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Shakshuka – Spicy all day breakfast 

My husband was having a gig last night, djing at one of the event, and he was out until this morning. Usually, what he loves to eat after a night like this, will be something meaty, but I would like to have something vegetarian. I think maybe it’s good to cook something like a all-day breakfast for him. 

This dish is called Shakshuka, it’s a spicy dish with eggs poached in tomato sauce and pepper. I am not sure if I can handle something that spicy for breakfast, but I guess should be fine for night time “breakfast”. This is a very easy dish, you can quickly get it done in half an hour.

Heat up the pan with some butter and olive oil, add diced onio, minced garlic and sliced mushroom into the pan. Season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and fry them until they turn brown and dry out. Add diced red bell pepper, chopped green pepper / jalapenos, and minced red chilli pepper. Stir fry them, and then add ground paprika, ground ceyanne pepper, ground cumin and cumin seeds. Now add chopped tomatoes in the pan, add a touch of water or chicken broth, let it simmer a bit until the sauce is thicken up. Create 4 little holes in the pan, then drop the egg into each little hole. Lower the heat and cover the lid, poach the eggs for 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with chopped spring onion and coriander. Serve the dish with some sliced baguette or toast. 

It’s quite spicy, spicer than I thought. Maybe it’s good to have it in the morning, it definitely can wake you up!

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Sunday dinner – chicken and avocado wrap


Tonight’s dinner definitely would love to stick with the theme of healthy, but would like to add meat into it. My husband was doing a lot of juicing and cut down the amount of meat by eating almost only plant based raw food. Tonight maybe good to go with chicken, but not beef, as we would really like to minimise having beef in our diet.

So I decided to cook something with chicken and avocado, they are a good mix in terms of pairing. Just thinking what should I make with the two, and I decided to make burittos with them. Instead of tortilla, I got this healthy oat wraps at the supermarket and they are super light which should be a better choice than tortilla.

To heat up the pan with a bit of olive oil, add minced garlic and diced onion into the pan, then add diced chicken into the pan when the onion started to turn brown. Stir fry everything until the chicken is done, set them aside and let them cool down a bit. Get the rest of the ingredients ready, halved the avocado, remove the stone and cut them in dices. I just found out the other day that you can keep the avocado with the seed in order to avoid it turning black. That’s a really good trick, instead of putting lemon juice in it, just simply let the seed stay with the avocado. 

Now, get the oat wraps out, you can use tortilla if you prefer to keep it original. Lay the chicken, diced avocado, diced mozzarella, a bit of sour cream and some chopped coriander carefully on the wrap. Then wrap it and roll it nicely, and place it on the grill pan to pan fry until it turned crispy. 

You can serve it just like that or with some salad, freshy and healthy!

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Thai again – roasted pork spare ribs with green papaya salad

I really tried my best try to catch up with my writing! This Thai dinner was on 22nd January, but I did not manage to put this up on my blog that day or not even the day or the week after! It’s Chinese New Year’s holiday now, I am trying my best to catch up with my blog and try to finish with those that are still missing, before I forgot how to even cook the dish….. lol

First of all, we have to marinate the pork ribs. Put all ingredients in the food processor and blend it, ginger, garlic, shallots, spring onion, coriander, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, ground black pepper and brown sugar. You will get a very thick paste, taste it and see if you like it, if not you can still adjust the taste a bit before you go to marinate the ribs. Put the pork ribs in a zip lock bag and pour the sauce in, make sure all the pork ribs are in the sauce, massage the ribs with the sauce and place the bag in the fridge and let them marinate for at least 2 hours before cooking. Preheat the oven under 180C, lay the ribs out in a pan or tray and place it in the oven for 1.5 hours. Rotate the ribs every now and then, to make sure it is not getting burnt on one side.

To go with the pork, I would like to have the traditional Thai green papaya salad. The key ingredient of course is the green papaya, make sure you get one is green enough to make the salad, not the ripe one. Peel the green papaya, cut it in half and clean up the seed inside. Use the grater to shred the papaya, or you can simply use a food processor to do the job. For the long green beans, coarsely chopped them and steam them for 2 to 3 minutes until soft, set them aside until they cool down. For cherry tomatoes, cut them into halves. Mix the green papaya, green beans and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl, add some mint leaves and chopped red chilli pepper. For the salad dressing, it’s mix of soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown or palm sugar and a bit of mince garlic.

When the pork ribs are done, serve them with the green papaya salad as a base with the dressing. I also have a glass of mojito to go with the dish, even mojito is not really Thai, but I found the mint leaves taste matching very match with the dish. Enjoy~

 

 

 

 

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Second day of CNY – let’s have something hot hot hot!

The second day of CNY, it’s also a sunday, let’s keep the cooking going!!! When I was thinking what to cook, suddenly this dish come up, 水煮牛肉 poached beef in hot chili oil! I don’t know why, it’s good to have something Chinese and in red colour for CNY! My husband loves hot and spicy, so I guess should be good!

Actually for the authentic Sichuan style, should be with different kind of chilli pepper, it should be a mix of the dry one, the fresh chilli pepper and other pepper, such as zanthoxylum 花椒 and 麻椒, which I am not even sure what is the name in English, that’s where the numb kind of spicy coming from. Anyway, I cannot find different kind of chilli pepper, not even the dry one, so I can only cook with the fresh one.

