy Zesty Soba Noodles for a light lunch or as a side to your favorite meat meal. This noodle dish is tossed with soy and sesame dressing. Really simple to make. Hope your family enjoys this recipe.
Zesty Soba Noodles
1 Packet (270g) Organic Soba/Buckwheat Noodle, cooked as per manufacturer’s instructions, chilled
4 Stalks Scallion, chopped
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Soy & Sesame Dressing
4 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
3 Tbsp Japanese Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Yuzu Vinegar
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
Combine all the salad dressing ingredients and whisk well. When ready to serve, toss the chilled soba with prepared dressing, top with chopped scallions,some sesame seeds and roasted seaweeds.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Here's an easy snack to make, tasty Ham And Cheese Croissants. Using just ready-rolled puff pastry and the two other handy ingredients, you have a great tasting after school or afternoon tea snack. Do serve the pastry warm from the oven and they will be gone in no time. Yum!
Ham And Cheese Croissants
1 (400g/12 x 15 inches) Pre-rolled Puff Pastry
6 Slices of Ham
6 Slices of Double Smoked Cheddar Cheese
1 Egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp of Water
Preheat the oven 400˚F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough slightly and cut into 6 squares. Place one slice of ham on a diagonal on each square and top with the cheese. Fold one corner of the dough over the cheese and brush the tip with egg wash. Then fold the other corner over the flap and press it gently into place. Brush the dough with egg wash and bake for about 16 to 18 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Makes 6 Ham and Cheese Croissants
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Warning, these Meat Ragu Pizza Bites are seriously delicious! Using pre-made pizza dough, I filled them with mozzarella and the meat Ragu which I'd made earlier for the Pappardelle. They look like small Meat Ragu dumplings, don't they? :-) Simply delightful!
Meat Ragu Pizza Bites
1 Packet (about 300 to 310g) Fresh Pizza Dough (available at Whole Foods Market)
¾ Cup Meat Ragu
80 g Mozzarella Cheese, diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
Dried Italian Herbs
Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, freshly grated
Baking dish-lightly oiled
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400˚F/200˚C.
Press down the dough on a lightly flour surface. Then divide the dough into 8 equals balls. Roll each out into a circle, (about 4 inches in diameter) Put 1 tablespoonful of prepared meat ragu in the center of each circle, top with diced mozzarella, and wrap dough around filling. Place the dough on the baking dish, seam side down, brush the top with olive oil, and sprinkle some sea salt, black pepper, herbs and cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until light golden brown in color.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I love having a warm and rich Pappardelle with Meat Ragu on a cool rainy day. The meat Ragu is packed with so much flavor as it’s cooked with all the fresh ingredients for about 3 hours! So, I usually tend to make a bit more and freeze it for use later on. Do try making this hearty pasta dish, add a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and some chopped parsley. Then, after tucking into it, tell me what you think.
Pappardelle With Meat Ragu
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
About 2.2 lbs/1.1 kg Organic Fed Boneless Beef Chuck Roasts, cubed (1/2 to 3/4 inch)
1 Large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
3 Carrots, peeled and diced
3 Celery Sticks, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp Italian Seasoning/Herbs
1 Cup Marsala Wine
2 Tins (796ml/28 fl oz) San Marzano Whole Tomatoes With Juice
½ Cup Beef Stock
1 Dried Bay Leaf
1 Box (500g) Dried Pappardelle Pasta, cooked al dente
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Italian Flat Leaves Parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C)
Heat a stockpot or Dutch oven over a moderate to high heat. Brown the beef cubed with olive oil in batches, and set aside.
Add extra oil to the pan if necessary. Then cook onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Keep stirring, about 8 to 10 minutes, add in the Italian seasoning and cook until the mixture has softened, fragrant and golden in color. Then add the beef, Marsala wine, beef stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and bring to the boil. Cover the pot with parchment paper and place the lid on top. Transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is very tender, about 3 hours.
Serve warm over the cooked pasta and sprinkle in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and chopped parsley.
Serve 4 to 6