Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lemon Caper Pasta with Minced Beef

I woke up this morning, a little later than usual and so, I decided to make brunch.

And Pasta is a hungry student's best friend.

Now, this dish was put together on the fly, so I don't have pictures, but I'm posting it up because I think its cool what you can do with a little creativeness in the kitchen.

It tasted amazing.
You'll just have to try it to beieve it.

Especially if you like tangy flavors.

I just finished eating it.

So.

All I had in my fridge was:
Minced beef, a lemon, a bottle of capers, butter, some leftover sweet sauce (from the roast duck we had the other day), worechestier (sp?) sauce, sesame seed oil, some herbs, a small bit of butter, onions and garlic. oh and spaghetti.

Sounds like a recipie, but looks a mess in the fridge.

I'm having tropical fruit yoghurt for desert. That's in the fridge as well. :)

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Ingredients.
Minced beef (about a handful)
1/2 Lemon
Spaghetti (portion for 1)
1/2 medium sized Onion
3 cloves of Garlic
1 spoonful of Capers (or however much you fancy)
2 tbsp sweet sauce (i'm pretty sure you can substitute this with sugar or mango chutney)
4 tbsp water (to dilute the sweet sauce)
worechiester sauce
sesame seed oil
salt
pepper
butter
mixed dried herbs


Serves.
1


Step 1: Marinate the Beef
Take a bowl, put in the beef, a few dashes of worechestier sauce, a dash or seseme seed oil and a small sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix it up and set aside.

Step 2: Boil your pasta
Boil a pot of hot water, throw your pasta in with some salt.

Step 3: Other ingredients
Dice your onion and garlic and set aside.
Take some hot water from your still boiling pasta to melt/dilute the sweet sauce.
Ready your lemon, capers and butter and herbs.

Step 4: Quick tossing in the pan
Your pasta should be cooked by now.
drain it and put it on a plate. right next to all your other ingredients.

Melt some butter in the pan.
throw in the onion and garlic and fry to bring out some fragrance.
throw in your beef and fry, making sure it seperates.
throw in your pasta.
throw in your capers.
squeeze in the lemon juice.
pour in the sweet sauce.
add a dash of pepper and salt to taste.
sprinkle with herbs.

Toss this in a medium heat in your pan and you'll start smelling the beautiful aroma of warm lemon.


Final Serve.
Plate your pasta and sprinkle with a bit more herbs if you like.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

the reason why this dish works is -

Sweet curbs sour.
so a balance between sweet and sour is the key.

cheers :)

...
..
.

ETA (24 0212 Oct 2006 Tuesday):
it's worecestershire sauce -- d

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sweetsavoury Sauce

hoookay.

here's an uber simple, basic stir fry dish that you can make with almost any combination of vegetables.

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Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sweetsavoury Sauce

This is kind of my own invention (the sauce).

I've had the older people (the parents) advise me in the past, to not put sugar with vegetables, but i plain disagreed and did it anyway.

They love the sauce.

And I've been making it this way ever since. :)

note: green leafy vegetables will shrink to half the portion after its been cooked. so keep that in mind when trying to figure out how much vege to cook.


Ingredients.
Any Vegetable for 4, cut up to bite size
(here I've used British spring green, tomatoes and radish)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 onion, medium sized, diced
1 tbsp cooking oil

Optional ingredient:
8 crab sticks, cut into bite size

For the sauce:
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp corn starch (for thickening)
1/2 rice bowl of hot water
salt & pepper to taste

Serves.
4-5


Step 1: Cut everything up
It should look somewhat like this.


Step 2: Boil the radish
This is useful information.
Radish is generally hard and tasteless when its not very cooked.
When you boil it, it goes soft and juicy and sweet.
You'll know its done when it turns semi-transluscent.


Step 3: Make the sauce

Get a bowl and put in all the ingredients for the sauce and mix it up.
The reason why we use hot water, is to dissolve everything.
It will look cloudy and brown now, but when you cook it, corn starch goes clear.
Leave this aside.


