Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spicy Sardines and Potatoes in Tomato sauce - A very Malaysian dish!


Do you have a can of sardine lying around? Or have you gone to the supermarket and wondered what in the world people do with canned sardines? Or are you just tired of having sardines the same old way? Well, this recipe will answer all those questions.


This spicy sardine or Sardin Sambal is very common within the Malaysian community; people always have a can of this lying around in their pantry. The brands I always use is called Ayam (as per my picture) because somehow it just taste much better than the rest. But that's just a personal preference  you can try it with any, might even be better! It can be eaten with bread, prata, rice, and I even know people who mix this sauce with pasta. Like I always say, this is the way I do it, you can always add and remove what you like from the recipe below and make it your own!

All you need is:
1 can of Sardines in Tomato sauce – although softened, I still remove the bones of the fish. Separate the fish and the sauce.
1 potato - cubed
1 large red onion - sliced
5 cloves of garlic - chopped
Thumb sized ginger – sliced
1 bay leave
1 lemon grass – bruised
2 table spoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of Aniseed
½ teaspoon of black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of chili powder – reduce to taste
½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 tomato – chopped
1 teaspoon of tamarind pulp
5 tablespoons of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Coriander – chopped

1)      Heat pan up, add oil and potatoes, fry till potatoes are brown, then add the onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and bay leave. Fry till onions go soft.
2)      Add the aniseed, mustard seeds and cumin. Fry for another 1 minute, then add the chopped tomatoes. Add the turmeric and chili powder.
3)      Pour in the tomato sauce (from the fish) and about 5 spoons of water and tamarind pulp.
4)      Stir fry everything, make sure the potatoes are cooked, and add the fish.
5)      Let everything stew for 5 minutes on reduced heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6)      Add chopped coriander and serve.

It’s easy to make and has this tangy spicy taste which goes well with any kind of bread or rice. It also goes really well with dhal and crunchy cucumbers!

What do you think? ( :

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Milky Aubergine Lentils (Dhal) – Perfect as a main or soup!


Lentils, Dhal or in Tamil Parupu is a staple diet in the Indian household. It’s eaten all the time with rice, all the different breads and even yummy in stews and salads. I always have this in my kitchen and when everything else fails, dhal saves the day! :p

This is a very Malaysian way of doing dhal and I added some aubergine to it. You could add any vegetables you have and mix them as you please. Seriously, this is a very easy yet yummy recipe.


All you need is :
1 cup of Australian lentils (dhal) - any other ones are fine too – boiled till soft ( this dhal takes longer to cook but I prefer the taste.
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ghee – or butter or olive oil
1 medium shallot – chopped
4 cloves garlic – chopped
Thumb sized ginger – chopped
1 lemon grass - bruised
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tomato - chopped
½ teaspoon of chili powder – optional
1 large aubergine (eggplant, brinjal) – cubed ( you could also pre grill this with olive oil if you have the time - I didn't)
½ cup cold milk
Chopped coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

1)      In a pot, put the soften lentils, turmeric and ½ cup of water and boil again (Boil everything to make creamy liquid)
2)      In a separate pan, heat the ghee up, add the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and fry for about 1 minute
3)      Then add the mustard seeds, cumin, tomatoes and aubergines. Add chili powder and stir fry till the aubergine looks soft.
4)      Take all ingredients in the pan and add it to the boiling lentils.
5)      Mix everything, add the milk, salt and pepper to taste and slow cook till everything is soft and cooked.
6)      Let everything thicken and finally add the coriander.


The lemon grass works really well with this dish. You can also make the dhal as silky smooth as you like, add more cream and drink it like a soup. I made mine a little chunky because I wanted that texture to go with my nan bread.

Trust me and try this please! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Basil Infused Mango and Prawn Salad - Lunch Box Treats!


If you personally know me, then you would know I love anything mango, and for those of you that have never met me, well now you do know a little bit more about me! I love it sliced, cubed, ice creamed, curried, dried heck I even lovee it in my shampoo!

