Salmon En Papillote

Salmon En Papillote

Cooking. Definitely something I find joy in. Something I love. No matter how tired or long the day is, I always look forward to being in the kitchen. Be it something I’ve cooked many times before, or trying out a new recipe, it always makes a sweet end to my day. Not to mention the smile on the Mr’s face after eating it. Just can’t get any better than this!

Taylors Clare Valley Gewurtztraminer 2011

It’s the time of the month again when Taylors Wines has so generously given me two bottles of wine to taste and come up with a recipe that includes it as well as be perfect to pair with! This month, I decided to choose one that I never had much experience with – The Taylors Estate 2011 Clare Valley Gewürztraminer! This wine is light and crisp, with citrusy notes so I only had one protein in mind for it. FISH!

Salmon en papillote with pan fried jerusalam artichokes

There was one way that I’ve been wanting to try out ever since I’ve had it a few years back. En papillote is a method of cooking where food is put in a folded parchment paper in a shape of a pouch or parcel, and then baked! This method is perfect for fish, cause it keeps its moisture while steaming in the pouch. hehe I was taught this method by the talented chefs from Cookyn Inc, when they came to my place to do a private dinner party for my brother’s birthday! Amazing! So big thank you to them!

perfectly cooked salmon

This method doesn’t take long for the fish to be cooked, and the only time consuming step is the preparation of the ingredients. But once that is done, you get a beautifully cooked fish on your plate within 15 minutes! Of course, that depends on the thickness of your protein. hehe So definitely give this method a try, I’m sure you will love it as much as we did!

Salmon en papillote

Salmon En Papillote (Adapted from Cookyn Inc, serves 4)

Ingredients prepped

4 fillets of salmon, cut into 2 inches in width and skin removed & reserved

1 chorizo, cut into cubes

1/2 green capsicum, cubed

1/2 yellow capsicum, cubed

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

4 tbs of Gewürztraminer (or any white wine, you could use champagne too if you feel generous!)

Salt & pepper, to season

1 packet of brown shimeiji mushrooms, washed and separated

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbs olive oil

2 tbs unsalted butter

thinly sliced lemon

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper (about 30 cm long) and lay them on a flat surface. Then place 3 slices of lemon on the paper without any overlap.

lemon on parchment paper

My paper is fluted and it can be easily done by folding your parchment into a square and then folding it into half diagonally again and again until it gets too small to do so. Then flatten it out before placing the lemon slices.

2) Place the slice of fish on top the of lemon, then add a tbs of chorizo, yellow capsicum and green capsicum.

All ready to be folded

3) Bring the two ends of the paper together and fold it over twice and scrunch them together so they do not unfold. Do the same for one side of the pouch, leaving the other side open.

One side of the pouch left open

4) Carefully pour 1 tbs of Gewürztraminer into each pouch. Then fold the rest of the pouch to seal all the ingredients in. Place the pouches onto a baking tray and bake it in the preheated oven for 17 minutes.

5) While the fish is cooking, heat up a small frying pan and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic till it’s fragrant, careful not to burn them as it will turn bitter. Add the mushrooms and fry till tender. Add the butter and allow it to coat the mushrooms well. Keep it warm until ready to be served.

6) In another frying pan, heat it up on medium heat and place the salmon skin in the pan. Fry both sides till it’s crispy and golden, place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Set aside.

crispy salmon skin

7) To serve : Open the parchment paper, and place the sautéed mushrooms on the fish and top it with a piece of crispy salmon skin. Serve it with your favourite side (I had butter sautéed Jerusalem artichokes with pine nuts) and a glass of Gewürztraminer!

Salmon en papillote - served

Enjoy! (:

Just for fun, I’ve made a short video of the steps from start to finish! Sorry about the background noise but I hope it helps in clarifying how it is done! (:

Thank you Taylors Wines once again for the beautiful Gewürztraminer! It was delicious and definitely one that I can see myself having with my seafood! hehe Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and remember to always cook and bake with love! Till then, xx !

Thai Fish Cakes & Red Nam Jim

Thai fish cake with red nam jim

Thai food. I absolutely adore it. It’s just a cuisine that makes the tongue do a dance after every bite/ mouthful! Sweet, sour, salty, spicy, tangy! All rolled into one! Absolutely mouth-watering! However, I have to admit, thai is the one cuisine that I seldom cook at home. I usually head out to the restaurants and leave it to the pros! Especially with the balancing of the flavours!

thai fish cakes

But I decided to be adventurous one Friday afternoon after getting off work early. I saw Wince (The Hungry Excavator) post a photo of him making some Thai Fish Cake earlier in the week, and I knew instantly I had to make some! So I looked for a recipe during my lunch time, and off I went to Springvale to grab the ingredients after work!

Thai fish cakes close up

It actually wasn’t too difficult to make! In fact, the only time consuming thing was cutting the long snake beans thinly. Besides that, everything is whizzed in the food processor and viola! You’ve got some delicious fish cakes for dinner! hehe So give these a shot. They are perfect party food, and are also great as starters. hehe Oh yes! Let’s not forget the spicy and tangy red nam jim sauce to go with the fish cakes! SO GOOD! The mr couldn’t get enough!

