The Occasional Cook

~Pottering about in my Pink Kitchen

Gimbap — October 19, 2019

Gimbap

Today’s light lunch of Korean gimbap. Easy to make and easy to eat!

First, prepare short grain Japanese rice. Pickled daikon strips, carrot strips and fried beef slices that had been marinated with soy sauce.

Place seaweed onto a rolling bamboo mat with rice and all the other ingredients. Then roll tight.

Once rolled, brush with a light layer of sesame oil.

With a sharp knife, cut into slices and enjoy! This was really good on a hot weekend. I’ll be making this for work lunches soon!

Borek or Spanakopita — July 14, 2019

Borek or Spanakopita

Ok once I learn to make something new and easy, I get completely obsessed. My latest obsession is with this spinach and cheese in phyllo pastry. It’s simple to make and everyone likes it. Well, most anyone.

I’ve made so many versions of it so I’m just going to post my latest one, and in my opinion the best version simply because using fresh spinach is so much more delicious than the frozen ones I’ve been using.

The concept is simple. A cheese and spinach filling. A custard topping. And phyllo pastry as the base and cover.

For this picture, I’ve moved on to the second layer. Many do it with only one layer but I find if you have the extra ingredients, making two layers makes it thicker and more moorish. So first spread cooked spinach.

And then add cheese. I’ve been using feta all along but for this particular day, my supermarket ran out of feta. So I used dollops of ricotta cheese and sharp cheddar. Season with lots of sea salt and black pepper.

Then the custard. For this custard, I what three whole eggs with one tub (125ml) of Greek yogurt. Season with salt and pepper. Add a splash of milk and that’s it.

Cover the dough. And because I learn from experience, I watched how some people would cut the pastry into squares first before baking. It helps! If you don’t, yes, it will look prettier but the process of cutting crispy phyllo in front of guests is a huge mess!

And then voila! It’s all ready to be served.

For the cheesy part, feel free to experiment. My aunt uses mozzarella, and I think next time I’ll do these pastries in individual portions. With mozzarella and pine nuts!

Enjoy trying! It’s an easy dish to whip up for last minute entertaining. πŸ™‚

Ramly…of Sorts Burger — May 28, 2019

Ramly…of Sorts Burger

For those living in this region, the Ramly burger is like the epitome of street food burgers. Beef patties are grilled and encased in a thin layer of omelette. The sauce…that’s their secret. Lots and lots of brown sauce, mayonnaise, chilli sauce…. the perfect night stack in Malaysia.

The burger Ramly is banned in Singapore, but there are many stalls during bazaars selling these burgers under the Ramly banner. They used other patties but because the original patties are banned, I guess the manner how these burgers are made allowed the Singaporean vendors to use the Ramly name.

At home, I decided to make my own version. Well, for this one that The May made them. I used expensive Angus beef patties instead of the cheap unhealthy frozen kinds because I wanted the kids to eat healthily. But we followed the Ramly style, with an omelette encasing the juicy patties. And for The Son, a slice of cheese on the beef patties before it got wrapped in the golden eggy blanket.

It was a hit for dinner that night. Will definitely make it again!

Maakouda (Moroccan Potato Patty) — March 2, 2019

Maakouda (Moroccan Potato Patty)

I am convinced that food unites people because there are many similar foods that every culture seems to call their own. I am pretty sure the interaction between communities has resulted in an exchange of wonderful ideas, and then adaptation.

When I first came across this, the first thought that came to my mind immediately was ‘bergedil’! ‘Begedil’ or ‘perkedil’ is a Malay/Indonesian potato patty made by frying and mashing these fried potatoes and then forming patties with the addition of fried minced meat and fried onions, is a favourite in this part of the world. Interestingly, ‘bergedil’ was introduced by the Dutch when they colonised Indonesia. The Dutch has a version of this called ‘frikadeller’. And now, I’m learning that the Moroccans also have their potato version, sans any meat.

I think the Moroccan version is much healthier. Instead of frying the potatoes, they boil them and mash them fine with spices and egg. Patties are larger and flatter. And they serve these maakouda in between bread (or eaten on its own).

 

I did not take a picture of the finished product on a plate because once they were off the pan, very quick hands snatched them and they were gone in seconds!

My version of the maakouda recipe

  1. 5 boiled large Russet potatoes
  2. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  3. 2 tsp ground cumin
  4. 1 tsp garlic
  5. 1 tsp French sea salt (just because)
  6. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
  7. 1 egg

Form into patties, and then before frying, dust with plain flour and dip in beaten egg. Fry till brown and crispy.

Enjoy!

Indian French Toast — February 24, 2019

Indian French Toast

A Friend posted on Facebook a video of an old Indian Sikh man who is famous for his egg dishes. A makeshift stall by the side of the road selling only three types of eggs – boiled, half cooked or scrambled with bread (essentially a French toast style).

I decided to make the French omelette style bread.

In a bowl crack in three eggs. Add finely minced green chillies, tomatoes, a sprinkle of dried Mun and a few rounds of freshly ground black pepper. Salt to taste.