So many kinds of mangoes out there that I can rave about but that will need a separate post on itself. Only because its that special to me. Anyways, this is a quick salad recipe, lovely for lunch or as a side. Plump prawns and the mango go so well together ( :

All you need is :
250g raw jumbo prawns
½ teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of sweet chili sauce
1 small shallot – finely chopped
A few Basil leaves - chopped
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 ripe mango - cubed
1 ripe avocado - cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

1)      Marinate the prawns with garlic, sweet chili sauce, shallots, basil and olive oil. Leave to marinate 30 minutes or so. Heat up a pan and dry fry all of it.


2)      Cube the mango and avocado
3)      Mix all together and add lemon juice, salt and pepper
4)      EAT! :p


It’s so easy a 3 year old can do it! *With supervision of coz :p Took me about 15 minutes to do it all and it was good. The basil really went nicely with the prawns and mango. This ones a keeper!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday Roast Served - BlackPepper Lamb Steaks with Dill Sweet Potato Wedges!!


Lavender and vanilla scented candles??? NO! My house was filled with the glorious smell of black pepper and dill yesterday! Aahhhhh .. You know how sometimes when you cook, you just know the food is going kick ass. This was one of my kick ass moments. Everything fell into place. I often over do my steaks and this time, I got it just right! The meat was medium done, melt in your mouth soft and juicy. You don’t believe me do ya? Well I didn’t … until I ate it .. and I kept eating it till it was all gone. To be fair, the hubbs did agree with me. It was like eating Gordon Ramsay’s roast he says .. or more like I said! hahah .. ok maybe he was being a little too kind! But I’ll take it! :p


This black pepper lamb steaks are so easy to do and like I said, it will kick any other grill’s ass! Recipe for the lamb and all sides are as below.

Black Pepper Lamb Steak
4 lamb steaks
3 tablespoon of black pepper sauce
½ teaspoon of minced garlic
1)      Marinate steaks, black pepper sauce and garlic for couple of hours.
2)      Heat up pan, a few drops of olive oil, and grill the lamb for about 3 minutes a side (I like mine medium)
3)      Leave to rest
4)      For the sauce; in the same pan, use the leftover marinate and the juices from the rested meat, 1 tablespoon of water, and let it thicken before you drizzle it back on your steaks!


Dill Sweet Potato Wedges
1 large Sweet Potato
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
Handful of fresh chopped Dill
Salt and pepper
1)      Mix all the ingredients, leave for 30 minutes and dry fry till cooked in a pan


Seriously! It can’t get any simpler!

Corn
2 medium Corn
1)      Boil for 5 minutes, and then grill with olive oil in a pan

Salad
Mix salad leaves
Cherry tomatoes
Tangerines
Pine nuts
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar
1)      Mix All salad ingredients together
·         I love adding fruits to my salad, just makes it a little more special I think.


EAT!

Everything really went well together and I am glad I mixed those flavors together. Must keep mixing! 

You like?  ( :

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunshine on a plate – A perfect Sunday Brunch!


So instead of the typical greasy English breakfast, I made this for brunch today and look how cute this salad is!


I think its sunshine on a plate because it has all the best ingredients ever! Juicy mango, salty bacon, sunny side egg, fresh and crunchy veg all drizzled in balsamic vinegar! A little bit of good .. A little bit of bad! Hhhhmmmm PERFECT for a Sunday brunch!

Here’s what you need!
Couple of bacon strips - grilled ( substitute with any other meat or tofu )
1 egg – fried or poached
Mango - diced
Cucumber – diced
Baby tomatoes – halved
2 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 drops of garlic juice

1)      Add the mango, cucumber, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic juice, salt and pepper. Keep aside for 10 minutes
2)      Layer the salad, bacon and egg
3)      EAT!


Did I say I love Sundays!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Egg Fried Pasta with Prawns and Mushrooms


Are you tired of the same old pasta with tomato sauce or creamy white sauce? Then stir-fry the damn thing!! Hahaha .. Coming from Malaysia and with all the glorious Chinese influence, I have tried to stir-fry almost everything. So have a look at my easy to make pasta stir fry with prawns, mix veg and eggs. Ideal for anytime of the day!

