Celebrate our anniversary in a Spanish way – Tapas with Sangria

I am so busy lately, too much to do at work, could not put myself together to write anything. Too busy but would not stopped myself for cooking, especially on our anniversary. It’s just I do not have time or energy to write… So, after almost a week, I would like to share with you on the tapas I’ve put together for our anniversary dinner.

My inspiration of this dinner was from one of this cooking show on TV, the lady in the show, not sure about her name, was cooking these 2 simple dishes, mushroom and sausage, that inspired me to cook ourselves some tapas that night. Went to do grocery, and I am planning to put together 5 to 6 dishes of tapas. Tapas should not be too big in portion, should have more varieties than have one big portion. So, other than mushroom and sausage, I planned to cook also potatoes, cherry tomatoes with pancetta, shrimp and maybe something else. I started with the potatoes, chopped them into small cubes. Heat up the pan with some butter, fry the potatoes and season them with salt, pepper, red chili flakes and some oregano. Place them in the plate or bowl when they are done, and garnish them with some chopped basil. Next one I work on the mushrooms, once again heat up the pan with butter, this time also with some garlic and a bit of red chili. Fry the mushrooms until they turn soft and season them with a bit of salt, pour some red wine in the pan, let them cook and let those mushrooms soaked with red wine. Serve when they are ready and garnish with chopped basil as well. For the shrimps, heat up the pan with butter, and then put some minced garlic, red chili and chopped parsley into the pan. Simple and easy, just fry the shrimps until they are done without overcooking them, season them with a bit of salt and pepper.

Let’s get the ball rolling, next one is the cherry tomatoes with pancetta. Heat up the pan with olive oil, then put some garlic and red chili, fry the pancetta until it’s almost done. Then, put the cherry tomatoes in, and cook them together for a bit, no need to put salt, as the pancetta should be salty enough, put some chopped parsley before serving.

The one requires a bit more work is the sausage. First of all, we need to work on the minced pork. Put the minced pork in a bowl, add two chopped shallots or half red onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. Watch out the portion of salt, do not add too much, as the prosciutto we are going to put later on will add the taste of savory to the meat. Finally add some breadcrumbs and then mix them well together, that will be the filling for the sausage. Now, lay one piece of prosciutto out, then place some filling on top, and then roll them into a little sausage. I didn’t get enough prosciutto, because that lady in the shop misunderstood me for 200 gms as 100 gms. Fry those sausages with oil when they are done. I have some leftover of the mined pork, so I tried to put together some meatballs after finishing the sausage. Unfortunately, I just found out that the tomato puree in the fringe is already finished. So, I just make the meatball in a different way, with some Parmesan cheese and garnish with some chopped basil. Serve all tapas with slices of baguette, of course a jar of Sangria is good to go with this Spanish night.

Happy Anniversary!

 

CNY brunch – Golden Baked Eggs

Happy Chinese New Year, today is the New Year’s Day, Kung Hei Fat Choy. We don’t have to go visit any relatives, so good to sleep in. Woke up a bit late, and let’s do a nice brunch for the two of us, something nice looking to start the Year of the Monkey.

I always want to bake eggs with the muffin tray, because they will look so nice and cute.  First of all, brush butter all around the tray inside, make sure nothing is going to get stuck there later on. Toast 2 pieces of bread, cut into 4 pieces and stuck each piece into the tray as a base, and brush some butter on each toast. Chop some ham into small pieces, place them on top of the toast, and put any kind of dip or sauce you like, for example mayonnaise, and I am using the avocado dip I’ve done last night. Then, cut the cherry tomatoes into four pieces, and place them into the tray. Finish it with an egg on top, nicely fill up the entire tray, and season each of them with salt and pepper.

Place the tray in the pre-heat oven under 180C for around 15 minutes, add some parmesan cheese on top 5 minutes prior done. When they are done, remove them slowly from the tray, and serve them on the plate or board. Garnish them with some arugula or spring onion and parmesan cheese, season them with some black pepper as well.

Pair it up with pears – two pear dishes


Fruit is part of the healthy diet, and it’s good to do some simple dishes with fruit, especially canapés or salad. Today, I am going to talk about two dishes with pear.

