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Vegetarian Lasagna

The key to a good lagsana is the sauce. No bechamel sauce here but good old home made tomato sauce. It is really simple to make and you can make heaps and keep it for ages!

Vegetarian Lasagna

Ingredients in my home-made tomato sauce:


  1. Tinned tomatoes

  2. Un-Sprig thyme, marajom and basil

  3. Garlic cloves

  4. Onions

  5. Red wine vinegar

  6. Salt

  7. Pepper

  8. Sugar


And now the chopped ingredients that goes into the ovenproof tray:


  1. Red & green capsicums

  2. Zuchinni

  3. Button and Swiss mushrooms

  4. 2 red chillies (just a for alittle back kick)

  5. Asparagus - Use the full length but just snap off the ends


Lightly stir-fry the chopped vege with a little butter and olive oil and garlic. Then on the first 3 layers, add vege, tomato sauce and grated cheddar. On the last layer, add the asparagus and top with more tomato sauce, grated cheddar and parmesean and another pasta sheet and make sure that you coat the top layer with sauce or the sheet will not cook properly. Cover with foil and place in oven 180° for 45mins. During the last 10mins, remove foil and add some grated cheese and let it brown.

YUMMO!

And the Hats goes to.....

So the results are out - Click here.

Vue DeMonde has been demoted to 2 hats. Will this it more affordable? Have been talking about checking it out since last year and have yet to do so. I hear really good things about it but I guess it is really hard to stay at the top of the game year after year.

And kudos to Rockpool's Bar & Grill. I think they deserve it but having been there twice, I thought the level of service and the food has actually dropped since the first time I was there! Was it a one off that night or my expectations were too high the second time round? Having said that, they deserve the top honour - Victorian Restuarant of the Year. Great wine list, fantastic fresh produce and pretty good service. And the committment to a piece of meat is a force to be reckon with.......

As a paying punter, I want the whole experience. I want to be in a restuarant and not be reminded of time. I want to relax and enjoy the food and the service. I want each mouthful to be an experience to be remembered. I mean this is what really good food is all about. You eat it, you talk about it, you reminise it.

Well, I guess for me, the next stop will be The Press Club. And yes, Vue DeMonde is still on my list of places to go..... Plus many more......

And hats off to all in the industry! It is so full on - Long hours, the harsh pyhsical torment on the body, the heat in the kitchen and the list goes on. So what makes it so addictive? Why do chefs and resturanteurs cry when they drop a hat? What is at stake? Are the stakes that high? Or is it the deflated egos that goes along with it?

Assam Nonya Fish

Made this dish a couple of months ago and can't remember the exact recipe. Been really slack in blogging... No excuses but you know....
I love this dish. It is simple, fragrant and beautiful colours. And most of all, it reminds me of my Grandma. She used to be used a GREAT cook and it is such a waste that none of us in the family have learnt the skills when she was around. I miss her food - fried chicken, stir-frys, soups, nonya cakes, curries and best of all - BAZHANG!
Nonya is such a colourful and rich culture and unfortunately, it seems like a forgotten one. I will like to learn this culture through its food. I have made a few nonya recipes but some have failed... maybe I have set an unreachable benchmark for myself. Alway trying to get that aroma, that taste in my memory. Not sure if I will ever get there and bring it back. But one thing for sure, I will not give up. It will seem such a waste. So if any of you out there has any good nonya recipe, please email me or blog it here.
 

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My kind of lunch

Lunch on any day has to be something simple, light and quick. And especially if you are having lunch alone, there should be any fuss. While Henry was away, I made myself this simple mackeral & home-made basil pesto pasta dish. Bought the fish at Vic market - it was so fresh that I had to eat it straight away!

The fish was dusted with spiced flour (salt, pepper & parika) and pan fried. Cooked the pasta and mixed it with my home-made pesto. Threw in some dried chilli. Delicious.

Bottomline, keep it simple and fresh.



Simple Weekend Indulgence

banana milkshake & crannie cookiesThis is what I call comfort food on a lazy weekend. Chilled banana milkshake and freshly baked 
cranberry cookies to die for! Kinda took this recipe off a fellow logger's journal and had my own take on it.. 

For my yummy milkshake, I used 1 banana, a few ice cubes, 2 tablespoons of honey biodynamic yoghurt and milk. Blend it till it reaches a smooth consistency. Pour and drink!!