Step 3: Stir-Fry!
Heat up the oil in the Wok.
When the oil is hot, throw in the onion and garlic and fry till its fragrant.
(essential in most chinese cooking.)

Now, by order of cooking time (or vegetable hardness), throw the remaining into the wok.

Pour in the sauce all around the vege and continue frying till the vegetables cook.
Use the wok's cover to trap the steam to speed cooking up and to keep the juices in.


Final Serve.
We were lucky. Someone bought us some duck to go with our vege!
It was sweet and savoury and oh so good.
Everything goes really well with steamed white rice.




I'm getting hungry just typing this.
Someone needs to teach me how to make roast duck.

:)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Savoury Steamed Egg & Mince

Hello all.

I'm terribly sorry for the long absence ... but I haven't had the time nor the resources to whip up anything remotely exciting in the last couple of weeks and here's the reason why:

The people in my flat are adverse to trying new things AND they also have meat preferences, which means i'm generally stuck cooking everyday, homecooked chinese meals.

1 meat dish (pork or chicken only) and 1 vegetable dish.

I'll endeavour to create some exciting weekend lunches tho'.



Just for me and you. :)



With that said, here's a simple homecooked cantonese dish that everyone can make and is very traditional and delicious!

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Savoury Steamed Egg & Mince

My grandmother used to make this for lunch. It brings back loads of memories. You can generally find this in authentic cantonese homestyle cooked restaurants!

There are several versions of this dish, one with salted fish, one with tofu and one with just egg.
I generally prefer just egg or with tofu, because it's more soothing and smooth to eat.

note: you will need some sort of steaming rack and plate.

Ingredients.
300g minced pork
2 eggs
1 tbsp, sesame seed oil
3 tbsp, light soy sauce
1 tsp, white sugar
3 tbsp, garlic granula
2 dashes of black/white pepper
(*optional: 1/2 block of silken tofu)

Serves.
4-5



Step 1: Marinate the Minced Meat
Wash your hands and use them.
Put the minced meat in a bowl and add the pepper, salt, sugar, sesame seed oil and light soy sauce, and mix it all up evenly with your fingers.
Leave aside for at least 10 mins. (longer if you're not pressed for time.)

Step 2: More mixing
Crack your 2 eegs into the bowl and mix evenly (break the yolk)

*as an option, you can also mix in the tofu. just be careful not to mash it up too much. you still want a bit of texture.

Step 3: Steam away!
Place your egg'n'mince into a dish suitable for steaming.
(I used a metal plate. good heat distribution)
And just Steam for about 20mins :) easy.

Final Serve.
You can opt to keep it in the same dish (for a home feel) or dress it up by plating it. just tip it out of the cooking dish along with the savory juices into a clean dish and serve steaming :)

[sorry i don't have a picture of the final product ... it smelt so good that day we slurped everything up!]

try it!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

oopsie daisies: cup measurements.

you know, i always knew there was something wrong with the measurements of ingredients i publish. the truth is, i don't use them chef tools, so when i say "cup", i mean something like 150ml instead of 273ml simply because i use my drinking cup....

oopsie daisies!

so please take note of cup measurements in past entries. i have approximated the tablespoons and teaspoons according to conventional cooking measurements, so you needn't worry too much about that. will endeavour to be more precise with my cup measurements.

:x

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Crispy Noodle Salad.

Crispy Noodle Salad.

sometime ago, i attempted this dish at ryce's place to no avail. since getting flour for the crepes, however, i finally have the necessary ingredient to ensure that the noodles turn out the way they should when fried.

Ingredients.
2 slab, instant noodle
3 slice, smoke ham
3-4 bunch, parsley or coriander/ cilantro
3 tbsp, cream cheese
1 cup, coconut cream
1-2 cup, flour
3 tbsp, garlic granula
some cooking oil (for deep-frying)
*black pepper to taste

Crispy Noodle Salad: Ingredients.

Serves.
2-3.

