Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Overnight Irish Style Steel Cut Oat Porridge

An easy, healthy breakfast cooked overnight in a slow-cooker waterbath. When you get up in the morning, just scoop it out, pour skimmed milk over and throw in your favorite toppings.

Unlike rolled oats which have been processed, steamed and roll-pressed over, steel-cut oat is oat in its (almost) original unprocessed form. As such, it takes a long time to cook through. The normal method of cooking it over the fire means you have to watch over it and stir it through a long while.

This blog shows in detail how it can be cooked easily -

I do it slightly differently. Instead of using a bowl, I sit one serving of oat in a regular coffee mug in the slow-cooker. Our slow-cooker can hold up to two mugs - one for hubby, one for me.


- Scoop 3 level tbsp of steel-cut oat or hulled oat into a coffee mug
- to rinse the oat, turn the tap on and let a little water run through the oat, and gently drain the water away
- turn the tap on and fill the mug till 3/4 full
- most of the oat will settle to the bottom, some grains will float
- add a dash of cinnamon powder
- if you like some sweetness, add no more than 1 tsp of brown sugar
- pop the mug into a slow-cooker which is about 3/5 way filled with water
- cover the glass lid and leave the slow-cooker on low heat
- go to bed ...  Zzzzzzz
- the oat porridge is ready when you get up in the morning
- scoop it out and top with skimmed milk to get the consistency you like, and add dried fruits such as raisins or cranberries. You can also add sliced bananas to your oat porridge.


(note : it is not easy to get steel-cut oat here in SG and not all organic store stock it. Steel-cut oat is also expensive so I have switched to using hulled oats. I get them from Supernature )

***Update : the pharmacy/shop at level 1 of Tan Tock Seng Hospital has this in stock too!

Roast Chicken (spicy thai style)

Yumz ...
an old recipe I tried.

I originally used this recipe on chix wings, and they are a hit at potluck parties. I tried the marinade on a whole bird, and baked some veggies with the marinade.

Roast Chicken (spicy Thai style)
  • Whole chicken (a 1.5 kg chicken will take 55 minutes; 1.6kg chicken - 1 hour; 1.8 kg, 65-70 minutes) (remove head)
  • Chopped garlic (5-6 cloves)
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • soya sauce or fish sauce to taste
  • black pepper (more, more, more)
  • chili padi to your liking
  • chopped corriander root (you can keep the leaves for the roasted veggie. What you need here is the section of root near base where it is still green up to just before you reach the wiggly root area) (for a whole chicken, 3 sections of it will be nice)
  1. To prepare the marinade, mix all the wet & dry ingredients well
  2. Pat marinade all over (and inside) chicken (the turmeric powder leaves a yellow pungent stain on your hands, so to avoid that, slip your hands into plastic bags or gloves)
  3. For best results, leave overnight (in a plasstic bag, and move contents around at least once or twice)
  4. Preheat oven to 190 degrees
  5. Roast the chicken (a 1.5 kg chicken will take 55 mins, 1.6kg - 1 hr, 1.8kg - 65-70mins)
  6. Check on chicken midway through, turn over***
  7. To check for doneness, prick right through and meat juice should be clear (if pink, chicken is not done yet)
  8. Enjoy ! If you like, squeeze lemon juice over, just before serving.
*** at this stage, you can pour out some of the meat juice (which is oily) and stir through a roasting pan which is already filled with potatoes (boiled till soft, and exterior fluffed up with a fork), carrots (ditto) and sliced lemon (important!). Bake in the oven (side by side with the chicken) for the rest of the roasting time :)

Pan Roasted Vegetables, with Lemons

Cabbage & Chicken Rice

yummy lup cheong ... atop rice in claypot

This is one easy rice-cooker recipe I can remember very well. I like it alot, it's easy, tastes very homey and comforting, and is a meal by itself. Great TV lunch or TV dinner :)

Most of the portions are based on 'agar-a-tion'.

