Friday, June 17, 2011

Ravioli stuffed with roasted Carrot, Onion, Garlic and bacon

I was struck by sudden inspiration and a desperate need to cook. 

Do something, anything.

So in my head, I listed out what i had at hand; Carrots, bacon.... onions....Tomato Paste, a fresh basil plant beckoning to be used. My mind just went, let's make pasta. But not the usual Fettucini, something I've always wanted to try my hand at. 


The smells wafting from the carrots, onion, bacon and garlic roasting in the oven told me, this, this was gonna be ok. I hesitantly put tomato paste into the flour mixture and the result was a light dusty orange ball of dough. Rolling it out and placing little dollops of the pureed vege topped off with crispy flakes of smoked bacon, made me tingle with excitement. Couldn't wait to see the finished product. 

When the little parcels of pasta were afloat, I drained them and tried one. I wasn't expecting the pure flavour from the carrots. it was intense and charming at the same time.

With the sweet intensity of the carrots and saltiness of the bacon,  I decided on a simple  spicy tomato cream sauce infused with garlic and fresh basil. It was pure heaven. I can still taste the flavours marrying and melding in my mouth. makes me want for more. 

Total time taken : within an hour. 1 1/2 tops.

Filling ( Do this 1st so it has enough time to cool down)
3 Carrots, sliced cross sectioned
1 large Onion - sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
6 rashers of smoked bacon
Herb de provence
sprinkle of nutmeg
Olive Oil
handful of Pecorino Cheese - grated

Preheat Oven to 240 deg celsius
Place all the sliced vege in a roasting pan, sprinkle with nutmeg, herbs, olive oil 
Arrange the rashers of bacon over the top of the veg. This is so the flavours all meld into one.
Roast for 20min. 
Remove from oven, set aside the rasher os bacon and cut them into small bits.
blend the all the rest of the roast with a little olive oil if it's too dry.
Stir in the cheese. 
Leave aside to cool.

Pasta skin ( while the veg is roasting, make the pasta)
100g flour
1 egg
1 tsp of tomato paste

mix all the ingredients in a bowl or on a work surface
knead till smooth 
set aside in clingfilm for 20min to rest.

roll out the pasta dough into a thin sheet ( check out youtube of you need to learn how it's done.)
on one half of the sheet, place filling at intervals 1 inch and top each vege heap off with a sprinkle of bacon bits.

brush the spaces between the fillings with water and fold over the other half of the pasta sheet.
Use a sharp knife to cut the squares of filled pasta out.
Flour generously. Leave aside
Boil water with a generous handful of salt.

Add Ravioli to the boiling water and 1 1/2 min later, scoop them onto a plate with a slotted spoon.
6 cloves of garlic - chopped fine
1 tsp of dried pepper flakes ( these are quite spicy so add to preference for pain)
Handful of fresh Basil - hand torn or chopped is fine 
Handful of parmesan cheese - grated
4-6 tbsp of tomato paste
1to 2 cups of milk. ( depending on how runny you like your sauce)
Olive Oil
Sugar and worcestershire sauce to taste

Fry the garlic and pepper flakes in olive oil, fry till fragrant
Add the tomato paste and milk, stirring constantly.
When the sauce thickens to your liking, add the sugar and worcestershire sauce to your taste.
the worcestershire sauce helps ground the flavours a bit.
Turn off the flame, and add basil and parmesan.

Pour over the Ravioli and sit down to a heartwarming meal.


Friday, March 4, 2011


Potato Salad with home made Mayonnaise

Making Mayonnaise.... what can I say.
DAY 1 :
it was... Hell.
I tried the hand whisking method. My arm near fell off, but the egg just sat there in its oil bath smiling at me. just doing a back stroke in the pool of oil.
Then, I tried putting it in a blender and all i got was oily eggs.
Oil was splattered everywhere and my patience was at the end of its tether.

DAY 2 :
it was... Hell. at first.
I decided to switch to a hand held blender thingamajig.
and started off with the eggs, vinegar, oil.... Blend..... nothing.
was on the verge of throwing the whole thing against the wall, but knowing the only person who was doing the cleaning up was yours truly, I held back. (Wise.)
Then i just shoved the whole lot under my hot water flask, shot some hot water into the mixture while blending and suddenly the magic happened. When before i was cursing and swearing, I just stood there with a stupid grin on my face, like i'd just conquered the world.

All this over mayonnaise.

1 litre of oil later ( half in the trash and on my walls,  the other half in my tummy).
was it worth it?

Hell yeah.

Never going back to store bought mayo for a while.
As to what i put in, it was egg yolk, a splash of vinegar, loads of oil, and a splash of hot water.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Salmon and Flavoured Rice for Saturday lunch

It was a saturday, we had salmon, so we thought it was a good idea to use it up. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Hubby enjoyed it too. He's the flavourer of fish, whilst I apply my flavourer expertise to the rice. It's nasi Kuning my way. I have no idea what goes in to the real thing but here's my version.

Nasi Kuning - My way ( portion for 2 peeps)


- Rice
- 1 tsp Ground Tumeric
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- handful of Raisins
- 2 small cloves of Garlic chopped fine
- 2 Shallots or half a big onion
- ginger - abt a cm knob, sliced up fine.
- water

Method:- Rinse the rice twice
- In a rice cooker, Put in double and a bit more of water to rice. ( the raisins soak in water. To prevent the rice from being undercooked, add just a bit more water than needed abt 1-2 TBSP should do it.)
- Fry the onions, garlic and ginger to release their flavours. (Sweat the onions)
- pour in the fried mixture into the rice
- Add raisins
- add as much tumeric as you can stand, i use about 1 tsp.
- add salt and pepper
- turn on the rice cooker and enjoy your rice in about 15 mins.