Step 1: Cook your noodles.
simple: boil the noodle in a pot of water until it's cooked. as i seldom attempt instant noodles in its simplest fashion, i only learnt from ryce that instant noodle's really only cooked when the strands have separated themselves and are soft to a bite.

when cooked, drain the water away.

Step 2: Coat noodles with flour.
coat the noodle with flour, ensuring that the noodle's sufficiently floured up. the flour helps to absorb excess water and allows the noodle to stay separate in the frying process.

Crispy Noodle Salad: Cooked Noodles In Flour.

Step 3: Prepare your sauce.
Mince the parsley and ham up. Over a medium flame, pour the coconut cream into the pot . add the cheese, parsley and ham into the solution. allow it to come to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Fry the noodle.
while you're awaiting the sauce to boil, pour about half a cup full of cooking oil into a wok/ pan over a high flame. when the oil is hot, throw a handful of the floured noodle into the pan and let it fry. it should take 5-7 minutes for the noodle to fry. if you do not have enough oil for actual deep-frying, ensure that you stir the noodle constantly.

fry until golden brown.

repeat the process until you've fried all the noodle. you might have to change the oil and clean the wok/ pan at some point if it gets too dirty.

Final Serve.
in each bowl of crispy noodle, pour the sauce on top before sprinkling the garlic granula and pepper.

while this attempt was far better than the last, the sauce ended up a bit too thick. i would suggest adding 1 cup of fresh milk or just some water into the sauce-cooking process at Step 3 to thin the solution. not too much of that, otherwise you might lose the coconut flavour of the sauce :)

Crispy Noodle Salad: Final Serve.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

One-Step Whitebread Pizza.

remember the loaf of bread that was lying in ryce's fridge? well, other than toasting your bread, or making french toast out of it, we can use it as base for your favourite pizza toppings!

Ingredients.
6 slice, whitebread
3 roma tomatoes
4, cup mushroom
3 piece, smoked ham (or your favourite meat, e.g. smoke salmon, left over chicken)
3 tbsp, sour cream (you can use other sauce base like bolognese)
some cheese (the usual suspects like mozzarella, parmesan, etc)

Whitebread Pizza Ingredients.

*missing: 1 capsicum (ryce doesn't do capsicums -sigh-)

Serves.
3

Step 1: All at Once!
dice the tomatoes, mushrooms and ham into fine pieces. coat the bread with a generous layer of sour cream, then apply the tomato, ham and mushroom on it. top that with a good cover of cheese.

preheat your oven to about 150 degrees, and pop your pizza in for 5-10 minutes. basically until your cheese melts and browns a little at the edges.

Viola!

Final Serve.
easy to prepare, tastes good, and helps rid of surplus without having to either dump them away or promote fungus growth!

Whitebread Pizza.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Grilled Stuffed Pear with Pawpaw.

Grilled Stuffed Pear with Pawpaw.

following our dinner, i decided to try to brush up on my dessert-making skills. admittedly, i'm terribly bad at getting my desserts done right.

there's quite a bit of pawpaw left over from our last dessert exercise, and we got these brown pears from the supermarket. this dessert's a simple one that i actually like to serve with ice-cream.

Ingredients.
1 pear
1 slice, pawpaw
1 lemon

Serve.
2

Step 1: Digging your pear!
slice your pear in two (length-wise), and start digging the flesh out without breaking the skin. we're using the pear skin as a recepticle for our stuffing.

Step 2: Preparing the stuffing.
dice the pear flesh dug out earlier with the pawpaw and toss them together nicely. add lemon juice to the mixture.

when done, stuff the pear skins with the mixture.

Grilled Stuffed Pear with Pawpaw: Process.

Step 3: Grilling the pear.
preheat your oven to about 100 degrees, set the pears to grill for at least 10 minutes (i stopped at about 15 minutes). this would allow the pear to grill nicely without actually drying up.

Final Serve.
this dish is normally prepared by mixing some melted chocolate into the fruit salad, and (at serving time) a scoop of vanilla icecream. without the chocolate and icecream, the only redeeming quality was the lemon juice that gave it that required balance.

