Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lala with Thai Chilli Sauce

This past 2 days my wife & I have "selera seafood".
Just yesterday we had mussel, scallop & prawn farfalle bolognese. 
Today we have our fourth species of shellfish: "lala" (baby clam)
It's my wife's turn to cook. She has the knack for cooking but unfortunately not the enthusiasm!
She cooks by following recipes from a photo recipe book but every dish turns out FAB!

1 kg fresh lala
2 inch young ginger
4 red chillies (or if u like add a bit of chilli padi for more HEAT!)
10 cloves garlic
10 shallots
2 tsp Thai chilli sauce
2 tbs oyster sauce
a bit of vinegar

Add salt and vinegar in container of water.
Immerse lala in water to cleanse the mud.
Clean lala afterwards.
Saute chopped ginger, chillies, garlic & onions till fragrant.
Add lala & cook at high heat for 15 minutes.
Then add Thai chilli sauce & oyster sauce.
Fry till sauce thickens.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a recipe I got from my favourite pastry chef on Food Channel......Anna Olson (program Sugar). She certainly makes it look so easy to bake!
I made this just this afternoon. Had the urge to bake last night but did not have all the ingredients. It turned out FAB!

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 F= 180 C
Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
Stir in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.


1. To make chewy-centred cookies, the secret ingredient is cornstarch. If you like crispy cookies, omit cornstarch and replace baking soda with baking powder.

2. It's more convenient to use cup measurement than weighing.

1 cup butter = 8 oz of the stuff

1 cup all-purpose or plain flour, unsifted = 5 oz (140 g)

1 cup cake flour, sifted = 4 oz (140 g)

Buy measuring cups (1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/3) & spoons. Don't rely on normal cup bcoz your biscuits, cake or bread won't turn out as you 'd wished!

Happy baking! 

Farfalle with Mussel, Scallop & Prawn Bolognese Sauce

Yet another Itallian dish today.
This time farfalle (bow-tie pasta) with seafood bolognese sauce....a bit over the top with scallop, mussel & prawns. Just can't resist when I saw 'em at Jusco Bukit Indah.

That's why cooking pasta is easy..........healthy fast food.
Prep time about 1/2 hour.
Shave/grate parmesan cheese during serving.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Baked Creamy Tomato & Mozzarella Rigatoni

I still remember Xmas day when I was in the UK. As a Muslim I don't celebrate Xmas, the experience was nonetheless enriching. My first Xmas was with a foster family in Rugby, Warwickshire. 

Decorating the Xmas tree. Wrapping presents to put under the tree. Stockings. Leaving milk & mincepie (I love those mincepies!) for Santa Claus. The next day lunch: stuffed roast turkey, brussel sprouts, roast potato and gravy followed by christmas pudding. Exchanging presents. Party games. Of course no alcohol for me being a teetotal! Only later I found out about the mistletoe and stuff....u know what I mean.

Jingle bell! Jingle bell! Jingle on the way! Those were the days....

I digressed......

My wife & I  only had pasta bake on Xmas day.
It was my turn to cook. So I chose to cook the simplest dish I know....simple but delish!

Ingredients for sauce
U can buy ready-made sauce but to make it yourself, u need

1 can  tomatoes 
1 capsicum (green pepper)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs mozzarella cream cheese

Chopped onion, garlic, tomatoes & capsicum into chunks. I like it chunky & rustic!
Add cream cheese.

Cook some pasta (roughly 1 mug for each person) in plenty of salted water till "al dente".

Tips of cooking pasta I learned from Chef Michael Smith
1. Do not add oil in water
2. Do not rinse cooked pasta with water
Reason: the starch layer on pasta will let more sauce to stick to it!

