Seared fillet of salmon, on top of aglio olio with carrot, chives and mushrooms.
- Get the linguine boiling away in a pot of water.
- Meanwhile, cut carrots up to a brunoise, chop up some chives, quarter a couple of mushrooms and minced garlic.
- Toss a knob of butter into a hot skillet and once foaming subsides, toss in garlic, carrots and mushrooms.
- 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.
- Remove salmon as soon as its done, and let it rest while you drain the pasta.
- Add pasta to mushroom and carrot mixture. Toss in chives.
- Add basil and oregano, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix.
- Serve with a small squeeze of lemon.
I will never get sick of the basil-oregano combination.
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
- Preheat the oven to 200ªC.
- 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.
- 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.
- Line up mushrooms, chopped leeks and cheddar within the small rectangles of the puff pastry pieces.
- Bake on the top rack for 10 minutes, before moving down to the bottom rack for another 10 minutes.
- 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.
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.
- Usual drill, set your fusilli boiling away in a pot.
- In a hot skillet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, toss in minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
- Add torn mushrooms and cubed hard-skin tofu, frying till golden.
- Tear in a handful of gem lettuce for the texture of sweet crunch. Turn of the heat.
- Drain pasta, and together with a small bit of pasta-cooking water, add to the skillet.
- Add a teaspoon of oyster sauce and mix up well.
- Season accordingly with soy sauce and white pepper powder.
- Plate up and garnish with finish sliced fresh chilli, and a small crack of black pepper.
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.
A couple of days ago, I came across this like fancy trick to make mushrooms look pretty, and so I learnt that it’s called fluting. I think brown cap mushrooms are best for this so you see the design better with the difference in colours.
With a small sharp knife in hand, press the cap of the mushroom gently but surely against the knife. Note that the mushroom is cut by being pressed towards the knife; while the knife stays rather still throughout. Of course, this is done before the mushroom is cooked.
I think before this, mushrooms never looked more presentable.
Try it today!
Seared fillet of salmon on pasta with Chinese leaf, mushrooms, chilli and dried sage.
- Set pasta away to cook in a pot of salty boiling water.
- In a pan with a little bit of oil, sear the fillet of fish skin side down till just done. Set aside to rest.
- In the same pan, toss in minced garlic and fry till fragrant.
- Add in shredded Chinese leaf and quartered mushrooms.
- Crush in dried sage leaves and season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper.
- Add sliced chilli when vegetables and mushrooms are almost cooked.
- Drain spaghetti and mix together with the Chinese leaf and mushrooms well. Add a generous lug of good extra virgin olive oil to loosen everything up nice and smooth.
- Plate up and serve, boasting the skin of the salmon in its crisp golden glory.
It’s absolute melt-in-your-mouth heaven to indulge in a large nugget of fatty salmon meat, pan-seared to perfection and luxuriously devoured whole.
Stepping away from the usual white wine with mussels, here’s a recipe for mussels in a red wine tomato sauce: Mussels Provençal with Mushrooms and Jerusalem Artichokes
- Skin the Jerusalem artichokes and set them away to boil till soft.
- Mash or puree with some single cream and a small bit of butter.
Mussels Provençal with Mushrooms
- After all the routine jazz of discarding lousy mussels, steam the mussels in a generous splash of red wine, with minced red onions, on an open skillet. Let the overpowering flavour of the alcohol evaporate before adding the rest of the ingredients, and putting the lid on.
- When the alcohol has more or less evaporated, toss in chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, quartered mushrooms. Also, add in some tomato juice or diluted tomato puree mixture, then turn down the heat and put the lid on.
- Once the mixture has reduced, add in a knob of butter to finish the sauce.
Garnish with a pinch of fennel leaves.
Don’t be like me and leave it in the hot oven after it’s done, thinking it would ‘keep warm’ that way. It got way overdone.
Anyway, using this pizza dough recipe, this is what goes on top:
- Thin slices of asparagus
- Slices of white mushrooms
- Shaved Parmesan
- Lemon Mayonnaise*
*This can be bought off the shelf, but I prefer making my own. Squeeze lemon juice into some mayonnaise; enough so that there is a refreshing zest of lemon goodness but not so much so it becomes a sour mess. Top the pizza with this after it’s been baked, using a squeezey bottle. If you don’t have one, use a ziplock bag, with a small corner snipped off. Have a good time making lovely patterns. Have a better time eating this pizza.
You probably won’t have enough time in the mornings, but when you do, you’d be pleasantly rewarded if you try this – almost as good as a panini.
- Toast a couple of slices of bread, wholemeal or white, up to you.
- While that’s in there, fry up some onions and white mushrooms. Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of dried thyme or basil, salt and pepper.
- Your bread should be all crisp and toasted before you’re done with the onions and mushrooms. Slap on a small hunk of butter on both slices.
- On goes the mushrooms and onions on one slice, and fresh rocket leaves on the other.
- Peel out some mature cheddar with a speed peeler, and lay them on the sizzling mushrooms and onions.
- Then, here’s the grand finale – a fried egg, sunny side up, done with an egg ring.
This is an egg ring (with an egg in it):
- Once that’s done, lay it gently on the cheese. Be careful not to burst that lovely yolk of golden goodness.
- Sandwich everything together and cut up into pretty triangles, if you must.
Gloomy autumn mornings are a thing of the past.
To all those overseas who crave the good ol’ Tze Char Noodles, I’d like to share this recipe with you. It’s not exactly the same as what you’d get for cheap in the neighbourhood restaurant you frequent weekly back in Singapore, but it’ll serve to satisfy your cravings.
What you’ll need:
- prepared ingredients for Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pork
- 1 serving of quick-cook spaghetti
- 1 generous handful of spinach leaves
- 2 inches of a medium sized carrot, sliced into small inch-long pieces
- half a red onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- a couple of fresh mushrooms, quartered (optional)
- 1 tsp of vegetable oil
- 2-3 tbsp of oyster sauce
How to do it:
- Get the pasta cooking in a pot. And place a wok on another hob, turned up to full whack.
- Add the garlic and onion into the wok to flavour the oil.
- Welcome the Aroma Fairies.
- Carrots go in ‘cos they take longer to cook through.
- Toss the pork in and add water from the pasta bit by bit, stir-frying till just done.
- If you’re having mushrooms with this, dump them in now.
- Add the oyster sauce and grab some pasta water to pour into the wok, till ingredients are almost completely submerged. Mix and watch your gravy form.
- Turn off the heat and drain your pasta. Get them in, together with the spinach leaves. Toss about till the spaghetti is coated with all the gravy goodness, and till the vegetable leaves have wilted just a little.
- Serve hot, with Pickled Green Chilli. More on that soon.