Cabbage & Chicken Rice (for 2)
  • 4 chicken wings (or 2 small chicken thighs) chopped up (marinate with 1 tbs dark soya sauce, pepper, 1 tbs hua-tiao wine, 1 tbs sesame oil, some soya sauce)
  • cabbage shredded into large pieces (for 2 persons, allow for a cabbage head that's around the size of your fist x 4 times)
  • hae-bi (dried prawns) (1 tbs)
  • 3 bulbs of shallot and 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 4 slices of ginger (sliced thinly)
  • 2 pcs dried shitake (chinese) mushroom, sliced (soak in warm water till soft) (keep the water for use later)
  • 1 waxed sausage (better still if you have waxed liver sausage) (to peel off the waxed paper, briskly dip in hot water and peel off the 'skin')
  • rice grains (washed) (1 1/4 cup)
  • cooking oil (1.5 tbs)
  • condiments : chopped chili padi in olive oil and soya sauce, and chopped spring onions and cilantro (chinese parsley)
  1. Heat up the wok, and fry the ginger till dry and very fragrant
  2. Add in the hae-bi, shallots and garlic and fry till fragrant (but do not burn the garlic as it will turn bitter)
  3. Add in mushroom slices, fry till fragrant
  4. Add in chicken pieces and fry till half-cooked
  5. Then add in the cabbage and fry till half-cooked
  6. Turn off the heat
  7. Pour contents into rice cooker, and stir in the uncooked rice grains. Stir through evenly
  8. Add in 1 cup of water (mixed with the leftover 'mushroom soak')
  9. Turn rice cooker on, and when the rice is cooked, quickly add in the sliced waxed sausages
  10. Stir through, and serve with condiments

Peach Teacake

I rarely get in the mood for baking as I find it quite labourious - precise measurements on the ingredients, followed by washing up.

My recipe is modified from the Sheila's Pudding recipe found in Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef Takes Off. Mine isn't heavy like a pudding, and is more like a cake.

The ingredients :
  • 1 can of peaches
  • 1/2 cup sugar**
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g butter (unsalted)
Note : oven to be pre-heated to 180 degree celsius
**you can lessen the sugar amount and add in some syrup leftover from the canned peaches, and in which case, you should add a little more flour
  • Grease the baking pan with some butter, and dust with some flour. Lay the peach halves into the pan

  • In a bowl, add the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla essence

  • Whisk the ingredients till light & fluffy

  • Add the flour (sift it)

  • Fold the flour in, and mix thoroughly

  • Spread the mix over the peaches and even it out

  • Bake at 180 degree celsius for 45 mins . The pretty patterns on the surface are due to lesser batter that sit over where the peaches are, so if you want your cake to look pretty, arrange the peach halves well in the pan first

  • Remove from oven, and serve with hot custard or something cold, like vanilla ice-cream

  • Burp!

Wait! If you still have some syrup left from the canned peaches, use it in place of sugar for your morning or afternoon tea. Mmmmmmmmmm ...

Hotcakes and scones

Picture taken from Morinaga website
How about some hotcakes to start off your day? mmm... Morinaga hotcake mix from Japan -  I heard it was cheaper back in Japan - each pack carries four 200g sachets. Each sachet is sufficient to make several hotcakes.

Morinaga had this *cool* video that shows you how to make and flip the pancakes - I'm not sure if it's still there. It was still quite a thrill even if you dont understand Japanese. Have fun cracking the egg open and pouring the milk in, and also flip through the pages of the 'book' in the video. There's a story weaved in, but I havent quite figured it out yet. Go to the Morinaga website, and tinker around.

I was quite amazed when Ollie shared with me that hotcake mix can be used to make more than just hotcakes, as this recipe book would tell you too. Nevertheless, I did try a Scone recipe that she shared with me sometime back. I didn't have my digicam so there're no pics, but here's the recipe. Oh, and I haven't made any hotcakes yet.

Plain Scones (from hotcake mix)
  • 200g Morinaga hotcake mix
  • 50g butter (unsalted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
  2. Rub* butter and hotcake mix till texture is crumbly
  3. Mix milk into egg
  4. Make a well in the bowl of rubbed flour+butter n pour in liquids
  5. Mix into a dough
  6. Wrap dough in a cling wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30mins
  7. Remove dough from fridge
  8. Dust a little plain flour on tabletop
  9. Roll out the dough on this surface (you can use your palm) (dough still in cling wrap)
  10. Roll to thickness of 2cm
  11. And cut out using cookie cutters
  12. Dust baking tray with flour** (no need to grease)
  13. Place the cut-out dough pieces some distance apart on the baking tray
  14. Bake for 15mins
  15. Enjoy the scones fresh from the oven, with berry jam, cream, tea or coffee!

