Category Archives: Travels

Paris. Get ready to drool.

Have we not posted anything about the paris trip in May? Gasp!

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Laudaree breakfast is just WOW

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Pierre hermes macaroons in spring colours

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Home cooked snack (left overs from xiaoliang’s meals ingredients)

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Simple breakfast after grocert shopping

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Check out the glorious vegetables

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Apples here come in crates. (I sound so amazed cos we have only seen apples in cardboard boxes). Xiaoliang got a free apple from the stall too!

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See the glow?

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Yummy nutella crepe and a asparagus cheese one. Complete with super yummy and super unbelievable priced cider.

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A very rustic lunch of lentils and ham. With a huge blob of butter (butter in france is unlike any)

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Reminiscing Paris – Again!

Entree: Carrot ginger coconut soup with croutons

Oven grilled sea-bass with baked sweet potatoes

Dessert: Lemon tart with grapefruit

zzz probably has posted a few posts earlier about Paris.

Europe is just so fairytale like in so many ways.

The streets (even the streetlights are quaint!), buildings that breathed the air of history, never ending museums to will the day away, the parks, the culture, the FOOD and the scenery. Every time we stepped into Europe its almost like stepping into another timezone. Not that the people wear medieval fashions, but everything works in a slightly differently clockwork that we urbanites tend to watch and soak it all in awe.

Well, as you probably can see, we kind of miss the holiday (who doesn’t for a holiday), and the most wonderful foods we had.

Like the carrot and the parsnip soup we had in this small cafe called Causes which serves almost everything (or maybe it is everything) organic, it even has this nice little grocery shop besides the restaurant. The whole grilled sea bass (perfectly filleted) and cod fish we had at Vin & Maree (their fish is quite different in texture, with a  firmer flesh i would say) and the yummy lemon tart to end of our meal there. The fulfilling crepes at Creperie de Josselin with homemade caramel sauce which combines to a wonderful mush to melt in your mouth. There were so many, simply looking at the photos will make one salivate.

Anyways, since we are back home and 13 hours away from Paris, the closest we could do to curb that craving is for zzz to whip up a Paris inspired dinner, just so to get a tinge of Paris in the fastest way possible.

Recipes

Carrot ginger soup

Adapted from Joy the Baker

4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
3-4 inches of young ginger, grated (more or less depending on how “gingy” u want!)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 liter of vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons of coconut cream (more or less to taste)

Heat a heavy bottom pot. Add olive oil and saute shallots, garlic and ginger. Add carrots and 750 ml of stock. Cook for 30 mins or until carrots are soft and tender. Blend until smooth. Add coconut cream. Taste and season lightly. Add remaining stock if necessary, adjusting to the desired consistency. Garnish with mint leaf, olive oil and mixed herbs/spices (i used black pepper, fleur de sel, dried oregano and cinnamon).

Oven grilled sea-bass

Preheat oven to 240 deg celcius. Make a marinate of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Marinate whole sea-bass. Change the oven setting to grill (top heating element only). Put the sea bass into the oven (i set it on a wire rack with a pan at the bottom to catch the dripping juices). Depending on size of the sea bass, grill for 20-40 mins, turning halfway. Once the skin is crisp, the fish should be cooked. If the skin refuses to crisp after the fish is cooked, so be it.. it’ll still be tasty!!

Lemon tart

Crust:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 dash of salt
60 g cold butter, cubed
half an egg yolk

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend till crumbly. Turn out into a bowl and work quickly with fingertips into a dough. Do not overwork. Press into tart tins. (Should be enough for 3-6 medium-small tins). Cover with cling film and rest in fridge for at least an hour, more if you can afford.

This tart needs a fully baked crust. Preheat the oven at 190 deg celcius. Line the face of the tart dough with Al foil and weigh it down with beans or pie weights. Blind bake in oven for 15 -20 mins. Remove the foil and beans/weights. Bake uncovered for another 8 to 10 minutes or until the crust is nice and slightly brown. Remove and cool.

Lemon curd filling:
3 eggs
120 ml lemon juice
3/4 cup raw sugar (or more depending on the sweetness of the lemon)
200 g butter, cubed

Whisk eggs, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and double boil for ~30 mins, whisking periodically, until the curd changes consistency.  Continue whisking and heating on the double boiler for a minute and remove from heat. add butter and whisk in until it disappears. Leave aside to cool to room temperature. Curd will continue to thicken as it cools.

Pour the curd over the tart and chill. Garnish with mint leaves and/or fresh fruits if desired.

BKK moo-ping @862

moooooooo-ping@862 (thai skewered PORK)

THE original silom night market moo-ping uncle

zzz's version

Uncle and his wonderful cart of goodies

I’ve written about this amazing moo-ping uncle from Bangkok, remember this face because he is one Bangkok street food gem.

Moo-ping is Thai skewered grilled pork. Grilled fatty pork and drenched in a burning concoction of  home-made chili sauce. Add on a packet or 2 of glutinous rice to fill in the hunger. YUMs. no calories wasted here. And all for 10baht/skewer, well, thats’sS$0.45.

Moo-ping uncle arrives at the corner of Convent Street (Silom/ Salan Daeng) and only arrives at about 10pm everyday. Uncle will push his cart half full of hot charcoal fire (the other half full of moo-ping, obviously) to the front of the 7-11 shop. Uncle has this nonchalant mood in him and in a good way actually, he’s polite to customers (even to rude and loud ones) and attends to each patiently even though many like us, were trying to make up our minds – glutinous rice or not? 5 or 10 sticks? No rush, no grouch (or smiles), no sweat. Like doing this for a hobby (and we sometimes suspect he really does) uncle  steadily goes on preparing every stick to perfection (even cutting off the burnt ends of the grilled pork!! – is that perfection or what) and serving the moo-pings to the queues of late night goers in search of street food supper, occasionally taking a break on the stairs of the 7-11 shop, talking to familiar customers. He is quite a different sight from the usual bustling hawkers in night markets.

Well. thank goodness Bangkok is less than 3 hours away from Singapore. The city is a haven for a short get away. But even so, what do we do when we have such cravings and a short holiday is obviously not feasible?

When that happens, thank goodness for a hubby who loves to cook.

And my verdict for the @862 version (biased but for a good reason) –  zzz’s recreation of moo-ping is about 70% of the moo-ping uncle’s. For 4 fat sticks of moo-ping recreated, he had used $3.50 worth of 五花肉 (fatty pork). Fatty pork is necessary to keep the pork moist and tasty. He even pounded his own chilli sauce! I think the missing 30% comes from the charcoal and the slightly burnt 香气 (erm, charcoal ‘taste’ – you don’t actually eat to taste charcoal, but food cooked from charcoal fire does taste especially nicer) . And of course, the 功力 (skills) of the uncle. Ingredients for both the moo-ping and chilli sauce were abit trickier and since he really did try to recreate the taste from memory, there are no recipes that we can post here, maybe next time though.

Just a note back to the original moo-ping, do buy a bottle of iced Vita black soy milk from the 7-11 behind to go with the spicy moo-pings. Guarantee to remove spiciness, very shiok!