Some of my friends comment that my recipes are not precise. I did not include measurements for the amount of ingredients or seasoning used. The fact is I don’t do that when I am cooking.
I prefer to cook with feel instead of going by the ‘rules’. For a same dish, the amount of seasoning depends on the different quantity of main ingredients for that day. There are times when I may not get to buy enough beef for meatballs so I used more pork or maybe some chicken. Pork is cleaner while chicken is sweet so I got to adjust the amount of salt or pepper accordingly. A pinch of sea salt taste different from rock salt and their taste varies when it came from different regions.
The touch of seasoning will differ again depending on who you are cooking for. Everyone’s taste bud varies. And if I am cooking for my mum, I may stew the meat a little longer so that she won’t have to chew that much. But the sauce may be gluier because of the longer cooking time so I will need to add extra stock or wine to get it right. I have definitely not make the grade many times before I can sum up my experience to finally create it accurately for most dishes.
I always believe seasonings and herbs are meant to enhance the natural taste of the main ingredient. Not to overpower it. Love all ingredients and they will combine beauifully like magic to love you back.
portobello mushroom recipe
garlic, finely sliced or chopped
your favorite pasta
dry herbs or fresh basil
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and put in pasta to cook till al dente. At the same time, heat up olive oil in a pan, put in garlic to infuse the oil. Add salt, pepper and herbs. When the aroma fills the kitchen, pour in white wine follow by some pasta water. Drain pasta, put into pan and mix well. Top it up with portobello mushroom and grated parmigiano.
I cook with music and it must be there from the moment I draw my knife. I normally keep my mini hi-fi tuned to our local station Class 95FM with non-stop love songs from the 80s and 90s. These are songs with the power to arouse my emotions and awaken all my senses to create the right aroma, taste, texture and color for my dish with love.
Along with music, tasting a glass of wine when I am cooking increases the sensation to elevate the whole process to a different level. It keeps my momentum going when I need to take short breaks while waiting for the fragrance of the garlic to infuse into the olive oil or when my marinara sauce is simmering away with fresh basil, onions, garlic and Italian canned tomatoes.
Something that adds to the happiness is to appreciate all the ingredients in front of me. I give huge respect to the farmers who had put in hard work to plant, rear and cultivate all the beautiful produce that are able to help me create my dish. No ingredients are to be taken for granted. Every grain of rice, every dash of black pepper is precious and should be treated with great value.
When you cook with passion and love, people can taste it.
I’m so glad to have explored making fresh pesto sauce (Click here for the recipe). Once you have it in your fridge, you can create any dish you can come up with. This time, I blend it with pan fried chicken fillet.
Chicken fillet, cut into bite size
Prepare pesto paste by adding extra virgin olive oil to create a smooth sauce.
Here’s a tip when using stainless steel pan for frying. After heating up pan with olive oil, sprinkle some salt before putting in chicken fillet. This will help to avoid meat sticking onto pan while frying. Fry fillet for three minutes on each side and add black pepper.
Off heat and stir in pesto sauce. Garnish with chopped cherry tomatoes and serve immediately.
Deep fried chicken wings can be found everywhere in Singapore. As much as I love it like many others, the burning weather over here do not allow us to have it as often as we like before a sore throat develops commonly follow by cough. Today, I turn it into Italian style.
10 mid joint wings
Season wings with salt and black pepper. In a pan, heat up olive oil over medium high fire and fry wings till golden brown. Put wings aside for later use. Add left over juice into sauce. When sauce is ready, put in the wings and simmer for 15 minutes.
Refer to my post meatballs in tomato sauce . This time, I substitute grated carrots with baby carrots.
This is my first attempt on carbonara. Instead of bacon, I crave for chicken that day.
Italian spaghetti no.3
300g chicken fillet
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
chopped fresh tomatoes for garnish
1/2 cup fresh cream
big handful of grated parmigiano cheese
pinch of sea salt
good amount of freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pot of water to boil and add salt. Put in spaghetti and cook to al dente.
While spaghetti is cooking, heat up olive oil in a pan and fry onions till it turns translucent. Put in chicken fillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry chicken fillet till slightly brown. Add in white wine.
Mix all sauce ingredients in a bowl.
Remove pan with chicken away from heat, put in spaghetti follow by sauce mixture and stir well till sauce becomes silky. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes.