Peanut lime chicken with beehoon

Beehoon = rice noodles. I love how we have different names for the various types of noodles, mee pok, mee kia, bee tai mak, beehoon and so many more. I love my Asian noodles and a nice good bowl of dry mee kia with extra vinegar always makes a bad day better. So when I chanced upon the rice noodles recipe by Smitten Kitchen , I jumped on it and never looked back. I have not included the recipe because I think the author at Smitten Kitchen did a fantastic job!

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All the ingredients needed for this amazing main!

Recipe by Smitten Kitchen. Do check out the website for the amazing recipe which I absolutely love! Made it so many times and still not sick of it.

Chicken couscous

Made this awhile back when I was madly obsessed with my whole wheat israeli couscous. The madness has died down a little but this dish still blows my mind in so many ways. I was a glutton the whole of last week and the guilt is finally setting in. Committed to eating clean this week before the Christmas feasting begins and everything goes downhill from there. But its the end of 2014, which has been a pretty spectacular year for me . So maybe its time to let my hair down and feel the guilt down my throat and on my hips. But you only live once, so why not do it without regrets?

INGREDIENTS

1 cup israeli couscous
1 cup and 2 tablespoons chicken stock
1/4 cup water
2 cups washed spinach
1 chicken breast
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes ( halved )
Black pepper
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Mix the chicken stock with water and boil in a pot. Add the couscous to the boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes. ( you could light stir fry the couscous with some minced garlic to add some flavour but I prefer it light )

2) Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with black pepper and bake at 170 degrees for 20 minutes

3) In a pan, add two tablespoons of chicken stock. Stir in the spinach till withered before turning off the fire. Mix in the cherry tomatoes and cooked couscous.

4) Cut the cooked chicken breast into bite size. Add it to the couscous mixture before stirring in the EVOO and balsamic vinegar.

Turkey meatballs

Writing this all the way from the current 3rd place holder of Lonely Planet’s, ‘Cities to Visit’ . The beautiful capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. Not enough is written about this great city. Besides being the home of my boy , it is absolutely beautiful and interesting. Every time I visit, I feel so welcomed and comfortable that overstaying is not an issue. So many interesting eats that I should probably document it all and post it. Today I found turkey at the supermarket which is uncommon in Singapore so I decided to make some meatballs. Turkey is a great source of protein and leaner and healthier meat choice.

INGREDIENTS

500g ground turkey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 white onion ( minced )
6 cloves garlic ( minced )
1 egg
Black pepper
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1) In a small pan, add the olive oil and heat it. Add in the onion and garlic. Fry till the onion softens and browns.

2) Mix the cooked onion and garlic, turkey , egg , soy sauce , tomato paste and black pepper in a large bowl. Mix till well combined.

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3) On a lined baking tray, use a spoon to form little tablespoon of meatballs and drop it on the tray

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4) Bake at 170 degrees for around 20 minutes or till the top of the meatball turns slightly brown

5) Remove the meatballs from the oven and gently pan fry for a few minutes to ensure that the meatballs dries up

Prawn dumplings (水饺)

Living alone in a foreign city helps you discover a new side to yourself. I never thought it was possible to miss Chinese food while living in a Chinese city but it happened. During my short stay in Shanghai, I craved for homemade Chinese food so much that I attempted to recreate the much missed dumplings which are very much different from those in China. For starters, the dumplings I am familiar with contains water chestnuts , prawn and pork while Chinese dumplings usually contains pork and chives. And the soup base is also vastly different, I eat my dumplings in a radish soup with loads of greens while in China its eaten dry with vinegar.The skin used for wrapping the dumplings is also different. There are so many differences that it makes me confused how two things with the same name could be so different. Here is a recipe which is actually by my Mum and its pretty darn awesome. And this are dumplings, my style.

INGREDIENTS

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500g minced pork ( try to use pork with a little fat in it )
10 water chestnuts ( peeled and chopped roughly )
10 dried mushrooms ( soak for about an hour before squeezing it dry and chop )
10 black fungus ( washed and chopped )
10 medium sized prawns ( deshelled and chopped roughly )
1 packet of dumplings skin ( I got the yellow ones which are thinner. DO NOT USE THE THICK WHITE ONES )
1/2 cup chives ( chopped roughly )
1/2 chicken bouillon cubed ( smashed into fine powder )
3 tbsp Shaoxing wine
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
White pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

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1) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix till all ingredients are well combined.

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2) Prepare a bowl of clean water . Take a dumpling skin and one full tablespoon of filling . Use the clean water to wet the inner rim of the skin ( the side with the filling ) before folding it together. Instead of using water, you can also use a beaten egg to ensure that the fold holds.

