Friday, August 28, 2009

Aubergine Parmigiana

Aubergine was on good offer in the supermarket and hence this! Easy and no fuss, only downside I'd say is its slightly time consuming, but beats eating the ones outside as this is definitely healthier, so no more guilt after the 2nd helping :)

All you need is some garlic cloves, 2 aubergines, 1 can of 400g chopped tomatoes in tomato sauce, 3 tomatoes (optional), 200g-300g cheese (I had some cheddar, you can use other nice melt-able cheese) , olive oil, salt and pepper

Firstly, slice the aubergine into round cross sections of about 2 inches thick. Note that I have done it length-wise as per the pictures below, but found that it made serving the dish later more difficult in terms of cutting them into portions. Then, brush some olive oil on both sides of the aubergines and season with some salt and pepper. Get your grilling pan and heat it up for some serious grilling!

Grill the aubergines both sides till almost cook and soft. It took me about 5 minutes each side. Be careful not to burn them too much!

The tomato sauce is up next, quite straight forward. I chopped some garlic and fried them till fragrant, before adding the contents of the can to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes till it thickens, finally add a pinch of salt and some basil/oregano if preferred

Then the fun part starts! Don't forget to heat up your oven to 200C for at least 15 minutes beforehand.... With the casserole dish, start with a thin layer of tomato sauce at the bottom to lightly coat it....

... then continue with the grilled aubergines, cheese, sauce, and then repeat again. I added a layer of tomatoes into mine for fun, supplementing the sauce :)

Try not to overflow the dish though! Finish up with a nice layer of cheese and place it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes and its done!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

About Squids and the Road not Taken

This ain't a blog post about cooking this particular seafood (yet), but I was referring to the tentacles, and wishing I had as many pairs of arms as it has over the past year!

A couple of things have changed, I chose a path less traveled by, and fingers crossed, hope this will make all the difference (and more cooking)!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Yes, I'm alive, despite almost half a year of disappearance....
It's been hectic workwise, and I do try to squeeze in as many cooking sessions as I can, lots of back log photos in my camera still to be posted...

And yes, I finally made my own Chicken Tikka Masala from scratch :) How's everyone doing by the way?

Dang, I feel like Beef with Chinese Broccoli noodles tonight...

Monday, November 24, 2008

HK Style Cheese Baked Rice

I'm like on a cooking spree these week, perhaps its just an appreciation of my free time remaining before I start losing it next week in a different work setting...

Another new thing I've not really tried before, but conceptually it shouldn't be too difficult, the HK Style Cheese Baked Rice. It basically goes with most chinese stir fried dishes, and just adding an additional layer of cheese on top and baked it in the oven. Tonight, the base is gonna be Stir fried Pork with Broccoli and Chinese Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce. Yup, the name is a handful, but the ingredients aren't.

You'll need 400g-450g of pork, about 10-12 dried chinese mushrooms (soaked a few hours till soft), 1 big broccoli, garlic (cloves crushed), oyster sauce, shredded cheese (cheddar/mozzarella), rice. So whilst cooking the rice (I used brown rice here, hence taking longer), boil some water and cut the broccoli into bite size pieces. Pour the boiling water into a pan, and steam the broccoli over it in the covered pan for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the pork thin lengthwise, about 2-3 cm each. In a bowl, season the pork with some cornflour and dark soy sauce. Take care not to oversteam the broccoli and it's perfectly cooked with a nice crunch (not mushy!)

Heat the oil till hot in the wok, fry the garlic, add in the pork and show of your wok stir frying skills :P After 5-7 minutes, or whenever is pork is almost done, add the mushrooms and broccoli in to the mixture, add a little bit of water for more sauce, and add 1-2 tablespoon of oyster sauce (it's very salty, adjust the amount to your taste buds). Gently mix and coat with the sauce and it should be done when the pork is cooked.

The final step is simple just assembling your cheese baked rice, get an oven proof plate/bowl, spoon some rice at the base and gently place the stir fried dish on top, sprinkle generously with some cheese of your choice (red leicester is possible too, giving you an orange topping!), and pop it in the pre-heated oven of 160C for 2-3 minutes and dinner is ready!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Very Own Beef Stew

It's winter time now and wrapped up like a giant snow(wo)man, I decided its time for some comfort food. Taking a peek in my fridge/food cupboard, I have 500g baby potatoes, chestnut mushrooms, onion, 450g of beef shoulder meat, a can of organic chopped tomatoes. With my spice rack, I think I could just about whip up my first winter stew!

Having some rough idea forming in my head, its always helpful (and advisable) to sense check with my cookbook collection. There were some beef stew suggestion, but non of them I actually have the exact ingredients and patience for them. So, its the usual Grace-style improvisation and doing it my way :)

I normally don't eat beef and have been trying to beef up my consumption of it lately since its so nutritious and contains lots of good-for-you iron and protein, without too much fat. The thing about stews is that although the ingredients list is more extensive than say a chinese stir-fry, but the cooking method requires way less attention to speed/timing. There's always a trade off, but never in flavor, cos you have to have confidence in your awesomeness always (not too much tho).

So I just quartered my mushrooms, sliced the onions into thin long strips, washed the baby potatoes and cut the meat into big chunks. Heat up some olive oil, and fry the onions till brown and soft. Meanwhile, put a tablespoon of flour into a plate, season with some salt and pepper, and lightly dust the meat, and fry them along with the onions for another 5 minutes or so. Lastly, add the mushrooms, potatoes and the tomato puree in. Mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper to taste. I added a glug of red wine in too :P If you find it too dry/thick, add a cup or two of water and let the mixture boil for a 2 minutes. Don't forget to put in some herbs (basil/oregano/thyme/rosemary, I had these mixed in a bottle) and sprinkled some on for a nice aroma...

Then, in a slow cooker pot, pour your stew into it and leave it for 4-5 hours on medium heat. Your flat will smell pretty lovely by then and its ready to be served, with warm crusty white baguettes or just a simple buttered brown toast, just like below...