Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dukkah Coated Lamb Chops with Mango Salsa and Roasted Mustard Garlic Potato

As we all know, the age of an animal can affect the tenderness and flavour of the meat. Some people do not appreciate the taste of mutton as the meat from adult sheep tend to have a very strong and intense gamey flavour and it contains a considerable amount of fat too.  Lamb is a sheep that is typically under one year of age. As such, the meat is very tender and has a mild flavour compared to mutton, making it a very versatile option and preferred choice of meat.

Of all the different cuts of lamb, the rack or the chops are the most expensive but are incredibly delicious and tender. Such tender cuts make cooking really easy and enjoyable. It took me less than an hour (end to end) to make this super yummy gourmet meal for our Sunday lunch. 

After slicing the lamb rack into chops, I marinated the meat simply with just sea salt and pepper followed by a quick sear (1 minute on each side) over very hot skillet. The final coat of dukkah spice mix elevated the juicy lamb chops to another level, giving it a robust flavour with a stunning rustic crust while the minty, sour-sweet and refreshing mango salsa provides a great balance.

Now you have to believe me that with just a few basic ingredients anyone can create a gourmet meal at home. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pork tenderloin roll stuffed with Parma Ham and Parmesan

We usually have our Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham) served as is without cooking. Classic way of wrapping the ham around melon or serving it with burrata cheese are 2 of my favourite serving styles. Recently, I had some leftover sliced Prosciutto di Parma in the refrigerator which was approaching its expiry and not ideal to be served fresh. I flipped through some old cookbooks and found this perfect recipe for our Sunday dinner!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kam Heong Crab Angel Hair Pasta

Kam Heong style of cooking originated from Malaysia and with so many Malaysian Chefs honing their cooking skills in restaurants and Tze-Char stalls here, many Kam Heong dishes have been introduced to the local food scene.

I enjoy Kam Heong dishes very much. The ingredients and spices used in Kam Heong sauce like crushed dried shrimps, chili padi (bird’s eye chillies), curry leaves, curry powder, garlic and shallots are already full of strong, captivating smells and long-lasting flavours on their own. When combined together, they create fireworks that really blow up my taste bud. The tempering of aromatics with the ingredients and various other seasonings yields such a versatile stir-fry sauce that goes so well with various meats and seafood. In fact, I can have Kam Heong sauce with plain rice alone. It is that flavourful!

Last Sunday, wife had craving for crab pasta. So there I was at the supermarket picking up ingredients for our pasta dinner when I saw curry leaves and chili padi. They reminded me of the amazing Kam Heong Fish Head I just had few days ago at the Tze-Char stall. A playful idea suddenly came to me to experiment combining Kam Heong sauce with crab pasta!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Roast Boneless Suckling Pig

My blog has been inactive for a while, 105 days to be exact. My last recipe post was published on Dec 13, 2016, the night my Dad passed away. His departure was a surprise and a blow for all of us as we believed that he was heading towards recovery and were making preparation for him to be discharged from the hospital. I could remember vividly on that fateful night, shortly after I had posted on this blog, the hospital called to inform us to rush down but it was too late. Pa had left us.

Pa loved to cook and my Chinese cooking style is actually very much influenced by his. We weren't a particularly affectionate family. He was not used to express his love openly and I always think he did it through his food. Before he was ill, he would cook for us whenever we visited him with the families. Every year during Chinese new year and on our Lunar Birthdays, he would cook up a storm, whipping up delicious traditional dishes for his children and grandchildren. We consensually agreed that he was the better cook in the household  and we all took great pride and satisfaction in the meals he cooked for us as we fondly remember him and his cooking.

Pa’s way of expressing his love through his food will continue to be part of my family. Cooking for my family on weekends and creating special menus on their birthdays will continue for life, at least for my life until I take my last breath on this Earth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Braised Duck Legs in Balsamic Red Wine Sauce

Preparing a delicious Christmas dinner menu but bored with the traditional dishes? Maybe it is time to ditch the roast turkey and the glazed ham and shake things up a little bit! Impress your guests this Christmas with this delectable braised duck dish with Asian influence.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Matcha Cranberry Bread

I had previously shared Mrs C&S's favourite method of baking artisan sesame seed bread at home in a cast iron Dutch oven. It is simple but consistently produces fantastic result - crusty and flavourful bread with character, over and over again. Wife has been baking breads using this recipe a few times a week for family and friends with rave reviews.

Baking bread in a cast iron pot with the lid on is like an oven within an oven. The super high heat and steam within the enclosed pot provide an ideal environment for bread baking. As the baking temperature is very high, make sure you replace the original black plastic lid knob of the cast iron pot with a stainless steel one.

This is my younger daughter Audrey's favorite, a slight variation of the previous bread recipe, using matcha and dried cranberry. Festive season is just around the corner and I thought the red and green colour of the bread loaf is ideal for Christmas celebration and sharing!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Baked Salted Egg Prawns and Calamari

The salted egg craze has been around in this part of the world for a while now. The craze for this trendiest ingredient has gotten so out of hand that anything from croissants, french fries, potato chips to ice cream, everything can now be salted egg yolk-ified. 

I am more of a conservative person and still prefer my salted egg with seafood (think salted egg crab at KEK Tze Char and salted egg calamari at Diamond Kitchen) and I made mine on the Weber Barbecue.

Salted egg prawns and calamari on the grill achieves the same crispiness and the "airfryer"-healthiness. Who needs more oil when you can bake with the grill? Especially for all the ladies out there, try it! 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Orh Yee (Hokkien Heritage Yam Cake Recipe)

Those who follow my blog long enough would know that I grew up at my grandma's place as my mum passed away when I was five. My cooking passion stems from the way my grandma would cook for the family.

My grandparents came from the Fujian province in China. On special occasions like Chinese New Year or birthdays, grandma would cook us Hokkien dishes like Kong Bak Bao (Braised pork bun), Mee Sua (Wheat flour noodle) and Prawn Rolls. One very unique heritage dish that she used to cook for us was fried Orh Yee (Steamed Yam Cake). 

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