Gallery

Vegetarian Sunday Dinner – baked zucchini with ricotta, spinach and tomato sauce

I was trying to apply this rule to our diet, mainly vegetarian with only 2 to 3 meaty night in a week. Last week, we had already enough dinner with meat, so I was thinking to cook something vegetarian on Sunday. I found this recipe online, and would love to make my own version out of it. The result is very good, and it tastes great, especially if you love cheese.

First all of, get the cheese filling, the pesto sauce and the tomato sauce ready. I used a can of plum tomato, cook it with some minced garlic, and season with a touch of salt and pepper, set them aside for later use. Then, work on the pesto sauce, put basil, olive oil, garlic, pinch of salt and pine nuts in the food processors and blend them together. For the cheese filling, put chopped spinach, ricotta cheese, one egg and black pepper in a bowl and mix them together. Preheat the oven to 170C, now get a tray ready. Cut the zucchini in thin slices, remember to get the big zucchini, as big as possible for easy wrapping. Place two pieces of zucchini slices in a cross, and put the cheese filling on top of the cross section, then add some pesto sauce on top, close and wrap up the zucchini. Repeat this process until you finished up with all zucchini slices. Put a layer of tomato sauce in the tray, then lay all zucchini wraps nicely in the tray. Place the tomato sauce on top of each zucchini wrap, as well as some pesto sauce as topping. Lastly, fill the entire tray with grated parmesan cheese, as much as you like. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Gallery

Sunday dinner – Danish National dish Stegt flæsk, roasted pork belly with creamy parsley sauce, served with mashed potatoes

Again! One week past and I did not get my last Sunday recipe written and posted, so bad! Was too busy last week, now business networking going on and running around with different events. So, when I have a new post this week, of course I remembered that I better get the one from last week done.

So, here I go! The one from last week was a National dish from Denmark, it is a pork belly dish and usually they serve this with boiled potatoes, I would like to go for mashed potatoes instead.

So, the first thing you should do is to get the potatoes steamed in a pot of hot water. On the other hand, you can get the pork belly ready. I would say, by the time that your steamed potatoes are half-way through, you can start to work on the pork belly. Preheat the oven under 180C, season the pork belly with some salt and pepper, then coat a nice layer of olive oil or melted butter on the pork belly. Then place them nicely in the oven and grill them for 20 to 25 minutes, flip it over in the middle, and make sure they are all browned and nicely grilled.

We are using some bacon or pancetta to create more texture for the mashed potatoes. Fry the bacon or pancetta in a hot pan until they turn crispy, chop them in small dices. Set the bacon aside for later used. For the mashed potaoes, use the masher to make mashed potatoes, let them sit in a large bowl. Now boil the cream in a pot, on the other hand, we pour in the oil from the bacon into the mashed potatoes, mix them well together. When the cream is done, pour them slowly into the mashed potatoes, mix them well together, add some  grated cheese if you are a cheese lover. Then add in diced bacons, spring onion, and taste to add salt and pepper. Leave them in a bowl with cling film under the heat of some hot water. Keep it nice and warm until you are ready to serve with the pork belly.

Now, we have to get the creamy sauce ready. Melt some butter in the hot pan, then stir in some plain flour, keep stirring and let it cook a bit. Then, pour in heavy cream, and let them zimmer until it turns thick. Add in a lot of chopped parsley for the flavour. When the pork bellies are ready, get them out from the oven and serve them with some creamy sauce on top, and the mashed potatoes aside.

The best is to finish all pork belly in one go, they don’t taste good overnight, so try not to leave any leftover.

Gallery

Sunday healthy dinner – scallop with green salad, asparagus and quinoa

I have this outstanding dish from last Sunday that I better get the writing done, as I’ve already got the new Sunday dinner dish that I need to write soon!

Last Sunday, I cooked this healthy dish with salad and quinoa based with a touch of scallop as high light. I went out for dinner on Friday with two friends that are both health conscious, we did talk about healthy diet during dinner, so I was thinking to have something healthy for Sunday dinner. Was thinking to cook something vegetarian or even vegan, but ended up with a seafood dish. 

You might not be able to see, but actually I’ve added other greens into the dish. Besides the green salad, I put asparagus and avocado as well. To start with, I put the quinoa in the rice cooker, and let it do its work, so that I can work on other things. Before cooking the scallops, I would like to get the asparagus ready first. Cut the asparagus into thick slices, pan fry them with butter and season them with salt and pepper when they are done. Let’s get the dressing ready before cooking the scallop. Heat up the pan and place some butter in, let it melt and cook a bit, then add in plain flour and keep stirring, then add in some freshly sqeezed grapefruit juice and cook until it’s thicken up, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the scallop, season them with some salt and pepper, then fry them with a hot pan in butter. Watch out the time as you do not want to overcook them. Get the plate ready with green salad, asparagus and avocado as a base, then season them with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Then add in some quinoa and place the scallops on top, final touch with the butter grapefruit dressing. 

It’s so refreshing and light!

Gallery

Healthy Vegetarian Dinner – Creamy Tomatoes and Potatoes Soup with Mango and Bell Pepper Wrap

These days, I tried to cook more, cooking almost every night. I cooked something with meat last night, so I decided to go for vegetarian tonight.

I cooked that creamy tomatoes soup the other night, and tonight I’m trying to cook that soup by adding potatoes. Same recipe but only adding potatoes, just boil some potatoes in hot water for 20 minutes until they are soft. Peel the skin off and then smash them up into small pieces. Just add the potatoes when you add the tomatoes and follow the same procedure for the rest. The result is good and richer than tomato soup.

