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Hubby’s Request – Creamy Tomato Soup

Special request from my husband for tonight’s dinner, he would like to have creamy tomato soup and he just would like to get the ready-made one. Instead of getting the one in a paper box, why don’t I make him a freshly made one?

This easy freshly made soup is super yummy and so refreshing, have a big bowl with some bread, that’s it and it’s good enough for a big guy to last for the night.

I encourage all of you to use fresh tomatoes instead of those tin can ones. I know there are more juices in the can, but the fresh ones are more healthy and with more nutrition. So, first of all, let’s peel the tomatoes, cut a cross on the skin and place them in hot boiling water for a while until the skin started to curl up. Peel all the skin and cut them in quarters. 

Heat up a pot with butter and a touch of olive oil, put some sliced garlic, and striped onion in. Fry the onion until they turn soft, then add all tomatoes and smash them a bit in the pot. Add some chicken stock and a bit of water, cover the lid and boil for 10 to 20 minutes. Add a bit of water in-between if you feel it’s too thick. When it’s done, place the soup in the blender and blend it nicely until it turns into purée. Place it back into the pot and whisk in the cream, or even some cheese if you like. Season with salt and serve the soup with some cream and black pepper as decoration. Can use a touch of parsley to garnish. 

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Vegetarian Sunday dinner – portabello mushroom burger with hash brown and zucchini

This sunday, I decided to stay with vegetarian food again, I am thinking to do a veggie burger. Instead of veggie patties, I am thinking to go for portabello mushroom. For the side dish, instead of salad, I am thinking to have some hash brown. 

For the burger, I am not able to find mini burger bread, so I am going to use the small panini. First of all, I am getting the hash brown ready because it takes more time to cook that. Grate the potatoes and some onion, get rid of the excess water and mix them in a large bowl. Season them with a touch of salt and pepper, fry them later on in a pan with oil and some butter, add some grated cheese few minutes before they are done. 

For the burger, fry some onion until they are cameralised, set them aside for later use. Now fry the sliced zucchini with olive oil on a grill pan, and season them with a touch of salt. Then, fry the portabello mushroom and place the cheddar cheese on top of each mushroom until they start to melt. Grill the panini with some butter on the grill pan. When all are ready, place the bottom of the panini, then place all the ingredients carefully one by one on top of each other. The zucchini, sliced tomato, some mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise, onion, the portabello mushroom with the cheddar cheese, then finish up with the top of the panini. Serve the burger with the hash brown and the rest of the pan fried zucchini. 

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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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Sunday dinner – salad is in the leading role

My husband told me the other day, we eat far less salad. That’s true, I eat a good amount of vegetable everyday, but more in a Chinese way. Those typical boiled, steamed or fried vegetables. But when I cook a Western dinner, I seldom consider a salad dish, maybe too focusing on the main dish, and forget about the side dish. So, for tonight I am thinking about a salad to start with, and see what to go best with the salad.

My husband always loves cucumber salad with sour sauce or dressing, I saw this potato salad with yogurt and dill sauce at one of the cooking show. Thinking to do the same kind of sauce with a cucumber salad. What is the best to go with this salad? Instead of salmon, let’s see what kind of fish I can get at the supermarket. Eventually, I’ve got the catfish fillet and a prawn for each of us, should be good enough to go with the salad.

Let’s get the salad prepared, so that I can get it chilled in the fringe for a while to keep it cooler before serving. I would like to have a little bit of potatoes in the salad, but not a lot, as I would like to keep the cucumber as the major ingredients. I started with cooking the potatoes into boiling water, part of it for the salad, part of it for our doggies for their usual Sunday dinner with salmon. When the potatoes are done, let them sit aside and reduce the heat. On the other hand, let’s get the rest of the salad prepared. Chop half of an onion in really thin slices, chop cucumber into thin slides, and some romaine lettuce. Put all of them into a big salad bowl, mix them well together and put the bowl into the fringe. You can add the potatoes back in when they are not hot any more.  Let the salad chill until it’s time to serve. You can also get the salad dressing ready, and chill it in the fringe as well. Open the Greek yogurt and pour them into a bowl, season with some salt and pepper, add white vinegar and then mix them well together. As I don’t like too sour, I prefer to add some honey so balance out the taste a bit. It’s up to you to add honey or not. The key of this source is dill, finely chop a handful of dill, and mix them with the sauce. Let the salad dressing sit in the fringe, you can decide to serve the salad with the dressing already add in, or serve it separately. I tend to serve it separately, because we do have a different preference on the amount of dressing that we like to add into our salad.

Time to prepare the fish and prawn. Add a bit of corn flour on the fish for both side in the beginning, to make sure we will keep it nicer together when frying them. Season both the fish and prawn with salt, pepper, ground coriander, paprika and parsley on both side. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the fish and prawn and add a bit of garlic and red chili for the flavour. Make sure one side is already done before flipping the fish, and watch out the prawn because the cooking time should be a lot faster than the fish. When one side of the prawn turned red, just flip it and remove them from the pan when both side turned red. After flipping the fish, add some chopped tomatoes and spring onion on top of the fish. Serve the fish when it’s done, together with the prawn as a seafood plate and have the salad on the side.

 

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Lazy Sunday dinner – cold cu7s with caprese

Sometimes you just don’t feel to do much during Sunday, want to have a super easy evening, especially when I am still recovering from the flu. So, tonight I am fancy for an Italian cold cuts dinner, maybe can do also a caprese salad.

There is a small Italian food store close to when I live, they have a great variety of cold cuts and cheese, and all kinds of Italian grocery. So, I bought ciabatta bread for myself and the rye bread for my husband. I also got salami, prosciutto, mortadella, fontina cheese, and I’ve also got some tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to do a simple caprese salad. On top of that, I bought 2 pieces of cheese cakes, but we were too full after dinner, so I guess we have to leave the cheese cake for tomorrow night.

To do your caprese, just simply cut the tomato in slides, same thing for the mozzarella, and place them alternatively with a piece of basil as well. Make sure you eat a slide of tomato, mozzarella and basil together, that’s the way to eat. Season them with salt and pepper, as well as some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Such a refreshing salad.

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Mussels with whi7e wine sauce, super easy and easy to please!

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Mussels are something nice to eat at the restaurant, and you might think it is difficult to make, which is totally wrong. It is super easy and you can easily achieve a good result. You can give a try, quick and easy, maybe a dish to finish in 20 minutes starting from chopping.

Let’s get all the ingredients chopped nicely, garlic, red chili pepper, onion, tomatoes, celery, parsley and spring onion. It’s up to you, as it all depends on what do you like to eat, feel free to explore, but main ingredients, I would say, they are onion, parsley and some garlic for sure.

Heat the sauce pan with some butter, then put onion and garlic, fry them until they start to turn brown. Then, add the celery and tomatoes, you can add the red chili pepper now, or if you want it more spicy, can add from the beginning together with the garlic. Then, you can put either chicken broth or just water to boil it, also add a bit of white wine. Personality, I think water is good enough and it also turned out tasty, even without chicken broth. Now, you get ready with  the pack of mussels that you bought from the supermarket or food market. I’ve tried different brands, and they are all good. The best thing is, they are just not expensive at all, you save a great deal than eating mussels at the restaurant. For the frozen mussels, you don’t need to defrost them, you just pour them in the sauce right after you took them out from the freezer. Then, cook it around 5 minutes with the lid until shell open, then maybe cook 1 more minute without the lid. Finally put parsley and spring onion, then serve it with some slices of baguette.

The best thing is to dip the baguette with the sauce. So yummy! One thing to remember, no need to put salt, because the mussels should be salty enough.

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