Sunday homemade dinner – Tandoori shrimps skewer with long grain rice

Tonight I would like to cook seafood, was thinking to cook something with shrimps. What can I do with shrimps? Searching online for idea, and I found something with tandoori shrimps, sounds like a good idea to me! A touch of Indian and a bit of spice. I think the best thing to go with the shrimps is the long grain rice that my husband likes, he do prefer long grain rice much more than the Chinese one. After my last trip to India, I always would like to cook something Indian, why not trying it tonight?

The ingredient for tandoori shrimps is not complicated at all, I almost have all the herbs at home, just missing turmeric powder because I finished up with it and need to buy a new one. The first thing to do for this dish is to marinate the shrimps, make sure you’ve spend enough time to marinate them before cooking. At least marinate the shrimps for half an hour, the best at least up to two hours. Remove the head and shell of the shrimp but leave the tail on, and make sure you devein them nicely. Use a large bowl to put all the ingredients for marination, around 300ml of Greek yogurt, together with some olive oil, pinch of salt, lime juice, minced garlic, Garam Masala, turmeric powder and chili powder. Please go for your taste, as there is not a fixed formula because the level of spice that each of us like or can take is very different. Mixed all the ingredients well, and check out the taste always, then place all the shrimps into the bowl and let them sit inside the fringe for around 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest, getting things chopped up and ready. I would like to put also onion, red pepper and pineapple to the skewer, so I need to chop them into pieces. For the long grain rice, I would like to cook with carrot and broccoli, so I have to chop them into small cubes as well. You might want to use green pea instead of broccoli, but I really do not like green pea, so I rather go with broccoli. You can choose other green vegetable as you like, for example other kind of beans or even chopped celery. If you are using wooden skewers, please make sure you’ve soaked in water at least for 15 minutes before cooking, as you do not want them to burn later on. I do have some stainless steel skewers, so I do not have to do that.

Let’s start cooking the rice before starting to cook the skewers. I am not sure what are you using to cook the rice, but I am using the rice cooker, as each Chinese should have one at home which is very convenient. If you do not have one, just put the rice with double portion of water and boil them. Add a pinch of salt, and the chopped carrot and broccoli into the rice just right before the rice is done, mix them well together and let them sit into the rice cooker or pot for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

I was cooking the skewers in the oven, but you can do it by frying. Pre-heat the oven under 210C, and get a tray ready covered by foil. Put one piece of onion, red pepper, shrimp, onion, pineapple, shrimp, and so on, alternatively on the skewer until it’s filled up. Repeat the same until you finish with all the ingredients. Place them nicely on the tray and put some olive oil on each single piece, and place them in the oven and grill them for around 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them over in the middle of the way, but the oven is hot enough to cook for both side.

Serve the skewers with the long grain rice, and garnish the skewers with finely chopped coriander and a touch of lime juice. My husband feels that the rice is a bit blend, but I love it with vegetables and actually the touch of carrot is adding some good flavour into the rice. Maybe you can try to use the marinade to make a source for the rice or the overall dish. The dish is not spicy at all for us, I guess next time I will try to add more spice.

Salmon Patties with Vegetable Tempura and Mixed Salad

Sunday as usual is the day for cooking. Starting off the day with my husband cooking for brunch, he made us crabmeat and egg on toast, which tasted very good. Why not stay with seafood for dinner! I always wanted to make this fish cake, so let’s do it today.

Thinking between salmon or tuna, I finally stick with salmon for tonight’s dinner. I bought two cans of good quality salmon, 150 grams for each can, should be good enough to make around 6-8 patties, of course depends on how big are the patties. Getting also the rest of the ingredients ready, mixed salad, potatoes, carrots, eggs, flours, parsley, cucumber or zucchini, then we can start cooking.

First of all, we should work on the potatoes and carrots for the patties. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the potatoes cubes and carrot cubes inside the pot, season with a pinch of salt. Boil them until they are done, separate them from water and let them cool down. Meanwhile, we can work on the other stuff, like chop the potatoes, carrot and cucumber or zucchini into strips, then place them in a large bowl and mix them together. Buy this Japanese tempura powder (deep fry), and mix them with water until you reach certain consistency. Some of them need to add egg and some do not, please see the package for instruction. When the cooked potatoes and carrots are finally cool down, smash them with the masher, then we can work on the salmon patties. Grab a large bowl for mixing or you can use a food processor to mix, but I do prefer to do it manually, as I do prefer a bit of texture instead of too refine. Place the salmon chucks inside the bowl, break them up by using a fork. Then, add the finely chopped parsley, and now add the mashed potatoes and carrots into the bowl, then add egg, flour, some lemon zest into the bowl, and season it with some black pepper. You really need to to see how much flour and how many eggs to add, and work out your optimum amount and portion. Make sure the patties are not too soft and too watery, make sure you add enough flour to have the right consistency. Mix them well and here you go to work on the patties, use your hand to make them nicely into a round patties around 1cm thick. Sit them on a tray with some flour for the time being, and now work on the vegetables.