There are about 1000 pasta shapes 
Shaped pasta: farfalle (bow-tie), fusilli (spiral), conchiglie (shell) etc
Tubular: canneloni, macaroni, rigatoni, penne
Strand: spaghetti, angelhair, capellini (in descending thinness)
Ribbon pasta: linguine, tagliatelle, fettuchine, lasagna 
Stuffed pasta: tortellini, ravioli
........but I personally like penne. For this dish I chose rigatoni ("ridged large tube" i.e more sauce will stick on and in the pasta)

Brown 400g minced beef with olive oil in a separate pan.
Preheat oven 190 Celcius.
Put cooked pasta in baking dish.
Layer browned meat and any vegetable (I put shitake mushroom)
Then pour sauce on top.
Cover with grated mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 15 min or till top brown.
Best served with grated parmesan and an empty stomach!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fried Stuffed Mackerel & Fishball Soup with Shitake Mushroom & Baby Sweetcorn

Sounds really grand huh!

After a long day out at the PC Fair at Persada JB & checking out the new AEON Bukit Indah near our home, it's just a simple dinner for us. Actually this time it's my wife's turn to cook.

Fried Stuffed Mackerel 

A few fresh mackerels (Cencaru)
Gutted & cleaned. 
Slice top of fish to make a pocket for stuffing.
Season fish with salt & turmeric powder.

Red chillies
Shrimp paste (belacan)
Tamarind paste
Grated coconut
a bit of sugar

Blend all these ingredients.
Stuff 'em inside the mackerel top & bottom.
Marinate for 1/2 hour.
Fry in hot oil in deep pan.

Fishball Soup


Dried anchovies (ikan bilis) or dried shrimp (udang kering)
Chicken stock cube
Grind all the ingredients
Stirfry in pot
Add water. Simmer.
You can add whatever you want in the soup depending on your selera.
Fishball or meat 
Any vegies, mushroom, tofu, quail eggs, dried tofu (tahu kering) 
Salt to taste.

Simple but a labour of LOVE!

BTW, AEON Jusco Bukit Indah just opened a few days ago. It's just a few minutes...heh Actually can walk bcoz we could hear the tone before any announcement made there. Soooooo...... close. It's supposed to be the largest in the South East Asia and eco-friendly. It boasts a range of "makan" places on every floor along "Restaurant Alley" from PizzaHut, KFC, BBQ Chicken, Kenny Roger's, Nandos, Johnny's, Balck Canyon, Oldtown, Baskin Robbbin, Sizzling, Big Apple Donut and the list go on and on and on.
However, it lacks entertainment facilities which could have attracted more people (cinema & bowling alley are must-haves in any shopping mall). 
Maybe I will set up a bowling alley SOON! 
Or maybe a food franchise ALSO!

For those who don't know where Bukit Indah JB is...this is the best map I could google!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Spanish Omelette

This is my version of Spanish omelette.
I made it for dinner today. Very easy to make!

2 potatoes
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
3 eggs
salt & pepper
olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese

Peel potatoes & cut into cubes
Parboil potatoes & drain
Chop onion & garlic
Beat eggs & season with salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in skillet (non-stick if possible)
Fry onion & garlic
Add potatoes (actually you can add any spice, herbs, meat or veggies to your taste)
Add eggs & cook over low heat, flipping once to cook the other side (this is when a non-stick pan helps. Tips to flip: slide omelette on a plate, uncooked side up, cover pan & flip.....voila!)
Sprinkle grated cheese on top

A comfort food best enjoyed either as a snack or a meal on its own! 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chicken Porridge

A simple and easy to make recipe........especially when loved one is feeling under the weather or during cold weather. Infact, I made it just yesterday (photo) for my wife.
This recipe is a good way to "stretch" a pot of rice to feed 3-4 mouths depending on how big are the mouths! 
You can add whatever you want in it and as much as you want. Meat, seafood, legumes, vegetables etc.......... anything goes! I usually add whatever I have in my freezer......mixed veg or corn kernels or this time greenpeas.

