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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homemade Pasta w/ Bacon & Leeks

I bought a pasta machine a while back, but never had the time to try it out.

So today, i decided i should make some pasta for dinner! and i did!



Pasta (I followed the recipe from Gino D’acampo’s book)

Makes 400g – Serves 4-5

300g pasta flour (tipo 00)
3 medium eggs – i used large eggs and they were fine)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


6 rashers of bacon
2 leeks, sliced thinly
400-500ml cream



I did this in my Kitchenaid, but you can also do this by hand.

Combine the flour, eggs, salt and extra virgin olive oil and work into a crumbly dough. Gather the crumbs together and knead till you have a soft dough.

Keep kneading for around 8 minutes or till the dough is not longer sticky sticky.

Form the dough into a ball, wrap with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for around 20 minutes.

First, i halved the dough and flattened it slightly into an oval shape. Then i put it through the pasta machine starting at 1 and slowly your way up to no. 3, when you are there, you will realise that the pasta might be a little long to work with, so i halved it again. Remember to continously dusting the pasta with flour to prevent sticking. (I used plain flour since it’s much cheaper than pasta flour and it was absolutely fine)

Keep going through the pasta machine until you reach no. 5 which i feel is the perfect thickness and length. It should be thin enough to see your fingers through it.

Then put it through the cutter, i used the fettuccine cutter. Remember to keep dusting with flour and you will realize that some of the strands stick together, so just peel them apart first before hanging to dry.

I don’t have a pasta hanger, so i just cleaned a chair and hanged it on the back of the chair. Gino says to use the pasta within an hour.

So while hanging, i chopped up the leeks and bacon. i fried the bacon first to get it crispy and flavourful. Then added in the leeks to cook till they have caramelized and very soft. Add in the cream.

While waiting for the leeks to caramelize, cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water for around 2-3 minutes. Always try your pasta to be sure.

Add the pasta together with some of the pasta water into the creamy mixture.

Stir to combine. Adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

I am so happy. Fresh pasta really tastes very satisfying and delicious. It is definitely worth the work. Not that difficult actually, it just takes some learning and time to work the machine but once you get the hang of it, it is really easy.

Try it! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sweets Attack!

I love ring pops! but it’s not easy to find, it’s an old fashioned sweet which i really really like. i dunno why.

so i managed to find it in a shop in Chinatown a few months back. but it was quite expensive. i think it was nearly $2 for one.

So i went online shopping and after a few days of google-ing, i have finally found it on The Professors Online Lolly Shop. The prices are almost wholesale prices, much cheaper than getting the sweets separately in retail shops.

At first, all i wanted was my ring pops. but. after asking fish and hui, we got something for everybody!

For me, i got my ring pops and a 1kg bag of smarties!!

For hui, she loves these sour straps.

For fish, he likes his mints, so he got a box of eclipse mints.

As a bonus for all 3 of us, A&W Root Beer!!

All these sweets were much cheaper than if we bought them in retail shops. These ought to last for a really really long time.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Beef Mince & Tofu Curry w/ Cheese!

I came across runnyrunny999’s video on youtube and just nice, i had a pack of 500gm of minced beef in the fridge thawing.


300g Firm Tofu
250g Ground Beef/Pork
150g chopped onion
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
a knob of ginger (grated or minced)
6 cloves of garlic (grated or minced)
200ml canned diced tomato
1 tbsp sugar
*You could also put carrots into the curry, but if you do, leave out the sugar.
Shredded tasty cheese

(Fish added a little okonomiyaki and yakisoba sauce which made it taste even better – so if you have them, add a little of both!)


Brown the onions first in a large pan or wok.

Add in the garlic and ginger. Fry till fragrant. *If you’re using carrots, add them in too.

Add in the beef/pork mince and fry till all the liquid has evaporated and the mince is browning.

Add in the flour and curry powder and fry to remove the raw flavour of the flour.