3) Place the folded dumplings in a large tray. I added mine to Radish soup and it was pretty awesome. Just bring the soup to a boil before adding it in. The dumplings will be ready in about five minutes. The dumplings should be dusted with extra flour if not cooked immediately.

Enjoy!

A very complex pesto

No this is not a very complicated recipe but the title is as such because I simply cannot think of how I should name it. This is a simple pesto recipe comprising of basil , almonds and tomatoes. To name it almonds , tomatoes and basil pesto would have too lengthy a title. Besides that, I found it difficult to decide which ingredient should be in the spotlight since all three are equally important in creating the texture and flavour of this pesto. The sauce should stay well for about 1- 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. Given that new seasons of my dramas have been released, this recipe is going to be a lifesaver.

Recipe adapted from Ohsheglows

INGREDIENTS

8 large tomatoes ( halved )
1 cup basil leaves ( rinsed & roughly chopped )
1/2 cup raw almonds
4 garlic cloves
Sea salt and black pepper for sprinkling

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Place the halved tomatoes on a baking tray. Sprinkle S&P over the halved tomatoes. Bake it at 220 degrees for 40 minutes.

2) Add the garlic cloves , basil leaves, roasted tomatoes and raw almonds into a blender. Blend till smooth.

I made some extra roasted tomatoes to be added separately when ready to eat.

Tomato couscous with roasted veggies

Risotto is a dish which requires loads of efforts and the first time I made it , I was almost ready to give up halfway through. My arms were aching from the constant stirring and it seemed like futile efforts since the rice showed little progress. But the product after an hour of stirring and pouring was just so amazing. I was craving for some risotto today but given the tight schedule I had , it was impossible to find time to make it.  I gathered what I had in my kitchen and created my very own version of couscous with a risotto texture and taste. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini ( cubed )
1 eggplant ( cubed )
1/2 red bell pepper ( sliced )
1/2 cup wheat pearl couscous ( washed and rinsed )
1/2 chicken stock
7.5 ounces whole peeled tomatoes ( with sauce to make up around 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic ( minced )
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

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1) Place all the cut vegetables in a large bowl. Add in one tbsp of EVOO ,red wine vinegar and dried spices. Mix till the vegetables are evenly coated.

2) On a lined baking tray, lay the vegetables on the tray. Ensure that each vegetable has sufficient space and there are no overlaps. This helps to ensure that each vegetable will be cooked evenly on all surface. Baked for 15 minutes at 220 degrees.

3) In a heat pot , add in one tbsp on EVOO. Stir in the minced garlic when the oil is heated up. Fry for about 3 minutes before adding in the couscous. Allow to couscous to mix with the garlic and fry for about 3 minutes.

4) Pour in 1/2 tomato sauce and 1/2 chicken stock into the pot. Allow it to simmer.

5) Using a spoon, gently mash the peeled tomatoes and mix it into the pot.

6) Similar as to when cooking risotto, constantly stir the couscous to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The couscous should be ready in about 20 minutes.

7) Add the roasted vegetables to the couscous and mix well.

SIngapore chicken quinoa

During my six months as an exchange student in Europe, I pride myself for being the only person in town who knew how to cook Hainanese chicken rice. Though it definitely helped that I was the only Singaporean in town. The general impression with this dish is that is too oily and unhealthy. In fact, I loved chicken rice a lot as a kid and that resulted in me being a really fat kid. So as I grew older and become more health conscious , I avoided eating chicken rice and it wasn’t till I went for exchange that I re-encountered wonderful dish. With a few tweaks, I managed to create a whole new healthy version of one of our symbolic dishes. The same taste with half the guilt !

 

Do note that you will need to boil the chicken a day in advance in order to allow the oil to coagulate for removal. 

INGREDIENTS

1 chicken thigh
2 cloves garlic ( minced )
1/2 cup quinoa ( rinsed )
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Salt the chicken thigh generously and allow it to marinate for around 20 minutes. 

2) Place the chicken thigh in a pot and add enough water to cover it. Cover the pot and bring the water to boil. Allow it to simmer at medium low heat for 20 minutes.

3) Remove the chicken thigh and allow both the soup and chicken to cool before placing it in the fridge. I usually do this the night before to allow the oil in the soup to coagulate. 

4) Remove the pieces of oil which have coagulated on the surface of the soup. 

5) In a heated pan, add the olive oil, garlic and quinoa. After two minutes, add in the soy sauce and sesame oil. Ensure that the quinoa is evenly coated with soy sauce and sesame oil.

6) Add in one cup of chicken soup into the quinoa. Allow it to cook for around twenty minutes.

7) Debone the chicken thigh and slice the meat. Ensure that the slices are not too thin.

8) Place the cooked quinoa in a serving plate with the cold chicken.

9) Say welcome to Singapore to your tastebuds!