Green Sunday dinner – caprese fussili pasta

Let’s do green Sunday again!!!! It’s really refreshing and it’s a good idea to keep doing vegetarian dishes on Sunday, just to clean up the system. So tonight I am thinking to do a vegetarian pasta, I tried to search for ideas online, and I found this caprese salad with pasta. Yes! Why not? I love caprese salad, so why not trying make the pasta version out of it?!

This dish is basically very simple, as simple as the caprese salad, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. You just have to choose the kind of pasta that you like to go with the salad, I suggested to go with something short, like what I did with fussili or even penne. Try not to use something long, like spaghetti or linguine. If you like, you can also use broken spaghetti, but short pasta for sure make more sense for this dish.

First of all, get the fussili pasta ready by boiling them in a pot of hot water, by adding some salt in the water as well. On the other hand, get some olive oil in a hot pan, add some minced garlic, then simply fry the halved cherry tomatoes, and hand shredded mozzarella for about 30 seconds to a minute, season them with a pinch of salt. Basically, you can just eat them raw, so no need to cook them for too long. Add the basil at last, then put all the fussili into the sauce, and mix them well. You can decided to serve it hot right after you cook, or you can have them as salad by chilling them in the fridge. I like to eat it hot right after cooking, season them with some black pepper and garnish with a touch of fresh basil on top. Wala……. so simple and so quick!

Instead of salad, how about a pasta dish with Salmon and Avocado? Try this salmon fusilli pasta with avocado pesto

I was not meant to cook this for dinner last Sunday, but I found one pack of smoked salmon is going to be expired the next day, and the avocado is almost overripe. Let’s think of something to cook for the night with salmon and avocado. So, besides making a salad with salmon and avocado, what else can I do? How about making a pasta dish…… Why not?

The thing about avocado is, it will turn into brown colour after exposing to air. So, try to use the right amount for this dish and finish it up in one go. If you have leftover, you will ended up eating a brown colour pasta the next day. You would not get sick, it’s just not looking pretty. I’ve heard that if you put a cut onion next to an avocado, will help the avocado to keep green. Not sure if that works if I include onion as part of the ingredients, maybe I will try it out next time.

The Best Way to Keep Cut Avocado Fresh

It doesn’t take too long to prepare the pesto, it is better to get the water boiling for the pasta to start with. Now, you can start preparing the pesto and put everything into a food processor and let it do the chop work. Put some parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, garlic, avocado, half lemon juice, good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper into the food processor and blend them into a pesto sauce. Super quick and easy!

When the hot water is ready, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta according to the cooking time on the package. When the pasta is ready, drain them but save a bit of pasta water in case you need it later. Mix the pesto with the pasta and add some pasta water if you feel it’s too dry, then cut the smoked salmon into strips and mix them together with the pasta. Add the other half of lemon juice, and you can garnish it with some extra parsley and parmesan cheese on top.

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

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.

Caprese with Cold Cuts

Sometimes you just don’t feel to do much during Sunday, want to have a super easy evening, especially when I am still recovering from the flu. So, tonight I am fancy for an Italian cold cuts dinner, maybe can do also a caprese salad.

There is a small Italian food store close to when I live, they have a great variety of cold cuts and cheese, and all kinds of Italian grocery. So, I bought ciabatta bread for myself and the rye bread for my husband. I also got salami, prosciutto, mortadella, fontina cheese, and I’ve also got some tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to do a simple caprese salad. On top of that, I bought 2 pieces of cheese cakes, but we were too full after dinner, so I guess we have to leave the cheese cake for tomorrow night.

To do your caprese, just simply cut the tomato in slides, same thing for the mozzarella, and place them alternatively with a piece of basil as well. Make sure you eat a slide of tomato, mozzarella and basil together, that’s the way to eat. Season them with salt and pepper, as well as some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Such a refreshing salad.