Grilled Stuffed Pear with Pawpaw: Final Serve.

Grilled Fish with Parsley Ham Sauce, Steamed Vegetables & Steak Strips.

Grilled Fish with Parsley Ham Sauce, Steamed Vegetables & Steak Strips.

ryce and i did a bit of grocery shopping last saturday for this week's meals. during our headless-chicken scouring of the aisles, ryce insisted that we grab some fish because she's not had those in a while, so we did. Barramundis were the specials on sale at the deli, so we got a good big slab of that.

today, ryce decided to ask her best friend, Jac, and the latter's boyfriend over for some "gourmet food" (my claim). i figured i'd cook the slab of fish before it rots, and do it in a fashion similar to what i did a couple of months ago. the idea here is to keep the fish as simple as possible, but topped with a sauce that contains some other kind of meat. in my earlier attempt, it was a parsley crab sauce.

Ingredients.
(the fish and its marinade)
Fish, enough for 4 people
2 inch, ginger
4-5 clove, garlic
.5, onion (brown in this case)
1, lemon
1 cup, white wine (dry)

Fish and Marinade.

(for accompanying sauce)
1 cup, milk
2 tbsp, cream cheese
2 tbsp, butter
3-4 stalk, parsley
2-3 slice, smoked ham (i normally use other seafood)

Parsley Ham Sauce Ingredients.

(for vegetable side)
.5 whole, cauliflower
4 baby carrots

NOTE:

1) we'd be using the fish marinade as dressing for the vegetables.

2) i'm not explaining the process for the beef strips. basically, i'm using one piece of scotch fillet which will be sealed in a pan, then left in the oven at abt 150 degrees for another 10 minutes. it'd be coated with a pesto quite alike what i did for the coriander pan-fried lambchop, only this time i'm using parsley instead of coriander/ cilantro.

Pesto on Beef Steak.

Serves.
4

Step 1: Marinating & cooking the fish.
Mince the garlic, ginger and onion up before tossing them together in a big bowl. Squeeze the juice out of your lemons into the bowl, then grate the skin for some zest. Pour the wine in, then place your fish steaks into the mixture. leave it to marinate for at least half an hour.

Fish Marinating.

just before you cook the fish, preheat your oven at 175 degrees. then place your fish steaks (skin at the bottom first) into the oven to grill for about 15 minutes. mid-way, flip it over to cook on the side of the skin.

(this would be a good time to place your beef steak into the oven for about 5 minutes after you've sealed it in the pan.)

Step 2: Preparing the vegetables.
while waiting for your fish to marinate/ cook, dice your cauliflower and carrots up. Toss them together and prepare to steam them for a good 10-15 minutes. remove from heat when done.

Step 3: Preparing the sauce & marinade sauce.
while the fish is cooking, mince the parsley and dice the ham up into finer pieces. over a medium-small flame, pour the milk into a small pot. add the cheese, butter and ham into the milk. when it simmers to a slow boil, add the parsley in and let it simmer for another 5-6 minutes. keep stirring to prevent any overburn.

Parsley Ham Sauce.

concurrently, over a medium flame, pour the remaining fish marinade into a pot. let the mixture reduce by about half.

Fish Marinade In Reduction.

remember to take your beef steak out from the oven when it's ready. slice it into thin slices as a side.

Pan-fried Beef Steak with Parsley Pesto.

Final Serve.
it was only after i had finished cooking everything that i remembered that my earlier attempt at this was done with nothing but wine and rosemary for the fish's marinade. the garlic and ginger turned out to be slightly over-powering this time round, and i'd gladly reduce the ginger to about an inch, and garlic to 1 or 2 cloves.

i did however really enjoy the reduced marinade as a dressing for the steamed vegetables. likewise, the parsley ham sauce tasted well, only i still think fish should be matched only with another seafood-based sauce. i would have gone with either crab or prawn.

Grilled Fish with Parsley Ham Sauce, Steamed Vegetables & Steak Strips: Final Serve.

Monday, October 09, 2006

French Toast Sandwich & Cheesed Cauliflower.

