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

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Apple Moscato

Next week is going to be a really crazy week for me. The last mad rush before I am back with him. No better way to prep myself for the craziness than a glass of sweet wine before it all begins. My original intention was to make some Sangria but due to the lack of ability to get my lazy ass back to the supermarket , the idea had to be dropped. I remembered a strawberry Moscato that a friend brought to a party which turned out to be pretty darn good ( the wine of course ). So I thought why not do the same with whatever I have ? The result was a refreshing apple and passion fruit wine which was refreshing and just the right amount of sweetness. Though I might considering adding a stick of cinnamon the next time.

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle Moscato
2 green apples
2 red apples
1 passion fruit

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Slice the apples thinly and place it in a jug. Halve the passionfruit and add it the fruit to the jug. Pour in the Moscato.

2) Allow the mixture to sit for around 6 hours or more before serving.

Pumpkin soup

So I mentioned a while ago about buying a pumpkin and attempting to finish it by myself. As part of my quest to finish it, I made pumpkin soup. The first time I tried pumpkin soup, I absolutely detested the taste of it. It was too sweet and completely goes against the concept of soup I was familiar with. I am more a savoury than sweet person. So when I found this recipe, I made a few minor tweaks to it to cater to my taste. But feel free to stick to the original recipe if you prefer a sweeter soup.

Adapted from recipe by A Spicy Perspective

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup pumpkin flesh
7.5 ounce cannellini beans
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 white onion ( peeled and diced )
1 tbsp olive oil
1 green chilli ( deseeded and chopped )
4 cloves garlic ( minced )
Salt & black pepper
Shredded cheese ( any type )

INSTRUCTIONS

1) In a heated pot, add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Stir till the onion is softened before adding in the green chilli. After stirring for about two minutes , add in the cumin , oregano , salt and pepper.

2) Add the chicken stock , pumpkin and beans to the pot. Bring to boil and allow it to simmer uncovered for around 20 minutes. Turn off the fire after twenty minutes and stir in the red wine vinegar .

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3) Allow the soup to cool for about ten minutes before transferring to a blender. Blend till smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot.

4) Bring the soup to boil and add in the shredded cheese.

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!

Sweet sesame pasta salad

I love combining ingredients from the East and West to create my own flavours. This salad dressing was a result of my experimentation and it turned out to be great. Be creative with the ingredients and mix in some cherry tomatoes, arugula, grapes and chopped corn. A perfect salad for a light lunch or dinner.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup of cooked pasta
1/2 zucchini ( cubed )
1/2 chicken breast
1/2 carrot ( julienned )
Black pepper
Cajun powder

Dressing

1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame sauce
1.5 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp cajun mix
1/2 tsp cayenne powder

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Place the cubed zucchini on a lined baking tray and sprinkle black pepper over the zucchini. Baked at 170 degrees for 20 minutes.

2) Coat the chicken breast with cajun powder and leave it in the fridge while the zucchini cooks. When the zucchini is ready, transfer the chicken breast to the oven and bake at 190 degrees for 20 minutes.

3) Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.

4) In a large bowl, mix together the cooked zucchini , pasta and carrot strips.

5) Allow the chicken to cool for about 10 minutes before chopping it or shredding into smaller pieces. Mix it into the large bowl.

6) Pour the dressing over and mix well.

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.