Pour some tempura flour into the chopped vegetable mix, and mix them with the flour, let each single piece stick with that. Now, heat up the pan with a good amount of olive oil, grab a bunch of vegetable strips and further dip them into the tempura flour, then place them into the pan for deep fry, or pan fry could work. Fry them on both side until they turn golden brown or the way you like. Repeat this until you finish with all vegetable strips. Then, you can start to fry the salmon patties, try not to rush and keep turning them, otherwise you will mess them up by keep flipping. When everything is done, serve the salmon patties and the vegetable tempura with the salad. The dressing I did with some mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and white vinegar, this work for the entire dish, not just for the salad. I guess next time I will try to grill the patties in the oven and see what will be the difference, I found the patties a bit too soft and I will try to perfect them next time, but the taste was good, at least….

Herb Crusted Red Snapper with Angel Hair

Tonight I want to cook something with fish, I found a recipe from Gordon Ramsay by cooking the fish with the herb crusted that looks good, maybe I should give it a try.

Do grocery at the supermarket, I can find some red snappers that are looking quite good. So, I decided to cook that with the herb crusted. What is good to go with the fish? I am thinking maybe angel hair pasta. Of course, you can have that with some fresh salad or even rice.

First of all, I am going to work on the herb crust. Put some breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, red chili, a touch of lemon juice, pinch of salt and some olive oil into the food processor and mix them. That’s it, leave them aside until we need them. Remember to pre-heat the oven under 180C for grilling the fish later on. I am getting the source ready before cooking the fish, heat up the pan with a good amount of olive oil, put some garlic, red chili and the minced shallot, then put the pancetta, fry them until they start to turn gold. Add the cherry tomatoes, and a touch of salt, not too much. Now, add some white wine, let them cook a bit, add some chopped basil when it’s almost done. Now, pan fry the fish with butter, garlic and some ginger, season them with some salt and pepper. When they are almost done, place them on the tray and place some cooked pancetta and cherry tomatoes on top of them. And then, top them up with the herb crush, like fully covered. Place them inside the oven and grill for 15 minutes. When it’s 5 minutes left for the grill fish, start to boil the angel hair pasta which takes around 3 minutes to cook only. Heat up the source once again when the pasta is done, stir them well with the source and get ready to serve.

I don’t know what and where went wrong, but something taste bitter from the dish. I guess it’s the lemon seeds that smashed and mixed in the herb crust. Not sure, but this dish definitely needs some improvement. Life is about learning from the mistake, next time I will do it better!

 

 

Grilled Mussel with Penne Pasta


Long time no see is a Chinese idiom, so long time no cook……. I was away two weeks for business trip, I miss my cooking, of course can’t wait to cook something tonight!

I watched Jamie Oliver’s show the other time, and he was cooking this grilled mussels that go with tomato soup. I was thinking to cook that a while ago, but I guess today I want to do it, but instead of tomato soup, I will make it with pasta.

In order to grill the mussels and penne pasta at the same time, I tried to get both ready almost at the same time. Before cooking anything, it’s better to get everything chopped and ready. First of all, let’s prepare the breadcrumbs for grilling. Mix the breadcrumbs, some Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, some olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor. So that’s ready for the grilling part later on. Now to chop everything, garlic, red chilli, onion, celery, tomatoes and coriander, and ready for cooking.

To boil a pot of hot water and cook the penne first, because the cooking time is around 11 minutes. On the other hand, heat up the sauce pan with butter, and put the minced garlic, then chopped onion, fry until the onion turn slightly brown, then add chopped celery and tomatoes and red chilli. When everything is kind of cooked, pour some white wine in, and then add some water or you can add chicken stock. I always think water is good enough already. Then, put the mussels in the sauce pan, and cook for 4 minutes with lid on, then cook it without lid for another 2 to 3 minutes. When all the mussels are opened up, that means all cooked.

Now put the cooked pasta in a bake tray, and pour some stock from the mussels in the tray and mix with the pasta. Then, remove one of the shell from the mussel and let it just sit on the other half of the shell and place it on top of the pasta in the tray to create a layer of mussel. You can let those onion, tomato and celery sit inside of the mussel. After putting all mussels on top of the pasta, then put the breadcrumbs on top of each mussels. And place the tray inside of the pre-heat oven under 190C for around 15 to 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs turn brown.

Easter Saturday dinner – Grilled Herring with Orange, Fennel and Arugula Salad

One of our couple friend got too many herring by mistake and they are off for Easter holiday, so they gave us five herrings. So I have to cook something with the herrings during this Easter holiday.

That’s what I came up with, grilled herring with orange, fennel and arugula salad.

Let’s get the herring clean and get the filet out from the whole fish. Chop the head and tail off, then cut the fish open and get all the inner parts out, then cut from the bone and slide the filet off. Well, actually there are still a lot of bones, it is so tough to clean up all the tiny little bones. Pre-heat the oven and meantime can get the salad ready.