You would need:
250g boiled Fusilli pasta
250g raw prawns
1 tablespoon of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic – reduce to taste
3 large chestnut mushroom – sliced
Broccoli and cauliflower – or any veg in your fridge
2 eggs
2 teaspoon of chili paste
1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
2 teaspoons of dark soy sauce
Sesame oil – to drizzle at the end


1)      Boil the pasta – make sure it’s a little underdone as it will cook more when you stir fry – set aside
2)      Heat pan with olive oil, add garlic, chili paste mushrooms and prawns. Stir fry till everything browns a little
3)      Add veg, pasta, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and stir. Then add the eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and stir fry again
4)      Turn off heat, add a few drops of sesame oil and give it a good mix.

5)   EAT!


As easy as peas ..

Friday, February 22, 2013

Coriander & Lemon Grass Roast Leg of Lamb

Lamb is definitely one of my most favorite things in the world. If its in a stew or curry, the meat has to be so soft it drops out of the bone, and if its a roast, it has to be medium done. Most roast lamb recipes always include things like rosemary and red wine and all the typical ingredients. But this time I was craving for an Asian inspired roast lamb. So I opened up my fridge and took out all the Asian stuff I had :p

I really didn't know how this was going to turn out but I was willing to give it a go! Recipe as below ( ;

a nice cut of Lamb joint - for 2 people (remember the better the lamb quality, the better the taste)
1 bunch of coriander
1 lemongrass
1 small onion
5 cloves of garlic - add more if you like
3 birds eye chili - the really spicy one - reduce if you don't like it spicy
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Lemon wedges - to keep the roast moist
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Blend all the ingredients - except the lamb of coz!
2) Salt and pepper the lamb - and add marinate
3) Leave for a couple of hours or overnight
4) Roast at 200C for 40 minutes , then turn and roast another 40 minutes or so. Cook longer if you like it well done! and please increase time, if you use a bigger cut.

I also used up the balance juices to make a nice sauce. It was easy to make and goes with pretty much any sides.

This recipe actually turned out better than I expected and I think the next time I do it, I will add more chili to it. I am Malaysian after all!!

So whatcha think?? ( :

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Superlicious Spicy Sausage Casserole

I had to include the word superlicious because this dish was Yummy! yes, with a capital Y! I have been out the past 2 days for work and I know it sounds crazy as its only been 2 days, but I was already having cooking withdrawal symptoms! I do like my home cooked food.

Its been freezing cold here so a casserole was definitely a good idea. Recipe below ( :

6 large spiced sausages
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large red onion - chopped
1 small bulb of garlic - chopped (reduce to taste)
3 large chilies - chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of paprika 
1 can of chopped cherry tomatoes
3 sticks of celery - cubed
1 carrot cubed
10 cheshnut mushrooms - cut into halves
100ml chicken stock
1 can red kidney beans (use any beans you like)
1 spoon of corn flour
coriander - chopped
salt and pepper to taste


1) Heat up large pot, add olive oil, then add onions,garlic and chili. 
2) Add the sausages when the onions start to sweat. Brown the sausages and add the cumin, cinnamon and paprika
3) Throw in the celery,carrots, mushrooms and can of tomatoes. Stir for about 1 minute
4) Add the red kidney beans and chicken stock.
5) Simmer on slow heat for 45 minutes, salt and pepper to taste. Then add the corn flour to thicken up the sauce.
6) Finally add coriander and serve with mash, crusty bread or even rice.
*change as you please as this is my own recipe


So as the name suggest, it was super with super foods like beans,sausages, veg and delicious! and the leftovers is gonna be even better tomorrow! *bigwidehappysmile*

What do you think?!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Not your typical Waldorf Chicken Salad

So for dinner today, I was looking through some recipes and came across a chicken Waldorf salad recipe and was pretty excited to try it. Apparently the 4 main ingredients are celery, lettuce,apple and walnuts, in other words CLAW! lol . I had 2 out of 4 CLAW but decided to do it anyways!

the veg:
1 red apple - cut into small cubes
3 celery sticks - sliced thinly
carrots - cut into small cubes
baby tomatoes - cut into halves
1 small shallot - chopped finely
handful of pine nuts
handful of pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoon of light mayonnaise
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste - if needed

the chicken:
500g chicken thigh - diced
chopped garlic
olive oil
a little salt and pepper

1) Marinate the chicken,garlic,olive oil, salt and pepper for 30 minutes, dry grill and set aside. I decided to fry the garlic instead more taste instead of just adding it to the salad mix.


