Tuesday, December 16, 2008

recipe is : scrambled eggs and toast

this is not the everyday scramble eggs and toast. a lil bit of this and a lil bit of that has been added to scrumptioustify the menu


4 eggs
5 sweet basil leaves, thinly sliced
handful grated parmesan
100 ml milk
1 tbsp butter
crusty sourdough bread, thickly sliced
herb oil (recipe is here)


brush some herb oil on the bread and toast over a griddle or even on a pan

in a big bowl, break the eggs, add the milk and whisk til foamy. in a wide shallow pan, heat the butter and once the butter melts, pour in eggs and sprinkle the basil around. scrape the bottom of the pan as the egg sets and continously scrape til most eggs has set. add the parmesan and continue scraping until egg is set and no longer liquid and and runny. serve hot with toast

Monday, December 15, 2008

recipe is : steamed ginger chicken rice


2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 thumb-sized knobs young ginger, grated
1 thumb-size knob old ginger, crushed
2 heaped tsp salt
2 cups rice, washed and drained thoroughly
3 spring onions, halved length-wise
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp concentrated chicken stock
2 handfuls beansprouts

chilli sauce
1 tsp grated young ginger
1 tsp grated garlic
3 tbsp bottled chilli sauce
1 tbsp oil

shallot oil sauce
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tbsp oil (preferably cornoil or sunflower oil)
5 tbsp light soya sauce

to make the chilli sauce, heat up the oil over a low flame and pour into a bowl. let cool. add the chilli sauce, garlic and ginger and mix thoroughly

to make the shallot oil, heat the oil over a low flame in a pan and add the shallots. fry until the shallots turn golden. pour into a dry heatproof bowl and let cool. add the light soya sauce and set aside

fry the old ginger, spring onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes til fragrant. add the rice and stir fry for 5 minutes. transfer into rice cooker. stir in the margarine and chicken stock to thoroughly mix and add water to cook like normal rice

pat the chicken dry and cut into 1 cm thick slices. rub the salt into chicken and marinate with the grated ginger. bring the water in a steamer to a boil and steam the chicken over high heat for 20 minutes. let rest in steamer for 5 minutes before removing

using the steamed chicken water, blanch the beansprouts and drain. pour in the shallot oil sauce and toss

serve the chicken rice and beansprouts hot. dip the chicken in the chilli sauce for extra spiciness

Thursday, December 11, 2008

recipe is : braised beef


750 gms beef, cut into large chunks
6 eggs, washed to thoroughly clean
a big knob of old ginger, crushed
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5 stalks of spring onions, use only the lower part
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp dark rice vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp light soya sauce
salt to taste
a dash sesame oil
1 tbsp oil


heat the oil in a pot and add the ginger and garlic. stir fry quickly til frangrant. add the beef and stir around quickly to brown the meat. add the vinegar and stir thoroughly to mix. add enough water just to cover the meat. add the brown sugar, dark soya sauce, light soya sauce and sesame oil. bring to a boil and let simmer. always make sure that there is enough liquid to stop the meat from burning. add hot water if liquid is running low

after 1 hour, add the eggs and make sure that there is enough liquid to almost cover the eggs. once the liquid is bubbling, let the eggs cook for 15 minutes and remove from the pot. let cool a little and peel the shell. return to pot

after 2 hours or once the meat reached preferred tenderness, add the spring onions and salt (optional). simmer for another 5 minutes and serve

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

recipe is : western oriental roast chicken

ok, i've something to confess. throughout all my years of cooking, i've never, i repeat, never roasted a whole chicken before. this is my first attempt. glad it turned out great.


1 whole chicken, about 2 kgs, cavity thoroughly cleared and cleaned
2 tbsp split green beans, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight
handful of dried chestnuts, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight
2 sprigs rosemary
3 stalks spring onion
1 sprig sage
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
3 tbsp herb oil (recipe is here)
2 carrots, cut into big chunks
3 onions, skinned
4 stalks celery leaves, ends trimmed
6 big potatoes, peeled and cut into huge chunks
brussel sprouts (or any greens of your choice)
garlic butter


boil the split green beans and chestnuts in salted water for 20 minutes or until just tender. drain and set aside

preheat the oven to 180 C. arrange the rack so that the roasting pan will sit in the middle of the oven

use kitchen napkins to pat dry the chicken and carefully separate the skin of the chicken away from the flesh at the the breast area and at as much surface of the skin as possible. rub the salt into the cavity and under skin of the chicken. rub 1 tbsp of the herb oil into the cavity and 1 tbsp herb oil under the skin of the chicken. spoon the split green beans and as much of the chestnuts as possible into the cavity of the chicken. add 3 cloves of garlic, the spring onions, a sprig of rosemary and some sage leaves into the cavity. put one clove of garlic on each breast area under the skin. add the sprig of rosemary under the skin as well. rub the dark soya sauce all over on the outside of the chicken skin. rub the remaining tbsp of herb oil onto the skin

in a roasting pan, arrange the celery, onions and carrots so that they sit at the bottom of the pan. put the chicken on top of vegetables and if there are any remaining chestnuts, strew them around in the pan as well. roast for about 2 hours or until the juice runs clear when a skewer is pierced into the thickest part of the thigh. take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving

while the chicken is roasting, parboil the potatoes in lightly salted water, drain and add to the roasting pan once potatoes are just cooked. a little bit of the herb oil can be used to toss the potatoes just before add to the pan

steam the brussel sprouts for about 5 minutes or until just cooked. toss in garlic butter and serve with the chicken and potatoes

Monday, December 08, 2008

recipe is : sheperd's pie


Potato crust
5 large potatoes
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp butter for dotting the pie crust
2 handfuls parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Pie filling
700 gms minced mutton and beef
3 large onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 cups mushrooms (button or swiss or portobello or a mixture of all three), broken up into small chunks
2 stalks rosemary
3 bay leaves
3 leeks, finely sliced across the length
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil


preheat the oven to 180 C

boil the potatoes, peel the skin and mash. add the butter, cheese and salt and pepper and thoroughly combine. set aside

heat the olive oil in a big pan. add the onions and stir fry til translucent and softened, add the garlic, rosemary and bay leaves. stir fry for a few minutes til fragrant. add the leeks, celery and carrots and fry for about 3 minutes

add the minced meat to the pan and stir fry til just cooked. throw in the mushrooms and cook for a couple more minutes. add salt and pepper to taste

spoon the meat mix into a big casserole dish and top with the mash potatoes. even out the surface with a spoon and dot the top with little bits of butter here and there. bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the top turns golden brown

a little bit of stock or liquid can be added to the meat mix if it is too dry. do not add too much water as the whole pie will become soggy.

don't add milk to the mash potatoes as the pie crust will not be firm enough to hold it's shape

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

recipe is : herb oil


olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 stalks rosemary, bruised
5 sage leaves, bruised


get a clean, dry jam jar with an air-tight cover.

fill the jar up to three-quarters way full with olive oil. add in the garlic and herbs. make sure that the olive oil completely covers the herbs totally. let it sit to infuse the flavour for at least 1 day before using


you can use almost any strong aroma fresh herbs for this oil.

can be used for salad dressing, brushed onto bread before toasting, for grilling meat and vegetables, for cooking, and many many other ways.

make sure that the oil completely covers the herbs at all times. discard any herbs that sticks out.

check the oil before use to make sure that it's still good. do not use moldy or bad oil.