French Toast Sandwich & Cheesed Cauliflower.

you know there's something special between food and i when the dreams that herald my waking up are of meal preparations. sunday morning, i woke to one of such dreams; in it, i saw myself in front of a nice steaming pot of cauliflower laced with parsley and cheese.

hhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

cheeeeeese with cauliflooooooower......

*rudemoans*

but of course, ryce being ryce--bless that girl bestowed a name meant to remind her constantly of food, she simply couldn't leave the first meal of the day limited to a single dish. instead, she asked to clear as much of the loaf of bread she's kept in the fridge as i can possibly muster before it turns into breeding ground for unpleasant culture. to put a cap on the number of ingredients involved for this meal, french toast seemed an easy option.

Ingredients.
(for steamed cauliflower with cheese)
1 quarter to 1 half, cauliflower
1 tbsp, black pepper
1 tbsp, butter
2-3 tbsp, cheese (i'm using cheddar)
3 bunch, coriander/ cilantro

(for french toast sandwich)
4 slice, white bread
2 eggs
1 tbsp, butter
2 tbsp, milk
2 pc, cheddar cheese
1 tbsp, oil (olive for me; meant for cooking)
(optional: deli ham, roast beef, smoked salmon, etc)

Serves.
2-3

Step 1: Preparing the cauliflower.
mince up the cheddar and coriander together or not, and put them aside for later. i kept them separate because i like to mix the cheddar with the cauliflower before the cheese comes in.

chop the cauliflower up into manageable pieces (aka you can fit it into your mouth without looking rude) and toss them into a bowl. steam those for about 10-15 minutes until cooked; i did it by placing the bowl on a stand in a covered pot of water--water should however not touch your bowl cause we want the vegetable cooked with steam, not latent heat from your bowling water.

Step 2: Prepare french toasts.
while your cauliflower is cooking, mix your eggs, butter and milk together, before soaking each slice of bread into the mixture. heat your pan over a small-medium flame. oil your pan with a bit of oil.

Step 3: Finishing with your cauliflower.
when ready, remove the cauliflower from the heat, and drain the excess juices from the bowl. before the vegetable cools, stir the coriander in, mix well, before you do the same for the cheese. add butter and pepper for taste.

French Toast Sandwich & Cheesed Cauliflower: Steamed Cauliflower with Cheese.

Step 4: Finishing with your french toasts.
when the pan's hot enough, fry your french toast. cook one side till it browns nicely, before you flip it over to cook only for a quick second or two so that the egg more or less is sealed off.

remove from flame, and do the same for another piece. with the first piece that you cooked, place your cheese and--if you intend to add them--ham/ salmon/ beef on the nicely browned surface. when the second toast is ready, place its browner surface on top of the cheese-ham mix.

effectively, you'd have the lighter sides on the outside now. place that french toast sandwich back onto the pan to melt the cheese, as well as to cook the remaining two surfaces of your sandwich.

when both sides are browned, you're ready to serve!

French Toast Sandwich & Cheesed Cauliflower: Fench Toast with Cheese.

Final Serve.

this is a recipe of a reason to why gluttony is a sin. i usually don't have both dishes for a single meal, seeing as how it's an obvious cheese overload.

because of the butter and cheese in the cauliflower, this vegetable side is meant to balance whatever light entree you intend for your meal. to be quite honest, however, i normally take this dish alone--it's terribly filling!

the french toast sandwich is a simple solution to fancy-ing up your regular french toast. better for a brunch menu.

French Toast Sandwich & Cheesed Cauliflower: Final Serve.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Roasted Honey-Glaze Chicken & Potato Tuna Salad.

Roasted Honey-Glaze Chicken.

sio, ryce and i returned more than an hour ago from an easy night of beer. there's something about a night of alcohol and supper, somehow one inevitably leads to the other. as if the beer or champagne we consume doesn't contain enough carbohydrate to set us back a few grammes.

anyway, there was meat thawing in the sink, left out initially for dinner. i guess it's about time we tried another one of them fuss-free recipes. admittedly though, fuss-free doesn't necessarily mean low calorie count, so i'm just going to avoid eating for the next few days to compensate.

