Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rosemary and Mustard Crusted Lamb Rack

It is not often that I cook elaborate western dishes but when I do, I would sometimes do a roast lamb or beef. I know some people don't fancy lamb at all and my mum is one! However I believe a fresh cut of lamb does not smell at all especially if you season it with fresh herbs.

lamb rack 1

I was tempted to make lamb a few weeks back and went out of my way to a good supermarket to get a fresh rack. The local supermarket just around the corner from where I live don't stock lamb at all. So I had to go a little bit more out of my usual route. I used a combination of fresh sage and fresh rosemary (from my own pot in my balcony) for this particularly rack. I also think that mustard goes well as part of the marinade.

lamb rack 3

lamb rack 5

Rosemary and Mustard Crusted Lamb Rack


1 1/2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary
3 -4 sage leaves
1 finely grated Lemon zest
1 clove garlic finely minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
One piece 8 French-trimmed lamb rack
2 1/2 heaped Tbsp whole grained Dijon mustard
Sea salt to season
Freshly ground black pepper to season


1) Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC (350°F/Gas 4).

2) In a bowl add the rosemary, zest, garlic, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper into a bowl and stir to combine.

3) Rub the marinade all over the rack and leave for 30 minutes.

4) Place the lamb over in a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. (If you like you can add some baby potatoes or vegetables on the bottom of the tray and place the rack on top of it)

5) Season with extra salt and pepper. Drizsle a bit more olive oil and place the sage leaves on top of the rack.

6) Roast the lamb for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lamb is cooked and nicely pink.

7) Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest in a baking tray loosely covered with foil for 5 minutes.

8) Cut the rack into each slice and serve with a side of roasted potatoes and vegetables.

lamb rack 4

lamb rack 6

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Prune, Cinnamon and Toasted Walnut Cookies with Cinnamon Icing

Of late I think I have been really slacking in updating this blog. From my usual two posts a week it has now gone down to about one. It's not that I don't have recipes to post up but the initial eagerness I had felt when I first started this blog seems to be waning off. Maybe I am going through a "slight depression spell" and need to take a huge step and push myself out from this valley. But whatever it is I have to work this out myself. But rest assured, I definitely will continue blogging for now. In any case I wish you guys a great weekend and leave you with this absolutely delicious cookie recipe.

prune cookie 4

prune cookie 1

prune cookie 2

Prune, Cinnamon and Toasted Walnut Cookies with Cinnamon Icing
Recipe Adapted from "Weekend Baking" by Delia Smith
Makes about 20 cookies


75g toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter, softened
120g brown sugar (you can use white as well)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp plain cream cheese
150g all purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp salt
125g pitted dried prunes, chopped into small pieces


1) Preheat oven to 180C

2) Beat butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add in the egg and cream cheese and beat until well mixed.

3) Add in half the flour and spices and mix into the batter. Add in the remaining and mix until combined. Then fold in the walnuts and prunes.

4) Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Drop 1 heaped teaspoon onto the tray laving space between each cookie as it will expand.

5) Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes. The cookies will be soft but will harden slightly when cool. Note that these cookies are not crunchy in texture.

Cinnamon Icing:
50g icing sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 - 2 tsp cold water

Mix the above together until it is of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over each cookie and let the icing set.

prune cookie 3

prune cookie 5

prune cookie 6

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Laksa Fried Rice With Shrimps

I must confess that I am really a simple person at heart. Simple, home-cooked meals brings such pleasure as it brings back childhood memories. Fried rice and fried rice noodles were staple weekend meals when I was growing up in Malaysia. My siblings and I would look forward to such weekends whenever we knew our mum was going to prepare this. Even though the ingredients used in the dish were simple, I guess to us kids at that time it was as good as eating abalone or lobster. I would usually eat more than a plateful. In fact I think everyone else had more than one serving as well! Even now cooking these two dishes bring back such memories and also that they happened to be my dear LT's favourite meals as well.

