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Archive for the ‘Comfort Food’ Category

…aaand I’m back. Can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since I’ve posted something here! Since then I’ve moved into a new place with a kickass kitchen, and I’ve been cooking more than ever. Here’s hoping I find the time to post more of my recipes here.

This is a stew I came up with today, by combining leftover ingredients in my fridge. It’s adapted from various pork stew recipes I researched, and it’s a nod towards traditional Irish stews that use beer. The Hoegaarden really adds a lot of complexity to the flavour: sweet, slightly malty, and faint fruit accents.

The stew is perfect when it’s a cold and rainy day and you just want something tasty and hearty. The best part is that it’s really simple to make too! Feel free to make a huge pot of it and freeze individual portions, so when you come home after work and can’t be arsed to cook, you can just quickly defrost it in the microwave and eat it with some rice or a lovely crusty baguette.

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tom yum yaki udon

This is a typical post-hangover dish that I like to make for myself – hearty, easy to whip up, and spicy enough to wake me up from my alcohol-induced stupor. As with most fried rice/noodle dishes, it’s a great way to use up leftover food or random stuff you can find in your refrigerator. In this case, I used leftover sliced pork belly from my salad that I made a few days ago and it went beautifully with the noodles.

I like yaki udon, not only because of thick springy texture of the noodles but also because you can keep the shrink-wrapped squares of noodles for months and they never seem to go bad (have you ever seen expiry dates on udon packets?).

So here’s the lowdown:

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 nutella and banana pancake

‘NanaNutella pancake love.

Been a while since I’ve posted so I’ve decided to go for a double whammy today. First up, nutella and banana pancakes which I made just a few hours ago for a tasty Sunday morning breakfast 🙂

For this I googled around for a quick pancake recipe. I read about Mark Bittman’s (he of NYT’s Bitten blog fame) 1-1-1 pancake recipe on some sites, and I found a rough approximation of it here. I love how simple it is – the 1-1-1 stands for the ratio for flour, milk and eggs. But, as I’ve found out in life, you can always chinchai things a little more.

The best thing about pancakes is how customisable they are. You can make them savoury with a bit of cheese and ham, or sweet with raspberries, or rich with some ricotta or cottage cheese. You can play around with their texture as well: I love thin crepe-like pancakes, with bananas, the kind you find everywhere at backpacking spots in Southeast Asia. Add a bit more milk and you get runnier batter which make great light yet chewy pancakes.

basic pancakes

Pancake love. I made a few plain ones to go with jam and honey as well.

Recipe after the jump!

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Laksa Risotto

 
laksa risotto

laksa risotto closeup
 

I can’t believe it’s been nearly half a year since I’ve posted a recipe here! Then again, a lot has happened since January: I got promoted to a new, more challenging department; I went on a few holidays including one that was pretty life-transforming; and I’ve started afresh as a singleton. So I guess it’s no surprise that I haven’t been cooking or baking much 🙂

Anyhoo, enough with the blabber. I thought up of this dish the other day while making beetroot risotto (which deserves its own post another time), and decided to make it just for kicks. Laksa, in case you don’t know, is a popular Malaysian and Singaporean dish: it’s rice noodles in a rich spicy coconut broth, and usually comes with prawns, cockles, beansprouts, fish cake, and tau kwa (dried beancurd). 

Above all, this is a really easy recipe as long as you can get your grubby mitts on a packet of laksa paste, which is available at all local supermarkets (if you’re overseas, it should be available in Asian supermarkets). It’s lovely and rich,  and translating the heartiness of laksa into a new medium that has a different texture somehow makes the flavours really pop up. I wish I thought this up when I was living overseas because it’s the kind of thing I would have loved to nosh on when it was 5 degrees outside!

Recipe after the jump:

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Dorset apple cake, from the Engine Room in Poundbury, Dorset.

Last month’s trip back to the UK was lovely, not least because of all the wonderful food we had. I know “good English food” is an oxymoron in most people’s minds, who tend to think it as stodgy fish and chips, 1970’s prawn cocktails and boiled cauliflower  (I know I did before I went to uni). But there’s lots of good eating to be done there, honestly.

I know of someone who hates food blogs which only talk about food made by other people, instead of food made by the blogger him/herself. Sorry F, but this is really just an exception! Normal recipe service will resume shortly.

More delicious highlights after the jump!

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beef parcels vertical

beef parcels

We had a cookout at our monthly book club meeting yesterday. I paired up with Pauline and our secret ingredients (assigned by P, who was also the host) were “beef” and “dumpling”. Dumpling? She clarified later that she meant wonton skins. So we decided to make small parcels and put mini meatballs and chunks of roasted sweet potato in them, topped with wasabi mayonnaise, torn Thai basil, and shichimi togarashi (Japanese red pepper seasoning).

And they turned out pretty good 🙂 I would recommend them as a nice hor d’oeuvre dish for a party. Five or six of them would be enough as a light meal too.

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