Chorizo Risotto Topped with Garlic-Buttered Prawns

This is the perfect lunch on a rainy Sunday. You are lazy to go out but feels like having a treat for the long week that just passed. More importantly, Sunday is always a feast day.
I sauteed the prawns in garlic and butter. I then added it on the Chorizo Risotto. I served it with salsa.
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Next time, I’ll serve it with Cauliflower Soup.
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Delicious!
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Really Delicious Osso Buco with Mixed Mushroom Risotto

I’m loving my slow cooker right now.

I used it once before.  But my boys’ favorite, Once Upon a Chef’s Beef Stew, tasted better stove-top cooked than slow cooked even after 10 hours. The meat didn’t turn tender. It seemed a bit incoherent. I thought beef would be yummier and more tender if slow cooked. I was very disappointed.

To the point that I wanted to give away my slow cooker. I felt bad for asking the Captain to buy it.

Until I chanced upon the Australian Women’s Weekly Slow Cooker (The Complete Collection) book from the library. It was too hard to resist giving my slow cooker one more try.

It never disappointed me this time.

Cooking is about taking second chances.

I tried this Osso Buco with Mixed Mushrooms recipe. It looked really tempting in the picture. It doesn’t take a lot for me to be tempted especially when it comes to new dishes.

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I had extra mushroom of 3 different kinds bought from the Asian grocery store so I decided to cook Mushroom Risotto. I asked Anton to stir it.

Now Osso Buco + Mixed Mushroom Risotto = Fine Dining experience!!!

Just serve it with a glass of red wine.

 

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Oxtail Served With Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

I have to confess that oxtail and sweet potatoes are two of my favorite ingredients. So when I found these recipes from my favorite cook book, Falling Cloudberries, I knew at some point I had to give it a try.

I didn’t try it earlier because the kids and the Captain are not fans of oxtail. It’s hard to cook a dish which only a couple of people will eat it in my big family.

So that Sunday, I felt like rewarding myself and I finally pushed the button.

Melt-in-my-mouth oxtail served with sweet potatoes.

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The Captain was asking me if I wanted to go out for lunch. I never said NO until this meal.

I felt absolutely compensated.

My Guide to Last Sunday’s Cooking

It was one of those Sundays when the meals were not only tasteful but visually appealing. I wanted to bring something sweet for the Harkaway Hills College gathering that day so I baked this indulgent, Pandan Pound Cake the night before.

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I made these vegetables rolls right after Mass, trying my best to be quiet so as not to wake up Kiko who was sleeping close to the kitchen. I have been craving for some greens after days of protein rich dinners.

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I was still deliberating whether I need another dish to complete the menu when I saw this in the pantry.

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Why not?
The pasta just took 15 minutes to make, mostly due to the cooking time of the penne.

Giada’s gorgeous Sundried Tomato Pasta.

Can’t go wrong with this one.

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Sometimes you just have to surrender yourself to the moment. One of the best meals we’ve had.

Adam Liaw’s Seafood Char Kway Teow

I’ve tried many versions of char kway teow but never quite enjoyed it until I tested Adam Liaw’s recipe from his book Two Asian Kitchens.

I will never forget the secret to this great hawker dish. It is to cook it one portion at a time in a wok. I used to overload the wok which ended up with stewed noodles rather than getting that fried, charred flavour.

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Here’s the recipe for us to keep:

Ingredients
2 fried fishcakes, sliced
1 tbsp neutral-flavoured oil
3 prawns, peeled and deveined
50g squid, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
40g Chinese spinach, chopped
1 spring onion, cut into 4 cm lengths
1 egg
200g fresh thick, flat, white rice noodles
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 pinch chilli powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch white pepper
1 tsp Cheong Chan cooking caramel
50g bean sprouts
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Method
1. Boil the fishcake slices in water for 2 minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil over high heat in a large wok until smoking. Add the prawns, squid and fishcake slices. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes until almost cooked and then add the garlic, spinach and spring onion.
3. Push everything to one side of the wok and crack the egg into the space you have made. Break up the egg and mix everything together.
4. Add the noodles and toss to coat in the oil. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, chilli powder, salt and pepper and then the cooking caramel. Stir-fry together, then add the bean sprouts and cook for just a few seconds (the bean sprouts will continue to cook in the heat from the noodles and you want them to have a bit of crunch).
5. Serve with fresh coriander, a lemon wedge and some chilli and garlic oil or chilli sauce.

Notes:
1. I substituted squid with fishballs, Cheong Chan cooking caramel with caster sugar and chicken stock with the juice I got from the pounded shrimp heads. 
2. I added pork chips (chicharon) because I’m Filipino and its masarap.

Alfresco Dining @ Home

One of the perks of our new house is a built in barbecue grill at the pergola.

It didn’t appeal to us initially. Because, we moved in the middle of winter.

But now, oh dear, we are having lunches and dinner alfresco whenever we have something to grill.

Pio, my 7-year old, always wanted to get that tongs from me. I hesitated for quite some time. Safety reasons.

Now I feel so stupid for not giving the fort to him earlier. Could have saved me tons of work.

He is now grilling sausages and steak for us.

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I can’t believe it either.

I’m thinking of having grilled burger this weekend.

Fab!

Nigella’s Chocolate Pots

I brought this instant treat to a barbecue lunch at a friends’ house over the long weekend. I just made That Chocolate Cake and Cathedral Jelly the previous day for a picnic so I was not in any mood to bake.

I never made this dessert before. I didn’t know whether people will like it.

Blessed me, they did!

If I were you, I will double the recipe.

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Finger-printed by my kids

Here’s the recipe:

175 grams dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa

150 ml thickened cream

100 ml milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 egg

Crush the chocolate to smithereens in a food processor. Heat the cream and milk until just about boiling, add the vanilla and pour down the funnel over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds. Process for another 30 seconds, then crack the egg down the funnel and process again for 45 seconds.

Pour into 8 little ramekins until 3/4 full. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Serve as is or topped with strawberries.

Project: Eat.More.Greens

I am in a mission to prepare and serve more salads and vegetable dishes during dinner.

Why?
1. I want to reduce the Captain’s weight by 4 kg.
2. Tatay prefers to eat them.
3. Two of my boys HATE (Yes! That is the appropriate word.) vegetables.

I thought they will outgrow it. But I think it is taking them just way too long to make it a part of their plate.

A veggy a day.

I made this dinner the other night. Recipe here.

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Corn Fritters with rocket and avocado salad

The kids just stared at it though. The grownups loved it.

Never give up. Next try: Broccoli and bacon soup.

My Stars Aligned

It’s amazing what a sunny Sunday in spring can give.

First stop of the day was Mass. God first.

Then we decided to try Little by Little Cafe. The coffee (5-senses) had a subtle taste, not as strong as I prefer.

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But the kids enjoyed the wall-size board the most. Good enough to let me and the Captain finish our cuppa.

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Have that family picture taken in front of our Hill’s house. Because every one was decently dressed, because Kiko was awake and because Tatay was around to take it.

Finally! My stars aligned for this event.

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The kids with the Captain spent the rest of the afternoon biking around the Hills.

While I was busy cooking and making Tiramisu for dinner.

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Did I tell you that spring is divine here in Melbourne? I can’t have enough of it.