Anna, Billy and i = BFF!

Ingredients.
(for the chicken)
4 pc, chicken thigh (part of chicken negotiable)
4 tbsp, soya sauce
4 tbsp, honey
4 tbsp, chinese rice wine
2 tbsp, black pepper
4 bunch, parsley

Roasted Honey-Glaze Chicken: Ingredients.

(for the salad)
3 potatoes (nude for me)
1 onion (i'm using brown)
1 can, tuna (with olive oil)
1 lemon
4 inch, ginger
3 bunch, spring onion/ scallion
2 tbsp, black pepper (i'm a fan)
1 tp, salt

Serves.
4

Step 1: Marinating the chicken.
mince the parsley into a fine grain, and mix it together with the rest of the marinade ingredients. rub the marinade into the chicken, making sure that you get some marinade (especially the parsley) under the skin. leave the chicken and marinade to soak for at least half an hour.

Step 2: Preparing the salad.
dice the potato, and braise it in boiling water for about 5 minutes with the salt; drain water after. mince the ginger and dice the onion, then mix them all with the potato and tuna. stir the black pepper in and we're ready for the roast.

Step 3: Cooking everything.
set your oven to preheat at about 180degrees for 10 minutes. when ready, put the salad and chicken in. make sure you take both dishes out for a stir (the salad) and flip (the chicken) 15 minutes into the roasting. another 20 minutes and we're ready to remove both from the oven.

Step 4: Finishing the salad.
when the salad's done roasting, mix chopped spring onions in and juice the lemon into the salad.

Final Serve.
the potato would seem a little crunchy till you bite into it--it's far softer than you'd imagine. if you decide not to use tuna infused in olive oil, just up the amount of ginger and lemon you're adding to the salad. flavouring for the salad should be kept as natural as you can possibly muster. (alternatively, use some of the chicken's marinade left behind by the roast.)

Roasted Honey-Glaze Chicken: Final Serve.

the recipe for the chicken is good also for steaks, and prepared in the grill, on the pan, or at your barbecue.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Beef Steak in Port & Camembert Cheese.

Beef Steak in Port & Camembert Cheese: Final Serve.

the other day at Safeway (Melbourne's answer to Woolworth's), ryce and i picked up--amongst other things--a bottle of Tawny Port, a pack of "special sale" camembert and some "special sale" beef steak. now using whatever's available to us, we thought it would be good to revisit one of my older steak recipes.

along with the steak, we're going to have a simple side of grilled vegetables and a few pieces of Woolworth's cheesy sausages. i'd also explain the vegetables, but not the sausages...

Ingredients.
(for the steak)
2 beef steaks (again i'm using scotch fillet)
1 cup, Port wine
3 tbsp, camembert (i usually use blue cheese)
1 tbsp, black pepper
4 bunch, coriander (i normally use parsley for this dish)
1 tbsp, olive oil (for the pan-fry)

(for the vegetable side)
2 tomatoes
1 carrot
4 asparagus
1 lime
1 tbsp, salt
2 tbsp, sesame oil

(optional)
6 sausages (abt 2" each)

Serves.
2

Step 1: Marinating the beef.
easy: place steaks in bowl, add port, black pepper and minced coriander. stir it about a bit to ensure you've got everything mixed well, and leave it to soak for at least half an hour.

Beef Steak in Port & Camembert Cheese: Marinating.

cut the cheese up and mash it up a little so that it's nicely pasty.

Step 2: Prepare vegetables.

chop the carrot and asparagus up. (by the way, i hope everyone is familiar with the whole rid-the-bitter-end-of-your-asparagus routine.) add them to a bowl, and pour some boiling water into the bowl. add a tbsp of salt and leave everything to soak for about 5-10 minutes. drain water after.

while soaking, dice your tomatoes, and slice the lime into reasonable pieces for easy juicing later.