Grilled Salmon - My husband's way

Ingredients:- Salmon steaks

Grind together the following with pestle and mortar, if you don't have that, a food processor would do fine.
- 1 tsp Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds

- 1 tsp thyme
- some black Pepper corn
- 2 tsp Paprika
- a good glug of Olive Oil


- slather the fish with the ground spices, fire up the griddle till smoking ( so it won't stick)
- Grill fish to your liking


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ikan Bilis tomato omelette

I know it sounds absolutely absurd. But it actually tasted quite nice.
Frying the ikan bilis helps to bring up the aroma of the fish. chopping it into bits allows for distribution throughout the omelette. the saltiness of the fish is balanced with the tartness of the tomato.

At first i was wondering if i'd made a dreadful mistake and if i had to throw the whole lot away. But once  my nose got a whiff of the frying the fish bits, i knew if the smells went well together, the taste would too. Thank goodness my nose didn't fail me.

the toast is a bit charred but that coz i used the remaining fish fry oil to toast the bread. Nothing went to waste. And i was totally satisfied.

the tomatoes lends the dish a dimension of juiciness and their tartness helps to cut through the milk and cheese present in the omelette.

the crunchy bits of ikan bilis really compliments the flavours. 
So kids, do try this at home.

Small handfull of ikan bilis
1 clove of garlic
half a tomato
a bit of red chilli
2 eggs
splash of milk
pinch of thyme
pinch of parsley
salt and pepper to taste
- Into the eggs, stir in milk, cheese, pepper, salt, herbs
- Fry the ikan bilis.
- Remove from oil, save the oil to brush on the bread later.
- Fry tomatoes, garlic and chilli (add a pinch of sugar to balance the sourness of the tomato - optional)
- Pour in the egg mixture over the hot pan and heat till cooked through. Remove from pan.
- Brush bread slices with the saved oil and brown them in the pan till lightly toasted on both sides 
- Serve and tuck in.
prep time : 5min
Cooking time : 8-10min

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wagyu Beef Sandwich

Husband and I made this for lunch on Saturday. We bought the Wagyu Beef patty from MMM the last time we were there. So since we were raiding the freezer for lunch ideas, we came across this nice little packet of beef. So out it came to feed our hungry appetites. 

We grilled the patties on the griddle, then buttered the bread and put it on the grill after. 
Whilst doing that, the potatoes were put into the oven to roast. Again, we tossed the potatoes with thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper and shoved it into the oven. 

To balance out the savoury, we made sweet caramelised onions to top off the sandwich.

Altogether, it was a very balanced tasting meal, there was iceberg lettuce, cheese, beef, onions and the buttered bread. It was really satisfying and quick to prepare. 

By now, i'm sure you realise making quick meals is what i like doing. I'm impatient and hate to wait for my food. Instant noodles are the last resort but sometimes you have to eat the crap to appreciate the good stuff.

Now have to go shopping for more meat to put into the freezer for another day of feasting.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No meat friday - Prawn pasta

My version of neapolitan with Prawns. Fast to cook good to eat.
Out of hunger and desperation, i rummaged in my freezer for a non-meat item.
And lo and behold, i had grey prawns sitting there smiling at me.
Out they came, all 3 friends defrosting in a bowl of water. Awaiting to be sacrificed to yours truly.

Then as i was boiling the water and chopping the ingredients, the makings of the sauce started to formulate in my head. I guess it's called, "try-and-use-up-what-you-have-in-the-fridge and it's-raining,-I'm-not-stepping-out-for- anything syndrome.

this dish was easy peasy to make and prep time is quick.
While boiling the water, i chop the ingredients,
then after draining the pasta and retaining some of the liquid, I start to fry the ingredients.
because they're chopped up pretty fine, the cooking time takes about 5 mins in total. Then add in the tomato paste, milk yoghurt, salt, pepper and the herbs. Then throw in the cheese when you've tossed your pasta into the sauce and you're on your way to mum mum time.

Within 15 minutes, i was sitting down to my pasta.

nom nom nomnom....

beats instant noodles, that's for sure

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Smoked Salmon on Potato Omelette mmmmmm

Made this for lunch today.
I'm having the mother of all sore thoats but decided to just go for it.
It was very filling and actually quite good.
Inspired by my friend Victor's Baked salmon and spanish omelette, I decided to combine it in a different way.

Cut the potato into slices and boil them till tender and drain.
Chop finely the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery.
Fry the onions till tender and transluscent, then put in the bell peppers followed by the garlic and celery.
Throw in the potato slices and fry till slightly browned.
In the meantime, combine eggs, pepper, salt, milk, thyme(optional, but i like herbs for their imparted aroma), cheese (i used mozarella and cheddar mix).

When the potatoes have browned to your liking, pour in the egg mixture and leave to set, stirring a few times along the way so the bottom doesn't burn and the eggs cook more evenly

Serve on a plate and top it off with slices of Norwegian smoked salmon and a dollop of yoghurt. Sprinkle some parsley.

Pick up a fork and knife and tuck in.

prep time: 5min
Cooking time : 15-20min