*use just your fingertips as they are the coolest part of your hands
**there's no need for too much flour as I learnt

Serious orange cake

I chanced upon this cake recipe which Chubby Hubby had taken from Damien Pignolet's Serious Orange Cake recipe in his cookbook French.

The recipe called for the ingredients to be measured out by weight. I didn't have a kitchen scale then, and thus spent a good part of one night trying to figure out how to measure the ingredients out using a 250 ml cup.

Here's the recipe, with my own notes in blue and at the bottom of this post. I didnt have all the ingredients, and thus made some minor adjustments here and there.

This cake is good ! Serious ! Citrusy, bitter-sweet, moist. I think I could have added more alcohol than the recipe called for.

Serious Orange Cake

  • 1 orange*, weighing around 150g, washed well and diced, pips removed
  • 200g sugar (or 4/5 cup of sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour, sifted (or 1 cup + 3 tbsp of flour)
  • a small pinch of salt
  • 180g butter, melted and cooled a little
orange syrup
  • 60ml orange juice (roughly the juice yielded from 1 other orange)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice**
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons Cointreau***
  1. Preheat the oven to 170ÂșC.
  2. Grease and line a 24cm diameter springform cake tin**** with baking paper.
  3. Place the diced orange in the bowl of a food processor# with the sugar and process until very smooth.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  5. Add the flour and salt and combine for 30 seconds.
  6. With the machine running, add the butter all at once.
  7. Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes****; test for doneness by inserting a bamboo skewer--it should emerge clean and dry.
  8. While the cake is cooking, make the orange syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the orange and lemon juices and the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the Cointreau to taste and simmer for 1 minute more.
  9. When the cake is ready, remove from the oven but leave in the tin to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Use a bamboo skewer to pierce the cake all over, then slowly spoon the syrup over the cake and leave until completely cool before turning out.

* use the whole orange, including the skin (this gives the cake the slight bitter tangy flavour)
** I didnt have lemons, so I skipped this
*** I didnt have Cointreau, and used 2 tbsp Bacardi Dark Rum in its place.
**** I used a 21 cm baking tin (non-springform, i.e. the normal kind), and since the tin is smaller (meaning the ingredients are less spread out), I baked the cake longer - for 50 mins. I think you can try up to 55 mins too if you care to watch over the oven.
# I used a hand-blender, as the bowl for food processor is too small to hold all the ingredients. With the hand-blender, I could blend the ingredients in a oversized bowl.

Fusili with walnut pesto

I've always loved pesto. My first taste of it was in Amsterdam (back in 1997!) where I was backpacking with 5 others, and we stayed at this B&B place. The owner 'kindly' offered 'homemade' dinner for us at a charge, and promised roast chicken. We think the roast chicken was bought from the supermarket. The rice he cooked was too wet and mushy, and he served the meal with pesto, and raw onions(?). But the pesto went really well with the hot steaming rice, and I've loved the taste since. However as some of you might know, bottled pesto is really pricey here, which is why I don't take it often. It is also pricey to make at home, considering that pine nuts and fresh basil leaves don't come cheap.

So I was glad to learn this walnut-based pesto recipe from a 'Healthy Cooking Class' conducted at my workplace sometime back. At least walnuts are cheaper. I tried the recipe out at home, with slight modifications.

Walnut Pesto (makes 2 cups)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated*
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or more if you like
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Blend the walnuts, basil, cheese and garlic in a food processor, until finely chopped
  2. Pour in chicken stock, and olice oil and blend to a smooth consistency
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste
  4. Yields 2 cup portions. 1 cup is sufficient for 2 persons. Store** the other portion in the fridge for another day(to use within the week***)
* I used Cheddar as I couldn't get Parmesan cheese. (please do not substitute with mozarella !)
**When storing in a glass bottle for use on another day, top off the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to keep fresh
*** You can use Pesto over hot steaming rice - yummy !