Beef Steak in Port & Camembert Cheese: Vegetable side.

mix all your vegetables together in preparation for the grill. preheat your oven for about 10 minutes, then set it to about 200 degrees, before setting the vegetables in for about 20 minutes.

when it's done, add the sesame oil to the mixture, and we're more or less done.

Side: Something about sausages.
on today's Huey's Cooking Adventures, Huey brings up a tip on cooking sausages. apparently, before you set it in your pan to fry, you should braise the sausages with warm (not boiling) water for about 5 minutes. if the sausage skin breaks open, you know the water's too hot.

Beef Steak in Port & Camembert Cheese: Sausage side.

NOTE: i can't quite remember the exact type of sausages, or the rationale behind this move, but we got the gist and in Huey i trust.

Step 3: Cooking the steaks!
over a big flame, pour your oil into the pan and let the pan heat up. when it's hot, place your steaks into the pan and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes on both sides (if you're into medium-rare like me).

if you're particular about sealing the meat, you'd have to continuously flip your steaks every 20 seconds until both sides brown.

once cooked, move the steaks off the flame and place them on your serving plates. lower your flame to medium, and pour the rest of the marinade in. let it simmer until it's reduced to about half.

while waiting for the marinade, apply a generous amount of cheese on the top side of the steaks. try to even it out as much as you can.

when the marinade has been reduced, pour that onto the steaks.

Final Serve.
i've served the lime slices together with the vegetables to allow the guest (ryce) free reign in how sour she wants her vegetables to be. the sesame oil will provide some fragrance and taste, but what really gives the punch will be the lime juice.

as much as possible, the steaks should be served right after the marinade is poured. wait too long and you might only have a thin film of cheese left on your steaks since everything else melted away. don't worry that your steaks will be too sweet from all that port, with the cheese, parsley/ coriander and pepper, it will be a really interesting mouthful of beef.

Beef Steak in Port & Camembert Cheese.

enjoy!

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree.

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree.

my weekly detox exercise comprises of refuging at ryce's place in Brunswick, which happens to be in one of them boho-type suburbs. a perfect setting for respite, considering the low buildings, not terribly bad traffic, paced serenity and easy stream of cute lads. as repayment for the peace and quiet, i've made myself in-charge of preparing wholesome meals with whatever ryce has in her kitchen. it isn't too difficult for compared to mine, her kitchen naturally comes with a much healthier rating.

if only i could prevent her from over-snacking now...

:p

our chicken rice from the other night provided us with enough leftover for two rounds of fried rice. with both our lunch and dinner covered, the only logical thing to do is dessert!

Ingredients.
(for crepes)
2 eggs
1.5 cup, fresh milk
1 cup, flour
1 tsp, salt
2 tsp, sugar
2 tsp, butter
2 lemons

(for puree)
3 slice, pawpaw
1 orange
.5 cup, sugar
.5 cup, port wine

Serves.
7-8

Step 1: Preparing the crepe batter.

too simple; mix everything!

my process: beat eggs, add sugar, salt, flour and then milk. slice the lemon, add lemon juice to the mixture, and grate some lemon zest into the mix.

set aside in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree: Crepe batter.

NOTE: most people like to add 1 tbsp of vanilla extract into their batter. personally, i like to keep it fruity. my general rule is to balance tastes, therefore in this case, my puree is largely sugary, so the batter gets a hint of citrusy instead.

Step 2: Preparing the puree.

dice the pawpaw into smaller-than-bitesize pieces and add that into a pot.

skin your orange, and very carefully extract the pulp without juicing it. we want to keep the juice in it.

over a small-medium flame, add sugar into the pawpaw and keep stirring. when the mixture caramelises (it browns), add the port in and let the whole thing come to a slow boil--that should take 5-7 minutes. once it boils, remove from flame and leave it to cool.

throw the orange pulp in once it has cooled.

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree: Cooked puree.

NOTE:

1) purees are normally processed to a fine grain. i like mine slightly coarse for dessert because i always have something smoother to match. when you stir the puree over the flame, you'd notice that the bits eventually break into smaller parts, so no worries about over-chunkiness.

