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Simple and light dinner – baked salmon with asparagus

It’s Easter holiday, but we are very busy. We have to move, so I have to pack. My husband is also very busy on setting up his new studio, so I would like to cook something very simple and light for our last Easter night.

Tonight I would like to cook salmon, it’s very healthy and rich in omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin B and D. I also got some asparagus to go with it, it is going to be a very simple and easy to manage dinner cooking.

To heat up the oven to 210C, season the salmon with salt and black pepper. Place a batch of dill and rosemary underneath the salmon, and then place sliced of lemon on top of the salmon and top it with another batch of dill and rosemary. I did not put any oil, as salmon itself got some oil, and it’s totally fine to bake them without adding oil. Close it up with foil and place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, that’s it! When the salmon is almost done, start to cook the asparagus. Heat up the pan with a bit of butter, then pan fry the asparagus and season them with salt and black pepper. Serve the salmon with the asparagus, you can remove all the dill and rosemary, but keep the lemon on the salmon for decoration. Nice and light!

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Cooking with healthy Quinoa – roasted with broccoli and chicken

I always try to eat healthy and explore something new. I’ve never cook quinoa, but I’ve heard a lot of good thing about it.  It is very nutritious, good for blood sugar control, gluten free, very high in fiber, protein, important mineral and antioxidants. It sounds like all you can get!!! Why not trying it out?

Find out what is good about quinoa

I grew up with rice and noodle, quinoa is definitely something new to me. I know there is a trend in the Western world to cook with quinoa, but I have no idea how should I cook them. Therefore, I have to look into some recipes, to get the idea and some inspiration. I found this recipe to roast it with broccoli and chicken, looking quite delicious. So, I am going to try my first quinoa dish with this.

Roasted broccoli chicken and cheddar quinoa bake

Of course, I always improvise the recipe a bit, to make it my own style. To add something on top, or to change the ingredients that I don’t like. But I like almost everything of this recipe, the only thing I feel missing is a bit of garlic, and to mix with some parmesan cheese, instead of having only cheddar cheese.

First of all, I would like to do the chicken with sous vide cooking. So, I’ve spent one hour to  cook the chicken breast with 60C in the hot bath, get them out and let them cool down. To cook the quinoa, more or less like cooking the rice or risotto. I am following this recipe to use 1 3/4 cup of chicken stock to cook 1 cup of quinoa. But I guess you can also cook with regular water, and I might try to cook them in the rice cooker next time and see if that works. When the quinoa absorb all the stock, switch off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I am getting the vegetable ready, I prefer to fry them with a pan instead of grilling them in the oven. Hit the pan and drizzle with some olive oil, put some minced garlic, and then put the chopped red onion and broccoli. Fry them with medium heat until they are half way cooked, do not oven cook them as they will still be cooked in the oven for another 25 minutes later on. Season them with some salt and red chilli flakes.

Now, let’s work on the quinoa. Mix the chopped tomato and shredded chicken in, and then add the cheddar cheese mix with parmesan cheese. Mix them well, and then also adding the broccoli mix, mix everything together in a large pan and season it with a bit of salt and pepper. Finish it by adding more cheese as a top layer, and some breadcrumbs to make it more crunchy. Roast it in the oven for 20-25 minutes under 200C.

I feel very satisfied with my first quinoa cooking and I like the texture of it, for sure will try out new dishes with it in the future.

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Thai homemade dinner – Spring rolls with prawn and Chicken Thai salad

I bought this Thai cook book for quite some time, but never follow it to cook some dishes. Today, I tried to find some inspiration from the book and I ended up picking 3 dishes to cook for tonight. Unfortunately, I can only made two as we are already full after the second dish.

I always want to cook Spring rolls but I’ve never tried, so I really want to try it out today. I am not sure the Spring roll sheets that I found is the same as the one they used in Thai cuisine, this one is for Chinese and I’m not sure if there is any difference. I feel the sheet is quite thin and some how is hard to manage, and it breaks easily during wrapping. Maybe double up the sheet can help, but I haven’t tried.

First of all, have to prepare the filling. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the vermicelli in until they turn soft. Remove them and rinse with cold water. Chop the vermicelli around 3 to 4 cm long. For the prawn, cook them in hot water until they turn pink, and then slice them in two pieces right in the middle. Get a big bowl ready and just put all ingredients in after chopping, including the vermicelli and prawn. Finely chop the garlic, fungus mushroom, carrot, and some beansprouts. Season them with some light soy sauce and pepper, mix them well. Use Spring roll sheet to wrap the filling and close it with some cornflour mixed with water. It is hard to wrap every Spring roll in the same size, and please don’t be greedy, try to stay with a smaller piece instead of filling it up. Bigger Spring roll is with a higher chance to break and you will be ending up with re-wrapping. Deep fry all the spring rolls in a pot and serve them with the sweet chilli sauce. For the sauce, it’s with some white vinegar, some sugar, a touch of salt, some red chilli and some coriander. 

The best dish to go with Spring rolls is actually a salad! I’m making a chicken Thai salad, and I would like to do the chicken with sous vide cooking. Cook the chicken breast in vacuum bag without any seasoning under 61C for one hour. Remove the chicken breast from the bag and let them cool down. Use your hand to tear the chicken breast into thin strips, and place them in a large bowl. Then, chop the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, thin strips cucumber, finely chopped onion and ladyfingers, beansprouts, mint leaves and chopped red chillies. Mix everything well together, and put them in the fringe to chill. Now get the dressing ready, mix some fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar and some lime juice, taste and adjust the way you like. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the salad with the dressing and add some roasted peanuts and sesame seeds for serving.

The main course I’ve planned to cook is steamed mussels with galangal. Thai way of steamed mussels, would like to try it out! Maybe tomorrow night…..