Rich and Creamy French Seafood Bisque

Imagine holding a warm bowl of creamy, rich and smooth French style seafood bisque that tastes like it has been braised slowly for hours, and perhaps accompanied by some freshly baked Yorkshire puddings on a cold winter night.

French Seafood Bisque with Yorkshire PuddingsThe dish that I would always order in a French restaurant if I see one in the menu – Seafood Bisque (Bisque de fruits de mer).  First time trying seafood bisque a few years back and it has officially became my most favourited French dish, followed by Croissants and Mussels in White Wine (Moules Marinières).

It’s unbelievably rich and flavourful. Every mouthful is bursting with seafood flavour with a hint of white wine. The texture of the bisque is quite creamy and smooth, and because it’s quite rich you would feel satisfied even if only having a small bowl. It’s comforting yet feels elegant at the same time. Even if it’s classified as appetizer in the menu I would be quite satisfied just by having a bowl of these and wouldn’t need the main course anymore.

Even at home I have also been making this French seafood bisque for a couple of times now (previously also uploaded the picture on Instagram) because eating in the restaurant is quite pricey.

French Seafood Bisque with Yorkshire Puddings

The most important element in this bisque would be the shells and heads from prawns. So whenever I cook prawns, I would always purchase the fresh intact prawns so I can save the heads and shells in several ziplock bags and just accumulate them in the freezer until I have about enough (like half a kilogram) to make a big pot of seafood soup.

The one trick that I always use to bring out the flavour of these prawn heads and shells more effectively is to crush them in a mortar with a pestle. This way the juice from the prawn heads which is the core flavour of the soup would not stuck inside the shells but will come out and blend with other ingredients in the cooking process. The soup will have a richer seafood flavour later on. [Read more…]

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Easy Dutch Baby Pancake

Easy Dutch Baby PancakeSomeone is happy when he gets good marks from school. Someone else is happy because her crush turns out liking her back!

I’m happy because I can FINALLY nail how to make Dutch Baby Pancake!

My first attempt at making Dutch Baby was when I was trying to make Caramelised Apple Dutch Baby a few months ago. It tasted really delicious but unfortunately the pancake didn’t rise and stayed quite flat, while so tasty but unfortunately wasn’t poofy and perfect.

Easy Dutch Baby Pancake

After my initial failure at making Dutch Baby I did lots and lots of research around the internet and watched lots of Youtube videos and finally came to fruition at my second attempt of making Dutch Baby. My second attempt was a success because I followed a few tricks that I hope will help you too if you are feeling confused as to why your Dutch Baby didn’t rise up.

Basically there are a few things that you can follow to achieve that poofy result:

First, milk and eggs have to be at room temperature prior to mixing because eggs can whip better and dispersed quickly in room temperature, making the batter an even and lighter texture. This post from Sally’s Baking Addiction also points out that eggs and dairy ingredients in room temperature would form an emulsion which traps air and when baked, the air expands and produces a fluffier result. [Read more…]

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Glutinous Rice Balls with Coconut and Palm Sugar (Klepon/Onde Onde)

Glutinous Rice Balls with Coconut and Palm Sugar (Klepon/Onde Onde)Recently our office held a heritage food event which all employees are encouraged to bring along a dish from their hometown and share the food with the rest of the people. I was really excited for this and I did some brainstorming of what Indonesian dish I could bring – at first I wanted to bring otak-otak fishcake as I bet nobody in the office would’ve guessed what’s inside the banana leaves and I doubt anyone there has ever tried it because no restaurants here sell otak-otak (that I know of).

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make a trip to the Vietnamese market to get spanish mackerels which are the most crucial element of this dish so I had to make another dish. Chicken satay with peanut sauce would be a great idea as well as everyone loves satay but they would have known what it is. I wanted to bring something that they have never ever tried before so that it’s fun and at the same time it’s good to show off other various kinds of Indonesian food.

So I thought of klepon (or also called onde-onde in Malaysia) which is glutinous rice balls stuffed with palm sugar and coated with pandan and desiccated coconut.

Glutinous Rice Balls with Coconut and Palm Sugar (Klepon/Onde Onde)I love klepon and used to eat them very often whenever my aunt bought some from the local market. These klepon balls are made from glutinous rice flour mixed with water and stuffed with palm sugar, they are boiled until the palm sugar is melted and the balls are then coated with desiccated coconut so when you bite them the melted sugar would burst out and give you this nice sweet and warm sensation while you chew on the pandan scented glutinous rice and slightly salted desiccated coconut.