Add in the canned tomatoes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and sugar (omit if using carrots)

Mix to combine.

Leave it to simmer for as long as you can.

Eat this over cooked Japanese rice topped with shredded cheese.


Pepper Lunch anyone?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pepper Steak w/ Whisky Mushroom Sauce & Potatoes

For dinner one night, i defrosted 2 pepper steaks that i bought from Colins Butchery, which is my new favourite place to get meat.

So, i searched the internet and found this.

This is the pepper steak i got.

Whisky Mushroom Sauce

  • 200g-250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) whisky
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 100ml thin cream

Fry the mushroom with the garlic.
Add in the whisky, bring it to a boil and cook till reduced.
Add the mustard and cream and cook till the sauce thickens slightly.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Pommes Anna

  • 4 (about 600g) desiree potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Preheat oven to 200°C. To make the pommes Anna, combine the potato, butter and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the potato mixture evenly among eight 80ml (1/3-cup) capacity non-stick muffin pans. Use the back of a spoon to press down firmly. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

Yum. Enjoy your dinner!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stuffed Tofu Puffs – 2 ways

I made wontons for my party and had some left over filling which i froze.

I remembered this recipe which i had watched on youtube before and decided to recreate it.


A bag of tofu puffs
Marinated mince meat
Dark Soy Sauce
Light Soy Sauce
Oyster Sauce
Sesame Oil
Spring Onions


It is quite simple really.

Boil a pot of water and blanch the tofu puffs briefly, this is to get rid of the stale oil.

Then run it through cold water so that it is easy to work with.

For each puff, tear a hole on one side and the easiest way is to, as much as it doesn’t sound nice, dig a hole with your finger so that it can accept more meat.

Stuff the meat into the hole using your finger to push meat into the puff till it’s nice a puffy.


In a wok, seal the puffs meat side down. Then add dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and oyster to your taste. Add a little sugar and the half the spring onions. Cover and cook down. Make sure you move the tofu puffs if not they might burn.

When the sauce is almost reduced, add in sesame oil and serve up. Sprinkle the rest of the spring onions.


We had this for dinner with rice, with another one of my favourite dishes of all time. Onion egg!

There was quite a lot of tofu puffs though. So keep if when you can’t finish and you can make it into a quick dinner the next day, or next next day.


In a pot of boiling water, softened the vermicelli noodles for 3 minutes. Then place the noodles in a bowl and cover it with a plate to let the noodles steam.

I boiled a can of chicken stock and a can of water. Add in the tofu puffs and the remaining sauce. Taste to check the seasoning. Add in the vermicelli noodles and cook till soften and chewy. It doesn’t take too long. Add some spring onions.

Serve up. Yum Yum! A simple and quick dinner.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Soft Pretzels!

I love pretzels but i’ve always thought they might be really difficult to make.

So, when i came across this video on youtube, i decided that i would try it!

It was quite successful. Could be better, but i am very happy with this first batch.

I used the recipe exactly as Laura’s recipe. Below is her recipe but i have added alternate measurements and some notes in brackets.

Makes 1 Dozen

1 ½ cups of Water at 110 degrees
1 Tbsp of Sugar
1 ½ tsp of Salt
1 package of Dry Yeast (7g or 2 1/4 tsp)
2 Tbsp of melted Butter (28g)
4 ½ to 5 cups of All Purpose Flour (i only needed 4 cups)

6 cups of Water
½ cup of Baking Soda

1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water (use the smallest egg you can find)
Kosher Salt for topping


1) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the water sugar and salt, stir to mix and sprinkle the yeast on top. (Stir to combine) Let it sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast begins to foam.

(I didn’t add the salt together, in case it ‘kills’ the yeast, so i added it together with the flour instead)

2) Add the flour and butter and turn the mixer to low and mix until everything is combined. Turn the speed up to medium and mix for about 5 to 7 minutes or until you have a smooth dough.

