Friday, 23 September 2011

Szechuan Peppercorn Chicken & Chinese Steamed Egg for Vegetarian Friday?

I got the inspiration to cook something spicy and szechuanese after watching a few Ch´ng He Huang´s programme on UK´s Food Channel lately. She seems to be smitten with the usage of Szechuan Peppercorn in her latest program call Chinese Food Made Easy. Another ingredient which she uses pretty often and fortunately something I have in my pantry (but still left unopen after half year of buying it) is Sweet Vinegar. My version of Szechuan Peppercorn Chicken was a combination flavour of Szechuan Peppercorn, Dried Chillies, Chilli Oil, Sweet Vinegar and Soya Sauce. I did add onions and ginger to the sauteeing too and it did bring out more flavour to the already tasty sauce base. I think this is a keeper for coming winter. The heat that came with it was not too hot, but was gently smokey and spicy. Today too, I wanted to try my hand at steaming egg after a tip given out by DH Drachten. 1 portion egg to 1 1/2 portion water. I gave it a try and it worked well. It was a fairly luxurious dish as I added in lots of dried scallops, shrimps and fish in addition to mushroom. To top it off, I sprinkle some chopped spring onion to it before serving and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Bratwürst & Kartofelpuree for German Thursday

Its been a while since I last had a bratwürst at home, so I decided to grill some for dinner last night.  Hubby immediately asked if the presentation idea came from one of Gordon Ramsey´s restaurant we visited where he had a dish similiar to this.  That´s my German husband, liking to order something familiar in a foreign land :-D

Baked Egg in Ham Cup and Apple Slaw Dinner

When it comes to food, presentation is just as important to me as to the taste.  I like the philosophy of french and japanese people towards their food in this aspect as I feel that it not only makes a person more respectful and appreciative of how our food got onto our table.  The idea of baking a simple egg in a cup mould layered with ham was from Malay Mui.  She is another wonderful baker/cook and many other things which I constantly look up too for inspiration.  Thanks Elvira for this doable but yet, tasty and elegantly presented egg/ham combo! I prepared an extra portion for MIL and she too was thrilled with what she saw.  Seen here, it is serve simple with apple slaw sides, salad and hard bread.

Curry Laksa for Asian Tuesday

Prime Taste Singapore is by far, the most authentic paste company I´ve tasted so far.  Their Chilli Crab packet mix is as good as the hawker centre ones, so does their Hainanese Chicken Rice mix.  The Curry Laksa mix is something I would usually not go for because I am happy with Koka Singapore Laksa instant noodle packet.  But trying them out once will not do harm, does it?  It was pretty good, equivalent to Koka´s Singapore Laksa curry taste category and even better because the sambal that comes with it is the icing to the already wonderful curry laksa taste.  What is missing here are just fresh cockles and some tofu puffs ...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Colourful Mediterranean Spagettini for Pasta Monday

Dieticians recommend that one eats well by combining variety of colours from different food group onto the plate.  I am all for rich stews and curries from time to time, but eating them often makes me feel heavy.  So after heavy carbonara Saturday and Sandwich Sunday, I was looking forward to this pasta dish ... a cue I took from my recent holiday to South France to visit my godmother, my cousin and her family.  The bacon bits lend a nice smokey flavour to the yellow/green zucchini, dried/fresh tomatoes and paprikas. I can do this more often :-D

Foccacia Chicken Sandwich for Heavy Sunday

Recently, I discovered that Aldi carries amazing Foccacia bread in their cooling section. I´ve seen other customers picking it up but being the snob me at times, I question how good can that get.  Knowing I will be tied up with housework last weekend, I picked up a loave and simple served them with leftover roast chicken breast. The foccacia was suprisingly soft and flavouful, totally unexpected from a discounted store like Aldi.  I guess  this will be another staple I wouldn´t mind stocking up from time to time.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Scotched Egg Inspired Dinner

DH Almere said my blog ´tumbuh lalang` so here´s the third post for the day!

My scotched egg inspired dinner somewhere last week.  With lots of egg in the fridge, I thought I´ll make dinner with it instead of the conventional omelette dish.

Japanese Bacon Pasta with Nori Sprinkle

It is true that Italian makes great pasta but my personal opinion is Japanese version taste lighter and more umami ....

Hubby Made Spanish Paella

Yes, I am back to blog, after like ... weekssss.  In a few days time, we will soon be greeted by the official date to cross over to Autumn.  I have been spending past weeks with  many task at hand, some at home but mainly, I was away in Hamburg doing my driving lessons and taking the exam. And I failed. Bummer.  But there is always a saying, what does not break you will make you stronger so I hold that saying as off now.

Before all the summery activity started rolling in, hub volunteered to cook us a nice dinner one night. It is nice when he takes over because, cooking can be tedious after one does it day in day out.  The inspiration needless to say can also be taxing too .. so anyway, here´s what he made for us.

His version of Spanish Paella complete with saffron and all.  In Valencia, it seems the locals eat them with rabbit meat but that would totally repulse me away so, I am cool with plain chicken meat and chorizo sausage anytime.  Chorizo sausage really does make a difference.  The oil infusion is what sets it apart and these were just normal supermarket chorizo. 

We will be flying off to Barcelona for our long awaited holiday (postponed from May).  I can´t wait to bring hub to my favourite restaurant in Barcelona.  It is a hidden gem, gorgeous food and very affordable ... and it is happening really soon! I will be taking it easy this week before all the craziness hits again ...