Gallery

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!

Gallery

Tonight dinner – mustard and honey spare ribs with potatoes and salad

My husband loves ribs, it’s been a while that I cook ribs for him, maybe it’s about time. This time I am thinking to cook the ribs with mustard and honey flavour. 

I’m going to cook a lot of ribs to make sure we have some leftover for Monday lunch as well, so I cooked 3 packs of ribs. Let’s work on the sauce, mix mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, with some olive oil, taste and adjust. Then, marinate the spare ribs with the sauce for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Place ribs in a large tray, then put also striped onion and some potatoes to mix them well together, and add some fresh oregano in the tray for flavour. Place the tray inside the oven under 210C and bake them for 75 minutes, flip them every 15 minutes to avoid burning. 

When the spare ribs are done, serve them with some salad and the potatoes. 

Gallery

The last day of CNY holiday – bake stuffed pumpkin with quinoa, minced pork & mushroom

Four days of CNY holiday is ending soon, tomorrow have to get back to work. What should I cook for tonight? I would like to do something with quinoa, quinoa is really healthy and we should eat more quinoa! Maybe with minced pork, mushroom, carrot…… How about stuff them in a pumpkin?

First of all, steam the pumpkins until they turn soft, leave them aside and let them cool down. Cook the quinoa with double portion of water, I like to use the rice cooker to cook it which it’s so much more easier, but you can also use a sauce pan to cook that. For the fillings, heat up the pan with a bit of butter and olive oil, fry the minced garlic, followed by roughly chopped onion and carrot. Then, we can start to add the minced pork, and then the roughly chopped mushroom. Cook until they are done, then switch off the heat and add in the quinoa, cheese ( I use mixed of 6 kinds of Italian cheese), finely chopped parsley, fresh thyme, and season it with salt and pepper. 

Now put the fillings inside the pumpkin, fill it up and add cheese again on the top and cover the entire top part. Place the pumpkins in the oven under 190C and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese is nice and brown.

Gallery

My version of spaghetti aglio e olio

There are few pasta dishes that are on my top list, linguine alle vongole, linguine al tonne piccante, spaghetti agile e olio, and etc. For spaghetti aglio e olio, usually I rely on my husband to make it, I actually have never been cooking this dish. The other day, I was missing this dish very much, why don’t I try to cook it by myself and see how does it taste.

First of all, put the frozen shrimps in the pan and heat up the pan directly without adding any oil, let it cook until the shrimps turn slight pink. Do not overcook or fully cook them, just around 80% cook as we still have to cook them when the sauce is ready, just leave them aside at the moment. Try to get the spaghetti ready at the same time when the sauce is ready, that’s what you always have to look after, the pasta should be eaten at the moment when it’s ready, which is very important to Italian! Boil a big pot of hot water, season it with some salt and cook the spaghetti according to the cooking time on the package. For the sauce, heat up the pan with a good amount of butter and olive oil. I like to use some butter as everything taste better with butter! When the oil is hot, put minced garlic and finely chopped onion in the pan, fry until the onion turn a bit brown, then add a touch of white wine, and let it cook a bit. Make sure you have a good amount of oil, if you feel that you don’t, please  add more olive oil in the pan as the sauce will be only based on the amount of olive oil. When it’s amount ready, add the chopped red chilli pepper, you can skip this if you don’t like spicy, then add the prawn and let them cook until they are done, season the sauce with salt and pepper. Finish it up with some more red chilli pepper flakes and finely chopped parsley. At the same time, the spaghetti should be ready, so drain the water and mix them well with the sauce.

I think my version of spaghetti agilo e olio is better than my husband’s version, and he agreed with me 😉

Gallery

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.

 

Gallery

Sunday simple dinner – Chicken and Asparagus Penne

I was planning to cook this simple pasta on Saturday night, and was thinking to cook something more complicated on Sunday night. But then, I ended up with something else on Saturday night, so I have to save the ingredients for Sunday dinner. Not bad, so I get more time to do other things, like shower my two dogs.

What we need for this dish is chicken fillet, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, garlic, red chili if you prefer spicy, parsley and penne pasta. I do prefer to get the bigger version of asparagus, but I could not find it and I have to go for the smaller / thinner version.

Boil a pot of hot water for cooking the pasta, get a sauce pan ready on the other hand by heating it up with some olive oil. Start it off with the mined garlic, and then add the asparagus, cook them for a while until they started to turn soft. Add the chicken into the pan, let them fry a bit to get the surface cooked first. Then, stir fry them and add red chili, season them with salt, pepper, rosemary and ground paprika. Cook until the chicken is done, add the cherry tomatoes and more olive oil for the pasta later on.

When the penne pasta is done, drain the water and mix the pasta into the sauce pan. Add parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, then mix everything well together. You can serve the pasta with some more parmesan cheese and parsley on top as garnish and extra flavour.

 

Gallery

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.