Tag Archives: fish

Freeform lasagna

free form lasagne

The thing about cooking is that sometimes we have lots of single or small quantity items in the freezer we don’t know what to do with.

Like the other day, we had frozen pork ribs, slices of threadfin fish and some vegetables and we didn’t want to waste them but couldn’t make a decent dish out of each. So, zzz decided to combine for a stew paired with the leftover lasagna sheets.

The result was great! It’s wasn’t too much of a big deal but I loved the way how zzz managed to whip up such a hearty dish out of so little things available.

Recipe (for 2)

a couple of meaty pork ribs, about 500g (we happen to have these on hand, otherwise 300g of pork shoulder will be good as well)

half a carrot, finely diced

half an onion, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1 tablespoon of tomato paste, stirred into a glass of water

lots of freshly grated parmesan

4 sheets of dried lasagna (abt 18g per sheet)


In a hot dutch oven, sear pork ribs. Remove and set aside. Deglaze pan with some wine/vermouth/stock/water. Sauté the veggies for  3-5 minutes. Add the ribs and the tomato water. Add more water to almost cover the ribs. You may add some dried herbs and spices now if you have some (bay leaf, fennel, thyme, etc). Bring to boil, cover and reduce to a bare simmer for at least 2 hours. (put it into a low heat oven if your pot allows.)

After 2 hours, check if the meat is falling off the bone. (If it is not, simmer for another half and hour) Taste and season. Add half the grated parmesan and stir. Turn off the heat.

Cook lasagna in boiling water till al dente. Assemble 2 lagsanas in a free-form manner. Top them with the remaining parmesan. Add lots of black pepper on top of the cheese, drizzle some good olive oil and serve.


Cod Basquaise

Another fish dish. Heh. Told you we had a lot of fish.

Cod Basquaise

Recipe for two (Inspired from http://www.aveceric.com/2011/05/12/cod-basquaise/)

For the basquaise (a sauce typical in Basque cuisine):

1 cups of homemade tomato sauce
3 small shallots, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 small yellow peppers, cubed
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
a bunch of coriander, stems chopped and leaves reserved

To make tomato sauce, saute some cloves of sliced garlic and add both canned and fresh tomatoes (peeled and chopped). Bring to a boil and add herbs of your choice such as basil or oregano. This forms a delicious pasta sauce and can be used as a base to transform into other sauces.

Saute the shallots for a minute. Add chilli and yellow peppers and fry until soften. Add cherry tomatoes and chopped coriander stems. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes before adding the homemade tomato sauce. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until it reduces slightly. Throw in half of the coriander leaves, taste and season if necessary. Turn off the heat and cover.

For the cod:

2 fillets of codfish, rinsed and pat very dry with paper towels

In a hot pan, add olive oil and fillets, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper. The skin crisp slightly in about 4 minutes and will then be possible of lift off the pan without sticking or tearing. Turn the fillet onto one of its flesh side and cook for another 4 minutes or till it browns slightly and can be lifted off the pan. Season lightly and turn over to cook the other flesh side. Cook for 3 minutes and turn off the heat. Leave the fillet in the pan while plating.

Ladle the basquaise sauce into serving plates. It should be very warm but not piping hot. Place fillet on top, drizzle olive oil, season with black pepper and salt and garnish with remaining coriander leaves.

Fish, fish, fish

We had so much fish frozen up zzz was racking his brains for new fish recipes every weekend. All fishes conquered. Check out what he did below.

Jamie Oliver’s fish pie

Salmon rosti with strawberry greek yogurt

Fish taco

Ginger, spring onion and garoupa stir fry

Fish pasta

Recipes (each recipe serves 2):

Jamie Oliver’s fish pie

Adapted from http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/fish-pie

500 g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 stick celery, grated
100g good cheddar cheese, grated
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 bunch of coriander (chinese parsley), finely chopped
300 g fish, boned and diced (a mix of salmon and garoupa used here)
4 large scallops, diced

Preheat oven at 200 deg C. Boil potatoes in water for around 10 minutes of until soft.

In an mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except potatoes and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Pour into an earthen or glass baking dish.

Drain and mash the potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly over the fish and vege mixture in the baking dish.

Bake for around 40 minute or until slightly crispy and golden on the top. Rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Salmon Rosti

150-200g salmon fillet, finely diced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
4 capers, rinsed and chopped
3 medium potatoes (about 300g), parboiled and finely julienned

Preheat oven to 200 deg C if using. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.

