Monday, February 16, 2009

20090216 Quesadillas

(Source: Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson)

This goes really well with a Desperados (tequila-flavored beer)! I used regular ham instead of cured ham so the quesadillas taste less salty.

INGREDIENTS (per wrap)
30g thinly sliced ham
3 coin-sliced slices of jalapeno chilli peppers from a jar
50g grated cheese
1 spring onion, finely sliced
few leaves of coriander
1 tsp olive oil

1. Heat a ridged griddle.
2. Place the tortilla wrap on the counter and cover with ham.
3. Over one half only, sprinkle the jalapeno slices, grated cheese, and chopped spring onion. Scatter the coriander leaves over the top. Carefully fold the tortilla wrap in half, fold the un-cheese-topped half over the cheese.
4. Lift this up carefully and brush each side with the olive oil before putting it on the hot griddle; grill for a minute each side.
5. Use a wide spatula to transfer the tortilla to a board or plate and cute into 3 triangles. Eat with some salsa on the side.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

20090215 Mozzarella with Crazy Gremolata

(SOURCE: Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson)

This starter is so fragrant and beautiful! Serves 6.

2 balls buffalo mozzarella
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
6 black olives, finely chopped
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

1. Slice the mozzarella into 5mm thick rounds and arrange on a plate.
2. In a bowl mix the chopped chilli with the chopped olives, lemon zest and crushed garlic.
3. Tip in the salt, oil and parsley and stir together to make the gremolata.
4. Spoon the gremolata down the centers of your slices of mozzarella.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

20090212 Chicken and Cashew Fried Rice

A quick dish to finish my leftover chicken and frozen peas. Serves 4.

200g basmati rice, cooked
2 tbsp hot curry powder
1 tsp chilli powder
100g frozen peas
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
100g chicken, cooked and shredded
handful of toasted cashew nuts
Salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil in a wok. Brown the onion for 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and spice. Mix in rice and frozen pea, and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the nuts and serve.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

20090210 Mozzarella, Ham, and Pesto Pizzas

(SOURCE: Good Food Magazine - 101 Meals for Two)

You may want to line some foil in your oven, as the mozzarella and pesto may drip. I used serranoham last time and it was a little too salty. Serves 2.

4 mini pitta bread
150g pack mozzarella
4 tsp pesto
85g smoked water-thin ham

1. Heat the grill to high, put the pittas on the grill rack and heat for about 1 minute while you slice the mozzarella into 5.
2. Turn the pittas over and spread each one with 1 tsp pesto, then top with a mozzarella slice. Pile the hame on top, so it looks quite ruffled, then tear the final mozzarella slic into 4, put it on top of the ham and grind over some black pepper.
3. Return to the grill for 3 to 4 minutes more until melted and starting to turn golden.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

20090205 Honey and Balsamic Steak Stir-fry

(SOURCE: BBC Easy Cook Magazine)

If you have sesame seeds, you could quickly fry them and then sprinkle over the dish. Serves 2.

150ml red wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus 1 tsp extra
1 tbsp olive oil
1 steak, thinly sliced
100g green beans, trimmed
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp clear honey

1. Heat the wine and 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar together and simmer until it has reduced by half and the mixture has become sticky. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the steak for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the green beans and carrot and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add the soy sauce, honey, and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar to the wok and stir fry for a furthe 2 minutes or until the veg is just tender. Pour the wine sauce over the stir-fry just before serving.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

20090201 Golden Five-spice Chicken

(SOURCE: BBC Good Food Magazine)

This was a disaster as I burnt them and my husband didn't really like the five-spice flavor. First and last time to cook this. Serves 8.

8 chicken thighs and 8 drumsticks, skin on
3 spring onions, shredded, to finish
4 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
finger-length piece fresh root ginger, grated
4 tbsp dry sherry
4 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp clear honey
4 tsp five-spice powder

1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients, put the chicken into a dish, then pour over the marinade, mixing to coat. Cover, then chill for at least 20 minutes, or up to a day.
2. Preheat oven to 180 degree C, and lift the chicken out of the marinade into a roasting tin. Roast for 40 minutes, pour over the remaining marinade, then cook for a further 30 minutes until golden and sticky. Sprinkle with the spring onion, then serve.

20090201 Banana Bread

(SOURCE: Simply Recipes - Banana Bread Recipe)

I set the timer for about 5 minutes less than the suggested baking time and check with a pin to make sure I do not overcook the banana bread, as I like my banana bread very moist. You may want to try sliced bread with cream cheese too.

4 ripe bananas, smashed
75g melted butter
125g sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
200g flour

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degree C.
2. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, and mix.
3. Pour mixture into a buttered 4X8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack, then slice to serve.