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.

 

Sunday dinner – Pan fried Salmon with potato and salmon salad

I was thinking to do a fish dish for last Sunday already, but I could not managed to cook last Sunday, as I was too busy making the enzyme fruit juice. Let’s think of a fish dish for tonight!

First of all, what kind of fish should I go for? I was thinking to cook sea bass, maybe something like pan fried sea bass, or grill? Trying to get some idea, and I came across with this recipe by Gordon Ramsay, maybe it’s a good idea to do a pan fried salmon, as I’ve never cook salmon by pan frying them. I used to put them in the oven and grill them, but never did with pan fry.

Trying to find a nice piece of salmon for pan fry, as maybe the middle chunky part is not working much for pan fry. So, I go for more the tail part of the salmon, and it is wider and a bit thinner, should be easier to control. What Gordon Ramsay did, was to serve this with  potato and crabmeat salad. I was not able to find nice crabmeat, so I decided to go for the potato with salmon instead. I guess taste wise, should be fine as they are both salmon, but in two ways, cold and hot.

The first thing to do, is to get the potato ready, better to get that prepared a bit earlier of the day, so that you have enough time to chill the potato, as it should be cold as salad. Boil a pot of hot water and put the whole skinless potatoes in by adding pinch of salt. Boil them for about 20 minutes, and put them in the fringe until they cool down. After an hour or so, get them out from the fringe, break them up in small pieces by simply using a fork. Do not smash them too much, as we are not making mashed potatoes here. Finely chopped some spring onion or chives in the potatoes,  put some salmon chunk in and start mixing them. Put the bowl back into the fringe and serve it when the pan fried salmon is ready. For the salad dressing, put olive oil, a bit of vinegar, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Mix them well, and keep it in the fringe as well for serving later.

To fry the salmon, first of all, make sure you get rid of all the scale, and then do a few cut on the skin side, season them with salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the skin side first for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you see half of the section is cooked already. Then, cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, and it’s done! Serve it with the salad and some dressing.

I have to say, the skin is really crunchy, and I really love it! I think I will cook this once again in the future, instead of grilled salmon.

 

Refreshing spaghetti with lemon, prosciutto and arugula – perfect for Summer!

Continuing my Summer dishes idea for hot Summer here in Hong Kong, I was thinking to cook a simple but refreshing pasta. Pesto pasta could be a good option, but seems too regular and kind of boring. Trying to get some inspiration…  browsing on internet to see if there is anything to reference to? Found this recipe, spaghetti with lemon! This is quite new to me, I would never think of doing pasta like this, maybe I should give it a try.

The ingredients are pretty simple, spaghetti, lemon, prosciutto, arugula, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, red chili and butter. First of all, you can start with boiling a big pot of water, and get ready for cooking the spaghetti. While waiting for the boiling, let’s get the lemon ready, get some lemon zest from one lemon, then get the juice out of it. Take another lemon or half lemon, depends on how much acidity you want to add to your dish, cut the lemon in slices. When the water is up to boil, add salt and cook the spaghetti according to the cooking time on the package, then drain them but save some pasta water for later. Put all spaghetti back to the sauce pan, pour some pasta water into the pasta and add butter, a bit of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic and some red chili or red chili flakes, give it a good mix, and feel free to add some pasta water if you feel is needed. Then, add lemon slices, prosciutto, parmesan cheese and chopped parsley into the spaghetti, and finally mix them nicely, then serve them with a touch of parsley on top as garnish.

My husband think this dish is a bit too sour, you definitely can adjust the dish with the amount of lemon juice and lemon slices to make it less sour. But I kind of love the freshness from the lemon, especially for Summer time!

The power of turmeric and fruit to make a refreshing drink . better than drinking Coca Cola


The Summer time here in Hong Kong is so hot and humid! I used to drink hot or warm water, but that becomes a bit too hard in Summer time. Sometimes it’s just so refreshing to have a glass of ice water! But for my husband, he always prefer a touch of taste, we used to have some Coke, packs of ice tea or juice inside the fringe. Of course, it is not that healthy to drink those all the time, too much sugar and some sort of unknown chemicals.

Last Sunday, while I was preparing the dinner, my husband suddenly jump inside the kitchen and need to make this drink, like right now. He said he just watched Jaime Olivier doing that on TV, orange peel with all the juice in, then lemon peel with all the juice in as well, and one tea spoon of turmeric powder, that’s it! We tried but maybe a bit too much of turmeric, so we made another one with less turmeric, just a few shake, yeah and it tastes fantastic and refreshing! So, from now on we decided to drink this and stopped buying any soda. Turmeric for sure is doing something good to our body, as everyone starting to realise how good and powerful turmeric is, together with orange and lemon which contain a lot of vitamins, it is not wrong to have this as a regular drink instead of Coca Cola.

