Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seafood Risotto with Pumpkin Sauce (for 4 portions)


pumpkin puree - 60 g
mussels - 4
prawns - 4
sole fillet - 80 g
squid - 60 g
scallops (with half shell) - 4
risotto rice - 450 g
chicken stock - 1.5 litres
black olive (sliced) - 10 g
green zucchini (diced) - 20 g
onion (chopped) - 30 g
whipping cream - 100 ml
parmesan cheese - 30 g
white wine

olive oil
ground black pepper


1.Season mussels, prawns and squid. Set aside.
2.Stir fry chopped onion in hot oil. Sprinkle with white wine and add risotto rice. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add chicken stock ladle by ladle whenever it dries up. Cook until you use up all chicken stock. The risotto has absorbed the chicken stock fully when it turns lighter in colour and plumper in shape. Then add prawns, mussels, squid and whipping cream. Turn to low heat and cook for 8-10 minutes while stirring constantly, to avoid the risotto from sticking to the pan.
3.Add black olive, green zucchini and pumpkin puree. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and seasoning. Place it on the serving plate.
4.Season the sole fillet and scallops. Coat them in flour lightly. Pan fry until well cooked. Put them on top of risotto. Serve.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Easy Recipe for Egg Benedict

People who know me must be aware for my craze for egg benedict - ever since my Summer Job at a cafe three years ago I have been fascinated by this simple yet beautiful egg-based dish. It looks simple to make yet restaurants charge >$50 on average.

The best way is to actually cook your own egg benedicts. :) I have been searching online for a easy recipe which uses ingredients that can be easily found in a local kitchen - so here it was. I tried it out, and It was effective, easy and beautiful.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Hollandaise Sauce
2 egg yolks
25 ml lemon juice
few shakes ground white pepper
0.3 ml Worcestershire sauce
8 ml water
100 g butter, melted
0.8 g salt
Poached Egg
4 eggs
3 ml distilled white vinegar
4 strips Canadian-style bacon/salmon/spinach/grilled mushroom
2 English muffins, split
15 g butter, softened


  • To Make Hollandaise: Fill the bottom of a double boiler part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon water.

  • Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt, then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm.

  • Preheat oven on broiler setting. To Poach Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in center. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate.

  • While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler.

  • Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with hollandaise sauce.

  • Sprinkle with chopped chives and serve immediately.

I used only egg white in the poaching process as I wanted to utilize the whites that's left behind in the Hollandaise sauce. I simply mix 3 egg whites without beating and poured the thing directly into the simmering water with vinegar. It coagulated quite quickly and i waited for around 2 minutes before I took them out after separating them into 3 serves. Remember to wriggle and drain the eggs dry before putting them onto the muffin or else you could end up having really wet and soggy benedicts.

It does not matter what toppings you use-as a matter of fact I am thinking of experimenting with Chaa-Siu flakes next time. :P

And oh the recipe for the Hollandaise sauce is not very accurate - you could make the sauce for at least 6 benedict with 3 yolks and 100g butter...

Oh, just one last word - you usually serve egg benedict by two instead of you use one muffin and two eggs for one serving. :)


Not quite a bargain anymore - Salad Buffet@Barolo

>First I have to thank school for giving me one extra day-off, something which is much-needed in this hectic life of mine. Having no lessons at all (HURRAY!) I could enjoy great flexibility on my lunch-whereabouts. Having heard and read about the antipasti/salad bar lunch buffet, I could at last squeeze sometime to actually give it a try.

Apparently Barolo had raised the price of the lunch sets by an average of +$20 as the waitress politely explained to me that the Salad Bar lunch set now costs $128 instead of $108, or $98 stated on its (apparently)outdated website. You get a salad bar buffet, pasta, dessert and tea/coffee by paying $138. This narrow difference of $10 is tempting but since we went only for the salad, we decided to give it a no-no and head for the salad bar instead.