2) my usual puree comprises strawberries (sweet) and kiwis (sour). you can basically use any fruit to make puree, so try it with your favourites!

Step 3: Cooking the crepes.

pan. medium flame. some oil.

oil your pan before you start on any crepe. abt 1 tsp is more than enough for a good wok--ryce has a Tefal wok-pan.

i add 2 rice-scoop (roughly 2 tbsp) worth of batter into the pan, and let it set and cook for about 3 minutes. the edges will brown, and when it's more or less cooked, you'd realise that they slip off the pan quite easily. lift it with a spatula to check that it's nicely browned on the underside, before you flip it over to cook for another 2 minutes.

Crepe with Pawpaw Puree: Frying crepe.

when you're all done, you'd have a short pile of 7-8 crepes!

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree: Crepes!

Final Serve.
to make it fun, let your friends roll their own crepe. as ryce will demonstrate:

1) spread puree sauce over the crepe. pour some puree bits enough to cover slightly less than the bottom half of the crepe, from which you'd start rolling.

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree: Step 1.

2) keep it tight, and slightly let the puree flow to the side and keep rolling till you get a nice roll that wouldn't flip open.

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree: Step 2.

3) EEEEEET!

Crepe with Chunky Pawpaw Puree.

good with some french vanilla ice cream or whipped cream! of course, completely sinful so go. very. easy.

Bon App├ętit!

Lemon-Mango Chutney Chicken

Ah. Strangely familiar-sounding isn't it? =)

This dish was a little bit of an experiment.

I was in the supermarket earlier and bought a lemon for 15pence.

We had chicken thighs in the freezer and some really good but cheap mango chutney from a supermarket special (i'd bought it not knowing what to do with it and so it was just sitting in the fridge).

So I figured, why not make some Lemon Chicken?

I know it's sweet, and sour and crispy.
So, my dear partner in the kitchen, Chef Wai, and I decided to give it a whirl.

Mind you, we don't actually know what goes into making real Lemon Chicken, but we both remember it's taste and texture and look.

And it seems, we made it happen! Thumbs up from the whole house! Woohoo!!!

Successful experiment. Very Simple too ... try it!

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Lemon-Mango Chutney Chicken
(serves 5)

Ingredients:

2 Chicken Thighs
1/2 Lemon
4 tbs Mango Chutney
1 tbs Sugar
1 ts Corn flour (for thickening)
spring onion (for garnishing)



Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

defrost, wash and debone the chicken thighs.

then give the chicken a massage with the back of a knife or a pounder to tenderise the meat and flatten it out to create a bigger surface area. (frankly, it really just feeds more people for less.)




































Step 2: Preparing ingredients for the Sauce


slice your lemon in half and make 4-5 thin slices for garnishing (you leave that aside).
take the remaining lemon and squeeze out the juice andsome pulp into a bowl.





















Step 3: Fry the Chicken

what it says -fry the chicken till its golden brown.

try not to be afraid of the oil. it WILL splatter. so be careful. and don't panic. this is hot oil we're talking about.

it takes about 8 minutes or so to totally cook one piece of chicken on both sides. so while you're doing this, you can meddle with the sauce simultaneously.

















Step 4: Cook the Sauce

take a frying pan or saucepan and gently simmer the mango chutney and lemon juice till it mixes nicely. add in the sugar to soften the sour bite.

the sauce will be a little watery at this point, so mix the corn flour with water and slowly stir it into the sauce.

it should now be the color and consistency of liquid warm caramel.


















Step 5: Cut the Chicken

your chicken should be done by now. so drain it of the excess oil and cut it into bite sized strips and place it nicely in a dish.

be careful! its hot!

















Step 6: Sauce, Garnish & Serve!

pour the sauce over the chicken, place lemon slices on top everything and to add a little pizzaz, you can add an artfully sliced sprig of spring onion on top of that.

the final product ...




















WOOHOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooo!!!


nice. *burp*

till next time!