Fusili Pasta with Walnut Pesto (2 servings)
  • Fusili (200g), boiled for 8 mins or till al dente
  • Thai baby asparagus (cut into sections, and blanched) (or broccoli, blanched first)
  • Chicken breast meat#
  • Plain Yogurt (1 cup) (optional but gives a yummier and creamier taste)
  1. Warm the pesto in a pan (no need to add oil)
  2. Add asparagus and pasta. Mix & combine well
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste
  4. Top off with chicken meat, and some grated cheese
# Season the meat with salt & pepper and cook till golden brown on a hot griddle or pan. When done, slice & set aside. Instead of chicken breast meat, I topped off my pasta with some roasted garlic teriyaki wings. A good delicious option would be roast chicken from the supermarket - just shred the meat and toss. 

Let's get started with toasted walnuts

Blending the pesto to a smooth paste
Homemade Pesto!
Ready to eat

Wasabi Potato Salad

Here's a recipe I adapted from My Little Cyberspot. It's simple, yet delicious. I did this for a Christmas potluck with some friends and kids, and I had promised to bring along some potato salad.

In went 3 medium-sized boiled potatoes, 8 prawns boiled and cut into chunky halves, 2 boiled eggs, Kewpie Japanese mayo (to taste), black pepper, chopped spring onions and about 1 finger length of Wasabi paste (I used the tube kind, thus the measurement in 'length'). I also added 1 Japanese cucumber chopped up into cubes for the c-c-c-c-runch. It was a nice combi of creaminess, spicy zing and sweetness. I think it still lacked some tartness, so I could perhaps add some chopped up gherkin-pickles next time.

Too much carbo right? And I must have my meat. So I panfried some fillet of chicken breast, marinated with teriyaki sauce. This was eaten alongside the potato salad.
Good good ... ^-^

Dry laksa

Here's a version I tried replicating at home that time, and it tastes GOOD !

Dry Laksa (serves 2-3)
  • Thick bee hoon (rice noodles), 500g
  • Woh Hup Instant Laksa Paste, 2 heaped tbsp
  • Laksa leaves (NOT curry leaves), 1/2 cup before chopping (from this 1/2 cup, chop them finely)
  • Crabstick (about 10 pieces)
  • Tau-pok (Unicurd squares) (use about 8 squares)
  • 1 Japanese cucumber (cut into thin slivers or use a shredder)
  • 10 fishballs
  • 10 tiger prawns, deshelled *
  • 2 or 3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters **
  1. Have 2 large plates ready, and 1 pot of water brought to boil
  2. Boil the tau-pok, and set aside on plate 1
  3. Blanche the crabstick, and set aside on plate 1. Do not overcook the crabsticks
  4. Boil the fishballs (and prawns), and set aside on plate 1
  5. Slice the tau-pok and crabstick (but not too finely), and return these ingredients to plate 1
  6. Using the same pot of boiling water, blanche the rice noodles for about 1 minute plus (taste to check texture and done-ness). Remove, drain, and set on plate 2 (the serving plate)
  7. Spoon the laksa paste over the hot noodles and stir thoroughly, together with the laksa leaves
  8. Arrange the other ingredients on top of the noodles and serve
*which I couldn't get at the supermarket cos I was too early !?!
** I didn't use eggs, cos I had already eaten my quota for that day during breakfast. This dish will taste good with eggs, as the yolk would disintegrate to form a somewhat creamy texture with the laksa paste

Chocolate muffin (basic)

Made these on the spur of the moment one lazy afternoon. I was browsing through my kitchen store, and after a quick check on the internet, I rehashed some basic recipes and came up with this for chocolate flavoured cupcakes.

Here’s the recipe:

Choco Cupcakes (basic)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 125g butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk, plus a little more splash of milk if needed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder + 1/2 a pack of instant coffee powder
  • 2/3 chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor (except for the milk & chips), and pulse to ensure mixture is even. Add milk towards the end, and pulse a little more
  3. Pour into 12 cupcake cases (or 8 large muffin cases), and bake for 15 mins
  4. Done !

Mango puree with sago beads

There's a very elegant name to this refreshing dessert, but I cannot remember what!

