Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fried Rice with XO Sauce

Ingredients (Serve 4)
4 bowls cooked rice, cooled
200g tiger prawns, shelled, deveined and diced
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 celery sticks, diced
1 egg
1 tsp dark soya sauce
3 tbsp XO sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 red chilli, sliced thinly

In a wok, add 1/3 of the oil and fry the egg. Brown it on both sides. Side aside and sliced it thinly.

Heat another 1/3 of the oil in a wok. Sautee the shallots and garlic for 1 min over medium heat.

Add in XO sauce and fry till fragrant.

Stir in the prawns and 2 mins later, add in the celery.

Add rice, dark soya sauce and fish sauce, add in the remaining oil to prevent the wok from drying oil. Fry for 5 mins until evenly mixed.

Garnish with sliced red chilli and egg omelette and serve immediately.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to plump up salad greens?

Bought a bag of salad greens and left it in the fridge and totally forgot about its existence. Few days later, decided to have salad for lunch. When I took it out from the fridge, the leaves were all looking limp. Ever had such an experience? For me.. It happens pretty often as I don't really take stock with what I have in the fridge. Hubby is constantly complaining about this..

Fret no more! Here are some easy steps to plump up those greens:

1. Soak the greens in a bowl of room temperature water (tap water is fine) for a couple of minutes. This helps to open up the tiny pores on the leaves and allow it to absorb as much water particles as possible.

2. Remove the greens and pour away the water.

3. Add ice and water into the bowl.

4. Soak in the greens as the ice water for 30 seconds. 

5. Drain the greens and dry them completely using a salad spinner

6. Finally, there you have it... crisp and plump salad greens. Drizzle your favourite dressing and enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken Soup with Fusilli

When we were young, Mum used to cook this for us when we were ill as chicken soup is known to have healing properties. She would add alphabets shaped pasta instead... Awww!! It sure brings back sweet old memories of our childhood...

I've improvised her recipe with the addition of fennel as it adds an aromatic and sweeter flavour to the soup. Fennel provides an excellent source of Vitamin C and anti-oxidant properties. The high fibre content is also helpful to prevent colon cancer and reduces elevated cholesterol level. 

It's a simple dish which everyone in the family can enjoy! (",)

Ingredients (Serve 2)
2 chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
2 carrots. peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, peeled and finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, outer leaves removed and finely diced
1 white onion, finely diced
1 Chinese parsley stock, finely chopped
2 litres chicken stock
200g fusilli, boiled and drained
Black pepper

Add some cooking oil into a heated casserole pot.

Sautee the onions till softened. 

Stir in the carrots and cook for about 5 mins and then throw in the celery and fennel.

One min later, add in the stock and lower the heat to simmer till vegetables have softened.

Add in the chicken meat and fusilli and bring the soup to boil again. Stir occasionally.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with sprinkles of chopped parsley.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thai Style Linguine with Tiger Prawns

Whenever I asked my hubby what he feels like having for dinner.. And his instant reply would be pasta! 

Therefore, I had to constantly come up with different variations to satisfy his craving. Isn't he lucky to have me? Haha! Few weeks ago, I've decided to incorporate some thai influence to the dish.. and not forgetting my favourite prawns. (I need to make myself happy too. Best of both world!)

I'm sure this will make you crave for more.. Just like my hubby!

Ingredients (Serve 4)
500g linguine
400g tiger prawns, peeled and leaving tails intact
2 stalks lemongrass, use only the bottom portion
2 chilli padi, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh thai basil
1 cup seafood stock, optional
Fine sea salt to taste

Cook linguine in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Add some olive oil into a heated frying pan.

Add garlic, lemon grass, chilli padi and basil. Cook for approx. 1-2 mins till fragrant.

Stir in the prawns and fry until the prawns are cooked.

Toss in the cooked linguine and add the seafood stock if the pasta is too dry.

Add salt to taste and drizzle some olive oil.

Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amarena Wild Cherries

"Wow! What a beautiful bottle! Who cares about the cherries?" These were M & I's initial replies when our client gave us these Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries. We had no idea what we were missing out till we tried the cherries for the first time. 

During the meeting, a cocktail was prepared for us to try. It was prepared with a teaspoon of Amarena syrup, some cherries and champagne. It was so refreshing and makes me want to have more. Oh gosh! Did I mention that we were drinking at 12pm?

