Spicy Seafood Soup

spicy-sea-food-soup

Christmas is only one week away. Lots of people at work have already left for holidays. Life is at a very slow pace right now. I am finally not too tired to cook anymore. A demanding boss can really take a lot of energy out of you. It was sticky hot when I went to the market today. Seafoods are definite the popular choice of protein in summer days. I saw some beautiful clams, muscles and prawns in the local seafood store. It reminded me the good old blogging days. I love how today’s photo came out after playing around with the remote flash. Of course Ian was helping with the setup. Lucky me!

Ingredients:

Clams (2 dozens), muscles (a dozen), tiger prawn (half dozen), olive oil (3 tablespoons) ripe tomatoes (4), brown onion (1), button mushrooms (6) dried chilli (4), garlic (2 cloves), salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Clean clams and muscles.
  2. Peal the tiger prawns, reserve the prawn heads for later.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and brown onion.
  4. Slice the button mushrooms.
  5. Heat olive oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. Add prawn head and dried chilli, cook for 5 minutes. Add brown mushroom and onion, cook until soften.
  6. Add wine and tomato, cook until tomato turn into a nice sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add mussels and clams simmer, cover for 5 minutes or until the shell fishes just opened (discard any that do not open). Remove clams and mussels and transfer to a bowl.
  8. Add prawns to the pot and simmer until cooked through.
  9. Sprinkle with crushed chilli flakes and serve with toasted bread.

Tuna Pasta

Tuna Pasta

Ingredients:

pasta (250 g), celery (100 g, chopped), green capsicum (1, sliced), spanish onion (1, sliced), olives (1/2 cup), sundried tomato (1/2 cup), canned tuna (1 can, 100g), canned tomato (1 can, 250 g), coriander (1/4 cup, chopped), canola oil (2 tablespoons).

What to do:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water onto boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, into a frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat, caramelise green capsicum and spanish onion individually, set aside.
  3. In the same pan, use the rest of canola oil cook celery for 3 minutes. Add canned tomato, olives, sundried tomato and canned tuna, and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Then add cooked pasta and caramelised capsicum, onion and chopped coriander, toss to combine.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve while warm.

Noodle Soup

noodle soup

Tomato, mushroom and bok choy is another perfect flavour combination. The hero here is the fresh ripe tomato. If you don’t have any flavoursome tomatoes in hand, don’t bother making it. Caned stuff is not good either.

Ingredients:

1 big ripe tomatoes, king oyster mushrooms (50 g), bok choy (2), 1 clove of minced garlic, canola oil (1 table spoon), fresh noodle (100 g), water (1.5 cups), coriander, white pepper and salt.

What to do:

1. In a medium size pot, add salted water and bring to boil. Cook noodle according to its package instructions.
2. Chop down mushrooms and tomatoes.
3. In a deep sauce pan, add canola oil and heat at medium heat. Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes. Then add mushrooms and minced garlic, cook until mushrooms are soften. Stir in 1 cup of water and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add bok choy and simmer for another 1 minute. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
4. Serve with cooked noodle and chopped coriander.

Pasta salad

pasta salad

It is finally sunny. The sky is so blue after all that rain. Beautiful day like this needs something refreshing and delicious.

Ingredients:

Orecchiette pasta (250), cherry tomatoes (200 g), cucumber (1), snow peas (100g), capers (1 tablespoon), olives (1/2 cup),  sun-dried tomato (1/2 cup), fetta cheese, parsley (1 tablespoon), thyme (1 tablespoon), basil, lemon infused olive oil (2 tablespoons), salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Place a medium pot of salted water onto boil. Add orecchiette and cook until al dente.
  2. In the mean time, chop tomatoes, snow peas, cucumber, sun-dried tomato, parsley and thyme.
  3. Toss everything together in a salad bowl, drizzle with lemon infused olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Stir Fried Tomato with Eggs

Stir fried tomato with eggs

This is a dish every Chinese love. It goes well with rice, even better with noodles.

Ingredients:

eggs (3), tomato (2), canola oil (2 tablespoon), spring onion, salt.

What to do:

  1. Beat eggs until it is well combined, and season with a pinch of salt.
  2. Heat half the canola oil in a large pan and fry egg, stirring until eggs are cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan add the rest of canola. add diced tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add fried egg, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and garnish with spring onion.
  5. Serve with rice or noodles.

Turkey Burger

mexican turkey burger

I have some left over Turkey to get rid of. The first thing I can think of is to make a burger, and I went for Mexican flavour.

Ingredients:

whole grain hamburger bun, Shredded roast turkey, tomato, lettuce, sliced Jalapeño, DORITOS mild salsa, sour cream.

What to do:

  1. heat up the whole grain hamburger bun and Shredded roast turkey on a hot grill.
  2. Assemble the burger.