Pour the mixture into some hot oil and then proceed to add two slices of white bread. I didn’t manage to snap a photo when the bread went in. Fold the bread with the egg underneath it in half so essentially you’ll have two breads sitting on TOP of each other. Cook till eggs are done and cut the bread into two then fours using your spatula.

Voila! Is all done. For the egg mixture it’ll be nicer with finely minced purple onions but the family here doesn’t like onions so I’ve omitted it from the recipe.

Pesto and Cheese Whirls — September 22, 2018

Pesto and Cheese Whirls

Inspired by a recipe I read on GoodFood Magazine, I recreated this today.

I didn’t use their dough recipe because the Tastemade one I made last week works so well and I’ve got the measurements memorised.

I used olives and Italian flat leaf parsley, as well as semi sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

I must say, this one is a winner!

Next week I’ll make some more for colleagues but I’ll brush the sides with olive oil for more colour and flavour.

Pinwheel Pizza — September 16, 2018

Pinwheel Pizza

I saw a recipe on GoodFood magazine for pinwheel like bread dough with pesto sauce. But since I didn’t have a jar of ready made pesto, I decided to make pizza filling instead. I used Tastemade pizza dough recipe but instead of using plain flour, I used bread flour.

It’s so simple and delicious!! Especially when just out of the oven and the cheese is all gooey and melty. And the best past is that this recipe is really good for making use of leftover cheese!

The dough recipe I used was, in a mixer with the dough hook, put in 4 cups of bread flour, one packet of active dry yeast, two pinches of salt. I’ll use more next time, maybe three pinches of salt. On slow, mix the dry ingredients together. Then add in 1 and a half cups of warm water. To form it into a pliable dough, add a splash of warm water so it comes together, about one teaspoon. Don’t add in too much! Let the machine do its thing. I let it run for about two to three minutes, the form it into a ball, let it to rest for an hour and voila! A puff of billowy dough. Once it’s risen, lightly punch it down and roll.

I used ready made pasta sauce from a squeeze bottle, and all my leftover cheeses from previous bakes – 1/2 packet of cheddar, 1/2 packet of parmesan, 3/4 packet of mozzarella cheese. Then the leftover handful of chives snipped fine. I added 6 slices of chicken honey thin ham and rolled it all as tight as I could.

Using a sharp knife, cut and lay flat but tuck in the end into the center of the dough piece so that it won’t unravel when baking.

Delicious! I’m happy with Sunday breakfast today. 😊

Tomato Cheese Muffins — September 8, 2018

Tomato Cheese Muffins

My sister has been making these wonderful muffins for her one year old son and they taste great!

So I asked her for the recipe one day and she said she had found it from a baby weaning book! Who’d ever thought such baby books can churn out lovely recipes that even adults love!

Of course I couldn’t follow the recipe fully. I omitted a few ingredients and used plain instead of self-raising flour but it didn’t affect the result (just don’t substitute baking powder with baking soda!)

Dry Ingredients

1. 2 cups plain flour

2. 1 tsp baking powder

3. A handful of snipped chives

4. 1/2 cup grated parmesan

5. 1/2 cup grated cheddar

6. A few turns of black pepper

Wet Ingredients

1. 220 ml buttermilk

2. 100 ml vegetable oil

3. 1 egg

Beat the three wet ingredients well and incorporate into the dry ones. Mix well and spoon into muffin liners halfway. This mixture yield ten cups. Top with quartered cherry tomatoes and bake in a 160-170 degree Celsius oven till done.

Update: I made another batch today using heirloom baby tomatoes

Chicken Gyoza — September 4, 2018

Chicken Gyoza

I posted once on meat dumplings but after that I’ve never made them anymore until today. Yes, it’s the one week term break and I have to start cooking again. πŸ˜‚

Ingredients for today’s chicken gyoza:

1. 300g minced chicken

2. 1 cup finely shredded cabbage

3. 1 tbsp light soya sauce

4. 1 tbsp yonzu sauce

5. Two dashes of white pepper

6. 1 tsp salt

7. 1 tbsp sesame oil

The method is to simply pan fry in a tablespoon of oil and when there’s colour at the bottom of the gyoza, add a swirl of tepid water around the pan and cover to steam. It’s done when all the water has evaporated.

I didn’t make any sauce to go with it because I ran put of fresh ginger but the usual Singaporean chilli sauce style that goes with every snack works well for me. 😌

Make someπŸ₯Ÿ πŸ₯Ÿ πŸ₯Ÿ today and freeze! (In fact, I froze the remaining to give to a friend later on for helping to babysit).

Hot Avoacado — August 25, 2018

Hot Avoacado

I love avocado spreads! And instead of buying them ready made from the supermarket (which can be soooo expensive) I’d rather make myself. Plus it’s so easy to just dump all in a mini food processor and whiz everything to a pulp.

In my version, I used three ripe avocados, half a large tomato, a tablespoon of jalapeno hot sauce I had got from London, sea salt, black pepper and half a large lemon juice.

It was delicious!