• May
  • 03
  • 2012

spaghetti bolognese

 

RECIPE FOR SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE WITH MINCE BEEF

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

400g dried thin spaghetti
500g beef mince
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, diced
300g sliced mushrooms (or 400g can sliced champignons)
1 tsp oregano (or to your taste)
4 tbsp thick tomato paste
1 x 425g can peeled tomatoes
3 cups beef stock (i use vegetable stock or just water)
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
fresh shaved parmesan and/or powder parmesan to garnish

 

Method

1. Heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic in a medium pot.

2. Add mince beef and stir until evenly brown until lumps are broken.

3. Add carrots, stock/water, mushrooms, oregano, tomato paste and canned tomatoes. Stir for a bit and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 45 minutes until liquid has greatly reduced.

3. Add salt and pepper and stir.

4. Boil spaghetti with a bit of oil and salt, then drain under cold running water.

5. Serve immediately with hot bolognese sauce topped with cheese.


  • Apr
  • 03
  • 2012

grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce


grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce

One of our family favourite mid week dinner is grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce served with steamed vegetables and mash potato. It is a quick and rather healthy dinner and the good thing is, if you make a big pot of the napolitana sauce, you can re-use it with some pasta for next days dinner.

grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce1

RECIPE FOR GRILLED CHICKEN WITH CREAMY NAPOLITANA SAUCE

Serves: 2
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, slice into 4 parts
1 large carrot, cut
1/4 brocolli, cut
coriander (optional), for garnishing

For napolitana sauce:
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pound in mortar and pestle
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
150ml thickened cream
salt and pepper, to taste

For mash potato:
1 large potato, quartered and boiled till soft
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk
sprinkle of salt and pepper


Method

1. To make the napolitana sauce. Saute onions and garlic in a saucepan with a bit of oil for a minute or two and then add tomato paste, chicken stock and thickened cream. Bring to boil and leave to simmer to reduce the sauce. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.

2. Whilst the napolitana sauce is simmering, boil the carrots and brocolli in one pot and in separate pot, boil the potatoes. Both with a bit of salt. Drain well once soften.

3. Heat up some olive oil in a grill pan and grill the chicken breast for 8-10 minutes turning sides. Make sure it does not overburn/overcook.

3. Mash the potatoes with butter, milk, salt and pepper till creamy and no lumps are seen.

4. Serve grilled chicken on a plate alongside the vegetables, mash potato and finally drizzle over the napolitana sauce and sprinkle with some coriander.


  • Dec
  • 03
  • 2011

chicken soup and on being sick!

chicken soup

Please accept my apologies for the lack of post over the last couple of weeks, I have been sick, terribly sick- that the thought of food and consuming it, makes it even worst! Hence why I have not updated this blog. But at least I can have some hearty winter soup eventhough its summer here! So if you’ve got a few soup recipes up your sleeves, kindly do share them with me. I’m always on the lookout for more recipes!

RECIPE FOR CHICKEN SOUP WITH CABBAGE
Adapted from my stepmum

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
50g dried rice vermicelli
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped spring onions (to garnish)
3 tbsp fried shallots (to garnish)
2 eggs
1/4 cabbage, shredded thinly
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Bring to a boil the chicken breast pieces in a pot of chicken stock.

2. Add in the cabbage, vermicelli and simmer for 45 minutes.

3. Crack the eggs but do not stir. Leave for 5 minutes before seasoning it with salt and pepper and the other garnishes.

4. Serve immediately while hot.


  • Nov
  • 19
  • 2011

curry laksa version 2

curry laksa

Yet another laksa post from me because I am a fanatic laksa fan. Here is the original post, I posted a few months ago when I first learnt how to make it from scratch-no bottle paste anymore yee-ha! This time, I made a few extra changes.

If you love cooking malaysian food, you most probably have all these ingredients sitting at home in your pantry/fridge. All you have to do is get the fresh stuff like boy choy, bean sprouts etc. The only downside is probably having to toast the belacan (shrimp) which is super smelly-makes-you-want-to-gag, but because I’m all-things-malaysian, I absolutely love the smell! Though, hubby’s orders: please toast them outside. And yes, please do. You do not want your house smelling like off shrimps ;)

 

RECIPE FOR MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY LAKSA
Adapted from Almost Bourdain, with slight modifications

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 50 mins

Ingredients

For the paste:
20 Asian shallots
10 cloves garlic
10 dried chillies, soaked in warm water for 30mins
3 tsp toasted belacan
3 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in warm water for 5 mins
6 candlenuts (buah keras)

Other ingredients:
3 tbsp curry powder (I used Baba’s Meat)
1 kg egg noodles (hokkien noodles), blanched
24 shelled prawns, deveined
2 chicken breast, cooked and sliced
2 big bunch of choy sum, cut
3 stalks lemon grass, bruised
2 sprig curry leaves
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 can coconut milk
200 g tofu puffs, halved
300 g bean sprouts, blanched and tail removed
3 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 packet fried fish cakes, sliced thinly
5 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Fried shallots, for garnishing
Spring onions, for garnishing

Method

1. To make the paste: Mix ingredients and pound into a paste using a blender.

2. Heat up oil in a medium sized pot, and stir the prawns for 5 mins until cooked evenly. Remove prawns and set aside.

3. Saute the blended paste, lemon grass, curry powder and curry leaves until the oil separates and is fragrant. This should take about 7 – 10 mins.