They are so good! Thinking about it makes me salivate.

Glutinous Rice Balls with Coconut and Palm Sugar (Klepon/Onde Onde)

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Grilled Prawns with Romesco Sauce and Mash Cauliflower

IMG_1530If you would like to cook a rather fancy meal but do not wish to spend the whole day preparing it (because let’s be honest nobody likes that), you are strongly advised to go with seafood dish.

Seafood is easier and generally already packed with flavour, doesn’t take too long or need too many ingredients to marinate, definitely doesn’t take long to cook either. Pair it with a great sauce and you’ve got a top notch dinner.

You need some examples?

Try grilled prawns with romesco sauce and mash cauliflower.

Grilled Prawns with Romesco Sauce and Mash Cauliflower

If I told you how this was made, you would want to cook this. Looks intimidating but is actually rather easy to make. It’s good enough to make you feel proud of yourself or impress the others, but also comfy enough to have for weekdays family dinner.

So imagine this. Prawns marinated lightly with garlic and paprika for a bit of kick, thrown into a hot grill pan with a knob of butter and seared until smoky but yet succulently juicy. It did not just stop there. A good nub of Spanish romesco sauce came in to elevate the prawns’ flavour from good to even better. Now this must be good enough right? No. We need a side dish, something light enough to balance everything and just makes it perfect. Something like, soft and fluffy mash cauliflower. Now it’s perfect. [Read more…]

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Sashimi and Orange Salad with Soy Sesame and Wasabi Dressing

IMG_1584I was actually feeling a bit reluctant to post this recipe of sashimi and orange salad because this dish might be too simple. It’s probably wrong to call this a recipe post, more like a very simple salad idea which you may have already guessed what the ingredients are from the picture above.

But I’ve been having this sashimi and orange salad so often for lunch since I went through the low-carb high protein diet, I love love love this a lot because it’s so delicious and very quick to make. Sometimes I come home during lunch break to walk my dogs out and normally I would just buy something easy like sushi or sandwiches on the way home so I can eat quickly, but other times I do prepare my own quick lunch and this sashimi and orange salad is one of the examples because it just takes 10 minutes to prepare.

Sashimi and Orange Salad with Soy Sesame and Wasabi Dressing

I don’t often combine fruits with savoury ingredients because sometimes the savoury dish would taste too sweet if mixed with fruits. There are a few exceptions to this rule though, I do love chicken with mango salsa, a good watermelon salad or duck with orange or cherry sauce, and sashimi with oranges is another exception too. The citrus flavour from the oranges kinda elevate the freshness taste of the sashimi and the combination gives a very good flavour.

However I must say that the sashimi and orange may not be the highlight of this dish. They are pretty important however, the star would be, the dressing! Remember when I hesitated to share this post before? At the end I did write this post because I specifically wanted to share the dressing recipe. [Read more…]

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Cheesy Indonesian Banana Fritters

Cheesy Banana Fritters

Fresh bananas were on special price last week at my grocery shop and I may have over-bought them. I reached home and got too tired and totally forgot that I bought some bananas over the weekend and they were still contained in the grocery bag on the dining table. Within a week the skins blackened and they were almost borderline over-riped.

So instead of swallowing all 5 bananas in one go, I figure why not make something with them because ripe bananas are generally perfect for baking or cooking because they tend to be very sweet and softer in texture.

Initially banana bread came to mind however I thought of something even better, something from my heritage – like banana fritters, not just your average banana fritters, but the Indonesian/Malaysian style bananas fried in batter with toppings such as cheese, condensed milk, ice-cream or chocolate and typically sold around the streets. I grew up eating these fritters and it has been years since I’ve had ones.

Cheesy Banana Fritters

I used sweetened condensed milk and shredded cheese for the topping as I want that combination of sweet and salty flavour that is the trademark of Indonesian banana fritters. My partner said these banana fritters were so good, his friend was visiting at the time I was making these and we shared these fritters for lunch and they were gone in less than an hour.

These fritters were quite easy to make and most of the ingredients listed below should be sitting in your own pantry so no need to hunt ingredients anymore. [Read more…]

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