As for the cranberry oatmeal cookie, this is my receipe:

Ingredients:

300 grams  wheat rolled oats, 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt, approx. 100 grams butter, 2 eggwhites, 1/2 cup brown sugar (if you like it sweeter, just add more - personal preference), 1tsp vanilla extract, 150 - 176 grams dried cranberries

Method: 

1. Preheat oven to 170
2. Beat butter & sugar until fluffy
3. Beat in eggwhites & vanilla
4. Add flour, oats, cinnamon, salt & baking soda and stir using a wooden spoon until all is blended together
5. Drop dough onto baking sheet and leave some space in between
6. Bake for 10 - 15 mins (depending on your oven) or until the cookie becomes gold brown

Just be aware that it is OK if the cookie appears to be really soft when you take it out from the oven. Just allow it to cool down on a rack and VIOLA!

Mad about Pork

berkshire

This piece of pork loin comes from a Berkshire pig. Also known as the "Black pig". Look at the marbling on this piece of meat. It is just incredible. The fat is buttery. The feeling of cutting into the fat is so different from the factory farmed pigs. We have never tasted such a succulent piece of pork. It just melted in our mouths. It's moist, juicy and everything you want in a piece of pork. Something you do not get in a piece of factory farmed pig. It is pricey but it is worth every single cent and the thought of knowing that this pig is not ill-treated, makes the eating experience even better. At least this pig had a good and happy life.

I did not do much to this piece of gorgeous looking pork. My take on making a good crackling. First, score the fat criss-cross style. Secondly, pour boiling hot water over the fat and watch it STRINK! It is really cool! Another method is to actually simmer it in hot water with some vinegar in it fat side down. Then pat it dry and rub the spice mix (salt, pepper, coriander, thyme & juniper berries) in the slits made on the pork and all around the rest of the piece of pork. Thirdly, seal this off fat side down in the pan till the fat is gold brown. Then seal off the rest of the piece of meat and chuck it in the oven. Check the weight of the pork to gauge the amount of time needed in the oven. I go by these measurements - 1kg takes about 50 mins in a moderate oven (170 - 180). And you will need at least 20mins resting time. And make sure it is covered up with a piece of foil.


If you will like to read more about factory farmed pigs, please go to this website - Save Babe. We need to educated as many people as possible. And to help the farm animals, you can go to this website - Voiceless, for more information. Please pass on this link to as many friends as possible. 

Sunday Eggy Leftover Pancake

First Sunday without my babie with me. Hungry when I woke up, I decide to have an omelette. So took left overs from the fridge - 1 piece of bacon (top part left), 1/5 piece of chorizo, button mushrooms & 2 egg yolks. What can I do with this??? And this is what I came up with. 

All I did was to cut up the bacon, chorizo & mushroom, threw them into a small pan. Make sure that one side is crisp and cooked, turn it over and added in the scrambled egg yolks. 

How did it go? I loved it! It was quick, simple, used up all the odd leftovers and YUMMO! 

I reckon this would be a good hangover brekkie. Will try out other ingredients the next time. And of course, they will be leftovers. That is the whole idea and it is really fun! And I am not crazy.

My love for pasta

home made pasta I love eating them. I love making them. It is silky and smooth. AndI always add another egg yolk for that lovely yellow golden colour.

And by making my own, i can add extra layering or extra "flavouring". It can be chopped parsley for that fresh spring/summer edge. Or a touch of chilli powder for that tinge of kick in your pasta. Or basil. Or spinach. Or sun-dried tomato. The list goes on. Just mix the additional ingredient in while making your dough. Just experiment and go MAD! Some examples which I found here.

For my recipe, I have kept it quite simple. I usually use approximately 120gram of flour (semolina or 00) to 1 egg. But do use your own judgment as the size of the egg or the type of flour may make the different. If it is too lumpy or too dry, please adjust the measurements to ensure the perfect dough. The dough is then rested for at least 20mins. And then the fun bit begins. Chuck it in the pasta machine and start rolling! And then cut into strips or shapes!

Pasta can be as homey and hearty as you like it to be. Or it can be as sophisticated and complex in taste as you make it. Be daring and experiment. And don't be afraid to fail.










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