This place is actually more of a bar than a restaurant - we were allocated a bar table which was rather comfortable to sit and eat. The place was crowded with Central lunch-breakers who are mostly foreigners. They looked kinda in a rush - hurrying to return to their workplaces before the stock market opens again at 1:30? :D As they buzz around like bees we just looked around lazily, and I felt quite funny being surrounded by people constantly moving swiftly while I was completely in the holiday mood, wanting just to sit back and relax a bit. :) After a few minutes of relaxation we could at last move our asses off the comforty bar chairs and moved to inspect the salad bar spread.

What we saw was indeed impressive: plates after plates of fresh salads and antipasti were laid on the long bar table.What a scene. You actually start from the right of the bar to the left were the espresso machine is: first were the soup, bread and plain salad veggies, then the cheese and the cold cuts and the grills, and last were the fruits. There were approximately 15~20 kinds of food available.

Conventionally I started with the plain salads and bread: the bread basket offered at least 3 kinds of bread including french baguettes, flaxseed wholewheat buns and a sour dough. Pity that they had been dehydrated under the strong ventilation, but they actually tasted okay with the crunchy crust and soft(if you tear away the tough parts which has exposed in air for too long), and i guess they should go well with the cream of mushroom soup, which i did not bother to try. Nice salad veggies tho and there were four dressings which you could choose from, plus some really nice and crunchy croutons, cheese(is it cheddar or edam?cant tell) wedges and thin crisps which you could top your salad with, not to mention the really juicy [b]cherry tomato[/b] which went well with the thousand island dressing.

The [b]Tomato with Mozzarella[/b] looked better than it tasted as the cheese was a bit rubbery in texture but literally tasteless. The comment applies for the [b]goat cheese [/b] which, sadly, did not even tasted like cheese at all but resembled crumbled soap. :mad: This was really disappointing as i was expecting quite a lot from its cheese collection...anyway, theres still other antipasti which i could give my heart to. :(
[b] Smoked salmon [/b] was okay but tasted a little too salty, but that could be moderated by a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Next I basically sampled with EVERYTHING ON ONE SINGLE PLATE!!WOHOO! luckily most were vegetables or else i would have killed myself for gorging in so much meat and fat in one single meal.
Anyway, the [b] parma ham [/b] was truly delicious - they were of the correct thickness and were not too fat nor salty; the cantaloupe was sweet and went well with the ham. :) Matter of fact I thought the parma ham here tasted better than what's served at Tiffin's or The Lounge@J.W. Marriott! :)

There was the big wedges of [b] grilled pumpkin [/b] which i treated myself generous shares as they were truly delicious. You have to pick the softer ones as they were better seasoned. They were quite buttery in texture and I just used them to 'butter' the dry bread! There were two drier mixes of [b]chicken peas [/b] and some suspicious seed-like stuff, which i did not quite like. The [b] Grilled mushrooms and zucchini and eggplants [/b] were nicely grilled and juicy, however; the [b] clam salad[/b] and [b]grilled broccoli and cauliflower[/b] was disappointing however as they were not too fresh nor tasty.

Last were the fruits - the [b]pineapple, cantaloupe and watermelon were all fresh, juicy and sweet.
We ordered two English breakfast teas which came with a lovely piece of almond biscotti , which served as the most appropriate 'petite sweetness' to the salad buffet lunch.

Now perhaps you will ask: wheres the oyster? I was thinking of the same question and apparently Barolo had taken away quite a lot of food from the lunch menu. Stuff like the cheese variety and some seafood items were missing. That was indeed a huge disappointment, given that they had raised the charge per head from $108 to $128. :mad: Had i been aware of the changing menu, I would not have been here for lunch - it is not very economical of me to have a salad lunch at $128+s.c.

To conclude - great place and great service, the food was okay, but the choice was a bit too narrow given that the restaurant is charging people around $135 per head. Perhaps i should have tried Bistecca Italian Steak House or Bourbon instead. :mad:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...