2) Marinate the cubed red apple with 1 spoon of mayonnaise and lemon juice, leave for 30 minutes aside


3) After 30 minutes, Mix all the chopped ingredients and the balance of 1 spoon mayonnaise together. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!




It was everything you want in a salad! Fresh,crunchy,sweet,sour,juicy and to top it off, the garlic grilled chicken was mouthwatering! What do you think? ( :


Friday, February 15, 2013

Blue Crab In Creamy Coconut Sauce ( Ketam masak Lemak)


I cook crabs in their shell very rarely as my husband think its such a waste of time going through the whole process when you only get one handful of meat after 1 hour of vigorous peeling! But he is not Asian you see. He doesn't really understand the concept of sitting on the dining table ( or in front of the tv ), with the whole family and spending time digging out the sweeeet juicy white meat. Me on the other hand, when it comes to crabs, I get very Malaysian. We spread a newspaper on the table, put our plate of crabs in the middle and go crazy enjoying every drop of juice which runs through your fingers. BEST!! 

Below are all the ingredients I had at home. I didn't really follow any recipe so this is all mine. It taster good so I am sharing. You can use any meat with the same sauce ingredients. 

1kg blue crabs – cleaned
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large shallots - diced
5 cloves of garlic - diced
1 lemon grass – bruised
1 teaspoon of ginger - dices
1 teaspoon of shrimp paste ( belacan )
1 teaspoon of chilli powder (more if you want)
1 teaspoon of oyster sauce
1 tomato - diced
100ml coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of chopped coriander

1)      Clean the crab, cut into half, wash with salt and keep aside
2)      Heat up pan with oil, throw in shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and shrimp paste. Fry for couple of minutes till brown
3)      Add the chili powder, oyster sauce, coconut milk on semi heat.
4)      Once the oil separates from the paste, add the crab and stir till crabs are cooked.
Add chopped coriander, serve hot with rice.


The coconut sauce paste

Stir Fry all together


TaaDaa!! All ready ( :
So what was cooking it your kitchen?


Thursday, February 14, 2013

This Valentines, Love Yourself A Lil More!


A few years ago someone told me in order to live a happy and fulfilled life, one has to learn to love themselves first. Not your partner, not your family, not your friends, not your pets, nothing else but yourself. 
Easier said than done I think.

I have always been a person who will put my loved ones first in any situation and take the hit if I needed to. I would save £500 just to buy a gift for someone and think 100 times if I should spend £50 on myself. I would drive 2 hours in the middle of the night to meet someone if they needed me but I would happily sleep in pain because I cant be bothered. I would buy groceries and cook if someone needs it but here I am skipping my lunch for the past week due to work.

So like I said, its not easy to love yourself more. Or maybe its me .. I can never seem to put myself first. Maybe I get it from my mother, but then I have seen people she love, people that she has done so much for, throw it back at her face and hurt her. So is this why people say love yourself more and when something bad happens, you wont feel as crappy?

Its all about trying to love and appreciate yourself more so you can love and appreciate others fully. Let go of all our anger, all our worries, all our mistakes and all our failings. Forgive ourselves for the things we are not proud of and humbly change for the better. We need to stop being negative, make peace with our self and people around us. We need to be kind to our self more and appreciate our self more. STOP JUDGING! You are not that bad after all. 

Again, all this is easier said then done. but in order to be truly happy, one must try.... and keep trying..

This valentines I wish for true happiness  Not the kind gifts or cards give you, but the kind where you can wake up everyday saying ahh it feel like valentines everyday. 


I wish for more love, more joy, more happiness and more patience to achieve it.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Crispy Fried Chicken Drummets

So for dinner today, all I had was some chicken drummets, and after much contemplation ( if I should do an easy stir fry or some black pepper sauce), I decided to go all out and make some crispy fried chicken wings. plus the last time I ate fried chicken was somewhere during Christmas, so I am allowed my dose of unhealthy-ness!

