Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fried Macaroni with Minced Beef Sauce

You’re having a small tea party and your guests include little ones which might not take too kindly to the spicy currypuffs or savoury popiah. Whip up this simple dish in 3 easy steps and you’ve got them hooked. It’s simple and can be enjoyed by adults too.

Fried Macaroni with Minced Beef Sauce
What you need:
200g macaroni
2 fresh button mushrooms, sliced
100g minced beef
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tomato diced
2 tbsp oil
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chicken stock granules
4-5 tbsp tomato sauce
150ml fresh chicken stock
Chopped spring onion

What to do:
Step 1
Bring water to a boil in pot and cook macaroni until al-dente. Drain and set aside.
Step 2
Heat oil in wok and fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add minced beef and stir-fry until fragrant. Add mushrooms and seasoning. Bring to a boil then add macaroni and tomato.
Step 3
Toss and fry until well combined and sauce is reduced. Dish out and sprinkle some chopped spring onions on top.

  • Don’t fry the pasta until it is very dry. Once there is no more liquid and pasta is nicely coated with all seasonings then it’s time to dish out.
  • The recipe doesn't make a lot especially if you're having a party. Do adjust as required.
  • I added chopped carrots into the dish as I didn't have button mushrooms at hand. You may choose to add something else.

This is a simple dish to have at your tea parties. It’s best cooked right before serving. I got this recipe from Amy Beh’s column from The Star newspaper. The source of many awesome recipes I’ve tried.
Do try it and let me know if it turns out well!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pork Korma Recipe (Pork Ribs in Rich Yoghurt Curry)

Tender moist pieces of pork coated in a delicious curry
I was super pleased with this dish. It turned out way better than I expected. Also, I must say I am growing to love pork ribs like never before. I’ve used them mainly to make this before. However over Christmas last year I decided to bake them and they turned out super delish as well. I find them easy to eat and easy to cook.

So back to the recipe. I am an avid reader of Amy Beh’s column Cook’s Nook in The Star. If I happen to find good recipes from there I usually take out the newspaper cutting and keep it. This recipe was published almost a year ago and I JUST decided to try it.

What you get is tender pieces of yummy pork ribs coated in a spicy, yoghurt curry. The curry is not heavy nor that creamy. There is no coconut milk or cream in this recipe. This dry curry goes very well with bread or rice. Most heavenly are the moist pieces of pork ribs which almost fall off the bone in every bite.

Overall the cooking was pretty easy. My only tip would be to get all the ingredients ready and good to go and you will find the entire cooking process a breeze.

What you need:
800g pork ribs, cut into 5cm pieces (I left the ribs whole as I bought them)

These are the pork ribs I used to make this dish. I do not cut them.
4-5 tbsp cooking oil
150ml plain yoghurt
3 medium-sized onions
20g cashewnuts
2 potatoes ( I omitted these)
200ml warm water

Ingredients (A)
2 red chillies, halved and seeded (I used 3 and left the seeds in)
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely shredded ginger

Spices (B) mixed into a paste with a little water
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp fennel powder ( I didn’t have fennel powder so I pounded 1 tsp fennel spice)
1 tsp cumin powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg ( I left this out)

Spices (C)
3 cardamoms
4 cloves
1 star anise
3 cm cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves

Juice of 1 lime ( I left this out)
Adequate salt (I used about ½ tsp)

Some of the ingredients for this recipe
What to do:

1) Heat oil in heavy-based pot over medium heat. Stir-fry onions until lightly browned. Add cashewnuts and continue to fry for 30-40 seconds.

The onions and cashnewnuts

2) Dish out onions and cashewnuts and leave to cool slightly. Blend to a puree in a food processor or blender.

After blending into a puree
3) In the remaining oil, sauté ingredients (A) until fragrant. Add spices (B) and (C) and stir-fry till aromatic, stirring continuously.

4) Add pork ribs, potatoes and warm water. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

5) Add the fried onion puree and yoghurt, mix well. Bring to the boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and gravy is reduced. Add lime and salt.

Once you have your ingredients ready, it's a breeze to cook this dish
My other half and I enjoyed this dish very much. I am planning to make it the next time I host family dinner and if you have the time I would really recommend you to try it. I usually buy my pork rib pieces from Jaya Grocer. If you cook Indian food on or off, you should already have most of the spice ingredients called for in this recipe, in your kitchen.

  • Be sure to blend the cashnewnuts really well until really fine. I had some tiny pieces still lingering in the puree.
  • I started on Step 3 while waiting for the onion and cashnewnut mixture to cool. Then while the ingredients are simmering for 10 minutes in Step 4, I blended the onion and cashewnuts into a puree.
  • While the simmering time is about 45 minutes, you may open the lid after 15-20 minutes to give it a stir. After 45 minutes, taste a piece and see if the meat is tender enough to your liking.

Very very yummy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Roasted Pork Loin with Crispy Pork Crackling in 4 Easy Steps

Caution: To appreciate this recipe you must understand that pork crackle (which is the crisp fatty skin of roast pork) is utterly unhealthy. You must be able to not give a damn and eat anyway.

Wow! How time has flown. I have missed my blog so much and have finally found a recipe I am so happy to blog about.

Pork crackling heaven – that’s where my other half was for a brief moment once he heard the crunch of the pork crackling of this roasted pork loin. Then he sunk his teeth into a piece – and he stayed in pork crackling heaven a while more.

I first saw this 500g of rolled up pork loin being sold at Jaya Grocer. It was rolled up so neatly and tightly secured with kitchen string. I had no idea how I was gonna cook it but I just knew I had to buy it.

After it sat in my freezer for a while, I decided one day I had to cook this before the year was over.  So I started googling recipes for roasted pork loins. I came across a few but I was mainly looking for something which I already had the ingredients for. Thus THIS was the perfect recipe.

Taken from Quay Po Cooks' blog it was a recipe she had written quite some time back. I have re-written the recipe to reflect the adjustments I made. I have also omitted the steps and ingredients for the vegetables and gravy as I did not make them and focused solely on the pork.

What you need:
1 piece 500g pork loin with skin on
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs McCormick Italian herbs [this is a blend of different dried herbs which I keep handy to add to lasagna, pasta sauces and stews]
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tsp minced young ginger

What to do:
Prepare a deep roasting pan. Line the bottom with foil.
Preheat your oven to 220C.

Step 1
Score the skin of the pork crosswise at about 5mm intervals. Rub all the items into the pork loin and ensure you get the rub especially the salt into the cuts of the skin.

Step 2
Place the pork on a rack and then place the rack into the roasting pan. Put roasting pan in oven for 30 minutes. The high temperature will get the skin to crisp up.

Step 3
After 30 minutes, turn the temperature down to 175C for about 25-30 minutes. Keep basting the meat with the juices that have dripped below the rack every 10 minutes or so.

Step 4
Remove from oven – allow to rest for about 5 minutes and carve.

  • When carving, we found it easier to slice off the crackle then slice the pork loin into slices.
  • Once out of the oven, don’t wrap the pork loin with foil as this might soften the crackle.
  • I used coarse salt which I also sprinkled on top of the pork loin once roasted.
  • I prepared my own side salad to go with this.  Of course it’s better to oven roast some vegetables and even serve with some garlic bread.
  • Overall we thought the crackling was out of this world. So crispy and tasty. It’s best to serve the meat with the gravy. I did not have time to make the gravy but still found the roast delish!

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