With leftover pomelo from an earlier after-dinner serving of fruits, I toss them in together with mango puree, some mango juice and sago beads that had been boiled till clear. It tasted even better after having sat in the fridge overnight.

Chocolate brownie muffin

I've not really put my new oven to the real test. It came with my new home, and I was doubtful about its quality since it was not something I chose. The oven comes with a blow-fan feature which I am unfamiliar with, and I only know, with Ollie's advice, that baking-times need to be reduced for such ovens.

True enough, I overdid my first set of bakes with the oven - cornflake cookies over the CNY period

I finally mustered up enough enthusiasm and excitement to make some chocolate brownie muffin. I had been trying to get hold of recipes that could yield rich, fudgy choco muffins, much like those from my favourite bake-shop in Shunfu.

I adapted the following from Happy Home Baking, whose blog I have been following.
I used lesser cocoa powder, brown sugar (instead of white) and also used smaller cupcases.

The result? - Yummy, rich and these are actually really brownies. Wonder what a pinch of baking powder might do...?

80g butter
150g dark eating chocolate, chopped
100g brown sugar
(melt the above 3 items over indirect heat)

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g plain flour
1 tsp cocoa powder
A handful of chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 200 degC.

Line baking tray with cupcases.

Sift together flour and cocoa powder, set aside.

Melt butter, sugar and chocolate over indirect heat.

Transfer chocolate mixture to a mixing bowl.

Stir in the liquids gradually (eggs, vanilla essence), followed by the flour+cocoa powder+choc chips mixture.

Stir till just incorporated (do not overstir).

Divide batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 15 mins or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cheese baked rice


Cheese baked rice in the making.

topping up in layers
- bottom layer - garlic-buttered rice
- next - spaghetti sauce with minced meat & mushroom
- next - japanese mayo
- finally - cheddar cheese and mozarella

Remember the tabasco sauce for spicy tanginess!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lemon lime muffin

1 cup butter, softened or melted
1.5 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup plain yogurt
2.5 cups flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tsp lemon or lime peel, grated
Additional sugar and 1/4 cup lime juice

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth
  2. Add eggs and beat well
  3. Add lemon extract and mix well
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
  5. Add this alternately with lime juice, mixing thoroughly after each addition
  6. Mix in the grated peel
  7. Fold in the yogurt
  8. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake at 180degrees for about 15min or until a wooden pick comes out clean
  9. Cool for about 15min, then dip in lime juice and granulated sugar

Chilled yogurt cheesecake


For the base,
  • suggest to use a round mould - get those with removable bottom
  • 200g marie buscuits / digestive / oreo biscuits (finely milled)
  • 100g melted butter
      (combine base ingredients together and press firmly onto the base. Keep chilled)

For yogurt cheese,
  • 20g gelatin powder
  • 200ml peach syrup from canned peaches
  • 2x250g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 160g castor sugar
  • 1 can of peaches (cut into small pieces)
  • 300g plain yogurt
  1. double-boil gelatine powder with peach syrup, keep stirring it to make sure all gelatin powder is dissolved. Leave to cool well
  2. beat cream cheese and castor sugar till fluffy
  3. add in yogurt, then peaches. Mix well.
  4. add (1) to the mixture
  5. mix well and pour into the biscuit base. Keep chilled for 3 hrs to set the mixture

Yogurt panna cotta with strawberry coulis


for panna cotta,
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2.5 tsp unflavoured gelatine powder
  • 1 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod)

for the coulis,
  • 400g strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. pour 1/4 cup water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin powder. Let stand for 10min
  2. for the panna cotta, put the cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Using the point of a knife, scrape the vanilla seeds into the saucepan before adding the pod. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Then bring to scalding point. Remove from heat and lift out vanilla pod
  3. Add in gelatine mixture and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in yogurt and mix until smooth
  4. Strain the cream mixture through a fine sieve if necessary and divide into 8 serving dishes such as ramekins, glasses, cappucinno cups, martini glasses. Ensure you leave a little gap at the top. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 4 hrs to set
  5. For the coulis, heat the strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and 2 tbsp of water into saucepan. Simmer on medium heat for 4 - 5 min then remove from heat
  6. blend the strawberry mixture until smooth then pour the coulis into a sieve. Drizzle the coulis over the panna cotta. Chill for 30min and decorate with sliced strawberries or fresh raspberries and blurberries before serving
Emmi - my favourite brand for plain yogurt!

