Monthly Archives: April 2012

Salmon, Mushrooms & Aglio Olio

Seared fillet of salmon, on top of aglio olio with carrot, chives and mushrooms.

  1. Get the linguine boiling away in a pot of water.
  2. Meanwhile, cut carrots up to a brunoise, chop up some chives, quarter a couple of mushrooms and minced garlic.
  3. Toss a knob of butter into a hot skillet and once foaming subsides, toss in garlic, carrots and mushrooms.
  4. Once that’s done, move it to the side of the pan and sear the fillet of salmon, skin-side down. Flip and cook briefly when skin is crisp.
  5. Remove salmon as soon as its done, and let it rest while you drain the pasta.
  6. Add pasta to mushroom and carrot mixture. Toss in chives.
  7. Add basil and oregano, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix.
  8. Serve with a small squeeze of lemon.

I will never get sick of the basil-oregano combination.

Mushroom & Leek Puff

In addition to Tomato Tartlets, this is another one of them recipes that if so simple and so quick to do.

Mushroom & leek puffs, with cheddar and damson jam

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ªC.
  2. Cut out rectangles from pre-rolled puff pastry and score a smaller rectangle in each piece, about 5mm from the edge, so you get a border all around.
  3. Place the pastry rectangles on a large baking sheet, prepped with parchment paper. Here, you may choose to brush the rectangles with egg wash, so you get that lovely shine. I’m lazy most of the time.
  4. Line up mushrooms, chopped leeks and cheddar within the small rectangles of the puff pastry pieces.
  5. Bake on the top rack for 10 minutes, before moving down to the bottom rack for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with a dollop of damson jam on the side, or mini-dollops within the puff. Any mildly sweet slightly sourish berry jam does the job.

Pleasant tea-time snack.

Sayur Lodeh

Right, so I’m absolutely terrible at following recipes because I always try to challenge my palette by estimating proportions of ingredients as opposed to licking the tried-and-tested quantities right off the spoon of a recipe list. The result: mild inconsistency and no record of numbers in teaspoons and measuring cups. No surprise with this recipe, all I’ve got is the list of ingredients.

Sayur Lodeh is essentially like a lovely savoury, coconutty, vegetable curry. Sayur means vegetables in Malay; no idea what lodeh is.

For the spice blend:

  • chilli paste
  • belachan (shrimp paste)
  • onions
  • garlic
  • lemon grass
  • dried shrimp
  • ginger
  • coriander powder
  • turmeric
  • cumin
  • chilli powder
  • vegetable oil

Other stuff:

  • water
  • coconut milk
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • long beans
  • tofu
  1. To prepare the spice blend, in a mortar and pestle, or if you’re awesome and own a food processor, smash the aforementioned ingredients in, tasting as you go along until you get the taste spot on. You should be aiming for a concentrated mixture of the finished product. Make sure you have enough for the entire pot of stew you’re planning to make. As a gauge, it should be enough to coat the vegetables comfortably.
  2. In a pot with the vegetables and tofu, pour enough water to just submerge the veggies. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the curry paste and mix.
  4. Let it boil away for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft, before turning the heat down to a simmer.
  5. Put the lid half on and let it simmer for 45 minutes. This will cause the curry to reduce a little, intensifying the flavours.
  6. Add coconut milk, and water if needed. Bring to the boil again before turning heat off.
  7. Adjust seasoning with salt accordingly.
  8. Serve with hot steamed rice or Fried Rice Noodles.

Oriental Fusilli Fry

Another one to add to the vegetarian recipe list, this is a great dish to whizz up if you wanna have both pasta and that salty Asian flavour.

  1. Usual drill, set your fusilli boiling away in a pot.
  2. In a hot skillet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, toss in minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add torn mushrooms and cubed hard-skin tofu, frying till golden.
  4. Tear in a handful of gem lettuce for the texture of sweet crunch. Turn of the heat.
  5. Drain pasta, and together with a small bit of pasta-cooking water, add to the skillet.
  6. Add a teaspoon of oyster sauce and mix up well.
  7. Season accordingly with soy sauce and white pepper powder.
  8. Plate up and garnish with finish sliced fresh chilli, and a small crack of black pepper.

New Kitchen Addition!

Too many cooking shows and too many fantasies brings about a new purchase and addition for the kitchen. Yes, I finally own my very own utility knife. And what better is there than a GLOBAL knife? Made by the Japanese, formed like a samurai sword, cutting carrots is a breeeeeze.

Alright, fine, I know it’s not quite the cheapest merchandise out there, but anyone who has this in their kitchen can vouch that it’s AMAZING.

Blah. Enough raving. People just need to know that if they’re gonna start revamping their kitchen, the knives are the first place to start. No kitchen is right without long-lasting razor sharp knives.


Sage Butter Gnocchi

A couple of weeks ago, I was taught how to make gnocchi by an Italian lady called Cinzia, at the little cafe I work in part-time. So last week on my own, without her supervision, I gave it a shot at home.

The way she did it was with potato puree, egg, and flour. After combining the three components, and rolling everything into a long roll, the gnocchi is cut into bite-size pieces. I did it with too little potato and the gnocchi came out a wee bit starchy. Nonetheless, the sage butter accompaniment was fantastic.

Sage butter gnocchi, with sautéed mushrooms, yellow peppers and fresh red chilli.