Thai Fish Cakes with Red Nam Jim (adapted from SBS, a Teage Ezard recipe)

600g fish paste

70g red curry paste

1 egg

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

10 snake beans (or green beans), thinly slices

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Steps :

1) In a food processor, place the fish paste, red curry paste, egg, fish sauce and sugar and blend till mixture is smooth and well combined.

Blending the ingredients in the food processor

2) Scoop the mixture into a large mixing metal bowl and add the finely shredded kaffir lime leaves and snake beans.

Adding the snake beans and kaffir lime leaves

3) Mix them together till everything is well combined.

All well combined

4) In a non-stick pan, heat some vegetable oil on medium heat, enough for shallow frying. Roll the mixture into balls and flatten them with your palm. Mine was about 5 cm in diameter and about 1 cm in thickness. Fry them until both sides are brown and crispy.

Frying them

frying both sides till brown and crispy

5) Drain them on some paper towel and serve them with the homemade red nam jim sauce (to follow).

cross section

Red Nam Jim Sauce

2 red birdseye chilli, seeded and roughly chopped

4 long red chillies, seeded and roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

Handful of coriander leaves and roots

2 tbs shaved palm sugar, add more if needed to balance flavour

125ml lime juice

1 1/2 tbs fish sauce

Steps :

1) In a mortar and pestle, add the chillies, garlic and coriander and pound till it forms a paste. Do be patient, as this might take a while!

Pounding the ingredients

2) Add the palm sugar and combine. Add the lime juice, a little at a time, until the mixture is well combined then add the fish sauce to balance the taste. It should be a little like a wetter version of a salsa. Remember to taste and add more of the flavourings to balance the sweet, sour and tang!

Thai fish cakes and red nam jim

ENJOY!

Remember to always bake and cook with love! xx

Winter Warmer

So it’s the middle of winter. Rather  2 months into winter and besides these couple of days that have been all about sunshine and clear skies; the rest of the days include cold winds, cloudy skies and temperatures below 10 degrees! I’m never a winter person, more an autumn or spring person. There’s something about leaves falling from the trees and flowers blooming (opposite ends of the spectrum, I know) that puts a smile on my face.

So the only way to cheer me up during this gloomy winter is to cook something that would warm us up (with a little kick of spice) What do I have in mind? Fish stew! (: And it goes really well with … Garlic bread ! My favourite winter warmer at the moment. A one pot wonder too! No mess, no fuss! And pretty yummy if I could say so myself (:

Please pardon the lack in quality of my photos. Was too hungry and didn’t really adjust the lighting well enough! Plus the messy bowl. Goodness me!

So here’s the recipe, give it a shot and warm yourself up this winter! (:

Fish and Seafood Stew (A Food Made With Love Original)

1 leek, sliced thinly

4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly

1 onion, cut into wedges

1 carrot, cut into small cubes/pieces

3 red chillies, de-seeded and sliced thinly

2 tbs olive oil

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 tbs tomato paste

1 tin tomato puree

2 tsp hot paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp garlic salt

2 fillets of basa, sliced into 1-inch pieces

300g marinara mix

50g spinach

750ml fish stock

100ml white wine

Steps :

1) In a large pot, heat the olive oil on a medium heat and add the leeks, garlic, onion, chilli and carrot and cook till soft and fragrant. (make sure the onion or garlic does not brown, just until the onion is translucent)

2) Add the hot paprika, chilli powder and garlic salt and stir to incorporate.

3) Add the dried oregano and allow mixture to cook for 5 minutes before adding the wine. Allow the wine to reduce by half before adding the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir it well and add the fish stock. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 2 hours.

(note : you don’t have to cook for this long, if you want a quick meal, just allow it to cook for 30 mins before going on to the next step. If you have the time, allow it to cook for at least 2 hours or more for more flavour as well as a thicker stew)

4) Add the fish fillets and seafood 20 minutes before serving, and the spinach 10 minutes before serving.

5) Serve with a side of homemade garlic bread or white rice.

ENJOY !

Stay warm everyone ! (:

Fish Roulade

On our recent trip to Costco, we found a good deal on fish! It’s $4 a kilo and sold in a 3kg box! (:

I know it seems a little crazy haha. But you see, we try to maximise our marketing money. So we tend to get the cheapest cut of meat which usually ends up being mince pork. haha So seafood is usually a rare treat! And since the mr needs to cut weight before his competition this Saturday, fish was a really good idea for our meals this week.

So one of the first things I decided to try was to do my own version of fish roulade! But just the simplest of roulades. haha Not sure if it should even be called that. I was trying to make it as healthy as possible. But I couldn’t resist putting a small slice of bacon, to add more flavour. Oops. haha

The subtle flavour of the fish, with the richness of the bacon and the texture of the crispy-ness of the fish was just perfect. Everything just went well with a side of salad and bread sticks covered with homemade eggplant dip! (:

healthy (most of it is! haha) and quick to cook ! You can have it from the oven to your plate in 20 mins ! Give it a try, and gain the goodness of eating fish too!

