Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crunchy Noodle Salad


I prepared this super simple crunchy noodle salad recently for my family's Xmas do. Chang's Original Fried Noodles is what makes this dish as great as it is. Unfortunately I can't seem to find this over here and have to get my supply from my cousins in Australia. Thanks Jean!


Pix from www.changs.com

The recipe is on the back of the packet itself. Just follow it to the letter and the salad turns out great!

What you need:
I Chinese Cabbage - shredded or chopped finely
6 spring onions - cut about 5mm in length
Sliced Almonds - toasted lightly

Seasoning:
60ml white vinegar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
120ml olive oil

Combine all dressing ingredients in a saucepan. Stir well over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool. Toss cabbage, chopped spring onions and almonds in a salad bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Just before serving add the noodles and toss thoroughly.

Tips:
Add the noodles just before serving.
If someone is having a bbq, offer to bring this dish. TRUST ME it'll be a hit.

Here's a look at what else we had for dinner that night.



This Sudden Cook wishes all A Blessed 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Roast Pork Chops with Creamy Mustard Sauce


So this year I thought I would make a special meal for my hubby for Christmas as a reward for putting up with me for 2009. I combed the Internet looking for a suitable recipe. At last, this recipe caught my kitchen-eye. He loves ( and I mean loves) pork. A combination of his favourite meat with mustard which he enjoys as well would be a sure winner. And I was right la as usual - husband are you reading this????

Serves 2

What you need:
2 pork chops - 250g each ( I bought mine in the Jaya 33 grocer - very cheap and extremely good pieces)
3 small potatoes, unpeeled, cut into wedges
60 ml mustard (4 tablespoons)
80ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
200ml cream ( I use whipping cream)
Handful of parsley leaves, chopped
Salt + Black Pepper

What to do:
1) Sprinkle salt and black pepper on both sides of pork chops and set aside.
2) Parboil potatoes - Place them in a pot and cover with water. Boil for 10 mins and drain.
3) Transfer potatoes to a roasting pan.
4) Combine mustard, chicken stock, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a jug. Pour over potatoes and toss to combine.
5) Place pork chops on top of potatoes. Roast for 25-30mins in a pre-heated oven at 200C.
6) When pork is done, transfer to a plate, cover in foil and let stand for 10 mins.
7) Add cream and chopped parsley to potatoes in pan. Stir to combine. Return to oven for 10 mins.



To serve: Place potatoes and pork onto plate and spoon over creamy mustard sauce.
Tips:
#1Prepare some garlic bread to go with. It goes great with the sauce.
#2Potatoes must be par-boiled first otherwise they won't be done.
#3Tell your other-half you appreciate them.

Merry Christmas All!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Cupcakes



Make these for your Christmas office party. Super simple vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing. Santa's Boot from Cake Connection.

Christmas wreath also from Cake Connection.

Put them in a nice box and they will almost look too cute to eat!

Arrange on a cake board or on a glass plate for nice presentation.

One week more to go for Christmas! Happy Holidays all:)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Step-by-step Chicken, Ham & Mushroom Squares

After my last recipe which was the Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pie recipe, I had about 4 sheets of puff pastry left (brand: Pampas). Did I mention I LOVE PUFF PASTRY - so good for the hips too!
Anyways I decided to try this recipe and it turned out very very nicely.

Makes: 8
What you need for the filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil
20g butter
750g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm cubes
200g button mushrooms, sliced
3 small onions, thinly sliced
100g ham, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
3/4 cup milk or light cream (
I used whipping cream)
4 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten

What to do:

1) Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and butter. When sizzling, add chicken. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, or until lightly browned.

2) Add mushrooms, onions and ham. Stir until well combined. Cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are just softened. Sprinkle over flour, stirring constantly until well combined.

3) Remove from heat. Slowly pour in milk, stirring until smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until sauce comes to the boil. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool completely. Note: Cool mixture completely before putting them on pastry sheets

Assembling:

1) Preheat oven to 200C. Line baking tray with baking paper. Cut each sheet of pastry into 4 even sqaures.
2) Spoon chicken mixture over squares, leaving a 1.50cm border around edges.
3) Place remaining pastry square over chicken mixture

4) Using a fork, press edges of pastry sheet gently down to seal

5) Brush tops of squares with egg wash before popping into oven

6) Bake for 25 minutes until golden and serve.


Tip:
These are quite filling! 8 is enough for 4 persons actually. Keep any leftovers in the freezer and when u wish to have them just thaw and toast in oven for a few mins. Perfecto!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Pie

This recipe takes a bit of time to make. Considering it was a weekend and it had been a while since I've tried this creamy chicken mushroom pie I thought why not.