3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. Add the coconut cream/milk and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling.

6. Turn of the stove and add tofu puffs, fish cake, choy sum and some salt to taste then give it a final stir to coat all the ingredients.

To serve:  Divide noodles into individual bowls. Pour the hot curry laksa evenly ontop of the noodles into each bowl and then spread the prawns, chicken, eggs and the garnishes. Serve immediately.

Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.

 

 


  • Nov
  • 15
  • 2011

thai inspired pattaya (omelette) fried rice | nasi goreng pattaya

basil pattaya fried rice

Nasi goreng pattaya, or simply nasi pattaya, is a Malaysian dish made by covering or wrapping fried rice, in fried egg (omelette). It is often served with chili sauce, cucumber, and/or keropok. The name comes from Pattaya, Thailand.

Source: Wikipedia

basil pattaya fried rice

In Malaysia, nasi pattaya is just chicken fried rice wrapped in omelette. The flavours are basically the same as you would find in any nasi goreng. This dish was inspired by Secret Recipe (again! My last pasta dish was also inspired by SR) when they extended their menu and included a Thai Inspired Pattaya Fried Rice, it was so irrisistably good!  This is a thumbs up from the hubby!

basil pattaya fried rice

And because I am so in love with chilli, I made my own special batch (aside from my daughter and husband’s) for me to indulge in. If you love spicy food, it taste even better when its hot. You’ll be wiping your nose every second but its all worth it!  Can you spot out those little nasty buggers in there? Don’t bite it of you can’t handle it. Hubby accidentally did and in his words ‘ I felt like a knife was slicing through my throat’. Oops!

RECIPE FOR THAI INSPIRED PATTAYA FRIED RICE/NASI GORENG PATTAYA
Inspired by Secret Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients

3 cups cooked basmati rice (you can also use leftover rice)
16 prawns, shelled and deveined
1 chicken breast, cut into small bite size chunks
1 bulb garlic, sliced
Handful of basil leaves
1 chilli, cut
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup baby peas
1 large red capsicum
4 eggs, beaten (to make omelette)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (for rice colouring)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp basil infused olive oil (optional)
1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat oil in a wok and fry chicken pieces and prawns until cook. Remove and set aside.

2. Using the same oil, sautee the garlic until slightly brown then add the vegetables and chilli.

3. Add in the rice, dark soy sauce and basil infused olive oil and stir till evenly coated.

4. Season well with salt and pepper.

5. In a large pan, heat up a little oil and add the beaten egg (1 egg for 1 pan, covering the entire pan). Flip once and remove onto a plate. Do this for the remaining 3 eggs to make 4 serves of omelette.

6. Dish the rice from the wok into the middle of the omelette and cover the rice completely with egg. Drizzle with chilli oil and serve immediately.


  • Nov
  • 10
  • 2011

creamy spaghetti napolitana with prawns

spaghetti creamy napolitana

When I’m in a rush, I think of pasta. Spaghetti to be precise. This one here, can be whipped up in a jiffy. All you need are a handful of fresh ingredients (well, not the pasta unless you want to make it yourself :p) and you’ve got a quick meal for a midweek dinner that the family will love. I know my husband would! Here is the recipe for this wonderfully quick pasta dish.

RECIPE FOR CREAMY SPAGHETTI NAPOLITANA WITH PRAWNS

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 20-30mins

Ingredients

400g spaghetti & some water to boil
16 medium sized prawns
300ml thickened cream
1 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 small-medium sized onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large red capsicum, sliced
1 large green capsicum, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp basil, to garnish
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Bring water to a boil then put spaghetti in with a bit of salt.