Fish Roulade (Makes 2)

2 slices of basa fillets

2 slices of streaky bacon

3 tbs bread crumbs

2 tbs dried herbs

2 tbs parmesan

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 small cubes of chilled butter

Salad, to serve

Avocado, slices (optional)

Steps :

1. Mix the bread crumbs, herbs, parmesan, salt and pepper in a bowl and set a side.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Place a slice of bacon on top of the fish fillet and roll it tight. Do the same for the other fish fillet.

3. Roll the fish in the bread crumbs mixture. Place it on a roasting rack and place a cube of butter on each roulade.

4. Bake the fish roulade for 20 mins. Slice it into half diagonally and serve with the salad.

A quick and easy meal is served! ENJOY! (:

Unagi Fried Rice

it’s now a new favourite in the house.
ever since I got hooked onto Unagi
and fell in love with the unagi fried rice at En Dining when I went back recently.
Baby and I have been trying to cook it
and hoping it will be close to what we had.
we came close.
but still not as good. haha (:
well practice makes perfect! so practice we shall!

but for now..
this is how it turned out!

so I know it may look like nothing fantastic.
but trust me. You will love it. haha
for real! (:
it’s awesome and very addictive.
thank God today is carbs day haha
wheeee!

here is the recipe for the rice!

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cups of cooked rice (allow it to cool for about 2 hrs)
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 pieces of garlic, chopped finely
1 egg
10g butter
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Mirin
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs dark sauce
1 packet of Unagi (baked according to instructions behind the packet)



Steps :

1. Heat the oil and butter in the pan and fry the onion and garlic till the garlic just turns light brown.

2. Pour in the rice and fry till they are coated with the oil and add the 4 different sauces.
Please note that you can vary the amount of sauces to your liking. (:

3. Cut up the unagi after taking it out of the oven, and gently put it into the pan.
Fold the rice and unagi together, careful not to mash the fish up.

4. Crack and egg and fry till it coats the rice.

5. Unagi fried rice. DONE! (:

Simple pleasures in life.
AWESOME!

Dover sole with shrimp butter sauce

you know what is the best thing
and made me the luckiest girl in the world?
it’s when you reach home after a grueling exercise session (actually wasn’t too bad)
and smell the awesome yummy smell of dinner prepared by my baby (:
and very well know that dinner is going to be awesome!

and so it was (:

after watching so much F word (a Gordan Ramsay cook show)
we tend to try everything we could that he put up the recipes for.
so tonight. baby tried making the dover sole with shrimp butter sauce!

Ingredients :

2 medium Dover sole, gutted and prepped
100g plain flour
Knob of butter
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the shrimp butter:

30g butter
200g cooked and peeled brown shrimps
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp capers
1 lemon, juice only
Small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Steps :

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

2. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dust the fish all over in the flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan, season the sole again and fry on one side until golden brown (3 – 4 minutes in total). Add a touch of butter towards the end, flip over and transfer the fish to the oven for a further 6 minutes or until its cooked.

we didn’t have dover sole.
so we just used the normal white fish.
as long as it’s a firm fish (: should work!

3. For the shrimp butter: melt the butter in hot pan and cook until it begins to brown. Add the shrimps, cayenne pepper and capers. Lightly season and add the lemon juice. Cook until the shrimps are heated through then add the flat leaf parsley and stir to combine.

baby shrimps
best if it’s fresh, but we used the ones from a can.
still as good! (:

and mixing that with butter will give you an awesome..

4. Serve the fish on warm plates, spoon the shrimp butter on top and a spoonful of nettle champ on the side.

so baby and I are really anal about presentation. haha.
so he put it together really nicely!
with crispy potatoes and beans (:
the potatoes were SUPER good.
crispy on the outside
and soft on the inside!

YUMSSSSS! (:

Thank You Baby! hehe

Cheok’s Beautiful Chaos : Tuna Tataki

Ingredients :

4 Tuna steaks
Black peppercorns, coarsely cracked

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup Peanut oil
1 ounce Sesame oil
2 ounces Soy sauce
1/2 ounce Garlic—grated
1/2 ounce Ginger—grated
5 spice powder to taste

Roll tuna in cracked black pepper then sear it in a very hot cast iron pan without oil.

let cool slighly, then slice thinly. Serve with dipping sauce.

all done and ready to be sliced!
i got so excited when he was about to slice it up.
cos tataki (beef or fish) is like one of my favourite dishes ever!
and how good does this look!?

haha the two chefs! (:
one getting pointers from the other. hehe.

as Cheok slices the tuna and plates them!

Beautiful Chaos (:
that’s the name of his dish! haha

it was a huge plate of tataki. haha
can u imagine how happy i was? SUPER!

deserves another shot! (:

the dipping sauce for the tuna tataki.
SUPER SHIOK! haha.
definitely a crowd pleaser.
by crowd. i mean all 4 of us. hehe

and that’s how you eat it! (:

Enjoy!