Serves: 2

What you need:
200g chicken fillet, cubed
100g button mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
200ml whipping cream (at room temp)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon oil
Small cube of butter

I sheet frozen puff pastry
I egg beaten (for egg wash)

Seasoning:
Salt & Black Pepper

What to do:
1) Prepare filling
Heat oil and sear the chicken over high heat until browned. The chicken should not be fully cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the butter and cook mushrooms over high heat until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside with chicken.

Also in the same pan, fry the shallots over low heat. Add cream and bring to a boil. Add mustard, chicken and mushrooms and season to taste. Dish into pie dish.

2) Assemble and Bake
Place ramekin upside down on puff pastry and using a sharp knife cut out a circle to use as the lid. The circle you cut should be slightly larger than the rim so that it's easier to place over the topof ramekin. Tip: Brush rim of ramkeins with egg wash (or water) before placing the puff pastry on top.

Brush with egg wash. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 min. Eat while pastry is crisp and golden.

Tips:
Before popping pies in the oven, using a fork press down on edges of puff pastry to seal the lid plus make 2 slits on top of pastry.
Got my 2 white ramekins from Ikea!
This recipe was another great find from http://www.kuali.com/ - I did however tweak it to make up to two servings.

Bits of pastry smothered in a creamy yellowish sauce filled with chunks of chicken and mushroom with a hint of tangy mustard.... Creamy chicken mushroom pie anyone?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Delicious Chicken Rice

I love this chicken rice recipe. The original recipe is a Claypot Chicken Rice recipe which you can find on the Kuali website however I have tweaked it and thus will share my version here.

Serves 2

What you need:
8 small chicken pieces marinated with the following for 20mins:
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour

In a bowl mix the following:
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Maggi chicken concentrate or chicken stock granules
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
Note: You can add a couple of tablespoons of water to the mix as well.

Others:
3 cm ginger, sliced
2 shallots sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Couple of slices of dried mushroom (soaked in warm water to soften then drained and squeezed)
I cup of rice (washed and drained)
1 tbsp oil
What to do:
In a wok, heat up oil.
Add the cut ginger, shallots and garlic and fry till aromatic.
Add marinated chicken and stir-fry.
Add sauce mixture and mushrooms. Fry till chicken is almost done and put aside.

Mix rice with water and cook as usual. After 8 minutes, when rice is almost cooked, add chicken meat and continue to cook till rice is completely cooked.

Dish out rice and garnish with chopped spring onions and chilli strips. Serve hot.

Tip:
The ginger, shallots and garlic really add a lot of kick to this dish.
Don't worry if after 8 minutes, the rice is not almost cooked - just add in the chicken and leave it to fully cook. Once done, switch off heat and keep rice cooker covered. Once you find the rice is 'sticky' and to your liking, dish out.
Must eat while hot!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Simple Steamed Pomfret

This is a recipe I got from the Kuali website. I tagged it under 'quick and easy meals' because that's just what it is. I think the hardest part about this dish is actually buying the fish and paying for it!

What you need:

1 medium-sized white pomfret
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked and sliced thinly
2 stalks spring onion, cut into 3cm lengths
Dash of pepper

In a bowl mix the following:
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1-2 tbsp water

What to do:
1) Clean fish (I make sure the lady at the pasar cleans it for me!). Make two slits on either side of the body. Rub fish inside and out with salt and ginger and set aside for 15 minutes
2) Place fish on heatproof dish, then pour contents of bowl over it.
3) Arrange sliced mushrooms and spring onion around the fish. Add a generous dash of pepper.
4) Fill a wok with water until slightly less than half full, cover and bring to a slight boil. Open cover, and place a steaming rack in the wok.
5) Place the fish on the rack. Cover the wok and steam fish for about 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tip: The time used to steam your fish depends on the intensity of the flame used. I used a medium flame and steamed for about 13 mins. Results are awesome. I served it with white rice, the sauce acts as a gravy for the rice. Delish!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Learn How to Decorate Cupcakes

Meet the 5 cupcakes which truly made my weekend. When I first met them, they were plain ol' simple vanilla cupcakes. But after two hours, they were rockin' out colours, rosettes, leaves, sprinkles, sugar crystals and swirls. Each cupcake has a story to tell.