2. While pasta is boiling, heat up oil in a saucepan and sautee onions and garlic.

3. Add the prawns and vegetables and cook for a few more minutes before adding tomato paste.

4. Then add the thickened cream and stock, and bring to a boil.

5. Simmer on a low heat and season well with salt, pepper and mixed herbs.

6. Once pasta is cooked, drain well and mix it with the creamy napolitana sauce.

7. Serve onto individual plates and sprinkle with some basil.


  • Nov
  • 05
  • 2011

ayam lemak cili padi | spicy chilli chicken in coconut turmeric gravy

ayam lemak cili padi

Ever since pregnancy, my tolerance for spicy food has really hit the roof! I need to have my daily dose of spice so I tend to add sambal or chilli in a lot of the food I eat. One of many Malaysian spicy dishes I absolutely love is ayam lemak cili padi or in english, spicy chicken in coconut and turmeric. The smell and flavour really compliments one another and is quite addictive. I learnt this recipe from my step mum, who by the way, is a fantastic cook mashallah. She said the key to make an excellent ayam lemak cili padi is to make sure you fry the chicken first then the rest of the ingredients follow…

 

AYAM LEMAK CILI PADI/SPICY CHILLI CHICKEN IN COCONUT TURMERIC GRAVY
Adapted from my step mum

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thigh, cut into curry pieces (with bones)
2 tsp turmeric powder (to marinate chicken)
1 tsp ginger paste (to marinate chicken)
1 tsp garlic paste (to marinate chicken)
1 tsp salt (to marinate chicken)
1 cup veg oil (for deep frying chicken)
3 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tin coconut milk (200ml)
1 tsp of shrimp paste (belacan)
2 medium potatoes, quartered
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt

To blend until  a fine paste:

2 tbsp dried small prawns
5 candlenuts
1  red onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp turmeric powder or 3cm fresh turmeric
3cm ginger
3-5 cili padi (birds eye chilli -warning: they are very spicy)

 

Method

1. Marinate chicken pieces with ginger, garlic, turmeric and salt for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat up 1 cup veg oil and fry the marinated chicken. Only fry till it is 3/4 cook and leave aside to cool.

3. Remove  half of the oil and fry the blended ingredients till aromatic. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the kaffir lime leaves, turmeric powder and cook for a few minutes until the oil separates.

5. Add the fried chicken, potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

6. Simmer on a low heat and add the coconut milk, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

7. Season well with salt and serve with rice.

 


  • Oct
  • 28
  • 2011

claypot chicken rice

claypot chicken rice

I remember when I was 11, mum used to take my sis and I to Bangsar food court because they had the yummiest claypot chicken rice. Seriously sizzling. Seriously yum. This is a popular chinese dish served commonly at hawker stalls around Malaysia. The original claypot chicken rice is cooked with chinese sausage and dried salted fish. The version I made did not have both of these, but it still tasted just as good.

claypot chicken rice

The secret about a good claypot chicken rice  is getting the right amount of ginger and soy sauce. Of course the hero of this dish is the smokeyness that comes from cooking it in the claypot itself that you won’t get with any ordinary cooking pot. Claypot gives you that extra flavoursome crust you find at the bottom. Kinda like a paella crust. In which you leave the best for last. My sis and I used to fight for this.  Get a spoon and just go crazy scooping and digging in. That for me my friends, completes my eating experience from this small humble claypot.
claypot chicken rice

So after all the fun comes the ugly part. Washing up. Who likes scrubbing out burnt rice?

RECIPE FOR CLAYPOT CHICKEN RICE
Adapted from Malaysian favourites(cookbook), with slight changes

Serves: 2
Prep time: 15mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

2 cups rice, soaked (I used basmati)
6 medium chinese mushrooms, sliced (or normal mushrooms)
1 boneless chicken thigh, cut into cubes
8 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 small shallots, finely diced
2inch old ginger, finely diced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
2.5 cups water (to cook rice)
1 cup chicken stock
handful of spring onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp oil


Method

1. Marinate the chicken and mushrooms together with all the sauces.

2. In a rice cooker, cook rice with water. Remove rice when cooked halfway.

3. In a claypot, heat up oil and sautee shallots, garlic and ginger until aromatic.

4. Add in chicken and mushroom pieces and cook for 7 minutes.

5. Add in chicken stock and half cooked rice to the mixture and combine well.  Cover with claypot lid on a low – medium heat for 20 minutes.

6. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.


  • Oct
  • 25
  • 2011

chicken and prawn noodle soup

chicken noodle soup

The day before yesterday I got sunburned under the scorching sun at our local Sunday market. It almost hit 30 degrees. Then within a flick of a swith, that all changed. Wave goodbye sun and hello rain! From 30 down to 11, SubhanAllah. So yesterday I had to wear 3 layers of clothing because it was freezing. But why am I acting all surprised? I’ve been living here for the past 10 years. That’s Melbourne! So if you ever want to experience 4 seasons in a day, book your next flight down here!

chicken noodle soup

This is what we usually have on a chilly day. Soup. Chicken noodle soup. A hot bowl of this in your hands on a couch with the family is what I call comfort food. And don’t forget the blanket of course.

chicken noodle soup

Yes I know I’ve been making a lot of easy dishes lately. I don’t exactly want to scare you off Malaysian cooking. Buy hey, if you’re an adventurous cook, why not try my chicken rendang recipe here. You can also make it with beef but let me warn you, be prepared to stay in the kitchen for up to 4 hours! For now, here is the recipe for this amazingly yummy and easy soup.

