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Showing posts from February, 2012

Main Course Salads: Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

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I am back on the 'Main Course Salads' series. All thanks to the ultra hot weather these days.

This recipe came from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2009 annual which I have long ear-marked for making but never did get around to it.

There are 3 components to this salad: the fragrant salty pork slices, spicy tangy dressing and salad veggies. All of which could be prep separately in advance and assembled just before eating.

I have never added pork to my salad before simply because I have no idea how to prepare the pork so that it will be able to stand out in the salad. This recipe not only makes the pork the star of the dish, it gave me a new template for pork stir-fries. The pork slices are first marinated in a mixture of fish sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and cooking oil. Just before eating, I did a quick pan fry until the slices began to brown and the edges get slightly crunchy. I couldn't stop nibbling on it once it was out of the pan. Our little princess came to …

Antipasto Pasta Salad

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I call mess like this in Tupperware containers lunch these days. This is a delicious mess and I can eat it everyday.

It is highly portable, no re-heating required, carb/protein/fiber all-in-one and most importantly it can be prepared the night before. Now I can't think of another dish that can satisfy all these criteria. If you do, drop me a line.

This recipe was pulled out from Gourmet Today but it can also be found at Epicurious. I thought that the list of ingredients are pretty straight forward since they mostly come straight out of a jar/package and it is something that we have not tried before. In fact, there are hundreds of recipes we have not tried in that book.

Anyway, when I was ripping the salami and feta cheese (I ran out of mozzarella cheese) out from their packagings, we had this conversation.

Hubby: "This must be the most expensive salad we have eaten to-date." 


Me: "Well, I must agree that the salami, feta cheese, artichoke, roasted peppers and olives …

Say What?

During my evening drive to school to pick up our little princess, I often find myself tuning in to Perfect 10. Usually I will join in the middle of a segment they call "Muttons On The Move". This show can be quite hilarious at times.

Yesterday they had is mini-segment called commonly mispronounced food names and that got my attention. The foods that they have mentioned are neither exotic nor obscure. In fact, if you eat out often enough, they might even look familiar. So here are some of the food names they talked about.

1. Pancetta (read: pan-cheh-tuh)
This is an Italian bacon.

2. Mascarpone (read: mah-skar-Poh-nay)
Italian curdled cream, most often seen in tiramisu.

3. Crepe (read: krayp)
Paper thin pancakes good to be eaten on its own or filled.

4. Quinoa (read: keen-wah)
I have written about this before here.

5. Espresso (read: ehs-prehs-oh)
Coffee drinkers you had better get this right.

6. Chipotle chilli (read: chih-poht-lay)
A type of hot chili which comes smoked and…

Pan Bagnat

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I am really curious to know how people get around to iron their clothes in Singapore on super hot yucky days. That's what I was wondering the whole time when I was ironing our little princess' school uniforms because I was melting faster than an ice-cream would in the same room.

I thought to myself that either I come up with some idea on how to tackle the two heat-emitting routine tasks of ironing as well as cooking in this hot and humid weather, or I pack the bags and leave this inferno and stay away for the next 6 months.
Well, I did manage to get around the ironing part by turning on the aircon but the cooking is still elusive. No aircon in my kitchen.
And then, I saw this photo of Pan Bagnat on Martha Stewart's Fresh Flavor Fast.
Basically, this Pan Bagnat thingy is just Salade Nicoise made more portable with a jacket of crusty bread.


I thought to myself that I can make this in the comfort of my air-conditioned dining room and still eat well.

In fact, we ate very well.…

Another One Bites The Dust

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Although I won't say that Harris carry the best selection of titles, the books which I have seen there are still decent. So I can't help feeling sad that it is going to close their outlet that Great World City. *sob, sob* No more bookshop there any more? *sob, sob, sob*

So when I got there during their closing down sale, I knew I had to show my support. Despite the 20% discount on these books, they are still no cheaper than if I fly them in from Amazon on DHL. That's how Amazon is taking over the world.


Except for Ruhlman's Twenty, the other two books were impulse buying and are more of a coffeetable cookbooks. I am impulsive like that.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Mushrooms, Leek and Wild Rice

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First up, I thought that I should qualify that I am no health nut and that this is not a health blog. In fact, I  still turn pale after 5 flights of steps. Escalators and elevators are my best pals. I visit them whenever I could everywhere I go.

But I find this pretty interesting and I really do want to share it.

Some time back I picked up the book Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman from a bookshop and learnt a few surprising info. Although these "info" are well backed by researches, you can bet your liver that there will always be other researches somewhere out there that contradict them and that the author might pick and choose those that supports his argument. So read with a pinch of salt. Oh by the way, not too much salt, but I guess you already knew that.

One of the interesting "info" that I learnt was that mushrooms contains many good-for-your-health nutrients. See a short write up here at Bon Appetit and also at Daily Mail. Same thing goes for the allium family …

Mad and Maddening

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While other parts of the world are experiencing harsh bitter cold, we are slow-roasted here.

When I was getting out of my car, the dashboard showed 36.5 degC. (!!!!)



The weather is really mad and maddening.

Shiso Chirimen Onigiri

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Eating these little rice balls, or onigiri if you will, reminded me of Tokyo. I wish I am there now.

But since it is not feasible to go, I will have to be contented with eating these little rice balls. *sob*

I bought the pre-mix from Mediya. These are shiso chirimen, which loosely translate to perilla [and] dried young sardines. They can be found at the refrigerated counter for fish.

Preparing these is almost a no-brainer. Just cook up a big batch of Japanese rice and add in the mixture while the rice is still hot. Stir well and mold them into shapes or eat them as they are.

I brought these onigiri with me to office today to tide me through from my early lunch to late dinner. My body is still adjusting to the new routine with our little princess going to primary school. And I desperately miss  my beauty nap!

These make great picnic food as well.