I also made the mango and bell pepper wrap with rice paper, very fresh and healthy with raw food diet. I prefer to have more variety and make it looks so colourful, I used fresh mango, bell pepper in three colours, red, yellow and green, carrot, cucumber, mint and some chopped coriander. Get everything ready and line up for wrapping, you need a bowl of water for the rice papers as we need to soak them in water for 10 seconds until it turns soft. Lay the rice paper on a flat surface, then put a bit of everything on it and wrap it nicely. Do not put too much filling, otherwise will be hard to wrap. 

You also need to prepare the dipping sauce, would be nice if you can get that done earlier and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. For the sauce, put fresh mango, water, pinch of salt, lemon juice, spring onion and tabasco into the food processor and blend them together, taste and adjust. The sauce tastes so different and fresh when it’s chill, it goes better with the wrap.

Serve the soup and wrap with some roasted baguette. 

Gallery

Hong Kong Style fried beef flat rice noodle

乾炒牛河 is one of the most popular dish in Hong Kong, or any where you go that serves Cantonese cuisine, I guess it’s not difficult to order this in a Cantonese or Chinese restaurant. 

The most important ingredient is the flat rice noodle, as it is a bit difficult to buy the fresh one. There are shops selling freshly made noodles, rice noodles and wonton wrap, try to explore that in your neighbourhood or otherwise try to see if you can find that at the wet market. I have to say, you can only do this with the freshly made ones, if you are using those dry ones which are not good enough. Not sure where can you get this in other countries, maybe in China town? 

First of the, cut the beef in thin slices and follow the grain. Marinate them with dark soy sauce, sugar, corn stratch and some water, for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make sure you separate each flat rice noodle within sticking together. When you are ready with all key ingredients, onions in strips, bean sprouts, spring onion, and get the sauce ready, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. I also like to add a touch of spice, so I add a bit of red chilli pepper which is totally optional. 

Heat up the wok with some oil, get the beef fried quickly in hot temperature until they are almost done. Set them aside for later use. Then, get the wok ready again with some oil and fry the onions until they turn soft, then add the bean sprouts and fry until they start turning soft. Now add the flat rice noodles into the wok, stir fry them with onions and bean sprouts. Watch out after you add the mixed sauce, as there is sugar in it and things will started to get burn and sticky easily, so we have to act really quick. Add in the sauce, keep stir frying and then add in the beef, chopped chilli and spring onions. Fry until the beefs are done, and serve the noodle with some sesame seeds and a touch of chilli sauce.

I also would like to have more vegetables, so I was having that with some choy sum. Guess this fried rice noodle should be much more healthier than those ones that we used to eat at cha chang tang, this is not difficult at all, you can also try to make it at home 😉 

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

Homemade Wonton 3 Ways – Deep Fried, Shanghainese spicy version and Cantonese style in noodle soup

I always want to make dumplings or wonton, but so far I haven’t done that. I finally made up my mind yesterday and thinking to cook wonton for dinner. My husband is not a big fan of wonton, he said he doesn’t like the fishy taste of it. I don’t know if that has to do with the shrimp, or what exactly is he talking about for the fishy part. Anyway, let’s give it a try and see if he is going to love my version.

In order to give myself a bit of challenge, I am going to make 3 different versions of wonton. But of course, to start with, let’s get them all nicely wrapped. We need to marinate the two major ingredients, minced pork and diced shrimp, before wrapping them. Marinate the mince pork with soy sauce, sugar, corn starch and pepper; and for the diced shrimps, marinate them with salt and pepper. Let both ingredients sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then take them out and mix them together in a large bowl, add some chopped pak choy in, then mix everything well together. Now you get the filling of the wonton, and let’s start wrapping them! The traditional ones are just with pork and shrimp, but I would like to add some vegetables in it, as I like the texture with veggies plus I think that’s more healthy and balance. For the wrap, I just bought the ready made ones, I am not ready to make that on my own yet, maybe one day.

To wrap the wonton, get a small bowl of water ready next to you. Place the filling in the middle of the wrap, then dip some water around the filling and close the wrap nicely all around. The filling I have, managed to get around 40 pieces of wonton done. You can actually get a lot of them done and stored in the fridge, they should be able to last for few days, or you can place them in the freezer and they could last longer. Now, I am going to make 3 different versions of wonton.

The first one is the deep fried version, it’s pretty simple, all you need to do it’s to deep fry them! Make sure to control the temperature of the oil, watch out and make sure that you are not burning the wonton and the colour have to be golden brown, not dark brown. When they are done, garnish them with some chopped spring onion. I served them with the Remoulade sauce that I did the other day, I think mayonnaise could be a very good option as well.

The second one is Shanghainese spicy version 紅油抄手. I love to eat this in a Shanghainese restaurant, but it would be nice to make my own version as well. First of all, get the spicy sauce ready, so you can serve the wonton right away when they are done. To prepare the sauce, mix mince garlic, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, spicy chilli oil, Chinese wine, sugar and a bit of water. Then, cook the wonton in hot water for 4 to 5 minutes until they are cooked. Drain the water, serve the wonton with the sauce and garnish with some chopped spring onion. This version is very spicy, so adjust the level to fit your taste.

The last version is just the regular wonton noodle soup, I love flat rice noodle, so I am going for that instead of noodle. You can cook the wonton in hot water first before cooking anyway. Boil some water with chicken broth, then put some pak choy and let them boil for a minute or two, then add in the flat rice noodle, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the noodle with wonton add back to the bowl, garnish with some chopped spring onion.

This is the first time my husband likes wonton, I am happy that I could change his impression on wonton. He was so full that he could only finished the first two versions, and he was too full that he could not go for the third one. And I was so full that I weight 1kg more the following morning. I am very happy with the result, and I would definitely cook more wonton or dumplings in the future.