1 pot of rice
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
a bit of ginger
1 cube chicken stock
chopped chicken breast or any meat
frozen veg 
A few sprigs of salantro or coriander leaves (chopped)
salt & pepper to taste

Put rice and plenty of water in rice cooker (alternatively can use pot)
Dissolve chicken stock & season with salt & peppa
Turn on the rice cooker/ simmer pot on medium heat
Saute onion, garlic & ginger in separate frying pan with whatever oil (best olive oil)
Brown chicken in same pan
Dump sauteed ingredients into rice cooker/pot
Leave to simmer till rice turns into soft consistency, stirring once in a while otherwise rice will stick to the bottom
Then add frozen veg. Cook till soft.
Lastly add chopped salantro/coriander leaves.
Stir, spoon & serve in a bowl
Enjoy hot or warm porridge with garnish like salted egg, stir-fried spinach, chopped pickle carrot, fried anchovies & peanuts. 

Yummy! I had my share yesterday dinner & breakfast this morning.

Good luck. Happy trying!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chocolate Molten Cake

This is another dish to DIE for. Heavenly rich, moist and sweet! Sweets for my sweet!
I tried this recipe last Sunday to entertain a friend. It turned out gorgeous!
I had this memorable dessert at a French restaurant in a building where Sir Stamford Raffles used to live at Dempsey Hill, Singapore during the signing of my contract with Regency Specialist Hospital. So it has a special place in my heart apart from my palate.

Here is the recipe.
Make for 4 medium ramekin (I suggest to make into 6 small ramekin coz very rich & sweet esp after a heavy entree)

8 0z bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar (can reduce a bit)
3 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (for best result use van Houtten)
dash of salt

The beauty of this recipe is you can make 'em way ahead of time. Keep the batter in ramekin in the  fridge. Bake before consumption. Add 10 min to cooking time if you do this.

Preheat oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celcius) .
Butter the ramekin generously.
Melt chocolate either in microwave or bain marie.
Cream sugar & butter till smooth.
Add egg one at a time and mix well after each addition.
Stir in melted chocolate & vanilla.
Sift flour, cocoa powder & dashh of salt.
Stir in flour mixture into chocolate mix.
Spoon batter into ramekin. 
You can add cherry compote in center to make it a "Black Forest". But I did not add anything. Flatten the top surface.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. (note add 10 min if kept in fridge)
Sprinkle a little icing sugar before serving.

Delicious and sensuous dessert for special occassion!

Bon appetit!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mutton Gearbox Bone Steak

This is a delightful, rich (not for those with high blood pressure & heart disease) tomato-based stew....great with French bread. To DIE for dish....metaphorically speaking!

The cooking time is long (up to 3 hours) but made easy peasy if you have a pressure cooker.

A tip to make it less "hazardous" to the arteries. After cooking till meat is tender (fall of the bones) & tendons are fully hydrated, cool the mutton stock then spoon out the excess fat at the top. You can put in the fridge after it's at room temperature. The fat will solidify and you can scoop 'em out.

This is the recipe.

2kg mutton knuckle bones or gearbox (only sold in JB but can ask your butcher to keep for you)
600g minced beef
5 cloves garlic
4 onions
1 cm ginger
3 tbs ground chillies (or to preference add more for more heat!)
10 tbs tomato puree
2 tbs oyster sauce
3 tbs sweet soy sauce
1 cube anchovy (ikan bilis) stock
2 eggs
1 small packet soup powder (for best result use ADABI "rempah sup". Add more for more spice!)
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs flour (add a bit of water to make into a paste)

Pressure cook bones (tip: put 2 cloves garlic & a little bit of ginger to rid of mutton smell).
Cool them like mentioned above.
Fry chopped garlic, onions and ground chillies till fragrant. Use any oil that you want.
Add minced beef, tomato puree, anchovy stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and the mutton stock. (no need to brown the beef coz if you do so it will get dehydrated and you will have to simmer for a long time to make it tender again)
Stir in flour paste, "rempah sup" & eggs.
Add the bones.
Salt to taste.
Stir well.

Enjoy with French bread!

Happy trying!

The blogger will not be responsible for any events such as heart attack, stroke or death caused by consuming too much of this dish. Please consult your doctor or take your cholesterol-lowering agents before doing so.

Photo of gearbox bonesteak taken with N85 camera on 13th December 2009.