For the sweet-toothed, you can add the Amarena cherries onto scoops of vanilla bean ice cream and drizzle some Amarena syrup for a finishing touch.
These Fabbri Amarena wild cherries are simply divine! You will not know till you try it for yourself!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Apple, Celery & Ginger Juice

It has been more than 2 weeks since I've bought the juice extractor. Quite a good start as I've been keeping to the daily morning regime of having fruit juices for breakfast. Even though, I had to wake up much earlier to have the juices prepared for my hubby before he head for work. I believe the effort is well worth it, knowing that this is good for him.. Aww!! So sweet!

I've been experimenting with all kinds of combi(s) and did some research on the health benefits for the chosen ingredients. Here is just one of the many.

Celery is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which helps to support our immune system. It has benefits of reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol too.

Love it or hate it? But ginger has been known to be beneficial to our health. It has the ability to cure common ailments like nausea and digestion problems. 

So many benefits! Let us all drink to good health then!

Ingredients (Serve 1)
3 red apples
4 celery sticks
1 slice of ginger

Wash all ingredients thoroughly.

Cut into apples and celery sticks into small sections.

Juice the ingredients. Stir well and pour into a glass. 

Serve immediately. If preferred to drink it chilled, chilled all the ingredients before juicing them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grilled Lemon Herb Squid Salad

I've just returned from a relaxing and surreal holiday in Ubud Bali. During my trip, I did some self reflection on ways to improve my health other than working out. And healthy adjustments to my diet is another way to go! I made a resolution to include more salads, soups and juices into my diet.. (bought a fruit extractor today)

A healthy diet helps to improve my skin too.. I'm not getting any younger so must do whatever it takes to stay young and beautiful! 

Hope I can adhere to this for a while! Haha!

So here's another salad I can enjoy for lunch or even dinner.

Ingredients (Serve 4)
8 squid tubes, rinsed
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup oregano, finely chopped
1/2 parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 black pepper

Garden Salad
1 pack of salad greens
1 Japanese cucumber, thickly sliced
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 yellow capsicum, roughly chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Cut the squid tubes into 2 pieces and then further into bite sizes. Score the inside of the squids in a 1cm criss-cross pattern, without cutting them through.

Combine olive oil , lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, parsley and sea salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. 

Add squids and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat a grill pan over high heat.

Place the squids (scored side down) on the grill pan. Cook over high heat for approx. 2 - 3 mins. Turn and cook for another 1-2 mins until the squids are slightly chargrilled.

Combine all the salad greens and other vegetables onto a serving plate.

Place the squids on the salad and drizzle the dressing.

Serve warm.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fish Bites

I'm a big fan of fried food, even though I know it will ruin my plans of maintaining my "rather svelte figure". But I do need to indulge in these sinful food once in a while coz I can't just live with just bland, steamed food for every meal. This is my comfort food! 

Whenever I'm ill, I simply crave for fast food. You must be thinking.. She is insane! But the smell of the fried food is just too tempting for me to resist.. 

This dish is easy to prepare and is a big hit during home parties, kids and adults alike. Try this with some thai chilli sauce and your guests will ask for more!

Ingredients (Serve 4) 
3 pcs of dory fillets, cut into squares
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 thai green lime juice
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
3 cups of Japanese bread crumbs

Marinate the fish fillets with sea salt, black pepper and lime juice for 15 mins.

Firstly, coat the fish fillets with flour, dip into the egg mixture and then coat them with the bread crumbs.

Heat a frying pan with some cooking oil and fry the fillets till golden brown.

Serve warm with a bowl of steamed rice and some fresh greens.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Penne with Eggplant & Chili

Ingredients (Serve 4)
500g penne
1 large eggplant, sliced 
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, finely chopped (can opt for chilli padi if you like it spicier)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 pack Italian parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the grill pan.  Brush olive oil liberally and sprinkle some sea salt on both sides of the egg plant. Grill each side till golden brown or cooked. Leave the eggplant to cool and then cut into cubes.

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, place a frying pan over medium heat. Add some olive oil and saute garlic and chilli till fragrant.

Add tomatoes and half portion of the parsley and simmer for 10-15 mins. Stir in some black pepper and salt to taste.

Gently add in the eggplant. Toss in the cooked penne and remaining parsley. Mix well.

Serve warm.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Braised Chicken Wings

This is an alternative recipe from the famous stewed pork belly. It is much healthier than the former version and is well-loved by all ages. Another dish which all working mums can prepare for the family.

Ingredients (Serve 6)
1kg of chicken wings, mid joints
10 cloves of garlic
4 pcs cloves
4 pcs cinnamon
4 pcs star anise
1 litre water
1 cup soya sauce

Add water, soya sauce and spices into a heavy-based pot. Bring it to a boil.

Add chicken wings and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Serve warm with steamed rice or egg noodles.