(I didn’t turn my kitchenaid to medium, because the manual says to only use speed 2 with the dough hook, so i left it at speed 2 for around 9 mins, keep checking on the dough to make sure that it becomes smooth and elastic but still a little sticky)

(I had to throw the first batch because i kneaded it for too long and it definitely over kneaded because the dough was tough and not at all elastic)

3) Brush the bottom and sides of a bowl with some vegetable oil and put the dough in the oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour.

(It’s still quite cold here, so i preheated the oven to the lowest temperature and left it in there – make sure you cover it tight)

4) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (220 degree Celsius), lay 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush some vegetable oil on the parchment paper. (I didn’t brush vegetable oil on my baking paper, it was fine)

5) Add the water and baking soda to a roasting pan and set the roasting pan over a burner and turn the heat on to medium and let the water come to a rolling boil, meanwhile form the pretzels. (I used a wok instead)

6) Once the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces, roll each piece into a rope and make a U shape, then press the ends of the rope at the bottom of the U shape and pinch the ends. Place your shaped pretzels onto the oiled parchment paper line baking sheets.


7) Carefully place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds one at a time, remove from the boiling water using a flat spatula and put them back on the oiled parchment paper lined baking sheets. Continue to cook all of them and then brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle each one with a little kosher salt. (Make sure you don’t cook it in the baking soda water for too long, i cooked it for a little too long and the flavor of the baking soda on the crust was quite strong)


8) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until deeply golden brown.

I really quite like it – especially with butter!! Yum!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rum & Raisin Ice Cream

For my recent laksa party, i made a rum & raisin ice cream.

It tasted fantastic.. in my humble opinion. but it is quite alcoholic, so if you love your rum, you will love this. Although, there are ways you can to make this less alcoholic.

Ingredients (4-5 person serving)
2-3 servings if you really like your ice cream. I tripled this for my party.

160ml milk (i used low-fat)
2 egg yolks
90g sugar
200ml cream (any type will do, i used thickened cream)
70g raisins soaked in 70g rum (i used dark Jamaican rum)
Vanilla pod or vanilla extract (optional – but i used it)


1. Boil the milk with vanilla pods, if using.
2. In a bowl, cream the egg yolks and sugar till pale and creamy.
3. Add the milk slowly into the egg yolk mixture and keep whisking to ensure that the egg does not cook.

*Should you find that the eggs have curdled and you end up with scrambled eggs, don’t worry, get a sticker blender or a blender of any sorts and blend till the mixture is smooth and creamy again. If you were making a cream vanilla ice cream – this would make the ice cream taste slightly eggy, so if this happens, i suggest you change it to a flavored ice cream and there will be no problems.

4. Pour this custard mixture into a pot and thicken it over a low flame.
5. After it becomes nice and thick – able to coat the back of a wooden spoon, strain the mixture into a bowl, cover with Clingfilm. Let it cool before placing into the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, best if overnight. So if you’re having a party, this can be prepared beforehand.
6. Add the cream into the cold mixture and pour it into your ice cream machine and let it churn for 20 mins.


For a real alcoholic burst of rum, soak the raisins in rum overnight. The raisins will become really plump and you get a burst of rum whenever you bite into one. Add only the raisins and not the remaining alcohol – it would be much too overpowering.

To cut down, soak in raisins in lesser alcohol and soak it for a much lesser time, maybe just 3-5 hours.

7. Add the soaked raisins into the ice cream and stir well. If you wanted to add the remaining rum, make sure you strain it, as the raisins contain much sediment that you wouldn’t want in your ice cream.

8. Freeze the mixture in the freezer for as long as you can because the alcohol causes the churned mixture to soften.

9. All is left is to enjoy!

**Optional – when we first tried it, it seemed to taste as if there were chocolates in it. So what i did was to roughly chop up some dark chocolate and added them in, just to increase the flavor profile.