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Sunday dinner – creamy leek and pancetta fettuccine

Last week was again a busy week, we did some renovation work at our studio, so I rather looked for a very chilled Sunday. Cooking something easy and maybe even repeating an old recipe would do the job.

I found this old recipe two years ago on my facebook memory, before I have my blog. I think it’s good to redo this, as my husband loves creamy pasta, this one must be his favourite once again! My old version was cooking this with falafel, I would live to do the same, but I could not manage to find falafel in the supermarket. I decided to give it up and go for fettuccine instead, which is also a good choice for creamy sauce.

To cook the sauce, heat up the sauce pan with some olive oil. Add garlic cloves and pancetta in the pan, fry them until the pancetta turn brown. Add some butter, then add chopped leek in the pan and fry them together with the pancetta, until they turn soft. Add cooking cream in the pan with fresh oregano, touch of thyme and ground paprika, lower the heat and let it simmer until the sauce turn thick. Taste the sauce and season it with salt, add shredded parmesan cheese in the end. Switch off the heat and stir well.

When the fettuccine is cooked, add them in the sauce and stir well. If you feel it’s too dry, add some hot pasta water in. 

It’s creamy, and it’s really yummy~~~

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My spicy version of Spaghetti Bolognese

I’m missing spaghetti bolognese, haven’t cooked that for quite some time, so would love to make it for tonight. Funny though my husband is also craving for this dish, he is happy that I am cooking this tonight!

I would like to make a spicy version tonight, both of us like how it tastes, a bit spicy! To cook the sauce, heat up the sauce pan with some olive oil, then add minced garlic. Add all the vegetables in, finely chopped onion, carrot, celery, and some red chilli pepper, cook them a bit, and then add the minced pork and beef. Cook it for a while, season it with thyme, oregano, salt and black pepper. Add some red wine and let it simmer for a while, then add plum tomatoes in. Let the sauce simmer and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes. Add water in between if you feel the sauce is too dry. Cook the spaghetti according to the package and mix them with the sauce when they are ready.

Serve the pasta with shredded parmesan cheese and a bit of basil. We love the spicy version and it tastes better than the non-spicy one.

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Sunday dinner snack night

Instead of having one big full meal, it’s good to have snacks to fill up your stomach on Sunday night. Checking out the page of Tasty on Facebook, and found a lot of snacks that I would like to try. I was thinking to make five of them, but I ended up with making only three, already feel full. Maybe I will try to make to other two tomorrow.

https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/?hc_ref=SEARCH

1. Jalapenos with cream cheese and bacon

This one is definitely worth to make it, as it is so easy but tasty! Jalapenos + cream cheese + bacon = in oven 220C for 15 minutes, that’s it!!! So Yummy!

2. Potato chips

They showed how to do potato wedges, but I ended up to make potato chips, and I’ve also improvised a bit. Cut potato in to strips or wedges, season them with olive oil, salt, ground paprika, rosemary and thyme. In oven 200C around 25 minutes, then add parmesan cheese and pepper, then grill 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Chicken nuggets with salad

They called it chicken popcorn, I feel a bit weird with the name as it sounds like chickenpox. I rather called it mini chicken nuggets. Cut chicken breast into cubes, and dip them into egg white, then fill the surface with breadcrumbs. They used Ritz crackers, but I think breadcrumbs will do the same job. I just add some salt because Ritz crackers are already salty, but not for breadcrumbs. Place them nicely on a bake tray in the oven under 220C for 12 to 15 minutes. Melt some butter, add chili powder and some lime juice, put it back in the oven and grill it for another 5 minutes.

 

I’ve also trying to make other snacks the day after, and I’ve done this avocado with prosciutto wrap, also very simple. Cut the avocado into wedges, wrap each piece with prosciutto, and then pan fry them. Serve them with some Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese and a touch of lime juice.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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Sunday dinner – 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!