The other day, I was helping to host this event in office, as I am one of the committee of the Green Team in our company. Instead of serving soda, I suggested to have drinks with different kind of fruits, which is going to fit the theme better. Of course one of the key highlight was this drink, but I’ve also created few others in order to provide some varieties. The second one I’ve made was with cucumber slices, lemon wedges and juice with turmeric powder. The third one simply with only lemon and orange slices. The forth one with strawberries and cucumber slices, and the last jug with strawberries and lemon slices. Everyone were so happy to try them out, some of them were even trying every single one to see how different the taste is, just like a wine tasting. Few of them came to me and would like to know how to make this highlighted drink, and they said for sure they are going to try this out at home!

I feel great to share this idea around and now we are having this drink everyday instead of drinking soda, which for sure I believe it’s much more healthy. Well, at least I feel much more refreshing!

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!

 

 

Orange Pork Rib with Orange Salad

We’ve done a small party at home on Saturday night, and I was cooking for 8 of us. Nothing new, just trying to re-cook some dishes, as some of my friends would love to try my cooking. I was planning to cook two different salad as starter, but I ended up with making only one. Having the ingredients ready at home, it’s good to cook something that can go with this salad. Since the salad is with oranges as one of the key ingredient, I am thinking to cook something with orange as well. How about pork ribs with orange? I think taste wise should go very well together, so let’s do it!

First of all, season the pork ribs with salt and pepper, let them sit for a while. Put some butter in a hot pan, then fry the chopped onion until they turned brown. Place the pork ribs in the pan and fry each side of the ribs, then cut one entire garlic in half and let it sit on the pan. You can switch off the fire now and start preparing all ingredients for the grilling part, of course you also need to preheat your oven with 210C. Place ginger slices and orange slices in the pan, get them evenly distributed nicely in the pan. Then, put the sauce in, make sure the sauce is on every single rib. The sauce is a mix of light soy sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place the pan in the oven and grill for 30-40 minutes under 210C, or until the pork ribs turn golden brown. You might need the turn the ribs in the middle of the way.

For the salad, it’s super easy! Just place arugula in a big salad bowl, then cut the fennel bulb into thin strips, and the orange in slices without skin. Mix them well and serve with the salad dressing with olive oil, mustard, honey, balsamic vinegar and fresh lemon juice.

The taste of the salad and the pork ribs go really well together, as they are both with orange flavour and the sauce for pork ribs vs the salad dressing are very similar. I’ve also tried the orange from the pork ribs, also taste very good with the ginger flavour with the rich taste from the marinated sauce.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Chicken Soup for my sick Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I really wish everyone having a great day! To me, Valentine’s Day is a bit too commercialise, all the retailers are pushing to sell more for valentine’s gift. A dozen of roses costed HKD2,380, something like USD300, way too much!  If today is about love, we should just love our love, do something nice together and enjoy the time being together.

Unfortunately, my husband is sick today, still sick. He has been sick for few days already, and he is really craving for chicken soup, he said that’s what he used to have all the time when he was sick back in Germany. The one he was showing me, is actually an instant soup with pasta, I am just thinking how good can a can soup be? Why don’t I cook a real chicken soup? By the way, it will be impossible to find that German can soup here in Hong Kong.

I found it funny that how westerners see chicken soup compare to Chinese. For us, if we catch a flu, Chinese doctor will tell us not to have chicken, and chicken soup for sure is not good. But for westerners, chicken soup is something that you should have when you catch a flu or having fever, because chicken soup can help you to boost your immune system. I really don’t understand why Westerners and Chinese have such a big difference towards chicken, my husband said maybe because we do have a lot of problem with chicken, such as bird flu, I am not sure if that is the reason.

So, the chicken soup with pasta ended up so tasty and my husband loves it. Hope he will feel better tomorrow. The ingredients of the chicken soup are: first of all, of course the chicken! I was struggling with getting the whole chicken or just using chicken pieces, so I ended up with the whole chicken just because I found this Danish chicken at the supermarket. It will be difficult if I have to cook the soup with the local Chinese chicken, as they are all so skinny and boney. Vegetables are also important for this soup, onion, celery and carrot, as well as leek; spices are also important, as that help you to open up your nose, black pepper, red pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and allspice. You also need herbs: chopped rosemary and parsley, get some garlic, jalapeños and red chilli pepper as well.

Chop everything and get ready, I also remove the skin of the chicken, because I think it’s better. Make sure you have a pot is big enough, because with everything in will take up lots of space. Heat up the pot with olive oil, fry the onion, celery and carrot until they start to sweat, cut the whole chicken into four big pieces and place them in the pot. Put all the herbs and spices in the pot, except parsley and leek. Pour water inside the pot that covering all ingredients and let it boil, then switch to low heat and let it boil for 90 minutes. After one and a half hour, take out the chicken, and you need to debone the chicken. It will be super easy because the meat will become so tender and so easy to remove. The only thing is too hot! You can use two forks to get that done easily. At the same time, you can boil a pot of hot water and boil the shell pasta and get it ready. Place all chicken meat back into the soup, and put the leek and parsley. I guess now you can switch off the stove. About the pasta, you can do it in two ways, either you pour everything in the soup, but they will grow and become bigger and bigger later on; or you can leave them aside, only mix them with the soup when you eat them, so they don’t soak up all the soup. Serve the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice to add some freshness and vitamin C as well.

I am happy that my husband already feel a lot better after having the soup! Happy Valentine’s Day 😉