This is a brilliant combination if you’re craving that tomatoey flavour of bolognese but don’t want it too rich and beefy.
Chicken linguine in tomato sauce, with carrots, olives and capers.
- Set your pasta to boil.
- With some oil in a hot skillet, toss in minced shallots, carrot brunoise, chopped tomatoes, and maybe a bit of minced chilli if you want the spicy kick.
- Add in the chicken cubes, olives (best if pitted and sliced), and capers.
- Use a small blob of tomato puree and water to make a sauce, so everything holds together.
- Season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
- Garnish generously with carrot top leaves.
Seared salmon with sauteed carrot and fennel, on linguine dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, served with a mint and garlic sauce.
- Set the linguine away to cook in a pot of boiling water. Drain once cooked, and toss in a balsamic vinaigrette.
- With a small knob of butter and a little splash of olive oil, saute the julienned carrot and fennel. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Remove once vegetables are cooked.
- Prepare your salmon fillets, cutting them into small rectangular pieces. Salt the skin generously with seasalt and lay them skin side down on a piece of kitchen towel.
- Chop up a handful of mint leaves and mince it together with a small clove of garlic. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add a little drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and pound away till everything comes together as a sauce.
- As soon as the vegetables are out of the pan, sear the salmon fillets skin side down till golden. Flip the fillets after the skins are nicely browned, and remove once they are done. The pieces of salmon should be firm not hard, nor soft. Let them rest on a fresh piece of kitchen towel before plating up.
I tried my hand at making some risotto for myself and went ballistic. It became kinda like a risotto version of fried rice.
Risotto of carrot, Chinese sausage, Camembert and mint.
- In a skillet with a little oil, toss in the Chinese sausage brunoise, or chorizo slices. Fry about till fragrant.
- Put in minced shallots, and welcome the Aroma Fairies. Your kitchen hasn’t smelt this good in awhile. ‘Awhile’ probably ranging from four hours ago to four months ago.
- Add the arborio rice and a generous splash of red wine. Cook till wine almost evaporates completely.
- Stir the mixture continuously, adding chicken stock in small quantities each time the skillet rice is almost dry, until the grains are firm to the pinch but soft to the bite, then turn off the heat.
- Stir in bits of torn Camembert and mint leaves.
It’s evident that I’ve been watching way too many cooking shows: I’m addicted to the playing with my food now. All the minimalistic presentations, calling for finesse and vibrance, beckoning the appetite of the impatient diner. I just wanna eat good food without paying exorbitant prices.
Pan-seared chicken thigh on a bed of carrot mash, with peas, parsley and a white wine jus.
A beautiful celebration of crispy chicken skin and velvety sweet carrot, mingling with the succulent texture of the poultry, the playful burst of peas and the rowdiness of parsley. Then everything comes to a halt to welcome the zesty twang of lemon in the delightful reduction of white wine and chicken oil. In dishes like these, a delicious tune is heard with every bite.
I confess, I am currently obsessed with the ballotine. Rolling meat into a tight bundle and then cooking it makes me happy. It doesn’t help that there is such a sense of excitement when the time is nigh to slice it.
Alright, so maybe pork isn’t so appetising in a ballotine. In any case, a drizzle of sesame oil elevates its flavour immensely. Served with ultra-thin rice noodles, carrot mash and seared lettuce, I am definitely playing with my food.
French-style cooking and Asian flavours, at its best.
Easy as ABC. Great as can be.
- Using a speed peeler, get rid of the wrinkly skin of the carrots, however many you’re planning to eat.
- Slice them erratically and toss them in a pot of boiling water. Let them sit in that jacuzzi till they’re soft enough to mash.
- Drain and mash away!
- Add a generous drizzle of some good extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
- Have it as a side; fabulous with a pork main.