Tuna Feta Salad

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A bowl of bright summer flavours that's suitable for all the favourite seasonal vegetables.
#Salad:#Oregano Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dried oregano (½ tbsp, if fresh one used)
  1. Cucumber peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks. Flake tuna with a fork. Mix all the vinaigrette ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Place the lettuce and cucumber in a salad bowl. Arrange the tomato wedges around the dish. Top with the olive rings, tuna, feta and onion rings.
  3. Chill and serve with the prepared dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Agedashi Tofu / Japanese Fried Tofu

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Agedashi Tofu are deep fried tofu pieces accompanied with a soya based dipping sauce and they are usually served as an appetizer. If you cannot find mirin and dried silver pomfret, then use medium-dry sherry and anchovy instead. Some gurus would tell you that this is then not a traditional Japanese appetizer, nevertheless, the dish does taste delicious and good enough for me to recommend it. I love every bite of this crunchy and soft Tofu.

  • 20 g White radish, minced
  • 5-8 g Fresh chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tbsp Dried sliver pomfret
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp White vinegar
  1. Cut the tofu into 3-inch squares or any desired patterns. Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small pan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Heat the oil to very hot for frying. Coat the tofu squares with cornstarch and deep-fry them until golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  3. Place fried tofu squares in a serving bowl. Pour the prepared dipping sauce over. Garnish it with shredded seaweed and parsley if desired.

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Candied Walnuts

Thursday, April 23, 2009

These crunchy, easy-to-make snacks are enjoyable on their own or can be used as a garnish or tossed in salads.
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spread walnuts in a single layer over a baking tray. Roast for about 10 minutes until the nuts start to turn brown.

  2. Mix sugar, inverted sugar syrup, water, and salt in a heavy sauce pan. Stir over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage about 113C/236F.

  3. Remove from heat and immediately stir in vanilla. Add in roasted walnuts and stir to coat well. Turn out on parchment paper and separate the walnuts with a fork. Cool completely before store in airtight containers.

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Florentine Cookies - Florentiner

Monday, April 20, 2009

Florentines are a wonderful holiday cookie, but delightful all year round. Austrian bakers are attributed with creating these cookies although their name implies an Italian heritage.
Florentines are a delicious mixture of candied fruit (I used dried cranberries) and nuts (I used sliced almonds) with caramel, then baked. They are very often finished with chocolate on one side.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Chop the cranberries finely. Melt butter, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture turns a caramel colour, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pour in the whipping cream and bring it to a boil. Add in chopped dried cranberries and almond slices. Lower the heat and cook until the mixture is combined and thickened.
  3. Scoop two rounded teaspoons of the mixture on prepared baking trays and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. Coat or drizzle Florentines with melted chocolate as desired. Set aside at room temperature until set.
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Strawberry Pine Nut Mirror Cake (with Natreen sweetener)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Artificial sweeteners used in this recipe were to avoid sugar and calories. Sugar adds calories, and that cause weight gain with no end. But let's face the cruel reality: removing sugar from cakes and desserts doesn't automatically make them low-calorie and healthier. The cake tastes lighter, but I ate twice much more than usual. Next time, I will just use the real sugar or honey. No more sugar substitutes.
#Mousse:#Strawberry Mirror:
  1. Whip together quark, yogurt and sweetener in a mixing bowl until blended. Soak the gelatin sheets in water until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir over the low heat until dissolved. Combine 4 tablespoons of quark mixture with the gelatin, then blend it with the rest of the quark mixture. Add in the roasted pine nuts and chill for 10 minutes. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form and fold into the quark mixture.
  2. Place the 9-inch cake in the bottom of the cake ring lined with a cake cardboard. Surround the cake ring with sliced strawberries and scrape the mousse onto the cake layer in the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Covered with a plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours until filling is set.
  3. Put the strawberry glaze powder and sweetener in a small pot filled with water. Stir to blend and bring them to a boil over the medium heat until smooth. Cool glaze until barely lukewarm, about 15 minutes. The glaze should be thick but still with a pourable gel consistency. Take out the mousse cake from the fridge and cover with a layer of strawberry slices in the desired pattern. Gently pour over the strawberries and refrigerate for 1 hour or until glaze is firm. Unmold mousse cake with the help of a hot towel. Slice and serve with strawberries if desired.
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Steamed Spelt Wholewheat Twisted Carrot Rolls - Hua Juan

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twisted Rolls or Hua Juan in Chinese are steamed buns (with scallions, sesame seeds, peanut, etc. ) twisted into a beautiful flower pattern.
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, triticum spelta and instant yeast together. Make a well in the middle and pour in the carrot juice. Mix on slow speed until you have a dough that holds together. Adjust the amount of carrot juice, adding more or less as needed. Turn the speed of the mixer to medium and knead until it is smooth and elastic.
  2. Prove the dough in a bowl covered with a plastic film until it has increased in volume distinctively, about 45 minutes. Press out the air and roll it out into a large rectangle. Brush the surface with oil and sprinkle the black pepper salt and chopped spring onions over. Roll up and divide it into 16 portions. Take each piece and, with the cut sides facing outward, use chopsticks to press down lengthwise in the middle so that the layers of both sides extend outward beautifully.
  3. Arrange the rolls in the steamer lined with cheese cloth. Cover it with a plastic film and set aside for 15 minutes. Steam the twisted rolls over a pot of boiling water on strong heat. Turn the heat off and leave the steamer covered for 2 minutes before serving.
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