RECIPE FOR CHICKEN AND PRAWN NOODLE SOUP WITH ASIAN GREENS

Serves: 3
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, quartered into chunks (this will then be shredded to serve)
1/2 kilo chicken neck/bones/carcass (this is only to make stock, will be thrown out)
12 prawns
2 cloves garlic
500g hokkien noodles (egg noodles)
1 bunch of Asian greens, Bok Choy or Choy Sum
2 cup vegetable stock (or 1 veg bullion)
3 cups water (or enough to cover chicken)
3 boiled eggs, halved
10 tofu puffs
1 packet of fish cake, sliced
Handful of bean sprouts
Handful of spring onions, sliced (for garnishing)
3 tsp fried shallots (for garnishing)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 birds eye chilli, cut
Salt and pepper, to taste

To make chicken broth:

1. Marinate the prawns with garlic and set aside.

2. In a stock pot, boil water with the chicken neck/bones along with the chicken breast chunks and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Remove excess chicken foam floating on the surface. Then leave to simmer for 40 minutes covered.

3. In a pan, sautee the marinated garlic prawns until evenly cooked through. Set aside.

4. Blanched noodles in warm water for a couple of minutes and strain. Set aside

5. Throw away chicken neck/bones as well as the 2 garlic cloves from the stock pot and remove the chicken breast pieces to a chopping board. Back to the stock pot; season with salt and pepper and add the cooked prawn pieces and asian greens. Give it a quick stir.

6. Turn off the stove but lid on.

7. In the mean time, slice the chicken breasts into thin long strips and divide them as well as the noodles, tofu puffs, fish cake slices, boiled eggs, bean sprouts, spring onions and fried shallots between 3 bowls.

8. Pour the hot soup and serve immediately. While pouring the soup, divide the poached eggs and prawns evenly between bowls. (Optional: Serve with chilli soy sauce.)

To make chilli soy sauce:

1. In a small serving bowl, combine soy sauce, chilli and sesame oil.

My tip for a tastier soup is to put one teaspoon of fried shallots in the pot just towards the end. It’ll be soggy, but boy, I tell ya…it adds a hint of shalloty flavour that simply bursts in your mouth!

Click ‘Read More’ to print the recipe and leave a comment.


  • Oct
  • 22
  • 2011

30 minute chicken curry

chicken curry rendang with roti canai

Making a traditional and authentic chicken curry would simply mean staying in the kitchen for hours, pounding fresh ingredients and so forth. These days, you’ll easily find a lot of the supermarkets selling curry powder and curry paste. But I wouldn’t recommend buying curry powder from your local western supermarket though. Try to get them from any Asian grocery or even at your Indian grocer. There are many types but I only prefer one. Baba’s Meat Curry Powder, made in Malaysia.

When I first got married to my Lebanese husband, my mother in law made a pot of chicken curry (bought locally). The taste? Well, it didn’t come close to a curry. But then again, I can’t blame her. She’s not familiar with Asian cuisine so she and the rest of the family enjoyed it thoroughly. I just ate in silence. One day, I introduced my version of chicken curry using Baba’s and she fell in love. The look on her face was priceless, it was as though she had not tasted good chicken curry in her life.

baba's

There are many types of chicken curry; dry, wet, yellow, red, brown etc. The different variety of curries made by Malay, Indian, Chinese, Indo also slightly differ from one another. This curry here, I would say its a mix between Malay and Indian. Its so yummy and literally done in 30 minutes (if you use small cuts of chicken). I usually make a big pot so I have leftovers. Serve it with some rice, prata (roti) or yellow glutinous rice and there you go,  a meal for the next 3 nights.

 

RECIPE FOR EASY MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY

Serves: 3
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

1/2 kilo chicken, cut into small pieces (with bones)
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
1 medium tomato, quartered (optional)
1/3 cup coconut milk
2-3 tbsp Baba’s curry powder (I like mine really hot so I use 5 tbsp)
2 cups water
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
4 tbsp oil

Method

1. Heat oil and sautee onions in a medium size pot. Add all the spices and tomato and fry until fragrant for about 5 mins.

2. Add the curry powder, chicken and water and cook on a medium heat for 15 mins.

3. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until well combined.

4. Season well with sugar and salt then simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

5. Serve with rice or pratha(roti/bread).

Click ‘Read More’ below to print the recipe and leave a comment.


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