This is definitely not a dish to be eaten everyday, but better to do this yourself than buy it from a disgusting chicken and chip shop. I always have this image of these restaurant cooks frying just about almost anything in that fryer using years of unchanged burnt oil! A little over exaggerated but you get my flow.

Now back to the recipe,

The batter:
4 tablespoon of Plain Flour
4 Tablespoon of Corn Flour
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
salt to taste
100ml Cold water


The Chicken drummets - about 15
Oil to fry
Salt and pepper for seasoning

1) Wash and pat dry all the drummets, add a little salt and pepper
2) Beat all the batter ingrediance together
3) Coat the drummets with the batter and shallow fry till golden and crispy



4) Enjoy with sweet chili dip or ranch dip

It was crispy and a hint of chili which gave more flavor to the chicken. If you have a good batter recipe, let me know. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Must try Creamy Lamb Meatball Curry


Lamb Meatball with Chestnut Mushroom and Black Eye Peas Curry

For the meatball:
250g minced lamb
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 egg
2 spoons of plain flour
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
Salt and pepper to taste


For the curry paste
Olive oil
1 large onion
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1 lemon grass – bruised
½ teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of fenugreek
10 curry leaves
4 cardamom pods
4 cloves
3 table spoon of curry powder
1 table spoon of chilli powder
½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 large tomatoes – cut in cubes
½ pint water
¼ pint milk – I use fresh milk instead of coconut milk

Extra
1 can of black eye peas
As much chestnut mushrooms
Coriander leaves

Mix all the meatball ingredients together, make into small balls and fry in olive oil. Keep aside.
For the curry, use the same pot as you fried the meatballs (remove access oil), fry the onion, garlic, ginger and lemon grass.
Once a little brown, add the cumin, fenugreek, curry leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and cook for further 1 minute.
Then add the curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric. Keep stirring for 30 seconds and add the chopped tomatoes.
Once you smell the aroma of everything, add the water, milk, meatballs, mushrooms and black eye peas.
Reduce heat and let it simmer and thicken.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Once thick, add some coriander and serve with rice or bread!

I also made Jeera (cumin) rice. Didnt know what to expect as its my first time trying it and it turned out well. 
1 cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon of ghee
1 medium sized shallot
2 teaspoon of cumin
Salt and pepper

Cook the Basmati rice separately. If you are worried about the starch like me, add about 4 cups of water to 1 cup rice, boil till cooked and strain it and keep aside.
Add the Ghee to a pot, fry the shallots and cumin, once brown, add cooked rice, a bit of salt and pepper and stir it.
DONE!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Drumsticks with a bulb of roasted Garlic, Paprika and Lemon Thyme Sweet Potato Wedges and Cucumber and Corn Coleslaw (my triple C salad) - NOW THAT'S A MOUTHFUL!


So I have been cooking a lot lately and it’s such a great stress relief for me. I absolutely LOVE IT! I did this Grilled Chicken Teriyaki Drumsticks with a bulb of roasted Garlic, with Paprika and Lemon Thyme Sweet Potato Wedges and Cucumber and Corn Coleslaw (my triple C salad). Yummy?? Yes it was, if I may say so myself. :p

Now for the chicken,
4 pieces of chicken drumstick
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
3 teaspoons of dark soy sauce
A nice splosh of Teriyaki sauce
A few drops of sesame oil (optional)
Some Olive oil – to the roasting pan base
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
Salt and black pepper to taste

Leave to marinate and bake at 200 degrees for 30mins, turn the chicken and further bake for 30mins. Roast a bulb of garlic as well, cut the top, sprinkle some sea salt and olive oil.

The wedges came out absolutely gorgeous too! Get a couple of sweet potato, wash and remove all dirt, cut into wedges, add salt, pepper, a good handful of smoked paprika, lemon thyme and let to marinate for 20 mins. Heat up a pan, a bit of olive oil and dry fry the wedges in slow fire. Once they are cooked, crank up the fire for a crispy skin.

I didn’t have carrots to make the usual coleslaw so I substituted it with some fresh corn. Also left the cucumber chunky. Some salt, pepper, light mayo, lemon juice and done.

A happy tummy makes a happy heart! <3 o:p="">