The Occasional Cook

~Pottering about in my Pink Kitchen

Herbal Chicken in a Thermo Pot — June 4, 2018

Herbal Chicken in a Thermo Pot

I used to watch over my pot boiling for hours this chicken soup dish but with the thermo pot it’s so simple!

The family loves Chinese herbal chicken soup and thankfully shops sell plenty of the ready made herbal ingredients.

To make this dish, it is really about buying, and then throwing all in and wait it out. I love it!

The above are some of the root ingredients that come in the packet. With it are also a small packet of goji berries. I added some red dates which I kept in the fridge in the mix too.

My thermal pot is a small one but it’s enough for the four of us and even for leftovers the next day! I only added three large pieces of chicken meat to it.

Boil furiously for ten minutes or more then cover in the thermal pot.

Since it’s fasting month, it was a perfect dish to keep.

The taste is sublime! So chickeny and herbally! I served it with rice, and fried broccoli with beef, omelette and plenty of fresh coriander.

Roti John — June 2, 2018

Roti John

Essentially a minced beef french toast on a batard. Who invented this nobody really knows but definitely in Singapore/Malaysia during Colonial rule.

Buy baguette or batard or what we locals simply call the French Loaf (Roti Perancis). Cut in half and then slice open but don’t cut all the way through.

Prepare seasoning ingredients. Curry powder, ground chillies, chopped coriander, minced beef. Crack five small eggs and whisk till smooth.

Pour two to three tablespoons of oil, and then add a teaspoon of ground chilli paste. Fry till chilli is cooked then add minced beef. Mine is already precooked but it’s ok to use raw ones too, just cook longer till beef is thoroughly cooked through. Add 1/8 teaspoon of curry powder and salt and black pepper. Add one teaspoon of chopped coriander.

Now this is the tricky bit. Form and spread meat mixture in the hot pan to roughly cover the area of the bread. Quickly pour just enough whisked egg to cover the meat mixture and the spread the bread on top of it. Use your fingers to manipulate and get all the egg and meat mixture into the bread. Press down and cook till browned. Flip over and cook the other side so both sides are crispy.

Above is the non-chilli version. Suitable for kids and those who don’t like it too spicy.

To serve, fold the bread and then slice into roughly one inch portions. Make a mixture of ketchup, chilli sauce, water and lime juice to dip the bread with.

Try it! It’s a hawker favourite, especially back in the 80s.

Lemak Lodeh — May 31, 2018

Lemak Lodeh

This is a VERY typical and common dish in the Malay world. So today I thought I’d make this since there was a special request for it.

There are many variations so I used the simplest one. The best part is no oil in the dish, just boil and boil.

This dish is usually eaten with lontong or compressed rice and serondeng, a coconut floss dish. But the Malays eat this with rice quite regularly too as a day to day home dish with sambal tumis.

Today’s version is not thick because the special requester asked for a thin version. And also requested for lots of vegetables. No problem there!

Step 1.

Blend one large red onion, 2-3 cloves of garlic, a piece of turmeric and a small handful of ikan bilis. Blend with water to a super fine paste.

Step 2.

Boil blended paste with enough water to cover half the pot for ten or more minutes till the paste has a wonderful aroma. Add two teaspoons of salt. Basically the concept here is to cook the raw ingredients in the paste but instead of using oil to cook it down, you just boil with water long enough to cook it. A much healthier option.

Step 3.

Add bruised lemon grass and daun salam, or fresh local bay leaves.

Step 4.

Prep the vegetables. French beans, carrots, cabbage, firm tofu and tempeh. I fried the tofu and tempeh first because I wanted that golden colour in the dish later. Not the healthier option. You can choose not to fry first.

Step 5.

Add the vegetables and let boil till tender but still has a nice crisp.

Step 6.

Add one packet of coconut cream. Add a bit of salt if needed after tasting. Let simmer but don’t let it boil or the coconut cream will separate.

And this is the meal today:

Penne Mushroom Carbonara Casserole 🥘 — May 30, 2018

Penne Mushroom Carbonara Casserole 🥘

And so the June holidays have begun and my kitchen has opened. No more Mama’s cooking for the next four weeks!

