Sunday, 28 November 2010

Creamy Thai-Style Pasta



You have never heard of Thai-style pasta before? Well, me too :)! The only thing Thai about this pasta is the Thai chili paste that I use. The rest of the ingredients is quite typical Italian.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 200 g pasta, boiled until al dente
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 100 g prawns
  • 150 ml cream
  • 2 tbs Thai chili paste with soy bean oil*
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 tbs Maggi vegetable granules
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 150 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Black pepper to taste

*This is the Thai chili paste I use. If you cannot find this paste, be creative and find a different type of Asian chili paste and create your own East-West pasta combo.

Instructions
  • Heat olive oil on medium heat.
  • Add minced garlic and prawns. Sauté until fragrant.
  • Add Thai chili paste, cream, Maggi granules, sugar and chopped hard-boiled eggs. Stir and then let it simmer for 1 minute.
  • Toss in the pasta, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and dried oregano. Sauté for about 1 minute.
  • Serve immediately and garnish with some cherry tomatoes and salad greens.





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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Beef Steak and Salad



Low-carbs dinner (well, minus the corns!)... Very easy to make and quite healthy too! You only need good quality beef steak and lots of greens (and reds and yellows too in my case ;)). I love to add mozzarella cheese and dried herbs such as basil, majoram or thyme to my salad. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and black pepper and voilà, your dinner is ready!






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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Korean Spicy Stir-Fried Squid




I participated in a Korean (food) photo contest some time ago. This contest was organised by Maangchi, the online Korean food goddess :). I sent two pictures, one from my Piggy Pork buns post and the other one from my Kimchi mandu post. I was lucky and I got the 4th and 9th place...! Two days ago I received two big boxes from Sempio Foods, a Korean food company which sponsored Maangchi's photo contest. I was so very happy... :D!!! Lookie what I got...!





I got 4 bottles of soy sauce, 8 bottles of drinking black vinegar with 4 different flavours: Quince/Citrus, Red ginseng, Wild Grapes and Pomegranate (need to try them, I have never in life drunk black vinegar...), 4 bottles of seasoning soy sauce (for soups and stir-frying), hot-pepper paste, soy-bean paste, grilled seaweed and 3 sachets of instant seasoning sauce.

I tried one of the instant sachets today. Since my knowledge of Korean is zero, I had to check the Sempio website to find out the names of each instant sauce ;). The one below is Mokpo Nakji-Bokkeum sauce or Spicy Stir-Fried Baby Octopus in English.



The sauce tastes great but extremely hot...!! I drank 2 litres of water while eating the stir-fried squid - this was a mistake I suppose, since I have heard that water would only make it worse and we should drink milk instead to neutralise the biting sensation. I felt bloated afterwards, but it was nevertheless a very nice meal :).



I used 800 g of squid, 2 tbs oil, 1 medium onion and spring onions plus the sauce to make this dish.



I ate the spicy squid with rice together with the grilled seaweed which I also got from Sempio. I absolutely adore the seaweed, it was crispy, crunchy and slightly salty. Just delicious!

Thank you, Maangchi and Sempio!!


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Friday, 5 November 2010

Teddy Cupcake Pops



Inspired by Bakerella to make some cupcake pops, especially after I got her adorable Cake Pops book :)! My cake pops didn't turn out as pretty as hers, but I am nevertheless still quite proud of my first cupcake pops. It was fun to make...:)!



My cupcake pops require no baking. You only need a package of Oreo, cream cheese and a food processor. The dough needs to resemble play dough in consistency. It's extremely easy to make and tastes very chocolaty, slightly gooey and very YUMMY! But only if you like Oreo, of course!
After you are done with the dough, the rest is history - simply extra fun-time in the kitchen, decorating the cake pops with different types of icings and sprinkles.



I decorated mine with dark chocolate, white chocolate (with a bit of red food colouring), smarties and colourful sprinkles.



"Hmmm, which cupcake pop should I have now??" says Tilly the Bear from the Cupcake-Pop Land.