I am thinking to cook this with udon as well, as my husband loves udon, and somehow I found that is the best to match with the beef. Cut the beef in thin slices against the grain, marinate them with egg white, pinch of salt and some flour, and let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat up the wok with oil and fry the fresh hot chilli peppers a bit, and then remove them and put them aside. Chop them up in small pieces, we will use them in the end. Now, use the same oil to fry the vegetable with high heat, I am using 小棠菜, similar to pak choy, but you can replaced it by other vegetable. Fry until the vegetable is almost done and season it with salt and a touch of rice wine, don’t over cook it, then add the spring onion into it and fry a bit. Place the vegetable in a large bowl or pot, that will be the base of your dish. 

Let’s start working on the red hot chilli oil! Heat up the oil, add ginger slices and garlic slices, and then 3 big tablespoon of chilli bean sauce. Fry them a bit, and then add some water, let it cook for a while. Then, add chicken stock and bring it to boil, and let it simmer, add white ground pepper, soy sauce, chilli pepper oil and chicken stock powder. Taste it and see if that’s what you like, otherwise adjust it. I would like to cook the udon now, so I add them in the pot and cook until they are done. Place the udon in the large bowl on top of the vegetable. Now lower the heat and place the beef slices into the soup, let the heat to poach the beef until they are fully cooked. Make sure the beef do not stick together and pour the beef with some soup in the bowl or pot on top of the udon and vegetable. Then place the chopped red chilli pepper and chopped coriander on the top as garnish.

It’s so hot and spicy then I’m so sweating!!!!!

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Thai homemade dinner Part II – barbecued prawns on lemongrass, coconut soup, and steamed mussels

I decided to make Thai food again today, Part II of last week, as there are few dishes that I still want to make but do not have time to make it last week. 

So, tonight I’m making three dishes, one soup, one appetiser and one main course.

Let’s start it off with the soup, it is coconut soup with cauliflower, but I think you can just add other ingredients that you like and make it your own, for example, carrot, chicken, mushroom, and etc. With a pot, bring the vegetable stock and coconut milk to boil. Then, add cauliflower, galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and season them with light soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Lower the heat, and cook until the cauliflowers turn soft. Serve the soup by adding some chopped chillies and coriander, and a bit a lime juice.

The appetiser is barbecued prawns on lemon grass, I like the look of this dish, having the prawn mixture wrapping the middle of the lemon grass stalk. In order to have the flavour of the lemon grass, lightly cut the middle of the lemon grass in order to get the nice smell out of it. To make the prawn mixture, mix the prawns (slightly cooked, half raw), chopped bacon or minced pork, garlic, a touch of kaffir lime leaves, chopped spring onion, and season with some fish sauce, brown sugar and cornflour in a food processor until it turns dense. Carefully wrap the mixture around the lemon grass stalk, if you feel so sticky, wet your hand with some water. Pan fry them with a pan and serve with the sauce, mixed of white vinegar, sugar, chopped chillies and coriander.
For the main, I’ve made the Thai style steamed mussels. Heat the sauce pan with a bit of butter, fry the chopped galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and shallots. Add some vegetable stock and coconut milk, simmer a bit, then add all mussels in, cook 4 minutes with the lit on and then another 2 minutes without the lit. Serve the mussels with some bread and garnish with some coriander. 

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Chili con Carne . can go with rice or bread


I was thinking what to cook for our usual Sunday dinner, my husband was trying to help and brain storm. Suddenly he came across “Chili con carne”, he said he can eat that for the entire week. I am not a fan of Mexican food at all, and I am not sure if I know exactly what Chili con carne is… Tried to search a bit online and look into few recipes, my husband also trying to explain to me how should that tastes like. All right, even I do not like Mexican and beans that much, let’s stay open-minded and try something new!

I found few different recipes, and I am going for the one with more vegetables to make it a bit more healthy, so I decided to base on the recipe from Jamie Oliver and improvise. Looking at the ingredients, somehow I feel that I am making the spicy Bolognese sauce, just with more beans.

There are a lot of chopping to do, so better get everything nicely chopped and ready before starting to cook. Of course you can make use of the food processor to help out a bit. Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and finally chop the red peppers into  medium squares. Get some coriander chopped and separate the stalks from the leaves. I also like to add some red chili to make the dish a bit more hot, just get them chopped and ready.

Are you ready? So, get the biggest sauce pan out, heat it up and put some butter into the pan. Put the minced garlic and the onion in the pan to start with, then add the carrot and celery together with a pinch of salt, let them cook a bit until they turn soft. You can add some olive oil if you feel there is not enough oil, then put the minced beef in and fry them nicely until they start to turn brown. Then, add the kidney beans and chickpeas, together with the coriander stalks and the red chili. Give them a good stir, add all the spice into the pan, chili powder, ground cumin, ground cinnamon and ground paprika, of course some salt and pepper, then add the chopped tomato sauce into the pan. Let them cook a bit, and then add some water into it, bring it to boil and then switch it to lower heat, let it boil for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

When it’s done, you can serve it with some long grain rice, by adding some yogurt and corindar as garnish. That’s how I like to eat, as I love rice. My husband prefers to have it with bread, so he had it with some baguette, French meets Mexian. Somehow I feel like having Indian food….? My husband said that has nothing to do with chili con carne, but at least it tasted good. He thinks the vegetable makes it so non-Mexican, he said he will cook me a real one later, let’s see… well, I kind of like it, at least it is not too beany and not too Mexican 😝

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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.