So today, I’ve decided to cook a penne casserole dish. Now I know why Americans love the casserole. It’s easy to make and delicious. Just add your favourite ingredients, top with cheese and let the oven do the rest.

For this dish, I didn’t use any recipes but my gut feel.

Step 1.

Boil penne in salted water till al dente

Step 2.

Heat olive oil in pan, add sliced sausages and smoked paprika for added flavour. Add sliced white mushrooms and broccoli. Add a bit of chopped garlic.

Step 3.

Add bottled mushroomcarbonarasauce. I also do not like to waste ingredients so I added the leftover mushroomsoup from last night and about half a cup of cream from the fridge. Add penne and stir to combine.

Step 4.

Transfer to a baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and parmesancheese. Sprinkle dried Italianherbs.

Step 5.

Bake till cheese melts and browns.

Step 6.

Serve hot with mesclun salad.

Detox Water 🥒 — May 27, 2018

Detox Water 🥒

Since I’ve to be on a low purine diet, I’ve been finding recipes to make my meals healthier.

And all the health websites say I’ve to drink plenty of water – at least 8-16 cups a day. So what better way then to start detoxing my water with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Today, I tried the cucumber and lime method. Simply slice limes and cucumbers and pour water in a jar with the sliced vegetables. I’ll let it sit for many hours and then drink 8-16 cups of it. 😌

Suji (Semolina) Pudding My Way — May 21, 2018

Suji (Semolina) Pudding My Way

I’ve shared a post about making semolina pudding or suji in Malay. Quite similar to a rice pudding except this uses semolina flour. Today, because the water was too hot, the semolina quickly turned quite lumpy. I used a whisk and when it’s all done, poured the mixture through a sieve. Voila! Very smooth and creamy pudding.

For the final touch, I had the trail mix a friend got for me. Healthy and raw. I made it more delicious (and unhealthy!) by frying handfuls in good quality butter (Lurpak, in this case). After that, chill in the fridge or eat warm.

1. Bring 4 Ikea sized mugs of water in a Corningware to a simmer.
2. Add 1 Ikea sized mug of semolina and 1 Ikea sized mug of white sugar (not totally full for sugar, make it 4/5 mug) and 1 whole can of full fat evaporated milk.
3. Stir to thicken and slowly add 1 more Ikea sized mug of hot water to achieve a smooth and not too thick consistency. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon nicely. Add a bit of yellow food colouring and some rose water essence, or vanilla if the former is unavailable.
4. Fry in butter nuts and raisins of choice.
5. Sprinkle over and chill.
6. If mixture has lumps, sieve mixture for a smooth consistency.
Mushy Peas — May 20, 2018

Mushy Peas

Remember my post on Covent Garden’s fish and chips? Well, from time to time, I’ll think about it.😂 But today, because of The Boy’s insistence to make him fish and chips, I decided to make it the whole works.

It’s so easy to make. And delicious to boot, except that I have two girlfriends who loathe peas, so I am guessing there are a lot more pea haters out there.

It’s all about boiling, adding, blitzing and voila! Creamy and flavourful super sweet peas!

1. Boil: Peas

2. Add: butter, cream, white pepper, sea salt

3. Blitz: not too smooth unless you like it that way. It’s not creamed peas, it’s mushy peas! 😂

For tonight’s dinner, it’s battered salmon. Delish!

Pani Puri — May 8, 2018
Overnight Oats 🍓 — May 3, 2018
Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil — April 14, 2018

Roasted Peppers in Olive Oil

I’m sad that a place I’ve been going to yearly for years has closed down because the entire building it was on got en bloc. Goodbye my dearest Porta-Porta.

And suddenly I felt sad also for losing my favourite Italian starters. So I decided to try and make one of them – masserated in good pure organic olive oil roasted peppers.

In a pan roast peppers till soft and skin blackened.

When cooled, remove skin. Cut into strips and then place in a jar. Add sea salt generously and then pour oil over. Leave in fride (just because Singapore is so very hot now, nothing can stay good out).

Later I’ll see if I can get some great ciabatta to go with this.