The first one is a simple canapés that you can simple get it done in 10 minutes. All you need is pears, lemon, arugula, prosciutto and cheese, choose the kind of cheese you like, as cheese sometimes could be very personal. Some people like to go with the blue cheese, but some might think it’s a bit too strong. I like parmesan cheese most of the time, so it’s up to you, and I feel the pear can kind of go nicely with any kind of cheese. So, just cut the pear in wedges, and splash a bit of lemon juice on them to add the flavour. Then, simply just use a piece of prosciutto to wrap the pear with some arugula and a bit of the cheese that you like. Isn’t it so simple?

If this one is simple, the next one will be even more easy! This one I ate in Italy one time and I just love it, love the simplicity of it, but yet so tasty. Just simply cut the pear into slides and top it with parmesan cheese in thin slides, and finish it with a bit of basil on top. Season it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That’s it! How simple but lovely!

Eggs Baked in Hash Brown with Bacon

I love hash brown, and love to have it as part of the breakfast. Well, actually I found the one from McDonald’s is not bad, I can easily eat 2 of them. But, of course it’s better to make your own one.

So, today I am making this, can combined hash brown, eggs and bacons in one go, and it’s super easy to cook. First of all, you need to grate the potatoes after peeling them, and add some grated onion as well. Then you mixed them together, you have to watch out the excess water and have to get rid of them.

Then, you have to use a pan that could be used in an oven eventually. Heat the pan and then put some butter and let it melt, fry the mixture of potatoes and onion. Let it sit there and fry until golden brown on one side, season it with a bit of salt and pepper, I also like to add some grounded paprika. You can add slides of butter from the edge if you feel more butter is needed. Then, repeat the same thing for the other side. When the hash brown is half done, you don’t need that fully done, because we will put it in the oven later on, and it will be keep cooking. Crack 4 eggs on top of the hash brown, season the egg with a bit of salt and pepper. Then, place the pan into the oven and grill it for roughly 10-15 minutes under 180C to 200C.  Meanwhile, heat up another pan with butter or oil, then fry the bacons  and get them ready.

When the hash brown and eggs are done, take it out from the oven, and place the bacons on top of the dish. I like to serve it with some chopped basil and spring onion, to make it tastes even better. I have to say, the dish I cooked should be with more hash brown. Now you cannot really see the hash brown underneath in the picture ;P

Sunday brunch idea, making use of leftover

IMG_5393I always do not want to waste anything, of course we should not waste any food, as a lot of people in the world are suffering from starvation. I always try to go through the fridge to make sure I finish up with everything.

Sunday is a day to relax and chill, so it is good to be lazy. You can go out for brunch, but I always like the idea to stay in. Sunday brunch is fun to cook, as there are lots of easy and fun dishes you can come up with. I found some leftover in the kitchen from last night, baugette, some arugula, cherry tomatoes and a bit of goose liver salami. Let’s do something with all these, let’s do a bruschetta!

Cut the baguette in slices, and heat up the pan with some butter, better use the grill pan, so that can create beautiful grill marks on it. When both side of the baguette are done, place them on a board or plate, up to you in terms of presentation. Fry the salami as well if you like, no need to fry for too long, just a touch. Or, you can replace samali with pancetta, that can do too. But pancetta you have to fully cook them. Then, fry the eggs in the pan, and I kind of like it in a free style, not beating them, but just mixing them freely in the pan when I am frying. It’s more fun, and a bit uneven, to make it more interesting, and don’t forget to season them with a bit of salt and pepper. With the eggs, of course you have to be quick, unless you are more a well done egg kind of person.

Place scramble egg on top of the baguette, then add a bit of arugula, salami, half of a cherry tomato, finish up with a touch of chopped spring union on top, as well as a touch of parmesan cheese. More black pepper at the end always make it visually looks better and taste better as well.

This is very simple, and just take 15 minutes to cook! As the most important thing is get rid of all the leftover, you can edit it and come up with your own version.

Let’s get fat, midnight snack – Onion and Apple Tart

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Feeling hungry in the middle of the night, just want to indulge yourself and don’t care much about gaining weight… yay!!! Let’s make something quick and have a mid-night snack.

This onion and apple tart is super easy to make, you just need 4 ingredients, onion, apple, creme fraiche and puff pastry sheets.

Pan fried onion and apple with olive oil, until they are both soft and brown, and season with salt and pepper.

Place puff pastry sheets on the baking paper, put creme fraiche on the puff pastry, then put the cooked onion and apple on top. Bake under 180C in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. That’s it!!! So quick and easy.

If you prefer something sweet, maybe you can season it with sugar instead of salt, and treat this as a desert.

yum………