Thursday, 31 March 2011
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
It’s officially spring! I was rudely reminded of the fact when I woke up on Sunday to find that I had ‘lost’ one hour. I still don’t get daylight saving, isn’t it just a lie to yourself, but on a larger scale? Anyway. It’s spring! And spring is the time to get planting! You can’t get more cheap and local and organic than planting your own.
I wish I could do that Jamie Oliver/ Nigel Slater thing of popping out of their kitchen into the garden and picking all the herbs and vegetables and fruits they need and throwing them into their food. I can’t, of course, because I live on the 6th floor, in a London flat half the size of my mum’s bedroom in Singapore. But also because I have the opposite of green fingers, or at least, I’ve never tried growing anything other than mung bean sprouts for primary school science.
But I have a brilliant gardener of a flatmate (: Who says there’s no reason why we can’t try that out with smaller plants which take very little space to grow and require little attention, most herbs for instance.
Those are the little pots on my windowsill. That’s purple basil, coriander, mint and chilli (of course).
Look at the coriander which was sown a bit earlier!
It’s a lot of fun rotating them so they face the sun and watching them grow from nothing to a little something to a bigger something. Go get planting too!
This is part of Simple Lives Thursday.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Monday, 21 March 2011
Thursday, 17 March 2011
It's St Patrick's day! And after 'bastardising' the classic Irish shepherd's pie, I thought I'd redeem myself with a very green soup!
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
It'll be St Patrick's day in a couple of days, and I thought it fitting to share a shepherd's pie on this Irish festival. Honestly, I always thought of shepherd's pie as a classic British thing, but others (the Irish?) claim it's Irish. The 2 places are so close anyway I'm sure many other things overlap.
Whatever, I'm doing it Indian-style.
I adapted a Gordon Ramsay video recipe for the classic shepherd's pie--I know many people hate his foul mouth but I love how no-nonsense he is. But I also incorporated the spices in kheema matar– this man is brilliant too– for an extra special touch of spicy goodness.
Masala Kheema Shepherd's Pie
for the filling
for the mash
3-4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tsp butter
1 tbsp parmesan + extra to top (optional but it'll really lift the dish)
sea salt, black pepper
1. Boil potatoes.
2. Add oil to a hot pan, and the whole spices to toast.
3. Add the minced meat, breaking it up and searing the meat to get the caramelised brown. Season.
4. Grate in the onions, carrots, garlic and ginger. This helps them to disintegrate into the sauce better, a Ramsay tip, which is why I didn't add the onions before the mince like what vahchef did. Also add in the flour to cook out, this will help thicken the gravy later.
5. Add the mushrooms, ground spices and tomato puree, cook for 3 min more, then add the yogurt and let simmer for 10-15 min.
6. Meanwhile, your potatoes should be cooked. Drain, mash and season. Add the egg yolk, butter and parmesan to the mashed potato.
7. Add the green chillies and garam masala powder to the mince and continue to cook uncovered till you get a dry gravy. You don't want a soggy shepherd's pie. Also a good idea to pick out the cinnamon stick (and the cardamom pods) now.
8. Tip the filling into a baking dish, then top with the mashed potato and another sprinkling of parmesan. Fork through (important, to get the crispy edges!), and dot with butter.
9. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 20-25 min, or till golden.
Serve with a light salad, maybe in a more imaginative Indian style with thinly sliced red onions/ cilantro than what I had. Anyhow, it should taste good. You can't go wrong with buttery parmesan-mashed potatoes and minced meat that's coated with rich savoury gravy, be it Irish or English, or Indian.
This is part of Hearth and Soul Blog Hop #39, Tasty Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday.
Saturday, 12 March 2011
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Sunday, 6 March 2011
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
What to do with leftover roast pork belly? Honestly, it's not much of a problem, who am I kidding, I'll be more than happy eating it as it is. But just to spice things up a little, I stir-fried the leftover pork belly in true Singaporean style, with some chilli and belachan (fermented shrimp paste).
Chilli Belachan Crispy Pork Belly
~100g of leftover roasted pork belly, sliced into small chunks
1 small onion, sliced thinly (or a couple of shallots would be fantastic)
1-2 dried red chillies, deseeded
1 tsp fermented shrimp paste
1 tsp unrefined cane sugar
1 tsp soy sauce (traditionally brewed)
1 tsp Chinese black vinegar
1 tsp evoo (or unrefined coconut oil or palm oil)
1. Over medium-high heat, fry the sliced onions in the oil, till they turn golden brown.
2. Add the dried chillies and fermented shrimp paste and toast till fragrant.
3. Add the pork belly, along with the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar, and stirfry for about 10 min more.
4. Serve over rice with some fresh coriander leaves (which I didn't have).
This dish really hit home with the mix of salty, sweet, sour, savoury and of course, spicy flavours, and the depth from the fermented shrimp paste. Really, you can't go wrong with crispy pork belly, but still.
If you have some sambal tumis, just replace the dried chillies and belachan with that, 100x better!
This is part of Full Plate Thursday.