I decided to make fried rice this particular weekend. It wasn't because I wanted to evoke childhood memories but simply because I didn't know what to cook. I deviated from the usual chinese fried rice style of cooking and made a spicy flavoured one instead. I must say that it turned out pretty well. Now who says that you can't "cook on the fly" and come up with a tasty meal.

laksa rice 5

Before I jump into the recipe I had a nice surprise this week - in fact two nice surprises to be exact. I received 2 blog awards. It is really nice to receive such awards as it means that my blogging efforts are being recognized by other bloggers. To this I would like to thank Edith of Precious Moments and Vivian of Vivian Pang Kitchen

laksa rice 3

Laksa Fried Rice With Shrimps
Serves 4


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 - 4 Tbsp laksa paste (recipe below)
300g medium prawns, shelled and deveined
1 small onion, finely chopped
300g (2 cups) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
3 eggs, lightly whisked
600g (4 cups) pre-cooked long-grain white rice, cold from the fridge
white rice, cooled (see tip)
Salt, light soy sauce and white pepper for seasoning

For Garnishing:

Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Sliced fresh chillies


1) Heat the oil in a large wok or deep frying pan over high heat. Saute the onions for about a minutes. Then add the laksa paste and fry until fragrant.

2) Add the prawns and mixed vegetables, and stir-fry for 1 minute.

3) Reduce heat to medium-high and add in the cold rice. Cook for about 3 minutes. Then pour in the beaten egg and stir into the rice. Cook for another 3 - 4 minutes, until the rice dries out. Season with salt, soy and pepper to taste.

4) Divide the rice amongst serving bowls. Garnish with chopped coriander and sliced chilles and and serve immediately.

Tip 1: For best results, cook the rice the day before (this allows time for the rice to dry slightly so the grains will be less sticky). Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tip 2: Instead of making the laksa paste from scratch, you can buy pre-made paste from Asian grocery shops.


Laksa Spice Paste


3 small shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp crushed blanched candle nuts (or blanched plain almonds)
2 Tbsp soaked dried shrimp
2 fresh lemongrass. white part only, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh galangal
1 tsp shrimp paste
3 fresh chillies, seeds removed and sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh tumeric
2 tsp ground coriander
3 lime leaves (center vein removed) and finely sliced. You can substitute with 1 tsp lime zest


Place all the above ingredients into a food processor or blender. Add a little bit of water and grind until smooth.

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laksa rice 4

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chilled Tofu with Century Egg and Pork Floss

I regularly prepare chilled tofu dishes at home because it's easy to put together and it is delicious as well. There are in fact so many ways to prepare tofu and to me it is the perfect home-cooked comfort food.

Tofu used to be only cooked in Asian homes or restaurants but now it is found all over the world. Western restaurants are now even incorporating this ingredient into their fusion dishes.

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Discovered over 2000 years ago by the Chinese, tofu has on occasions been described as the "Cheese of Asia" because of its physical resemblance to a block of farmer's cheese. It is highly nutritious and is protein-rich as it is made from soybean milk.

Tofu in fact is bland in taste and eaten on it's own is really not very tasty. Because it has such a mild taste it is most suitable for a wide variety of foods, from meat replacements in stir fry, stew or any other main dish to smoothies and desserts. Another great property is that it acts like a sponge and absorbs any seasoning or flavours you would add to the dish. That way you can marinade it and prepare it to taste any way you like. If you are a vegetarian or on a vegan free diet, tofu is the best possible food you could eat to obtain for your required protiens and nutrients.

tofu 1

Chilled Tofu with Century Egg and Pork Floss
Serves 2 to 3
Recipe Adapted from "Food & Travel" Magazine


150g silken tofu, chilled
1/2 century egg, boiled and diced into small cubes (found in Asian grocers - you can omit this ingredient)
15g pork (or chicken) floss
1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp chilled water
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp chilli oil
Pinch of black pepper


1) Slice the tofu thinly and place on a serving plate.

2) Mix the seasoning together and pour over the tofu. Arrange the diced century egg over and around the tofu. Add a pinch of black pepper.

3) Then sprinkle the century egg, coriander and pork floss over the tofu. Serve immediately.

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tofu 2

tofu 3
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