Saturday, March 19, 2011

3 Course Dinner

Cost : S$40 serves 2 with extra 3 portions of sides, 12 spring rolls & fruits + cheese balance for the next day and the next too.  (Yeah!! Salmon steak is still selling cheap today!! :D)


Trio Spring Roll
Chicken breast, ham and cheese spring rolls with avocado and passionfruit sauce

Salmon Passion
Panfried salmon with Avocado,mango, passionfruit, strawberry and mint salsa with 
side of cheesy sweet potato puree and baby carrots

Strawberry & Milk
Cut korean strawberries with milk

Menu designed by Monica & Nana

Appetizer ingredients

Chicken breast
Mozzarella cheese
Spring roll skin
Salt & Pepper
Manuka honey

Entree Ingredients

Salmon steak
Sweet potato
Mozzarella cheese
baby carrots
Mint leaves
Olive oil

Korean Strawberries (Sweeter)

Instructions for Appetizer

Slice chicken breast into thin "sheet".  Pound it flat if you need to.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Put a slice of ham on top then some mozzarella cheese.  Roll into a roll.  Put on Spring roll skin, roll into a spring roll, seal with egg.

Heat oil for deep fry.  Deep fry till golden brown

For sauce, mix 1/4 avocado with 1 passion fruit and a teaspoon of manuka honey.  Mash and whip till it's creamy.   Alternatively, use a balsamic reduction as dip.  

Instructions for Entree

Steam sweet potatoes 
Remove skin, mash with butter till fine.  

In a pan, add mash sweet potato, milk and salt and cook till smooth.  Add mozzarella cheese (optional)

Steam baby carrots, add some butter and salt to taste.

Cube avocado, mango & strawberry.  Mix well with passionfruit and chopped mint leaves.  Set aside for 20minutes

Panfry salmon steak (Instructions in previous menu)

Instructions for dessert

Half strawberries, put in bowl.  Add milk.

Bon Appetit!
Monica Eng

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Panfried Salmon with Mango & Strawberry

Today I've decided to cook fish!  I've not eaten fish for a long time and my hair will need all the Omega 3 it can get right now.... due to really bad sleeping patterns and sleeping with wet hair they are falling out in chunks these days...Urgh...perhaps I should really get a hair cut soon. :( 

Again today I found salmon on sale at the supermarket.  Not all of them were very fresh, but this piece that cost me only S$5.00 was springy and had a good orange to it.  

Pan-fried Salmon with Mango & Strawberry salsa serve with side of Butternut squash puree & sauteed Spinach with onions & sesame.


Mango (Chopped into little squares)
Strawberries (Chopped into little squares)
Onions (Chopped into little squares)
Mint leaves - chopped (I didn't find this in the supermarket today...)
Balsamic vinegar
Honey (I used manuka just to be extra healthy)
Butternut squash
Sliced onions
Sesame seed
Olive oil


Mixed chopped mango, strawberries, onions, mint leaves in a bowl, add a dash of balsamic vinegar & some honey.  Mix them up well and let it sit covered in the fridge for 20mins

Cut butternut squash into small pieces and steam

Mash up the steamed butternut squash with a knob of butter and some salt to taste.  Set aside

Stir fry sliced onions with sesame seeds till onion wilts.  Add spinach and stir fry, add salt to taste, cover for 3 mins till vege wilts.  Set aside

Dry Salmon with Kitchen towel.  Heat pan on medium.  Rub salt and pepper on salmon just before it enters the pan.  Panfry to skin side down first.  The timing depends on the thickness of the salmon.  Drain salmon on kitchen towel.

Serve all the above together.  Serving suggestion below.  Garnish with strawberry.

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pineapple pork chops with side of Potato puree & sauteed sesame spinach with balsamic reduction.

Today's menu for dinner is Pineapple pork chops with side of Potato puree & sauteed sesame spinach with balsamic reduction.  When I saw pork chops on offer at the supermarket, I couldn't resist. :


Can Pineapples
Soy sauce
Roasted Sesame seeds
Balsamic vinegar

How to cook

Marinate porkchops in Pineapple juice an soysauce  (3hours at least)

Pan fry on high heat for 50 seconds on each side, just to give it some colour.  Or till golden brown

Lay porkchops on a foil or baking tray.  Place pineapple slice on pork chop, grill on high for 13mins. 

Remove hard stem from spinach, wash and set aside.  Add a little olive oil in pan, add a teaspoon of sesame seeds and pan fry till golden brown.  Put spinach in pan and sauteed, add salt to taste and cover for 3 minutes till spinach wilt.  

Prepare potato puree

To make balsamic reduction, add 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar in pan with 1 tablespoon of sugar, cook on low heat till it thickens.

Drizzle balsamic reduction on porkchop and spinach.

Bon appetit
Monica Eng

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blue Steak with Potato Puree

I've been watching Hell's Kitchen so much lately and all that steak cooking had left me craving for a nice bloody steak for weeks now.

I've always love my steak real bloody!!  But I'm sure if Gordon saw my steak he would say "OH COMON, IT"S BLUE!! WTF ARE YOU DOING??? IT"S SO RAW THE VET COULD BRING THIS COW BACK TO LIFE"  But I love my steak rarer then rare and my potato smoother then silk.

So here is my Blue Steak with potato puree dinner.

Ingredients (Serve 1)

1 Ribeye steak (At least 1inch in thickness or more)
1 onion
2.5 potatoes
Thick cream
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

How to make

Do not marinate the steak in advance as salt will draw out the water from the meat and leave your steak dehydrated.  I just covered my steak with some chopped onions.  Steak must be left outside till it's room temperature before cooking.  Unless you want it BLUE & COLD.

Peel and steam the potatoes (Cut into medium size pieces first....I forgot so it took a longer time to steam)

Slice onions.

Heat up a pan with some olive oil.  On low heat stir fry the onions till it's soft.  About 20mins.  Don't burn the onion.

Add 1tbs balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp of brown sugar in the onions.  Keep cooking on low heat for another 5-8 mins till it caramelise.  Use this asap, do not let it stand for too long.  If you have to make this in advance.  Put in in the microwave to heat up for a 10 seconds before use.

When potato is ready, mash it up with a fork or potato ricer.  But a fork would do as the potato should be very soft by now.

Cook mashed potato on low heat in a pan.  Add thick cream, a knob of butter and milk and salt to taste.  Don't put too much as you do not want runny mash.  Add little by little till the mash is of the consistency you like.

Dry the steak with kitchen towel, sprinkle some salt on both side of the steak (do that just before dropping the steak into the pan) Heat up some olive oil and a knob of butter.  On high heat (so the outer layer browns faster while the inside stays BLUE).  When oil is hot.  Put steak into pan.  For a 1inch thickness steak cook for 70secs (80secs for rare) on each side.  DO NOT PRESS OR TOUCH THE STEAK WHEN IT"S COOKING.  U can move the pan to make sure the steak doesn't stick to the pan.  Other wise do not touch it.

Remove from pan and drain oil on kitchen towel. Not too long thou.  Just dap lightly on both side, DO NOT PRESS!!!  U don't want to squeeze the juice out.

Serve with mash and desired vegetable for garnish.   Greens would be good but I was in a mood for grilled baby corns. :D  Remember, eat immediately...the steak continues to cook even after it's out of the pan so if you leave it out for too long, it might turn into a medium instead.

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

Kanelbullar - Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

I've never really liked cinnamon buns because I've always had the sticky and awfully sweet american version.  I am not a big fan of caramel and toffee.  Until just a month back I tasted the swedish cinnamon rolls (Kanelbullar) during a coffee break at my Swedish class.  It was small and simple with some sugar pearls on top.  But it tasted really good, the lingering fragrance of cinnamon and cardamon in every soft & warm bite was comforting.  So Nana (japanese friend who is learning swedish too)  and me decided to attempt it one weekend.

We did some research on the different recipes.  My Swedish teacher had given me a really nice recipe as well.  But we decided to improvise.  We replaced the ingredients with more "SINFUL" stuff. :D  Mainly we replaced milk with butter milk and thick cream.  We wanted our bun really soft and fluffy so we decided to go easy on the kneading as well.  We used a little less flour then the recipe....mainly because we ran out of it. :P  And since we could not find sugar pearls.  We made our own lemon cream cheese frosting.  The 2nd time I attempted the recipe, I made a royal frosting instead.


2 cups butter milk
1/2 cup thick cream
1.5 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (fine white sugar) but if you're using molasses slightly more then 1/2 a cup will do
1tsp salt
2 tsp. freshly ground cardamon (Remove shell if you use whole cardamon)
2pkt dry active yeast or (4.5 tsp)
8-9 cups of bread flour
1 egg for brushing


Melted butter

Icing sugar
Cinnamon powder
Fresh ground cardamon


Roasted Sesame seeds
Roasted slivered almonds

Lemon Cream cheese frosting

Lemon juice from 1 lemon
Zest of lemon
3tbs cream cheese
Icing sugar

Royal Frosting

2 eggwhite
Icing sugar
colouring (optional)  

How to make

Heat milk to a light boil till there is little bubbles at the top, stir in melted butter, sugar, salt and ground cardamon.

Let mixture cool, not too cool thou.  Just cool enough to touch.  Stir in yeast and let it sit for approx 15mins

Add sifted flour into mixture one ladle at a time and mix slowly till the dough i firm enough to pull away from the sides. (we hand mixed this.  of cos if you have a stand mixer you can use that too)

Cover the dough in a mixing bowl with a clean towel and let it rise till it doubles.  It will take about an hour or so.  (We left it for about 80mins)

Punch down the dough once and remove from bowl.

Remove from bowl and knead v lightly on floured counter till smooth and shiny. Divide dough into 4.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Brush rectangle with melted butter (be generous).

Combine 2/3 cup of sugar with 2.5tbs cinnamon and 1tsp cardoman.  Sprinkle evenly over the rectangle. (You can also sprinkle the sesame, almonds and raisins if you want. We did a variation)
Roll it into a jelly roll to form a long cylinder.

With a sharp knife cut about 1.5 inch thick.

Please slices in a cupcake wrapper and place in baking tray.  Cover with towel and allow it to double in size.  Will take about an hour.  Meanwhile preheat oven to 200 degree celsius

Brush risen cinnamon rolls with egg wash.  Sprinkle with slivered almonds or sesame on top if you want.  Place in oven and bake for 9-12 mins.  It really depend on the size and shape of your roll.  Ours had a different timing for every batch due to size and shape difference.  The loaf took about 10mins.

In a bowl add cream cheese, icing sugar, Zest of lemon and lemon juice.  Beat and mix thoroughly.  Drizzle on cooled cinnamon rolls.

In another bowl, beat egg white till stiff add icing sugar and keep beating till it's really thick.  Drizzle on cooled cinnamon rolls.  It will take about an hour to harden.

Serve with hot coffee or tea.  Keep the rest in fridge.  Takes about 30secs on medium high to reheat in microwave.

Smaklig Måltid
Monica Eng