The teddy bear is made of fondant, simply there for the sake of decoration! But she's such a cutie, isn't she :)?



I received this 'Lovely Blog Award' from eatgreek.net. Wow, the second one for this week...!! Thank you, Eatgreek! I would love to also pass on this award to 15 other food bloggers, whom I like - I have much, much more than 15, but I have to follow the rule - only 15 bloggers... So here they are, in no particular order:

1. Anncoo
2. Bentolicious
3. Enak2 Lovers
4. Indonesia Eats
5. Mochachocolatarita
6. Kitchen Corner
7. Roti n Rice
8. J3ss Kitch3n
9. My Kitchen Snippets
10. My Little Space
11. Hamaree Rasoi
12. Nasi Lemak Lover
13. Teczcape
14. Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
15. Belzy's Kitchen



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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Otak-Otak - Indonesian Grilled Fish Cakes



Otak-otak is a popular Indonesian street-food, originated from Palembang, a city in the South-Sumatran island, known for its fish-based delicacies. Since my mum comes from Palembang, I grew up eating and loving those fish-based snacks from Palembang, even though fish has actually never been a preferred palate of mine.

Otak-otak is one Palembangnese snack that I very much enjoy. It is made from fish paste (usually from mackerel), mixed with minced shallots, green onions, egg white, coconut milk and tapioca flour. This mixture is then wrapped in banana leaf and subsequently grilled to perfection.

Making otak-otak at home is actually quite simple. I was rather reluctant to try in the beginning, but my mum told me that it's really very easy, as long as you have a stock of banana leaves and a non-stick pan (yes, you don't need charcoal to grill these sweeties...!)

Ingredients (makes 20)

Otak-Otak
  • 500 g fish paste (mackerel)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 150 ml coconut milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 5 shallots / 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 4-5 tbs chopped green onions
  • 150 g tapioca flour
  • 1tbs oyster sauce (optional)
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • Banana leaves for wrapping (cut into 10x10 cm)
No-cook peanut sauce
  • 4 tbs peanut butter
  • 100 ml boiling water
  • 3-4 tbs sambal oelek
  • 2 tbs vinegar
  • 3 tbs sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbs lime juice



Instructions


Otak-Otak
  • Mix the ingredients well (except the banana leaves, of course!).
  • Place about 1.5 tbs otak-otak paste in the centre of a 10x10 cm banana leaf.
  • Fold the leaf as the pictures above.
  • Staple the top and bottom parts of the leaf.
  • 'Grill' the otak otak on a non-stick pan (7-8 minutes on each side).
No-cook Peanut Sauce
  • Simply mix all the ingredients and stir well. That's it. If you want the elaborate version, check this out.


Usually people in Palembang eat their otak-otak with 'cuko' - a spicy sauce made from vinegar, palm sugar, minced garlic and chillies. As I didn't have any palm sugar in stock, I decided to make peanut sauce instead, which is just as tasty...!








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Monday, 1 November 2010

Bunnies and Carrots Cake



It was my husband's birthday a few days ago, but I couldn't make him a birthday cake until yesterday. So here's his belated birthday 'cake' - the quotation marks are there because it's actually not a cake, but just a round-shaped styrofoam decorated with fondant....;)! I finally decided not to make a real cake because I knew that we wouldn't be able to finish eating the whole cake. I shall make a small batch of cupcakes or cake pops in the next days to compensate the faux cake :).



The theme of the cake is bunnies with carrots *roll eyes* - I know, so predictable ;)! The people who have been following my blog from the beginning should know by now that I adore my rabbits...;). Well, next time I will make something different!

I modelled the bunnies after the rabbit figurines I saw in Maisie Parish's Fun and Original Character Cakes.





"Yum, yum, yum...!!"



This cake can be a good idea for Easter as well!



Last but not least, I would like to thank Sweetums from My Little Sweet House for this lovely award. I feel very honoured ! Thanks a bunch Sweetums :)!


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