PUMPKIN RICE WITH COCONUT MILK

pumpkin rice

This recipe has been lingering in my head for a while. It is inspired from a popular local breakfast call “nasi lemak” in Malay language meaning creamy rice. “Nasi lemak” is cooked with coconut cream and pandan leaves (a plant that releases soothing mild fragrance) to go along with fried fish, anchovies, peanuts, thin omelet, cucumber and lots of tasty chili paste.

Honestly, I was quite afraid that this creation may not work but the compliments I received from my guests made me smile. I would love to turn it into a risotto soon.

pumpkin risotto 2

Rice

Half an onion, finely chopped

Pumpkin, cut into small cubes

Coconut cream

Curry leaves (I still can’t think of an alternative herb that is close to it)

Prawns, cut into small pieces (optional)

Chicken or vegetable stock

White wine,

Olive oil

Sea salt

Crushed black pepper

pumpkin risotto 3

Heat up a good amount of olive oil over high heat and cook prawns till tender. Remove and set aside for later use. Reduce to medium heat and using the same oil, sauté chopped onions till translucent then add in rice. Coat rice with oil and season with salt and pepper follow by white wine just enough for the rice to soak it up. Add enough stock and coconut cream. Stir and cover for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and curry leaves. Stir and cover for another 15 minutes (most rice should be cooked by now. If not, continue cooking till it’s done). Add prawns, stir and serve immediately.

ROSEMARY CARROT SOUP

rosemary carrot soup

After trying the side dish for pan fried toman fillet with lemon cream sauce , I found out that rosemary and carrot are good friends. Then I got curious and wonder if their relationship can go any further. I discovered they are very much in love.

I have always wanted to make soup that does not need cream, butter or flour. I am glad this recipe works for me. The strong scent of rosemary infuses very well into the natural sweetness of the carrots and onion which combine to give a complex flavor.

Carrots, chopped

Small onion, chopped

Sprig of rosemary, chopped

Olive oil

Milk, room temperature

Sea salt

Crushed black pepper

Parmigiano cheese

Fry onion in a pot with olive oil till it starts to caramelize. Put in carrots, rosemary, salt and black pepper. Continue cooking till carrots become soft. Leave to cool. Blend everything into puree and return to pot. Over a small fire, pour in milk by small amount and stir continuously until puree achieves desired thickness. Add in a handful of parmigiano cheese.

TUNA SALAD WITH CANNELLINI BEANS

tuna salad 3

I can’t wait to share this recipe that can be prepared within 5 minutes. I found it from an old recipe book by Carla Capalbo which was sitting on the shelf for some time. I got to admit that initially I was skeptical about the combination but surprisingly it turns out really good!

Canned tuna chunks

Canned cannellini beans

Good extra virgin olive oil

Fresh lemon juice

Sea salt

Crushed black pepper

Fresh basil (the original recipe uses parsley)

 

Emulsify the oil with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix in all other ingredients. That’s it!

I doubt you need 5 minutes.

PAN FRIED TOMAN FILLET WITH LEMON CREAM SAUCE

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Toman fish is also called the giant snakehead or giant mudfish which is capable of growing to over 1 meter in length (3.3 feet) and a weight of over 20 kilograms (44 pounds). It is widely distributed in the freshwater of South East Asia.

In Singapore, this fish is less costly as compared to others like snapper or grouper. It is widely used to make into fish porridge or fish soup to go with rice or vermicelli.

I am always curious how it will taste like if I make it into a steak. This fish taste rather plain on its own so I made a rich sauce to go with it.

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Main

Toman fillet

Sea salt

Black pepper

flour

Olive oil

 

Side

Carrots

Rosemary

Butter

 

Sauce

Butter

Olive oil

Shallots

Cooking cream

Chopped fresh basil

Lemon juice

Lemon zest

White wine

Sea salt

Black pepper

 

Shred carrots into long thin stripes and steam with some fresh rosemary.

Heat up olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Marinate fillet with salt and pepper then coat with dry flour and fry for 3 minutes on each side. Put fillet aside.

Reduce to low heat and use the remaining oil to fry shallots with butter until shallots turn translucent. Add salt and pepper follow by a gulp of white wine to deglaze the pan. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and zest follow by cooking cream. Add chopped basil and bring to the boil then turn off heat.

Carrots should be done by now. Remove rosemary, add butter and mix well.

Spoon lemon cream sauce over fillet, carrot and serve immediately.

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.