Monthly Archives: April 2012

Plat du Jour 4.0

Poached Salmon with Caramelized Mushrooms and Couscous Salad


Recipe (for 2):

1 Salmon steak (about 200g)

2 cups of vegetable stock

1/2 cup cous cous

1 small red peppers,

a handful of cherry tomatoes

Seasoning for cous cous – sea salt, pepper, paprika, grated ginger, dried oregano, extra virgin olive oil

1 small red onion

200g oyster mushrooms, tear large ones, leave small ones whole

Slice half the onion. Put whole capsicum, and onions in a large roasting tray drizzle onions with olive oil and spinkle with salt. Roast at 240 deg celcius for half an hour. Add mushrooms and tomatoes and roast for another half an hour or till mushrooms are slightly crispy. Bring capsicum out and cover in a bowl to steam. Leave onions and mushrooms in oven to keep warm.

Bring vegetable stock to a boil. Meanwhile dice remaining onions and add to cous cous and seasonings in a medium. Pour in half a cup (equal volume as cous cous) of boiling stock  and cover. Put salmon steak into simmering stock, the stock should only come halfway up the salmon steak. Spoon hot stock onto the fish to cook it till it do not look rare on the outside. Cover and turn off the heat after 2 minutes. Allow it to steam in the pot for another 5 minutes.

When the fish is done (check by cutting it in half), uncover the cous cous and fluff up with a fork.

Plate and serve.


Korova Cookies – Chocolates pretending to be cookies

One benefit of having a 3 kg bag of Valhorna chocolate (see previous post) stored in your wine chiller (yes, the chiller stores 2 of zzz’s favorite things now), is that we can have all the sweets we want, whenever we want, as long as the chocolates last. So when zzz was done with the L’Orange, he continued to flip the good old cyber pages from cafe fernando and found this.

I always loved cookies, its a super easy, feel good snack. But this cookie, is no ordinary comfort food. Its so intense, it shines from the rest.  It basically qualifies as chocolate, but with a different texture – chewiness and slight saltiness of  cookie mixed with the smoothness and bitter sweet taste of chocolate.


Recipe adapted from

my first Potato Gnocchi

Gnocchi with herb butter sauce

One of the first time I tried gnocchi was in Florence, Italy. We were on a Tuscany bike tour, which took us to a small village restaurant for lunch. I chose the truffle potato gnocchi, because its truffle (well, infused maybe, and a little too strong in taste, I thought). But I remembered I did quite liked the elasticity of the gnocchi, very chewy and different from the Italian pasta I had. But in a way, it also reminded me of our Chinese version of small round pasta pieces from the Hakkas – 算盘子 (where yam and potato flour are mixed together, boiled and then fried with shallots, green onions, dried shrimps, mushrooms and spices)

Anyways, of course, Florence is 3 years ago. zzz tried to recreate his version of gnocchi here in Singapore.  Its a little too ‘potato-y’, but nonetheless tasty! Good attempt!


Preheat oven at 220 deg Celcius. With a fork, prick 6 medium potatoes with skin on. Lay onto roasting tray and drizzle with oil. Roast for an hour

After roasting, remove the skins and and mash. add an egg yolk, pinch of grated nutmeg, handful of finely chopped herbs (optional) and a cup of plain flour. Knead. Add more flour if necessary. Roll into 1 inch logs and cut into 1.5 inch segments with a pastry cutter (i used a silicon spatula). Lay onto a bed of semolina flour in a tray and rest in fridge for at least 20 minutes.


Valrhona chocolate -- Guanaja 70% 3kg pack!

a slice of chocolaty heaven

Sumana on chocolate-high!

Honestly no one can resist the allure of a dark rich chocolate cake covered with a smooth chocolate glaze. Especially when the combination involves chocolate and orange. Yums.

And this L’Orange (essentially a flour less chocolate cake made with almond powder) surely takes the crown of chocolate cake if there ever is one.

If zzz’s pictures are not enough to convince, check out the blog below. Bet you’d run out to buy that expensive chocolate to bake.

Inspiration and recipe from

Fusilli with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Tomato halves and garlic cloves waiting to be roasted

Fusilli pomodoro e basilico


Preheat oven to 150 deg Celcius and drizzle a roasting tray with olive oil. Cut tomatoes into halves and lay in the tray. Scatter garlic cloves with their skin on and drizzle more olive oil. Roast for at least 2 hours.

If a little spiciness is preferred, throw in a chilli or two halfway through the roasting process. 15 minutes before the end, add a handful of basil leaves, pushing them under the tomatoes as far as possible.

After roasting, remove the skins of the tomatoes and garlic. Deseed the tomatoes and chilli if you wish. Blend to the desired smoothness.

Ladle onto freshly cooked pasta. Garnish with torn parsley. Boun Appetito!