In a hot non-stick pan, coat with oil and add the mixture in all at once. Stir around briefly. Fill the mixture all round the pan and gently pat it down to compress slightly. Cook at medium heat for about 4-5 mins undisturbed.

Either flip the rosti to cook the top side or put the pan into the oven and turn the knob to grill (top heating element only) (my non-stick pan have a removable handle, so i removed it to prevent it from melting under the grill). Cook for another 5 mins until golden and crispy.

Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt and lemon wedges.

Fish Taco

2 Tortilla wraps
2 Roasted tomatoes, roughly chopped
300g Fish fillet
1 small red onion, finely sliced into rings

Preheat oven to 220 deg C and put on grill setting (top heating only).
Drizzle and rub fish with olive oil. Grill fish a few minutes on each side.
Remove fish from oven, season with salt and pepper and squeeze lemon juice over. Cut into rough chucks.
Heat the tortillas slightly and assemble the taco.

Ginger, spring onion and garoupa stir fry

1 knob of ginger, thinly sliced
6-8 spring onions, cut into 2-inch sticks
1 big red chilli, thinly sliced
300 g white fish fillet (I used tread fin), thickly sliced
Dash of light soy sauce
White pepper

In a hot wok, add cooking oil, sliced ginger, chilli and spring onion sticks. Stir fry for a minute or till fragrant. Add fish and carefully toss around. Season with soy sauce and pepper. Add a tablespoon or two of water if it is too dry. Cover the lid and steam for 30s. Taste and serve immediately

Fish pasta

2 cups vegetable stock
300 g fish (I used grouper)
4 tomatoes, skinned and seeds removed, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
A bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
150 g angel hair (pasta)
1/2 lemon

Poach fish in a gently simmering pan of vegetable stock until just cooked. Remove fish and set aside, reserve a quarter cup of stock and keep the rest for another use.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Flake the fish. Mix the tomato paste with the quarter cup of reserved stock. When the water starts to boil, add salt and pasta. In a hot pan, add olive oil and chopped tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Check on pasta, drain when it’s al dente. Add pasta into pan along with the flaked fish, and tomato paste/stock mixture. Add parsley, juice of half a lemon, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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.


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

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.


Olive Fried Rice - YUMS

close-up olive rice

Tom Yum Goong (and i made this!!)

Baked lemongrassy fish

My mum and zzz watch the same types of TV shows.

That’s cooking shows with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson on Food Network, Asian Food Channel and TLC.

So, both of them are always quite happy to discuss recipes and dishes to try out. My mum with her many years of experience, tends to improvise using her familiar Chinese style of cooking methods and ingredients. zzz, who obviously is the apprentice here usually follows the recipes close. – erm. not that it matters. Both feed me very well 🙂

Anyways. Both of them decided on a Thai theme after watching Jamie Oliver whipping up in his usual effortless way, a baked fish in Thai sauce. Needless to say, the other dishes for the dinner had to follow. Thai food is always a good choice. The sweet, sour, tangy, spiciness going merry-go-round in your taste buds, the warm fuzzy soup and Thai fragrant rice as accompaniment. Hmm.

And the result was simply delicious.  The fish turned out fresh, succulent (although zzz went abit overboard to buy the expensive fish at $40++, which led to a happy uncle and aunties chuckling – 烤不用买那么贵得鱼!! – no need to buy such expensive fish that’s used for baking!)The olive fried rice was easy to make and most importantly (because i made it), the tom yam goong was a breeze. No need for tom yam paste, basic ingredients like fresh prawns, lemongrass, galangal (which looks like young ginger), kaffir lime or lemon leaves and lemon juice did the trick.

erm. Sorry, no recipes.  Lazy me but can’t really get the recipes from zzz now. he is busy baking a nutella tart of tonight’s dinner (friend’s mum is going to cook authentic Sri Lankan food for us!! – wohoo!).


steamed white pomfret

Stir fried dou miao

Poached chicken with warm ginger sauce

Some friends I know tell me a Chinese would need rice for every meal.

I am not that extreme, but I do like Chinese meals.  The concept of communal dinning, with a bowl of plump fluffy rice, plate heaped with stir fried greens and whole steamed fish, together with family or friends sounds like the best thing that could happen in a day.

zzz hardly prepares Chinese food for meals. Probably because there are many 高手s around and its much better to leave it done by the experts.

But zzz did decide to venture into Chinese cooking last Sunday. Since my mum bought 2 pomfrets for steaming. it would be strange to have them done western style.

The result? Not a bad attempt at cooking a meal of 家常便饭 ( a simple home cooked meal). Well done!!