Meet Rosettes. Yes, small little pink roses are what they are supposed to be. Nicely accompanied by green leaves. Laid nicely over brown buttercream icing. Piping rosettes takes practice but they are not too hard. Piping leaves are kinda interesting especially after you see them take shape. Dusted with a bit of sugar crystals to give them some sparkle.


Meet J for...Yes this is a special initial to me cause it stands for 'Jackpot' which I hope to win someday. You mean you thought it was my husband's initial? Yes I guess that too. I was very inspired by this one. I didn't know how it would turn out. Bear in mind, I have never done piping before..ever! I like the colour combo here. I'm feeling' it.


Meet the Fluke. Yes...this was definitely a fluke. It was my last cupcake to decorate and I had no idea what to do. So I thought just wing it. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Once again, I think the colours are a nice combo.


Meet the Accident. Yes...in hindsight, I should have piped another colour in the inner pink circle. But somehow, due to bad judgement (maybe I was overexcited and thought I was getting somewhere but soon realised I was never getting anywhere!) I decided to reach for some green sprinkles and let it fall onto the orange icing. Why? Like I said, bad judgement. Good effort nonetheless.


Meet the Sundae Cone Wannabe. A pink very girly girl swirl with pink sprinkles. You can NEVER go wrong with this. It was just soooo pretty to look at. One of the better ones.



There was one more, but before I could take a picture of it, it was too hard to resist. Learn how to decorate cupcakes at this awesome Cupcake 101 (for beginners) class held at Cake Connection. Thanks Nancy (tutor) for such wonderful guidance. It was so fun.
Cake Connection is co-owned by my sis!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Step by Step Simple Grilled Fish

So fish is good for you I've heard. Which is why I am posting another fish-based recipe. Maybe slowly I am starting to like it as much as chicken? However you don't need to like fish to love this recipe, seriously if you like spicy food then try this one out.

What you need:
600g fish fillet - slice into thick slices and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside.
1 piece banana leaf (you can get this nicely wrapped in supermarkets - i used to get them from the actual tree before but not anymore!)
1 piece aluminium foil
2 stalks lemon grass, sliced finely at white portion or root end
3 ladies' fingers sliced lengthwise

In a bowl combine the following: (A)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tbsp chilli paste (you can mix chilli powder with water to form a paste)
1 tsp turmeric powder

(B): 1 tbsp tamarind paste, mixed with 100ml water and squeezed for juice
100ml coconut milk

Seasoning:
1 tbsp belacan or ikan bilis stock granules
1 tbsp sugar

What to do:
First you would need to make the gravy in these 4 easy steps:
1) Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small pot or saucepan. Fry the sliced lemon grass and ingredients (A) until fragrant.
2) Add in (B) and seasoning.
3) Bring to a simmering boil until oil rises and gravy becomes thick.
4) Leave aside to cool.

Assembling:
STEP 1: Put the banana leaf over the aluminium foil.


STEP 2: Spread 3 tablespoons of gravy on the banana leaf.

STEP 3: Place the sliced up fish fillet on the gravy

STEP 4: Pour another 3 tablespoons of gravy over the fish.

STEP 5: Place a handful of cut ladies' fingers over the fish.


STEP 6: Wrap up foil neatly into a package.

Pre-heat your oven at 250C and grill foil package for about 15-20 minutes or until foil package puffs up. Serve hot with white rice. Garnish with 1 lime if you like.
Good stuff this grilled fish.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fish Beehoon Soup

bowl of delish fish beehoon soupSo the story goes like this. I don't mind fish. Not terribly in love with it, know it's suppose to be good for us blah blah blah but not really digging it at the same time. However like it once in a while when not doing something better like eating meat. End of story. UNLESS, it's nicely marinated and freshly fried with chilli powder like these awesome fried tenggiri slices.

Ok - new story. So tried this recipe and my husband and I thought - wow! Great for a non-greasy, healthy, feel-good-about yourself meal. Yummylicious soup flavoured with chicken stock cubes, with chucks of fish fillet and strips of mustard leaves garnished with chopped spring onions and fried shallots. Lovely.
Serves: 2 people
What you need:
150g snapper fillet, sliced ( I used dory fish fillet the frozen type you can get from Cold Storage)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 litre of water (I used slightly more than this)
2 chicken stock cubes, crumbled
125g beehoon, softened in hot water (make sure the portion is just right for two)
75g mustard leaves, cut into 3cm lengths
Salt and pepper to taste
Fried shallots and chopped spring onions to garnish
Sliced red chillies and soy sauce to serve
What to do in 4 easy steps:
1) Season fish slices with salt and sesame oil. Set aside.
2) Heat oil in a pot, stir-fry garlic for 30 seconds. Add water and crumbled stock cubes and cover pot to bring to a boil then turn fire to low and simmer for 3 mins.

