Friday, 29 May 2009

Grilled Lamb with Couscous and Cucumber Yoghurt Salad

Grilled Lamb Kebab

600 g lamb shoulder, trimmed boned, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
Coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
6 metal skewers

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, cumin, black pepper and salt. Pulse until combined. Pour in olive oil and pulse into a paste. Rub the paste and lemon juice on the lamb and let them marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator and allow the lamb to come to room temperature.

Thread lamb on skewers, leaving 1/2-inch space between each piece.
Grill or broil lamb until crusty brown outside but still pink inside, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Arrange skewers on plates and serve.

Fruity Couscous

2 cups couscous
3 cups boiling hot chicken broth
sun-blushed tomatoes, finely chopped
dried apricot, chopped
dried cranberries, chopped
black olives, pitted and sliced
fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Put couscous and apricots, cranberries, tomatoes and olives in a large bowl. Stir 2 tablespoons olive oil into the boiling broth, pour over the couscous and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff up the grains with a fork, stir in a handful chopped fresh coriander leaves and season.

Cucumber Dill Yoghurt Salad

1 cucumber, quartered, remove seeds and sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Stir some more chopped fresh dill leaves and lemon juice into yogurt and season.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Thai-style Prawn and Asparagus

Thai-style Prawn and Asparagus

400g asparagus,cut into 4cm lengths
200g prawns - remove shell, de-veined
1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp tomyam paste
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemongrass
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
lime juice

Heat oil in wok,saute tomyam paste, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass until fragrant
Add prawns and fry until the colour changes to pink
Add asparagus, cook for 1 minute.
Add fish sauce, lime juice, salt and sugar, to taste.
Best serve with hot rice

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Chicken Ball & Rice Noodle Soup

Chicken Ball & Rice Noodle Soup

125g dried flat rice noodles
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 carrots cut into small cubes
1 canned young corn, sliced
2 large chicken thigh fillets, excess fat removed, cut into small pieces

2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups chicken stock

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 small fresh chillies, thinly sliced diagonally

Place the rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with plenty of boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften slightly.

Place the mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Pour over 1/2 cup boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes to soak.

Meanwhile, place the chicken in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely minced. Add salt and pepper and process until well combined. Use wet hands to shape into 20 walnut-sized balls. Transfer to a plate, cover and set aside.

Drain the mushrooms and reserve the liquid. Squeeze excess moisture from mushrooms. Remove hard stalks and discard, and thinly slice the caps.

Prepare the soup base; boil the chicken stock with ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and celery for about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the vegetables from the stock

Add mushrooms, reserved mushroom liquid, carrots and corns into the stock in a large sauce-pan. Add water, if necessary.

Add rice vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce and bring to the boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the chicken balls and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the chicken balls are just cooked through.
Meanwhile, drain the noodles

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with spring onions, crispy fried shallots and chillies. Serve immediately.

A summer-inspired Dutch-Flemish artificial flower arrangement

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Golden Syrup Sponge Pudding

By far, one of the fastest puds ever....

Golden Syrup Sponge Pudding

100 g self raising flour
100 g butter
100 g sugar
30 ml milk
2 eggs (beaten)
vanilla essence
grated zest of half a lemon
3 tablespoons of golden syrup

Cream butter and sugar together. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla essence. Mix in flour, milk and lemon zest.
Put the golden syrup in the bottom of a two pint bowl. Spoon the mixture on top. Place in microwave (with a plate on top). Cook for 3.5 minutes on high. Serve with custard or ice cream.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Homemade Egg Pasta with Roasted Vegetable Salad

Basic Egg pasta

300g flour
3 eggs

Put flour and salt in a bowl.
Make a well in the center and add the eggs.
With your fingertips, gradually, incorporate the flour into the eggs until a soft dough. Sometimes you'll have to add some tablespoons of water; or you'll have to add some flour if the dough is very sticky. Knead the dough on a floured work surface for 8-10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with a napkin and allow to rest for at least 20-30 minutes.
You can also put the dough in a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
When the dough is ready, cut into thirds or quarters. Work with 1 piece at a time but remember to keep the remaining pieces covered.
Roll out on lightly floured surface the pasta dough, beginning from the center, to a thickness of 0,3 cm (1/8in); you have to use a long pasta rolling pin for this.
If you want to cut noodles by hand, allow to dry for 15-20 minutes.

Salad with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta

1/4 cup Kalamata olives, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup Feta cheese

Lemon juice
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Traditional Dance ~ Practise Session

First and foremost I would like to apologise for not able to reply to all that have spent precious time visiting my photoblog and dropping a line or two in the comment column.
It has been a gruelling and intense few days as we have to practise for the upcoming event organised by the Malaysian Tourism Development Industry.

The ladies and I will be performing 3 dances; introductory “Dia Datang”, “Tarian Kipas” and “Zapin”. As we only have about 6 days to learn the steps to these dances, the practises often took us till late at night……