Lamb, Garlic Shoots & Noodle

noodle

This is the recipe remind me of home the most. I grew up in a city called Lanzhou which is in the northwest part of China. It is a city that is famous for its noodle making techniques. Lanzhou sits on the ancient silk road, which was a trade and cultural transmission route that were used to carry out Chinese silk to western world. At the same time, lots of western spices and cultures were also introduced to Chinese by foreign traders. As a result, Northwest Chinese cuisine nowadays uses a lot of ingredients (or spices) like tomato, onion, lamb, beef, white pepper, cumin, etc., which is not very common for cuisines from other part of China.

The Flavour combination I have today is garlic shoots, capsicum, tomato and lamb (or beef). Garlic shoots (also known as garlic scapes) is a kind of Chinese veggie. They are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants. You can probably find them in your local Chinese groceries. 

Ingredients: (serves 4)

diced lamb (200 g), garlic shoots (1 bunch), red capsicum (1), tomato (2), mushroom (50 g), fresh flat noodles or fettuccine (400 g), canola oil (3 tablespoons), salt and pepper.

lamb marinade: canola oil (1 teaspoon), chilli flakes (1 teaspoon), cumin (1 teaspoon), white pepper (1 teaspoon), soy sauce (1.5 teaspoon), ginger powder (1 teaspoon) and sichuan pepper powder (1 teaspoon).

What to do:

  1. Marinate diced lamb with its marinade, set aside.
  2. Chop all the veggies.
  3. Into a wok heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over high heat, add marinated lamb and stir fry until all the lamb pieces change colour. Turn off the heat and transfer the cooked lamb in a bowl, set aside.
  4. Into the same wok heat the rest of canola oil over high heat. Add tomatoes and mushrooms first, stir fry until tomatoes are soften and become a sauce. Then add garlic shoots and capsicum, stir fry until the garlic shoots is cooked (when the spicy taste of raw garlic shoots disappears and try not to overcook the veggies). Add the cooked lamb, salt and pepper, mix until everything is well combined, turn off the heat.
  5. Cook the flat noodles (or fettuccine) according to its package instruction.
  6. Serve the noodles with the above veggie stir fry.

Frankfurt Bake

frankfurt bake

It is a recipe great to make in a big batch and freeze leftovers.

Ingredients:

Frankfurt (500 g), potatoes (500 g), red capsicum (1), Spanish onion (1), kalamata olive (1 cup), canned pineapple (1 can), canned tomato (1 can), grated cheddar cheese (2 cups), garlic (2 cloves), chopped fresh basil (1/2 cup), dried oregano (1 teaspoon), dried rosemary (1 teaspoon) and canola oil.

What to do:

  1. Cut frankfurt, potatoes and canned pineapple into 1 inch size chunks. Dice capsicum, Spanish onion and mince garlic.
  2. Steam potatoes until they are soft and creamy, set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
  4. Into a frying pan heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soften. Then add canned tomato, kalamata olive, dried oregano and dried rosemary, cook for another 2-3 minute. Then add cooked potato, frankfurt, capsicum, pineapple and chopped basil, mix until well combined.
  5. Pour the above mixture into a big baking dish, top with grated cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil and serve while warm.

Stir Fried Eggplant with Capsicum & Tomato

stir fried eggplant

It is another great flavour combination, eggplant, capsicum and tomato. Don’t forget garlic! eggplant goes very well with garlic. Plus salt and pepper, simple like that. Acidity of tomato changes texture of eggplant and also gives great flavour to it.

Ingredients:

Eggplant (1), red capsicum (1), green capsicum (1), ripe tomatoes (3), garlic (2 cloves), canola oil (2 tablespoon), salt and pepper.

What to do:

  1. Dice eggplant, capsicum and tomato. Mince garlic.
  2. In a wok heat canola oil over medium heat. Add diced tomato first, and stir fry until tomato is soften and then add eggplant. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes, add some water and reduce to low heat. Cover with a lid and let it cook until eggplant changes colour.
  3. Bring heat back to medium, then add diced capsicum, stir fry for another 2 minutes or until capsicum is cooked but still crunchy.
  4. serve with some rice.

Tomato & Mushroom Noodle Soup

tomato noodle

Tomato, mushroom and spinach is another perfect flavour combination. The hero here is the fresh ripe tomato. If you don’t have any flavoursome tomatoes in hand, don’t bother making it. Caned stuff is not good either.

Ingredients:

2 big ripe tomatoes, mushrooms (50 g), spinach (2), 1 clove of minced garlic, canola oil (1 table spoon), thick noodle (100 g), water (1 cup), white pepper and salt.

What to do:

1. In a medium size pot, add salted water and bring to boil. Cook noodle according to its package instructions.
2. Chop down mushrooms and tomatoes. I have used King oyster mushrooms because I have some lying around. You can use normal button mushrooms. which have similar taste.
3. In another deep sauce pan, add canola oil and heat at medium heat. Add tomato and cook for 2 minutes. Then add mushrooms and minced garlic, cook until mushrooms are soften. Stir in 1 cup of water and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add spinach and simmer for another 1 minute. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
4. Serve with cooked noodle.