Knorr chicken stock cubes are the ones I use3) Add softened beehoon and cook for 2 mins. Add mustard leaves, marinated fish and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil then turn off fire.
4) Ladle into bowls. Serve garnished with shallots and spring onions with cut chillies and soy sauce on the side.
fried shallots are a must for garnishing
Tip#1: I add a few drops of soy sauce into the bowl itself. Gives it an extra taste.
Tip#2: Be liberal with the pepper as that adds alot of flavour to the soup!

truly a wonderful soupy meal

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Light & Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes with Raisins

Raisins....I don't really care much for them but my husband does. Although I must admit they look pretty pretty in this shot! So anyways, after sharing a super simple vanilla cupcake recipe...I decided to do the same version only with raisins in it. No fancy icing nothing, just naked vanilla cupcakes with plain ol' raisins.

Just follow the same vanilla cupcake recipe whilst adding some raisins in the batter and keep some to sprinkle on top of the batter once added into the liners. For some reason I was quite stingy with the raisins, I could have added more. Note to self: Dont' be stingy with the raisins!
They are so light and fluffy it's amazing. Once cooled, you can heat up in the microwave for 20 seconds to get it all warm. Yums.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Easy Meat Lasagna






Serves: 4-5 persons

What you need:
1 packet pre-cooked 250g lasagna sheets
2 tbsp olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove
2 large tomatoes - chopped
500g minced beef
1 large onion - chopped finely
1 tsp oregano + rosemary sprinkling (I used Italian dried herbs)
250g tomato paste - mixed with 3 cups water
250g Tasty grated cheese + 100g shredded Mozzarella cheese (for topping)

What to do:
First you wanna make the meat sauce so here goes.
1) Heat oil, add onions and garlic. Stir over medium heat until onion has softened.
2) Add minced beef and stir till meat is cooked and no longer pink.
3) Add tomatoes and stir for 3 minutes.
4) Add tomato paste + water mixture, oregano+rosemary+salt+ pepper to taste and stir over medium heat for 5 mins.
5) Cover and simmer for 1 hour
Ok now comes the assembling part - pre-heat your oven at this point 180C for 10 mins
1) Grease your baking dish.
2)Start with laying down some lasagna sheets - I use about 3 sheets


Then spread the meat sauce over the sheets

Then spread some tasty cheese over the meat sauce

So remember it's this way:
Layer 1 = lasagna sheets+meat sauce+tasty cheese
Layer 2 = lasagna sheets+meat sauce+ tasty cheese
Layer 3 = lasagna sheets + meat sauce +top with mozzarella cheese

4) Bake at 180C for 30 mins. Let stand for 15 min before diving in!

Tip#1: Cover with foil for first 20 mins, then take off foil towards the end. Otherwise the cheese will brown pretty fast.
Tip#2: I also suggest tasting the sauce before starting the assembling as to see if you've seasoned it with enough herbs, salt and black pepper.
Random thought: My husband and I loved it! Caution: You may need to hit the gym after.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What else?

I had this last night for dinner. This week was a very cin-cai dinner week. Working late. How I wish I had more time to prepare all the yummy food I've come to know how to cook. Grilled spicy fish fillet, claypot chicken rice, beehoon soup, nasi lemak, pai kuat kari, steamed white pomfret - time!! Need it bad. Trying something tomorrow - fingers crossed it will be posted on Monday with pictures. If not, it didn't go so well and we fed it to the dog.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Simple Sardine Sandwiches

Growing up whenever my mum announced that we were having 'sardine curry' for dinner (with white rice and vege) I would groan like a spoilt little girl. Wat? Where's the wicked chicken curry you can make? I would whine....And then my dad would come and say 'Eat what's on the table'. End of story as I knew it.
Funnily enough I have grown to like sardines. I don't find the fishy smell as offensive as I used to maybe? I dunno but I kinda don't mind it now. So for a fast/easy/simple/I left work late but don't wanna eat out need to feed husband and myself/ kinda meal - I made sardine sandwiches.
For two person - you should buy the 230g tin as the portion is just right. Drain all the sauce and flake the sardine not too finely - leave some chunks in there. I cut half an onion very finely and threw it in. Sprinkled some lime juice, dash of pepper and salt. Since I didn't have a red chilli lying around, I added some chilli flakes I had.
Butter both sides of bread, spread sardine filling on one side and toast the bread. Eat right after. Simple and easy.

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