Chicken vindaloo

  • 500 gm chicken pieces

(A) :
  • 6 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pounded garlic
  • 1 tbsp pounded ginger
  • 1 tsp concentrated chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 sachet of curry chicken paste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 stalk corriander leaves

  1. marinade the chicken pieces with ingredients (A) for several hours, or preferably overnight
  2. heat oil and fry onion till fragrant and soft
  3. add curry leaves, tomato and curry paste; fry till aromatic
  4. add in chicken, ketchup and water. Cook and simmer until gravy is slightly thick and chicken is cooked and tender
  5. add seasoning if required. Garnish with corriander leaves and serve with rice or bread

Okra masala

Okra, or lady's fingers as they are better known in this part of the world. Yummy to some, detested by others for their slimy texture. Check out their health benefits here -

  • 300gm okra, cut into 3cm
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 stalk corriander leaves, sliced
  • 1 green chili, sliced
  • Maggi cukuprasa
  1. Pan fry okra for 2 minutes and remove from pan
  2. Stir fry onion and tomato till fragrant
  3. Add chili powder, yogurt, sliced chili and Maggi Cukuprasa
  4. Return okra to the pan and fry for 2min

Chili chicken with avocado sauce

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 bonless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • 1 large avocado (look for those with brown skin)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh corriander
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  1. Combine chili powder and cumin
  2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and coat with spices
  3. Peel avovado and cut into chunks
  4. In a blender, combine avocado, yogurt, garlic, water, lime juice, salt and corriander
  5. mix until smooth
  6. brown chicken in olive oil, 2min a side
  7. cover, lower heat and cook until just done, about 3min
  8. place chicken on plate and top with avocado sauce

Yogurt cheese spread

Ever heard of 'yogurt cheese'? I've not, until now.

The below recipe is adding on to a basic yogurt cheese and making it into a scrummy dip or spread.

  • 2 tbsp chopped nuts
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tsp grated orange or lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 garlic clove, mashed
  • a pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  1. to make the yogurt cheese, drain 500g plain yogurt in a coffee filter-lined colander set over a bowl in the fridge overnight
  2. combine cheese with all the ingredients
  3. chill it for up tp 3 hrs
  4. serve at room temperature as a spread for toasted bread. Accompany with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and olives as toppings, and a sprig of dill if you will.

Chicken salad with yogurt dressing


  • 200g plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped spring onion
  • 1.5 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar or to taste
  • 1.5 tsp granulated chicken stock (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp ground white pepper

  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 cups shredded roast chicken meat
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced

  1. Mix ingredients for dressing well and set aside
  2. in another bowl, combine the salad ingredients
  3. add dressing, toss well and serve immediately

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Seafood Gratin

Aren't ramekin dishes cute?

This is a relatively simple dish to make.

  • 200g squid, cut into rings
  • 200g salmon fillet, cut into chunks
  • 8 medium prawns, leave tail on
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 120g mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 5 tbs panko crumbs, divided
  • 2-3 stalks of flat leaf parsley

  1. Preheat oven to grill mode. Set the rack as close to the top as possible
  2. Pat the seafood very dry
  3. In a bowl, add seafood and pepper. Mix well. Set aside
  4. Mix mayonnaise and mustard. Set aside
  5. Line a shallow baking tray with aluminium foil (to catch the drips when the gratin overflows)
  6. Have ready gratin dishes (4 small ones, or 2 medium sized ones)
  7. Divide 2tbsp of the panko crumbs into the dishes
  8. Mix half the mayonnaise mixture with the seafood. Divide the seafood into the dishes (the prawns should go on top).
  9. Spoon the rest of the mayonnaise mixture over the seafood. Sprinkle the remaining panko crumbs over.
  10. Place dishes into oven. After 3 minutes, rotate the dishes and cook another 2-3 min
  11. Remove from oven and let rest for 3min
  12. Sprinkle with parsley