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Jun 10, 2015

Tomato Cream Pasta Sauce









How the heck do you make a blob look good?!

Anyway…this was a spur of the moment “I-need-food-and-crave-something-sweet-yet-sour-and-savory”. It’s simple, deliciously satisfying and I am now sharing it with you, ugly, blobby pic or not.

It’s all about the sauce so I’m not getting into the meatballs which you can see (if you squint very intently) contributing to the blobbiness of the blob. I needed something a little more substantial than plain old pasta, even as good a sauce as this …. I need meat! Besides, gotta replace whatever I lost after this morning’s tough workout. Now I’m nicely padded again ….. sigh.

This was cooked by “feel”, as in, no precise measurements, just by my tastebuds. But I shall attempt to give you the amounts …. just an estimate. Taste as you go along. 


INGREDIENTS

250g tomato puree
1 large onion
4 -5 large cloves garlic
about 2 tbs grated parmesan cheese
salt & sugar, to taste 
200g cream
oil
butter

Chopped herbs



METHOD

Chop onion and garlic.
Heat oil and butter.
Saute chopped onion and garlic.
Pour in tomato paste.
Stir and simmer gently for a few minutes. 
Add parmesan. 
Taste and add salt and sugar as needed. (I’d used about 1/2 tsp salt and about 1 tbs sugar - this depends on how salty the parmesan is. So, tasting the sauce after adding the parmesan is important).
Remove from heat and cool a little before stirring in the cream.
Serve with prepared pasta of choice and a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs …. and meatballs, if you prefer. 










May 24, 2015

Gyozas/Dumplings (To mold or not to mold)






This is more of a post on the mold than a recipe. 




It looks more like a bear trap …for teddy bears … it doesn’t look too menacing.
There’s a Japanese store called Daiso, where most everything is RM5 … which translates to about USD$1.50. This contraption caught my attention and was too weird to ignore. 
Normally I like messing about with my fingers, making shapes and out-of-shapes. 
After messing about with this for awhile, I’ve decided that making and shaping dumplings by hand is way faster altho the mold makes it really neat and uniformed.





These Chinese Jicama Dumplings are made by fiddly fingers … not talking about the recipe, just about the shaping and sealing methods. 

The ones in the main pic, I’d used wanton skins and filled it with a stuffing of minced meat, minced shrimp, chopped spring onions, salt and pepper, cornflour to bind it all together and for a silkier texture and the optional beaten egg, also to bind.
You can also fill it instead with sliced bananas and chocolate for a sweet dessert, fried til crisp and served with ice cream or drizzled with maple syrup. 
Wanton skins aren’t just for savouries.











May 20, 2015

Egg Muffin





Well, waddaya know! 
This wasn’t that hard to make. So why are they charging so much for it? Hmm ….

Nope. No recipe post this time … but, well, I snuck something in anyway …. look closely …..

This is a no brainer. Something simple with ready ingredients any normal fridge would/should have.
It’s my go-to whenever I don’t crave for anything specific and not particularly hungry for anything fancy. Eggs are my best friend. 
It’s convenient to have a batch of English muffins stashed in the freezer. I like homemade ones … I make them to the size of my appetite. Make some, you won’t regret it.

Split the English muffin
Toast the muffin halves. 
Fry an egg (runny yolk of course). 
Plonk onto toasted muffin half. 
Top with crunchy pickles, a dollop of ketchup and whatever else that makes you happy. 
Top with other toasted muffin half.
Munch away!
Burp.

Boring, isn’t it?

Shutting up now ….





Feb 2, 2015

Hot Sauce (Sriracha) Chicken Wings






There are so many types of chilly sauce here, locally made to suit our very fireproof tastebuds. I’ve only come across the name “Sriracha” in the American blogs and recipes. And I don’t think it was even on our grocer shelves til recently. 
I’ve ignored it for the longest time, never having a need for some foreign brand telling me it’s better than what I can get at home. 

Then this recipe popped up. The gooey deliciousness got to my tummy and I. 
Drool, I did. Make, I want.

I was sure this could also be made using our local chilly sauce / hot sauce. But then, I’ve never tasted Sriracha. Who knows, maybe it’s got an interesting flavouring that makes the recipe. Gotta get a bottle. Bought, I did.

Meh. It’s hot sauce. Chilly sauce, minus the sugary sweetness that many of our local brands favor. Now I can truly say … yes, this can also be made using our local chilly / hot sauces … minus the honey.
The thing that makes this more interesting is the bergamot leaves. It gives it an exotic flavor and a beautiful scent to the whole “burn my tongue silly”. 


(Recipe adapted from Slow Roasted Italian)

INGREDIENTS

6 chicken wings (drummets to tips, whole or separated)
1/2 cup Sriracha sauce
1/2 cups honey
1 tbs butter
juice of 1 lime
2 tsps finely shredded bergamot leaves (lima purut), divided

METHOD

Toss everything with 1 tsp of shredded bergamot into a slow cooker. 
Stir to coat chicken wings.
Cook on high for 2-3 hours. 
Remove wings gently (gets very tender and might fall to pieces) and place on a lined baking pan.

From this point, you can broil the chicken wings immediately and baste with the watery liquid or reduce the liquid to a thick syrup and then baste and broil and baste and broil …. to your heart’s content and until it’s slightly caramelised.

Remove from oven.
Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp shredded bergamot leaves and serve warm.








Jan 21, 2015

Sandwich Maker Tofu with a Zesty Miso Dip






This is an amazing idea!
You just gotta try it out. 
I’m not writing particularly about tofu. I mean, seared tofu? Pffft!!! Anyone can do that. 

I’d seen this idea floating about on the net a while ago and it inspired me to sear some tofu to go with this amazing, tangy, spicy, sweet, sour, zesty, all-textures dip that mum used to make. Brought back a ton of memories…

Anyway, the dip calls for a Chinese fermented bean paste (tau cheong) quite similar to miso. I didn’t have that paste, I had miso. Miso it is. And I think from now on, I’d stick to miso. It’s just so good!

Right, the tofu. 
Everyone has a waffle iron/sandwich maker, right? No? What? Oh …..
Never mind. Whenever you can get your paws on one….
Like I said, it’s such a good way to sear tofu. 
Or hash browns, polenta cakes, mochi……yes, you read right. Mochi. Those gooey little things. It gets crispy on the outside and still soft and gooey on the inside. Yummers!  I’m sure there are more stuff that can be done with a sandwich maker besides a grilled cheese sandwich. Get creative, peeps!
There’s very little oil used too. And it makes a more even shade of sear.


INGREDIENTS

Firm tofu, cut into wedges or whatever shapes that’ll fit your sandwich maker
oil for brushing or spray

Dip: (This is just a guide. Adjust to suit your tastebuds)

1 - 2 tbs dried shrimp, toasted (like you would nuts)
1 tbs brown miso
Juice of 1 large lime (key lime)
2 - 3 tsps sugar
chillies, sliced

METHOD

Mix all of the dip ingredients into a small bowl except the toasted shrimp.
Stir to mix until sugar has completely dissolved. Taste and adjust accordingly.
Stir in toasted dried shrimp just before serving so that it remains crispy.
Leave aside.

Brush or spray the sandwich maker plates with oil. Place the tofu wedges on, cover and let the gadget do its work. When done, check to see if it’s browned or golden enough to your liking. Otherwise, cook a little longer.
Remove and have it warm with the dip.

Makes a great appetiser.











Jan 3, 2015

Banana Chia Power Smoothie






So you’re all pooped from the festivities. 
Need an energy booster? 
Or a cure for a hangover? (Do I sound like an ad?)

This was something I picked up from my travels. An instant energy booster. Yummy to boot.
Just the other day, I’d found it on our local grocer’s chiller and wait …. how much was that? You gotta be kidding me?! Forget it, I’ll make my own ….. 

It makes a great breakfast on the go as well. For someone (me) who isn’t into the whole shebang of slicing, toasting, pan frying, buttering, eat, wash and wash some more … this is just brilliant. 

Make it the night before and you’re all set to take on the world the next day!


INGREDIENTS

(Note: measurements are per 250 - 300 ml bottle / mason jars)

1 - 2 small bananas, sliced (this depends on how thick you want your smoothie to be)
1 cup apple juice
1 tbs chia seeds (too much of this and you’ll get pudding)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
honey / sugar (optional)


METHOD

Puree bananas and 1/2 cup of the apple juice in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Put 1 tbs chia seeds and ground cinnamon into bottle / jars. 
Pour in puree and top up with remaining apple juice, cap and shake to mix it up.
Leave overnight in the fridge.
Glug the next day … watch out, world!










Dec 21, 2014

Merry Quiet Christmas





Merry Christmas everyone!

Wishing all you happy people more happy times, to those who have lost their loved ones, wishing you acceptance and closure and happier times ahead. It'll be a mellow Christmas for us who have sad memories but we still need to keep our strength .... so...we EAT!!

Like I told a fellow friend and blogger .... Food is always a good solution. Eat too much and you can't move to do any damage to anything... not enough and you'd be searching and too busy foraging to bother about what's happening around you. 
So my message to close off the end of a relatively non-eventful (thank goodness) year .... EAT.