Cut the fennel bulb into thin slices, place them into a big salad bowl. Then, cut half of a red onion into thin slices, place them into the bowl as well. Then, remove the skin from two oranges, and then cut them into regular slices. Lastly, put arugula into the salad bowl, mix everything well together. Now, get the dressing ready, this dressing can be used for both the salad and the fish. The dressing will be with olive oil, mustard, honey, a bit of salt and lemon juice.

When the oven is ready, switch to 210C and place all herring filet in a tray, no need to season with salt because the herring is quite salty. Just season with pepper and olive oil. Grill them in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are done. Squeeze some lemon juice on top, and garnish them with chopped basil and parsley. Serve the fish together with the salad and some bread.

Thai Shrimp Salad

I want to do a Thai salad tonight, the thing that I am not sure is, should I do a beef salad or a shrimp one? I guess I had enough meat for the last few days, maybe it’s better to go for shrimp.

The ingredients of this salad are, shrimps, cucumber, red pepper, mint, coriander, mixed greens, red chili, shallots, pomelo, pomegranate, vermicelli, cashew nuts and shredded coconut. For the salad dressing, we need fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and minced red chili.

The first thing to get ready is the shrimps, boil a pot of water, and cook the shrimp in the hot water until they turn into red meaning cooked. Put the shrimps aside until they cool down. Repeat the same thing for the vermicelli, cook them quickly in the hot water, not to overcook them, then put them aside until they cool down. On the other hand, we need to get two things done as well. Heat up the pan and then put the shredded coconut in the dry pan, fry them until they turn into brown colour. The next thing to get ready is to grind some cashew nuts with the mortar.

Let’s start to get all the chopping done, cut the cucumber and red pepper into thin strips, chop the shallots, mint and coriander, then mixed them into a large bowl. Put the pomelo, shrimp and vermicelli into the bowl as well when they are both cool down, then mix everything together. You can either add the mixed greens here or lay them on the plate as a base when you serve the salad, it’s up to you. What I did is lay the mixed greens on the plate as a base, then put the mixed salad on top of the mixed greens, and now put the salad dressing on the salad. Sprinkle some shredded coconuts and cashew nuts on top of the salad, and do the final touch with the pomegranate.  I also serve the salad with some garlic breads.

Fish Fillet and King Prawn with Potato & Lettuce Salad

My husband told me the other day, we eat far less salad. That’s true, I eat a good amount of vegetable everyday, but more in a Chinese way. Those typical boiled, steamed or fried vegetables. But when I cook a Western dinner, I seldom consider a salad dish, maybe too focusing on the main dish, and forget about the side dish. So, for tonight I am thinking about a salad to start with, and see what to go best with the salad.

My husband always loves cucumber salad with sour sauce or dressing, I saw this potato salad with yogurt and dill sauce at one of the cooking show. Thinking to do the same kind of sauce with a cucumber salad. What is the best to go with this salad? Instead of salmon, let’s see what kind of fish I can get at the supermarket. Eventually, I’ve got the catfish fillet and a prawn for each of us, should be good enough to go with the salad.

Let’s get the salad prepared, so that I can get it chilled in the fringe for a while to keep it cooler before serving. I would like to have a little bit of potatoes in the salad, but not a lot, as I would like to keep the cucumber as the major ingredients. I started with cooking the potatoes into boiling water, part of it for the salad, part of it for our doggies for their usual Sunday dinner with salmon. When the potatoes are done, let them sit aside and reduce the heat. On the other hand, let’s get the rest of the salad prepared. Chop half of an onion in really thin slices, chop cucumber into thin slides, and some romaine lettuce. Put all of them into a big salad bowl, mix them well together and put the bowl into the fringe. You can add the potatoes back in when they are not hot any more.  Let the salad chill until it’s time to serve. You can also get the salad dressing ready, and chill it in the fringe as well. Open the Greek yogurt and pour them into a bowl, season with some salt and pepper, add white vinegar and then mix them well together. As I don’t like too sour, I prefer to add some honey so balance out the taste a bit. It’s up to you to add honey or not. The key of this source is dill, finely chop a handful of dill, and mix them with the sauce. Let the salad dressing sit in the fringe, you can decide to serve the salad with the dressing already add in, or serve it separately. I tend to serve it separately, because we do have a different preference on the amount of dressing that we like to add into our salad.

Time to prepare the fish and prawn. Add a bit of corn flour on the fish for both side in the beginning, to make sure we will keep it nicer together when frying them. Season both the fish and prawn with salt, pepper, ground coriander, paprika and parsley on both side. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the fish and prawn and add a bit of garlic and red chili for the flavour. Make sure one side is already done before flipping the fish, and watch out the prawn because the cooking time should be a lot faster than the fish. When one side of the prawn turned red, just flip it and remove them from the pan when both side turned red. After flipping the fish, add some chopped tomatoes and spring onion on top of the fish. Serve the fish when it’s done, together with the prawn as a seafood plate and have the salad on the side.