BAMBOO SHOOT IN OLIVE OIL

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It is always fun to visit the local market during Chinese New Year period. This is when I can see a lot of rare ingredients that could not be found at other time of the year.

Bamboo shoot used to be a poor man’s food which had become an expensive delicacy. The traditional way of cooking uses boiling salt water to soften it before frying. This time, I fry it raw to retain its crunchiness. I was lucky it turns out well.  

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Bamboo shoot, remove the layers of outer skin (more than expected) and cut into bite size

Garlic

White wine

Olive oil

Sea salt

Crushed black pepper

Lemon juice

Fry garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Put in bamboo shoot follow by salt and pepper. Add in a glut of white wine and cook for 5 minutes. Squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over and serve immediately.

RATATOUILLE

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This is the first dish I cook in 2013.

Don’t laugh at me if I tell you that it was the lead character (yes, which would be the rat) in the animated feature film that has inspired me to go for my dreams. 

In the film, this dish marks the success of the rat who embarks on an extraordinary journey to become one of the top chefs in Paris.

I am a rat in the Chinese zodiac and I love to cook so it all connects up. But what’s most important is the message that I’ve got from the film.

No matter who you are, as long as you dare to dream and work hard for it, you are probably going to make it.

The rat’s recipe is definitely much better than mine but I could not get hold of it.

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1 aubergine or egg plant

1 green or yellow zucchini

1 yellow or red sweet pepper

Olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper

Balsamic vinegar (optional)

 

Sauce

1 canned Italian tomato

Few cloves of peeled whole garlic

Fresh basil

Sea salt

Black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut aubergine, zucchini and pepper into big thick pieces and season with olive oil, salt, black pepper and vinegar. Bake for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry garlic in olive oil till it starts to brown and add tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Add chopped basil and simmer over medium heat for an hour.

Serve vegetables with the sauce.

PRAWNS IN PESTO SAUCE

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Few weeks ago, I asked my cousin Ingrid to check out my blog. She ends up coming for dinner with her husband Mark last Saturday. Among the dishes I cook for them, this is a new creation which I thought might work. The idea came from a local Chinese dish using wasabi sauce with prawns so I wonder if my homemade pesto sauce can do the same. I am glad it turns out well. 

 

Pesto sauce (click here for recipe)

Cooking cream

Minced garlic

Medium prawns

Cherry tomatoes

Olive oil

Black pepper

Sea salt

 

Fry garlic and prawns in olive oil over high heat. Sprinkle black pepper and sea salt to taste. Mix pesto sauce with cooking cream. When the prawns are almost done, bring to low heat and pour in pesto sauce mixture. Continue cooking for two minutes and serve immediately with chopped cherry tomatoes.